THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

What’s the Problem? Debt or Jobs? – Exchequer – National Review Online

via What’s the Problem? Debt or Jobs? – Exchequer – National Review Online.

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Filed under: big government, ,

TO: MCCONNELL, BOEHNER, ET. AL.– SHARPEN THE REPUBLICAN MESSAGE

Yesterday, Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative John Boehner were interviewed on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace”.  Mr. Wallace asked a question about retaining the “Bush Tax Cuts”, and requested that the Republicans respond to charges by the Democrats that these would add to the deficit, because the Republicans were not offering a way to pay for them.  His question presented a wonderful opportunity for these Republican leaders to articulate the difference between “revenue” and “spending”.  Unfortunately,  neither of these two gentlemen took advantage of the opportunity offered.

Now, in general, I like both of these guys.  However, if their answers are representative of how Republicans will be speaking to the Country in the months leading up to the mid-term elections, opportunities will not be the only things lost.  Surely our Republican members of Congress have at least one person on their staffs who know how to explain the application of conservative economic principles in simple, relevant terms.  For example:

A person is told that s/he will not be receiving a raise in the upcoming year.  That person has a few options: 1) postpones projects, purchases, etc. that s/he has been considering, 2) s/he seeks to find a second job or sells some of his/her possessions, and/or 3) finds expenditures in his/her budget that can be eliminated or reduced.  The one thing that the (sane) person does not do is put a gun to the employer’s head and demand that s/he give the raise, or else…

On a much larger scale, this example also holds true for the Government.  Retaining the “Bush Tax Cuts” is not an expenditure that needs to be paid for.  Instead, their retention is equivalent to the Government not receiving a raise.  In general the Government has the same options as an individual would in the same situation.  Letting the “Bush Tax Cuts” expire, therefore, is tantamount to putting a gun to the heads of taxpayers and demanding the raise be given.

It seems to me, that questions such as Mr. Wallace asked on Sunday of Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner will continue to be asked by both the media and Democrat candidates.  The Republicans need to be able to predict such questions and have clear and readily understood answers prepared that reflect conservative principles.  The game’s afoot, and Republicans would do well to perfect theirs very soon.

Filed under: November 2010 midterm elections, , , , ,

PRICE IS RIGHT-SHACKLE THE LAME DUCK

Yesterday, Representative Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA), offered a resolution on the House floor aimed at eliminating the threat of a “lame duck” Congress passing yet more unpopular legislation prior to the 112th Congress being seated.  Unsurprisingly, House Democrats chose to delay a vote on the resolution of Rep. Price.

Watch the video below, then consider doing what I did.  Contact Representative Price to thank and support him in his efforts.  Without shackling a lame duck 111th Congress, the 112th Congress could find itself occupied for months in the task of trying to undo the additional shackles that the lame duck could force upon the Nation.

Filed under: lame duck congress, , ,

THE DNC & THEIR “CONTRACT ON AMERICA”

photo by Christian Science Monitor, 2010

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine unveiled an anti (?)-Republican advertisement campaign that seeks to tie Republicans to the Tea Party.  The advertisement, ostensibly, seeks to turn the American people away from Republicans (and toward Democrats?), because of their close ties with Tea Party ideas.   The ad lists the ten planks of the Tea Party “Contract From America” and then states that these are virtually identical to what Republicans want to do.  Hmmm—has it been lost on them that a majority of Americans are sympathetic to the Tea Party, if not outright members?  As I looked over what the DNC is calling “Contract On America”, I could only pray that the Republican Party is actually embracing these goals.  I think they are winning ones.

One caveat as you read the DNC “Contract” below—the annotation that follows each item is wildly inaccurate and madly spun from a Lefist point of view.  For example, the outcomes that the DNC states from repealing Obamacare, privatizing Social Security or phasing out Medicare are overstated at best.  Visit Representative Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” site for the true plan that the conservative Congressional Republicans are developing.

Oh, and by the way, in case you are concerned about #10, consider this:

Repealing the 17th Amendment would mean that another amendment would need to be passed in order to “undo” it.  The Constitution spells out four paths for an amendment:
* Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
* Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
* Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
* Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)
When an amendment is proposed in Congress, 2/3 majority in each house of Congress must pass it before the amendment is sent on to the States.  Then ¾ of the States (or their legislatures) need to approve it,  no matter where the amendment originated.  Not an easy process.  Huge majorities would need to agree in order for this to happen.  Like it or not, I think we are stuck with popular election of Senators.

Read the DNC advertisement below.  What do you think?  I think that the DNC advertisement has a lot for Republicans to like.  With enemies like the DNC, who needs friends?

THE CONTRACT ON AMERICA
1. Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)

Put insurance companies back in charge, repeal tax credits for small businesses, allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions and to drop coverage when a person gets too sick and make prescription drugs for seniors less affordable.

2. Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether

Turn the guaranteed retirement benefits of America’s seniors over to Wall Street CEOs by putting Social Security at risk in the stock market or, as some Republicans have called for, phase out Social Security altogether and end a program millions of American seniors rely on for their survival.

3. End Medicare as it presently exists

Phase out and end Medicare as it presently exists for future generations of seniors — ending Medicare’s guaranteed healthcare benefits for more than 40 million American seniors — and replace it with a voucher system which will result in higher premiums and fewer services for seniors.

4. Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil

At a cost of nearly $700 billion, extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and big oil, which are set to expire and which have and will continue to explode the federal budget deficit.

5. Repeal Wall Street Reform

Roll back the toughest consumer protections ever enacted, allow banks to continue to grow too big to fail, and ensure that predatory lenders continue to utilize their most abusive practices.

6. Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes

Cap liabilities for those responsible for environmental disasters like the Gulf oil spill and let companies like BP decide which victims deserve compensation for the disaster and what the timeline for relief should be.

7. Abolish the Department of Education

Put the big banks back in charge of student loans and put an end to federal assistance for public schools.

8. Abolish the Department of Energy

End America’s investments in a clean-energy future and disband the organization responsible for oversight of nuclear materials.

9. Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency

Gut the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act — which together protect our kids from air pollution and keep drinking water safe — and disband the watchdog that holds polluters accountable.

10. Repeal the 17th Amendment

Take away your right to pick your U.S. Senator.

Filed under: big government, , , , , , , ,

THE RAHN CURVE

The “Laffer Curve” is a well-known economic model of tax rates and tax revenues.  Now, on Big Government Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute’s Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains and analyzes The “Rahn Curve” which is a newer economic measure of spending on Government related to economic prosperity.  Read the analysis of Dan Mitchel.  Then watch the video.  Conclusion?  Another reason to make a radical course correction in our economic policies.

Filed under: big government,

STOP! WAIT! COME BACK!

“The truth is, it took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage. But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction. We are moving forward. ; And what we can’t afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place.”—President Barak Obama, July 23, 2010 in weekly address

In a four page article in National Review Online, William Voegeli systematically argues that Liberalism is dangerous.

If politics is defined as “the way power is organized”, American power was conceived to be essentially organized by individual citizens in a free market who then delegated a portion of that power to duly elected representatives.  Voegeli makes the point that power thus organized is responsive to the electorate, because their positions depend on the support of the electorate.

As the result of Liberalism, we now have a system in which Congressional power is largely (mis)placed in a myriad of Government Agencies: SSA, EPA, US Department of Ed., etc., etc. who can regulate extra-legally.  These unelected bureaucrats are not responsive to citizens, because citizens have no power to fire them.  Thus, the individual is diminished and devalued by huge, faceless Government machinery.

America originated with the idea of an individual with natural, God-given, inalienable rights. This idea preceded laws, regulations and policies.  The rights of an individual citizen of the United States were not changeable, could not be abolished, nor could they be bestowed.  Humans possessed these rights by virtue of being created in the image of God.

Today housing, jobs, health care, transportation, food, childcare are identified as “rights”.  They are not. Furthermore, when we treat them as such, we are treading into an extra-Constitutional boggy swamp.  “Rights” that are invented and then distributed “fairly” after taking money from other citizens to pay for them are simply favors give to specific groups at the expense of individual citizens.

These Leftist ideas should alert us that our Country is traveling into an uninhabitable landscape.  Indeed Voegeli concludes his article with a plea to “turn around and go back”—wise words to cling to during this “Summer of Recovery” when we continue to hear that we cannot “go back”.

Voegeli’s summary is below.  Take the time to read his entire article.  It is well worth it.

“C. S. Lewis wrote that since progress means getting closer to your goal, when you’ve taken a wrong turn and are getting farther and farther from your destination, the truly “progressive” response is to turn around and go back to the right road. Most conservatives believe that America took a wrong turn in 1932, one that has led us farther away from the goal of preserving and strengthening republican self-government. Self-styled progressives talked us into that navigational error, and in the subsequent 78 years their liberal disciples have continued on the wrong road, superintending a rolling regime change that has steadily hollowed out our constitutional republic and replaced it with an administrative state, one increasingly indifferent to ordinary citizens’ concerns and insulated from their opposition.

The conservatives now reviving constitutionalism are rightly insistent on the need to retrace our steps, and to undo the mistakes that have supplanted limited with unlimited government. The point is not to go back to 1932 and stay there, compiling a list of things government cannot do and problems it cannot address. The point, rather, is to resume progress on the road not taken: toward a government that is both limited and vigorous, scrupulous about upholding the principles of republicanism but energetic and prudent about working within the framework created by those principles to respond to economic and social changes with policies that advance the people’s prosperity and security.”

— William Voegeli is a contributing editor of The Claremont Review of Books and a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College’s Salvatori Center.

Filed under: big government, , , , , ,

AS SEEN ON TV? Helpful, new product!

This may be very helpful to someone you know.  (Hopefully, you won’t need it yourself).

Filed under: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT,

POLITICAL FOOTBALL: DEFICITS, SPENDING, TAXES

Cartoon by Charles M. Schulz

At less than 100 days before the 2010 midterm elections, representatives of both parties are playing political football with deficits, spending and taxes.  Between focus groups and polling they have obviously been alerted to the fact that the electorate really does care about these issues.  How deficits, spending and taxes will be addressed, however, differs wildly depending on whom is speaking.

Republicans are supporting the extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone, but they have not been very articulate in explaining why.  They often seem flummoxed by the contention that extending these have added and will continue to add to the deficit.  In fact, the Republicans are not responding to those, like Timothy Geithner, who are saying that letting the Bush tax cuts expire, at least for the top earners, is the “responsible thing to do”.  Many Democrats seem to be equating the decrease of the deficit with, ostensibly, increasing revenue to the Government through higher taxes on “the rich”.  (Of course, these are the same brilliant Democrats that touted Obamacare as a deficit-reducer.)  What we do not hear Republicans shout with a unified voice is that without reduced spending any tax revenue increase will be more than offset by continued Government spending.

Enter four Democrats who are proposing spending cuts to decrease deficits.  These say that Republicans have offered “only rhetoric” about spending cuts but no real action.  These four Democrats plan to proffer “real” spending cuts on the House floor.  Now, these four clearly know what will resonate with voters, but they are being disingenuous in stating that Republicans have offered “only rhetoric” about spending cuts.  Over eight weeks ago, Eric Cantor, (R-Virginia), began the “You Cut” site which is located at  http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/.  In each of those weeks, Americans have voted for a program or expense that they would like to see cut.  The Republicans have then brought up the winning item for vote on the House floor.  In every case the Democrats have defeated the spending cut proposal.  (By the way, since the four Democrats, mentioned previously, have so recently joined together to cut spending, they do not have a web-site in operation.)  Again, the Republicans would do well to vigorously emphasize that they initiated not only speaking about spending cuts, but also have attempted legislative action on them despite being in the minority in Congress.

Our Republican representatives would do well to educate the public about: 1) why the Keynesian policies of this Administration have failed to initiate and sustain a robust economic recovery, and 2) how policies based on classical economic theory would remedy the economic malaise in which we find ourselves.  November is quickly approaching and with it comes what will be one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.  Let us pray that the Conservatives will craft a simple, unified and articulate message and then loudly proclaim it.

Filed under: November 2010 midterm elections, , , , , ,

GOT SCISSORS? Let’s start cutting

This link will take you to Rep. Eric Cantor’s site “You Cut” where you can vote for which government spending program needs to be cut, in your opinion.  After the week long voting, Rep. Cantor will take the “winner” to the floor of the House for an up or down vote to cut that spending measure.  Each week a new list of big government spending programs will be listed here to vote on.  It would be surprising if the Democrat-controlled House would actually vote to cut any of these programs, however, this site can help your voice to be heard in Washington.  Additionally, it is a good educative tool as it publicizes the waste and idiotic spending that is ruining our economy, not only for us, but also for future generations.

Take a moment to visit the site and cast your vote!

P.S.  The site is very busy, so if your vote does not initially register, please try again later.

Filed under: big government, , , ,

AN ALLY IN NEW ZEALAND

No, I have not fallen off the edge of the world.  I am simply teetering on the edge of it.  For the last couple of weeks, and in the near future, I am concentrating on a beloved family member who has just been diagnosed with advanced cancer.  Hence, my political research has taken a back seat to research on the “Big C”.  Believe me, I do wish with all my heart that I was doing more of the former and none of the latter.

Until such time as I can begin to regularly post again, I wanted to share another blog site with all of you.  There is so much research on the Left, its networks and ties into the current Administration that it should keep you enthralled for a long time.  Those of you that listen to Glenn Beck on the radio may have heard him mention the blogsite New Zeal that is run by Trevor Loudon out of Christchurch, New Zealand.  Trevor is an excellent political researcher and has a wealth of information on his site.  He helped with research for the newly released book, The Manchurian President, authored by Aaron Klein with Brenda Elliott  Check out all of his “Obama files”—I am still working my way through these.  He also maintains links, both Conservative, Left and Communist/Socialist, in order for the reader to do research from original sources.  Trevor also contributes to the sister site, KeyWiki , (also linked from his site), that is an encyclopedia of U.S. Left resources.  I have already linked to New Zeal from my blog here.  I highly recommend it.

Finally, in the words of General MacArthur, “I will return”.  I just cannot say exactly when.  Check back often, I might just surprise you from time to time with an entry.  After all, even in the battle with cancer, there are lulls now and again.  Please keep us in your prayers.  God bless you and our great Country.

Filed under: personal, Political Research, , ,

"His eye is on the sparrow, and He surely watches me." --Mrs. Doolittle, 1905

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