Diary

Morning Briefing for August 1, 2010

RedState Morning Briefing
For August 1, 2011

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1. Not Playing the Fool

There are a lot of Republicans tonight willing to play the fool for the GOP in this debt ceiling plan. They say, for example, that there will be no tax increases from this super committee. Never mind that the Democrats are saying otherwise.I can prove to you right now that there will be tax increases.The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the Bush tax cuts to expire. So all the commission has to do is two things: extend middle class Bush tax cuts and enact a permanent alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch. Those two together would look like an increase to the deficit in CBO scoring. So then the commission can start out of the gate with the ability to create several trillion dollars in new tax hikes to equal out to the cuts — cuts that will happen even without the commission most likely. And where will those cuts come from? Those making $250,000.00 or more, of course. And probably the Gang of 6?s ideas to eliminate most deductions to income taxes without revenue neutral rate reductions and the Gang of 6?s pièce de résistance — raising capital gains taxes from 15% to 28%.Have people not been paying attention? In every single address the President has given on the debt ceiling, he has insisted on new tax revenue. John Boehner even put $800 billion on the table, so it is already there.The House and Senate GOP leadership may have convinced themselves that they have snookered the Democrats, but even little ole me, a non-budget genius, can drive a truck through their argument. And their best response probably comes from Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform. That counter argument is best summed up as but . . . but . . . but . . . the House Leadership says so. And if puppies were unicorns, we’d all live in a fantasy land.Apparently, young lefty Ezra Klein who thinks no one pays attention to the constitution because, dude, it’s so old, is brighter than Ryan Ellis at ATR. Klein writes, “Boehner is misleading his members to make them think taxes are impossible under this deal. The Joint Committee could close loopholes and cap tax expenditures. It could impose a value-added tax, or even a tax on carbon.”There will be tax increases. The Deficit Commission will have at least one weak kneed Republican and the commission will only be as strong as its weakest link. The Bush tax cuts will also absolutely expire and not be renewed.The alternative for the GOP would be seeing massive defense cuts and being blamed for senior citizens seeing their medicare cut. “But,” House Republican leaders exclaim, “the cuts would not be to beneficiaries.”True, the cuts would be punishing doctors who will respond by denying access to medicare patients.The Democrats are happy to force through taxes in the committee and then, when the GOP opposes them, claim the GOP would rather hurt our soldiers and seniors than raise taxes on “fat cat millionaires.”And if we’ve learned nothing else these past few weeks, the GOP fears more than anything else what the Democrats say about them. Don’t believe me on taxes, then ask GOP leadership why they haven’t put in a clear statement prohibiting them or, even better, why there is no prohibition on decoupling the middle class Bush tax cuts from the upper income Bush taxes cuts.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. Why We Fight

Over the past week, the Tea Party has been impugned and maligned with more ferocity than ever before. Amidst our push to balance the budget, downsize job-killing government agencies and programs, and preserve our AAA credit rating, we have been condemned as extremists, suicidal, and traitors. Sadly, most of these acrimonious ad hominem attacks were propagated by those who purport to share the aforementioned goals, but feel repulsed by our “intransigent” sense of urgency. Some have even regurgitated Democrat talking points suggesting that Reagan would be labeled a RINO by the Tea Party.These writers and commentators who supposedly share our ultimate goals for limited government, yet condemn our tactics and sense of urgency, are lacking a sober understanding of the severity of our current predicament in relation to Reagan’s era.As grim as the situation was at the time of Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, it simply doesn’t compare to the magnitude of our problems precipitated by the growth of the federal government, the insolvent debt, and rampant government dependency. Reagan came to power and fought for limited government in order to preclude the very eventuality that we are experiencing today. Today, in 2011, we are suffering under every pernicious effect of a tyrannical government; the magnitude to which Reagan did not experience, but presciently attempted to avert.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. The Liar, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: Five Lies about the Debt Limit told Over the Weekend by a Fraud, a Harpie, and an “Empty Suit”

The final straw for me was a syndicated columnist who compared conservatives’ opposition to John Boehner’s debt limit proposal to the murder (“fragging”) of American officers by their own troops in Vietnam.As it turns out, most of my ROTC class missed Vietnam by a year. But we spent four years enduring the physical assaults and (actual) spit of the “Barack Obamas” of our generation, plus the prospect of being assigned to some of the most dangerous jobs in the world and the reports of our fellow lieutenants who died when their own troops rolled grenades under the bunks.We were surely far from perfect. But I didn’t deserve to have students try to rip the uniform of the United States off my body. Our contemporaries, whatever their flaws, didn’t deserve to be murdered. And I don’t deserve, now, to have our fears treated with gleeful scorn by a woman whose greatest sacrifice for this country, I’m guessing, was breaking her heel on the way to the protest rally.Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. The RedState Gathering

At the first RedState Gathering, a few people national audiences had not really heard of named Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Michael Williams, and Ken Cucinnelli showed up.Last year, we had a few more.This year, we’ll have Governor Rick Scott of Florida, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Treasurer Don Stenberg of Nebraska, Rep. Adam Hasner of Florida, Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.And that’s not all.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. Ex-Union Member Fights $200,000 Union Fine For Working Non-Union

Unions have rules. Union members who break those rules can be placed on trial by their union and, if found guilty, can be expelled or suspended from the union. They can also be fined, as Nathaniel Musser has learned the expensive way.Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. The 22 Who Held the Line

Here are the 22 heros who defied their House leaders and opposed the Boehner plan.Note that the South Carolina delegation comes out on tops. Its two senators, Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, also opposed it. It’s something that South Carolina has more testicular fortitude than Texas.Please click here for the rest of the post.

7. An Interesting Observation

As I wrap up what turned out to be 7 hours of radio and 3 of television, let me leave you with an interesting observation from a very wise conservative sage.Please click here for the rest of the post.

8. A note to you disenchanted tea party activists

I’m getting a lot of emails from tea party members rather upset with members of Congress today.The funniest story I’ve heard today from several people on the hill is that the House GOP held a budget “listening” session to learn how to message better for tea parties and independents. The House GOP leaders really thought that they had the policy right and just needed to work on the message — troubling in that this is exactly what the Democrats told themselves as they went down in flames in 2010.Please click here for the rest of the post.