It’s The Economy, Stupid! (Part I)

We all remember when Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign came out with that ridiculous line, but liberals are having some serious issues grasping rudimentary economic principles these days. Economics can grow into a complex subject, for sure, but there are some rules that remain very simple. The simplest of them all:

People go into business to turn a good profit.

I’m not talking pennies-on-the-dollar kind of profit. The type of person who goes into business for themselves spends a lot of time, money and effort on their education. They put substantial investments into their companies. Every entrepreneur takes a huge risk by starting a business, because they stand to lose quite a bit in the process. Most business owners do experience some failure before they become successful. Some owners lose everything and never find success. Those who do create jobs and pump money into the economy.

With that in mind, I’m struggling to understand how liberals are coming to the conclusion that major restaurant chains are cutting employee hours and other big businesses are starting mass layoffs solely to get revenge on Barack Obama.

I’m reading so many opinions about this thing that I’ve gotten lost in the madness. There are a wide range of expressions, ranging from the well-intentioned (“I can’t spend money with a company that would cut back on employee hours to avoid paying more”) to the breathtakingly stupid (“he’d only have to pay 14 cents per employee for their health insurance!”). I’m afraid I’m all out of patience for the misinformed.

What on Earth did any of you expect? You just had to pass that healthcare monstrosity. It was the most important thing in the world to you. Did you stop to think before pushing and then passing that legislation that there may be consequences? Did you not think that by forcing businesses to provide health insurance to all employees working 30 hours or more per week you might be increasing their cost of operating and, in turn, force them to find savings somewhere? It really is a simple concept, and you not only miss it, you assign blame to the most whimsical thing you can come up with.

I have the exact same health policy that I had in 2005. It’s the best policy my employer offers. In 2005, though, it literally cost me less than half what it costs now. As much as it costs me, my employer pays three times what I do for the policy – that’s on top of my salary. I used to pay $19 a paycheck. NOW I pay $52 a paycheck after three years of steep hikes. The health insurance bill you insisted must be foisted upon all of us is the reason.

Liberals had decided that health care costs were out of control and that something had to be done. Their brilliant idea was to force everyone to get health insurance, force insurers to cover all kinds of things that weren’t required before, eliminate annual spending caps and offer the Jersey salute to anyone even breathing the words “tort reform”. How is this supposed to help us? I still haven’t figured it out.

You said it was unfair for insurers to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, so now the law bars all of them from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. The college kids who studied underwater basket weaving and couldn’t find decent jobs, along with the ones who didn’t go to college at all (particularly those who didn’t even finish high school), wanted to be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until at least age 26. Now the law requires that all insurers offer coverage to “dependents” up to that age, even if they don’t live with their parents. The hippies wanted their insurance to cover alternative therapies, including spiritual healing and acupuncture – things we’ve paid for out of our own pocket for eons. The feminists wanted their birth control for free because they forget to take the pill half the time, so they insisted on forcing coverage for much riskier forms of birth control (ever hear of pulmonary embolism?). And just to make sure we’re all being responsible citizens, you’ve banned insurers from charging co-pays for services that fall under the “preventive care” category.

You weren’t willing to enact tort reform to dramatically scale back the constant abuses on medical malpractice suits, but you just had to have all this other crap in the bill. The federal government is supposed to subsidize some 30-odd million people getting health insurance now, too – and it’s supposed to be paid for by massive cuts to medicare (that aren’t supposed to exist) and higher taxes on the very same business owners we’re forcing new costs on in the first place.

It’s no wonder our costs have gone up. Ostensibly, this was dreamed up for two reasons: first, making sure health care coverage is affordable. Because you insisted on forcing insurers to cover everything but a trip to the moon, fat chance of it ever being affordable again. Second, you wanted to control the price of healthcare due to those who are uninsured. The uninsured go to the ER for everything under the sun, from hangnails to the sniffles (thereby negating the purpose of an EMERGENCY Room), and when they stiff the hospital on the bill the costs supposedly get passed on to patients who ARE insured, right? So this new bill is supposed to cure that – the problem is that it drives up the cost of my premiums and gives more incentive for my employer to tweak my plan to include deductibles (meaning I pay more out-of-pocket – I didn’t have a deductible back in 2005). I’m now paying a lot more than I was paying before.

Anyone who really thought this would not be the end result of enacting the steaming pile of excrement that is the health insurance bill was either lied to or willfully ignorant. The worst part about the whole thing is that they did it “because it’s the right thing to do”, implying a moral need – the very same thing they castigate conservatives for.

Next, in Part II – how it all affects businesses

Economics Just Aren’t Sexy Enough

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” -Mark Twain

Matt Damon was captured on camera defending all teachers as angels and our educational system as a modern marvel. When caught in an error and called on it, he became indignant and spit out expletives to defend himself and his mother (who, coincidentally, is a teacher). Never mind the fact that public education in America falls well below the standard in other countries. Never mind the fact that kids that I went to school with managed to graduate despite being damn near illiterate, and it’s only gotten worse since then. Never mind the fact that our public schools churn out violent thugs with an efficency only a prison could admire. And please, never mind that guy doing that horrible rap calling achievement a “crime spree”.

We now have a generation coming up that cannot bother themselves to understand the facts before deciding what they believe – and basing it entirely on their feelings – and our celebrities are defending our educational system as above reproach. It’s almost as if they want things to be this way.

So, naturally, as soon as Standard & Poor’s, the famous credit rating agency, downgraded the US credit rating, the MSM began trumpeting the Democratic Party’s view that the decision to downgrade was a “flawed”, “facts-be-damned” decision based on so-called fuzzy math. It’s easy for the Democrats to say that; they’re going to do what they must to defend their positions. The MSM is practically owned by liberals, so they are going to spit out what Democrats feed them. Then, all of these folks who don’t want to lose precious time learning actual facts will take such claims as gospel, believe them wholeheartedly, and parrot them unfailingly.

Then, when you hit them with facts, they’ll come up with some pretty outrageous stuff – arguments such as, “how come S&P didn’t downgrade the credit rating of all those subprime mortgage beasts but they’re downgrading the country’s credit rating now? They’re hypocrites!”

Here and I was hoping for a real challenge.

The role of a credit rating agency is pretty simple. They assess risk. That’s it. They look at a handful of factors and determine the risk of granting credit to a person, company or government. We all know the three major credit bureaus to be Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and for the most part we all understand what they do. They take our income into account, look at the debt that we’re paying (including mortgages, rent, car loans, credit cards, etc.), and issue a score that companies use to decide whether or not to issue us a new line of credit falling into one of the aforementioned categories. Companies also use those bureaus to determine a job candidates’ eligibility. If the risk is too great – meaning we’re not making enough money to pay our debt or not paying the debt on time without taking out more debt – our score dwindles and most companies won’t grant any new credit. Experian doesn’t take it upon itself to examine the investments I’m making and whether or not I’m taking a risk there; if they did, my credit rating would be better than it is.

Nor is it the job of larger-scale credit rating agencies to make a determination of the risk of investment being made by a company or a government.

Take a look back at the beginning of subprime mortgage as we knew it. Alan Greenspan went on TV and essentially told the country, everybody, from peons like me to the CEO’s in mansions, that investing in real estate was a flawless move because once people buy a house and move in, they don’t want to move out – ever. It’s a pain, he said, so turn your attention to mortgages.

Banks and other lenders began to look more closely at a very convenient piece of legislation known as the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1977, then-president Jimmy Carter signed into law the act that would make it a crime for any lender of any kind to red-line risky neighborhoods and required those lenders to, in effect, accept a certain percentage of risky lending as a requirement of being in the business. In essence, the government stepped in and guaranteed that people who were not credit-worthy obtained credit anyway, facts be damned. Sound familiar?

Entire companies sprang up to take advantage of a whole new opportunity: subprime lending. It’s an infallible investment, right? Nobody wants to move out of their house. They’ll do whatever they can to keep it. So let’s lend to anyone and everyone because the government has sanctioned it. Oh, even better, once we get these mortgages out there, let’s create a whole new type of security investment based on packages of these mortgages and ignore the credit-worthiness that they’re based on! We’ll be billionaires overnight!

Everyone got on that get-rich-quick scheme just as quickly as they got on the dot-com train. They failed to recognize the exact same indicators of a pending doom that George W. Bush tried to warn Congress of as early as 2003. Bush, while I sincerely disliked his fiscal policies, had few options on what to do. People on BOTH sides of the aisle failed to see what was coming, and as long as everyone was rolling in money, it didn’t matter whether they had an R or a D behind their name – nobody was willing to ruin a good thing. As long as real estate was popular, values were driven up so high they were astronomical. Eventually they could only go one way. Something rising that rapidly will always, without fail, suddenly stop and plummet.

It’s damned easy now to look back and see what was wrong with it. I dare ask how many of these screaming liberals also bought into that scheme only to see the value of their property drop like a rock after cashing out the inflated value of their homes and ending up owing nearly twice what the property was really worth. Everybody was to blame, but not one person has acknowledged the fact that a Republican pointed out the pending doom and a Democrat (Barney Frank) shot him down by waving off the warning as baseless.

S&P, Moody’s and Fitch were not tasked with determining the risk of their investment. Their role was to examine what was on the books of those companies, how much business they were doing, and give them a rating based on the risk of issuing credit to those companies. When there was a hell of a lot of money in it, it was impossible to expect them to downgrade those companies because, at the time, there was little to no risk in issuing that credit.

The federal government, on the other hand, doesn’t have enough money to back themselves up. They are spending too much money and are refusing to cut back – in fact, they’ve only spent more than any of us could have imagined. Democrats want to crucify Bush for the bank bailout, and I disagreed with it, too; we were going to feel the pain of that crash one way or another. They are conveniently forgetting their role in the disaster and are using smoke and mirrors to deflect the blame on everyone but them. They are covering up the fact that by refusing to do something early, they left Bush with few options on how to fix the problem. And now that they are in a position of power, they are holding the economy hostage and blaming the Tea Party with accusations of terroristic hostage-taking.

Unfortunately, no liberal will come close to seeing these realities even if they do read this. Why? Because unless Hollywood can make a realistic movie about economics and make it look sexy, they just won’t be interested enough to educate themselves. So we end up with a generation being fed by Matt Damon and Sean Penn how to stop caring about their own achievement and care more about their feelings – and the rest of the world prepares to eat them alive. It’s more important to stick up for a feel-good ideal and throw money at something than it is to fix it and teach the people involved to make something of themselves that doesn’t include daydreaming of being a movie star and not needing a real education.

Common Sense Conservatism: Unemployment

New unemployment numbers are in, and the national rate held firm at 9.5% while the state with the worst rate broke its own record. Nevada, the hardest hit state in the nation when it comes to foreclosures and per capita bankruptcies, has led the nation in unemployment since it overtook Michigan in May. Unemployment in Nevada rose to 14.3% in July, while unemployment in Nevada’s largest city, Las Vegas, rose to 14.8%. July marks the 16th consecutive month Nevada’s unemployment rate has increased. Ignored in all of this is underemployment, which includes those who are working part-time due to a lack of full-time jobs, and is estimated at 18.4% nationally, and 21.5% in Nevada. Unemployment among teens is at 26.1%, while underemployment for African-Americans is estimated at 25% and unemployment for Black teens hit 40.6% in July.

In light of these facts, different people have different views on how to solve the problem. Democrats in Washington, along with President Obama, are committed to a strategy that includes stimulus packages and federal spending to boost the economy. Republicans in Washington disagree, and prefer options that include keeping taxes low and creating incentives for businesses to hire. These differences have turned into an ideological battle where Republicans call Democrats “socialists,” and “Marxists,” while Democrats call Republicans “obstructionists,” and “for the rich.” Name-calling may be an effective way to damage your opponent politically, but it doesn’t do much to educate Americans on the issues, or explain why there is such disagreement.

One of those points of disagreement is the extension of unemployment benefits. Every time Democrats try to pass bills to extend unemployment benefits, Republicans say “No.” And every time Republicans say “No,” they are labeled “insensitive,” “cold-hearted,” etc. So what’s wrong with Republicans? Why do they “hate the unemployed,” as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow claims?

Two things are important to consider here. First, Democrats passed H.R. 2920, the Pay-As-You-Go-Act of 2010 (PAYGO), in February. Under PAYGO, any new spending or tax cuts must be budget-neutral, or offset by cuts elsewhere (Read: New spending must be paid for before it is passed). Democrats in the House passed the unemployment extension without paying for it with an equivalent amount of cuts, ignoring their own statute, and blaming Republicans for wanting to follow it.

Second, many Americans currently receiving unemployment benefits today are doing so based on wages they were earning when the economy was much better. The result is that their unemployment earnings are often higher than jobs are currently paying. As an example, let’s say Mary was laid off in Nevada while making $700/week. She is currently receiving roughly $350 per week in unemployment benefits, just under the $362/week cap. Looking for work today, Mary may not accept a job unless it comes with a paycheck higher than her unemployment check. Currently in Nevada, minimum wage is $8.25/hr. for jobs that do not offer health insurance, and $7.25 for those that do. This means Mary needs to find a job that pays $8.75 in order to make more than unemployment pays her to stay home. That doesn’t factor in the cost to get to work, like gas for the car. Employers simply aren’t able to pay employees today the same wages as they did one or two years ago, and unemployed workers have no real incentive to take a job that doesn’t pay more than unemployment.

Now, when Democrats extend unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 99 weeks, which they have done, it enables people to remain on unemployment for close to two years. There’s no doubt that unemployment is needed, especially at a time when jobs are hard to find. However, I’ve seen many examples of people turning down jobs because they don’t pay as much as their unemployment benefits. To make matters worse, all you need to do to collect unemployment here in Nevada is visit a website weekly to file your claim. You have to answer some questions, but you never have to meet with anyone to prove you’re actually out looking for a job, let alone not turning them down. Nevada is practically bankrupt, and there’s virtually no accountability in the unemployment system.

So do Republicans “hate the unemployed,” as Rachel Maddow suggests? Or rather, do Republicans see the financial strain caused by indefinite unemployment benefits? Perhaps Republicans understand that revenues won’t return to state governments and profits won’t return to businesses until people start returning to work – and a 99-week safety net isn’t exactly motivation. Now unemployment is hardly a vacation. It’s demoralizing, and extremely challenging to make ends meet on such a meager income. However, there are jobs out there, and we need to make sure we are not rewarding people who pass them up to remain on unemployment. That part is not cold-hearted. It’s fiscally responsible.

Republicans are often hit hardest for favoring tax cuts and incentives for businesses. Democrats have convinced people that any benefits for businesses, small or large, only help rich people. However, the opposite is true. Small businesses in America represent 99.7% of all employers, and have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs over the last decade. If these businesses are not hiring today, it is because they are afraid to spend the money, not knowing what the future holds. Every tax we add to the shoulders of job creators in this country will result in more lay-offs, less new jobs, and higher costs passed on to consumers, all at the worst possible time.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of the unemployment issue is how Democrats have politicized it. Let’s be clear: Democrats have a super-majority in the House of Representatives. They can pass ANYTHING they want, as the Republicans do not have the votes to stop them. That means if Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats wanted to pass Polish as the official language of America, they COULD! PERIOD! In fact, the only reasons Democrats CAN’T pass everything they want is that conservative Democrats who won in the 2008 Obama wave now represent traditionally Republican districts, and don’t want to lose in November. So let’s get off this narrative that Republicans are obstructionists. The truth is that Democrats prefer to have Republicans support their unpopular bills like Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, and others, so they’re not alone in receiving heat from voters come November. If listening to the American people is considered obstructionism, we have a problem.

I talked to a voter today who told me the Republican Party was “The Party of ‘No’,” and that they oppose everything President Obama tries to do because he’s black. Earlier this week, the following statistics were featured in a National Republican Senatorial Committee ad:

* 57% think Democrat Agenda is “extreme.” (Rasmussen Poll, 8/11/10)
* 60% favor repeal of ObamaCare. (Rasmussen Poll, 8/16/10)
* 56% disapprove of Obama’s job performance. (Rasmussen Poll, 8/16/10)
* 61% favor Arizona-like law in their state. (Rasmussen Poll, 7/8/10)
* 68% oppose Ground Zero Mosque. (CNN Poll, 8/11/10)
* 65% angry at Federal Government policies. (Rasmussen Poll, 8/16/10)
* 65% say America is on the wrong track. (Rasmussen Poll, 8/11/10)

With these numbers, why shouldn’t Republicans be “The Party of ‘No’?” This clearly illustrates that President Obama and the Democrats currently controlling Washington are in direct opposition to the American people, regardless of skin color.

But it’s not this voter’s fault she feels that way. It’s what the media has been telling her for two years, every chance they get. It’s the standard attack from the Democrat Party. Whether it’s the Mosque at Ground Zero, unemployment benefit extensions, terrorism, immigration, gay marriage, health care, energy issues, education issues – if a Republican has an opinion on it, he or she is labeled a:

Choose One: [racist, homophobe, xenophobe, elitist, bigot, Islamophobe, fearmonger, hatemonger, warmonger]

…who hates…

Choose One: [Blacks, Hispanics, Gays, Muslims, the poor, children, women, the elderly, the middle-class]

Pay attention next time, and you’ll see it for yourself. The attack is always the same, and it is never based on the actual issue. That needs to change. We have to talk about the issues and work together to do what is best for our country. We need to educate voters on the issues, so Americans can make the right decisions based on accurate information. And we must start using logic, and not emotion, to determine the direction our country takes as we move forward.

As for unemployment, remember: The government has no money. The only money it has comes from taxpayers. When a private company creates a job it is paid for with profits. When the government creates one, it is paid for by YOU.

“Hope and Change” or “Shackles and Chains”?

Our friend Gerard posted this on Facebook this morning…I’m on my way to work my company’s booth at Phoenix Pride to do Q&A on financial fraud and identity theft, but I had to share this with everyone. This is for all those folks in Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow’s camps who still think that tea party activists are racist, redneck homophobes!


Where Does It Stop?

Obama rammed the stimulus down everyone’s throats by using scare tactics–“if we don’t pass this, you’ll lose everything you have.” He’s trying to force cap-and-tax and universal healthcare on us the same way–“your healthcare providers will rob you blind!” and “global warming must be stopped before we destroy our only home!” He’s now taking his fiscal idiocy a step further by proposing legislation that will stop financial companies from getting too big.

My understanding of this new set of “rules” is that all financial companies will be required to limit what they do in the event that they collapse so that they don’t “pose a systemic risk” as Obama puts it. They’ll do this by imposing hefty penalties on companies that become too big to fail as they see it; it will mean that any financial powerhouse that gets too big in the eyes of the government will have to pay fines and fees that will supposedly undo all of the profits made by taking those risks. It will also strip certain companies of their rights. Companies like GE, which is in both finance AND commerce, would not be allowed to continue to operate in both ends of the industry. So much for the American dream.

Obama says his aim is to make it less appealing to get so big that failure would cost too much to be worth it to the CEO’s and other top names in these companies. In reality, this is socialism through and through: it’s the attempt to forcibly equalize everyone. What he’s basically saying is you can’t take too much risk or become too successful, otherwise you’ll pay through the teeth to make sure you don’t get into too much trouble.

ALL business involves risk, like it or not. That’s the nature of a free market. Starting a business requires that you risk everything you have should something go wrong. It can never be guaranteed or cushioned against failure in any way. Unfortunately, that’s life. When the government steps in and says, “you have to do this, this, this, this and this to avoid having a negative impact on other businesses,” freedom ceases to exist and socialism takes root. We’re up to our eyeballs in it now, and we’re doing little to stop it.

Liberals scream that it’s the lack of regulation that created this mess, thus Obama’s plan is absolutely necessary. HORSEHOCKEY. Bring back the regulation as it was previously and there would be no need for the government to tell anyone that they can’t prosper too much before they have to pay for it. Our little “experiment” in deregulation has failed miserably, just as our foray into the world of making homeownership a right rather than a privilege failed equally as miserably. Stop requiring banks to take on a certain amount of risky debt, stop requiring that they lend to everyone regardless of certain issues, and bring back the previous regulation and there would be no need for putting a cap on how big or intertwined a company can become.

But that wouldn’t play into Obama’s vision for America. I have to ask…where does it stop? Obama didn’t just bail out the banks, he took it a step further and bailed out the auto industry. Bush started that game and it was the worst step he could have taken. Where does it end? When the government has taken control over all industry, commerce and business in America? First they put a cap on the banks, then what? The automakers? Wait, he already did that. Next I suppose it’ll be retail. Wal-Mart can’t be allowed to get so big, because so many depend on the near-minimum-wage jobs the company provides. The government has to step in and stop them from failing. Grocery stores have to be regulated, too, or it might have an impact on other local retail. Oh, and mr. and mrs. small business have to be regulated, too–if they fail, individuals might have to go further to obtain certain services, and now we’ll be impacting the environment.

Where does it stop? When do we draw the line and tell the government they’ve gone too far? When they’ve taken over every aspect of our lives? That’s what we’re on the way to allowing. I work for a financial institution full-time, and that company is led by a man who saw a long time ago just how dangerous the credit default swap and subprime games were. I have a good job and a great boss because of that. I do not want to be limited in how far I can go because the government has decided that the company I work for is too big. It’s not up to anybody to set limits for me. That is MY choice. The Constitution guarantees it.

It’s difficult to see how we got to this point, but it’s not irreversible. If we start right now, it can stop RIGHT HERE.

Knee-Slapper of the Week

Actually, I think this one outdoes MOST of the laughable plans announced by the Obama adminstration.

First, Obama promised more transparency in government. He promised change. Then he nominated tax cheat Tim Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury. Then he nominated Kathleen Sibelius to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Then he nominated Ron Sims as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Then he raised taxes on the “top 5%” of the earners in America, bringing the highest tax bracket up to 39.6%.

Today, he’s far outdone himself. Put your drinks down…

He and Tim Geithner have just announced a plan to inject $210 billion into the economy by even more taxes on the corporations in America. How? By overturning one of Bill Clinton’s tax laws that gave a break to companies that made some profit on overseas offices–so long as the money made overseas was re-invested overseas and stayed there. The instant it was brought back to US banks it was subject to taxation.

They’re calling this a loophole, and they say they’ll recoup a lot of money by closing it. It’s supposed to create more jobs, ostensibly by not giving that tax break in any way, shape or form to any corporation–PERIOD. There’s just a few problems with this, not the least of which being that it’s hilarious to see Tim Geithner trying to enforce tax laws when he can’t even follow them.

The fact still remains that it’s still cheaper to hire a group of employees in Bangladesh than it is to hire the same number of people to do the same job in the United States. Making those corporations pay more taxes cannot and will not change that fact. The only way to really, truly encourage companies to keep jobs settled right here at home is to offer incentives–i.e. TAX CUTS FOR WHAT LIBERALS DEEM “THE WEALTHY”–to keep those jobs here. When they’re paying the same amount of taxes on both home and foreign offices, yet it costs twice as much to hire me to do a job as it does to hire Sanji Rosgothra in India (name completely fabricated), where do you think the companies are going to want to go?

I talked to a woman last week who complained that she’d called customer service only to be asked a round of questions she couldn’t understand because of the rep’s heavy Indian accent. In the same breath, this woman said, “boy, I’m so glad Bush isn’t in office anymore, Obama’s gonna fix this mess right up!” I had to hang up quickly because I couldn’t help the hysterical laughter that threatened to escape my throat. Sure, the mess started under Bush, but Obama has only made it worse. Now he’s suggesting that we dump even more taxes on corporations during a damned recession as some kind of twisted cure?

I’ll tell you how this will play out: if Obama gets his wish, and this so-called tax loophole is closed, several businesses will pull up stakes in the US completely and move everything to other countries–countries that are more tax-friendly. Still others will outsource even more jobs to make up for their new losses because of the fact that it’s cheaper to hire people overseas. And whether they stay or they go, prices on everything will go up in reactionary inflation because businesses refuse to eat any losses that they can avoid. That’s not just greed; it’s the free-market system at work.

If this is the start of Obama “spreading the wealth,” then I don’t want to know what the next step is.

Another Texas Revolution

Sorry for the absence.  Vacations, work and such.  I was kicked back into political mode today by the governor of my state who endorsed a Texas House resolution that basically issued a smack-down challenge to the federal government.  Texas Governor, Rick Perry, endorsed a measure by state representative Brandon Creighton to affirm Texas sovereignty in light of increasing strings, demands and intrusions from the federal government.  I especially loved the “Resolved” portion of HCR 50:

therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the
  Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise
  enumerated and granted to the federal government by the
  Constitution of the United States; and, be it further


         RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal
  government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective
  immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these
  constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further


         RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that
  directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal
  penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation
  or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it


         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the
  senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the
  Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
  resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
  memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

Reclaiming the 10th amendment.  What a concept.  And this will pass the Texas House.  In fact, one of the sponsors is a Democrat.  This really is a non-partisan issue at its core.  Several other states have pending legislation claiming their sovereignty from Washington, DC.  This one just happened at the right time.

See Governor Perry’s press conference below.



I think this is a great message in advance of the coming Tea Parties.  And I hope many other states will follow suit..  It looks like the new conservative revolution won’t be coming from the GOP in Washington.  It will be coming from the grassroots and the states.  I haven’t been a big Rick Perry fan, but this definitely rated as a big plus for me.

God Bless Texas!

Another Call For Action

Another week and another call.  Sorry folks.  Right now, I’m dedicated to keep the GOP honest and in line.

The Senate is prepared to consider the latest piece of spending garbage.

Senate Democrats are expected to win over just enough Republicans to move forward on a controversial $410 billion spending bill by the end of the night Tuesday. 

But it may come as no surprise that almost all of the Republican senators who are expected to support the bill or are considering supporting it have billions of dollars worth of earmarks in the package. 

The earmark-mania is not unique to either party — both Democrats and Republicans contributed to what Taxpayers for Common Sense estimates is 8,570 disclosed earmarks worth $7.7 billion in the bill that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. 

So, once again – we have GOP turncoats prepared to endorse this wasteful piece of legislation littered with nearly 9000 earmarks.  But don’t get ahead of me.  It’s not exactly the same three who supported the sham-of-a-stimulus bill that recently passed.  Yes, there is Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.  There’s really nothing that can be done about her.  She is not philosophically a Republican and could care less about either the reprecussions of her votes or the concerns coming from the GOP grassroots.  I will point out, however, that Snowe has no earmarks.  Strange. The other two Senators, however, are suprising.  Quite frankly – I am extremely disappointed and somewhat disillusioned.

Senators Richard Shelby (Alabama) and Thad Cochran (Mississippi) are the latest Senate GOP members to break ranks and show their lack of fiscal discipline.  Both men are individuals that I previously held in high-regard.  So I’m not sure what to think here.  Shelby, in defense of his 64 earmarks, says that “any earmark you have, it ought to have merit, or we shouldn’t do it.”  OH REALLY, Senator Shelby?

Shelby’s earmarks span the gamut, from $800,000 for oyster rehabilitation at the University of South Alabama, to $380,000 to the city of Tarrant, Ala., for streetscaping and walkways. 

Yeah.  Ok. Cochran has 65 earmarks in the bill and apparently has decided to forgo common sense as well.  Then there are three other GOP Senators who, by virtue of their earmarks, are possible supporters of this bill.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., for instance, has $86 million in earmarks; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has $74 million; and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., has $25 million.

There is little sense in taking on Specter again.  He went live on Hannity’s radio show before the vote on the “stimulus” bill and told Sean that supporting that bill was “better than doing nothing.”  Hannity and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stuck out their necks as conservatives and supported Specter in his last GOP primary against ex-Rep. Pat Toomey.  Now as rumors swirl that Toomey will seek a rematch in the upcoming primary – things are different.  Hannity said today that he would endorse Toomey.  And Santorum refused to say he would not endorse Toomey.

And just to be fair, let me also call out sixteen House Republicans who joined hands with Nancy Pelosi in support of their version of the Omnibus bill.  They are as follows:

  • Mary Bono-Mack (CA)
  • Ginny Brown-Waite (FL)
  • Ahn Cao (LA)
  • Shelly Moore Capito (WV)
  • Michael Castle (DE)
  • Charles Dent (PA)
  • JoAnn Emerson (MO)
  • Jim Gerlach (IA)
  • Frank LoBiondo (NJ)
  • John McHugh (NY)
  • Candice Miller (MI)
  • Tim Murphy (PA)
  • David Reichert (WA)
  • Fred Upton (MI)
  • Ed Whitfield (KY)
  • Don Young (AK)

If anyone cares to contact these 20 principled House Republicans to “thank” them for their undying support of Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, you could send them an email.  Unfortunately, the website does not give you direct email links to House members.  You can write your own congressional representative if you enter your own zipcode.  Quaint.  Also be sure to contact Sens. Shelby and Cochran to let them know how you feel about their evident support of Harry’s version of the bill and the ridiculous earmarks.

Just a side note – 20 Dems opposed the HR1105 Omnibus Bill including, once again, Rep. Gene Taylor (MS).  Pelosi must have some disturbing pictures of Mr. Taylor.  He is more of a Republican that half of the House GOP.

UPDATE:  The vote passed the Senate 62-35.  The roll call hasn’t been posted yet.  I will post the name of the GOP traitors as soon as I have them.

Pork Bill

Latest breaking news.  This maybe old news by the time most of you read it.

Senators have reached a tentative deal on a version of President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, including about $805 billion in spending and tax cuts, that will win enough Republican votes to move forward.

Sen. Ken Conrad, D-N.D., told FOX News that “there are at least three” Republicans willing to sign onto the bill, giving Democrats the 60 votes needed to advance the bill to a final vote.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he doubts a vote will take place Friday night, suggesting the Senate will act sometime next week. But Democrats were more confident that a vote was imminent as Majority Leader Harry Reid reconvened the session on the Senate floor.

I will tell you who those three “Republicans” are who would sign onto this socialist garbage – Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.  If any of these three sign onto this ridiculous spending bill, they will incur the wrath of every conservative alive.  I will personally do my best to make their life hell.  I will donate to their primary challengers and encourage others to do the same. 

I have a hard time believing that Specter would do this.  He is a  moderate, but I still have respect for him.  He has usually towed the line at the last second since he was read his rights by the GOP during his last primary.

The gang of 14 tried to revive itself for this bill, but most Republicans dropped out.  McCain would have none of it.  Even George Voinovich of Ohio dropped out earlier today.  I have received numerous alerts from Moving America Forward today.  Citizens are burning up the phone and fax lines against this pork bill.  Apparently – 3 Republicans haven’t got the message.

Stay tuned.

Obama’s “New Era of Responsibility”

It started with an inauguration that came with a price tag of $153 million. Next came an $819 billion “stimulus” (maybe that was what he was talking about when he referred to “lipstick on a pig”). Republicans stepped up in the House; every single one voted NO on the Generational Theft Act of 2009, proving they might actually have a spine after all. It gets better.

To celebrate the big win, Obama threw a White House bash. The menu? Vodka martinis and Wagyu steak.

Yep. You read it right. In case you didn’t know, Wagyu steak (also known as Kobe beef) goes for no less than $90 a pound. I’ve had it before; it’s the most incredible steak I’ve ever had. But I was on a date with a girl who had a trust fund and I wasn’t the President of the United States trying to solve an economic crisis that’s set to outstrip the 1982 recession. We also weren’t serving the entire White House staff, 48 politicians AND THEIR SPOUSES at a swank cocktail party after declaring this the “new era of responsibility.”

But wait…there’s more!

After saying the following in Oregon

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK…That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.”

…And saying this in Washington

“Because of what? Because of some ice? We’re going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town. I’m saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things.”

…The word is that Obamessiah cranks up the White House thermostat to 78 degrees. According to David Axelrod, The One’s senior adviser, “he’s from Hawai’i, okay? He likes it warm!” I love how he leads by example. While my roommates and I turn the heat down and carry big, fuzzy blankets around to stay warm (there’s a reason why I love my pink bunny slippers), the President is spending my tax dollars on his heating bill and outrageous parties. Great leadership skills, there, Mr. President!

I’m cranky. I need a martini. Make it with Vodka.