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The Conservative Reader:

A New Year, A New Congress

A New Year, A New Congress

Out with the old, in with the new, goes the standard cliche every year about this time.  No, this is not a reference to Nancy Pelosi’s age, although incoming House Speaker John Boehner is 9 years younger.  Speaker Boehner does represent a new attitude and the resulting optimism is being reflected in the markets and the broader economy.


  • Retail sales, Christmas sales, were up significantly over 2009
  • Consumer and business confidence for November and December have inched higher
  • Jobless numbers are moving downward, evidenced by today’s ADP employment report that suggested 297,000 new private sector jobs were created in December (this is a big number!)

This is not a coincidence.  This is, however a direct result of increased optimism in the country due to the November election and subsequent Republican control of the House.  It is a direct result of Congress extending the Bush tax cuts in November.  It is a direct result of the repudiation of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi economic agenda.  Republicans have a huge opportunity to make the economy and employment the primary issue in 2011.  In the words of that great philosopher James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid”.

In addition to repealing the two collosal and horrid pieces of legislation, (ObamaCare and Financial Institutions Reform), Congress needs to deal with several other hangovers from the Pelosi/Reid years.  First, Julian Assange should be tried and convicted of being the cyber-terrorist that he is, and he needs to be treated like any other terrorist.  Second, the federal government needs to be starved into submission.  Follow the model Chris Christie has set in New Jersey.  Get the unions under control (and with it, the unfunded pension liabilities).  Finally, any free trade agreements with valued allies and trading partners, such as Colombia and South Korea, should be ratified and signed as soon as possible.

Movement in these directions will reinforce the current optimism prevailing in the country, promote private sector job growth, encourage banks to lend again, and as a result, generate revenues for not only the federal treasury, but state and local governments as well.  The last two years nearly ruined us as a nation.  We have an opportunity to correct the damage.  2011 is a new year.  Let’s hope the new Congress can build on it.

The Big Spanking

The Big Spanking

Our grandchildren were over last weekend–two boys ages 5 and 3.  At one point the 3-year-old was telling me about being disobedient and how Daddy had to give him a big spanking.  Now I know my son and I’m sure that he was providing gentle discipline, but the point wasn’t lost and can be applied to last week’s election.

Much has been made of the Republican’s gains in the House and Senate, and their effective control of Congress.  This was clearly a repudiation of the Obama, Reid, and Pelosi policies of economic stagnation.  Make no mistake about it, this was about the economy.  The Democrats insistence on spending taxpayer’s money ineffectively, squandering it, actually, passing huge and unpopular bills, and their complete lack of caring about the taxpayer and the cumulative effect on the economy led to their downfall.

Part of this is due to their arrogance. Part is due to the Democrats’ lack of understanding of how our economy works.  America is and always has been a capitalist society.  Government control and planning is an anethema.  Our economy works best when businesses and individuals are confident and can make plans to invest, spend, hire and borrow with a degree of certainty.  America has not had any level of confidence in over two years, since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.  The Democrats, and President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi specifically, have done everything they could to ensure a lack of confidence by ramming through legislation designed to further their agenda and in the process, scaring the living crap out of people.  Hence the rise of the Tea Party, and the big spanking.

Everything the Democrats have done has suggested higher taxes or significantly additional costs and fees.  First, they’ve managed to pass a “stimulus” bill that has to be paid for somehow, and that has failed to stimulate much.  Second, they passed Obamacare that will raise the cost of doing business for everyone, and I mean everyone, and must be paid for with additional taxes.  Third, they passed a “financial reform” bill that will raise the costs of banking and lending, with the net result of limiting access to credit.  Finally, their failure to extend the Bush tax cuts raises everyone’s taxes, regardless of income, by a minimum of $2,000 next year.  All of this money has to come from somewhere.  And so people are nervous and nervous people do not spend money.  Nervous businesses do not hire and invest in infrastructure and equipment.  And the cumulative effect of all of this is a lack of revenue flowing into the US Treasury.  You cannot have 9.6% unemployment and expect treasury tax revenues to increase.  And this is why the Democrats got spanked.

Republican leadership now has to lead or they’ll get spanked.  They need to undo the uncertainty and instill confidence in the electorate and business.  This means revising all of the poor legislation that was passed the last two years, if not repealing it altogether.  This is what they were elected to do.  If they pass legislation and President Obama vetoes it, then in two years, the voters will have another chance to spank.  And despite all of his rhetoric, I don’t believe that the President truly gets it.  There is still an incredible lack of humility emanating from the White House.  Even this week in Seoul, the President got spanked by the Europeans and Chinese, and he refuses to acknowledge his policies aren’t working; rather, his policies are ”misunderstood”.

On a separate but related topic, The Federal Reserve and Chairman Ben Bernanke has decided to print another $600 billion and buy back US Treasury securities in a process known as Quantitative Easing (QE).  Flooding another $600 billion into the economy over the next six months is like pushing on a string.  Until the government gets its fiscal act together, it won’t do anything other than increase the money supply with no increase in aggregate demand for goods and services.  This money has to go somewhere, and investors will search for a place where they can get a reasonable rate of return.  So, after the election, there was a rally in the stock and bond markets, but this week, stocks and bonds sold off, but commodities rallied–specifically oil, cotton, soybeans and gold.  On Friday, even commodities weakened.  The stock markets have generally rallied since September 1 because corporate earnings have been solid.  But earnings are a result of sales, and in order for sales to increase, people have to want to risk spending the money, which brings us back to fiscal policies.

So the next month will determine whether or not the resurgent Republicans and spanked Democrats can and will work together.  The amazing thing about our economy is that it hasn’t collapsed despite collosal mismanagement in our nation’s capitol.  Stay tuned.  Things are about to get very interesting.

Polk County Did What Today?

Polk County Did What Today?

County politics are playing out in little Runnells Iowa today.

The parking lot at the Polk County Senior Citizens Center has been in serious disrepair for several years now. The folks are most likely to get hurt, senior citizens, have had to walk through this dangerous environment for a long time.

Thank goodness the county supervisor that represents Runnells is facing stiff competition this year. Dave Funk has put up such a competitive campaign that incumbent Tom Hockensmith has been scrambling to keep his job. So guess what?

The parking lot is getting repaired. Today.

Adjacent is a photo taken this morning of a county truck blocking part of the parking lot to provide the needed (though apparently temporary) repairs.

On Election Day.

In front of the precinct polling place. Actually, this parking lot is used by the polling place.

As quoted by several Runnells residents, “What, do they think we’re stupid?”

If you want honest, fair and open government, you’ll want to vote for Dave Funk. It sounds like the residents in Runnells have already figured that out.

Two Polk County GOP Events Worth Checking Out!

Two Polk County GOP Events Worth Checking Out!

Kim Pearson, who is running for Iowa House in district 42, will be holding two fundraisers this week.  Both look to be great events and opportunities to meet the candidates before the election:

Congressman Steve King

will be the featured guest at a fundraiser for

Kim Pearson

Monday, October 25th 7-9 PM

Toad Valley Golf Course
237 NE 80th St.
Pleasant Hill, IA (map)
(1/2 mile south of Southeast Polk High School)
$25/person or $50/family
For more information,
contact Kim at 515-224-2126 or

Congressman Ron Paul

Will be the featured guest at a fundraiser for

Kim Pearson, Glen Massie
and Kent Sorenson

Thursday, October 28th 7-9 PM

Airport Holiday Inn
6111 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA (map)
$5/person or $15/family
For more information,
contact Susan Geddes at 515-202-3733
Matt Strawn Door Knocking For Kim Pearson!

Matt Strawn Door Knocking For Kim Pearson!

Matt Strawn, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, will be out door-knocking and encouraging folks to get out and vote in Altoona along with Kim Pearson who is running for the Iowa House in District 42. 

“Every local race matters in this election,” Strawn said. “Changing Chet Culver isn’t enough. We need to change leadership in the Iowa legislature and return principled, conservative government to the people of Iowa. We need to elect people like Kim Pearson.”

It’s awesome that Matt is getting out and helping candidates like Kim.  Kim is a great example of a new group of candidates that have just had enough with “business as usual” politics and want to get state government back to doing the work it is intended to do.  More information about Kim can be found at her web site by clicking here.

Other party leaders have also been getting out and doing work along side of the volunteers.  John Bloom and Will Rogers (Polk County GOP Chair and Co-chair) have both put in scores of hours making phone calls, deliverying yard signs, attending and hosting fund raising events, and knocking on doors.  These two leaders have put as much time as possible into this campaign and the impact is impressive!

But most importantly, it’s encouraging to see the level of work being done by volunteers and interest in general in this year’s mid-term elections.  The work being done by volunteers is great.  We are seeing a lot of yard signs and bumper stickers… I just put up my first ever barn sign on a friend’s property.  Granted, I’m known in the neighborhood as the “Burma Shave Guy” because I have so many signs on my lawn.  But everyone knows who to come to for signs of their own as well.

I’ve also had a lot of great personal interaction at work, church, in the grocery store, on the street… it’s pretty amazing to see how interested people are in what is happening in our government!

Signs are great, phone calls are good, but the most effective way of impacting voters, in my opinion, is knocking on their door and talking to them.  Some of the best campaigners are good at getting out and meeting folks in their community, and getting volunteers to do the same on their behalf.  I’m really glad that Matt and Kim are going out today to connect with the voters.  This year’s election should be a turning point for our state and our county.

How can we all best show our appreciation for the work being done by party leaders and volunteers?  Get out and vote.  Polk County satellite voting is available today and tomorrow (locations can be found at and early voting is available up to the day before election day (information on this also found at  Or, just go to your polling place on election day and vote.  If you don’t know where your polling place is, you can get that information at this link.

Parties and candidates can all still use volunteer help.  Go to to find a Republican candidate to connect with, or use the contact information there to connect with the Polk County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Iowa.

Now is the time to make a difference.  Don’t wait.

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