Tag Archives: Congress

The Benghazi Hearings: A Bipartisan Whitewash

I have heard testimony, all that I can stand to listen to anyway, on the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 Hillary Clintonand find it more and more disgusting as each day of “testimony” comes and goes.  No one on these “investigative panels” really wants the citizens to know what happened or why it happened.  If they did they wouldn’t be asking Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, and the rest of the regime “explainers” being “called before Congress”.

I did a search of the Benghazi attack and the first eleven entries I found involved Panetta and what he had to say about the situation.  Now, I realize I am not a lofty Senator or Congressman but I would do things a bit differently.  Clinton and Panetta would be the last ones I would call to testify.   My “panel of experts” wouldLeon Panetta entail a totally different group of people.  The two brave Navy Seals who died trying to help can’t talk so I would do the next best thing.  The first people I would call to testify would be those who were dismissed from their posts for refusing to “stand down” during the attack.

I would call Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette, who was removed from command of the USS Stennis Carrier Group, designated Carrier Strike Group 3 (CSG-3).  Gaouette was replaced over “allegations of inappropriate leadership judgment” after he refused to stand down when he ordered his forces to assist ground troops being sent on a Rear Adm. Charles Gaouetterescue mission to Benghazi.  According to several stories I have read it is extremely unusual for a commander to be removed from command while at sea.  The usual action is to replace them when they return to port.   Admiral Gouette is reported to be in the Obama dog house for refusing to “stand down” after hearing the call for help from Ambassador Stevens during the attack caused by  “a video offensive to Islam”.   I would ask Admiral Gaouette what he knew and when he knew it, what his actions were in regards to the attack, and finally, when he was told to stand down and who gave that order.

The second person I would call would be General Carter Ham, commander of AFRICOM, the top commander on the African continent.  General Ham was reportedly relieved of his command and detained by his second-in-command, General David Rodriquez, when he refused to stand down in his moves to provide support to Ambassador StevensGen. Carter Ham and the other Americans at the Benghazi consulate.  Rodriquez quickly received a promotion for his loyalty to the regime rather than to his fellow Americans who were under attack.   After General Ham I would pull Gen. Rodriguez in for a “consultation”.

The song and dance we get from the regime is that there wasn’t time and that we didn’t have enough information to put armed forces into the situation.  While I am certainly not as expert as Clinton and Panetta I do have a Age 20 7th SFG-2bit of knowledge about these kinds of situations.  I was a member of the U S Army Special Forces from 1968 to 1971 so I do have the background to know how these kinds of problems are resolved.  The two commanders replaced were doing what any decent commander would do, send help if possible.

The idea that we could not intervene in an attack that lasted for 7 hours is beyond preposterous.  There is much that could have been done had the regime had the desire to save those who were killed.  The two Navy Seals that died disobeyed orders to help.  One had a laser designator “painting” a mortar crew firing on the compound.  I know enough about special operations to know he would never “lase” a target if he knew there were no assets available.

I served long before laser designators were available but I know a little something about protective air strikes.  Calling in air strikes in my day was a bit more precarious.  The forward air controller, flying a propeller airplane, would come in low and slow (at low altitude and minimum speed) to find us.  We would pop a smoke grenade to show him our position.  He would then direct the “fast movers”, the jet strike aircraft, where to “lay their eggs”.  The FAC would give our position and an attack azimuth parallel to our position, the safest for the ground troops, for him to make his bomb or gun run.

I can’t imagine popping a smoke grenade without any assets on station.  We would never do that and neither would Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  These men were too highly trained to throw their lives away without anyGlen_Doherty_Tyrone_Woods_5 hope of air assets being available.  For Panetta and Clinton to sit there and spout the excuses they spout is inexcusable, and in my mind, criminal actions.

The next people I would call in to testify would be those stationed at the embassy in Benghazi at the time of the attack.  It is reported that thirty-two people were at the embassy when the attack took place.  Where are they and why haven’t they been called to testify before Congress?  I contend, and it is my firm belief, that neither political party wants to find the real answers to the questions that need answering.  If the truth is known not only would Obama and his henchmen be found to be negligent but the chances are real high that members of Congress would also be found negligent.  How many, and who, in Congress knew about the weapons being supplied to the Al Qaeda led “protestors”?  The story being bandied about is that Ambassador Stevens was there trying to find sophisticated weapons, such as shoulder fired missiles, that had been given to the opponents of Muammar Gaddafi.

I doubt We the People will ever know the truth about Benghazi or the actions that led to the massacre that occurred there. Politicians are more interested in taking guns away from law abiding citizens in America than they are in finding out why four American citizens were slaughtered in Benghazi.  I actually believe they know what happened and why, and therefore find it very easy to cover their butts and careers by whitewashing this as they do all other criminal actions of government.

The corruption in our federal government is so ingrained and so massive that if We the People were to ever find the truth it would lead to an uprising that would topple the tyrants running our nation.  The dog and pony shows go on and nothing ever gets resolved.  Just as in the Fast & Furious “investigation” no answers are ever given.  The story eventually dies out and goes quietly into the night, never to be resolved, and those responsible for murders of countless innocents sliver back under their rocks without ever having to answer for their crimes.  Congress can put Roger Clemmons in prison for lying about using performance enhancing drugs in sports but can’t find out anything about crimes committed by other politicians.  Ain’t politics wonderful????

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
February 8, 2013

Mullin Disappoints Once Again

I attended a town hall meeting in Claremore on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 featuring Markwayne Mullin, the newly elected congressman from Oklahoma’s 2nd District. Some of his statements sounded strange coming from Markwayne Mullina “conservative” but one response to a question bothered me more than the rest.

A man asked Mullin about the executive orders being used by Barack Obama to by-pass Congress, and what can be done to nullify them. Mullin’s response was that the way to stop an EO was for the House to pass legislation nullifying the order, then send it to the Senate where Dingy Harry Reid would refuse to allow it to be heard. And even if it could be passed by the Senate it would have to go to Obama for his signature.

Mullin asked if anyone thought Obama would undo his own executive order by signing such a bill. And of course the answer is “NO”. His next comment astounded me. Mullin then said, to paraphrase, “what’s the point of going through all that when there is no chance of prevailing?”

Isn’t this just accepting business as usual and admitting he has no say in what goes on in Washington? Isn’t this the same point Hillary Clinton just made about Benghazi, that nothing matters? What difference does anything make in Washington? Why is Mullin there then? He might as well come home and run his plumbing business if he is that impotent in Congress. Why have any of them there if they can only follow the dictates of party “leadership”? Why not just let the Traitor John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Dingy Harry Reid, and Obama make all the decisions and save us the money we spend for Congress and their massive staffs?

I tire of hearing how spineless Republicans are powerless to make any changes in the way the establishment in both parties runs our nation as a dictatorial oligarchy. “We only have one half of one third of government” is the usual whine from Republicans who didn’t do anything to shrink government when they had total control. We the People are told almost daily that “that is how things work in Washington”. Even those we think are conservative don’t take long to tell us there is nothing that can be done to change government.
I wish Mullin would have told me this during the campaign. I might as well have helped his opposition in the primary run-off. I thought supporting George Faught in the Republican run-off would net me the words I am hearing now from the guy I supported and campaigned for.

How are We the People ever going to get the Bald Eagle back as the symbol of the greatest nation in history with this kind of mealy-mouthed garbage coming from those we elect to public office? Party loyalty trumpsLiberty Eagle loyalty to the Constitution and We the People every time it seems.

I like Mullin, as I got to know him during the campaign, but I hear the same bird crap I heard from his predecessor, Democrat Dan Boren. We change birds in Congress but find the same bird crap falling on our heads after changing the breed of birds.

The problem with changing which party is in control of government is that there isn’t any distinguishable difference in the political parties today. When you look at a pile of horse manure how do you tell if it came from a Republican horse or a Democrat horse? I have often written that John F. Kennedy could not win the nomination for president in the Republican Party today because he would be too conservative. That is a sad state of affairs.

This week Marco Rubio, the non-natural born citizen and presumptive Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election, became the poster child for the newest “latest and greatest” amnesty scam being foisted upon We the People by the Republican Party establishment. It seems “expanding the Republican tent” means making room for every group but those who have supported the party low these many years since Reagan, the last conservative to sit in the White House. Will Mullin, when faced with voting for amnesty, tell us once again “that is how things are done in Washington” and go on to explain how powerless he is?

The Globalist Oligarchy Party (GOP) has abandoned everything it used to stand for and now embraces the same policies as the Marxist dominated Democrat Party. Liberty is dying in America and there are so few in republican logogovernment willing to stand up for the Constitution and We the People. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is not very well represented in Washington, D. C. (De Cesspool). Five of our six Republican congressmen voted to put the Traitor John Boehner back in the Speaker’s chair in spite of overwhelming opposition to Boehner by We the People of the state.

Changing party affiliation doesn’t change the crap being dropped on our heads so what is the answer? I am looking for the people with the courage to step up and represent my conservative views in government and it won’t happen until we get a 3rd party. True conservatives in both political parties need to leave their bird nest and do something that will benefit America not just their particular set of special interest groups. I though Mullin was one of those but he is proving me wrong.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 31, 2013

A Citizen Challenge

Chances are you haven’t heard (and won’t hear) about this Federal report from the Liberal media.

Two days ago the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its Annual Audit of the United States Government for fiscal years 2011 – 2012. The government’s own conclusion is this:

“… Absent policy changes – the Federal Government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path.” (Minute 00:35)

That means – if the Federal Government does not stop the wild spending – the U.S. dollar will collapse.

tsunamiThis is like telling people on a beach, “Hey, a tsunami is coming and if you don’t move you will be killed.”

But the beach folks say, “I like it here, I’m not moving,” and eventually the wave comes in and kills them.

That’s exactly what’s happening now.

We The People are allowing this.

Only We can change this.

The best Talking Points I’ve heard in a long time:

Video Courtesy of MrFeshamon & YouTube

Mark Sanford to Launch Comeback Bid

Yes, you read that right. Mark Sanford, the once rising star of South Carolina has announced  his entry in the special congressional eleMarkSanfordction scheduled for April.

Sanford, became a household name when, as governor, he disappeared from the state for nearly a week. On his return, it was discovered that the married governor, had left the country to visit his new paramour in Argentina. Even in complete disgrace Sanford refused to resign his position instead choosing to speaking publicly, and continuously, of his new found soul mate…the woman who was not his wife.

Today, the divorced, but newly engaged Sanford wants to rehabilitate his image by returning to politics. Rollcall says his name recognition gives him immediate front runner status.

Here’s hoping the people of South Carolina look beyond the political image portrayed by his election campaign staff. Surely, there is a candidate whose face did not grace the cover of National Enquirer and who does espouse conservative values who can better represent the people of the state. Republicans…and the state of South Carolina…do not need a candidate who is immediate fodder for late night television comedians.

Mullin in Boehner’s Pocket Already?

Newly elected Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Ok 2) was on KFAQ radio’s Markwayne MullinPat Campbell Show on Tuesday Jan. 8 to “explain” his vote for John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. His explanation of why he voted for Boehner seems to be “business as usual” in Congress. I thought we sent him there to oppose the business as usual mindset. One explanation he gives is that he was told at the freshman orientation that he could only vote for someone who was nominated, and naturally Boehner was the only one nominated. His other position is that not voting for Boehner is the same as voting for Pelosi. That is the same lame crap we heard from the Republican establishment in the 2012 general election (not voting for Romney is voting for Obama). It didn’t take him long to cabbage onto the establishment lingo did it?

And take a listen to this link of the Traitor John Boehner’s speech at the freshman orientation. If you will read the text, notice the next to last paragraph and compare it to the audio. Pay particular attention to what Boehner says beginning at the 5:15 mark of the audio. The press release of the article added the word “just” to what Boehner actually said. That one word changes the entire statement and the tone of his remarks. This is merely cover for his tyrannical speech in which he told new members that if they are there to represent their constituents the door is in the back of the room. Is this what we expect our “representatives” in government to believe?

I guess the few who didn’t vote for Boehner didn’t get the same message as did Mullin and the others, or had the courage to stand for liberty rather than committee seats. Mullin also pleads that he promised not to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker during the campaign. I didn’t attend every event held by Mullin but I was at a large number of them and I don’t remember anyone telling him not to vote for Pelosi, nor do I remember him pledging to not vote for her. It may have happened but I didn’t hear it and would have challenged him had I heard such tripe.

Does anyone expect anything to change with the same “leadership” we have had for the last two years? Am I the only one fed up with sending people to Washington and have them come back and tell me about their “limited options”? Isn’t this the very problem the conservative movement is fighting? I vote for those I think will expand those options and represent me not represent the party establishment and the status quo. Apparently I was wrong this time.

The only Oklahoma member of the House to actually stand for conservative values was newly elected Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Ok 1) out of the Tulsa/Washington County area. He voted against TheJim Bridenstine Traitor John Boehner for Speaker of the House while Mullin stepped right in line with the tyrants and voted for Boehner in spite of many of us telling him to stand against Boehner. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people stand up in meetings during the Republican primary and again in the campaign saying that Boehner was not acceptable to Oklahomans, yet Mullin joined the other “conservatives” from Oklahoma to give us the same “I surrender” leadership we got out of the 2010 election. He stepped up to the plate of tyranny and voted to keep things the same as they have been.

A side question is WHY was no one else nominated? Oh, that’s right; any opposition is punished by the Traitor John Boehner Crime Syndicate. For those who see a wide difference in the two political parties, remember that no one opposed Nancy Pelosi for minority leader either. The 2010 farce was merely a show to give the so-called “Blue-Dog Democrats” cover at home. So both political parties essentially have leaders chosen by acclamation. Isn’t that just wonderful for those of us who see dictatorship being imposed on us and our elected Republican “conservative” representatives going right along with the party plan?

Congress is run like a dictatorship and we expect our lives to be different? If we can’t get the dictators out of those positions by voting in new representatives how are we to accomplish such a goal? What good does it do to vote in new members of Congress when they turn around and support the very “leadership” we sent them to get rid of? Who will lead the charge to stand against Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional Executive Orders? Congress can override his EO concerning their pay (aren’t they considerate of We the People?) but cannot override anything else he “DICTATES”? And anyone who opposes Boehner’s “I surrender” policies will be removed from committee positions as punishment, as Tim Huelskamp, Justin Amash, and some others recently found out. The message in those dismissals was a shot across the bow to anyone with a mind to oppose the dictatorship in Congress.

Hugo “Sieg Heil” Chavez accomplished this very same coup in Venezuela a few years ago. Obama is following the exact path Chavez Hugo Chavezused to gain total control of that nation. He rendered any opposition in their Congress irrelevant because their “leadership” didn’t have the courage to oppose him. The kicker is that Mullin, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, and others who follow the Obama lackeys aren’t the ones who will suffer under this totalitarian Hitler/Stalin regime. They will have their armed guards to protect them and their families. Like the hypocrite Sen. Diane Feinstein, they will still be allowed to concealed carry for their protection. They will have their place at the seat of power because they won’t oppose the Gestapo tactics of the Democrat Party, the Republican Party establishment, and the Obama Crime Family. They are “special”!!!

 

Il Duce ObamaAnd like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Chavez, and other tyrants Obama will by-pass Congress and outlaw firearms without so much as a whimper from members of either political party. The 2nd amendment has nothing to do withhunting or targethitler4 shooting. It was written specifically to protect We the People from a tyrannical government. Think about this, firearms in the hands of patriotic civilians are just as dangerous to the lackeys of dictators as they are to the dictators leading the regime, and they are very well aware of that fact.

Our liberty is gone and Mullin didn’t help by supporting Boehner. Surrender to gain a seat in the back of the tyranny bus is okay for those in power but it isn’t okay for We the People. Mullin voting against the Hurricane Sandy relief scam was good but Boehner will do more damage in the long run than this or any other vote can overcome. Mullin just put his stamp of approval on The Traitor John Boehner and his caving to the dictator Adolph, er, Barack Obama. He will get his cherished committee appointments but at what cost to those of us who must suffer under dictatorship? We the People of Oklahoma have not been served well with the first vote Mullin made and nothing he can do in the future will overcome the damage Boehner will do with his “I surrender” platform.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 13, 2013

“He Said She Said” with Demetrius & Stacy

  cdnlogoWhen: Wed, Jan 9, 10PM EST/7PM Pacific

Where: Listen here: He Said She Said with Demetrius & Stacy

What: Have you ever wondered what Black Conservatives think about the political issues of today? Well wonder no more, “He Said, She Said” with Demetrius and Stacy. brings you an inner peek into the mind of the conservative: bold, full strength, and unfiltered.

Tonight: Special guest: Rep. Dr. Paul Broun, (@DrPaulBrounMD), Congressman in 10th district of Georgia, and Dean Clancy (@DeanClancy),  Vice President for FreedomWorks.

drpaulbroun deanclancy

Dodging a Bullet; Congress Works to Avert Milk Spike

Glass_of_milk_on_tableclothIt appears congress may find enough votes and keep the farm bill alive for another year.

Apparently, the angst caused by the idea of $8 per gallon milk over the Christmas family table was enough to motivate bipartisan action within the agriculture committee of both the House and Senate.

The current farm bill, passed in 2008, expired in September. If  the current one extended by January 1, farm programs would lose billions of dollars in financing and would revert to the 1949 law. The old law would reintroduce higher government price supports for milk, corn, rice, wheat and other crops and could lead to higher consumer prices and federal spending. An extension of the bill would help struggling farmers across the Midwest, who battled the worst drought in 50 years.

Fox News: A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that Republican leaders had not decided how they would proceed on the farm extension, though a vote could come as soon as Monday.

One potential hurdle for the one-year extension is its cost: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Sunday estimated the extension, which also includes disaster assistance for farmers affected by drought, could cost more than $1 billion this budget year.

For what it’s worth, the author’s lactose intolerant family has long been using enriched rice milk at a cost of about $2.59 per quart. And yes, that would be well over $10 per gallon. Maybe we could get a few subsidies thrown our way?

What the lobbyists don’t want you to know

YouTube Description:

Lobbying is a time-honored tradition in the United States, and it provides individuals, communities and private interest groups a powerful tool to directly advocate their beliefs to elected officials. But, as history has shown, this industry is also often vulnerable to corruption at the highest levels – a fact that has led many groups to call for a massive reform – or outright abolishment – of lobbying.

The Lonely Position of Neutral

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 2.29.52 AM

I hate raising taxes.  I find high tax rates immoral.  However, we lost the election.  An increase in revenue is inevitable.  What’s perverse about this whole episode is that if we fall off the cliff – Democrats will get everything they want. They’ll get their tax increases, their revenue, and defense cuts.  They would complete their decade-long project of ending the Bush Tax Cuts and gutting of the Pentagon.  They have no incentive to meet us halfway, or negotiate in a meaningful way to make sure the markets don’t tank.  They don’t need to.  They won.  In the meantime, Americans should prepare for the worst.

Since the tax hikes from falling off the cliff are far more severe, I’ve written in previously that Republicans will have to swallow the concept of raising taxes.  However, there is latitude within this debate.  Republicans should press Democrats to increase the tax rate on those making $500,000 a year, instead of $250,000.   As George Will aptly noted on This Week a few months ago, a Chicago school principal with twenty years experience, who is married to a cop with twenty years experience, is almost rich in the eyes of the Obama administration.  Cops and school principals aren’t your typical fat cats, hence this is an area where conservatives on the Hill could construct a narrative that this tax increase – within this particular income bracket – a) isn’t really hitting the rich and b) effects professions associated with the middle class.

There’s been some movement towards pushing the amount of taxable income above the $250,000 bracket, and addressing other areas relating to federal spending.  As Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane at The Washington Post wrote on December 9, continued negotiations have produced the following:

●Fresh tax revenue, generated in part by raising rates on the wealthy, as Obama wants, and in part by limiting their deductions, as Republicans prefer. The top rate could be held below 39.6 percent, or the definition of the wealthy could be shifted to include those making more than $375,000 or $500,000, rather than $250,000 as Obama has proposed.

Obama wants $1.6 trillion over the next decade, but many Democrats privately say they would settle for $1.2 trillion. Boehner has offered $800 billion, and Republicans are eager to keep the final tax figure under $1 trillion, noting that a measure to raise taxes on the rich passed by the Senate this summer would generate only $831 billion.

●Savings from health and retirement programs, a concession from Democrats necessary to sell tax hikes to GOP lawmakers. Obama has proposed $350 billion in health savings over the next decade. Boehner has suggested $600 billion from health programs, and an additional $200 billion from using a stingier measure of inflation, reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.

●Additional savings sufficient to postpone roughly $100 billion in across-the-board agency cuts set to hit in 2013, known as the sequester, and to match a debt-limit increase. The sequester, perhaps paired with an automatic tax hike, could then serve as a new deadline, probably sometime next fall, for wringing additional revenue from the tax code and more savings from entitlement programs.

I like the fact that liberals are willing to increase the rates on those making $500,000, which we can fix if we retake Congress in the 2014 midterms.  However, concerning the entitlement spending, I want deeper cuts that are also immediate.  Nevertheless, the dynamic is the same – and it’s no love fest.

As Meredith Shiner and Daniel Newhauser of Roll Call wrote in the early morning hours on December 11:

…the primary differences between the two sides remain. Boehner’s office said the speaker is waiting for the White House to come back to Republicans with more spending cuts. And the White House says the president is waiting for the GOP to give more on revenue. Two years of fighting over how to rein in the federal debt is now coming down to two weeks of deal-making at best and he-said/she-said at worst.

“The Republican offer made last week remains the Republican offer, and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he’s willing to make as part of the ‘balanced’ approach he promised the American people,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, who confirmed conversations with the White House “are taking place” but declined to specify the nature of those talks.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that Obama has offered specifics on cuts — pointing to the president’s original deficit reduction plan that has repeatedly been dismissed by the GOP. Carney added that the Republicans are the ones stalling talks by not giving more detail on what they would be willing to do on revenue.

Frankly, both deals are bad. I’m not happy with either of them.  I know that caving on our principles won’t make liberals like us better.  Yet, as in the 2012 election, it’s all about messaging and making the argument.  Barack Obama pervasively made the argument that Bush ruined the economy, and raising taxes will fix it.  Mitt Romney and his communications team, which was always on defense, never made the argument against this claim. Conservatives don’t have the high ground in this fight.

Montgomery and Kane wrote that “a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll last week found that a majority of Americans would blame the GOP if talks between Obama and Boehner fail to avert more than $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to hit in January, potentially sparking a new recession.”  Now, Pew and WaPo are left-leaning polls, but it doesn’t matter. It’s almost axiomatic that the GOP will be savaged by public opinion if we go over the cliff.  While Democrats can take cover under a cloud of legitimacy and have the sober satisfaction that they’ll get what they want anyway, even if Republicans won’t budge on tax increases.

Our movement doesn’t need anymore setbacks right now.  With the debt ceiling, that’s a different debate. But for now, we may have to hold our noses and increase taxes on people making $500,000 or more, which is the only (gulp) compromise Republicans should accept on revenue.  They should also keep pressure on the White House for more immediate cuts to federal spending.  Now, while some, like NYT’s Helene Cooper, say that Obama would own the recession if we fall off the cliff, I’m still dubious if that would happen.  Some said that Obama’s extension of the Bush Tax Cuts in December of 2010 would be an albatross around his neck during his re-election campaign.  It wasn’t.  As I’ve said, I hate raising taxes, but the alternative not to, at this time, could be more damaging than the vote for them.  It should give conservatives more incentive to win in 2014.

Right now, debt talks will probably remain in neutral as the car tumbles towards the jagged rocks below.

In short:

 

Ellison ‘Stands With’ Violent Protesters

Hours after a union mob violently attacked a pro-right-to-work group in Lansing, MI, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison posted to his Facebook page and Twitter feed that he is “proud to stand with working people in Michigan to oppose “Right To Work For Less” legislation.

Ellison shared the following photo on his Facebook page courtesy of We Are Michigan, a coalition of unions and progressive groups.

Surely Rep. Ellison was aware of the violence and turmoil that took place today that included vandalism, mob behavior and a comedian being punched in the face. Certainly he had heard about the Michigan State Rep. Doug Geiss made calling for “blood” over the pending legislation. Does the congressman “stand” behind these atrocities?

Rep. Ellison did not return attempts for comment.
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Who is Rep Keith Ellison? Here’s a start: The Company You Keep
Ellison’s Town Hall #Fail
Ellison’s 2009 Arrest

Welfare State Advocate Spews Inaccuracies on PBS NewsHour

The PBS NewHour has yet to invite a hard core conservative on the program to talk about the fiscal cliff.  Last week, they had NYT’s columnist, left-wing economist, and Obama cheerleader – Paul Krugman to detail his view.  Then, they had Sen. Bob Corker ( R-TN), but the December 6 broadcast was the most interesting. PBS invited the Norquist of the left Max Richtman, of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, that we shouldn’t be in a rush to reform our entitlement spending.  After all, when the unfunded liability of both programs is around $100 trillion dollars, what’s the big hurry? Where’s the fire?

Richtman started his argument with semantics and a false narrative.  First, he wants to call these programs ‘earned benefits,’ instead of entitlement programs.  Second, it’s called welfare when the baby boomers’ parents received all of these benefits by paying next to nothing in contributing to the system.   The entire interview beset on a throne of lies.

When the question related to the solvency of Social Security arose, Richtman confidently said that this program doesn’t add a dime to the deficit. As USA Today aptly pointed out on November 27, Social Security ran a deficit of $48 billion last year.

Furthermore, Richtman thinks the American lifespan hasn’t increased.  Therefore, Medicare is safe.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s talk about Medicare again for a moment…

MAX RICHTMAN: OK.

JUDY WOODRUFF: … the other large so-called entitlement program.

We heard — we have heard a lot of conversation about raising the eligibility age. We know Americans are living longer. Why isn’t that a reasonable solution? President Obama himself has said that’s something that should be considered.

MAX RICHTMAN: Well, it’s not true that — as you know, not all Americans are living longer.

We might be able to do a program like this for a long time, but there are some jobs that are much harder to continue working and have health care benefits and have those available.

Raising the age for eligibility in Medicare would be particularly hard on communities of color. These are people, for the most part, they tend to have poorer health conditions at an earlier age. They have accumulated less wealth to pay for health care out of their pockets between, let’s say 65 and 67 because of lower lifetime earnings, and they have shorter life spans. So we don’t need to do that. We don’t need to look at reducing benefits, whether it’s by raising the age for eligibility or means-testing the program or charging seniors more.

This is a lie.  And Woodruff made no effort to correct him in this area.  Even John Podesta’s Think Progress and National Public Radio posted stories showing that the elderly Americans are living longer, are healthier, and have increased their chances of living to eighty-five or older.   Pharmacology has increased American life by almost two decades, and it’s rather amusing to see those on the left omit this accomplishment since it chips away at their welfare state narrative.   In terms of a percentage, Americans who are 85 and older represent the fastest growing segment of the population.  Demographics don’t lie, and math, not the reformers of our welfare state, are the enemy.

Now, Richtman says they aren’t against reform.  They’re just against reform right now.  Nothing is more indicative of an organization that prefers to kick the can down the road.  Richtman’s grand plan for reform rests with “improving the efficiencies of the programs, by maybe bringing in some more revenue, [but] not going back to the old mantra of let’s cut, cut, cut.”  Yes, tax increases are the option of choice for liberals for any economic defect.  As for “improving the efficiencies.” I commend Richtman for being purposefully vague.

As Christmas is approaching, there is one item on my list.  Invite Grover Norquist on the PBS NewsHour.

 

Let Obama Leap Off the Fiscal Cliff Alone

The editorial cartoon on the left perfectly summarizes the political situation surrounding fiscal cliff negotiations. The lesson is Republicans will be blamed regardless.

CNN and Pew Research Center polls show a majority of the public will blame the GOP if the country goes over the cliff, even if Speaker Boehner fetches coffee for Obama during negotiations and compliments Michelle on her triceps.

To avoid this the GOP must start thinking strategically. That and take some very useful advice from two unlikely sources: Grover Norquist and Barack Obama.

Norquist urges Republicans to televise negotiations. This is a good idea that will allow the public to see just how intransigent Democrats are. While Obama warns House Republicans to get out of the way, which is exactly what they should do.

While the TV cameras are humming, Boehner should recognize the President built his campaign around raising taxes and voters supported that agenda. Boehner should explain that although Republicans disagree and believe Obama’s policies will plunge the nation back into a recession, if not depression, the people have spoken and Republicans will not obstruct him in any way.

Then — as Dante wrote about denizens of one level of the Inferno — we let Obama be himself with a vengeance. Republicans simply vote ‘present’ and, following the Obamacare precedent, the President’s socialistic, dangerous policy passes without a single Republican vote.

We lose tactically in the short run, but we win strategically in the long run. Negotiating minor cuts at the margin now not only won’t be a victory, it will allow Obama — and his Hallelujah Chorus in the media — to blame the failure of his fiscal policy on Republicans. That is impossible if Obama gets his way.

What’s more, bickering over petty spending cuts, discredits major cuts as a viable debt reduction strategy in the future. When these rounding–error cuts fail to make a difference, Democrats and the media will claim we tried cutting and it didn’t work.

Keep in mind Republican House leadership has a bad track record when it comes to negotiating cuts anyway. The last time we had a debt confrontation in 2011, Boehner came up with a total of $352 million in cuts. To put that in perspective, the amount represents one–tenth of one percent of the budget.

Whoop–tee–freakin’–doo. It would have made more sense to take the “savings” and buy lottery tickets. Last week’s Powerball jackpot was almost twice as large as the “cuts.”

And the wealthy job creators Obama’s tax increase will harm? I repeat, any Obama compromise means Republicans own the failure, because Obama didn’t get all he knew the nation really needed. And in the unlikely event he succeeds — and remember the media will set the bar remarkably low — Obama gets all the credit.

Some will object that House Republicans have just as strong a mandate as Obama, since they were elected, too. But that’s horse hockey. GOP congressmen were re–elected in gerrymandered districts designed to be impossible for Democrats to win. Obama won the entire nation and he’s right about his mandate, misguided as it is.

If recognizing the results of a democratic election is the proper policy in Egypt, it’s the proper policy here, even if the Socialism Brotherhood was the winner.

Holding out for miniscule spending cuts is simply negotiating the length of the rope Obama will use to hang Congressional Republicans.

There are only two instances where the GOP should fight today. One is opposing giving up Congressional debt ceiling authority in the future. The other is Boehner’s promise that if the Democrat Senate changes filibuster rules, all subsequent Senate bills will be DOA in the House.

Giving the President unilateral debt ceiling authority is like giving the Times Square homeless man a pair of boots and a credit card. No Congressional debt authority, along with rewriting filibuster rules, would cause long–term damage to the country and set a dangerous precedent.

Otherwise, let Obama own the agenda and own the responsibility. It will be impossible to blame Republicans for a result they did not in any way impede.

Our goal should be winning in 2014. It’s the asymmetrical strategy I advocated recently; and it is the kind of strategic thinking Republicans need to start utilizing.

Two years of short term pain will result in House and Senate gains that will allow Republicans to start reversing the course of Obamaism. Besides, I want to watch Democrats try to run in 2014 on a platform of “Osama’s Dead & So Is the Economy.”

Speaker Boehner – What Are You Doing Up There?

Is it revenge of the squishy Republicans?  It sure isn’t the reaffirmation of conservatism within the Republican Party.  On December 4, Matthew Boyle at Breitbart reported that the House GOP had begun purging conservatives from various committees.  In a time when Republicans need strong, principled conservatives to thwart the aggressive expansion of the state under Obama, Speaker Boehner and company inanely decide that they’re the problem.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Squishy Republicans are part of the problem.  President and CEO of FreedomWorks Matt Kibbe aptly said at BlogCon Charlotte last spring that sometimes “you need to beat the Republicans before you can beat the Democrats.”

Kibbe made the same statement at a Young Republican event in Franklin County, PA in February of 2012.  It’s a saying that’s starting to become axiomatic, especially as these debt negotiations continue to have a repetitious character of a bad deal being countered by a delusional one.  The first salvo was fired at Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) on December 3 when “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans were huddled in a Steering Committee meeting… that panel, which is controlled in large part by Boehner, decides who sits on the various House committees,” according to John Bresnahan Jake Sherman of Politico.

Sherman and Bresnahan added that ” Schweikert — who was en route from Arizona to Capitol Hill on Monday — will now serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) will replace Schweikert on the Financial Services Committee. Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said a member’s voting record isn’t the sole determinant of his or her committee assignments. ‘The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors,’ Steel said” – or ones grounded in a purge list. Boyle wrote that:

in remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday [Dec. 4], Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp confirmed the existence of such a list. “We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee,’” Huelskamp said.

“All that took place behind closed doors, which is again a problem with Washington, D.C. – whether it’s the budget negotiations, whether it’s everything else, it’s usually done behind closed doors,” he explained. “I think, as conservatives, this is where we can win: We’ve got to be willing and able to talk about things in public instead of being afraid of actual public scrutiny.”

Huelskamp later told Breitbart News he thinks House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy owe it to the American people to be transparent about this decision making process – and that they should publicly release the list.

Breitbart’s Boyle noted that the criteria within the list is unknown.  And the name of the person who initiated the purge is unknown. FreedomWorks has been urging conservatives to demand answers from Speaker Boehner.

In the final days before the start of a new Congress, John Boehner and the Republican establishment is quietly purging crucial House committees of strong fiscal conservatives, including:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS) – House Budget Committee (96% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

Rep. Justin Amash (MI) – House Budget Committee (100% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

Rep. David Schweikert (AZ) – House Financial Services (96% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

These three principled legislators have stood with the Constitution even when it was unpopular to do so. Their dedication to the principles of lower taxes and limited government is now being punished by a Speaker who would rather concede to the big spenders in Congress instead of making the tough choices.

Call John Boehner and tell him to restore these genuine fiscal conservatives to their respective committees.

Call House Speaker John Boehner Now

Office Phone Number: (202) 225-0600

Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post wrote the conservative butcher’s bill on December 4 listing:

Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) from the House Budget Commtitee. Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) [who] lost their positions on the Financial Services Committee.

The four members are known for occasionally bucking leadership and voting against Boehner’s wishes. Amash, Huelskamp and Schweikert are popular with the conservative movement, while Jones has made a name for himself by speaking out against U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Huelskamp and Amash were also the only GOP votes against Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan this year, arguing that it didn’t cut spending enough. The Steering Committee recently recommended that Ryan stay on as Budget Committee chairman.

Luckily, the Senate is safe from Boehner’s reach.  At least principled conservatives, like Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), remain in a blocking position.  Chris Moody of The Ticket, which reports on politics for Yahoo! News, wrote yesterday that Sen. DeMint “slammed House Republican leaders for the “fiscal cliff” proposal they offered earlier this week.”

“Speaker [John] Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” DeMint said in a statement. “This isn’t rocket science. Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”

I know I’ve said I’ll stomach slight tax hikes for now, but it seems Democrats aren’t going to budge on their end relating to families making more than $250,000 a year.  In fact, Moody wrote “Democrats dismissed it quickly, calling for a bill that would increase taxes on households earning more than $250,000 per year and more federal spending on infrastructure, which were not included in the Republican plan.”

While caving for tax hikes is one thing, purging conservatives in various House committees is another.  It’s simply irrational for Speaker Boehner to rid himself of the most vociferous defenders of freedom and limited government in Congress.  Conservatives are the vanguards against the usurpatory nature of government, and the implementation of a hyper-regulatory progressive state.  Does any rational person feel that a squishy Republican will exude the same amount of tenacity and steadfastness exhibited by a conservative?  No, they’ll cave, Democrats will gain ground, and the American taxpayer will pay for it.

Republicans can play with who is saddled with the tax hikes, and as I’ve said previously, a slight hike on anyone making over $1 million isn’t insane. But the spending cuts that follow need to be deep and enacted immediately.  Furthermore, most of those cuts need to be focused on curbing the welfare state.  However, with the climate becoming more toxic and Republican moderates declaring war on the conservative wing of the party – I’m starting to lean towards being more intransigent towards tax hikes.  If Democrats won’t come halfway, then we shouldn’t indulge them.

Nevertheless, Speaker Boehner seems to be making it all the more easier for Democrats to expand the size and scope of government.  What are your doing up there, Speaker Boehner?

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

 

Obama, GOP Throw Their Dogs In The Ring

I’m sure a lot of you exuded similar reactions to the president’s laughable fiscal proposal to prevent the nation from going over the cliff.  He asked for $50 billion in additional stimulus and $1.6 trillion in tax hikes “as part of any ‘fiscal cliff’ deal,” according to CNBC.  In all:

The plan calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue over the coming decade, extending the 2 percentage point payroll tax deduction or something comparable to it, and $50 billion in stimulus spending on infrastructure projects.

The White House seeks $960 billion over the coming decade by increasing tax rates and taxes on investment income on upper-bracket earners, and $600 billion in additional taxes.

The only new spending cuts in the plan would come from administration proposals curbing health-care programs by $400 billion over the coming decade and modest cuts from non-health programs like farm subsidies and cutting Postal Service costs and through higher fees on airline tickets.

The plan would also boost spending by extending unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, deferring looming cuts to Medicare payments to physicians, and helping homeowners refinance “underwater” mortgages.

Geithner also requested the equivalent of a permanent extension of the government’s borrowing ability to avoid wrangling over the issue as in last year’s summertime crisis over raising the so-called debt limit.

Tax increases, more stimulus, and a black check on raising the debt limit.  Yeah, hell no.  It never ceases to amaze me how the president seems to forget that his mandate, if he had one, is a hollow shell.  Obama was re-elected by the 47%, who don’t pay federal taxes, while most of the Tea Party caucus in the House were re-elected as well.  Thus, the tax hike fire Obama stoked on the campaign trail was tempered by the fact that the American people re-elected a vociferously anti-tax Republican majority.  According to The Hill, they reported on December 3 that the Republican counteroffer included “$2.2 trillion [in cuts] with a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and $800 billion in new tax revenue.”  Both dogs are in the ring.

Republican officials said their offer amounted to $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction when compared directly to the White House offer, which they emphasized was more than what the White House had put on the table.

In its own deficit plan, the White House counts legislation that has already been enacted, savings from future interest on the debt, and savings from the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans do not count those as new savings, so their offer amounts to $2.2 trillion in future deficit reduction.

The $800 billion in new tax revenue matches what Boehner offered Obama during their 2011 negotiations for a grand bargain. Republicans are keeping to their opposition to tax rate increases, and aides said Monday they believe that $800 billion can be raised from the wealthy through other means, which their offer does not specify.

Senior Republican aides argued that their offer represented a “fair middle ground” because unlike the White House, they did not use their budget proposal as their opening bid. The House budget contains no revenue increases and included far-reaching changes to Medicare and Medicaid that Democrats consider non-starters.

So, there we have it.  We have two deals.  One is bad. The other is delusional.  Concerning Medicare, we all know that the program poses the most serious threat to our long term financial solvency.  As ABC’s Cokie Roberts said on This Week last Sunday, the nation lacks an appropriate amount of young people to keep the elderly on these programs at the current rate.  Alas, a liberal agrees that Mr. Arithmetic, not Mr. Ryan – or Mr. Republican – is the enemy of Medicare.  However, forty-two liberal members of the House have signed on to a bill that prohibits any spending cuts  to the welfare state.  It’s a game of give and take, as well all know – and I’m hoping a deal be finalized before December 31.  Furthermore, I’m hoping more Democrats see the way of Cokie Roberts when it comes to entitlement spending.

Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit), had a few suggestions for the GOP in his op-ed column featured in USA Today on December 3.

1. Adopt the Bowles-Simpson Plan. The plan was the product of a bipartisan commission, chaired by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, appointed by President Obama to address America’s ballooning deficits and national debt. Most experts agree that it’s a pretty good plan. President Obama didn’t like it because it shrinks government too much.

Tough. It’s a plan, which is more than President Obama has offered, and from a bipartisan commission he appointed. Can Obama get away with vetoing that? Can Senate Democrats get away with rejecting it and bringing on the automatic cuts and tax increases of the sequester? Doubtful. Plus, though the press tends to cover for Obama and blame Republicans, media types love Bipartisan Commissions.

2. Tax the revolving door. I mentioned earlier that Washington is getting richer while the rest of the country gets poorer. (And others are noticing this). One reason why this happens is the revolving door — people shuttle between government, where they make rules governing business, and lobbying, where they make money by taking advantage of those rules.

Well, if you want less of something, tax it. So I recommend a 50% “excess salary” surtax on the earnings of government officials on the Executive Schedule — cabinet and subcabinet officials, mostly — in excess of their government salaries for the first five years after they leave. So, leave a cabinet job paying about $200,000 for a job paying $1 million a year, and the government will take half the $800,000 difference.

[…]

3. Make Hollywood Pay Its Fair Share. At the DNC, actress Eva Longoria offered to pay more taxes. Well, back during that Eisenhower era that the Dems are so nostalgic for, there was a 20% excise tax on movie theater revenues. It was established to help pay off the post-World War II debt. Now we’re in debt again. Bring it back. For added fun, extend it to DVD sales, movie downloads and music on CDs and over the Internet. As a great man once said, at some point, you’ve made enough money. If we need more tax revenue, who better to pay it than Hollywood fatcats with their swimming pools and private jets?

In the meantime, the clock is ticking.

Republicans Will Have to Swallow Tax Hikes

As I’ve said previously, I hate tax increases, but I’ll settle if a 10:1 deal is reached.  Ten dollars of spending cuts, including welfare state cuts, for every one dollar raised in revenue.  It’s a rational deal.  If we can retake the Senate, and maintain our majority in the House; then perhaps we can discuss making other changes more palatable for the job creating and investing class.  However, in this brief time where I am open to such compromise, the chances of such a deal is unlikely.  But I’m still holding an optimistic grin.

Yes, Democrats will get what they want of we go off the cliff – and Republicans will be blamed for it. Joel Pollak at Breitbart described how Republicans were failing ‘negotiation 101.’  In his November 27 post, he wrote that Republicans need to focus on:

Framing the debate. The negotiations are now about the meaning of “revenue,” rather than about how to reduce runaway federal spending. President Obama says “revenue” and means increases in tax rates for the wealthy; when House Speaker John Boehner uses the same term, he means cutting loopholes and deductions while keeping rates the same. But both sides are talking about making the rich pay more to close the gap.

Aside from the fact that the wealthiest Americans bear a disproportionate share of the federal income tax burden–disproportionate even to their disproportionate wealth–and the fact that taxing the rich at a 100% rate would not solve the deficit and debt problem, there is a principle at stake here: that the government does not have an inherent claim to wealth and income that Americans have earned through their own labor and risk.

Arguably, the wealthy–like the rest of us–owe only for what provides the opportunity for all to earn and enjoy income in safety. Furthermore, too much of today’s public spending hurts the public–creating waste, reinforcing cronyism, and building dependency. But Republicans lost the chance to frame the debate around spending last year when they dropped the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan after obstruction from the Democratic Senate.

It’s true.  The job creating and investing class pay a disproportionate share of the taxes, but Mitt Romney lost.  President Obama campaigned heavily on raising taxes on the wealthy, and he won that argument on November 6.  This was due to Republicans not making the argument against such hikes.  Furthermore, there wasn’t even a single ad in the ’12 cycle that hit Obama on his hypocrisy surrounding the Bush tax cuts.  He extended them in December of 2010, which was a tacit agreement of Republican economic policies, regardless of the ‘hostage’ talk – which was pure drivel. I agree with Pollak that the government is taxing too much of Americans’ hard-earned money, and that it’s immoral for members to say that those monies are government property, but there was an election about this – and we lost.

In short, the reason why Republicans will be forced to raise taxes is due to the fact that we have poor leadership and bad messaging.

Media and culture. Democrats blocked “Cut, Cap, and Balance”–but the Tea Party was blamed for obstructionism. Obama destroyed a grand bargain by insisting on increased tax rates–but House Republicans suffered more media criticism when ratings agencies lowered the U.S. credit rating a few days later. Today, more Americans blame the GOP for the fiscal cliff impasse even though the sequester was Obama’s original proposal.

More is at work here than simple media bias. The Democrats have consciously pursued a media and cultural strategy to reinforce the idea that Republicans are the guardians of the rich–even though the wealthiest are actually a Democratic constituency. In the summer and early fall of 2011, for example, after the downgrade and with the economy creating net zero jobs, Occupy Wall Street began–and the Democrats latched on.

The movement failed, but Democrats salvaged the “99% vs. 1% meme,” setting a trap that Mitt Romney fell into with his comments about the “47 percent” last spring. Obama has also made the effect of spending cuts visceral for many Americans; Republicans have failed to describe the cost of debt in similar terms. That media and cultural edge allows Obama to rig the game in his favor. It’s time Republicans found an answer.

Here is the answer is simple.  It’s time to have a Reagan throwback.  Not necessarily on everything during the Reagan administration, but reconnecting with  middle class Americans.  Conservatives and Reaganites were a coalition of blue collar, middle class, ordinary, and right-of-center Americans – who took a liking to a lot of Republican policies.  For example, it explains the Arkansas bleeding of Democratic voters until Bill Clinton came into the picture.

Shifting away from Wall Street will also have a positive impact on our Hispanic outreach, since Latinos view Republicans as the party of the rich.  Yes, it’s an incorrect assumption, but it’s not to say that we can do better with the folks in the American middle class.  It’s time to challenge Democrats’ core constituency.  I’m not saying we should be anti-wealthy, or engage in class warfare, but we need to find candidates who are popular both on ‘main street’ and ‘Wall Street.’  Let’s face it.  Wall Street isn’t, and shouldn’t, come off scott-free from the ’08 financial meltdown.  On the other hand, they didn’t deserve Dodd-Frank either.

Coming back to the fiscal cliff, Republicans should insist on entitlement cuts.  After all, the president agrees with this position as well.  It’s also put him at odds with his fellow party members – forty-two of which signed on to a deal that called for zero cuts to the welfare state.  Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), in Napoleonic stature, has found her Waterloo by leading a coalition of cliff jumpers in the U.S. Senate.  To counter this, Republicans may have to take flak from the base by insisting that tax rates only rise for millionaires.  There is a winnable argument to be made that $250,000 isn’t rich when all of the mitigating elements are factored in, such as location, utilities, property taxes, state income taxes, sales tax etc.  For example, urban residents making this kind of money, and they should be congratulated on it, don’t feel rich once all the bills are paid – and they’re right.  The GOP has a winning narrative in this period between elections.

On the other hand, they can fight to keep the 2% cut in payroll taxes.  James C. Capretta wrote in National Review on November 27 that “this tax cut lowered the Social Security payroll tax from about 12 to 10 percent on all earned income (up to a limit of just over $100,000 annually). In January, if the cut is not extended, all 155 million American workers will see this two-percentage-point hike in their taxes. The Obama administration is ready to let it expire because it fears a long-term cut might create pressure for additional Social Security reform — which is precisely why the GOP should support keeping payroll taxes, as well as income taxes, as low as possible.”

Concerning entitlement reform, Capretta added that:

There should be no deal on long-term taxes without far-reaching reforms to health-entitlement programs. And what’s far-reaching? For starters, the entirety of Obamacare should be on the table for revision and retrenchment. The law sets in motion the largest entitlement expansion in a generation. It’s far better to scale the program back now before it gets started than to wait and hope it can be scaled back later.

Republican governors have substantial leverage in these negotiations because they can opt out of the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare, thanks to the Supreme Court. If 25 or so Republican governors refuse to put more people into an unreformed Medicaid program, it will put tremendous pressure on the Obama administration, which is desperate to see the Medicaid expansion occur during the president’s second term. The congressional GOP should use this leverage to move Medicaid toward fixed financing and maximum state flexibility.

Most importantly, if there are any cuts, they need to be immediate.  Conservatives stress this because in such fiscal deals during the Reagan and Bush 41 days, they were promised –  but never implemented.  While those on the left, like Matt Yglesias, think a grand bargain is impossible, and negotiations towards one is hurting the country.

Jennifer Stefano, PA State Director for Americans for Prosperity, stated in a news release on November 20 that she thinks:

 …it is funny people are criticizing the president for being abroad in Asia during this crisis. The President can be abroad in Asia and do exactly what he has been doing in the White House; which is absolutely nothing to prevent the economic calamity that will come on all Americans because of his fiscal policies..at the end of the day there are issues.  And on the issues there are things that are right and there are things that are wrong.  President Obama’s tax hikes are going to continue to crucify small businesses in this country… along with Obamacare, it is a crushing blow to the entrepreneurial spirit and as well as to the bottom line.

Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, aptly noted in Forbes on November 29 that such reforms to get our fiscal house in order will take more time, and that Congress should extend all the tax cuts for one more year.  This would provide a buffer from the cliff, and give representatives the necessary cushion to come up with a comprehensive long terms plan to tackle our debt and deficit.

This is why FreedomWorks has activated its grassroots members to call Congress with a two-part message. 1) Keep your promise on the sequester savings. 2) Pass a one-year extension of all current tax rates, so America has time to pass serious tax and entitlement reforms.

By the way, there is some good news hiding in all the dust of the “fiscal cliff” fracas. The coalition of committed fiscal conservatives in Congress has grown in the past two elections. Constitutional conservatives in the House held on to the historic gains of 2010, while the Senate just picked up three principled fiscal conservatives in Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Deb Fischer to replace GOP establishment types Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jon Kyl, and Olympia Snowe.

This new generation of legislative entrepreneurs is re-populating Washington with innovative energy. Expect these principled leaders to put real specifics on the table, craft thoughtful budget solutions, and carve pathways to needed tax and entitlement reforms next year – all things Senate Democrats haven’t seen fit to do for the past 3 years.

Fiscal conservatives are once again at the table, but we won’t bargain with ourselves against an arbitrary deadline. Your move, Harry Reid.

Extending the tax cuts for one more year – I’m for it! However, there’s a fat chance that will happen.  Reid, Pelosi, and liberal Democrats won’t back a deal with such extensions.  As I’ve said, politically, Republicans have little to stand on without getting blasted by the media, and the American people.  We need to stand our ground with the spending cuts for sure.  No compromise there, but concerning taxes – they’ll have to go up.  It’s time to face reality for now.  Come 2014, hopefully, we’ll have a comprehensive tax reduction and reform plan that is palatable to everyone, and we can return to a sense of fiscal sanity.

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