|November 18, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under American Renaissance, congress, gop, jack kemp, Newt Gingrich, paul ryan, Republicans|
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.
|November 14, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under conservatism, paul ryan, Republicans|
By Steve Parkhurst
United States Senator Mike Lee of Utah, yesterday delivered a very interesting speech at an anti-poverty forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation. The entire speech text can be found here, and it’s worth reading. Here are a few interesting takeaways for me.
We know that participation in civil society, volunteering, and religion are deteriorating in poor neighborhoods – compounding economic hardship with social isolation. And we know these trends cut across boundaries of race, ethnicity, and geography.
All of this might lead some to the depressing conclusion that – 50 years after Johnson’s speech – America’s war on poverty has failed. But the evidence proves nothing of the sort. On the contrary, I believe the American people are poised to launch a new, bold, and heroic offensive in the war on poverty… if a renewed conservative movement has the courage to lead it.
Properly considered, then, the war on poverty is not so much about lifting people up. It’s about bringing people in. And so the challenge to conservatives today is to rethink the war on poverty along these lines, to bring into our economy and society the individuals, families, and communities that have for five decades been unfairly locked out.
Nineteen-sixty-four wasn’t the year Americans started fighting poverty; it was the year we started losing that fight. To start winning again, conservatives are going to have to lead the way – not simply by offering criticism, but alternatives. Our job is to identify the obstructions that impede Americans’ access to our market economy and civil society and clear them. And if we’re looking for impediments to mobility and opportunity, we’ve certainly come to the right place!
Today, millions more of our neighbors are still out on the plains. They are not some government’s brothers and sisters – they are ours.
And the time has come to do something about it. As conservatives, as Americans, and as human beings, we have it in our power – individually, together, and where necessary through government… to bring them in:
- to bring them into our free enterprise economy to earn a good living,
- to bring them into our voluntary civil society to build a good life,
- and to welcome them and their children home to an America that leaves no one behind.
|October 28, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014|
By Joe Gruters
Gov. Rick Scott is once again modeling how good, responsible government works.
The improving state economy, despite fighting the headwinds of an anemic national economy, will mean billions more dollars flowing into Tallahassee’s coffers for next year. The way government and politicians normally work, that happy news would mean turning the spending spigot wide open and spending all that new money before it’s collected.
That’s how politicians create popularity for themselves, making sure bridges and roads and other spending goodies are doled out in their districts. But that is also how government gets fat and sloppy and wasteful. There is no incentive to improve efficiencies and be careful with the taxpayers’ money because more keeps pumping in.
But thankfully that is not the way Scott operates coming from a hugely successful private sector career.
Scott is tasking each department in state government to find areas to cut back to save $100 million from existing operations. It is purposeful pressure to create efficiencies and save taxpayer’s money, even if it does not buy friends. Government-watchers find this type of thinking bizarre. Private-sector folks do not.
“Every agency should be able to find efficiencies,” Scott told The Florida Current. “We’ll do the same thing. We’ll review every contract, we’ll look at office space, we’ll look at all the services we buy, we’ll look at can we help our employees become more efficient in what they do every day.”
Scott is doing exactly what he promised to do and Floridians elected him to do. And he is doing it effectively.
Total state debt has fallen $3.5 billion since Scott took office, while new debt has declined from more than $6 billion in the two years before Scott was sworn in to less than $1.5 billion after his first two years in office.
Further, Scott says he does not want the state to incur any new debt in road building, land buying or school building without “specific and accountable returns on investment for taxpayers.” Basically, you have to make the case, not just want it.
That is not an unreasonable bar when spending other people’s money, which is what government does. And that is fiscal discipline that was sorely lacking in his predecessor, Charlie Crist, who while a Democrat now, spent taxpayer money like a Democrat all along.
Let’s remember that a big part of the reason for the new money flowing into the state coffers is because of Scott’s ceaseless efforts to make the state more attractive to outside companies to move here and more competitive for existing companies to start up and grow here. Those efforts have resulted in 365,000 private-sector jobs gained since he took office.
But more needs to be done. To that end, Scott is planning to cut taxes by another $500 million. The specifics are not out yet, but we can be sure they will be cuts to make the state more competitive.
The more competitive the state is, the stronger the economy will be, the more jobs will be created and the more taxes will flow into Tallahassee.
And that is how good government works for everyone.
Thanks for being informed and engaged.
|October 16, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under gop, Republicans|
By Joe Gruters
Nothing like watching malicious ineptitude at a staggering level in Washington, D.C. make us grateful for a responsible, functioning, productive state government in Tallahassee.
And by “functioning,” we mean:
- A government that gets out of the way of citizens and protects the rights of all its residents to pursue dreams in business, with private property, in religious activity;
- A government that protects rights rather than continually erodes them;
- A government that allows its citizens to protect themselves;
- A government that does not nanny every Floridian as though we are incapable toddlers, but expects a certain degree of personal responsibility;
- A government that at least tries to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and aggressively goes after pill mills, bath salts, drug dealers, gangs and human traffickers;
- A government that attempts to ensure only legal voters cast ballots in a democracy instead of pursing policies that will ensure voter fraud on a broad scale;
- A government that actually is open, transparent and in the sunshine, not one that just blathers on about it but consistently acts in secret;
- A government that is reducing its onerous drag on the productive and the law-abiding;
- A government that spends at most only the money that it brings in and lives within its budget!
That is a functioning government.
The non-functioning part of what is going on in D.C. right now is not that there is a government shutdown or a looming debt ceiling. Those are only symptoms that have come about because of a government that is aloof, elitist and not answerable to the American people, aided and abetted by a Beltway media establishment that has lost in watchdog ways.
What should be crystal clear is that this “crisis” has resulted from a government led by Democrats that is incapable of restraining spending. In the sequestration, we are still spending far more than we bring in. Now, in the quasi, kind of, sort of, partial government shutdown and attack on veterans, Democrats refuse to negotiate on anything until they get everything.
That is dysfunctional because it is utterly irresponsible and in opposition to the best interests of the American people, and has been for many years.
Florida can’t save the union, but at least it is doing things right for the state in every measurable category. And the reason is simple: Florida is run on conservative principles led by a competent Gov. Rick Scott. D.C. is run on liberal principles led by a with less-than-competent President Obama.
Thanks for being informed and engaged.
|October 9, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, California, congress, Republicans, US Senate|
This morning, I was interviewed by Jerry Slusiewicz, host of Your Money Talks in Southern California on both KSPA and KFSD. We discussed the debt ceiling debate, the ongoing government shutdown and ObamaCare.
|October 4, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, California, gop, Republicans|
If you’re attending the California Republican Party Fall Convention in Anaheim this weekend and you found one of our cards in your welcome packet…welcome. Jump right in here, the water’s fine. Take a look around our website, you’re sure to find something of interest.
If you know someone thinking about running for office, or someone ready to take that plunge, but they’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. Let’s take back California, one community, one neighborhood, one precinct, one voter at a time.
Thank you for checking us out, and have a great fall convention.
|September 30, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, congress, US Senate|
As the clock struck midnight on the east coast, there was no agreement on a spending resolution. The Democrats and the Left have opted for non-negotiations and prefer to punish the American people who rely on government to live their daily lives.
On the bright side, let’s see a running clock of how much money we’re saving each hour the government is out of business. Also, it’s been reported that upwards on 90% of the Environmental “Protection” Agency (EPA) will be off the job during the shutdown. While we would prefer to see that number at 100%, we’ll take what we can get. Thank you Harry Reid. Best. Shutdown. Ever.
|September 24, 2013||Posted by steveparkhurst under 2014, gop, Republicans, US Senate|
This by Nebraska US Senate candidate Ben Sasse is quite good. It may be a little long. But the bang for the buck on the low production cost should yield tremendous benefits.