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« January 2010 | WILLisms.com | March 2010 »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 754 -- Taxpayers' Friends.

Every Republican Should Be On This List-

Too many Republicans are absent from this list of Taxpayers' Friends, from the National Taxpayers Union:

Screen shot 2010-02-26 at 4.41.44 PM.png

Wake up, Republicans. Every one of you should be scoring in the 90% range on this index.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Tax Hikes.

Posted by Will Franklin · 26 February 2010 04:48 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 753 -- Obama's Tax Hikes.

Spending Will Require Higher Taxes Eventually-- The Highest In History-

Heritage with another great but terrifying graph showing where taxes will have to go under our current path:

Congress is now considering yet another multi-billion-dollar stimulus that features tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers. The House of Representatives passed its bill in December 2009. The Senate voted recently to limit debate on its plan and will soon vote on final passage. After that, the House will have to vote on the Senate bill, or a conference committee must be formed to reconcile the differences in the two bills.

No wonder Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball is predicting Republicans may come just three seats shy of taking back the House.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Washington Regulating Energy, Aiming At Texas.

Posted by Will Franklin · 25 February 2010 01:06 PM · Comments (3)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 752 -- Washington Regulating Energy, Aiming At Texas.

Cap & Trade or EPA Rulings, Obama's Washington Targeting Texas-

At this point, it is clear that the Obama administration is indeed attempting to punish Texas on a variety of issues, particularly energy.

Look at what Cap & Trade would do to Texas:


The economy would take a hit:


And consumers would face higher bills:


The EPA under Obama will attempt to use its regulatory authority in the executive branch to do to the energy industry what likely may never be approved by Congress. Overregulation by the EPA may be just as damaging as legislative action. This is why Texas is currently suing the EPA. While Texas, the number one wind power producing state, has cleaner air and has reduced carbon dioxide emissions in recent years, Obama's Washington wants to impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme that will disproportionately harm Texas.

Hat tip to @john_w_fleming of the Heritage Foundation.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Spending Restraint.

Posted by Will Franklin · 23 February 2010 10:15 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 751 -- Texas Spending Restraint.

Not Federal Spending-

While the federal government is staring right in the face of annual deficits over a trillion dollars, Texas is sitting on a multi-billion dollar Rainy Day Fund because it has exercised spending restraint:


Ideas matter. A Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget works.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The EPA's Job-Killing Ruling.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 February 2010 04:28 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 750 -- The EPA's Job-Killing Ruling.

Federal Mandates, Lost Jobs, No Impact On The Environment-

Waxman-Markey would have a decidedly negative impact on Texas, which-- not so incidentally-- is the number one wind energy producer in the country. Texas is also reducing carbon dioxide emissions at a much greater rate than the rest of the country, but the reality remains that fossil fuels are and will remain the most important energy source years from now. The Texas economy has diversified significantly, but cap and trade legislation out of Washington would have a disproportionately negative impact on the Texas economy:


Jobs are also in question:

*Overall manufacturing output declines by 4.6 percent in the low cost case and by 5.4 percent in the high cost case in 2030 compared to the baseline forecast.

*Texas now derives 47 percent of its electricity from natural gas and 38 percent of it from coal. Without commer cially available, cost-efficient carbon control technology, Texas’ electricity prices for a typical household could be 54 percent higher in 2030 under the Waxman-Markey bill.

*Another important segment of Texas’ manufacturing industry, chemical product manufacturing, will decline by up to 14 percent in 2030.

*Certain energy intensive sectors like primary metals (e.g., the smelting and refining of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and alloys usually to make ingots) and nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing
(e.g., bricks, cement, glass) also decline by as much as 19 percent to 26 percent in 2030. Coal production falls by 86 to 87 percent.

*Gross state product will decline by $29.9 billion to $40.8 billion in 2030. Such reductions in GSP will reduce state budget receipts and force policymakers to make hard choices.

*Texas will see a reduction in job growth; there will be 144,597 to 196,928 fewer jobs in 2030. Employment in key manufacturing sectors, e.g., chemical products and fabricated metal, would see the greatest decline relative to the baseline forecast.

*Disposable income will fall by an average of $612 to $1,103 in 2030. Low-income families and the elderly will spend a higher proportion of their income on energy.

Cap and trade. Not helpful to the environment. Bad for the economy. It is central planning and Washington engineering of the economy, and it must be stopped.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: United Nations' Bloated Budget.

Posted by Will Franklin · 19 February 2010 04:10 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 749 -- United Nations' Bloated Budget.

We Control Our Own Destiny, Let's Stop Acting Like Victims-

It is not a terrible secret that the United States is the largest individual funding source for the United Nations, and while some would like to turn America into a hapless victim of some sort of "globalist one world government conspiracy," the United States has a lot of options to rein in the United Nations. We have power. We control our own destiny.

We're not helpless, hapless victims in this situation, but we have to actually demand accountability for this sort of budget growth:

To avoid a repetition of recent budget fiascos, the United States must be prepared. Specifically, the U.S. should:

* Announce that it is returning to the principle of zero growth in the U.N. regular budget.
* Identify key reforms to improve budgetary constraint and insist that the U.N. adopt and implement them.
* Demand more influence on U.N. budgetary decisions.
* Demand increased transparency and accountability at the U.N.

It does seem absurd that the United States spends so much money each year propping up a corrupt and sclerotic organization-- comprised of so many dozens of unfree nations and a handful of free nations that actively work to undermine American interests-- that comes through with so few meaningful non-American resources to accomplish even consensus goals like stopping genocide in Africa or stifling the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This is a mismanaged organization with very little accountability, and its budget needs taming.

A lot of people have complained about the lack of return on investment over the years, but we just keep throwing more money at the United Nations, hoping they will love us. Why don't we just show a little backbone and threaten to cut the purse strings if they don't get with the program?

Our current budget crisis provides a good reason to make this happen.


The U.S. currently contributes 22% of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27% of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. The U.S. budget for fiscal year (FY) 2010 requested $598 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2 billion for the peacekeeping budget, not to mention other large contributions from the United States to United Nations-affiliated organizations, adding up to more than $5 billion a year.

Playing a little hardball on the budget wouldn't be such a bad thing every now and then. This is the kind of issue on which Obama could get tough and triangulate, in Clintonesque fashion, in order to quiet his foreign policy critics a bit. Based on his modus operandi so far, Obama won't do that.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Government Runs Health Care Too Much Already.

Posted by Will Franklin · 18 February 2010 01:52 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 748 -- Government-Run Health Care.

Private Sector Increasingly Crowded Out-

We need health care reform, and we need it now. Not the kind of "reform" that vastly expands the role of government in our health care system. We need reform that enhances the role of free enterprise, competition, and markets. There is a tipping point, and we are very near it:


There is a creeping incrementalism-- a ratcheting up, if you will-- with regard to government consuming more and more of our medical system. Even certain big government Republicans like Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison vote year after year to expand the government's role in health care, through big government programs like S-CHIP.

The problem is not too little government meddling in our health care system. The problem is too much.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Suing EPA.

Read More »

Posted by Will Franklin · 17 February 2010 11:11 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 747 -- Texas Suing EPA.

Texas' Success-

You probably didn't see it, because the establishment media almost uniformly ignored it, but Texas was the number one exporting state in the nation. Again. For the 8th year in a row.

Texas was one of the few states that did not have a "lost" decade from 1999 to 2009 (.pdf):


Now, the EPA is trying to ruin Texas by overregulating carbon dioxide in a way that seems to target Texas. Texas is saying no:

Get out and vote for Rick Perry. If you're a Texan, vote early. Find your polling place here.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Budget.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 February 2010 04:55 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 746 -- Obama's Budget.

This Year's Budget Would Spend An Additional $1.7 Trillion And Run Up An Additional $2 Trillion In Budget Deficits -

Obama's budget just keeps growing and growing:

* Permanently expand the federal government by nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over 2007 pre-recession levels; * Raise taxes onall Americans by more than $2 trillion over the next decade (counting health care reform and cap and trade); * Raise taxes for 3.2 million small businesses and upper-income taxpayers by an average of $300,000 over the next decade; * Borrow 42 cents for each dollar spent in 2010; * Run a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2010--$143 billion higher than the recession-driven 2009 deficit; * Leave permanent deficits that top $1 trillion in as late as 2020; and * Double the publicly held national debt to over $18 trillion.

Democrats completely misread what the American people were telling them in 2006 and 2008. Republicans lost power because they became big spenders and "porkers of the month" just like Democrats.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Stimulus Jobs.

Read More »

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 February 2010 10:36 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 745 -- Stimulus Jobs.

Did Stimulus Even Help?-

The stimulus. Did it create any lasting private sector jobs? Did it help the economy? Probably not. Heritage has some interesting research about it:

The CEA claims that the stimulus bill created jobs in 2009, but this claim is based on its newly constructed "it would have been worse" forecast for 2009. When trillions of dollars are being spent, the American people deserve to have a true economic analysis done and should not waste money on meaningless reports.

Yeah, I am not sure the pain we will feel down the road will be worth the temporary gain, if there was any gain, from the stimulus.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: How Big Will Republican Gains Be In 2010?.

Posted by Will Franklin · 12 February 2010 01:16 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 744 -- How Big Will Republican Gains Be In 2010?

Republicans To Make Gains-

Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball has a decent track record of predicting political elections based on trends, historical data, etc. Their latest prediction is great but not excellent for Republicans:

It's great in the sense that Republicans are almost assuredly going to make gains. It's not excellent in the sense that these gains are not enough to take back Congress. Congress may be terribly unpopular right now, but it's all about Obama:
Some political observers have suggested that Congress’s low approval rating could have a major impact on the 2010 midterm elections. But low approval ratings are nothing new for Congress—it has been more than six years since Congress had an approval rating of 50% or higher in the Gallup Poll. Since 1974, when Gallup began asking this question on a regular basis, Congress has received an average approval rating of 50% or higher in only 2 years: 2002 and 2003 following the 9-11 attacks. Congress is almost always unpopular. However, opinions of Congress appear to have little or no influence on voting decisions in congressional elections. Despite the unpopularity of Congress, incumbents have enjoyed very high reelection rates throughout this period. Moreover, evaluations of Congress appear to have little or no influence on which party voters prefer in congressional elections. It is the president’s performance that matters when it comes to choosing between a Republican and Democratic candidate for Congress. In November, Democratic fortunes will depend on how voters feel about President Obama, not how they feel about Congress.

How much of an albatross will Obama be for Congressional Democrats?

And how, exactly, do Obama-aligned Democrats expect to win any races whatsoever in conservative states such as Texas?


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Debt Limit Made Simple.

Posted by Will Franklin · 11 February 2010 09:54 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 743 -- Debt Limit Made Simple.


Nice video from the Heritage Foundation on why spending and debt seem to constantly ratchet upward:

A great case for Constitutionally limited government.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Adds Jobs.

Posted by Will Franklin · 10 February 2010 09:45 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 742 -- Which Cities Have Added Jobs Through The Current Recession?

Texas Cities-

Since the national recession began somewhere around three years ago, Texas is the only state with major metropolitan areas to add jobs. Of course, Washington, D.C. has also added jobs, but that is to be expected these days.

All four of Texas' "major" cities have added jobs since the recession began:


Ideas matter.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas & Jobs.

Posted by Will Franklin · 9 February 2010 11:59 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 741 -- Texas & Jobs.


The Dallas Business Journal today notes that, despite the recession and some ups and downs, Texas added 50,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Well, going back ten years, Texas is one of the only states to add any private sector jobs at all:


You can also go back 3 years and see a similar pattern.

Ideas matter. While no individual state is immune to national pressures in our increasingly federalized nation, Texas is a definite success story for a reason. The proof is in the pudding.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Only State To Add Jobs Through Recession.

Posted by Will Franklin · 8 February 2010 04:56 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 740 -- Texas Only State To Add Jobs Through Recession.


This morning, the official national employment numbers came out, and the unemployment rate actually fell from 10.1% to 9.7%, despite a loss of 20,000 jobs in January.

Let's examine state-by-state, and look at Texas versus the rest of the nation over the course of the recession:


Over the past three years, every other state among the top 10 largest lost jobs, but Texas added them. Texas is also one of only two big states to add any significant private sector jobs over the past decade.

Ideas matter.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: 2010 Census.

Posted by Will Franklin · 5 February 2010 11:38 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 739 -- 2010 Census.

A Drop In The Bucket-

Generally, Republican states will gain Electoral Votes and additional Congressional seats after the 2010 Census:

The eight states the Census will help:

1. Texas
2. Arizona
3. Florida
4. Nevada
5. Oregon
6. Utah
7. Georgia and
8. South Carolina

Texas: Analysts predict that Texas could gain up to four Congressional seats, the most of any of the handful of other states expected to grow.

Meanwhile, some states will lose Congressional seats and Electoral Votes.

The 11 states the Census will hurt:

1. Louisiana
2. Minnesota
3. Iowa
4. Missouri
5. Illinois
6. Michigan
7. Ohio
8. New York
9. Pennsylvania
10. Massachusetts, and
11. New Jersey

This Census may be eye-opening in terms of societal changes, as well, including the change of the American family:


More roommate situations (think Friends). Fewer married families with kids. More bachelors and bachelorettes. I would guess the 2010 Census will show some pretty major continuations of these changes.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Bogus Budget "Freeze".

Posted by Will Franklin · 4 February 2010 10:29 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 738 -- Obama's Budget "Freeze"

A Drop In The Bucket-

A nice visual from Political Math:

Obama is looking more and more like a failed one-termer.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Has 8% Of The People But One-Fourth Of America's Fastest Growing Companies.

Posted by Will Franklin · 3 February 2010 12:50 PM · Comments (2)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 737 -- Texas Has One-Fourth Of America's Fastest Growing Companies.

8% Of The Population, 25% Of The Fastest Growing Companies-

Another cool visual from the BillShrink blog:


Go check out the BillShrink blog to see the full size graphic.

No state is immune to the economic realities out there right now, and Texas is no exception. Even the energy industry has been shaky over the past couple of years. But Texas remains the leading economy in the nation, precisely because it has kept taxes relatively low, budgets balanced, and government spending in check.

Texas cannot afford to bring in the second biggest "porker" in Washington, D.C. and make her our Governor:

Texas can't afford Kay Bailey Hutchison's big spending ways. We have thrived, relatively speaking, in large part because the burden of government is low in Texas. We reject "free" money with mandates and strings attached from the Federal Government, routinely. We cut our state budget when necessary-- Texas has zero deficits and one of the very lowest levels of debt in the country.

A country can't tax, spend, and borrow its way to prosperity.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Government Spending Under Control.

Read More »

Posted by Will Franklin · 2 February 2010 03:35 PM · Comments (8)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 736 -- Texas State Spending Among Lowest.

Fiscal Responsibility-

Despite what certain negative Texas politicians say, government spending in Texas as a percentage of Gross State Product is extremely low in Texas:


Texas has it right when it comes to keeping government spending under control-- one of the very lowest levels of spending as a percentage of Gross State Product in the country. Even in these difficult economic times, Texas balanced its budget for 2010. Meanwhile, Obama announced yet another budget with massive deficits:

The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion, topping last year's then unprecedented $1.41 trillion gap. The deficit would remain above $1 trillion in 2011 although the president proposed to institute a three-year budget freeze on a variety of programs outside of the military and homeland security as well as increasing taxes on energy producers and families making more than $250,000.

Very different ways of doing things. Very different results.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The Obama Curse.

Posted by Will Franklin · 1 February 2010 09:33 AM · Comments (0)