Archive for the ‘Fiscal Restraint’ Category
According to the Minnesota Morning Watchdog, Tom Emmer got a shot of good news from last night’s precinct caucuses:
6th District Congress (97% Reporting):
Tom Emmer with 67.7%, Rhonda Sivarajah with 17.7%, Phil Krinkie with 10.1%
Only 4.3% of caucus voters were undecided. While this straw poll isn’t binding, it can’t be ignored. Rhonda Sivarajah can’t be happy finishing 50 points behind Emmer. Phil Krinkie can’t be happy that he finished almost 60 points behind Emmer.
I’d be surprised if CD-6 delegates will be impressed with Commissioner Sivarajah’s or Rep. Krinkie’s showing. At this point, I’d argue that both face steep uphill fights to win the endorsement. I’d also argue that the odds of Tom Emmer winning a first ballot endorsement victory seem more likely this morning than they were a week ago.
In other straw poll news, Marty Seifert, Jeff Johnson and Dave Thompson appear to be heading for top 3 finishes in the gubernatorial straw poll. With 96% of precincts reporting, Seifert had 28% of the vote, followed by Dave Thompson with 26% and Jeff Johnson with 17%.
That’s got to put a smile on Sen. Thompson’s face. With a strong finish like that, Sen. Thompson can credibly tell potential contributors that his message is popular.
Marty Seifert has to be pleased, too. He can credibly tell potential contributors that he’s got the experience, organization and name recognition it’ll take to defeat Gov. Dayton.
While this wasn’t the strong showing the Johnson campaign was hoping for, Jeff Johnson must still be considered a top tier candidate. He’s got a solid fundraising team. He’s managing his resources well (he’s got the most cash-on-hand of the candidates) and he’s got a terrific record of being a fiscal conservative.
This couldn’t have been the night that Kurt Zellers was hoping for. Finishing a next-to-last 6th place with 8% can’t instill confidence in potential campaign contributors or in potential delegates.
Based on the results of last night’s U.S. Senate Straw Poll, it’s looking like it’s down to a 2-person race. With 96% of precincts reporting, Julianne Ortman led Mike McFadden by a 31%-22% margin. Finishing in third place was Undecided with 16%, followed by Jim Abeler with 15%.
With that many undecideds and soon-to-be undecided delegates, this is another race to watch.
This LTE in the St. Cloud Times insists that we aren’t a deadbeat nation:
There should never be any bargaining about raising the debt ceiling. We are not a deadbeat nation.
KrisAnne Hall has a different perspective:
On Friday, President Barack Obama told workers at a Ford plant in Liberty, Missouri, “if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re deadbeats.” This is a prime example of “fundamentally transforming” America. This is part of the strategy that leftists use, change the definition of words, seize the vocabulary. Obama wants you to believe that racking up bills that you can’t pay for in the first place, and then borrowing money to pay those bills, and then passing on that debt to your children is the responsible thing. It used to be that people understood that if you robbed from your children you were, fundamentally, a deadbeat.
To Ms. Maizan’s point that we aren’t a deadbeat nation, I’d simply argue that a government that spends money it doesn’t have on things it doesn’t need is the quintessential deadbeat nation. Glenn Reynolds’ column provides a fantastic solution:
With these lessons learned, here’s my budget proposal: An across-the-board cut of 5% in every government department’s budget line. (You can’t convince me — and you’ll certainly have a hard time convincing voters — that there’s not 5% waste to be found in any government program.) Then a five-year freeze at that level. Likewise, a one-year moratorium on new regulations, followed by strict limits on new regulatory action: Perhaps a rule that all new business regulations won’t have the force of law until approved by Congress.
Earlier in his column, Professor Reynolds stated something elementary:
As economist Herbert Stein once observed, something that can’t go on forever, won’t. And this can’t go on forever.
Anyone that thinks federal spending can be sustained is foolish. By this definition, Ms. Maizan is foolish. Taxing the rich more to pay for irresponsible spending won’t fix anything. In fact, I’d argue that raising taxes without questioning what politicians are spending money on is the political equivalent of a junkie scoring a fix for his addiction.
Professor Reynolds makes a string of fantastic points on the shutdown. Here’s my favorite:
The big lesson of the shutdown is that, in a time when so-called “draconian cuts” usually refer to mere decreases in the rate of growth of spending on programs, America was able to do without all the “non-essential” government workers just fine. (The same AP poll cited above says that 80% have felt no impact from the shutdown; a majority also oppose increasing the debt limit.) Turns out that most of those nonessential workers really are non-essential. And it’s a safe bet that some of those who stayed on the job, like the National Park Service people who chased veterans away from an open-air memorial, could be done without, too, in a pinch. Under the shutdown, new regulations also slowed to a trickle, suggesting that we can do just fine without those, too.
Let’s not forget this point. If President Obama hadn’t implemented his World War II Memorial strategy, taxpayers wouldn’t have noticed that government is shut down.
I agree with Reynolds and KrisAnne Hall. It’s time to stop spending like a deadbeat. It’s time to say NO MORE!!! This administration’s reckless spending isn’t sustainable. If it can’t be sustained, it won’t continue. This nation can’t afford 3 more years of President Obama playing the role of deadbeat politician.
To: SCSU Faculty
From: Gary Gross, citizen journalist
Subject: SCSU’s financial mismanagement
Since last spring and throughout the summer, I’ve written about the financial mismanagement issues afflicting SCSU. I’ve been blessed by Silence Dogood’s insights and information throughout. Silence’s information is irrefutable.
Still, administrators and a few members of the faculty have taken cheapshots at me. They’ve insisted that I’m “an archconservative who doesn’t have the University’s best interests at heart.” They couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve lived in St. Cloud all my life. I want St. Cloud State to succeed because a thriving St. Cloud State contributes to St. Cloud’s economy.
It’s just that I can’t sit back and watch while President Potter decimate SCSU with one shoddy financial decision after another. Thanks to contracts he’s signed, St. Cloud State’s checkbook is lighter by almost $1,600,000 this year. It might be more but I’m certain of those outlays.
St. Cloud State is spending $240,000 this year for police protection, protection that the City of St. Cloud is obligated to pay for. An additional $1,200,000 left St. Cloud State’s checkbook thanks to Coborn’s Plaza being significantly underpopulated. Coborn’s Plaza lightened St. Cloud State’s checkbook by $2,250,000 the first 2 years in addition to this year’s $1,200,000. That’s before subtracting $150,000 for the Confucius Institute.
It’s important to ask the question whether the University would be better off with the money in department budgets or in these initiatives. I suspect they’d be better off if President Potter hadn’t misspent the money on these initiatives. I’m confident you’ll agree.
Silence Dogood wrote powerfully about the impact declining tuition revenue will have on the University’s budget. Then Silence talked about the impending budget cuts:
At the most recent Meet and Confer on September 5, 2013, the administration presented a document that indicates that there is a need to cut the budget to cover the lost tuition dollars from the administration’s now predicted 5% drop in enrollment. The total amount to be cut is $2,861,117.
Then Silence added this:
According to the September 19, 2013 email sent by Provost Malhotra, “We are taking the necessary steps to adjust our current FY14 budget for the additional 1.0% enrollment shift, which equals about $620,000.
It’s time to ask yourself some questions, starting with whether an additional enrollment drop should be called an “enrollment shift.” That’s outright spin. It isn’t a shift. It’s a drop. Second, it’s important to ask whether this administration has been honest with you. I’d submit it hasn’t. Third, it’s important to question whether the administration’s decisions have led to a healthier St. Cloud State or whether they’ve contributed to a crumbling institution. I’d submit they’ve contributed to the latter.
The decision is your’s. Do you think this leadership team will right the ship? If you answered no, then it’s time to be part of the solution instead of being an enabler. It’s that simple.
In an exclusive interview with LFR, Matt Dean has confirmed that he’s thinking about running for the seat left open by Michele Bachmann’s retirement.
While Jim Graves, the DFL and the DCCC are undoubtedly happy that Minnesota’s Sixth District is now an open seat, they shouldn’t think that this will be an easy seat to win. Matt Dean is a formidable candidate. First, he’s got a good understanding of the Sixth District. He’s participated in townhall meetings throughout the District, including in St. Cloud. Second, his message is a great fit for the Sixth District. Third, Matt’s got the ability to work across the aisle without sacrificing his principles:
A commendable thing happened last week after the Minnesota House failed to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the bill preserving General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) for the very poor: The two House members leading their respective parties’ efforts on the matter, DFL Rep. Erin Murphy and GOP Rep. Matt Dean, just kept working.
Constructively, too. On Friday, a deal was struck that has the blessing of the Legislature’s top leaders in both parties. It’s expected to go to the full House and Senate this week.
That praise was written by Lori Sturdevant, one of the most openly liberal writers at the Strib. It’s important to note that the compromise was built on conservative principles.
Third, he’s got a great understanding of two issues that are important to the Sixth District: health care and education. Fourth, he’s got a track record of being the taxpayers’ watchdog:
House Majority Leader Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) is doing his own inquiry into how the Minneapolis Public Schools spends it money after reading this Star Tribune report. The story revealed Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s decision to award $270,000 in retroactive raises to central office administrators at the same time the district cut more than 100 jobs including 52 teaching positions.
Rep. Dean started this investigation right after a long, tough legislative session. He saw money being spent foolishly so he started an investigation into the mismanagement.
The Sixth District needs a congressman a) whose principles are solidly conservative and b) who pays attention to the details on whether government is doing its job or if it’s failing the people.
If Rep. Dean decides to jump in, I suspect that announcement will come sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Welcome Powerline readers. Follow this link for more information on the early shape of the race.
When Republicans took control of the Minnesota legislature, Minnesota had a $6,000,000,000 deficit. Thanks in large part to GOP reforms, Minnesota was able to erase that deficit without raising taxes. This morning, the final budget forecast was released. Here’s what it said:
For the coming fiscal cycle, which begins in July and lasts through 2015, the state’s deficit will be $627 million. Both are improvements over estimates from late last year. In November, economists predicted the state would have to grapple with a $1.1 billion deficit over the next two years.
That’s the headline information. Here’s the important information found further down in the article:
it also shows slight dips in projected spending, with the biggest savings coming from health and human services spending. “Savings from negotiated reductions in managed care rates for elderly and disabled basic care, adults without children, and families with children, as well as an increase in pharmacy rebates in (fiscal year) 2014-15 contributed to the reductions,” it says.
That’s another way of saying that the reforms authored by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt saved Minnesota taxpayers a significant chunk of money. The question no longer is whether Republican reforms worked. The question now shifts to being whether Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature will significantly depart from the GOP budget blueprint. Based on Gov. Dayton’s budget and the bills getting committee hearings thus far, the answer to that question is apparently yes.
If passed as is, Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposals will significantly hurt economic growth:
Dayton has proposed the most extensive rewriting of the state’s tax code in a generation. It would increase state taxes by $2.1 billion over the next two years, with top earners and businesses paying the brunt of the costs.
His budget would increase state spending from $35.2 billion in the current two-year cycle to $37.8 billion in the 2014-15 biennium. That’s a 7.6 percent increase.
The governor has said the state needs the extra money to erase a budget deficit, provide more money for education and property tax relief and stabilize future state budgets.
The biggest change he called for would broaden the sales tax base to include haircuts, car repairs, expensive clothes and, stirring the most controversy, business-to-business services, such as advertising, accounting and legal work that are not taxed now. In exchange, he would lower the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent.
Missing from that final paragraph is the fact that smaller cities, especially those that don’t get LGA, will get hit hardest by Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increase. Cities like Sauk Rapids and Sartell have attorneys from local law first on retainer, not on staff. The Dayton/Lenczewski/DFL tax increase bill, in its current form, would devastate smaller cities like Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Foley, St. Joe and Cold Spring.
It’s time to tell DFL legislators representing DFL legislators that it isn’t ok to vote for higher property taxes for small cities in rural Minnesota.
Tagsmaller Minnesota cities that they’ll lose their jobs if they vote for this sales tax increase. It’s time to tell these s: Mark Dayton, Tax Increases, Sales Taxes, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Cold Spring, Foley, Property Taxes, Deficits, DFL, Steve Gottwalt, HHS Reform, Spending Restraint, MNGOP
John Boehner is failing. He’s playing President Obama’s game on President Obama’s court. He’s prosecuting the wrong case. Rather than discussing the terms of the fiscal cliff debate, Speaker Boehner should be talking about why Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies are America’s only hope for a variety of Obama-created ills.
First, Speaker Boehner should highlight the fact that President Clinton’s high tax rates didn’t trigger the great economy. He should remind the nation that it was Newt’s capital gains tax cuts that sent the economy into high gear. Prior to those tax cuts, the economy was doing ok. After cutting the capital gains tax, growth exploded.
Another thing that Speaker Boehner must do is remind people that Republicans’ insisting on balancing the federal budget helped strengthen the dollar, which led to a dramatic shrinking of America’s trade deficit. That especially affected gas prices.
Third, Speaker Boehner should shout from the rooftops that revenues during the Bush tax cuts were significantly bigger than revenues are today. If Speaker Boehner asked President Obama why he’s insisting on anti-growth policies that tamp the economy down rather than implementing new pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, President Obama might well blow a gasket.
This is the debate we should start. This is the debate President Obama can’t win. This is the conversation that would expose President Obama’s motivation for imposing higher tax rates.
Rather than the pattern of proposal-counterproposal, then a counter offer to the counterproposal, with each side publicly stating that the other side needs to put forth a serious proposal, Speaker Boehner should ditch that pattern, especially the taunting language.
Instead, Speaker Boehner, followed by every Republican in Congress talking with their local newspapers and TV outlets about how cutting spending is what’s fair to taxpayers and how reforming the tax code, highlighted by fewer deductions and lower tax rates, would strengthen the economy.
Highlight the fact that this was the real reason why the economy was strong during the Clinton administration. Highlight the fact that the economy didn’t take off until Newt changed the trajectory of the debate.
President Obama is too arrogant to be frightened by that debate, which means Speaker Boehner should be able to turn this situation into a discussion on getting America’s economy going for the first time during President Obama’s administration.
With expensive utility bills, shrinking paychecks, high gas and grocery prices and unacceptably high unemployment rates, the indictment against President Obama’s mishandling of the economy should be lengthy and powerful.
Finally, he should unleash Paul Ryan. Speaker Boehner should insist on a televised fiscal cliff summit, with Ryan leading the prosecution of the case against President Obama’s reckless spending. Dave Camp should prosecute the case for why the GOP tax reform plan will strengthen the economy.
GOP senators and governors should take part in this summit, too. One tactic President Obama has overplayed is saying that ‘we can talk about that’ on a variety of policies, then dropping that position the minute he’s out of the room. Republicans should tell him that implementing a pro-growth economic plan is non-negotiable.
Finally, make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates won’t affect the Warren Buffetts of the world because their income comes from investments, not wages. Make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates will hurt small businesses, not the evil Wall Street fatcats President Obama always talks about.
President Obama’s policies are failing. Speaker Boehner’s ineptitude in highlighting those failures has the fiscal cliff conversation heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to change the direction of that conversation.
Tags: Fiscal Cliff, John Boehner, Debate, Fiscal Cliff Summit, Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Tax Reform, Spending Reform, GOP, President Obama, Unemployment, Deficits, Gas Prices, Electric Bills, Groceries, Inflation, Median Household Income, Democrats
The closing of the SCSU Aviation Department has Roger Cohen asking where the pilots will come from for the next major pilot shortage, which is looming on the horizon:
Here’s a partial transcript of a key portion of the MPR article on Aviation:
COHEN: The need now for skilled aviation professionals and young people to get into aviation at any level is greater now than it’s ever been. The opportunity now is greater than it’s ever been.
If “the opportunity [for aviation professionals] is greater than it’s ever been”, isn’t that the right time to expand the Aviation program?
When WCCO-TV did an article about the SCSU Aviation program, they interviewed SCSU President Earl Potter. During the interview, President Potter said that SCSU’s focus would now be on STEM, aka Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
What President Potter didn’t talk about, at least in the portion that aired that Sunday, was that Fedex offered to give one of its cargo planes that it was retiring to SCSU. The plane would’ve been stationed at the St. Cloud Regional Airport and it would’ve been available for STEM projects and studies for college students as well as for field trips from students as young as Kindergarten through to college graduates.
If SCSU genuinely wanted to focus on STEM issues, why did it reject this fantastic gift to the university? Shouldn’t they have accepted it with a smile on their faces?
The reality is that there’s a huge pilot shortage looming on the horizon, a horizon that’s getting very close to becoming reality.
SCSU Provost Malhotra defended the Potter administration’s actions this way:
MALHOTRA: It is not as if we wanted to set out closing Aviation. In fact, when we started out the Strategic Program Appraisal, we did not know that we would be closing Aviation. We knew that we would be closing some programs but which one of those programs would be an outgrowth of a very broad campus-level discussion.
According to Conrad Wilson’s article, shutting down the Aviation Department will save approximately $500,000. That’s roughly the equivalent of what they’re paying EMG for their services. Shouldn’t the Potter administration worry more about not spending big chunks of money on consultants than closing departments?
It seems that they’re only interested in closing programs that actually have great hiring records upon graduation. This part of Wilson’s article is what’s wrong with SCSU thinking:
WILSON: Leaders at St. Cloud State say that the program closure is part of a university restructuring. Devinder Malhotra, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, says St. Cloud State has refocused on creating graduates with a broad base of knowledge, not just ones ready for a specific job.
That’s a rip-off. Those students’ parents aren’t paying tuition so their sons and daughters can get “a broad base of knowledge.” They’re paying for an education that will help their sons and daughters find a high-paying job that offers a promising career path.
Perhaps that’s why enrollment at SCSU dropped precipitously this past year. It isn’t surprising that large percentages of college graduates unable to find jobs are moving home. Why haven’t universities and colleges focused on turning out students that can step into a promising career the minute they graduate?
Employers aren’t looking for employees “with a broad base of knowledge.” They’re looking for people who can positively impact their company the minute that they’re hired.
With the first election test behind us, it’s on to New Hampshire, where Mitt Romney enjoys a dominant lead. With the spotlight now on New Hampshire, though, will come intensified scrutiny and criticism. The NH Union-Leader’s endorsement of Newt will sting Mitt. Witness this editorial:
Mitt Romney’s entire pitch for the White House is based on one premise: He spent his career in business, and therefore he can turn around the economy and create jobs. Romney had a successful business career, but his economic plan would be far less successful than the one offered by Newt Gingrich.
Romney’s plan is, like the candidate, cautious and reserved. It does not go far enough to reduce federal tax and regulatory burdens, or to reform Washington. Economist Paul Hoffmeister, writing in Forbes magazine this week, reached this conclusion about Romney’s plan: “his economic platform reflects a man who is devoutly Keynesian, and who, as president, would not be able to reinvigorate the U.S. economy.”
By contrast, Newt Gingrich’s plan is remarkably bold and reform-oriented. Not only would Gingrich be more aggressive than Romney in cutting taxes that harm business and job growth, he would be more aggressive in rethinking Washington’s entire regulatory culture. It’s a major reason why he was endorsed by economist Art Laffer, the father of supply-side economics, and famed conservative economist Thomas Sowell. If you want a President who will actually do what’s necessary to spark a swift and broad recovery, it’s not Romney; it’s Gingrich.
Mitt, by his very nature, is timid. The reality is that Mitt’s economic plan looks like George H.W. Bush’s economic plan. Newt’s plan looks strikingly similar to President Reagan’s plan.
Why would people settle for George H.W. Bush’s plan when they could have President Reagan’s plan?
The Union-Leader cited Art Laffer’s and Thomas Sowell’s endorsement of Newt’s plan, which I wrote about here. The question, at least for thoughtful people who care about what’s best for this nation, is simple: why would you pick a former hedge fund manager’s timid economic plan over a plan that created 20,000,000 jobs and that’s been touted by 2 of the economic heavyweights of the conservative movement?
That isn’t saying Mitt’s plan is awful. It’s definitely better than Obamanomics. It’s just that you don’t pick a Pontiac when you can pick a Cadillac for the same price.
Let’s also debunk the myth that Mitt’s still a great businessman. I wrote here that Mitt’s been more than a little tied up in governing and campaigning to pay attention to Bain Capital:
Prior to Mitt running for governor, he was hired to run the Olympic Games in February, 1999. He hasn’t been in the private sector since. After running the Winter Games, he ran for governor in Massachusetts and getting elected. After Mitt announced that he wasn’t seeking a second term in 2006, he essentially started running for president. Now it’s late 2011 and Mitt’s still running for president.
In short, he hasn’t worked in the private sector in almost 13 years.
Mitt Romney is settling for too little. He isn’t a bold reformer. Mitt isn’t the guy who’ll try to fight Washington at a time when Washington needs to be fought against. Mitt Romney is from the go-along-to-get-along school of governance.
That’s better than Obama’s administration but why settle on topping such a low hurdle?
Then again, Mitt’s gone further on greenhouse gas emissions than this administration’s EPA has gone:
Governor Mitt Romney today announced that Massachusetts will take another major step in meeting its commitment to protecting air quality when strict state limitations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants take effect on January 1, 2006.
Massachusetts is the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants. The limits, which target the six largest and oldest power plants in the state, are the toughest in the nation.
In addition to reaffirming existing stringent CO2 limits, the draft regulations announced today, which will be filed next week, contain protections against excessive price increases for businesses and consumers. They allow power generation companies to implement CO2 reductions at their own facilities or fund other reduction projects off-site through a greenhouse gas offset and credits program.
Mitt Romney imposed expensive regulations on power plants, then initiated price controls on those power plants to stick them with the cost of his expensive regulations.
Combine those things with Mitt’s timid economic plan and you’re looking at a mediocre presidential candidate. It’s like picking George H.W. Bush when you could’ve had President Reagan.
No disrespect to George H.W. Bush but that isn’t too bright, is it?
Expecting (fearing?) that they’d be dealing with another major deficit, legislators were greeted with good news this morning:
Minnesota budget officials on Thursday estimated an $876 million surplus for the rest of their two-year budget, easing fears of another bruising political fight just months after partisan deadlock led to a partial shutdown of state government.
The surplus was a surprise. Most Capitol observers had expected bad news in the economic forecast, with red-ink estimates ranging from $500 million to $1 billion.
Surely, the DFL will attempt to spend the surplus. In fact,that’s dog-bites-man news. The GOP will, at most, use part of the surplus to pay down the school shifts. Even then, that wouldn’t happen until after the February forecast.
Rep. Ryan Winkler released this statement outlining how he’d like the money to get spent:
“The State of Minnesota just found a $20 bill in its pocket. We haven’t solved our money problems. So Minnesota politicians should not repeat past mistakes and use a small budget surplus to offer tax cuts or rebates to tax payers. This surplus should be used to move us toward a responsible budget by paying back tobacco bonds and paying down the school shift.
“We have tremendous obstacles to future prosperity that we must address: a shrinking middle class, reduced research and development, an aging population, and an education system that isn’t preparing enough students for the world economy. We can’t tackle any of these problems without sound state finances.
“The forecast could also change between now and February, and Minnesota faces a huge deficit in the next budget cycle. We must take this opportunity to begin paying off the irresponsible debt racked up as a result of dysfunctional politics and an extremist Republican majority.”
By issuing a statement that essentially says that spening fists full of money is his first priority, Rep. Winkler sounds like other cookie cutter progressives.
His statement is filled with complaints about all that’s wrong with the shrinking middle class, education, people getting older, etc. What’s missing from Rep. Winkler’s statement is a lengthy, detailed list of solutions.
Pat Garofalo’s tweet is totally spot on about Winkler:
RepRyanWinkler Like a 2 year old in a temper tantrum-the Democrats mess their diaper and then complain about how mommy cleans them up.
Apparently, Rep. Winkler hasn’t figured it out that Minnesotans are demanding their elected officials to solve problems, not just whine about them. It’ll become apparent next fall is that Republicans are the political party proposing solutions and the DFL is the political party whining about them.
Thursday evening, Dick Morris tried selling Greta on the Herman Cain surge that Morris says is ongoing. According to Karl Rove’s reporting, Cain’s surge peaked in mid-October, then started falling, albeit slowly. The other thing Morris is peddling is the notion that 9-9-9 is a worthwhile plan that should be taken seriously.
It’s a terrible plan, despite what Art Laffer says. When questioned about the federal government collecting both a national sales tax and a federal income tax, Laffer said that Democrats can do that the next time they control the House, Senate and White House.
That’s true enough but it’s missing the point. If they want to pass that in those circumstances, let them. Then let them take the political beating the next election cycle. Americans won’t stand for both a federal income tax and a national sales tax. PERIOD.
Why 9-9-9 is stupid is because it’s being proposed by a Republican. If Democrats want to propose it, then they own that proposal. If a Republican proposes and passes it, then Democrats raise that rate, Democrats can rationalize it by saying they’re just raising a tax created by Republicans. In essence, they’d be saying ‘it must not be bad because Republicans proposed it’.
Republicans couldn’t argue that point. They would’ve essentially picked up a baseball bat, handed it to the Democrats, then said ‘Here, hit me with the bat I just gave you.’
Frankly, a pretty impressive case can be made that 9-9-9 is capable of doing alot more damage than the current tax code. A fairly easy case can be made that Rick Perry’s flat tax and Newt Gingrich’s tax overhaul are significantly better tax reforms than 9-9-9.
For instance, Speaker Gingrich’s plan calls for a corporate tax rate of 12.5%. That’s only 3.5 points higher than Cain’s plan with the added bonus of not featuring a national sales tax.
That’s a big deal because it doesn’t create a new revenue stream that progressives will use to grow government.
It’s time for more people to tell Mr. Cain why his plan is foolish from a political perspective.