Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GOP Establishment: He Swings! And Misses Again!

The question is, when do we get to strike three?  The hot shots in the GOP elite and their message boys are really starting to sweat now.  They have pulled out all the usual time honored tricks used in the past to effectively derail any real conservative that dares to step a little too close to the Republican nomination for President.  But just like the great Casey in the old poem, they keep swinging at air balls.  Or like that old Texism says, “They keep a chopping, but there ain’t no chips a flying”.  
They tried to just ignore Herman Cain, didn’t let him get any press.  But to their surprise, the conservative voter is actually engaged for once and paying attention.  Not good news for the Kampaign Karl Roves of the GOP.  So they trotted out the town criers of the Grand Old Party.  The Krauthammers and Kristols went after him on his 999 plan.  (hmmm, notice all the “K”s in the last two sentences?)  Anyway as they walked away with their chests pumped up mightily, sure that the misinformation tool that they had just deployed had driven a stake through the heart of their tormentor, Mr. Rasmussen said “uh….. guys, he just got stronger.

“Not a problem” said the old pro exterminators, “this little bug is just a little more resilient than the others”.  And they reached way back in the shelf for the little can with three X’s on it.  “He hasn't got any political experience” they sprayed across the airwaves.  “He has never won an election in his life”.  “Surely you poor idiot Tea Party folks understand we need a professional politician to unseat Obama”.  And then they sat back, smugly satisfied that they had finally rid themselves of this pest.  But Mr.Gallup pointed to his numbers and to their shock he had gotten stronger still.
Now panic started running through the ranks.  “But he is not socially conservative enough” they screeched.  “Look at the way he answered those vague questions on the  Holy Grail of conservative social topics, ABORTION”!!!!  And then Mr. Cain clarified that he was stanchly anti-abortion and someone pointed to the fact that he gave one million dollars to convince black voters to vote pro-life back in 2006.

“But, but, but, HE IS NOT POLISHED ENOUGH, LOOK AT HOW HE FLUBBED THE QUESTION!!!!!!!” they bellowed.  “WE NEED A POLISHED PROFESSIONAL POLITICIAN AND HE IS NOT SMOOTH ENOUGH!!!”  And the American voter said, “Guys, the fact that he is not a polished politician is what endears us.  We have polished politicians up to our eyeballs and that is why we are in the mess we are in now.”

Dejected, shoulders slumped, the old pros walked back to the dugout.  There is no joy in Mudville, mighty Casey has struck out……….
Hey!  There's no crying in baseball!!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

999, Is It Good For You?

I have been talking with some friends about Herman Cain and the 999 plan and it has become painfully obvious that many do not understand the plan.  Some do understand it and have some issues with it, and others understand it and love it.  So today I thought we would pop the hood on it and give it a good look over.

Many folks have a problem with the 9% national sales tax.  I have heard that complaint from a lot of conservatives and independents and it is understandable.  The right has spent most of its existence fighting new taxes and I think many have a visceral reaction to the idea of a sales tax at the federal level.  I admit that I too had a knee jerk reaction to the idea when I first heard it.  Some of the critics also claim that congress can easily turn a 999 plan into a 15, 15, 15 plan or a 25, 25, 25 plan based on their past history and addiction to other people’s money.  They also point out that the numbers just don’t add up and it would not do anything to reduce the deficit.  One other worry is what the effects of the plan would be on seniors.  Another concern is that it creates new taxing systems without really getting rid of the old systems at least at first.  So I thought we should take a hard look at the plan and its positives and negatives.  We should also explore the political  impact of the plan as well as the political realities.

The 9% flat rate on income,
I first went back and looked at my personal finances.  Now I cannot be considered a fat cat rich guy by any stretch of the imagination.  I won’t get into specifics about my income but let’s just say we struggle at times like most all Americans do and wonder just where the money is going to come from sometimes.  But when I looked at the 999 plan and applied it to my paycheck I was pleasantly surprised at the result.  Cain’s plan is supposed to give everyone a flat 9% tax on income.  All other payroll taxes are eliminated, that includes Social Insecurity payments and Medicare taxes.  So first add all those up from last year’s pay stubs and your tax return.  Figure the percentage of your gross that it was.  Unless you make less than $34K you should see a lot less money coming out of your check. 

The 9% national sales tax,
From what is left of your paycheck deduct your house payment and car payment and any other loans you are currently paying off.  These are not new purchases and do not qualify to be taxed under Cain’s plan.  From what is left, assume the worst case and figure that all of that money will be spent on taxable “new” products.    Take 9% of that number and add this to the amount you would be pay at a 9% income tax rate and see how that stacks up against what you pay now in federal withholding, Social Security and Medicare.  I already see a savings.  But let’s go a little further and deduct every penny you pay in property taxes and all other local taxes and fees.  This is starting to look really good.  Currently the plan is to tax everything “new” but I really don’t see congress taxing food, at least staples, so we can probably consider that out as well.

The 9% corporate tax,

Just about everyone in the business world that has chimed in on the subject admits that this would be great for business.  Just the drop in costs of compliance alone can save companies billions.  In fact Cain’s figures on the subject are that it would save American companies 430 billion a year.  The only downside there is all the accountants that would be put out of work as a result.  Ronald Reagan’s supply side guru Art Laffer loves the plan and exclaims it would broaden the tax base and grow the economy almost immediately.           

What about congress increasing the rates?
Some folks are hesitant because they believe congress, being true to form, will raise the rates after a while especially if the economy improves.  I understand their concern, the government is addicted to money.  And that addiction is not going to go away overnight.  But if this plan or one like it with a flat tax on income does become a reality, it can never be raised.  It would be political suicide for any congressman to vote to raise those rates.  The same applies to the sales tax portion of the plan.   The class warfare game could not be played over the issue and all voters including the welfare queen baby makers would be affected.  This is one of the things I love about the plan, everyone has skin in the game.  This is also why during the legislative process on passing this plan the democrats will stir up riots like we have never before seen.  Their political future will be tied to defeating this plan and they will pull out all the stops.  If Cain is elected, gird your loins and load the guns folks, it’s gonna get hairy.  Of course unless the plan has built in protections there is nothing to stop congress from raising the corporate rate so I guess it could become a 9, 15, 9 plan at some point as idiots in DC start trying to figure out ways to grab more of your money to buy votes and influence.  Of course it all comes out of the same pockets in the end but most of the electorate is too ignorant on the subject of economics to understand that.

What about creating a new tax system without first doing away with the old one?
I have heard this argument before from conservative friends and it is a genuine concern.  They like the idea of the FairTax, which is a national sales tax to replace all other taxes.  To be fair, (get it?) Cain does call for the FairTax and repeal of the 16th amendment in phase two of his plan.  The issue is that some are worried about having a new sales tax and not getting rid of the income tax and corporate tax now.  And they are skeptical of Washington following through with phase two which they see as vital.  Once again, crack whores don’t put down the crack pipe easily and Washington won’t give up revenue streams from the private sector easily either.   Getting phase one of Cain plan passed is one thing, getting phase two passed is another animal and another battle.
Seniors hardest hit?
Another criticism of Cain’s economic plan is that it would put a heavy burden on our eldest tax payers.  Or as Rush calls them, “our seasoned citizens”.  Will those living on Social Security benefits and pensions have to pay the 9% on income?  What about medicines?  They are a “new” product and subject to a 9% sales tax under Cain’s plan aren’t they?  Cain’s plan outline is vague on details about such things.  Again I expect congress to exempt drugs and perhaps give a break on senior’s pensions.  Of course the sales tax would be hard on elderly with fixed incomes.  But their Social Security and pension benefits are being taxed already, so let’s not act as though they are not already carrying a bit of the burden as it is.  And if they have planned well for retirement they stand to gain from the plan like everyone else.

Deficit reduction,
Whether this plan is “revenue neutral” (a term that means it takes in exactly the same revenue as the old system) or not is really not the issue.  In my honest opinion deficit reduction is a weak strawman argument.  The idea is to grow the economy and the additional tax revenue that generates will help to reduce the deficit.  Of course that is if congress does not increase spending as they take in more money.  This is why Cain has also called for drastic budget cuts as well. 

Political Impact,
The effects of the 999 plan on politics in this country could be enormous.  If the bulk of the plan were to be passed and after the riots by the leaches on society died down, we would see a very different political dynamic in Washington.  The left would undoubtedly work with their lame stream media compadres toward repeal and run on that platform at least for a few election cycles.  If we can get past that assault though the face of the Democrat party would have to change or it would be wiped away from the political arena.  The class warfare tool that the left has used so effectively in years past will be gone and the resulting economic boom would mean those tactics would become less and less effective across all racial and socioeconomic groups.  They won’t completely go away, but it would set the socialists and communists back several generations.    

Ok, all this talk of flat taxes and everyone paying in to the system the same rate is like porn to conservatives and libertarians, but let’s get real.  Even if Cain was swept into office in an overwhelming landslide and Republicans took over the Senate this plan would have a tough row to hoe in getting passed as is.  When Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide in 1980 he had a bold tax plan that he managed to get some parts of passed even with a Democrat controlled Congress and Senate.  But it was not the original, and compromises had to be made to get some relief passed.  The temptation to play politics with Cain’s plan is too great and I just doubt that Republicans in Congress would have the steel backbones necessary to get it passed in its current form.  The Marxists in the Democrat party will scream bloody murder about the burden on the poor and how racist the Republican party is for just suggesting that poor people that have benefited from the system for years actually pay their fair share.  John Boehner would undoubtedly have several good cries over the subject and come out with a “deal” that would be extremely watered down.  I think the way to look at it is, that it’s kinda like negotiating the price on a car.  Your first offer must be ridiculously low to set the tone for future negotiations, just not so low that the used car salesman does not take you seriously.  The 999 plan is very bold and starts the discussion over reforming a broken system.  Just getting Congress to consider change is a step in the right direction.  Many people criticize the plan as being very light on specifics.  But it is not the President’s job to get specific with something like this.  The specifics are Congress’s job, the chief executive provides a vision and direction.     

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Another Tea Party? Eh, Not So Much.

So I hear that our old buddy Joe Biden, in a stunning moment of lucidity Thursday, woke up from his coma and compared the Occupy Wall Street protests to the Tea Party protests, proving that he understands neither.   The left is so desperate to have a Tea Party movement of their own, that they will tie themselves to just about anything these days.  Our old buddy Van Jones (remember him?  The communist Green Jobs Czar) even gave a speech on the subject the other day.  I think the left will live to regret that alliance.
In spite of the media’s collusion in this misinformation campaign about the #occupy wall street crowd and their similarity to the Tea Party, the American people are getting wise to these games.  And the dirty smelly hippies on Wall Street are not helping the cause at all.  As with most mobs, anarchy reigns supreme with that bunch and lawlessness ensues.  I have been to several Tea Party protests myself and have yet to see anyone arrested, or any defecating on a police car, or defacing of public property, or smelled any overwhelming body odor.
Perhaps we should explore just exactly what motivates these two groups and who the members really are if we really care to compare them. (which of course the NBC nightly news prefers not to do)

In a past post I discussed what makes up a Tea Party Patriot.  In it I stated “The folks that believe in the constitution, in fiscal responsibility, in common sense foreign policy and that our elected officials should actually honor their oaths of office.”  “They are your Grandmas and Grandpas, your Vietnam veteran uncle, your church going Mom and Dad, your cousin who just got back from a tour in Afghanistan and your preacher.  They are the history teacher you always liked, the owner of the corner market, and the guy who owns the gas station down the road.  They are the farmer, the local pediatrician and the nurse that works in his office.  They are the firefighter, the policeman and the ambulance driver.  In short they are America.  And they represent everything that made America what it is today.  They are the folks that make this country and this economic engine work.  They are not, as MSNBC or CNN would have you believe “Astroturf” bought and paid for by greedy capitalists to throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the gears of “Hope and Change”.  They are not as NBC, ABC and CBS claim, white hood wearing fanatics who oppose Barack Obama because of their seething racism.   They are patriots, that believe in American exceptionalism, the rule of law and that they are blessed to have been born or immigrated to the greatest country in the history of the world.”

Now let’s examine what makes up the average #occupy wall street protestor.  
Average age about 25.  With a very strong sense of entitlement, they went to school (mostly on the taxpayers dime since tuition only makes up about 10% of most college revenue) and got a degree in minority women’s studies and can’t figure out why in the world nobody wants to pay them a six figure salary for that kind of background.  Mom and Dad have given them everything except an understanding of where all that money came from and what it takes to acquire it.  They can’t tell you what it really takes to create a job, (much like most of the democrats on capital hill) but can give you a dissertation on corporate greed and blood diamonds.  They have never held a job of any kind and would be happy to continue that trend for the rest of their days blaming all their woes on Wall Street and demanding that they be paid to sit on their keester for the rest of their lives and occasionally come out to berate the folks that pay for it all and tell us how evil we are.  They expect the 10% of the cost of their education that they financed be paid by us along with 90% we already did.  They seem to be some type of feline I deduce based on their obvious aversion to soap and water.  And they have zero respect for authority, experience, the rule of law, religion or their elders.  In short they are spoiled brats that should have gotten more ass beatings than time outs during their formative years.  In a way I feel sorry for them because someday the reality of life is going to slap them up aside the head and they will of course be the first to perish.  But I guess that kinda proves one part of Darwin’s theory.

The best advice I can give to these wayward dipwads is to listen to GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain.     

Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!  It's not a person's fault because they succeeded, it is a person's fault if they failed.  And so this is why I don't understand these demonstrations and what it is that they are looking for." 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Trying to Derail the Cain Train

I was pleasantly surprised the other day by the results of the Florida Straw Poll in which Herman Cain garnered 37% of the vote.  Not only did he beat the media anointed “front runners” but his total was greater than the both of theirs combined.  Rick Perry got 15% and Mitt Romney only received 14%.  Of course Rick’s slip in the polls was expected after the performance he gave in the debate just a few nights earlier.  And I seem to remember telling folks he wasn’t’ the sharpest knife in the drawer some time back before he even threw his hat into the ring.  Mitt just ain’t gonna command more than 20% of anything outside of the Northeast. 

But why the sudden surge of Cain?  In the Iowa Straw Poll in mid August he claimed only 8% of the vote.  I have a theory on that subject.  First of all Cain worked Florida hard.  In spite of having one of the poorest campaigns in the race.   He spent more time in Florida than any other candidate, touring the state in a bus and shaking lots of hands.  But that alone is not what carried the day for him.  He handed in a spectacular performance in the debate on the evening of September 22nd.  While the media focused like a laser beam on the “frontrunners” Perry and Romney, Cain used charm, wit and conservative values to explain what was wrong with this country and what he would do to change it.  The media didn’t notice, which is not much of a surprise seeing as how they follow the mob mentality in all reporting.  The narrative was already set, the news was all about the clash of the titans with good hair.  But Florida Straw Poll voters noticed, and gave an overwhelming victory to the guy who was pushing a strong conservative message and not engaging in the political one-upmanship that the press was salivating like dogs for.   Hmmm, I have heard somewhere that would be an effective technique. 

The next few days were a lot of fun for me, as I watched the media incredulously reporting the Cain victory and wondering what went wrong.  And believe me, to them, this was very very wrong.  The fact is that there are very few “journalists” (and I apply that term very loosely) that want to see a staunch conservative win the nomination.  They either are O-bots that worship at the feet of the one and only God King Xerxes uh…. I mean Obama. Or they back the Republican establishment Karl Roves from inside the beltway. (Most of the Fox News folks). To either group a real conservative that can articulate that message is a very dangerous thing indeed. I’m sure Mr. Cain had a great time as well with the interviews that were grudgingly given over the next few days. To add insult to injury some national polls started showing a similar trend with Cain way out in front of the pack.

Then slowly you started to see mention of the “frontrunners” come up in the political talk shows and news programs. And Cain was not one of the subjects. It’s like the media just decided that they could make this nightmare scenario go away if they just ignored it. Pretend it never happened, Huh? What Florida Straw Poll? They have one? Never heard of it………….

Herein lies the issue for Cain. The press is bound and determined to select our candidate for us like they did in 2008. They will try their damndest to ignore Herman Cain and anyone else with similar ideas and the ability to speak to them. There will be six more debates between now and the new time for the Florida Primary on January 31st. Pay close attention to the talking heads that moderate these events as they try to pretend Cain is not in the room. If he carries the Florida Primary and follows up a week later with a victory in the Iowa Caucuses, they won’t be able to ignore him any longer. Also of course, pay heed when they can’t pretend he isn’t there anymore and they shift to reporting all the slime that the Democrat and Republican machines will try to hurl at him in an effort to save their hides.

Should be an interesting 2012 sports fans. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.