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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Senator Kelly Ayotte: Looming Fiscal Cliff Is An Opportunity . . .
. . . for both parties to change the nation’s “irresponsible spending path!
‘Out-of-control deficits stand to bankrupt our country—casting a shadow of debt that will rob future generations of the American Dream. As the mother of two children, I won’t let that happen. Washington can’t keep ducking the tough decisions. And the “fiscal cliff” we’re headed toward provides an opportunity for both parties to change our country’s irresponsible spending path.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) says the looming fiscal cliff represents an opportunity for both parties to change the nation’s “irresponsible spending path.” Calling for presidential leadership to avoid the tax hikes, and defense cuts that the Pentagon says will hollow out our Armed Forces, Sen. Ayotte says, “One thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option. And any effort to address our fiscal crisis without including entitlement reform can’t be taken seriously.”
“Hello. I’m Kelly Ayotte — a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.
“We’ve had a spirited debate this year about the future of our country.
“And one thing is clear: the American people expect Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve the difficult challenges we face.
“For too long, partisan bickering has paralyzed Washington—preventing members of both parties from reaching across the aisle to find common ground. That must stop. Power sharing is an opportunity—not an obstacle. And getting our fiscal house in order is where we need to start.
“Out-of-control deficits stand to bankrupt our country—casting a shadow of debt that will rob future generations of the American Dream. As the mother of two children, I won’t let that happen.
“Washington can’t keep ducking the tough decisions. And the ‘fiscal cliff’ we’re headed toward provides an opportunity for both parties to change our country’s irresponsible spending path.
“In just over a month, tax rates that have been in place for more than a decade are set to increase. And automatic, across the board spending reductions will kick in—cutting funding for everything from our troops to federal cancer research.
“Failure to stop this combination of tax hikes and arbitrary spending cuts threatens to throw our country’s economy back into recession—at a time when millions are still out of work. This is a test we cannot fail.
“We can reduce the deficit without harming our economy. But it will take bipartisan cooperation to get there.
“For example, everyone agrees that nearly $500 billion in additional defense cuts stand to hollow out our military and cost jobs. In fact, the President’s own Secretary of Defense has said that these reductions would ‘inflict severe damage to our national defense for generations.’
“Our troops and their families aren’t the only ones who will be impacted. America’s private defense suppliers are set to take a hit that could cost one million defense jobs. These companies are critical to America’s national security, supplying our military with advanced weapons and technology.
“I’ve spent much of this year highlighting the need to find alternative savings in the budget to replace these cuts. In doing so, I’ve made it clear that this issue requires presidential leadership. Last month, the President pledged that sequestration won’t happen—to avoid it, we need his active engagement.
“When it comes to taxes, Republicans and Democrats agree that the current federal tax code is broken. And both sides recognize the importance of closing egregious tax loopholes that pick winners and losers.
“Tax reform that eliminates wasteful tax preferences to generate revenue will help bring fairness and efficiency to our tax system. This approach makes more sense than raising tax rates—which will harm nearly a million small businesses and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“As a reminder, just two years ago, President Obama said that raising taxes would be unwise given the weakness of our recovery. That’s as true now as it was then.
“Finally, both parties recognize the need to strengthen and preserve our entitlement programs—which represent the main drivers of America’s crushing, runaway debt.
“Seniors like my grandparents depend on Medicare and Social Security for a dignified retirement. It’s up to us to ensure that these programs are there for future beneficiaries.
“But right now, the non-partisan trustees in charge of Medicare and Social Security say that they’re headed for insolvency as early as 2024 and 2033, respectively.
“One thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option. And any effort to address our fiscal crisis without including entitlement reform can’t be taken seriously.
“A generation ago, at a time of divided government, Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill bridged their differences to preserve Social Security. Some 30 years later, we find ourselves in a similar situation—with a Democratic President and a Republican House Speaker. If it could be done then, it can be done now.
“It will take courage to address the serious fiscal challenges our country faces. But Americans always come together to solve tough problems. And, for the good of the nation, now is the time for both parties to bring their best ideas to the table.
“As we count our blessings this Thanksgiving, may we all remain mindful that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. What unites us will always be stronger than what divides us. We are Americans first. And as Americans we’ll rise to this challenge.
“Thank you. May God bless our country.” Tags:Senator, Kelly Ayotte, Republican address, fiscal cliff, opportunity, irresponsible spending, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Take sporting goods, for example. Guns and ammunition sales have soared since Barack Obama’s election. Right after he became president in 2008, gun sales shot up (pardon the pun) and since his re-election last week, gun sales have increased by 300-400 percent across the nation.
The fact that the UN Small Arms Treaty gun ban was being embraced with new vigor within hours of the 2012 elections has spurred many people to purchase weapons and ammunition, even if they have no past experience with guns. A reversal of the order of “train first, then buy a gun” is now being seen, where purchasers are laying down their money for guns now, then seeking to be trained on proper usage of the weapon. A sense of fear that guns and ammo will soon be much harder to afford and obtain is pervasive across the country.
Survivalists and “Prepping” suppliers have also seen a huge surge in their business.
Sales of non-perishable foods are up, along with stockpiled fuel. “Beans, bullets, and bandaids” are among items being purchased for prolonged disasters. People are investing in “safe rooms”.
Wealthier preppers are spending $200,000 each for items such as the “Vivos 8″ underground chamber with 24-inch-thick concrete and steel walls. Do you see how much our president is stimulating our economy?
The sad truth is that Americans are now spending vast amounts of their hard-earned money, preparing to protect themselves from the effects of disastrous government policies, instead of the pursuit of expanded liberty and prosperity for all.
-------------- Curtis Coleman is the President, Curtis Coleman's Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:American business, ammunition sales, gun sales, preppers, Small Arms Treaty, sporting guns, survivalists, American Culture, Curtis Coleman, Coleman Commentary Podcasts, Constitutional Crisis, Second AmendmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Michael Sandoval, Heritage Investigates: The Heritage Foundation has updated its Saving the American Dream plan as the nation moves inexorably towards the fiscal cliff set to hit at the beginning of 2013.
From Amy Payne’s Morning Bell:To meet this challenge, Heritage Foundation experts updated our Saving the American Dream plan to address the fiscal cliff and then rein in spending. Our plan features a sweeping pro-growth tax reform plan to grow the economy and generate more revenues and a broad restructuring of entitlement programs to provide real economic security to seniors while making the programs affordable.
The plan balances the federal budget within 10 years—without raising taxes—and stabilizes and then reduces the debt. The Heritage plan focuses government assistance to those who truly need it, with a guarantee that no American would have to live in poverty. It would also begin to reduce government back to its constitutionally authorized powers and make defense funding a core priority.Payne illustrates how Heritage’s plan would reduce the debt held by the public–currently at 73 percent of GDP–to 28 percent by 2037, the lowest plan among five submitted as part of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Solutions Initiative II. Tags:Heritage Investigates, Chart of the Week, federal budget, fiscal cliff, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Saving the American Dream, tax reform, taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Ethanol Mandates – the poster child for zombie govt programs that never die. ~ Flopping Aces
ARRA News Service — The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has refused to grant waivers requested by several states for relief from the ethanol mandate. Daniel Horowitz on RedState:identified that "a bipartisan group of 156 representatives, 8 governors, and 25 senators petitioned the EPA to temporarily waive the ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuels Standard until we recover from the drought" Yesterday, the EPA announced that it had no intention on suspending the mandate for even one day.
On August 3rd, Peter Urban, Stephens Washington Bureau addressed the request for waivers including the request by Arkansas Gov. Beebe."A sharp spike in feed prices because of the continued drought is costing the nation’s poultry industry millions of dollars and threatening jobs. We have put on hold any plans to expand production and create new jobs because of the increased grain costs,” says Gary George, president of Springdale-based George’s Inc. . . .
At Ozark Mountain Poultry in Rogers, chief executive officer Ed Fryar offers a similar story. At current prices, feed will cost them an extra $12 million over the next year. “An increase in feed costs of this magnitude will be difficult for us to manage or survive,” he says. Without some relief, Fryar says the company may be forced to reduce production and lay off some of its 500 employees.
Mark Hickman, president of Peco Foods Inc. in Tuscaloosa, Ala., says the high feed prices may cause layoffs at their processing facilities in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.
The company, he says, had otherwise planned to expand its operations and possibly hire as many as 300 workers. “We have put on hold any plans to expand production, hire new employees, add growers,” Hickman said.Governors of Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland, New Mexico, Georgia, Texas and Virginia also asked and were denied waivers of the Renewable Fuel Standard law which require motor fuel producers to include 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol in the mix this year EPA is requiring 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into gasoline in 2012, rising to 13.8 billion next year and 15 billion gallons by 2015.
One of President Obama's personal supporters of Obamacare was Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) who also requested a waiver of the ethanol mandate which has been denied. The entire Arkansas Congressional delegation (democrats and republicans) supported the waiver request,
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) sharply disagreed with the EPA’s denial of the waiver: “Their decision will not only cause economic harm for our livestock and poultry producers, but it will also negatively impact consumers and food manufacturers. The EPA should reconsider their decision. Arkansans need relief.”
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) responded to the EPA's refusal:“Forty percent of our corn crop goes to ethanol production. As a result of the drought, that number is likely to climb even higher. All that does is drive up the cost of corn, which in turn drives up the cost of commodities in general, and that translates to higher prices at the grocery store for all of us.”
“The law allows the EPA to adjust the ethanol mandate to prevent economic harm to American families. The mandate is hurting Arkansas and many other states. Governor Beebe and several other state governors requested that the EPA grant a waiver. I joined with over two hundred of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, in both the House and the Senate, to support this effort. Instead of hearing our bipartisan calls for relief, the EPA chose to stand by its misguided policy.”
“The EPA’s decision makes absolutely no sense. These subsidies have an incredibly negative effect on the cost of living for every Arkansan. Arkansans are hurting and overbearing federal agencies like the EPA seem intent on making the wound deeper. I am committed to helping the people of Arkansas who are struggling in this difficult economy and will continue to fight these harmful mandates.”Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) responded, “The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard regulatory rules are another example of how the Obama Administration’s policies are hurting our economy. Because of their refusal to grant our state’s ethanol waiver request, hardworking Arkansas farmers, ranchers and consumers will be forced to pay more for the food and supplies they need.”
Referring back to Horowitz, he also encouraged citizens to "Challenge your representatives to submit a bill that will repeal the ethanol mandate and begin rehabilitating the image of the Republican Party as the party that stands with individual liberty over Obama cronyism." Tags:EPA, ethanol mandates, waivers, deniedTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Newt Gingrich: The escalating violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is providing a perfect example of the false moral equivalence that profoundly threatens the state of Israel.
For more than a decade, millions of Israelis have lived under the constant threat of rocket attacks. Thousands of rockets have rained down on towns of peaceful citizens. In one day at the end of October, militants in the Gaza strip fired more than 65 rockets into Israeli civilian populations.
On Wednesday, the Israeli military took action to dismantle this threat. It did what the American military does routinely: assassinated a terrorist with a drone strike. The man, Ahmed Jabari, was a senior member of the military wing of Hamas, the terrorist group risen to government power in Gaza. He was responsible for numerous numerous acts of violence against Israelis.
Militants in Gaza responded with a barrage of hundreds of rockets on Israeli civilians, killing at least three and injuring several others.
Israel then launched a mission to destroy dozens of launch sites that it had identified in the Gaza strip. Satellite imagery released by the military shows that often militants had attempted to shield these sites by placing them next to civilian locations suchs as apartment buildings, mosques, and markets.
Today, forces in Gaza launched a long range rocket (possibly supplied by the Iranians) capable of hitting Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. It hit a settlement just south of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion. Yesterday another rocket reached the Tel Aviv area for the first time since 1991.
And what is the response of the UN Secretary General to Israel’s self-defense in the face of a decade of rocket attacks, a million people driven into shelter this week by the barrage, and long range missile strikes close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv?
“Israel must exercise maximum restraint.” That is what his spokesman told reporters today.
The Secretary General “urgently appeals to all concerned to do everything under their command to stop this dangerous escalation and restore calm. Rocket attacks are unacceptable and must stop at once. Israel must exercise maximum restraint.”
The dishonesty of this moral equivalency is stunning. Militants and terrorists launch thousands of rockets into Israel, killing or injuring dozens of its citizens. Israel, a sovereign country with an obligation to defend and protect its people, acts to destroy these launch sites, which the militants hid intentionally among civilians, and the UN responds as though Israel is guilty of reckless violence.
How can there be a peace process under a discourse that affords a terrorist group diplomatic status and calls for “restraint” in the self-defense of a sovereign country? The United States should formally protest the UN's one-sided statement. Tags:Israel, Hamas, rocket attacks, Gaza, UN, General Secretary, United States, Newt GingrichTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: We heard a lot of loose talk during the presidential campaign about getting tough with Communist China. Since both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney criticized China’s violations of free-trade rules that the United States obeys, this would be the perfect issue to showcase the bipartisanship to which both men said they are committed.
Free trade with China is a racket because we play by the rules, while China steals our patents and manufacturing secrets, and violates the rules of the World Trade Organization to which they agreed when we helped them join in 2001. The statistics are mind-boggling: the U.S. has closed 57,000 factories, lost 2.8 million manufacturing jobs, and piled up a trade deficit with China of $3 trillion.
A new book by Peter Navarro and Greg Autry titled “Death by China” makes a powerful case against allowing China to continue its war against America while our leaders pretend it’s just good capitalism. Our workers join the unemployment lines, our country’s manufacturing base disappears, CEOs rake in their bonuses for cutting costs through outsourcing, and a big Communist country builds up a tremendous military in order to become the number-one superpower in the 21st century.
The Chinese engage in massive intellectual property theft in order to give them an unjustified leap forward in technology: aerospace, biotech, cyber, information, and energy. The Chinese force U.S. corporations to give China their technology and manufacturing secrets as the price of locating a plant in China.
Our U.S. weapons system is endangered by Chinese cheating. The Senate Armed Services Committee reported that one million suspected “bogus parts” have been found in U.S. military aircraft, including the Air Force’s largest cargo plane, special operations helicopters, and a Navy surveillance plane. This report describes a “flood of counterfeit parts” from China, which threaten our national security and the safety of our troops.
Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative, said that even the smallest counterfeit parts can cause a lot of trouble. The Senate Armed Services Committee reported that a faulty Chinese-made chip in a sensor on a Navy helicopter in the Pacific Fleet prevented the pilot from firing its missiles.
Some counterfeit chips are designed to contain a “kill switch” that can shut down the military equipment. Some chips appear to be working perfectly, but really are sending information to someone else.
Chips are not the only Chinese counterfeits. Thousands of U.S. motorists found their cars were installed with dangerous Chinese counterfeit airbags and now have to be replaced at the owner’s expense. A government test found that some Chinese airbags don’t inflate, and some shoot flames and shards of metal shrapnel instead of inflating.
China manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of American exporters, excludes American products from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese companies to give them a commercial advantage, piggybacks on U.S. technology, and invents regulations and standards designed to keep out foreign competition.
As more and more U.S. public schools are making vaccinations a requirement, Communist China is preparing to take over the vaccine market. China’s food and drug administration brags that China has more than 30 vaccine-producing companies having an annual production capacity of nearly one billion doses.
Are U.S. parents willing to inject their kids with Chinese vaccines? At least 81 U.S. deaths in 2008 were caused by Chinese-made Heparin, a blood thinner widely used in surgery.
This year’s scandal involved a big outbreak of meningitis and reportedly about 32 deaths. We don’t yet know where the contamination came from, but about 80 percent of the active ingredients in U.S. prescriptions are imported from China or India.
An expert on Chinese health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Yanzhong Huang, pointed out the difference between Chinese and U.S. medicine safety. Unlike China, U.S. vaccines are kept safe by supporting institutions such as “the market economy, democracy, media monitoring, civil society, and a business ethics code,” plus inspections and regulations, severe punishments for violators, and lawsuits by trial lawyers.
All during the ’70s and ’80s, and even the ’90s, the globalists predicted that as China pursued a market economy, China would evolve into economic freedom, then political freedom, and become a good fellow in the world community. Dream on; it didn’t happen.
China is a dictatorship run by the Communist Party determined to use every protectionist gimmick to become the world’s number-one military and economic superpower. When will Americans wake up to how U.S. adherence to “free trade” allows China to cheat us coming and going? Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, China, political parties, bipartisanshipTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Lisa Rein, WPO: The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported a record annual loss of $15.9 billion in the past fiscal year, prompting renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation to help.
“It’s critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. The agency has reached a $15 billion borrowing limit.
The fiscal year’s loss is more than three times the $5.1 billion loss reported last year, the Postal Service said.
The agency has repeatedly said that its financial woes are partly the result of the funds Congress requires the Postal Service to set aside for future retirees.
About $11.1 billion of the red ink came from health benefits for those future retirees, an obligation the agency says it cannot afford as mail volume plummets.
. . . In January the agency plans to raise first-class mail rates by a penny, to 46 cents. But the increased revenue is not expected to cover the losses. . . . [Read Full Story] Tags:USPA, Unites States Postal Service, lossesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: With no time to recover from a thorough election day whooping, Republicans in a lame duck Congress are facing an even worse budgetary nightmare than last year. And they only have two months to negotiate a solution with President Obama.
Last time, as the Chair the Balanced Budget Amendment campaign, fellow conservatives and I were urging Republicans to tie the unavoidable increase in the debt ceiling to a balanced budget amendment. Because it also prohibited tax increases, the amendment would have required balance to be achieved through necessary cuts throughout the federal government.
But in the end, politicians did what you might expect: They punted the issue. And America will now face serious consequences.
Initially, liberals in Congress set up a plan called "sequestration" that has held the U.S. military hostage to their desire to raise taxes. The original plan was to convince other congressmen to cave to tax increases to prevent those defense cuts.
Now those cuts are scheduled to take effect in January, and they would harm our military readiness.
During the presidential foreign policy debate, President Obama declared that sequestration "will not happen." Yet with $1.6 billion in tax increases on the table, he has already factored these military cuts into his fiscal planning for the future.
I agree with my longtime friend and former RSC Chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who said that while slashing the defense budget is undesirable, it is better than nothing. If the automatic cuts are suspended, the only thing taxpayers will have received in last year's deal was a $2.4 billion increase in debt.
Instead of accepting lazy and dangerous across-the-board defense cuts, Republicans must be at the negotiation table prepared with ideas for how to reduce military spending intelligently. When it comes to our military budget and vital national security programs, a scalpel is better than an indiscriminate budget ax.
And there are plenty of opportunities to find savings. On Thursday, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma released a study of Defense Department cuts which could easily save taxpayers $68 billion over 10 years. For too long, Congress has perpetuated a system that protects redundant, wasteful and failing programs that bilk taxpayers and provide no benefits to our brave men and women in uniform.
One place to start slashing would be the experimental Standard Missile-3 IIB missile defense program, an interceptor that is to one day take out long-range enemy missiles. It is the foundation of the fourth phase of the President's so-called Phased Adaptive Approach, but the delivery of these missiles could still be a decade away.
Opposition to the SM-3 IIB has been mounting. The concept was singled out as a candidate for elimination by a recent missile defense report authored by the National Research Council.
"It's not that Phase 4 is a stupid idea or that it won't work," Walter Slocombe, who co-chaired the NRC expert committee that wrote the report, said in an interview with Global Security Newswire. "It is that it is only necessary for the defense of the United States and there is a better way to do the defense."
L. David Montague, former President of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space program and a member of the National Research Council may have summed it up best: "For too long, the U.S. has been committed to expensive missile defense strategies without sufficient consideration of the costs and real utility."
The SM-3 IIB, as an untested technology with fuzzy development timelines, epitomizes that problem. It was supposed to roll off production lines by 2020, but the U.S. Navy, as recently as last month, was still defining the missile's requirements and capabilities. Without a defined concept in mind, development, design and testing, and production are many years away. In fact, it may never be used, and taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.
What is confirmed by the National Research Council and other military experts is that our leaders would rather have scarce resources be spent in well-tested missile defense systems that have the best chance of protecting our homeland and allies.
There are certainly other examples, but wildly expensive experimental programs like the SM-3 IIB should be first on the chopping block if Republicans want to rid the Department of Defense of wasteful spending.
And as the budget debate becomes loud and vicious, we cannot allow liberals to hold the military hostage. Only by carefully considering the often overlooked details of military budget can we avoid higher taxes and a weakened national security.
--------------- Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate; a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission; senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. He is executive vice president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member. he is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Defense spending, military budget, winning the debate, liberals, holding military hostage, national securityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Petraeus Testifies — Former CIA Director General David Petraeus testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill this morning about the 9/11 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Gen. Petraeus told members of the intelligence committees that he "knew almost immediately" that the attack on the consulate was carried out by Ansar al Sharia, an Al Qaeda group in Libya.
Emerging from the hearing, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) told reporters that Gen. Petraeus was asked about the talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. As you may recall, Rice said repeatedly on national television that the attack was a spontaneous demonstration in response to an anti-Islamic film.
Gen. Petraeus told the committee that the original CIA talking points were "much more specific about al-Qaeda involvement." But they were edited during an "inter-agency process," and no one knows where in the process that "much more specific" information got cut.
Unfortunately, as Rep. King indicated, General Petraeus' testimony this morning contradicts what he told the committee in September when he essentially toed the White House line. It also raises questions about who cut information about Al Qaeda's involvement and why.
On MSNBC this morning, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), vice chairman for the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "Susan Rice was sent to give a White House message. It was not an intelligence community message, and there's a very clear distinction in that." Every American should demand to know why the White House was not in sync with the intelligence community.
Jerusalem Targeted — Palestinian militants fired rockets toward Jerusalem today. Fortunately, they landed in open fields outside the Holy City and no one was hurt. A Hamas spokesman said, "We are sending a short and simple message: There is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine and we plan more surprises."
Israel has already called up 16,000 reservists, and IDF tanks are massing on the Gaza border in preparation for a possible ground assault. After today's attack on Jerusalem, Reuters reported that as many as 75,000 reservists may be called up.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian prime minister, our supposed ally and product of the Arab Spring, has rushed to Gaza to show Egypt's solidarity with the Palestinians.
Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel. Egypt receives $1.5 billion dollars in aid from the U.S. each year. It is time to demand more from our "allies" in Cairo. If President Obama is serious, he should get Mohamed Morsi on the phone and tell him to stop standing with the terrorists or go find his $1.5 billion somewhere else!
As this crisis continues, we will no doubt hear more about alleged Israeli "war crimes." So let's talk about real war crimes.
As David French correctly notes, "Every Hamas rocket attack is a war crime." Why? Because they are aimed at civilian targets with the intention of terrorizing the Israeli people. These rocket attacks are terrorist attacks.
Moreover, Hamas has intentionally positioned its rocket launchers in civilian areas, near mosques, schools and hospitals, thereby turning innocent Palestinians into human shields. Under international law, placing such weapons in civilian areas constitutes a war crime, and it is not a war crime for Israel to take them out.
Obama Continues The Campaign — For most Americans the 2012 campaign ended on November 6th. But the left isn't stopping. Today's Washington Post reports that "President Obama's reelection machinery" is being kept in place and will be used in an on-going "campaign to pressure Republican lawmakers." At least 100 Obama campaign operatives have been retained for this massive effort.
According to the Post, these "former campaign organizers" will "orchestrate protests in front of lawmakers' offices and set up phone banks to call constituents." For all the talk about compromise, this is just more Chicago-style hardball politics!
The negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff" haven't even begun yet, and Democrat demands are increasing by the day. For example:
Obama has doubled his demand from $800 billion in new tax hikes to $1.6 trillion.
At least 13 Senate Democrats are resisting cuts to entitlement programs and demanding that any deficit reduction plan be based on a 1-to-1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts. Keep in mind that Obama has run $1 trillion deficits each and every year of his administration. Spending, not revenue, is clearly the problem!
And to top it all off, other Senate liberals are demanding another stimulus package! Yes, that's right -- their solution to our spending and debt crisis is even more spending and more debt!
All of this is increasing the suspicion among conservatives that Obama and his Democrat allies really don't want a deal at all. In fact, they may even want the country to go off the fiscal cliff.
Here's the partisan logic: If Democrats can force enough weak-kneed Republicans to buckle and accept a bad deal, Democrats win and the GOP hurts its brand again.
Or they just keep upping the ante so much that even the weak-kneed Republicans can't go for it. If nothing happens, the Bush tax cuts automatically expire on January 1st and Obama still gets his tax hikes. But he also gets the added benefit of bashing Republicans for the fiscal chaos that ensues. Some liberals believe it's a win-win for Obama.
I have spent the last few days in private meetings with conservative leaders and our allies in Congress. I have not found anyone who is confident we can finesse this issue. All most Americans will hear is Obama's spin amplified by the left-wing media.
Union Bankrupts Twinkies — Here's a good indication of the mood on the left and its unwillingness to compromise.
Hostess Brands, makers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is shutting down and laying off 18,000 workers at its 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers. Hostess is going out of business because the bakers' union refused to accept a new contract, ignored repeated warnings that the company risked bankruptcy and went on strike.
No doubt Michelle Obama and Michael Bloomberg are doing a victory dance. First they tell us that men can "marry" other men. Now they are telling us that we must do without Twinkies!
Joking aside, the president of the Service Employees International Union said a few years ago, "'Workers of the world unite,' it's not just a slogan anymore." Presumably he knows that slogan comes from Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto." But I wonder just how much unity the workers of Hostess Brands are feeling today. ------------- Gary Baueris is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of theCampaign for Working Families. Tags:Petraus, Testifies, Jerusalem, Targeted, Hamas, Barack Obama, Unions, Hostess, Twinkies, Gary BauerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Sen. Patty Murray: "The Country Should Go Over The Fiscal Cliff"
Today in Washington. D.C. - Nov. 16, 2012
The Senate has adjourned for Thanksgiving recess and will return for legislative business on Monday, Nov. 26th, when it will complete work on S. 3525, a bill concerning hunting and sportsmen with up to two votes. The Senate is then expected to turn to the Defense authorization bill, S. 3254. Priot to adjourning, the Senate also conveyed to the House a message that the Senate passed H.R. 6570, and S. 1440.
The House met today and passed H.R. 6156 (365 - 43) — "To authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to products of the Russian Federation and Moldova and to require reports on the compliance of the Russian Federation with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization, and for other purposes."
Rep. Tim Griffin (AR-02) favored the passage of the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act (H.R. 6156). He said, "Last year alone, Arkansas sold more than $56 million worth of goods and services to Russia, and by opening up this market to even more Arkansas-made goods, we can strengthen our economy and create more jobs here at home. This bill would grant Russia and Moldova permanent normal trade relations in order for the United States to receive the open markets benefits resulting from Russia joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 restricted trade with the U.S. in an effort to push the Soviet Union to allow the emigration of Soviet Jews and other victims of religious persecution. With the fall of the Soviet Union, this policy is no longer necessary, and its repeal will ensure that the United States remains internationally competitive now that Russia has joined the WTO."
The House also unanimously passed H. Res. 813 — "Expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism."
The House then adjourned for Thanksgiving recess until 2:00 PM on November 27, 2012.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Yesterday, Tony Lee at Brietbart .com noted Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announcement that if she wins the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, Democrats may not pass a budget for the fourth year in a row.
Earlier this week, This same Senate Democrat, Patty Murray, again suggested that Democrats are so insistent on tax increases that they’d be willing to let the nation plunge over the fiscal cliff to get them.
CNN writes, “Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) says that if Republicans do not agree to let tax cuts expire for Americans making over $250,000 per year, the country should go over the fiscal cliff . . . .” Appearing on MSNBC that same day, Murray was asked, “You believe that’s a viable option, going over the cliff?” She responded, “Yes, if the Republicans continue to sit in their corner . . . .”
Slate reports, "Back in July she made some wise remarks at the Brookings Institution about the extent to which this will all get easier if we go over the fiscal cliff first:
I also think many Republicans are starting to realize something very important. On January 1st if we have not gotten a deal, Grover Norquist and his pledge are no longer relevant to this conversation. . . . We will have a new fiscal and political reality.
If the Bush tax cuts expire, every proposal will be a tax cut proposal, and the pledge will no longer keep Republicans boxed in and unable to compromise. If middle class families start seeing some money coming out of their paychecks next year, are Republicans really going to stand up and fight for new tax cuts for the rich? Are they going to continue opposing the Democrat’s middle class tax cut once the slate is wiped clean?
Of course, this isn’t the first time Murray, the 4th ranking Democrat in the Senate, has pushed this idea. Over the summer, it was “Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who outlined the Democratic strategy … that her party would rather plunge off the fiscal cliff than extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” as National Journal described it. Appearing at the Brookings Institute, Murray said, “So if we can’t get a good deal… then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013… our country is going to have to face the consequences…” The day after, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was asked, “Do you agree with Senator Murray that if you do not get a balanced deal, you’ll fight this into 2013?” Reid replied, “…Patty Murray knows what she’s talking about.”
Rejecting this line of thinking, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell previously responded, “Think about it: the amount of revenue for which they’re prepared to push us over the fiscal cliff wouldn’t fund the government for a week. So why in the world would we want to do it? What’s the point? To make people feel good about whacking somebody else? That’s not what we were sent here to do. That’s certainly not what the people of Kentucky sent me here to do. That’s not how you set economic policy — because it makes you feel good. You set economic policy because you think it will lead to investment here in America, create jobs, and give more people an opportunity to lift up themselves up, boosting middle-class incomes now and ensuring security for the future.”
Once again, we again note that elections have consequences! Washington State sending Patty Murray to the U.S. Senate was one of them. Murray is willing to send not only Washington State but also the rest of the United States over the "fiscal cliff" while she seeks the Chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee and admits that this committee led by her may not pass a budget for the fourth year in a row. Tags:Congress, US House, US Senate, Thanksgiving Recess, Sen, Patty Murry, Fiscal Cliff, No budgetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
States now count on the federal government for $1 out of every $3 in revenue, according the 2010 Census, which offers the most recent finalized data. That’s your stimulus money at work.
And $1 out of every $3 is just the national average: In Arizona, 46.9 percent of state revenue came from federal grants; in Louisiana, 48 percent; and in Mississippi, a whopping 49.6 percent.
You don’t need a chart to realize this is unsustainable. The stimulus allowed states to maintain or increase irresponsible spending — even when the recession was raging — when they should have been cutting back.
Those cuts are even more painful now, after states have become artificially accustomed to more. Predictably, many have struggled to cut back as their federal dollars ran out. For states’ financial health, it looks like the stimulus could have done more long-term harm than short-term good. Tags:federal grants, states, census bureau, taxpayer dollars, spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
“…AFSCME president Lee Saunders said the coming months amount to essentially ‘another campaign.’ ‘What we’re going to do is to keep our campaign, keep our members mobilized and organized in the different communities throughout the country,’ Saunders said. … ‘We’re going into another campaign. We won the election but we’re going into another campaign now.’” (“Obama, Left Leaders Discuss Fiscal Cliff Campaign,” Politico, 11/13/12)
Heritage Foundation: Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Obamacare subsidies will soar as 78 million baby boomers retire and health care costs climb. Total spending on federal health care programs will more than double. Future generations will be left with an untenable debt burden
PERCENTAGE OF GDP
Source: Congressional Budget Office (Alternative Fiscal Scenario). Tags:U.S Government, Fiscal Cliff, entitlement reform, news reports, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Conservatives Elect New Chairman of the Republican Study Committee
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: At the end of this congressional session,RSC Chairman Jim Jordan steps down as chairman. I wish to state that the conservative new media appreciated his and his staffs effort to remain in contact with us and to offer detailed information on issues and torequests for assistance to share the message with our readers. Many of those on his staff under the leadership of RSC's Executive Director, Dr. Paul S. Teller, were quick to provide information and to answerinquires. I must admit that I enjoyed watching Jordan as he lead the RSC. I welcome incoming Chairman Steve Scalise and look forward to his leadership of this committee and his future efforts to continually nudge the Republican leadership in the "right direction." Steve, the conservative new media is here to assist you.
Washington, DC – The Republican Study Committee, the caucus of conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, today elected Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana as its next Chairman. Rep. Scalise’s two-year tenure as the leader of conservatives in the House begins when the new Congress is sworn into office in January. Biographical information on Rep. Scalise can be found here.
“The Republican Study Committee is the conservative conscience of the House, and I’m humbled and honored to be chosen as the RSC’s leader for the 113th Congress,” Scalise said. “The American people chose the Republican House to serve as the only line of defense against Barack Obama’s liberal agenda, and the RSC must stand tall as the conservative rudder, steering the House towards more conservative solutions as we work to get our country back on the right track. We must unite as conservatives around our shared beliefs of economic opportunity for all Americans through lower taxes, controlled Washington spending, and more individual freedom."
“I want to thank Tom Graves for running a strong campaign," Scalise continued. "Tom is a valuable member of the RSC and we will continue to lean upon his passion for our Constitutional principles as we unite as conservatives to move our country forward."
“Our mission for the 113th Congress is clear. We must protect the American Dream for future generations by working to pass conservative solutions to the many problems facing our nation," Scalise said. "The stakes are too high and the consequences too grave for us to fail at this mission. Our nation has overcome countless hurdles and hardships to become the beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. We cannot let that light fade on our watch, and I will work every day with all our RSC Members to ensure that the American dream is preserved and strengthened for future generations.”
“It has been my honor to serve this group of dedicated and principled conservatives, and I offer my congratulations to Representative Scalise,” said current RSC Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio. “Steve Scalise will be a strong voice for the conservative solutions House Republicans were elected to champion. His leadership will be critically important as we work to strengthen the economy and defeat the debt. I wish him the best of luck in his new position of leadership.” Tags:U.S. house, Republican Study Committee, conservative caucus, Jim Jordan, Steve ScaliseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Extremists Left Rooting For U.S. To Go Off The Fiscal Cliff
Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 15, 2012
Today the House reconvened at 10 AM. and is currently in recess as of this article. Yesterday afternoon, House Republicans selected their leadership team for the 113th Congress. One significant improvement was the addition of a female voice, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to the top leadership.
In addition, The Republican Study Committee, the caucus of conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, today elected Rep. Steve Scalise (LA) as its next Chairman.
No additional bills beyond those identified yesterday were passed.
The Senate reconvened at 9 AM today and resumed consideration of S. 3525, a bill concerning hunting and sportsmen. This morning, the Senate voted 84-12 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on S. 3525. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has blocked all amendments to the bill.
The Senate may turn to the Defense authorization bill (S. 3254) next.
Last night, Reid forced a new cloture vote on the cybersecurity bill, S. 3414, which failed to move forward over the summer after Reid blocked amendments to the bill. He refused again to allow an open amendment process, and so failed to get the 60 votes needed to move the bill by a vote of 51-47. It has been noted that with Reid's unwillingness to allow amendments, and the Senatates continued failure to pass a cybersecurity bill, then President Obama may issue executive order to address government cybersecurity.
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed one of the key obstacles to obtaining an agreement to avoid the approaching fiscal cliff. “I believe the two parties can avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. And in the process, I even believe we can agree on a framework for a bipartisan plan to address the even bigger problem of our nation’s fiscal solvency. But there are clear obstacles to success. . . . The first obstacle is a very vocal and very determined group of extremists on the Left who are rooting for us to go off the fiscal cliff. These are the folks the President invited to the White House earlier this week, and who seem to have gotten a number of Democrats in the Senate to embrace this reckless idea themselves.”
Then in October, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the number 3 Democrat in the Senate, rejected bipartisan outlines for tax reform, demanding that tax rates go up.Politico noted, “If embraced by other Democrats, Schumer’s approach would represent a hardening of the party’s position on taxes and could complicate the prospects for a bipartisan deal before year’s end . . . . A Democratic aide argued that Schumer's speech managed to move the party to the left . . . .”
And based on his answers at his press conference yesterday, The Wall Street Journal editors speculate, “All of which makes us wonder why [President] Obama is so insistent on raising tax rates now, even if he can get nearly the same amount of revenue from reducing deductions. Here's one guess: He really doesn't care if there's a budget deal this year that avoids the tax cliff. By taking an absolutist line, he's basically gambling that Republicans will be more reasonable than he is and will blink. But if they don't blink and we go over the cliff, from his point of view so what? Mr. Obama then has an excuse to blame Republicans if there's another recession. Meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on January 1 anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to make any tax concessions.”
Discussing those on the Left who seem content to allow the nation to plunge over the fiscal cliff so they can get higher taxes, Leader McConnell said, “Make no mistake: the goal of these folks isn’t to do what’s best for the middle-class. It isn’t to create jobs. It isn’t even to balance the books, since the taxes they’d hike wouldn’t even come close to covering current spending. What they want is to sock it to those they define as rich, regardless of the impact on jobs or the broader economy. That’s what motivates this crowd. They’re not serious about tackling the nation’s fiscal problems. And if we’re serious about helping middle-class Americans and helping this economy grow, their radical approach should be ignored.”
Instead, he explained, “The only way — the only way — we’re going to solve this present crisis, and get past the political stalemate, is for the President to lead. . . . The President is the only person in America, the only one out of 315 million, who can sign a bill into law. He’s the only one who can lead the members of his own party to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do, but first he needs to decide it’s time to put away the talking points and do something good for the county.” Tags:Us Senate, cybersecurity, US House, House Republicans , GOP Caucus leadership election, fiscal cliffTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The Associated Press reports this morning that the deficit for October, the first month of the new fiscal year, was $120 billion. That figure is 22% higher than the October 2011 deficit. And even though tax receipts were up 13% from October 2011, spending was up 16%. This level of spending is unsustainable.
But now that Obama is safely ensconced in the White House for another four years, having once again deceived millions of blue collar workers in states like Ohio, his agenda is becoming clearer by the day. Speaking about the debt and deficit yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "[Obama] does not believe that reducing deficits and debt are values unto themselves." That's obvious!
What about all the talk of a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff? As I reported yesterday, there is no evidence Obama and the left are willing to compromise at all. The Hill reports that Obama asked for $800 billion in tax hikes over ten years in his discussions with John Boehner last year. Now he's demanding double that -- $1.6 trillion! Obama's press conference this afternoon was aggressive and showed little room for common ground.
Fresh off of his reelection victory, Obama is demanding a pound of flesh from congressional conservatives. If John Boehner and Senate Republicans give it to him, he will demand two pounds next time. And if they refuse, then he and left-wing members of Congress seem willing to go over the fiscal cliff and blame the GOP for the resulting economic damage. Polls suggest Obama has the upper hand.
Some of our friends, such as Larry Kudlow, the Wall Street Journal and even the Romney campaign, have already embraced the concept of having the rich pay more -- not by raising tax rates but by limiting deductions. The largest and most popular deductions are home mortgage interest and charitable donations.
The rumor is that Obama will get his $1.6 trillion by demanding both higher marginal tax rates AND limited deductions. But keep in mind that Obama is spending at least $1 trillion more than the Treasury brings in each and every year. His "plan" is to raise $1.6 trillion over ten years, essentially cutting his deficits by just 16%. That's not much of a solution.
AND DON'T FORGET THIS: If the GOP figures out a way to hold the line against Obama's demands, taxes go up anyway in January, automatically.
------------- 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, Barack Obama, debt, government spending, moral issueTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The End Of The Karl Rove Death Grip Signals A Reagan Renaissance
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.
There was a touchy relationship between President Reagan and his Vice President George H.W. Bush. They were rivals during the primaries. Bush attacked the Reagan economic agenda as “voodoo economics.” Bush served faithfully as VP for eight years but Reagan and Bush never warmed to one another. There was precious little rapport between the populist figures populating the Reagan circle and the Eastern establishment retinue of the son of the patrician Sen. Prescott Bush.
When George H.W. Bush’s turn came he talked like Dirty Harry, “Read my lips. No new taxes.” When the moment of truth came, George H.W. Bush blinked, raising taxes. His presidency was liquidated by the perfect storm of a Reaganite base revolted by the abandonment of a solemn campaign pledge plus a tax-increase induced recession. Bush pere was a conservative and a very decent man. He was hornswoggled by elegant Mandarins like Dick Darman.
George W. Bush, as good as, and more conservative than, his father, was hornswoggled too. He campaigned on the theme of “compassionate conservatism.” That phrase, like his father’s “kinder and gentler nation”, implied a certain pitilessness in Reagan conservativism. The implications complied with the liberal caricature of Reagan. Pitilessness, however, reflected neither the self-concept of most Reagan loyalists nor our splendidly humanitarian outcomes (such as the dramatic reduction of the Misery Index). Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way … in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles — especially low tax rates and good money — brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.
In an intraparty succession barely noticed by the mainstream media the Bush forces supplanted the Reagan forces within the GOP. Keepers of the Reagan legacy tended to end up at positions of respect and influence within the conservative movement. For example Reagan intimate, counselor, and attorney general Edwin Meese III long has held a prestigious office with the Heritage Foundation, the flagship of the Washington conservative establishment. Even though Meese was a General in the Reagan Revolution, though, his influence on a Bush cohort-dominated GOP — one that chiseled Reagan onto Rushmore while ignoring Reagan’s philosophy — is constrained.
Mandarins of the Bush (pere and fils) cohort sought and received mere token presence in the conservative establishment. They sought, and achieved, rather, vast influence in the Republican Party. Mandarin Karl Rove, comrade of Bush pere’s campaign guru Lee Atwater, became the dominant partisan figure.
The enormity of (and surprise at) the defeat of Romney is a huge setback — and perhaps fatal — to the Bush Mandarins’ hegemony over the GOP. If so, the potential re-ascendency of the Reagan wing of the GOP will prove very bad news for liberals and excellent news for the Republican Party. The Reagan wing now can resurge. A resurgence already has begun.
Many of the same Mandarins that delivered a stagnant economy to President(s) Bush had a hand, directly or indirectly, in misguiding McCain, and then Romney, to resounding defeat. This catastrophic performance may discredit, permanently, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, among others, with the donors. The Mandarins’ Svengali-like power over the donors was the major source of their power. If even a substantial minority of the donors are fed up with Rove it will open the field for a generational change in party leadership … and direction.
The Reagan Renaissance
Dislodging the death grip of Karl Rove from its throat would put a new generation of political leaders in charge of the Republican Party. The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.
The Reagan campaign ethos was distinct from the tactics of “naked cruelty” perfected by Bush pere’s political gunslinger Lee Atwater. (Atwater, may he rest in peace, publicly repented and apologized to his victims before his tragic, untimely, death). Yet the politics of naked cruelty were transmitted into the political culture by Atwater’s comrade, Rove, and his doppelganger on the Left, David Axelrod.
And both the Bush Mandarins and Obama Consiglieres have complemented their politics of naked cruelty with policies of economic stagnation. A Reagan Renaissance promises to restore a political culture of hardball political decency, economic growth, and conservative values.
Eight Republican Reagan Renaissance Men are entering their prime. Removing Rove’s death-grip on the party, with party donors now freed to pursue principled victory rather than a prestige brand name, the Reagan Revolution now can morph into a Reagan Renaissance.
The Reaganesque Governors
Mike Pence was just elected governor of Indiana. Full disclosure: this columnist headed up a tiny superPAC whose mission was to persuade Pence to run in 2012. Many consider Pence to be Reagan 2.0. He certainly is a figure who demonstrated extraordinary, perhaps unique, moral courage (and great judgment) in a lonely opposition to Rove when Rove was at his peak of power. Politico, on the unsuccessful effort to sweep Pence onto the 2012 board: “If he does run, it’s clear that Pence would particularly appeal to an element of the GOP that has always resisted the establishment and been wary of the Bush crowd — the kinds of conservatives who originally preferred Jack Kemp over the elder Bush.
“And at a moment of pronounced regret among GOP and tea party activists about the expansion of government that took place under George W. Bush, Pence’s distance from that brand is seen as an unalloyed asset.
“’I don’t know of anybody else [in the field] who stood up to Karl Rove,’ said Benko, touting Pence’s opposition to No Child Left Behind, the costly prescription drug benefit and TARP. ‘He has fought for fiscal restraint harder than anybody I know.’”Pence, however, has a worthy gubernatorial rival for the Reagan mantle. Sam Brownback is a dazzlingly Reaganesque success as governor of Kansas. Brownback just implemented the largest income tax cut in Kansas history. At the same time, he reversed a $500 million deficit into a $500 million surplus, reducing the size of state government by 4,000 positions. Brownback’s state budget director, Steve Anderson, is pioneering a method of accounting that holds government programs accountable for their cost-effectiveness — just like private sector companies have to be. He’s posted it to the Kansas Budget Director’s Office website for the world to emulate. This is revolutionary.
The Reaganesque Senators
Three Senators stand out as leading New Generation Reaganites: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and the newly minted Ted Cruz. (The great Jim DeMint, of course, has term-limited himself into the role of a deeply respected elder statesman.)
Rubio already has earned rock star quality, both for his personal charisma and the charisma of his ideas. Rubio is a leader in presenting prosperity-with-social-equity, fostering Reaganesque economic policies: “We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. And then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. And that’s what we should be focused on, and that’s what we’re not focused on.”Rubio leads the pack among GOP Insiders in the most recent NationalJournalPolitical Insiders’ Poll. He’s built a major league team and is first tier.
Suave Rand Paul does not have the same “Insiders” appeal. Yet Paul almost certainly will be able to capture the energy of many of the followers of Ron Paul, his retiring father, while continuing to champion a refinement of his father’s profound Jeffersonian libertarianism. Paul will be formidable in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, a chance to catapult himself into contention. And Rand Paul is far more Reagan Renaissance than Bush Mandarin.
The most interesting newly minted U.S. Senator is Texan Ted Cruz … who campaigned on a distinctively broad-based economic growth platform. Mother Jones’s Tim Murphy calls him “the Republican Barack Obama.” Cruz, in NRO: “President Obama has presided over a substantial dollar decline against gold and other commodities, and a highly unstable dollar relative to other major currencies. The volatile dollar distorts investment, reduces business confidence, and hampers international trade.” … “In sum, rather than take the proven path to economic boom — the path of Reagan, as well as Jack Kennedy in the Go-Go 1960s and Calvin Coolidge in the Roaring ’20s … President Obama has willfully added huge new costs and red tape on business, proposes a major tax increase starting on January 1, and has presided over a highly unstable dollar.”A Reagan Renaissance man.
The Reaganesque Congress
In the House, three rising stars stand out as leaders of the Reagan Renaissance. These are Kevin Brady, Jim Jordan, and, of course, Paul Ryan.
Kevin Brady, vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, makes himself a man to be reckoned with by a proposed comprehensive spending reform — “the MAP” to cut federal spending fat by more than trillion dollars over the Ryan Plan. Brady also gains national respect with his Sound Dollar Act — about which America is likely to be hearing much more, soon. Brady promises thereby to place the growth potential of a rule-based monetary policy at the fore of the national debate. With Obama re-elected, picking a smart monetary policy fight is among the smartest things the GOP can do.
Rep. Jim Jordan has made a smart crusade for economic growth policy a signature matter. He promotes a five point economic growth agenda, including, unprompted, monetary reform. It is reminiscent, in its simplicity and potency, of Reagan … and of Kemp. Of possibly equal importance to his policy agenda is Jordan’s disposition. Jordan — like Kemp — is one of few championship athletes to have served in the House. Athletes instinctively understand winning and losing. They know that incremental gains are important only in respect of whether they bring one closer to final victory. Jordan, a Hall of Fame collegiate wrestler, clearly understands the Agon.
And then there is Paul Ryan. Rep. Ryan’s status as Romney’s running mate, notwithstanding the loss, brings him to the fore. Ryan has focused more ardently on balancing the budget than on generating growth. This is a complicated issue and has minuses as well as pluses. Yet Ryan is a savvy, disciplined, energetic leader. He successfully made himself into a conservative rock star and shrewdly wooed most of the mainstream conservative establishment into backing his Plan. And Ryan has an authentic grasp of the critical importance of monetary policy. This is an ace up his sleeve.
Economic growth and the equally important cultural, values, and civil liberties issues such as life, marriage, and religious liberty, are issues that were marginalized by the Bush Mandarins. Yes, the Mandarins were kind of mostly against tax increases and kind of for some tax cuts and sometimes for spending restraint, except when they weren’t. But the Mandarins were not obsessed with generating economic opportunity as was Reagan and his Revolutionaries. And the Mandarins proved far too squeamish to engage with the values issues which are both principled conservative and vote rich. But the elitist Mandarins, not the populist Revolutionaries, seized control of the party apparatus. And it was all down hill from there.
Neither the left nor the mainstream media understand the existential difference between the Reagan Revolutionaries and the Bush Mandarins. Will the Republican financial, media, and other elites grasp this very critical distinction? Whether 2012 was the liberal triumph or the liberal last hurrah depends, in part, on whether the GOP Bigfoots notice the distinction and take heed.
If the party elites begin to shift some meaningful resources, and authority, to the Reagan Renaissance … as embodied by the rising new generation of officials dedicated to prosperity and moral courage … the election of 2012 will prove out not to have been a liberal triumph. 2012 will prove to be the calm before the storm as the Reagan Revolutionaries return from the political wilderness and settle in to generate the long-delayed Reagan Renaissance.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared with a different title in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author. Tags:Ralph Benko, Karl Rove, end of Death grip, Reagan RenaissanceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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