Light on the Sacred, Heavy on the Profane
Club for Growth Future Stars Forum
I got there a little late, and Governor Bill Owens of Colorado had already started to speak. He talked about charter schools and Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. I didn’t know that education spending was exempt, with mandatory increases built into the Colorado Constitution. He said that the CO government stopped collecting dues for the public employees union. Union membership plummeted. Question time- Are we losing the fight for school choice? We’re winning incrementally, but even if we were losing, we’d have to fight anyway. For the children. Why did you oppose ending bilingual education? He ducked the question. Illegal immigration? Supports amnesty, wants assimilation.
Jeff Flake spoke next. He’s fighting off a primary challenge because he’s not “bringing home the pork.” What’s the Republican Party coming to, he asks.
David Dreier, Congressman from California, spoke about Reagan’s dream of NAFTA becoming a reality. The only thing that will effectively reduce illegal immigration is a richer Mexico. Question: Can you assure us that the Governator won’t raise taxes? Answer: Arnold thinks like we do.
Tim Pawlenty: Minnesota used to be a Democratic State, what happened? Answer: Economic opportunism is the new populism. He closed the budget deficit without raising taxes. America needs to stay competitive, so school reform is a must. We have to have merit pay for teachers. Must bring discipline back to the classroom. Administration is 50% of the cost of Education. We must flatten the structure.
Mark Sanford: We have to get policy right. Lower the cost of government. Lower the marginal tax rate. Institute a full scale school choice program.
Senator Sam Brownback: After the election, we should commit to a target of 3-6% GDP growth. Institute fundamental tax reform. Institute personal accounts for Social Security. Tort reform. Immigration reform. (Bleeaaach, more immigration crap from the leadership. Ed.)
Mike Pence: The Republican Party is a tall, strong ship, but it is subtly veering off course. HR#1 in his first term was No Child Left Behind. More money given to the Department of Education than since its founding. He can remember when Republicans wanted to abolish the Department. Did someone thaw him out? Has he been asleep for 1000 years? Next Congress HR#1 was the Medicare expansion. He fought it tooth and nail. In the end, after the longest vote in the history of Congress, they were “one rebel short.” After the resistance of the Alamo, Santa Ana’s aide said, “1 more such glorious victory and we are finished.” He feels the same way about the Republican majority in Congress. 1 more such bill and we are finished. We must take issue with the leadership when the course is wrong. (Great Fucking Speech- Ed.)
I met Pat Toomey and Marsha Blackburn there. It was all I could do to stop myself from humping their legs. Cong. Blackburn is an extremely petite woman to have such huge balls.
The NRO Party
I got hammered and don’t remember much except that when some guy asked me to pick his bag up off the floor, I grabbed what looked like a briefcase handle and tried to lift it. Turns out it was a woman’s foot. Had to explain that I’m really not a foot fetishist. Don’t think she was convinced.
Conservative Book Publishing Panel Discussion
Random Observations from the Panel, because The Young Curmudgeon
has done a far better job with the narrative than I ever could. So I’m leaving out my take on anything he wrote about to save time.
The first Panel:
Zell Miller: Goldwater’s book The Conscience of a Conservative
didn’t influence him much when he first read it at age 32, but when he reread it in the mid 80’s, he was amazed at how prophetic it was, “The things he spoke about began to materialize.”
Frum: The Blogosphere is a constant dialogue. Your readers correct you and you learn from them. 20 years ago, liberals wished for a more informed and engaged public, now they’ve got it and can’t stand it.
Temperment is important. The lefty blogs are filled with anger and paranoia. That paranoia dragged Kerry too far left in the primaries, further left than he wanted to go.
Podhoretz: The big story of 2004 is the success of liberal books. The left was hungrier for more rage and paranoia than the mainstream media could give them.
Hewitt and Bozell: Talk radio was crucial. Before talk radio, we had no way of selling our books to the public.
Podhoretz: So many people walk up to me and tell me that they are the only conservative on the Upper West Side. Our books make people feel less alone. Our books help people make an argument and have a point.
Zell: You can’t get confirmed in the Senate if you’re an orthodox Jew, practicing Catholic, or evangelical Protestant. That’s a huge discrimination problem and should be a bigger issue than it is.
Frum: The university system creates smart young conservatives, because they’re so intolerant of conservative ideas. You have to be good with your arguments to be a college conservative.
The second panel: (George Marlin is a big guy in the NYS Conservative Party. Richard Viguerie is the grandfather of direct mail political fundraising)
Marlin: Kerry wants to be denied communion, because that will fire up the non practicing Catholic vote, which votes Democrat.
Barone: Someone asked a media guy, “90% of the media are Democrats, does that affect your work product?” Media guy: “Absolutely not. We’re objective. “If 90% of reporters were Republicans, would that affect your work product?” Media guy:” Then we’d be biased.”
Fund: No one wants to talk about voter fraud, because one party benefits from it and the other party’s afraid of being called racists.
Barone: Dubya not doing well with the under 30’s. He needs to emphasize Social Security reform to win that vote.
Viguerie: Republicans lose every time they ignore the base. When will they ever learn?
Fund: It was easy to oppose government spending in opposition, now it’s much harder.
At the reception afterward, I asked George Marlin why the Conservative Party sold out and endorsed Pataki for governor. He shrugged and pointed out that that year the Liberal and Right to Life Parties fell below the 50,000 vote minimum for automatic ballot access in the next election. He would prefer to go out in a blaze of glory rather than a small puff of smoke.
The W Ketchup Guy
This guy lives in my apartment building- can you believe it?
I didn't know till I came home tonight and we shared an elevator upstairs- He asked why he didn't see me at the convention (seeing my Bush-Cheney 2004 button) Told him I wasn't there. Turns out the Republican activist that runs The W Ketchup Guy
lives a floor below me.
It’s the Bush Economy, Stupid!
A panel discussion on Money, Taxes, Jobs and the Bush Economy
I didn’t have time to edit this or explain stuff for the non-economic minded, sorry.
There were many political folks there: Herman Cain , Cong. Jim DeMint, Pete Coors, and many others. I sat next to Robert George of the NY Post and chatted with him.
The 3 speakers were Arthur Laffer, father of supply side economics (who would be signing cocktail napkins after the panel- Economist joke- The Laffer Curve- where the relationship between lower taxes and higher government revenues was first sketched out-was on a napkin.) CNBC’s Larry Kudlow and Paul Gigot, WSJ
Stephen Moore moderated.
noted that he had one of his grandfather’s books in his office, written in original German gothic script, and on the inside cover it says, “Published in Philadelphia, 1855” So outsourcing has always been with us. All of these foreigners either buy American products or invest in America with the money they earn from outsourcing.
Government revenues are highly sensitive to stock prices, he says, and Dubya’s stroke of genius was cutting taxes on capital gains and dividends. Because consumer spending remained strong during the recession, but business investment collapsed. In this recession, GDP didn’t go negative, asset values collapsed. Dubya directed the solution toward the problem by cutting taxes on asset values. 5.5 % unemployment was great I 1996 and it’s great now. As far as the economy goes, the best is yet to come.
noted that he took a week’s vaykay and when he came back, Bush was ahead in the Iowa Electronic Markets Poll. So the Swiftvets have had a huge impact.
He sez that all indicators point to a booming economy. Tax Rates, Inflation, Money supply, capital expenditures, etc. (He left out the price of Oil because he’s ever the optimist and that gets in the way of rational analysis- can ya tell I don’t think much of him? Ed.)
He hopes Bush pushes tax free savings accounts, Medical Savings accounts, personal accounts for Social Security, etc.
says the big underreported story is how well the economy’s doing despite all the obstacles (popping of the asset bubble, corporate scandals, 9 11) Says mostly because of our flexible labor and capital makets and the tax cut. Says that targeting biz investment and asset values took balls because it could and waas characterized as favoring the rich. The tax cut, that is. But his huge mistakes were steel tariffs and that ass rape of a Medicare bill (Maybe I editorialized a little there. Ed. ) He should have at least threatened to veto he farm bill. Now Kerry can call himself a fiscal conservative in debates.
Moore wraps up by noting that China Rusia and India are all moving toward the American economic model while we seem to be moving away from it. Kerry wants the European economic model of welfare spending going to the middle class and Dubya wants the “Ownership Society” (personal accounts)
Robert George of the NY Post noted Moore’s dumbass remark, “The good thing about being a dictator is you don’t have to get your flat tax through Congress.” He was referencing Vlad Putin in Russia.
Then we saw some TV ads mocking Kerry.