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Richard Rider

Barack Obama opposed raising debt ceiling – in 2006

Bring back the 2006 version of Barack Obama!

On 16 March, 2006 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Obama made the following solid speech — a speech he would ridicule today:

Mr. [U.S. Senate] President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion…

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stopsRead More

Ray Haynes

The Conservative Case for the Elimination of Term Limits

As I have said before, I have changed my mind, after experience has taught me the lessons, on several issues. Term limits is one. I read Jon Fleischman’s column yesterday, and thought a response was necessary. Jon has been a great asset over the years to the conservative movement, and he makes his living from politics. That is a good thing, in my estimation, because we need people like him in doing that kind of work.

He makes the point that term limits is popular because “people don’t trust politicians.” Not trusting politicians is about as American as apple pie. We in this country have always had a healthy distrust of government and those who run it. That is a good thing as well. Government and power are corrupting influences, we should always view government, and the people in power, with a jaded eye. People are people, and if they are not held accountable, they will, in many cases, turn their power to their advantage. That doesn’t hurt in the private sector, because in the private sector people always have a choice, they can go somewhere else for the services or goods they desire. In government, the abuse of power is… Read More

Jon Fleischman

As Redistricting Commission Finishes Their Work, One Hopes Their Product Is Somehow Better Than Their Process

The Citizens Redistricting Commission that resulted from the passage of Propositions 11 and 20 is close to completing their work. Yesterday they released a set of maps for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly and Board of Equalization that they are likely to vote in favor of putting out for official review later today.

To view the proposed maps please go to Meridian Pacific’s website at FR friend Chandra Sharma has set up a wonderful website that allows all of us to see the districts, key cities, and past election outcomes.

The Commission is likely to spend a good portion of the today patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They certainly do deserve credit for spending as much time as they did on this project over the past eight months, and it does appear that their just is, well, just about done. However, the process was not a smooth one at all.

First, it is clear that some of the Commissioners focused on their own personal agendas. Why is it that San Joaquin County is whole in a Senate (SD 5) and Congressional District (SD 9)? That would be because Stockton was lucky enough to… Read More

Michael Der Manouel, Jr.

GOP Doing The Limbo In Debt Deal Struggle

You all know how the limbo dance works, right? The bar keeps going lower and lower until the eventual winner wins by passing under it at a heighth that no one else can. Contrary to the beliefs of many in the Republican Party, our position in this debt limit fight is mostly over how low we can set the bar for ourselves. Insiders look at the “Boehner” plan and see a great compromise. “At least they didn’t raise taxes” becomes our self congratulatory mantra. Instead, because I guess we’ve lost all ability to remember an election that happened less than a year ago, we’ve become so clueless we cannot even do basic math. The Boehner plan gives the Democrats 90% of what they want even as they protest that it’s somehow unfair.

So here’s the deal. Obama and the Democrats, when they had the entire government, raised the annual federal spending baseline over a trilion dollars. Over a ten year period, that is $10 trillion. What happened after that was the greatest mid term election defeat in modern history, a historic loss of House seats by the same Democrats responsible for the pillage. The Tea Party… Read More

Richard Rider

Breaking Bad: California vs. the Other States – Revised 22 July, 2011

Here’s a depressing but documented comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (I keep updating this fact sheet):

California has the 3rd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.3% tax bracket starts at $46,766 for people filing as individuals. 10.3% tax starts at $1,000,000 LINK

Highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.25% (as of 1 July). 7% is next highest (does not include local sales taxes) LINK Table #15

California corporate income tax rate (8.84%) is the highest west of the Mississippi (our economic competitors) except for Alaska. LINK #8 — we are 8th highest nationwide.

California’s 2011 Business Tax Climate ranks 2nd worst in the nation. LINK

Fourth highest capital gains tax 9.3%Read More

Duane Dichiara

Vacation Reading…

On my vacation this summer this is my reading:

Listening to America (Bill Moyers). Yeah he’s an annoying liberal but I read the first chapter and couldn’t put it down. Gives someone who didn’t live through the 1960’s a good feeling for what people from a variety of backgrounds thought about the social change.

Before the Dawn (Gerry Adams). Figure I should at least hear the other side.

Basic Brown (Willie Brown). Can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. Hey I don’t come out of the progressive Republican wing of the GOP. I think organizations provide better representation than civil servants.

The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett). I just can’t believe I haven’t read this before. Sam Spade. Classic but is it good?

The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett). One of my favorite movies… I had no idea it was a book.

All The Kings Men (Robert Warren). Read it several years ago it needs another round. This is the fallback book.

Plus I saved up a couple weeks of The Economist and the New Yorker… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Goodwin Liu Will Be A Terrible Justice — For Reasons That Ensure His Confirmation

In the ultimate reminder that elections have consequences, today liberal Democrat Governor Jerry Brown nominated liberal Democrat professor Goodwin Liu to a spot on the State Supreme Court. No doubt that all of the very valid and important reasons for why conservatives rallied to oppose confirming Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals (he was nominated by President Obama, but has failed to gain confirmation by the U.S. Senate). Who can blame conservatives or moderates for opposing Liu? After all his record reads more like that of a political activist than a law professor.

From our friends at the American Conservative Union…

Liu has made it clear that he believes the Constitution is merely a guide to judicial decisions and that what he calls “our collective values,” “evolving norms” and “social understandings” should be the key to judicial decisions. Liu has backed race-based admissions to our universities in an amicus brief regarding a Seattle school district case. Liu’s views on criminal law have drawn the extraordinary opposition of 42 of California’s 58 county district attorneys. Here is what they had to sayRead More

Richard Rider

The bogus UNSTATED public worker pension assumptions

The public worker pension debate rages on. And “rage” is the operative term when the unions and their allies discuss switching to 401-k plans from their current guaranteed defined benefit plans.

Carefully selected sob stories are popping up to justify continuing the public worker guaranteed pensions that are roughly three to four times what private sector workers can expect to receive upon retirement.

Rather than rehash the usual talking points, I’d like to here list what I consider some key oftenUNSTATED (and false) assumptions underlying the labor unions’ pitch:

1. “A government worker should be able to retire comfortably with their pension alone.” No need to otherwise save or invest. No stocks, no savings, no IRA’s, no home equity build-up, no payoff of mortgages and no inheritances. In the private sector, we look to these and other sources for improving our retirement years.

2. “City workers get zero social security.” Often that is not the case, as over their lives they earn sufficient credits in… Read More

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