Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Issues, News
- 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.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Issues
If Republicans plan to dive head-first into massive amnesty and seismic expansions of legal immigration – all for political considerations - they should make sure they are reading the right polls. Issue polling (unlike election polling) is garbage in, garbage out. It’s all about how you ask the question and frame the issue. That is doubly true when it comes to immigration polling.
Here are some of the results from Fox News’s latest poll on immigration. As you can see, the questions were asked as innocuously as possible.
First, Obama’s approval/disapproval on immigration has slipped from 47-46 to 39-51. Among Independents, it’s 36-56. In my opinion, that is a direct result of the counter-offense against Obama’s position on this issue. The public is finally hearing another side to the argument.
With regards to legal immigration in general, 28% say we should increase the level of immigration; 55% say we should decrease immigration. Even a plurality of Democrats were for decreasing the overall numbers. Before Congress rushes to double or triple our already high level of immigration instead of implementing a targeted immigration system, we need to have a broader debate over the level of immigration we desire to have over the next 20 years.
Next, “Do you favor or oppose requiring completion of new border security measures first — before making other changes to immigration policies?” 68 percent are in favor; 22% are opposed. 66% of Democrats agree with enforcement first.
Friday, April 19th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Issues
The coalition of leftists, big labor, big business, and big GOP consultants who are pushing this immigration bill, which is antithetical to reform, are terrified of the upcoming cost study from the Heritage Foundation. That’s why Marco Rubio is asking them to employ “dynamic scoring.” In the minds of his supporters, we should focus on the alleged benefits from the bill with regards to the labor market, which presumably will occur immediately, as opposed to the costs which will occur after 10 years.
The first thing we need to understand is that the children of the amnesty beneficiaries will affect the welfare costs well within the 10-year budget frame.
At present, our legal system operates under the false notion that the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship for any child born here from someone who entered illegally. If someone runs over the border and drops a baby, that baby is a citizen. If the individual comes in on a tourist visa and drops a baby, that baby is a citizen. This has created the allure of anchor babies, and serves as a huge magnet for illegal immigration.
Although illegals are officially not entitled to collect welfare benefits (though they can get refundable tax credits or steal social security numbers), they can and do collect welfare on behalf of their American-born children. What the Gang of 8 essentially does is turn millions more people into anchor babies. Their iteration of the Dream Act (Sec. 2103, page 110) would grant full citizenship to anyone who came here before 16 after just 5 years, irrespective of the fulfillment of their ambiguous enforcement goals. Unlike previous versions of the Dream Act, there is no maximum age limit of 30. Hence, a whole lot of people will be eligible for the entire litany of programs in short order, and in the case of those who are still dependents, they will be able to secure benefits on behalf of their parents.
Additionally, as part of the ‘no illegal left behind’ provision of the bill, even those illegals who were deported but are otherwise eligible for the Dream Act (or regular RPI status along a different track), are invited back into the country to accept citizenship in 5 years along with their immediate family members. There will be a number of aggressive lawyers chomping at the bit to litigate every last one into the legal status. Add on the fact that states will now be precluded from barring them from instate tuition, it is stupefying how insouciant some Republicans are to the cost of the Dream Act.
With that in mind, think about the children of the hundreds of thousands of temporary guest workers, who will never be temporary because the visa tracking system is not required to be implemented for 10 years (not that it will be implemented then either). The expressed purpose of the open-borders lobby, at least on the Republican side, is to bring in cheap labor. Well, when you pay people who have American-born children slave wages, they will be able to collect all those benefits – immediately.
Yup, you can’t forget about the children.
With regards to the benefits to the labor market, that’s a tough thing to score based on the way the bill is written. Again, to the extent that it’s a good thing to bring in so many new illegal and legal immigrants who will depress wages, this bill won’t allow us to reap those “benefits.” It sets up a wage-setting agency to regulate the wages of those low-skilled guest workers who come in on the newly issued W visas. They also have numerous restrictions on employers of H1-B high skilled workers, penalizing them for employing too many of them and setting wage restrictions.
To the extent that there are some real benefits, they are either in quirky ways or in areas that there is already broad consensus to reform. There is broad consensus to eliminate the diversity visa lottery and move towards a merit-based system, which would greatly benefit our economy. However, this bill retains a parallel track for those already in line, in which there is no cap based on points. It essentially increases all areas of immigration across the board. Why not pass piecemeal legislation just on the beneficial aspects of the bill?
Friday, February 15th, 2013 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues
by Wendell Talley
Replace this guy as the guiding light of a ruling class with this guy and a vulgar, vicious and idiotic society is certain.
We’ve done just that and the resulting American aristocracy has turned malevolent, rapacious and low.
Of course we have an aristocracy. Every nation does. In the United States we don’t overtly recognize it otherwise the hot dogs wouldn’t go down as smoothly on the Fourth. Instead we mutter about “the elites” or “ruling elites”. Any word but the A word.
An aristocrat in John Adams’ definition, by way of Russell Kirk, is any person that can command the votes of two persons — his own, and another man’s. In other words they are persons of influence whether by nature, by birth, by education, by wealth, by character, by cunning or by notoriety. No one will deny the existence of such people in America.
Two large problems fester within our unacknowledged aristocracy and they need to be addressed if we are to have a healthy and thriving public square. Generally speaking, our elites are 1. obscene and 2. of a narrow political persuasion.
One type of obscenity — the $15M payoff to Meg Whitman for her role in guiding Hewlett-Packard with all the grace and skill found in the Hindenburg landing — I have discussed before.
The other type is just as retch-inducing but more accepted. It is commanded by the notorious division of our aristocratic class (Gaga, Kardashian, Sheen, et al.) With all of the subtlety of a streaker at a funeral this class of elite has used every available media tool to amplify behavior that fifty years ago was considered boorish, at best, and perverted in the main. The danger posed by these jokers lies in their softening the view of destructive character traits that will kill, pauperize or imprison an average person. The unchecked aggression celebrated by rappers — from gunplay to womanizing — is the bane of ghettoes coast to coast. Using a sex tape as a CV worked for Kim Kardashian but the mentality that uses such a ploy is a flaw every sensible father would want rooted out of his daughter. As Gertrude Himmelfarb has written, the wealthy can long sustain a lifestyle that would ruin a poor man within a week.
I’m no prude. I understand people have always done what the culture warriors impotently rail against. The difference is that in the 50s when Ingrid Bergman had an affair with Roberto Rossellini she was hectored from the public eye for five years. Today we would have seen vivid evidence of the Bergman-Rossellini tryst. The former can be reactionary and merciless in its extremes but it sets a useful boundary. The latter is viewed as more liberal and enlightened but it obliterates needed social custom.
This is where conservatives part ways with our Libertarian friends. No society marinated in slime can remain free. A debauched people is not a people capable of self-government. They will eventually demand and deserve a tyrant.
The second issue with our ruling grandees is that in important ways they share common political interests that are in profound conflict with us commoners. This is most clearly seen in the debate on illegal immigration which cuts vertically across party lines. One side views open borders as a theoretical question of fairness and universal human rights. The other as a question of being priced out of the labor market, a question of life as a self-reliant citizen or life as a journeyman mooch on the government dole.
And, generally speaking again, to the extent the aristocrat is grounded in academia, law, media, finance or entertainment he is a uniform and reflexive Leftist. Individuals are entitled to their opinions but when whole institutions are under the sway of one ideology it breeds corruption, tribalism and turns politics into a low grade civil war.
All of this leaves us with a coarsened culture, a disaffected electorate and a major political party that believes it has a “branding” issue rather than a candidate/communication/consultant issue.
The black aristocracy is a gleaming illustration in microcosm of the two problems with American aristocracy outlined above 1. Its unseemliness 2. Its political uniformity.
Appraise black America’s current existence in obscenity from top to bottom and from back when up until now. From Dizzy and Duke to Jay Z and Lil’ Wayne. From jacketed, serious men dedicated to excellence to gold-toothed, marble-mouthed vulgarians who don’t know how to properly wear a hat. From married living to baby mama drama. From King to Sharpton. From Ralph Ellison to Tyler Perry. The two generation trend has been unrelentingly downward. And I’ll note for the material optimists out there that the increase in black America’s monetary wealth over those two generations has only been outpaced by its moral degeneracy. We now face the insane proposition that a large minority of American citizens take gangsters and pimps as their cultural heroes over scholars and entrepreneurs.
Put it this way: my great-grandfather (and yours) would be astounded that there is an entire class of black people who get rich by calling other black people Nigger. And that they are excused by another class of blacks who say it’s ok because the name callers use an -az ending to the slur instead of -er and because it’s said in a rhyme.
Appraise black America’s monolithic and unquestioning loyalty to the Democratic Party. To the confounding of many pundits, neither President Obama’s stance on gay marriage nor the staggering unemployment rate for blacks dented blacks enthusiasm for Mr. Obama. Despite (or maybe because of) a catastrophic first term the black aristocracy (think: Oprah, Magic, Spike) held Obama tighter. Samuel Jackson cut campaign ads for him. Chris Rock and Jamie Foxx were undaunted supporters of the Obama administration. At times, Whoopi Goldberg seemed seconds away from physically attacking people in order to defend Obama’s honor.
The man had done nothing except be identifiably black and have a D next to his name on the voting ballot. And, really, that’s all it takes when the influential are writing the story on your behalf. Obama could have given his campaign speeches standing in front of a burning cross while wearing a Klan hood and he still would have outpolled Romney in black precincts.
The Obama campaign and Democrats, in the main, do not have to hire consultants to operate an air campaign to get the black vote. The black aristocracy does it for them. I spent election morning listening to black radio stations. Between songs (and sometimes over songs) the deejays were busy whipping votes for Obama’s reelection. They were much more effective than any campaign ad could have been.
This is where the hapless, hopelessly white and perennially unhip GOP staggers onto the stage. The Republican Party surveys a landscape of violent, chaotic and morally atrophied ghettoes from sea to shining sea and concludes that the kingmakers in such a setting are pastors. Who in the world thinks a populace that leads the league in incarceration rates, bastardy, and accounts for 30% of all abortions is under the sway of Gospel preachers?
Tellingly, the Obama campaign didn’t. They relied on “barber shop and beauty salons” ”Condo captains” along with “Faith captains” (i.e. laymen) to corral the black vote. They did not take it for granted. They organized with people in the neighborhood.
To turn the black vote, the GOP and interested conservatives (there are some, aren’t there?) are going to have to learn a fundamental lesson. It is not a matter of consultant driven media buys versus grassroots activism in the case of the black voter. What is necessary is to have a relationship with the black elite so that they function as consultants or guides that will facilitate the building of an effective grassroots presence in black districts.
The black aristocracy mirrors the larger aristocratic class — it is unhealthily monolithic in its political allegiance. It will not do to plead for votes on behalf of Republicans. You might as well ask Kobe Bryant to knowingly score baskets for the opponent. The Republican Party is not black America’s team. Don’t sit down with the black elite while wearing the Republican uniform.
Most of the black aristocracy do not enjoy their position by virtue of birth or family tie. They worked their way to the platform they now enjoy. They have an understanding of what success in America requires. They care about the plight of black lower class if for no other reason than many of them are the first generation in their family to escape it. They know the way of the belt-less, gold-toothed crowd is a crippling folly. They may not be credentialed historians but they know the history of their families and their neighborhoods. They know it has not always been shot through with dysfunction.
We know, and have the numbers to prove, that the federal government creates dependence not independence. It creates clients for its services not functioning citizens.Conservatives need to sit down with these folks and be question askers and note takers. Find a way to help them effectively help the people they care about and conservatism will get a hearing.
Developing an emancipationist sentiment, as Ishmael Reed puts it, would serve conservatives well if we are to expand from people hearing our ideas on education reform, prison reform and economic reform to people believing in and following our ideas. The emancipationist sentiment requires being on the scene when a black mother is thrown in jail for attempting to send her children to a better school. It requires ears and eyes in the places we don’t go.
If conservatives don’t like the narrative being spun about us in black neighborhoods we will have to engage the story tellers to change it.
Wendell blogs at The Talley Sheet
Friday, February 1st, 2013 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues
The American Republic (tattered, pauperized and morally confused) will survive Barack Obama’s eight year run at monarchy. It will be glad to see him off to a lavish retirement with those he loves — Michelle, his daughters and his teleprompter.
Eight years of moral preening from the Lecturer-in-Chief will have eventually worn off the narcotic high Americans have felt about finally electing The First Black President. Voting (twice) for the unqualified black guy means we’re not racist. Good for us. Now what do we do about our colossal debt and our submerged economy? Republicans should be prepared with good answers.
The GOP will make a tactical mistake if they confuse weariness with Obama for disgust with Democrats. It won’t be the case. If you think Democrats can’t overcome the horrible conditions their policies create please refer to the encrusted political dynasties in Chicago and Detroit. Also see the Presidential vote tally of November 6, 2012. Therefore, the next Republican presidential nominee needs to have a brain wired to conservative principles that functions a second ahead of his mouth, a skin made from dragon scales, a brawlers love of the fight and a personal familiarity with 21st century American culture.
He or she also needs the following tools in his or her political bag:
- The ability to make a clear distinction between what the federal government is obligated to do under the Constitution versus what states can do. This is absolutely necessary and at the same time politically perilous. We are not a social democracy and we cannot muddle along as if we are much further without a total fiscal collapse. The Left will demagogue this issue with the crazed ferocity of Ray Lewis in a bar fight. It also will be tough for many on the Right to stomach because it may include some tactical retreats or defeats at the state level on gay marriage and marijuana laws. We need to take a lesson from the father of our party. Abraham Lincoln could not have won the presidency in 1860 running against slavery but he could end slavery once he did win. This is not a plan to deceive voters about what our intentions or what we think but a way to show we take federalism seriously and will govern under the constraints of limited government even when the vote does not go our way. The Obama administration is arresting marijuana growers in states where marijuana use is legal. We need to be in a position to spotlight the Left’s hypocrisy regarding the use of federal power. We cannot do that if we are engaged in the same practice.
- A clear understanding that spending, debt and the welfare state is not only about money. It is also about morality and what type of people we are. Accumulating massive debt is unwise, spending someone else’s money with no intention to repay is immoral and inflating the welfare state creates a stifling caste system honeycombed with dysfunction.
- A clear separation from and opposition to Dodd-Frank ,which many Americans, if conservatives do their job, will come to understand has had a negative effect on their prosperity and a visceral disgust at the notion of too big to fail with a plan to remove it from our financial system. The candidate has to be principally opposed to federal cronyism and corporate back slapping with sharp rhetoric to match.
- The courage to articulate that we do not have an immigration problem but an assimilation problem insofar as immigration is considered automatic while assimilation is optional. The candidate should come equipped with a national immigration policy (one of the responsibilities of the feds) that is not built upon leftwing assumptions or fear of the elusive Hispanic voter.
- An instinctive feel for the mood of the voter. It is hard to predict now but the candidate will need to know what is resonating with voters. It could be issues like fathers not wanting to register their daughters with Selective Service, parents under the burden of taking on 100k+ college loans and still having their unemployed 26 year old as a dependent, or shoppers understanding inflation is wild and on the loose despite the sonorous pronouncements of windbags in Washington.
It is hard to see anyone that fits the mold at this moment but if conservatives lay out the framework we can encourage someone to adopt it, run a vigorous campaign on it and win with it.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues
Eventually, the unofficial GOP strategy of disregard will chase off even their hardcore base of black voters. You know, the five out of every hundred blacks that show up at the polls to vote for Republicans on election day. And quadrennially, after the latest embarrassing exit polls, we have to beat our breast and ask why blacks have abandoned the party of their liberators.
It’s a dumb question.
The better line of investigation is to ask why the party of education reform does not follow up on the rampant corruption and malpractice in public schools to make inroads with black voters.
Here is a short tale that illustrates the sloth and inertia of Republicans.
Kelly Williams-Bolar is a black, single mother of two who was thrown in jail in 2011 for sending her daughters to an out of district public school. Educational theft was the charge. No, her daughters weren’t cribbing off the Asian kid’s math test. They were illegal students — a powder keg of a phrase in places such as Arizona, California or Texas but apparently infused with some entire other meaning in the oozing slough of Ohio public schools.
Ms. Bolar’s daughters were stuck in the local ignorance stockade known as Akron public schools. Being a conscientious parent she looked for a way to rescue her children from a blighted future. She used her father’s address to enroll them in a better public school district. This went on for four years until the Fugitive Student Team (yes, really) in the Copley-Fairlawn School District sniffed out the runaway students and had Ms. Bolar bound and shackled. Subsequently, a jury convicted her of fourth degree grand theft of school services (so much for the wisdom of the American public). She spent ten days in jail and and was given three years of probation. Oh, and the school wanted her (and her father) to pay reparations in the amount of $30,000 for the education her children had stolen from the free public school.
What does this have to do with the Republican Party? Nothing at all, unfortunately. The only defenders of Ms. Bolar were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, some doctrinaire Lefties at an outfit called change.org, the Institute for Black Public Policy and Anderson Cooper. In other words, the cheerleaders for the very system that disasterizes the education of black youth from coast to coast got away with masquerading as her protectors.
The party of education reform was notably silent.
No Great American Panels were convened on her behalf, no calls to action from the RNC or Ohio Republican Party. She wasn’t a white firefighter getting shafted in an affirmative action quarrel so, it seems, it was okay to holster our outrage.
Yes, Republican governor, John Kasich, granted clemency to Ms. Bolar but that was only after the uproar from the public reaction to the parole board’s outrageous denial of a pardon reached the governor’s mansion.
Education is a tailor made issue for Republicans to steal votes from Democrats and turn blacks away from the Left. Presidential opposition to the DC scholarship program, the run of blacks into homeschooling, besides the comprehensive failure of public schools to adequately educate its black students are just a few millstones to hang around the necks of Democrats, who are irrevocably indebted to teacher’s unions. It is laughable that the party of George Wallace and Ross Barnett gets to pretend it cares about the quality of education blacks receive.
At what point does the resolute Republican indolence when it comes to the issues that most affect black citizens lend credence to the tired old Left wing charge of racism? Really the allegation of racism is an insult to all the hard working, nose to the grindstone racists across the country. Racists care. The GOP can’t even rouse itself enough to pay attention.
Too bad, because hapless Republicans need all the friends they can get these days. Get the education issue right and Republicans will find larger audiences for their (hopefully conservative) message on immigration, entitlement reform and gun control.
It is what inclusion looks like — gathering more people under the conservative banner by emphasizing, not abandoning, core principles.
Pigmentation isn’t political destiny unless you think black mothers like being hauled off to jail for caring about their children.
(cross-posted from The Talley Sheet with updates and revisions)
You can read more about Wendell Talley here
Kelly Williams-Bolar (photo from oneworldpi)
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues, News
What we are witnessing in Washington D.C. is what happens when a national party attempts to survive on particulars and not principles. A surrender here, a deadline there, a pithy press release to stand in place of convictions is all the GOP can muster in response to the most ideologically committed presidential administration of the last 100 years.
Edmund Burke: “…and that without principles all reasoning in politics, as in everything else, would only be a confused jumble of particular facts and details, without the means of drawing out any sort of theoretical or practical conclusion.”
The House GOP, operating under “difficult circumstances” (are they trapped in a coal mine?), can only offer strategic retreats on our massive debt instead of bills that restrict or cut spending. Won’t, it can be predicted, engage the issue of women in combat. Nor will it refuse to fund Obamacare. All of which it could easily do because under the law they control the federal purse strings.
Nothing, not even a politician’s mouth, operates without money and yet the House GOP whines about it’s lack of leverage. Okay. Here is some help. Here is your leverage: the Constitution of the United States of America. Pass bills based on principle. Oh, maybe something about women not having to register for the draft. You can call it the Protection of Women From Violence Act. Or maybe a tax reform bill for a flat tax. Or maybe a bill that drops the income tax entirely and replaces it with a national sales tax. Or a bill that says if the Senate doesn’t pass a budget (which it has not done in four years) the House budget automatically becomes law. You can call it the Harry Reid Memorial Act for Protecting Seniors and Children.
Politics is chess not checkers. Players operate from opening move to check mate on principles of action. Players play offense and defense simultaneously. They think further than one move ahead.
The difficult circumstance that handicaps the GOP is that it lacks the courage to have principle and that its brain, spine and mouth seem to be disconnected.
Monday, January 21st, 2013 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues, News
Meg Whitman presides over a company, Hewlett-Packard, that in 2012 had two $8B write-offs, a decline in year over year revenue for every business unit, a massive 29,000 employee layoff, and accusations of fraudulent accounting. Short of winning the Tour de France loaded with EPO and dedicating the victory to a fake, dead girlfriend Meg Whitman could not have had a worse year. And the prospects for 2013, according to industry experts, are not much better.
For her George Custer-like leadership Hewlett-Packard paid Ms. Whitman $15,400,000.
Conservatives should denounce that pay out for what is: obscene.
No matter that it is “only” 70 percent of her income targets because of the company’s poor performance. Any argument that includes the formulation “the board is okay with it so that makes it okay” should be discarded and never used again in this context. Lavishly rewarding failure is not a conservative principle. A free market so free that it is free of any sense of propriety or shame is not the free market conservatives (should) defend.
In his vital 2012 book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray wrote of unseemliness. The Left has a blind spot for the bloated unseemliness of the federal government and the Right has a matching vision problem for the private sector. The compensation packages for CEOs of large corporations are certainly legal and they may even be economically justifiable but are they fitting? Are they decent and becoming? Are they boons or blights on the social fabric?
The average compensation for a CEO in 1970 was $1M. In 1987 it was $2M. 1992 $4M. 1998 $8M. 2006 $16M. Plot that on a graph and it would show a definite trend. Plot it next to the wages of the average American worker over that time period and the question of unseemliness would be hard to avoid.
Conservatives aren’t Bolsheviks or radicals and we don’t want a government that levels income or achievement. We simply need to rely upon a clear-eyed, traditional understanding that cronyism, whether in government or in the boardroom (where an elite coterie of current and former CEOs hand out planetary sized checks to one another like they were door prizes), corrupts free societies. Plain even-handedness demands that conservatives not only fire hot rhetoric at the pork pimps in the Capitol but also rhetorically warm the backsides of the back scratchers in the boardrooms.
The average Joe may be a low information voter but he can spot a rigged game. He understands his payroll tax jumped 2% and that will at least offset if not outpace any cost of living raise he receives while a powerful CEO can soften the blow of tax increases by taking $1 in salary as Ms. Whitman did.
A practical way to engage this issue without descending into the sewer of class warfare is through tax reform. Republicans in Congress are always assuring us that the next budget fight is the fight where they will have leverage enough to win. It is time for Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to make good. The debt ceiling, sequestration and the 2013 CR present prime opportunities for the GOP to make the case that spending and the tax code are not just financial issues — they are issues of morality. We can’t continue to spend money we don’t have and we can’t have a tax code that can be effectively circumvented by the connected. That is an easily understood conservative message. All it needs is a good bill to give it flesh. If the GOP cannot deliver even that much then #firemcconnell needs to take its place next to #fireboehner.
On the media/policy/messaging side of the fight it is high time conservatives ended our timid silence about the rapacious actions of corporate barons. We are not cheap populists who uphold the right to do wrong. That is the other team’s gig. They are the party of if it feels good do it.
What we classical liberals conserve in this nation are the ideals that inspired our founding documents – the Declaration, the Constitution and the notion that our liberties are a gift from a Sovereign who expects us to use them not only for our benefit but for the benefit of all his creation. We understand the pursuit of happiness is not summarized by the feel of crisp hundred dollar bills in your grip.
Hewlett-Packard has a right to pay Meg Whitman a Superdome full of cash and she has a right to barbecue ribs over a stack of fifties. Neither party has the right to uncouple success from reward. And conservatives have a duty to speak up for the traditional American understanding of work. Of honesty. Of industry. Of what is unfashionably right.
The long hoped for revival of American values and social cohesion won’t begin if we can’t disentangle capitalism from a high rent numbers game.
Friday, January 4th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Issues
We have been admonished over the past few years for advocating for voter ID laws. The left has been accusing us of using such commonsense constitutional protections to suppress minority turnout. Well, the results of the 2012 elections should countermand that fallacious allegation. Unfortunately, opponents of fair elections will continue to combat voter ID laws.
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, the reason why Obama fared so well last November was not necessarily because blacks have grown as a share of the population, but because they have grown as a share of the vote. In fact, it appears that blacks voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time. Yes, this is after a number of states implemented voter ID laws.
This is one salient point lost amidst all the punditry over the election results. How can blacks (an other minorities) enjoy their best turnout election after so many states enacted laws which were supposed to prevent them from voting? The answer is quite simple. Voter ID laws preserve fair election for everyone in this country.
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 by Wendell Talley and is filed under Blog, Issues
If it is true that 47 million Americans are on food stamps it is a malignant and metastasizing tumor on the American civic body. Let me clarify: it is a malignant problem for society if you value liberty and human autonomy. If you are a statist or a partisan for the party of government (GOPers not excluded) it is glad tidings of good cheer — your policies are creating new clientele for the welfare state.
If the Republican party were paying attention (we need if in 78 point font) that number would be alarming but also an invitation.
Alarming because growing dependency on government means the American electorate is metamorphosing from citizen to subject to serf. Serfs don’t have a need for limited government or republican democracy for that matter.
An invitation because of that 47 million people a good many do not want to be dependent subjects of Washington D.C. That is the group the GOP must identify and, get this, go make a case for free market, limited government policies that will lift them from poverty. Radical, I know, but that’s where we find ourselves — in the undignified position of having to convince people to vote for us.
Let’s do some unscientific, back of the envelop sorting.
- An estimated 5.9 million adults aged 25-34 live at home with their parents because of unemployment or underemployment. For every one of those 6 million we convert to a conservatism we’ll get two parents in the bargain just out of sheer gratitude for getting the slugs out of the house.
- In 2012 53 percent of of all Americans under 25 with a bachelor’s degree were unemployed or underemployed. This group probably has a significant overlap with the living at home crowd. The difference is in the massive amount of student loan debt they carry. Democrats will use the carrot of debt forgiveness (based on some government designed indentured service) to keep this frustrated lot in the fold. These are future creators of culture. The GOP needs to advertise policies that will return them to full use in the private sector. The GOP needs young, educated, professionals as allies if conservatives are to ever hope of seeing a welcoming media.
- In this group are the truly (as opposed to relatively) poor. The type of people that use busses as the primary or sole means of transportation not because they are urban hipsters or metropolitan professionals but because they cannot afford a car. The type of people that send their kids off to school from a homeless shelter. Do we not have a word of hope, or policy of uplift that does not feature the government, for the them?
- There are over nine million “prime age” (30-49) parents raising at least two minor children who live on incomes below $34,000/yr. Of that number approximately six million are married. The conservative refrain of “get married, then have children and you won’t be poor” is being tested. It is not clear that conservatives are aware of this swelling demographic or that we speak to it in a meaningful way. It is bad policy and worse governance to cede people in those circumstances to a federally designed, bureaucratically administered future of dependence.
We have to be careful that our rhetoric about the relatively poor ( in terms of how many cars, televisions, electronic devices they have etc.) does not separate us from the truly poor. We also need to be determined to actively win the poor to our side. As Newt Gingrich pointed out recently, Detroit has lost half of its population and dropped from number one in income per capita to number 67 but remains a Democratic Party stronghold. The same can be said of many other large cities and soon it will be true of California’s 50 plus Electoral College votes. We cannot assume a poor economy will drive voters our way when we do not present an alternative to the status quo.
Conservatives do not stand for anyone if they do not stand for the poor or between the poor and a horizon narrowing, soul crushing state. We don’t have to sacrifice our principles to expand our base but we do need to explain them.