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We've been Taxed Enough Already!
Limited, Fiscally Responsible, Transparent Government
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Volume 3 Number 11 24 December 2011
Nearly every human culture and religion celebrates a holiday around the time of the Winter Solstice. While we celebrate Christmas, others celebrate for other reasons. What we all celebrate is the First Amendment, which guarantees everyone's right to peacefully assemble and celebrate at this or any time of year for any reason or no reason at all free of interference.
I wish each of you the happiest of First Amendment Holidays and Celebrations in the coming days and years and all the best of 2012.
- - J.R. Wilt
How Dumb Can We Be?
Social Security and Medicare are two programs that represent potential long-term problems for the government. These programs are supported by payroll taxes. We want to pump some money into the economy, so let's reduce taxes this for these programs that are in trouble, borrow the money from China to pay the cost and leave the money with taxpayers who will use it to buy trinkets imported from China.
We have serious infrastructure problems in this country. Our roads and bridges are in serious need of upgrading and repair. Our water systems are in serious need of upgrade and repair. We could be pumping money into the economy by borrowing money from China and using it to repair our roads, bridges, water systems, etc.
Doing what we are doing makes the Social Security and Medicare problem significantly worse without doing anything to fix the infrastructure problems. Therefore one ahead of borrowed money to fix the infrastructure problems that left the payroll taxes alone, at least the infrastructure problems would be fixed in the Social Security problems would be no worse. The construction workers were doing the infrastructure improvements would have the money to pay the payroll taxes.
How dumb can we be?
SC Voter ID Law Rejected By DOJ
On 23 December 2011 the Department of Justice rejected SC's Voter ID Law as discriminatory against minorities. The law would have required voters to show a photo ID in addition to a voter registration card in order to vote. The law would eventually require photos on the voter registration card, but allowed use of a driver's license or free photo ID card to be provided by the DMV as an interim measure until the voter registration system can be equipped to take pictures. A passport or birth certificate would be required to obtain a photo ID from DMV as at present. DOJ asserted that the requirement to provide a birth certificate was excessively burdensome to minorities. the law clearly provides that only citizens may vote; it is not clear how the DOJ thinks that minorities should prove citizenship.
SC can appeal the DOJ decision.
From the Editor
This newsletter is published as events warrant. Subscribers receive an email when updates are published. The email is very brief and contains a link to the new edition. If you have news, pictures. links or comments 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.
To subscribe, click here.
J.R. Wilt, Editor and Publisher
Forward to 2012
Let there be no question that 2012 will be a watershed year for this country. We will decide whether or not to allow the federal government another channel into our pockets as taxpayers and thus become a European-style nation, where the taxation absorbs 35% or more of the economy. The alternative is to reduce our spending to be in-line with our traditional tax income of about 18% of the economy.
European nations are currently facing the fact but they have been unable control their spending to their traditional tax income ev3en at about 35% of their economies. They are bringing this situation under control. As soon as it is under control, the US will lose its privileged status as the premier currency in the world. The US will no longer be able to borrow unlimited amounts of money at favorable interest rates. The US will be forced to either bring its spending under control or to raise taxes to the point where income and expenses agree.
The choice as to which path to take - reduce spending or increase taxes - will be made this year. if we spend four more years on the current path of unlimited spending supported by unlimited borrowing; the world economy will no longer be willing to loan us money at reasonable interest rates. Raising taxes to levels capable of supporting then current spending together with debt repayment will be required. The result will be a financial catastrophe of unimaginable proportions as taxes will need to increase by 50% or more over a very short time.
The importance of getting the situation under control next year cannot be overemphasized. gaining control of the Presidency and the Senate and retaining control of the house must be top priorities, followed by passage of Mick Mulvaney's Cut, Cap And Balance bill or a close relative in 2013.
TEA PartyBy Karen Martin, Spartanburg TEA Party
One by One
As I pulled into my driveway today I saw the guy was there do to my termite bond inspection. He pointed to the Spartanburg Tea party magnets on my car door and smiled and said “Ah! Tea Party!"
(Commercial break. If you would like to order car door magnets call me. Going to send the order in next week. You can see how useful they are!)
We chatted, and had the same conversation that you’ve probably all had. How’s it looking for the President. Our disappointment that Cain had dropped out. How angry he was, as a combat veteran and Ranger, at the state of our country. The gap between those who pay taxes and those who live off entitlement programs.
But then … as I’m wont to do … I narrowed it down. Explained that while the rallies have had their day, it’s time for “boots on the ground” in this battle for our country. That the new fight is to spend the hours and days it takes to knock on doors for a candidate you are volunteering for. To spend 6 hours sitting in a chair labeling and putting stamps on mailers. Driving across the county to staff a candidate appearance.
We agreed that neither of us gave much thought to politics before, and we had similar volunteer backgrounds. I helped run a spay/neuter program for 7 years, he volunteered for Animal Rescue Foundation by building a kennel in his backyard and fostering and vetting dogs. He remarked that it’s disheartening that our votes don’t seem to count these days, and I shared with him the story of how one of our local school board candidates, with a strong commitment to reform, had recently won a school board seat by 3 votes, and that I and two of our tea party folks voted in that election. We talked about how “they” don’t seem to want to do what it takes to make the changes we need. I explained that by becoming a precinct delegate and then a county and state delegate that “WE” can become “THEY” and set the direction for our party.
He admitted that he was not even registered to vote. So I set him a mission … between now and the end of the year he was to register so he could vote in the June 2012 primaries … and no backing out just because he didn’t want to be called for jury duty! Which, he admitted was the major reason he hadn’t registered yet.
We kinda agreed that complaining without being in position to do anything about it wasn’t a good strategy.
So he took my tea party business card, said he’d get on our email list right away. He also wants to check out the RINO Hunt since he lives in Greenville/works on Spartanburg.
So … one thing that I’ve found applies to volunteers in both the animal advocacy field and the tea party field is to give people a “task” … a “next step”. A belief that if they take action, they can make things change. Registering to vote is step one. Getting on email list step two. Finding a candidate and volunteering is step three. I don’t even know the guy’s name, but I envision that either Harry Kibler or I have found a new partner in liberty. I can see him being the “go to” guy for one of our statehouse candidates in the Spring.
Let me give you a task. Find someone between now and the end of the year, have a similar conversation, give them a vision for impacting change instead of just being angry. Chat with them about their next step. And … car door magnet.
December 22, 2011
On the federal level, we changed the debate. There is no longer any question that the deficit must be brought under control. Mick Mulvaney and his sky reaching deficit charts deserve a lot of credit for this. Mick was absolutely tireless in showing these charts to anyone who would listen. The debate now revolves around how to control the deficit - do we cut spending, increase taxes, or arrive at some combination approach. This decision will be made by the 2012 election.
Isobel Lynch passed from among us last week after a brief illness. The Republican Party lost a stalwart.2011
I first met Isobel some years ago when she was running a Mick Mulvaney booth at the Van Wyck Spring Fling. Isobel was Mick's mother-in-law. She needed some help, and she and I worked together for some 45 minutes or an hour. Over the next few years I ran into Isobel periodically at campaign functions and also at County Council meetings. We worked, not always on the same side, but always in an atmosphere of mutual respect. One thing about Isabel is that there was never any doubt as to exactly where she stood on any particular issue.
She will be missed. Our condolences to Mick and his family.
How Did We Do?
Also on the federal level, we eliminated earmarks, which eliminated a leadership tool to control the voting of individual members of Congress.
On the state level we now have recorded votes on virtually everything, and it is thus possible to determine exactly who voted for what.
On the County level transparency has taken a whole new meaning. Closed sessions of the County Council now have agendas. County Council agendas are now on the County website complete with backup in advance of County Council meetings. Committees appointed by County Council now have meetings open to the public. Budget transfers are now reported to the County Council, appear in the agenda packages and are thus available to the public in timely fashion.
On every level we largely lost the budget battle as budgets generally set new records. It might count as a plus that we often won on straight votes then lost on parliamentary maneuvering.
This was also the case with School Choice where we lost in the house by a single vote after the unexpected last-minute defection of 16 Republicans.
Problems with the GOP MessageKimberley Strassell writes in the Wall Street Journal column Potomac Watch for 22 December 2011 that the GOP is failing to take advantage of the decline in ratings recently experienced by Pres. Obama. People are well aware that President Obama is in many ways klutz; the difficulty is that the Republicans are coming across as even more klutzy than the president. This leaves voters thinking that if they have to deal with a klutz, they are better off dealing with the klutz they know.
It is essential that Republicans focus clearly on the issues and present clear choices and stark contrasts to the voters. Couple this with the fact that David Axelrod has been working for six months in Chicago on an extremely sophisticated Internet based campaign and it should be clear that the Republican notes will need to be high, clear, clean and beautiful to cut through the flack that will be generated during the campaign. Much of the sophistication of Axelrod's campaign is believed to be detailed character assassinations that can be pulled up and implemented in a short time as needed.
The entire article is required reading for any TEA Partier or Republican interested in the 2012 election campaign. To read the entire column (highly recommended) click here.