Republican White County Judge candidate Bill Haynie was bitten by a snake yesterday while putting up a campaign sign. He has been hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery, but he has been experiencing a lot of pain, according to his wife.
The Arkansas Patriot offers our prayers & sincere best wishes to Mr. Haynie during this time.
We will keep you posted on further developments.
I just got off the phone with Congressman Rick Crawford. Apparently he caught word that I was upset about his millionaire surtax proposal. I asked him some pretty tough questions and to his credit, he responded politely, although we vehemently disagree on this issue.
My main issue with Crawford’s proposal is that it violates the Taxpayer Protection Pledge which he signed while running for Congress in 2008. I asked him to respond to ATR President Grover Norquist’s comments that his plan would violate the pledge. Crawford corrected me by saying that his plan would only violate the pledge if it came to the floor of the House and he voted for it. Oh…my bad. So I asked him if he planned to vote for it, should it receive a floor vote. His response:
Sure I would. It would be worth it. But I’m not going to violate the tax pledge for a short-term spending cut. I want this to count for something and the only thing that will count is if we’re able to get permanent reforms.
I interpret this to mean: breaking the pledge is okay, as long as we get what we want. Is that a fair summary?
Crawford then began to speak generally about the tax, saying he ‘doesn’t want to raise taxes.’
People are starting to take a harder look at it. It’s not about raising taxes. I don’t want to raise taxes. What I want is a balanced budget amendment. We need balanced spending. We need 287 votes in the House, so we are going to have to get Democrat votes. We have to have a structural reform to our spending. Only way we do that is if we do something that will bring Democrats to the table.
So I asked Crawford if he has found any Democrat support/if any Democrats are ‘coming to the table on this.’
No. We haven’t formally shopped it out. We’ve had a number of folks who have expressed interest individually.
I also asked Crawford if any members of the Arkansas delegation plan to support the effort. Crawford said he has spoken with all of them, except Mike Ross, but none are wanting to publicly support the effort at this time.
Republicans aren’t coming out and publicly supporting this. I’m hopeful that that will change.
Regarding any support from party leaders, particularly Speaker John Boehner, Crawford said they are ‘aware of the bill,’ but they have not discussed whether or not the Speaker will support the effort.
One of my main concerns with a Balanced Budget Amendment is that it will be used by politicians who have no political courage to raise taxes rather than govern and make tough choices about where to cut. Crawford did not deny that this is a possibility and concern:
There are ways around it, but it will be considerably more difficult to do that. It will be done in the light of day and will be on the record. It could be used to raise taxes, but it would be harder to do it.
Another concern of mine is that no number of constitutional amendments will force Congress to act within their constitutional limitations. Only disciplined, dedicated public servants will insure that we remain a constitutional republic. Crawford addressed this concern, saying that we can force Congress to follow the Constitution through legal action:
What we have in return is a constitutional amendment and legal standing to challenge it, rather than simply a statutory measure. We can challenge it just like Obamacare is being challenged.
I guess I have a hard time seeing how we can trust people who break campaign pledges to hold Congress accountable?
The congressman concluded by saying he’s hopeful that this effort will begin to gain support. He reiterated that people have been approaching him privately and voicing their support.
I appreciate the congressman reaching out to discuss this tough issue with me. I have had tough things to say about his plan, and it did take courage for him to call me. But he is just flat wrong on this issue, and he doesn’t appear to have any support on either side of the aisle. He is trying to bargain with people who cannot be reasoned with, and he is breaking some serious promises along the way.
This is not a winning issue for him, the party, or the country. The sooner he realizes that, the better.
From our friends at RedState:
“For a guy who graduated from Harvard Law, Barack Obama is not really very well versed on his law or his legal history. Speaking out today about the Supreme Court’s review of Obamacare, Obama offered this stunning and completely ahistorical nugget:
Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress.
Look, I’m not here to debate the finer points of Marbury v. Madison with anyone, but the fact remains that since that decision was handed down over 200 years ago, it has not exactly been “unprecedented and extraordinary” for the Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by Congress (no matter the size of the majority). In fact, it happens all the time. That is the entire point of the doctrine of judicial review, first announced in Marbury and affirmed without serious challenge ever since.”
I talked about this a little bit with Dave Elswick on KARN yesterday. We also discussed it in this week’s episode of Patriot Talk which will be released today, but was filmed late last week. We analyze this idea that liberals are now so disingenuously trying to purport that the Supreme Court, not Congress, is somehow operating outside of their constitutional authority. Hilariously sad & desperate, even for Obama.
I am against judicial activism wholeheartedly, and I don’t exactly like Marbury v. Madison (“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”) But it would categorically not be ‘judicial activism’ for the court to overturn this law. Rather this is the role of the court–to compare & contrast laws to the constitution, determining their merit. And of course Obama & liberals have always welcomed the court’s intervention in the legislative process whenever it fit their far-left agenda.
Elswick asked me yesterday what I thought this response from Obama indicates. In my opinion, it shows true fear & desperation. He knows the law is going to be stricken down and he has already begun bleating his campaign mantra of “it’s the court’s fault!”
If Obama has been consistent in anything, it has been in his constant shifting of blame for the crises he has created.
“We want to create (what’s called) a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn’t be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home,” Biden said at a campaign event.
So, Rick Santorum went a little nuts today because apparently he believes the media is misconstruing his comments regarding Romney vs. Obama. The comment seem to be pretty straightforward to me.
On Thursday, Santorum made news for saying:
“If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”
Santorum was referring to Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment Wednesday that “everything changes” for the fall campaign:
“It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” he said on CNN. “You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”
Santorum’s response has stirred up quite a bit of controversy and drawn criticism from fellow presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Santorum appeared just a few minutes ago on Neil Cavuto’s show and had this to say (video courtesy of The Hill):
The following video was released earlier this week on the new website Breitbart.com. It’s release is part of a series of video leaks from the organization, named after the late Andrew Breitbart, that are intended to give President Obama the vetting he failed to receive from the media in 2008.
The video shows Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, calling for a campaign to ‘brainwash people’ against guns & make ‘carrying a gun unacceptable.’
Very interesting video, particularly in light of the Fast & Furious scandal, which many now believe was an effort by Holder’s office to crackdown on guns in the U.S.
Check it out:
Well, I’ve bit my lip for about 24 hours on the news that Republican Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) is proposing a new ‘millionaire surtax.’ I was kind of hoping it was just a bad dream, and then when I realized it wasn’t, I wasn’t sure I could write this post without cursing. But we’ll give it a go.
The news broke yesterday that Crawford, who had previously been identified as a member of the TEA Party, is proposing the surtax as ‘a strategic matter.’ It appears this week that Crawford has more in common with the Occupy movement & Obama.
He’s watched the Gangs of Six and 100 and deficit commissions, as well as leadership’s budget and tax plan, and he feels there will never be a deal that will pass the Senate without a revenue component.
In other words: forget principles, commonsense, and reason. This bill might pass, so we should do it, despite the economic consequences, the violation of trust with his constituents, and the breaking of a campaign pledge to not raise taxes! A classic example of politicians wanting to ‘do something’ to achieve a feeling of accomplishment, but rather only exacerbating the problem.
Crawford had signed Americans for Tax Reform’s tax pledge in 2010, promising to oppose any and all tax increases. Grover Norquist, president of ATR, says Crawford’s bill does violate the pledge and the effort is a ‘strategic mistake.’
One of Crawford’s Democrat opponents, Clark Hall, also weighed in with this dandy of a quote:
Rick Crawford thinks taking all sides of an issue and holding one’s finger up to the political wind will help his election chances. In reality, it’s political cowardice, and the only compromise Rick Crawford has shown willingness for is a compromise of his principles.
Of course it’s hard to imagine Mr. Hall being ideologically opposed to such a tax increase himself, but the real travesty for Crawford is that this conservative is having a hard time disagreeing with Hall’s comments.
As for the economic realities of the bill, here’s what the American Enterprise Institute had to say:
1. The best way to raise tax revenue is by boosting economic growth. The second best way is to trim or eliminate tax breaks. The worst way is to raise marginal rates on people with the most ability to avoid them via economically inefficient tax shelters. Also note that this surtax would be in addition to the 3.8% surtax on investment income starting on Jan. 1, 2013.
2. Higher taxes in exchange for what, exactly? Structural entitlement reform or — more likely — cuts in future spending increases according to some fanciful budget baseline.
3. What if we tried increasing taxes on higher incomers enough to reduce the average federal deficit to 2 percent of GDP over the last five years of the decade? According to a 2010 Tax Policy Center study, if you used the Obama budget as a baseline, you would have to raise the top two rates to 90.9% and 85.7%. And even that forecast comes with a major caveat: “These static revenue estimates do not account for behavioral change.” Shorter, we assume massive tax increase don’t kill the economy.
Surely Congressman Crawford wouldn’t advocate 90% tax rates to tackle the deficit? Sounds silly, I know, but what if it would pass the Senate? Wouldn’t that be justification to vote for it, or even propose it?
Congressman Tim Griffin weighed in as well with some reason in the madness, voicing his opposition to the Crawford plan:
New taxes won’t convince those who want to grow government to support a balanced budget, and regardless, our economic and fiscal problems were created because the federal government spends too much, not because we are taxed too little. Any revenue a new tax might generate won’t make a dent in the problem our decades of overspending have created.
I know Congressman Crawford has been busy calling TEA Party-types in his district this morning. I for one would love to hear his explanation of how he can justify breaking a campaign pledge, particularly considering the dire consequences.
I am not ready to make a prediction about his re-election prospects, but I think it’s safe to say that the congressman has now left the ranks of the TEA Party.