In an excellent piece urging that oral contraception become available over the counter that ran in this morning’s print edition of the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose résumé includes a litany of health policy wonkery, sounded the death knell of both big government’s dominion over one aspect of reproductive health, and the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over that policy. Further, Jindal’s position masterfully bridges the gap between social conservatives and libertarians, as it accounts for both market-based health care (vs. Obamacare) and the protection of religious liberty and conscience (also vs. Obamacare). Here’s an excerpt:
Sometimes I see things that I just can’t believe are true. This is one of those times.
Earlier this year, the Louisiana legislature almost unanimously passed a law that prohibits the use of cash in secondhand transactions.
The story on this one is that the law is intended to create a paper trail when people steal things like copper or other materials from a construction site. Forcing a check, money order, or electronic payment would make it easier for law enforcement to find a thief. I understand that argument, but there are some real problems with this law.
U.S. currency is valid for all transactions. On the front of our currency is the line “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Prohibiting the use of legal tender is a bit of an oxymoron.
Records of each transaction must be kept for 3 years. When you hear people like me fussing about unnecessary government regulations hindering businesses, this is the type of thing we’re talking about. This law requires businesses to keep very specific records for each second hand transaction so that law enforcement can find people they suspect are thieves.
The information to be collected by the dealer includes: date, location of purchase, name and address of seller, driver’s license or passport number of seller, license plate of vehicle used to deliver the goods, a full description of all materials being purchased.
Taxes were very high, but no real revenue was coming in. That’s because the system of taxes at that time was an early form of income tax that centered on the government taking a large percentage of a farmer’s crops.
So Ching Ti did something bold and innovative: he cut taxes.
Overnight, taxes went from over 50% down to about 3%. Farmers, who had fled to the hills to escape draconian tax rates, now came home and began farming again. To make a long story short, Ching Ti’s greatest problem while governing was trying to keep all the grain in his barns from spoiling.
It seems that ancient Chinese history is good for more than just cutesy script on a fortune cookie.
* Barack Obama will realize that Congress is not ready to go along with his progressive agenda. Many Southern and rural Midwestern Democrats were elected as pro-life conservative Democrats. Hence, his Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) will never see the light of day.
* With nervousness on the economy, Obama will not push for Nationalized Health Care. You will see some adding around the edges, but no major increases in federal programs. Obama’s advisers will warn him about the effect of more spending and especially, more taxes on our fragile economy.
The GOP chief knows the gig is up:
In a frank and private memo sent today to Republican National Commitee members, the RNC chairman acknowledges that the GOP has grown too addicted to ideology, places politics before policy, and is bereft of ideas — and that it’s imperative that the party shift towards a genuine effort to develop concrete policy solutions to people’s problems in order to rescue itself.
I have a few quick ideas:
If you couldn’t make it to CPAC 2013, you can watch it live via stream provided by PBS NewsHour. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and NRA Chairman Wayne LaPierre have already spoken this morning. You can watch McConnell and Ryan’s speeches below.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), are slated to speak early this afternoon.
During his speech this morning, Minority Leader McConnell vowed to repeal ObamaCare and slammed the budget produced by Senate Democrats:
Chairman Ryan spoke about the fiscal issues facing the country. He dropped a line that was tweeted like crazy. Ryan said, “This has been a really big week. We got white smoke from the Vatican, and we got a budget from the Senate. But when you read it, you find the Vatican’s not the only place blowing smoke this week.”
Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake of the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog—arguably one of the best blogs about politics today—have gotten a copy of Bobby Jindal’s speech to the RNC this Thursday. It looks like it will be a well-needed tongue-lasher:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will deliver a forceful denunciation of his party’s Washington-centric focus in a speech to the Republican National Committee on Thursday evening, arguing that the GOP is fighting the wrong fight as it seeks to rebuild from losses at the ballot box last November.
“A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and short-sighted debate,” Jindal will tell the RNC members gathered in Charlotte, N.C. for the organization’s winter meeting, according to a copy of the speech provided to The Fix. “If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.”
Jindal’s speech — and his call to “recalibrate the compass of conservatism” — is the latest shred of a growing amount of evidence that the Louisiana governor is positioning himself to not only run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 but do so in direct (or close to it) opposition to his party in the nation’s capital.
In the speech, Jindal will repeatedly caution that Republicans in Washington have fallen into the “sideshow trap” of debating with Democrats over the proper size of the federal government.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those of us that have been involved in the Liberty Movement, but in an interview with ABC News published yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) didn’t deny that he was interested in a bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he’s interested in mounting a 2016 presidential bid.
“I’m not going to deny that I’m interested,” Paul told ABC News in an interview published on Tuesday.
A bid for the Republican nomination would continue a family tradition. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), has repeatedly sought the party’s nomination. The elder Paul is retiring at the end of this congressional term.
The younger Paul emphasized that he was not yet ready to announce his candidacy, but said he believed his brand of libertarianism could open up the map for Republicans.
“I think we have to go a different direction, because we’re just not winning, and we have to think about some different ideas,” said the Kentucky lawmaker, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement.
Among his proposals: undertaking immigration reform, making defense cuts and allowing individual states to legalize marijuana.
“States should be allowed to make a lot of these decisions,” Paul says. “I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different.”
The Cato Institute has released its biannual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, a useful tool that can help voters determine whether or not their chief executives are acting responsibly when it comes to taxation and spending.
The report this year, authored by Chris Edwards, should come with some interest, given that some of the governors graded in this round ran on Tea Party-themed platforms. This is the first real look into whether or not they’ve delivered on the rhetoric they espoused on the campaign trail.
Looking through the list, the nation’s best governors on fiscal policy — those receiving an “A” — do indeed have a Tea Party influence, or at the very least they ran on fiscally conservative platforms. Here’s a look at the cream of the crop:
- Sam Brownback (R-KS)
- Rick Scott (R-FL)
- Paul LePage (R-ME)
- Tom Corbett (R-PA)
The highest scoring Democrat, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, received a “B,” and was among the best in the nation on fiscal policy. His grade is up from two years ago, when he received a “D.” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who followed Mitt Romney in the Bay State, also received a “B.” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam takes home the prize of being the lowest scoring Republican in the report, with a “D.”
Who are the nation’s worst governors on fiscal policy? Well, here they are — all of five received an “F” in the report (starting with the worst):
- Pat Quinn (D-IL)
- Dan Malloy (D-CT)
- Mary Dayton (D-MN)
- Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
- Chris Gregoire (D-WA)
Some other names of interest with summarized comments:
With the Republican National Convention just three weeks away, we’re getting closer to Mitt Romney naming his running mate in 2012. Romney’s campaign has launched a smartphone app that will tip supporters off to his pick before anyone else knows, at least in theory.
Awaiting the pick is sort of like looking at top prospects for a Major League Baseball team or analyzing draft picks before the NFL Draft. Last week, The Hill reported that Beth Myers, the head of Romney’s VP search team, was on hand for a rally with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — much like a scout at a game looking at a potential target’s stuff.
Back in April, I looked at some of the frequently mentioned names in the conversation as Romney was beginning his search for a running back. But speculation has been rampant in recent days and announcement could come literally any day now, here is look at the five most likely picks for Romney.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: Much like Ohio, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a “must-win” for Romney. While Portman is relatively unknown in his home state, McDonnell has a 55% approval rating in Virginia. Unemployment is at 5.6%, which easily bests the national rate of 8.3%.