Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin's Options

Facing a $3.6 billion deficit, Wisconsin Governor Scott K. Walker proposed budget cuts that would balance the budget as well as a process to ensure that the people of Wisconsin are empowered to decide if state employees paid by their tax dollars would be able to receive pay hike beyond the consumer price index. As a result, big unions and public employees, focused on their own agenda and not that of the people of Wisconsin, began major protests in the state capitol of Madison. The protests have become national news, with national politicians such as President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) chiming in. Pundits all over the cable news networks and columnists at national newspapers have also chimed in on the situation.

When it comes down to it, Governor Walker has three options for fixing Wisconsin's budget woes:
  1. Hike Taxes: Governor Walker could propose a tax hike to raise the $3.6 billion needed to balance out the budget. However, the people of Wisconsin sent a clear message last year that they would not accept tax hikes, and Governor Walker was elected on a promise to not raise taxes. In fact, many in Wisconsin elected Governor Walker because of his promises to reduce taxes, enabling the growth of small business and the creation of jobs. 
  2. Add Debt: Governor Walker could propose simply borrowing more money to finance unsustainable spending. Unfortunately, such a concept was rejected by Wisconsin voters and would lead the state into an even worse long-term deficit problem, as the debt would need to be paid back. Wisconsin would simply end up in a worse situation, such as what California is in.
  3. Curb Spending: Governor Walker could propose a budget that curbs spending, as he promised to do when running for office. In doing this, taxes would remain the same or be cut, and deficit would not grow. 
Obviously, Option #3 makes the most sense, and it is what the Governor is trying to pursue. The people of Wisconsin sent a message that new debt and new taxes were unacceptable, and Governor Walker must carry out the will of the people. Less than 10% of Wisconsin workers are members of unions. The interest of the over 90% Wisconsin workers who are non-union must be prioritized over the loud voices of the big unions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

National Referendum Needed

The ability to elect legislative and executive leadership is one of the most important parts of democracy. Unfortunately, it is not enough. As shown by Obamacare, it is possible for a house of Congress or the President to act in a manner inconsistent with the will of the American people. The American people have little recourse but to wait until the next election and hope that leadership change can bring in politicians who will follow the will of the people rather than the party line. 

To fix this problem, a national referendum process should exist, where every year the American people have the ability to vote directly on an issue or legislation. If a majority of the people vote for something, then it should be enacted with no ability for Congress or the President to override the vote. The judicial branch, of course, could overturn something if it were inconsistent with the United States Constitution. 

Such a simple solution would require an amendment to the United States Constitution. The far-left would likely oppose this amendment, for a number of reasons, including their elitist attitude that the American people are not capable of making their own decisions and need people in government to do it for them. The truth, however, is that a national referendum system would be good for the country. Such a system would enable greater freedom and democracy by empowering the American people. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winning The Obama Republicans

Presidential Races can be close. They can also be blowouts. Ronald Reagan's 1984 defeat of Walter Mondale was a blowout: every state except Minnesota went to Reagan. In contrast, the 2000 race between Al Gore and George W. Bush was so close that a single state going the other way could have changed the outcome of the election. In 2012, the Presidential race may be very close. It is likely that independent and moderate voters, which actually make up a majority of the American people, will be the group that decides the race. The far-left won't vote Republican and the far-right won't vote Democrat. The center, however, could go either way.

In 2008, nearly 1 in 10 Republicans voted for President Barack Obama over their party's nominee, John McCain. These so-called "Obama Republicans" or "Obamacans" helped the President secure the win. Likewise, in 1984 Ronald Reagan was able to win 49 of 50 states because of the support of "Reagan Democrats" and other moderate voters. President Reagan, after all, helped curb inflation, reduced taxes, grew the GDP, and helped create jobs in America. Moderate Americans support those principles, and if President Obama can do the same, moderate Americans -- including, yes, some Republicans -- will vote for him again in 2012.

It is clear that the number one priority of the American people is the economy. Financial issues, not social issues, are what Americans care about. For many Americans, it doesn't matter if something is a Republican solution or a Democrat solution, but rather if something is a working solution. If the far-left ideas of greater regulation and higher taxes created more jobs in America, raised the average families income, and improved the GDP, most Americans would be happy. Unfortunately, it has been shown in the past that the best way to bring prosperity to America is by embracing supply-side economics. As Arthur B. Laffer mentions in the Wall Street Journal, supply-side economics created 21 million jobs between 1982 and 1990.

Unfortunately, for President Obama, should he fail to America on the path to economic prosperity, the people will start to demand change. Not the "change" he campaigned on, but change to a different leader, likely a more conservative, Republican leader. The best way for President Obama to win an election in 2012 is not through charismatic campaigning and the support of large unions, but rather by bringing economic prosperity to the American people.

Friday, February 4, 2011

RedState Statement

In an effort to get its content more widely distributed across the Internet, The Report began posting blog posts over at RedState. RedState claims to be "the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill." It's writing is led by Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, but RedState promotes that "anyone, however, can write at RedState" and notes that "the best stuff gets voted on by the community and the best of the best gets put on the front page for the world to see."

Yesterday, The Report blogged about H. R. 3 and its failure to create jobs as well as the fact that the bill would prevent a pregnant person on government healthcare from saving the taxpayers money by opting for a cheaper abortion instead of having labor and delivery of a baby. The post doesn't go into the morality of the decision-making, but rather focused on H. R. 3 likely costing the taxpayers more money and killing, rather than creating, jobs. Obviously, the subject is controversial so we looked forward to interesting debate through comment posting. Unfortunately, a RedState moderator decided that if he didn’t agree with something, it simply shouldn't be there. This person, Neil Stevens, deleted our post content and in a childish act replaced it with a YouTube video, a comment saying "get lost," and changed the subject of our post to "Scram."

An explanation from Mr. Erickson on was requested via Twitter, but he failed to respond. We even asked again, and still he failed to respond. Our guess is that we were just too fiscally conservative for Mr. Stevens' liking, so he decided that censorship was the solution. While it is unlikely that Mr. Stevens' is a supporter of the Third Reich, his censorship is more similar to what the Nazis engaged in than what American freedom represents.

It has been our observation that the environment at RedState is not one where the interest lines up with what is best for the American people, especially on matters of fiscal conservatism. At RedState, members attack and flame anything that does not follow the Republican or Tea Party line. Praising President Obama's move to use supply-side economics to lower the national debt, for example, came under attack at RedState -- not because the idea was a radical far-left idea, but because the community there values attacking President Obama more than it values moving the country in the right direction where jobs will be created so Americans can afford to feed their families and pay their rent without relying on unemployment checks funded by the taxpayer.

As a result of our observations and yesterday's events, effective immediately, The Report will no longer be involved with RedState. We will remain open, however, to posting our content at other websites. We will continue our posting on Twitter, and welcome reader suggestions about other websites to post our content.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dear John, Where Are The Jobs in H. R. 3?

When the American people elected a majority Republican House of Representatives last November, they did so because they wanted representatives in Congress who would listen to the mandate of the people that long-term job creation was the most important thing to the American people. Additionally, the people mandated that they wanted the deficit to be reduced without hikes in taxes. The new Speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would make job creation a priority. Even President Obama, in The Wall Street Journal and in his State of the Union address, championed supply-side economic principles with a strength not seen since the administration of Ronald Reagan in order to to reduce the deficit and create jobs.

The Republicans started out pretty well. They read the Constitution aloud to start the 112th Congress and implemented new rules to ensure bills have to be Constitutional to be brought before the House. H. R. 2 was a measure to repeal an act passed by the previous Congress that would kill jobs and was not wanted by a majority of the country.

H. R. 3 is the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," and while it sounds like it would save tax dollars by preventing taxpayer funds from going to pay for abortions, it actually will cost the taxpayers more.

When a woman becomes pregnant, there are a few basic outcomes that can happen. The first possible outcome is that a woman carries the child for a period (usually around 9 months) and gives birth to a baby. The second possible outcome is a natural or unwanted failure of the pregnancy, such as a miscarriage. The third outcome is that the pregnancy is intentionally ended, which is known as an abortion.

While H. R. 3 would prohibit taxpayer funding for an abortion, it would still allow taxpayer funding for the labor and delivery of a baby. As illustrated below, using a low-range figure for the cost of labor and delivery, it is far cheaper for the taxpayers to fund a woman having an abortion, or even a dozen abortions, than to fund having a child:

From a pure economic sense, and for lowering the deficit, it seems that the government ought to actually encourage abortion instead of having children for people on government healthcare. It also is the case that many children who are born will have much of their costs not paid for by their parents, but paid for via government welfare programs, creating greater burden on the American taxpayer.

Worse, H. R. 3 does not create a single job. There is no mention of the word "job" or "jobs" in the bill. If anything, it kills jobs because a reduction in demand for abortions will put abortion doctors, nurses, and counselors out of business. Jobless, they'll also seek unemployment benefits that are funded by taxpayers.

At this point, with unemployment still over 9 percent, H. R. 3 just is not the type of bill that Congress needs to pass. The American people need Congress to focus on passing job-creating bills, not job-killing bills.