Archive for the ‘Free Markets’ Category

When one of President Obama’s trusted allies says the PPACA has to go, then it’s a great sign that President Obama is in trouble. Warren Buffett, one of President Obama’s most trusted allies, just made that statement:

“‘We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,’ he added. ‘And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.'” Buffett insists that without changes to Obamacare average citizens will suffer.

“‘What we have now is untenable over time,’ said Buffett, an early supporter of President Obama. ‘That kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really like a tapeworm eating, you know, at our economic body.’

That isn’t the only criticism Buffett made during the interview:

Buffett does not believe that providing insurance for everyone is the first step to take in correcting our nation’s healthcare system.

“‘Attack the costs first, and then worry about expanding coverage,'” he said. “I would much rather see another plan that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill.'”

Buffett is right. American families didn’t insist on universal coverage. They clamored for lower health care costs. With the PPACA, they got what they didn’t care about. With the PPACA, they didn’t get what they pushed for.

Just like with other things, Washington didn’t do what the American people wanted. The Democrats did what the party elders and their special interest allies wanted. This was the Rahm White House not letting “a good crisis go to waste.” Democrats sold their soul for thirty pieces of silver because they weren’t worried about fixing a problem. They worried about their ideology.

Now that they’re left with a major mess to fix, their special interest allies, include Buffett and the AFL-CIO, are deserting them like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

The PPACA will die a horrific death. The only questions left are whether Democrats go along with its execution and how quickly it’ll be replaced with a market-driven, patient-centered system. (Forget about European single-payer. Americans’ trust in government is almost non-existent.)

Is it really wise to fight a fight we can’t win? That’s one of the important questions that the TEA Party hasn’t answered yet. In other words, should Republicans fight to defund Obamacare in the upcoming budget fight, especially knowing that it’s a fight they’ll lose while shutting down the government?

One myth that’s been peddled is the myth about a partial government shutdown. It’s fiction. There’s no doubt that the House will pass 2 bills, one to defund Obamacare, the other to fund the rest of government. Likewise, there’s no doubt that Harry Reid will take the House bill funding government, modify it to include funding of Obamacare. Finally, there’s no doubt that they’ll then send that modified bill back to the House.

At that point, the Republicans’ options are to cave or shut the government down. Neither option is a positive option. Jim Hoft points out that polling shows strong support for defunding Obamacare:

With citizens across America asking their congressman to support defunding Obamacare, Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham alongside leading pollster Jon Lerner today released a poll showing the idea of defunding Obamacare is broadly supported. Moreover, the potential of a partial government shutdown does little to dampen the desire to stop the implementation of Obamacare.

Independents in the survey strongly support defunding Obamacare by a margin of 57 percent to 34 percent. Further, only 20 percent of voters in these districts support going forward with Obamacare unchanged.

I won’t dispute Heritage Action’s findings. I’ll simply highlight the fact that that isn’t the pertinent question. The pertinent question is whether the people who support defunding Obamacare will hate Republicans for shutting down government.

Another thing we’re hearing is that this is the last chance to rid ourselves of the PPACA. The people pushing defunding the PPACA insist that it’s our last chance. Those same people will list a lengthy list of catastrophies either happening or waiting to happen.

They insist that it’s all over the minute people start getting premium support checks from the HHS. Again, that’s a myth. Here’s why:

34 states didn’t set up state-run health insurance exchanges, aka HIXs. The people in those states that buy health insurance through those HIXs aren’t eligible for premium support. There’s another thing to factor in in the defund vs. delay debate:

Here’s the relevant portion of the interview:

SCOTT PRUITT: Well, Greta, as you know, state health care exchanges are a major part of the Affordable Care Act and Congress each of the states a decision, a decision on whether to set up a health care exchange. And there’s something very important that happens when a state chooses not to set up a state health care exchange and it’s that the employer mandate penalties that flow when companies don’t provide qualified health care — they cannot be assessed in those states.

Pruitt later said that the IRS implemented a rule granting them the authority to collect the employer mandate in states that didn’t establish HIXs. Greta then asked a question clarifying Pruitt’s statement. Here’s what she said:

GRETA: Alright, so what you’re saying is that if the state had set up the exchanges, then the IRS could do that but that the way the law is written, that if the state declines to set up a health insurance exchange and the federal government has to set up an exchange, that they (the federal gov’t) doesn’t have the expressed authority to do that?
PRUITT: That’s exactly what we’re saying.

That’s bombshell information. If these 34 states continue to refuse to put together state-run HIXs, then the IRS can’t impose fines on companies in those states. If free market capitalists believe that free markets work, then we should think that the reddest of those states would become a magnet for companies who don’t want to pay the employer mandate if Oklahoma wins this lawsuit.

The PPACA is a trainwreck waiting to happen. I’ve called it a house of cards waiting for a strong breeze to topple it. This administration is proving that they can’t implement major parts of the PPACA. It’s collapsing right in front of our eyes. The best strategy when something is collapsing is to get out of the way and let it collapse on its own.

I get it that people want to get rid of the PPACA. I’m one of those people. I just want conservatives to be smart for a change and let something that’s collapsing collapse.

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When it comes to highlighting liberals’ wrongheaded economic thinking, nobody’s been better at it than Milton Friedman. This video is a great example of Friedman’s wisdom:

Friedman’s wisdom on the subject of minority education is playing out in big cities daily. First, Friedman said that nothing traps young people in poverty more than underperforming “government schools.” That’s being verified by the fact that the DC Opportunity Scholarship program has far more minority applicants than scholarships. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” highlights parents as they attempt to rescue their children from government schools by getting them into charter schools. In St. Paul, a healthy portion of the families wanting their children in charter schools are minority parents.

Time after time, minorities are hurt by government schools. What’s worst is that the teacher unions and Democrat politicians protect bad schools. New York City is famous for its Rubber Room:

Educators accused of breaking rules, abusing kids, or simply failing to provide students with a decent education, will be paid a stunning $22 million by the city this year for doing absolutely nothing.

Charter schools aren’t restricted by union rules, which gives them more latitude to innovate. Charter schools can get rid of underperforming teachers quickly, something government schools can’t do.

Here in Minnesota, Republicans included a Basic Skills Test requirement in the Omnibus Education Bill that Gov. Dayton signed. This year, with the DFL running state government from A to Z, Democrats repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement. It wasn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in signing the requirement’s repeal.

The message that sends to teachers is that competence isn’t required, that a union card is what’s important. That cheats students by telling parents, students and teachers alike that union membership is more important than high quality teachers.

Friedman also explains why increasing the minimum wage hurts minorities. Mitch Berg’s post highlights why increasing the minimum wage is actually keeping unemployment high:

The inevitable result of across-the-board minimum wage hikes? Fewer minimum wage jobs.

Case in point; as minimum wages around the country rose during the 2000s, McDonalds started pre-cooking its hamburger patties, so they’d only need to be reheated in the stores. This got rid of most of the traditional “burger-flipper” jobs, the ones that liberals sneered at but provided hundreds of thousands of opportunities for teens and others entering and re-entering the workforce to learn how to show up for work on time and do a good job at something.

Democrats will argue that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect hiring. They’re wrong. It’s accurate to say that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t always affect unemployment. Democrats think businesses owe it to society to hire people. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Entrepreneurs hire people if they think it’ll makes them money. Period.

If hiring a person at minimum wage will hurt profits, businesses won’t hire people. It’s that simple. The benefit must exceed the expense. If it doesn’t, unemployment is the result. It’s that simple regardless of what Rep. Winkler and other Democrats say.

The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.

The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches…

While it’d be pushing it to say that McDonalds is installing these touch-screen ordering kiosks because of the minimum wage, it isn’t a stretch to say that installing those kiosks will help McDonalds avoid dealing with minimum wage employees. Rep. Winkler isn’t interested in increasing the minimum wage to help the working poor. He’s interested in it because many union wages are based on the minimum wage.

Limiting government’s size and influence isn’t just an ideology. It’s a time-tested method for ushering in lengthy periods of prosperity. Capitalism is still the greatest weapon in fighting poverty and creating upward mobility.

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When it comes to intellectual foolishness, it’s difficult to beat the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board. This editorial is laced with that intellectual foolishness. Here’s a prime example:

Sure, his desire to beat Bachmann is implied in most every speech, news release and public appearance. However, the words he speaks (and writes) literally list priorities that go well beyond who isn’t in office. Here are two very recent examples:

“… I’m running to work with both sides to find ways to balance the budget, keep our promises to seniors, create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” closes out a “Why I’m Running” explanation on his website.

“… As a businessman who has balanced budgets and created jobs, I’m running to work with both sides to find ways to balance the budget, keep our promises to seniors, create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” is the final quote he issued in announcing April 12 his candidacy for the 6th District seat in the 2014 elections.

So was that all just lip service?

It’s amazing that a supposedly high profile newspaper didn’t notice that Jim Graves’ platform was all about him not being Michele Bachmann. Either they didn’t notice or they’re pretending that they didn’t notice that that’s Graves’ motivation.

The foolishness continues:

Another big reason for disappointment is the stark reality that, contrary to Graves’ belief, Minnesota’s Republican Party, foundering amid an internal ideological war and massive debt, could very well end up nominating a candidate similar to Bachmann.

And to be even more honest, who is to say the DFL Party, emboldened by its dominance at the state level, might not just find an extreme DFLer to put on its ticket?

First, there isn’t another person who is as steadfast in her belief in the right things as Michele Bachmann. Her charisma, her policy chops and her love of limited government gave people a reason to vote for her.

Next, the DFL has nominated extremists before to run against Michele. Graves’ talk about being a new Democrat was a fallacy. Barney Frank, one of the most extremist, hateful Democrats in DC, hosted a fundraiser for him. Graves told me that the PPACA was a free market solution to the health care crisis. The truth is that it’s a government-centered program.

As this board noted last fall, the appeal of Graves is his moderate viewpoints. He was an island of common sense and potential compromise amid a sea of political extremism.

On the issues, Graves sounded more moderate than he really was. More importantly, his policies wouldn’t solve America’s problems. The PPACA won’t lower health care costs. In fact, health insurance premiums are rising rapidly. There will be almost as many uninsured with the PPACA in place as before. Graves the politician didn’t see the need for uprooting the PPACA.

Graves the politician never talked about the crippling effects of the federal government’s overregulation. Michele Bachmann fought against the federal government’s overregulation every minute she was in DC. America’s economy can’t grow with the regulators running wild. Graves didn’t have a plan for that. That’s because it wasn’t a priority for him.

If you don’t reduce the federal government’s overregulation, we can’t achieve energy independence. Jim Graves didn’t speak about the need for achieving energy independence. Michele frequently spoke about reducing regulations and achieving energy independence.

For all the Times talk about Graves the moderate, they’ve never spoken about his policies or his problem-solving abilities. They seemed to think that being a compromiser was the chief qualification for being a congressman. That type of wrong-headed thinking is what’s gotten America in the trouble it’s in.

We don’t need compromisers as much as we need people who get policies right. Michele Bachmann made some indefensible statements. That said, she’s been right on the issues, from energy independence to health care to taxes to regulations. I’d love it if the Times got rid of their irrational hatred of Michele. If they’d paid attention to the issues, they might’ve appreciated what Michele brought to the table.

Instead, they got a tingle up their leg for any DFL politician who criticized Michele. What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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 $4.90
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
at least:
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.

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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.

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