Jim DeMint

DeMint slams House GOP “fiscal cliff” plan

Jim DeMint

As noted yesterday, House Republicans have laid out their counter-proposal to the White House as negotiations continue on the so-called “fiscal cliff.” While GOP leadership seems pretty darn impressed with their plan to raise taxes by $800 billion, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has come out strongly against it:

The comments from DeMint, co-founder of the Senate’s anti- tax Tea Party caucus, represent a strong indictment of Boehner’s plan from a fellow Republican lawmaker and highlight a divide within the party. Boehner yesterday proposed a $2.2 trillion deficit-cutting proposal that seeks $800 billion in revenue in the next decade from an overhaul of the tax code that would curb some breaks.

“Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” DeMint said in a statement. “Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”

An optimistic view of Tuesday’s election results

The big news out of Tuesday is that we’re now dealing with four more years of Barack Obama, and a lot of people are obviously not happy about that. Though I’m no Obama fan, I’m going to try to be optimistic about the election. Here goes…

President
Harry Reid would have held up the Republican agenda for the next two years. Now the House can hold up the Obama agenda. The House won’t be able to hold up everything, but it’s not like the Democrats have full control and can push through anything they want. Obama’s win also gives assurance that Republican voters will remain furious through the midterm elections in 2014 instead of latching on to Romney’s moderate-to-liberal ways.

Are we better off with Obama than we would have been with Romney? No, but an Obama re-election isn’t the end of the world, either.

Senate
It’s hard to find an optimistic Republican view of the Senate results. They should have taken the majority, but instead are in a tougher situation, making a takeover in 2014 less likely. Still, it was Jim DeMint who said he’d rather have 30 good Republican senators than 60 bad ones.

The optimistic points in the Senate results from last night aren’t numerous, but there are a couple. Jeff Flake won in Arizona, and Ted Cruz won in Texas. Those should be two good additions to the right side of the aisle.

House
The real good news in the House is that the GOP kept control. Control of one of the branches of government is critical to keep Obama in line. They didn’t expand their lead, but they still managed to maintain their majority.

Politics Stinks, But We Can’t Ignore It

Doug Mataconis wrote this great post Tuesday. It’s a long post, but it is certainly worth your time reading. Doug really hit the nail on the head with some things I’ve been thinking about lately. That is, politics stinks.

Sure, It can be fun. You’ve got highly opinionated, often very extroverted people convinced that they are right and that the rest of the world is wrong. What’s not fun about that?

The line in that post that really pulled me in was:

[I]t just seems as though we’re either arguing over the same dumb things when the reality is that the two sides of the political debate in this country don’t really disagree with each other as much as they like to pretend.

There’s more making politics stink than just the fact that both major political parties aren’t really all that different, but that’s been my struggle lately.

When I look at the presidential race, I’m, quite honestly, discouraged. I know there are differences between Romney and Obama, and I don’t doubt that Romney would be a little less awful than Obama, but after 4 years of Obama madness, the best the GOP has to offer is a moderate (at best) Massachusetts Republican whose claim to fame is the biggest reason we’re supposed to hate Obama?

How is anyone supposed to get excited about that? Our nation won’t survive four more years of Obama, but everything’s going to be just fine with the Romneys in Washington? Come on.

This election has more to do with getting rid of Obama than it does about electing Romney, and any halfway-honest Republican will admit it.

Pension Project: Don’t Bail Out Public Pensions

public pensions

Today, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), the Senate’s strongest voice for principled conservatism, joined with John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute at the Cato Institute to pledge his opposition to a federal bailout of underfunded state pension systems.

 

After the housing market collapse, it appears that pensions for public sector employees may be the next major economic bubble to burst.

In the era of Obama, as the national debt surpasses $16 trillion(!), the answer to all economic questions seems to involve massive Federals bailouts.

Therefore, the Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan policy think tank which is part of the State Policy Network, has launched a new campaign, called the Pension Project, to sound the alarm as state bureaucrats attempt to cover up their mismanagement of employee pensions by giving taxpayers the bill.

Here is an interactive map to see how bad the public pension problem is in your state, and here is a list of what states will be “winners” or “losers” if the Federal government bails out pensions.

Paul Krugman Finally Admits He’s A Hack

Krugman

The New York Times’ pundit Paul Krugman finally admits what a lot of people have known for some time now—that he’s a partisan Democratic party hack:

Several commenters have asked that I provide examples of Republicans making reasonable economic arguments; some of them seem to be saying that I’m proving my bias if I don’t provide such examples.

But it doesn’t work that way: if all Republicans are saying unreasonable things, then it’s a distortion — indeed, a form of bias — to insist that there must be reasonable Republicans.

Now look, I’m not going to go out of my way to defend Republicans, as they’re a political party that’s less interested in governing and fixing our problems than in scoring cheap political points for theater, but the above statement is fairly outrageous. Not all Republicans are saying unreasonable things. In fact, a great many of them—Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Richard Hanna, Jeff Flake, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Jon Huntsman, even Paul Ryan to an extent—are saying very reasonable things.

But no, Paul Krugman is declaring them all to be unreasonable, because they are…Republicans. Not on their merits, just because they have an “R” after their name. Thanks for finally admitting it, you poseur.

WI Senate: New Marquette poll shows Thompson leading

Tommy Thompson

Last week, I explained that the divide over Mark Neumann and Eric Hovde could come back to haunt consertatives in Wisconsin because it could provide an opening for Tommy Thompson, who is viewed as an unacceptable nominee due to his past support of ObamaCare. Both alternatives to Thompson have received outside support, with Neumann being backed by Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund. Hovde has been endorsed by FreedomWorks.

But a new poll from Marquette shows that Thompson is leading the pack in the race, though his lead is down from their previous poll in early July:

With less than a week until the primary in the Wisconsin Senate race, former Gov. Tommy Thompson remains atop the GOP field, according to a poll released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School.

Despite facing a barrage of attacks from opponents attempting to paint him as a moderate, Thompson leads businessman Eric Hovde, 33 percent to 24 percent, among likely primary voters. Former Rep. Mark Neumann finished third with 21 percent, followed by state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald at 15 percent. Seven percent of respondents said they are undecided.

AZ Senate: Rick Santorum vs. Everyone Else

His Frothiness

With a little more than a month until the primary, the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona is getting very interesting. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has been one of the handful of Republicans in the House that taxpayers can count on, was thought to be the odds on favorite in the race, but Wil Cardon, a wealthy businessman, has come on strong in recent months.

Flake has received support from the Club for Growth, Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and former Vice President candidate Sarah Palin. But former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum endorsed Cardon in the race last week:

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed businessman Wil Cardon in his hard-fought primary for the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, a high-profile endorsement that could counteract some of the establishment support rallying around rival Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz).

“I am pleased to announce our endorsement of Wil Cardon for the U.S. Senate in Arizona,” Santorum said in a statement. “As a business owner for more than two decades, Wil has seen firsthand the crippling effects of Obamanomics and why we must solve our economic challenges with market-based solutions rather than more government intrusion. Wil is exactly what Washington, DC needs — an outsider beholden to no one other than the Arizona residents he hopes to represent.”

Santorum also offered the support of Patriot Voices, the independent fundraising organization he now helms.

Jim DeMint on Taxation Without Representation

Jim DeMint

Senator Jim DeMint is back in the news this week, talking about recent efforts to tax Internet purchases. I addressed this topic recently, though not from the same angle DeMint has taken.

The frustration with the Marketplace Fairness Act that I expressed in my post was about how Amazon was pretending to be an Internet business pushing for “fairness” when that wasn’t necessarily the case.

DeMint is out this week talking about how the Marketplace Fairness Act would be taxation without representation:

The Marketplace Fairness Act recently introduced in the Senate would require online retailers to collect and pay sales taxes to states where they have no physical presence or democratic recourse. Overstock.com, eBay and the like could have to pay sales taxes to any state from which an Internet user placed an order, even if the company’s headquarters, warehouses and sales staff are located entirely in other states.

The real reason behind this bill doesn’t have anything to do with “fairness” for online retailers. It’s about funding government.

Decisions need to be made – and they’re not easy to make, either – about how to balance states’ budgets. Adding taxes is not the right decision to make, and lawmakers in state capitals are unwilling to make spending cuts. DeMint explains:

Conservative divide could help Tommy Thompson

Wisconsin Senate Race

It’s about to get ugly in Wisconsin, folks. With a little under two weeks to go until Republicans head to the polls to cast their ballots for the United States Senate nomination, outside groups with an interesting knocking off former Gov. Tommy Thompson are about to make a hard push in the state. The only problem is that they disagree on the alternative.

As noted yesterday, the Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund have lined up behind fromer Rep. Mark Neumann, while FreedomWorks is backing Eric Hovde. This obviously presents a problem.

The last time there was a divide in a primary between influential groups and conservative figures, Nebraska Republicans wound up taking an economic statist in Deb Fischer, who was backed by Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum. The Club for Growth and FreedomWorks had firmly gotten behind Don Stenberg.

While Thompson has seen his numbers fall in Wisconsin, we could see a repeat of Nebraska. There is already some contention between these normally allied conservative groups. Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller notes an exchange between Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform and Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks. Ellis wondered outloud why Hovde was good pick if he hadn’t signed ATR’s famous anti-tax pledge, prompting Clancy to defend his group’s pick in the race.

Ted Cruz up by 10 points over David Dewhurst

Ted Cruz

Republicans in Texas will head to the polls today to cast their ballots in the runoff in the United States Senate race between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst. While Dewhurst’s team is touting an internal poll showing him with the lead in the race, a Polling Policy Polling survey released just yesterday shows Cruz up by 10 points:

PPP’s final poll of the Republican Senate runoff in Texas finds Ted Cruz opening up a 52-42 lead, an increase from our survey two weeks ago that found him ahead 49-44.

Cruz’s victory is driven by 4 things: the Tea Party, the enthusiasm of his supporters, a generational divide within the Texas Republican ranks, and the lack of regard the party base currently holds for Rick Perry.

Cruz is ahead by a whooping 75-22 margin with Tea Party  voters, more than making up for a 56-39 deficit to Dewhurst with voters who don’t consider themselves members of that movement. There has been too much of a tendency to ascribe any Republican primary upset over the last few years to Tea Party voters, but this is one case where it’s well justified.

Cruz has a 63-33 advantage with voters who describe themselves as ‘very excited’ about voting in Tuesday’s runoff election. He also has a 49-45 advantage with those describing themselves as ‘somewhat excited.’ The only reason this race is even remotely competitive is Dewhurst’s 59-31 lead with voter who say they’re ‘not that excited’ about voting. It’s an open question whether those folks will really show up and if they don’t it’s possible Cruz could end up winning by closer t0 20 points.


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