Will Rick Perry Will Be the Next President?

Are you looking for a strong conservative candidate? While he has only been running for office for one day, here are some things that Rick Perry is doing well.

Be Positive:

For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I worked for Governor Tim Pawlenty back in Minnesota and have the utmost respect for the man.  Today, he dropped out of the race because his team did not see a path to victory.  I personally believe the number one reason people did not rally around him is because he focused on the now instead of painting a bright picture.

Pawlenty often told the truth about the crisis we are in and instead of rallying people, it just kind of depressed people.  Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann have excited people by talking about how much they dislike Obama and how they are going to get him out of office.  This excites the kind of person who goes to the caucuses, but not the average Joe.

In 2004, John Kerry tried to rally the democrats by saying how bad George W. Bush was and he lost.  Instead of running on how great the world is going to be when he is president, he focused on the negatives of Bush.  Obama on the other hand, talked about how glorious the future would be if he were president and people ate it up.  People actually believed that he’d get rid of politics in Washington D.C.!

The fact remains that being positive leadership motivates people and Perry’s belief in the American dream and the way he talks about how our country’s brightest days are in front of us will catch on with Republicans and Independents.

Results:

Although it is not mandatory to have past results to win a presidential election (see Barack Obama), having the right results in the area that people care about matter.  Since the beginning of our economic “recovery,” Texas has produced roughly 40% of the jobs in this country, all under Governor Perry’s belt.  The general population does not care about the debt limit as much as they do jobs and he has a good story to tell.  Further, Perry has over 10 years experience as governor of one of the largest states.

On the other hand, Barack Obama cannot talk talk about hope and change, because people are tired of waiting.  Unemployment is up, the market is unsteady, consumer confidence is down, and the polls indicate that people do not feel we are going in the right direction.  He does not have any results.

Likability:

At the end of the day, people often vote for who they like.  Perry’s positive demeanor is much more likable than some of the other candidates.  Simple question: when is the last time you saw Romney, Bachmann, or Obama smile?  All of Perry’s competition seems bitter and upset.

Perry is the only Republican candidate that is liked by the Tea Party, the social conservatives, and fiscal conservatives.

Competition:

Mitt Romney’s record as Governor is not amazing.  His signature legislation is Romneycare, which has been a travesty.  Additionally, he is vulnerable in my mind because he was better at creating wealth than creating jobs.  Most of his experience was buying out companies, splitting them up, and making a profit off the parts of the company that had value.  He will be portrayed as a rich Republican that does not care about anyone.

Bachmann has no real accomplishments.  She has not authored any key legislation; she has pretty much just voted “No” on everything.

President Obama’s approval rating today posted at an all-time low of 39% today (with 54% disapproving), according to a gallup poll.  He has not taken a leadership role in many tough situations and his policies have simply not worked.  The economy is in trouble and the electorate are skeptical of Obama’s plans for the future.

A lot can happen between now and November 2012, but I think Perry will most likely win.  I am not officially endorsing Perry yet, but logically looking at it, Perry, who has never lost an election, seems to be the likely candidate!

Debt Debate – Who Will Win?

Amidst all of the debate about the debt ceiling, my big question is, who will win?  I think this question is particularly interesting because most Americans do not know what side they are on.

First of all, Americans are desperately looking for a solution in Washington and are not finding it from either party.  In 2008, the electorate ran from President Bush and the Republican party to heavily endorse the Democrats.  Two years later, Republicans recorded the biggest turnaround in our history.  Yet, despite the pendulum swinging back and forth, the Congressional approval rating is currently sitting at 18%, according to Gallup polls.

If you look at the debt crisis, 69% of Americans say Congress should not raise the debt ceiling, according to a recent CBS poll.  The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, but this time it would seem to be different.  Further, 73% say spending too much is to blame for the debt crisis (vs. not taxing enough), according to a Gallup poll.

It would seem that Americans support reducing the deficit by reducing spending.  However, when people are polled about whether they still support cutting spending when the spending cuts affect them personally, the tide changes quickly.  More specifically, people get really nervous when cuts to entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare), which make up over 50% of the budget, are discussed.  According to Gallup, 66% are worried about cuts to Medicare, and 65% are worried about cuts to Social Security.

Gallup polls also show that Americans are looking for their leaders to make compromises and work together.  I have to give credit to President Obama for announcing today that he is open to increasing the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67, which goes against his party lines.  John Boehner also seems to be willing to negotiate on a lot of issues as well.

Even if Boehner and Obama develop a compromised plan, it is not a guarantee that Congress will vote for it.  When it comes to voting, the politicians that toe the party lines are often the ones that get re-elected.  Michelle Bachmann has become quite popular for voting against compromises, despite her one vote never being a deciding vote.

So who wins in this battle?  I think the only potential victor is the American people if three things happen:

  • An agreement is reached by August 2nd so we do not default on our debts and hurt our credit rating.
  • We need major, but gradual cuts to the long-term budget.  Our annual deficit is conservatively $1.5 trillion, which is $15 trillion of additional debt over the next 10 years or roughly $29 trillion in total debt.  Congress and President Obama have discussed reducing the deficit (not the debt) by $4 trillion over 10 years, which would still make our debt be around $25 trillion in 10 years.  We need major cuts.
  • Entitlement programs have to be changed in a humane, but impactful way.  The entitlement programs are the ticking time bomb, growing at uncontrollable, exponential rates.  If these programs are not changed, then we do not have much hope for a legit solution to our budget issues.

It is going to be difficult to find a solution for this one.  Ultimately, all of the solutions above involve self-sacrifice and personal responsibility by all Americans.  We can either be a nation that fights through a tough problem or we can be a nation that pushes the problem down the road.  Either way, we’re going to have to face these issues eventually.

States Fight Healthcare Bill Constitutionality

In the same day that President Obama signed the Healthcare Bill into law, state Attorney Generals from over a dozen states filed lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of the bill.  The Justice Department issued a statement today, saying, “We are confident that this statute is constitutional and we will prevail when we defend it in court.”

A Rasmussen poll released today stated that 49% favor their state suing the federal government over Obama-care while 37% oppose and 14% are not sure.  States are listening to their constituents and fighting the healthcare bill in a number of ways (i.e. some are trying to pass laws that state people do not need to buy healthcare).  If you want to see what is going on in your state, click on this link to see a full list of what is going on in state legislatures.

So who is going to win?

While many conservative blogs will just make the argument for why they believe it is unconstitutional, I want to try to summarize the legal arguments that both sides will most likely make about the constitutionality of the healthcare bill.  I wrote an article a while back called Auto Insurance v. Health Insurance v. Constitution if you wish to read about the comparison of Auto Insurance v. Health Insurance.

There are three main arguments for the bill:

  • First, the Commerce Clause allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce.  Even though you cannot buy health insurance across lines, there is precedent that could allow the court to say that because health supplies or medicine may be shipped into a hospital from another state, healthcare is interstate commerce and thus, can be regulated by Congress.
  • Second, federal government law supersedes state law, so even if the states have their own law, it would most likely be trumped by federal law.
  • Third, Congress has broad power to levy taxes and they’ve cleverly written the bill as a tax, putting the IRS in charge.  The Supreme Court has given Congress broad power to tax and spend for the general welfare, a term that Congress itself can define.

There is essentially two main argument against the bill:

  • First, you cannot punish someone in this country for not buying something they do not want to buy.  The 10th Amendment does not give Congress the right to force someone to buy some thing.  States have a lot of rights to regulate, but Congress only gets those powers given to them in the 10th Amendment.  Further, there is a 1992 Supreme Court case that states that Congress cannot impose a tax to penalize or control conduct.
  • Second, using the Commerce Clause the way that it was originally intended would not allow Congress to regulate healthcare.  However, the argument is weak due to horrible precedent.

In the end, I think there is enough precedent out there that the Supreme Court can use to deem the bill as constitutional because of how much the constitution has changed in the courts slowly over the years.  I hope the Tea Party folks keep pushing their agenda because there is an opportunity for our country to go back to some of our constitutional roots.  According to a CBS poll, Harry Reid’s approval rating is 8% and Pelosi’s approval rating is 11%.  If we stay passionate, we can win back Congress in 2010.  With most of the programs not starting until 2014, there is time to stop portions of the bill.

Healthcare Poll: Americans DO NOT WANT THIS BILL!

The most recent Rasmussen Poll from earlier this weekend revealed that America does not want the Health Care Bill that will be voted on by Congress today.  I am going to ignore the fact that the Democrats had to make “deals” to pass this bill, had to do it on a Sunday, which has the least number of people who watch the news, and stick to the facts of the poll:

  • 54% oppose the bill, while 41% favor the bill
  • Party Breakdown:
    • Democrats: 74% approve plan
    • Republicans: 87% oppose plan
    • Independents: 59% oppose, 34% favor plan
  • 57% believe costs will go up, while only 17% believe costs will go down
  • 54% believe the care will get worse
  • 81% believe the costs will be higher than projected
  • 57% believe the bill will hurt our economy
  • 55% wish Congress would just start over
  • 20% believe Congress will understand the bill before they vote for it

There are other polls, such as the Gallup Poll (48% oppose vs. 45% support), that are a little bit closer.  The only poll I could find that kind of says that people support the bill was MSNBC, which had 46% say it would be better to pass the president’s plan and make changes to the nation’s health care system, versus 45 percent who would prefer not to pass it and keep the system as it is now; they definitely worded the question interestingly.  However, in that same poll, 36% said Obama’s plan is good vs. 48% who think it is a bad idea.

In short, the Rasmussen Poll states that the majority of Americans think the bill will make costs go up, care will get worse, and it will hurt our economy – the exact opposite of what the bill hopes to accomplish.  No wonder the Democrats have had to play games in order to pass this bill.

Republican Scott Brown Wins Mass. Senate Seat!

With the death of Ted Kennedy, a political icon in the United States, came the opening of a senate seat that had been filled by Kennedy since 1962 with the other Mass. senate seat belonging to John Kerry (D) since 1985.  Tonight, Massachusetts held a special election to fill Kennedy’s senate seat.  Despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans 3 to 1 in Massachusetts and Obama carrying the state by 26 points in the 2008 Presidential election, the senate seat was won by a Republican.

Just a month ago, it seemed to be a given that Democrat Martha Coakley would win because of the political layout of the liberal state.  However, the strong conservative candidate Scott Brown began campaigning on the fact that he could block the filibuster proof supermajority in the senate and that his extra vote in the senate would make the U.S. Senate have 41 Republicans and 59 Democrats.  The electorate latched onto this message and showed  support at the voting booth.

What does this Republican victory say about the political climate in the United States?  Everyone will have a different “professional” opinion, but I personally feel that the most important thing in winning an election is a great candidate.  Scott Brown was a dynamic candidate that excited people in Massachusetts.

Besides being a great candidate, I feel one of the biggest issues that helped Brown win is his opposition to the healthcare plan and giving voters the ability to stop it.  The most recent Rasmussen poll from Monday states that only 38% favor the healthcare reform currently being proposed (the lowest yet), while 56% oppose the reform.  Brown’s 41st vote against the healthcare bill inspired many republicans and independents (roughly 50% of Mass. are not registered with a particular party) to take this opportunity to potentially stop progress on the bill.

Still, you have to recognize that in the last 6 months, Republican candidates won the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and now, they have won a Republican senate seat in Massachusetts.  Virginia has voted conservative in the past, but New Jersey and Massachusetts have long been some of the most liberal states in the United States.  Our country may not necessarily being going right (as I feel the right still has to provide many more solutions for our current issues), but they are definitely going against the Democrats’ out of control spending and other controversial legislation, such as cap-and-trade and the healthcare reform bill.

Obama has about 10 months to determine his future as President before the 2010 election.  It is not too late to lead differently.  I hope that Brown’s win allows Congress to slow down in trying to pass healthcare reform and allow a legitimate debate on the facts and issues.  Representatives on both sides believe we need to revamp healthcare, it is the means by which we do this that is still in serious question.

It is the diversity of thought that spurs true innovation and let’s hope that Congress can take the time produce healthcare legislation that everyone can rally around.

Tea Party…Party?!?

According to a new Rasmussen poll, Obama’s approval rating is crashing.  Just 26% of America’s voters “Strongly Approve” of Obama’s work while 41% “Strongly Disapprove” his work.  So, are the Republican’s the answer that American’s are looking for right now?  People want progress, not politics; I don’t think the Republican party is coming forward with bold ideas that get people excited about the future of America.

Since Obama got elected, there has been a movement with a growing number of Americans who wish to express their frustration with the American political system and the constant taxation.  Many are calling them the Tea Party and there is currently a lot of discussion of forming a new Conservative Party.

A recent Rasmussen poll asked American voters which party they’d vote for in an election – they were given four choices: Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, and Not Sure.  Overall, the country is leaning more conservative (41%) vs. liberal (36%), but the results were quite surprising for many:

  • Democrats – 36%
  • Tea Party – 23%
  • Republicans – 18%
  • Not Sure – 22%

As you can see, the Tea Party (which doesn’t have a major candidate or structure) scored more points than Republicans.  This poll tells me that people are hungry for bolder ideas and strong conservative candidates that are grounded in the root of American’s Founding Fathers.  The 2010 election could be quite interesting if the Tea Party does indeed form.  Would they split the conservative vote?  Would they be able to organize in time to make an impact?  More important, possibly, is that 22% are not sure where they lie.  Over 1/5th of our country is undecided.  Which candidate will inspire that 22%?

While I have more questions than answers, as a capitalist, this conservative blog believes that the more competition, the better the candidate.  The Tea Party discussion spurs Republicans to re-engage with their base and start acting conservative, which is a good thing.

Thank you to all of you who believed that showing up to tea parties and town hall meetings could matter!

Polls Indicate Spending Isn’t Working!

In a recent poll put out by Gallup and USA Today, 57% of Americans do not believe the Stimulus is having any effect on the economy.  A meager 18% say the Stimulus is helping their personal situation out.  Many would argue that a very small amount of the Stimulus has been spent.  However, the poll did show that 60% do not believe the Stimulus will have any effect in the future as well.

If you do not remember the Stimulus bill, it was the $787 Billion dollar bill that had to be passed as soon as possible or else our jobless rates would sky rocket above 8%.  The roughly 1000 page bill was passed, despite many politicians unable to have time to read the bill.  Even though it was passed, our jobless rate is at 9.4%, higher than President Obama projected/promised!

Of the $787 Billion in the bill, about $77 Billion has been spent; there is about $200 Billion with a designated spot so far.  You want to make a difference?  If we elect Congressmen/Congresswomen and Senators in 2010 that do not believe in the stimulus, they can vote to stop the remaining spending, saving our country roughly $587 BILLION!

The majority of Americans believe our government spends too much money (roughly 51% according to Gallup/USA Today poll), it is time to prove the polls right in the voting booth. There are 36/100 Senate seats up for election on Nov. 2, 2010.  Of the 36 seats up for election, 18 seats are currently held by Republicans and 18 seats are currently held by Democrats.  There are currently 58 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and 2 Independents that caucus with Democrats in the United States Senate.  Republicans are going to have to have a big election to be able to stop the spending spree.