Friday, August 12, 2005

Sorry, Mr. President

President Bush gets it when it comes to Islamic Fascism and the threat that it poses, when so few seem to do so. So it baffles me when he doesn't seem to get it, like on illegal immigration and fiscal discipline. But alas, this is the case and it is a point of frustration to me. On illegal immigration, the President proposed a guest worker program that could most kindly be described as "making the problem worse by promoting semi-legal immigration" while still not halting the flow of illegal immigrants. And the people of the GOP, that supported him and worked so hard for him during his campaigns, continue to press for the President to take a stand against these people. They are a security threat, both in terms of the War on Islamic Fascism and as a parasitic drain on our society's resources. Mr. President, why will you not help us? And on fiscal discipline, our President has been in office for 5 years and hasn't vetoed a single bill. The Congress loads them down with frivolity and the President does nothing to stop it. He will come out and endorse a Federal Marriage Amendment he knows will not pass but he won't do something about the thing he could do something about. Mr. President, veto these massive spending bills and demand from the Congress a more efficient, more effective governing structure at the federal level. Mr. President, we're counting on you.


At 8/12/2005 09:16:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

I think the President is the perfect example of the twosides of our party.

On one side we have the religious right bent on pushing the social agenda that 45-50 percent of the nation agrees with, but that the courts will strike down (Even with Roberts Roe v Wade still stands 5-4 folks). These are the people that have taken over our party and these are also the people that seem to be one of the most motivated voting blocks there is. This is Bush's people.

Than there are the Republitarians, much like myself and some of the other posters on here. We could careless about social issues and think the government should leave most people alone(gee, I always thought LESS government intrusion was a conservative principle). Our bread-and-butter is money. Here is where the elected of our party have left us behind. They spend doallrs like it is going out of style on crap we don't need ($900+ million on Don Young Way?, $1.5 billion on Metro?!?!). They never think twice about it. They will trade conservative fiscal values in hopes of securing their permanent electoral legacy back home. This wing if the party has been left behind and we simply follow lock step because we've always been Republicans and we can not even stand to look at a tax-and-spend Democrat.

When will sanity return to the GOP?

At 8/12/2005 09:29:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

One quick note on the highway bill -- funding for it comes out of the Highway Trust Fund that derives all its revenue from the federal gas tax that drivers pay at the pump. Unlike the Social Security Trust Fund, this is a real, honest to goodness trust fund with firewalls and everything. Now, the way that Congress spends the money, especially with these earmarks, in many ways is deplorable. However, the president was right not to veto the highway bill on funding grounds because only Highway Trust Funds will be used to pay it, not general funds. This bill does not raise taxes nor does it increase the deficit -- two key requirements the president had for this bill.

The Highway Trust Fund is actually an excellent model of how government should operate. It is quite libertarian in fact. You only pay for what you use. The more you drive, the more wear and tear you put on the roads, the more you pay since you have to fill up your tank more. The less you drive, the less you pay. Think of it as toll roads without the booths -- a concept wholeheartedly supported by many libertarian organizations including the Cato Institute.

At 8/12/2005 10:15:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

I don't disagree with the concept, rather I disagree with how the dollars are spent.

Can you justify to me that more good is done by building a bridge to an island with 1000+ people over say... exapnding the beltway with that $900 million?

I also find it interesting that often times the dollars that flow into projects are not enough to complete projects. Sometimes the state does not match and you are stuck with nothing(route 11 in Connecticut is a perfect example).

VDOT operates in much the sameway. Politicans will deliver dollars that in reality do nothing. Take Del. May and Lingemfelter with Gainesville thies. They hold a press event saying they wish to secure funding for the interchange... A few million for $100+ million porject means nothing.

At 8/12/2005 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

I completely agree with you on the project side of things. In fact, the most egregious one that I can find in the bill is an $18.75 million bridge connecting Ketchikan, Alaska to the Island of Gravina, population 50.

I'm not sure if I should be happy or concerned that Don Young is leaving the chairmanship of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Cmte. in favor or chairing the House Homeland Security Cmte. now that Chris Cox has resigned to assume the chairmanship of the SEC.

At 8/12/2005 05:15:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

I agree wholeheartedly with MR JMS here. It leads me to a point that I believe should be (and is most ofter not) at the core of the issue: How we should spend our tax dollars and not simply how much is being taken from taxpayers.

Over the past few months, I read much in the papers and around the blogosphere about tax rates and tax revenue. The arguement that permeated the primaries, particularly where Connaughton is concerned, revolved around this. In my mind, the real question was completely ignored. The important debate should be on the role of government and how tax revenue should be spent. If we can agree on this (and there will be much debate to be sure), then the question of tax rates will answer itself. We should only tax our citizens on what should be limited levels to fund the services that government should provide. No more, no less. When we have surpluses, some should go back to the taxpayers in the form of rebates (Not rate reductions!), with the rest being set aside in a rainy day fund.

Now, I'm sure there are those who will question my insistence on rebates over rate reductions. Rebates are a one-time shot a much smaller impact on future economic concerns. If you reduce tax rates in reaction to point-in-time surpluses, you leave open the real need for future increases to meet demands in later years. Let me use the example that we can all relate to: employment salaries. If I perform my job in a manner that is above and beyond expectations, my employer will likely reward me. In many cases, the emploter has a choice: 1) Give me a raise in salary, typically a percentage increase relative to my current salary; 2) Give me a one-time bonus that doesn't not alter my base salary; or 3) Give me some combination of the two. Option 1, while most common, is problematic. If I don't perform as well the following year, I'm still going to be paid at this new, higher salary and any additional increases I receive will include this previous increase. Much like compound interest on investments, if you will. On the other hand, if my employer simply gives me a one-time bonus, future performance bonuses and salary increases are not relevant. If I don't perform and/or the company cannot afford the bonus, I don't get one. Or maybe I get a smaller one. Either way, the company is not on the hook forever for a payment that should be based merely on a specific period of time.

Tax rebates and rates should work in a similar way. If we identify the proper roles of government and set rates accordingly, we should rarely need to change those rates for reasons outside of inflation and population growth. When the economy performs better than expected, we should reward consumers (taxpayers) with one-time bonuses (rebates), not rate reductions while also setting aside some of the surplus to ensure that rates do not have to be increased in leaner years due to revenue shortfalls.


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