Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Loved by media, Barney Frank Helped Cause Financial Crisis

Source: http://news.investors.com/Article/593006/201111281824/liberal-frank-leaves-legacy-of-financial-failure.htm


Congress: Establishment media are swooning over the unexpected departure of ultraliberal Barney Frank. But this "champion of the little guy" actually helped cause the mortgage disaster, then kept the system broken.

'Congress will now be a little dumber," was the kind of nonsense we heard from the mainstream liberal media after Frank, D-Mass., former chairman of the House Banking Committee, said no to running for re-election next year.

Formally reprimanded by a heavily Democratic House on a 408-to-18 vote in 1990 for ethics offenses regarding his financial relationship with a male prostitute, Frank has for decades been a fast-talking, acidic presence in House debates.

But he wasn't smart enough to realize that the politically correct poisoning of mortgages would lead to a calamity rivaling the Great Depression. "I, like many others, did not see the crisis coming," Frank said Monday.

He sure didn't. Back in 2003, what did he say when the Bush administration proposed what the New York Times described as "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago," including a new agency to supervise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Frank said: "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." Fannie and Freddie, of course, are those corrupt public-private hybrid monstrosities that gave lots of mortgages to people with horrendous credit ratings.

After 1996's welfare reform, liberals like Frank found other ways to redistribute wealth. Yet even after the politicization of mortgages led to the financial crisis, last year's Dodd-Frank reform kept "too big to fail" and other defects in our federally mismanaged banking system.

Manhattan Institute scholar and "After the Fall" author Nicole Gelinas warned before Dodd-Frank's passage that the law "encourages wild risk-taking — and penalizes prudence" by making well-run banks pay to bail out poorly run ones.

As a result, Gelinas said: "Every firm will take more risks, guaranteeing another crisis down the line, and more taxpayer bailouts."

The media would have us believe this is the departure of a great statesman. But as the 17th House Democrat to announce his departure, Frank becomes just another liberal who realizes his party has little chance of winning in 2012 after the mess they've spent the economy into.

With Frank's district newly re-carved after the 2010 Census, Sean Bielat, the smart ex-Marine who gave him a run for his money in 2010, might just win this time.

Making sense of Barney Frank's departure isn't hard. A once-powerful liberal who loved to make congressional witnesses look dumb, he leaves a legacy of failure that, with time, makes him look dumber and dumber.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Gingrich Education Plan

Source: http://www.newt.org/solutions/21st-century-learning-system

“We must envision a 21st century system of lifetime learning more flexible, more productive, more individualized and more capable than any bureaucracy could achieve.”

– Newt Gingrich

The continued growth of American jobs and American prosperity in a knowledge-based, internet-connected, globally-competitive world will be determined by quality of America's schools. If America is going to remain competitive with China and India in the 21st century, then we must commit to improving education, especially in math and science, and moving from a bureaucrat-dominated status quo to an innovative system that emphasizes accountability, transparency, and parental choice:

  • Empower parents to pick the right school for their child.  Parents had the right to choose the school that is best for their child, and should never be trapped in a failing school against their will.

  • Institute a Pell Grant-style system for Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Per-pupil school district funding should go into each child’s backpack, and follow them to the school their parents wish to attend. Parents who home school their children should receive a tax credit or be allowed to keep the Pell Grant.

  • Require transparency and accountability about achievement. Each state must set a rigorous standard that allows every student everywhere to master the skills they will need to be competitive, and develop a process for grading the effectiveness of every school.

  • Implement a “no limits” charter system.

    • All of the money allocated for student education goes directly to the school.

    • The school manages its own staff, whereby it is exempt from laws regarding tenure, and need not unionize.

    • The school defines its own curriculum, in line with the state standards and assessments.  Students in charters are not exempt from state assessments.  The schools are not exempt from reporting requirements, nor should they be.

    • State law allows the school to "franchise" its model without limitation.  That means they need not apply for a new school every time they can build a new one.  If they have the demand, they must be able to serve it.

    • The state has NO CAPS on the number of charter schools that can be approved, and the process for approving charter schools is smooth and efficient.

  • Establish a pay for performance system.  States and school governing boards should lift all existing prohibitions that prevent a principal from evaluating teachers based in part on student achievement.

  • Welcome business talent in our communities into the classroom. Every state should open their systems up to part-time teachers so that retired physicists, neighborhood pharmacists, or local accountants could teach one or two hours a day and bring knowledge to the classroom, and business-like adult expectations to the students.  And programs like Teach For America should be encouraged and not limited.

  • Restore American history and values into the classroom. America is a learned civilization and every American, including immigrants, should learn American history and the principles of American self-government, productivity and prosperity. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1820: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Every student must learn to read and much of what they read should reinforce American civilization.

  • Protect the rights of home-schooled children by ensuring they have the same access to taxpayer funded, extra-curricular educational opportunities as any public school student.

  • Encourage states to think outside outdated boundaries of education. States have developed very innovative models:

    • Students who graduate early should get the cost of the years they skip as an automatic scholarship, following the model of Governor Daniels’s program in Indiana.

    • Every state should have a work-study college that enables students to graduate debt free, following the model of the College of the Ozarks in Missouri.

    • Individualized, 24/7 learning should be universally available online, with the Florida Virtual School (over 120,000 students for K-12) as a model.

  • Shrink the federal Department of Education and return power to states and communities. The Department's only role will be to collect research and data, and help find new and innovative approaches to then be adopted voluntarily at the local level.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    David Axelrod's Pattern Of Sexual Misbehavior By Ann Coulter

    Source: http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2011-11-09.html

    November 9, 2011

    Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.

    So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.

    Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

    The Daley-controlled IRA works hand-in-glove with the NRA. And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator.

    After O'Grady's name surfaced in connection with the miraculous appearance of Cain's personnel files from the NRA, she issued a Clintonesque denial of any involvement in producing them -- by vigorously denying that she knew Cain when he was at the NRA. (Duh.)

    And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of ... Chicago.

    Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building? Right again: Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.

    Bialek's accusations were certainly specific. But they also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless.

    Within 24 hours of Bialek's press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say that she's a "gold-digger," that she was constantly in financial trouble -- having filed for personal bankruptcy twice -- and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod's apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man The New York Times calls Obama's "hired muscle."

    Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she's Obama's next Cabinet pick.

    The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.

    John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign. He resigned -- and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false.

    Meanwhile, as extensively detailed in my book "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," the only reason Obama became a U.S. senator -- allowing him to run for president -- is that David Axelrod pulled sealed divorce records out of a hat, first, against Obama's Democratic primary opponent, and then against Obama's Republican opponent.

    One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader.

    But then The Chicago Tribune -- where Axelrod used to work -- began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings.

    From then until Election Day, Hull was embroiled in fighting the allegation that he was a "wife beater." He and his ex-wife eventually agreed to release their sealed divorce records. His first ex-wife, daughters and nanny defended him at a press conference, swearing he was never violent. During a Democratic debate, Hull was forced to explain that his wife kicked him and he had merely kicked her back.

    Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote.

    Luckily for Axelrod, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced.

    The Republican nominee was Jack Ryan, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard law and business schools, who had left his lucrative partnership at Goldman Sachs to teach at an inner-city school on the South Side of Chicago.

    But in a child custody dispute some years earlier, Ryan's ex-wife, Hollywood sex kitten Jeri Lynn Ryan, had alleged that, while the couple was married, Jack had taken her to swingers clubs in Paris and New York.

    Jack Ryan adamantly denied the allegations. In the interest of protecting their son, he also requested that the records be put permanently under seal.

    Axelrod's courthouse moles obtained the "sealed" records and, in no time, they were in the hands of every political operative in Chicago. Knowing perfectly well what was in the records, Chicago Tribune attorneys flew to California and requested that the court officially "unseal" them -- over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan.

    Your honor, who knows what could be in these records!

    A California judge ordered them unsealed, which allowed newspapers to publish the salacious allegations, and four days later, Ryan dropped out of the race under pressure from idiot Republicans (who should be tracked down and shot).

    With a last-minute replacement of Alan Keyes as Obama's Republican opponent, Obama was able to set an all-time record in an Illinois Senate election, winning with a 43 percent margin.

    And that's how Obama became a senator four years after losing a congressional race to Bobby Rush. (In a disastrous turn of events, Rush was not divorced.)

    Axelrod destroyed the only two men who stood between Obama and the Senate with illicitly obtained, lurid allegations from their pasts.

    In 2007, long after Obama was safely ensconced in the U.S. Senate, The New York Times reported: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece (on Hull's sealed divorce records) later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story."

    Some had suggested, the Times article continued, that Axelrod had "an even more significant role -- that he leaked the initial story."

    This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary, but are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Herman Cain:My Plan to Revive Economic Growth: It is inherently American to work, to risk and to dream.Our government's policies should encourage that

    Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904265504576569023689099648.html

    SEPTEMBER 15, 2011.

    Last week, President Obama unveiled his eagerly anticipated jobs plan. After 43 minutes of his speechifying, Americans were left wondering: We waited 30 months for this?

    Indeed, it seems Mr. Obama's first term has been spent advancing a legislative agenda that pays no mind to our ailing economy and the Americans whose sufferings are casualties in his ideological war. After a failed stimulus package, preferential industry bailouts, and the disastrous government overhaul of the health-care industry, it seems the plight of the American worker has remained an afterthought.

    This is the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression. If the Obama administration's aim was to merely tie for last place with the previous worst recovery, it would have created eight million more jobs, based on comparative data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If our recovery were more typical of the
    postwar era, as former Sen. Phil Gramm reported on this page in April, we would have 14 million more jobs today.

    As a longtime leader in the business community, I know firsthand that government does not create jobs. It can only create the conditions in which businesses operate. These conditions can spur growth, or they can suppress it. The conditions imposed by the current administration have suppressed growth.

    Still, there is hope. That hope begins with economic certainty, a sort of assurance the president seems unwilling to provide. I, on the other hand, have proposed a plan that would stabilize and grow our economy:

    "Cain's Vision for Economic Growth," also known as the 9-9-9 Plan, is founded upon three guiding economic principles: Production drives the economy. Risk-taking creates growth. Units of measurement must be dependable.

    The plan begins with restructuring the tax code to include the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rate. The elements are:

    A 9% corporate flat tax. Businesses would deduct purchases from other businesses and all capital investment. The resulting gross income is taxed at 9%.

    A 9% personal flat tax. Individuals would deduct charitable contributions, then pay 9% on the rest of their income. Capital gains are excluded.

    A 9% national sales tax. This levy would be placed on the consumption of all new goods. Used goods purchased would be excluded.

    My plan would also permanently eliminate taxes on repatriated profits, as well as payroll taxes and the estate tax.

    All of these measures would free up capital, spur production, and incentivize risk-taking, thereby fueling the economy and creating jobs. The plan has been designed to be revenue neutral initially, and then revenues would grow in line with the economy.

    But these policies must be coupled with sound money. A dollar must be worth the same tomorrow as it is today. Stabilizing the dollar's value starts with the federal government taking significant measures to rein in its spending and pay down the national debt. Americans must be assured that the federal government will live
    within its means and get serious about eliminating our crippling debt. Repealing ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank bank-regulation bill would be critical steps.

    Finally, my plan promotes enterprise zones, also known as "empowerment zones." Coupled with tax reform and monetary stabilization, empowerment zones would revitalize inner cities by providing tax credits to businesses that hire workers living and working in underprivileged areas.

    Some of the most tragic unemployment numbers can be found in minority communities and in urban centers around the country. Empowerment zones would create a whole new generation of wage-earners providing for their families. The late Jack Kemp, a secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development and a dear friend, was one of the first lawmakers to propose empowerment zones. He understood the tremendous economic benefits they would provide.

    Each job lost today is not merely a statistic. Americans are struggling to determine whether to pay their mortgages or buy groceries, whether to buy school uniforms or pay the electric bill.

    Such despair is unfitting for the greatest nation the world has ever known. After all, it is inherently American to work, to risk and to dream. Our government's policies should encourage that, not stifle it.

    Mr. Cain, a Republican, is running for president of the United States. He is a former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a former chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    Romney: My plan to turn around the U.S. economy

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011-09-05/Romney-My-10-point-plan-to-create-American-jobs/50265720/1


    Barack Obama has had his turn at fixing the American economy. Millions of unemployed Americans can judge by their own experiences what he has done and failed to do.

    For my part, I believe America can do better. I have spent most of my career in the private sector starting new businesses and turning around ailing ones. Unlike career politicians who've never met a payroll, I know why jobs come and go.

    Today, I'm introducing a plan consisting of 59 specific proposals — including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office — to turn around America's economy. Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur. All too often, however, government gets in the way. The past three years of unparalleled government expansion have retaught that lesson all too well.

    Only the individual initiative of entrepreneurs, workers, investors and inventors enables companies, and our economy as a whole, to flourish. We must once again unleash the tremendous economic potential of the American people. The contrast between what the Obama administration has done and what I would do as president could not be starker.

    First, President Obama has raised or threatened to raise taxes on both individuals and businesses. I would press hard in the opposite direction. Marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment must be kept low. Further, taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated. Our corporate tax rate is among the world's highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense. I will fix these problems with permanent solutions. Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation.

    With scant regard for the costs imposed on consumers and businesses, President Obama has vastly expanded the regulatory reach of government. The federal government has estimated the price tag for its regulations at $1.75 trillion. I will pare back regulation, including eliminating "ObamaCare." I will direct every government agency to limit annual increases in regulatory costs to zero. The impact of any proposed new regulation must be offset by removing another regulation of equivalent cost. Every one of President Obama's regulations must be scrutinized, and those that unduly burden job creation must be axed.

    Where President Obama left America's trade interests untended, I recognize the job-creating potential of international commerce. I will create the "Reagan Economic Zone," a partnership among countries committed to free enterprise and free trade. It will serve as a powerful engine for opening markets to our goods and services, and also a mechanism for confronting nations like China that violate trade rules while free-riding on the international system. I will not stand by while China pursues an economic development policy that relies on the unfair treatment of U.S. companies and the theft of their intellectual property. I have no interest in starting a trade war with China, but I cannot accept our current trade surrender.

    The Obama administration has severely restricted domestic energy production. I will ensure we utilize to the fullest extent our nation's nuclear know-how and immense reserves in oil, gas and coal. By rationalizing and streamlining regulation, we will harness these resources everywhere it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns. A huge number of jobs is at stake. So, too, is the price of energy, which strongly influences economic growth. We are an energy-rich country that, thanks to environmental extremism, has chosen to live like an energy-poor country. That has to end.

    Seeking to pay back political favors, President Obama has catered to the institutional interests of union bosses at the expense of both workers and businesses. I will fight against measures that deprive workers of basic rights, such as the secret ballot. And I will not tolerate federal intrusions of the kind that the National Labor Relations Board initiated when it filed suit against Boeing for opening a plant in a right-to-work state.

    We also need a rational system for worker retraining, instead of the existing 47 separate programs run by nine federal agencies. America can have the world's most competitive workforce, and under my leadership, we will.

    Finally, President Obama has engaged in a massive spending binge of choice. He threw dollars at every problem he encountered, running up the national debt and accomplishing worse than nothing in exchange. I will restore fiscal discipline by cutting the federal budget and placing an ironclad cap on spending. I will also press for a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget. Tellingly, while the private sector shed 1.8 million jobs since Barack Obama took office, the federal workforce grew by 142,500, or almost 7%. A rollback is urgently required.

    As this catalogue of differences makes clear, our country has arrived at a fork in the road. In one direction lies the heavy hand of the state, indebtedness and decline. In the other direction lies limited government, free enterprise and economic growth. I know which direction is the American way. And I know in which direction lie the millions of jobs we need.

    Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, was a Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division By Paul Ryan

    Source: http://paulryan.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=266160

    October 26, 2011

    The Heritage Foundation – Washington, D.C.

    Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

    Thank you so much, Ed, for that kind introduction.

    We’re here today to explore the American Idea, and I can’t think of a better venue for this topic. The mission of the Heritage Foundation is to promote the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

    These are the principles that define the American Idea. And this mission has never been timelier, because these principles are very much under threat from policies here in Washington.

    The American Idea belongs to all of us – inherited from our nation’s Founders, preserved by the countless sacrifices of our veterans, and advanced by visionary leaders, past and present.

    What makes America exceptional – what gives life to the American Idea – is our dedication to the self-evident truth that we are all created equal, giving us equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that means opportunity.

    The perfection of our union, especially our commitment to equality of opportunity, has been a story of constant striving to live up to our Founding principles. This is what Abraham Lincoln meant when he said, “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve.”

    This commitment to liberty and equality is something we take for granted during times of prosperity, when a growing economic pie gives all Americans the opportunity to pursue their dreams, to provide brighter futures for their kids, or maybe just to meet their families’ needs.

    These are tough times. We know all too well that too many Americans are hurting today. And these hardships have reopened our longstanding national debate over what it means to be an exceptional nation. Have those periods of unprecedented prosperity in America’s past been the product of our Founding principles?

    Or, as some would argue, have we made it this far only in spite of our outdated values? Are we still an exceptional nation? Should we even seek to be unique? Or should we become more like the rest of the world – more bureaucratic, less hopeful, and less free?

    The American Idea is not tried in times of prosperity. Instead, it is tested when times are tough: when the pie is shrinking, when businesses are closing, and when workers are losing their jobs.

    Those are the times when America’s commitment to equality of opportunity is called into question. That’s when the temptation to exploit fear and envy returns – when many in Washington use the politics of division to evade responsibility for their failures and to advance their own narrow political interests.

    To my great disappointment, it appears that the politics of division are making a big comeback. Many Americans share my disappointment – especially those who were filled with great hope a few years ago, when then-Senator Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois.

    Do you remember what he said? He said that what’s stopped us from meeting our nation’s greatest challenges is “the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics – the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    And yet, nearly three years into his presidency, look at where we are now:

    • Petty and trivial? Just last week, the President told a crowd in North Carolina that Republicans are in favor of “dirtier air, dirtier water, and less people with health insurance.” Can you think of a pettier way to describe sincere disagreements between the two parties on regulation and health care?

    • Chronic avoidance of tough decisions? The President still has not put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and it’s been over 900 days since his party passed a budget in the Senate.

    • A preference for scoring cheap political points instead of consensus-building? This is the same President who is currently campaigning against a do-nothing Congress, when in fact, the House of Representatives has passed over a dozen bills to help get the economy moving and deal with the debt, only to see the President’s party kill those bills in the do-nothing Senate.

    Look, we put our cards on the table. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives advanced a far-reaching plan filled with common-sense reforms aimed at putting the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

    But instead of working together where we agree, the President has opted for divisive rhetoric and the broken politics of the past. He is going from town to town, impugning the motives of Republicans, setting up straw men and scapegoats, and engaging in intellectually lazy arguments, as he tries to build support for punitive tax hikes on job creators.

    The tax increases proposed by Senate Democrats and endorsed by the President – when combined with the new taxes in the health-care law, and the President’s other tax preferences – would push the top federal tax rate to roughly 50 percent in just 14 months, while doing nothing to promote job creation.

    This tax increase on so-called “millionaires and billionaires” would actually constitute a huge tax hike on the nation’s most successful small businesses. According to the Tax Foundation, the surtax would hit roughly 35 percent of small-business income.

    As P.J. O’Rourke put it, “The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich.”

    Actually, the news is even worse. As a practical matter, when you try to chase ever-higher spending with ever-higher tax increases, you eventually run into a brick wall of math.

    The President has been talking a lot about math lately. He’s been saying that “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit… the math says… we’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor.”

    This is really a stunning assertion from the President. When you look at the actual math, you quickly realize that the way out of this mess is to combine economic growth with reasonable, responsible spending restraint. Yet neither of these things factors into the President’s zero-sum logic.

    According to the President’s logic, we should give up on trying to reform our tax code to grow the economy and get more revenue that way. Instead, these goals are taking a backseat to the President’s misguided understanding of fairness.

    Remember that 2008 debate, when ABC’s Charlie Gibson pointed out that raising the capital gains tax rate actually tends to drive revenues down?

    Obama replied: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” That’s the kind of logic we are unfortunately seeing today. 

    Also according to the President’s logic, spending restraint is incompatible with a strong, well-functioning safety net. The belief that recipients of government aid are better off the more we spend on them is remarkably persistent. No matter how many times this central tenet of liberalism gets debunked, like Brett Favre, it just keeps coming back.

    The President has wrongly framed Republican efforts to get government spending under control as hard-hearted attacks on the poor. In reality, spending on programs for seniors and for lower-income families continues to grow every year under the House-passed budget – it just grows at a sustainable rate. We direct tax dollars where they’re needed most, and stop spending money we don’t have on boondoggles we don’t need.

    The President’s political math is a muddled mix of false accusations and false choices. The actual math is apolitical, and it’s clear: By the time my kids are my age, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the size of government will be double what it is today.

    Government health care programs alone will have grown to consume 45 percent of federal spending. The primary driver of this increase is runaway inflation in health care costs, which are rising at 2 to 3 times the rate of GDP.

    It’s impossible to keep funding health care expenditures at this rate. Even President Obama has said, “If you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up.”

    So the real debate is about how best to control these unsustainable costs. And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to empower patients. Their plan is to empower bureaucrats.

    The Republican plan gives individuals the power to put market pressure on providers and make them compete.

    The President’s plan is to give 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to cut Medicare in ways that, according to Medicare’s own chief actuary, would simply drive providers out of business. This would result in harsh disruptions and denied care for seniors.

    Pain like this simply can’t be sustained. So when it comes to out-of-control spending on entitlements, the President’s math simply doesn’t add up.

    And his math is no better on the tax side. Let’s say we took all the income from those the President calls “rich” – those making $250,000 or more. A 100 percent tax rate on their total annual income would only fund the government for six months. Just six months!

    What about some of the other tax hikes the President likes to talk about? Under the President’s policies, deficits are set to rise by a whopping $9.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

    • Letting the top two tax rates expire would equal roughly 8 percent of that planned deficit increase.

    • Eliminating tax subsidies for oil and gas companies would only equal 0.5 percent of the President’s planned deficits.

    • And what about corporate jet owners? That provision would reduce those deficits by just 0.03 percent.

    Look, I’m all for closing tax loopholes – but you can’t close our nation’s deficits by chasing ever-higher spending with politically motivated tax hikes here and there. Instead, tax reform must broaden the base and lower rates.

    This policy approach, which has attracted strong bipartisan support, would bolster our fiscal health by increasing competitiveness and encouraging more investment and job creation.

    Lately, the President has been fond of taking Ronald Reagan quotes out of context, in an effort to persuade Republicans that Reagan would have agreed with the idea of using fear and envy to push a partisan agenda of permanently higher taxes.

    Every time he does this, I can picture Reagan shaking his head: “There you go again.”

    Obama quotes Reagan as saying that bus drivers shouldn’t pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Nobody disagrees with that.

    But it is simply disingenuous to use this quote as evidence that Reagan would have supported the tax increases that Obama wants Congress to pass.

    Reagan was attempting to build support for the landmark 1986 tax reform, a revenue-neutral law that reformed the tax code by lowering tax rates while broadening the tax base.

    Reagan’s point – which President Obama clearly missed – was not that we should raise tax rates to chase out-of-control spending in Washington.

    His point was that we should get rid of loopholes that are exploited by the few, so that we could lower everyone’s tax rates and help the economy grow.

    The House-passed budget includes this kind of tax reform, which many agree would provide an immediate boost to the economy. Our budget proposed getting rid of scores of loopholes, lowering the hurdles for job creation and economic growth, and making our tax code fair, simple, and competitive.

    In his address to Congress last month, the President said he agrees in principle with this kind of reform, especially when it comes to the uncompetitive way we tax our businesses.

    This made Republicans think, well, we might have an opportunity here for the kind of genuine consensus-building that the President talked about as a candidate.

    Yet he chose not to pursue this kind of tax reform. Instead, he sent us a partisan bill filled with the same stimulus proposals that failed two years ago, only this time he also asked for permanent tax hikes to go with them.

    He’s also failed to work with us on another area where one would think we could find common ground: ending the lavish subsidies and government benefits that go to those who are already successful.

    The House-passed budget was full of proposals to get rid of corporate welfare and crony capitalism.

    • Why are tax dollars being wasted on bankrupt, politically-connected solar energy firms?

    • Why is Washington wasting your money on entrenched agribusiness?

    • Why have we extended an endless supply of taxpayer credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, instead of demanding that their government guarantee be wound down and their taxpayer subsidies ended?

    Rather than raising taxes and making it more difficult for Americans to become wealthy, let’s lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive.

    The President likes to use Warren Buffett and his secretary as an example of why we should raise taxes on the rich.

    Well, Warren Buffett gets the same health and retirement benefits from the government as his secretary.

    But our proposals to modestly income-adjust Social Security and Medicare benefits have been met with sheer demagoguery by leading members of the President’s party.

    The politics of division have always struck me as odd: the eagerness to take more, combined with the refusal to subsidize less.

    Instead of working with us on these common-sense reforms, the President is barnstorming swing states, pushing a divisive message that pits one group of Americans against another on the basis of class.

    This just won’t work in America. Class is not a fixed designation in this country. We are an upwardly mobile society with a lot of movement between income groups.

    The Treasury Department’s latest study on income mobility in America found that during the ten-year period starting in 1996, roughly half of the taxpayers who started in the bottom 20 percent had moved up to a higher income group by 2005.

    Meanwhile, half of all taxpayers ended up in a different income group at the end of ten years. Many moved up, and some moved down, but economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most people over this period.

    Another recent survey of over 500 successful entrepreneurs found that 93 percent came from middle-class or lower-class backgrounds. The majority were the first in their families to launch a business.

    Their stories are the American story: Millions of immigrants fled from the closed societies of the Old World to the security of equal rights in this land of upward mobility.

    Telling Americans they are stuck in their current station in life, that they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and that government’s role is to help them cope with it – well, that’s not who we are. That’s not what we do.

    Our Founding Fathers rejected this mentality. In societies marked by class structure, an elite class made up of rich and powerful patrons supplies the needs of a large client underclass that toils, but cannot own. The unfairness of closed societies is the kindling for class warfare, where the interests of “capital” and “labor” are perpetually in conflict. What one class wins, the other loses.

    The legacy of this tradition can still be seen in Europe today: Top-heavy welfare states have replaced the traditional aristocracies, and masses of the long-term unemployed are locked into the new lower class.

    The United States was destined to break out of this bleak history. Our future would not be staked on traditional class structures, but on civic solidarity. Gone would be the struggle of class against class.

    Instead, Americans would work, compete, and co-operate in an open market, climb the ladder of opportunity, and keep the fruits of their efforts.

    Self-government and the rule of law would secure our equal, God-given rights. Our political and economic systems – rooted in freedom and responsibility – would reward, and thus cultivate, traditional virtues.

    Given that the President’s policies have moved us closer to the European model, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that his class-based rhetoric has followed suit.

    We shouldn’t be surprised... but we have every right to be disappointed. Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were hallmarks of his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment.

    This has the potential to be just as damaging as his misguided policies. Sowing social unrest and class resentment makes America weaker, not stronger. Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country – corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.

    Ironically, equality of outcome is a form of inequality – one that is based on political influence and bureaucratic favoritism.

    That’s the real class warfare that threatens us: A class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society. And their gains will come at the expense of working Americans, entrepreneurs, and that small businesswoman who has the gall to take on the corporate chieftain.

    It’s disappointing that this President’s actions have exacerbated this form of class warfare in so many ways:

    • While the EPA is busy punishing commercially competitive sources of energy, a class of bureaucrats at the Department of Energy has been acting like the world’s worst venture capital fund, spending recklessly on politically favored alternatives.

    • While the unemployment rate remains stuck above 9 percent, a class of bureaucrats at the National Labor Relations Board is threatening hundreds of jobs by suing an American employer for politically motivated reasons.

    • And while millions of Americans are left wondering whether their employers will drop their health insurance because of the new health care law, a class of bureaucrats at HHS has handed out over 1,400 waivers to those firms and unions with the political connections to lobby for them.

    These actions starkly highlight the difference between the two parties that lies at the heart of the matter: Whether we are a nation that still believes in equality of opportunity, or whether we are moving away from that, and towards an insistence on equality of outcome.

    If you believe in the former, you follow the American Idea that justice is done when we level the playing field at the starting line, and rewards are proportionate to merit and effort.

    If you believe in the latter kind of equality, you think most differences in wealth and rewards are matters of luck or exploitation, and that few really deserve what they have.

    That’s the moral basis of class warfare – a false morality that confuses fairness with redistribution, and promotes class envy instead of social mobility.

    I’d like to introduce President Obama to the Ronald Reagan he isn’t so eager to quote – the man who said, “Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes – one rich, one poor – both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?”

    President Reagan was absolutely right. Instead of policies that make it harder for Americans to rise, let’s lower the hurdles to upward mobility.

    That’s what the American Idea is all about. You know, in the midst of all the joys and sorrows of our everyday lives, I think we sometimes forget why America was considered such an exceptional nation at its Founding, and why it remains so.

    To me, the results of the Founders’ exceptional vision can be summed up in a single sentence: Throughout human history, the American Idea has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed.

    Americans, guided by our ideals, have sacrificed everything to combat tyranny and brutal dictators; we’ve expanded opportunity, opened markets, and inspired others to resist oppression; we’ve exported innovation and imagination; and we’ve welcomed immigrants seeking a fresh start.

    Here in America – unlike most places on earth – all citizens have the right to rise.

    Thank you.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    My Tax and Spending Reform Plan:Individuals will have the option of paying a20% flat-rate income tax and I'll cap spending at 18% of GDP By Rick Perry

    Source: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204777904576651330270547222-lMyQjAxMTAxMDIwNTEyNDUyWj.html

    The folks in Washington might not like to hear it, but the plain truth is the U.S. government spends too much. Taxes are too high, too complex, and too riddled with special interest loopholes. And our expensive entitlement system is unsustainable in the long run.

    Without significant change quickly, our nation will go the way of some in Europe: mired in debt and unable to pay our bills. President Obama and many in Washington seem unable or unwilling to tackle these issues, either out of fear of alienating the left or because they want Americans to be dependent on big government.

    On Tuesday I will announce my "Cut, Balance and Grow" plan to scrap the current tax code, lower and simplify tax rates, cut spending and balance the federal budget, reform entitlements, and grow jobs and economic opportunity.

    The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

    This simple 20% flat tax will allow Americans to file their taxes on a postcard, saving up to $483 billion in compliance costs. By eliminating the dozens of carve-outs that make the current code so incomprehensible, we will renew incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking and investment that creates jobs, inspires Americans to work hard and forms the foundation of a strong economy. My plan also abolishes the death tax once and for all, providing needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.

    My plan restores American competitiveness in the global marketplace and provides strong incentives for U.S.-based employers to build new factories and create thousands of jobs here at home.

    First, we will lower the corporate tax rate to 20%—dropping it from the second highest in the developed world to a rate on par with our global competitors. Second, we will encourage the swift repatriation of some of the $1.4 trillion estimated to be parked overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%. And third, we will transition to a "territorial tax system"—as seen in Hong Kong and France, for example—that only taxes in-country income.

    The mind-boggling complexity of the current tax code helps large corporations with lawyers and accountants devise the best tax-avoidance strategies money can buy. That is why Cut, Balance and Grow also phases out corporate loopholes and special-interest tax breaks to provide a level playing field for employers of all sizes.

    To help older Americans, we will eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits, boosting the incomes of 17 million current beneficiaries who see their benefits taxed if they continue to work and earn income in addition to Social Security earnings.

    We will eliminate the tax on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains to free up the billions of dollars Americans are sitting on to avoid taxes on the gain.

    All of these tax cuts will be meaningless if we do not control federal spending. Last year the government spent $1.3 trillion more than it collected, and total federal debt now approaches $15 trillion. By the end of 2011, the Office of Management and Budget expects the gross amount of federal debt to exceed the size of America's entire economy for the first time in over 65 years.

    Under my plan, we will establish a clear goal of balancing the budget by 2020. It will be an extremely difficult task exacerbated by the current economic crisis and our need for significant tax cuts to spur growth. But that growth is what will get us to balance, if we are willing to make the hard decisions of cutting.

    We should start moving toward fiscal responsibility by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. My plan freezes federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced. And to fix the regulatory excess of the Obama administration and its predecessors, my plan puts an immediate moratorium on pending federal regulations and provides a full audit of all regulations passed since 2008 to determine their need, impact and effect on job creation.

    ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley must be quickly repealed and, if necessary, replaced by market-oriented, common-sense measures.

    America must also once and for all face up to entitlement reform. To preserve benefits for current and near-term Social Security beneficiaries, my plan permanently stops politicians from raiding the program's trust fund. Congressional IOUs are no substitute for workers' Social Security payments. We should use the federal Highway Trust Fund as a model for protecting the integrity of a pay-as-you-go system.

    Cut, Balance and Grow also gives younger workers the option to own their Social Security contributions through personal retirement accounts that Washington politicians can never raid. Because young workers will own their contributions, they will be free to seek a market rate of return if they choose, and to leave their retirement savings to their dependents when they die.

    Fixing America's tax, spending and entitlement cultures will not be easy. But the status quo of byzantine taxes, loose spending and the perpetual delay of entitlement reform is a recipe for disaster.

    Cut, Balance and Grow strikes a major blow against the Washington-knows-best mindset. It takes money from spendthrift bureaucrats and returns it to families. It puts fewer job-killing regulations on employers and more restrictions on politicians. It gives more freedom to Americans to control their own destiny. And just as importantly, the Cut, Balance and Grow plan paves the way for the job creation, balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility we need to get America working again.

    Mr. Perry, a Republican, is the governor of Texas and a candidate for president.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Columns By Herman Cain

    Universal Choice Can Fix the Health Care Roof

    Mar 26, 2007

    Source: http://townhall.com/columnists/hermancain/2007/03/26/universal_choice_can_fix_the_health_care_roof/page/full/

    A simple change in the antiquated tax code would create an avalanche of universal choice in health care, instead of current proposals that produce universal dependence on government. Namely, the U.S. should eliminate the deductibility discrimination between employers and employees for health insurance premiums.

    The ideal solution would be to replace the tax code with the Fair Tax, which essentially replaces the income tax with a consumption tax. But since few politicians with a bully pulpit have shown the moral or political courage to lead the sizeable Fair Tax movement, let's start with the second best approach, universal deductibility.

    Universal deductibility of health insurance premiums by employers, employees, the unemployed, individuals and business owners would connect the consumer to health care costs. When people spend their own money, they spend it more wisely. Most people will purchase health plans they can afford, instead of expecting more benefits from their employer or the government.

    The flagrant flaw in most of the ideas proposed by the presidential candidates is that they are variations of socialized health care.

    Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have all offered health care plans that eliminate individual choice and increase government mandates on employers, individuals and health care providers.

    RomneyCare in Massachusetts is already experiencing a cost explosion. The only Republican to propose a market-based solution is Newt Gingrich, who has not yet declared his candidacy.

    The proponents of socialized health care do not believe individuals and doctors possess the ability to make their own health care decisions. They would rather take advantage of what Steve Forbes recently described as "the abysmal ignorance of so many – including boatloads of business executives and entrepreneurs – about what it takes to bring rationality, productivity and lower prices to the U.S. health care market."

    The greatest flaw of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and President's Bush's new proposal is that they are tied to the disastrously flawed tax code in the form of yet another tax deduction. These plans are improvements on the current discriminatory system, but they further complicate an already incomprehensible tax code.

    The president's proposal, which allows deductibility of health insurance premiums, has a hidden "sneak-a-tax." Under the Bush plan, if your employer pays more than $15,000 for your annual health insurance premium, you pay tax on the excess coverage. Below that amount for a typical family, the plan provides only small, non-game-changing savings. Worse, the plan is not indexed to inflation. When inflation eventually catches up to the $15,000 deduction, families will suffer the same tax penalties posed by the Alternative Minimum Tax.

    HSAs are another concept that was supposed to "move us in the right direction" of more affordability and accessibility of health insurance. HSAs have worked for many, but way too slowly as health care costs and insurance premiums have increased at annual double digit percentages.

    The socialists among us object to universal choice because they fundamentally believe that government can spend people's hard-earned money better than the person who earned it. The bureaucrats object to universal choice because it would force them to cut wasteful spending to "offset" the "lost" revenue from allowing the deduction. That's political speak for "our job is to continue to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic."

    Even with universal choice, the liberals will still scream about the 47 million people who do not have health care. They will ignore the 63 percent of the uninsured who work for small businesses that cannot afford health insurance coverage because the costs keep rising faster than their profits. Conservatives ought to counter with the 253 million people who have private health insurance that four of the presidential front runners want to take away.

    As I stated on an NBC health care special in 1994, if you have a leak in the roof of a building and you know that the roof is leaking, you don’t blow up the building to fix the leak in the roof. That's what total government control would do to our health care system. The system will work if government would get out of the way. We don't have to blow up the system to fix a few leaks.

    Universal deductibility would stimulate universal choice, which would fix the leak in our health care system's roof while making the building stronger.

    The free market system, in which the consumer has access to information, choices and his own money, has driven down the prices of all goods and services that government has not overregulated or over-controlled. With a simple change in the current tax code to eliminate discriminatory deductibility for health insurance and eventually health care costs, free market dynamics can solve another problem that Clinton, Obama, Edwards and Romney want to make worse.

    Universal choice in health care is a choice the public must demand. Otherwise, they will have to live with the disease of socialized health care.

    Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.

    To fix America, start by solving the right problem

    September 18th, 2011

    The first step in solving a problem is to make sure you are working on the right problem. I know this observation sounds like common sense but it is void in the White House and Washington, D.C. We have become a nation of crises, and this administration continues to miss the target as to what the problems are, and therefore the crises get worse.

    We have an economic crisis followed closely by crises in energy, immigration, foreign policy, national security and the most severe crisis – a deficiency of leadership.

    The president’s recent jobs speech was just that, a speech. It was not a plan to stimulate jobs and economic growth, because it did not contain meaningful fuel for the economic engine of our economy, which is the business sector. His speech contained a lot more government spending and a few tax trinkets to businesses.

    Stimulus I of nearly $1 trillion did not work. It is totally illogical to expect another package of nearly $450 billion to work. More spending is not the problem. Lack of economic growth is the problem. The economic outlook is dim.

    This is why I have proposed my bold 9-9-9 economic growth and jobs plan discussed in previous commentaries, and on my website www.hermancain.com. It significantly reduces taxes on businesses and workers because of an expanded revenue base of corporate, individual and retail sales. It also eliminates the payroll, capital gains and death taxes, and reduces the tax on repatriated profits from a top rate of 35 percent to 9 percent.

    The companion problem that’s holding economic growth back is uncertainty. Since the Congress and the president were only able to extend the 2009 tax rates for two years, it left businesses asking, “Then what?” They did not get an answer out of Washington, and now the president is hinting at substantial tax increases to pay for his nearly $450 billion spending speech.

    We are nearly 70 percent dependent on foreign oil. Since the Congressional Research Service has documented repeatedly that we have enough natural resources in oil, coal, natural gas and shale oil to become energy independent, it would seem logical to remove barriers that are in the way. In this case, it’s government regulatory agencies such as the EPA, which has gone wild. Just ask any oil and gas businessman or farmer and they will give you an earful.

    Illegal immigration is a four-part problem. We must secure the borders for real and stop claiming that the southern border is safe as the administration has said. Ask any of the sheriffs that work along the border, and again they will give you an accurate assessment. Secondly, we must promote the current path to citizenship and clean up the bureaucracy that discourages immigrants from coming through the front door. Thirdly, enforce the immigration laws but make it easier for businesses to obey the law with e-verify and other technologies. Fourthly, empower the states to enforce the federal immigration laws. The federal government has failed repeatedly at enforcing our immigration laws.

    My approach to foreign policy is an extension of the Reagan philosophy, “Peace through strength.” In a world that is not safer by any measure, my philosophy is “peace through strength and clarity”. We must clearly identify our friends in the world, and clearly identify our enemies, and stop giving money to our enemies. Our enemies must clearly understand that we will stand with our friends, such as Israel.

    This administration has weakened our national security by placing a priority on Defense cuts instead of a priority on enhancing our defense capabilities with advances in technology. The most memorable example was cancellation of the Ballistic Missile Defense system being built in Turkey. That decision made us and our friends more vulnerable in that part of the world.

    Where there is no vision, there is no leadership and problems don’t get solved.

    And the nation suffers.

    Replacing President Obama in 2012 is definitely the right problem to work on.

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan

    Source: http://www.hermancain.com/999plan

    Vision for Economic Renewal

    • The natural state of our economy is prosperity. Freedom ensures that.

    • In order to return to prosperity, Government must get off our backs, out of our pockets and out of our way

    Economic Guiding Principles

    1. Production drives the economy, not spending. Production is the engine, consumption is the caboose.

      • We can not spend our way to prosperity.

      • Government spending is like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of the pool, pouring it in the shallow end.
        Then they HOPE that the water level will CHANGE.

    2. Risk taking drives growth.

      • Business formation and job creation are dependent on entrepreneurs taking risks.

      • Investors who fund those entrepreneurs likewise take risks.

    3. Measurements must be dependable.

      • A dollar must always be a dollar just as an hour is always 60 minutes.

      • Sound money is crucial for prosperity.


    • When one party is so focused on spending so that the other must focus on cutting, we must unite around economic growth

    • Unite income tax payers with payroll taxpayers so we all pull for low rates

    • Unite those wanting to eliminate deductions with those seeking lower rates.

    • Unite the Flat-Taxers with the Fair-Taxers

    Phase One

    Our current economic crisis calls for bold action to truly stimulate the economy and Renew America back to its greatness. The
    9-9-9 Plan gets Washington D.C. out of the business of picking winners and losers, using the tax code to dole out favors, and
    dividing the country with class warfare. It is fair, simple, transparent and efficient. It taxes everything once and nothing twice.
    It taxes the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rates. It is neutral with respect to savings and consumption,capital and
    labor, imports and exports and whether companies pay dividends or retain earnings.

      9% Business Flat Tax

      • Gross income less all purchases from other U.S. located businesses, all capital investment, and net exports.

      • Empowerment Zones will offer deductions for the payroll of those employed in the zone

      9% Individual Flat Tax.

      • Gross income less charitable deductions.

      • Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for those living and/or working in the zone.

      9% National Sales Tax.

      • Unlike a state sales tax, which is an add-on tax that increases the price of goods and services, this is a
        replacement tax. It replaces taxes that are already embedded in selling prices. By replacing higher marginal rates
        in the production process with lower marginal rates, marginal production costs actually decline, which will lead to
        prices being the same or lower, not higher.

      Economic Impact

      • According to former Reagan Treasury official Gary Robbins, of Fiscal Associates, the 9-9-9 Plan will expand GDP
        by $2 trillion, create 6 million new jobs, increase business investment by one third, and increase wages by 10%.

    9-9-9 Plan: Summary

    • Removes all payroll taxes and unites all tax payers

    • Provides the least incentive to evade taxes and the fewest opportunities to do so

    • Lifts a $430 billion dead-weight burden on the economy due to compliance, enforcement, collection, etc…

    • Is fair, simple, efficient, neutral, and transparent

    • Ends nearly all deductions and special interest favors

    • Features zero tax on capital gains and repatriated profits

    • Exports leave our shores without the Business Tax or the Sales Tax embedded in their cost, making them world class
      competitive. Imports are subject to the same taxation as domestically produced goods, leveling the playing field.

    • Lowest marginal rates on production

    • Kills the Death Tax

    • Allows immediate expensing of business investments

    • Eliminates double taxation of dividends

    • Increases capital formation which aids capital availability for small businesses

    • Increased capital per worker drives productivity and wage growth

    • Features a platform to launch properly structured Empowerment Zones to renew our inner cities

    • The pro-growth, pro-job, pro-export economic policies of the 9-9-9 PLAN equals a strong dollar policy

    Phase 2 – The Fair Tax

    Amidst a backdrop of the economic renewal created by the 9-9-9 Plan, I will begin the process of educating the American people on the
    benefits of continuing the next step to the Fair Tax.

    • Ultimately replaces individual and corporate income taxes

    • Ends the IRS as we know it and repeals the 16th Amendment

    Meet Herman Cain

    Mr. Cain has more than 40 years experience in the the private sector where he balanced budgets, created jobs and rescued failing companies. A no-nonsense business leader who has turned struggling companies around to renewed success, Mr. Cain’s policies will do the same for the United States of America.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    How Obama Spent His Summer Vacation: The strangest PR debacle of a weird presidency.By John Hayward

    Source: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45757

    Barack Obama’s misadventures in Martha’s Vineyard are some of the stranger unforced public-relations errors in recent memory.  Spending a fortune to jet off to a fabled playground of the rich, while the country suffers from his recessionary economic policies, was a bizarre slap in the face to an electorate that has already come to view this President as arrogant and out-of-touch.  “Optics” matter.  Camp David is a nice vacation spot, too.

    Naturally, Obama played a lot of golf on vacation.  Part of the problem with skipping off to the golf course so frequently is that when he plays a lot of golf on vacation, he gets heat for it.  Upon learning that Obama “played the trifecta” by hitting all three of the big golf courses in Martha’s Vineyard, Downgrade America finds itself wondering how much that costs.  

    The snarky White House response of asking about Speaker John Boehner’s handicap was a disaster.  It’s childish, it keeps people talking about the President’s incessant putting, it diminishes the stature of an office we like to think of as uniquely important, and it puts Obama in the middle of a very large glass house with stones in his hands.

    Developments in Obama's Libyan war didn’t cut his vacation short, and the Great D.C. Quake didn’t even pull him off the links.  The latter incident is a relatively minor criticism – nothing happening in post-apocalypse D.C. required him to scoot off to a command post – but it looks really bad in context.  Repeated images of Obama’s disengagement produce the kind of “optics” that play on an IMAX screen.

    The media launched a desperate effort to describe the Martha’s Vineyard misadventure as a “working vacation.”  They’ve even tried congratulating him for “working in golf during his working vacation.”  Photos of him looking serious while meeting with aides and taking phone calls proliferated.  Try Googling the phrase “Obama working vacation” to get an idea of how earnest this effort at image control has been.

    Speaking of earnest, White House spokesman John Earnest tried to wave off criticism of the Obama vacation as “cable chatter,” saying the President knows “this is a job that he’s responsible for doing wherever he is, whether he’s sitting in the Oval office, or whether he’s caught on the golf course when an emerging action takes place.”

    One of the problems with this defense is that Americans see the current economic crisis as unique, a view the Obama Administration has strongly encouraged.  I would imagine the increasingly disenchanted public remembers all those loud promises that the President “will not rest” until “everyone looking for a job can find one,” especially since they were made as recently as two weeks ago.

    Unique challenges call for remarkable leadership and sacrifice, not scheduled vacation romps… much less a President who never seems to do anything except show himself a good time, and raise funds for his re-election campaign.  He’s spent plenty of time hanging around with deep-pockets supporters during this “working vacation.”

    Now the President is getting some flack for the possibility that he’ll go home early to avoid Hurricane Irene.  It would be damned silly for the POTUS to sit there and get pummeled.  A massive hurricane is a perfectly good reason to end the vacation early.  The problem is that people keep thinking about all the perfectly good reasons he shouldn’t have gone in the first place.

    As the vacation wraps up with tales of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “disgusting” spending sprees - said total over $10 million of taxpayer money over the past year - and reports that some residents of Martha’s Vineyard will be glad to see the Obamas go, you have to wonder how the White House political team failed to realize how awful all of this would look.  Who thought it would be a good idea to cram the huge presidential entourage onto a small island, at massive taxpayer expense, in the middle of a seemingly endless recession?  Is Obama basically daring his last few dead-end supporters to abandon him? 

    Someone at Martha’s Vineyard took that dare, and put up a sign on the route most often traveled by the presidential motorcade: 


    John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at jhayward@eaglepub.com.

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Pledging To Work Toward A Stronger Future By Rick Perry and Nikki Haley

    Source: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/editorial/16403/

    July 19, 2011

    As governors of states whose citizens, like all Americans, are desperate for the restoration of fiscal responsibility in Washington, D.C., we are proud to have signed the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge in the midst of the ongoing debate over once again raising the federal debt ceiling.

    Put simply, we oppose a federal debt limit increase unless all three of the following, common-sense conditions have been met: substantial cuts in spending; enforceable spending caps to put the country on the path to a balanced budget; and Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment should also include a requirement for a super-majority vote of Congressional approval before taxes are ever raised.

    At heart, the pledge represents the reality that yet another temporary, band-aid fix to our nation's budgetary woes is no fix at all. The time has come for all of us to begin holding the federal government to the same common-sense standards currently in place in most states, including South Carolina and Texas.

    Just like most businesses and families, states like ours have a limited amount of money on hand with which to build their balanced budgets, and when times are hard - just like with businesses and families across the country - states have to prioritize, make sacrifices and figure out how to best provide essential services to their citizens.

    In Texas, state leaders managed to balance our budget, hold the line on raising taxes, preserve billions in a rainy day fund and prioritize funding for public schools. That sort of philosophy is a big reason Texas accounts for 45 percent of net U.S. job creation since June 2009, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    In South Carolina, for the first time in history, legislators have to record their votes on every section of the budget, so that citizens can see their spending habits. And a new marker has been laid down - every dollar that falls after the budget is initially balanced should go to one of three things: tax relief, debt relief, or rebates directly to the taxpayer. No longer will South Carolina spend every single dollar every single year.

    Washington's ability to continuously vote itself more fiscal breathing room may help Congress - at least in the short term - avoid making the kinds of tough decisions made by states, businesses and families. But ignoring economic realities will only lead to even more painful choices down the road and increases the potential for a financial collapse that could permanently cost America its role as the world's economic power.

    Unfortunately for those of us hoping for real solutions, the system in Washington makes it easier for elected officials to bury their heads in the sand, avoid responsibility and make the easiest choice of all: borrow more, plunge our nation deeper into debt, and make this the first generation in America's history to punt the tough decisions to our children and grandchildren.

    Such moves may be good politics, since they mean officials don't have to say "no" to anyone, but as a matter of policy they are indefensible.

    The more money Washington prints and borrows to pay for pet projects and wasteful programs, the further our federal government gets from fulfilling its core missions: the missions that keep Americans safe, productive and employed.

    Meanwhile, the more Washington spends money it doesn't have, the more it attaches strings to that money, dictating to states and communities exactly how they should run. It's an endless cycle: Washington borrows money on the good name of the taxpayer, then "gives" some of it back with mandates on how it is spent.

    It is worth remembering that all government money, borrowed or not, comes from the taxpayers, and it's those taxpayers who will be left at the table when the check comes due.

    Again, this approach is indefensible, and the only way to get the federal government to put an end to it is to draw a line and finally hold Washington accountable. The pledge we've signed represents an important step in this process.

    It calls for the kinds of budget cuts Washington needs now, and for a hard cap on all future spending. And it finally moves us to a mandatory balanced budget that will end the era of national debt, raging deficits and failed "stimulus" programs that have negatively impacted nearly every aspect of American life.

    As Americans, we need to continue to stand up for the principles we believe in and those that served as the foundation for our nation's unparalleled successes. The principles of a limited federal government and responsible fiscal leadership have sustained us during tough times before, and we have every confidence they can lead us out of this period of sluggish economic growth.

    As governors, we have to ensure the voices of all Americans - not just of those in Washington who largely got us into this mess - are heard in this debate, and that we don't miss the opportunity to repair a part of our economy, and our political culture, that's been broken for far too long.

    Written by Texas Governor Rick Perry and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Take America Back From Obama And His Cronies - 2012 Solutions

    Source: http://michelebachmann.townhall.com/blog/g/80f86cd0-b1d7-494e-9024-294ad5c39b0e

    Certainty through Tax Code Reform By Michele Bachmann
    December 14, 2010

    Uncertainty is in the air this holiday season, as lawmakers are yet to pass legislation preventing Obama’s tax hikes from affecting all taxpayers on January 1, 2011. Even though Congress likely will vote on a tax bill in the next 16 days, more uncertainty is just around the corner.
    As a former federal tax attorney, I know our nation’s current tax system is onerous and confusing. The new majority must take a cold hard look at our way of doing business. According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, we find ourselves in a perpetual state of temporary tax codes:

    “In the late 1990s, there were typically fewer than a dozen tax provisions that had just a limited lease on life and needed to be renewed every year or so.

    “Today there are 141.

    “Now Congress, taking up a deal worked out between the Obama administration and Republican leaders, is poised to turn the whole personal income-tax system into something of a temporary structure. The plan embraces a broad range of provisions—an extension of Bush-era rates, a new estate-tax formula—but for only two years. A payroll-tax cut in the bill is for a single year.

    “This means that if the compromise passes largely intact, the U.S. will have no permanent regime governing levies on salaries, capital gains and dividends, the Social Security tax, as well as a slew of targeted breaks for families, students and other groups. This on top of dozens of corporate-tax provisions that already were subject to annual renewal.

    “The level of uncertainty, unusual for developed nations, complicates planning and discourages hiring and investment, many economists and corporate executives say.”
    Our founding fathers never intended a larger-than-life government manipulating our very economy via the tax code. We can start to reverse this course by focusing on pro-growth measures that will provide needed certainty to businesses and families. The 112thCongress should consider cutting the corporate tax rate to make it more attractive for businesses seeking to operate in the industrialized world. I would also like to see the zeroing out of capital gains taxes. Then, let’s reduce all marginal personal income tax rates for individuals and start debate on ending the death tax. Better yet, given our nation’s dire economic situation, let’s begin a serious discussion about whether or not to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a fairer, flatter tax code. I think Americans would appreciate slashing the tax code to a fraction of its current length of more than 50,000 pages.
    The American people have given Republicans a second chance. In the 112th Congress, it is my desire to see Congress bring greater simplicity to our tax policy. As a small business owner myself I know a  pro-growth economy is possible and one place to start is through tax code certainty for small businesses, corporations and families.

    Source: http://www.hermancain.com/the-issues#tab-2

    Reduce Government Spending By Herman Cain

    It is no secret that federal government spending is out of control. They view the American taxpayers as a bottomless piggybank for their wasteful programs and expansion of power. And we the people will not tolerate it any longer.

    The massive debt caused by liberal policies will be passed onto our children and grandchildren if we do not stop it. They will be stuck with the tab for the government takeover of health care, industry bailouts and failed stimulus packages. They will be the ones approached with outstretched palms by the Chinese to pay back the billions upon billions we owe them. Each generation of Americans should seek to leave behind a better and more prosperous nation for the next, not saddle them with debt from reckless spending.

    Though it might not be politically popular to modernize and eliminate some of our entitlement programs, responsible leaders should be willing to do it all the same. They must be prepared to make tough choices and learn to simply say “no.” This can only happen when our elected officials stop being politicians and start being leaders. Simply put: there is no “Department of Happy” in Washington, D.C.

    Nothing should be off the table. Every federal agency, every government program and expenditure must be reviewed and revised with a keen eye and a red pen. Leaders should be willing to shrink budgets by target percentages, and those charged with implementing those changes must be held accountable.

    And it works! I have served as an executive of several major corporations. When times were tough and money was tight, I asked our employees to cut back drastically, and explained why it was necessary, and they did. We have all had to make difficult decisions in our own household or at our work place. Serious but responsible belt tightening can save businesses, and it can also save our country with the right leadership.

    Source: http://www.newt.org/solutions/jobs-economy

    The Gingrich Jobs and Prosperity Plan


    America only works when Americans are working. Newt has a pro-growth strategy similar to the proven policies used when he was Speaker to balance the budget, pay down the debt, and create jobs. The plan includes:

    1. Stop the 2013 tax increases to promote stability in the economy. Job creation improved after Congress extended tax relief for two years in December. We should make the rates permanent.

    2. Make the United States the most desirable location for new business investment through a bold series of tax cuts, including: Eliminating the capital gains tax to make American entrepreneurs more competitive against those in other countries; Dramatically reducing the corporate income tax (among highest in the world) to 12.5%; Allowing for 100% expensing of new equipment to spur innovation and American manufacturing; Ending the death tax permanently.

    3. Move toward an optional flat tax of 15% that would allow Americans the freedom to choose to file their taxes on a postcard, saving hundreds of billions in unnecessary costs each year.

    4. Strengthen the dollar by returning to the Reagan-era monetary policies that stopped runaway inflation and reforming the Federal Reserve to promote transparency.

    5. Remove obstacles to job creation imposed by destructive and ineffective regulations, programs and bureaucracies. Steps include: Repealing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which did nothing to prevent the financial crisis and is holding companies back from making new investments in the U.S; Repealing the Community Reinvestment Act, the abuse of which helped cause the financial crisis; Repealing the Dodd-Frank Law which is killing small independent banks, crippling loans to small businesses and crippling home sales; Breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, moving their smaller successors off government guarantees and into the free market; Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency that works collaboratively with local government and industry to achieve better results; and Modernizing the Food and Drug Administration  to get lifesaving medicines and technologies to patients faster.

    6. Implement an American energy plan that removes obstacles to responsible energy development and creates jobs in the United States.

    7. Balance the budget by growing the economy, controlling spending, implementing money saving reforms, and replacing destructive policies and regulatory agencies with new approaches.

    8. Repeal and replace Obamacare with a pro-jobs, pro-responsibility health plan that puts doctors and patients in charge of health decisions instead of bureaucrats.

    9. Fundamental reform of entitlement programs with the advice and help of the American people.

    10. Source: http://mittromney.com/issues/health-care

      Health Care By Mitt Romney

      Our next president must repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs. States and private markets, not the federal government, hold the key to improving our health care system.


      Repeal and replace President Obama’s health care law

      Mitt Romney believes that Obamacare must be repealed. On his first day in office, he will issue an executive order paving the way for waivers from Obamacare for all 50 states. Subsequently, he will call on Congress to fully repeal Obamacare, and advocate reforms that return power to the states, improve access by slowing health care cost increases, and make health insurance portable and flexible for today’s economy.

      State leadership

      Give states the responsibility, flexibility, and resources to act

      The central advantage of our federalist system is that different states will experiment with and settle on the health care solutions that suit their residents best. We can empower states to expand health care access to low-income Americans by block-granting funds for Medicaid and the uninsured. Mitt Romney’s reforms also offer the states resources to help the chronically ill, to improve their access to care, and to improve the functioning of insurance markets for others.

      Tax Reform

      Empower individuals to purchase their own insurance

      The tax code currently offers open-ended subsidies for the purchase of insurance through employers. Mitt Romney will expand the tax deduction to also include those who buy their own health insurance. This simple change creates the best of both worlds. Absolutely nothing will change for those who like their current coverage. And individuals who don't get coverage through their employers will have portable, lower-cost options.

      Regulatory Reform

      Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work

      Mitt Romney believes that the federal regulation of health care should be limited and focused. Obamacare takes an opposite approach and uses federal regulation in an all-encompassing manner. Mitt will use limited federal regulation to correct common failures in insurance markets, while eliminating counterproductive federal rules. For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Mitt also believes that individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.

      Medical Malpractice Reform

      Reform the broken medical liability system

      The current medical liability system encourages defensive medicine and drives up health care costs. To address these problems, Mitt Romney will cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation. He also believes in providing innovation grants to states for additional medical liability reforms, such as alternative dispute resolution or health care courts.

      Market Forces

      Make health care more like a market and less like a government program

      Mitt Romney will strengthen health savings accounts (HSAs), which help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance. For example, he believes that we should permit HSA funds to be used to pay for health insurance premiums. The market reforms Mitt is proposing will drive down costs, better inform consumers, and improve the quality of health care in our nation.