The Winners/Losers of Iowa’s Republican Debate [video]

Like many; I awaited the Iowa Republican debate with abated breath to see which candidate fully understands our economic and financial hardship.

For the others who missed the debate; I have outlined the belief structures presented last night, rated the candidate on their debating skills and compiled a list of top winners/top losers in order of debate rating starting with the winner of the debate first.

–Please note that issues spotlighted are not the be all/end all of each candidate but rather a review of the questions they were asked. Also; ratings merely reflect their behavior in the Iowa debate, it is not a reflection on their campaign and background.–

***Newt Gingrich***
Former Speaker of the House

I was pleasantly surprised and was left feeling like he just turned a whole new page in his political career. If he keeps up speaking in the manner that he did last night , he just may convince the People that he is THE man that can turn this Country in the right direction.  Ive always been impressed with his political strategy; not so much with some of his personal decisions but I would go as far as to say that he put the life back into his Presidential campaign last night.

Enacted tax cuts under the Reagan administration; 7 years of growthUnemployment rate 4.2%. Welfare reform.

I like that he referenced his experience with negotiating the Kemp Roth tax cut during the Reagan years and how that led to 7 years of growth with an increase in jobs and federal revenue, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.2 as well as his support for welfare reform (IMO; we need to reform welfare again– the fraud and abuse are  exponentially wasting our tax dollars). [Video below].

Repeal Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank and Obamacare.

While I agree with repealing Sarbanes Oxley as I have first hand experience dealing with SOX and have not found it to be effective in preventing fraud and essentially cripples small businesses with excessive regulations as does Obamacare, I do not agree with repealing the Dodd Frank bill as Wall Street needs some sort of oversight so that we dont have to bail them out with another $4.6 Trillion in tax payer’s money.

Instilling the government with Lean Six Sigma

I fully support instilling the government with Lean Six Sigma (and Im not just saying that because Im a certified Six Sigma Greenbelt)- that is exactly what needs to be done so we can identify waste and redundancy which will result in cost savings across the board.

Obama’s Super Debt Committee is a “dumb” idea;  legislative committees specialize in cost savings for their own department.

I concur with Gingrich that this Super debt committee is a super waste of time and we need to refer to sub committees within the current legislative order to find % of spending cuts and not rely on 12 people to make a decision on cuts while blocking out the thoughts and concerns of the rest of Congress when it is apparent to anybody who has been involved in politics for some time that they are going to be in gridlock until right before the holiday and at the last minute; they will push for either cuts to defense or a tax increase. 2 democratic ideas that could harm our country if we allowed it too.

If we can see the end of the line from the starting point; why waste time and taxpayer money fighting a battle when we could be using our committees to find a % of cuts and direct the cutting in accordance to the experience of each committee. [Video below].

Secure the Southern border/Illegal immigration

Further, I approved of Gingrich’s  idea of sending  homeland security officials down to our Southern border to ensure that its truly secure.

We have 18,000 miles of border that is unmanned- we need to stop the problem of illegal immigration at its source.

I wish he would have elaborated on his idea of having a committee votes on which illegal immigrants get to stay and who has to leave- I think that could prove to be a slippery slope where special interests could easily dominate the conversation.

Signed Cap, Cut and Balance pledge
Good to know that Gingrich agrees that these 3 things need to be done in order to turn our Country back around. Added bonus points in my book.

Bringing Congress back into session

Additionally, I appreciated his comment about Congress coming back into session on Monday and Obama returning home from his 10 day vacation so that we can get our fiscal house in order. It would be wise of the Republican leadership to get back to work on Monday. I agree with Gingrich; it would show what Party is truly serious about solving our nation’s financial problems.

Debate highlight. A must watch.
There were  handfuls of spotlight reels that I could have posted regarding Gingrich’s debate but for the sake of brevity; I only included my favorite.

Debate rating: 10-  IMO; he is the clear winner of Iowa’s debate.

**Mitt Romney**
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Romney is a strong opponent but was not expressive enough for me in the past debates. Last night, he seemed more Presidential; more sure of himself.   I think he will get more confident with each debate and I cannot wait for the time where he comes out guns ablazing. Im still waiting for that day though.

7 ways of recovery for America

Romney’s first statement which outlined 7 ways of getting our economy on track was exactly what was needed to show that Romney has an understanding of our economic woes:

1) Make corporate tax rate competitive with other nations.
2) Make regulations fair so that small businesses are not over burdened.
3) Make sure our trade policy benefits the United States and not, ahem, China.
4) Become energy dependent
5) Follow the rule of law
6) To have great institutions that build human capital.
7.) To have a government that doesn’t spend more money than it takes in.

While I wish that he would have expanded on these especially #4, #5 and #6 this sounds like a good base line to work from.  I am really interested in hearing how he plans on building human capital. Does anybody know?

Pro small government and signed Cap, Cut and Balance.

I appreciate his desire to bring small government back on the table and that he signed the Cap, Cut and Balance pledge.  Im glad that we agree on the 3 basic stepping stones in getting our fiscal house in order.

“Romneycare”- State ran healthcare with an individuate mandate.

Romney’s response that this was a plan made for Massachusetts and Obama tried to make it a one size fits all plan was genius.  Im still a little concerned about his support for an individual mandate in his health care plan. I dont support the government telling me what type of health care to have; thats a personal decision and would allow the govt to set the price and quality of healthcare. No thank you.

Troop withdrawal in Afghanistan; troop withdrawal no earlier than 2012.

I was excited to hear that after Romney’s trip to the middle east; he was left with the impression that the Afghani army needs  be responsible for policing its own sovereignty within 2 years and that he did not support Obama’s “election talking point” in speeding the withdrawal up, so Obama could say “he sent our troops home”.  I agree with Romney,  we cannot jeopardize our mission for votes. If we did that; the troops that have died for the mission would die in vain. Instead of Obama catering to the polls, he  needs to rely on our eyes and ears on the Generals on the ground. If they do not feel comfortable pulling back until 2012- then we should heed their advice.

Marriage is on the federal level; not a state right.

I found it interesting that Romney feels that marriage should be on a federal level; not a state level. He did raise a good point about if people moved and had children, how would the child be recognized?  Additionally, how would divorce proceedings take place if the couple moved to a state that did not recognize gay marriage?

Marriage to be recognize between man and woman.

Romney also signed a pledge that stated that marriage is between a man and a women only.  Personally, I think that the term “marriage” can be for heterosexual couples but that “civil unions” can be presented to homosexual couples so that they can get the same tax breaks and hospital rights as a heterosexual couple. I dont get why there is so much hang up on the word itself when we can just create a new category and make everyone happy but I digress…

Unemployment personal savings accounts; denied unemployment extensions

I liked the idea of Romney’s personal accounts for unemployment so that the unemployment doesnt continually drain our tax dollars.  It is imperative that we audit the unemployment (& welfare system);  so that our government can go back to providing “hand ups” rather than a “hand outs”. Romney also would not support unemployment extensions.

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 8 although I know he’s capable of doing better.

**Rick Santorum**
Former Senator of Pennsylvania

Bonus points for  demanding attention and establishing a presence for himself on the stage.

Focus on manufacturing jobs, welfare reform and imposed sanctions on Iran as Senator.

I was ecstatic to hear his position on the importance of bringing manufacturing jobs home, welfare reform and  imposing sanctions on Iran. I agree 100%.

Does not believe that an abortion should be performed even in the case of rape or incest

I completely disagree with him on his opposition to abortion if the mother was raped or was the victim of incest– I dont think the mother should be forced to carry a child that is a constant reminder of these horrific acts but thats another post.  I wonder if he would feel different if he was a woman.

100% Pro life; no adoption center plan?

Santorum appears to be incredibly pro life which is fine but if we are going to have all of these children in adoption centers- we better make sure they are cleaned up and better equipped to provide nurturing to the surge of foster children that would be created as a result.

Supports military tribunals and strong manufacturing background.

Im glad to see him approving of military tribunals and his strong manufacturing background.  We should not allow terrorists to be tried in a civilian court where they would receive civilian rights.  We need to judge them with our military tribunals as it is a military matter and not a civil violation.

Does not support the Gold standard

I dont understand why he does not support going back to the Gold Standard. I wish he would suggest what we should do with our monetary policy because paper money is quickly losing its value.

Supports dropping the corporate tax to 0%

Santorum supports dropping the corporate tax to 0% but while it would bring in jobs- the government would not receive any money from these businesses.  The govt needs some way of bringing in revenue to pay our foreign debtors and entitlement programs that have been long since depleted.

Besides; corporations are protected by the government against personal liability, it would be unfair to expect the government to pay for that; how would they pay out claims if we eliminated the corporate tax rate to 0%?

Instead; reduce the Corporate Tax rate to 13-15% so it competes with Switzerland for job growth

Wouldnt it be better to bring the Corporate Tax rate which currently stands at 35% down to 15%; that way we make America competitive with Switzerland which will give businesses an incentive to work in America, essentially spurring our economy- contributing  to job growth and revenue increases?

Supports auditing the Federal Government
As do I but Santorum was not clear as to what type of audits he would support.

Signed Cap, Cut and Balance pledge.
Good to know that he understands the general idea behind what needs to be done to turn our Country back around.

Feels the 10th amendment does not take place of federal law
Santorum stated that people are using the 10th amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,”  too loosely and would essentially overrun the federal government.

As Santorum stated, “No, our country is based on moral laws, ladies and gentlemen. There are things the states can’t do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not have the right to do wrong. I respect the 10th Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise, and states don’t have the right to tramp over those because of the 10th Amendment.””

Debate highlight video.
Please watch 2:41-3:37 as this was my favorite clip of Santorum’s defense of the Iran Freedom Support Act and imposing sanctions on Iran. “Iran is not Iceland, Ron”. Priceless.  I agree with Santorum; a nuclear Iran is not only a threat to the US but to Israel as well and must be avoided at all costs.

Debate rating: 7

**Jon Huntsman Jr**
Former Ambassador to China

Tonight was the beta test of Huntsmans campaign and I was hoping he would come out swinging but he left me feeling empty. He kept talking about his track record as Gov of Utah but never truly elaborated on what that was. Ive heard enough generalities from Obama for the past 2 years.

No economic plan
When a comment was made towards Huntsman that there is no economic plan on his website and that he is waiting on a team of economic advisers;  Huntsman replied that he has only been in the race for 1.5 month insinuating to give him time to get his campaign up and running.  Likewise throughout the debate; he never unveiled an economic plan only played back his catch phrase of his “track record in Utah”.

Supporter of Flat Tax- tax reform

While tax reform is needed,  a flat tax would not be the solution. If everyone had a flat tax- how would we compensate in the loss of collected revenue? At this point, I would be more supportive of the fair tax.

Secure Southern border/ Amnesty- illegal immigration
Huntsman Jr raised a great point regarding Obama’s immigration policy and the lack of a Southern border wall which runs for 18,000 miles, leaving all that area opened for illegal immigrants to cross without worrying about customs. Huntsman stated that it is a waste of time to have a tough immigration policy yet completely open borders. Its comparable to fixing the symptom and not the source of the problem. He also stated that there “has to be an alternate in sending them back” but did not elaborate which makes me wonder if all the amnesty allegations against him are true.

State controlled education

I applaud Huntsman for wanting to bring education to the state level, impose school choice, vouchers and make the schools more technologically involved. I agree 100%.

Pro life- Pro 2nd amendment

Excellent I am as well but wish we had a better plan for adoption centers; they are underfunded and overcrowded.

Supporter of civil unions
I agree.  Why cant we allow heterosexuals to get married in accordance to their customs and allow homosexual couples to enter a civil union which allows the same tax breaks and hospital benefits?

Cap & Trade– Global warming
This issue is something that Huntsman and myself differ on within our Party. I believe that global warming is a threat and it is imperative that we put safe guards in place to protect our Environment. Research the heat indexes in the past few weeks in the South East of the US that broke records; our Earth is getting progressively hotter and the ozone layer is getting progressively thinner. We need to take the Environment into mind when analyzing the emissions output of companies.

Supporter of raising the debt ceiling

Huntsman stated that the debt ceiling must be raised; that we had an obligation to pay our debts  that the US holds 25% of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product) and would cause massive ripples throughout the world if we default on our debts.

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 6 but I feel he is capable of doing much better.

**Herman Cain**
CEO of Godfathers Pizza

A Tea Party favorite; Cain has made a strong splash in the pond of Republican candidates. However, his lack of political experience and detailed planning leaves members of the Republican Party with doubts.

Pro Israel/ No Shariah Law

One of the main things that I like about him is his vocal supporter of Israel and his vocal opposition to introducing Shariah Law into our court system.

No Afghanistan plan

 It really bothers me that he doesnt have a plan for Afghanistan; I understand he wants to talk to the Generals on the ground but he should at least have a basic idea of what needs to be done. We have been there for 10 years now.

What we need to do is pull out after 2012 like the Generals suggested and instead of paying for a war that was utterly useless (as Bin Laden was living in Pakistan and not Afghanistan and that was the primary reason for the Afghan war).

While I understand the importance of keeping Al Qaeda in check; we need to draw the line in the sand at some point or we will be over there forever.

Did not want to raise the debt ceiling; did not feel we were at risk for default, wanted to prioritize payments

I  dont agree with him in his reasoning of not raising the debt ceiling and prioritizing our debt. Essentially, he would have given Obama the prime authority to influence who gets paid and who doesnt. That’s very risky as Obama has clear favorites and a socialistic agenda. Obama could essentially starve whatever programs he did not fundamentally agree with.

Strong businessman w ho has a record of turning around struggling companies

He appears to be a strong businessman with his experience turning around struggling chains of Burger Kings and Godfathers Pizza. That experience could come in handy with turning our struggling economy around.

Annoying catch phrases; all fluff no substance
I heard Cain talk about the “economic engine and train” at least 3 times during the debate — I get his point but he deflects some of the questions with empty rhetoric and I have to wonder if that is because he is trying to run out the stop clock.

Supports dropping the corporate tax to 0%

Cain supports dropping the corporate tax to 0% but while it would bring in jobs- the government would not receive any money from these businesses.  The govt needs some way of bringing in revenue to pay our foreign debtors and entitlement programs that have been long since depleted.

Besides; corporations are protected by the government against personal liability, it would be unfair to expect the government to pay for that; how would they pay out claims if we eliminated the corporate tax rate to 0%?

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 5 but I feel he is capable of doing much better.

**Tim Pawlenty**
Former Governor of Minnesota

Plan to get the economy to reach 5% growth/yr for 10 years

I dont understand how Pawlenty expects us to reach 5% growth/yr for 10 years with tax cuts and spending caps. I think thats a little optimistic as we have never had a 5% growth/yr  for 10 straight years and we have less than 1% growth currently. I appreciate the high growth target but we need to have realistic projections.

Strong opposition to Syria

I agree with Pawlenty’s stance on Syria; however, we should not fan the flames unless we get out of Libya as we simply cannot afford to fight all of these wars (and the Libya invasion was unconstitutional but thats another post).

Pro Israel

I appreciate his pro Israel stance and his acknowledgement of the importance of keeping Israel safe.

Reform of entitlement programs

Wants to reform medicare, medicaid and social security but did not elaborate on specific details.

Overabundance of Negative campaigning

His attacks against Bachmann were getting old and it started taking away time from the other contenders.

Out of all the candidates, I think Pawlenty came off looking weaker than previous debates.

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 4

**Michele Bachmann**
US Congresswoman/Chair of the Tea Party Caucus

Repeal Obamacare and  opposes health insurance individual mandate

I was pulling for her in the beginning but it is becoming more and more apparent to me that she is an extremist (which is apparent, let’s be real here, by her tying the debt ceiling vote to a complete repeal of Obamacare).

Bachmann also supports removing the individual mandate in Obamacare which would require every American to purchase health insurance, something in which, I fully agree with.

Signed Cap, Cut and Balance pledge.
After much hemming and hawing; Bachmann signed the Cap, Cut and Balance pledge. I dont feel that Bachmann is truly on board with this plan but merely signed it at the last minute for election credentials.

Vehemently opposes Cap and Trade

Does not recognize that pollutants are negatively impacting our environment. While we should not regulate our companies to death, we must take care of our Environment. Bachmann does not seem to have a problem with current emission standards.

Approved raising taxes on cigarettes

For someone who is so anti-tax; she sure was quick to raise the taxes on cigarettes.

Signed pledge honoring marriage between a man and a woman

Bachmann signed a pledge that stated that marriage is between a man and a women only.  Personally, I think that the term “marriage” can be for heterosexual couples but that “civil unions” can be presented to homosexual couples so that they can get the same tax breaks and hospital rights as a heterosexual couple. I dont get why there is so much hang up on the word itself when we can just create a new category and make everyone happy but I digress…

Majority of discussion, Bachmann opposed raising the debt ceiling, reasoning incorrect on S&P downgrade

Bachmann tried to defend her reasoning that the US would not be on the verge of default if the debt ceiling was raised by referencing the recent S&P downgrade to AA.

Bachmann stated that the reason for the downgrade was because “we couldnt pay our debts, so I was essentially proven right”. Except, that is not the reason why S&P downgraded.  If that was the case, we would have downgraded all 74 times that the Congress has raised the debt ceiling in the past.

Rather, the reason for the downgrade is because Congress showed that they could not identify the problem of excessive spending and work together to form a compromised solution in cutting some of our extravagant and wasteful/redundant spending and the only offer the Democrats were offering, raising taxes, would further hinder our recessive economic period.

Combine that with Obama’s crazed spending binge and his belief that we can spend our way out of a recession, thats why our Country was downgraded.

If we hit our debt ceiling, we would have to default- one way or the other- whether it be to our foreign debtors or cashing in on our entitlement programs; we would lose the ability to pay for them.

Annoying catchphrases; avoids answering the question

It is very irritating when she uses the same catch phrase over and over (we get that Obama will be a 1 term President- give it a rest! Its not that clever).

Bachmann also tends to avoid answering the question being asked (all politicians do this to an extent but it is apparently obvious with Bachmann) by referencing back to the over cycled catch phrases.

***Bachmann is expected to win the Iowa poll on Saturday due to the Tea Party’s strong influence in getting out to the polls**

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 3

**Ron Paul**
US Congressman

Monetary Policy/Audit the Fed

I respect his monetary policy knowledge and his willingness to audit the Fed. I agree with his stance on liquidating the debt, reform the tax structure, lowering taxes and providing less regulations to businesses.

Does not recognize the danger of a nuclear Iran; anti-military

It bothers me deeply that Paul sees nothing wrong with a nuclear capable Iran.  Iran has already stated that they want to wipe Israel off the map. If Israel goes; America will be next in line as their target.  If Paul had his way; he would withdrawal all of our troops from their foreign locations and insist on massive defense spending cuts.

Does not feel that companies should verify immigration status of employees

Paul does not feel that it is the companies role to “police” their workers and we should not blame the employers who hire illegal immigrants. I couldnt disagree more.

Opposes GITMO (Guantanamo Bay)

This would be dangerous as if we closed GITMO; we would have to hold terrorists on US soil as they await trial. What state is going to volunteer to hold these incredibly dangerous terrorists with the knowing that they could escape and impose destruction within their state?  Further, if they are tried on US soil- they would receive American rights that they are not entitled.

Debate highlight video.

Debate rating: 2

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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Per Request -The Ins/ the Uncertains/ The Outs of the 2012 Presidential Election Race

With the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary roughly one year away, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that has defined the race up until now will begin to go public.

“The practicalities of running — debates, straw polls, staffing, lining up endorsements on paper — means candidates will have to end the sub rosa campaign soon,” predicted Heart of America’s Managing Editor, Denise Haywald.

My sorting is based on myriad conversations with party strategists — both those already signed up to work on one of the campaigns and those currently on the sidelines of the 2012 race.

And, to be clear, no one on this list has made a FORMAL decision yet. And that means minds can — and perhaps will — change. A candidate in one category today could wind up in an entirely different one a month — or three — from now. That’s politics.

**The In Crowd**

These candidates have not announced but are, through their actions, considered to be all-but-in the race.

Jon Huntsman: (Preferred) The former Utah governor’s decision to resign as the Obama Administration’s Ambassador to China — effective in April — seems to be a very clear indication he is running for president. With strong ties to China, this would help us greatly with our foreign affair problem that President Obama keeps pushing us further into.

Mitt Romney: (Second Preferred) The former Massachusetts governor likely won’t announce his run for a few months, staying above the fray and taking advantage of the fact that he is perceived as the nominal frontrunner at the moment. Romney is known for his economic brilliance but falls short on his foreign knowledge. Romney has since made up for that by visiting Egypt, Israel and Afghanistan. Read more about his visit by clicking:

Rick Santorum: Santorum raised some eyebrows by landing two well-regarded Iowa operatives late last month but his viability may depend on higher profile social conservatives taking a pass.

Tim Pawlenty: The former Minnesota governor has effectively been running for president since he announced he wouldn’t run for a third term in 2010 but his support of cutting social security and medicare is less than desirable.

**On the Fence**

These are candidates in various stages of indecision.

Mike Huckabee: Surprise winner of Iowa’s 2008 election; however Huckabee has a very comfortable life outside of elected office and questions remain as to whether he wants to give it up for another presidential bid. He may be a bit too religious for the anti-religious voting sector.

John Thune: Winner of recent 2012 straw poll, Thune was said to edge out Obama if the race was held today. For more information on the poll, please visit:

Jim DeMint: For months, the South Carolina Senator insisted he was entirely uninterested in running for president. Or not. DeMint will be in Iowa in late March to speak at an event organized by Rep. Steve King (R) and his advisers recently told CNN’s Peter Hamby that DeMint “hasn’t shut the door” on the race. If DeMint runs, it likely makes the South Carolina primary a non-starter in much the same way Iowa was for Democrats in 1992 due to the candidacy of home state Sen. Tom Harkin.

Michele Bachmann: Bachmann is a late-arriver to the 2012 presidential chatter but her recent visit to Iowa suggests she is taking a hard look at the race. Bachmann’s fate is likely tied to Sarah Palin; if the former Alaska governor runs, it’s hard to see the space for the Minnesota Congresswoman in the field.

Haley Barbour: Out of the “on the fence” candidates, the Mississippi governor is the closest to being all in. Barbour won’t make it official — either way — until the Mississippi legislature ends its session in April.

Mitch Daniels: Daniels may be the biggest name — outside of Palin — who is entirely undecided on whether to run. Conflicting reports about his level of interest are everywhere but what we know for sure is that family concerns remain the largest sticking point to a bid by the Indiana governor.

Rudy Giuliani: The former 9/11 New York City Mayor has been talking up the possibility of a return run for president in 2012. Soft on social issues, he may fail to win the support of the Conservative crowd.

Sarah Palin: Republican 2008 Vice Presidential candidate, the uncompleted Alaska governor is giving every indication that she is seriously considering a bid and based on her lapping it up with the Tea Party- it would be surprising if she didnt run. Palin is known for her heart felt exchanges but she lacks domestic and foreign operation knowledge and the conservative crowd tends to think of Palin’s candidacy as a running joke

Ron Paul: After the 2008 presidential race vastly raised his national profile, why wouldn’t the Texas Congressman run again? Strong on business but horrible on foreign affairs, his candidacy is also known as a running joke.

**Out means out**

This group has made it abundantly clear that they are out of the running for 2012. Never doesn’t always mean never in politics but these guys have come as close as possible to a Sherman-esque statement.

Mike Pence: A much loved perceived forerunner announced that he would not seek the Presidential seat. Many speculate that he will place a bid for his state’s governorship instead.

Chris Christie: We’ve made the case in this space that there is an open space in the field that the New Jersey governor could easily occupy. But, he seems to be sincere in his lack of interest.

Bobby Jindal:
Jindal is up for reelection as the governor of Louisiana this year, timing that makes it virtually impossible for him to even contemplate a presidential run. Plus, at 39 years old, he can bide his time and wait for 2016 or even 2020.

Rick Perry: When the Texas governor signed on as the head of the Republican Governors Association earlier this year, it was widely assumed he had decided not to run. That appears to be true although there are some within the strategist class who believe Perry could reconsider if the field remains relatively unformed in three months time.

Marco Rubio: Rubio is carefully building a Senate office that represents his profile as a national figure. It would be in his best interest to wait another four or eight years rather than rush himself into a presidential race that he might not be ready for just yet.

Copyright (c) February 8, 2011. All rights reserved.

GOP offers $32 billion budget cut

UPDATE 2/14/11- Please note that House Republicans are now offering a budget cut of $100 billion. Post outlining new cuts, coming soon.


House Republican leaders late last week said they would seek $32 billion in spending cuts from the resolution currently fundceing the government.

Republicans framed their proposal as cutting $74 billion from President Obama’s 2011 budget request.

However, because Obama’s budget was never approved by the last Congress, the cuts would actually be made against a continuing resolution now funding the government.

That resolution is to expire on March 4, and if lawmakers do not agree on another short-term measure or one funding the government for the rest of the year, they risk a government shutdown.

The GOP decision sets up a two-front battle with congressional Democrats and President Obama, who have warned that immediate spending cuts would damage the economy, and with conservative Tea Party-backed Republicans who want to make deeper cuts to spending.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected a $1.5 trillion deficit for the year.

The conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC) is demanding a full $100 billion cut in non-security discretionary spending, and Republicans are trying to fend off internal criticism by offering conservative lawmakers the chance to offer amendments to the spending bill that would make more significant cuts.

A spokesman for the RSC offered support for the proposal, but added that many Republicans want deeper cuts.

“Chairman Ryan’s proposal shows that Republicans are working to help the economy by cutting reckless spending,” RSC spokesman Brian Straessle said.

“Many House members want to see at least $100 billion in non-security savings this fiscal year and will offer amendments to get there if necessary. Unlike former Speaker Pelosi, Republican leadership understands the value of an open legislative process.”

In a letter signed by 89 RSC members to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), conservative Republicans last month pushed for deep cuts.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen,  the ranking Democrat on Ryan’s panel, said the cuts would hurt the economy and put more people out of work. ”

The President’s bipartisan Fiscal Commission cautioned against such immediate spending cuts, and economists like Mark Zandi have made the point that deep and immediate spending cuts proposed by Republicans could raise the unemployment rate back into double digits,” Van Hollen said.

Details of the cuts were not announced on Thursday. The House Appropriations Committee next week will release its bill based on the spending ceiling.

However, a leadership aide indicated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be targeted. The aide said EPA has tripled its budget in the last three years and said agencies that have seen such growth will be affected.

Another area that can be targeted is abusive Welfare and Medicaid spending. For example, look at New York City who was sued by the State of New York  for civil penalties and damages of at least tens of millions of dollars. That would be a good place to start.

You can read more about the lawsuit by visiting:

Another place to look into for cuts would be the debit cards given to welfare recipients. The choices of locations are not the strictest and it known that you can cash in the debit cards in Vegas at select strip clubs and casinos.

Taxpayers money should not be available for people who are wanting to gamble or blow it on shows. That money is for necessities only and should be treated as such.

There are many ways to slice the pie but the Democrats and Freshman Republicans on putting the most important things (such as Social Security, Defense and Medicare) on the chopping block.

Look around, be creative and I predict that more savings can be found.

Copyright (c) February 7, 2011. All rights reserved.

GOP Rep. Paul Ryan Tears Down the CBO & ObamaCare Fiscal House of Cards

Sen. Rand Paul reminds me a lot of his father.

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul introduced a 12 page bill  Tuesday that seeks to cut $500 billion from government spending in one year alone, wiping out three cabinet departments and the entire foreign aid budget while sparing neither the Pentagon nor 2011 war-related funding for overseas military operations.

Founder of Heart of America, Denise Haywald objects to this logic- “While I applaud Paul’s intention to reduce our debt, I frown upon the manner in which he chose to do.

The US in the midst of several hotspots overseas and could easily slip into a war with North Korea, Russia or China in addition to the wars we are already fighting in. Slashing our defense spending would be detrimental to our safety and well being.

I find it puzzling that, in the same breath, Paul wants to wipe out the entire foreign aid budget as well.  Talk about escalating tensions and then leaving the US without a pot to cook in.  These two issues go hand in hand and perhaps Freshman Rand Paul needs a lesson on correlation.”

At one level Paul follows the House Republican standard of rolling back appropriations for many agencies to the levels set 3 years ago under the Bush administration.

Elsewhere, he clearly goes much further, folding the Energy Department into the Department of Defense and wiping out most of the Education Department but Pell Grants to low income college students.

A view that left many scratching their heads as President Obama stressed the importance of education and the emphasis on math, science and technology.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a third casualty, together with seven independent agencies including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and national endowments for the humanities and arts.

The most controversial suggestion could be a proposed $16 billion reduction from the overseas contingency funds provided for the military for the current fiscal year.

“War funding from 2001 to 2010 has cost the taxpayer $1.109 trillion,” states Paul, “That amount doesn’t include the $159 billion that will likely be spent funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for FY2011. The proposal seeks to reduce war funding for FY2011 by $16 billion, in other words to provide $144 billion.”

Yet, Paul remains quiet on his stance on pulling troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. If we do not bring our troops home this year, this legislation would put our service men and women in harms way by reducing their weaponry and intelligence.

Instead of Paul taking the “easy way” out to fabricate a large number of budget cuts-  the programs that are truly in need of cutting or reducing should be considered.

The Environmental Protection Agency is bloated and could be reduced, if not rolled under the Department of Defense.

Veterans could receive vouchers for private medical care instead of relying on VA hospitals.

Welfare could be scrutinized and harsher penalties implemented for recipients who abuse the system.

Uninsured people could group together to receive a group health insurance discount as well as cross state lines for health care, instead of relying on government health care.

The health care bill- in general- could be scrutinized to see where special interests are padding the bill with pork.

There are so many avenues in which we can cut spending- reducing defense (and social security for that matter) is the lazy man’s out.

Budget cutting is not a game played with monopoly money- there are serious consequences to these actions that could prove to be detrimental if allowed to progress in Paul’s extremist and lazy vision.

Copyright (c) January 26, 2011. All rights reserved.

Rep Paul Ryan- Chair of Budget Committee- tapped to deliver address following SofU.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell  announced today that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will deliver the Republican address following the President’s State of the Union address to Congress on January 25, 2011.

Last year – in an unprecedented failure – Congressional Democrats chose not to pass, or even propose a budget, punting on a duty that represents the most basic responsibility of governing.

Chairman Ryan will deliver the Republican address Tuesday night from the House Budget Committee hearing room, where the Democrats’ spending spree will end and the Republicans’ push for a fiscally responsible budget that cuts spending will begin.

In making the announcement, the GOP leaders noted that Chairman Ryan is a leading voice for fiscal discipline and common-sense solutions to cut spending and create jobs.

Known for his thoughtful and detailed critiques of big-government policies, Ryan has helped put to rest the Democrats’ argument that more government spending and higher taxes is the answer to most of our nation’s ills.

His commitment to free enterprise and limited government make him the right choice to outline a vision for how a smaller, less costly government will help create the right conditions for the creation of good, private sector jobs.

“Paul Ryan is uniquely qualified to address the state of our economy and the fiscal challenges that face our country,” said Speaker Boehner.

“We’re broke, and decisive action is needed to help our economy get back to creating jobs and end the spending binge in Washington that threatens our children’s future. I’m pleased that Paul will be outlining a common-sense vision for moving our country forward.”

Leader McConnell said, “Paul Ryan has spent the better part of the last two years explaining exactly why the Democrat agenda has been so bad for jobs and the economy, and why we need to ditch the government-driven approach in favor of creative, common-sense solutions that put the American people back in charge.

Chairman Ryan’s unique understanding of the fiscal problems we face, his command of policy, and his adherence to the principles of our nation’s founding make him an excellent spokesman for the path that Americans want Washington to take.”

“Delivering an address to the nation is a unique opportunity, and I am grateful to my party’s leaders for entrusting me with this responsibility,” said Ryan.

“I am hopeful that the President will work with the new House Majority to cut spending, reform government, and restore the foundations for growth and job creation.  More than rhetoric, we need results.  I look forward to outlining a vision for a future that fulfills the uniquely American legacy of leaving the next generation with a stronger, more prosperous nation.”

BACKGROUND: Born and raised in the community of Janesville, Paul Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. Currently serving his seventh term as a Member of Congress, Paul works to address the many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and serve as an effective advocate for the 1st Congressional District.

He is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he works to bring fiscal discipline and accountability to the federal government.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, Social Security, health care and trade laws.

Paul is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University (OH).  Paul and his wife Janna live in Janesville with their children, daughter Liza and sons Charlie and Sam.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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Republicans hold true to their promise of cutting spending.

The House Rules Committee will take up a resolution today aimed at reducing spending to 2008 levels for the remainder of the fiscal 2011 year.

The resolution directs House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to cut around 20 percent of non-security, discretionary spending.  The House may act on the resolution as soon as next week.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a Republican plan to cut Congress’ budget by 5 percent.  The resolution, introduced by GOP Transition Team Chairman Rep. Greg Walden will require House members to reduce their budget to 95 percent of their 2010 allowance.  The plan also calls for greater transparency regarding bill creation and actions taken by House committees.

Just yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the STOP Act reflecting Republicans promise to put a stop to wasteful spending.  Tax dollars are used to print 325 copies of every bill and joint resolution and 475 copies of other resolutions for distribution among sponsors and co-sponsors.

Not only does the STOP Act reduce our budget but it also saves the Environment by producing legislation electronically.  This legislation is win-win for all parties involved.

Last year’s health care law, Republican Representative Christopher Lee said, was about 2,300 pages long, and was re-printed 325 times and during the length of the 111th Congress, lawmakers introduced 13,683 bill and resolutions.

Currently, the Republican House is pushing to reform a House Rule change that if a member of Congress wants to come to the floor to cut spending to a program, the rules currently require that the money is reallocated somewhere else in the budget.

Plans are also being taken into account for future spending and setting forth a budget come late March of 2011, when our continuing resolution of current budgetary monies expire.

House Budget Chairman, Representative Paul Ryan explains, “We plan to do a lot of things to start making a good dent on spending. We plan to rescind spending. That means going to current year spending, and cut it out, cut a lot of this stuff back to pre-binge spending levels.

We want to do process reforms like putting caps on spending, a Constitutional version of a line item veto*. We want to freeze pay for federal employees and hiring. And we want to cut budgets.”

Ryan said that the new rule would be cut-go — cut as you go — rather than the Democrats’ “pay as you go,” which only created pressure for tax increases. Under cut-go, to boost spending for something there has to be a cut somewhere else.

“We want to encourage people to come to the floor of Congress with cutting amendments, to cut spending, go after boondoggles, go after waste, go after programs, and then save that money and lower the overall amount of government spending by the amount of your cutting amendment” stated Representative Paul Ryan, Senior ranking Budget Committee Member.

Yet many Representatives are discouraged by the critics who only look at the bigger cuts as a sign of reform.

Denise Haywald, CEO of Heart of America replies to that rhetoric, “Yes, it’s not as big as some may hope but we have to start somewhere and the overhead costs of governmental operations needs a serious slashing, small cuts add up to a big savings.”

Republican House Representative Christopher Lee agrees, “Too many people in Washington don’t seem to care how much something costs unless there is a ‘B’ or ‘T’ after the dollar amount. We need to change that philosophy.”

I applaud the efforts of the House Republicans in cutting the costs closest to home. It makes work a little difficult as it removes people from their comfort zone but it is imperative that our elected Congressmen lead by example and look for cuts in the most obvious places so that large entitlement programs, such as Social Security, is not decreased to offset the cost of lavish and unnecessary spending.

Copyright (c) January 19, 2011. All rights reserved.