Thursday, November 20, 2008

State and Local Government Bailouts Unfair to Taxpayers

Americans for the Preservation of Liberty has joined 58 other organizations in calling upon the U.S. Congress to refuse to use federal taxpayer funds to bail out states and local governments that are spending more than they take in.

Why should taxpayers in states and localities that balance their budgets be forced to bail out state and local governments than overspent?

A better solution is spending cuts.

The New Congress: Raising Your Prices and Hurting the Economy

David Ridenour, writing for the National Center for Public Policy Research, has an op-ed in today's Washington Times on the damage that would be done if the new ever-more-liberal Congress puts a curb on greenhouse gas emissions.

After the vote today among Democrats in Congress to replace somewhat moderately liberal Rep. John Dingell (D-CA) as chairman of the House Commerce Committee with off-the-wall left-wing partisan Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), you can bet energy curbs are on the fast track, especially in the House.

An excerpt from Ridenour's op-ed:
When our economic bus is teetering at the edge of a cliff, it's a bad time to throw on some extra weight...

...A study by the National Association of Manufacturers projected that emissions caps similar to those rejected earlier this year by the U.S. Senate calling for a 63-percent cut in emissions by 2050, would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by up to $269 billion and cost 850,000 jobs by 2014.

The Heritage Foundation estimated such restrictions would result in cumulative GDP losses of up to $4.8 trillion and employment losses of more than 500,000 a year by 2030.

...Duke University's Nicholas Institute estimates a GDP loss of $245 billion by 2030 while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates a GDP drop of $238 billion to $983 billion.

...According to a study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the restrictions could raise gasoline prices 29 percent, electricity prices 55 percent and natural-gas prices 15 percent by 2015.

...And it appears that all this economic pain would be an utterly meaningless gesture. Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, who is now with the Cato Institute, says reducing U.S. emissions 63 percent would prevent a mere 0.013 degrees Celsius in warming....

The entire article is here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

MoveOn.org's Curious E-Mail on Governor Sarah Palin

We received the following email from MoveOn this evening, addressed "Dear MoveOn member," although we have never joined nor contributed to that organization.

MoveOn appears a bit overwrought at John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

A few things struck us about the email, which is reprinted in full below:
1) The word "religious" in a sequence of words MoveOn personnal regard as pejorative. In context, it appears MoveOn considers religious faith to be a negative.

2) MoveOn's use of Wikipedia as a source (see footnote #1). Risky. Wikipedia can say anything, and often does.

3) MoveOn's use of a Huffington Post blog post by the notoriously unreliable Canadian PR flack Kevin Grandia as a source on Palin's views on climate change (see footnote #5). Grandia is paid to write for the Canadian left-wing environmental website DeSmogBlog, run by a PR agency and popular with many global warming skeptics for its unintentionally hilarious incompetent posts on science issues. If MoveOn truly needs the help of foreign experts to evaluate U.S. candidates, it would do better to consult competent ones.

4) MoveOn refers to Palin suing the Bush Administration "for listing polar bears as an endangered species," but the Bush Administration didn't list the polar bear as an endangered species, it listed it as a threatened species. There is a big difference. MoveOn listed a political statement by the Sierra Club as its source for this, but the Sierra Club statement had it right.

5) MoveOn members being quoted but being identified without their last names. Are these people made up, or are they real people who lack the courage to have their full names in an e-mail? Surely the political situation in Alaska is not such that ALL the MoveOn members there faced some sort of retaliation for criticizing the governor. (Though we note that "member" Sherry C. said Palin "is doing well running our State.")

6) The consistent theme about Palin having no foreign policy experience, as if this was not also true for Bill Clinton in 1992, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Barack Obama today, among many other presidents and presidential aspirants. Ditto for national experience. Governors often are elected to the presidency.

7) [Added to post later] MoveOn accepted the left-wing The Nation magazine's word that Palin endorsed Pat Buchanan for president in 2000, but ABC News is reporting, based on a 1999 Associated Press report, that Palin supported Steve Forbes and served on his local campaign leadership committee that year.
Judge for yourself. Here's the complete MoveOn email:
Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.

Huh?

Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1

Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2

She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.3

Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6

How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17515&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=1

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17736&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=2

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17737&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=3

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17517&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=4

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17518&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=5

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17519&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=6

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17520&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=7

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=21119&id=13661-5456418-QPWcmFx&t=8

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Four Liberals Chosen to Moderate Presidential Debates By Outsiders Nobody Elected

The busybodies nobody elected, otherwise known as the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, has decided that four liberals from the mainstream press should moderate the presidential debates this fall.

No conservative or even moderate candidate should ever agree to debate under these terms.

The candidates should ask each other questions. Can't get any fairer than that.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Senator Barack Obama keeps insisting he's right when he claims properly inflating tires could save "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."

John Hinderaker says Obama's wrong about that.

The facts are so clear here, that we wonder why Obama keeps bringing this up.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Letter to Congress Urges Gas Drilling Ban Be Allowed to Expire

Americans for the Preservation of Liberty has joined a coalition letter delivered to Congress today saying:
Dear Senator/Representative:

On behalf of our millions of members and all American consumers suffering from high energy prices, we urge you to
allow the current restrictions on much-needed American energy resources to expire as scheduled under current law.
Unless Congress acts affirmatively to prevent it, October 1st, 2008 will be a day fittingly described as “American
Energy Freedom Day” as those restrictions expire.

According to estimates from the Department of the Interior, the Outer Continental Shelf contains 86 billion barrels of
oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and there is an additional 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil locked in
oil shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Now that President Bush has lifted the executive branch moratorium, the only thing prohibiting development of these
energy resources is a temporary ban that is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year. On October 1, 2008, domestic
energy resources will no longer be held off-limits by the federal government.

We urge you to oppose the creation of any new moratorium for fiscal 2009, even if it is attached to what some people
in Washington consider “must-pass” legislation. We further urge you to sustain a presidential veto of any measure to
impose a new moratorium.

A strong majority of the American public sees drilling expansion as necessary to reduce fuel prices now and in the
long run. Creating new restrictions on domestic energy development would fly in the face of public opinion and
exacerbate the pain every American citizen feels at the pump.

Sincerely,

[List of Signers]

A PDF of the actual letter, including the complete list of signers, can be accessed here.
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Saturday, April 5, 2008

The REAL Inconvenient Truth: Zealotry over Global Warming Could Damage our Earth

Nigel Lawson, once a cobinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government, has written a top-notch article about climate change and why the public should be wary of heeding the message of green activists about global warming.

The article is a must-read; one of the best we've seen in a long time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stimulous Plan: Wealth Redistribution Over Economic Expansion

Americans for the Preservation of Liberty signed on today to a coalition letter spearheaded by the National Taxpayers Union:
January 28, 2008

An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Don't Fall for "Stimulus" Fairy Tales!

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of members of our respective organizations, we write to urge caution regarding the so-called "economic stimulus" plan that may soon be before you. As more details emerge about this initiative, it is becoming clearer that it would favor wealth redistribution over true economic expansion.

The recently announced plan has some questionable elements, chief among them a $100 billion income tax rebate scheme that will distribute checks of up to $600 for individuals making less than $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making less than $150,000. Even those who had no income tax burden will be eligible for checks worth $300, provided they earned more than $3,000 in 2007. These tax rebates don't create any new wealth, they simply redistribute resources that the Treasury extracted from others.

In addition, the plan will increase the limits for loans purchased or insured by the Federal Housing Administration as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It would increase those loan limits to $725,000 and $625,000, respectively. This expansion of federally sponsored mortgage debt is but a continuation of risky lending practices, backed implicitly by the American taxpayer.

The plan laudably includes roughly $50 billion in tax incentives for business. But while enhanced expensing and carryback provisions constitute worthy tax relief for businesses, the fact that the provisions only apply this year simply means that many businesses will shift their future investments up to 2008, potentially leading to a slowdown of investments in 2009. Consistent and stable business expansion requires long-term policies, not temporary changes.

Despite claims by its proponents, this plan will not lead to the kind of economic stimulus that has been advertised. Congress has no mechanism for "creating" additional wealth in America over the short term, as 1970s experiments in tax rebates and spending increases proved. This plan amounts to taking a bucket of water from the deep end of the pool and pouring it in the shallow end; the result yields neither new water nor a larger pool.

Furthermore, the focus on consumer spending is ultimately misguided. To quote economist Don Boudreaux, "Spending power is not so much the fuel for economic growth as it is its reward. [T]he key to economic growth is investment that raises worker productivity." If Congress seeks true stimulus that is economically sound, it ought to reduce tax rates and avoid bailing out the housing market. Making the lower capital gains tax rate permanent and reducing inordinately high corporate taxes would have a much more stimulative effect than any rearrangement of existing tax revenue.

Sincerely,*

Duane Parde
President
National Taxpayers Union

Jim Martin
President
60 Plus Association

Tim Phillips
President
Americans for Prosperity

Amy Ridenour
Vice Chairman
Americans for the Preservation of Liberty

Timothy Wise
President
Arlington County Taxpayers Association (VA)

Jeffrey Mazzella
President
Center for Individual Freedom

Doug Bandow
Vice President for Policy
Citizen Outreach

Barbara Anderson
Executive Director
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.
Vice President for Policy
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Thomas Schatz
President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Bob Williams
President
Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Tom McClusky
Vice President of Government Affairs
Family Research Council

Richard O. Rowland
President
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Jon Coupal
President
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

John Tillman
CEO
Illinois Policy Institute

Karl Peterjohn Executive Director
Kansas Taxpayers Network

Richard Falknor
Chair
Maryland Center-Right Coalition

David Ridenour
Vice President
National Center for Public Policy Research

Lew Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee

Doug Kagan
Chairman
Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom

Paul J. Gessing
President
Rio Grande Foundation

Phil Krinkie
President
Taxpayers League of Minnesota

Rick Durham
President
Tennessee Tax Revolt

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only.
_____