Archive for the ‘Mike Pence’ Category
It was inevitable that the Democrats’ divide would deepen after their trouncing in this year’s midterms. This article highlights some of the infighting within the Democratic Party:
Tensions within the Democratic Party over policy and strategy have begun to surface after a midterm defeat that saw the party lose control of the Senate after eight years and cede more seats to Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The most glaring example came Tuesday, when Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, criticized President Barack Obama over the 2010 health care overhaul. Schumer said the party should have focused on helping more of the middle class than the uninsured, whom he called “a small percentage of the electorate.” Schumer added that Obamacare was just one of a “cascade of issues” that the White House had bungled, a list that included the scandal over wait times at VA hospitals and responding to the threat of the Ebola virus.
Does this mean that the Democratic circular firing squad will report to the range ASAP? I’d argue that the signs indicate that they’re already at the range. I’d argue that they’re in the ‘target acquisition’ phase of the operation. This year’s exit polling showed rampant dissatisfaction with Democrats:
If Republicans win 35-40% of the Hispanic vote and win a majority of the Asian-American vote, Democrats will find 2016 to be difficult terrain. If that happens, the infighting that’s happening right now will only intensify.
This graphic shows another Democratic vulnerability:
This graphic is proof that demographics aren’t destiny. Actually, both graphics send the same message. What this exit polling shows is that candidate quality and issues matter. In 2016, especially with presidential candidates, Democrats have a virtually nonexistent bench.
While it’s undeniable that Hillary has 100% name recognition for people who haven’t spent the last 20 years living under a rock, that hardly proves she’s a quality. She’s famous because Bill Clinton is a popular ex-president. She’s famous for being one of the worst secretaries of state in the last century. She isn’t famous for being a competent secretary of state. Political junkies saw how untalented she is during her book tour. The number of deer-in-the-headlights moments easily outdistanced her ‘Hillary looks competent’ moments.
Hillary will lose if Republicans pick a talented governor who doesn’t come with a ton of baggage. That eliminates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. If Republicans pick either Scott Walker, John Kasich, Mike Pence or Bobby Jindal, Republicans will defeat Hillary and send the Democratic Party into a tailspin.
President Obama’s SOTU Address was predictable. Reaction to President Obama’s SOTU Address was predictable, too. Here’s what Chip Cravaack said:
“Simply put, the President’s economic policies have failed. With over an 8.5% unemployment rate for the past 34 straight months, a $15.2 trillion national debt, and the lack of a Senate budget for the past 1,000 days, it’s time to put American workers first not crisis politics.
We can and must do better. The President promised to cut the deficit in half during his first term, meanwhile the past three years have produced the largest budget deficits in U.S. history. The President says ‘we can’t wait,’ but he then rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline and creation of 20,000 jobs. In the meantime, American taxpayers are on the hook for the $500 million he awarded to the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.
Right now we need leadership. We need a united America, a united people, to solve the pressing problems that face all of us. It is my sincere hope that the President will commit to common sense solutions with bipartisan results that put Americans back to work, and protect the prosperity of future generations.”
Here’s John Kline’s reaction:
“President Obama’s inauguration was a historic day of hope for America. At the time, I expressed a desire shared by many for Washington to put principles above partisanship. Unfortunately, Americans have since grown accustomed to failed policies and broken promises from the White House as 14 million have fallen victim to 35 straight months of unemployment greater than 8 percent.
“The rhetoric of the past three years has not matched reality: This administration has given us stimulus spending that created debt, not jobs; health care “reform” that has led to 10,000 pages of business-stifling regulations; an activist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with the power to tell businesses where they can and cannot create jobs; and the audacity to circumvent the people’s elected representatives by granting No Child Left Behind waivers to states with special strings attached.
Thad McCotter’s statement was particularly harsh:
“Tragically for the American people, in our unfolding globalized century the President remains wedded to a failed “Great Society” government: specifically, Washington elites dictating who gets someone else’s money. For the sake of our country’s economy and security, this President must learn that the great American tradition isn’t redistributionism; the great American tradition is exceptionalism.
The sooner he does, or is relieved of the burden of governing, the sooner the American people will build a 21st Century of unprecedented liberty, prosperity and security.”
As harsh as McCotter’s statement was, Sen. Rubio’s statement was even harsher:
I’m actually very disturbed by the speech tonight. The President is on the verge of committing economic malpractice. How does raising taxes create jobs? How does raising my boss’s taxes help me keep my job? Why is he advocating policies that will punish people that are investing in American businesses that are creating middle class jobs?
It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the kind of policies that have taken a bad economy over the last four years and made everything worse.
Mike Pence issued this statement:
Tonight, like millions of Americans, I was disappointed to hear more of the same from this president: more borrowing, more spending and more taxes, which stood in stark contrast to the common sense message of fiscal responsibility and reform from America’s best governor. Gov. Mitch Daniels’ plainspoken call for fiscal discipline and reform was the right message during these difficult times and must be heeded if we hope to put an end to the mountain range of debt that threatens the prosperity of our children and grandchildren.
Here’s Speaker Gingrich’s reaction:
We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth.
Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes.
But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth. Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome.
Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama. Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair.
For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule. They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber, the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs, and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party.
No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies, not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles, openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly. They think it’s good for rest of us. Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party. And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight.
To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today. We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare,Dodd-Franks and Sarbanes-Oxley. And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.
With these policies the state of the union will be much better. They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity. Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.
My own impression of President Obama’s speech was that he must’ve been beamed down from the Starship Enterprise to have made some of the statements that he made.
When he talked about the military returning home from WWII, he talked about soldiers using their GI Bill benefits to get the training to build a great an prosperous nation. What he did’t say, though, was that the level of regulations then was miniscule then compared with now.
If President Obama wants to return to the policies of that era, then let’s roll the regulations back, too. Otherwise, the comparisons don’t fit.
Thanks to Jim Jordan, Speaker Boehner’s debt ceiling third plan DOA in the House. Thanks to Harry Reid’s statement, Speaker Boehner’s plan is DOA in the Senate. Thanks to President Obama’s statement, Speaker Boehner’s plan is DOA if it makes it to his desk:
The White House threatened on Tuesday to veto emergency legislation pending in the House to avert a threatened national default, a pre-emptive strike issued as Republican Speaker John Boehner labored to line up enough votes to pass the measure.
Boehner faced criticism from some conservatives in advance of an expected vote on Wednesday.
The bill would raise the debt limit by $1 trillion while making cuts to federal spending of $1.2 trillion — reductions that conservatives say aren’t enough.
The measure also would establish a committee of lawmakers to recommend additional budget savings of $1.8 trillion, which would trigger an additional $1.6 trillion increase in the debt limit.
The White House objects to the requirement for a second vote before the 2012 elections.
Majority Leader Harry Reid said the measure stood no chance of passing the Senate even if it clears the House. He pronounced it “dead on arrival.”
Washington and the nation are staring down an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt limit or face national default.
Flanked by conservative colleagues, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters he could not back the Boehner proposal and said it doesn’t have the votes to pass in the Republican-controlled House. In a two-step plan, Boehner is pressing for a vote on Wednesday and a second vote Thursday on a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
“We think there are real problems with this plan,” said Jordan, who heads the Republican Study Group. He argued that the spending cuts are insufficient and expressed opposition to likely tax increases.
The reality is that Rep. Jordan is the only person in this story that’s thinking straight. President Obama and Sen. Reid are buffoons playing politics with the American credit rating. If Republicans stand strong a little while longer, they’ll win this fight. If they win this fight, they’ll win next year’s election war.
I wrote this in an Examiner.com column:
Frankly, Republicans need to tell President Obama to get serious. The notion that a lovely sounding speech is all that’s required is foolishness. It’s time they told President Obama that he isn’t doing the things he’s required to do.
What Speaker Boehner should’ve done after passing Cut, Cap & Balance is tell Democrats that they need to put a detailed budget together in legislative language. I’d tell them that they needed to put something forward with spreadsheets detailing what things they’re cutting, etc.
I would’ve highlighted the fact that Senate Democrats entered the debt ceiling countdown without having passed a budget in over 800 days. I would’ve called them out on being such reckless spenders that they didn’t put their spending plans on paper.
I’d pound them with that message morning, noon, afternoon and night day after day after day until their grandchildren are born with headaches. If this administration and Senate Democrats want to play rough, let’s get out the baseball bats and let them know that we’re prepared to pummel them with truths they dearly don’t want the public to know about.
When people find out that Republicans, led primarily by Paul Ryan but also with the help of fiscal conservatives like Dave Camp, Mike Pence and Jim Jordan, have worked hard in putting together reforms and responsible budgets, this election cycle will turn on a dime. And it won’t be in the Democrats’ direction, either.
It’s time for the Republicans to stop pussyfooting around. It’s time for them to take the gloves off and embarrass the daylights out of this party of clowns. The Democrats are a fiscal disgrace. They should be highlighted for being the incompetent clowns that they are.
Jim Galloway’s post is sure to excite a big portion of the GOP base:
Just got off the phone with Rick Tyler, spokesman for Newt Gingrich.
I’d called to see why the former U.S. House speaker was passing on the first GOP debate of presidential candidates on Thursday, in Greenville, S.C., and broadcast on Fox News.
Entry requirements required a declaration of candidacy that Gingrich was not prepared to make, Tyler said. “We decided to stick to our time line.”
And what is that time line? Tyler wouldn’t say much, but Gingrich is scheduled to speak to Georgia Republicans at their state meeting on Friday, May 13. “By the time Newt speaks to the Georgia convention, he’ll be a candidate,” Tyler said.
That news alone would make this a big news day that essentially says that the 2012 presidential campaign has all-but-officially started. This news is even better news for Republicans:
Representative Mike Pence announced on Thursday he’s in the running for the Republican nomination for Indiana governor in 2012.
The six-term congressman made it official this morning in a long-expected announcement to supporters via conference call, e-mail, Facebook and video.
The conservative Republican also filed papers with the Indiana Secretary of State forming the “Mike Pence for Indiana” committee.
Pence said a formal campaign kickoff will follow but said he wanted supporters to know “I’m in this race.” Making reference to the Indianapolis 500, he told supporters “any real Hoosier knows that every big race begins in May anyway.”
Barring something unforeseen, the day before Rep. Pence’s announcement was the best shot Democrats had of winning this election. Pence is immensely popular and charismatic. If Pence works hard, which I’m certain is a given, the only question left is what Pence’s margin of victory will be.
“Our state is on the edge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other in our lifetime,” he told supporters.
Under Daniels’ leadership, “Indiana has set the pace in fiscal responsibility, job creation and reform,” Pence said. “But our work is not over.”
Gov. Daniels has a lengthy, impressive record of reform. It’s an agenda I anticipate Rep. Pence will continue.
After we elect a Republican president in 2012 and the economy finally gets straightened out, governors like Pence, Chris Christie and John Kasich will have a great time innovating and improving people’s lives.
What’s significant about today’s announcements is that Newt and Rep. Pence will connect with independents. Democrats should be afraid of that.
If there’s anything that the American people are pissed about, it’s the rate at which the federal government spends money. That’s why Republicans should be thanking their lucky stars for the upcoming deadline for the CR.
This isn’t something that should be dreaded. Why wouldn’t we want to pick this fight? If the Senate insists that they won’t go along with deep spending cuts, then we should have Paul Ryan on every Sunday morning show and have him holding daily press conferences, talking about the virtues of cutting spending.
President Obama’s 2012 budget is not a serious governing document. It’s a political one, designed to boost his re-election chances.
By repeatedly saying that his budget reduces the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years, he hopes the numbers make him sound fiscally conservative. But he puts off 95% of the deficit reduction until after his term ends in 2013. And he assumes that economic growth in the next few years will be at least 25% higher than credible economic forecasters estimate.
Mr. Obama’s budget includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are real enough—but most of the spending cuts are not. For example, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman pointed out to me, the administration projects war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan at surge levels for the next decade, and then conjures up about $1.3 trillion in defense savings by assuming drawdowns in each theater—drawdowns that were already in the cards. Outside of this sham transaction, according to Mr. Ryan, there are only $104 billion in real spending cuts over the next 10 years.
This is why Paul Ryan must be the Republican face of this fight. The Obama administration’s con game is being exposed, thanks to Chairman Ryan’s work. Why would the administration argue that drawdowns that are already scheduled should count as budget savings? This is insulting.
Here’s a key portion of Morris’ post:
The Republican leadership needs to make a bold statement and send Obama a bill that sticks in his big-spending throat. If the Senate won’t pass it or the president threatens a veto, even better. Obama’s approval ratings, recently rising to 51% from 41% in the past two months according to the FoxNews poll will fall back down again, and lower, if he gets into a fight against cutting government spending. The Republicans in the House will have called his bluff about moving to the center and will force the kind of fiscal belt-tightening they heralded during the campaign.
And if the government has to operate in a state of crisis, with continuing resolutions keeping it funded day after day, so much the better! It will call attention to how intractable the Democrats are in resisting any cut in spending.
President Obama isn’t moving to the center. When Clinton moved (relatively) to the center, he supported the death penalty; he “ended welfare as we know it”; he balanced the budget. President Obama’s ‘move to the center’ has been saying that he’d consider other people’s good ideas for health care reform.
Mind you, he didn’t say he’d say that he’d agree with anything beyond the most minimal change in provisions. He said he’d consider other people’s ideas. How noble of him.
This isn’t a fight the Republicans should shy away from. This is a fight they should run towards, provided they put their best people at the front. That means putting Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Mike Pence, Thad McCotter and Jeb Hensarling at the front to argue the Republicans’ case.
If they do that, they’ll win this fight and the 2012 election. It’s just that simple.
Sunday am, Esme Murphy interviewed Sen. Franken, starting with a question on whether last weekend’s assassination attempt in Tucson changed how he’s meeting with constituents. Sen. Franken said that he’s been in touch with the Capitol Police since then but that he didn’t intend on changing anything in terms of meeting with constituents.
That makes sense because I’ve yet to see him hold a public get together with constituents. When he’s met with people here in Minnesota, it’s mostly been with union members in their union hall or other special interest groups in a relatively protected environment.
The next question for Sen. Franken was about repealing Obamacare. The first thing Sen. Franken mentioned was that it wouldn’t be wise to repeal it because of a misleading (my term) CBO report that shows repealing it now would add $230,000,000,000 to the deficit over the next 3 years.
That’s misleading because the only financial transactions happening right now are 2 states opting into the Early MA receiving money and the collection of huge tax increases. In other words, the $230,000,000,000 being added to the deficit is a reflection of the federal government collecting revenues from the tax increases while not having any expenses.
How many businesses would show a profit if they were collecting revenues but they didn’t have any expenses? That’s how silly a question that is.
Sen. Franken then started talking about all the terrific provisions that’d be lost if Obamacare was repealed, including the provision that doesn’t let insurance companies drop people if they have a pre-existing condition. What Sen. Franken didn’t mention, intentionally, is that the Republicans’ replacement legislation would have the same provision in it.
The other thing that Sen. Franken didn’t mention is that Obamacare’s way of insuring people with PEC’s is to tell insurance companies that they must cover these people and to tell them that they can’t charge a penny more in premiums for people with PEC’s than they charge for healthy customers.
If car insurance companies were forced to cover drivers with multiple DUI’s but they couldn’t charge them higher insurance premiums, how long would they last? The end result would be that everyone would be charged higher premiums.
Think about it. If Company A had to charge the same rate for drivers with high risk profiles as they pay for people who have a lengthy record of driving responsibly, they’d have to charge safe drivers higher premiums to compensate for the dangerous drivers.
That’s why HHS Secretary Sebelius recently announced price control regulations. She knows that insurance companies will have to charge higher health insurance premiums to pay for the additional customers with PEC’s.
There’s even a name for this phenomenon: cost-shifting. It isn’t that I’m surprised with Sec. Sebelius’s announcement. It’s quite predictable. I’d argue that it was inevitable considering how Obamacare was constructed.
It’s important that people understand the difference between price controls and cost controls.
When Insurance Co. A is forced to cover High Risk Customer 1 for the same price as Save Driver 1, Insurance Company A’s cost for High Risk Customer 1 didn’t decrease. The only thing that changed was the price Insurance Company A could charge High Risk Customer 1. The cost is still high. The insurance premium price charged isn’t.
Sen. Franken is peddling a series of vastly inferior products to a needy public. I’d love seeing him debate Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Thad McCotter or Mike Pence on this issue. He’d be mocked by the public after the debate.
Watching that debate would be torture for the DFL, delightful for free market capitalist conservatives.
Conservatives should thank Esme for her interviewing Sen. Franken. By the time he’s up for re-election, we should have a ton of ammunition to run in campaign commercials against Sen. Franken.
If there’s anything useful to come from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s and Anthony Weiner’s appearance on Face the Nation this morning, it’s that Republicans should try and make them the face of the Democratic Party as frequently as possible.
After Rep.-Elect Mike Kelly said that he didn’t know how “you people can ring up $14,000,000,000,000 of debt and say you’re doing a good job”, Weiner replied “You’re now part of that you guys now.” Excuse me, Rep. Weiner, but you’re full of it. Rep.-Elect Kelly, (R-PA), didn’t vote for the failed stimulus, the pork-filled first omnibus bill or Obamacare.
In fact, all that legislation passed without a single House GOP vote. They were smart enough to not want their fingerprints on that bunch of job-killing, deficit-exploding legislation. Which brings me to Rep. Wasserman-Schultz on the deficit:
“Let’s remember the deficit was exploded by Republicans. President Bush inherited a record surplus and turned it into a record deficit. Two wars unpaid for, a prescription drug plan unpaid for, tax cuts unpaid for. So the deficit that we found ourselves in was thanks to the Republicans,” she said.
I won’t dispute that the Republicans overspent while they were the majority. That’s statistical fact. What’s also statistical fact is that, starting in 2009, Democrats made the overspending Republicans look like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Never in this nation’s history did the annual deficit exceed $500,000,000,000 prior to Obama becoming president. That’s statistical fact, too. Immediately following his inauguration, however, the Democrats went on an unprecedented spending spree, adding $3,000,000,000,000 to the debt the first 2 years of the Obama administration. This year’s deficit will eclipse the $1,000,000,000,000, too.
That means the Obama administration will have added more to the national debt in 3 years than President Bush did in 8 years. In fact, this administration will ‘beat’ the Bush administration’s 8 year deficits before the current CR expires. That’s 30 months vs. 8 years.
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz can spin all she’d like but that’s reality.
Frankly, Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and Rep. Weiner are a pair of spoiled brats who couldn’t tell the truth on a consistent basis if their life depended on it. That’s why a smart GOP strategist, if they still exist in DC, would highlight Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and Rep. Weiner at every opportunity they got.
They’ll turn off independents faster than I can turn off a light switch.
The other thing coming from Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and Rep. Weiner during this morning’s interview was their repeating the Democrats’ talking point about it being more difficult to govern than it is to campaign. They should know; they campaigned like centrists but they’ve governed like radicals.
They also repeated the Democrats’ mantra that it’s easy being against things but tougher being for things. That’s projection. Republicans have stood for things for quite some time. It isn’t the Republicans’ fault that the Democrats’ allies in the media wouldn’t report on the GOP’s great ideas.
Now they’re the majority in the House. Now they’ve got a great nucleus of fiscal conservatives who also are great ambassadors for limited government. Now conservatives like Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling, Paul Ryan, Thad McCotter, Michael Burgess, combined with incoming conservative freshmen like Chip Cravaack and Tim Scott, will go on the offensive.
This talk the last 2 weeks about President Obama getting his mojo back, etc, etc, is just that: talk. Now that the numbers are shifting and a serious man like Paul Ryan will be the Republicans’ point person on getting spending under control, President Obama will find himself overmatched.
What’s most stunning to me is that these Democrats act like Nov. 2 didn’t happen, like the American people didn’t fire Democrats in numbers not seen since 1938. They’re still the same arrogant people that turned off independents in droves.
The other thing that I couldn’t believe was Rep. Weiner talking about shutting the government down. First, we’re miles from that. Second, the dynamics are emphatically different. The Gingrich shutdown wasn’t what the American people wanted, partially because they viewed President Clinton as reasonable.
Americans now, especially amongst the TEA Party faithful, see President Obama as reckless and out-of-control. They want spending controlled. If Democrats prove that they aren’t serious about cutting spending, then they’ll lose with everyone except their base.
One of the first things that Rep. Weiner said was that Republicans had campaigned on privatizing Social Security. That’s insulting. There might’ve been 1 or 2 candidates who talked about that…maybe…but that’s it. The central focus of the NRCC’s campaign was cutting spending, repealing Obamacare and creating jobs, though not in that order.
The mantra about Republicans having difficulty governing is the Democrats’ attempt to raise expectations. It’s a foolish tactic. If Republicans’s spending cuts are substantial, they’ll be seen as serious. If they’re judged to be serious, they’ll have a very successful 2012 election cycle.
That also likely means President Obama won’t have a great 2012 election cycle. He isn’t a budget cutter. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION. That’s what the American people expect. That’s the message they sent sixty short days ago.
The truth is that House Democrats, after ruling the roost the last 2 years, will largely be irrelevant and grating on the nerves. If Republicans are smart, they’ll isolate Rep. Weiner and Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and make them the face of the Democratic Party.
Earlier today, Thad McCotter announce that he won’t vote for the tax bill compromise in a speech on the House floor. Here’s the transcript of his speech:
Amidst our tumultuous Age of Globalization, wherein big government’s restructuring is not merely desirable but inevitable, the sovereign people’s Congressional servants must facilitate the conditions for sustainable economic growth so people can work; and preserve and promote Americans’ economic preeminence in the world.
To accomplish these vital tasks, government must adopt deep and enduring tax relief, and spending, deficit and debt reduction. These policies are neither novel nor fashionable. They are necessary.
Therefore, because I oppose raising taxes, increasing deficits and debt, and worsening the entitlement crisis, I fundamentally object to this compromised tax bill’s following provisions:
A permanent tax increase in exchange for a temporary tax reprieve, since any and all tax increases in a recession retard a recovery; and
A raid on Social Security requiring increased federal debt to fund a temporary tax gimmick that will not increase sustainable employment.
Despite its proponents’ best intentions, this bill will not end the suffering of unemployed and economically anxious Americans. It will prolong it. For we cannot delay the day of big government’s restructuring; and, in endeavoring to do so, we make the inevitable more painful, more prolonged, and, because it was unnecessary, more deplorable.
Finally, to those Republicans who claim no choice but to vote for a flawed bill now rather than wait three weeks for a better one, I disagree. Such a view is analogous to General Custer prior to the Battle of the Little Big Horn stating: “We must strike now before there are more of us.”
Recognizing this folly, it is my sincere hope and goal that, come the 112th Congress, new legislation will be introduced that rectifies this bill’s failings; and commences a lasting American economic renaissance.
It makes no sense to cut the employee’s portion of the FICA tax when Social Security is already paying out more than it’s taking in. Only an idiot would think that’s wise economic policy. It’s time DC’s politicians stopped playing economic gimmicks. It’s time they put together a pro-growth, pro-prosperity package.
Increasing spending through the omnibus bill is like throwing a pale of cold water on a waning fire. It all but ends the recovery. That’s if you think there’s really a recovery. Technically, there’s a recovery but without dynamic job growth, it isn’t a ‘population-recognized’ recovery.
Economists pinpoint when recessions ended. That’s their responsibility. People tell economists and politicians when the recovery started.
Good conservatives are coming down on both sides of the tax bill. Paul Ryan, a man whose opinion I trust greatly, will vote for it. Mike Pence, Thad McCotter and Michele Bachmann, three people with impeccable conservative credentials, oppose the bill.
I’d prefer a clean tax bill but I won’t get upset if the bill passes as it exists. At worst, Chairman Ryan can pass a bill with tons of budget cuts in the 112th Congress. The bill that I really care about is the omnibus porker bill that funds senators’ campaigns. If that gets passed, I won’t be the only TEA Party activist that’ll want their senator’s scalp. (I’m figuratively speaking.)
Thad McCotter is one of the most overlooked, brilliant legislators in DC. I hope more people start recognizing him as a great leader. With a GOP majority in the House starting in 2012, I’m certain he’ll start getting recognized for his intelligent conservative policies.
There’s been an uproar since the Obama-Republican tax compromise was announced. Idiot hotheads like Peter DeFazio and Anthony Weiner are saying that estate taxes aren’t getting raised enough. Jim DeMint, Mike Pence and others are voicing concern about the tax bill not being offset enough, with DeMint announcing he’ll vote to filibuster the bill over that issue.
Meanwhile, the media that didn’t care a whit about the first trillion dollar annual deficits in this nation’s history ar suddenly whining about adding to the deficit.
I have a solution to this impasse. In fact, I can’t believe people haven’t thought of it and started pushing it already.
Last week, President Obama’s debt commission was lauded for its debt reduction plan. Frankly, I’m not impressed with it but that’s another fight for another day.
Here’s the easiest path forward: Let’s have Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Tom Coburn initiate negotiations with President Obama on a set of spending cuts. Predicate a vote for extending the Bush tax rates and extending unemployment benefits on a vote in the next session for this spending cut package.
It isn’t that I trust President Obama on this. I’m an optimist but I’m a realist, too. It isn’t that I trust Harry Reid, either. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him if I had two broken arms and a bad back.
Simply negotiating this package puts this front and center into this debate. Having Paul Ryan and Mike Pence putting this list of spending cuts together gives the list instant credibility. If President Obama backs out of this package, his political career is finished.
If Harry Reid starts playing games with this spending cuts package and President Obama either can’t or won’t control Reid, he’ll be exposed as an impotent leader.
Neither situation puts President Obama in a positive light but it tells the vast majority of Americans that President Obama isn’t serious about deficit reduction. It also tells them that he isn’t the right choice for president in 2012.
If President Obama can’t get these spending cuts passed through a Democratic Senate, then it’s proof that he can’t even control his own party. It might also mean that his once-energized base will abandon him.
Meanwhile, Democrats like Rep. DeFazio and Rep. Weiner can pound sand because their votes are irrelevant. A month from now, their votes will be totally irrelevant. If they don’t like the legislation, that’s tough. Being in the minority in the House means you’ll get treated like a speed bump from time to time.
By putting legislators like Ryan, Pence, Rubio, Coburn and Paul in charge of putting together a spending cuts list, TEA Party activists will see that the TEA Party wing of the GOP is running the show. It’ll also prove that they’re serious about deficit reduction.
Let’s face it. The Deficit Commission was a waste of money in the sense that people like Paul Ryan, Mike Pence and other like-minded conservatives could’ve done what these people did without the formality of another blue ribbon commission.
Let’s pass the compromise legislation during the lame duck session with the promise attached that the spending cuts are heading our way in a matter of months.
That’s change the American people can believe it. The bad news for Democrats is that it’s positive change that conservatives initiated and finished.
The New England Journal of Medicine, aka the NEJM, just published a guide to killing Obamacare before it’s implemented:
A more serious possibility is that ACA opponents could deliver on another pledge: to cut off funding for implementation. Here is how such a process could work.
Customarily, substantive legislation â€œauthorizesâ€ spending, but the funds to be spent must be separately â€œappropriated.â€ The ACA contains 64 specific authorizations to spend up to $105.6 billion and 51 general authorizations to spend â€œsuch sums as are necessaryâ€ over the period between 2010 and 2019. None of these funds will flow, however, unless Congress enacts specific appropriation bills. In addition, section 1005 of the ACA appropriated $1 billion to support the cost of implementation in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This sum is a small fraction of the $5 billion to $10 billion that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal government will require between 2010 and 2019 to implement the ACA.
This is a fight Republicans should relish fighting. By funding things with bipartisan support, Republicans can keep public opinion on their side.
The ACA appropriated nothing for the Internal Revenue Service, which must collect the information needed to compute subsidies and pay them. The ACA also provides unlimited funding for grants to states to support the creation of health insurance exchanges (section 1311). But states will also incur substantially increased administrative costs to enroll millions of newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.
Without large additional appropriations, plementation will be crippled.
That’s music to my ears. This is, too:
If ACA opponents gain a majority in either house of Congress, they could not only withhold needed appropriations but also bar the use of whatever funds are appropriated for ACA implementation, including the implementation of the provisions requiring individual people to buy insurance or businesses to offer it. They could bar the use of staff time for designing rules for implementation or for paying subsidies to support the purchase of insurance. They could even bar the DHHS from writing or issuing regulations or engaging in any other federal activity related to the creation of health insurance exchanges, even though the ACA provides funds for the DHHS to make grants to the states to set up those exchanges.
That would set the stage for a high-stakes game of political â€œchicken.â€ The president could veto an appropriation bill containing such language. Congress could refuse to pass appropriation bills without such language. Failure to appropriate funds would lead to a partial government shutdown.
In 1994, leaders of the Republican Congress who pursued a similar tactic during the Clinton administration lost the ensuing public-relations war. In the current environment, however, one cannot be certain how political blame, or credit, for such a governmental closure would be apportioned or which side would blink first.
If Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Mike Pence, Tom Price and Michael Burgess are used in explaining the conservative alternative to Obamacare while highlighting points of agreement, Republicans can definitely win this fight.
It’s important that Republicans fight Obamacare on twin tracks, first by not funding the items outlined in this NEJM article, then also seeking a SCOTUS ruling that kills the bill entirely.
It’s important to remember that more people favor repeal of the bill than oppose repeal. However, Rasmussen polling shows that people don’t want the bill repealed in one shot, prefering to take it a step at a time.