Amazing how much damage Ed Rendell has done to Pennsylvania over the past 8 years. Despite $8 billion in new spending and billions more in borrowing, Rendell failed to solve any of the state's major problems and is hading the mess to Gov.-elect Tom Corbett.
Democrats and their big-government allies are always arguing there's nothing to cut from the bloated federal budget.
The folks at Reason magazine beg to differ, offering 14 programs and agencies that could be slashed to save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
End (or at Least Audit) the Fed:
The Fed is the biggest bastion of central planning in the American economy, and eliminating it would both move us toward a freer market and remove history’s most powerful enabler of government waste. If that’s politically impossible, auditing the Fed would at least peel away the bank’s veneer of inscrutable wizardry to reveal the feckless dithering at the heart of U.S. monetary policy.
Read the full article, "How to Slash the State: 14 ways to dismantle a monstrous government, one program at a time," here.
Poll: Americans Strongly Believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ
New Rasmussen Reports polling finds that 87% of Americans celebrate Christmas in their family, and 70% of that group recognize it as a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Christ rather than a secular one. Twenty-seven percent (27%) celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday.
Governance: It is an anachronism a constitutional amendment tried to kill. It lets defeated legislators wreak political and economic havoc without consequence. Like the dodo, the lame duck should be extinct.
Krauthammer to headline Pennsylvania Leadership Conference
The 2011 PA Leadership Conference, featuring the largest gathering of conservatives in Pennsylvania, has lined up one of the sharpest conservative thinkers in the world for this year's event.
Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and a Fox News commentator, will be the dinner speaker at the 2011 Pennsylvania Leadership Conference to be held April 8-9 at the Radisson Penn Harris Convention Center in Camp Hill, Pa.
From a press release announcing Krauthammer's appearance:
"We are excited to have Dr. Krauthammer as the next in a long series of influential conservative speakers to address the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference," said Lowman Henry, President of the Pennsylvania Leadership Council which organizes the event. "In an era when many commentators offer only shop worn analysis, Dr. Krauthammer stands out as a thoughtful voice of reason who injects logic and perspective into the public debate."
The Pennsylvania Leadership Conference is the premiere annual gathering of public policy conservatives from through the commonwealth and beyond. The conference features well known national speakers, and a who's who of state-level government and policy leaders offering commentary and panel presentations.
Dr. Krauthammer was named by the Financial Times as the most influential commentator in America. Since 1985 he has written a syndicated column for the Washington Post, winning the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1987. His column now appears in more than 250 newspapers worldwide.
A contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and to the New Republic, Dr. Krauthammer is a Fox News contributor appearing nightly on Fox's evening news program Special Report with Bret Baier. He is also a weekly panelist on Inside Washington.
Complete information and registration for the 2011 Pennsylvania Leadership Conference can be found at the conference's newly redesigned website, www.paleadershipconference.org
Take a look at the final votes to extend the Bush Tax Cuts - 277-148 in the House and 81-19 in the Senate, with solid Democratic majorities in both chambers. But this only a two-year extension. When more Republicans join Congress in January, let's push for a permanent extension to get the U.S. economy moving again.
With Sen. Arlen Specter voted out of office and Rep. John Murtha dead, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is poised to become the new king of pork-barrel spending among Pennsylvania politicians.
According to the website, www.endingspending.com, Sen. Casey has pushed through 336 earmarks totaling $689 million for special interests and political cronies.
An article in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review states Pennsylvania Democratic members of Congress have asked for 985 separate earmarks while Pennsylvania's Republican Congressional delegation has requested 0 earmarks.
This is Ed Rendell's idea of pension reform. The bill, which was backed by the teachers union, was passed with the support of Rendell and the Democratic majority in the state Legislature.
From The Associated Press:
Structural changes passed last month in Pennsylvania's large pension plans for state government workers and school district employees will still leave taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in new costs in the coming years.
The cost to the state government and school districts will go from $1.25 billion this year to just under $2 billion next year, but the average annual price tag for the coming decade amounts to $5.3 billion.
Bank failures continue at a record pace as Obamanomics take its toll. The feds have shut down banks in Michigan and Pennsylvania, bringing the number of U.S. banks that have failed in 2010 to a record 151. Heckavu job, Barack.
He's known as "Fast Eddie" but perhaps a better nickname for Pennsylvania's governor is Ed "Turn 'em Loose" Rendell.
From The Associated Press:
Gov. Ed Rendell will leave office next month having signed more than twice as many pardons as any other Pennsylvania governor. Rendell, a Democrat with about a month left in his second term, has granted 1,059 pardons, according to the state Board of Pardons. His office said 29 more await action on his desk, and he expects to consider 34 others by the end of the year.
The global warming crowd may be suffering from hypothermia.
From Investor's Business Daily:
Still think those who continue to push the idea of man-made climate change are well-grounded and rational? Think again.
Consider Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She opened the U.N's global warming conference last week with a prayer to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon.
This mythological supreme being of fertility is supposed to be good for sending rain for crops. Maybe that's the sort of blessing Figueres had in mind when, from Cancun's — no joke — Moon Palace, she called Ixchel "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving" and hoped delegates would be inspired by her.
And did we mention that the multitasking Ixchel is also some kind of jaguar? Given her many roles, is it really reasonable to ask her to also save the planet from global warming?
But then if she did that, the alarmists wouldn't have to take junkets to balmy resorts in December to save the world from mankind.
From a new column by Brad Bumsted on the "stealth" pay raise Pennsylvania politicians get every year.
Many Pennsylvanians haven't seen a raise in years. Others can't find jobs. Seniors haven't had a Social Security increase in two years.
A COLA "is an annual stealth pay raise, which has no relation to merit or quality of work product," said Eric Epstein, of Harrisburg, an opponent of the 2005 raise.
If legislators want a raise they should have to vote on it. It would be difficult for years, given the 2005 pay fiasco. But if a few years from now they want a raise? Justify it. Hold public hearings. Put your name behind it and pay the consequences or not.
It then effectively would be up to voters to approve the raise, by casting a vote for or against the legislator. It's what a republic is all about.
Read the full column at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review website.
Why do we seem so helpless in solving our current mess? A big reason is the shocking lack of basic economic literacy among many of our political leaders. Case in point: Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Unemployment goes from 5% under George W. Bush to 10% under Barack Obama and the Democrats continue to cling to their failed economic policies despite a historic repudiation by voters just one month ago.
The failure of Barack Obama's economic policies is complete. The U.S. unemployment rate for November rose to 9.8% - with the number of unemployed Americans climbing from 14.8 million to 15.1 million.
All this despite trillions of dollars in federal spending to "stimulate" the economy and reduce unemployment.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today:
"Today's jobs report showing unemployment jumping to 9.8 percent only confirms that President Obama's agenda of out-of-control spending, higher taxes, and bigger government has the economy moving in the wrong direction. Despite the clear message sent in last month's elections, Democrats continue to ignore the American people by remaining focused on enacting a host of liberal priorities that will do nothing to create jobs. All the while, they have left a massive job-killing tax increase hanging over the heads of every single American family and small business, prolonging the existing economic uncertainty that has kept employers from hiring. Instead of continuing the same wish-list mentality that pushed through big government Democrat programs in the face of high unemployment and record deficits, Democrats should work with Republicans to start putting the American people's priorities first – getting our country back on a path to economic prosperity and making sure no one sees a tax hike on January 1st."
Tony Phyrillas is the managing editor and political blogger at The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. Phyrillas has won several national and state awards for commentary, including first place for column writing in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors. Phyrillas has been featured on National Public Radio and The New York Times and is a frequent commentator on radio and television programs. He co-hosted 'Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus' on WPAZ 1370 AM from 2008 to 2009.