Archive for the ‘Limited Government’ Category
For most of the life of this blog, I’ve advocated for politicians to ditch their jargon. Instead, I’ve argued that politicians should use the language of Main Street. This morning, while perusing RealClealPolitics, I gained a powerful ally in Scott Rasmussen. To avoid any confusion, I’ll first state that I met Scott Rasmussen last summer at the RightOnline Conference. That meeting, coupled with his many TV appearances, proved that he’s a man who uses Main Street Speak.
Here’s what Scott Rasmussen wrote that caught my attention:
This gap was highlighted by a recent Pew Research Center poll showing that “for 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels.”
On the surface, those results appear to support the Political Class conceit that voters like spending cuts in the abstract but not in specific programs. That’s the way it was reported by most media outlets.
But the reality is quite different. The Pew results actually show support for what official Washington would consider massive spending cuts.
Just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Pew poll questions or results. The raw numbers are similar to what we find at Rasmussen Reports. The problem is with the way the numbers were reported.
The questions were asked using the language of America, but they were reported using the language of the Political Class.
To most Americans, maintaining spending at current levels would mean spending the same amount in 2013 as we spent in 2012. However, to those experienced in the mysterious ways of Washington, maintaining spending at current levels means spending $3.5 trillion this year and $4.5 trillion in five years. To most Americans, that’s a trillion dollars in spending growth.
The Political Class, on the other hand, would consider holding spending unchanged at current levels to be a massive spending cut. Why? Because it wouldn’t allow for the trillion dollar spending growth that is already built into the budget.
Normal people don’t expect pay raises on autopilot. The federal government does.
Washington, DC would throw a hissy fit if they were forced to use zero-based budgeting instead of using baseline budgeting. Without baseline budgeting helps DC pay off their political allies. Zero-based budgeting wouldn’t let that happen. That’s why politicians and lobbyists insist on baseline budgeting. Frankly, it makes their jobs easier.
Speaking candidly, I don’t want to make life easy for politicians or lobbyists. I’d prefer they have to justify every penny of their spending. That’s the only way to guarantee that every penny of the taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.
Thanks, Scott, for speaking so clearly on this important issue. Let’s just hope it’s contageous.
It was 8 years ago today that I started blogging. Rathergate caught my attention but it was the freedom movement that inspired me. The first big subject that I wrote about was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. That’s how I first learned of a certain economics professor at St. Cloud State. I’ve been privileged to call King Banaian my friend since then.
I wrote about the massive protests that gathered in Independance Square, the Purple Thumb elections in Iraq, followed by Hezbollah’s assassination of Rafiq Harriri in Lebanon. Harriri’s assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution.
It’s been fun writing about the TEA Party movement. I’ve even helped put a couple of them together with the help of Leo Pusateri, another important conservative ally in the fight against progressives. As helpful as Leo has been in the fight for conservative principles, I appreciate his friendship the most.
I’ve learned from some outstanding bloggers along the way. Captain Ed’s (that’s what he was called in his pre-HotAir days) posts from CQ were awesome reads. When Ed published his lengthy posts, the thing that stood out for me was the depth and detail of his research.
Mitch Berg’s literary skills still continue to amaze me. Mitch isn’t just a talented writer, either. He’s a topnotch reporter, too.
Early in my blogging career, I learned about the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. Today, many MOBsters are friends of mine. If you aren’t a MOBster, you should join ASAP. The comradery is great.
Finally, I’d like to thank the people who faithfully read my blog. Over the years, I’ve been amazed at who reads my blog. Sitemeter statistics have shown lots of state legislators read LFR. That’s why I’m proud to say LFR has had a serious impact on the policy debates in St. Paul.
With the DFL now in control, temporarily, of the Legislature and with a DFL governor, I pledge to step up my reporting.
First, I’ll start by saying I don’t consider Pat Anderson the enemy. There’s just an issue where the two of us disagree philosophically. In fact, this post is mostly about philosophical differences. In fact, that’s all this is.
At a State Convention gathering, more than a few people were talking about “the Stebbins email.” One of the people talking about it forwarded it to me. Here’s the text of the email:
From: Marianne Stebbins
To: Marianne Stebbins
Sent: Wed, May 16, 2012 8:52 pm
Subject: Don’t forget that State Central immediately follows the convention on Saturday
Up for election are the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman positions. The primary contest there is for Committeewoman, where both Pat Anderson, current Committeewoman is being challenged by Janet Beihoffer.
I take care to not twist arms, but would like you to consider that Pat Anderson has been friendly to us, helpful in many ways. Beihoffer has been engaging in some nasty campaigning against Pat, while Pat has been taking the high road.
Please stay for State Central on Saturday if at all possible. This is an important vote for the future direction of our party.
I don’t have a problem with the RP people who are State Central delegates voting for the candidate of their choice. What I’ve got a major problem with is hearing anyone say that Janet “has been engaging in some nasty campaigning against Pat.” I’ve read what Janet’s said. I’ll stipulate that Janet’s said some hardhitting things.
Characterizing Janet’s communications as “nasty campaigning” just isn’t accurate. A number of Janet’s supporters have taken issue with some of the things Pat’s done. Most of those disputes involve Pat’s lobbying for Racino.
Purely from a limited government policy standpoint, I can’t support Racino. I can’t figure out how a person can be a limited government conservative while supporting giving government another revenue stream to increase the size of government.
That’s why I can’t understand the Paul supporters supporting another revenue stream to government. They’re supposed to be the ultimate believers in limited government conservatism.
I’ve heard Paul’s supporters say that they’re defending the principles of free market capitalism. Racino isn’t free market capitalism. According to their own website, Racino “would be paid for in full by Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park.” That’s an awfully limited market. That’s the opposite of a free market.
It’s time Congressman Paul’s supporters admitted that they aren’t the pure-hearted free market guy their champion is.
This morning, Michele Bachmann announced that she’s seeking re-election to her Sixth District seat:
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday she will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House following her failed presidential bid.
Bachmann declared her plans in an interview with The Associated Press. The Republican congresswoman had been mum on her plans since folding her presidential campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann will be a formidable candidate in Minnesota’s 6th District, where other Republican hopefuls had stood aside until she made a decision on running for re-election. Some experts had speculated that Bachmann might instead turn to a career in talk media.
That ends speculation that the DFL has a chance of flipping her seat. They don’t. Take that seat off the radar.
Her announcement came in an interview to react to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. Just as she did on the campaign trail, Bachmann criticized Obama for “doubling down on failures that didn’t work.”
“We have to radically scale back on government spending, we have to radically cut back on debt accumulation,” Bachmann said.
It’s refreshing to hear Michele back talking about cutting President Obama’s reckless spending. What’s even more promising is the likelihood that she’ll have a gavel with which to start implementing that agenda.
Ed’s on the case, too, with this post:
Bachmann won her last re-election bid against well-known Taryl Clark by twelve points, so redistricting is probably not a big concern for Bachmann. Minnesota’s Congressional allocation did not change in the last census, although it only narrowly avoided losing a district. The redistricting plan will likely shift the margins around a little, perhaps moving a few precincts of very liberal MN-05 (Keith Ellison’s district) into MN-06, but it’s doubtful that MN-06 will change dramatically enough to endanger Bachmann in 2012.
Besides, Bachmann raised her stature considerably during the presidential campaign. She now has a broader base for fundraising, which builds on what had already been a strength for her in the past. While her hyperbole on Gardasil hurt her in the campaign (and will almost certainly be revisited by the DFL in the district), her overall performance dispelled the “crazy eyes” image that the media had imposed on her during her rise in the House and with Tea Party grassroots. Bachmann ended up presenting the most effective debate attacks on Rick Perry and then later Newt Gingrich, and was a formidable force in those encounters throughout the race.
Ed later said that the DCCC would likely dump lots of money into Michele’s race, something I question a bit. They dumped tons of money into her race in 2010 with a candidate they thought was perfectly suited to defeat Michele. They spent alot of money but Michele still kicked Tarryl’s ass.
At some point, you’d think that the money people at the DCCC would say ‘No mas’. This might be that year.
Before I get started, I’d like to offer my condolences to the people who are, at least theoretically, represented by Rep. Tom Anzelc and Sen. Tom Saxhaug. After reading this article, it’s apparent that the “Two Toms” are two Toms too many. Here’s a major clue that these legislators shouldn’t be allowed to represent people in the state legislature:
In Minnesota, lawmakers must take responsibility for implementing the above mentioned block grants that serve the poor and need to admit that “what was done in the special session of the past year was not enough,” he said. “We need to admit that the borrowing off future revenues from the tobacco settlement will not be enough and exacerbating the school shift whereby 40 cents on the dollar that the superintendents and school board here in International Falls are receiving from the state government is not forthcoming and therefore they need to borrow or utilize reserves to make up for the difference; we need to admit that that was not a good solution.”
“Lastly, we need a lot of luck in this country, because we are in a global, nationwide recession of catastrophic proportions,” he said, adding that, in Minnesota 100,000 residents have been unemployed for six consecutive months or more.
The first requirement for a legislator should be his ability to communicate clearly. Putting together a 74-word sentence isn’t communicating clearly, especially when the sentence is that incoherent.
Another requirement to be a legislator should be the ability to inspire confidence that the plans implemented will benefit the people. Saying that “we need alot of luck” to get the economy jumpstarted won’t inspire confidence. Whether Rep. Anzelc likes the GOP budget or not, he shouldn’t be making statements that discourage unemployed workers.
Rep. Anzelc is being overly dramatic, too. The recession that we’re now recovering from wasn’t worse than the one President Reagan inherited from Jimmy Carter.
Further, there’s always something to worry about with economies. When the economy was growing during the last Clinton term, the worry was about “the Asian Flu” financial crisis:
The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of Asia beginning in July 1997, and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion.
The crisis started in Thailand with the financial collapse of the Thai baht caused by the decision of the Thai government to float the baht, cutting its peg to the USD, after exhaustive efforts to support it in the face of a severe financial overextension that was in part real estate driven. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. As the crisis spread, most of Southeast Asia and Japan saw slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and other asset prices, and a precipitous rise in private debt.
People worried whether the Asian Flu would take down the U.S. economy. Instead of crashing the American economy, America started a string of 5 consecutive balanced budgets.
Minnesota must redesign and streamline its government to make government in the 87 counties and 435 school districts, as well as townships and municipalities, more efficient, he said.
“We need to deliver government services at a cheaper price and that will require huge sacrifice and a lot of pain, but it’s coming,” he said. “We all need to be part of the solution.”
The two Toms had the opportunity to vote for Rep. Keith Downey’s 15 by 15 legislation that would’ve reduced the state workforce by 15% by 2015. Additionally, they had the opportunity to introduce legislation that would’ve redesigned and streamlined government.
They could’ve offered amendments to King Banaian’s HF2 legislation that included provisions for priority-based budgeting and the Sunset Commission. In fact, they could’ve offered legislation to reform state and local government.
After all, there’s no law that prevents legislators from writing that type of legislation. The good news is that the two Toms will be able to sign onto those bills starting in January, 2012.
It’s too early to say that Mitt Romney is giving up on winning the South Carolina primary but it’s appropriate to question whether Gov. Romney is making a bad decision to skip the Jim DeMint Debate:
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced today the four GOP presidential hopefuls who will headline his Palmetto Freedom Forum, sponsored by the American Principles Project over Labor Day weekend in Columbia, and it looks like the champion of the Tea Party might get a couple of high-profile snubs.
In order to receive an official invitation to the event, Republican candidates had to garner at least 5 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average for the GOP nomination fight. The eight who made the cut were: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
But only half are planning to go: Perry, Bachmann, Cain and Paul.
Neither Giuliani nor Palin are in the race yet, so neither has confirmed attendance. Palin, for her part, will be in Iowa that weekend for a mega-rally on Saturday, Sept. 3. DeMint’s conference, however, isn’t until Monday, Sept. 5. It’s not clear why Gingrich will not show.
A spokesman for Romney did not return a request earlier in the day about whether Romney would make it but it looks unlikely. Romney announced late Monday on Twitter that he’ll be rolling out his jobs plan the very next day, Sept. 6, in Nevada. Romney’s unveiling is designed to coincide with the major jobs speech President Obama intends to give right after Labor Day so that the two plans will be compared side-by-side. Given Romney’s strategy to date; his campaign casts him as a general-election candidate interested only in taking on Obama, the decision to skip the South Carolina forum in favor of contrasting with the president comes as no surprise.
Mitt’s pretending that Gov. Perry doesn’t exist is stupid. Acting like he’s the frontrunner is one thing. Acting like you’re the inevitable choice is taking things a step too far. With Mitt not being in the DeMint Debate, expect Gov. Perry and Rep. Bachmann to take shots at Mitt’s Romneycare and his stated belief in AGW.
Taking on Mitt’s stated belief in AGW is smart politics because it’s a way to question his commitment to eliminating the EPA’s overregulating the economy into the ground.
Gov. Perry’s promise to make Washington “as inconsequential in your lives as possible” tells everyone that isn’t comatose that he’ll make regulatory relief a high priority in creating jobs and growing the economy.
Alot of people nationwide are starting to question whether Gov. Romney is committed to conservatism’s core principles. There’s no question that Mitt will put a priority on getting the economy going. Unfortunately for Mitt, there’s questions aplenty that he’s a limited government conservative.
Candidates that don’t have the DeMint troops’ enthusiasm behind them won’t do well in South Carolina.
While South Carolina voters might not get miffed at Mitt not participating in the DeMint Debate, they won’t appreciate his less than enthusiastic support of conservative principles.
If the Romney campaign keeps making mistakes of this type, they’ll quickly find themselves as irrelevant.
With the nation’s credit rating downgraded for the first time in history, Sen. Kerry is claiming that the downgrade is the TEA Party’s fault. Here’s an exchange between MTP’s David Gregory and Sen. Kerry:
MR. GREGORY: Senator, as you know, this is part of a debate about America’s influence in the rest of the world. And our economy and this debt fight has raised similar questions. And now the other big news that markets are going to be reacting to tomorrow and that is the downgrade of America’s credit rating. Standard & Poor’s issued a release on Friday, and this was part of its justification: “The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, less predictable than we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge.” …
Is this a wakeup call to Washington?
SEN. KERRY: Well, it’s a partial wakeup call. I believe this is, without question, the “tea party downgrade.” This is the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and, and reforms in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue. I think this is one of the most telling, important moments in our country’s history right now. We’ve had a fairly straightforward economic road throughout the 20th Century. But now, David, this poses a set of choices. It’s not just about a recession, it’s about a financial crisis and a structure of our economy which really has been misallocating capital. We’ve had an enormous amount of capital going into arbitration over these last years–phony deals, commissions, not creating jobs. And the real problem for our country is not the short-term debt. We can deal with that. It’s the long-term debt. It’s the structural debt of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid measured against the demographics of our nation. That, then juxtaposed to the lack of jobs and job creation and growth. That’s our problem, structural. And what we need is a Washington that stops this bickering, that gets rid of these hard positions that I noticed even in Speaker Boehner’s comments about the downgrade, politicizing it in the sense that, you know, sort of blaming it on the Democrats and the lack of decision. Barack Obama put a $4.7 trillion deal on the table. Three times he was refused that deal because there were some people in the Republican Party, and Mitch McConnell even admitted this, who wanted to default. He said there were people in his party who are willing to shoot the hostage. In the end, they found that the hostage was worth ransoming. This is not about ransom. This is about our nation. It’s about our country. It’s about growth. It’s about statesmanship. I know John McCain and I know many of his colleagues in the Senate are prepared to sit down and be serious about how we deal with this quickly because our nation’s security, our nation’s future is at stake in an unprecedented way.
This statement is infuriating:
And the real problem for our country is not the short-term debt. We can deal with that.
Let’s restate that accurately: Short-term deficits aren’t the biggest problem facing the nation, though they’re a major problem. The biggest obstacle is entitlements, which are badly in need of reform.
Sen. Kerry blithely dismisses short-term deficits as though they’re nothing. Though he got away with that with David Gregory, he won’t get away with that with real journalists. Sen. Kerry voted for the bills that caused the 3 biggest deficits in U.S. history.
Since voting for these bills, the Senate has refused to even hold Budget Committee mark-up hearings for another budget. It’s been 800+ days since the Senate either voted on or debated another budget blueprint. Considering the Senate’s inaction and indifference to budgeting and deficits, it’s impossible to think that Senate Democrats think of these deficits as a problem, much less the cause of this debt crisis.
Here’s another infuriating statement by Sen. Kerry:
I believe this is, without question, the “tea party downgrade.” This is the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and, and reforms in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue. I think this is one of the most telling, important moments in our country’s history right now.
Nevermind the trillions of dollars of debt the Democrats have run up since regaining control of the House and Senate in 2007 and especially since electing Barack Obama. Their reckless spending, Sen. Kerry contends, isn’t the problem. It’s the TEA Party that’s the problem.
Sen. Kerry must think we’re total dunces with short memories. The Democratic Party thinks that TEA Party activists are radicals because they insist on reforming entitlements, growing the economy and balancing the budget.
The Democratic Party’s intentions were made clear with the infamous Push-Grannie-off-the-cliff advertising campaign. Even modest changes in Social Security and Medicare that would produce major savings to the programs would be treated as though they might end western civilization as we know it.
Sen. Kerry’s statements are part of a Democratic chorus that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Consider the fact that the people singing that chorus are the people who will have increased the debt more in FY2011 alone than the debt was increased in the 8 years of the Bush administration.
The Democrats’ reckless spending, not the TEA Party’s insistence on entitlement reform and balancing the budget, is what created this very real debt crisis.
UPDATE: Ed has more on Kerry’s appearance in this post.
I wish this information was surprising. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Eliot Seide is the executive director of The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union which represents thousands of state workers, and he said the union is working to convince 10 Republican lawmakers, six in the House and four in the Senate, to change sides and support Dayton’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans.
First, whoever wrote this is a terribile writer. That sentence is 62 words long. The recommended maximum length is 18 words. Now to the important stuff.
First, AFSCME is part of the ABM coalition of unions. Prior to AFSCME Council 5′s joining forces with Gov. Dayton to ram a tax increase down Minnesotans’ throats, AFSCME members were best known as the organization of thugs that threatened Wisconsin businesses with boycotts that might’ve driven them into bankruptcy:
Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows.
If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”
AFSCME Wisconsin is essentially threatening to kill businesses if they don’t support AFSCME’s agenda. Still, that isn’t the worst that AFSCME is guilty of. This might be:
If necessary, we will use the valuable public service jobs that we perform as a weapon and shut this state down.
That quote came from AFSCME Michigan President Herb Sanders. et’s summarize what we know thus far:
1. AFSCME Wisconsin won’t hesitate to threaten businesses’ existence if they don’t enthusiastically support AFSCME’s agenda.
2. AFSCME Council 5 in Minnesota is targeting legislators who don’t support Gov. Dayton’s tax increases on Minnesota’s job creators.
3. AFSCME Michigan would their union employees to shut down the state of Minnesota if they don’t get what they want.
This article speaks volumes about their agenda:
ST. PAUL – “We will not let Minnesota become the next Wisconsin,” said state snowplow driver Mike Lindholt, addressing a large and energized rally of public employees at the state Capitol Tuesday.
Proposed legislation that brings Wisconsin-style attacks on public workers to Minnesota helped fuel a record turnout for AFSCME Council 5’s rally at the Capitol rotunda. Some 1,500 people attended the rally, then fanned out to meet with lawmakers during the union’s annual Day on the Hill.
Thankfully, people are standing up to AFSCME’s thuggish behavior. In Wisconsin, business owner Dawn Bobo took a proactive approach towards the union thugs. This picture is worth a thousand union threats:
The questions I’m posing to Minnesota businesses are simple: Who will be Minnesota’s Dawn Bobo? Who will emphatically say no to the DFL’s push to ram job-killing tax increases down our throats? Who will stand up for other businesses threatened by Gov. Dayton’s economic policies?
The DFL’s agenda won’t improve Minnesota’s competitiveness, create prosperity or strengthen Minnesota’s economy. If Minnesot’a well-being doesn’t motivate people to action, then we’ll deserve Dayton’s third-rate economy.
Limited government is an existential threat to AFSCME and their special interest allies. This is the proverbial hill that they’ll fight and die on. Limited government is to PEUs what wooden stakes are to vampires. That’s why unions are stepping up their attacks and using the most deceitful tactics imaginable.
Since affirming that he’s running for president, Mitt Romney has admitted that he’s a manmade global warming hoax believer:
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.
“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”…
In addressing climate change and energy policy, Romney called on the United States to break its dependence on foreign oil, and expand alternative energies including solar, wind, nuclear and clean coal.
This morning, I wrote on Twitter that Mitt’s buying into the manmade global warming hoax was his attempt to lock down that all-important Lindsey Graham vote in the South Carolina primary. This afternoon, I received a PAC’s fundraising letter:
Some politicians will say and do anything to feel popular. That need to fit in has created an incestuous relationship between Republicans and Democrats that has prevented the implementation of commonsense policies. To actually implement our shared conservative vision, we must first address the politicians in the party that claims to represent us: the Republican Party.
Lindsey Graham continually undermines conservative efforts on a wide range of issues, from immigration to the debt ceiling. He is the quintessential big-government Republican, committed to maintaining the power of the central government that he helps control. This time, we have had enough. We are going to send a shot across Lindsey‘s bow by running a media campaign in his home state of South Carolina. This will not only serve to pressure Graham to at least pretend to be a conservative, but will also send a message to all big-government Republicans (are you listening Scott Brown?) that we will no longer support the politicians who betray us!
Mitt Romney is the worst kind of politician. He has absolutely no foundation based on principle. He tailors his message based on what is politically expedient. After we announced the launch of our Stop Romney campaign, a handful of people have argued: ?but he is the only person who can beat Obama. This is the narrative that the liberal media has been pushing. Night after night, in the old-media complex, pundits claim that independent voters will only respond to a pandering ?moderate like Mitt Romney.
First, I want to make it perfectly clear that I want to see Scott Brown re-elected in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, Scott Brown is as conservative a person as can get elected with an R behind his name. It’s also worth noting that Scott Brown hasn’t tried pretending that he was as conservative as Jim Demint.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s focus on Mitt’s faults. In terms of personal character traits, Mitt’s flip-flops are disastrous in a TEA Party world. People are demanding honesty and character in their elected officials. Mitt isn’t devoid of those traits but he doesn’t have an overabundance of those traits, either.
Entering the presidential sweepstakes, Mitt’s attachment to the father of Obamacare was seen as his biggest difficulty in winning the Republican nomination. Now that he’s sided with Lindsey Graham on MMGW, that’s running a very, very close second.
Why would TEA Party conservatives and clear-thinking independents vote for Mitt, knowing that he’s gone off the reservation on two issues of great importance to Republicans?
I’ve said before what I’ll repeat now: Mitt is the quintessential CEO, changing his packaging and presentation to fit his needs. That isn’t what a principled TEA Party conservative does. That means Mitt isn’t a TEA Party conservative who’ll never earn the votes of TEA Party conservatives. If he’s the nominee, expect TEA Party activists to abandon the Republican Party in droves.
Let’s ask some other questions, starting with whether I’d trust him picking Supreme Court justices. I wouldn’t because Mitt isn’t a federalist or a constitutionalist. Period. Would I trust Mitt to limit the authority of the EPA or the FCC? Based on what I’m seeing, I wouldn’t.
This election isn’t just about creating jobs, as Mitt wants us to believe. It’s about limiting government’s reach, governing according to principles that the Founding Fathers put at the heart of the founding documents and finally sealing the U.S./Mexican border.
I can’t say I’d be confident Mitt wouldn’t sell us out on each of those things.
I still haven’t picked a candidate that I’m supporting. In fact, I don’t think it’d be wise to do that for at least 4-6 months. That said, I’m announcing that I won’t take Mitt seriously because he isn’t principled and I can’t be certain he wouldn’t undercut the TEA Party/conservative movement a minute after his inauguration.
I won’t support politicians that I don’t trust, even if they get Lindsey Graham’s approval.
If competing states were to draw up a plan that chased jobs and companies from the state, the Dayton budget and Gov. Dayton vetoing key reforms would certainly be part of that plan. Let’s start with Gov. Dayton’s vetoing GOP reforms. A good place to start is examining Rep. Rich Murray’s op-ed:
We continued to get the sense that Gov. Dayton and his staff had refused to even read the bills we’d crafted over the past few months. Lawmakers were especially disappointed that all of the common sense reforms that we worked hard to enact, provisions that would not only make government more efficient but would save Minnesota’s taxpayers millions of dollars, were basically ignored.
Keith Downey’s 15 by 15 legislation was criticized as proof that Republicans hated “working people.” The DFL knows that that isn’t even remotely close to the truth but that’s their lie and they’ve stuck with it.
The DFL’s opposition to Rep. Downey’s legislation was predictable. The DFL had to oppose Rep. Downey’s legislation to please their union special interest allies. If Gov. Dayton signed that into law or if DFL legislators supported that legislation, union support would evaporate. That’s something that the DFL can’t afford ever.
King Banaian’s priority-based budgeting reform legislation was vetoed, too. King’s bill would’ve dramatically improved Minnesota’s budgeting process, both from a taxpayer standpoint and from a getting-government-spending-under-control standpoint.
King’s legislation has the audacity of telling Minnesota government that they have to justify the spending that they’re requesting. They’re being told that autopilot budgeting is over, that the bureaucrats will be reminded at budget time that they work for Minnesotans, not vice versa.
At the beginning of the year, the Legislature began session with the goal of proposing a nearly $32 billion budget, which is what Minnesota spent during the last budget cycle. Gov. Dayton responded with a budget that spent more than $36 billion and included a multi-billion dollar tax increase to pay for it.
The Legislature later responded with a compromise move to the middle of both proposals by passing a balanced budget of $34 billion that does not raise taxes.
Gov, Dayton moved his number down to $35.8 billion and insisted the Legislature pass a $1.8 billion tax increase on Minnesotans to make his numbers work. The full House debated his proposal, and opposed it by a 73-60 margin. Despite this, the Governor is criticizing the Legislature for not compromising further and for refusing to raise taxes on Minnesotans.
During his Friday night debate with Michael Brodkorb on Almanac, DFL Chairman Ken Martin said that “Republicans started with a $34,000,000,000 budget and finished with a $34,000,000,000 budget.” To put it gently, Rep. Norton’s op-ed shows that the DFL chairman didn’t get his details right. I’m shocked.
Gov. Dayton insists on a major tax increase. He’s said that the Minnesotans he knows are “better than that”, inferring that it’s patriotic to pay higher tax rates. Let’s highlight the fact that North Dakota is recruiting workers from Minnesota:
North Dakota’s governor and commerce and tax commissioners, among other state officials, recently launched a full-scale recruiting mission in the North Star state. They are seeking engineers, electricians, IT pros, machine operators, health care experts and anyone else who wants a job, so long as they don’t mind relocating.
“We are in such a wonderful position over here right now,” said North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson. “But we have a 3.3 percent unemployment rate…So we have to either get some more folks coming back home or get more coming across the state line to share in the opportunities.”
In the Twin Cities, North Dakota officials have dined with business leaders and brought in 40 businesses to interview 350 Minnesotans at a job fair in Minneapolis. They also have tapped Minnesota’s colleges and universities for hiring leads.
Look at the list of jobs that North Dakota’s employers need: engineers, electricians, IT professionals, machine operators and medical experts. Those aren’t low-end burger-flipping placeholder jobs. I’m certain that most of those jobs pay at least $25 per hour, with engineers and medical experts making well in excess of that.
The current DFL legislature insists that raising taxes won’t hurt Minnesota’s competitiveness. They’re either lying or they’re incredibly ignorant. In addition to the great jobs available in North Dakota, there are other things that will appeal to Minnesotans:
North Dakota’s ambassadors dangle carrots, emphasizing their state’s budget surplus and recent cuts the governor made to personal, corporate and property taxes.
I can’t argue that the oil, natural gas and coal-mining booms haven’t had a tremendous impact on North Dakota’s economy. That’s obvious. What’s equally obvious, though, is that North Dakota’s economic blueprint extends far beyond those industries.
I wrote months ago that 13 of North Dakota’s 15 biggest employers are in the health care industry. That’s very forward-looking. By comparison, Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s plan looks to the 1970s and 1980s for its blueprint.
It’s impossible to think anything other than that North Dakota’s commitment to mining is the exact opposite of Minnesota’s ongoing hostility to PolyMet and its past hostility to Big Stone II power plant.
In North Dakota, they’re committed to building a multi-faceted, mining- and technology-based economy. Minnesota isn’t. North Dakota’s legislature and governor are committed to limited government that’s cut income, corporate and property taxes. Minnesota’s governor isn’t.
How can the DFL and Gov. Dayton say that they want to raise taxes on Minnesota’s job creators when North Dakota will gladly welcome them with lower income, corporate and property taxes? Raising taxes isn’t just stupid economic policy. It’s economic suicide.
If Minnesota wants to see its economy dramatically shrink over the next decade, they should rally to Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s budget while rejecting the GOP’s reforms. They should raise taxes on Minnesota’s employers. They should remain hostile to Minnesota’s mining companies while partnering with militant environmentalist organizations like MEP and the MCEA.
Maintaining Minnesota’s environmental policies while raising taxes and running multi-billion deficits for the forseeable future should make North Dakota awfully appealing.
On the other hand, if Minnesota wants to become economically viable again, Minnesotans have to reject the DFL’s hostility to industry, the DFL’s free-spending habits and their tax-first mentality. Most importantly, they must embrace the GOP’s commitment to limited, reformed government that’s friendly to entrepreneurs and low taxes.
Finally, I’ll just ask this: How many North Dakota residents are worried whether businesses are paying their fair share? I’m betting that North Dakotans couldn’t care less about that. I’m betting that they only care that their economy is booming and their bank accounts are bulging.
Technorati: North Dakota, Help Wanted, Medical Experts, IT, Engineers, Electricians, Tax Cuts, Income Tax, Corporate Tax, Property Tax, Budget, Economy, Minnesota, Tax Increases, Mark Dayton, Deficits, Unemployment, MCEA, MEP, DFL, Reforms, Keith Downey, 15 By 15, King Banaian, Priority-Based Budgeting, Polymet, Kurt Zellers, MNGOP