Will Loretta Sanchez Support Devastating Energy Tax?
California Families Would Suffer from Skyrocketing Home Heating Costs Under "Cap-and-Tax"
Washington - Despite Democrats' promises to deliver tax relief to families who need it the most, the recent budget proposal from the White House includes a "cap-and-trade" provision that should more appropriately be named the "cap-and-tax" provision, because if it became law it would raise energy taxes on every single person who flips on a light switch.
As Congress takes the President's federal budget under consideration, California families deserve to know if Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) would support such a devastating energy tax proposal.
The cap-and-tax proposal made by President Obama would drastically increase electricity rates for every American, causing additional hardships for already struggling California families. A new analysis shows that electricity rates could rise by as much as $4.6 billion per year, costing a California family of four approximately an additional $505 per year.
NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain asks, "Will Loretta Sanchez put partisan allegiances ahead of struggling workers and support a fiscally irresponsible cap-and-tax proposal that will increase energy bills, raise taxes and overwhelm the budgets of American families? The last thing that American families need to worry about right now is whether they will be able to cool their homes this summer or keep their families warm next winter."
Families in California would be even more drastically affected, as so many families' homes are heated with expensive fuels:
MIT researchers released an "Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals," which shows that the increase would be an increase of more than $3,000 a year for each household. (A Report of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change; Assessment of U.S. Cap and Trade Proposals; http://web.mit.edu/globalchange/www/MITJPSPGC_Rpt146.pdf
What’s more disturbing is that low-income families would take the hardest hit from this "cap-and-tax" proposal:
Testimony from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed that, "The rise in prices would impose a larger burden, relative to income, on low-income households than on high-income households for two reasons. First, low-income households spend a much larger fraction of their income than do high-income households. In addition, energy-intensive items compose a greater share of low-income households’ total expenditures." (CBO Congressional Testimony; The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10018/03-12-ClimateChange_Testimony.1.1.shtml
(Source: House Committee on Ways and Means Republican Staff, Analysis of Annual Increase in Electricity Costs, http://www.republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/showarticle.asp?ID=539
Logue: Republicans Focusing on Jobs in California
Our friend Assemblyman Dan Logue has a column on the Flashreport
today discussing the key topic of creating jobs in California, and just how much harder California government makes it for employers to do that.
Harder for private sector, wealth creating employers, that is. Government, by contrast, has no problem creating more government jobs paid for by taxpayers. Logue notes that in the same time the state has shed 473,500 manufacturing jobs, government has created 171,400 jobs for itself, all paid for by taxpayers.
There comes a point where the public sector becomes so expensive and intrusive that the state simply loses its appeal for employers when compared with the climate in other states. California has reached that point.
Logue's full commentary can be read here
National Political Climate Change
The national political dynamic is changing - that's the conclusion from a round of new public opinion data released in the last several days. Barack Obama's approval rating has dropped below 50% for the first time, reflecting the fact that his was seemingly the shortest "honeymoon" of anyone outside of Hollywood.
Normally this fact alone wouldn't constitute a change in the political dynamic. But, it comes at the same time Republicans have moved into the lead in the national Congressional generic ballot test. In the same test Republicans were behind by as much as seven points just a few weeks ago.
The Democrats in Washington are overreaching, using the current economic climate as an excuse for a massive expansion of government, taxes and public debt. For example:
Taxes and budget. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget proposal contains what would be the largest tax hike in American history, with the new energy tax alone costing each American family $3,128 annually and a $9 billion tax on charitable giving. Higher energy prices, less disposable income, and less support of charity. Not the "change" Californians voted for. Even some Congressional Democrats are balking at the unprecedented level of debt called for in Obama's budget.
Cap and Tax. The Democrats' proposal for combating "global warming" is typically called "cap and trade." But with data released this week it became clear the Democrats' proposal really amounts to "cap and tax," producing a sharp spike in electricity prices and a drop in GDP if adopted. Call it, anti-stimulus.
I'm particularly proud of California's Republican Congressional delegation and their leadership in framing the national debate against new taxes, debt and new government spending disguised as "stimulus." They're doing a great job.
Union 'Card Check' Scheme Violates Constitutional Principle
This just in from Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon...
The undemocratic card check scheme has been the subject of relentless criticism for months now, with detractors highlighting everything from its transparent political implications to its shocking assault on workers' rights.
Although the bill has been dubbed the Employee Free Choice Act by its supporters, it's hard to imagine a more misleading name. In fact, the bill would actually limit free choice by subjecting workers to the pressure, intimidation, and possible retribution that come from public exposure of their choice of whether or not to join a particular union.
Adding a new headache for supporters of this anti-worker plan, in today’s Wall Street Journal, attorneys David Rivkin and Lee Casey explain how card check could actually run afoul of the Constitution. Rivkin and Casey, who served in the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, explore card check’s contradiction with the First Amendment.
"Although card check's advocates and critics have spilled much ink arguing about the bill's fundamental fairness to labor and management, so far the debate has not focused on the other compelling interest at stake: the constitutionally protected right of employees to keep their opinions on controversial issues like unionization to themselves. This is card check's Achilles' heel.
"The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, along with the Fifth and 14th Amendment due process clauses, to protect a variety of expressive and associational rights. The right to speak and associate anonymously is among those rights. Indeed, anonymous speech has a long and honored tradition in American politics. Much of the political agitation leading up to the American Revolution was necessarily anonymous in order to avoid British sedition charges. And three of the Constitution's Framers -- James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay -- wrote the Federalist Papers supporting its ratification under the anonymous pen name 'Publius.'
"The Supreme Court has consistently recognized the importance of this type of political discourse. The reason is obvious: Public speech on contentious issues often inflames passions, prompting intimidation and retaliation. Outing speakers who prefer anonymity chills speech, and has the potential to suppress it entirely. …
"There can be little doubt that the act of voting on important issues is a form of symbolic speech, residing at the very core of the interests protected by the Constitution. The secret ballot has not only been adopted in federal and state elections, it is recognized as a fundamental human right in a number of international instruments. This includes the U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States is a party, that requires secret ballot voting as ‘guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.' …
"Sanctioning -- and thereby promoting -- demands that employees publicly disclose how they feel about unionization clearly violates their First Amendment entitlement to vote and practice their speech privately. Significantly, unlike other cases in which such restrictions have been upheld, union organizers cannot articulate even a semblance of an offsetting First Amendment value."Rivkin and Casey, Why Card Check is Unconstitutional, The Wall Street Journal, 03.30.09
Reagan's Wisdom on Hiding Taxes
To get away with raising taxes in the hope no one notices, one common tactic is to tax individuals indirectly by taxing businesses. Well a business is nothing more than a group of people, and the reality is that every tax on such a group of people is ultimtely paid by workers in the form of lower wages, owners in the form of lower returns, or consumers in the form of higher prices. It's still a popular tactic because the true cost of the government is further obscured. Reagan put it this way:The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn't pay taxes...Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business...If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business.
Land of the Brave: Medal of Honor Day
In 2007, Congress designated March 25 as National Medal of Honor Day
. It was that date in 1863 when Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton presented six Union Army soldiers with the first-ever Medals of Honor. More than 3,400 Medals of Honor have since been awarded up through the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every recipient since the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 has earned the decoration posthumously. The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award for battlefield heroism. Today there are only 98 living recipients of the Medal of Honor (out of a nation of 306 million people). The oldest living recipient is nearly 100. The youngest is 58. And since March 25, 2007 - the first designated "National Medal of Honor Day
" - 13 recipients have died. (With thanks to columnist W. Thomas Smith Jr.)
CRP Executive Committee to Meet
For the last few days our staff has been working on the logistical arrangements for a CRP Executive Committee meeting to take place on Saturday, April 18th for the purpose of considering positions on ballot measures including those slated to appear on the May 19th special election ballot.
The Executive Committee consists of 100 members, including roughly 50 who are automatically on the committee by virtue of a position they hold. The remainder are appointed and are typically drawn from a wide array of groups within the party, including county chairmen, elected officials, candidates, and volunteer organization leaders.
Some past attempts at holding an Executive Committee meeting between regularly scheduled conventions have failed to meet the necessary quorum requirements. To mitigate this, we are providing generous meeting notice time and will provide additional meeting programming for Executive Committee members.
Polls Show Shift To Republicans
Well noted analyst Charlie Cook has some important, good news for Republicans in a recent column in Government Executive
.Just as the economic news was relentlessly negative until the last few days, poll numbers for Republicans were horrific for months. So the GOP should be heartened by the first encouraging polling news it has received perhaps since Lehman Brothers defaulted in mid-September: Republicans have pulled even with Democrats on the generic congressional ballot test, according to a survey by a respected pair of firms.Democrats still outnumbered Republicans in terms of party identification in this poll by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent. Democrats also favored their own party's congressional candidates 83 percent to 7 percent. But voters who call themselves independents gave GOP candidates the edge by 14 points, 38 percent to 24 percent. And self-identified Republicans supported their own party's candidates 85 percent to 3 percent. Republican pollster Glen Bolger, who worked on the survey for Public Opinion Strategies, says that this is the first time since 2004 that he has seen independents favoring Republicans on the generic ballot test. Although he concedes that poll participants agreed -- by margins of 6 to 11 points -- with Democrats more than Republicans on each of the issues tested, he contends that the generic question's results are "evidence that voters, particularly independents, are worried that they overcorrected in the 2006/2008 elections combined, and now have more of a liberal slant to government than they want. They want change but with checks and balances."
Obama's Performance Rating Now Below 50%
There's only so much big government the American people can take, and that's evident in the latest numbers from John Zogby showing Barack Obama's job performance rating continues to drop, now under 50%, even though growing numbers of Americans believe the country is on the right track.
That is, even as the perception of the country's direction improves, Obama's not getting the credit for it. To the contrary, Americans are growing weary of his agenda.However, President Barack Obama's ratings for job performance and favorability did not improve over earlier this month. In the most recent survey, 49% rate his job performance as excellent or good and 50% as fair or poor (less than 1% were not sure.) That is a dip of three points from the previous poll. The percentages who feel very or somewhat favorable toward Obama remained unchanged between the two polls, with 55% now and 56% in the previous poll.Read the full article
Rep. McKeon Stands Up for DC Kids' School Choice Program
Washington, D.C. has public schools that are among the nation's worst, yet the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program allows many kids the opportunity to get a quality education at alternative schools, such as private, charter or parochial. The program is funded by Congress, and unfortunately some liberals just can't wait to do away with it, lest it provide a positive example for expanding school choice elsewhere -- an idea highly offensive to teachers union officials.
Our own Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon stands up for these kids, and does so yet again today with an op-ed in The Hill newspaper where he writes:For years, Republicans have worked hard to ensure that parents can choose a higher-performing public or private school if their children’s school falls short of providing a quality education. Children should not be trapped in underperforming schools, forced to wait for a good education while the system tries to fix itself.One such program that allows children to escape chronically underperforming schools is the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Created five years ago, the D.C. OSP is part of an innovative three-sector approach to education reform right here in the nation’s capital. The District receives funding to improve the public school system; funding to expand and enhance the city’s successful charter school movement; and funding to provide scholarships to low-income families who wish to send their children to private schools. The three-sector approach is rooted in the belief that different families will choose different educational paths, but that all children deserve a quality education.
The program has worked wonders when it comes to parental involvement and satisfaction. Parents who never before felt they had a voice in how their children were being educated have been empowered by this program. They see their children blossoming in schools where they are safer, happier and more academically challenged.Read the complete op-ed
“OBAMA CABINET SHORT ON MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE”
With recent headlines like: “Obama’s Bear Market, Earmarks-Schmearmarks, Mortgage Plan Won’t Help Many California Homeowners, Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing The Dow, Obama’s Budget: Wanton Recklessness, White House Rethinks Tax Hikes, President Barack Obama Dislikes Britain, and Obama’s Blockbuster Gift For Brown To Reaffirm The ‘Special Relationship’: 25 DVDs,” you have to wonder why his Obama failing so miserably?
University of Wisconsin emeritus professor and presidential scholar Charles Jones, recently noted that “during a time of economic crisis, Obama also has no former company chief executive officer or cabinet member or nominee with significant private business experience.”
With substantial economic spending packages, new government programs, and an uncertain economic market, Obama’s cabinet seems filled with people who don’t have managerial experience, but instead have spent a majority of their time working for the government.
“Whatever else they are, however good they are, people with legislative experience...know very little about executive management,” Jones said. “So there is a need for some demonstration that the folks that are taking over all of these pieces that are in the stimulus package...are able and capable of dealing with it.” (Chuck Raasch, “Cabinet Short On Managerial Experience,” Gannett News Service, 3/8/09)