29
Jan
09

Running Government Like A Business

Too often we hear the mantra that, “government should be run like a business.”  This conjures up images of government running on a cost-effective basis.  Everyone, regardless of party affiliation wants this.

Why do businesses aspire to run on a cost-effective basis?  Businesses need to be cost-effective so that they c0mpete with other businesses.  There is a problem when this is applied to government, because government does not compete.

Businesses strive to lower cost so that they can make money in the face off competition.  Without competition, businesses have no incentive to lower costs.  This is one of the main problems with monopolies.

Elected officals and voters too often defer to the business community to judge what is best for the economy.  Beware.  Businesses exist for one purpose: to make money.  Deferring to business in directing government policy can lead to business using government to create a monopoly for itself.

When government gets involved in business, beware of government being used to render the competitive business environment inert.  That usually means taxpayers are about to get robbed.

28
Jan
09

Bulova Has Nothing

Democrat Sharon Bulova wants to distract Fiarfax County voters from the $650 million Fairfax County budget shortfall she presided over as Chairwoman of the Fairfax County budget committee.

Bulova claims to have voted to cut property tax rates and reduce spending BUT under her:

  1. taxes have doubled
  2. Fairfax County has a $650 Million shortfall, larger than the shortfalls of Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, PrinceWilliam and the District of Columbia, COMBINED!
  3. Fairfax County has a $650 Million shortfall larger than the total budget of its Police, Fire & Rescue, Sheriff, Libraries, Parks, and Health Departments, COMBINED

The best Bulova can do is impute inexperiance on Pat Herrity by citing a 2007 Washington Post article from  BEFORE Herrity was elected Springfield Supervisor.

Bulova also falsely claims that Herrity missed votes on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors when the official minutes of the Board of Supervisors show that Herrity has NEVER MISSED a Board of Supervisors meeting while in office.  On top of that, Herrity has cast more votes in the last year than several other Supervisors, including former Chairman of the Board, Gerry Connolly.

Herrity has never missed a vote, and introduced a complete alternative budget in 2008 that included an actual tax cut.  Also, Herrity’s budget made sure to direct Fairfax tax dollars to the classrom instead of to a wasteful (but luxurious) $130 million school administration building.

Bulova has nothing but misrepresentations and the experience to tax waste those tax dollars.  On the February 3, 2009 special election in Fairfax County, vote for Pat Herrity.

6a00d8341bf81753ef010536a697e6970c-150wi

27
Jan
09

Obama Seeks Republican Support for Porkulus Bill

FoxNEWS reports that President Obama visited Capitol Hill to rally support from Republicans for his $830 million stimulus package:

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill after meeting with the House GOP caucus, Obama said he is “absolutely confident” that compromises can be reached, “but the key right now is to make sure we keep politics to a minimum.”

“There is some legitimate philosophical differences with parts of my plans that the Republicans have, and I respect that. In some cases, they just may not be as familiar with what is in the package as I would like. I don’t expect 100 percent agreement but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people’s business right now,” he said.

Huh?  What sort of compromise is Obama seeking?  From who?  Republicans?

Democrats control Congress.  That is the result of the politics from the last election.  Obama does not really need the support of Congressional Republicans to push his pork-laden “stimulus” bill through.

Does he?

Obama is actually seeking political cover for a bill everyone knows will not help the recovery of the national economy.  Getting Republicans to go along with this abominable plan defuses it as a political issue so that it cannot be used against Democrats.

So far, Republicans appear to be opposed.  House Minority Leader Boehner voices some criticism:

“We have concerns that the plan that House Democrats are going to bring to the floor will not work,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner before the meeting. “And at the end of the day, our big move today will be to ask the president to help us. Help us make this plan better so that it will put Americans back to work.”

while Louisiana Senator David Vitter voices even stronger criticism:

“What I am going to say is, ‘Mr. President, I like the test you’ve set, which is what works, what actually creates jobs quickly, what can pick the economy up. The problem is neither the House nor the Senate bill being worked on now meets that test. In fact, they don’t come close to meeting that test,’” he said.

“It’s line after line after line of favorite liberal spending programs and it amounts to a big government bill not a job creation,” Vitter told FOX News.

Republicans need to oppose this stimulus.  We do not want Obama to suceed in this because this bill will not suceed in bringing about an economic recovery.

26
Jan
09

Supervisor Pat Herrity Explains Fairfax County’s Priorities

Here is Pat Herrity on the January 8, 2009 edition of Reston Impact:

On February 3, 2009, in Fairfax County, vote for:

  1. ending $650 million dollar budget shortfalls that amount to more than the total budget of the Police, Fire & Rescue, Sheriff, Libraries, Parks, and Health Departments combined.
  2. ending the spending of $200 million to make the Fairfax County government that biggest landlord in the county that subsidizes housing for those making as much as $99,000 a year.
  3. ending the spending of $130 million on fancy school administration buildings while
  • classrooms are overcrowded
  • school buildings are in need of renovation AND
  • Fairfax County teachers have fallen from the best paid in the region to sixth best.

On February 3, 2009, Vote for Pat Herrity.

6a00d8341bf81753ef010536a697e6970c-150wi

click on the banner & visit Pat’s site to find out how you can help

23
Jan
09

Tolerating Democrats’ Spending

The Republican National Committee will be electing a new Chairman as early as January 29, 2009. 

Bloomberg has an interesting story.  The author, Heidi Przybyla, comments on the state of the Republican Party in the northeast, particularly New England by stating:

The hard line taken by the leaders has already cost the party, which has become increasingly rural and Southern. With the defeat last year of Representative Chris Shays in Connecticut, Republicans no longer hold any House seats in socially moderate New England. The party also lost three House seats in New York, one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania, making Republicans an endangered species in the Northeast.

Here is a question: where is the “hard line”?  Was it on spending?  Before losing power, Republicans exercised little, if any fiscal responsibility.

Is this just about social issues?  Maybe.

One problem that the Republican Party is facing is that we are too defensive against charges that are nothing more than labels.  These labels are thrown at us to prevent any meaningful discussion on issues.

Take issues of spending.  Is it “hard line” to say that we need to cut spending because we cannot resort to confiscatory taxation to support it?  Many Americans would say, “no,” but Republicans cannot get into this issue if they let themselves be put on the defensive with words like “hardline,” which carry a “guilty until proven innocent” connotation.

So what do we do?  We do need to broaden our base.  How do we go about doing that?  Former RNC Chairman Rich Bond thinks:

“We need a great deal more tolerance for the other guy’s point of view,” Bond said. “Not everybody comes from the same constituency as a majority-white homogenous district in the South where all people care about is keeping their guns and taxes.”

Putting the social issue of guns and the right to self-defense aside, what does this mean?  Do only white Southerners care about keeping what they earn?

This points to an ugly truth about Democrats that Republicans not only have failed to expose, but too many have gone along with: Democrats divide Americans based on race, class and gender.

Democrats divide Americans by telling:

  1. black Americans that they have been historically wronged and that you need Democrats in power to enact compensation through government
  2. poor Americans that you are at the mercy of the rich and that you need Democrats in power to oversee the spreading of Americans’ wealth, from rich to poor, through government
  3. women that they are not on an equal footing with men and that you need Democrats in power to engineer equality through government

By doing so, Democrats deny any of these groups their natural right of self-determination because confiscatory taxation in necessary for Democrats to right these purported wrongs through more government spending.  Confiscatory taxation robs Americans of their self determination which is their right to pursue happiness.  Confiscatory taxation is a veritable form of slavery.

Do Republicans need to ” tolera[te] … the other guy’s point of view” when the “other guy” is pushing confiscatory taxation on the American people?  Do Americans, regardless of race, class or gender want the majority of the proceeds of their labor going to government?  If anyone thinks they are getting valuable services in exchange for their confiscated wealth, can we get into the issue of government waste and how this waste cripples our economy?  Are we going to go in depth in what we mean by “low taxes” or are we going to cower when the word “hardline” is thrown at us?

22
Jan
09

Parting Thoughts on the Bush Presidency & the State of the Republican Party

Chris of Mason Conservative had a spirited discussion in his comment section with Loudon Insider of Too Conservative (and others) regarding the Bush Presidency.

Chris runs through some strong points of the Bush Presidency:

I would have voted for him again. Part of our weakness as a party grew from our willingness to join the Dems in bashing Bush. I’m proud to have voted for him, he stood up to terrorists, to the media, to Democrats, for life issues. Yeah he wasn’t great on the economy, we all know that. But the real reason Deomcrats took power was over Iraq, but it was (and is) the right war and he pressed forward to victory even in the face of defeat at home. I’m not saying George W. Bush didn’t make mistakes, far from it, but from where I stand politcally I thank god we had his eight years compared to what Al Gore or John Kerry would have done to us, and what Barack Obama is about to do to us.

while decrying that  “it['s] trendy to bash, it['s] also intellectually lazy to lay all the problems of the Republican Party at [Bush's] feet.

Loudon Insider’s central criticism of Bush is that:

…he kept taxes “low” while running up HUGE deficits and nearly bankrupting future generations with BS like his Medicare plan enhancement.

Along with past problems in Iraq, Loudon Insider contends that defending Bush is a losing proposition for the future of the Republican Party.

Bush spent way too much (along with the Republican Congress).  One purported motivation for this was to maintain support for the Iraq war. Up until 2006, many commentators recounted that Bush could not openly disagree with Congress, on budget and spending items, because it would show weakness in the Party and undermine Republicans’ power.

How has this worked for Republicans?

Here is how:

  1. Bush went along with a Republican Congress and spent without recourse.
  2. The Republican Party’s base, for the better part of the last fifty years, has been based on fiscal responsibilty.
  3. Democrats seized opportunity by making Republican spending an issue; in short, they managed to co-opt fiscal responsibility.
  4. Combined with Republicans’ mishandling of Iraq (through 2006, and pre-surge), co-opting fiscal responsibility as an issue allowed Democrats to destroy Republicans’ overall credibility which culminated in the election results of 2008.

Politically, Republicans are now past Bush, and it is time to start drawing lessons from his Presidency.  The time for advocacy is over.  Now it is time to analyze the history and the first step is to argue over the metrics by which we will measure the Bush Presidency.  So far we have:

  1. Chris: Should the results of the Bush Presidency with respect to the promises of his 2000 and 2004 opponents?  His other success: tax cuts, two “conservative” Supreme Court appointments, no terrorist attacks since 9/11, etc.?
  2. Loudon Insider: Have Bush’s policies of deficit spending,  creating new social entitlements, and the mishandling of Iraq diminished the future prospects of the Republican Party?
  3. 10 kt: Could Bush (and Republicans whom he presumably led) have done anything to prevent Democrats from co-opting the issue of fiscal responasibility in their favor?

How do we answer these questions; what other questions are there; and what lessons do we need to draw in order to move forward?

10
Dec
08

The Car Czar & More Government Bailouts

According to the Washinton Post, President Bush and Congressional Democrats have come to an “agreed concept” for the auto-bailout.  The “agreed concept” calls for:

  • “…government to spe[n]d $15 billion in emergency loans to the car companies as soon as next week…”
  • “…President Bush to immediately name a car czar to oversee the bailout…”
  • “…the car czar would be required to revoke the loans unless the companies proved by March 31 that they were implementing a plan to achieve “a positive net present value…”
  • “…if the firms fail to make progress, the car czar would be required to submit to Congress a new plan to restore them to financial viability, the official said, including the option of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.”
  • “If no plan for the long-term survival of the companies were to emerge, the firms would be ineligible for any additional federal assistance”

Has there been any agreement as to how the auto industry has gotten into this situation?

Some say it is over-priced labor; others say it is one-sided international trade; yet others say it is cumbersome government regulations.  Perhaps all of these factors have contributed to the problem with all of these factors having 0ne thing in common: government.  Government writes the labor laws.  Government signs international trade agreements.  Government writes the regulations.

With government at the root of the problem, it is difficult to see how government can devise an adequate solution.  There may be a legitimate argument that government has harmed this vital industry; but, even if this argument is accepted, is the best remedy a bailout, coming from U.S. taxpayers, which imposes a measure of nationalization for this industry?

More importantly, what is the Republican position?  Republicans already went along with $700 billion credit bailout (with $150 billion of pork on top).

Free markets, anyone?  Of course not…no one believes in those anymore,…isn’t that what got us here in the first place?   Besides, the global economy could not take the shock if a free market correction were allowed.  Of course, we should willingly suspend disbelief brought about by the implication that allowing a free market correction implies that we are currently not operating in a free market.

So what about it Republicans?  Do we have a coherent position?  Is it based on any principle that might form the corner-stone for our Party as we propose solutions to this continuing economic nightmare or are we still “position[ing ourselves] for fancy titles associated with a losing effort”?  If Republicans are looking to go along with more bailouts, are they still just looking for the best way to pander instead of leading us back to prosperity?

Maybe Republicans should just cave-in to the media’s demands for bipartisanship, join with the majority of the country, hope for the best, and beg for Obama to save us.

Save us from what?

From ourselves.




Categories


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.