If Republicans Stick With Six Simple Words, They'll Be Golden In 2011
The end of the year is the right time for Republicans to revisit the lessons learned in 2010 and look forward to 2011. Several months ago, I recommended that Republican Party provide the American electorate with a calling card, a clear statement of what it stands for. The GOP delivered.
The elections resulted in an overarching victory for conservatives, making it clearer than ever that the Republicans’ position can be summarized in 6 words: Small Government. Low Taxes. National Security.
Now it is time to take that slogan into everyday governing as well as into the next election cycle and use it to end Barack Obama’s mangled presidency. With the Republicans earning a mandate in the House and an effective minority in the Senate, it is incumbent upon them not to lose their focus on the 6 simple words, and to continue to trumpet their ideals at each and every instance.
We learned again this past year that if Republicans stand by their beliefs, the other side inevitably buckles to the pressure. Below are two concrete examples:
1. First, in the recently concluded tax debate, Republicans scored a victory for their conviction that Low Taxes are a necessity. While Republicans remained steadfast that a recession is not the time to raise taxes across all economic classes, Democrats declared that they would never allow the Bush – era tax cuts to be extended.
However, when the moment of truth came, the Republicans prevailed in the fight for low taxes and Americans do not have to worry about their tax duties going up in these difficult times.
2. Second, the Republicans’ ability to stand strong on their belief in Small Government resulted in the failure by the Democrats to pass their $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill, a heap of pork-barrel and special interest spending.
Even with a majority in the Senate, Harry Reid was not able to coerce his caucus into voting for the measure which was a sum of separate spending bills which could not be passed on their own. In desperation, the left attempted to bribe Republican Senators with pork barrel provisions, but leader McConnell made sure the Republicans stood united on their principle that government has to be small and not overreaching. The omnibus bill was pulled from the Senate floor.
2011 is going to be a momentous year in national politics, and each Republican candidate for president has to follow the two examples I've mentioned above and show the country that GOP principles do not bend.
The GOP bench is strong, featuring, among others, such experienced leaders as Governors Barbour, Pawlenty, Romney, Palin, Huckabee and Christie.
It is critical as the primary competition goes into full swing that the candidates remember that it is not just the Republicans who will be following and watching, it is the whole electorate.
With that in mind, the candidates need to keep the country focused on Small Government, Low Taxes, National Security. and if that is achieved, there will be a Republican president elected in November, 2012.
European riots and the real party of "No"
Economists are the real "party of No." They keep saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch-- and politicians keep on getting elected by promising free lunches.
Such promises may seem to be kept, for a while. There are ways the government can juggle money around to make everything look OK, but it is only a matter of time before that money runs out and the ultimate reality hits, that there is no free lunch.
We are currently seeing what happens, in fierce riots raging in various countries in Europe, when the money runs out and the brutal truth is finally revealed, that there is no free lunch. You cannot have generous welfare state laws that allow people to retire on government pensions while they are in their 50s, in an era when most people live decades longer.
In the United States, that kind of generosity exists mostly for members of state government employees' unions-- which is why some states are running out of money, and why the Obama administration is bailing them out, in the name of "stimulus."
Once you buy the idea that the government should be a sort of year-around Santa Claus, you have bought the kinds of consequences that follow. The results are not pretty, as we can see on TV, in pictures of rioters in the streets, smashing and burning the property of innocent people, who had nothing to do with giving them unrealistic hopes of living off somebody else, or with the inevitable disappointing of those hopes with cutbacks on the giveaways.
Nothing is easier for politicians than to play Santa Claus by promising benefits, without mentioning the costs-- or lying about the costs and leaving it to future governments to figure out what to do when the money runs out.
In the United States, the biggest and longest-running scam of this sort is Social Security. Fulfilling all the promises that were made, as commitments in the law, would cost more money than Social Security has ever had.
This particular scam has kept going for generations by the fact that the first generation-- a small generation-- that paid into Social Security had its pensions paid by the money that the second and much bigger "baby boom" generation paid in.
What the first generation got back in benefits was far greater than what they themselves had paid in. It was something for nothing-- apparently.
This is the way a Ponzi scheme works, with the first wave of "investors" getting paid with the money paid in by the second wave. But, like Social Security, a Ponzi scheme creates no wealth but only an illusion that cannot last. That is why Mr. Ponzi was sent to prison. But politicians get re-elected for doing the same thing.
As the baby boomers begin to retire, and there are now fewer working people per retired person to pay for Social Security pensions, this scam is likewise headed for a rude revelation of reality-- and perhaps riots like those in Europe.
All the incentives are for politicians to do what they have done, namely to promise benefits without raising enough taxes to pay for them. That way, it looks like you are getting something for nothing.
When crunch time comes and politicians are either going to have to tell people the truth or raise taxes, the almost inevitable choice is to raise taxes. If the people think they are already taxed too much, then the taxes can be raised only for people designated as "the rich." If "the rich" object, then demagogues can denounce them for their selfishness and "greed" for objecting to turning over ever-growing amounts of what they have earned to politicians.
Economists often make stronger objections than the high-income people themselves. That is because history has shown repeatedly that very high rates of taxation lead to all sorts of ways by which those very high rates of taxation do not have to be paid.
No matter how high the tax rates are, they do not bring in more revenue when many of the people subject to those tax rates do not in fact pay them. The scams inherent in welfare states are not only economically counterproductive, they turn group against group, straining the ties that hold a society together.
Giving Thanks for Our Warriors
What follows are excerpts from remarks by Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis on November 13. Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, 29, had been killed in action four days earlier in Sangin, in southern Afghanistan, while leading his platoon on a combat patrol:
"Those with less of a sense of service to the nation never understand it when men and women of character step forward to look danger and adversity straight in the eye, refusing to blink, or give ground, even to their own deaths...... No, they are not victims but are warriors, your warriors, and warriors are never victims regardless of how and where they fall. Death, or fear of death, has no power over them. Their paths are paved by sacrifice, sacrifices they gladly make ..... for you....
“Two years ago when I was the commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 ‘The Walking Dead,’ and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi.... Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.....
"Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle-class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. ...... But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.
“The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: ‘Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?’ I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: ‘Yes, Sergeant,’ with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, ‘No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.’ They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.
“A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms....
“What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as [Iraqi policemen on the scene] had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.
“You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: ‘Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.’ The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.
“It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was halfway through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.
“For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing nonstop ...... the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore into the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks, totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe..... because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.
"The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.
“The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty ..... into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight —for you.”
Israel: Aid for Torah study challenged: "Chaim Amsellem was not the first parliament member to suggest that most ultra-Orthodox men should work rather than receive welfare subsidies for full-time Torah study. But when he did so last month, the nation took notice. Amsellem is a rabbi, ultra-Orthodox himself, and his outspokenness ignited a fresh -- and fierce -- debate about the rapid growth of the ultrareligious in Israel."
America's fading liberties: "Are the Americans greater today than before 1917 or 1898? In the military sense, they are so undoubtedly. But every step towards world domination has been at the expense of the qualities that underpin their general greatness. Their government has become more distant and opaque, more centralised and more open to capture by special interests. It has repeatedly violated the old Constitution. Liberties have been abridged on the grounds of dealing with emergencies, and then never restored. America has been at war almost throughout the whole of the past century -- at war with other countries, or at war with abstractions like 'drugs' or 'terrorism.' As everywhere else, war has been the health of the State and the sickness of the people. If the Americans today remain the freest people in the world, that is only because they started with so much more to lose."
In money-changers we trust: "In a parallel universe lives Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama’s former budget director and key adviser, who even faster than his mentor, Robert Rubin, has passed through that revolving platinum door linking the White House with Wall Street. The goal is to use your government position to advance the interests of your future employer, and Orszag and Rubin’s actions in the government and then at Citigroup provide stunning examples of the synergy between big government and high finance."
A tithe for Uncle Sam: "Political leaders talk as if the money Americans keep (not paid in taxes) belongs to the government and that our keeping money they could tax is an actual cost to them. This kind of distorted thinking has led us into the fiscal irresponsibility that threatens to destroy our country."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)