Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Liberally Conservative has Moved!
You will be redirected to our new site within 5 seconds or click the link...

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

FairTax Blogburst

by Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous
xxx Now that the aftermath of the elections has subsided, I want to follow-up on what TD said in the FTBB a couple of weeks ago about grassroots campaigning. As we have mentioned on countless occasions, whether you are a Republican or Democrat or Libertarian, the FairTax is for you.
xxx I myself did not heed my own advice for I grew disconcerted immediately after the election for the FairTax's prospects. Me, being an individual that leans right of center in virtually every facet of my life thought the Democrat Party would not be the party to implement the FairTax.
xxx But, the more I have come to think of it the more I grow somewhat optimistic. Why? Well, the Democrat Party has promised to reform government in many ways, and one in particular is ethics reform and reducing/eliminating earmarks. This is where our grassroots campaign must be decisive. We must remain vigilant to stay one step ahead of societal evolution in bring in the nation our message. The FairTax fits this agenda. It will and is designed to work to disrupt and eliminate the albatross that is our current system.
xxx People around this country can and are already beginning to realize this phenomenon. Take Mr. Stephen Sanders of Fayetteville, NC:
xxx Congressional scandals were a part of the changes in the last election. Many citizens cast their votes out of disgust at the influence peddling of some congressional representatives and their highly paid lobbyist friends.
xxx Quite often, this influence peddling involves special tax considerations for those who hire the lobbyists. The lobbyists make large salaries by persuading members of Congress to tweak the tax code in favor of the lobbyists€™ clients. This is where loopholes, tax incentives, tax exemptions and tax exclusions come from. It is a large part of why the U.S. tax code is so complex and convoluted. It is also why we desperately need the Fair Tax.
xxx The Fair Tax is very aptly named because it is, unlike the current income tax, fair. The Fair Tax replaces the income tax with a national retail sales tax. Under the Fair Tax, there are no exemptions, no loopholes and no special consideration for the privileged few. There is no convoluted tax code that even Internal Revenue Service experts cannot figure out. And because the Fair Tax treats everyone the same without exceptions, exemptions, and loopholes, there is less influence peddling.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Founder's Quote

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Liberals for Hugo Chavez and Citgo

There is already a movement in the blogoshere to boycott Citgo gasoline stations and 7-Eleven has previously announced it will no longer carry Citgo gasoline or it's products.
This hasn't stopped the Liberals from accepting "cheap" oil for heating purposes as Massachusetts did last year, and will presumably do the same this winter. Why not promote a dictator and serve as his propaganda machine in the United States.
Serving the needs of the poor, keeping them poor and supporting a tyrant is nothing new for John Kerry or the Kennedy clan. Why stop with using the "cheap" oil.
Fox News has a Citgo commercial leading into Brit Hume's news program at 6 p.m. EST, as the Venezuelan company promotes itself as a " do-gooder" for the American people. Will Fox every stop itself from excepting funds under the guise of advertising, while an anti-American company props itself up as "pro-American"?
Taking this a step futher into Left-Wing Nut land, Joseph P. Kennedy II, namesake to bootlegger Joe Kennedy, is featuring himself in a Citgo commercial; he claims this is charity for low-income consumers of heating oil.
Hugo Chávez is an ally of the Iranian mullahs, a supporter of North Korea, a close friend of Fidel Castro and a good customer for Vladimir Putin's weapon factories. Why does Kennedy feel it's so important to place himself in a commercial for Citgo?
According to the Wall Street Journal the arrangement is like this:
Mr. Chávez's Citgo -- a Houston-based oil company owned by the Venezuelan government -- is supplying home heating oil to Mr. Kennedy's Citizens Energy Corporation at a 40% discount. Citizens, a nonprofit outfit, says it passes the savings onto the poor, aiming to help 400,000 homes in 16 states that would otherwise have trouble heating their homes. In the process, Mr. Kennedy happens to get a high-profile publicity plug. If you think you qualify, says the television ad that drew our attention to this partnership, just dial 1-877-Joe-4-Oil.
See Mr. Kennedy's heart throbbing propaganda piece below:

Freebies to the poor is what dictators do best to keep these people in line and dependent to the tyrants and terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. This ilk uses hospitals, schools, food and other items to allow their heavy hand to choke off freedoms and allow individuals the power to crawl out of their poor circumstances. Keeping people poor and beholden to government handout or terrorist groups is what diminishes the desire to become self-sufficient. Hugo Chávez takes care of his poor and keeps them poor, despite the billions of dollars in oil revenue his government receives.

There is more coming out of Massachusetts however:

In a September 29, 2005, "confidential memorandum" addressed to President Hugo Chávez" and uncovered by a Congressional committee, William Delahunt (D., Mass.) gushed that it was a "pleasure" to have met with the strongman "to discuss your generous offer." The Democrat advised Mr. Chávez to steer his oil through Mr. Kennedy's nonprofit and declared that "from a public relations perspective" the discount oil scheme "is an extraordinary opportunity to address urgent needs of people living in poverty, while showcasing the compassion of your nation."

If Democrats wish to improve their image as tax and spend Liberals they could start with an energy bill that has teeth. Drilling in ANWAR, drilling offshore, promoting more refineries and incentives for energy efficient automobiles would be a fine start.

Maybe Kennedy can work out a deal for American drinkers of Scotch. Single-Malt if possible, oh please! Oh Yes, Yes, maybe some nice Cuban cigars too.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Porker of the Month

Washington, D.C. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Porker of the Month for helping to secure a record $2.3 billion federal loan for a railroad company.
xxx The loan guarantee from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow the Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) to expand and improve a rail line that is used primarily to transport coal from Wyoming to Minnesota. In apparent anticipation of the loan, Sen. Thune was instrumental in increasing the FRA’s loan guarantee authority from $3.5 billion to $35 billion in the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act. DM&E paid Thune $220,000 in 2003 and 2004 to lobby for the loan before his election to the Senate.
xxx According to BearingPoint (a strategic consulting firm), the loan would require an annual payment of $246 million on top of the $15 million from another loan. Even if the rail upgrade increases DM&E’s current annual revenue of $200 million, the deal presents a poor credit risk to taxpayers, who will be forced to foot the bill if the company defaults. A senior manager at BearingPoint stated, “This loan finances a project with many financial uncertainties, ultimately calling into question whether or not DM&E can repay the loan.”
xxx The DM&E loan is being compared to the $1.5 billion Chrysler bailout in 1980. However, at least that expenditure was the subject of intense public and congressional debate; the DM&E loan is quietly moving through Congress thanks to behind-the-scenes lobbying and legislative maneuvers.
xxx According to the FRA’s Railroad Safety Statistics Annual Report 2004, DM&E ranked last in safety among the nation’s 43 largest railroads. DM&E’s CEO pointed to safety as a reason to support the railroad’s “rehabilitation.” However, government handouts have failed to solve DM&E’s safety problems; its main track accident rate has escalated to eight times the national rate since its last FRA loan of $233 million in 2003.
xxx Furthermore, the coal fields of Wyoming are already served by two railroads; a government loan could adversely impact the marketplace. The president of a competing railroad said, “If the government allows non-market-based loans of this magnitude for certain carriers, that will have a negative effect on railroads’ ability and willingness to invest private capital” (Los Angeles Times, 10/29/06).
xxx Like most special interests, DM&E argues that its handout is in the national interest. Sen. Thune says it will “transform South Dakota’s economy for generations.” Such pronouncements fall apart next to the simple logic that if the project’s benefits vastly exceeded its costs, a federal loan would not be necessary. For championing a loan guarantee that puts taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars, circumvents public debate, skewers market incentives, and rewards his former employer, CAGW names Sen. John Thune its Porker of the Month for November 2006.
xxx Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Culture of Corruption - Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop

It's the Democrats turn to clean up the "culture of corruption" now that they have claimed victory in the House and Senate. Of course campaign rhetoric and real solutions often collide when the dust settles.
Democrats never supplied the public with an agenda, they simply screamed foul at every turn claiming the Republicans were corrupt, which in many cases was true. But Democrats have dirt under their carpets and ghosts in their closets but keeping promises and acting on these issues creates a problem when the politician is called upon to deliver.
"This is an area where there is an opportunity to make the rhetoric of self-reform of Congress real by having the guts to set up an independent office," Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut).
Many on both sides of the aisle don't agree with Mr. Lieberman, they prefer to "police themselves." Resistence to tough investigative measures are falling under the guise of "unnecessary and expensive." Right!
Some ideas for reform and new ethics rules, reported in the Wall Street Journal, include:
.....bans on gifts and meals from lobbyists and lobbying organizations, and more frequent reports by lobbyists disclosing for whom and what they are working. In disclosure reports, which lobbyists currently are required to file with Congress at least once a year, they also spell out how much they have been paid for their efforts.
Former members who become registered lobbyists would be prohibited from seeking help on legislation from their congressional colleagues for two years and denied access to the House and Senate floors. Today, lawmakers-turned-lobbyists can mingle with their former colleagues inside the chambers during debates and votes.
The proposed packages in both the House and Senate would curtail, if not ban, travel paid for by lobbyists and organizations that lobby. House leaders say they would prohibit lawmakers from using corporate planes for official travel. Both chambers are expected to require members to identify hometown projects they insert into spending bills.
Changes would be welcome but enforcement must be rigid? How specific would rules be? How would enforcement take place? Currently neither the House or Senate proposals have an air of independency to monitor rules regarding their own actions, investigation or disciplinary.
Mr. Lieberman co-sponsored a measure earlier this year with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), establishing an independent Office of Public Integrity that would vet Senate ethics complaints and conduct investigations of those it deemed serious. Under the proposal, the ethics committee would oversee the integrity office and could end a probe with a majority vote. The committee also would decide whether to impose penalties on a member.
xxx The Lieberman-Collins bill was resoundly defeated in a bipartisan landslide, 70-30. Among those opposing the office was incoming Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. This is no surprise coming from the ethically challenged Reid.
Business as usual and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has promised an ethics overhaul. Earlier this year Pelosi proposed enhancing the powers of Congress's inspector general's office to handle disclosure reports by lobbyists. The proposal didn't extend that office's jurisdiction to ethics allegations against members of Congress.
To be effective it will take massive action and reform to exclude privately funded travel for lawmakers and preventing lobbying groups and politicians to use loopholes at every turn to rationalize gifts and business interests including free "vacations" as methods to gain clout inside Congress. Each expenditure should be made public and new rules should be made clear and specific, otherwise it will be business as usual.
We're watching legislation on ethics closely and if change doesn't take place it will be a future campaign issue.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Mayflower Compact

xxx "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Happy Thanksgiving!

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lebanese Blood, Syrian Hands

The pundits of past diplomacy and administrations are still attempting relevancy. Yes, their own relevance, specifically by staying involved in matters well left to others.
Like it or not the situation in Iraq is not going away soon but James Baker and Lee Hamilton have created a stir with the "Iraq Study Group" in a weak attempt at recommending alternatives to the war on terror but more specifically the unrest and bloodshed in Iraq.
Hamilton and Baker are joined by Lawrence Eagleburger (replacing soon to be Secretary of Defense, William Gates), a career diplomat, Vernon Jordan, former advisor to Bill Clinton and lawyer, Edwin Meese, former Reagan Attorney General, Sandra Day O'Connor, recently retired Supreme Court Justice, Leon Panetta, former Clinton Chief of Staff, William J. Perry, former Clinton Secretary of Defense, Charles S. Robb, former Lt. Gov. of Virginia and currently a law professor, Alan Simpson, former Senator from Wyoming.
All very distinguished in their own right it seems most members of the Iraq Study Group don't have the specific experience with matters concerning terrorism, war and military operations. Yet they are at the forefront of putting together a "plan" to extinguish the United States from Iraq.
It has been noted from others on staff or advisory capacity to this group there is considerable disagreement on the prescribed remedy to the "Iraq problem." The panel is made up of too many Clintonites, diplomats and lawyers for starters.
The subject of this oratory, "Lebanese Blood, Syrian Hand", requires us to address the James Baker history in the Middle East and his feckless recommendations, which ultimately sustain dictatorships and tyrants. The Baker solution usually involves placating murderous regimes to calm possible unrest and never removing regimes or providing citizens with a Democratic choice in matter.
Baker has recently stated when it comes to diplomacy, you don't "restrict your conversations to your friends", code for a need to discuss matters with Iran and Syria. The problem is Syria has blood all over itself in Lebanon and Iraq. Iran has helped feed the insurgency in Iraq with bomb making, IED's and homegrown terrorist who stream over the Iraqi borders.
The recent murder of Lebanese Minister Pierre Gemayel should remind Mr. Baker and his Iraq Study Group what some of those "non-friends" are all about. The word "enemy" and phrase "not in our best interest" should come to mind. Let us look at a list of Iranian backed Syrian projects in Lebanon:
  • Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was blown up with 22 others in February 2005.
  • Journalist Samir Kassir was blown up by a car bomb in June 2005.
  • Three weeks later, politician George Hawi was killed by a car bomb three weeks after Kassir.
  • Defense Minister Elias Murr narrowly survived a car bombing.
  • In September 2005, TV anchorwoman May Chidiac lost her left leg and arm in a car-bombing.
  • Three months later, Gibran Tueni, a former publisher and editor of the An-Nahar newspaper, was killed by a car bomb.
  • Six pro-Syrian politicians in the Lebanese cabinet recently resigned en masse in an attempt to cripple the government.
  • Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been threatening huge demonstrations to bring down the anti-Syrian Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Mr. Baker hasn't been specific about diplomacy with Syria and Iran but sleeping with the enemy doesn't seem like a valid path to peace without selling our soul to the devil first.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Liberals Wish List - Playing Robin Hood

Harry Reid recently stated, "The rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer." He said this with a straight face even after being exposed for a suspicious and ethically challenged land deal.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker designate and her husband are worth an estimated $55 million and apparently see nothing wrong with hiring illegals and owning non-union businesses where unions typically appear.
However, when it comes to government control, power and regulating business the Democrats want to micro-manage the economic playing field to make it more "fair and balanced." This could only mean bigger government, more taxes, welfare and yes, more taxes. We repeat the taxes since they may double or even triple tax small business and the entrepreneur who drives the economic engines of the United States and is its largest employer.
There is a commercial that states, "Success has its rewards," but to Liberals success for anyone but themselves means, "Shame on you." How dare you become successful in a free market, capitalist society! How dare you succeed and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
While politicians are on a free lunch they tell us "there is no free lunch for you." However, entrepreneurs unlike politicians, are more apt to resemble another ad tagline, "We earn it!" Milton Friedman is already spinning in his grave.
The forces that affect our economy are natural and evolving.
  • Technology is increasing employers' need for some skilled workers, while diminishing it for assembly-line workers.
  • Schools aren't graduating enough of the workers in short supply, such as engineers, which creates a greater need for outsourcing.

Taking from the rich and give to the poor does not balance the playing field. Forcing business to pay higher wages for unskilled labor may cost jobs before it provides income to the worker on the low end of the pay scale. Employers may decide to trim their payroll or pass the cost on to consumers. Someone must pay for this form of government tariff on domestic business.

In the Democrats playbook, "A new social contract for the 21st century" the authors Bruce Reed and Rahm Emanuel suggest requiring companies that provide stock options to their executives to provide stock options to every worker. The operative word here is "require" as in government regulation.

Liberals don't want a fence to stop illegal immigration but they do want a fence built to reduce imports, free trade and participating in a global economy. In addition, Liberals want to pass legislation empowering unions. Look what unions did for the Big 3 auto makers.

The glass is always half-empty for Liberals. Instead of creating incentives for people to climb out of the ranks of unskilled or poor they want someone else to prop them up with "private" welfare checks in the form of entitlements and punishing success to aid failure, lack of motivation or laziness.

Liberals don't like free markets as much as they like a free lunch. They believe it's necessary to have an "activist" government for broad-based economic growth. Liberals believe socialism creates equity for the poor and balances the inequities of a free society.

Here is a list of the Democrats proposal to provide aid and comfort the the have-nots at the expense of the haves:

  • Raise minimum wage
  • Restrain CEO pay
  • Strengthen union clout
  • Expand earned income tax credits
  • Roll back the Bush upper income tax cuts
  • Raise taxes on dividends and capital gains
  • Increase grants to low income college students
  • Cut interest rates on student loans
  • Expand public pre-kindergarten programs
  • Expand wage-loss insurance
  • Revamp unemployment insurance system
  • Cover mortgage payments for displaced workers
  • Give cash to families whose incomes fall sharply
  • Provide universal health insurance
  • Allow small businesses to buy insurance from a government sponsored pool
  • Provide universal 401(k) with government subsidies

Notice the key words: Government, subsidies, give, grants, low-income, tax, union clout, expand, cut.

If the Liberals get their way socialism will be alive and well in 21st Century America. Karl Marx would be proud.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Social Security Reform - In Reverse

President Bush had grandiose plans for reforming the bankrupt social (underline social) security system offering privatization of accounts so individuals would have some control over their money.
The antiquated welfare system that now taxes payroll checks and serves as a "piggy bank" for the pork laden congress and its irresponsible politicians will only be bailed out if responsible reform takes place or employment taxes are raised.
Unfortunately Bush may be desperate enough to "fix" FDR's folly he may reverse his tax cuts (read his lips) and allow the cap on social security, i.e. employment tax, to be lifted. This is called a tax increase.
It's an economic fact Bush's tax cuts had a positive effect on unemployment, consumer spending and business investment. The tax cuts helped entrepreneurs expand their businesses, create jobs and allow economic expansion over the long-term.
Like his father George H.W. Bush, President Bush may be lulled into "compromise" with Liberals who feel they have a mandate to tax everything not nailed down. Social Security is pork and Liberals like many Republicans enjoy pork year round as long as their constituents pay for it. Sending money from Ohio to fund bridges to nowhere in Alaska is what the fat cat politicians do best. It's how they stay in office and that is their primary function.
The parties switched control in congress but the stripes remain the same. Tax and spend, cut and run, and have the taxpayers pony up more money to fix and broken system.
Lawrence Lindsey, President Bush's chief economic adviser from 2001 to 2002, suggests a turnabout for taxes may be on the Bush horizon. Mr. Lindsey rightfully argues an increase in revenues, now at record pace do to the tax cuts, would not increase revenue but would fund FDR's welfare scheme.
Doing so would raise the marginal tax rate on the entrepreneurs that Mr. Bush credits for having led the economic recovery by more than 10 percentage points. The new effective rate would be five percentage points above the level when he took office. Moreover, in 2011, the rate would go up a further 4.3 percentage points to an effective 53% marginal rate on entrepreneurial income. The president would thus be not just raising taxes on entrepreneurs to well above the levels that prevailed in the Clinton administration, but to a rate higher than that which prevailed in the Carter administration. Most of the improved incentives for entrepreneurship and work brought about under Reagan would be repealed.
Let's remember, 10% of the taxpayers now pay 68% of the taxes. Raising Social Security serves no purpose as these individuals, especially the entrepreneur will have their business taxes further, they will receive no personal benefit and some jobs may be lost due to increased costs to small business. Couple this with an increase in minimum wage and the small businessperson is being taxes again.
Liberals have no real economic sense, let's hope the President realizes compromising with them is the same thing that cost his father a second term and ushered in the Clinton's. That alone is incentive enough not to tinker with Social Security unless it's fully privatized. After all, whose money is it?

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman - The Economic Model

Milton Friedman died yesterday but he will leave a legacy in the field of economics that will last forever in the free world. Anyone claiming to be fiscally responsible should follow his lead and adopt his principles for balanced budgets, less government and free markets.
Dr. Friedman shaped the notions of capitalism and less government intervention. He believed free markets would effectively shape economies. As the Wall Street Journal writes:
A diminutive man known for his strong-willed and combative style, Mr. Friedman provided the intellectual foundations for the anti-inflation, tax-cutting and antigovernment policies of President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and an era of more-disciplined central banking. His ideas helped to end the military draft in the 1970s, gave birth to staple conservative causes such as school vouchers and created the groundwork for new economic views about the Great Depression, unemployment, inflation and exchange rates.
"Among economic scholars, Milton Friedman had no peer," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday. "The direct and indirect influences of his thinking on contemporary monetary economics would be difficult to overstate. Just as important, in his humane and engaging way, Milton conveyed to millions an understanding of the economic benefits of free, competitive markets, as well as the close connection that economic freedoms bear to other types of liberty."
I never had the opportunity to meet or study under Mr. Friedman, however I had two economics professors who were his students and taught monetarist theory in their classrooms. These lessons cemented my conservative fiscal values and continued belief in free markets and less government as remedies for poor economies.
"No one in the 20th century has had the ideological influence that Milton Friedman has had in moving the economic profession from Great Depression-era do-goodism towards a friendliness toward, and appreciation of, the free market," said Paul Samuelson, a fellow Nobel laureate and frequent ideological opponent of Mr. Friedman. "We've lost a giant in economics."
It would be nice if our politicitians were smart enough to understand Monetarist Theory and apply it into fiscal policy. At least Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is at the helm and will be a guiding light for fiscal Conservatism, free markets and capitalism. We can thank Milton Friedman for his contributions. "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) Porker of the Month for requesting a $750,000 federal earmark that helped pay for electronic arrival-time signs now being deployed at several bus stops in his district in Chapel Hill.
xxx The satellite tracking system, unveiled in late September, also lets riders check bus arrival times on their computers and cell phones, saving them the trouble of relying on printed schedules like millions of other commuters around the country.
xxx The project’s total cost is estimated to be about $950,000; with 14 bus stops, that’s roughly $67,857 per sign. The same company that is installing the Chapel Hill system won a contract with Alameda-Contra Costa Transit in California that included 100 signs for $1,031,079, or $10,310.79 per sign.
xxx The Chapel Hill Transit bus system, already partially subsidized by federal money, is fare-free for riders. If the transit system introduced a modest $0.16 charge per ride, its 6 million annual commuters could pay for the signs within twelve months.
xxx The project was included in CAGW’s 2003 Congressional Pig Book for fulfilling several pork criteria: not requested by the President; requested only by the House, and serving a local or special interest. Rep. Price sits on the House Appropriations Committee, infamous for earmarking the lion’s share of pork for its members’ districts.
xxx Rep. Price made it a federal priority that public commuters in a single town can know the exact minute their bus is arriving. If Chapel Hill commuters are unwilling cough up a few dimes for this luxury, federal taxpayers certainly should not be forced to oblige them.
xxx What taxpayers really need is a sign to let them know how long it will take for Congress to bankrupt the federal government. For adding to the deficit with an unnecessary and ridiculous pork project, using the federal Treasury to make a free ride even easier for his constituents, and typifying the wastefulness of congressional appropriators, CAGW names Rep. David Price the October 2006 Porker of the Month.
xxx The Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

FairTax BlogBurst

by Terry Dillard of The Right Track Well, the elections are over and I've heard everything from "It's a sure thing" to "No way it'll even make it out of committee now" regarding the FairTax. One thing I do know -- never underestimate the power of a grassroots movement. Democrats were shown in 1994 not to take their power for granted, and Republicans had that same lesson hammered home to them a week ago. The American people have no hesitation whatsoever about "flushing the toilet" as I prefer to call it. Whatever your political orientation, it's been amply proven by now that lower taxes produce a stronger economy -- if we can keep spending in check. Giving Americans the ability to choose exactly how much they pay in taxes via the FairTax is a win-win situation for individuals and our government. I found an interesting blog article that managed to work the FairTax into a post on national security. From "Freedom Is Always the Right Answer", the post is titled "Defeating China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran in the Cold War of Terror". The post begins: China and Russia are allied and using all the tools at their disposal, including supporting North Korea and Iran, and to a lessor extent Venezuela, to defeat us in a new Cold War of Terror. China and Russia have supplied weapons, diplomatic cover, and economic support to these rogue states to drain American resources, our respect in the international community, and generally create chaos. China is stealing our technological secrets through a coordinated program of traditional intelligence and computer infiltration. China and Russia are threatening our satellites. China constantly threatens our ally, Taiwan. We can use the lessons from the first Cold War to figure out how to win this new one. The author postulates that winning the war against terror and those who sponsor it -- directly or indirectly, it would seem -- will require the same tactics used by JFK to get the missiles out of Cuba, and by Reagan to defeat the Soviet Union. Part of this, of course, is economic in nature. According to the author's theory: Once we put China in this position, it won't allow North Korea to be the tail that wags the dog. China will be upset with the U.S., as will the rest of the world who will call us dangerous cowboys, like they did Reagan, but China's only good option would be to work for a nuclear free Korean peninsula. China would suffer the economic pain (no more Kentucky Fried Chicken) of losing the world's greatest consumer as a costumer, plus it would be in the untenable position of being at the mercy of the madman in North Korea. America could get China's support for regime change or some other policy to remove the nukes in North Korea. America would also suffer economic pain (T-Shirt prices would rise) from these trade restrictions, but domestic policy would limit that pain, and turn it into an advantage. By adopting the FairTax, America would begin to return as a manufacturing juggernaut. Reducing government interference in the free market would assist this process. American products, no longer burdened by the income tax, would compete with Chinese made products on the world market, further enriching America and hurting China/NK. This American growth in manufacturing would drive prices lower to compensate for the price increases from restricted trade with China/NK. This would put pressure on China to democratize. [TD - emphasis added] But aside from National Security, the FairTax is just a good idea. The Kodiak Daily Mirror came out in favor of it because it is grassroots in nature. You know, "We the people" kind of thinking. In "New Tax Act Gives Power to the People", the Daily Mirror gives its reasons for supporting the FairTax: A proposed bill, The Fair Tax Act, would change the way our government collects our tax money. It sounds the death toll for the Internal Revenue Service, paycheck withholdings and tax returns. As the replacement, a national sales tax, designed to fund our government at its current rate, would replace our old system. It relieves the burden of an overly complicated tax code as special interests lobby for loopholes. The national sales tax will be collected on all new goods and services and takes the place of our income withholdings. The system is blind to income levels, yet ensures the basic necessities of life are not taxed through a tax pre-bate system. This prevents the government from dictating what the basic necessities are and affords us the ability to make our own decisions. [TD - emphasis added] How cool is that? What a novel idea! Letting us make our own decisions! I like it! The Daily Mirror finishes the article by referring to no less a document than our own Declaration of Independence: As stated so eloquently in our Declaration of Independence, we hold the power, not the government or our elected officials. It is time for a real change offered by the Fair Tax Act to encourage economical growth and investment. It is time to do away with the burdensome taxation system that we detest and political officials use to gain votes.
xxx All I can add to that is a hearty "Amen"! The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stay the Course or Father Knows Best?

Bret Stephens, in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription), reminds us of Bush '41' policy, as well as James Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger, their foreign policy, dubbed by some as "internationalists."
  • The Bush (41) administration brought Arabs and Israelis together for the Madrid Peace Conference, which set the groundwork for the Oslo Accords. These were touted as historic achievements, but for Israel it meant more terrorism, culminating in the second intifada, and for the Palestinians it meant repression in the person of Yasser Arafat and mass radicalization in the movement of Hamas. Worse, Mr. Baker fostered the fatal perception that the failure of Arabs and Jews to make peace was the root of the region's problems, not a symptom of them, and that the obstacle to peace was intransigent Israel, not militant Islam.
  • Or take "Lawrence of Serbia," the moniker Mr. Eagleburger earned for his initial indulgence, as the State Department's point man on Yugoslav affairs during the early 1990s while the country was coming apart, of Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic. Mr. Eagleburger, who had longstanding business ties in Belgrade, spent the early period of the war largely ignoring Mr. Milosevic's depredations on his neighbors, including paramilitary slaughters in Vukovar and concentration camps in Omarska. "There was a kind of preference for stability and an attachment to the old Yugoslavia over our interests in human rights," Patrick Glynn of the American Enterprise Institute told Newsday in 1992, adding the administration had "been standing by, waiting while the final solution is played out."
  • "Chicken Kiev," Mr. Bush's spectacularly misconceived August 1991 speech in what was shortly to become the capital of independent Ukraine. Mr. Bush's reluctance to acknowledge -- and better manage -- the breakup of Yugoslavia was partly a function of his reluctance to acknowledge the impending breakup of the Soviet Union and the fall from grace of his friend Mikhail Gorbachev. Once Mr. Gorbachev was gone, Mr. Bush was equally reluctant to help the new Russia get on its feet, prompting Richard Nixon to complain about the administration's "pathetically inadequate response in light of the opportunities we face in the crisis in the former Soviet Union."
  • No Bush 41 failure was as great -- or as consequential -- as his apparently flip suggestion, following "victory" in the Gulf War, that the "Iraqi people . . . take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step down." Tens of thousands of Shiites and Kurds took him seriously, and tens of thousands paid with their lives as Saddam quelled the revolt while the Bush administration stood by, lest it exceed its U.N. mandate.

Surely the long awaited Iraq Study Group pronouncements will weigh heavy on the former Bush foreign policy. However, in mid-stream, abandoning Iraq now would mirror our exit from Vietnam and turn Iraq chaos into Islamic extremisms and establish formal training ground for these groups.

John McCain (R-AZ) contends that the war in Iraq is worth fighting and is worth winning. He has said consistently said from the start of the conflict that the only way to prevail is to send enough soldiers to do the job. His current proposal is to send 20,000 additional troops in hopes of bringing Baghdad and the restive western provinces under control.

The alternative, he said, is humiliation for the United States and disaster for Iraq. This reflects the left-wing attitude using terms as quagmire and Vietnam. Liberals feel some wars are simply "unwinnable." That attitude is one of losers, misfits and certainly the "cut and run" policy of the left.

Cutting losses in Iraq now will certainly have extreme negative effects in the long-term and it will take strength and vision to address today's issues in Iraq and corrective action, not evacuation and abandonment.

“We’re paying a price for the failure of our policy in the past,” Mr. McCain said Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC, “and the question, then, before the American people is, are we ready to quit? And I believe the consequences of failure are chaos in the region, which will spread.”

Certainly McCain supports much of what has been written on these pages time and time again as the Senator told Tim Russert on Meet the Press:

The [Iraq] prime minister [Maliki] has to understand that we need to put down Sadr, and we need to take care of the Mahdi Army, and we need to stop the sectarian violence that is on the increase in an unacceptable level. And I think that the best way to assure that is for him to know that we will do what’s necessary to bolster the—train and equip the Iraqi army, etc. If we send the signal that we are leaving, of course he’s going to try to make accommodations with others, because he knows that—what is going to be the inevitable result. So most politicians in that part of the world are interested in survival, so I, I can understand why he took the position that he did, but I certainly disagree with it strongly.

McCain is absolutely correct in his premise. The chaos in Iraq is internal with the clerics and their militias operating unfettered. Eliminate the militias and much of the armed conflict will end. Maliki is feckless at best and is beholden to whatever secures his survival. He needs to be given an ultimatum and follow our lead, which should be McCains plan.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

A Reader Defends Howard Dean

In Howard Dean Tells Us What America Wants I suggest the DNC chairman and left-wing nut feels the recent election has given Liberals a mandate for change. Mr. Dean is arrogant as well as confused. I also took on Robert Rubin for his recent suggestion the eonomy could withstand a tax increase. Nice advice but it's refreshing to have the support of the Wall Street Journal to back my reasoning. However one reader, Joe in Wynnewood said...

Isn't that true only in terms of real and not inflation adjusted $? I know it isn't in terms of % of GDP. Isn't it true that expenditures have way outstripped revenue under the fiscally-challenged Congress and nary a veto in sight from Bush?

I didn't know that free market meant that when the government pays for stuff it can't do what every business in America does when it buys from suppliers - negotiate for the best possible terms. When a government agency is acting as a business, shouldn't it act as a business?

Maybe Gov. Dean isn't quite as crazy as you'd like to make him out to be...

Of course Liberals never provide specifics nor do they corroborate their bluster with facts. Let's help Joe out:

  • Federal revenues in fiscal 2006 were 18.4% of GDP, higher than the 18.2% post-1965 average.
  • The U.S. economy grew by an average of nearly 4% a year for three years following mid-2003.
  • Federal revenues in fiscal 2006 were 18.4% of GDP, higher than the 18.2% post-1965 average.
  • In October, the first month of fiscal 2007, revenues rose by 12% from a year earlier.
  • The federal deficit for fiscal 2006 was only 1.9% of GDP, which is lower than all but eight years since 1975.
  • During the late Clinton years, the feds grabbed a record 20.9% of GDP.

Hopefully Bush '43' will not follow in Bush '41s' footsteps and pronounce, "No new taxes" and tell us to "Read his lips." This is what the Liberals like Dean, Rubin and Hillary Clinton wish for, have Republicans change tax policy and take the issue off the table for 2008.

If the electorate spoke in volumes then Democrats didn't win the election or receive a mandate. Republicans forgot Conservative principles and lost the election. The long awaited Liberal agenda was not part of the election campaign, it is now rearing its ugly head.

Republican politicians should now remind themselves of Conservative policies and recall the Tom Delay folly in the house. Earmarks should be dead, and tax cuts should be permanent. As for Joe? We don't want the government paying for "stuff." We want our money and control of it. Read my lips!

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Democrats Meddling in Business - Again

Liberal wing-nut Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is busy asserting his new found authority, the authority all Democrats suddenly believe they have since the election. This "authority" is falling under the criteria of government control of business and social ideas.
For union run United Auto Workers this means health care and a "helping hand" for the Big 3 auto manufacturers who have been led by the nose of union power and mismanaged these companies for years. Let's not forget the soaring prices of automobiles that lack real innovation and energy savings. UAW workers are among the highest paid workers in the manufacturing sector.
Democrats say they will be pushing for answers. "There will be a lot more pressure" for government solutions to manufacturers' problems, said Levin. Isn't this a business problem not a government one? It is a concern when huge manufacturers' discsss thousands of layoffs and the President of the United States has them to the White House for discussions. President Bush told the Wall Street Journal that American car companies needed to "make a relevant product." What is Bush's definition of relevant? Has he lost his way?
Do these companies need tax incentives to motivate them to straighten out their business plan? Competition is what makes business succeed or fail and the Big 3 don't compete well with the likes of Toyota, Honda and Nissan.
Trading partners need to play fair and if foreign companies are not setting a level playing field like the one found in America then adjustments should be made. Tax breaks and tariffs for the sake of poor management are not an answer.
Internal issues such as rising cost of raw materials and health care costs are not government problems but management ones. Republicans and Democrats differ over how to fix the related problems of high insurance costs and broader lack of coverage. Republicans generally favor encouraging individuals to purchase their own coverage. Democrats favor strengthening the existing employer-based system, moving to a government-based approach, or some combination of the two.
Moving to social programs, i.e. Socialism:
America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, moved to get ahead of the debate by proposing the federal government spend $300 billion so all children have insurance coverage within three years, and 95% of adults within 10 years.
Government is not Robin Hood and Carl Levin is not Friar Tuck, although there is a slight resemblance. Liberals don't understand free markets and capitalism. It's not up to the weathy to pay for the middle class. If people choose to start foundations and provide help those are individual choices not the choices of some politician from the Left-Wing caucus.
Liberals are foaming at the mouth and they smell tax increases and federal spending. So much for campaign rhetoric.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Howard Dean Tells Us What America Wants

DNC chairman and left-wing nut Howard Dean feels the recent election has given Liberals a mandate for change. Mr. Dean is arrogant as well as confused.
One, Dean equates the election of the first totally Democrat legislature in New Hampshire to what the nation wants. How did he assume that?
Two, Dean feels American's want a return to the "Good Ol' Days" of Clintonomics. This has been mentioned by others in the "party" as some sort of wonderful time but they, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, ignore the boom that eventually went bust as much of the economic success of the 90's. The technology industry temporarily made Clintonomics look successful until the wheels came off.
Welfare reform was shoved Clinton's way and he had no politcal choice but to endorse it and sign the bill into law. This helped the 90's economy and Republicans, then with Conservative values, helped reduce the deficit and balance the budget for Clinton.
Reduction in government jobs reduced the deficits but the anti-Military Clintons took over 80% of those jobs from the military. Thank you Al Gore. Welfare reform for the civilian population and welfare for our military. Food stamps in every commissary and ration kit.
Three, Dean feels a need to tax the rich, which he now defines as the top 1% of Americans. Somehow Dean doesn't equate tax reduction with record revenues into the government coffers.
Four, Dean wants medicare reform and government negotiating for lower pharmacutical costs. Apparently the left-wing Dean never heard of free market capitalism. Liberals want stem cell research, paid for by the Federal government and wish to regulate the companies whose research develop drugs that cure.
Five, Deans wants a return to Clinton's "Pay Go" system of explaining what spending is for and where will go. Isn't this done already although many time creatively hidden in spending bills? Fiscal restraint might help.
Six, Dean wants an increase in minimum wages. This is a tax on business in the form of forced higher wages, and increased payroll taxes with government control on business. Smells like FDR economics now.
Back to Robert Rubin, Clintons "economic guru" who this weeks claims, "you cannot solve the nation's fiscal problems without increased revenues."
"I think if you were to increase taxes right now, you would have probably about zero negative effect on the economy," claims Rubin.
Probably have? One thing Rubin never mentions in his speech to the Economic Club of Washington this past week is reduced spending.
Here's an economic lesson for Liberals like Dean and Rubin. If the economy is at record revenue because of tax cuts wouldn't you enhance revenue by simple fiscal responsibility and government restraint in Congress with reduced spending and reform?
The answer is YES!

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Honor Our Veterans

Veterans Day 2006
“Across America, there are more than 25 million veterans. Their ranks include generations of citizens who have risked their lives while serving in military conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the war on terror. They have fought for the security of our country and the peace of the world. They have defended our founding ideals, protected the innocent and liberated the oppressed from tyranny and terror. They have known the hardships and the fears and the tragic losses of war.
Our veterans know that in the harshest hours of conflict they serve just and honorable purposes. Every veteran has lived by a strict code of discipline. Every veteran understands the meaning of personal accountability and loyalty and shared sacrifice. From the moment you repeated the oath to the day of your honorable discharge, your time belonged to America; your country came before all else.”
—President George W. Bush

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Good Riddance Lincoln

Lincoln Chafee that is. The turncoat Liberal claiming to be a member of the Republican party has finally gone home, he has finally told the truth about himself, the truth we already knew. The fact is Chafee is a left-wing nut who voted with the Democrats most of the time.
Chafee's lasting legacy will be he stopped John Bolton from becoming the permanent U.N. Ambassador for the United States. Mr. Bolton is highly qualified and with the 2006 election results will have no chance of receiving a well deserved up or down vote in the Senate.
"I haven't made any decisions. I just haven't even thought about where my place is," Mr. Chafee said at a news conference. When pressed on whether his comments indicated he might leave the GOP, he replied: "That's fair."
"The people have spoken all across America. They want the Democrats and Republicans to work together," he told reporters. "I think the president now is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that's going to be good for America."
Mr. Chafee, your place is on the sidelines, where you are now and where you belong. Your political career is over and we are thankful. Someday you'll figure that out.

You are viewing a post on the old Liberally Conservative site. Click here to find this post on the new site.