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Volume 2 Number 1                                    5 November 2010
Basic Ideas
Resources


Federal Reserve Pursues Policy of Deliberate Inflation
    The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee announced after its meeting on 3 November 2010 that it is pursuing additional inflation as national policy . The Fed plans to purchase $600 Billion in Federal Bonds over the next eight months. At the same time, the New York Fed, charged with implementing this policy, announced that it will reinvest the proceeds received from repayment of Federal obligations received over the next eight months in new Federal bonds, expected to be about $350 billion. Combined, this represents an increase of $950 billion in the nation's money supply, an increase of at least 13%.  This will increase prices over the next year in addition to the current estimated 10% annual increase in the costs of food,  energy and medicine. Social Security recipients have already absorbed these increases over the last year and are being asked to absorb them again next year. For many Social Security recipients food, energy and medicine represent most of the budget; these people will be having to choose which necessities to do without next year.
    The cause of this situation is the enormous increase in the national debt  over the last two years.  The Federal  government has borrowed money and given it away, and now seeks to repay the debt with cheaper dollars, dumping the burden on those least able to absorb it. 

Steve Rattner Near SEC Settlement
     Steve Rattner, better known as the Auto Czar, is near a settlement with the SEC according to Bloomberg News. Rattner is accused of paying a bribe to a New York State official to assure an investment of New York State Retirement System funds with his Wall Street firm. The settlement reportedly involves a substantial fine and banning Rattner from the securities industry for a period of time. A separate suit by the New York State Attorney General has already been settled with the payment of a substantial fine. Rattner is a long time Democratic fundraiser.
       These are the qualifications that led President Obama to appoint Rattner to take charge of the automobile industry, put Chrysler and General Motors through bankruptcy, destroy a large number of automobile dealers, etc.


Why Are Businesses Not Hiring?
    The short answer is that it is cheaper to pay overtime than it is to deal with the costs associated with new hires, especially in this time of uncertainty.  When a business uses overtime the cost is limited to 50% of base pay plus the 6.2% employer portion of Social Security for employees earning less than the Social Security maximum wage, currently $106,000/year. There is no training cost, health and life insurance do not increase, nor generally do unemployment insurance and retirement benefit costs increase, no additional vacation time is earned, etc.
    For a new employee, in addition to the salary there are the costs of health, life and unemployment insurance, the employer portion of social security, vacation time and retirement benefits all increase.  A substantial training cost will be incurred and there is the risk that the new employee will not "work out" and have to be terminated or laid off. There is a substantial risk of lawsuit due to aany number of issues in terminating a new employee.  The Federal Government has just passed the Health Care Reform Act, which substantially increased the health care cost burden born by businesses, and the atmosphere in Washington is such that it is likely that business will be required to pick up additional costs for social programs dictated by the Federal government.
    Thus the answer to the question "Why are Businesses Not Hiring?" is that it is cheaper and far less risky to pay overtime than it is to hire new employees.  As the Federal government transfers more and more life style cost from employee to  employer, overtime becomes more and more attractive as opposed to new employees.
    The Federal Government is mandating particular lifestyles on its citizens and enforcing these mandates by requiring employers to provide and pay for these mandates whether employees want them or not. Employees are so used to seeing their paychecks equal to only 60% or so of their nominal salary that they do not object, and employers do not generally provide employees with complete statements of the cost of employment, so the cost of government is effectively concealed.  One cure for this situation would be for employers to include a complete statement of all the costs of employment, including those paid by the employer, with each paycheck.
---J.R. Wilt

     JRWilt
J.R. Wilt
From the Editor
    SC TEA Party News has two way connections to every known TEA Party organization in South Carolina. We are in a position to keep you up to date with news and analysis across the state.
  This newsletter is published as events warrant. Subscribers receive and email when updates are published. The email is very brief and contaoins a link to the new edition.  If you have news, pictures. links or comment, or wish to subscribe,  please let me know.  Note that the link on the Resources page now includes a way to check out the voting records of members of the SC legislature.
    J.R. Wilt, Editor and Publisher

   
Winners
Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney
US House Dist. 5

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley
Governor

Jim DeMint
Jim DeMint
US Senate

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson
Attorney General

Mick Zais
Mick Zais
Superintendent of Education

DeborahLongFace
Deborah Long
SC House Dist. 45


Speaker of the SC House
    Speaker of the House is one of the most influential positions in SC government. The Speaker appoints all the committees of the House and many positions in the executive branch.  The Speaker controls the flow of legislation through the House, and is in a position to block anything with which he does not agree. The Speaker is elected by a simple majority of the House at its organizational meeting, planned for 18 November 2010.
    It seems clear that the Speaker is in a position to hamstring the Governor if the Speaker and the Governor do not agree on the role of government. As TEA Party activists, it does us little good to go to a lot of trouble to elect a Governor worthy of our support and then stand by while someone unworthy of our support  is elected Speaker.
    The incumbent Speaker, Bobby Harrell (R, Dist 114 - North Charleston), is running for re-election as Speaker. He is opposed by Ralph Norman (R, Dist.48 - York County). Mr. Harrell  was the subject of an interesting article in the Rock Hill Herald on 4 Dec 2008. The article describes a conflict between Mr. Harrell and Nikki Haley regarding the use of voice votes rather than recorded votes. Nikki Haley is quoted in the article as follows:
"I went against the speaker on something he was publicly against: votes on the record. And I was not just demoted, but he attempted to embarrass me and humiliate me in the process," Haley said. "What he proved in these last two days is that he is a speaker who is more concerned about his personal image than he is about policy in this state."
    Votes on the record is a key part of what needs to be done in the Legislature if We the People are to keep track of what our legislators are doing. We do not need a Speaker who is actively opposed to this idea and who is willing to punish anyone who disagrees with him.
    You might want to let your candidate know how you feel about this. Your candidate may not be able to take a position on this matter, since it seems that, if Mr. Harrell should again be Speaker, opposition might lead to an assignment to the Committee on the Effective Use of Thumbtacks, but the message that you are looking will come across. It would be nice if the voting for Speaker were on the record, wouldn't it? 

 Budget and Control Board
    The South Carolina Budget and Control Board (SC Code of Laws Title 1 Chapter 11) effectively runs the state, performiong many of the functions performed by the Executive Branch in other states. The Budget and Control Board is composed of the Governor as Chairperson, the State Treasurer, the Comptroller General, the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
    Three of the members of the Budget and Control Board come January will be Nikki Haley, Governor, Curtis Loftis, State Treasurer and Richard Ekstrom,  Comptroller General.  The two additional members will be appointed by the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate via their ability to appoint House and Senate Committees. If Bobbie Harrell is re-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Dan Cooper will probably be the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and thus sit on the Budget and Control Board. If Glenn McConnell is re-elected President Pro Tem of the Senate, it is likely that Hugh Leatherman will be reappointed as Chair of the Finance Committee and thus occupy the remaining seat on the Budget and Control Board.  These internal legislative elections have probably been largely pre-arranged via a complex system of trading political favors.
We Won!
    We didn't win everything, but we won a lot, including most of the really important things that we worked for.  Mick Mulvaney won and John Spratt will not be going back to Washington. In fact five of the six South Carolina Congressional representatives are TEA Party endorsed.  Unfortunately Jim Pratt did not win and our sixth congressman is a high ranking Democrat, Jim Clyburn. Our Senator, Jim DeMint also won and will continue to support TEA Party principles  in Washington.
    On the national level TEA Party endorsed candidates won big and the Congressional TEA Party Caucus should gain a number of new members and a correspondingly greater influence.  
    On the state level, Nikki Haley, Governor; Mark Hammond, Secretary of State;  Allan Wilson, Attorney General; Curtis Loftis, Treasurer; Richard Eckstrom, Comptroller General and Mick Zais, Superintendent of Education all have TEA Party endorsements.

But We Have
Work To Do!
    The co-opting of the TEA Party effort by the Republican Establishment has begun. Election eve comments were heard along the lines of "Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate by supporting Christine O'Donnell." We sweated out Nikki Haley's victory until the end.  The cause of both these phenomena, and many others, was not Sarah Palin, it was the refusal of the Republican Establishment to get behind the TEA Party candidate.  We saw Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, Establishment mavens of the past, claiming credit for the victory. This was not a Republican Establishment victory, it was a victory for TEA Party candidates and TEA Party principles.  We need to make sure that our former TEA Party Candidates, now our TEA Party Officeholders, do not forget their duty to take TEA Party principles to the Republican Establishment, not to be co-opted by it.
    Senator Jim DeMint has written to newly elected officeholders along these lines. You can read his comments here.    
    We need to make sure that all our office holders remember the TEA Party principles that got them elected. There will be a big push for Republican unity and the Democrats will actively try to exploit any split in the Republican Party. John Boehner promises to be just as dictatorial a Speaker of the House as Nancy Pelosi was. All of this must be resisted; there is no reason at all that the Republican Establishment should not adopt TEA Party principles as its own.  If it fails to do so, 2012 is coming.

RalphNorrman.JPG 
Rep. Ralph Norman Runs for Speaker of the SC House
    The SC House plans to meeet on 18 November for its organizational meeting and to elect its Speaker for the next two years. Speaker of the House is one of the most powerful positions in SC government, equalling or perhaps exceeding that of the Governor.  We worked hard to get Nikki Haley elected Governor and gave her a TEA Party mandate. We need to work hard now to make sure that she has an environment in which she can get something done.  Rep. Norman has written to each SC House member concerning his candidacy; you can read his comments here.  Rep. Norman is a good conservative, carries TEA Party endorsement and has put forward a very positive view of the way the Office of the Speaker should work.  His candidacy is worthy of support and your representative needs to know that you think that if you agree.
    Related stories on the Speaker of the House and the Budget and Control Board appear to the left.

Harvard's Plan for the Supreme Court
    One of President Obama's mentors at Harvard Law School, Professor Laurence Tribe, wrote a letter to the President on 9 May 2009 detailing a long range plan to move the Supreme Court to the left. This plan involved putting Sonja Sotemeyer and Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court. For the record, every justice on the Supreme Court is a graduate of either Harvard of Yale Law School.  The letter has been leaked to the press, you can read it here.    


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