Republicans Archives

How Did Wisconsin Run a $1 Billion Surplus?

Scott Walker, the governor of the state of Wisconsin, survived a recall effort by unions in his state. I’d hope, though I wouldn’t bet, that they are glad that effort failed.

Because since then, he and the Republicans in his state legislature, have been busy cutting taxes and balancing their budget. The result has been that, over 3 years, they’ve cut taxes by about a billion and a half dollars, and the economy is chugging along a good clip, such that just this year they have almost a billion dollar surplus.

We ought to be asking our federal government to look at this. How did they do it? Let’s listen to Governor Walker describe it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuzZRgEAw1k

Tough decisions, predicted by his detractors to destroy the economy, instead turned the economy around, gave them a surplus, more in their rainy-day fund, and which will be returned to the people instead of turned into a slush fund.

Now, you might not have heard about this from your typical media sources. A Republican governor, hated by the unions, putting conservative policies into place, with the result being a booming economy, just doesn’t fit the narrative. And when it comes time to vote again in Wisconsin, I hope the people there remember who fixed their economy, and who opposed those very policies.

Heck, I hope the rest of the country remembers that, if they get to hear about it. A state that generated a billion dollar surplus without mortgaging their future is a model that Washington, DC should be following. If they really cared about the economy.

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    "A Promise He Could Not Keep"

    The House Republicans have produced a devastating video. Keep doing this, guys.

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      Manufactured Pain in the Government Shutdown

      This past weekend, veterans and their supporters protested in Washington, DC. They took down the barricades surrounding the open-air World War II memorial, and dumped some of them half a mile away outside the White House. It seems like spending money, during an alleged government shutdown, to close something that doesn’t actually require opening was a bridge too far for an administration bent on making sure you feel the pain, even if the pain is manufactured.

      Speaking at this protest were politicians of all stripes, standing with and supporting our vets. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin spoke to the crowd, and… Hmm, just a minute. Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin… Aren’t they both Republicans? Why yes; yes they are. What should have been a bipartisan show of support, was partisan only because every available Democrat either supported this manufactured pain, or dare not cross his party leaders with a show of independence or support of the troops.

      Is the question of this manufactured pain — shutting down things that have never been shut down during a government shutdown – a partisan issue? It shouldn’t be. And I do understand supporting the President who happens to be of your party. Generally, you don’t want to be the one giving the other side an easy target. I get that. But aren’t there some things beyond the pale? For some, it appears not.

      Oh, and on Monday, the barricades were put back up. Now there’s an essential service for ya. Seems the World War II Memorial is more secure than our borders.

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        Of Henry and Barack

        Henry II had a stalwart friend and assistant in Thomas Beckett his chancellor. When there was a chance to elevate Thomas to a position of arch-Bishop of Canterbury Henry did so, thinking he’d have a close ally in the Church. What he didn’t realize was that Beckett was loyal not to him as his chancellor but the office … and when he was head cleric … he was likewise loyal to his office and no longer a close friend and ally of the King. In a frustrated rage (and Henry had a temper) Henry famously hollered  “will someone not rid me of this meddlesome priest” … and two knights took him at his word, rode forth in the night to Canterbury and slew the Bishop in cold blood at the altar, an act which shocked and horrified both England and their King who never actually intended this act to be carried out.

        The left in general and the left elite in particular see themselves as the faithful guardians and representatives of the people. A popular movement arising naturally belongs within their party, not the opposition. When this occurs it is an affront to their long held assumptions that the ordinary folk are their constituents and this movement is a betrayal (just talk to a gay conservative as to how liberals treat with them … for a party that thinks that harsh words against oppressed groups are harmful, they are mighty quick to use them themselves).

        Mr Obama has joked about using the IRS as a political tool, he’s remarked how Tea Party members were nefarious, he’s publicly called out persons and groups to be targeted by liberal pressure. Low and behold a few knights ride out to do his bidding. Actually more than a few, but who’s counting. Apparently we are to believe there was no connection between his attitude, the atmosphere he encouraged in his administration and its behavior. History if I remember, finds Henry culpable for the consequences of his remarks. History likewise, will likely find Mr Obama culpable for the spate of government overreach and partisanship it demonstrates …

        On the other hand, it seems calls for “impeach the bum” keep coming from the right. Uhm, a few points to this remark:

        • Biden? Geesh
        • The President is tried in the Senate, by Senators not a few of whom have Presidential aspirations and for which a majority share the same political party as the President.
        • Which means, the only actual good that would come of impeachment is … that it would shut down the federal government for a month or so.
        • and finally, Biden? If that doesn’t frighten you, nothing will.

        Oh, wait. Point #3 might be the actual point. Impeachment even without conviction would be likely to hamstring the President during and afterwards … and he’s not going to be convicted so the Biden threat isn’t very real.

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          Be wary of those who rag on that the Republican Party is primarily made up of old, rich, racist white men. Be wary because when faced with the prospect of a young Hispanic Republican, as in Marco Rubio, the media seems to think that a question of priority for said Republican is to ask him how old he thinks the Earth is. Let’s disregard how other issues were skipped over in lieu of that high priority age of the Earth question. Issues such as: immigration, the economy, healthcare, gun running into Mexico, a U.S. Ambassador being killed in a coordinated attack at a U.S. Embassy and, maybe, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, you know – low priority issues like that. Oh, and let’s also disregard the fact that Rubio probably-most-likely-maybe thinks that the laws of aerodynamics work consistently enough so that he believes that when he boards a jetliner it will actually fly through the air (as designed); or that he thinks that the laws of chemistry work consistently enough so that when he takes medication it will interact with his body the way it is supposed to; or that he thinks most of that – you know – “science stuff” really works.

          Yes, since they can’t accuse him of being an old, rich, racist white man, they simply disregard all of the real issues and paint him out to be some sort of buffoon by asking him how old the Earth is because, when all is said and done, they’re not interested in tolerating a Hispanic Republican.

          Be wary.

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            A Jobs Bill Paid For by Charities

            This is what you get when you try to soak the rich.

            President Obama proposes to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill mainly by limiting tax deductions for wealthy Americans. Unfortunately, if enacted, this policy will likely dampen charitable giving and further shift perceived responsibility for social welfare from individual donors to the state.

            The President’s plan calls for lowering the rate at which wealthy taxpayers can take itemized deductions—from the current rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent, beginning in 2013. The change would affect individuals making more than $200,000 (and families making more than $250,000) per year.

            So how much would we be talking about?

            The result of President Obama’s proposal will likely be several billion dollars in decreased revenue each year for hospitals, educational institutions, and nonprofits that help the poor. While giving would probably drop only a small percentage, the anticipated amount would total more than the combined annual operating budgets of the Ameri­can Cancer Society, World Vision, St. Jude Chil­dren’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Heart Association.

            Those who are served by these institutions aren’t the only ones who would be hurt by decreased giving. Many people’s jobs would also be threatened.

            Perhaps most importantly, Obama’s proposal sends the message that federal bureaucracy can deploy the resources of the wealthy more effectively than civil society can. Decreasing an incentive for charitable giving implies that the state should assume responsibility for people’s needs, even at the expense of vital nonprofit organizations. Churches, ministries, and other community-based institutions, however, are often better equipped to serve people in need. And they often do so at reduced costs.

            If Republicans vote against this, be sure that this analysis will not be mentioned. Instead, by protecting charities, Republicans will be said to be "against jobs".

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              Debate Post-mortem

              I know I’m biased, but Romney was mopping the debate floor with Obama last night. Even on the ObamaCare vs RomneyCare situation, he’s came out on top.

              Some of the big-name liberals were astonished as well. Jeff Jarvis, media critic at BuzzFeed tweeted, "How did Obama get backed into the corner defending the death panel?" Indeed, Sarah Palin deserves an apology. Bill Maher had to admit, "i can’t believe i’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter". Markos Moulitsas of The Daily Kos top liberal blog lamented, "Nobody likes seeing a prevent defense in action, and that’s what Dems saw tonight."

              Some good Tweets from the Right, too.

              James Taranto: It’s a close one, but I’ll say Obama had a better night than Lehrer.

              David Limbaugh: Again — listen to Obama- in almost every answer he focuses on what is and isn’t fair. He never addresses what will work esp 4 growht [sic] & debt

              Blogger Ace of Spades quotes a pollster: Frank Luntz: "I have not had a group that swung this much. This is overwhelming for Romney. This is a big deal."

              Again, I know I’m biased, but I think Romney won on substance as well as style; explaining the $716 billion he would put back in Medicare (and why), why RomneyCare was at least passed in a bipartisan way (as opposed to ObamaCare), and, as I said, getting Obama to admit and even defend "death panels".

              It was a great first day of the rest of the campaign. Hopefully, this will translate into votes.

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                So … You Believe Man Causes Global Warming and …

                Your neighbor across the aisle does not. Here is some unsolicited advice for the left wing on this topic. If you really think this is a problem, and you want everyone, not just your side of the aisle to push for it futilely … Here’s a newsflash for y’all. You’re selling it wrong.

                Look at us over here on the right. We think the space program was cool. We love going to flight museums and wistfully wishing we (as a nation) were still flying SR-71s (RS-71 dammit, stupid Presidents). We gawk at daisy cutters and talk about yields and payloads. While we might take up on those government goodies that are “free” it sticks in our craw and we wish that ‘ol time Yankee rugged individualism wasn’t dying out, killed by bureaucratic mind-numbing cookie cutter schools among other things. Read these two books, here and here. That’s good reading. So, do you like Bob? We do.

                In a past era, a Democratic President challenged his nation to go to the moon, not because it was easy but because it was hard. You want a nation to get behind you with a climate crises. Challenge them that way. Tell ‘em to go out and fix it, not by sucking back our economy and going all green-ified on us, scrimping out toilet paper curbing consumption of interesting toys and things to do.

                No. Fix it the old fashioned way, with a hammer, tongs, and big bad-ass technology. Challenge us that way, and you might get a rise out of us.

                Of course it might alienate you’re side of the aisle, but you can’t break an omelette without making eggs, or something like that.

                (with tongue firmly in cheek … and attempting to ignore the silly season somewhat)

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                  "Consider This!", Episode 10 Milestone

                  A couple months ago I started a new project; a political and cultural opinion podcast where I say what I’m going to say in 10 minutes or less. It doesn’t require as much a time commitment from you to listen in, and I want to hear back and make it more of a conversation than a monologue.

                  Today I hit a milestone; the 10th episode. There’s something of a psychological part of this as well. Folks who keep track of such things say that if you get (on average) past episode 7, that seems to be a tipping point. Podcasts that get past that generally continue on. So here I am at 10, and hopefully we’ll just roll along, with your input.

                  My topics are usually varied, but this episode focuses on the Paul Ryan VP pick. Let me know what you think of that choice by either commenting on the show notes, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. You can even use that tried and true method; E-mail.

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                    Friday Link Wrap-up

                    “I would not have you exchange the gold of individual Christianity for the base metal of Christian Socialism.” – Charles Spurgeon. He had quite a bit to say on economic and political issues of the day, applicable to that day and this.

                    For those still blaming Bush for our economic situation, Paul Mirengoff reminds us that the housing  market collapse was the main cause of it, and the Bush administration tried to keep it from happening. Democrats would have none of that.

                    "The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana…." But the real scourge, Big Gulps, will not be tolerated.

                    A cautionary tale about hyper-partisanship.

                    Remember those advertisers that left the Limbaugh show after his remarks about Sandra Fluke? One big one tried to come crawling back, and Limbaugh just said No.

                    The Obama administration is against voter ID laws, but Michelle Obama herself required IDs to get a book signed. Irony. Meter. Pegging.

                    Austerity works, when it’s actually implemented. Just ask the European country who’s economy outpaced the average growth in the euro-zone by 500%, and has the only budget surplus there.

                    Obama actually was a member of a socialist political party while in Chicago. Stanley Kurtz of National Review has the documentation. Where was the mainstream media on this 4 years ago?

                    In case you heard otherwise, no, the Boy Scouts are not changing their policy on gay scouts and scout leaders.

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                      Friday Link Wrap-up

                      Mitt Romney, a real community organizer.

                      Record-breaking attendance at Canada’s March for Life. Over 19,000 people participated. Support is growing.

                      Around the world, Obama has become something of a disappointment. He talked a good game, but was a bit short on follow-through.

                      However, the President has certainly had his share of ‘firsts’ while in office. Doug Ross enumerates 3 dozen of them.

                      If you personally know thieves that otherwise live their lives with "goodness and holiness", does that mean thieving is, therefore, condoned? This press release from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC seems to suggest that.

                      RIP OWS. We hardly knew you (and I think you hardly knew yourself).

                      After being voted down unanimously in the House, Obama’s budget is unanimously voted down in the Senate. One word: Leadership.

                      An admission that environmentalists sat on their hands during the BP oil spill because Obama was in the White House. Again, for the Left, it’s always political. Principle always gets the back seat.

                      And finally, what’s next to "evolve"? (Click for a larger version.)

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                        A Quick Question

                        Recently jobs numbers came out … two data points are of interest and can be used, perhaps, to judge the bias of the sources. One set, points out that January job numbers are up and by one metric unemployment has dropped to 8.3%, getting firmly below 9. The other set, which is new as well, points out the divergence between two proxies which normally track but recently have diverged. Unemployment, as tracked by those applying for unemployment benefits and jobs, normally tracks well with the number of unemployed. Yet in the last 18 months this tracking has diverged. More and more people have (according to the second unemployment proxy) have given up seeking work. By that second metric, unemployment is above 10.5%.

                        Honest reporting would, I offer, report both points. There are many, who for political reasons, decide on or the other figure is more significant. Are there good reasons besides the nominally “bad” political partisanship ones for not noting both?

                        Oh, by the by, I’ve got to run early to get to a job site about an hours drive north. My links post will go out tonight.

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                          Credit Where Credit is Due

                          Whenever I try to give credit to Ronald Reagan for participating in the fall of the Soviet Union, I often hear that its fall was an inevitability, and it just so happened to occur on Reagan’s watch. I have to point out to them that Reagan was the first President to come along with an intent to defeat communism, not just contain it. And then to have the Soviet Union defeated "on his watch", with nary a nuke dropped, is one of those "coincidences" you don’t often see in politics; where the effect so closely mirrors the cause.

                          Interestingly, some of those who say the fall of communism was inevitable weren’t around when it happened. I was. And so was Lech Walesa.

                          Lech Walesa said that there would not be a free Poland without Ronald Reagan, during the unveiling of a statue in Warsaw of the late American president on Monday.

                          The former Solidarity leader said that “as a participant in these events,” it was “inconceivable” that such changes would have come about without the last American president during the post-1945 cold-war era.

                          Walesa added that thirty years ago, it seemed that the fall of the communist system would not be possible without a nuclear war.

                          Reagan stood strongly, and very publicly, with Poland against the Soviets. This was not an appeasing President. The Soviet Union was wrong and evil, and Reagan was not afraid to call it that, to the consternation of so many American liberals. (Just ask if, after Reagan walked out of the Reykjavik summit, if they thought nuclear war was a distinct possibility.) Lech Walesa agreed, and understood that history could just as easily played out very differently, if Reagan had not believed that victory was possible.

                          Let’s give credit where credit is due. Poland certainly is.

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                            Fighting Back

                            It’s been a tough week for presidential candidate Herman Cain who has been battling unsubstantiated charges of inappropriate conduct. A Cain super-PAC has decided enough is enough and released this devastating ad today:

                            It’s powerful stuff. Meanwhile, Mr. Cain is not taking this lying down either. He fought back in his own way and gave liberals new reasons to get their collective panties in a wad:

                            If Mr. Cain can maintain this optimistic attitude that won him so many fans early on he could be a formidable candidate.

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                              Reshuffling the Deck

                              Herman Cain scored a big win yesterday coming out on top in the Florida Presidency 5 Straw Poll. Interestingly enough, every winner of the straw poll has gone on to win the GOP nomination. It’s a huge victory especially considering that he was not one of the front runners in national polls.

                              How did he manage to win? Some credit his debate performance last Thursday especially his answer on healthcare. Others credit his speeches during the convention. Consider this remark from Byron York in his wrap up of the straw poll:

                              One other factor should not be underestimated. Yes, the delegates liked what Cain had to say.  But how he said it was just as important.  With his deep, booming voice and a style that any motivational speaker would envy, Cain can give a rousing speech, and he gave several of them during four days in Orlando.  No other candidate, frontrunner or back of the pack, could match him.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that his power as an orator sealed the deal for hundreds of delegates.  They believed Cain was speaking to them from the heart, and they were carried away by it. As with the Democratic primary contests of 2007 and 2008, never underestimate the power of a stirring speech.

                              Mr. York gets this half right. Yes, Mr. Cain has a terrific speaking style. But more importantly, he knows what he believes and communicates his ideas clearly and concisely to his audience. That sets him apart from the rest of the field (as well as our current President). His last speech before the straw poll was a terrific statement on why he should be elected. Many delegates at the Florida convention came in supporting Perry but switched their votes based on what they saw and heard from Cain.

                              The media has tried to make the race for the GOP nomination a head-to-head race between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. But Herman Cain makes a great case that he deserves to be considered as well. The race is not over by any means.

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