Salena Zito Reports From America

As we discussed last year, Salena Zito was so keen at watching and listening to real people, that she was one of the few journalists in America who saw what was happening and reported it correctly all along. She has written two pieces this week that look back at the past year and they are both “must reads” that need a little bit of your time and attention. Salena offers valuable feedback on what the American voter is thinking and feeling right now.

Advertisements

Why We Can’t Give Up

By Joe Gruters

Yes. November was disheartening for Republicans, conservatives, traditionalists and all those who want to see a free and prosperous country for generations to come.

But disheartening can’t mean giving up.

We can’t continue in the current direction. Republicans know that.

We don’t need to.

In the fifth year of the Obama presidency, we have a barely sputtering economic recovery nationally, always on the brink of slipping back into a recession. We have a record number of people on food stamps and other welfare programs. Democrats will continue to say things would be worse without their interventions. But that embarrassingly weak defense can be defeated, and must be.

We’ve printed, borrowed and spent trillions more than we collected, all in the name of compassion and stimulating the economy. The economy stinks and we have record numbers of people not working, slogging along at the bottom of the economy with declining hope. The March employments numbers were dismal, well below even modest expectations. That is failure, but not just politics. It’s awful for the future of the country.

By the end of Obama’s second term, if Congress remains status quo, Democrats will have added $10 trillion to the national debt, on top of George W. Bush’s $4 trillion, which was bad enough. We don’t just need Republicans, we need actual, honest-go-gosh, principled conservative Republicans.

They must overturn the worst elements of Obamacare. Once it is fully implemented next year, it will be revealed for the bait-and-switch con we all suspected it was but were never sure because nobody actually knew what was in the bill. The opposite of what was promised will come to be in several areas: health-care premiums will go up, not down; health care will begin to be rationed, not expanded; doctors will be harder to find, not more plentiful; and jobs will be axed in the industry. We may never overturn Obamacare by name, but we can gut it, cutting out much of the government-takeover elements that will ruin our health care system.

Social Security and Medicare are headed for the shoals. The demographics against them are too strong without changes in the programs. Romney made the case, but he faced too many other problems. It’s a steep climb, but it must be done. People like Paul Ryan, who lives in a Democrat district in Wisconsin, has taken it on repeatedly. That’s what we need more of.

The reality is that these things can be done because we are right. But it will take a lot of work and devotion on our part. We’ve already had victories when the raw facts became overwhelming. For instance, most conservatives were skeptical of the man-made climate-warming hysteria and political control agenda behind it.

Carbon emissions have been continuing to increase since 2000, but the planet has not heated up since then. Some politicized scientists, many in the media and hysterical fringes like Al Gore may still keep yelling that the sky is falling. But they are already being marginalized by the plain facts. There is no real movement anymore to make the ridiculous changes that Kyoto and other insanities once proposed. Green energy won’t go away, but as long as it’s subsidies are kept under control or, dare we hope, eliminated, it’s a net positive. If the market will sustain it, great. Otherwise, chuck it.

The good news is that Republicans continue winning at the state level and conservative ideas are rising triumphant whenever tried. Florida is a perfect example, as our economy, which was worse when Gov. Scott took office, has roared past the national recovery — such as that is. If it were not for Republican-run states such as Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Dakota and so, the nation would probably be in a recession.

Conservative economic policies work — when they are tried.

We must make sure they are tried again. Too much rests on it.

The direction has been to institutionalize massive government programs and intervention in the economy while steadily sapping the American people of the very qualities that made the country great: love of freedom, risk-taking, hard work, personal responsibility, faith.

We must change this direction. We fight for change, from top to bottom. Because Greece, Spain, Cyprus are our future if we don’t.

It starts next year, to maintain and expand our control of the House in Congress and try to pick up seats in the Senate — with conservative Republicans.

Thanks for being informed and engaged.

America Missed

By Steve Parkhurst

As the new year is now underway, the personal shock of the 2012 election has still not set in for me. In my mind I keep re-playing this brief speech excerpt from Paul Ryan just before the November election:

PAUL RYAN: “Our commitment is really clear. We’re saying here are the solutions; here are the principles we’re going to use; here’s our proven bipartisan track record of actually delivering results and getting things done; here’s what we’re going to do. And I’ve got to tell you, 2013 could be a renaissance in America, in the world and in America. 2013 can be the year we get our economy growing, we start creating 12 million new jobs, we put these pro-growth policies in place and we reaffirm the American idea by electing Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.” – Full kudos to Breitbart for the video and transcript.

Time will tell, but as of now, I feel like America missed as great opportunity with a Romney Presidency. Not only would Barack Obama not be a President with nothing to fear as he will never again appear on a ballot, but we still do not have a credible business, a CEO-type in the Oval Office. We have an excuse maker with no track record of accomplishments and no history of being held accountable for failure. Mitt Romney may not have turned out to be the next Ronald Reagan or Calvin Coolidge, but he would have been a tremendous improvement over the current President.

Now, we’ll never know. This video keeps reminding me of the great opportunity we had in 2012 and beyond.

America missed.

“The Poster”

Crossroads Generation has released a new ad which picks up on a theme that Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan articulated on Wednesday night in his speech to the RNC in Tampa.

For context, here is the text of what Paul Ryan said:

“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

From the Crossroads Generation YouTube description of the video, startling figures:

Youth unemployment remains high, with 18-24 year olds facing unemployment over 15%. In a poll conducted by Crossroads Generation of 800 registered voters aged 18-29, only 22% said that they thought Obama had put into place policies that have made it easier for young people to find jobs. We can do better. Join us at http://crossroadsgeneration.com

Hit The Road, Barack

Newsweek cover - GPH-Consulting.com

It’s all the rage. The Newsweek cover story by Niall Ferguson. I highly suggest the entire column, for its charts and graphs, but here are  few good takeaways:

According to Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men, Summers told Orszag over dinner in May 2009: “You know, Peter, we’re really home alone … I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes [of indecisiveness on key economic issues].” On issue after issue, according to Suskind, Summers overruled the president. “You can’t just march in and make that argument and then have him make a decision,” Summers told Orszag, “because he doesn’t know what he’s deciding.” (I have heard similar things said off the record by key participants in the president’s interminable “seminar” on Afghanistan policy.)

– – – –

Over the past few years Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” has evolved, but the essential points are clear: replace Medicare with a voucher program for those now under 55 (not current or imminent recipients), turn Medicaid and food stamps into block grants for the states, and—crucially—simplify the tax code and lower tax rates to try to inject some supply-side life back into the U.S. private sector. Ryan is not preaching austerity. He is preaching growth. And though Reagan-era veterans like David Stockman may have their doubts, they underestimate Ryan’s mastery of this subject. There is literally no one in Washington who understands the challenges of fiscal reform better.

Just as importantly, Ryan has learned that politics is the art of the possible. There are parts of his plan that he is understandably soft-pedaling right now—notably the new source of federal revenue referred to in his 2010 “Roadmap for America’s Future” as a “business consumption tax.” Stockman needs to remind himself that the real “fairy-tale budget plans” have been the ones produced by the White House since 2009.

– – – –

But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country.

Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.

The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.

Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.

– – – –

I was a good loser four years ago. But this year, fired up by the rise of Ryan, I want badly to win.