Newt’s third way

For several years I’ve received Newt Gingrich’s weekly letter from Human Events, and it’s usually a pretty decent read from a pretty smart guy. But now that he’s in the running for President and moved up onto the list of leading contenders, one needs to scrutinize his words more carefully and some of what I don’t like about Newt came out in his latest edition.

The Washington establishment’s reaction to the runaway spending is a policy of austerity and pain.

Democrats would cause austerity and pain on the individual by raising taxes, thereby shrinking family and business purchasing power.

Republicans would cause austerity and pain to government by cutting spending and thereby shrinking the services and income transfers government provides.

Clearly, shrinking government is preferable to overtaxing the American people but we must remember that there is a third alternative to pain. It is the path of innovation and growth.

So the question is whether Newt is really serious about cutting spending – after all, he is running for the Republican nomination, isn’t he? Newt would rather target his cuts around the edges, like this:

The key to today’s budget problems is to recognize that there is a world that works (largely but not entirely in the private sector) and there is a world that fails (bureaucracies in both the public and private sectors). With even a little creativity, we should be able to maximize the world that works and eliminate the world that fails.

For instance, if we applied modern private-sector management systems to government they would save up to $500 billion a year. That is three times the goal of the Super Committee.

Newt points to a website called Strong America Now, which claims that a quarter of all federal spending is wasted and advocates the Lean Six Sigma model in order to shrink spending down to size. (I’d say that number is quite low, but then again it all depends on your definition of waste.) While it’s a good idea to point this sort of thing out time and again, the trouble is that we’re working within the same parameter – if the system is irreparably broken, nothing can save it. Moreover, this working within the system will likely suffer the fate of most government estimates – the actual amount saved will likely fall short of expectations. And certainly the cuts will be just fine and no one will dispute the need for them until someone’s ox is gored, and there are a lot of sacred cows running around Washington.

My contention is that we need to shrink the services and income transfers government provides in order to bring the federal government to heel, so if Newt doesn’t want to do that I can’t get behind him very well. (I will admit in this case, though, that Newt is right about the idea of block-granting Medicaid to the states.) Being an advocate of a smaller, less powerful federal government I believe the idea of austerity there would bring some pain, but it would only be along the lines of a “you might feel this stick” pain when you’re giving blood or getting a flu shot. In the long term, the patient is much better.

To be perfectly frank, I would have less of an issue paying higher taxes in the state if I had the assurance that the federal government would shrink accordingly. The problem we have now is that all three levels of government seem to want to take more and more, and none of them will look into their proverbial mirror and ask themselves if what they are providing can’t be done better at a lower level or through the private sector. Placing a private sector model on government may be some improvement, but in terms of political philosophy it’s no different than lipstick on a pig. Unfortunately, my fear is that any money “saved” by the ideas espoused by Strong America Now would just be transferred to some other department, agency, or bureau in an ever-expanding statist paradise.

Perhaps I can borrow a phrase Newt made famous to describe the approach we should take. In my view, it’s time for government to “wither on the vine” but I just don’t think Newt is the guy to make it happen.

Friday night videos – episode 59

Another edition of this long-running series is upon us, and the star doesn’t need rehab! Let’s see what we’ve got this time.

The recent CPAC event was a gold mine of video inspiration for conservatives. For example, Human Events interviewed Ann Coulter before she made her remarks.

Not to be outdone, Townhall.com latched onto Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her take.

And on it went, as both entities catalogued dozens of interviews there.

Since the last time I did this, a number of videos have looked at the battle between TEA Party stalwarts on one side and Big Labor on the other, in Wisconsin and elsewhere. I have four different videos on the subject, beginning with Wisconsin’s protest.

Americans for Limited Government has its take on the Madison protests, then covered the event in Annapolis.

Expanding on the coverage was Renee Giachino and CFIF’s Freedom Minute.

But there’s one more protest which comes from inside the Wisconsin state house.

Sore losers. Wonder what would happen if Maryland Republicans adopted the same style of tactics?

This is different and a humorous take on overbearing nanny state governance from CEI, who is usually good at this sort of thing.

I don’t wear makeup but I sure don’t drink coffee with soy milk either.

Okay, there’s no music video this time because next week will be an all-music edition. So that’s it for this edition of FNV.

Friday night videos – episode 56

Coming back at’cha with a lot about Obamacare and the prospects for repeal.

How about beginning with this commercial brought to you by the “Defeat Obama Campaign” – it’s a part of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC umbrella:

I’m all for defeating Obama. Newt Gingrich doesn’t wish to stop there, though. He has his ideas on what else the House should do. This comes from Human Events.

Targeting the 23 Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2012 may be working – at least two (Kent Conrad of North Dakota and former VP candidate Joe Lieberman) have decided to retire rather than run again.

And the Center for Individual Freedom claims this the beginning of the end of Obamacare.

But what would replace Obamacare? Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia has some ideas, and he spoke to Americans for Limited Government about it recently.

You may need blood pressure medication yourself after watching this video. It’s from last February but represents how Washington watches out for itself – corporatism at its finest.

Nice work if you can get it, right?

Some of you may be familiar with the term “Darwin Award”, facetiously given to someone who offs him- or herself in some bizarre manner before they can damage the gene pool by passing on stupidity. Well, this person may be one to watch as a future recipient.

On the original post I saw this at, people are debating whether he hit 195 mph as he claims. Me, I’m debating whether he’ll take someone out with him or manage to only kill himself when he wraps a car around a tree. I guess it’s a good thing he’s trying to sell the Corvette.

I was in the mood for something I hadn’t heard in awhile, so I picked out something from October 2009. This was one of my first music videos from my friends in Semiblind, and I believe it’s the only one where they’re doing one of their original songs. Yes, the sound is a bit rough.

If you know an agent who specializes in getting bands a place to play, please hook Semiblind up so they can write more originals! Love that guitar lick in the middle of the song.

Well, until next time, enjoy the rest of your Friday night!

Friday night videos episode 47

I’m going to warn you now – this may be controversial.

The first video I’m going to feature is in “honor” of the 10-10-10 celebration being promoted by the world’s greenies. It’s been called an “environmental snuff film” and I don’t disagree. But you need to know the mindset of these people.

“No pressure” indeed. These people are mentally ill to think this way. I know that 90% of environmentalists just want clean air and water, and so do I. But I want a balance between our economic interests and way of life too. These people just want their way and don’t care.

Speaking of economic interests – well, where are the jobs, Frank?

Certainly I make no assertion that Frank thinks like those people who did the first video, but he agreed with them when he voted for cap-and-trade. I’m sure he’s just in the 90 percent.

On the other hand, it’s sort of unfortunate that we don’t have our own version of a strong conservative woman in this race. But Frank McCaffrey of Americans for Limited Government takes a look at Maryland LG hopeful Mary Kane in this piece.

But some still don’t get it. I’m not a big fan of ‘gotcha’ journalism, but this guy parrots the line that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share, when in fact they overpay.

And yes, as I’ve explained over the last week in the Daily Times, I support the Fair Tax.

Anyway, as I promised last week, I’m doing two music videos. This week has some heavy subject matter and I need a break, too.

The first one I’ve featured before but I was in the mood for Southern rock, and this is among my most-viewed music videos I’ve done.

The second one comes from the exact same venue (WinterPlace Park) but several months later. Not My Own won the Unicity Festival and hopefully it will take them to bigger and better things.

Usually I feature something heavier from the boys, but as I recall this is one of the first songs I heard out of them and it has a nice sound with the acoustic guitar.

Until next week, that’s a wrap on another edition of FNV. I’m hoping to have more music from this weekend’s Good Beer Festival and its solid lineup.

Friday night videos – episode 41

It’s back to the political for this edition of FNV, and I have plenty to choose from since I took the extra week.

You know, Americans aren’t happy with their government and its spending. So says the Senate Republicans.

 

Nice of them to use some video from my old hometown – the part about Senator Voinovich was taken from WNWO-TV, the NBC affiliate in Toledo.

As a matter of fact I find this next video pretty funny. The vain stumbling in search of a thought is the best part.

Sure Bob Ehrlich put it out, but when you’re caught you’re caught.

Even more funny is this spot for a phony product. Fortunately, I’m not in the market for it.

I still want the sticker I’ve seen which says: ‘You voted for Obama? Thanks a lot @$$hole!’

One group which still supports Obama and his agenda is the NAACP. While it smacks of ‘gotcha’ journalism, sometimes these guerrilla efforts are the best way to get the truth.

Human Events did the video, so consider the source before you demean the message.

Here’s another example of ‘gotcha’ journalism. But imagine if it were a pro-life group disseminating incorrect information – would you not see someone like Geraldo Rivera all over it?

I guess considering the fetus ‘medical waste’ makes it all better?

The next two videos are an impassioned plea from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal regarding the oil drilling moratorium and jobs. This was at the ‘Rally for Economic Survival.’

If Governor Jindal can continue being a leader, he may yet be a factor in 2012. Do you wonder if President Obama is trying to make him look bad as a potential opponent?

I’m saving the best for last. Americans for Limited Government took time to remind us that next February marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of an American who fought for limited government as much as he could.

Ronald Reagan’s message seems a good way to bring this edition to a close.

Friday night videos – episode 38

Since I missed last week due to personal reasons, it means I have a lot more video to choose from this time.

A little over five years ago, the Supreme Court revealed its Kelo v. New London decision. The Institute for Justice took a look at the impact since in this video.

 

Hey, it was nice of YouTube to add custom sizing for websites like mine. Saves me some HTML work!

The saving of the work doesn’t just extend to me. Beltway Democrats don’t want to work on a budget.

Maybe they just want to enjoy their summer. In this edition of the Freedom Minute, Renee Giachino talks about Obama’s ‘Recovery Summer.’

Someone who can’t take the summer off is Gen. David Petraeus. But it appears Obama’s advisors blew him off when they promised a July 2011 Afghan withdrawal.

But that’s all right, because Obama staffers are blowing off transparency laws, as Americans for Limited Government reveals.

This one has a wry sense of humor to it, and in good time for Independence Day.

Musically, I think it’s time to dust off Ava Aston once again. Just as a reminder who’s in charge on Independence Day.

Have a great Fourth of July, and Happy 234th Birthday to America!

Friday night videos – episode 37

Once again it’s time for the interesting stuff I run across in the course of a week. Let’s begin with a video you may have already seen. I’m putting it up because it’s a case of a Congressman who thinks he’s above everyone else.

Let’s hope he’s not above his opponent after the votes are counted Election Day. Let’s also hope that the subject of the next video has to turn over her Speaker’s gavel in January. Human Events is moving quickly into the realm of video – this is the first of two I use from them and it features one of my favorite Congressmen, Rep. Mike Pence.

Speaking of slimy and dishonest politicians, the subject of the next video is our very own governor, Martin O’Malley. Bob Ehrlich calls him out on a radio ad the O’Malley campaign recently produced.

The slime theme continues as I turn your attention to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and its handling. First is the assessment of Obama’s performance from a man I respect (and would have voted for had he survived long enough in his Presidential primaries,) Steve Forbes.

That was the second Human Events video. Another video from Americans for Limited Government details the first 45 days after the accident.

I vote for the second option myself. The next one is something a little different, and considering it was forwarded to me from political gadfly Daniel “the Wig Man” Vovak, isn’t something I would have looked for. But this could be a nice little comedy.

Last but not least is the local band Vivid Season and their take on Seether’s ‘Remedy.’ I throw it in because I like the song.

Once again, thanks for following this week’s edition of FNV and it should be back next week!