Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
At present, federal “mandatory” programs, which include Medicare, Social Security and roughly 77 welfare program, account for 57% of the entire federal budget. Social Security is by far the largest federal expenditure, which is projected to cost $848 billion in 2014 and at least $11 trillion over the next 10 years. It is clear that we will never control spending and bend the trajectory of our fiscal insolvency without offering comprehensive and effective reforms to Social Security.
However, the budgetary cost of this program is by no means the only pernicious aspect of our burgeoning entitlement state. Under the current system, the federal government has complete control over our personal retirement. Their monopoly on 12.4% of our earnings (on the first $113,700 of income) undermines savings, investments, and personal ownership – some of the most cherished values of a free and prosperous society.
To add insult to injury, the federal government taxes the Social Security benefits of seniors, even though the money had already been taxed. Moreover, the more a senior earns in private income, dividends or interest while receiving Social Security, the more they are taxed. Hence, in addition to the double taxation, the federal government has created a perverse incentive for seniors to continue working, if they desire to do so.
Today, a pair of conservative champions in the House, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), and Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have introduced a bill, H.R. 3894, to repeal this double taxation on Social Security benefits. As Massie noted, this bill will prevent Congress from using this ill-gotten revenue to grow government while pretending to protect the notional Social Security Trust Fund.
Again, conservatives should not only discuss the budgetary problems with Social Security. Many analysts only focus on the “austerity” solutions, such as means-testing benefits and raising the retirement age. But they fail to address the broader problem of government controlling and squandering our retirement. And ironically, Social Security is already means-tested in several ways, one of which is the taxation of benefits on a graduated income scale.
As we work to push for more choices in retirement security, the least we can do is repeal the harmful tax on Social Security benefits.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Immigration, News
If you are looking for a vivid example why it is so important for us to change the Republican Party in the upcoming primaries, look no further than the latest news from the Chamber of [Government-Run] Commerce – the most prominent establishment GOP lobbying empire. According to The Hill, the Chamber has spent $50 million lobbying for the Senate amnesty bill last year:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $50 million on lobbying last year as it pushed for action on immigration reform.
Typically the biggest K Street spender in Washington, the business group funneled about $52.7 million toward lobbying efforts in 2013, according to disclosure records. In the last quarter of the year, the group spent almost $16.5 million.
Some of that money went toward lobbying on immigration reform, which is a top legislative priority for the business community.
So the Chamber’s top priority is the same as Obama’s top priority – passing mass amnesty, rapidly expanding low-skilled immigration from its already record-high-levels, and ensuring that we continue the cycle of open borders. Given that the Chamber is the most influential lobby within GOP establishment circles, why should we support Republicans who will follow the edicts of this defacto pro-Obama lobby?
It’s ironic how they accuse us of helping Democrats by fielding conservative primary challengers. The very reason we pursue primary challenges is because Republicans are joining with Democrats, not only to harm the country but to destroy the Republican Party. We are helping to stop this self-immolation by preserving the party as one that offers an alternative on immigration and other issues and will not help Democrats grow a permanent majority.
Monday, January 20th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
On Friday, we all learned the sad news that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will be resigning from the U.S. Senate next year as he fights his battle against cancer. Coburn has valiantly fought waste in the federal bureaucracy and he will, God willing, fight off this wretched disease.
The impending vacancy in Oklahoma has triggered a special Senate election for this year, with the primary to take place on June 24, 2014. Over the weekend, several expected candidates, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), announced they will not vie for the seat, while Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) plans to officially declare his intentions to run later today. We are safe to assume the GOP establishment wants a united front. And if Lankford becomes their anointed candidate, in what is perhaps the most conservative state in the country, color us underwhelmed.
To be clear, Lankford is not a purely liberal Republican and an anathema to Oklahoma like Rep. Tom Cole would have been, had he contested the seat. And in a perfect world – one without a truculent Democrat Party and a treacherous GOP party establishment – Lankford would go with the flow and drift in the proper direction. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Our country, culture, marketplace, and system of government are on fire. If we don’t aggressively reverse the tide of Obama’s 100-year culmination of the progressive utopia, our slide into socialism and moral decay will be immutable. The only way to reverse this trend is to drive straight through the obstructionist bodies of the GOP establishment and the special interest ruling class. Politicians who support the status quo in the way we approach politics and policy are not up for the task.
Rep. Lankford is a quintessential status quo Republican. After just two years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lankford was groomed for a leadership position, serving as the number six-ranking member in the Boehner-Cantor team. Nobody gets into leadership that quickly if they are bent on fighting the power structure in Washington. He has since served as a conduit for Boehner and Cantor, supporting their debt ceiling increases and funding for Obamacare in budget bills, thereby obviating one of the reasons for Republicans controlling the U.S. House.
Given that Lankford is from Oklahoma and has always had his eye on higher office, he tends to be more careful about his final votes than most other members of leadership. We noticed that Lankford voted for the Ryan-Murray budget deal in December, which busted the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act. Yet, he voted against the omnibus bill last week, even though that bill was directly born out of the December deal. Lankford cited a number of objections, but he knew exactly what the Ryan-Murray deal engendered. Moreover, he voted for the FY 2012 budget in December 2011, which contained similar objections. Clearly, he understood the optics of voting for this leviathan a week before announcing for the Senate seat would not bode well for his campaign.
Moreover, as we’ve noted before, immigration reform is likely to be the most important issue pending before Congress in the coming years. Lankford supports amnesty and is one of those Republicans who believes “doing nothing” (with regards to amnesty, not enforcement) is not an option. More disturbingly, he offered a typical liberal non-sequitur in support of amnesty: “I wouldn’t prohibit forever (people from getting citizenship). I’m a Christian, and restitution and reconciliation’s a big deal. If you do something illegal or inappropriate you should be able to resolve that, face the penalty, clear it and be forgiven.”
Lankford clearly doesn’t understand the broader consequences of our inane cycle of amnesty and will not be down for the struggle against Obama when he pushes it as a dangerous lame-duck president. When Obama issued his illegal administrative amnesty in 2012, all Lankford could muster was a feeble equivocation over whether it was even amnesty: “It is technically not amnesty, and it is amnesty. It’s both. That’s the frustrating part of it.” [CQ, GOP Avoids Taking a Position on New Immigration Enforcement Policy, 6/19/12]
Folks, we have enough of these consummate politicians in the U.S. Senate already. The Senate GOP Conference is even farther to the left than the House GOP. There is no way someone like Lankford will change the country club culture of Senate Republicans; we will be changed by them. Sending another mediocre Republican to the meat-grinder would be a waste of one of the most conservative seats.
Fortunately, Oklahoma is home to one of the most conservative game-changers in Congress. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), which the Madison Project endorsed last year for reelection, was a game-changer when he defeated the sponsor of the NatGas subsidy bill in a primary, he was a game changer when he voted against Boehner for Speaker, and he will be a game changer in the Senate when he stands up to weak-kneed leaders. Lankford is a yes-man for House leadership, and he will be a yes-man for Senate leadership.
We will never change Washington with the status quo.
Bridenstine has too much to offer Oklahoma in the Senate for him to sit this one out. We encourage him to jump in the race and give voice to conservatives.
Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, News
For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2014
Contact: Mary Vought
Madison Project Opens GOTV Headquarters in Kentucky to Support Matt Bevin
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC, the first conservative PAC to endorse Ted Cruz (R-TX), announced today they are teaming with tea party groups across Kentucky to open five GOTV (Get Out The Vote) headquarters to help organize grassroots canvassing for U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin. The offices, which will have hired staff and volunteers, will be located in Bowling Green, Florence, Glasgow, Louisville and Owensboro.
“The Madison Project is focused on a bottom-up grassroots model to help empower local conservative activists and elect reliable conservatives to Congress,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “We are excited about our work with a wide array of dedicated conservative groups in Kentucky. That is why we have teamed up to open these GOTV headquarters in several parts of the state. Each office will be equipped with our voter canvassing technology, which will be used to contact thousands of Republican primary voters and spread Matt Bevin’s message of limited government via an interactive ground game. Polls show that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is one of the most unpopular incumbents in the country, and voters are starving for new leadership in Washington.
“Not only will an effective ground game help propel Matt Bevin to victory on May 20th, it will also empower conservatives across the state. While conservative grassroots will never raise enough money to match Mitch McConnell’s special interests, which support amnesty and corporate welfare, an organic and dedicated ground game strategy can help even the playing field. We are extremely proud of the grassroots conservatives in Kentucky and look forward to working with them in cities and towns throughout Kentucky until November.”
The Madison Project endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin in July of 2013. The full endorsement can be read here.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
It’s understandable why Democrats would feel embarrassed about unemployment. Employers are cutting jobs, reducing hours, and lowering wages as a direct result of the Obamacare mandates and taxes. Instead of putting out the fire that they set, Democrats have decided to distract our attention by offering band aids for the economic burns in the form of unprecedented long-term unemployment benefits.
Typically, the Unemployment Insurance program lasts for 26 weeks of unemployment with an additional 13 weeks during recessions. Most of the cost is purveyed by employer payroll taxes. Since 2008, however, Congress has funded Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for up to 99 weeks of unemployment.
As part of the fiscal cliff deal, they extended benefits for up to 73 weeks. In total, extended unemployment benefits have been renewed 11 times since 2008. Over the past 5 years, the federal government has collected roughly $240 billion in federal unemployment payroll taxes, while paying out about $600 billion in benefits. We are already in uncharted waters and dangerously close to creating another permanent entitlement program.
Yesterday, the Senate voted for cloture on a bill that will extend the 73-week maximum UI extension for another three months. Although the recovery in the job market is historically slow and lethargic, it is improving. Why in the world would we push another extension post-recession? Moreover, although the job market is improving relative to the nadir of the recession, are a record number of people have given up looking for work. Now is the worst time to offer incentives for disgruntled unemployed to remain outside the labor force.
And if we don’t stop the endless counterintuitive cycle of UI benefits five years after the recession, unemployment will become another permanent entitlement.
Then again, that is exactly what the Democrats want. They obviously have no intention to end this charade in three months. They want UI to become permanently enshrined into the welfare state, but are aiming for perpetual short-term extensions in order to use the issue as a convenient life boat amidst the tumultuous political waters created by Obamacare.
Republicans have an opportunity to speak with moral clarity and show a bold contrast: the conservative plan of cutting government red tape on job creators vs. the Democrat plan of engendering job losses and then offering permanent dependency – subsidized by future generations of taxpayers – as a panacea for their man-made disaster.
Republican leaders should directly challenge Democrats on the premise of their stratagem. If they really believe in the prudence of indefinite UI extensions, why not make the extension permanent law? Why not raise the dollar amount of the benefits? Why not expand coverage to 100 weeks or for the entire duration for which any individual is unemployed?
Sadly, in yet another manifestation of the impervious Democrat super-majority, six Republican Senators gave Democrats the requisite votes to break the filibuster. Other Republicans are taking the pale-pastel route, suggesting they would play the UI game as long as the three month expenditure is “offset,” presumably, over 10 years.
A lack of unified opposition from Republicans is another example of the vacuum of leadership from the top. Leadership has failed to rally the conference against any Democrat legislation until Harry Reid restores the rules of the Senate. Indeed they are getting ready to pass a new 5-year farm bill next week. Nor have they unified opposition against the UI extension until and unless Democrats agree to pass a relief on the very regulations that cause joblessness, such as Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and sundry EPA anti-energy restrictions.
As tens of millions of Americans begin receiving smaller paychecks due to the increase in withholdings for health insurance, joining the more than 5 million who already lost their coverage in the individual market, Democrats have an arduous task in shifting the public’s attention to unemployment benefits. But as Republicans equivocate and negotiate over their preposterous scheme, Democrats might succeed in deploying their latest political decoy.
Monday, January 6th, 2014 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Later today, when the Senate votes on the nomination of Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Republicans will have an opportunity to shed the image of stubborn allies of Wall Street and stand with the free market. Republicans should oppose the confirmation of Janet Yellen, who has been known to support Bernanke’s aggressive stimulus policies at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), unless Democrats agree to some critical reforms of this powerful institution.
There is something fundamentally wrong when the Chairman of the Federal Reserve can serve as essentially an unelected fourth branch of government, wielding power over our purchases, savings, and national debt. During her confirmation hearing, Yellen declined to say how long she plans to keep interest rates so artificially low. She also failed to answer how and when she plans to sell off the Fed’s huge balance sheet, which has quadrupled since 2008. Most disturbingly, she obdurately rejected any plan to inject congressional oversight into this unaccountable and unelected creation of Congress. This is simply irresponsible.
We have a prime opportunity to hold the Fed and their special interests’ feet to the fire over their manipulation and dangerous economic game of distorting our economy.
It’s never good to make abrupt and drastic changes in monetary policy, but we must not be dissuaded from proposing reforms just because the stock market will have a tantrum – the same repetitive threat that is used to force Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans need to begin advocating for the repeal of Humphrey-Hawkins, which charges the Fed with a dual mandate to achieve maximum sustainable employment and keep prices stable. The Fed should focus solely on price stability. Once they lack the ability to administer to Wall Street what the Dallas Fed Chair Richard Fisher refers to as “monetary morphine,” there won’t be any wild swings in the stock market in anticipation of such harmful meddling.
After three rounds of ‘quantitative easing’ and two rounds of ‘operation twist,’ the Fed has a balance sheet of almost $4 trillion — purchasing $40 billion in treasuries and $45 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month. The governing body of the Fed has not offered any comprehensive plan to sell off these assets without incurring a loss. The endless bond buying is distorting the housing market, yet Washington politicians seem to have forgotten the tough lessons learned from the previous housing bubble and continue to allow it to happen.
Additionally, the perennial policy of keeping interest rates near zero is hurting retirees all for the purpose of putting a short-term band-aid on the ailing economy. It’s almost impossible for seniors to find low-risk investments that will allow their savings to keep up with the rate of inflation. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that households lost $360 billion in net interest income from the monetary manipulation, with seniors losing roughly $2700 per year. Also, record-low interest rates have incentivized banks to sit on their money and not offer loans to startup businesses, exacerbating the existing tightness in the credit market due to Dodd-Frank.
The artificially low interest rates have done nothing to spawn organic growth in the economy, except for juicing up the stock market in the short-run, benefiting the special interest corporatists at the expense of the people.
To make matters worse, the ability of the Federal Reserve to service the national debt with artificially low interest rates on treasuries has allowed the Obama administration to grow harmful government programs like Obamacare. If government expenditures would be limited to the amount of tax revenue, it would be much harder for liberals to expand the role of government in private enterprise. Each increase in spending would require a commensurate increase in taxes.
Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Issues, News, Obamacare
There has been much acrimony and infighting within the Republican Party of late. But in the coming year, there are many upcoming battles that should be able to unite the party, most prominently, the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.
Republicans agree that Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with policies that eliminate the burdensome interventions that drive up the cost of healthcare. And as the national debt continues to soar over $17 trillion, there must be an immediate push to reduce the size of government. That means there is no better opportunity to unite in the fight against both Obamacare and the growing national debt than with the upcoming debt-ceiling deadline in February.
Conservatives will have two key advantages in the fight over the debt ceiling that were missing during October’s budget showdown. First, the messaging over the debt ceiling is much simpler: Everyone understands that as a country we are accruing an irresponsible level of debt. It is more than reasonable to assert that we not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan to stop this endless spiral. What better way to reduce spending than by cutting funding for the most unpopular entitlement program?
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Here’s is a thought for a slow vacation week. Congress’s approval rating has dipped into the single digits. Anyone with any intellectual honesty – whether liberal or conservative – should agree that we need wholesale change in the ranks of leadership in both parties. Yet the Chamber of [Government-Run] Commerce is prepared to spend $50 million in order to protect the status quo.
The Wall Street Journal published an extensive story over Christmas detailing some of the efforts of party leadership and their corporate allies to keep the Republican Party a small tent – one which stands for nothing and appeals to nobody:
Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.
GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014′s midterm elections. […]
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort—expected to cost at least $50 million—to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.
“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”
Well, if the Chamber is looking to avoid loser candidates they should start by pulling the plug on their support for Mitch McConnell. He is losing to a liberal Democrat in a state Republicans carried by 23 points last year. That’s a loser candidate if I’ve ever seen one.
Yes, indeed the Chamber is full of many ironies. They supposedly represent business interests, yet they continue to perpetuate the powers that be in Washington – the very same forces that stifle business growth. With their candidates, they help perpetuate Obamacare, which kills small businesses. With their candidates, they help Democrats win on every debt ceiling fight, so that the federal government has unlimited money to propagate job-killing regulations. And with their candidates, they ensure that we re-elect the current crop of failed GOP leaders who have given Democrats a defacto super-majority in the Senate.
Most amazingly, they are also spending millions of dollars pushing for amnesty and an unlimited supply of Democrat voters. These voters will help defeat their chosen Republican incumbents, thereby countermanding this year’s $50 million campaign.
In reality, the Chamber doesn’t stand for free markets or limited government. They stand with the special interests and venture socialists as long as it helps the bottom line of their clients. They are attracted to the strongest political forces on the block like flies are attracted to cow pies. Hence, they will do anything in their power to protect the status quo.
Folks, if you like the status quo in Washington, the Chamber of Commerce has $50 million in banal political ads to sell you in the upcoming primary season. Are you buying?
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, Elections, News, Uncategorized
It’s not even 2014 and Mississippi conservative Senate candidate, Chris McDaniel, is already tied with incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in the polls. According to a new Human Events/Gravis poll, Cochran and McDaniel are all tied up at 40% apiece. It is pretty unprecedented for a challenger to be polling this well against a 35-year incumbent so early in the race.
The poll also showed that only 39% of Republicans definitively approved of Cochran. This poll is in line with previous surveys that show Chris to be very competitive. This is why we were so proud to endorse him early on in this race. Chris is truly an impressive candidate, and with voters itching for a more effective conservative voice in the Senate, he has a solid chance to become a U.S. Senator next year.
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 by Madison Project Staff and is filed under Blog, Elections, News
For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2013
Contact: Mary Vought
Madison Project PAC Endorses Milton Wolf for Senate in Kansas
“Milton will be one of the U.S. Senate’s loudest voices against Obamacare.”
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC, the first conservative PAC to endorse Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Matt Bevin (R-KY), announced today that it is endorsing Dr. Milton Wolf for U.S. Senate against Senator Pat Roberts in Kansas:
“We’ve interviewed dozens of candidates this cycle, but few are as passionate and articulate in defense of restoring our Republic as Dr. Milton Wolf,” said Jim Ryun, Chairman of the Madison Project and former Kansas Congressman. “Even though he has never held public office, Dr. Wolf has exhibited a command of the issues and a dedication to conservative values that is lacking among most individuals in Washington. Senator Roberts has served admirably for a number of decades, but if we ever hope to rebuild the Senate majority on a solid conservative foundation, we need fewer career politicians and more citizen leaders like Milton Wolf.
“When I served the people of Kansas in the House of Representatives, I quickly learned that the big government mentality is entrenched in the leadership of both political parties. Despite losing the majority during the Bush years, many of these same Republicans have failed to learn the lessons of the past. They have not shown a bold contrast from the Democrats and a consistent desire to fight special interests and protect our constitutional values.
“I wish I had served alongside more members with the moral clarity and intellectual honesty of Milton Wolf. He understands that 21st century conservatives need to give voice to our Founding values in the halls of Congress, and on Main Street. His principled voice on current issues pending before Congress has already empowered Kansans by forcing Senator Roberts to change his voting habits. Milton will continue to fight for us every day of every year he is in office, which, as promised, will be no longer than two terms. In particular, he will be one of the U.S. Senate’s loudest voices against Obamacare.”
The official endorsement can be viewed here. Our full report on Pat Robert’s record of supporting big government can be viewed at RetireRoberts.com
The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found athttp://madisonproject.com/
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