About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

America's Conservative Delusion

"According to a Gallup poll, nearly 40% of Americans say they are conservative thinkers; 24% say they are liberal." – Bill O'Reilly
  click on graph to enlarge
I can't remember when the conservative/liberal split in America was not in the 40% to 20% range – actually the 24% liberal figure reported above is the highest I have ever seen which is troublesome but not surprising.
This post will explain the apparent disagreement between the supposed consistent 40% conservative figure describing Americans & the negative Tea Party trend shown on the above graph.  How does the country stay largely conservative & yet the Tea Party support continues to decline?
The Tea Party movement started with support for Congressman Ron Paul in December 2007 & reached a high point just before April 15, 2009 when the Stimulus spending packages of both GW Bush & BO had proven hard to tolerate for many Americans.  The Tea Party is all about financial responsibility with calls for reductions in the national debt, annual deficits, federal government spending, & income tax rates.
The problem is that many people who were originally Tea Party supporters & demonstrators came to realize they were campaigning against government benefits they were actually receiving themselves.  By October 2010 many Tea Partiers were still with the movement in principle but were not willing to live by the actual practice of calling for reduced government spending when that meant curtailing or eliminating their own benefits.
This phenomenon is very similar to the human nature demonstrated by politicians wanting to keep their jobs by not doing what is best for the country but rather promoting government welfare programs that leave people dependent on government unable to take care of themselves. 
For instance Republican senators Rob Portman of Ohio & Susan Collins of Maine last week broke with Republican leadership & all of their fellow party men on a failed Senate budget amendment to raise the minimum wage - both senators are up for reelection in 2016 & chose the side of the issue they thought would help their reelection the most.  In a similar maneuver senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania & Ron Johnson of Wisconsin voted for another amendment to allow workers in businesses with @ least 15 employees to earn seven days of paid sick leave each year – again both senators felt this vote would pay dividends in their 2016 reelection races.
Of these three senators only Collins would not call herself a conservative.  Based on these votes I call all four opportunistic statists with vested interest in keeping their jobs @ our expense. 
Toomey is especially disappointing since he was the president of the Club For Growth for four years – the Club focuses on deregulation, cutting taxes, & supporting limited government, & backs candidates who adhere to free markets, free trade, & an anti-regulation agenda & yet one of its past presidents votes to tell businesses with 15 people how much sick time their employees should get.
I think we are getting the picture that people may call themselves conservatives when they really aren't.  This isn't surprising when you consider that over 100 million Americans received some form of federal welfare as of the second quarter of 2011 not counting Social Security & Medicare – see graph below.  When Social Security & Medicare entitlements are included well over half the people in the country receive a government check or benefit each month.
Now my criticism of the majority of the 40 million retired workers over 65 who receive Social Security retirement benefits or the same number that receive Medicare benefits – obviously some people receive both – is not that they receive these entitlements but is because they are unwilling to dare great enough to consider changing these two biggest of government programs that will overwhelm our finances in the not too distant future if nothing is done.  I have proposed nominal dollar (i.e., not increased for inflation) premium support as a permanent solution to wean Americans off Medicare over the decades thereby ending the deceptive program & changing the Social Security formula so that the initial benefit is based on the CPI rather than the wage index – the current formula guarantees a real (i.e., higher than inflation) positive return on the Social Security tax withheld for the average person – a guarantee no other investor has & an unaffordable luxury.
Please let me know if you would like details of a real life current example of the aforementioned not increased for inflation premium support solution to the Medicare problem. 
click on graph to enlarge
Turning to the Republican presidential candidates – unannounced as they may be – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker flip flopped twice on illegal immigration since the first of the year most recently @ a private NH dinner on March 13 in which he backed the concept of illegal immigrants staying in the country with a path to citizenship as opposed to his previous no amnesty position.  Walker had backed the pathway to citizenship amnesty position for years prior to his reversal earlier in 2015.  It is hard to get the current truth regarding Walker's position from either the NH Republican Party or Walker's staff.  Either way it is not a good sign for a man who has a lot going for himself but is obviously afraid of the following losing trend shown on the table below.  Why can't they just tell us what they believe & let the voters decide for themselves instead of trying to be everything to everyone?
   click on table to enlarge
But just a quick glance @ the following photo of Republican House Speaker Boehner kissing Democrat Minority Leader Pelosi tells you the next example of conservative capitulation is even worse.
Following an embarrassing funding bill vote that passed but barely avoided parts of the Department of Homeland Security being shutdown in February Boehner teamed with Pelosi to pass the so called "doc fix" legislation that revised the formula for determining Medicare reimbursements to doctors.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with doctors receiving proper compensation for taking care of us – something that would definitely happen without government interference in the healthcare field. 
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, HR 2, passed the House 392 to 37.  Thirty three conservatives voted against the bill – not because they thought the doctors should not be paid the correct fee – but because of the estimated $200 billion cost over the next ten years 70% would be added to the deficit (paid by taxpayers) & most of the rest would be paid be increases in Medicare premiums to people classified as high income earners (paid by taxpayers).  
I do not see one thing that Boehner (representing conservatives?) received from the negotiation that would make any conservative happy.
The thirty three Republicans & four Democrats (in italics) who voted against HR 2 is below along with the four Democrats who did not vote.
Brooks (AL)
Graves (GA)
Johnson, Sam
King (IA)

---- NOT VOTING    4 ---
Smith (WA)
The passage of the House $3.8 trillion FY 2016 budget blueprint by a vote of 228 to 199 with 17 Republicans voting against it is just as woeful.  The budget calls for cutting $5.5 trillion in spending in the next ten years without specifying $1 of such cuts, balances within ten years relying on gimmicks & false assumptions like repealing ObamaCare while BO is still president – enough said about how preposterous this pretense is.  There is nothing conservative about this budget. 
Congressman Walter Jones (R, NC) voted against the House budget calling the increased spending "irresponsible" and "immoral."  Jones said "Frankly, I am tired — and I know the American people are tired — of the dishonesty in Washington.  We're fed up with the annual budget charade where Washington makes another empty promise to get tough on spending in future years, while spending more today. It's bankrupting America and it's got to stop."
We can see from the above that the idea that America is 40% conservative or a center right country is a delusion.  The idea of voting for a Republican as the lesser of two evils or even as the most conservative candidate that can be elected is a loser in the long run as we continue to slide down the Death Of Democracy stages – with this strategy we are just losing ground slightly slower than if Democrats were elected & our enemies are willing to wait us out while we slide closer to their totalitarian ways.
The problem is this Democrat-Republican system that is really the one big government party with two wings who take turns being in power @ our expense.  Three Republican governors (& potential presidential candidates) who claim to be conservatives expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare in their states – John Kasich in Ohio, Mike Pence in Indiana, & Chris Christy in New Jersey.  Medicaid enrollment is up 19% nationally since ObamaCare & spending on Medicaid has risen 21% largely because of ObamaCare – there is nothing conservative about this or these governors expanding Medicaid.
Nevada Republican governor Brian Sandoval – sometimes thought of as a rising presidential candidate star – has recently proposed the largest tax increase in state history.  Will Sandoval being a young handsome Hispanic overcome this anticonservative breach? 
Enter Ted Cruz last week @ Liberty University announcing he is running for President.  Click here to hear the entire speech in which Senator Cruz presents his vision for America in which Cruz imagines small businesses growing & prospering, college graduates coming out of school with four, five, or six job offers (like I did), innovation thriving as government regulators & tax collectors are kept @ bay, America becoming energy self-sufficient as millions & millions of high paying jobs are created, his repealing ObamaCare in 2017 after being elected president, healthcare reform that removes the government as a wedge between you & your doctor while making healthcare insurance personal, portable, & affordable, a simple flat income tax that is filed every year on a post card, abolishing the IRS, a president who finally secures our borders, an immigration system that welcomes people who come to achieve the American dream, & a federal government that stands for the First Amendment rights of every American. 
I challenge anyone to offer one point from the Cruz speech that does not honor America.
Although Senator Cruz is a FairTax cosponsor his vision imagined everything except the FairTax being enacted which is unfortunate because the only chance the FairTax has of becoming law is with an unwavering proactive endorsement by a presidential candidate who wins the election.  This is especially true since Congressman Woodall learned in 2014 that the Joint Committee of Taxation has no methodology to properly evaluate the FairTax meaning that it will not come out of the Ways & Means Committee onto the floor of the House as it stands.  It is like the House statists have checkmated the FairTax into the corner of W&M where they plan to keep it.
Based on all the information presented hereinbefore the number of conservatives is not anywhere near 40%.  The just under 20% shown on the above Tea Party graph – those with positive feelings toward the Tea Party - appears more accurate & that number includes conservatives & libertarians.  This means 80% of the population is for one degree of statism or another.
Many readers of RTE have already told me they vote for third party candidates.  I add to that those very few Republicans who earn your vote with a consistent record of accomplishment preferably not in government.  The current path that both Democrats & Republicans have put us on with their insidious gains against an unsuspecting & poorly educated citizenry is a dead end.  Voting for Tea Party candidates is a vote for the future – if America still has one.


  1. Doug
    Your analysis is required reading by anyone who thinks the US is a center-right country. Too many ‘conservatives’ are weak supporters of our traditional capitalist economic principles. Too many have lost the entrepreneurial drive due to Government handouts.

    Related to US ‘conservatives’ are US ‘Christians’, (80% I believe per O’Reilly). How many of these would actually remain faithful if their lives would be in danger (ex: the courageous Egyptian Christians who did not ‘convert’ and thus were beheaded)? How many of these Christians today are tolerating statists, who demand Christians that believe in traditional marriage, must contract as photographers or bakers for marriages they do not believe in?

    Wise up America. Those who are ‘conservative’ or ‘Christian’ need to respectively avoid the temptation to support a dependency on government class and to support our Constitution’s 1st Amendment of freedom of speech and religion.

    Tweet I just sent to my NJ Senator Cory Booker:
    #corybooker- Support Constitution and religious freedom; back option for photographers NOT to contract for gay weddings.


  2. Cruz might be right - get the 40% out to vote.

  3. Good points. The first and foremost problem is the label itself. How is the label (Conservative or Liberal) defined by the individual.

    Very few people, particularly politicians are either strictly conservative or liberal. They might be conservative on some things and liberal on others.

    I always enjoy it when someone tells me how "healthy" their diet is. I then watch them eat all kinds of food loaded with "natural sugar", partially hydrogenated oils, bread and refined carbs. And yet they think they are "eating healthy."

    Another good point you have brought up comes down to: "it is a good benefit if I or a family member receives it" but bad if nameless and faceless others receive the same benefit.

    I have given speeches where some "dyed in the wool conservative" lectures me about balancing the budget. If they are of the heckler variety I usually give them enough rope to hang themselves. I ask them should we cut welfare? "YES!" Should we cut foreign aid? "YES!". Should we cut Social Security and Medicare? "NOOO". What about cutting Defense? "NOOO".

    I then try and explain that the majority of entitlements goes towards SS, Medicare, & Defense.

    They then proceed to tell me that the "people" worked for those benefits and it is "their money" that they are getting back and are entitled to those benefits. (side note - I really hate the words "entitled" and "deserve". They have become a crutch.)

    I explain that is all well and good but the money those folks put into these programs is long gone, embezzled by their "public servants" in Washington.

    At this point they usually just start mumbling about they are all crooks, etc.

    Point is, just like the economy if this country isn't willing to take the medicine we will soon be the same boat as Greece, Japan and Russia.

    And then the good "conservatives" will really have something to squawk about.

    Happy Easter to Carol and yourself.