5 Questions for Senators Mitch McConnell and Jerry Moran

Friday, June 27th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

On June 3, Chris McDaniel stunned the nation by edging out Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) in the Mississippi primary, just barely missing the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff.  This was no longer a long-shot pariah challenge within the party; McDaniel had topped a 42-year incumbent in a high-turnout election.  Despite the inveterate dependency, the endless relationships and political connections Cochran had forged throughout the state, McDaniel broke through the political machine most pundits thought to be impervious just one year ago.

Nonetheless, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS) dove into the Senate runoff full-throttle on behalf of the indolent incumbent.  Despite the clear understanding that Cochran would only be able to win the runoff by turning out Democrat voters in an effort to overpower the GOP voters, McConnell and the NRSC raised $825,000 for the Cochran campaign.  The NRSC also dumped in $175,000 in get-out-the-vote efforts in the final days of the campaign – a GOTV effort that was focused on turning out Democrat voters against the core principles of the GOP platform.

Ultimately, their efforts, in conjunction with the local Super PAC headed by the Barbour gang, successfully turned out roughly 40,000 specifically targeted African-American Democrats.  This was enough to overpower McDaniel’s robust turnout in heavily Republican counties and coming out 6,900 votes ahead.  According to estimates from a New York Times data cruncher, McDaniel likely won the GOP vote by at least 8 points, roughly in line with the projections of pre-election polling.

We now know that racist robo calls and flyers were deployed in black communities, which rallied support for Cochran through praising Obama, repudiating mainstays of the GOP platform, and insinuating bigotry against McDaniel and GOP base voters.  The flyers look awfully similar to those sent out by Henry Barbour’s Super PAC, “Mississippi Conservatives.”  While the robo calls were illegally placed without disclaimers, there is evidence that the Barbour Super PAC paid shady Democrat firms to place robo calls, although the content of those calls have yet to be identified.

Hence, this is not your garden variety narrow victory in an acrimonious primary.  There are a number of red lines that have been crossed here – disturbing questions that beg answers from Senators Jerry Moran and Mitch McConnell:

1)      Heading forward, is the NRSC and GOP leadership happy with a campaign designed to win with Democrat votes in a Republican primary?  A number of states have open primaries, but do they believe it is good for the party to actively seek cross-over votes to overpower a clear GOP majority for one candidate?

2)      Are they content with winning a primary through race baiting against their own party by playing African American voters and President Obama against the GOP party faithful? Is this something they plan to replicate in the future?

3)      There are a number of sharp disagreements over policy issues within the party.  Many in the establishment want conservatives to drop social issues and border security from our party’s platform.  But bedrock issues such as cutting spending, welfare reform, and balanced budgets are the glue that holds all Republicans together.  It represents the foundation of the GOP platform promoting upward mobility over dependency.  Thad Cochran clearly came out ahead solely because he attracted Democrats on a message repudiating these ideals of the party.  Is that Kosher?  Do they condone such behavior and is that good for the party headed forward?

4)      Do they believe we should attract black voters by engaging in race baiting and promoting food stamps or should be promote the Republican message of school choice, upward mobility, economic growth, and cracking down on illegal immigrants who take their jobs?  If the latter, will they repudiate Thad Cochran?  If the former, do they plan to repeat that strategy in the general election?

5)      If it is this easy to turn out African American voters on an anti-Republican, pro-Obama message in a Republican primary, imagine how easy it is for Democrats to engage in the same race-baiting messaging. What lesson will Democrats in the south, such as Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kay Hagan, (D-NC) and Michele Nunn (D-GA) learn from you condoning this strategy if they can now say you agree with their premise about Republicans?

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Meet New House Leadership Team, Same as Old

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Issues

One would expect the cataclysmic defeat of Eric Cantor to force the GOP establishment into a protracted period of introspection – one that would include a plan for changing course to better reflect the views in their legislative strategy of the party’s base.  Instead they doubled down on the status quo by replacing Cantor with Kevin McCarthy, a man who is even more liberal and pro-amnesty.

However, many insiders claimed that conservatives won a seat at the table when Steve Scalise (R-LA) was elected Majority Whip, responsible for whipping up support for Republican initiatives.  After all, Scalise is the head of the “conservative” Republican Study Committee (RSC).

Sadly, we have already know for quite some time that Scalise was nothing more than a snake in the conservative grass; a political insider who votes conservative on most issues but quietly undermines conservatives.  As Jonathan Strong of Breitbart reported based on multiple interviews with former RSC staffers, Scalise completely neutered the caucus as a check on leadership and actually delivered conservative forces into the hands of John Boehner.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Scalise’s whip team is full of moderate and establishment Republicans without a single dissenting voice.  Earlier today, Scalise announced Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) as chief deputy whip and the following members as deputy whips: Rep. Kristi Noem, (SD-At Large); Rep. Dennis Ross, (FL-15); Rep. Aaron Schock, (IL-18); Rep. Steve Stivers, (OH-15); and Rep. Ann Wagner, (MO-02).

Here is the breakdown of their respective scores from Heritage Action:

McHenry: 69%

Noem: 54%

Ross: 66%

Schock: 48%

Stivers: 57%

Wagner: 63%

With rare exceptions, these members have completely rubber stamped and cheered on Boehner’s efforts to subvert the will of the conservative majority and passed legislation with Democrat support.

It is abundantly clear that we need a clean sweep of the entire leadership team in November, and that sweep must include Scalise.

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One Year Ago Today, the Senate Passed This

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Gang Immigration Bill (S.744) is Comprehensively Flawed

 

Enforcement/Security

  • No Fence: This plan only calls for Janet Napolitano to “establish a strategy”… “to identify where fencing”… “should be deployed” before temporary legal status is granted.  Any plan that doesn’t complete the 700-miles of double fencing is worthless.
  • Internal Enforcement: Any plan that does not limit Obama’s prosecutorial discretion, restore the 287(g) program, ban sanctuary cities and explicitly allow states to enforce federal law and preclude the Justice Department from suing them, is worth less than the paper it is printed on.  This plan does nothing to force the hand of this administration or future administrations on enforcement.  In fact, on page 496, it explicitly preempts states from enforcing immigration laws.
  • No real triggers: Senator Rubio keeps saying that we shouldn’t worry about Obama because he won’t be president forever.  However, he and Janet Napolitano will be in charge for the most critical years of implementation.  All they have to do is submit a plan to secure the border (coming from someone who already believes the border is secured) within 6 months of passage, and everyone immediately becomes eligible for legal status.  Even the trigger to green cards and citizenship 10 years later is only that DHS certify they are achieving the goals of their own plan.  If not, it triggers the creation of another commission to find a plan to spend more money!  The recommendations of the commission will not prevent any LPR status from being granted.

E-verify and the visa tracking system don’t have to be implemented for 5 and10 years respectively.  Even then, they never call for a biometric exit-entry system as currently required by law, just an electronic one and it will not be required at land ports of entry.  As such, there is no way that this massive expansion in temporary work visas will ever be temporary. By the time they are processing the amnestied aliens for green cards in 10 years from now, we will have even more than 12 million illegals from those who were left on the table (ineligible from the first round of RPI status) and all those new people who overstayed their visas.  Border patrol agents have already testified before Congress that illegal entries are on the rise ahead of the amnesty.  That will only grow as long as we make it clear that deportations will never occur and have no tracking system to crack down on overstayed visas.

  • The bill replaces E-verify, the most effective system, with some other unspecified verification system which won’t be in place for another few years (p. 503).  This could potentially undercut the 350,000 employers who currently use E-verify on a voluntary basis.  It also exempts day laborers from using it (p. 402), which will present a big magnet to future illegal migration.  It only requires the use of verification for new employees so as to protect those here already who don’t qualify for legalization from being caught.
  • Encumbering future deportations: Section 3717 places the burden upon ICE to prove that a given alien should be detained.  Section 2313 of the bill offers discretion DHS and immigration judges to grant amnesty to illegals who would suffer personal hardship from being deported.
  • The bill grants the Secretary of DHS waiver authority (page 12) to proceed with the LPR status after 10 years if the enforcement provisions are not implemented as a result of being enjoined by a lawsuit.
  • The bill puts drastic limitations on “profiling” and discriminating against illegals both on the employer side (even though we require them to use E-verify) and the law enforcement side. This is yet another provision that invites boundless and perennial lawsuits.

 

Amnesty for Illegals

  • Almost Immediate Amnesty: Every illegal is eligible to come forward for “Registered Provisional Immigrant” (RPI) legal status within 6 months after passing the bill once Napolitano submits a strategy plan for border security.  That is the most important detail.  Once the legalization begins, it will never be revoked, irrespective of the success of any promised enforcement in the future.  Also, because anyone could potentially be eligible for legal status, and must be afforded a “reasonable opportunity” to come forward, it will ostensibly be impossible to deport anyone during the entire 2.5 year application process, including the new people who will inevitably come here illegally to take advantage of the liberalization.
  • Background check: No government documents are required to identify these people during background checks.  They can easily present documents, and there will be an entire business created to provide them with such documents (see below).
  • Public Charge: Although RPI’s would not be able to constitute a public charge when they apply for green cards (however, that is defined as a paltry 125% of the poverty line), they are completely exempt from public charge when initially applying for RPI status, the most important gateway.  (Section 245B(b)(3)).  This legal status will also allow them to immediately collect welfare benefits in many states, which award benefits to anyone lawfully present.
  • Criminals:  Section 245B(3)(A) (pages 61-66) allows many criminals to get legal status.  Even those violent felons excluded may be granted legal status by the Secretary for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest.  Even the worst of terrorists who are excluded from this waiver, are not required to be deported.  “Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to require the Secretary to commence removal proceedings against an alien.”
  • Refundable Tax Credits: They have to pay back taxes owed during their stay illegally in the country.  So what happens with 95% of them who, had they been legal, would have paid $2,000 in payroll taxes but netted $8,000 in refundable tax credits?  What happens with such a tax return?  Do they make money off the system?  That point is not clear.  Moreover, only those who have already been assessed by the IRS would have to pay taxes. (p. 68-69).
  • Social Security:  The bill would waive prosecutions of those who have used fraudulent Social Security numbers to get jobs when they were illegal, allowing them to receive Social Security benefits when they retire.
  • Dream Act: The dreamers (aged 16-and above with no maximum) and the Ag workers will get immediate blanket amnesty, green cards in just 5 years, and in the case of Dream recipients, immediate citizenship.  All of this is not subject to even the cloddish border triggers established for the rest of illegals. Children of illegals and Ag workers are some of the poorest immigrants, so they will become the most immediate and profound public charge.  Add education costs to the Dreamers.  There is also a hardship exemption to waive the requirement that they complete college.  Section 2103 (page 110) of the bill repeals the ban on in-state tutiton.  Also, how will this affect chain migration when 3 million new citizens could petition to bring in their families after 5 years?  Moreover, spouses and children can be brought in immediately, obtain green cards in 5 years, and citizenship 5 years later.  Furthermore, those who have been granted status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) could get green cards immediately.
  • American-born children: Everyone born on American soil is recognized as an American citizen under current law.  As such, every child born to someone in RPI status, the millions of new low-skilled legal immigrants, and the guest workers will all be American citizens and will be eligible for welfare benefits.
  • Invites in Deportees: Not only will deportations be suspended for everyone here, the bill invites thousands of people who have already been deported (a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen or green card holder, or entered the country illegally before the age of 16) to come back and apply for the provisional legal status.  It also allows deportation absconders to get amnesty.
  • Immigrants officially have to wait 5 years upon receiving a green card to collect most welfare benefits, although it is not always enforced.  Those who register for RPI amnesty status, however, will not have to wait 5 more years after receiving green cards.
  • Obamacare market distortion: Ironically, in an attempt to show that the RPIs will not receive obamacare benefits, they are creating another problem – tilting the labor force towards the amnestied aliens.  Employers must provide health coverage for all full-time employees or contribute $3,000 towards government coverage for that individual.  Given that the RPIs will be excluded from the program, employers will be exempt.  They will have a $3,000 incentive to hire those individuals over everyone else.
  • Government-Sanctioned Private Advocacy and Legal Groups: Section 2106 establishes a foundation (“Grant Program to Assist Eligible Applicants”) that can easily become a government-sanctioned La Raza/ACORN group to agitate for the RPIs during the entire process.  Also, Section 2537 (page 384) authorizes the Director of USCIS to award newly-created “Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance” (IEACA) grants to “eligible public or private, non-profit organizations” for the purpose of assisting RPIs with numerous aspects of legalization, such as “completing applications”, “gathering proof of identification”, “applying for any waivers” and “any other assistance.”  Section 3503 (page 570) creates an Office of Legal Access Programs to provide free legal service to all illegals during deportation proceedings.
  • Lawsuits:  Sec. 2104 (pages 120-129) of the bill allows illegals to challenge and appeal any denial of RPI status for any reason.  DHS is prohibited from deporting any illegal – including criminals – during the period of adjudication.  This is another provision that ensures that no one single illegal will ever be deported.  The bill opens the door for class action lawsuits, and allows judges to appoint taxpayer-funded council to represent them (p. 567) – not that there is a lack of immigration groups that will represent them for free.

Legal Immigration/Guest Workers/Future Flow

  • Wage Controls: On the legal immigration side, this bill increases the number of visas exponentially for both high and low skilled immigrants.  Then, in order to stave off the inevitable depressing of wages, this bill proposes new wage controls for H1-B visa workers.  It even establishes an entire new agency, the Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research, to deal with the labor issues created by the massive new flow of low-skilled immigrants who come in on the new W visas.  The inane cycle of government at work.
  • Diversity Agenda: While the bill would take the positive step of eliminating the diversity visa lottery, which randomly grants 50,000 visas to many third world countries, it compounds the problem with the new regime.  Under the new points system, which can work effectively when implemented properly, applicants from those countries on the diversity visa would be granted extra points, almost as much as those who hold master’s degrees.
  • Prioritized H1-B Expansion: Almost all of the H1-b expansion (from 65,000 to up to 180k) comes from the base cap.  The base cap is simply those who have a bachelor’s degree. We’re not talking about geniuses from MIT who are held up as posted children for our immigration problems.  Yet the bill only raises the exemption for graduate degree H1-bs from 20 to 25k.  That tells you this is all about importing cheaper labor for a number of “tech” jobs that are not that highly skilled as opposed to filling a much-needed vacuum.
  • Defacto Permanent Guest Workers: Those Ag workers who come in on the new W visas will be able to stay for 3 years and have their visa renewed for an additional 3 years.  Even if we had a visa tracking system in place, does anyone actually believe we will send them home?  Yet millions of more low-wage earners who will enter the welfare state.
  • Obamacare: Although the amnestied illegals in RPI status will not be eligible for obamacare, all of the new LPRs created by this bill on the legal side will be eligible immediately.  The cost will be astronomical.
  • Chain Migration: The same provision that grants an unlimited number of visas to family members of citizens is extended to family members of LPRs (page 280).  Given that this bill creates millions of new legal and illegal LPRs, the family-based immigration would explode over the next decade.  Additionally, this bill creates an entire new immigration track in addition to the current family and employment-based tracks.  It also expedites all 4.5 million already “waiting in line,” without prioritizing those who actually benefit the country.
  • Refugees and Asylum: This bill dramatically expands the already-abused Refugee and Asylum laws, including any “humanitarian effort” and “stateless persons.”  Chechnya?  Palestinians?  It also allows those who were rejected to have another bite at the apple.  On page 551, the bill waives the requirement that asylum applications be filed within one year of fleeing to the U.S.  This will allow people who represent national security risks to linger without having to come forward.

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Our Response to Mississippi Results: This Is Treachery

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

You can read our response to last night’s election results at Breitbart News

 

 

In light of last night’s election results in Mississippi, there is one question every conservative should be asking: how much longer can a party survive when its leadership is inexorably against the ethos of its base?

While Democrats harness their base supporters to advance the party’s liberal agenda, the Republican establishment works to undermine and disenfranchise its own base the minute they have pocketed their support in the general election. Now, after actively campaigning for Democrat votes in order to win against conservative Chris McDaniel in Mississippi, the GOP establishment has reached a new low in their treachery against those who embody the heart and soul of the party.

Based on the preliminary election results, it appears that the well-oiled campaign by the NRSC and Haley Barbour to turn out Democrat votes was more than enough to make the difference in last night’s primary. With roughly 60,000 more votes cast in the runoff than the primary, and an unprecedented surge in Democrat counties and precincts, it is almost certain that Chris McDaniel won the GOP vote while losing overall by about 6,400 votes.

Campaigning openly for Democrat votes in a GOP primary using issues and arguments contrary to the party platform is one thing. But the fact that they played the race card and ran mailers and robo calls in African American areas accusing their own party of being racist is downright despicable.

Hence, the NRSC and the GOP establishment essentially marshalled Democrat support to beat conservative voters in order to reelect an ineffective incumbent who is barely lucid and will very possibly never serve out his term.

Ironically, the establishment treachery on the campaign trail in Mississippi is merely a reflection of what they do in Washington. The GOP-controlled House has whipped Democrat votes to undermine and disenfranchise the GOP majority on numerous occasions over the past few years. Senate Republican leaders stood shoulder to shoulder with their Democrat colleagues and denounced conservative supporters of defunding Obamacare both on the Senate floor and in the media. They have clearly grown comfortable allying with their fellow career politicians in the Democrat Party than with those who in their own party who want government to work for the people again.

Throughout the primary season, GOP elites have accused the conservative base of helping Democrats by challenging Republicans in primaries. The reality is that we are challenging these people precisely because they work in tandem with Democrat and empower them in growing government. Yet, despite the acerbic differences and acrimony, the conservative base had always soldiered on and supported the Republican establishment candidate in the general election. Conservative were quick to do so with Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

Read more at Breitbart

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Ron Johnson Gets it Wrong on “Social Issues”

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Family Values, Immigration

It looks like we’ve lost another one.  We’ve lost another GOP senator who is giving into the radical left on critical issues while mislabeling the fight as a battle over “social issues.”  Here is what Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson had to say about abortion, gay marriage, and illegal immigration on CNBC:

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh, said Monday that he’s a traditionalist, but if voters want gay marriage to be legal he won’t step in their way.

Johnson made his comments during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

“I’m a pretty traditional guy,” Johnson said. “I’m almost 60 years old. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. But again if the voters decide that they want gay marriage, I’m not going to oppose it.”

Johnson was drawn into a discussion on social issues, including immigration and gay marriage. Initially, he focused on “the economic issues that overweigh all the other ones.”

“These social issues are going to primarily be decided in the states, through (the) democratic process and that’s the way it should happen,” Johnson said. “I’ll certainly go with the judgment of the American people in terms of where they want to fall on, whether it’s the abortion issues or gay marriage.”

He said on immigration, “We’ve got a lot of migrant workers in Wisconsin. I’ve never had a migrant worker ask me for citizenship. They just don’t want us to deport their moms and dads, their husbands and wives. I don’t think we’re going to do that. We need to actually solve this problem. We need a functioning legal immigration system.”

There are too many false premises in his statement to debunk in one post, but here are some points to consider:

  • His entire rationale is built upon the premise that the socially liberal view is the default position of the people and it is social conservatives who are pushing for radical changes.  This cannot be farther from the truth.  Abortion was completely taken away from the people and decided by the Supreme Court.  Now state marriage laws are being decided by unelected judges, NOT the people.  Now is not the time to surrender the issue.  It is precisely because we are suffering from judicial tyranny that there is a need for Republican politicians to stand up for religious liberty and state’s rights, not publicly surrender the issue.
  • I don’t know which polling data he is reading, but the abortion issue is clearly moving in our direction.  Why would you surrender that now?  And even with regards to the homosexual agenda, we are already seeing that it will not stop with “marriage.”  We are seeing transgendered bathroom laws and anti-religious-liberty court rulings on a daily basis.  Should we just ignore them as the radical left seeks to undermine the civil society and religious liberty?
  • From what planet does Johnson originate to suggest that illegal immigration is not a fiscal issue?  Is he not aware of the massive surge of impoverished illegals at our southern border – a crisis engendered by the very mentality espoused by Johnson in the interview?
  • Republicans like Johnson clearly do not understand the importance of the civil society to fostering a free market economy and a republican form of government.  A society where gender is eradicated; where abortion is rampant; where our sovereignty is erased, will no longer serve as an engine for economic growth.

For those who are so eager to throw away their principles for ephemeral polling data (which doesn’t even apply to abortion and immigration in which the people are squarely with us), they should remember the debate over global warming legislation.

Towards the end of President Bush’s presidency, most Republicans started buying into global warming and green energy socialism.  The media joked about Senator Jim Inhofe being the last man standing against climate fascism.  Then, buttressed by Climategate, we fought back against the farce and showed how their agenda was built upon a false premise.  Now you can’t find a Republican who is willing to promote global warming, and even many Democrats have shied away from the issue.

But gauging by Johnson’s alacrity to throw away his moral compass, he will undoubtedly follow superficial polling data on “economic” issues as well.

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Cochran Campaign Stoops to a New Low

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Elections

Thad Cochran is unfortunately a microcosm of the sorry state of the GOP establishment and career politicians in both parties.  In a perfect world, a 42-year incumbent facing a tough reelection campaign would have a list of endless accomplishments to advertise as his closing argument.  Sadly, Cochran’s campaign is out of ideas, out of excuses, and out of votes.  Their last ditch effort to buy another vacuous term in the Senate now completely revolves around turning out Democrat voters.

What’s worse is that the call targets black Democrat voters by directly calling the Tea Party racist:

In the automated message appearing to target black Democrat voters in Mississippi, the female voice on the line claims that tea party challenger Chris McDaniel would lead to more obstruction in Washington and create more “disrespectful treatment” to the nation’s first African-American president.

“The time has come to take a stand and say NO to the tea party,” the message says. “NO to their obstruction. NO to their disrespectful treatment of the first African-American president.”

The robocall goes on to urge listeners to go to the next polls Tuesday and vote against McDaniel. The only option in voting against McDaniel is to vote for incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran as they will be the only two names on the ballot.

“If we do nothing, tea party candidate Chris McDaniel wins and causes even more problems for President Obama,” the message continues. “With your help we can stop this. Please commit to voting against tea party candidate Chris McDaniel next Tuesday and say NO to the tea party!” [Daily Caller]

Folks, this is what we are up against.  It’s funny how the media and our opponents call us “purists” for referring to these people as “Republicans-in-name-only.”  Their behavior has shown that not only are they faux Republicans, they lack any sense of decency.

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Obama’s Immigration Policies Widely Unpopular

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

We already know that most GOP consultants have no core beliefs or desire to push conservative policies.  But one would expect they would at least accurately analyze the polling data on the issues.  After all, they live and die by polls.

For years, we have argued that Republicans should go on offense with the issue of immigration and run ads against Democrats for supporting his lawlessness and violation of our sovereignty.  Yet, the GOP consultants have all drunk the kool-aid and are pushing amnesty.  Now Gallup is out with a poll completely demolishing the electoral argument behind the open borders Republicans.

According to Gallup, Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of immigration by 65% to 31%.  Approval among independents has dropped to just 25%!

Source: Gallup

Source: Gallup

Source: Gallup

Source: Gallup

This tracks very closely to a recent CNN poll which showed that the public disapproves of the President’s handling of immigration by 61-35%.  He is underwater with every demographic, including Independents (28-67%).

Imagine how the polls would look if we actually had an opposition party forcefully making the case for America-first policies that benefit American taxpayers and legal immigrants while preserving our sovereignty.

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Bob Corker Proposes Massive Hike in Gas Tax

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Taxes

What better way to distinguish ourselves from Democrats than to propose a 12-cent increase in the dreaded federal gasoline tax at a time when gas prices are skyrocketing?

One of the reasons Republicans always lose policy fights is because their starting point in crafting solutions is born out of a Democrat premise.  One illustrative example of Republicans playing follow-the-leader with Democrats is on surface transportation policy.

In recent years, Democrats have bemoaned the “antiquated” and “crumbling” infrastructure as they promote more taxes and spending at a federal level to build roads and bridges – something everyone agrees is a vital function of government.

But which government or governments should be responsible for the lion’s share of surface transportation in the future?  Should we continue raising taxes and pumping hundreds of billions more into the failed federal sinkhole?  Or should we allow the 50 states to retain most of the authority over a function that is uniquely local in nature?

Evidently, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) thinks we should double down on the latter.  He is proposing a 12-cent increase in the federal gas tax (it is currently 18.4 cents per gallon) in order to raise $164 billion over 10 years.  His plan, which is sponsored by Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, will undoubtedly lead to more waste.  And we all know that in 10 years from now they will be proposing yet another gas tax increase.

Adding insult to injury, Corker plans to offset the broad-based regressive tax hike with targeted tax breaks for corporations!

“One big GOP selling point was that the tax increase would not violate the Americans for Tax Reform pledge if it is paired with a provision making some popular tax breaks that are typically part of the tax extenders package permanent.

According to Corker, the list of tax breaks includes: research and development tax credit; Section 179 expensing, a tax break encouraging small businesses to by business equipment; the deduction of state and local sale taxes; the deduction of up to $250 in classroom expenses that teachers paid for out of their own pocket; a subsidy for mass transit and benefits given for land donated for conservation purposes.

“If you just took those, we do them each year, but you make them permanent; I don’t think there is anybody that disputes making those permanent, by the way, that alone would generate $189 billion in savings over the next 10 years,” Corker said. “So if the Finance Committee chose to link this … with that … you would not be violating the pledge.”

Wow – that is a winning message for a party that wants to appeal to the middle class.

Instead of agreeing to the Democrat premise, why don’t Republicans show the American people how the entire federal transportation system is broken and inefficient?  Why hit the American people with a massive tax increase when we can devolve transportation to the states?

Just another day in the minds of those who lead the Stupid Party.

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Madison Project Scores 11 Spending Amendments in Transportation-HUD Bill

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Issues

Amidst the political turmoil in the House last week, members of Congress voted on a number of spending amendments to the annual Transportation-HUD appropriations bill.  This is not exactly the most exciting topic in light of the political gamesmanship involved in running for leadership posts, but it is quite revealing when attempting to ascertain the commitment of some members to reducing the size of government.

The bill, HR 4745, appropriates roughly $52 billion for FY 2015.  Put simply, this bill encompasses more wasteful government that almost any other appropriations bill.  It spends almost $8 billion more than last year’s draft bill from the House and it contains a number of programs that should not be administered at a federal level, such as subsidies for mass transit and rural air service.   The bill also contains a number of programs that were instituted under the Obama stimulus bill in 2009.

Several members of the conference offered amendments to cut back wasteful spending, particularly among programs that subsidize housing, yet most of them were rebuffed by a coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans.  We’ve created a scorecard of 11 amendments detailing how each member of the GOP conference voted.

Click here to view the scorecard

Please find the descriptions of these amendments from the Republican Study Committee pasted below:

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Forget Amnesty, Congress Voted to Give Welfare to Illegal Immigrants

Friday, June 13th, 2014 by and is filed under Blog, Immigration

Many Republican supporters of loose borders, along with quite a few Democrats, vehemently deny that they support amnesty. They contend that merely asking illegal aliens to pay a fine and back-taxes in return for legal status is not amnesty. Fox News’s Brit Hume passionately denounced those who refer to some of the immigration proposals in Congress as amnesty.

But amnesty means means “an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.” What else would you call granting legal status, let alone the privilege of full blown citizenship, to millions of people who came to the U.S. illegally?

Even beyond amnesty itself, Congress seems to trip over itself providing benefits to people who came to the U.S. illegally. Just look at the inability of the GOP-controlled House to deny aliens welfare and benefits even before they are granted legal status.

Read more at Breitbart

 

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