Monday, January 31, 2011

Democrats Jobs Credibility Lacking

Dems Continue To Claim ‘Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs’ In Every Bill They Consider But After Two Years Of False Promises, America Has Lost Nearly 3 Million Jobs

2,837,000 Jobs Lost February, 2009 – December, 2010
(U.S. Dept. Of Labor, “Employment, Hour, And Earnings From The Current Employment Statistics Survey (National),” Accessed 1/24/11)

Unemployment Rate: 9.4%
(“The Unemployment Situation – December 2010,” Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 1/7/11)

New FAA Promise: ‘Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs’
“Senate Democrats And An Airline Industry Executive Will Host A Conference Call Tomorrow To Discuss The Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs The FAA Reauthorization Bill… Will Save Or Create.” (Sens. Reid, Schumer, Rockefeller, & Cantwell, Conference Call Press Release, 1/30/11)

Stimulus Promise: ‘3.5 Million To 4 Million’ Jobs
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: In “18 Months” Stimulus Will “Create 3.5 Million Jobs … Literally Drop-Kicks Us Out Of This Recession.” “This is a monumental project, but I think it's doable. But I just think we got to stay on top (inaudible) and we got to stay on top of that on a weekly basis. Because this is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and do -- to set -- tee this up so the rest of the good work that's being done here literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again and begin to employ people again.” (Vice President Biden, Remarks At Recover Plan Implementation Meeting, The White House, 2/25/09)

BIDEN: “In My Wildest Dreams, I Never Thought It Would Work This Well.” (“Biden On Stimulus: ‘Never Thought It Would Work This Well,’” The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/09)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “This Bill Creates 3.5 Million Jobs.” (Sen. Reid, Press Conference, 2/11/09)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “And It's A Very Significant Stimulus, 3.5 Million To 4 Million Jobs Is A Lot Of Jobs.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 3/8/09)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “House-Passed Bill/Obama Plan (HR 1) Creates 3.7 Million Jobs.” (Rep. Pelosi, “Setting The Record Straight,” Press Release 2/10/09)

Health Law Promise: ‘4 Million Jobs’
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “So This Bill Is Not Only About The Health Security Of America. It's About Jobs. In Its Life It Will Create 4 Million Jobs -- 400,000 Jobs Almost Immediately; Jobs, Again, In The Health Care Industry, But In The Entrepreneurial World As Well.” (Health Care Summit, The White House, 2/25/10)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “This Isn't Just A Health Care Bill, It Is A Job Creation Bill…” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 12/3/09)

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): “So I Want To Be Clear With My Colleagues And With Americans Across The Country Today: This Bill Is About You. … It Is About Helping Our Economy And Creating Jobs…” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.13750, 1/22/09)

Small Business Bill Promise: ‘500,000 Jobs’
, Joe BidREP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Bill “Will Create 500,000 New Jobs.” “Nice to see you here, especially today, because we're so pleased with what happened yesterday in the Congress-that we were able to pass the Small Business Credit Act, which will create 500,000 new jobs.” (Rep. Pelosi, Weekly Press Conference, 9/24/10)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Most Importantly, This Bill Will Create Jobs - Up To 500,000 Of Them.” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 9/13/10)

Unemployment Insurance ‘Creates Jobs’
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “Unemployment Insurance… It Creates Jobs To Help Reduce The Deficit.” (Rep. Pelosi, Floor Remarks, 12/2/10)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “If We Fail To Reauthorize Unemployment Insurance, Not Only Will 83,000 Nevadans Be Left Without A Way To Support Their Families, Our Nation's Economy Could Shed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs.” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 12/2/10)

Tags: Democrats, lost jobs, jobs, credibility, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Holocaust - Never Again . . .

Student Project: The Holocaust
Three Million People Died At Auschwitz-Birkenau
Gary Bauer, ARRA News Contributing Author: Sixty-six years ago today, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps, was liberated by the Soviet Army. More than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered there. In 2005, the United Nations designated January 27th as "International Holocaust Memorial Day" to honor the victims of the Holocaust and to inspire the nations of the world to make sure such genocide never happens again.

Speaking before the Knesset yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an indictment against the "world community" for failing to condemn repeated calls for a new Holocaust. Here are excerpts of his remarks:
"I think one thing is clear: the fact that global anti-Semitism is renewing and expanding is obvious. If anyone thought that anti-Semitism stopped after World War II and the Holocaust, it is now evident that it was only a hiatus. …

"There is an ayatollah regime … and it knowingly and openly calls for the elimination of at least another six million Jews, and yet nobody says a word. Here and there they mention it, but where is the fury, the rage, the international uprising that should have come from the advanced international community against clear statements calling for the destruction of the same people? It doesn't exist. …

"There are many good-hearted people and countries around the world. They feel in their hearts what I think, but that's not enough. Facing a regime which calls for our destruction and which is arming itself with weapons of mass destruction, a stronger mobilization of countries should have emerged. …

"It is not only a threat against us, because it always begins with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. The hatred of Jews kindles an overall fire, and I expect that on this day, when I applaud the world for marking the most heinous crime in world history and the history of our people which was perpetrated against our people -- I hope others will also learn the lesson. We already have."
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Israeli, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Holocaust To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Greatest Moments in Liberal History - Part 1


PolitiZoid explores some of Liberal's greatest contributions to American society. It's a comedy. Video:

Tags: PolitiZoid, comedy, liberals, agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Civility for Political Dummies

William Warren: Today’s toon talks about how the Democrats keep calling for civility… including the ludicrous gesture to have them and the Republicans sit next to each other at the next SOTU speech. [By the way, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she will not sit next to Majority Leader Eric Cantor.]


Tags: Civility for Dummies, Democrats, Hate Speech, Political Cartoons, Political Rhetoric, Racist Tea-Baggers, Republicans, State of the Union, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Obama's Plan to Admit Mexican Trucks

U.S. Jump-Starts Bid to End Truck Dispute With Mexico


Comments by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: t is amazing that, with unemployment unacceptably high, the Obama Administration has endorsed a plan that will cost U.S. jobs and make highway driving for Americans more dangerous and less pleasant. Obama wants to admit Mexican trucks to drive on all U.S. highways and roads.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, explained what this means: "U.S. truckers would be forced to forfeit their own economic opportunities while companies and drivers from Mexico, free from equivalent regulatory burdens, take over their traffic lanes." We wonder if Mexico has any regulatory standards at all.

Mexican trucks are known to be overweight and lacking in safety regulations we consider essential, such as anti-lock brakes. Mexico doesn't have national databases that track drivers' records, background checks, drug usage, and arrests, and it's known to be easy to get a commercial driver's license with a bribe.

Nevertheless, Obama's Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, has announced he wants to admit Mexican trucks, and he thinks he can appease Congress by presenting on January 6 what he calls a "concept document." It is two pages of bureaucratic pablum that does nothing to assure the safety of Americans on our highways and roads.

The concept document calls for a "review" of the Mexican carriers' safety program, the driving records of Mexican drivers admitted to the program, and inspection of Mexican trucks for safety and emissions. But the document says nothing about what the standard of review and inspection will be, and whether trucks and drivers who don't pass inspection will be rejected.

Under the concept document, Mexican trucks would be subject to border inspections at the "normal border inspection rate," and subject to inspections within the U.S. "at the same rate as U.S. companies." That doesn't reassure us; the "normal" border inspection rate means that only a few violators will get caught, which the Mexicans will consider just a cost of doing business, and the notion that Mexican drivers need inspection only at the 50 percent U.S. rate is ridiculous.

U.S. law requires truck drivers to speak and understand the English language. The concept document says it will "conduct an English Language Proficiency" test of each Mexican driver, but it doesn't say the Mexican drivers must speak English or pass the test.

We know from the House testimony of the previous Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, that the Department's policy is to approve Mexican drivers as "English proficient" even when they respond to an examiner's questions in Spanish. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who was conducting the hearing, was so astounded at this answer that he asked Secretary Peters to repeat it.

The concept document contains other provisions about monitoring, inspections, review, and drug and alcohol inspection. But the document contains nothing about requiring Mexican trucks to meet U.S. standards and rejection if they do not.

Mexican trucks have been barred from operating inside the United States since March 2009. They are limited to a border zone where they must then transfer their cargo onto U.S. trucks. Mexico claims the current ban violates our treaty obligations under NAFTA. That's not true because NAFTA is not a treaty; it was never ratified by two-thirds of Senators as our Constitution requires for a treaty, and is merely a law passed in 1993 by a simple majority vote.

Perhaps the Obama Administration plan to admit Mexican trucks is just a political maneuver. It may be a tactic to reach out to the business community, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and at the same time be a sneaky way to defeat Republican Members of Congress in 2012 by forcing them to vote on the admission of Mexican trucks.

This issue defeated one of our best conservatives in the House, the great track star Jim Ryun (R-KS), who unexpectedly lost his seat in 2006 after voting to admit Mexican trucks. The feminist Democrat who defeated Ryun, Nancy Boyda, then sponsored a bill to ban Mexican trucks, which passed the House by the overwhelming vote of 411 to 3, with the Senate passing a similar bill 75 to 23, votes that are a good indication of popular opinion.

With the drug war in full battle array along our southern border, this is no time to start admitting Mexican trucks. It's a safe bet that many of the trucks will be carrying illegal aliens and illegal drugs.

Another safety problem exists for U.S. trucks that would get access to Mexican roads under this misguided proposal. Trade is supposed to be two-way street, but U.S. drivers don't want to drive into northern Mexico, the most dangerous area in the world because of the ongoing war between drug cartels.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, US Highways, Mexican Trucks, Meican truck srivers, lost American jobs, unsafe trucks, highway hazards To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Tucson Massacre And The End Of The Merely Political

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 8:  Police quarantine the...
by Ralph Benko: The Tucson Massacre dominated the political discourse in America. That is a symptom of a preoccupation with politics that narrows our possibilities as a society to renew the American spirit, society and culture.

There is an axiom on the Left: “The personal is political.” This is a phrase made famous by radical feminist Carol Hanisch in a 1969 essay. It is famous because it presents, vividly, something very true and, at the time, new. But it does not contain the whole truth. The time for its centrality has expired.

All of the evidence suggests that Jared Loughner’s mayhem was a function of severe mental illness. His YouTube videos are redolent with signs of severe dissociation, words that almost seem to make sense yet do not: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

Loughner’s MySpace profile contains a long list of favorite books.  Much attention has been directed to his referencing of The Communist Manifesto and of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. But the really telling reference has been almost completely overlooked: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

This 1962 novel is a dramatization of (among other things) an inhumane, and indefensible, system of institutionalizing the mentally ill–along with mere eccentrics, those with below-average IQ and social misfits. It, and the award-winning movie based on it, became a counterculture classic. It may have been the trigger for a dramatic shift in social consensus against institutionalization of the non-criminal insane and others.

Those who remember the pre-Cuckoo’s Nest days have not forgotten the prescribed torments, rarely curative, to which those diagnosed as insane were subjected. Electroshock therapy, pharmaceutical regimes designed to stupefy, and, most heinously, prefrontal lobotomy. This litany does not include the inmate-on-inmate violence and abuse that was rife in understaffed institutions. The very real abuses dramatized in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest led to general revulsion to the undignified and unbearably inhumane way our society dealt, institutionally, with the mentally ill, the below-average IQ and the socially odd. The social consensus that followed led to a wholesale deinstitutionalization on humanitarian grounds.

To say that the current policy is imperfect is a massive understatement.

According to Noel Hentschel, a former mental health adviser for the U.K. Royal Society of Medicine, the shooting [was] “a critical breakdown of mental health care in America.” She wrote in the Huffington Post, “The bar is so high for proving someone is a threat to themselves or to others that they literally have to already be in the middle of a horrendous act like this vicious attack for law enforcement, family or medical professionals to be able to provide treatment to the disturbed person. … What a travesty of justice for all concerned!”

Most of those among the mentally ill, those below-average IQ and the misfits are perfectly harmless. And yet some are dangerous to themselves and others.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jan. 10 Review and Outlook aptly notes that “Jared Loughner’s sickness is not the product of politics” and deftly deconstructs the efforts forthcoming from some on the Left to posit that Tea Partiers, Townhallers and conservatives somehow are culpable. The Journal and many others, including President Barack Obama in a speech that rivals Ronald Reagan’s eulogy for those who died in the Challenger, properly exonerates conservatives as innocent. America’s revered Founders indulged in abundant vitriol, some of which makes our era’s look tame.

That said, a much larger principle is at stake. A society is much more than government and its handmaiden, politics. A culture that immediately looks at everything through the lens of politics gives a creepy credence to Nietzsche’s 157th aphorism from Beyond Good and Evil: “Insanity in individuals is something rare–but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.” This aphorism may have been, and still be, apt. It need not continue to be apt.

The personal is political. But it is not only political. The personal is economic. The personal is familial. The personal is social. The personal is cultural. The personal is spiritual. We are emerging from an epoch of war, an emergence that this writer has addressed elsewhere. It thus becomes possible anew to find meaning in events that are much more than the merely political.

By doing so, as a society, we move much further away from “big government” than any amount of budget cutting can effect. By moving beyond the axiom that the personal is political we begin to move away from Nietzsche’s indictment of insanity in nations as the rule. We can move toward new possibilities of social vibrancy and social harmony.

The personal is more than political.
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Ralph Benko is a senior economics advisor to The American Principles Project and author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World. He is working on a new book, called "A Golden Age: the political consequences of the peace."The article which first appeared in the Forbes - Blogs was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Ralph Benko

Tags: Ralph Benko, Arizona, Tucson, Massacre, news, politics, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken Littles Abound Around the Tucson Tragedy

The sky is falling the sky is falling. Many of us remember Chicken Little screaming about the forthcoming demise of the sky after a little acorn hit his head.

Today's revelation by Zach Osler on Good Morning America revealed a lot of Chicken Littles in the media, journalists, political pundits and in the various levels of government including the Sheriff of Pima County. The alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, who killed 6 and wounded 14 others did not watch TV or listen to talk radio according to Mr.Osler.

This is contrary to all those who accused specific media people such as Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin to the Tea Party of hate speech as well as any American who questioned the continued expansion of government while reducing the freedoms guaranteed under We the People. Some from the U.S. Congress from the East Coast to the West Coast called for restricting the First Amendment of freedom of speech.

Now it is time for those who challenged this assumption that Jared Loughner was incited to commit this act of violence because of all the "hate speech" and similar rhetoric to apologize to those they maligned from talk radio to public individuals and We the People with their erroneous, disrespectful and frankly hurtful opinions. America does not need any more Chicken Littles who yell the "sky is falling, the sky is falling," but citizens who demonstrate critical thinking skills by waiting for the real facts to come in.

P.S. I am not holding my breath waiting for any of these apologies because what will happen is those who started all of this false rumors will turn on Mr. Osler because the truth does not fit their paradigm.

Tags: hate speech, Tucson Tragey, talk radio, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Monday, January 10, 2011

DeValuation of We the People Continues

by Leanne Hoagland-Smith: Today, January 10, 2011 at 10am central time, the President led the nation in a moment of silence for the victims in the Tucson Tragedy. As I thought about this, I did not remember a similar act by the President for the 7 murdered victims and 20 injured of Fort Hood or any other recent national tragedy. At least the Army did schedule a moment of silence within 24 hours of the Foot Hood shooting, but our President could not.

The inconsistencies in this behavior are not lost to many in this nation for I was not alone in this observation. Others have made similar observations about this moment of silence and left their remarks at a variety of blogs. All you need to do is to type in: Fort Hood shooting moment of silence.

Earlier this day I posted "Tucson Tragedy Suggests Life Has Different Values." And the essence of that post and this one is the devaluation of We the People continues.

If you are a:
  • U.S. citizen who happens to be a soldier who is minding his or her own business and suddenly find yourself in crossfire
  • U.S. citizen who happens to be listening to your local elected official and suddenly find yourself in a shooting spree
  • U.S. citizen who is exercising your right to vote and find yourself intimidated by another citizen
  • U.S. citizen who is attending public school and find yourself in the middle of a planned massacre
  • U.S. citizen who is defending his or her property against the onslaught of invaders bent of committing illegal acts their first one not entering the country legally
  • U.S. citizen who is exercising your Constitutional right of freedom of speech that happens to disagree with those who support unconstitutional laws
then your value is less because other have deemed it so and that goes totally against the U.S. Constitution especially the first three words - We the People.

Everyone that being all U.S. citizens is supposed to have equal value and with the amendments this has been guaranteed. However our elected officials continue to cherry pick the value of We the People. If you agree with those in power both side of the We the Politicians, then you are a good citizen. But if you disagree, then you remarks are considered hate speech, vitriolic and even stupid.

Years ago, Herbert Morrison a reporter for WLS radio who was covering the docking of the Hindenburg echoed these words, "Oh, the humanity" when the great airship began to burn and passengers began jumping out of the burning ship. Today the same thing is happening. The ship of We the People has docked, is being destroyed and then altered for We the Politicians by all these inconsistencies.
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a conservative advocate and is President and Owner of Advanced Systems and provides Professional Training & Coaching to senior executives. Smith also contributes articles to varied publications including Conservative Voices.

Tags: moment of silence, Tucson Tragedy, We the People, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, editorial, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tucson Tragedy Suggests Life Has Different Values

This morning the headline announced charges being filed for the "assassination try." As I thought about this word, I began to realize that this word suggests someone is the victim of an "assassination effort" has a greater value than someone who is an injured bystander or who is actually murdered as in the case of the nine year old child and other victims..

When one looks to the origins of this word, it is Arabic and refers to "hashish eaters." The second definition in Webster's Dictionary from the 1960's was for a murder who killed suddenly as well as a hired killer. During the last several decades, this definition has been altered to reflect someone who kills a prominent person.

In the case of the alleged shooter he was an assassin under the traditional definition in that he killed suddenly. So all the victims who died were assassinated as well as murdered.

Listening to all the media talk and reading the various websites to blogs, the talk is far more about the Congresswoman than the other individuals who died or who are still in recovering. Discussion has elevated from a Congressman from PA who wants to restrict want can be said about a US congressperson by extending federal law that is now exclusively for the President.

For years, those in Congress believe they are better than anyone else from the House Banking Scandal to filing taxes to current economic troubles. Beyond believing they are better, many in Congress also think they know better by passing laws the majority of the American public do not want as evidenced by their overall job approval rating.

When all of this is boiled or rendered down, it does appear many in Congress think their lives have greater value than those who elected them. Funny, the U.S. Constitution begins with these 3 words - We the People and not We the Politicians. In reading this document, there is no differentiation between elected officials and the people or citizens.

The words we think, speak and write do carry different meanings. When using the word assassinate in today's crazy world, I believe we are potentially implying that one life has greater value than other. This devaluation of life is inconsistent with "We the People."
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a conservative advocate and is President and Owner of Advanced Systems and provides Professional Training & Coaching to senior executives. Smith also contributes articles to varied publications including Conservative Voices.

Tags: assassination, banking, scandal, the tragedy, Tucson, We the People To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Addressing The Progressive Effort To Label Conservative Points As Lies

In the following article Ken Marrero takes on Progressive author Joshua Holland.  Holland is the editor and Senior Writer at Alternet who recently wrote “The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies about Taxes and Public Spending”.


On Joshua Holland’s “9 Conservative Lies”

by Ken Marrero (Blue Collar Muse): Public debate is critical to the American political experience. Organizations and politicians take their message to voters, highlight strengths and weaknesses of the issues and submit their solutions. On election day, we see who the People choose.

Integral to the process, yet seldom mentioned, is for each party to be honest and operate in good faith. They must make arguments and quote statistics they believe to be true. They must not misrepresent their opponents or deceive participants. They may later be found wrong, but they may not intentionally deceive. This post is necessarily one of the longest I’ve written. I thought it better to address each point well than to gloss over one or more dismissively.

Joshua Holland, Progressive author and editor and Senior Writer at Alternet, recently wrote “The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies about Taxes and Public Spending”. It should serve as a model of how not to conduct the public debate necessary to arrive at good decisions for our nation. Holland doesn’t seem interested in debate. At times, he is less than truthful himself while outing Conservatives as liars. And he is mostly wrong. Let’s look at Holland’s points.

Conservative lie #1 – “Cutting Taxes Leads to More Money for the Government“
Holland’s rationale is faulty as he combines unrelated facts to form the foundation of his argument. He sources a piece by Progressive author Perrspective, “Meet the New GOP Alchemists”, to undergird his position.But it merely reveals his error.

“…Republican alchemists continue to insist that cutting taxes increases government revenue and thereby reduces the deficit.” The argument is that if deficits exist after a tax cut, then cuts don’t increase revenues. But this requires one to adopt the view that if government receives a billion dollars this year and yet runs a deficit, the problem was with revenues. Nowhere is spending factored in to the equation. In truth, revenues are not the key component in deficits, spending is. For example, if governments only spend the money they actually receive, there are no deficits! Yet, it is quite possible to have incredibly large revenues and still run deficits if spending is increased as well.

Perrspective dismisses John Boehner’s words  from June, 2010, “It’s not the marginal tax rates … [that] … led to the budget deficit. The revenue problem we have today is a result of what happened in the economic collapse some 18 months ago.” Perrspective insists the 2010 deficits result from Bush Tax Cuts, ignoring the TARPs, the housing crisis and Obama’s deficit spending.

Holland wants more than just “tax cuts don’t increase revenues”. He wants a cause and effect between tax cuts from a decade ago and deficits. That’s a logical fallacy known as “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. If he gets it, then tax cuts cause deficits, not surpluses.  If Holland demonstrated the only cause for deficits is falling revenues, he has a case. Holland demonizes Tax Cuts, not Spending Increases, because it promotes his agenda, not because it’s true. Yet there isn’t even complete agreement among Progressives as to the relationship between the two. The WaPo piece Holland quotes to support lie #9 also observes of the Bush tax cuts, “Although the cuts were large and drove revenue down sharply, they are not the main cause of the sizable deficit that exists today.”

To be fair, “lie” #1 wasn’t tax cuts cause deficits. It was tax cuts don’t increase revenues. But the cuts Holland focuses on are only the Bush Tax Cuts specifically. He then extends his findings to all tax cuts generally. This seems effective as Bush’s Tax Cuts admittedly are not the strongest argument that cuts lead to revenues. It fails since there are other clearer instances of cuts raising revenues.

But Holland’s accusation is absolute. It’s not that Conservatives are sometimes wrong or right only now and then depending on circumstances to avow that tax cuts boost revenues; it’s that Conservatives are lying to say so. If that’s true, then no tax cut can ever have increased revenues. To debunk Holland takes only a single exception and Holland himself provides it. In “lie” #2, his last paragraph notes, “…go back to the Kennedy era, when cutting the top rate did spur growth and bring more money into the government’s coffers.” Holland can’t have it both ways.

Conservative lie #2 – “Art Laffer’s Famous Curve Supports lie #1”
Art Laffer argues there is a tax rate so high as to cause taxpayers to avoid paying it and revenues will fall. Exactly where that is on the rate scale is not clear. Holland quotes economists suggesting it may be in the 50% to 70% range. Holland disproves his own contention and admits Laffer’s observation is not a lie right after saying it is.

That Laffer’s Curve doesn’t kick in until taxes are high doesn’t make the notion high taxes reduce revenues a lie. It is merely one of many argument illustrating people will do what they can to reduce their taxes.

That Americans in all tax brackets try to pay as little tax as possible is seen each April 15th. It also drives the government’s own tax credit carrots. Laffer need not explain all tax avoidance behavior to be relevant. Conservatives are right. People fight to keep more of their money for all sorts of reasons, including because rates are high. It’s their money, after all.

Conservative lie #3 – Taxes on the Rich Keep ‘Wealth Producers’ from ‘Creating Jobs’
Once again, Holland tries to blend two very different arguments into one. The lie was supposed to be about taxing the Rich. His argument is about taxing businesses. The wealthy and the businesses they typically own or control are two different taxpayers. We’ll tackle businesses here and the Rich in #4.

Businesses with current costs under control, including hiring and CEO salaries, can still be unsure what impact tax increases will have on their business resulting in them adopting a “wait and see” posture.

Tell a business it will have a cost increase and it will have an immediate impact. It will ask, “How do I deal with the added expense?” Just as with government when its costs go up, increasing costs to a  business is dealt with in one of two ways or a combination of the two. It can cut costs or raise prices.

Holland simplistically assumes a business booming now automatically hires workers simply because it is booming. While it can be true, it is a false premise since businesses boom for many reasons. Not all of them result in additional hiring.

For example, if Company A keeps costs in line and can undersell Company B with poor cost controls, Company A may hire new workers. Both companies face the same tax challenge and A is better at controlling costs so A’s boom remains and they add staff.

But if A’s increased costs reduce profits enough, it may not justify a new hire. The potential benefits don’t outweigh the risks. They may opt to simply stay where they are. They’ll still do better than B and the boom will continue without adding staff.

Of course, A could raise prices to offset the new costs. But in the real world, that can lead to an object lesson on the Laffer Curve’s validity. When prices rise, sometimes people don’t buy or don’t buy as much. Bye-bye boom. A booming business which bets wrong can bust and  lose all its jobs, new and old.

Faced with cost increases, businesses often sit on cash to see how things shake out. This is particularly true of increased taxes. Business must understand the reality of what is happening, not merely accede to government’s assurances of what will happen. Taxes are political decisions which add counterfeit pressures to the market. Expanding the workforce is a Market decision and it has to be correct. Blending the two factors is not easy and “Better safe than sorry!” is often the choice. Increasing taxes negatively impacts hiring.

Conservative lie #4 – Tax Cuts for Upper Earners Spur Job Growth
This is related to but very different from “lie” #3. #3 applied to businesses. #4 applies to individuals. I dealt with this notion a week ago. The short version is wealthy people definitely create jobs with their wealth. Consider that in just 1999, 4 men; Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller and Henry Ford were responsible for 21 million jobs in this country, 16.5% of all the jobs there were.

It is the wealthy, and arguably mostly the wealthy, who create vast numbers of jobs. Behind them are the “wealthy wannabes” who understand wealth is created by serving their fellows well; small business owners who aspire to join the elite ranks one day.
Whether by saving and investing, personal spending or business expansion, the wealthy use their money to create jobs. The best thing we can do for Job Creation is let them keep more of it. The second best thing we can do is let the non-wealthy keep more of their money, too.

Conservative lie #5 – Only Half of American Families Pay Taxes
It is difficult to even dignify this point with a response because it is so patently either a lie itself or evidence of such ignorance that Mr Holland should be ashamed to put his name on it. This one point alone is grounds to cast suspicion on the validity of everything that Mr. Holland might ever say again.

Holland accuses Conservatives of saying only 50% of Americans pay taxes. He says it’s a lie since everyone pays state and local taxes and sales tax.

What we really say is the bottom 50% of wage earners in America don’t pay any federal income tax (actually the bottom third pay nothing, the bottom half pay about 3%), a demonstrably true statement. Moving on …

Conservative lie #6 – Americans Are Taxed to Death
Holland sources a graph of the tax burden of 30 of the most developed nations for 2008. America’s rate of 26.9% of GDP ranks us 26th lowest. So, what’s the big deal with a measly ol’ 26.9%? He wants us to be happy with our low comparative tax rate. But this is America and we do things differently here! At least we used to.

The UK, France and Canada have higher rates. Their rates are high because they give their citizens so much. It is precisely the Socialism v Capitalism debate currently raging in US politics. Holland is fine with a turn to Socialism and taxing others to accomplish that. Conservatives are not.

Greece, Portugal and Spain have higher rates, too. In 2010, these countries are riddled with debt and insolvent despite high taxes. These nations defaulting on their obligations could bring down the EU and perhaps reach out to damage or destroy America. Which is precisely the point.

High taxes should never be a fix for irresponsible spending on social programs or deficit based stimulus. Suggesting we emulate these nations is insane. The US at the bottom of the list means we might yet escape their fate. Their higher taxes are not keeping their countries happy and healthy and may, in fact, contribute to their deaths since Conservatives and Laffer are right, higher taxes lead to reduced revenues. These nations are literally being taxed to death. Holland wants us to be more like them.

Conservatives do say we are being taxed to death. But it isn’t a lie. If Progressives win the debate, we will either cease to exist due to irresponsible spending policy or because what we become is no longer America. Either way, America is dead. And high taxes will be near the top of the factor list.

Conservative lie #7 – We’re Being Killed by Runaway Government Spending
This is little more than a reprise of #6. Holland sources a Progressive group’s report on America’s ranking among the same countries in #6 above, but for spending and for 2004-2007. His argument is that we spend less than most countries on the list on “public spending” and they are just fine.

Illustrative of what they mean by “public spending is the statement, “Of equal importance is how much a government spends, and particularly how effectively it puts the revenues it collects through taxes back into the economy.” Unasked is the question, why is government collecting a penny more than it needs to operate itself and not leaving the rest to its rightful owners to put into the economy?

Why do Conservatives complain so much about government spending? See my answer for #6.

Conservative lie #8 – Conservatives Favor Low Taxes and Limited Government
Holland’s use of “the Right,” “Republicans,” and “Conservatives” interchangeably suggests he doesn’t see or understand the difference between them. Does he also believe the Left, Democrats and Progressives are identical?

Conservatives don’t contend the whole of the GOP favors low taxes and limited government. We are just as mad at Bush and, more recently, those voting us a 35% estate tax and another year of unemployment as we are with Reid, Pelosi and Obama.

The best Holland could say is Conservatives know they are more likely to get an acceptable deal from the GOP than from Democrats. Not that the GOP will always deliver; just that the Donkeys are unlikely ever to deliver. Bush did a lot of good to go along with his lot of bad while Obama and Progressives just did a lot of very bad.

Holland’s own arguments bears this out. He says Reagan and Bush are tax cutters and notes government spending and size grew under both administrations. He ignores that both men dealt with strong Democrats and weak Republicans in Congress which spent the surpluses generated by their tax cuts. Were there Conservatives in those congresses? Of course. Were there moderate Republicans in those congresses? Yes. We saw it last week in the Lame Duck debacle. In a minority role in the GOP caucus, Conservatives are hard pressed to halt the Progressive destruction visited on America by Democrats and some Republicans. But that doesn’t mean we agree with it.

Portraying Conservatives as the moral equivalent of Republicans is, yet again, deceptive and untrue. Holland knows this. Or he should.

Conservative lie #9 – Taxes on Top Earners Are Actually Taxes on ‘Small Businesses’
Of the 9 statements, I’m inclined to grant Holland is correct in his notion that taxing the wealthy is unlikely to tax small business. I’m less inclined to call Conservatives liars if they say it. Perhaps they’re caught up in the mantra of the moment as the Left was with “gravitas” and “negotiating with hostage takers.”

In addition, there are some problems inherent in this particular debate. From his sources I conclude Holland defines “top earners” as those making over $170,000 per year. That includes a lot of small business owners. Less clear is exactly what is meant by both “small business” and “small business income.”

Holland dismisses multiple income streams as relevant if the earner makes a lot of money from one of them; a media personality with a million dollar network salary and $25,000 in income from speaking engagements. Why is a stand alone small business made irrelevant simply because it’s owner is also wealthy? That $25K is real small business income. The impact of taxes on the people who work for and service it are quite real. That doesn’t change because the owner is wealthy apart from its profits.

Holland’s sources are also dismissive of small profits noting derisively that GOP claims of tax increases hurting small business include as small businesses entities showing even $1 in profit . How preposterous. Conventional wisdom shows most small businesses fail. Virtually all those failures stem from no profit or not enough profit? Many businesses operate at a loss for a year or more before making a profit to be taxed at any rate? Businesses exist to generate profits. And they may expend hundreds of thousands of dollars to generate that measly $1 profit and get their heads finally above water. Only Progressives despise profits for not being large rather than celebrate them for being at all.

The bottom line appears to be that Mr. Holland is making things up as he goes along in order to further the narrative that he desires as opposed to the one based in reality. He is preaching to a Progressive choir and uninformed and lazy Moderate and Indie voters who will recognize the kernel of truth in his statements “Conservatives say …” and miss or ignore the error which follows.

The pity is that articles such as Holland’s take time to research and write. Had he put together a fair representation of Conservative thought, we could have entered into a debate on the ideology and resulting policy from each side of the spectrum. Win, lose or draw, both sides would have been better for it and citizens would have had a valuable resource. Instead, for reasons known only to himself, he chose to present Conservatives in a light that can only be seen as intentionally bad; misrepresenting both their views and their values. Doing so does his own cause no favors and irreparably damages his own credibility. It’s what can happen when men are held responsible for the consequences of their actions. But that’s another post …

Tags: AlterNet, Art Laffer, Conservatives Lie, Deficit Spending, Deficits, Do Taxes Increase Revenues, Government Revenues, Joshua Holland, Joshuea Holland, Laffer Curve, Lower Taxes Increase Government Revenues, Progressives Claim Conservatives Lie, Taxes, The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies about Taxes and Public Spending, the Laffer Curve, The Poor Pay No Income Taxes, The Poor Pay No Taxes, Blue color Muse, Ken Marreno To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fear of Losing Business Keeps Bad Business Behaviors in the Marketplace

One of the problems with political correctness is that it conjures up fear not to say what is wrong is wrong. For small business owners this becomes an economic survival challenge because to speak up might cost business and in turbulent times every sale is critical.

Recent data released from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests 78.8% of American businesses have no employees. What this means is there are a lot of small business owners who are in all actuality crazy busy sales people and probably operating from one sale to another to keep the lights on, the food on the table and the creditors at bay. The current economic situation has potentially magnified all this fear.

This fear is even evident in social networking sites (marketing) where for many the goal is to gain attraction, build relationships and ultimately increase sales. A recent posting on LinkedIn within one of the Chicago Discussion Groups was seeking 20 speakers with business backgrounds. After almost 30 days of being live and with a plethora of responses, the poster of the request finally responded saying she was so busy just keeping up with the responses and encouraged others to respond to her.

Several of the responders believed the discussion was similar to a scam and then asked why do speakers, consultants, fall for postings like this each and every time? A second question was then raised as to what to do with these type of postings?

My response was to call the person out on her behaviors which I did. Sure this would eliminate any future consideration by her. However, bottom line she probably wasn’t going to connect with me anyway so I truly had nothing to lose, but far more to gain beyond affirming my own business ethics and values.

We as individual regardless of our roles are the change in the world. If others are engaged in unethical and unprofessional behaviors then it is responsibility to inform those that such behaviors are disrespectful. Allowing fear be it no additional sales or even being unliked or political correctness should not drive our behaviors. Of course, when engaging in this information process, the person questioning the poor or unethical behaviors must be respectful and courteous even if the other person is not.

Many people in business do not discuss politics because they think within the realm of elected officials and again are fearful of losing business. However the origin of politics is Greek and comes from the word “polites” which means citizen. As citizens, we do have a moral obligation to let others know when their behaviors are unacceptable. Now these behaviors may not be breaking any laws which for some is the rationalization for political correctness, but are still disrespectful to others.

Of course some if not many might say I am being judgmental. And they are 100% absolutely right. A society without judgment is one where chaos reigns supreme and provides the opportunity for a far more controlling government such as socialist and fascist to take over. In the U.S. political correctness has created an environment of chaos because people are fearful of making respectful common sense statements.

If you want a more ethical business marketplace, then let people know when their behaviors are poor and are disrespecting those around them Do not let the fear of political correctness keep you silent when you see "Rome burning."

For until we make a polite stand, these unethical behaviors will continue especially when those in government believe it is okay and rely on fear to keep the minions quiet. If you disagree, then look only to local political scandals, the House Banking scandal, Congressman Jefferson with thousands in the freezer or most recently Charlie Rangel and let us not forget President Clinton.

Tags: fear, political organizations, small business, US Census Bureau, citizens, polites, business behavior, business ethics, house banking scandal, political correctness To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!