CongressHouse FloorSenate Floor • U.S. Capitol: 202-224-3121

November 8, 2010


Is Chris Matthews supporting a supply-side argument?

First he says this:

Chris Matthews: Why don't we lower all taxes down to about one percent, or frankly just one or two percent? Because by your theory, the lower the rate goes, the more revenue flows in. That is insane.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-PA): Look, I'll challenge you to go look at the numbers: when they cut taxes in '03, you had 48 consecutive months of job growth and the federal government took in more money.

But then a few seconds later, this:

Chris Matthews: Check the Reagan deficits, buddy. I was there, Congressman, he doubled the national debt. Why do you keep denying the facts?

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-PA): The federal government took in more money. It was the spending that created the deficits.

Matthews: Because the economy grows. Obviously it brings in more money.

Timeout! Isn't that the fundamental argument of supply-side economics? When tax cuts are lower, then the economy grows, and thus the government brings in more money.

This needs more exploring.

I still don't fully understand why conservatives who want smaller government push for something (tax cuts) they believe will create larger federal revenues.

July 31, 2010

Who We Are

"No compact among men ... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other."
—George Washington, draft of first Inaugural Address, 1789

"With malice toward none and charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in?"
—Abraham Lincoln

"The rights of man came not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."
John Kennedy

"If we ever forget that we are one nation under God then we will be a nation gone under."
—Ronald Reagan

"We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God."
—Harry Truman

"Let us raise the standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God."
—George Washington

"The constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
—John Adams

July 27, 2010

30k Troop Surge Funded

WASHINGTON (AP) The House has sent to the president legislation funding the 30,000-troop surge in Afghanistan.
Headlines like this remind me that no matter who gets elected, this is still absolutely true:
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes (Proverbs 21:1).
12,105 days

July 24, 2010

H.R. 1722: Telework Improvements Act of 2010

H.R. 1722: House Passed 268-147 (GT)

`Sec. 6501. Definitions

    `(2) the term `telework' or `teleworking' refers to a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee's position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work;
"an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work"

Sounds a little circular, doesn't it?

`Sec. 6502. Governmentwide telework requirement

    (3) CERTIFICATION OF SAVINGS- An agency may not permit employees to telework under a policy established under this chapter unless the head of the agency certifies to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management that the implementation of the policy will result in savings to the agency.
Why must the agency be the sole beneficiary of savings?
It's not wrong to consider your employees and their savings.

July 22, 2010

Tea Parties - Same Song, Second Verse

By David Barton

America's first Tea Party in 1773 was not an act of wanton lawlessness but rather a deliberate protest against heavy-handed government and excessive taxation. Its leaders took great care to ensure that nothing but tea was thrown overboard – no other items were damaged. The "Indians" even swept the decks of the ships before they left.

Tea Parties occurred not only in Boston but also in numerous other locales. And those who participated were just ordinary citizens expressing their frustration over a government that had refused to listen to them for almost a decade. Their reasonable requests had fallen on deaf ears. Of course, the out-of-touch British claimed that the Tea Parties were lawless and violent, but such was not the case.

Interestingly, in many ways, today's Tea Parties parallel those of long ago. But rather than protesting a tax on tea, today they are protesting dozens of taxes represented by what they call the Porkulus/Generational Theft Act of 2009 (officially called the "American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act"). For Tea Party members (and for most Americans), that act and the way it was passed epitomizes a broken system whose arrogant leaders often scorn the concerns of the citizens they purport to represent.

Tea Party folks agree with the economic logic of our Founders.

  • "To contract new debts is not the way to pay off old ones." "Avoid occasions of expense...and avoid likewise the accumulation of debt not only by shunning occasions of expense but by vigorous discharge the debts." George Washington
  • "Nothing can more [affect] national credit and prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to...extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possible the incurring of any new debt." Alexander Hamilton
  • "The maxim of buying nothing but what we have money in our pockets to pay for lays the broadest foundation for happiness." "The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." Thomas Jefferson

These are not radical positions – nor are the others set forth in the Tea Party platform – that Congress should:

  1. provide the constitutional basis for the bills it passes;
  2. reduce intrusive government regulations;
  3. balance the budget;
  4. limit the increase of government spending to the rate of population growth;
  5. and eliminate earmarks unless approved by 2/3rds of Congress.
Are these positions dangerous or extreme? Certainly not. In fact, polling shows that while Americans differ on the way they view the Tea Parties, they support these Tea Party goals by a margin of two-to-one.

Citizens are angry about the current direction of government. As John Zubly, a member of the Continental Congress in 1775, reminded the British: "My Lord, the Americans are no idiots, and they appear determined not to be slaves. Oppression will make wise men mad." But does that anger automatically equate to violence? Of course not. It does equate to action, however; but instead of throwing tea overboard, modern Tea Parties are throwing out-of-touch politicians from both parties overboard.

The Tea Parties represent much of what is right in America – citizens reacquainting themselves with the Constitution and holding their elected officials accountable to its standards. Two centuries ago, Daniel Webster could have been talking to today's Tea Party rallies when he said: "Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution!"

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God Bless!

David Barton

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