January 19, 2006
McCain: A Second Look?
from sources in New Hampshire that some Conservatives in the GOP are beginning to look at Sen. John McCain as an option in '08. He, like myself, is skeptical, though:
Well one thing is for sure, if the right wing blogosphere is any indication of the grassroots conservative movement, then the source is all wrong. Yes, McCain is great on spending, but there's a whole lot more anger with him for CFR, and his hesitancy on tax cuts, the "Gang of 14" deal (as well as his media preening) than there is praise for him on the spending issues. Who knows, maybe it's us in the blogosphere that are in a bubble, but for some reason I don't think that's the case here.
Now if McCain were to win the nomination I would certainly support him. But he's not my first, second or even third choice for that matter. I'm still wary that his desire to be loved by his buddies in the media betrays his Conservative ideals. He has a long way to go in winning me over. And he's
the reason I'm a registered Republican.
We shall see.
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January 18, 2006
Vote Shadegg...For A Change
One of the earliest political ads I can remember was in 1980 when, in the face of discontent against a Democrat-controlled Congress, a GOP ad asked voters to "Vote Republican...For A Change." It had a double meaning in that it meant Republicans would bring change to the Legislative body and that people who were tired of pulling the lever for Democrats should try voting for Republicans for a change. It worked.
In 1994 the GOP again took control of the Congress and, while I'm doubtful that Democrats have a real chance to take it back this year, Republicans in the House have a real opportunity to elect a new Majority Leader to bring change to an institution that is spinning out of control. That new Leader should be John Shadegg of Arizona.
Shadegg, who came in with the GOP sweep of 1994, is not only unconnected to the current political scandals but he has a real committment to the principles on which Republicans won 12 years ago. The editors of TownHall.com agree:
John Shadegg would change the way things are done on Capitol Hill. He would shed light on the insidious game of congressional earmarking by requiring members to be honest with the public about the projects that they sneak into appropriations bills. Along similar lines, Shadegg wants to require the posting of all legislation three hours before a vote so that the public can finally see what their elected representatives are up to in Washington.
He also wants to lead his caucus in an effort to get tough on immigration by among other things, building a fence along the Mexican border. He would repeal the unconstitutional provisions of McCain-Feingold. He supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and he is rock-solid in his commitment to the War on Terrorism and finishing the job in Iraq.
And Shadegg wrote an Op-Ed
in OpinionJournal.com this morning making the case for his candidacy. It should be read by anyone interested in this upcoming leadership election.
I would urge all Republican members of the House to do right by their constituents and vote for John Shadegg for Majority Leader. Vote for integrity...for a change.
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In the last five years, Republicans have enacted the largest increase in entitlement spending in three decades, doubled the education budget, nearly tripled the number of earmarked spending projects, and turned a blind eye toward the corrosive culture of corruption on Capitol Hill. - stephen moore
Posted by: kyle Foley at January 19, 2006 07:54 AM (8Ag0m)
After 16 consecutive quarters of economic growth, pay is rising at a slower rate than in any similar expansion since the end of World War II. Companies are paying less of their cash gains in the form of wages and salaries than at any time since the Great Depression, according to government figures.
Such a disparity, partly the result of globalization of the labor market, helps explain why the Bush administration is struggling to muster support for lower trade barriers even with the jobless rate at a four-year low. The imbalance has also triggered a debate between Bush's Treasury Department and the Fed about how low unemployment can go without kindling inflation.
``There is no doubt that something is happening'' to reduce labor's share of income, says Robert Solow, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. An economy that doesn't distribute its gains widely is ``poorly performing,'' he says.
From the final quarter of 2001 through last year's third quarter, total compensation paid to employees by corporations, including health benefits, rose at a 4.3 percent average annual rate, according to government figures. That's the slowest growth for any similar period in post-war expansions lasting at least four years. - bloomberg
Posted by: kyle Foley at January 19, 2006 07:57 AM (8Ag0m)
Is there a conclusion in there that I'm missing?
1) what should be the "standard" for for a growth rate of compensation (including health benefits) by corporations. And while we're at it how about including small-businesses and public-sector employers. Why single out corporations? Because they're evil?
2) I'm always skeptical of analysis from an academic who probably hasn't worked a day in the private sector since undergraduate school.
3) beyond globalization and the "greed" of the evil corporations what other macroeconomic forces do you think could be contributing to this trend.
Try to keep to 100 words or fewer, please. I have limited bandwidth.
Posted by: Gary at January 19, 2006 08:44 AM (QoxB+)
when companies are paying less of a percentage of their revenue to wages, clearly something is wrong. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you dish out less of a percent of your money - then you're being greedy. by the way, what happened to the explosive, irrational vendective when you answered my post about the abu graihb? now you seem cool and level-headed, that's less funny. i liked that style better.
Posted by: kyle Foley at January 19, 2006 08:54 AM (8Ag0m)
You caught me when I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. Seriously though, if you thought that was "explosive" you need to get around the blogsphere more.
As to your Krugman-esque economic analysis, you didn't answer any of my questions.
1) The growth rate you cite is way above the rate of inflation, which is also at record low.
2) If there is an optimum growth rate, I'm still waiting for your thoughts on that. Without a benchmark for comparison you're looking at the rate in a vacuum. Also, what would be your suggested rememedy for reaching it? Mandating a specific level through a goverment edict, perhaps?
3) If the gains of these corporations aren't being distributed to employees, where are they going? Are they being reinvested in the firm for capital expenditures to keep up with the needs of production growth? Are they being distributed as dividends to stockholders (who may also be employees with 401Ks)? Are they being invested in research and development to create new product lines? Are they paying down long-term debt to reinforce the firm's tangible net worth? Are they offsetting expenses to allow for price reductions (which benefit the consumer)?
I suspect your answer would be: They give the money to the rich greedy evil Ken Lay's of the company so they can buy their private jets and support their excessive lifestyles (or something to that effect) which include feasting on live kittens.
The principles involved are very complicated. Your conclusion that a lower growth rate of salaries/wages/benefits = greedy corporations is a bit too simplistic and, frankly, a little childish.
"Companies are paying less of their cash gains in the form of wages and salaries than at any time since the Great Depression, according to government figures."
I can make a lot of statements that aren't necessarily accurate or only tell part of the story and say it's based on "government figures".
But, like your "70% to 90%" statement on the Abu Graib post, you fail to link or cite specific data to back up your assertion. And it turns out that this assertion is false. So I can't take anything you say at face value because you've already shown that a willingness to make a statements that you don't know to be true.
I can, however, make general comments on economic concepts. Hope you learned something today.
Posted by: Gary at January 19, 2006 10:37 AM (QoxB+)
And do agree with your first comment (of January 19, 2006 07:57 AM). That was the whole point of the post. Stephen Moore is a very intelligent man, you should read more of him instead of just pulling quotes to criticize Republicans.
Posted by: Gary at January 19, 2006 10:41 AM (PLHs9)
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January 14, 2006
A Call For A House Cleaning
I'm signing on to N.Z. Bear's blogger petition
for House Republicans to elect a Majority Leader free of any association to the Abramoff scandals, dedicated to fiscal responsibility and committed a reform agenda. Here, Here!
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January 08, 2006
Wanted: A New Majority Leader
Okay, so Tom DeLay did his party a favor by stepping down. Had he stayed, the ranks of the membership would have split throughout the year, second guessing every vote instead of focusing on getting things done. Naturally, as Liberals and Democrats manage to stay one step behind
political events, the Lefty fever swamp is all a buzz about how wonderful this is. In fact, I'm willing to put money down that they'll overreach yet again and, not being satisfied with DeLay losing his leadership post, they'll be screaming for him to resign his house seat. They'll think they've won something big here. Actually, what it does is it takes away a GOP whipping boy to demonize. In the coming election year, they're going to find themselves missing "the Hammer".
Shortly after the 1998 election, the party decided that having Newt Gingrich continue as the Majority Leader was not helping, so after a lot of internal pressure, Gingrich stepped down and Denny Hastert picked up the gavel. The result: the Democrats lost a target to lob their attacks against. Hastert's integrity was beyond approach.
Today, the GOP has a similar opportunity. And in the uncertainty of the Abramoff case - which will taint all of Congress, across party lines - they need to put forth a Majority Leader whose career isn't synonymous with the lobbying corruption of "K Street" and take the higher ground away from Democrats, who will try to claim it for themselves.
Red State makes the case for Mike Pence.
At a time when Democrats are trying to paint Republicans as unethical greedy crooks in the pockets of Jack Abramoff and his ilk, Republicans in Congress should look to one who is willing to work for the party, but who is not willing to give up the fight for the conservative base. Republicans need to start looking for a "do as I do" Republican and not continue on with hypocrits of power.
Right now the House Republicans need Mike Pence. He's done wonders revitalizing the Republican Study Committee. It has become an effective organization. There are others there like Jeb Hensarling, who can keep it going. There are not many in the Republican ranks who can revitalize Republican leadership in the House as a whole. Mike Pence can and Mike Pence should be given the opportunity.
As of now, the leading candidates are Roy Blunt of MO and John Boehner of OH - each is a candidate that is exactly what the party DOESN'T need right now. Hopefully, the Republican Caucus in the House do some serious reflection over the next few weeks and, if a special election is called to fill the post, create enough of a groundswell to draft Pence as the new Majority Leader.
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