Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bluest State Goes Brown

It’s been called the next shot heard around the world, the transformation of the bluest of blue states into a new shade of Brown and a political tsunami – just to name a few. The victory of Senator-elect Scott Brown in Massachusetts should have been a wake-up call to the Obama administration that even in one of the most liberal states in our great union, the out- of-control spending and radical agenda relentlessly rammed down our throats by President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid has been resoundingly rejected. But all indications are that President Obama is stubbornly digging in his heels, and “stupidly” (to use his own term) pressing forward in arrogant defiance of the electorate he purports to represent. Despite the fact that Nancy Pelosi has said she doesn’t have the votes to pass healthcare, and the fact that Harry Reid will likely lose his Senate seat in November, the president has stated his intention to do everything he possibly can to pass his agenda.

The good news is that it appears many Democrats are no longer willing to walk the plank for their party’s leader; they aren’t going to risk their careers and political fortunes for a president that simply doesn’t get it – not to mention one whose coattails have already been rendered useless (just ask Creigh Deeds and John Corzine). When a Republican wins a Senate seat previously held for four decades by Edward Kennedy, the logical conclusion is that there is no such thing as a “safe seat” in this election cycle for any Democrat in the country. And you didn’t have to be a psychic to predict the outcome of the Massachusetts race – the signs were there well in advance of last Tuesday’s historic election results. Senator Chris Dodd had already announced his plans to forego another senate term in Connecticut, while Barbara Boxer (or “Ma’am” as I prefer to call her) has been polling poorly against both of her possible Republican opponents for several weeks. Perhaps in reaction to these events, many other congressional Democrats have announced their pending retirements.

Over at MSNBC, the primetime hosts are in mourning, obviously unable to understand why the public has turned sour on the president and congressional Democrats. But rather than present a thoughtful analysis for their viewers as to why this is the case, they resort to smearing those who disagree with their radical, leftist agenda as “racists” and “teabaggers” (a vulgar term that has no place on any respectable news outlet). Keith Olbermann went so far as to declare Scott Brown a racist simply for driving around his home state in his pick-up truck, making an effort to meet the folks he desired to represent (while his opponent apparently couldn’t be bothered seeking the approval of the masses).

In one of the most bizarre incidents, Chris Matthews and former DNC chair Howard Dean faced off on ‘Hardball’, trying to decide which of them was crazier. The “highlight” of this fiasco occurred when Howard Dean scolded Matthews, “There’s only one crazy person sitting at this table and I’m about ready to hold up a mirror so you can see his face.” If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to go YouTube to witness the absurdity for yourself.

So what lessons should we take away from all of this? Most importantly, in the aftermath of the 2008 election of Obama, there is no such thing as a “safe seat” in this entire country for either party anymore. The people are tired and they’re angry – enraged by the out-of-control spending, the backroom deals, and the unprecedented expansion of the Federal Government and the trampling of the Constitution by those who are sworn to protect it.

Republicans should proceed with caution and avoid all assumptions of automatically winning a race by virtue of having an “R” after their names. Candidates, now more than ever, will be required to convince voters that they’re worthy of the honor of representing them on every level of government.

I am a Republican, but I’m looking for Republicans that stand for the core principles of our Party: lower taxes; smaller government; personal responsibility; strong national defense; and adherence to the Constitution, which is a limiting document for the Federal Government – not the people. With that said, as a Republican, I expect that when a primary has ended and the dust has settled, the losing primary candidates support the nominee chosen by the constituents in their districts. Ronald Reagan, the conservative icon, said that a Republican should never speak ill of another Republican. When he lost his first presidential primary to Gerald Ford, he supported the Party’s nominee, because he knew two things; first that the Republican candidate was better than the Democrat alternative, and second (and more importantly) that the people had spoken.

Ultimately the government only has as much power as we the people give them. The Constitution is a limiting document, but the people are the true power in our great republic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Haitian Disaster and the Lunatic Fringe

In the wake of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the government and people of the United States responded just as we always do when a natural or manmade disaster strikes anywhere in the world: we summoned every resource at our disposal to render aid and comfort to those in need. Within hours of the quake – which has killed as many as 200,000 souls and left tens of thousands more in shock, wounded and homeless – aid in the form of food, water, blankets, clothing, equipment and perhaps most critically, manpower, went forth from the United States to the relentlessly beleaguered island nation.

Almost as quickly as the aid started flowing, however, lunatics on the extreme right and extreme left came out of the woodwork to assign blame to what is by definition, a blameless occurrence. On the fringe right, Pat Robertson shamelessly declared that the people of Haiti were being punished by G-d because they’d made a deal with the Devil when they were trying to expel the French from their country. Robertson, a scriptural literalist, found it necessary to make this highly inappropriate statement in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, just as he did following Hurricane Katrina’s path of destruction of the Gulf Coast of the United States.

On the fringe left, Hugo Chavez-hugging, washed-up actor Danny Glover declared that America and the West were somehow at fault for the Haitian earthquake. This moron, whom Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld described as “nuttier than elephant poop”, also tried to tie the “failure” of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit to the disaster. Perhaps most absurdly, he further claimed that nations like Venezuela – who’d contributed a whopping one planeload of aid – or China – who’d committed a paltry five million dollars to Haiti – were somehow on an even keel with the United States in terms of humanitarian relief.

The USA has poured billions of dollars into Haiti in the past and will likely funnel another billion into the impoverished island nation before all recovery and rebuilding efforts are through. And that’s not even counting the tremendous amount of private donations streaming out of the wallets and bank accounts of hardworking, generous Americans. Ours is an exceptional nation that has done more good and helped more people than any other in the history of the world. Of course, these days you’d never know that listening to our current president, most of Hollywood or the lame-stream media. Nevertheless, it is true – and we prove it every time there’s a tragedy or disaster anywhere on Earth.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

For Democrats Taxes Solve Everything

Today President Obama proposed a tax on the 50 largest banks that took TARP money last year. Obama said, “We want our money back.” On the surface it may seem reasonable – to some – to impose a tax on the “greedy” banks that took so much taxpayer money and caused our current financial crisis.

But what’s left out of the president’s argument is that the banks have already paid back two-thirds of the TARP money they borrowed with interest. Also missing from the discussion is the fact many of them didn’t want the TARP money in the first place, but were threatened by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson into taking it, regardless. In addition, several were told that they couldn’t pay back the money last year, after their balance sheets came back into line.

The irony in all of this of course, is that the banks wouldn’t even be in this predicament if it hadn’t been for the unwelcome intrusion of the federal government in the first place. But thanks to Congress – dating back to the CRA Act of 1977 signed into law by Jimmy Carter, and further accelerated by Bill Clinton’s loosening of any reasonable restrictions previously contained within – banks were forced to make high-risk loans to borrowers who could never hope to repay them. Add the thuggery of organizations like ACORN into the mix (whose actions were sanctioned by the federal government in the name of “fairness”), and it’s easy to see how we arrived at this precarious financial destination.

Back in 2005, some sane members of Congress, including Senator McCain, along with President Bush sounded the alarm for reform in the hopelessly corrupt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, instead of demanding accountability and reining in these organizations, Congress ordered them to make even more bad loans – backing them with hardworking taxpayers’ money.

President Obama’s proposed new tax would be in effect for ten years, and like most taxes, wouldn’t necessarily go away after the TARP funds are repaid. Predictably, the banking industry is opposed, declaring the tax to be punitive and unnecessary. Equally predictably, President Obama resorted to his typical class-warfare tactic by condemning the “massive profits and obscene bonuses” of the banking industry’s top earners as an excuse to exert even more government control.

For the moment at least, we live in a capitalist society, where the free market determines what is appropriate and what is “obscene”, not the government. Banks are comprised of divisions, some of which may profitable while simultaneously, others may be floundering. If the market determines that a high-achieving employee who greatly contributes to the success of his bank or financial institution merits a million-dollar bonus then his company has a choice: either pay him what he’s worth, or lose the valued employee to a competitor that will.

It seems that Democrats think that taxes solve everything. But history has shown that when you keep taxes low you actually create a greater revenue stream. When taxes are low, companies have more money to expand their businesses, and hire and retain high-quality employees. When taxes on individuals are lower, they have more money to purchase things, thus keeping the engine of the American economy – small business – growing. But this is a lesson lost on people that believe that government is the answer to all the nation’s ills. “Cap and Tax” environmental regulations and the Healthcare “reform” bills are just the two largest examples of the attitude that government and higher taxes are the answers to our woes.

The polls clearly show that the American people are ahead of our so-called leaders on this issue. The people know that they can better decide how to spend their hard-earned money than ideologues like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama. And they know for sure that in these troubled economic times, they can’t afford any more taxes that are designed to change our behavior, not improve our nation.

The $787 billion “stimulus” didn’t create private sector jobs that would grow our economy and the tax base. What it did stimulate was the growth of government and the salaries of government and union employees. This growth of the federal government only leads to more regulations, fees and taxes that will ultimately prevent small businesses from recovering and in turn our economy as a whole from recovering in a timely fashion. Government doesn’t create wealth; government creates bureaucracy, waste and more dependence on government. It’s a vicious cycle and clearly it is unsustainable.