Rick Perry Comes To New York

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been making the rounds lately–visiting states with high taxes that might cause businesses to take a look at Texas. Fred Barnes posted an article at the Weekly Standard about Governor Perry’s recent visit to Manhattan.

The article reports:

After his freshman year at Texas A&M in 1969, Perry sold Bible-related books one summer in rural Missouri. “It took weeks before I sold my first books,” he says, but he learned salesmanship. “I look at myself just like a businessman trying to sell a product,” he says. Perry told Trump he’s selling the “opportunity” for business owners to flee the “high tax, high regulation, high litigation” environment of states like New York and thrive in a free market state that lets them keep more of the money they earn. Texas has no state income tax.

Perry is never bashful. When touting Texas as a safe haven for American business, he’s doing what no governor has done before. And he’s doing it with as much fanfare and buzz as possible. Some governors send letters, urging companies to pick up stakes and move. When Perry spent a day in Connecticut last week, he bumped into Dennis Daugaard, the Republican governor of South Dakota. Both were on economic missions. The Connecticut media latched on to Perry and ignored Daugaard.

This is an example of how the United States is supposed to work. The states were set up to be independent laboratories for policies–then Congress would enact the programs that worked in the successful states and not enact the programs in the states with economic or social problems that were not being solved. Unfortunately, Congress has often chosen to do the opposite.

The advertising campaign in New York was noteworthy:

The killer line: “If you’re tired of the same old recipe of over-taxation, over-regulation, and frivolous litigation, get out before you go broke.” Perry delivered the closer. “Texas is calling,” he said. “Your opportunity awaits.” The ads made a splash.

Governor Perry’s trips and advertising campaign are paid for by a group called Texas One, a foundation that touts the state’s economy.

The article reports the goals of Governor Perry’s trip to New York:

Perry had three goals for his trip. He succeeded, partially anyway, on two. In time, he may on the third. The first was to attract businesses to Texas. Perry insists it takes nine months from his pitch to a company’s decision to move. So we’ll have to wait on that. But Perry says he expects to hear this summer that an untold number of California companies are Texas-bound.

The second goal was to stir a national debate on “blue state versus red states policies.” Perry thinks he’s set this in motion and he may have. It should shine a favorable light on the Texas model of low taxes, light regulation, and less litigation—small government that works.

Perry didn’t acknowledge the third goal. It was a test of his skill as a potential presidential candidate after his disastrous performance in last year’s race for the Republican nomination. He says he “parachuted” into that campaign both too late and unprepared. He knows better now.

I guess the primary season for the 2016 Presidential election has begun.

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Some Wisdom From Fred Barnes

In 1995, Fred Barnes, William Kristol and John Podhoretz formed the Weekly Standard. Fred Barnes is also a regular commentator on Fox News, and has also written for numerous publications, including Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, Washingtonian, The Public Interest, Policy Review and both The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times of London.

In the December 10 issue of The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes posts an article entitled, “Don’t Go Wobbly.” The article reminds us that although President Obama won the election, he did not win a mandate. He won by waging one of the most negative campaigns in American history.

The article reminds us:

House speaker John Boehner has rejected the president’s proposal as unserious. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell broke into laughter when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined it for him. It’s a wonder even Geithner kept a straight face. Because what the president wants is the same-old same-old: tax hikes immediately, spending cuts down the road. We know how this plays out. Taxes go up, spending cuts never materialize. Obama is also seeking a new $50 billion stimulus. And there’s more. Obama wants to raise the debt limit without the approval of Congress and force banks to refinance troubled home mortgages.

Giving President Obama the ability to raise the debt limit without the consent of Congress is like giving your fifteen year old a credit card with no credit limit. Most grownups don’t have the restraint to handle a credit card without a credit limit–that is why banks set credit limits. Shouldn’t our government be as smart as banks?

The article cites some of the areas of reform that President Obama has asked the Republicans to agree to. These areas include tax rate increases on the wealthy, then limiting tax deductions on the wealthy in the coming year. This represents a serious increase in the expenses of small businesses and will prevent new hiring by small businesses. The President is proposing Medicare cuts–the Republicans need to ask for Medicare reform–not cuts. If we continue to cut the rate at which hospitals are reimbursed for Medicare patients, hospitals will stop admitting Medicare patients.

The article has two good suggestions for Republicans involved in this debate:

To strengthen their hand, Republicans would be smart to stress two things. One is the Simpson-Bowles commission’s strategy for handling the debt and deficit crisis. The Obama-created commission said uncontrolled spending is the cause of the problem, that the best way to gain more revenue is through tax reform, and that any deal must be bipartisan. Republicans agree and should say so loudly. Obama doesn’t agree.

The other is the prospect of a recession. The fiscal cliff is really a tax cliff. Taxes would instantly soar by $400 billion on January 1 and, according to the CBO, would drive the economy back into recession. So might the tax increase of $1.6 trillion advocated by Obama, in addition to higher taxes to finance his health care law that begin next year. Surely the president understands this.

Just as an afterthought–I am willing to go back to the tax rates of the Clinton era as long as we also go back to the spending levels of the Clinton era.

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The Impact Of Paul Ryan On The Presidential Campaign

Yesterday Fred Barnes posted an article at the Wall Street Journal explaining how Mitt Romney‘s choice of Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate has impacted the presidential campaign.

The choice of Paul Ryan has moved the future of Medicare to the front of the debate.

The article states:

The economy remains a central issue, as do Mr. Obama’s overall record and Mr. Romney’s past one. But now the looming fiscal crisis, Medicare, and the size and role of government are front and center of the campaign. The presidential contest has been elevated into a clash of big ideas and fundamental differences. Neither presidential candidate, but especially Mr. Obama, could have imagined this. Credit Mr. Ryan.

This shift has been damaging to the president and helpful to Mr. Romney. The slogan of Mr. Obama’s campaign is “Forward,” but he’s become the status-quo candidate. Mr. Romney, having adopted slightly revised versions of Mr. Ryan’s bold plans for reducing spending and reforming Medicare, is now the candidate of change. This might have happened to some extent without Mr. Ryan in the race, but it certainly wasn’t inevitable.

There have been a lot of personal attacks on Mitt Romney from the Obama camp during this campaign. Mitt Romney has been accused of being responsible for the cancer death of someone’s wife, insinuations have been made that there is something unseemly about his wealth, and he has been accused of all sorts of nefarious things. The addition of Paul Ryan to the ticket will not only spread out the attack–it will change to debate to actual substance.

The more Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about issues, the more foolish the President’s minions look when they engage in personal attacks.

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