Posts Tagged ‘fiscally conservative’

Barack Obama’s Endgame

August 26, 2010

Our spending is not sustainable. We can NOT afford to keep kicking the can down the road. Generational debt? Already out of control.

I will also predict this – if the Republicans do not make serious changes – real, substantive changes – once they regain control of Congress, the party will not survive.

Economic high point – the used car market

August 26, 2010

With unemployment rising, home prices crashing, an unstable stock market and talk of a double-dip recession, there is good news for one industry (besides red ink manufacturers, that is.) The used car industry is “enjoying” a surge in the bottom line for their wares. Prices have jumped 10% overall, and by a third in some cases. Thank you, Cash for Clunkers for destroying billions of dollars in assets last year. People still can’t afford new cars and now, they can’t afford used ones.

Ed Morrissey, over at Hot Air, noted:

As predicted last year, the people most hurt by the price increases are those who can least afford them. The used-car market usually attracts people who need transportation on a budget, who cannot afford to buy new. By destroying a quarter’s worth of trade-ins in three weeks and permanently taking them off the market, the Obama administration has forced an artificial inflation by supply restriction. Moreover, they did so by subsidizing new-car sales that would have occurred anyway, eating up three billion dollars in taxpayer money.

In other words, the White House spent $3 billion to make used cars more expensive for working-class families. Nice work.

Feeling left out? Never fear – gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon recently proposed Utah’s own version of Cash for Clunkers so you too can feel the pain. He neglected to mention how he planned to pay for it.

The Bill That Shall Not Be Named

August 12, 2010

Congress’ official Web site calls it the ‘______Act  of____,’ or the XXXXXX Act of XXXX.’

“A nameless bill for a hopeless cause is a fitting metaphor for a Democratic Congress that refuses to listen to the American people and abandon its job-killing agenda,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH).

Boehner offered 10 possible names for what he called the “union-boss bailout” bill:

Save Our ‘Stimulus’ (SOS) Act
— ‘Recovery Summer’ Bailout Act (Cash for Flunkers)
— Delivering Unions a Major Boost (DUMB) Act
— Helping Election Expenditures, Hurting American Workers (HEEHAW) Act
— Democracy is Strengthened by Clearly Leveraging and Optimizing Special-Interests’ Effectiveness (DISCLOSE) Act
— Holding Union Bosses Over Until Card Check Act
— Rescuing Incumbent Democrats Is Costly (RIDIC) Act
— Summertime Cash for Union Bosses Instead of Spending Cuts for Taxpayers Act
— Frivolous Act of Ineffective Largesse (FAIL) Act
Naming These Things Hasn’t Gotten Us Anywhere, So Why Bother? Act

What is no laughing matter is we’ve now spent another $26 billion we don’t have.

Chaffetz: Taxpayer Hero

August 10, 2010

When Rep. Jason Chaffetz ran for office two years ago, he ran a lean, fiscally-conservative campaign, one that remained debt-free – an unusual feat for a challenger.  He campaigned hard on a promise of fiscal restraint and has earned a reputation as a fiscal hawk.  From pointing out money wasted on mohair subsidies to calling for a spending freeze after a few weeks in office, he is following through on that promise of restraint.

Today, the Council for Citizen’s Against Government Waste released their rankings for 2009. Chaffetz has a stellar rating of 98%, earning him the title of “Taxpayer Hero“.

The rest of the Utah delegation (all fans of earmarks, by the way) did not fare as well. Senator Bennett voted with CCAGW  70% of the time, Hatch – 79%, Rep Bishop – 77% and Rep Matheson – an utterly abysmal 11%.  (Matheson’s bottom-of-the-barrel rating earned him the title of hostile. So much for the Blue-Dog fiscal conservative.)

CCAGW’s 2009 Congressional Ratings scored 120 votes in the House and 74 votes in the Senate. By comparison, in 2008, CCAGW rated 48 votes in the House and 42 votes in the Senate. According to CCAGW, the dramatic increase in the number of votes scored in 2009 “is a reflection of the intensely partisan 111th Congress, the Obama administration’s relentless pro-spending agenda, and many members’ inability to support a pro-taxpayer agenda.”

Many House votes were Rep Jeff Flake’s “striking amendments” – the ones he offers which would cut pork out of the bills where they’ve been hidden in. For example, Mr. Flake, the champion of no earmarks, offered 553 amendments, comprising 1,102 earmarks to the defense appropriations bill last year.  (None passed.)

There is a mistaken notion that if an earmark were ever to be stripped from a bill (a rarity, to be sure), the money for that earmark would just go back into the big money pot.  However, that’s not true. The earmark and its funding would be removed completely, saving the government – I mean the US taxpayer – money – and lots of it.

Maybe when the House flips in November some fiscal sanity will be seen in DC.  (I was going to say return, but I’m not sure there’s ever really been any.)

Until then, we have groups like the CCAGW and  people like Congressman Chaffetz who will continue to shed light on – and fight against – the problem of out-of-control DC spending.

Let them eat cake

August 7, 2010

Or something like that.  In a summer where many Americans took a “Stay-cation”, or  drove to  Grandma and Grandpa’s, did a bunch of free stuff and then came home, our First Lady is on a $400,000 vacation in Spain.  She took her daughter Sasha, the Secret Service and some friends and their daughters and headed to the sunny beaches of Spain, prompting some to liken her to Marie Antoinette, the French queen who lived lavishly while her people were starving.

Staying at a posh resort where the rooms start at $600/night, Mrs. Obama and her group of 40 have also been out seeing the sights. When they were ready to hit the beach, Spanish police used palm trees and police tape to mark off the boundaries of a 100-yard expanse for the American delegation. On either side, onlookers gawked – and police occasionally stopped and searched sun lovers if they strayed too close to the private party.

The stressful life of living in the White House must be getting to the Obama family. So far this year, Michelle has taken the following vacations:
*March: Over spring break, Mrs. Obama, her daughters and mother, Marian Robinson, visited New York with friends and took in some Broadway shows.
*Memorial Day: a weekend trip home to Chicago.
*June: Mrs. Obama, her girls and her mother flew to Los Angeles for sightseeing.
*July: A Camp David visit
*July: A weekend in Maine (after encouraging Americans to vacation in the Gulf states)
*August: Spain

Since that is so draining, after she and Sasha get back, there are two more vacations planned. The Obama family will travel to the Gulf Coast for the weekend of Aug. 14, followed by a 10-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.

You(can)Cut government programs

August 4, 2010

Back in May, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Minority Whip, launched “You Cut” – a program where “we the people” can go to a website and select programs that should no longer be funded by the federal government.

Each week, the “House Economic Recovery Solutions Group” posts new proposals and asks site visitors to vote on which one they think is the worst waste of money. Participants can also text their votes via cell phone.

So far, $1.3 million votes have been cast to eliminate such things as the mohair subsidy program, collecting back taxes from gov’t employees, ending funding for whaling programs in Mississippi and prohibiting taxpayer funding for campaigns in foreign countries.

Here is Rep Cantor explaining this innovative idea:

While presented as a bipartisan effort, it’s been heavily supported by the Republicans and not nearly as much by the Democrats. Finally, last week’s top YouCut item was presented by 4 Democrats – but when their proposal was presented on the House floor, 3 of the 4 voted against it!

So do your part and every week, head on over to Rep Cantor’s site to cast your vote. Maybe, just maybe, one of them will actually be implemented.

Primary results for Aug 3

August 3, 2010

Two-term Sen. Sam Brownback sailed to the GOP nomination in Kansas‘ gubernatorial race Tuesday against Joan Heffington. Heffington, a former Boeing employee and home builder from Derby, had promised to subject every piece of legislation to a Biblical test and public poll before signing it. She also accused the CIA of conducting biological experiments on Kansans going back decades. Senator Brownback is considered a heavy favorite in the November election against State Senator Sam Holland.

Democrat Lisa Johnston will face Republican Jerry Moran for the Senate seat Brownback is vacating. Moran fought a bitter primary race where both candidates actively courted GOP conservatives. He overcame a strong challenge from fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt (TEE’-hart). The key issue for many voters was which longtime politician would be more aggressive in fighting President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats.

Moran promoted endorsements from conservative senators such as tea party favorite Jim DeMint of South Carolina, while Tiahrt had the backing of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

As in Utah, this was the race. Kansas has not elected a Democrat as a Senator since 1932.

In Missouri, Democrat Robin Carnahan and seven-term GOP Rep. Roy Blunt secured spots on the November ballot in the state’s Senate race. Carnahan comes from a well-known political family. She is the daughter of a former governor and a former senator and easily defeated two challengers. Her Senate bid comes 10 years after the death of her father and one of her brothers. They died in an October 2000 plane crash while Mel Carnahan was campaigning for the Senate.

Robin Carnahan, the two-term secretary of state, will face Blunt, who has served in the House since 1996 and whose son is a former governor. He beat eight opponents for the GOP nomination, including tea party favorite state Sen. Chuck Purgason.   The race is considered a toss-up.

In the race to replace Blunt, Politico reported that in the GOP primary:

Auctioneer Billy Long sent a resounding message to the southwest Missouri political establishment by defeating two state senators and a well-known Greene County prosecutor in the 7th District.

Long, a plainspoken political neophyte who often sported a cowboy hat, ran on an anti-establishment message, swore off earmarks and took a term limit pledge — all while trouncing his opponents in fundraising. His yard signs read “Fed Up?” and he won the backing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, who has a reputation as a maverick Republican who irks party leaders. In the heavily conservative district, Long is likely to cruise to victory in November against Democratic attorney Scott Eckersley.

Missouri law also now contains a direct challenge to the federal health care law passed earlier this year. Primary voters approved Proposition C by a wide margin Tuesday, giving Missourians the power under state law to ignore government requirements to buy health insurance and nullifying penalties for failing to do so. The law goes into effect immediately.

In Michigan, self-funding businessman and political newcomer Rick Snyder (R) will face Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D) in the Michigan governor’s race.

Bernero, who was backed by labor, won the Democratic nomination over state House Speaker Andy Dillon, while Snyder beat Rep. Pete Hoekstra and state Attorney General Mike Cox for his party’s nod in the open seat being left by outgoing – and unpopular – Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Snyder, a former Gateway president, came out of nowhere to beat two seasoned politicians and starts the general election as the heavy favorite. Interesting!

In House races, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), who narrowly survived a primary in 2008 lost her bid for re-election. The aeven term Democrat was beaten in Tuesday’s primary by state Sen. Hansen Clarke also of Detroit.

The mother of imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, she overcame her son’s legal entanglements two years ago in a tight primary win. The 65-year-old tried this time around to sell voters on her standing as a House Appropriations Committee member and provider for the heavily Democratic 13th District but voters weren’t buying it.

She’s the sixth incumbent lawmaker, and the fourth from the House, to lose this year.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula-based 1st District (my home for 2 years – your trivia for the day), Republican Dan Benishek, a favorite of conservative grassroots activists narrowly held off state Senate Majority Whip Jason Allen by a grand total of 102 votes.  Recount, anyone?   If indeed the winner, Benishek will run against state Rep. Gary McDowell, who ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The winner will fill Bart Stupak‘s seat who decided retiring was a good idea after his notoriety in the health care debate.  UPDATE:  The final count from yesterday’s primary actually showed only a 1 vote difference between Benishek and Allen.  Wow!


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