Republicans

Steele is all but done at the RNC

Michael Steel continues to make his case for re-election as chairman of the Republican National Committee, claiming that he revived the organization, despite a bleak outlook on his prospects:

Throughout the 2009-2010 cycle, the Republican National Committee has been singularly focused on winning. By every key measure—fundraising, turnout, and election results—our party was hugely successful. And we were successful because we listened to our grass roots, harnessed their energy and, most of all, affirmed their common-sense conservative ideals. We espoused governing principles that protect freedom and prosperity through free markets and limited government—the polar opposite of our Democrat opponents. In the process, we revived an RNC organization that had failed to compete effectively with the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Falling back into that dispirited and ineffective state is not an option.

Inexplicably, over much of the last decade, our party simply gave up competing for votes in vast regions of the country, and among huge blocks of voters. That failed strategy was worse than an insult to those disenfranchised voters—it was a blunder. The predictable result was political disaster. Even worse, the Republican Party’s political malpractice afflicted the American people with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and their job-killing agenda and crippling debt.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Monday, January 3rd

Below are a collection of links that I didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to take a look at. Since I end up with a dozen or more stories a day that I don’t post on, this will hopefully be a daily feature from this point forward.

Census numbers out, red states to pick up seats

The day many states have been waiting for came yesterday, as the Census Bureau released population figures that will determine which will gain or lose congressional seats:

Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation’s population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.

The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation’s population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation’s population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.
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The new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats, mostly at the Rust Belt’s expense. Following each once-a-decade census, the nation must reapportion the House’s 435 districts to make them roughly equal in population, with each state getting at least one seat.

That triggers an often contentious and partisan process in many states, which will draw new congressional district lines that can help or hurt either party.

In all, the census figures show a shift affecting 18 states taking effect when the 113th Congress takes office in 2013.

Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

House Democrats reject tax deal, Senate moving forward

House Democrats rejected Barack Obama’s tax deal with Republicans yesterday in a caucus meeting where members express anger and resentment towards Obama, including one member that reportedly said, “f—k the president.”

In a closed-door caucus meeting on Thursday morning, House Democrats voted to reject the tax cut deal between the White House and Congressional Republicans “as currently written.”

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in a statement after the vote, said changes would need to be made before she would allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

“In the caucus today, House Democrats supported a resolution to reject the Senate Republican tax provisions as currently written,” Ms. Pelosi said. “We will continue discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote.”

Fifty-three members of the Democratic caucus are on record opposing the deal, though Rep. Peter Defazio (D-OR) claims the vote was “nearly unanimous.” Despite this, Senate Democrats may add the language to another bill in an attempt to “jam” Pelosi, according to CNN’s Ed Henry (via Hot Air).

Ohio will play swing state yet again

There is no question that the mid-term elections will thrown a wrench in President Barack Obama’s plans for the next two years. But the implications for the upcoming presidential are much more concerning, specifically in Ohio:

Before this month’s elections, Democrats held the state’s governorship, three of the other four non-federal statewide offices, one of the state’s Senate seats, 10 of the 18 Congressional districts and the state House of Representatives. The GOP held a Senate seat, a majority in the state Senate and the office of the state Auditor.

This month, Democrats lost all of the statewide races on the ballot, including the governorship and a Senate race that once looked promising. In addition, Buckeye State Republicans swiped five U.S. House seats from Democrats and won a majority in the Ohio House.

In the Senate race, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) was annihilated by former Rep. Rob Portman (R) by 18 points, drawing fewer votes than widely dismissed former Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Blackwell did in 2006.

In this year’s race for governor, incumbent Ted Strickland drew more votes than any other Democrat on the ballot but still lost to former Rep. John Kasich by almost 3 points.
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For Obama, Ohio remains an important state, though it’s probably more crucial for the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

Obama carried the state by almost 260,000 votes (51.5 percent to 46.9 percent) two years ago, reversing President George W. Bush’s two-point victory over Sen. John Kerry in 2004. The midterm results reflect the effect of a severe jobs recession in the state, a development that could well hurt Obama’s prospects in Ohio in 2012 if things don’t improve.

Don’t count on Republicans to cut spending

While some Republicans, such as Senator-elect Mike Lee of Utah, seem serious about taking strong stands on spending, Steve Chapman warns us not to count on them to back up their rhetoric during the mid-term election:

Republicans have had multiple opportunities to put their words into deeds, and each time they’ve declined. The first was with President Ronald Reagan, under whom the federal budget grew by 22 percent, adjusted for inflation. Though he often preached the virtue of a balanced budget, he never actually proposed one.

The GOP got another chance in 1994, when it gained control of Congress. After vowing to get rid of the departments of education and energy, Republicans left them alone. They failed to abolish a single important program.

They did force President Bill Clinton to cooperate in balancing the budget. But even though the end of the Cold War allowed cuts in defense appropriations, total federal spending grew faster than inflation.

Then there was President George W. Bush, who in his new memoir, Decision Points, claims to have been a staunch budget disciplinarian—which is like Kim Kardashian claiming to be publicity-shy.

“My administration’s ratios of spend-to-GDP, taxes-to-GDP, deficit-to-GDP, and debt to GDP are all lower than the averages of the past three decades—and, in most cases, below the averages of my recent predecessors,” he asserts.

This brings to mind the old jibe about his father: He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. When Bush the Younger arrived, federal spending was at the lowest level, as a share of GDP, since 1966, and the budget had a surplus.

The Federal Reserve has credibility?

Timothy Geither is warning Republicans not to interfere with the Federal Reserve as they continue to intervene in the economy by monetizing debt:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the Obama administration would oppose any effort to strip the Federal Reserve of its mandate to pursue full employment and warned Republicans against politicizing the central bank.

“It is very important to keep politics out of monetary policy,” Geithner said in an interview airing on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” this weekend. “You want to be very careful not to take steps that hurt our credibility.”

Yes, because the policies persued by the Federal Reserve over the last 20 years haven’t been politicized. Everything the Fed has done has been against the grain of sound economic, keeping interest rates low to artifically prop up the housing market and printing money so they could keep spending.

The Federal Reserve already has no credibility, which is why other countries are speaking out against recent actions. Geithner warning rings on deaf ears as Americans look around and see that every action that the Fed has taken has pushed the country futher down the drain.

Michael Steele will face opposition in RNC chair race

With his term as chairman of the Republican National Committee soon coming to an end, Michael Steele is faced with a decision on whether or not to run again. But it he does, he’ll have competition:

Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis announced this morning that he will run to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, becoming the first — though almost certainly not the last — candidate in the race against Michael Steele.

“We cannot be misled by our victories this year,” Anuzis wrote in an announcement posted on his blog. “Chairman Steele’s record speaks for itself. He has his way of doing things. I have mine.”

Anuzis, clearly hoping to emerge as the choice of the anti-Steele forces within the 168 member Republican National Committee added that “I will NOT strive to be the voice or the face of our party” — seeking to draw a direct contrast with high profile (and gaffe prone) current chairman.

This is the second time Anuzis is making a bid to lead his party. He ran and lost in 2009, dropping out after the fifth ballot.

In addition to Anuzis, there are at least four other people making calls to RNC members to test the waters for a bid, according to an informed source on the committee. That quartet includes: Wisconsin Republican party chairman Reince Priebus, who managed Steele’s 2009 RNC campaign, veteran GOP strategist Maria Cino, Connecticut Republican party chairman Chris Healy and former Ambassador Ann Wagner.

You can view a list of other potential candidates here.

First GOP presidential debate announced for Spring 2011

Even though we just wrapped up the mid-term election (though a handful of races are yet to be decided), the presidential election is just around the corner. This was something I noted last week on my personal blog. In case you don’t remember, the first debate for the Republican nomination for president for the 2008 cycle took place on May 3, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Semi Valley, California.

Yesterday, Politico and NBC announced the first debate for the 2012 cycle will take place “during the spring of 2011” at the same location, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. You can read the press release below.

We’ve compiled a list of potential candidates. We expect more names to be floated out there over the next several months, so we’ll be adding to it. But the obvious names are that you’re going to here are Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Fiscal Commission releases recommendations

President Barack Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a draft of their recommendations (you can read it here or scroll to the bottom of the page) yesterday to mostly negative response from both Democrats and Republicans:

A draft proposal released Wednesday by the chairmen of President Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the federal debt calls for deep cuts in domestic and military spending starting in 2012, and an overhaul of the tax code to raise revenue. Those changes and others would erase nearly $4 trillion from projected deficits through 2020, the proposal says.
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The federal tax on gasoline, now 18.4 cents a gallon, would increase by 15 cents between 2013 and 2015, so that revenue from the tax and similar user fees could cover all transportation and highway spending programs, and the funds set up for that purpose would no longer require money from the general treasury.

The proposed simplification of the tax code would repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks — including the deductibility of mortgage interest payments — so that income tax rates could be reduced across the board. Under the plan, individual income tax rates would decline to as low as 8 percent on the lowest income bracket (now 10 percent) and to 23 percent on the highest bracket (now 35 percent). The corporate tax rate, now 35 percent, would also be reduced, to as low as 26 percent.

Even after reducing the rates, the overhaul of the tax code would still yield additional revenue to reduce annual deficits — a projected $80 billion in 2015.


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