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Volume 3 Number 1                                   20 January 2011
Basic Ideas
Resources

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Congressman Mulvaney
    On 5 January 2011 SC Senator Mulvaney became Congressman Mulvaney. Some who worked hard to make this happen were luck enough to be there. For a brief video of the official picture click here. For additional videos of Mick speaking on the floor of the US House see the Obamacare repeal story elsewhere on this page.
Net Neutrality Takes a Hit From Republicans
    Network  neutrality is the idea that Internet Service Providers are not allowed to favor some content providers over others. The end user is the customer of the ISP and the duty of the ISP is to move the content requested by the end user to that user as quickly as possible. ISPs would like to also charge content providers such as Google and Skype and in return deliberately slow service for those providers who pay less.  
    This is a conflict with the ability of the end user to receive fast service for all mateial of his/her choice - the end user who chooses a provider who pays the ISP more will receive faster service than the end user who chooses a provider who pays the ISP less.  The ISP is in the position of a highway robber, holding up the provider for money to do what the end user has already paid for.
    This conflict has raged for several years, with the FCC claiming jurisdiction and ruling in favor of net neutrality - ISPs must treat all providers equally and let the end users choose. The ISPs - mainly large telephone companies and cable companies- have sued and lobbied hard in Congress, and now their efforts are about to pay off.  The Republcan Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is in the pockets of the big telephone companies and has vowed that he will introduce legislation to allow the telecos to eliminate net neutrality and allow ISPs to control and make money from both ends of the wire. The consumer will suffer from this.



     JRWilt
J.R. Wilt
From the Editor
      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

   
Gabby Giffords
Congresswoman Gabby Giffords
Our hearts go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her family and to the other victims and their families of the shooting in Tuscon, AZ last week.     

SC House Republican Agenda
    The SC House Republican Caucus has released its 2011-12 legislative agenda.  Creating jobs, improving ducation, transparency and governmental reform, limiting governmental power, new pro-life protections and combatting illegal immigration are the main topics. For details click here. The SC House has already passed and sent to the Senate H3004, a bill by Rep. Ballentine that would require roll call votes.
The Fair Tax
No, You Really Don't Want It
    The so-called Fair Tax is a consumption tax much like the Value Added Tax widely used in Europe. The proposal is at its simplest that the income tax would be eliminated and replaced with a tax to be added on to every purchase at the rate of about 23%.  The less fortunate could apply for and receive a cash payment at the beginning of each month to provide funds to help pay the Fair Tax. The idea is to simplify the tax code and eliminate the myriad of special interest provisions that make it so complex.
    Why is this a bad idea? It has been around in one form or another for at least 50 years.The first problem is that it is a form of tax that has never been used in this country, and whenever the government finds a new source of revenue it tends to expand until the new source is tapped out. To put it simply, we will end up with both income taxes and consumption taxes, as is the case in Europe. The government will have found a way to collect enough taxes to get it up to 35% of GDP; not something that we really want to have happen.
    The second problem is that the Fair Tax will quickly become encumbered in all sorts of special exceptions and considerations, just as the income tax has become so entangled.  
    The third problem is that, as anyone who has worked wiith the less fortunate can tell you, it is a mistake to give them cash. You must give them what they need - food, clothes, transportation, etc.
    A long discussion could be had on this topic, but we really don't need to give the government another source of revenue, we need to clean up the source of revenue that we already have and get expenses down to the point where these sources of revenue are sufficient to our needs.
    Whining about how America has the highest corporate tax rate in the world is a smoke screen - we don't have a consumption or value added tax, which more than makes up for the slightly higher corporate tax rate. 

   
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Rep. Nathan Ballentine
    SC Representative Nathan Ballentine has already introduced a number of measures into the SC House that carry TEA Party objectives forward. These include H 3004, a bill to require roll call votes, H 3006, a constitutional amendment requiring term limits and H 3008, a constitutional amendment to allow citizen initiatives to place laws on the ballot without approval by the legislature. H 3004 garnered the support of Speaker Harrell and has been passed and sent to the Senate. The Senate has implemented a rule change that mandates a roll call vote on every measure that will become a law or affect the budget, but rules can be easily suspended. This is some progress, but we will have to see how it goes. We may have more work to do.

Feds to Sue SC over Union Check-Off
    The Federal National Labor Relations Board is preparing to sue South Carolina, Arizona, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments that guarantee employees the right to a secret ballot in union elections. Federal law requires only an open procedure called a "check off" which often subjects employees opposing the union to union intimidation and sometimes physical violence. The NLRB claims jurisdiction under the supremacy clause of the US Constitution.    
SC Budget
    Senator Tom Davis, a member of Govenor Nikki Haley's Budget Crisis Task Force, describes the SC state budget in an article published in the Island Packet.  According to Sen. Davis, appropriations from the state General Fund are only the smallest portion of the total money spent by the state at $ 5.1 billion. Expenditures from the Federal Fund totalled $8.2 billion and $7.7 billion from the states "Other Fund", repository for fines, fees and other assessments by state agencies. Total spending last year was $21 billion, a new record high. Expenditures from the Federal Fund and the Other Fund are not generally subject to appropriation by the Legislature. Federal Fund usually come with spending strings attached, and the fines, fees, etc. that flow into the "Other Fund" are generally kept by the agencies that generate the revenue.
    This is a situation that really needs to be brought under control. For only 25% of the state budget to be under the control of the Legislature is nonsensical.

US House Passes ObamaCare Repeal
    The US House of Representatives voted at 5:53 PM on 19 January 2011 to repeal the ObamaCare health care reform bill in its entirety. The measure has been sent to the Senate, where it is expected to die. Rep. Mulvaney voted in favor of repeal. For the complete recorded vote click here.
    The links below are to short videos of Congressman Mulvaney speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives on the repeal of the ObamaCare bill and the impact of the Obamacare bill on small business.
    
Americans for Tax Reform has published a list of taxes included in the Obamacare legislation. Read it here

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