We have so much to be thankful for the Presidency and legacy for the GOP, conservatives and the country because he was President for 8 years. He clearly is the founder of today's conservative movement. He is responsible for at least four national victories: his two elections, President George H. W. Bush in 1988 and the takeover in Congress in 1994. He has now inspired generations of conservative activists, including your editor who first met then Governor Reagan way back in 1967 (I was relatively young). One lesson for all of us today is: always be for something. A positive outlook on life and in politics is the way to go.
Turmoil In The Middle-East
Originated In Our Farm Regions
You probably are wondering how this could be, but it's quite simple. Barack Obama's energy policy is drill nowhere and to subsidize corn-based ethanol. It's true that some Republicans support it too and they are wrong as well. This policy has helped increase food prices, which is what originated the trouble in the Middle East. When you make $2 a day and food prices go up 20-30%, you got troubles.
Let's abolish the ethanol subsidy and finally have a coherent energy policy and fully develop our oil and gas reserves along with other alternatives that make sense.
GOP Leadership In Austin And D.C.
Begin Task Of Controlling Runaway Spending
It's good to see conservatives working to control runaway spending. Our first job is to reduce waste and abuse, second, to eliminate unnecessary government expenditures (and don't kid yourself, there is much to find here), and third, to prioritize what we should be spending on and what we need to eliminate. There should be no sacred cows. For the liberal do-gooders in Austin and D.C., they too are going to have to decide what is important though TCR doubts liberal big-spenders like Rodney Ellis are capable of doing so. As Ronald Reagan said, a government that can be all things for all people is a government that will take all it wants from the people.
A Few Simple Facts About The Texas Tax System
Like most conservatives, TCR generally opposes tax increases for the simple reason if we don't put government on a diet it just keeps gorging itself. That being said, the Texas tax system has been essentially static while the marketplace has and will change. A couple of thoughts here: The gas tax has been at the same rate for a long time while the fleet has become significantly more efficient with better gas mileage. The result is that taxes paid per mile are down as mpg goes up. At the same time we have more and more cars on the road as Texas's economy moves forward and not surprisingly the tax revenue is not keeping pace. One solution is to charge a user fee per mile instead of a gas tax or alternately adjust it to keep pace with more efficient cars. Is this a tax increase? Not really, as it merely puts the tax or fees back where it was, eliminating an unvoted for tax decrease.
Our other source of state revenue is the sales tax. A more proper description is a partial sales tax because there are so many items and entities exempt from paying it. A few years ago, then Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Talmadge Heflin devised a plan to broaden and lower the sales tax. TCR has been asking for years for a blue ribbon commission to study the Texas system and insure it is designed to encourage growth of the private economy in the 21st century, while at the same time generating revenue for the priorities of the state.
General Anthony Zinni On What
Keeps Him Up At Night
Your editor recently had a sit down with retired Marine General Anthony Zinni. One sobering thought for you, when asked what keeps him up at night, the answer was Mexico's growing lawlessness and our porous border.
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.
2/25/11: Harris County Public Defender Alex Bunin.
Coming soon: New York Times Columnist David Brooks, death penalty opponent and author David Dow, GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Michael Williams and many, many others.
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 nine years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.