Saturday, December 8, 2012

"We need to be ready when these policies bring the country to its knees"


U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, one of the strongest conservatives in Congress, announced this week that he will be resigning his seat in January to become the president of the Heritage Foundation.

As Republicans appear to be caving more and more to the demands of their political opponents, many have been wondering why DeMint chose this moment to leave.

“We’re not going to win things in Washington until we win the hearts and minds of the people...”

One of DeMint’s biggest frustrations is that– as the election made clear– many Americans believe the Democrat Party will serve their interests better than the Republicans.

“It makes me want to pull my hair out, because you can see in state after state how liberal policies [drive people out of business],” he lamented.

“I just realized that we’re not going to do anything positive at the federal level for the next four years,” he concluded, “but we need to be ready when these policies bring the country to its knees, with policies that really work.”

...Discussing the fiscal cliff, DeMint remarked: “Glenn, we have to separate what they consider political realities or political expediency from what our country really needs. What the president has been talking about is neither a plan nor a solution.”

DeMint noted that the proposed tax revenue is just a “drop in the bucket” of our national debt, and it will likely cost countless people their jobs.

“The idea that, if we take more money out of our economy and give it to incompetent, wasteful politicians [to solve the crisis] is completely irrational,” he said with disappointment.

Chanukah (Hannukah) begins

Chanukah is an eight day holiday which begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. It marks the miraculous victory of the Jews, led by the Maccabees, against Greek persecution and religious oppression. In addition to being victorious in war, another miracle occurred: When the Maccabees came to rededicate the Temple, they found only one flask of oil with which to light the Menorah. This small flask lasted for eight days. In order to commemorate this miracle, we light a Menorah for the eight days of Chanukah.

Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha'olam, She'hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi'anu laz'man hazeh" Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

The eight-day Hanukkah celebration, also known as the Festival of Lights, starts at sundown on Saturday.

CBO: Feds Borrowing $4.8 billion Per Day in Fiscal Year 2013, So Far

The federal government ran a deficit of $292 billion for the first two months of fiscal year 2013 – October and November 2012 – amounting to $4.8 billion of borrowed money each day. - CNS

If the Treasury Department restricted its borrowing to only weekdays, its per day average would jump to $6.5 billion per day thus far in fiscal year 2013.

CBO reported that federal revenues rose by $30 billion – a 10 percent increase over last year, but spending increased more, going up by $87 billion or 16 percent.

Overall, the two-month deficit figure was $57 billion higher than the October-November 2012 deficit.

"In my conversations with many of our allies, they no longer believe us, they no longer trust us, they no longer believe they can count of the United States of America to do what we did 20 years ago"

WE'RE HEADED FOR ANOTHER 9/11 ONLY WITH DEADLIER WEAPONS: Dick Cheney takes a flamethrower to Obama - Doug Ross


My public service message is this: this money is being taken from your pay in exchange for a promise that will be broken in just a few years. You'll never see that money again. And it is the government -- the government, not "the rich", not the Koch brothers, not the oil companies -- that is ripping you off. - Doug Ross

It is the government, not corporations, spending untold billions on "green energy" scams like Solyndra. It is the government, not "the rich", slathering EBT-welfare cards around like confetti. And it is the government, not "the Tea Party", that is promoting illegal immigration and offering huge financial benefits to those in the country illegally. All with your money.

Unless you like being ripped off every week, I'd recommend you get involved in returning government to its rightful and proper role, which includes having Washington spend within its means -- like all of us must do to survive.

California missed its November revenue target by $806.8 million, or 10.8 percent

California revenue lags due to Facebook, corporate refunds - Sacramento Bee

For the first five months of the fiscal year, the state has taken in $802.4 million less in revenues than expected, equal to 2.6 percent. The State Controller's Office also says the state has spent $2.1 billion more than expected.

State revenues and expenditures fluctuate throughout the fiscal year due to timing of payments and program spending. The bulk of additional 2012 tax revenue from just-approved Proposition 30, for instance, is not expected until April.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has projected a $1.9 billion deficit between now and June 2014.

PRESS TURNS: Demands Obama Open 'Private' Official Inauguration...

Because next year's inauguration falls on a Sunday, President Obama will hold only a small, private swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, and will hold a big public redo the next day - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

“Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President’s official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen...” - Politico

Feminist Update: Women Ogling Women and Camille Paglia on Hollywood White Girls

22-year-old Taylor Swift earned $57 million

Go walking down the street. If you as a guy happen to see an attractive woman, you're looking at her. What you're not noticing is every other woman looking at her - Rush

"How dare she wear her hair like that? How dare she wear a skirt that short, who does she think she is?" Well, I'd offer this opinion based on intelligence guided by experience, and all hell would break loose. I was violating some sort of convention or custom. I know I've been right about this from even before I talked about it.

UK Daily Mail. ◼ The story is from December the 5th, a couple days ago. "When it comes to checking out competition women should not worry about men checking them out -- but women instead. Women spend more time ogling other females than their male partners do." Now, why is that? Okay, do you want me to get into further trouble? I'm not trying to. This is just one of these things you better not be right about or you're gonna be in big trouble. But I'll tell you what's going on and I'll tell you right now whether or not I've hit or scored by virtue of Dawn's facial expressions, the only woman here I can use to judge this.

Women are checking to see if there's any plastic surgery, and if it's any good or not. They're looking for fake boobs. They're looking to see if there's any Botox, any extensions, any liposuction, any plumping. Because women know the tricks, and they're looking for all the signs in other women. And the more attractive the woman, the more interesting the inspection is, to find out if what they're looking at is real or whether it's fake. So they are looking at the construction job. That's right, just like men, they're looking at the surface. They're looking at what's on the outside.

That's true, too. Absolutely. Oh. Oh. That's absolutely true. They could also be looking at the shoes. "Ooh, those are nice shoes. I gotta get a pair." Might be looking at the dress. "Is that Chanel or is that Ralph Lauren?" All of that, yes, that's exactly my point. All of that's going on. And there will also be disapproval. "How dare she think she can wear pumps that high, who does she think she is? Has she looked at her legs? Who does she think she is?" All of that is going on. But men are the ones who get hit on for doing that. Men are the ones that pay the price for this. Men are said to be predators and oglers and inspectors and so forth. I just find it fascinating. It's no big deal. I just find it fascinating.

"University researchers discovered that while men stare at the faces of people in photographs and fine art paintings, women are more interested in looking at their breasts," and that is from the research. "Men, on the other hand, made many more eye movements, scanning the entire image, but paused only to stare at faces." Now, that's conditioning. Men used to look at breasts, too, that's back when men were men. But you don't dare get caught doing that. That's sexist. Now you look at other stuff.

The report concludes men and women are different. Really?

Camille Paglia: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Hollywood Are Ruining Women - The Hollywood Reporter (image source)

The influential female academic, writing for THR, calls out their "insipid, bleached-out personas."

Friday, December 7, 2012

NFRW: Capitol Connection

NFRW Website Updated

The Legislative Committee has updated the CAP Alert system and added a library for current issues.

Legislative Action Alerts:

The CAP Alert system has been reorganized as ◼ Legislative Action Alerts. The program generates support or opposition for an issue that concerns members of the Federation. It is based on our ability to reach thousands of Federation members quickly and effectively to urge them to send emails, make phone calls, and write letters to members of Congress, state legislators, and federal or state administrative officials. It is an effective tool to carry the Republican message.

An Alert is initiated by the NFRW president when there is need for massive grassroots support or opposition to influence crucial legislation before Congress or an action or decision of Congress or the White House. In addition, an Alert can be used to motivate Congress or the White House to address a particular issue and influence the discussion before the legislation is introduced, or it can be initiated in response to a request for support from a Republican congressional or administration leader or a state federation president. Legislative Action Alerts are issued by email and all of the information needed for contacting your members of Congress and local radio stations will be available in the Alert.

Library for current issues:

Under the ◼ Issues and Resources tab of the NFRW website, there is a subcategory for ◼ Current Issues. Some issues highlighted on this page include state voting laws and Taking Back America.

The link on state voting laws is a new feature added by the Legislative Committee. As the NFRW plans to encourage states to pass voter ID laws, this page includes information on how to check if your state has a voter ID law already in place, and if so, what the law requires from the voter. The page also includes sample ballot text, a sample NFRW resolution, and a sample petition.

Another helpful tool is the ◼ Taking Back America link, which directs you to primary documents on our founding principles provided by the ◼ Heritage Foundation. On the primary documents page, you can access documents such as Jefferson's 1786 Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, Madison's 1792 essay on property, and the 1797 law that gave New Jersey women the right to vote, which was curtailed by that state in 1807.

Click here to visit each page to brush up on the status of voter ID laws in your state and American history.

NFRW Resolutions Passed at the Fall Board Meeting Put Up on the Website

Two resolutions passed by the NFRW Board of Directors at the Fall Board Meeting in Dallas have been uploaded onto the website so all members have access to them.

The first resolution addresses the successful hard work club members performed across the nation to retain the House of Representatives and elect a majority of Republican governors and state officials this election cycle. While Republicans lost the White House and did not gain a majority in the Senate, NFRW members have already begun to organize to take back the Senate in 2014.

The second resolution recognizes Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Sharon Day for her role as a leader in the Republican Party and as a dedicated member of NFRW and the NFRW Board of Directors. Co-Chairman Day's tireless work on behalf of Republican candidates across America is gratefully acknowledged by the NFRW.

Finally, former NFRW president Charlotte Mousel composed the Beatitudes of a Federated Woman that are a part of the Resolution index. Click here to access the Resolutions.
NFRW Dues Reminder

NFRW State Federation 4th quarter membership dues were due November 1, 2012. If you haven't paid, please do so now. If you have any questions, please contact Frederika Ver Hulst at


The birthplace of the nation's modern-day labor movement moved closer to becoming the nation's 24th right-to-work state after bills Gov. Rick Snyder vowed to sign into law passed their first hurdles in the Republican-controlled Legislature on Thursday. - Detroit News

The House and Senate each passed bills on the same day they were introduced that give private and public sector workers the right to avoid paying union dues in an organized workplace. Only police officers and firefighters would be exempt.

CFRW: Capitol Update

Never Forget

Today is the 71st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We will never forget the lives of the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms on that fateful December morning. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.” Those men and women who fought at Pearl Harbor and those of the Greatest Generation understood what that meant. Do we?

They’re Back!

This Monday our new class of California Legislators were sworn into office in Sacramento. As per tradition, legislators may introduce one or two bills on the first day of the new session before they adjourn until January. Without skipping a beat, the new Democrat supermajority introduced bills that will harm taxpayers. Assemblyman Ammiano (D), while he has not introduced a bill as of yet, told the public he aims to write a new bill that would repeal Prop 13 tax limits for commercial properties. This would mean commercial properties would not be protected when such property changes hands. In addition, Senator Lois Wolk introduced a bill that would allow increases on parcel taxes. All of these bills would potentially harm the taxpayer, even in light of the already increased tax rates passed by Proposition 30. The state still faces a huge deficit and high speed rail costs, but instead of protecting the taxpayer, the supermajority has already indicated their intent for raising taxes. Here are a few of the key bills introduced by Democrats earlier this week...

AB 8: Assemblymember Perea introduced a bill that would allocate $20 million a year towards funding of the creation of a hydrogen fueling network for hydrogen fueled vehicles.

AB 10: Assemblymember Alejo introduced a bill that would increase minimum wage to $9.25 an hour by no later than January of 2016.

SCA 7: Senator Wolk introduced a bill that would allow the increase of a property tax rate to fund public library facilities if approved by 55% of voters in the city, county, or district. This would increase parcel tax rates on properties.

SB 33: Senator Wolk also introduced a bill that would repeal the voter approval of legislative appointed infrastructure financing districts, leaving the creation of such districts up to a five member board, three of which are legislators and two of which are members of the public.

The Teacher’s Union Did WHAT??

Earlier this week the California Federation of Teachers released ◼ a video which was narrated by Ed Asner that grossly oversimplifies economic inequalities and taxes. Originally it portrayed a "rich man" urinating on the "poor." It is incredibly misleading and it was made with your tax dollars! This is yet another example of the powerful teachers unions framing the argument for higher taxes with little to no accountability! Please watch the video at and then please call the CFT offices in Sacramento (916-446-2788) and Burbank (818-843-8226) and tell them what a despicable video this is!

President’s Message

Dear CFRW Members,

Before we know it 2012 will be just a memory. Not all those memories are wonderful, but we are California Federation of Republican Women and very resilient. We will make lemonade out of all the lemons we were handed. The pundits and news media are like a dog with a bone writing death notices of the Republican Party day after day.

Well, "Henry Kaiser" stated, "Impossibilities are impossible only as thinking makes them so." Just watch our smoke, as CFRW, embarks on our journey to make the Republican Party the "Grand Old Party" it really is. We are the positive attitude and get things done, arm of the Party. Let others write our obituary. We are not only going to write about our attributes, but we are going to show the nay sayers what this Party is really all about.

Remember 2013 is "CFRW Year of the Woman". We will get our messages out through every media outlet possible. We have the voice of Elise Richmond with her radio show reaching thousands. We have not used social media as well as the other political parties, but that is going to change. There are also new television shows being broadcast via the Internet. We will be able to get articles published in smaller news outlets. We have many women who are great bloggers. Watch our smoke! We are on fire!

Bring your ideas to share at our Winter Conference, February 8-10, 2013, in sunny San Diego. With your input we can accomplish great feats. We also need CFRW Members to run for positions within the California Republican Party when elections are held next year. Don't complain if you do not agree with what is happening. Step up to the plate and make a difference. YOU CAN DO IT.

To all incoming and returning Club Presidents; you should have received the 2013 President's Packets in the mail this past week. There is a small correction to the NFRW Service Charge: Please mail the NFRW Service Charges to: Daryl Reynolds, 1062 La Cresta Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. And another correction: In the 2013 President's Packet, "PASSING THE GAVEL", page 2, #8 "Stressed the importance of budgeting.....2013 meetings, conferences and conventions."

Thank you for letting me serve you! It is a great honor. YOU ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST.

Happy Hanukkah. Happy other holidays you might celebrate before the end of the year and Merry Christmas.

Carol Hadley
CFRW President

We are proud to be part of the California Federation of Republican Women (CFRW), and the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), the largest women’s political volunteer organization in the nation.

When you join Humboldt Republican Women, Federated, you're joining forces with women throughout the state and across the nation, women who share your ideals and your goals for our country.


Sam Trumbull, Arcata, has been elected chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Central Committee for 2013-14. Other officers elected by the committee are Gwen Morris, McKinleyville, first vice chairwoman; Melanie Hosford, Eureka, second vice chairwoman; Jean Giannini, Fortuna, secretary; and Todd Walker, Eureka, treasurer.

Obamacare May Hike Your Pet’s Health Care Bills

According to a rule published Friday by the Internal Revenue Service, some medical devices used in veterinary practices will be hit by Obamacare’s 2.3 percent device tax. Many of their manufacturers are expected to hike prices, meaning higher veterinary costs for the nation’s pet owners. - Scribe/Heritage

Democrats’ “Stop or I’ll shoot myself” negotiating strategy working like a charm

When Tim Geithner says Obama “absolutely” will go off the cliff over the procedural issue of “tax rates” (as opposed to the substantive issue of revenue), he’s telling us that Obama’s crazy enough to do it regardless of the consequences for the nation or Democrats. The hope being that we’re not crazy enough to let him do it. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

It reminds me of the “Stop or I’ll shoot myself” TV trope.

And it’s working like a charm.

A Lawyer’s Tips on Negotiating for Dummies and Congressional Republicans - Kurt Schlichter/Townhall

Somewhere, there’s a whiplash lawyer who runs his law office out of a van down by the river who watches the congressional Republicans attempt to negotiate the fiscal cliff crisis and has to turn his head away. John Boehner and his inept coterie of GOP establishment cronies have made every mistake in the book. It’s professionally embarrassing.

Frankly, if these hacks were my associates, they’d be on a street corner with signs reading “Will litigate for food.”

Congress is famously full of lawyers, but what people don’t understand is that it is really full of bad lawyers. Good lawyers tend not to want to take the pay cut. And the current crop of Republican leaders negotiate like bad lawyers do, which is great for President Obama. He’s giddy, and I know the feeling. When I face opponents like Boehner’s bunch at a mediation, I start checking out new 6-series convertibles on my iPhone.

...the GOP actually has several aces in the hole – the only reason they are taking the submissive role in the Fifty Shades of the Fiscal Cliff playing out before us is that they chose to assume it. Maybe Obama has a mandate, but so do they. They should be exercising it.

Their first step is to stop showing fear and to start counter-attacking. So America falls off the fiscal cliff? Who cares? Hell, a substantial number of the rich and sorta-rich are Democratic voters in blue states anyway. Let them put their money where their progressivism is. And if there’s another recession, awesome. We call that a teachable moment for America about what happens when its president is a spendaholic who would rather campaign than lead.

...turn the tables on the Democrats. Split them. They have the most to lose, not the GOP. If the congressional GOP loses this fight, that’s just a dog biting a man. But if Obama loses it, that’s a man biting a dog.

This is the final lesson. A sharp lawyer takes a tough situation and turns it to his advantage, while a hack takes an advantage and turns it into a tough situation. With a little skill, the GOP could not only get what it wants tax-wise but also turn the tables, setting the Democrats at each others’ wattled throats and neutering Obama.
After all, isn’t crushing progressive dreams really what the GOP should be all about?
All it takes is a little guts and some wiles. Come on congressional GOP – make that whiplash lawyer proud.

Today is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For America

Sarah Palin: Americans will never forget those who died on this day of “infamy” at Pearl Harbor 71 years ago, and we will never forget those who served in World War II and those who continue to serve in war zones today. We are thinking of our vets on this day, and we are thankful for them every day. Their sacrifices for America won’t be taken for granted.

Greater Birmingham Republican Women: ‎71 years ago today, a date which will live in infamy. Please take a moment today to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor and the thousands of Americans that served in World War II.

Acadiana Republican Women: December 7: Day Of Infamy: The History Of Pearl Harbor! Remember all who were lost at Pearl Harbor today in your prayers.

The Kitchen Cabinet: ‎71 Years ago today, the magnificent USS Arizona met her fate, along with seven other battleships, hundreds of airplanes, and 2,400 navy, marine, army, and civilian personnel.

"They were a “can-do” generation who did not take “no” for an answer. They did not put off until tomorrow what needed to be done today. We should remember their resolve, honor their commitment, and seek to emulate their example. They truly were the greatest generation."

Never forget...

Senator Rubio Sits Down with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly

Harry Reid Seeks Senate Waiver To Allow Popcorn, Snacks During 'LINCOLN' screening...

The important stuff

Reid, D-Nev., set up the viewing of the new Steven Spielberg film for Dec. 19 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and even invited the acclaimed director to join, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But food is not allowed in the auditorium, so Reid is reportedly asking the Senate Rules Committee for a special waiver to allow popcorn and movie snacks for the viewers, according to an ABC News report. Fox News also reported that the waiver would allow for bottled water, in addition to the snacks and unbuttered popcorn.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


A family oyster business recently shut down by the Obama administration’s demand that the public land on which it operates revert to a wilderness area is suing the federal government for what they say is an illegal taking of the property. - Audrey Hudson/Human Events

“Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steamroll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us,” Drakes Bay Oyster Company said in a statement.

Lawyers for the company, which is situated in Drakes Estero, a tidal inlet off Drakes Bay, will ask a judge in the Northern District of California’s District Court for an injunction on Friday to block the eviction while the lawsuit progresses....

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands, said the process used by federal officials to make the determination was “completely unacceptable.”

“I am extremely troubled by just about every aspect of this situation. There was clearly an effort on behalf of the Department of Interior (DOI) to manipulate data in order to derive a certain outcome,” Bishop said.

“It not only calls into question the integrity of the environmental review process but that of the DOI as a whole. When all components of this process are examined, you see that Secretary Salazar’s misguided decisions are arbitrary and based on a whim. Jobs and livelihoods are being destroyed solely because the Department of Interior knowingly created a fraudulent scientific review to justify a predetermined, ideological course of action,” Bishop said.

Critics of the closure also include Republican Rep. Darrell Issa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who also says the findings for closing the oyster business was exaggerated.

The National Park Service purchased the land in 1972 that housed the oyster operation and offered the family a 40-year lease to continue operations across 1,000 acres. The company was seeking to have their lease extended.

Republican leaders say they have no plans to raise tax rates and privately suggest that the Democrats’ game of chicken could drive the country over the cliff. Democrats are betting otherwise.

Democrats Stroll Toward Edge of Fiscal Cliff - Chris Frates/National Journal

“I don’t see that the ball’s in the president’s court. Very simple: Pass our tax-cut bill, and then we can move forward,” said Schumer, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat.

“Speaker Boehner’s proposal was not much of a proposal at all, so let’s stop with the offers and counteroffers that are leaked only to manufacture headlines in the press,” Schumer said. “Let’s get serious, cross off the biggest item on our To Do list, and get this Senate tax-cut bill passed and passed now.”

So what did Boehner do on Wednesday? He asked President Obama to come to the negotiating table and sent lawmakers home. Class dismissed.

But underlying the public back-and-forth is the very real sense among both parties that negotiations are stalled with no break in sight.

White House admits president's tax hike cannot pass Dem-controlled Senate...

The White House on Thursday dismissed as political mischief Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to bring President Obama’s fiscal cliff plan to a vote on the floor, conceding the proposal would not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. - Jim O'Sullivan/National Journal

“We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, adding the White House was “very confident” that Democrats support the principles outlined in Obama’s plan, which has met with derision among Republicans.


“Look: the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. Now the President wants to remove that spur to cut altogether. It gets in the way of his spending plans.

“I assure you: it’s not going to happen. The American people want Washington to get spending under control. And the debt limit is the best tool we have to make the President take that demand seriously.

“The American people want us to fight to cut spending. It’s a fight they deserve. We’re happy to have it.”

DeMint Resigning from Senate to Head Heritage Foundation

The Senate is set to lose one of its most influential conservative voices after South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced on Thursday that he will step down. - Martin Gould/Newsmax

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”

Praise arrived from around the conservative world for DeMint.

“Senator DeMint has done more to advance the cause of freedom and liberty in Congress than anyone else since his election,” said Chris Chocola, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, in a statement congratulating the senator. “We wish him nothing but the best in his new role at Heritage.”

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan praised DeMint.

“There is no better choice than Jim DeMint to lead this great organization. It is disappointing to lose his strong voice in the Senate, but I look forward to his continued conservative leadership at the helm of The Heritage Foundation," Jordan said in a statement. "The folks at Heritage are an indispensable ideas factory for conservatives in Congress. South Carolina’s loss is the country’s gain.”

State Treasurer Doesn’t Know How Much California Owes in Bond Debt

The LA Times also published a companion article where they provided a spreadsheet that tracked Capital Appreciation Bonds (spreadsheet) just for school districts in California. This spreadsheet showed that $5.6 billion in capital appreciation bonds have been issued to fund education to-date, and that the payments, most of which will not come due for another 20 years, will total $24.0 billion. But the borrowing disclosed on this spreadsheet is just for education, and it is just those borrowings that took the form of capital appreciation bonds. It is only a small portion of the debt. -

...So how deep is the hole? How much do California’s state and local governments owe? How much of that borrowing is via conventional bond financing, and how much of it is via capital appreciation bonds?

If you think the California State Treasurer’s office would know the answer to this question, you would be wrong. UnionWatch inquiries to that office yielded helpful suggestions to refer to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission’s webpage that discloses California Public Debt Issuance – Yearly Totals 1985-2012. From this table you can see both state and local borrowing per year. The biggest borrowing year was 2009, with $95 billion in debt issuance. The average since 2000 is well over $50 billion per year. But how much of this debt was reissuance of old debt? How much of it is new debt? What is the cumulative outstanding debt of state and local governments in California? How much of that outstanding debt takes the form of Capital Appreciation Bonds?

We asked. Nobody knows. They’re working on it. The spokesperson suggested we consult someone with a subscription to Bloomberg online, wherein we suggested they get one for their office. Why isn’t this information a click away, clear for every journalist and policymaker in California to immediately apprehend? The reader may imagine what would happen to any treasurer in any large corporation if their department was unable to instantly produce this data. Such is the state of California’s public finance. This isn’t an unfunded liability for future obligations, such as pensions, where countless variables – including average lifespan, spiking impacts, and rates of return on investments – make precise estimates impossible. This is money borrowed, spent, and owed. It is a number that can be known to the penny. And in California, right now, we don’t know.

89% of the Humboldt County Democratic Party’s contributions came from just 7 special interest groups.

How Democrats Won the Supermajority: Party Laundering of Union Money -

Everyone has an explanation for why the California Republican Party was dominated in the last election. Immigration, demographics, social issues, taxes, etc. But all the blathering has ignored the elephant in the room: money.

Big business and big labor teamed up and spent big money to elect Democrats. And they used party central committees to funnel this money to targeted legislative candidates. You can read all about the suspicious campaign financing of the Quirk-Silva campaign here.

Both parties used this tactic to fund their targets. Democrats, however, accepted checks with an extra zero. This money laundering is, of course, done with a wink and a nod. “How do you prove the money was laundered and not just a big coincidence?” a skeptic might ask.

People are uncomfortable with numbers. That’s why I have created a few visual representations of these county party transfers to make it easier to understand this money laundering. Here’s a snapshot of every contributor to the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee in 2012. It’s how most people would read a campaign report.

2012 Contributions to the Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by # of contributions):

It’s a confusing mess, and that’s exactly the point. Special interest groups hide in plain sight with this web of financial data. In 2012, the Humboldt County Democratic Party accepted $232,618 in 144 different transactions. But, it’s hard to understand what all of those contributions mean.

Let’s change the visualization to give greater weight to bigger transactions. Here’s what it looks like when the size of the font is proportional to the size of the contribution.

2012 Contributions to the Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by $ amount):

Wow! Suddenly, everything is much clearer. That’s because 89% of the Humboldt County Democratic Party’s contributions came from just 7 special interest groups. Those groups are: AFSCME, California State Council of Service Employees, California Teachers Association, California School Employees Association, Serivce Employees International Union Local 1000, Professional Engineers in California Government PECG PAC, and the Building and Construction Trades Council of California PAC.

Each of these groups sent a check for ◼ at least $25,000 to the party in August or September.

...How did the party spend all of its money? $225,000 transferred to two targeted state Senate candidates, Richard Roth and Cathleen Galgiani. Here’s a visualization of every penny of party expenses, including rent, postage and cell phone services. The information that stands out: $225,000 transferred to two targeted state Senate candidates, Richard Roth and Cathleen Galgiani.

2012 Outgoing Contributions from Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by $ amount):

The seven special interest contributions totaled $207,000, just a few dollars shy of the total transferred to the state Senate targets. It’s also worth noting that neither state Senate district included Humboldt County. If a multi-national corporation used this money laundering scheme to avoid taxes, Democrats would be outraged.

The GOP should rethink its campaign approach. California’s demographics are changing. But the biggest contributing factor to the Democrats’ dominance was money.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If U.S. hikes taxes, high-income Californians may pay nation's highest tax rate, almost 52 percent + sales tax, property tax, and ObamaTax

Proposition 30 added three percentage points to the marginal state income tax rate for California’s highest-income taxpayers, bringing it to 13.3 percent. That action raised California over other high-tax jurisdictions to a marginal rate of 51.9 percent, slightly higher than New York City’s level. Hawaii was the only other place with a calculated rate above 50 percent. - Erika Johnsen/HotAir

…Ouch. We already knew that California was headed for a fall, but here’s yet another problem with top-down government and specifically with President Obama’s proposals to hike taxes across-the-board on those he deems wealthy, i.e. families making more than $250k/year. As Joel Kotkin writes for Forbes, it’s kind of odd that blue states voted so overwhelmingly against their own self-interest in reelecting Barack Obama, because the tax hikes he campaigned on will come down disproportionately hard on the economies of blue states.

From the comments: Don’t forget that the 1099 self employed folks who actually have a profit of over $250K, besides being taxed to the max in CA at 51.9% before property taxes, obamacare taxes, and sales taxes, will also have the social security and medicare taxes on top of the 51.9%.

AND don’t forget that Obamacare will tax you on the sale of your home a certain percentage, too. I am not sure if that hits in 2013 or 2014.

High-income Californians may pay nation's highest tax rate - Dan Walters/Sacramento Bee

The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

Council approves new Eureka city manager; Atkins, Ciarabellini sworn in for second terms

link - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard

Bill Panos agreed Tuesday that as Eureka's next city manager he will need to hit the ground running over the next few months to get a hold on Eureka's biggest issues -- not the least of which being the city's search for its next police chief.

”It's all about building a context of where this city has been and where it is now,” Panos said. “There are a lot of challenging things to be done here and I am very much looking forward to being a part of that.”

...In other matters, the council unanimously approved a resolution accepting the results of November's election and installing Councilwoman Linda Atkins and Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini victors in the Eureka City Council races for the Ward 2 and Ward 4 seats, respectively.

After she was sworn in for another four-year term, Atkins said she was glad the “hideous campaign” was over. The incumbent ran a close race against challenger Joe Bonino, winning by 320 votes....

Ciarabellini thanked her husband and her supporters.

Surprise: McConnell Offers Vote on Obama/Geithner Fiscal Cliff Plan, Reid Objects

This isn't the first time we've seen Democrats engaged in this awkward political dance.
- Guy Benson/Townhall

I've been critical of Republican tactics and messaging this week, so let's give credit where it's due: Moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor and offered an immediate vote on President Obama's fiscal cliff plan, which shocked the Beltway late last week. (In case you're keeping score at home, this was the surreal proposal that induced McConnell to laugh out loud as it was outlined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner). Harry Reid quickly objected and shut the whole thing down, labeling the suggestion a "stunt." Think about that. The President of the United States, a Democrat, crafted a fiscal cliff package that would give him everything he wants. It has tax hikes on the rich. It has huge tax hikes on investments and estates. It has more stimulus spending. It has no meaningful, specific, or guaranteed spending cuts. And it compels Congress to cede control of the debt ceiling to him. This is "fairness" on steroids. The Senate's top Republican proposed an up-or-down vote on everything the president wants, yet Democrats, who control the upper chamber, instantly blocked it. By what definition is it a "stunt" to hold a vote on the president's full, public plan? The White House has insisted it's a serious document, yet Hill Democrats don't want it to see the light of day.

Huh, that’s odd: Harry Reid declines to bring a vote on Obama’s cliff plan - Erika Johnsen

Jedi Mind Trick Nation

"These aren't the droids you're looking for." - Ben Shapiro/Townhall

The Democratic Party has apparently been endowed with the ability to use the old Jedi mind trick. That's their entire tactic throughout the fiscal cliff debacle. America faces actual liabilities of $86.8 trillion. That's our outstanding cost on Social Security, Medicare and other retirement benefits accrued. There's no way to tax ourselves out of that hole. As former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Chris Cox and former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill Archer wrote this week, "to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually." To put that in perspective, the entire GDP of the country last year was about $15 trillion. Just to keep up with our debt -- to keep it from growing -- we'd have to take more than half of all American wealth. Every year. And that wouldn't even solve our current debt issue.

Republicans sense that this is something of a problem. That's why they aren't going along with President Obama's class warfare shtick, in which Obama pretends that taxing rich people without cutting anything will solve all our problems. Obama's proposal to tax the top 2 percent of income earners accomplishes precisely nothing -- or, even more precisely, it would pay for about eight days of federal government spending.

So how is it that Democrats seem to be winning the battle over the fiscal cliff? Polls show that Americans think Republicans are being stubborn to insist on cuts rather than going along with President Obama's ridiculous scheme to tax and spend more.

Why? The Old Jedi Mind Trick.

How Journalists Give Obama A Pass: Part 285746342

The other day Jay Carney said (and the professional stenographers collectively called “The White House Press Corps” reported*) that any deal to avoid the fiscal cliff had to include tax rate hikes. Not just additional revenues but rate hikes, specifically. Aside from one example*, I didn’t see anyone else in the stenographer pool press Carney on the “Why?” question. - The Right Sphere

It would be easy: “Why do we have to increase tax rates? Why is that absolutely necessary?” Then they could throw in some other W’s like, “What is the economic theory behind this necessity to increase tax rates? Keynes wouldn’t advocate such a thing. Where is the economic case for rate hikes when the economy is only growing around 2% annually?”

But no, the stenographer corps* simply jots the comments down and nods along. I pressed some of them on Twitter and received no response. All I did was ask them if anyone asked Carney why the rate hikes were absolutely mandatory for any deal. They chose to ignore the question.

Today, Obama held a meeting of CEO’s and made some remarks to the press. Of the stream of provable lies that spewed from the podium, one was that, according to Obama, there was no way to raise enough revenue by simply eliminating loopholes, etc. Once again, the case was being made that tax rate hikes had to be part of the deal. Had to.

Now, you would think that journalists reporting on this event and the President’s remarks would think to themselves, “Why?” But you’d be wrong. You’d also think that when presented with video of Obama contradicting the very comment he had made, a journalist, and especially one who had just tweeted / reported Obama’s comments to his thousands of followers, would welcome the opportunity to show that the President was contradicting earlier pronouncements. I mean, isn’t that what a journalist is supposed to do? Question authority?

*Jake Tapper was the only one who pressed Carney about the tax rate hike nonsense which is why he remains the only mainstream media journalist in the country I actually respect. And that’s sad.

“Sadly, I was wrong” about Obama, isn’t good enough

The country deserved better geniuses: More of the post-election mea culpas. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

An Unfortunate Broken Promise - Greg Mankiw

Back in 2008, when President Obama was running for his first term, he promised to be a post-partisan leader. While a Democrat, he said he would accept good ideas when they came from Republicans. At the time, I believed him, at least to some degree. And I wrote about it in this NY Times column.

Sadly, I was wrong. The short version of the story is this: As a candidate, President Obama campaigned on a platform of raising taxes on the rich. Yet he and his economic advisers also said they wanted to raise dividend taxes only slightly, from 15 to 20 percent. For reasons I explained in the Times article, keeping dividend taxes low was a position bolstered by good economics. Now, however, the president wants to raise dividend taxes to ordinary income tax rates (plus, for high-income taxpayers, the new tax of 3.8 percent that is part of the Obamacare legislation).

To be it another way, he campaigned as a moderate, willing to concede that the other party had some good ideas on tax policy. Once in office, he gave up on those ideas.

Geithner: Ready to Go Over 'Cliff' If Taxes Don't Rise

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC Wednesday that Republicans are "making a little bit of progress" in "fiscal cliff" talks but said the Obama administration was "absolutely" ready to go over the cliff if the GOP doesn't agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy. - CNBC

"This is one of the most stunning and irresponsible statements I've heard in some time," Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said in a statement. "Going over the fiscal cliff will put our economy, jobs, people's paychecks and retirement at risk,but that is what the White House wants, according to Secretary Geithner, if they don't get their way."

The president has proposed raising taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade, cuts to Medicare and another $50 billion in stimulus spending, but has largely exempted Social Security from budget cuts.

Obama’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Proposal: $1.6 Trillion in Tax Increases - CNBC

The White House is seeking $1.6 trillion in tax increases up front, as well as $50 billion in additional stimulus spending, as part of any "fiscal cliff" deal, Republican aides said Thursday, as talks aimed at averting the economy-rattling cliff turned testy.

President Barack Obama also wants a permanent increase in the federal debt ceiling, a one-year expansion of jobless benefits, and an extension of the payroll tax credit, these aides said.

Chances are, if you have children in public schools, Common Core is either in your local classrooms or it’s on the way. Not every state has adopted Obama’s Common Core curriculum yet, but most have.

Why Has a Presidential Executive Order been Pushed Into K-12 Reading Assignments? - Bryan Preston/PJM

Stanley Kurtz has an important post about educational standards, known as Common Core, coming from the Obama administration. The standards have never received much publicity in the media and thus Obama has never had to bother with defending or explaining them.

Obama and Your Child’s Mind - Stanley Kurtz/National Review

Why does President Obama want your child to read “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management” in school? It’s not the business of a president to shape your local school’s reading assignments. The Constitution and several federal laws prohibit it. Yet by conditioning federal education aid and regulatory waivers on state acceptance of the “Common Core,” Obama has managed to manipulate the states into adopting what is fast becoming a de facto national K-12 curriculum.

Parents across the country are just now waking up to the fact that President Obama has forced what is in effect a new curriculum on their local schools. This immensely important change ought to have been fully reported and debated during Obama’s first term. It’s a disgrace that the Democrat-controlled media never allowed that debate to happen.

In a post on Monday I argued that the Common Core’s mandatory substitution of non-fiction for many fiction readings opens the door to a politicized curriculum, and is ultimately the outcome of an unconstitutional and illegal power-grab by the president....
If you’d like to expel the Common Core from your local school, contact ◼ the American Principles Project.

CITIGROUP to slash 11,000 jobs...

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, who took over the bank in October, is cutting more than 11,000 jobs, scaling back operations in some emerging markets and taking a $1 billion charge this quarter in an effort to drive down costs. - Donal Griffin/BLOOMBERG

...Citigroup also plans to shrink that division’s bonuses for this year by as much as 10 percent, two people with direct knowledge of the decisions said last week.
Cost-cutting by investment banks needs to be severe to deal with the impact of the new capital rules, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts said last month. Firms must slash pay and headcount and get rid of almost a third of their trading-business assets to earn even half the returns they once made, while replacing some traders with computers, the analysts wrote.


A new video produced by the California Federation of Teachers – which could be playing in your child’s classroom as we speak – drums up the typical class warfare images we’ve come to expect from Big Labor. - EAG News- SACRAMENTO

“Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale,” written by CFT staffer Fred Glass (2011 compensation: $139,800) and narrated by proud leftist actor (and 1 percenter) Ed Asner, advocates for higher taxes on the “rich” as the cure for government’s insatiable thirst for spending.

The video claims the rich got rich through tax cuts and tax loopholes and even tax evasion.

But when the 99 percent fought back, the “rich” apparently urinated on the “poor,” at least according to the video. What a classy way to frame your argument for children, Big Labor.

Michelle Malkin responds:

The conservative comeback begins now -- on the assumption that a majority of Americans will not welcome a second Great Depression.

Planting the Seeds of His Own Demise - Peter Ferrara/American Spectator

Conservatives who want to fight back should start with Obama's Second Inaugural Address and his 2013 State of the Union. These will be grand pronouncements of neo-Marxist principle and strategy. Books should be written unwinding them. They will be monuments to the Obama tactic of Calculated Deception, i.e., taking advantage of what he is sure a majority of Americans do not know, and what he calculates the Democrat party-controlled media won't tell them.

But in his hubris, and self-deception, Obama will plant the seeds of his own demise in the words of those addresses. Every paean to the middle class should and will be written in stone and compared to subsequent performance. Every promise to the poor and working people will be stored for future reference as the impact of Obamanomics on the poor and working people unfolds.

At about the same time, the first shoe will drop -- the 2014 Obama Budget proposal. This will outline what America's socialist future will look like under the Grand Vision of the Great Marxist, as the numbers crunchers effectively force Obama to confess that he wants higher taxes to pay for higher spending, which is what the budget will show. Check out in particular CBO's long-term projections of federal spending, and the national debt. They will show Obama is proposing the so-called Swedish socialism of the government taking and spending more than half of the entire GDP. (Even the Swedes have grown past Swedish socialism.)

Steyn: Obama aims to finish the work of FDR and LBJ to create ‘a big Sweden’ [VIDEO] - Jeff Poor/Daily Caller

“I think it’s clear from the election that, you know, the majority of Americans essentially voted for European levels of spending,” Steyn said. “And you can’t have European levels of spending. We’re one percent under Canada. Americans, conservative Americans think there’s a difference between America and Canada. There’s actually isn’t any more, not in terms of government spending. We’re close to Norway.”

“We’re not quite the full Sweden yet, but we basically are spending like Europeans, but we’re not taxed like that. And the idea that you can close that gap, I think he figures out, if he can make this level of spending permanent, he changes the United States into a European social democracy and he’ll be the most consequential president of the last hundred years,” Steyn continued. “He will finish the work of FDR and LBJ and that will be it. We’ll be a big Sweden.”

Obama to Pitch Unilateral and Unlimited Debt Ceiling Authority Today - Bryan Preston/PJM

President Obama will deliver a speech today in which he will personally pitch for unilateral authority to raise the national debt ceiling. Reuters reports that the president wants the ability to raise the nation’s credit card limit by himself, without the “drama” of having to consult the people’s representatives in Congress.

...What Barack Obama is asking for is dictatorial power to spend as he sees fit, without limits and without input from Congress. In the absence of a national budget, which we have not had for more than three years, Obama’s spending power would be unlimited.

What the president needs, really, is to have his credit card taken away. But unfortunately he got it extended for another four years on Nov. 6. His remarks today reveal that he fully intends to spend as much money as possible without regard for those who will eventually have to pay off his debts.

'Men don't have to worry about being caught': Sex mobs target Egypt's women

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In the post-Mubarak era, activists and protesters have reported many particularly violent assaults on women. - NBC

"It is not a country of law, not a state of law anymore. It has given men a chance to harass women without being accused," said Afaf Marie, director of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation and Enhancement, an NGO.

Some activists fear that women's rights will suffer under the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, who is an Islamist.

Government inaction has allowed the problem to spiral out of control, Heba Morayef, director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, told NBC News. Police no longer inspire fear as they did before the revolution. In addition, locals say it appears there are fewer police on the increasingly lawless streets -- and often none in Tahrir Square.

"The state is failing to respond,” she said. "Men don’t have to worry about being caught.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

C’mon Now, GOP, Don’t Go Wobbly on Us

link - Sarah Palin

Please read and pass along this article. We send good conservatives to D.C. to fulfill the promises they made to the electorate, and yet when they stay true to their word the permanent political class in their own party punishes them. This won’t be forgotten come 2014. Right now the GOP establishment is more concerned about the opinion of the media and the Georgetown cocktail circuit than they are “we the people” who hired them. For all this new talk of how the GOP needs a “populist movement,” it would do them good to remember they already have one; it’s called the Tea Party movement, and it won for them the majority they now enjoy in the House.


Members of the 2013-14 Humboldt County Republican Central Committee, elected in the June primary, will take the oath of office at the committee’s organizational meeting, 6 p.m., Thursday, December 6 at the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District building, 828 - 7th Street, Eureka.

Judith Hedgepeth, Administrative Analyst of the Humboldt County Elections Office will administer the oath to the members: (First District) Rebecca Crosby, Joy Finley, Peter Hannaford, Melanie Hosford, Byron Simpson, Todd Walker; (Second District) Jean Giannini; (Third District) Gwen Morris, Sam Trumbull; (Fourth Distrct) Jane Burchit; (Fifth District) Lia Fontillas, Gary Frank, Rose Welsh.

What Proposition 30 Means for California’s Entrepreneurs

Prop 30 Hits Entrepreneurs the Hardest: Given the inherent risks entrepreneurs take just to start a new company, will they want to now take on additional tax and regulatory risk? The truth is, great tech start-ups can now be built almost anywhere. -

Welcome to the new Republican generation.

RYAN, RUBIO REBOOT - Hope Hodge/Human Events Follow @MissHedgeHodge


FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe bashed the move, too, saying in a statement that “[t]his is a clear attempt on the part of Republican leadership to punish those in Washington who vote the way they promised their constituents they would – on principle – instead of mindlessly rubber-stamping trillion dollar deficits and the bankrupting of America. This is establishment thinking, circling the wagons around yes-men and punishing anyone that dares to take a stand for good public policy.” - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart News

NFRW: Legislative Update

Boehner Appoints Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) to Chair House Administration Committee

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced last week the appointment of Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) as chairman of the House Administration Committee for the 113th Congress:

"From ensuring the House runs efficiently and smoothly, to making Congress more open and accessible, Candice has a big job ahead as chairman of the House Administration Committee. In her new post, Candice will provide the leadership needed to keep operating costs down, save taxpayer dollars, and help lawmakers use new technology to better engage with their constituents. And her experience as Michigan Secretary of State will be invaluable given the committee's oversight of campaign finance and election laws.

Having helped implement new legislative data standards, approved the use of new low-cost digital tools for members of Congress, and more, the House Administration Committee has been at the forefront of many of our open government initiatives. I know we'll continue to make big advances with Candice at the helm."

According to the history provided by the Committee on the House Administration's (CHA) website, the CHA was first formed at the start of the 80th Congress in 1947 after the Legislation Reorganization Act of 1946. The law reduced the number of congressional committees from 48 to 19, as many of the committees had overlapping jurisdiction. The CHA takes care of many behind the scenes concerns of House offices, including salary disbursements, parking assignments, and room assignments. Its chief concern is overseeing federal elections, from drafting legislation to eliminate poll taxes in the early years to drafting the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
An Update on the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

On Thursday, November 29th, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner submitted a proposal for averting the fiscal cliff to Congress on behalf of the Obama administration. The proposal called for $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in entitlement cuts, and $50 billion in fresh stimulus spending. Yesterday, December 3rd, the House Republicans responded to the administration's proposal in a letter urging for $800 billion in new revenue, $600 billion in health savings, $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts, and $300 billion from cuts to mandatory spending. Another $200 billion would be raised by changing the way inflation is measured in order to disburse entitlement benefits. The letter is signed by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), among others. Here is the text of the letter courtesy of

December 3, 2012

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

After a status quo election in which both you and the Republican majority in the House were re-elected, the American people rightly expect both parties to come together on a fair middle ground and address the nation's most pressing challenges.

To that end, shortly after the election, we presented you with a balanced framework for averting the fiscal cliff by coupling spending cuts and reforms with new tax revenue. We then welcomed Secretary Geithner to the Capitol on November 29 with every expectation that he would lay out a similarly reasonable path.

Regrettably, the proposal he outlined on behalf of your Administration contains very little in the way of common ground. The proposal calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue, twice the amount you supported during the campaign. The proposal also includes four times as much tax revenue as spending cuts, in stark contrast to the "balanced approach" on which you campaigned. While administration officials are claiming that this proposal contains 2.5 dollars of spending cuts for each dollar in new revenue, counting as part of this ratio previously enacted savings - as if these were new spending reductions - only confuses the public debate. What's worse, the modest spending cuts in this offer are cancelled out by the additional 'stimulus' measures the Administration is requesting. And, this proposal would remove any and all limits on federal borrowing.

We cannot in good conscience agree to this approach, which is neither balanced nor realistic. If we were to take your Administration's proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution. It assumes an overhaul of our tax code with revenue remaining at historically normal levels and proposes structural reforms to preserve and protect the Nation's entitlement programs, ensuring they are sustainable for the long-term rather than continuing to grow out of control. Some of its key reforms include:

-- The House-passed Budget Resolution assumes enactment of structural Medicare reform that offers future beneficiaries guaranteed coverage options, including a traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan. This proposal is based on recent bipartisan efforts and would provide greater support for the poor and the sick and less support for the wealthy. We achieve these reforms in Medicare without affecting current seniors or those nearing retirement. This would slow the projected explosive spending growth in this program and eventually maintain Medicare spending as a share of the economy at 4.75 percent, thus saving the program for future generations.

-- The House-passed Budget Resolution reforms Medicaid and provides states with greater flexibility to better deliver health security to beneficiaries, saving the federal government nearly $800 billion over 10 years.

-- Separate from savings in our proposal for the 2010 health care law, the House-passed Budget Resolution envisions hundreds of billions in savings in other mandatory spending, including reforms to Federal employee compensation and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

These reforms are, in our view, absolutely essential to addressing the true drivers of our debt, and we will continue to support and advance them. At the same time, mindful of the status quo election and past exchanges on these questions, we recognize it would be counterproductive to publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and the leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near-term.

With the fiscal cliff nearing, our priority remains finding a reasonable solution that can pass both the House and the Senate, and be signed into law in the next couple of weeks. The best way to do this is by learning from and building on the bipartisan discussions that have occurred during this Congress, including the Biden Group, the Joint Select Committee, and our negotiations leading up to the Budget Control Act.

For instance, on November 1 of last year, Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of your debt commission, presented the Joint Select Committee with a middle ground approach that garnered praise from many fiscal watchdogs and nonpartisan experts. He recommended that both parties agree to a balanced package that includes significant spending cuts as well as $800 billion in new revenue.

Notably, the new revenue in the Bowles plan would not be achieved through higher tax rates, which we continue to oppose and will not agree to in order to protect small businesses and our economy. Instead, new revenue would be generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates. On the spending side, the Bowles recommendation would cut more than $900 billion in mandatory spending and another $300 billion in discretionary spending. These cuts would be over and above the spending reductions enacted in the Budget Control Act.

This is by no means an adequate long-term solution, as resolving our long-term fiscal crisis will require fundamental entitlement reform. Indeed, the Bowles plan is exactly the kind of imperfect, but fair middle ground that allows us to avert the fiscal cliff without hurting our economy and destroying jobs. We believe it warrants immediate consideration.

If you are agreeable to this framework, we are ready and eager to begin discussions about how to structure these reforms so that the American people can be confident that these targets will be reached.

Again, the American people expect their leaders to find fair middle ground to address the nation's most pressing challenges. To achieve that outcome, we respectfully request that you respond to this letter in a timely fashion and hope that you will refrain from any further action that would undermine good-faith efforts to reach a reasonable and equitable agreement in this critical matter.


John Boehner, Speaker
Eric Cantor, Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Conference Chairman
Dave Camp, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means
Paul Ryan, Committee on the Budget
Fred Upton, Committee on Energy & Commerce

Bipartisan govs to WH: Don’t stick the states with the fiscal-cliff costs

The governors have got to keep their own budgets in line, and it’s a task that’s made infinitely more difficult with the federal government playing tug-of-war. With it looking increasingly plausible that Democrats are ready and willing to take us over the financial edge, they’re looking for some assurance that their own state finances aren’t going to get bowled over. - Erika Johnsen/HotAir


Democrats are playing a game of three-card monte - Jerome Corsi/WND

Getting Republicans to agree to a tax increase on “the rich” is not the ultimate aim of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, says noted tax activist Grover Norquist.

“This is just the first act of a two- or three-act play,” Norquist said in an exclusive interview with WND....

“The reason the Democrats scream ‘tax the rich, tax the rich,’ is because they are going to pivot very soon to place a 3 trillion-dollar tax increase on the middle class, and they want ringing in the public’s ears that there wouldn’t have had to do this if the Republicans in Congress had acted right away to place a decent size tax on the rich.”

Norquist believes the Democrat strategy risks a tax revolt.

“The size of Tea Party Two is going to dwarf Tea Party One,” he predicted.

Morning Joe: When Does Obama Realize He Should Step Up

Fiscal Cliff Debate Is About Size Of Government, Not Taxing 'The Rich'

All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting "the rich" to pay "their fair share" is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. - Thomas Sowell/IBD

Taxing "the rich" will produce a drop in the bucket when compared with the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration.

No previous administration in the entire history of the nation ever finished the year with a trillion-dollar deficit. The Obama administration has done so every single year. Yet political and media discussions of the financial crisis have been focused overwhelmingly on how to get more tax revenue to pay for past and future spending.

The very catchwords and phrases used by the Obama administration betray how phony this all is. For example, "We are just asking the rich to pay a little more." This is an insult to our intelligence. The government doesn't "ask" anybody to pay anything. It orders you to pay the taxes it imposes and you can go to prison if you don't.

...there is no need to assume that Barack Obama is mistaken about the way to get the economy out of the doldrums. His top priority has always been increasing the size and scope of government.

If that means sacrificing the economy or the truth, that is no deterrent to Obama. That is why he is willing to play chicken with Republicans along the fiscal cliff.


Tapper To WH: You Know Sen. Obama Voted Against Raising Debt Ceiling?

“Criminalization of unauthorized disclosures of information to the press has risen sharply, becoming a preferred tactic. Efforts to promote public accountability in controversial aspects of counterterrorism policy such as targeted killing have been blocked by threadbare, hardly credible national security secrecy claims.”

Obama admin more secretive than ever... - Dana Milbank/Washington Post


[A]ccording to polling by CNN, registered voters oppose Obamacare by a margin of 10 points — 52 to 42 percent. Independents like Obamacare even less, opposing it by a margin of 22 points — 57 to 35 percent. Clearly, voters didn’t think they were ratifying Obamacare when they pulled the lever for Obama. - John Nolte/Breitbart's BIG Journalism

Gergen: Democrats would rather humiliate GOP than solve fiscal clif

Via Eliana Johnson at NRO, David Gergen comes to the same conclusion that most of us did after the election — that Barack Obama and the Democrats aren’t really interested in solving the massive number of problems in the fiscal cliff coming in less than four weeks. Their priority is to inflict as much damage on House Republicans as possible, and if that inflicts damage on America, well, you gotta break a few eggs to make omelettes, too. - HotAir

DeMint: Boehner's $800B Tax Hike Will Let Politicians Spend Even More

Conservative Republicans don't like what they're hearing from House Speaker John Boehner, the man in the middle of fiscal cliff negotiations. - CNS

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says Boehner's offer to raise $800 billion in taxes on the wealthy (partly by closing loopholes and limiting deductions) "will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny.”

..."Washington has a spending addiction that is shackling our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt," he said. "Conservatives fought for a balanced budget amendment last year precisely because we knew the political establishment in Washington would never stop their tax and spend addiction without it.

"However," DeMint added, "if neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt, we should end this charade. We can stop the fiscal cliff with the bill that House Republicans already passed that simply extends the current tax rates and replaces the defense cuts with reductions in wasteful spending.”


IRS aims to clarify investment income tax under healthcare law - Reuters

The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income....

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals....

The proposed rules are effective starting January 1. Before making the rules final, the IRS will take public comments and hold hearings in April.

On CBS, Cheesecake Factory CEO Warns ObamaCare Will Be 'Very Costly' - Newsbusters

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.

Obamacare Investment Income Tax: Wealthy To Pay 3.8 Percent Surcharge On Capital Gains, Dividends - Huffington Post

Monday, December 3, 2012

Forget The Whining, Here's A Plan For Republicans To Seize The Agenda

The 2012 elections are in the book. One of America’s favorite pastimes is underway: post-election analysis, lamenting and finger pointing. In the final analysis, if Republicans want American voters to make a choice, they need to give them a choice. Between now and 2014, below is a plan to do just that. - Tom Del Beccarro/Forbes

As for the election just passed, a sophisticated campaign operation and dedicated supporters helped to re-elect President Obama. One thing that didn’t get Obama re-elected was a clear, second-term agenda. He is unique among American presidents for having been elected twice without a defined agenda.

For their part, Republicans lost the Presidency, House and Senate seats because they didn’t have a defined agenda either. There was no 100-day plan for voters to choose. Without an inspiring alternative, i. e. a real choice, voters often default to the incumbent.

Obama’s lack of agenda, let alone a mandate, represents an opportunity for Republicans. Beyond attempting to raise taxes and signing executive orders, what is Obama going to do over the next 4 years? Recall that he barely did anything at all in 2012. The answer, is that 2012-2016 will be a lot like 2012.

Also keep in mind that second-term, off-year elections are generally unkind to a President’s Party. This time, they could be especially so because we are arguably headed for difficult economic times given Obamacare’s looming implementation, proposed tax increases, and ever more in the way of regulations.

A sickly economy and lack of an agenda gives Republicans an opportunity to make 2014 a big year. In contrast to a rudderless Obama, if Republicans become real government reformers, 2014 could in fact be exceptional. Here is the plan to do just that - read how at the link.

It can still be ‘a wonderful life’ for Republicans

This movie contains all the wisdom Republicans need to win again. And again. - Timothy Philen/Daily Caller

Next time around, GOP candidates should give voters the same tour that Clarence the angel gave George Bailey. We need to show just what America will look like if we cede it to the Henry Potters of today: the goose-stepping collectivists who love diversity of races and genders, but hate diversity of thought — who want to control every facet of our lives, from our earnings, to our religious speech, to the size of our sodas.

And then we need to replace that hideous sight with our own vision of America, communicated not with political slogans forged in the crucible of focus group testing, but with timeless American truths, enduring ideas that have a history as old as the Mayflower and still have a shelf life — well — longer than any Hostess product ever made.

What IS the Fiscal Cliff?

With just a few weeks left in 2012, all eyes in Washington are on Capitol Hill and the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As usual, Congress and the President are taking highly contentious issues down to the wire before cutting a deal—never a situation that ends well for taxpayers.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coined the term ◼ “fiscal cliff” while urging Congress to avoid a steep dropoff for the economy at the end of the year thanks to tax increases and automatic budget cuts.

There is no agreement right now on how to avoid it, however. When Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the White House’s plan to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week, Boehner said, “You can’t be serious.” Thus far, President Obama’s answer to the fiscal cliff is a proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes plus new stimulus spending—and expanded power for himself to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. He suggests only magnifying the policies that brought us to the fiscal cliff in the first place.

Heritage’s Romina Boccia, James Sherk, and Katie Tubb have explained ◼ “What’s in the Fiscal Cliff?” and recommended solutions to several of the immediate problems. They note that American individuals, families, businesses, and the military will all be harmed if the nation goes “off the cliff,” so to speak, or if a bad deal is done in Washington. Here are some of the major components of the fiscal cliff.

Tax Hikes

Tax hikes are the centerpiece of the problem, as the largest tax increase in American history is scheduled to kick in on January 1. This tax increase has been dubbed “Taxmageddon.” The authors break down its parts:
Most of this massive tax increase stems from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts implemented under President George W. Bush. There is also the payroll tax cut, the alternative minimum tax patch, and a host of other policies that expire at year’s end. In addition, five of the 18 tax increases built into Obamacare are scheduled to go into effect. Families will bear the brunt of this tax increase among American households, with an average increase of over $4,100 in taxes.

Raising taxes on upper-income earners would affect the nation's most robust job creators among small businesses. The effects of this would be devastating to the economy. The Congressional Budget Office is already forecasting another recession could hit in 2013. Congress should extend current tax policies for all Americans.

Defense Cuts

The fiscal cliff includes required cuts to defense spending. The cuts to America’s defenses known as “sequestration” were never supposed to happen. They are kicking in because a congressional “super committee” failed to reach a deal on spending cuts after last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling. Now these cuts are poised to gut military readiness because of a previous Washington negotiation gone wrong.

A Continual Medicare Problem

Medicare’s finances are in grave trouble. Years ago, Congress decided to reduce Medicare spending by paying doctors less to treat Medicare patients. That was an unsustainable idea—and Congress realized it later. Every year, instead of allowing the automatic cuts to doctor pay, Congress has made a temporary patch called the “doc fix” that keeps payments coming—which helps delay substantial Medicare reform. Now, “Unless Congress patches together another doc fix agreement before December 31, physicians will see a ◼ link27 percent decrease in pay, a situation that will make it unaffordable for many doctors to continue accepting Medicare patients.”

After preventing the cuts once again (which is likely to happen in any deal), the new Congress should pursue real Medicare reform that would permanently eliminate this problem.

Extending Unemployment Benefits

Federal funding for extended unemployment benefits is also set to expire at the end of this year. Extending these benefits again is one of the issues on the fiscal cliff bargaining table.

Although the average length of unemployment is 40 weeks, these benefits are available for 73 weeks. In a rough economy, many people need unemployment benefits. But “extending UI also ◼ increases unemployment and can hurt those it is meant to help. Extending benefits for too long encourages the unemployed to postpone job searches or hold out for something that may not be attainable.” While a deal is likely to extend these benefits, Congress should set the benefits at a more realistic 52 or 60 weeks.

This is a complex set of problems that should not be glossed over in a hasty deal.

Read more about The Heritage Foundation’s recommendations for each of these parts of the fiscal cliff. - Heritage's Morning Bell