News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Off-Shore Drilling Bans, Delays Cost Government Revenue
by Rob Bluey, Contributing Author: Billions of dollars in potential oil revenue that could help close the federal deficit is being lost as a result of President Obama’s anti-drilling agenda.
Production in the Gulf of Mexico – which normally accounts for about 30 percent of all U.S. production - is expected to drop this year by 220,000 barrels per day, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
With oil currently at $90 a barrel and the royalty rate at 18.75 percent, that equals $3.7 million in lost revenue each day. If the agency projections hold over the course of the year, the federal government would lose more than $1.35 billion from Gulf royalty payments this year.
The number grows even larger when coupled with a lack of Gulf lease sales and fewer rental payments. Those three components -- royalties, leases and rent -- make up a sizeable amount of government revenue.
The looming shortfall is raising red flags on Capitol Hill. Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s drilling moratorium and the subsequent slowdown in permitting, first called attention to it in September. “It’s not only about job loss along the Gulf Coast -- the federal government is losing revenue as a result of the administration’s misguided moratorium,” Vitter explained. “I’ve been attacking the moratorium from multiple angles and will continue to do so until drilling can fully resume.”
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled a Gulf lease sale last October. He postponed another in the central Gulf of Mexico, originally scheduled for March, until 2012. One planned for October 2011 in the western Gulf also could be delayed until 2012. That would make 2011 the first year since 1965 that the federal government has failed to hold a lease sale in the Gulf.
Bonus bids from lease sales averaged about $1 billion in 2009 and 2010, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). The lack of lease sales ultimately means the government will collect less in rent payments by lease holders. Offshore rents currently generate more than $200 million per year.
The Gulf revenue decline comes as Obama’s oil spill commission is recommending new fees for oil companies - a scenario that could be avoided if the government removed barriers to exploration and production.
“Over the years, offshore production royalties have provided billions of dollars to the U.S. government,” said National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi, former director of the Minerals Management Service, which predated BOEMRE. “Now, at a time when Congress is looking to maximize efficiency without raising taxes, there sits millions of dollars per day uncollected,” he said.
The Obama administration has dismissed the financial impact. The revenue loss would be “negligible,” Rebecca Blank, under secretary for economic affairs at the Department of Commerce, told a Senate committee in the fall. “It is difficult to speculate now on the specific impact the moratorium would have over the five- or 10-year budget window, but one would expect the impact on the deficit to be negligible,” Blank wrote to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in September. “Revenues may be higher or they may be lower depending on future years’ oil prices and the time profile of production,” Blank said.
Energy experts said the administration’s policies are certain to have long-term consequences for the industry. “You continually need new discoveries and new production coming online to replace what’s being depleted,” said Andy Radford, senior policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute. “These wells taper off over time -- the ones that are producing now -- so without a continual flow of new discoveries and new production, the number will continue to decrease.”
A report from the economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight estimated that federal, state and local taxes related to the Gulf, combined with royalty payments, totaled $19 billion in 2009. Royalties, bonus and rent payments made up more than $6 billion of that number. That pot of money could go a long way toward deficit reduction. And that’s from the Gulf alone.
Significant additional revenues would be generated if the federal government opened access to exploration and production in areas currently closed to development such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, portions of the Rocky Mountains, ANWR, and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. A recent study conducted by Wood Mackenzie for the American Petroleum Institute estimated that increased access to those areas would bring $150 billion into federal coffers by 2025.
Why leave so much money uncollected, especially in a time of rising deficits?
---------- Rob Bluey is director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. This article which first appeared as an op-ed in the Washington Examiner was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Rob Bluey. Tags:Rob Bluey, op-ed, Washington Examiner, Heritage Foundation, off-shore, drilling, oil, drilling for oil, drilling bans, lost revenue, higher prices, drilling moratorium, domestic, offshore, oil production, gasoline, U.S. Energy Information AdministrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: Wisconsin Republican Chairman Reince Priebus on the seventh round of voting was overwhelmingly elected as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee for 2011-2012. Former chairman Michael Steele dropped out after the third round of voting and gave his support to Mario Cino. Ann Wagner dropped after the sixth round. This left Reince Priebus, Saul Anuzis and Maria Cino in competition for round seven. Priebus held the lead in all round of balloting and by the end of the balloting was unanimously supported by the delegates as their new chairman.
Below is a video supporting Reince Priebus and detailing the success of Republicans in Wisconsin:
Chairman Priebus humbly accepting the chairmanship thanking God and Jesus, his family and the delegates.He committed to rebuilding the GOP and support conservative candidates. He recognized that the RNC had to restore fiscal accountability and to immediately attack the RNC's debt which is over $20 million. He promised to implement a serious business plan and to open new lines of communication. As the Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Priebus previously evidenced success in building and funding the Republican effort that elected and shifted Wisconsin into the Republican column in 2010.
He addressed being unified and working together to earn the trust and support of not only Republicans but other grassroots conservatives and independents. Priebus is a product of the grassroots movement. He acknowledged that Democrats have taken America down the wrong path and that we need to continue work to earn the trust of the American people and to elect Republicans at all levels including electing a Republican president in 2012. Tags:Republican, Republican National Committee, RNC, chairman, Reince PriebusTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Put simply: Our leaders have no choice but to scrap this socialized medicine monstrosity and start from scratch with a free-market approach.
Not only are ObamaCare’s unprecedented infringements on our civil liberties clearly unconstitutional, but American taxpayers cannot afford the new law’s expanded entitlements — particularly not in light of our current debt crisis and the impending Baby Boomer crush.
The federal budget is caught in a pincer — leaving no room for ObamaCare or any other new spending. In fact the only way to escape the trap is to dramatically reduce the size and scope of government — immediately.
Also our economy is clearly in no position to absorb hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases — something President Obama seemed to understand last month when his lame duck Congress extended Bush-era tax relief to all income brackets.
The question Obama and his diminished D.C. legions now must answer is this: If it was wrong to raise taxes during the lame duck session in December, what makes it wise to do so now?
With even the most optimistic Keynesians (such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke) now predicting that the U.S. economy could take as long as five years to achieve “sustained declines in the unemployment rate,” ObamaCare’s tax hikes loom even larger as job killers. This is particularly true of the tax increase on upper income earners — many of whom invest their money in partnerships and LLCs that in turn fuel small business growth.
Astoundingly, the same fiscal liberals who added more than $4 trillion to the national debt over the last two years are now not only raising taxes through ObamaCare — but feigning outrage over the “deficit spending” that would result if the program were repealed.
In support of this twisted logic, the Keynesian number-crunchers over at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced last week that repealing ObamaCare would add $230 billion to the national debt over the coming decade.
Think about that statistic for a moment — what the CBO is saying is that the largest expansion of government in decades is not only free, but will actually save taxpayers $230 billion. Talk about “something for nothing.”
Obviously these assumptions are pure fantasy — like the numbers the CBO released in March 2010 on the eve of ObamaCare’s initial passage. But how were they computed?
First, the CBO is assuming that the $770 billion worth of “revenue enhancements” included in ObamaCare will have no adverse impact whatsoever on the nation’s economy — which is betting against history. Second, the CBO presumes that Congress will actually follow through on its promise to cut $540 billion from Medicare — which is betting against common sense.
Additionally, the CBO estimates double-count Medicare savings, CLASS Act revenue, Social Security revenue and fail to incorporate the impact of so-called “doc fixes,” which erase billions of dollars in additional “savings.”
“Garbage in, garbage out,” Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said of the CBO report.
He’s not the only one voicing skepticism. “The CBO, CMS, and even the IMF have all discredited the idea that ObamaCare would reduce the deficit, because they all question the sustainability of ObamaCare’s spending ‘cuts,’” writes Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.
“The spending cuts (actually, reductions in future spending growth) in the law were never going to take effect anyway,” Cannon adds.
Finally, when did our leaders decide that blocking a tax hike was somehow a net cost to government? Have they deluded themselves to the point that they think new programs and new taxes cannot be eliminated because doing so would be “too expensive?”
Obviously so — or else we wouldn’t be where we are today, staring down a fiscal Armageddon the likes of which human civilization has never seen.
If our Republic is to survive this fiscal storm, then our leaders need to stop fabricating numbers and start confronting them. For example, they could recognize that the elimination of entitlement spending produces savings — not costs. And more importantly, they could recognize that in light of government’s mounting debt and the millions of new Medicare and Social Security enrollees projected over the coming decade – there is simply no room for any additional spending. Tags:Howard Rich, ALG, Ben Bernanke, CBO, Congress, Federal Bugdet Crisis, Federal Reserve, Fiscal Crisis, Government Debt, Health Care, Keynesians, Medicare, Michael Cannon, ObamaCare, ObamaCare Repeal, Socialized Medicine, Tom Price To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Republican National Committee's Chairman 2011 Election
Tomorrow, Friday (1/14/2011), the Republican National Committee will vote on its new Chairman for 2011-2012. Five candidates remain in the race, including past RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, Ambassador Ann Wagner, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, and veteran GOP strategist Maria Cino.
On Wednesday, new Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) officially endorsed Mario Cino to be the organization’s next Chairman. “I have learned firsthand that she is an unparalleled fundraiser and a very efficient manager of resources,” Boehner wrote. “She’s also exceptionally politically savvy and knows what it takes to win. Under her leadership as Chairman, I am confident the RNC will once again raise and effectively spend the funds needed to win the battle of ideas with President Obama and his Democrat allies.”
David Weigel is reporting: Chris Cillizza has New Hampshire GOP chairman John Sununu backing Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus for a total of 41 declared supporters. Update Reid Wilson's chart with that info and you have:
Priebus with 41 votes
Michael Steele with 17 votes
Ann Wagner with 15 votes
Saul Anuzis with 14 votes
Maria Cino, the candidate endorsed by John Boehner, with 12 votes
A winner needs 85 votes. Nothing has materially improved for Steele since Politico reported that 88 members were dead set against supporting him. If every single uncommitted member backed Steele, he'd pull it out, but that's true every other candidate.
Tags:RNC, Republican National Committee, chairman, electionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congress Has Time: Gross federal debt has reached $14 trillion. Ongoing deficit spending (projected at $1.4 trillion for 2011) means the ceiling of $14.29 trillion will initially be reached around mid-March. Treasury’s traditional financial toolbox and revenue surges in April and June should delay the final moment of reckoning to mid-May and possibly as late as July.
Full Consideration and Deliberation: Members of Congress have time for full consideration and deliberation before making a decision on the debt limit and necessary spending cuts.
No Risk of Default: Keeping the debt ceiling at its current level would not, in and of itself, risk default on the debt. Federal taxes will still be collected by the Treasury from which interest and principal on the debt should be paid. Since default is not immediately a realistic scenario, the federal government’s credit-worthiness would not be damaged.
Congress Has Many Options
Time to Demonstrate Seriousness: Congress has many options regarding the debt limit, and it should not unduly rush into a decision as if there is some imminent crisis pending. Instead, Members should promptly have a full discussion of the level of debt they want to set and begin immediate, substantial spending cuts to demonstrate the seriousness with which they take the nation’s fiscal problems. These should be followed by crucial additional changes such as hard spending caps and entitlement reforms that would return the nation to fiscal sanity and keep it there.
Immediate Spending Reductions a Necessity: Any increase in the debt ceiling should be accompanied by immediate, substantial spending reductions along with strong new rules such as hard spending caps to require continued, sharp spending reduction in future years—thus putting the budget squarely on a path to fiscal responsibility through lower spending, taxes, and borrowing. Increases without these steps are not acceptable.
One Option: One option Congress could also consider would be to provide only short-term increases to the debt ceiling in order to provide additional opportunities to force critical spending cuts through the legislative process during the course of the year.
Absent Action …
Without a Debt Ceiling Increase, Spending Must Be Cut Now: Holding the current debt ceiling in place would require eliminating all deficit spending. For the remainder of the fiscal year, this would entail immediate spending cuts of approximately $150 billion per month; the 2012 budget would have to eliminate the projected $1 trillion deficit. These cuts would best be established through prompt legislation.
Choices Need to Be Made: Absent legislative direction, once the debt limit is finally reached, the Administration would be required to pay the government’s bills without additional borrowing. Some payments would likely occur normally without reduction, such as interest on the debt and programs with dedicated revenues like Social Security. However, the Administration would need to determine which others would be subject to cuts and or delays.
The Troubling Impact Of The Administration's Drilling Moratorium
by Sam Adams MMIV: A story that’s been under the radar recently is the impact of the Obama administration’s delay in relaxing its drilling moratorium from last year.
In an editorial discussing the release of the report from President Obama’s commission on the causes of last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, The Wall Street Journal writes, “The commission . . . offers an array of recommendations, most of which would severely restrict oil and gas drilling. Despite President Obama’s promises that the new Bureau of Ocean Management (formerly the Minerals and Management Service) is now a shipshape regulator, the commission recommends that Congress create another agency to supervise drilling. Now, there’s a new idea—another layer of bureaucracy to supervise the bureaucracy that failed. The report also advocates toughening the National Environmental Policy Act to make it harder for companies to obtain drilling leases. Another section doubts it is possible ever to drill safely in Alaska or the Arctic—a hardy perennial of the anti-oil lobby.”
The WSJ editors point out, “Though the Administration officially lifted its Gulf drilling moratorium and issued new safety rules two months ago, it has refused to permit a single new well. U.S. gasoline prices are now above $3 a gallon, and the decline in Gulf drilling will not help supply. Forecasters predict domestic production will fall at least 13% this year due in part to the Gulf lockdown.”
Indeed, the WSJ reported last week that “[m]ore than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012. . . . The impact of the delays goes beyond the oil industry. The Gulf coast economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in drilling activity, especially because the oil spill also hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries. The Obama administration in September estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 workers could lose their jobs temporarily as a result of the moratorium; some independent estimates have been much higher. The slowdown also has long-term implications for U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration, the research arm of the Department of Energy, last month predicted that domestic offshore oil production will fall 13% this year from 2010 due to the moratorium and the slow return to drilling; a year ago, the agency predicted offshore production would rise 6% in 2011. The difference: a loss of about 220,000 barrels of oil a day.”
Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg News, “Crude oil was little changed near a 27-month high as U.S. jobless claims jumped to the highest level since October and the euro surged against the dollar. . . . Yesterday, [oil] futures settled at $91.86, the highest level since Oct. 3, 2008. Prices have risen 15 percent in the past year.”
And The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday that there is a slim chance national average gasoline prices could spike over $4 a gallon in September and an even better chance that average prices could run over $3.50 a gallon in the summer. The outlook is expensive for motorists and the U.S. economy as a larger share of family and business budgets could disappear into fuel tanks.”
The Obama administration’s drilling moratorium continues to have a real impact on the American economy and energy prices. It’s long past time for the administration to seriously re-examine its policies on domestic oil production.
---------- Sam Adams MMIV is the pen name for an un-named beltway source. While receiving information from many sources, this Sam's words sometimes need to be credited. Thanks to all the Sam and Abigail Adams patriots who speak up for America. Tags:Obama Administration, Bureau of Ocean Management, drilling moratorium, domestic, offshore, oil production, oil, gasoline, U.S. Energy Information Administration, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Tucson Massacre And The End Of The Merely Political
by Ralph Benko: The Tucson Massacre dominated the political discourse in America. That is a symptom of a preoccupation with politics that narrows our possibilities as a society to renew the American spirit, society and culture.
There is an axiom on the Left: “The personal is political.” This is a phrase made famous by radical feminist Carol Hanisch in a 1969 essay. It is famous because it presents, vividly, something very true and, at the time, new. But it does not contain the whole truth. The time for its centrality has expired.
All of the evidence suggests that Jared Loughner’s mayhem was a function of severe mental illness. His YouTube videos are redolent with signs of severe dissociation, words that almost seem to make sense yet do not: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.
Loughner’s MySpace profile contains a long list of favorite books. Much attention has been directed to his referencing of The Communist Manifesto and of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. But the really telling reference has been almost completely overlooked: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
This 1962 novel is a dramatization of (among other things) an inhumane, and indefensible, system of institutionalizing the mentally ill–along with mere eccentrics, those with below-average IQ and social misfits. It, and the award-winning movie based on it, became a counterculture classic. It may have been the trigger for a dramatic shift in social consensus against institutionalization of the non-criminal insane and others.
Those who remember the pre-Cuckoo’s Nest days have not forgotten the prescribed torments, rarely curative, to which those diagnosed as insane were subjected. Electroshock therapy, pharmaceutical regimes designed to stupefy, and, most heinously, prefrontal lobotomy. This litany does not include the inmate-on-inmate violence and abuse that was rife in understaffed institutions. The very real abuses dramatized in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest led to general revulsion to the undignified and unbearably inhumane way our society dealt, institutionally, with the mentally ill, the below-average IQ and the socially odd. The social consensus that followed led to a wholesale deinstitutionalization on humanitarian grounds.
To say that the current policy is imperfect is a massive understatement.
According to Noel Hentschel, a former mental health adviser for the U.K. Royal Society of Medicine, the shooting [was] “a critical breakdown of mental health care in America.” She wrote in the Huffington Post, “The bar is so high for proving someone is a threat to themselves or to others that they literally have to already be in the middle of a horrendous act like this vicious attack for law enforcement, family or medical professionals to be able to provide treatment to the disturbed person. … What a travesty of justice for all concerned!”
Most of those among the mentally ill, those below-average IQ and the misfits are perfectly harmless. And yet some are dangerous to themselves and others.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jan. 10 Review and Outlook aptly notes that “Jared Loughner’s sickness is not the product of politics” and deftly deconstructs the efforts forthcoming from some on the Left to posit that Tea Partiers, Townhallers and conservatives somehow are culpable. The Journal and many others, including President Barack Obama in a speech that rivals Ronald Reagan’s eulogy for those who died in the Challenger, properly exonerates conservatives as innocent. America’s revered Founders indulged in abundant vitriol, some of which makes our era’s look tame.
That said, a much larger principle is at stake. A society is much more than government and its handmaiden, politics. A culture that immediately looks at everything through the lens of politics gives a creepy credence to Nietzsche’s 157th aphorism from Beyond Good and Evil: “Insanity in individuals is something rare–but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.” This aphorism may have been, and still be, apt. It need not continue to be apt.
The personal is political. But it is not only political. The personal is economic. The personal is familial. The personal is social. The personal is cultural. The personal is spiritual. We are emerging from an epoch of war, an emergence that this writer has addressed elsewhere. It thus becomes possible anew to find meaning in events that are much more than the merely political.
By doing so, as a society, we move much further away from “big government” than any amount of budget cutting can effect. By moving beyond the axiom that the personal is political we begin to move away from Nietzsche’s indictment of insanity in nations as the rule. We can move toward new possibilities of social vibrancy and social harmony.
Herman Cain Announces Presidential Exploratory Committee
Business Executive to "Test Waters" for Potential White House Bid
Business executive Herman Cain kept his promise to Neil Cavuto today by announcing first on Your World With Neil Cavuto that he has officially established a presidential exploratory committee, "Friends of Herman Cain," to "test the waters" for a possible White House bid.
"After receiving overwhelming encouragement from supporters and donors across the U.S., I have decided to form a presidential exploratory committee," Cain said. "During this time, we will examine the extent of financial resources and grassroots support that would be critical to winning the Republican nomination.
Cain is best known for his role as President and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Inc., where he led the company from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability in just 14 months. He has also served as an executive of other Fortune 500 Companies, such as Pillsbury and Burger King.
He served as chairman of the Federal Reserve in Kansas City, as well as the President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. Cain was a senior economic adviser to the Dole/ Kemp presidential campaign in 1996.
Cain hosts a nightly radio program, "The Herman Cain Show," one of the highest-rated shows in the Atlanta media market. He is also a syndicated columnist.
"Friends of Herman Cain" is a registered non-profit in the state of Georgia, and the names of exploratory committee members will be released at a later date.
For more information, visit the HermanCain.com In addition, check out the Grassroots site: Citizens 4 Cain Tags:Herman Cain, 2012 Election, presidential candidate, exploratory committee, Neil CavutoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas: Three Budget Alternatives: 2011-2013 Biennium
Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Network: Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has called on tax cut proponents to identify spending cuts. But spending cuts are not required to cut income, capital gains or grocery tax rates. Three 2011-2013 budget alternatives that increase state spending at lower percentage rates or freeze spending at current levels would provide an extra $57 million-to-$109 million in savings for tax cuts.
First Alternative: Freeze Spending
The first alternative is to freeze spending at current levels, saving the $109 million increase proposed by Gov. Beebe and applying it to tax cuts for taxpayers. Beebe is proposing a 2.5% increase in state spending from $4,478,900,000 to $4,588,800,000. Under a freeze these fund accounts would not receive his proposed spending increases:
Public School Fund (2.9%)
Total General Education Fund (0.8%)
Total Human Services (0.6%)
Total State General Government (3.4%)
Total Other Funds (2.5%)
Spending increases proposed by Beebe for the following departments would be frozen: Agriculture (1.2%), Labor (2.7%), Economic Development (0.4%), Corrections (2.2%), Community Corrections (6.1%), and Miscellaneous Agencies (14.1%).
Second Alternative: Freeze Non-K-12 & Corrections Spending
The second alternative is to increase state appropriations at lower annual percentage rates, limiting hikes to the Public School Fund and Corrections. Proposed spending increases for the School for the Blind (2.3%) and the School for the Deaf (0.7%) would also be preserved.
The proposal would freeze all other funds, departments and agencies but increase spending for the Public School Fund (1.5%) and Corrections (1.1%).This alternative would save $56,908,103 for tax cuts, a scenario not included in Beebe’s budget proposal.
Third Alternative: Freeze Non-K-12 Spending
The third alternative also increases the Public School Fund appropriation but provides for a lower percentage increase (1.1% versus Beebe’s proposed 2.9% hike). All other state spending including Corrections would be frozen at current levels. The plan would save $69,312,685 for tax cuts, a scenario not included in Beebe’s proposal.
Summary of Savings
First Alternative ($109,900,002)
Second Alternative ($56,908,103)
Third Alternative ($69,312,685)
Conclusion: Apply Savings to Tax Cuts
Gov. Beebe has proposed a half-cent reduction in the grocery tax. Enacting his modest proposal ($15,500,000) would still allow state capital gains and income tax rates to be reduced by applying savings from three alternative budgets. These are $94,400,000 (first), $41,408,103 (second) and $53,812,685 (third). Tags:Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Network, Arkansas, State Budget, freezing agency budgets, public school fund, general education fund, human services, general governmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Family Research Council: Sticking up for the 'C' in CPAC
Well it is now official. The President of the Family Research Council in the article below writes that they will not be participating in CPAC. On Dec 27, 2010, Brian Fitzpatrick at WorldNetDaily wrote Biggest conservative names bidding goodbye to CPAC and identified that the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America (CWA), American Principles Project, American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage were withdrawing from CPAC. CWA President Penny Nance told WND that "CWA has decided not to participate in part because of GOProud."
This eventing at 8:38 pm EST, WND released a story that "David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which has been troubled in recent weeks by a wave of conservative organizations abandoning its CPAC conference, allegations of hundreds of thousands of dollars gone missing and a charge of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration, reportedly will be stepping down from that post sometime this year." Email confirmation came today from ACU board member Morton Blackwell that Keene announced that he will step down this year as ACU chairman.
Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, Washington Update: By a show of hands, how many of you business people out there invite the competition to your office and collaborate on advertising strategies? Probably not a single one. Executives at Coke would never give Pepsi 20 seconds of their minute-long commercial or a third of their billboard space. No one who is paying to promote a message would be foolish enough to promote a contradictory one at the same time. No one, I suppose, but the conservative movement.
Next month, for the 38th time, people will make their way to Washington, D.C. for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Many of them are in for a surprise when they arrive. For the last few years, the conference--which used to embody the core of the conservative movement--has pulled up a chair at the family table for people working to advance the policy goals of the radical Left. Lobbyists for amnesty, the ACLU, legalized marijuana, same-sex "marriage," and Internet gambling have called CPAC home for the last several years. For more than a decade, FRC was a cosponsor of the conference--leading well-received panels on life and marriage. But every year, we had to push a reluctant American Conservative Union (ACU), the founder of CPAC, to continue those panel discussions despite their popularity. In 2007, we finally opted out of the event after deciding that the annual tussle with CPAC officials was a waste of time and energy when we were busy fighting a liberal takeover of both chambers of Congress (who, ironically, were propelled to power by Republicans who had drifted from their conservative roots).
This was not an easy decision, because we understand the importance of coalitions and a unified conservative movement. And we continue to believe in the founding principles behind CPAC--even if some of its organizers seem to have forgotten. In fact, this dilution of key social issues was one of the motivations behind our own Values Voter Summit, which we launched in 2006 so that these values--along with fiscal and foreign policy issues--would continue to be advanced coherently in the conservative movement.
That said, we are not "boycotting" CPAC. We're simply not participating. FRC has chosen not to partner with a "conservative" event that places the protection of marriage on the same plane as redefining it. Would CPAC team up with the Brady Campaign which fights to restrict--if not abolish--the Second Amendment? Would it collaborate with groups who promote doubling capital gains taxes? Regardless of what CPAC organizers may believe, conservatives and homosexual activists cannot coexist in a movement predicated on social values. This has nothing to do with whether individual homosexuals should be allowed to attend CPAC, or whether they are capable of holding conservative positions on some issues. We recognize that some organizations represented at CPAC are silent on the issue of homosexuality. But organizations whose whole reason for existence is to promote the forcedpublic affirmation of homosexual conduct should not be welcomed at CPAC, because that is not-by any stretch of the imagination-a "conservative" agenda. By allying itself with liberal social organizations, ACU is abandoning at least a third of the conservative movement.
Our participation in CPAC--or lack of it--has absolutely no bearing on our ability to love and dialogue with people who disagree with us. As I've said before, we'll debate the other side on issues like marriage anytime--anywhere. But the suggestion that conservatives should debate marriage on our own turf is demeaning and downright deceptive. This is a fundamental principle that shouldn't be up for debate in any conservative gathering. If the policy is not up for discussion, why foster the impression? If it is, then make that clear upfront. This is a matter of basic integrity. Other coalition members, who question the wisdom of our stand, should realize that this is a fight for more than social values. If marriage is fair game at CPAC, which issues are not? Limited government? National security? Social, economic, and defense conservatism form an integrated and indivisible whole.
Reaching out to new allies is a worthy goal, but not at the cost of driving a deep wedge in the movement that was unified to bring change to Washington this fall. Some of our friends have criticized FRC's decision by drawing the scriptural parallel of Jesus eating with sinners. But this isn't Jesus eating with sinners--it's Jesus partnering with them to open a restaurant! My friend, the late Adrian Rogers, said it best: " It is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie... It is better to stand alone with the truth than to be wrong with a multitude." Tags:Tony Perkins, Family Research Center Washington Update, conservatives, social conservatives, life, marriage, CPAC, not participating, homosexual agenda, liberal social organizations, American Conservative Union , ACU, lobbyists,r amnesty, the ACLU, legalized marijuana, same-sex marriage,Internet gamblingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
FairTax Huckabee Has Best Net-favorables With GOP Voters
Even though potential candidates like Rep Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Herman Cain, and others are not in the Gallup poll, The Hill reports: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee enjoys the highest net-favorable impression with Republicans among potential candidates for president in 2012, a new poll said Monday.
Huckabee is the Republican candidate with the largest margin between Republicans' favorable and unfavorable impressions of him, a Gallup poll found, while other candidates struggled with low recognition rates.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich enjoys a 24% net-favorable rating at 24%, the poll found, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 23%, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 22%, Rep. Mike Pence (IN) at 19%, Rep. Ron Paul (TX) at 18%, former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) at 17%, Sen. John Thune (SD) at 17%, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour at 15%. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty stands at 13% and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is at 11%.
Of the major GOP contenders for the nomination in 2012, Thune, Pence and Daniels struggle most with low name-recognition among Republicans. Twenty percent of Republicans said they recognize Thune, 22% could identify Pence, and 26% expressed familiarity with Daniels.
Palin enjoys the highest name recognition among Republicans, at 95%, reflecting her high media proliferation on multiple platforms. . . .
Potential candidates who have low familiarity with GOP voters still have plenty of time to help create an impression on the national scene, with the first nominating contests a full two years away. . . . [Full Story] Tags:Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, John Thune, Gov. Haley Barbour, Rep Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, poll, polling. Gallup, favorablity, namerecognition, Republicans, Fair Tax, fairtax, 2012 election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Addressing Looney Left's Attacks After Arizona Shootings
Tragedy In Tucson Will Not Deter Congress From Carrying Out Their Duties Sen. Republican Leader McConnell was in his home state of Kentucky [the Senate is in recess until Jan 24th] and spoke to students in Shelbyville about the tragic shooting in Tucson and how Congress will move forward. McConnell said, "When an elected representative is gunned down in the very act of exchanging ideas with his or her constituents, democracy itself is attacked."
The AP covered the event and reported; “At the start of his meeting with a group of students at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County, McConnell denounced the shooting as a ‘heinous crime" that ‘will not deter any of us from carrying out our duties. A strong democracy depends on a free and robust exchange of ideas.’
“Later, a student asked McConnell if he felt his safety had been compromised since the Arizona shooting. “McConnell responded that attacks against members of Congress have been rare in the U.S.
“‘We obviously always think about something like this in the wake of an event like the one that happened Saturday,’ he said. ‘We’re going to be taking a look, in the wake of this, at the way security is provided and be talking about it.’ But he added, ‘We don't want to get into a situation where elected representatives don't feel comfortable interacting with other people they represent. And I don't think we will end up in that position.’”
Jared Loughner Was Not A Republican Gary L. Bauer:"Yesterday a fake voter registration document circulated online purporting to show that Jared Loughner is a registered Republican. It was a well-done fake, except that the left-wing dope who produced it spelled Tucson incorrectly!
Loughner registered to vote in 2006 as an independent. He voted in 2008. We don't know for whom, but I doubt it was for the McCain/Palin ticket. Interestingly, in 2010 when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ran for reelection and was challenged by a Republican candidate strongly supported by Tea Party activists, Loughner did not even bother to vote!
Here is more evidence of the media's bias: CBS was so eager to gauge the impact of its "spin machine" that it has already conducted a poll asking who or what is responsible for the Tucson shooting. The good news is that the results were a big disappointment to Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann and their ilk.
According to the poll, 57% of Americans do not believe that "overheated" or conservative political rhetoric was responsible for the attack on Rep. Giffords. Unfortunately, 42% of self-identified Democrats did buy into the smear, which is a sad indication of how far paranoid extremism now reaches into that party.
A Dangerous Turn Bill Wilson in a lengthy article discussed the dangerous turn that is being rhetorically promoted by the Left over the Arizona shooting. "A mentally deranged individual commits an act of unspeakable violence. Within minutes the professional Left starts efforts to place blame on conservatives and Republicans, piously demanding some solution that — surprise — gives them tactical advantage in future policy fights. Let’s call it for what it is: a shameless, callous attempt to use the tragedy of others for gain, political or otherwise. This renders these people as contemptible as the shooter. But it makes these self-appointed moralists something else; it makes them extremely dangerous. [Full Story]
Democrat Group Using Gifford’s Shooting For Fundraiser! Warner Todd Huston: An extreme, left-wing Democrat group calling itself 21st Century Democrats has had the gall to send out an email blast using as a fundraising tool Saturday’s criminal shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Judge John Roll and four others were killed in the incident, one of them a 9-year-old girl, but these Democrats are ignorant enough to be using this incident to try and squeeze donations from its supporters. Some might think the action of 21st Century Democrats is itself a crime — a crime against decency. [Full Story]
Lame blame game from the left George Will in an article makes the following insightful point: "It would be merciful if, when tragedies such as Tucson's occur, there were a moratorium on sociology. But respites from half-baked explanations, often serving political opportunism, are impossible because of a timeless human craving and a characteristic of many modern minds.
A characteristic of many contemporary minds is susceptibility to the superstition that all behavior can be traced to some diagnosable frame of mind that is a product of promptings from the social environment. From which flows a political doctrine: Given clever social engineering, society and people, can be perfected. This supposedly is the path to progress. It actually is the crux of progressivism. And it is why there is a reflex to blame conservatives first." [Full Story] Arizona Shooting Victims(CBS Stories) Tags:Loney Left, Arizona Shootings, Gary Bauer, Bill Wilson, George Will, Warner Todd Huston, Mitch McConnell, blame game, democrats,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William Warren: My cartoon today looks at all the people that try to take advantage of the situation in Arizona that pin the blame for the Giffords Shooting on political parties and ideologies for political gain.
Tags:Arizona Massacre, First Responders, Gabrielle Giffords Shooting, Gun Control Legislation, Political Cartoons, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Leanne Hoagland-Smith, Guest Editorial: Today, January 10, 2011 at 10am central time, the President led the nation in a moment of silence for the victims in the Tucson Tragedy. As I thought about this, I did not remember a similar act by the President for the 7 murdered victims and 20 injured of Fort Hood or any other recent national tragedy. At least the Army did schedule a moment of silence within 24 hours of the Foot Hood shooting, but our President could not.
The inconsistencies in this behavior are not lost to many in this nation for I was not alone in this observation. Others have made similar observations about this moment of silence and left their remarks at a variety of blogs. All you need to do is to type in: Fort Hood shooting moment of silence.
U.S. citizen who happens to be a soldier who is minding his or her own business and suddenly find yourself in crossfire
U.S. citizen who happens to be listening to your local elected official and suddenly find yourself in a shooting spree
U.S. citizen who is exercising your right to vote and find yourself intimidated by another citizen
U.S. citizen who is attending public school and find yourself in the middle of a planned massacre
U.S. citizen who is defending his or her property against the onslaught of invaders bent of committing illegal acts their first one not entering the country legally
U.S. citizen who is exercising your Constitutional right of freedom of speech that happens to disagree with those who support unconstitutional laws
then your value is less because other have deemed it so and that goes totally against the U.S. Constitution especially the first three words - We the People.
Everyone that being all U.S. citizens is supposed to have equal value and with the amendments this has been guaranteed. However our elected officials continue to cherry pick the value of We the People. If you agree with those in power both side of the We the Politicians, then you are a good citizen. But if you disagree, then you remarks are considered hate speech, vitriolic and even stupid.
Years ago, Herbert Morrison a reporter for WLS radio who was covering the docking of the Hindenburg echoed these words, "Oh, the humanity" when the great airship began to burn and passengers began jumping out of the burning ship. Today the same thing is happening. The ship of We the People has docked, is being destroyed and then altered for We the Politicians by all these inconsistencies.
------------- Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a conservative advocate and is President and Owner of Advanced Systems and provides Professional Training & Coaching to senior executives. Smith also contributes articles to varied publications. Tags:moment of silence, Tucson Tragedy, We the People, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, editorial,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The murderous attack by 22-year-old Jared Loughner on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and dozens of other Americans is yet another body blow to our constitutional republic. Congresswoman Giffords is in critical condition. Six people were killed including federal judge John Roll and a nine year-old girl, Christina Green, who was born on September 11, 2001. Fourteen other people are being treated for their wounds.
We join millions of Americans in praying for Congresswoman Giffords' recovery, along with the others who were wounded, and for the families who lost loved ones. We ask for God's comfort for all the families touched by this evil act.
Who Is The Killer? Jared Lee Loughner appears to be a seriously mentally ill individual who had been obsessed with Congresswoman Giffords for years. He attended one of her "Congress On Your Corner" events in 2007 and kept the form letter he received after that event in a safe in his parent's home. A former classmate, Caitie Parker, called Loughner "left wing" and "a pothead."
Among his favorite books are Hitler's Mein Kampf and Marx's Communist Manifesto. Some reports indicate he hated religion and often railed against God. The New York Daily News reports that he had a "sinister shrine" in his backyard revealing a possible occult influence. From February to September 2010, campus police at Pima Community College were called to subdue Loughner five times for causing classroom disruptions. I'm sure we will learn more in the days ahead.
Left Exploits The Tragedy As millions of Americans heard the news of this vicious attack, the natural reaction to pray and be concerned for the dead and wounded. But on the ideological left, there was an immediate, shameless attempt to exploit the incident and smear conservatives.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, whose own vitriolic rhetoric against conservatives is legendary, blamed Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly for the assassination attempt. Within in an hour of the shooting, left-wing websites like the Democratic Underground and Daily Kos were filled with comments from left-wing activists suggesting that the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh and anyone opposing Barack Obama were responsible.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) blamed conservative Sharron Angle, who lost her race against Harry Reid. Congressman Robert Brady (D-PA) used the murder spree as an excuse to promote legislation that would criminalize certain criticisms of elected officials.
New York Times left-wing columnist Paul Krugman intoned that "violent acts are what happens when you create a climate of hate. And it's long past time for the GOP's leaders to take a stand against the hate mongers." The Washington, D.C., newspaper Politico quoted an unnamed Democrat political consultant as saying that President Obama and his operatives needed to hang this event around the necks of the right.
To blame conservatives for the action of this assassin is to engage in exactly the kind of "hate speech" the left claims it wants to end. In fact, it has been the political left that has regularly tried to demonize millions of Americans who hold conservative views.
Tea Party supporters have been regularly labeled as racists. Conservatives who cite moral values in debates over same-sex "marriage" or abortion have been repeatedly called "the American Taliban." Just a few weeks ago, Democrat senators and even Barack Obama suggested that negotiating with Republicans on tax cuts was like negotiating with hostage takers.
The smear campaign against conservatives in the wake of the shooting spree is beyond disgusting. It is a part of the ongoing campaign to demonize, delegitimize and ultimately silence millions of Americans who want constitutional government, lower taxes, less power concentrated in Washington, life to be protected and marriage to remain the union of one man and one woman.
To Krugman, Olbermann and the rest of their ilk: You should be ashamed of yourselves!
The Substance of Symbolism The recitation of the Constitution, the first order of business for the new House on January 6th, clearly bothered many Democrats and their media allies. Liberal Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) scoffed that the reading was "purely symbolic." Many liberal diehards refused to participate.
The initial moves of the new Congress may seem to be guided more by symbolism than by substance. But symbolism matters in politics. Symbols can be powerful reminders of what the parties stand for. & And, as I argue in my Human Events column today, the symbolism of the House's action couldn't have been more needed. It punctuated the 112th Congress' historic undertaking: a recommitment to constitutional governance.
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Nightmare, Arizona, shooting, Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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