the Morning Briefing every morning at no charge.
We’ve made a bit of a mistake as a conservative movement fixating so much on the race for the White House. There’s a behind the scenes fight happening in Washington right now. Congressional Republicans are not just selling us out, they are hell bent — and I really do mean hell bent — on destroying the conservative groups raising red flags about what they are doing.
For so long the GOP in Washington could hide behind surveys like the American Conservative Union survey, which shows just how much more someone is Republican than Democrat. No one actually did a survey that showed just how conservative the Republicans were internally. What happened was a lot of Republicans took up the conservative banner as their own, claimed to be conservative, and really were selling out conservatives in D.C. as much as the Democrats.
Finally, the Heritage Foundation decided to do something about it. Much whaling, whining, gnashing of teeth, and the odd spectacle of Washington Republicans running to MSNBC to complain has ensued.
Back when I was a lawyer I handled several sexual harassment suits. None of mine settled for less than the high end of six figures.
Reading about these two complaints, my gut reaction to them is that settling for five figures, which could be as little as $10,000.00 and as high as $99,999, was “go away” money.
If the Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association, at the time one of the top 25 trade associations in Washington, D.C., were sexually harassing someone, that someone could get a lot of money. It just strikes me that a settlement for less than six figures is money paid to deal with the nuisances of an employee fired or otherwise let go who decided to raise the specter of harassment to get more money to leave without causing a scene.
Dealing with harassment claims, no matter how substantive or frivolous, is one of the costs of doing business in America that causes more and more businesses to not do business in America.
The Obama administration firmly believes that one of the contributors to our national debt and budget deficits is the fact that the wealthy give to charity. His jobs bill makes this clear by proposing a cap on the deduction high income earners (the one’s most likely to take advantage of the deduction as well as provide the largest contributions) can claim when engaging in philanthropy. Currently, anyone earning over $250k per year is able to deduct up to 35 cents for every $1 they contribute to charity for up to 50% of their income. Under President Obama’s proposal, that would be dropped to 28 cents per $1.
According to the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University, the impact on overall charitable giving would be “relatively small” even had the administration administered these caps in 2009 & 2010.
Yeah, the former Democratic Speaker of the House went there…
By far, our largest unfunded liabilities are Social Security and Medicare. According to recent actuarial reports, Medicare faces a $25 trillion liability and Social Security has an unfunded liability of $21 trillion. And those numbers are regarded as low-ball figures, due to their unrealistic accounting for cost-cutting measures. They already represent the largest expenditures of the federal government, with Social Security and Medicare consuming 20.2% and 14.6% of the budget respectively. Those numbers are slated to skyrocket as the retirement population doubles over the next three decades. Hence, any meaningful discussion of balanced budgets must include a plan to fix these two entitlement behemoths – brought to you by previous Democrat presidents.
Opponents of the reforms in Issue 2 blame busted local budgets on the way Governor Kasich handled the $8 billion deficit Ted Strickland left behind. In effect, government union bosses who thrive on a broken status quo insist the problem is too little spending. Like all leftists who decry spending cuts, union bosses want to raise our taxes.
For proof, consider Ohio school districts’ five-year forecasts from October 2010. Based on papered-over Strickland state figures – before Governor Kasich was even elected – districts projected major shortfalls by 2015. If we vote down Issue 2, how will local leaders cover these deficits? Layoffs, higher taxes, program cuts… choose any combination of the three.
I read historic biographies. They are the books I like most. I don’t have much time for fiction, so I would at least like to read something well written about someone real who did something historic. John Adams by David McCullough remains one of my favorites. William Pitt by William Hague is another.
I sat down last week on my iPad and began reading, until my hard copy arrived, Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. Wow.