Recent polling indicates that the GOP is uniting behind our nominee, John McCain, that's the good news.
Why are conservatives coming home? First and foremost are the key issues. McCain can be trusted on national security given his background, experience and judgment, especially compared to the Democratic options.
Second, McCain has been reliable in judicial appointments and has made clear he will appoint "judges who ... faithfully apply the law as written..."
Third, McCain has a good pro-life record, except for stem cell funding.
Fourth, McCain is tough on earmarks and runaway federal spending.
Fifth, McCain will appoint more competent cabinet members to set policy than the Democrats.
Sixth, McCain understands the power of tax cuts and pro-business tax reform.
Seventh, McCain has good ideas on energy relief and policy. He believes we should stop filling the U.S. petroleum reserve, which leading oil economists blame for much of the recent price run-up by aiding speculation. He has more good ideas in this area, but this is a good start.
Contrast these ideas with what Hillary and Obama have in mind for us.
The Coming Social Security Crash
For years (decades?) conservatives have been saying there is no Social Security trust fund: that in essence it is a government Ponzi scheme, and now unfortunately we are being proven right.
Allan Sloan, in the March 31, 2008 edition of Fortune says the real trouble will begin in 2016-17. You may recall the conservative complaints: that essentially money comes in and is paid out immediately for current retirees benefits and the "surplus" is borrowed by the government to spend on other bills. The government in return issues treasury securities. Sloan described the catch; "say that Social Security calls the treasury ... on 2017 ... to cash in $20 billion of securities to cover benefit checks." The treasury can get the money three ways, spend $20 billion less, raise taxes by $20 billion or borrow $20 billion. The choice is essentially no different than if there wasn't a trust program.
So the train wreck is coming as more and more of the U.S. budget is going for retirement benefits. One way to slow judgment day will be to divert the surplus from Treasuries to the "equivalent of a sovereign wealth fund", but that will affect the present "borrowing" of the Social Security surplus. Other unpleasant options: raise taxes, means testing, reducing benefits, and raising the retirement age. Maybe the idea of partial individually owned and controlled Social Security accounts makes some sense, given the alternatives.
An Idea Worth Considering:
Overhaul The Texas Youth Commission?
TCR has periodically called out the State of Texas for state agency ineptitude. The Texas Youth Commission is back in the news again. Sen. John Whitmire proposes to overhaul TYC services and decentralize lower level felonies to units closer to home. Why not go all the way and send them back to the major counties with the funding and let Harris, Dallas, Bexar, and others set up their own programs? Sen. Whitmire likes the idea. With TYC per capita spending now at around $110,000 per youth, we should have enough resources to get the job done right.
Obama's Radical Friend: Bill Ayers
With Jeremiah Wright still in the news, Obama's relationship with ex-Weatherman (the radical, violent anti-war group from the sixties) William Ayers is now surfacing, due to words not bombs.
Obama's friendship has been well documented, but Sol Stern in City Journal recently revealed the horrific damage Ayers is doing from his position as Professor of Education at the University of Illinois Chicago. Per Stern, one of "Ayers major themes is that the American public school system is nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony... the mission of all progressive teachers is to take back the classrooms and turn them into laboratories of revolutionary change."
TCR Comment: Our public schools need lots of work. We do not need them turned into "left-wing indoctrination centers." Senator Obama, we need answers from you here, too.
Newt Gingrich's Lessons for the Election to GOP
(as distilled by TCR)
- Message beats money.
- Enthusiasm beats paid staff.
- Hope beats negativity.
- People are smarter than consultants.
- Real change is possible.
- Real change requires real solutions.
- The people are more important than special interests.
The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. Now weekly on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who recently 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 tenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last six years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.