Podcast 11

Show Notes:

USA Today:  Tax-free weekend 2018: These states offer tax free shopping for back to school

When are the Sales Tax Holidays in 2018?

Advertisements

Podcast 03

Show Notes:

The good economic news has not made it to Bloomberg or the LA Times just yet.

At Bloomberg:
America’s Millennials Are Waking Up to a Grim Financial Future
Job prospects, savings, safety nets, life expectancy—the data show just how bad a mess they face.

Same story, this one at LA Times: 

Eric Schmitt a Bright Star in Missouri

We are very proud of the work that Eric Schmitt is doing in Missouri, and he continues to be one of our movement’s brightest stars.

Mr. Schmitt was replying to this story:

Congratulations Vice President-Elect Mike Pence

Donald Trump has been elected President. This  also means that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will now be the Vice President. In all likelihood, Vice President Pence will drive the domestic agenda, and will utilize his close friendship with people like Speaker Paul Ryan to really get great things done.

Mike Pence has called himself a Jack Kemp Republican, so you can see why we admire him.

When Jack Kemp died in 2009, Mike Pence was in Congress and he was able to deliver this brief address on the floor of the House of Representatives. Congressman Pence closed his memorial speech with this:

“I will always be proud to have known this good and great man. And I will always, first and foremost, refer to myself as a “Jack Kemp Republican.”

Harris County Republican Party Reaching Out

Artemio Muniz, Chris Carmona, and Trebor Gordon helping an applicantArtemio Muniz, Chris Carmona, and Trebor Gordon helping an applicant

And choice in education is the wave of the future because it represents a return to some of our most basic American values. Choice in education is no mere abstraction. Like its economic cousin, free enterprise, and its political cousin, democracy, it affords hope and opportunity. – Ronald Reagan, 1989

This past Sunday, Republicans in Harris County took a step toward the future.

Houston Young Republicans, led by Sandi Steinbacher, the Federation of Hispanic Republicans and the Harris County Republican Party Outreach Committee, of which I am the current Chairman, brought together a group of willing Republican volunteers to help families register their children for charter schools in the areas where they live.

This group spent three hours in the meeting room of a Spring Branch community center, assisting families with applications for various charter schools. Many of the schools have upcoming deadlines, which allowed us to help these families beat the deadlines and our team was equipped with answers to most questions.

Chris Carmona, a Republican State Rep candidate who embraces not only Parental Choice in Education, but also the concept of connecting with the community, was there to talk with families and he assisted several in filling out their applications. Republican precinct chair and former Houston city council candidate Trebor Gordon was there to assist as well, he worked hard for us and was very passionate about getting this job done.

To maximize the effectiveness of our group, we used four laptop computers, two iPads and an iPhone. The task was not easy, don’t be misled there. Various schools had varied deadlines. There was also the obstacle that some families were looking at schools for various age ranges, but we helped find elementary schools, middle schools and high schools for all. We don’t have a final count on the number of applications we filed. Some parents registered multiple children.

Moms and dads know that opportunity through education is the surest way to have a real shot at the American Dream. A good education can help avoid the traps of poverty. A good education can also give a lift-up to those in poverty. Connecting with these families over these principles is important and it is a vital step that our party needs to take on a massive scale. Our party is at a point where words mean nothing, if there is no action, then we are just empty suits.

The outreach committee of Harris County Republican Party will lead the party towards a very new place in activism, highlighting the importance of rebuilding our civic institutions, healing our neighborhoods, and exemplifying what it truly means to be a conservative. We cannot ask voters to simply believe our public policy proposals, we must rebuild the private safety net before others agree with us to scale back the public safety net.

Good News Out of Wisconsin and California

John Fund over at National Review Online has a great recap of some election results from last night.

In Wisconsin, Republicans held a rural assembly seat in central Wisconsin with 67 percent of the vote as expected but also held a highly competitive seat in south Milwaukee County that Barack Obama carried in 2008 and only narrowly lost last year. Republican Jessie Rodriguez, who won 56 percent of the vote yesterday, will become the first female Hispanic Republican to serve in the assembly. She was born in El Salvador but moved to the U.S. in the 1980s to avoid that country’s civil war. She is currently an outreach coordinator for Hispanics for School Choice — a nonprofit organization that helps low-income parents find schools for their children.

– – –

But the biggest surprise yesterday may have been in California, a place where the Republican party has been on life support. But not last night. With provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted, former Democratic congressional staffer Matt Dababneh had only a 173-vote lead over Republican Susan Shelley in a special election for a San Fernando Valley assembly seat near Los Angeles. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic. Barack Obama won it in 2012 with 64 percent of the vote and Republicans make up only a quarter of the registered voters.

Paul Ryan’s Kemp-Inspired Crusade Against Poverty

By Steve Parkhurst

While I admit to being one of those people that thinks Washington D.C. is incapable of controlling and patrolling itself, and that something like The Liberty Amendments proposed by Mark Levin are in order for us to rein government back in, there is something to be said for the efforts of Congressman Paul Ryan.

This is an interesting story in the Washington Post, or as I prefer to call it, Pravda on the Potomac. Still, this article is pretty well done:

Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp.

Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation.

Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think tanks and intellectuals for ideas to replace the “bureaucratic, top-down anti-poverty programs” that Ryan blames for “wrecking families and communities” since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964.

Next year, for the 50th anniversary of that crusade, Ryan hopes to roll out an anti-poverty plan to rival his budgetary Roadmap for America’s Future in scope and ambition. He is also writing a book about what’s next for the GOP, recalling the 1979 tome that detailed Kemp’s vision under the subtitle, “The Brilliant Young Congressman’s Plan for a Return to Prosperity.”

Of course, that “1979 tome” was Jack Kemp’s An American Renaissance. But I digress.

Ryan’s new emphasis on social ills doesn’t imply that he’s willing to compromise with Democrats on spending more government money. His idea of a war on poverty so far relies heavily on promoting volunteerism and encouraging work through existing federal programs, including the tax code. That’s a skewed version of Kempism, which recognizes that “millions of Americans look to government as a lifeline,” said Bruce Bartlett, a historian who worked for Kemp and has become an acerbic critic of the modern GOP.

“They want to care,” Bartlett said of Ryan and modern Republicans. “But they’re so imprisoned by their ideology that they can’t offer anything meaningful.” Ryan has explained the difference by noting that the national debt has grown enormously since Kemp ran for president in 1988, nearly doubling as a percentage of the economy.

Kempism. Stay tuned in future months for more on that.

In the mid-1990s, crime and poverty were hot national issues. Kemp was a font of innovative ideas for reviving inner-city commerce, rebuilding public housing and overhauling the welfare system. He was pro-immigration, pro-equal opportunity and, above all, pro-tax cuts, which he viewed as government’s primary tool for promoting growth.

Unlike other Republicans, Kemp also frequently visited black and Hispanic voters and asked them directly for their votes.

Two days after Ryan was introduced as Romney’s running mate, he pushed to do the same. Advisers recall Ryan in workout clothes in a Des Moines Marriott, telling campaign officials in Boston that he had two requests: First, to meet the staff in person. And second, to travel to urban areas and speak about poverty.

No one said no. But with Romney focused relentlessly on Obama’s failure to improve the economy for middle-class Americans, the idea always seemed off-message. “We struggled to find the right timing to dovetail it into our messaging schedule,” Romney strategist Ed Gillespie said via e-mail.

Ryan adviser Dan Senor said Ryan argued that “47 million people on food stamps is an economic failure.” But Ryan did not get clearance to deliver a speech on poverty, his sole policy address, until two weeks before the election.

Great point: “47 million people on food stamps is an economic failure.”

Ryan had sought Woodson’s help with his poverty speech. The two reconnected after the election and began traveling together in February — once a month, no reporters — to inner-city programs supported by Woodson’s Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. In Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Denver, Woodson said, Ryan asked questions about “the agents of transformation and how this differs from the professional approach” of government social workers.

Like Woodson, the programs share a disdain for handouts and a focus on helping people address their own problems. In Southeast Washington, Ryan met Bishop Shirley Holloway, who gave up a comfortable career in the U.S. Postal Service to minister to drug addicts, ex-offenders, the homeless — people for whom government benefits can serve only to hasten their downfall, Holloway said.

At City of Hope, they are given an apartment and taught life skills and encouraged to confront their psychological wounds. They can stay as long as they’re sober and working, often in a job Holloway has somehow created.

“Paul wants people to dream again,” Holloway said of Ryan. “You don’t dream when you’ve got food stamps.”

Trips to Newark and Texas are slated for later this month. Woodson said Ryan has also asked him to gather community leaders for an event next year, and to help him compare the results of their work with the 78 means-tested programs that have cost the federal government $15 trillion since 1964.

The takeaway for Ryan, a Catholic, has been explicitly religious. “You cure poverty eye to eye, soul to soul,” he said last week at the Heritage forum. “Spiritual redemption: That’s what saves people.”

How to translate spiritual redemption into public policy?

If you don’t have goosebumps at this point, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s definitely a feeling that conservatives need to get in this arena,” Winship said. Otherwise, “the voices on the left are going to have the entire conversation to themselves.”

A point Newt Gingrich has been making for many years now, and something we fight against here at GPH. To paraphrase Gingrich, you can’t get real solutions offered if you have two Leftists debating on stage, and Republicans standing off to the side yelling “no!” Conservatives and Republicans have to get into the less comfortable debates and have real discussions with people; start connecting with the community. As Jack Kemp used to say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Also worth noting before closing, the swipe at the “angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement” is both senseless and pointless. It tells me that the Left is worried that Paul Ryan and those few like him may be on to something here. If they aren’t worried, then this was just another swipe at the tea party. You decide.