Archive for the ‘Free Markets’ Category
Now that Jim Graves has officially announced that he’s running against Michele Bachmann, people wonder if he can defeat her. John Stossel’s article highlights Graves’ weakness:
Most Americans, even those who are legislators, know very little about the details of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare. Next year, when it goes into effect, we will learn the hard way.
Many people lazily assume that the law will do roughly what it promises: give insurance to the uninsured and lower the cost of health care by limiting spending on dubious procedures.
Don’t count on it.
Consider just the complexity: The act itself is more than 906 pages long, and again and again in those 906 pages are the words, “the Secretary shall promulgate regulations …”
“Secretary” refers to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Her minions have been busy. They’ve already added 20,000 pages of rules. They form a stack 7 feet high, and more are to come.
A couple of weeks after announcing his candidacy last time, Graves made an appearance at a weekly gathering at a St. Cloud bar to visit with conservatives. During that visit, he stopped past my table, at which time I asked him if he supported the PPACA. Though he stopped short of endorsing that specific legislation, he did attempt to sell the ACA as market-driven health insurance reform. More on that later.
The thing is that legislators don’t vote on sweeping principles. Legislators vote on specific legislation. Since there’s no chance that Graves would’ve been one of the legislators shaping the legislation, he would’ve been forced to vote yea or nay on the ACA.
Thanks to Graves’ insistence on not getting pinned down to anything, we don’t know if he would’ve voted for the PPACA. What we know, though, is that he’s attempting to not talk about the ACA. His issues page includes this line:
But today, too many Minnesotan families are struggling under the weight of rising home mortgage payments, skyrocketing health care costs and increasing college tuition.
The only other reference to health care on Jim Graves’ issues page is about the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. I don’t blame Graves for evading the issue. If I were a Democrat, I’d want to evade talking about health care. Stossel’s article provides the reason why the PPACA is a touchy subject for Democrats:
Government likes to think regulations can account for every possibility. Injured at a chicken coop? The code for that will be Y9272. Fall at an art gallery? That means you are a Y92250. There are three different codes for walking into a lamppost — depending on how often you’ve walked into lampposts. This is supposed to give government a more precise way to reimburse doctors for treating people and alert us to surges in injuries that might inspire further regulation.
On Government-Planned World, this makes sense. But it will be no more successful than Soviet central planning.
Compare all that to a tiny part of American medicine that is still free-market: Lasik eye surgery.
Its quality has improved, while costs dropped 25 percent. Lasik (and cosmetic surgery) are specialties that provide a better consumer experience because they are a market. Patients pay directly, so doctors innovate constantly to please them. Lasik doctors even give patients their cellphone numbers.
Mr. Graves isn’t foolish. He knows what constitutes a free market. He knows that the ACA is the opposite of a free market solution.
Michele Bachmann has been right about this issue from the outset. She submitted the first bill to repeal the ACA and replace it with a specific plan. Michele’s plan included eliminating the preferential tax treatment for corporations buying health insurance by giving individuals the same tax treatment that multinational corporations get. As a result of that provision, Michele’s plan made health care portable, which is a huge liberating force for employees.
While we don’t know what Graves’ solution to health care is, we know with certainty that Michele got it right with health insurance reform the first time. When Democrats are in the minority, talk immediately focuses on compromise. Minnesotans in the Sixth District have the choice of voting for an evasive man or voting for someone who got health care reform right the first time.
With health insurance premiums skyrocketing since enacting the PPACA, why would Minnesotans vote for someone who dodges the issue? Why wouldn’t they vote for the candidate who got it right the first time?
Today, Jim Graves made it official today by announcing that he’s running against Michele Bachmann again:
In a statement, the AmericInn Hotel chain founder took a veiled jab at his opponent’s national reputation as a lightning rod. “These days, Congress is all about scoring political points rather than actually solving problems, and Minnesota’s 6th District, my home, is losing out because of that more than anywhere,” he said. ”I’m not interested in celebrity, only in solutions.”
That last statement is rather rich considering the fact that Graves told me that he thinks the PPACA is a free market solution to our health care problem. The PPACA is a one-size-fits-all disaster. First, it isn’t a solution. Second, it’s an expensive disaster that’s getting worse with each new onslaught of regulations.
If Graves can’t even identify a disastrous policy like the PPACA, then he’s worthless. Getting the biggest things badly wrong isn’t a virtue. His happy talk about being a new Democrat is BS. New Democrats don’t attend fundraisers hosted by Barney Frank, one of the men who caused the housing bubble to burst. New Democrats don’t defend the PPACA, which Graves tried doing with me.
Graves’ schtick is spin. That doesn’t mean people should take him lightly. He came close to defeating Michele in 2012. Then again, that’s largely because of high voter turnout durning a presidential election and because Michele focused a bunch of attention on her presidential campaign.
Since getting re-elected, Michele Bachmann has focused on solving major problems in the district, including working on widening the I-94 and Highway 10 corridors, not to mention her work in getting the Stillwater Bridge rebuilt.
Another big question awaiting is whether Nancy Pelosi will let Jim Graves be a centrist. She’ll let him talk like a centrist during the campaign. The question is how long that’d last if he’s elected. If he’s elected, Pelosi would likely have a slim majority in the House, meaning she’ll need every Democrat’s vote on the big issue.
Graves will run another dishonest campaign this cycle because that’s his only shot at winning. Make no mistake: Jim Graves won’t hesitate in hitting below the belt if that’s what’s needed. We know that because it’s what he’s done in the past. Graves got a bunch of union workers to lie for him during a campaign ad. These displaced union workers accused Michele of political grandstanding and not giving a damn about them. KSTP ran Graves’ ad through their Truth Test:
Bachmann was in the district on Memorial Day weekend in Stillwater attending events when the explosion happened but didn’t go to the scene. However, a Bachmann staff member was there within an hour.
I know the Bachmann staffer who got to the Verson site within an hour of the explosion happening. Jim Graves didn’t care about this extraordinary performance. He had his sights set on winning an election. If he had to accuse Michele of not giving a damn, that’s what he’d do. If that meant ignoring the facts on the ground, New Democrat Jim Graves wasn’t about to hesitate in putting that disgusting, dishonest ad together.
Tags: Jim Graves, Smear Campaign, Barney Frank, Housing Bubble, Nancy Pelosi, PPACA, Regulations, New Democrat, Michele Bachmann, I-94, Highway 10, Stillwater Bridge, Transportation, MNGOP, Election 2014
When the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the school voucher program signed by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels was constitutional, it marked another victory in the school choice movement. The implications of their ruling is sure to be felt for generations:
A limited choice program is not the same thing as a healthy, responsive educational market. “A rule-laden, risk-averse sector,” argues Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, “dominated by entrenched bureaucracies, industrial-style collective-bargaining agreements and hoary colleges of education will not casually remake itself just because students have the right to switch schools.”
But even restricted choice programs have shown promising results, not revolutionary, but promising. Last year, a group of nine educational researchers summarized the evidence: “Among voucher programs, random-assignment studies generally find modest improvements in reading or math scores, or both. Achievement gains are typically small in each year, but cumulative over time. Graduation rates have been studied less often, but the available evidence indicates a substantial positive impact. … Other research questions regarding voucher program participants have included student safety, parent satisfaction, racial integration, services for students with disabilities, and outcomes related to civic participation and values. Results from these studies are consistently positive.”
Unions are fighting a losing fight. It isn’t a matter of whether they’ll lose this fight over accountability and competition. It’s just a matter of when they’ll lose the final battle in this fight. The results aren’t stunning if viewed from a single snapshot in history. However, they’re quite dramatic if viewed through a series of snapshots over a period of 5 years.
The beauty of the voucher movement going into the future is that it doesn’t require the elimination of public education. For instance, suburban, exurban and rural schools often perform well. Where the performance is solid, there’s no need to scrap what’s working.
This paragraph explains why this fight will eventually be won by parents and studentss, not the unions, politicians and bureaucrats:
Yet it is probably not the moral arguments that will prevail. The opponents of educational choice are attempting to defend the monopoly of the neighborhood school in a nation where most monopolies and oligopolies (see the phone company, the post office or newspapers) have come under pressure. Parents, including suburban parents, increasingly expect educational options such as charters, home schooling, magnet programs and career academies. Customized, online learning will accelerate the trend.
It’s a matter of when, not if. Competition will improve product quality while driving down costs. That’s what happens whenever competition is the rule, not the exception. Politically speaking, there’s great incentive for Republicans to jump onto this movement. It’s a way for them to prove to minority communities that they want to help these communities achieve American prosperity.
Once the gates to prosperity open to these communities, the paradigm shifts. That’s when a lasting victory will have happened.
Tags: School Choice, Mitch Daniels, Indiana Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Bobby Jindal, Competition, Accountability, Magnet Schools, Charter Schools, Free Markets, Milton Friedman, Conservatism, Unions, Bureaucrats, Democrats
If I gave people the responsibility to put together a blueprint that’d Minnesota’s economy, it’d be difficult to do that quicker than the DFL, under the ‘leadership’ of Gov. Dayton and Rep. Ryan Winkler.
Between Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increase, which hits cities and the middle class hardest, Gov. Dayton’s income tax increase, which won’t hit ‘evil corporations’ but will hit small businesses and Rep. Winkler’s increase in the minimum wage, the DFL is quickly putting together a blueprint that’ll raise property taxes, incentivize entrepreneurs to leave the state and cause unemployment among young people to spike. Rep. Winkler’s delete-all amendment to HF0092, is particularly stunning. Here’s the language that’s particularly stunning:
1.14 (b) Except as otherwise provided in sections 177.21 to 177.35
, every large employer
1.15 must pay each employee wages at a rate of at least $5.15 an hour beginning September
1.16 1, 1997, and at a rate of at least $6.15 an hour beginning August 1, 2005. Every small
1.17 employer must pay each employee at a rate of at least $4.90 an hour beginning January 1,
1.18 1998, and at a rate of at least $5.25 an hour beginning August 1, 2005:
1.19 (1) every large employer must pay each employee wages at a rate of at least:
1.20 (i) $8.35 per hour beginning August 1, 2013;
1.21 (ii) $9.45 per hour beginning August 1, 2014;
1.22 (iii) $10.55 per hour beginning August 1, 2015; and
1.23 (iv) the rate established under paragraph (d) beginning January 1, 2016; and
1.24 (2) every small employer must pay each employee at a rate of at least:
1.25 (i) $6.50 per hour beginning August 1, 2013;
1.26 (ii) $7.75 per hour beginning August 1, 2014;
1.27 (iii) $9.00 per hour beginning August 1, 2015; and
2.1 (iv) the rate established under paragraph (d) beginning January 1, 2016.
2.2 (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), during the first 90 consecutive days of
2.3 employment, an employer may pay an employee under the age of 20 years a wage of $4.90at least:
2.4 an hour. No employer may take any action to displace any employee, including a partial
2.5 displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to hire
2.6 an employee at the wage authorized in this paragraph
2.7 (1) $6.07 per hour beginning August 1, 2013;
2.8 (2) $7.24 per hour beginning August 1, 2014;
2.9 (3) $8.41 per hour beginning August 1, 2015; and
2.10 (4) the rate established under paragraph (d) beginning January 1, 2016.
2.11 No employer may take any action to displace an employee, including a partial
2.12 displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to
2.13 hire an employee at the wage authorized in this paragraph.
It’s one thing to debate the merits of the minimum wage. It’s quite another to include in the minimum wage bill language that tells entrepreneurs that they can’t cut employees’ hours or benefits while dramatically increasing the employees’ wages.
If Rep. Winkler’s amendment isn’t gutted, these rules would go into effect on August 1, 2013. The spike in youth unemployment will start just prior to that. That’s because the hospitality industry will get hit hardest by Rep. Winkler’s legislation. HINT: The DFL isn’t the friend of young people.
Officials from Plymouth and other cities have testified that the additional expenses they’ll incur will almost zero out the LGA increase. That’s if they’re getting LGA. If they aren’t, these smaller cities will get hit exceptionally hard by Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increase.
This isn’t the blueprint for prosperity and job creation. It’s the blueprint for stagnation, higher property taxes and artificially high project costs.
UPDATE: Check out Mitch’s post about Rep. Winkler’s Brezhnev-style economic theories.
When KSTP Political Director Tom Hauser asked Gov. Dayton about Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposal, Gov. Dayton reflexively regurgitated the ABM/DFL Chanting Point that the rich weren’t paying their fair share. It isn’t acceptable any more to have the fascists within the DFL and ABM to define fair share. It’s time to challenge their chanting points on this.
First, it’s insulting to think that the DFL thinks some members of the MAPE or AFSCME are paying their fair share. They’re sucking taxes from productive members of the private sector. In far too many instances, these people are political cronies of high-ranking officials at a university or department commissioner or do-nothing council. They often are put in do-nothing jobs like PR director of a tiny office that nobody’s heard of before. Sometimes they’re hired to be a “legislative liaison” in the MPCA or the BCA. Legislative liaison is a euphemism for taxpayer-funded pro-big-government lobbyist.
People in these position frequently draw salaries of $75,000-$150,000 but the DFL thinks that they’re actually contributing something meaningful to Minnesota’s taxpayers. I’m still waiting to hear the DFL’s/ABM’s explanation as to what these millstones contribute to Minnesota’s GDP or competitiveness.
Compare that with entrepreneurs. The first 5-10 years they’re in business, they frequently work from sunrise until midnight, sometimes later. They employ anywhere from 10-40 people if it’s a small business. If it’s a mid-size business like Quad Graphics, they employ 250+ people, all of whom have been offered quality health insurance. With Quad Graphics, the company pays a significant portion of the health insurance premium.
It’s easy to quantify these companies’ contributions towards a fiscally healthy Minnesota.
Next, the ABM/DFL definition of paying their fair share is based solely on the government’s take of these entrepreneurs’ profits. It’s never defined by anything other than contributing to bigger government. The entrepreneurs’ definition of paying their fair share is frequently measured by how families’ lives are improved through lower-priced goods and services, inventions and innovations that make like easier or through improving profits because they’re producing things of value.
If a pollster were to ask which is the more sensible definition of paying their fair share, there’s little question that the people would pick the entrepreneurs’ definition over the ABM/DFL definition of fair share.
The first workshop I attended at this summer’s RightOnline Conference was about reaching out to minority communities. It was titled “Preaching Beyond the Choir: Growing the Ranks of the Free Market Movement,” which I wrote about in this article. The first featured speaker was Anita MonCrief. Here’s what Ms. MonCrief said that jumped out at me:
She said that the biggest mistake conservatives make is not fighting in every minority district. Part of that, she said, is understandable, acknowledging the fact that “people won’t trust us at first.” Ms. Moncrief said that it’s important to continue the efforts so that people find out that they’re since, not just out for their votes.
Another major point in Ms. Moncrief’s presentation was saying that “If we want to take America back, it has to be block-by-block. She said there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”
Ms. Moncrief said that listening is essential. That means starting conversations rather than talking to people. Ms. Moncrief said that she enjoyed “talking to the people in their neighborhoods.” She said it doesn’t take a big budget to do that. It just takes effort.
That afternoon, I had the privilege of sitting down with Ms. MonCrief for a lengthy conversation about outreach programs. She’s a bright, articulate, quick-on-her-feet, no-nonsense lady. Most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about when she says that listening is essential to successful outreach efforts. She’s also right in saying “there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”
The reason for highlighting those things now is because Kim Strassel’s article talks directly about what’s wrong with the GOP election model:
Even with higher GOP turnout in key states, even with Mr. Obama shedding voters, Democrats still won. Mr. Obama accomplished this by tapping new minority voters in numbers that beat even Mr. Romney’s better turnout.
In Florida, 238,000 more Hispanics voted than in 2008, and Mr. Obama got 60% of Hispanic voters. His total margin of victory in Florida was 78,000 votes, so that demographic alone won it for him. Or consider Ohio, where Mr. Romney won independents by 10 points. The lead mattered little, though, given that black turnout increased by 178,000 votes, and the president won 96% of the black vote. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory there was 103,000.
This is the demographic argument that is getting so much attention, and properly so. The Republican Party can hope that a future Democratic candidate won’t equal Mr. Obama’s magnetism for minority voters. But the GOP would do far better by fighting aggressively for a piece of the minority electorate.
There’s no question that capitalism will lift minority families out of poverty. Similarly, there’s no question that that message won’t resonate if conservatives don’t devote tons of hours reaching out to every demographic group. PS- Progressive trust fund babies and elitists aren’t demographic groups.
Mitch Berg, one of the conservatives who gets it, has written eloquently about how the GOP can fight on the topics of charter schools and vouchers to win minority votes. Dan Severson has spent tons of hours doing outreach to various minority communities.
The point is that it’s time for conservatives to put together a well-funded outreach program. If we don’t do that on a national scale, presidential elections will become a night of misery for Republicans.
Conservatives aren’t victims so they shouldn’t spend time whining about what should or shouldn’t have happened. Conservatives are, by nature, solution-oriented opportunists. That’s why we’re entrepreneurial by nature.
Conservatives would win overwhelmingly if we fought as hard for every vote in every demographic group as we fight against tax increases.
Hispanics are pro-life, hard-working people. They’re a natural fit with conservatives. Churchgoing, middle class black families are a better fit with conservatives than with the Obama coalition. Why didn’t we do better with them? Here’s why:
Republicans right now are fretting about Mr. Romney’s failures and the party’s immigration platform—that’s fair enough. But equally important has been the party’s mind-boggling failure to institute a competitive Hispanic ground game. The GOP doesn’t campaign in those communities, doesn’t register voters there, doesn’t knock on doors. So while pre-election polling showed that Hispanics were worried about Obama policies, in the end the only campaign that these voters heard from—by email, at their door, on the phone—was the president’s.
Two cliches fit this situation perfectly. They are: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and You can’t beat something with nothing.
Right now, minority communities don’t know conservatives want them to live a life of prosperity because we aren’t there day after day telling them that. We aren’t there day after day earning their trust or building relationships.
That’s essential in building an appealing something that will defeat the Democrats’ unappealing pandering.
There’s an important message to the activists. The DC establishment hasn’t built this outreach program so it’s up to us. Let’s start building ASAP.
Tags: GOTV, Mitt Romney, GOP Establishment, Activists, AFP, RightOnline, Anita MonCrief, Charter Schools, School Choice, Prosperity, Entrepreneurship, Battleground States, GOP, Conservatism, Elections
Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.
This post isn’t about trashing Karl Rove or the Bush family. Frankly, that’s a waste of time when there’s important things to be done. Instead, it’s about identifying underlying principles undergirded President Reagan’s policies. Mr. Benko is spot on with this analysis:
Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles, especially low tax rates and good money, brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.
Several things worked together to make America infinitely more prosperous during Reagan’s time than during President Obama’s time in office. First, the dollar was much stronger than during President Obama’s time in office. That’s partially because President Reagan’s domestic energy policy was infinitely more robust than President Obama’s. The less money we needlessly ship money overseas for oil, the stronger the dollar is. Our trade deficit shrunk, too.
The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.
It isn’t a stretch to think that conservatives like John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio will re-ignite the Reagan Revolution. Each of these men have spotless conservative credentials, which is why they fire up the base in ways Mitt Romney and John McCain couldn’t.
When President Bush won in 2004, he got 62,000,000 votes. McCain got fewer votes than President Bush. Mitt got fewer votes than Sen. McCain. Had Paul Ryan been at the top of the ticket, however, it isn’t a stretch to think he would’ve topped President Bush’s vote total.
That’s because he’s the spitting image of Reagan. The Reagan Revolution was fueled by a glut of great ideas. A Ryan Revolution would be powered by the same thing. Most importantly, he’d talk conservatism like his native language. This isn’t an attempt to trash Mitt. It’s simply stating the obvious. He just didn’t prosecute the case against President Obama the way Ryan would have.
President Bush’s spending turned conservatives off because he had a Republican House and Senate much of the time. President Reagan’s spending was done, in part, because he had to rebuild the military after President Carter gutted it, partly because Tip O’Neill controlled the House.
Everything President Reagan fought for was targeted towards creating prosperity. He didn’t back away from a fight, either. When PATCO went on strike, he fired them because they broke federal law. When Tip O’Neill accused him of not caring about the average working Joe, Reagan responded mightily. His temper flaring, he marched back to the podium, then said, essentially, that he’d made his money because he’d worked hard, then adding that it wasn’t given to him.
It’s a fight Mitt Romney backed away from too often in his attempt to win over women voters or independents. It’s a fight the next generation of conservatives will fight with vigor.
Tags: Reagan Revolution, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Prosperity, Pro-Growth Policies, Strong Dollar, Oil, Job Growth, GDP, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Conservatism, President Bush, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, GOP Establishment
This past week, it’s been almost impossible to access my Sitemeter statistics on how many people have visited LFR. At first, I thought it might be something on my end. After clicking on a number of other websites’ Sitemeter icons, all of which I’ve been able to view before, it’s apparent that Sitemeter is the problem.
If anyone knows why Sitemeter’s having these extensive difficulties, please post a comment with what’s happening.
If Sitemeter fixes their issues, I’ll be a happy camper. It they can’t fix their issues, then it’s time for the marketplace to work. It’s time for someone to build a better website visit tracker.
It isn’t surprising that the DFL is resorting to the nastiest negative campaigning in recent history. In fact, it’s utterly predictable. This post offers an example of what the DFL is willing to say about Republican candidates:
Banaian is an economics prof. at SCSU, noted for Milton Friedman market fundamentalist rants on the radio and as a blogger. In other words, he’s an ultra-pretentious intellectual featherweight.
First, it’s indicative of the writer’s vitriol when they start with the name-calling that’s in this post. Second, it’s apparent that the writer isn’t a capitalist. It’s one thing to argue with parts of Milton Friedman’s economic philosophy. It’s another to talke about Friedman with this level of disdain.
That isn’t what capitalists do. It’s what collectivists do.
Third, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to take people seriously when they question King’s intellectual heft. That comes across as childish behavior. It doesn’t leave a positive first impression of the writer.
Most importantly, since arriving in St. Paul, King’s focused on solving Minnesota’s biggest problems, starting with budget reform. His first legislation, HF2, created the Sunset Advisory Commission. That was signed into law as part of the final budget agreement. He even got Phyllis Kahn and several other prominent Democrats to vote for the bill. That’s substantial proof that King is capable of working across the aisle without compromising his free market principles.
I wrote here that King authored legislation that Gov. Dayton signed into law that will reduce the cost of textbooks for MNSCU students.
In his brief time in the legislature, King has built an impressive record of writing legislation that produced solutions that made life better for college students and taxpayers.
That isn’t what “ultra-pretentious intellectual featherweights” do. It’s what men of gravitas do.
Jim Graves’ first TV ad is the worst type of political advertising. It plays on laid-off workers’ frustrations:
Here’s the transcript of Graves’ first TV ad:
GRAVES: I’m Jim Graves and I approve this message.
WORKER #1: May 28th, we had an explosion and a fire. The mill is now closed. I lost my job and so did a lot of other workers.
WORKER #2: After the fire, Michele Bachmann never called the workers.
WORKER #3: She didn’t reach out.
WORKER #4: We’ve heard from everyone else.
WORKER #5: She’s too worried about her own career to worry about anyone else.
WORKER #4: I know things can be different.
WORKER #1: We need someone focused on Minnesota’s middle class.
UNIDENTIFIED WORKER: We need a representative who cares about us.
This is disgusting. In the aftermath of Verso’s announcement that they wouldn’t reopen the plant, workers’ lives were turned upside down. That was made worse by Gov. Dayton, Sen. Klobuchar and other high profile politicians visited Sartell. Lots of news conferences were held, each reassuring workers that they were doing everything they could to rebuild Sartell’s economy.
The last thing these workers needed was another high profile politician dropping in to remind them that they weren’t forgotten.
What they needed was a solutions-oriented legislator who would work quietly to help unemployed workers get their lives back in order. That’s what Michele’s staff has been focused on since the explosion.
Once it’s established that Michele is working on improving Sartell’s, and Central Minnesota’s, economies, this ad disappears.
After the ad, we don’t know a single thing about Mr. Graves’ plan for creating jobs or making life less expensive for Sixth District voters.
Mr. Graves’ issues page reads more like a page of empty platitudes. Here’s an example:
Strengthening the middle class—the true engine of our economy. In order to jumpstart economic growth, we need to increase aggregate demand for American goods and products. We can do this by making sure more money is in the hands of middle class consumers. In this fragile economy, we cannot afford to burden the middle class with tax hikes.
The only people who’ve thought about raising taxes on the middle class raised taxes on the middle class when they voted for the Affordable Care Act:
Nearly 6 million Americans, significantly more than first estimated, will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.
The only people that voted for the ACA were Democrats. Republicans voted against the middle class tax increases. Democrats voted for middle class tax increases.
That raises the question of whether Mr. Graves would vote to repeal the ACA. It’s important to remember that Graves said that he thought the ACA was a great example of free market capitalism before walking that back a bit. If he wouldn’t push for repeal of the ACA, why wouldn’t he?
Here’s another empty platitude from Mr. Graves:
Cutting meaningless, job-killing red tape. As someone who has started dozens of small businesses, I know that sometimes the best thing the government can do is get out of the way and allow the free market to thrive.
Anyone who’s read this blog knows that I think the economy is getting strangled by special interests’ regulations. What I need to know is which regulations Mr. Graves thinks are meaningless or that kill jobs. Without that, I don’t know if his list of regulations to be eliminated are a nice gesture or if they’re solutions to big problems.
Does Mr. Graves think Dodd-Frank hurts community banks and small businesses? If he doesn’t think Dodd-Frank hurts community banks, why doesn’t he think that? If he thinks Dodd-Frank hurts community banks and small businesses, would he push for repealing Dodd-Frank if elected? If not, why not?
Would Mr. Graves support legislation reining in the EPA, the Interior Department and the US Fish and Wildlife Service? Their regulations have hurt the US economy more than a middle class tax increase would hurt the economy.
Sixth District voters won’t vote for a guy who’s more about creating questions than he’s about providing solutions.
That’s especially true since we know where Rep. Bachmann stands on these important issues.
We know that she’ll fight to repeal the ACA if she’s returned to Congress. We know that she’ll fight to repeal Dodd-Frank, then replace it with legislation that will end Too Big to Fail. We know that Michele will work tirelessly with other conservatives to usher in the next great domestic energy generation boom.
Voting for Jim Graves is voting for a businessman without knowing what his public policy positions are. We can’t waste our vote on an unknown quantity who asks us to just trust him.
This is too important a decision for that.