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Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
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Americans Voting With Their Feet.
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Twilight Zone Economics.
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The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
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From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
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Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
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Let Economic Freedom Reign.
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Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
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Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
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Right To Work States Rock.
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January 29, 2008
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The Carnival Of Classiness.
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Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 643 -- Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Big Spender.
Hey Big Spender-
Senator Hutchison is the biggest earmarker in the history of Texas politics. Her federal pork: unsurpassed by any other Texan.
But as I have pointed out incessantly here, pork is bad, it is corrupting, it is a big part of why Republicans lost power, but entitlement spending is really the biggest driver of record spending and record deficits in America today.
Take government spending on health care, for example.
This graph represents mostly the expansion of the S-CHIP program, something Kay Bailey Hutchison has made a priority. She hasn't met an S-CHIP expansion she hasn't jumped at the chance to support; Michelle Malkin labeled Hutchison one of 9 Barack Obama Republicans.
But let's not forget about Medicare:
Senator Hutchison is absolutely responsible for a lot of that spending growth.
While Texas' conservative Senator John Cornyn voted against it, Senator Hutchison voted for the largest federal entitlement expansion since LBJ's Great Society, the addition of prescription drugs to Medicare.
Whether it is pork or entitlements, or expanding universal pre-K, Senator Hutchison is for more of it. Lots more.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: KBH = Texas' Top Earmarker, EVER.
Choose Rick Perry for Texas Governor: Late August Recap.
August was a wild month for the Perry/Hutchison campaigns in Texas. There are a few campaign web videos that sum up the last half of the month.
My team, the Perry campaign, released this video, among others, on the morning of her announcement to mock Senator Hutchison's inconsistent record on the issue of bailouts:
You can find lots of videos highlighting Senator Hutchison's inconsistent record on WashingtonKay.com.
And just for the record, KBH voted not only for the TARP bailout, but she also voted in favor of auto company bailouts in April of this year.
Second, when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison made her attempted announcement tour, her crowds were mindbogglingly tiny for someone who is the "most popular politician in Texas." Austin American-Statesman reporter Ken Herman caught her hometown announcement in LaMarque on tape, and it is really cringe-worthy on just about every level:
That is one of the most embarrassing web videos I have seen for a major candidate since "Macaca." If this were a national content receiving more attention, this sort of video would have absolutely sunk a fledgling primary candidacy in an early Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina caucus/primary.
Not that my team, the Perry camp, needed to rub it in any further, but to underscore Kay's terrible week, we released this train wreck montage video with a few select quotes from bloggers and media who were paying attention:
Speaking of embarrassing videos, Senator Hutchison's team put out this video:
In response, my team posted the video on WashingtonKay.com and wrote a letter to the Texas Ethics Commission asking for guidance on whether Texans for Rick Perry would have to report the video as an in-kind contribution from the Senator Hutchison campaign.
Not every web video can be a big hit, and views/comments are certainly not everything, but Senator Hutchison's team is putting out an excessive number of complete duds. For example, the Hutchison camp seems to think that a Governor ceremonially signing bills is some sort of unprecedented, nefarious activity (seriously?) and therefore a major scandal. To that end, they put out this amazingly bad video harkening back to the movie Groundhog Day.
Web videos are a peripheral part of any campaign, but you can learn a lot about the rest of the campaign from them. I think there is very little you can take from these web videos other than: it's not been a great summer for Senator Hutchison's attempted campaign.
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Disclosure: I work for the Perry campaign, if you hadn't figured that out yet. For more on this, see this post.
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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 642 -- KBH's Pork Barrel Spending.
Texas' Senior Senator = Part of GOP Image Problem-
Kay Bailey Hutchison has been in Washington, DC for 16+ years now. Before she went to Washington, she pledged to change Washington. Washington, unfortunately, changed her.
She has become part of the DC culture. She has been one of the biggest earmarkers in Texas history, and is THE biggest pork barrel spender in all of Texas politics today. That includes a lot more Democrats in the House than one might realize.
Kay is also a flip-flopper on the pork issue:
No doubt, some of these earmarks, like all earmarks, are worthy projects, but the earmarking process is what is so terrible. Earmarks receive no consideration, no debate, no deliberation-- they are inserted by individual legislators and often traded for other earmarks. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
Kay Bailey Hutchison was named to the Porker of the Month Hall of Shame by Citizens Against Government Waste. She is a pork queen, plain and simply. She has an enormous number of just really terrible votes over the years, even over the past couple of years. We don't need her big spending ways in Texas state government, where we have a balanced budget and 9 billion dollar rainy day fund.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Loves Private Property.
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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 641 -- Texas & Private Property.
Texas Loves Private Property-
Texas has a lot of land, and nearly all of it is privately owned (.pdf):
In the nation, federally-owned land comprises nearly 30% of all land in the United States. A remarkable difference.
Private land also goes along with Texas being among the top 5 states in terms of overall freedom, according to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Earlier this year, Governor Perry signed legislation that reforms Texas' eminent domain laws (essentially nixing any Kelo-like debacle in Texas) and further protects Texas private property rights.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Pork Ruined GOP Brand.
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Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 640 -- Pork Was GOP's Undoing.
Republicans Lost Credibility For Porky Ways-
As I say in every one of these posts, pork is not the #1 reason for our soaring federal deficits. Entitlements are.
That being said, earmarks are a big part of why Republicans lost power, possibly even the defining reason.
Pork grew rapidly under Republican Congresses, which led to a complete loss of credibility for GOP members who did so much earmarking while claiming to be fiscal conservatives:
The Republican brand took a major hit with the rise in wasteful spending. After a brief respite, pork projects are on the rise again under Democrats.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Tracking Job Numbers.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 639 -- Tracking Job Numbers.
Matching Results To White House Predictions-
The nation's unemployment rate fell from 9.5% to 9.4% last month. How does that put us on the White House prediction scale:
Another factor that will boost the unemployment rate in future months will be the fate of teenage workers. Teens accounted for a quarter of the decline in the labor force last month. July's jobs report was conducted before the minimum wage took effect. Therefore, it is likely that the job market for teenagers will be further weakened by the minimum wage increase. Teenagers already have the highest unemployment rate at 23.8 percent, which is more than double the national average.
It will be interesting to see how the recent hike in the minimum wage impacts job numbers. Hopefully, we are bottoming out and will see economic growth (and job growth) soon, but I am not optimistic about it. If it becomes clear that socialized medicine, card check, and cap & trade are dead and buried, we could see a serious rally.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Cutting Taxes All Over-- Just Not America.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 638 -- Slashing Taxes Across The Globe, Except America.
The United States Corporate Tax Rate -
The Tax Foundation has some more great research on corporate tax rates around the world:
If you're standing still, you're getting left behind. Competition works. Let's compete.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Health Care Rhetoric Versus Reality.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 637 -- Health Care Rhetoric Versus Reality.
Just Words? Don't Tell Me Words Don't Matter-
Positive words are things like "choice" and "benefit" while negative words are things like "tax" and "regulate."
Here is the breakdown of one of Obama's town hall meetings, versus what is in the bill itself:
Obama is overpromising and underdelivering, as usual. Fantasy happyland when it comes to the words. Reality bites.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Record Deficits.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 636 -- Hands Off Health Care.
Government Health Care Is Already The Problem, So How Could It Also Be The Solution-
We need health care reform, but not more government control. Government control has already increased slowly but steadily over the years:
Obamacare would be a disaster. We don't need such a large chunk of our economy under the control of government bureaucrats. They already have too much control.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Record Deficits.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 635 -- "Record" Budget Deficits.
No End In Sight-
During the Bush administration, we heard a lot from Democrats about "record budget deficits," a myth which really only became true after they took overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate.
Now, those "record" deficits of the Bush years look like fiscal paradise.
There is a bubbling revolt happening right now in this country against card check, cap & trade, Obamacare, and a host of other left-wing initiatives. It makes sense that people would reject trillions in new government programs when we have these enormous budget gaps.
The Heritage Foundation's Federal Spending by the Numbers 2009 has a ton of important numbers to consider:
Their graphs are much larger, so go take a peek at them.
Obamacare and cap & trade never really made sense, but they would represent especially poor policy in a major recession, as our tax revenues are plummeting and our spending and debt are skyrocketing.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Fiscal Responsibility.
Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 634 -- Fiscal Responsibility.
Not All Republicans Created Equal-
I have been following along with the goings-on with the Dallas TEA Party, if only because they seem so darned organized and energized. Today they put out a scorecard based on rankings from Citizens Against Government Waste and the Club for Growth regarding Texas members of Congress:
KBH is significantly lower than our actually-conservative Senator, John Cornyn.
Now, nobody is perfect, and it is nearly impossible to score 100% or even above 90% all the time in these ratings, but an average below 60%? That's failing.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Trade Deficit Down.
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My typical disclaimer... I work for Governor Rick Perry. For more, read this disclaimer/endorsement from back in January. I'll update this with some fresh disclaiming soon.
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