Tancredo Calls Bush Out On North American Union

November 30, 2006

Before Thanksgiving Rep. Tom Tancredo called the President out on his plans to merge the US with Canada and Mexico, again. He first did this in June. More background information with links is found here.

Much has been written about the North American Union, most of this great investigative work by Jerome Corsi of Human Events.

Officially it is called the The Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Convening that same day in Waco, Texas, for a trilateral meeting, the North American leaders said the security and prosperity of their nations are “mutually dependent and complementary” and explained the impetus for the new initiative.

“In a rapidly changing world, we must develop new avenues of cooperation that will make our open societies safer and more secure, our businesses more competitive, and our economies more resilient,” they said in their statement.

The leaders indicated that the North American partnership will work to achieve these ends and “is committed to reach the highest results to advance the security and well-being of our people.”

Despite the fact that solid conservative outlets such as World Net Daily and Human Events have reported on this, the right-wing blog world seems to want to deny these facts.

Jawa Report sweeps this under the rug:

I’m pretty sure no one would make the mistake of tagging me as a lackey for the Bush Administration, but it looks like Tom Tancredo may be working overtime to quash that pesky “Tancredo in ’08” movement. Is Tancredo really telling reporters that George Bush is actively working to merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a single country?

One would think that a U.S. Congressman would realize that any statement that starts with “I know this is dramatic” and proceeds to defend the ideas of “right-wing fringe kooks” is pretty unlikely to go anywhere good.

The folks at Hot Air also are in full denial.

We get e-mails from those people all the time. We … do not publish them.

I’d hoped never to have to serenade TT with our official conspiracy-theory theme song. But I fear the hour has arrived.

For some reason the right-wing blogger are total blind on this issue.

More like just totally ignorate of what is going on.


Voters Expect Conservatism

November 25, 2006

Bismarck Tribune – November 25th, 2006

Now that the election is over, there is still one major task that the citizens and voters of this state must undertake. We must tell our representatives that we will not accept a 12.7 percent increase of the total state budget again and that we will not accept such a large overall increase while the education budget is increased by only 3.5 percent.

During the last legislative session, spending on “general government” increased by 26.3 percent, or $79 million, while funding for education increased by 3.5 percent ($31 million). While the state of North Dakota document these figures are cited from does not define “general government,” it is certainly no stretch to say these numbers are a little lopsided and should probably have been reversed.

If the current majority wants to prove that it still is a vehicle for fiscal conservatism, it will make actual cuts in the cost of “general government,” actual cuts, not just cuts in the rate of growth. These cuts can then be added to the governor’s plan to increase education funding without a tax increase and without tapping the surplus.

There are still reasons that North Dakota votes for Republicans, and it is not to increase spending by 12.7 percent. The voters of this state must not allow their elected representatives to squander their money. It is bad enough that the taxpayers of this state were overcharged in the first place, but the surplus must not be used to pump up the ongoing budget outlays for the state, in turn causing future increases in taxation to be needed.

One priority for the surplus must be used to relieve property taxes by increasing funding to education. That increased state funding must be tied to local subdivisions, either cutting property taxes or developing their own rainy-day fund. Any state relief must be tied to the understanding that the funding is not for new spending.

A portion of the surplus must also be used to stem the skyrocketing cost of college tuition. If the rate of tuition is not restrained, the state will lose the competitive advantage of cost over schools in Minnesota and elsewhere.

No matter what the surplus is spent on, our representatives must be held responsible. If the surplus is squandered on pet projects and obscene increases of spending, it can be assured that the current majority party will lose even more seats than it did on Nov. 7. The people elected them as conservatives. Now it is time for them to be conservative.


The Humor Behind the Laffer Curve

November 24, 2006

Most of us know of the Laffer Curve.

Yesterday, Art Laffer was on Rush with Roger Hedgecock and made a statement to the effect of – illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay because all they really lack is a little paperwork.

Dug up an interesting article on Laffer here are some excerpts:

On immigration:

Immigration is the lifeblood of American prosperity. These people are not a problem, they are a solution. When you get this high-quality labor coming in – including illegals – it does not get any better. If we were able to stop illegal immigration, you’d see California fall off the face of the earth.

Controlling our borders and verifying that people who are in this nation is not just a matter of paperwork; it is a matter of the Rule of Law.

If we ignore the laws of our nation, how in the world do we expect people in Iraq to understand those principles?

On the trade deficit:

We’re the only developed country that is a growth country. Do growth companies lend money or borrow money? They borrow money. We are the capital magnet of the planet. Where would you like your money invested? The Middle East? How about Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela? [To generate the dollars needed] to buy U.S.-located assets, [foreigners have] to sell more goods to us, and they’ve got to buy less goods from us. The only way they can generate the dollar cash-flow to invest in the United States, is for them to run a trade surplus with us, and us to have a trade deficit …

Do not think of our trade deficit as a problem. It is an answer. These people are providing us with the real resources that increase our output, employment, production, productivity.

Why do we want to allow China the surplus to throw US dollars around and drive up the price of oil? Every dollar that China obtains from American commerce can be used to price us out of the world market.

Being right on economics does not mean someone automaticly correct on national policy.

If our prosperity is based on illegal immigration, then our prosperity is not legitimate and liable to burst just as the dot com bubble did.

And do we really want to have the prosperity of our nation to be built on the backs of people whose first act in this nation is to disrespect and disobey our laws?

Talk about a slippery slope.


Typical Response

November 20, 2006

Go figure right, I gave a point by point rebuttal of an argument the basicly tells people to follow Bush blindly and the response is name calling.

Strata’s keen intellect counters my rebuttal by labeling it idiocy and just repeating what he originally said.

The idea some Republicans are so damn stingy they cannot abide a Prescription Drug Benefit for seniors (one which I wish the rich would pay their own way on), just rubs against the American ideals of patriotism, love of country and looking out for each other.

He calls Actual Conservatives (as opposed to the Bushie Conservatives) “stingy” because we don’t believe in the Marxist idea redistributing wealth, and in this case, the Medicare drug program.

These Anti-Bush Reps consider anyone who would support Bush’s changes to the broken and expensive medicare/medicaid programs an enemy of the republican party’s goals.

Mr. Strata, I do not have health insurance, or prescription drug coverage – now, of course I am not a seasoned citizen leaching off the next generation because I did not make plans for retirement.
Furthermore, Mr. Strata you are confusing Conservatism and the Republican Party. A decade ago under Newt Gingrich they wanted Medicare and Social Security to “whither on the vine.” Your version of the Republican Party has drifted away from conservatism as Rep. Mike Pence has said for quite some time now.

Your declaration that there is no pure conservatism is contradicted by your claim that the Bush variant is the real version.

Bush is a Republican. Bush is conservative. But as William F. Buckley and Rush Limbaugh say – he is not “A CONSERVATIVE.”

Again, there is not a “Fence Only Crowd.” No one wants to build a fence and stop. Not Tancredo and not Buchanan. A fence is only a small portion of a greater National Security Plan.

Bush makes a joke of National Security by refusing to secure the borders.


The Problem of Bush "Conservatism"

November 20, 2006

AJStrata at Strata-Sphere has a piece regarding “Bush Conservatives”:

Bush Conservatives, like Bush himself, are for lower taxes and focused government (someplace between liberals and libertarians is the proper role of government). They are not for destroying the public education system, they are for making it work… They understand that a prescription drug benefit for Medicare/Medicaid will reduce overall costs and provide a respectable end of life for our seniors who came before us. Yes, it costs a lot to care for our elderly. But it doesn’t represent big government. It represents a big heart…

More government is more government. The intent is not the issue, and claiming to have “big hearts” is a tact of the left.

Bush Conservatives respect the immigrant worker in the sense we understand people need to make a life (not just a living). We do not want the broken current system to stay hostage to the “Fence Only” crowd.

There is no “Fence Only Crowd.” There is an Enforcement First Crowd, but they merely want existing laws to be enforced.

The illegal immigrant worker will pay a penalty in back taxes and lost time towards citizenship. That level of penalty is sufficient for the crime of missing paperwork.

Missing paperwork? No, this is a small price for individuals whose first act is to break our laws – first by entering illegally, then by obtaining stolen identification – which is a felony.

The only people who get my support will embrace Bush’s comprehensive vision of workers who are registered, background checked, working in the open economy, and who must avoid criminal activities if they stay here.

Then they can get in line.

Bush conservatives see success in the Gang of 14, who paved the way for some of the largest shifts to the federal bench in a generation. And we would welcome a repeat of the Gang of 14 in the upcoming senate to quelsh the partisan bickering between Reps and Dems. Go for it Gang – with my blessing. If they can keep the results going like they did in the last Congress, true conservatism will be able to flow into our court systems – as opposed to imposing Republican versions of the Liberal activism in the courts now.

So a Bush Conservative is actually a McCain Moderate? Interesting.

Bush Conservatives are not necessarily Republicans – though obviously they are welcomed. Bush Conservatism is the broad-tent conservative movement that can include a McCain, DeWine, Snowe, etc. The only litmus test for Bush Conservatives is there is no litmus tests.

Great. No tests. Every student’s dream.

There are no ‘real’ conservatives or ‘pure’ conservatives. Republicans can have their purity tests. Bush Conservatives will strive for enhancing the conservative vision and making progress towards those ends.

No, there is no pure conservatism, but there are grades and levels.

So how can Republicans (or Democrats) attract Bush Conservatives? Show respect to the President. Don’t blame Bush for your problems or mistakes. Allow processes to unfold without vitriol and panic. Admit the errors made on Miers (she should have been heard, then rejected), Dubai Ports World (not all Muslim Arabs are our enemies, especially ones willing to fund our outer defenses), and immigration (support the guest worker program for all the immigrants now here in this country). Failure to admit the mistakes means failure to correct the mistakes. These minimum changes could woo the Bush Conservatives back into the Republican tent – but there as to be unmistakable shift on these matters.

Huh? It is the Bush legions that control the door to the Republican tent. By calling themselves conservative they believe they have granted themselves impartial judgement status.

Stop blaming the Gang of 14 and support the results they gave us on all those new judges and justices we are blessed to have. Look positively on efforts that are bi-partisan and are rolling back liberalism’s last vestiges: the liberal courts.

Everything is hunky dorry it seems.

Be positive, show respect, and use decorum. And this is not a Chinese menu. We are not looking for ideaological purity. But we are looking for a common vision, a common goal, something we can work together towards. We can debate the details of how to achieve these, but there is no doubt we need to do these things.

Right, there are no ideals in the Bush Conservative World.

This all reminds me a little of what I read by Dinesh D’Souza in Letters to a Young Conservative

Conservatives recognize, of course, that people frequently fall short of these standards. In their personal conduct, conservatives do not claim to be better than anyone else. Newt Gingrich was carrying on an affair at the same time Bill Clinton was romancing Monica Lewinsky. But for conservatives, these lapses do not provide an excuse to get rid of the same standards. Even hypocrisy – professing one thing and doing another – is in the conservative view preferable to a denial of standards because such denial leads to moral chaos or nihilism.

Since modern conservatism is dedicated both to classical liberalism and to virtue, it is open to the charge of contradiction. What happens when there is tension between liberty and virtue? Conservatives are often accused of resolving the tension by opting for liberty in the economic domain, but for virtue in the social domain. If liberals inconsistently hold that government should get out of our bedroom and into our pocketbook, conservatives appear to espouse the opposite philosophy of government: “Out of the pocketbook and into the bedroom.”

If an individual cannot live up to the virtues they espouse, they have no business espousing said virtues.


The Root Causes of Out-Migration

November 18, 2006

Much is said of the problem of out-migration in North Dakota. Most of what is said is in regards to what handouts and incentives can be given to bribe young people to stay in the state, but these only treat the symptoms, they do not address the real problems which are three-fold.

1. Tax Climate. North Dakota has been ranked 31st in Business Friendly Tax Policy by the conservative Tax Foundation. This ranking is the symptom of a burdensome tax code at the state level.

The result of this over taxation of course is the current $527 million budget surplus. By making it more expensive to do business in the state, many well paying jobs that would attract home-grown talent go elsewhere – such as South Dakota which has no income tax and is ranked #2 on the same list.

2. Student Debt. North Dakota graduates leave school with more debt than graduates of all but two states (Iowa and New Hampshire).

Given the poor tax climate for businesses, it is only logical that graduates would have to leave the state to find a job to pay back their debt in a reasonable amount of time. The same policies that make it hard for businesses to operate trickle down and cause fewer good jobs to be created.

Tuition is lower here than elsewhere, but the way financial aid is calculated means that less is granted to North Dakota on a per student basis as a result.

3. Attitude. Growing up I, and many of my classmates, were told “you are too good for North Dakota.” While it was probably a method of boosting the self-esteem of our age group, sometimes it seems that attitude was not far off.

As a result, many of the brightest minds do leave the state for greener pastures. Sure, a lot of them are coming back to raise their families after being gone, but why don’t our policies make it easier for them to stay here in the first place?

Why are we throwing taxpayer dollars at subsidizing the educations of students just to watch them walk out the door? What sense does it make to subsidize employers in other states and in turn increasing the tax revenues of those states? When graduates leave the state it is a failed investment.

There are arguments to be made for creating ways for graduates to earn discounts on their incurred student debt, but it probably won’t be enough to keep young people in the state without addressing these key issues first.


Time For ND Republicans to Earn Their Majority

November 18, 2006

Now that the elections are over, there is still one major task that the citizens and voters of this state must undertake. We must tell our representatives that we will not accept a 12.7% increase of the total state budget again; and that we will not accept such a large overall increase while the education budget is increased by only 3.5%.

During the last legislative session spending on quote “general government” increased by 26.3% ($79million) while funding for education increased by 3.5% ($31 million). While the document these figures are cited from does not define “general government,” it is certainly not a stretch to say these numbers are a little lopsided and should probably have been reversed.

If the current majority wants to prove that it still is a vehicle for fiscal conservatism it will make actual cuts in the cost of “general government;” actual cuts, not just cuts in the rate of growth. These cuts can then be added to the governors plan to increase education funding without a tax increase and without tapping the surplus.

There are still reasons that North Dakota votes for Republicans, and it is not to increase spending by 12.7%. The voters of this state must not allow their elected representatives to squander their money. It is bad enough that the taxpayers of this state were overcharged in the first place, but the surplus must not be used to pump up the ongoing budget outlays for the state, in turn causing future increases in taxation to be needed.

One priority for the surplus must be used to relieve property taxes by increasing funding to education. That increased state funding must be tied to local subdivisions either cutting property taxes or developing their own rainy-day fund. Any state relief must be tied to the understanding that the funding is not for new spending.

A portion of the surplus must also be used to stem the skyrocketing cost of college tuition. If the rate of tuition is not restrained the state will lose the competitive advantage of cost over schools in Minnesota and elsewhere.

No matter what the surplus is spent on, our representatives must be held responsible. If the surplus is squandered on pet projects and obscene increases of spending, it can be assured that the current majority party will lose even more seats than it did last Tuesday. The people elected them as conservatives, now it is time for them to be conservative.