59% Still Believe Government Is the Problem

This from Rasmussen Reports:

“In early October, as the meltdown of the financial industry gained momentum following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 59% of U.S. voters agreed with Ronald Reagan that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem

Other survey data shows that 72% of voters believe a free market economy is better than one managed by the government. That’s little changed since December.

While voters prefer the free market in theory, they are clearly willing to support government intervention for specific projects. Most Americans favor a six-month moratorium on mortgage foreclosures. However, most are opposed to more bailouts.”

So what is the problem here? The problem is there is no major party between Democrats and Republicans that represent the majority view. These people may have been more likely to vote for Republicans because they were the limited government free market talking heads. Instead, they were faced with a chance that Barack Obama might turn into Bill Clinton or John McCain who may have turned into George W. Bush. In that case, most people would pick Clinton. It may be argued that Clinton rode some major bubbles, but he was able to control spending. Bush has created the most spending since FDR, but will go down in history as Herbert Hoover.

The rest is here.



Favorite Cartoon of 2008: Conservative V.P. Please



Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What happened to Tax Reform?

This post was originally posted on Red Virginia:
During the Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan on October 9th 2007, John McCain was asked if he thought that tax system was fair and this was his answer “Sure it’s fair. The bulk of the taxes are paid by wealthy people. Should we reform our tax code? Absolutely we should fix our tax code, and we should fix it immediately.” He has said in other statements that what he means is to make it more simple. So my questions is as the title says “What happened to Tax Reform?”

No, I am not talking about making it more simple. That is like saying let’s put it in larger font. You are doing something but you forgot the real problem. The real problem is the structure of the income tax. I assume that John McCain has been hearing that tax cuts are only for the wealthy too long that he is beginning to agree. Even though it is a problem that we need to create private businesses to just to pay taxes, that is like spilling milk and saying the problem is that the milk is wet. The problem is that you spilled it! We need to change how and why we are taxed now.

There are three kinds of taxes: progressive, regressive, and proportional.

What we currently have is a progressive system, where the more money you make the more taxes you pay. When it comes to economic incentives this discourages those to work hard. It is a reward system imagine you tell your kids that the more they clean their room the less you will pay them. Go to McDonald’s and tell them better the food the less you are going to pay.  How about something more simple. Tell the guy who works in your factory that if he makes 100 widgets he gets 20% of the profits, when he makes the next 100 he gets 10% of the profits, and when he makes the next 50 he gets 5% of the profits. Only the tax system could justify such incentives, through force.

In Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto he said “In the most advanced countries the following will be pretty generally applicable: a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” I personally would rather subscribe to Economist’s Gregory Mankiw’s view, “If policy makers’ primary goal is … economic prosperity for all, they should avoid focusing on the politics of envy.”

What is the purpose of a progressive tax? Most people say to raise money for the government but some how we did it for 137 years before that. The real purpose of a progressive tax is to redistribute income from the rich to the poor. Conservatives should be against this for this and the discouraging of work reason. When did someone have the right to take money from someone else who worked hard for it?

What do we need? That leaves regressive and proportional. Regressive is where the poor is taxed more and less as they get more rich. This would create an incentive for people to work harder and move their way up. Almost a reward system for working harder. If the numbers were low this would not be a bad idea, but no one would ever agree with it.

That leaves a proportional tax which is a tax that is uniform to everyone. This to me shows that your point of this tax is one thing and one thing only; to fund the government. This Conservatives should rally behind. It allows you to work as hard or a little as you want. It doesn’t penalize people who are on the margin. It’s purpose isn’t to expand social welfare programs.

Aren’t Conservatives against social welfare programs? Well maybe if the government income system wasn’t set up for these, we could get somewhere with reducing and eliminating them.

~Barry AUH2O

Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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To be against Free Trade is like being against technology…

Originally posted on Red Virginia:
When we saw the Ohio Primary come around for the Democrats there was a large movement for renegotiating NAFTA. It was believed that U.S. jobs were being shipped over seas and it was making us worse off. This was an important political move because Ohio, like Michigan is known to be full of factory union workers.

The idea of Protectionism is as about as old as nations. The very first bill that came through Congress was a tariff on imported goods. Many Conservatives do not know where they stand on Free Trade vs. Protectionism. John McCain claims to be a free trader but also claims to not understand Economics. Pat Buchanan is a Protectionist because he doesn’t understand Economics. It was Adam Smith, the father of Economics, that first believed without a doubt that trade is good.

This is a challenge that we as conservatives face with the current recession and the Democrat’s and some Republican’s move to Protectionism. If we allow a President to close the country off to trade, like we did in 1930 with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, we could find ourselves falling deeper into a recession. We are seeing an economic crisis that looks a lot like the Great Depression but what is saving us is the diversification of our industries due to global trade.

As Conservatives we should support free trade because it not only helps us but helps countries across the world. It allows African farmers to compete in a fair market, when food and growth is a matter of survival. It allows our farmers to train their children to be engineers, scientists, and other high skilled workers. Think of this as a household and as people become more rich they outsource other things so that they have more time to work on higher skilled things. We pay Chinese and Vietnamese to build and assemble the plastic CDs because we are the ones creating the new programs for computers and music that will be put on that CD. It is all about letting the area that can make the good more efficient do it efficiently without barriers. This also happens with technology just substitute Chinese and Vietnamese with GM, Honda, and Toyota and CDs with cars. Now the horse and buggy maker is going out of business. Do we need a tax on the car companies to save this job? I don’t think so.

Most Conservatives get bombarded with the question of “What about sweatshops and holding these poorer countries to the same labor standards we have?” The answer to this is you get paid for how efficient you are. Since most people in poor countries have very little education and experience they aren’t worth as much as a technician at Microsoft. If you were to require these businesses overseas to increase the wages at the factories, it would make the businesses hire less people. What happens to those people? They starve.

You don’t have to be pro-sweat shop. You are anti-starvation. People are working their because it brings them more income than if they were to work in something else (assuming other jobs exist. Eventually, they will do like what we did in the U.S. and lift themselves out of poverty. We had sweatshops and those workers where low skilled because they came from farms where tractors “put them out of a job.” As they raise their wages, it will then become more cost effective to send their kids to school and not into the workforce.

Until then to require them to have the same standards of labor that we have is unfair and will do nothing but allow some to starve. And remember to be against trade is like being against technology.


Was there a Barr/Baldwin Effect?

Some, like your author of this blog, argued that fiscal Conservatives could have gotten upset and voted for a third party. McCain was no where near the perfect Republican candidate and was even further away from the fiscal Conservative’s perfect candidate.

Bob Barr was the libertarian candidate who was a former Congressman and Chuck Baldwin was the Constitution Party candidate and was endorsed by Congressman Ron Paul. Here we are going to look at states that were close and see if the Barr/Baldwin campaigns had any effect. Now since this was hard to compare and I do not have the time to figure out the base of these two parties we are just going to assume that many of the people would have voted for McCain had they not ran. But we must subtract Nader’s numbers too, if he did not run it would balance out.

Close States:

Virginia – Conclusion (None)

  • Difference between Obama/McCain:155,627
  • Barr/Baldwin Effect: 17,719 (No need to subtract Nader)

North Carolina – Conclusion (Win possible Republican +15)

  • Diff: Obama/McCain: 12,163
  • Barr (Only 3P on ballot) Effect: 25, 181

Florida – Conclusion (Nader>Barr/Baldwin so None)

  • Diff: Obama/McCain: 189,777
  • Barr/Baldwin Effect: 24,229 (Nader was greater so this had a small Nader Effect

Indiana (Conclusion possible Republican + 11)

  • Diff: Obama/McCain: 26,163
  • Barr (Only 3p on ballot) Effect: 29,186

Missouri and Montana is possible that McCain’s gain would have been bigger without a Barr/Baldwin Effect.

What does this mean? First, it means that if the Republican Party picked a more fiscally Conservative person it is possible they could have picked up 26 electoral votes. That would still only give the Republican candidate 189 which is not enough to win.

What does this actually means? It actually means that Barack Obama vs. A fiscally Conservative Republican (FCR) is hard to measure. This is because had a FCR been picked, he/she could have spent less time campaigning in the two states above. It is also possible that he/she would have movtivated people more. The downside is that libertarians always run and so does the Constitution Party. This means that they could only get some and not all of the votes.

You could imagine that if a good FCR got elected then the Libertarian candidate would have been less strong and popular. I doubt you would have had a former Congressman. Also the Constitution Party would get almost no votes because Congressman Ron Paul would not have endorse him.

To summarize, there are way to many “buts” and “ifs” but it does not look like fiscal Conservatives did a good job at punishing Republicans for their moderate pick. The argument could be made that they stayed home or didn’t work as hard. I could imagine that there were a lot of people who would have put bumper stickers and yard signs up, that didn’t and only voted for McCain as a lesser of two evils. But the realistic view is there is no way to measure it.

So I ask you fiscal Conservatives/Libertarians, how do we get the Republican Party back to it’s roots?


New: NetRight Nation Site Launch Just in Time


Go there I am helping with the updates.


Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My 2008 Election Prediction – Updated


Obama 322McCain 216

Blue State Predictions

– Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Maine, D.C., Virginia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Maryland.

Red State Predictions

– Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Alaska.

Try it yourself here.

Senate Races

  • Alaska = Mark Begich (D) over Ted Stevens (R)
  • Virginia = Mark Warner (D) over Jim Gilmore (R)
  • New Mexico = Tom Udall (D) over Steve Pearce (R)
  • Colorado = Mark Udall (D) over Bob Schaffer (R)
  • New Hampshire = Jeanne Shaheen (D) over John Sununu (R)
  • North Carolina = Elizabeth Dole (R) over Kay Hagan (D)
  • Oregon = Jeff Merkley (D) over Gordon Smith (R)
  • Minnesota = Norm Coleman (R) over Al Franken (D)
  • Georgia = Saxby Chambliss (R) over jim Martin (D)
  • Kentucky = Mitch McConnell (R) over Bruce Lunsford (D)
  • Mississippi = Roger Wicker (R) over Ronnie Musgrove (D)
  • Louisiana = Mary Landrieu (D) over John Kennedy (R)
  • Maine = Susan Collins (R) over Tom Allen (D)
  • Texas = john Cornyn (R) over Rick Noriega (D)
  • Nebraska = Mike Johanns (R) over Scott Kleeb (D)

Differ in opinion? Let me know.


Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Election Day is Finally Here!

We have our first African American candidate and our first female Vice-President running against each other. This will be a historical election none-the-less. I just wish it was on better terms. It seems that we have two candidates that some people think are radically different and others think are the same.

John McCain is your classic career Senator and former war hero. This will be his last chance at an election to the Presidency. He is a moderate and seems to be out there on some issues. We can all remember his words about the oil industry and how they raised prices because of greed. Well since the price per barrell has gone down where is McCain now? I don’t see him saying they got more generous. He was my last pick from a party in which should have been the free-marketeers. He lost the election when he didn’t vote against the bailout.

Barack Obama is your classic inexperience new guy that wants to get elected. Many times primaries shoot these guys down. This is not going to happen with the charisma and likeablity that he has. He will sail to victory but the big unknown is what is he going to do? Is he going to be like Bill Clinton and stand in the middle and pass bills from both sides or is he going to treat this as a New Deal mandate and bring massive socialism to America?

Either way I am not going to be happy with today’s decision. If you decide to vote for the lesser of two evil, good for you. You will be able to ride around town with the “Don’t Blame Me I Voted for the Maverick” stickers for the next four years. If you vote third party then I say go for it. There may be a chance that if we (fiscal conservatives/libertarians) vote for Bob Barr then we could show the Republican Party that they must be more fiscally conservative. That they will need us along with the other wings to win.

If you decide to not vote then I do not blame you. The costs exceed the benefit big time. The chance of your vote changing the election is lower than the chance you will die in a car accident driving there. Until then this blog will continue, because it is needed more now than ever. This blog is going to spend the next four years watching every move of the winner.

I invite you to join the debate.

From all of us,




~Barry AUH2O

(If you would like to join this blog please email me at this blog name(at)gmail.com to discuss)

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 7:38 am  Comments (2)  
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Early Voting in Future?

Although I’m not terribly excited about tomorrow’s election, I have always been interested in the statistics and dynamics of US elections and the means by which votes are cast and counted.

The historically large turnout of early registered votes for the 2008 presidential election this November is starting talk of allowing early balloting on a grand scale. Election officials are already claiming a massive wave of early ballots ahead of the Tuesday majority. The ballots are greater in quantity than any other election in US history, and the turnout tomorrow will likely break records as well.

Officials are already citing a likelihood of a Congressional movement to ease the restrictions on early voting for similar elections. In most states, voters need medical or legal documentation to obtain an early ballot. But with the turnout tomorrow likely to be record-breaking, officials are encouraging a true early-balloting system.

The concept calls for early balloting to be an option for voters of any state. The early ballots would not require any particular reason or need, and would be collected and counted on the deadline of election day. Officials seem to prefer a Congressional piece of legislation, that way every state would adhere to the same system and set of dates.

Besides the shear convenience that many voters will experience, early-balloting may alleviate many election day woes that are likely to occur tomorrow. These include long lines at polls, understaffed polls and simply slow ballot counting at high traffic areas.

From a historical standpoint, this is kind of funny. For a number of reasons, the US is well known for having comparatively low voter turnout, even for big federal elections. The turnout percentage for the US is among the lowest for western nations. But with so much enthusiasm for a new president, Americans may very well have a day of overwhelming turnout at the polls. The idea that our turnout has gone from rock bottom, to legislation pending high is quite a twist. Interestingly, there has been a significantly higher percentage of registered Democratic voters than GOP for the early ballots. If the Democrats maintain a fair control after Tuesday, they are predicted to be more supportive of an early ballot system than Republicans.


Published in: on November 3, 2008 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Karl Marx vs. George W. Bush


Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm  Comments (2)  
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