With the onset of the 2012 primary filing, it is good to remember that Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment - "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican" - still makes sense. To be frank, the voters are tired of attack dog politics. Those who engage in such tactics accomplish nothing more than tarnishing our brand and empowering the Democrats with ammunition that can be recycled against us in November.
So, the next time someone wants to trash a primary candidate to get you to reject that candidate, reject their message and that candidate immediately.
Voter ID Laws - Yep, They Stop Fraud
Thanks to Gary Bauer's End of Day Report:
"As we get closer to the 2012 elections, concerns about voter fraud are once again coming to the fore. National Democrats recently staged a series of high profile events designed to cast voter ID laws as racist throwbacks to the Jim Crow era."
"In a recent Daily Caller, it features an interview with former Rep. Artur Davis, a black Democrat from Alabama that turns the Democrats' spin upside down. Davis backs the laws, saying they are needed to 'protect African-Americans from corrupt political bosses - many of them African-Americans themselves - who run Democratic Party machines in the South.'
"While most of the states passing new voter ID laws elected Republican governors and legislatures in 2010, one state stands out like a sore thumb - liberal Rhode Island, where the issue was pushed by minority legislators. In signing the law, liberal governor Lincoln Chafee said, "Notably, I spoke with representatives of our state's minority communities, and I found their concerns about voter fraud and their support for this bill particularly compelling.
"The fallout continues from Minnesota's marred 2008 election that sent Al Franken to the U.S. Senate. According to Jeff Davis of Minnesota Majority, 113 people have been convicted of illegally voting in that election and 200 more cases are pending. 'It's mind-boggling to me that as a tiny non-profit corporation, we netted more than double the number of convictions in one year than the U.S. Department of Justice was able to find in five,' said Davis."
TCR On City of Houston Runoffs
There is a solution: Every conservative must work even harder to make sure we win in a landslide. The left can't cheat if the results are not close.
This year, turnout in the City elections was abysmal, with turnout in the runoff expected to be even worse, which makes your vote all the more critical. The TCR Runoff Voter Guide is in the mail or you can view it on our website. Please take a moment to review our recommendations and then get to the polls to cast your vote for the conservative candidates, because if we get out our vote, we will win.
Coming Soon Under Obama - A Worthless Dollar
Authoritative economist and investment advisor Richard Russell (note he's been writing for 63 years) tells us what's coming soon.
"The US national debt is $15 trillion and counting. But it's currently compounding at historically low interest rates."
"Meanwhile, the Fed and the central banks of the world are creating new money at prodigious rates. It's only a matter of time before all this new money sets off inflation, no matter what Chancellor Merkel is trying to do. I expect this inflation to appear in the next year or two; with the rise of inflation, comes higher interest rates. Rising interest rates are death to compounding debt.
"We are moving closer and closer to what I call 'survival period' - the period where the magic of compounding turns into what will be the poison of compounding. This is a time for action. Reduce your exposure to bonds and all items that provide fixed interest rates. Similarly, reduce your exposure to stocks except the gold miners. Look to expand your positions in inflation-protected assets, especially gold.
The Obamacare Onslaught Begins
"Those who are holding stocks in the hopes of the usual rebound are going to be terribly disappointed in the years ahead. This bear market is going to be unlike anything we've ever seen before. In the end my survival vehicle will be gold. I say again, timing is hopeless. Gold will have purchasing power and true wealth as almost everything else is destroyed by this unprecedented bear market. The US Government is now so loaded with ever-growing debt that it has become a mathematical freak. With $55 trillion in asserted debts, the US is in no shape to deal with rising interest rates. We are in a state of reverse compounding, leading to inevitable bankruptcy on a massive scale."
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
The law was passed a while ago, but the effects of the 2,700 page bill misnamed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – and commonly referred to as Obamacare – are slowly taking effect. The CLASS portion may have been eliminated and the individual mandate will be decided by the Supreme Court, but I’d like to discuss one of the many hidden costs contained within the legislation.
As most people know, the law was frontloaded with a basketful of goodies with all the pain coming after Obama's was supposed reelection. Benefits such as having your child tethered to your insurance until they turn 27 years old are already in effect. Other changes, such as lifting lifetime caps and eliminating the ability to cancel insurance for sick people, no doubt have beneficial effects. But they contribute greatly to the skyrocketing cost of insurance.
One of the major concerns allegedly addressed by the law was the affordability of insurance for small employers, and how these companies could extend coverage to all their employees. The answer that the Democrats came up with was to provide a tax credit. Like the CLASS provisions, which were to confront the issue of long-term care, the costs and benefits of the credit were wildly misjudged. In fact, it appears that the projections were done by the same people who estimated how far away the iceberg was from the Titanic. Mercifully, the CLASS Act was repealed before the outrageous costs were thrust on taxpayers' backs, but the Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit has an entirely different story.
The number of claims for the Credit has been low despite IRS efforts to inform the 4.4 million taxpayers who could potentially qualify. According to the IRS, through May 2011 only about 228,000 taxpayers had claimed the Credit, for a total of just over $278 million. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Credit would provide benefits of $37 billion over 10 years, and that taxpayers would claim up to $2 billion in Credits for the 2010 tax year. The IRS plans to conduct focus groups to determine why the claim rate was so low.
The IRS doesn’t have to waste their time or our money with focus groups. The answer is simple: the darn thing is way too complicated. A friend of mine teaches classes on the annual changes in tax law to CPAs all over the country. Whenever he talks about the Tax Credit, he gets the same results: the CPAs just sit there, utterly mystified by the material and rolling their eyes as if they were listening to Al Gore explain the Alternative Minimum Tax. As my friend said, "Why would an employer pay a CPA $3,000 to calculate the tax credit to get a benefit of just $1,300?" What this means, of course, is that these employees likely won't be covered by their employers, and they'll eventually be enrolled into a government plan at our expense.
This doesn't even include the additional record-keeping expenses borne by the employer. Because there are three ways in which you can calculate the number of hours that each employee works, you have to calculate the credit all three ways too! This means that you have to keep more extensive payroll records, which is why it is no wonder that less than 10% of the projected participants are being covered by the credit. The government will argue that it's early in the program and that more firms will use the credit as they begin to understand it. But based on the reaction of the preparers, it could in fact be less. Frankly I'm surprised how large the number is who have jumped in so far.
Here is another stupefying part of this that shows why the Feds should not write bills like this because they always write things in black and white when life is in gray tones. To stop people from cheating by getting a credit they disallowed any family members from participating in the program. Unfortunately, the bill writers apparently have never been in a small business like a Chinese or Mexican or Greek restaurant. Lots of small businesses are run by family and extended family and the brilliant attorneys who wrote this have purposely excluded them. That means thousands of small businesses will never qualify for the credit.
Next January, the oppressive costs of Obamacare start to kick in. Every W-2 will have to include the amount of money paid out in health care benefits, a requirement that will entail extensive administrative costs. The reason for this mandate is still somewhat of a mystery, but we can guess that a bunch of new federal bureaucrats will be using this information to further invade our lives and tell us what to do. Then in 2013, right after the "reelection of Obama," the new taxes take effect – just as all the panels and commissions start to decide and control every aspect of our health care.
Many observers claim that what Republicans hate about Obamacare is the individual mandate. That could not be further from the truth. Mandates are the one thing they found they could sue about under the Constitution to dismantle the thing. In fact, Republicans as well as independents and rational Democrats hate hundreds of things about this new law.
Obamacare is built on falsehoods and misconceptions, and it's only a matter of time until this utter disgust is shared by every sane American.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former appointee of President Bush.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones, Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and replaying Sundays at 5:00 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
12/16/11: Tom Leppert, Candidate for United States Senate.
12/23/11: Texas State Senator Dan Patrick.
12/30/11: "Politics of the Budget Deal" with John Beddow.
For a fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last ten years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 6 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his ninth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.