Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Government is not supposed to create jobs

It seems that all you hear about at all levels of government is that government needs to create jobs. I can't tell you how many times I have heard members of both parties talk about how the government needs to create jobs. The last time I checked the only jobs government should have any role in is hiring government employees. I would also argue we have too many government employees.
The goal of government should be to make sure that the climate is good for business. Taxes and regulations should be low, so that businesses have more capital to expand and invest in creating jobs. Again the private sector or the free market creates jobs. Many times when you hear of government creating jobs is where there are tax breaks or subsidies or grants.
These types of things create a false market. Just look at our agriculture system. If the government eliminated all the subsidies it would cause the agriculture market to plummet because the market or a great majority of it would have been removed. When the free market is allowed to work then jobs and industries thrive based on what the people or the market wants. The government at this point is propping many industries that would fail in the market place but are propped up by tax breaks and subsidies.
A perfect example of this would be "green" energy companies. Many of them are sustained only by the tax payer's dime. We have seen the scandals of Solyndra, and Green Tech. Our government, under the guise of creating jobs, is spending tax payer dollars on things that in many cases would fail otherwise.
Another example would be the film making industry. For years in NC, there have been "incentives" to bring Hollywood here to film projects. Now that these incentives are going away, there is a possibility that those jobs are not coming here again. That is fine. Government in NC should focus on reducing the heavy tax burden on NC businesses and reduce regulation and let the market work it's will. Throwing money at businesses and basically bribing them to do business with you is not good for our economy or for our wallets.
Another example is when we give tax breaks to companies or subsidies to do things they normally wouldn't do. I don't think we should be giving billions in "incentives" to oil companies or any company for that matter. If they want to expand let them use their private capital and pay for it. This is why we need to reduce taxes and regulations so businesses will have more capital. Now we tax them almost to failure and then prop them up with tax payer dollars. That is wrong, stupid, and insane.
We even see it here locally. Recently, our Moore County Commissioners gave $15,500 in a matching amount for a state grant for improvements so that a company can add more jobs. The name of the company is International Tray Pads and Packaging. This is a very successful company who could afford, if it was worth it, to put up the money themselves. Instead our state and three of our county commissioners agreed to spend tax payer dollars on something that government should have no business doing. I will link to the story so you can read how three commissioners on our local county board wasted our tax dollars under the guise of "creating jobs".
I wrote a while back that the gravy train had to stop. This is another perfect example of how our government at all levels has lost it's constitutional priorities. They are interested in spending money on pet projects, political favors, and "jobs" because it translates into votes. This is greed. They want to stay in power. So they spend tax payer dollars to stay in power. It is pay to play politics and it is on both sides of the aisle. It needs to stop. We need to get government out of the market and get government out of the gravy train and pork barrel spending business.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Delay or defund

The GOP is locked in a battle of tactics. You have the conservative wing, led by Mike Lee, who believe that defunding Obamacare could be done through the CR to fund the government. There are some issues with this tactic. First the GOP needs all Republican Senators to vote to defund Obamacare. Right now there are just over a dozen who have committed to vote this way. There are several including Richard Burr who have said they will not sign onto such an effort.  So at this point it looks like we won't get all GOP senators. Then the next problem is that we would need a few democrats to vote against the President and vote to defund Obamacare. There is no democrat who will do this. So conceivably this tactic may be great, but in reality it is tough to enact. 
The next tactic is to delay. Grover Norquist and other conservative groups have sent a letter, encouraging our leaders to delay the laws implementation. Karl Rove and many other GOP leaders are advocating this delay tactic. They feel that if we delay and avoid a government shutdown that the Senate will be in GOP hands after the 2014 elections. There are some holes in this tactic as well. There is no guarantee of victory in 2014. Even if the GOP did gain a majority it would fall short of the sixty vote threshold to pass legislation. Even if the defund Obamacare  movement was successful after the 2014 elections, the President would veto it and the GOP doesn't have enough votes to override his veto. 
Conservatives are pushing the defund Obamacare option for several reasons. First they feel that this is the best opportunity to stop the law. They also are tired of past GOP promises that have never come to fruition. Much of the anger we see in this debate, and rightfully so, is from past betrayals. 
The GOP leadership wants to delay. They feel that a government shutdown will spell disaster for republicans in the 2014 elections. 
In the end it is a gamble. Either we can try and in Paul Ryan's words, "swing for the fences", or we can take the safe route. 
There is no guaranteed outcome. My personal opinion is to try to defund. We have got to try and do all we can. Playing it safe has gotten us nowhere. Romney was the safe choice. Picking the safe route here will dispirit the base and will send everyone a message that the GOP is weak. I don't mind swinging for the fences. I may strike out but at least I took my cuts and tried. I hope our GOP leadership will do the same. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tillis needs to copy Moore County

Recently on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, NC House speaker Thom Tillis has been touting the new budget. He highlights that we are spending more money on education than when the liberal democrats were in the majority. The speaker is clearly trying to appear moderate. He is running for US Senate, and he wants voters to think that he is for the children. 
I think that the legislature did some good things, but the budget still increased spending. You would think that with a GOP led legislature, that spending might actually have gone down. Tillis is sounding like the liberal democrats when he proclaims that we are spending more like it is a good thing. Speaker Tillis and the rest of the NCGA need to study what our Moore County board of commissioners have been doing. 
Moore County has made investments in education, water infrastructure, and public safety. They did this while reducing property taxes and reducing spending through various methods. Instead of simply moving the money around to different places, the GOP led legislature needs to start looking at ways to actually reduce spending. 
Thom Tillis is running for Senate. NC does not need to elect another establishment politician. We see how that has turned out for our nation. There is another candidate running named Greg Brannon who sound like the kind of conservative we haven't had in Washington since Jesse Helms. We need to take a serious look at alternatives in this race. In Washington, Raleigh, and Moore County we need to have leaders who are committed to fiscal responsibility which means less taxes, less spending and more prosperity. At the local level we are on the right track. We still have a lot of work to do at the state  and federal levels. I do know that voting for Thom Tillis is a vote for six years of more of the same. This is a primary, we don't have to settle. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

True Bipartisanship

There is a myth, perpetuated by the liberal left and the media, that Conservatives and the TEA party are obstructionists. That they are mean spirited and are uncouth. I would first argue that the same individuals who say this are those who do not condemn individuals like Charlie Rangel who called TEA partiers "same old white crackers" who wanted segregration. The liberals will say not word of condemnation for these hateful comments. Conservatives should be used to the double standard but I think we need to address a term that keeps getting brought up, bipartisanship.
The Liberals definition of bipartisanship is the GOP forsaking it's conservative base and allowing the liberal agenda to go on unchecked. The liberals liked the GOP when it was run by moderates like Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. The liberal agenda went through unchecked and republicans lived off the crumbs the liberals threw them. When the conservative revolutions of 1964, 1980, 1994, and 2010 happened the liberals started using this tactic. Saying that the conservatives were being obstructionists and were being too partisan. That is liberal speak for we are not laying down and they don't like opposition. 
I hope that the Republicans will unite behind Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in defunding Obamacare. It's time for a united conservative movement that brings in all the elements of the movement. Libertarians, defense hawks, social conservatives, and all the other factions need to stand together against the liberal agenda. 
Ronald Reagan stood for conservative principles yet he could get along with Tip O' Neill. Jesse Helms fought vigorously for his conservative principles yet his two closest friends in the senate were liberals Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone. There is nothing wrong with disagreement. There is nothing wrong with using every legislative tool at your disposal to enact, improve, or hold up legislation. We can be conservatives and fight against liberalism without being disagreeable or mean. 
I hope we as conservatives will never shrink from our principles. I hope we will never shrink from a fight or a challenge. We need bold conservative solutions to our nation, state, and local problems. If we fear what the liberal media says and buy into their version of bipartisanship we will never know the prosperity we once did or achieve an even greater future for the next generation. No apologies, no compromise when it comes to standing up for our conservative principles and our Constitution. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tail Wagging the Dog

It seems like the Moore County Board of Education has gone from bad to worse. When superintendent Susan Purser was here the stories of scarce budgets and teary pleas from overhyped PTA moms abounded. Of course our local rag never reported the fact that the county commissioners fully funded their requests. They never reported that instead of investing in the class room Dr. Purser hired more bureaucrats who got close to six figure salaries and vehicles and other waste and inefficiency. 
The arrival of new superintendent Aaron Spence could have been a promising reset to the Board. That is all gone now. Aaron Spence and Mike Griffin are on a spending spree the likes of which are unparalleled in our county. They are spending millions of dollars on lap tops and electronic smart boards. They botched the Academy Heights School closing and they also have continued to beat the drums of higher taxes and higher spending. They are spending money on training the associate superintendents to become superintendents. Translation, we the taxpayers are subsidizing the training of people who will leave and work somewhere else. Many of the bureaucrats and other employees get excessive benefits like vehicle pay. 
They have safety and emergency plans drawn up by their technology office who has no public safety experience and yet they will be coming to the board of commissioners for more money for their school police force. The leadership of our schools are in the hands of people who want to raise our taxes and spend more and more with no accountability or oversight. Now the rumors are floating around that they want yet another bond issue and potentially more taxes to pay for it. 
We need our school board to start asking some questions. What kind of long term plan do we have? Where is there waste and inefficiency? What bureaucratic positions can be cut? Don't our plans for emergencies need to be in consultation with the sheriff's office and public safety professionals? We need the board to stop being "yes" people and actually be in charge. Aaron Spence and Mike Griffin work for the board not the other way around. 
I hope the board will wake up and realize that if they keep being passive, Aaron Spence will lead our local education system into more debt, more waste, and inferior results. You and your children deserve better. Come on School Board. Wake up and do your job. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. In 2014 there are four seats up for election. Sounds like there is a need for new management. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Don't just move the money around

With the GOP in control of the Governor's mansion, and the legislative chambers you would have thought that the budget would have, oh I don't know, shrunk. It was a good budget in that it reduces taxes, and reduces regulation, and all the other talking points, but it still was more than the budget last year. In a time when families and individuals are tightening their belts it is hard to rejoice when the Republicans pass a budget that spends more when we should be spending less. 
I was looking over 2012-2013 appropriations projections for NC DOT. I was just thinking how much money we could potentially save if we privatized the state DOT. The total funding for the state DOT was tabbed at $5.2 billion. The actual expenditure for the previous year was $4.7 billion. The majority of those expenditures were external payments to the tune of $3,389,560,193.00. So basically we at the state level are already sending the majority of our tax dollars to state so they can outsource to private companies who do the majority of the work. The house and the Senate should seriously hold hearings and studies to show how much could we save the taxpayer if we privatized the state DOT. We could save, again based off of older figures, $739,457,867.00 in internal DOT labor and employee costs. We could also save on the need for more bureaucrats and administrative costs. In the appropriation projection for 2012-2013, $314,000,000.00 was spent on administration. If we privatized the DOT, I am sure we could cut a significant chunk of spending from that appropriation. My point is that the state needs to take a serious look at what we are spending and see if we can cut areas of waste and inefficiency. The recent scandal with the NC Rural Board is a prime example of how public money is being wasted.
North Carolina has the highest gas tax in the southeast, let alone the nation. I appreciate the state's effort to cap it again, but quite frankly the cap keeps going up it seems. We need to be looking into ways to reduce the state's gas tax to give NC families some relief and also make us more competitive with our neighbors in South Carolina and Virginia. I am not saying that the privatization process will work but it is worth some hearings and some research. 
The republicans control the purse strings and we must take advantage of this rare opportunity to actually reduce expenditures and reduce the burden of government on the taxpayers of NC. It is not enough to cut taxes, do some ribbon cuttings, and talk tough. We still need to reduce state spending in areas where we can. I hope that next year the House, Senate, and the Governor will make it a priority to reduce the size and the spending of government. Looking into privatizing services, reductions in personnel, and cutting waste should be made a top priority. Cutting taxes was a great start, but now it is time to start cutting spending. 

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