Category Archives: conservatism

>Do we really need 5,100 more IRS agents?

>A brief editorial in the Wall Street Journal should make you ask a few questions, after your skin stops crawling:

President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget doesn’t cut much of anything (see above), and certainly not the Internal Revenue Service. The White House is requesting that the most beloved of all government agencies get an additional 5,100 agents next year, no doubt to wring further tax revenue from Americans. The White House wants to give the IRS a 9.4% raise in fiscal 2012, to $13.28 billion. Reuters reports this would allow for a roughly 5% increase in agency manpower to 100,537, including $460 million more for tax enforcement than in 2010.

I’m not for more government, but I will advocate for a big government idea to make a larger point.

What if instead of hiring 5,100 new IRS agents, the government instead gave 5,100 people $500,000 under the watchful eye of the Small Business Administration, and let them go out and create real jobs, and real wealth in America? We could play with the numbers one way or the other, at the high end this is $2.5 Billion. $250,000 instead would be $1.25 Billion. Something like that would be a real stimulus, not creating more government workers.

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Filed under 2012, 2012 election, conservatism, economic policy, fair tax, flat tax, irs, paul ryan, republican

Memories of Ronald Reagan at 100

So many people are documenting their thoughts about Ronald Reagan on this, his 100th birthday, so I will give in to the temptation and offer some of my memories as well.

My earliest memories of President Reagan go back to my third grade year. One of my best friends at the time (Mike M., he knows who he is) and I stood up in front of our class and each recited the 40 Presidents at the time, in order. And of course, at that time Reagan was the 40th and last President. Mike M. and I both got extra credit for doing this, and we were the only two in the entire 20-25 student class to do this.

Our third grade class wrote letters to the White House when we were studying the Presidency. Each student who mailed a letter, received a package in the mail which contained an 8×10 of President Reagan (the now infamous bust shot of Reagan with the American flag in the background), a book/magazine about the White House (a book/magazine that I still have to this day) and a letter from the President thanking us for writing and encouraging us to study further. Yes, I realize this was not a personal letter, but the 8×10 got thumb-tacked to my bedroom wall, how many third graders can say that? What can I say, I always thought President Reagan looked cool. He was the same age as my grandfather, and I thought that was cool too. My grandfather would have been 100 later this year, I’ll write about that in due time.

In 1984, my classroom did a secret ballot vote for Reagan vs. Mondale. The 22-1 defeat I suffered that day was made better when I read about the landslide victory the next morning on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News. I’ll take 49-1 across the country every time.

Finally, I remember President Reagan speaking to the country the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded. My class at the time was watching tv live when the shuttle took off, as we were studying astronomy and all the teachers in America were especially intrigued with Astronaut (and teacher) Christa McAuliffe being on that space flight. I remember President Reagan speaking to the country, and especially singling out the students of America, practically talking directly to us. Again, it was like grandpa was speaking right to me.

I was an adult when President Reagan revealed he was suffering from Alzheimers. I was living in Georgia, working on a congressional campaign, when the President died in 2004. I have been to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, three times, the first time being in 1999. I have even visited the Library there as a researcher, where I was able to look at papers from the archives. I have twice been able to stand where the President is buried, where he will forever face the sunsets in the west, when the sun drops below the mountains of Simi Valley at the end of each day.

Anyway, those are my recollections for this momentous day celebrating a momentous man.

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Filed under conservatism, republican, Ronald Reagan

Reagan Super Bowl XLV Tribute

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Filed under college republicans, conservatism, republican, republican party, Ronald Reagan, super bowl

>An Interesting Night In America

>Tuesday evening was rather interesting if you cared enough to pay attention. Two events took place that I wish took place way more often.

In Washington DC, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean took part in a 90 minute debate hosted by the George Washington University College Republicans and College Democrats. If you watched the debate on C-SPAN, you’ll probably agree with me that the issues and the substance covered was quite impressive. Obviously, your humble author here never agrees with Howard Dean, but he gave responses and opinions that allowed for substantive debate. Speaker Gingrich was, well, Speaker Gingrich. One of the top thinkers in our party, along with Paul Ryan who I will mention next, Newt offered a very sane argument for American Exceptionalism along with conservatism throughout many of his answers.

Congressman Paul Ryan, someone whose praises I sing (or blog) about regularly, hosted a nationwide conference call for his new Political Action Committee named the Prosperity Project. I joined the call and I heard Congressman Ryan hold court with callers across the nation. I was actually very impressed with the questions and I was even more impressed with Ryan’s interaction as he would actually converse with the callers and he would offer real life stories to help relate the point he was trying to make.

The Congressman addressed issues from across the board, typically from the fiscal angle. There was a focus on retirement savings, real health care reform, national debt and taxes. In his usual fashion, Congressman Ryan gave answers that while complex, they made sense and they could be understood. Paul Ryan is very much the future of the conservative movement.

As I stated at the outset, this was an interesting night. In 1858, Lincoln and Douglas debated seven times for 3 hours each time. Can you imagine if we had anything similar to that today? Our Presidential debates have been dumbed down to “tell us in 90 seconds how you would handle Iran”. That’s not serious dialogue. We often see forums, and there is nothing wrong with forums, but typically there are 2 to 5 experts who already agree on the same thing, they just come about it different ways. The forums are often formal ways to compare notes.

We rarely see non-candidate debates between two people, just to talk out loud about ideas. Interestingly, the last debate like this that I can recall was about environmental issues in 2007, it also featured Speaker Gingrich, and he debated Senator John Kerry. I’d like to see more of this. We should demand it of our elected officials and of our political leaders who may not be elected officials. Notice that neither Gingrich or Dean is an elected official. Bravo to both of them.

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Filed under 1858, 2012, 2012 election, college republicans, conservatism, douglas, lincoln, newt gingrich, paul ryan, republican party

>Paul Ryan Dominates

>The title here says it all. Congressman Paul Ryan dominated with his speech Tuesday night. The whole speech could be viewed as a highlight. But, two sections particularly struck me:

“We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative – not political clout – determines who succeeds.”

And this:

“We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That’s the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington.

Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth.

These are not easy times, but America is an exceptional nation. In all the chapters of human history, there has never been anything quite like America. The American story has been cherished, advanced and defended over the centuries.”

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Filed under 2011, 2012, american exceptionalism, conservatism, paul ryan, state of the union

>Yes, Prime Minister

>
The events that took place today in London were nothing short of remarkable. If you were able to watch any of the proceedings during our 1pm-3pm hours (CST), you know what I’m talking about.

During that time, Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister, he then left 10 Downing Street to head to Buckingham Palace where he gave the Queen his resignation. Then, within minutes, David Cameron went to Buckingham Palace where the Queen asked him to form a government, he agreed, and with that a new Prime Minister made his way to Downing Street to get to work.

Upon arriving to 10 Downing Street, Cameron gave this speech, with no notes and no teleprompter.

The dynamics of the election last week and some of what led to the changes today, will be stuff of history. We’ll be reading about it for years to come I’m sure. One of the people who had led Obama’s campaign in 2008, Anita Dunn, was a key player in Cameron’s campaign. It’s no coincidence that “change” was part of the Conservative Party logo and message this year.

As I touched on before and will write more about later, the Cameron campaign was a conservative model that we should look at following parts of here in the United States going into 2010. From the “contract with young people“, to their “contract for jobs“, to their “quality of life manifesto“, I think the Conservative Party put forth one positive proposal after another and they earned the trust of the people of Britain (yes there is a hung parliament, but the number of seats that changed hands was overwhelming).

One thing we must understand, and learn to live with, it that in those proposals, people may not have agreed with the Conservative Party 100% on each idea in each proposal. However, the party itself was bold enough to say “here is where we stand, where does the other side stand?”. I think when you make the choices that clear, people will always follow the logical options and the ones based on the most common sense

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Filed under 2010, 2010 election, 2012, Britain, conservatism, david cameron, england, gordon brown, london, parliament, prime minister, UK

>King: Election winner will be out of power for a generation

>In my obsession with the British elections next week, the headline really jumped out at me.

“I saw the Governor of the Bank of England last week when I was in London and he told me whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be.”

The column continued:

However, leaving this inconsistencies aside, the comments do seem plausible: King has said repeatedly that the Government will need to impose far more ambitious cuts on the deficit than it currently plans. The comments ought to stand as a reminder that although the focus of the election has switched away to bigotgate, and the economic focus worldwide to the eurozone malaise, Britain faces a decade of hurt in the wake of its decade of debt.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies spelt it out earlier this week in typically frank terms. Labour and the LibDem plans imply the biggest squeeze on public services since the 1970s, when the IMF was in town. The Tory plans imply the biggest set of cuts since records began in 1948.

The Republican party faces the same danger in both 2010 and 2012. With Obama still in office and until he is out of office, there are going to be continual fractures to our system. Our side needs to be ready and be upfront about our solutions and our plans. I’ve written about 1992, 1994 and 1996 before. I will continue to say that we must be bold and we must be realistic. We must have a conversation with the American people.

The damage that Obama is inflicting, including the sense of entitlements, is not going to go away easily. Hard decisions are going to have to be made. If we start having the conversations now, we will not only prepare people for the realities of tough decisions and real life in what is America, but we will start to get people to understand, to work with us and to advocate on our behalf within their circles of influence.

As Ronald Reagan said in 1975: “Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pastels, but bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?”

Let’s start presenting our bold colors now. As I mentioned here before, Congressman Paul Ryan’s Roadmap For America’s Future is a great place to start. I love the British and I love watching Question Time. But, I don’t want to be like our friends from across the pond in 2013 when a Republican President is sworn in to office.

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Filed under 2010, 2010 election, 2012, conservatism, green conservatism, paul ryan, republican party, roadmap, Ronald Reagan