Yesterday, the Denver Post finally connected the dots in a money flow which Jane Norton supporters generally, and Josh Penry in particular, have been trying to get people to pay attention to for weeks if not months. Namely, the enormous amount of money being spent by out-of-state 501©(3) organizations on behalf of Ken Buck or, more precisely, attacking Jane Norton.
The man behind the $1.5 million onslaught is construction company Hensel Phelps president Jerry Morgensen, whom Ken Buck used to work for.
In other words, about 90% of the money which has been spent on Buck’s behalf has had the names of those actually spending the money shielded behind the veil of an intervening political action committee.
For a guy who positions himself as a man of the people, a man of Colorado, it strikes me as fairly disingenuous to have almost all of his ads paid for directly by groups not from Colorado and perhaps indirectly by a very small number of very wealthy people who are keeping out of site.
Very good work by Denver Post reporter Allison Sherry…
The right call from Dan Haley, David Harsanyi, Vince Carroll and the rest of the Denver Post Editorial Board…
Over at the Wall Street Journal, research fellow Brian Riedl has written a very important article, valuable intellectual ammunition for conservatives, explaining why Democrat complaints about the Bush tax cuts having caused our nation’s fiscal problems are all wrong. It’s a must-read for those interested in these sorts of issues.
See “The Bush Tax Cuts and the Deficit Myth“, Brian Riedl, WSJ.com, 7/13/10
Full text below…
President Obama and congressional Democrats are blaming their trillion-dollar budget deficits on the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Letting these tax cuts expire is their answer. Yet the data flatly contradict this “tax cuts caused the deficits” narrative. Consider the three most persistent myths:
• The Bush tax cuts wiped out last decade’s budget surpluses. Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), for example, has long blamed the tax cuts for having “taken a $5.6 trillion surplus and turned it into deficits as far as the eye can see.” That $5.6 trillion surplus never existed. It was a projection by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in January 2001 to cover the next decade. It assumed that late-1990s economic growth and the stock-market bubble (which had already peaked) would continue forever and generate record-high tax revenues. It assumed no recessions, no terrorist attacks, no wars, no natural disasters, and that all discretionary spending would fall to 1930s levels.
The projected $5.6 trillion surplus between 2002 and 2011 will more likely be a $6.1 trillion deficit through September 2011. So what was the cause of this dizzying, $11.7 trillion swing? I’ve analyzed CBO’s 28 subsequent budget baseline updates since January 2001. These updates reveal that the much-maligned Bush tax cuts, at $1.7 trillion, caused just 14% of the swing from projected surpluses to actual deficits (and that is according to a “static” analysis, excluding any revenues recovered from faster economic growth induced by the cuts).
The bulk of the swing resulted from economic and technical revisions (33%), other new spending (32%), net interest on the debt (12%), the 2009 stimulus (6%) and other tax cuts (3%). Specifically, the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 are responsible for just 4% of the swing. If there were no Bush tax cuts, runaway spending and economic factors would have guaranteed more than $4 trillion in deficits over the decade and kept the budget in deficit every year except 2007.
• The next decade’s deficits are the result of the previous administration’s profligacy. Mr. Obama asserted in his January State of the Union Address that by the time he took office, “we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.”
In short, it’s all President Bush’s fault. But Mr. Obama’s assertion fails on three grounds.
First, the wars, tax cuts and the prescription drug program were implemented in the early 2000s, yet by 2007 the deficit stood at only $161 billion. How could these stable policies have suddenly caused trillion-dollar deficits beginning in 2009? (Obviously what happened was collapsing revenues from the recession along with stimulus spending.)
Second, the president’s $8 trillion figure minimizes the problem. Recent CBO data indicate a 10-year baseline deficit closer to $13 trillion if Washington maintains today’s tax-and-spend policies—whereby discretionary spending grows with the economy, war spending winds down, ObamaCare is implemented, and Congress extends all the Bush tax cuts, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch, and the Medicare “doc fix” (i.e., no reimbursement cuts).
Under this realistic baseline, the 10-year cost of extending the Bush tax cuts ($3.2 trillion), the Medicare drug entitlement ($1 trillion), and Iraq and Afghanistan spending ($515 billion) add up to $4.7 trillion. That’s approximately one-third of the $13 trillion in baseline deficits—far from the majority the president claims.
Third and most importantly, the White House methodology is arbitrary. With Washington set to tax $33 trillion and spend $46 trillion over the next decade, how does one determine which policies “caused” the $13 trillion deficit? Mr. Obama could have just as easily singled out Social Security ($9.2 trillion over 10 years), antipoverty programs ($7 trillion), other Medicare spending ($5.4 trillion), net interest on the debt ($6.1 trillion), or nondefense discretionary spending ($7.5 trillion).
There’s no legitimate reason to single out the $4.7 trillion in tax cuts, war funding and the Medicare drug entitlement. A better methodology would focus on which programs are expanding and pushing the next decade’s deficit up.
• Declining revenues are driving future deficits. The fact is that rapidly increasing spending will cause 100% of rising long-term deficits. Over the past 50 years, tax revenues have deviated little from their 18% of gross domestic product (GDP) average. Despite a temporary recession-induced dip, CBO projects that even if all Bush tax cuts are extended and the AMT is patched, tax revenues will rebound to 18.2% of GDP by 2020—slightly above the historical average. They will continue growing afterwards.
Spending—which has averaged 20.3% of GDP over the past 50 years—won’t remain as stable. Using the budget baseline deficit of $13 trillion for the next decade as described above, CBO figures show spending surging to a peacetime record 26.5% of GDP by 2020 and also rising steeply thereafter.
Putting this together, the budget deficit, historically 2.3% of GDP, is projected to leap to 8.3% of GDP by 2020 under current policies. This will result from Washington taxing at 0.2% of GDP above the historical average but spending 6.2% above its historical average.
Entitlements and other obligations are driving the deficits. Specifically, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and net interest costs are projected to rise by 5.4% of GDP between 2008 and 2020. The Bush tax cuts are a convenient scapegoat for past and future budget woes. But it is the dramatic upward arc of federal spending that is the root of the problem.
Backbone Radio, July 18, 2010: So much for a post-racial presidency; What’s wrong with the Colorado GOP?
So much for a post-racial presidency; What’s wrong with the Colorado GOP?
From Ross Kaminsky: Race is re-emerging as an issue in America with a disturbingly Orwellian twist. The Obama Administration dropped a slam-dunk case against members of the New Black Panther Party who were standing in front of a Philadelphia polling station in 2008 brandishing nightsticks.
During the 5 PM hour of Backbone Radio this Sunday, we’ll discuss this case and other racist behavior within the Obama Justice Department with whistleblower and former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams who said of the case “it’s the easiest case I ever had at the Justice Department…if this doesn’t constitute voter intimidation, nothing will… We were ordered to dismiss the case.”
According to Mr. Adams, this was not a one-time thing. It was part of a pattern, a policy, of refusal to enforce any law when such enforcement may reduce the number of minority voters. More specifically, Adams says that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes told DOJ staff to avoid voter intimidation cases: “What do they have to do with helping increase minority access and turnout? We want to increase access to the ballot, not limit it.”
We’ll also talk about the Kinston, NC case, which is one which bothers me at least as much as the Black Panthers case. In that case, the DOJ essentially said that black people are too stupid to know who to vote for if the candidates aren’t labeled with their political party affiliation. It was one of the most paternalistic, racist rulings I’ve seen from the US government during my lifetime.
It’s also interesting to note that just in the past week, Jessie Jackson sad that Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert , views LeBron James as a “runaway slave”. And the NAACP passed a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement as racist – based on a claim that a black congressman was spat upon and insulted during the Democrat’s passage of Obamacare, a claim that nobody has ever been able to substantiate despite there being hundreds of people with cell phones and cameras surrounding the purported event. And the NAACP went ahead despite an ABC poll in which even that liberal organization says that data show that “Ultimately, a statistical analysis indicates that the strongest predictors of supporting the Tea Party are views of Obama, ideology, partisanship and anger at the way the government is operating. Views on the extent of racism as a problem, and views on Obama’s efforts on behalf of African-Americans, are not significant predictors of support for the Tea Party movement.”
Oh, and Barack Obama is parroting statements by would-be al Qaeda terrorists and excoriating al Qaeda for being a racist organization. No, I’m not kidding.
It should be a fascinating conversation and we’d enjoy your questions or comments.
During the second half of the show, I’ll be joined by controversial former Congressman Tom Tancredo who stirred up a little hornet’s nest last week at a fund-raiser for Ken Buck by saying that Barack Obama represents the greatest threat to America.
Buck backed away from Tancredo’s words, saying (at first) that there are many threats to America and that he respects Barack Obama as president. Jane Norton jumped in on Tancredo’s side, saying there was some truth to Tancredo’s statement, a position which Buck then also took a couple of days later while saying that the larger progressive movement was really the greatest threat.
Do you think Tom Tancredo is right? Is Barack Obama the greatest threat to America today? And what do you think of Ken Buck’s response? Is he right? Is he just playing to the middle, already anticipating a primary election victory?
We’ll discuss much more state and national politics with Congressman Tancredo, including his take on the extremely messy situation in the Colorado Republican primary race to challenge John Hickenlooper for the governorship. Are the issues swirling around Scott McInnis’ “Musings on water” a fatal blow to his candidacy, or is McInnis right that voters really just care about jobs right now? What should Republicans do? What should the GOP establishment do?
And speaking of the GOP establishment, how angry should the rank and file be about the puppet masters who seem to have shoved aside Josh Penry and saddled us with a candidate as uninspiring (to put it politely) as Scott McInnis?
I don’t know about you, but I wonder if Tom Tancredo sees or wants a path for him to become a candidate for governor…perhaps we’ll ask him.
If you’re not in range of the radio waves, you should be able to listen to the show online by clicking HERE.
I hope you’ll actively participate in the conversation with me: Call the studio at 303 696 1971, e-mail me at ross(at)710knus.com, or instant message from my site at http://rossputin.com or through AOL Instant messenger to screen name Rossputin.
In an interview on KHOW’s Caplis & Silverman show, Dr. Aliya Hasan, brother of Ali Hasan and Board member of the Hasan Family Foundation, offered tremendous insight into the Foundation’s agreement with Scott McInnis.
Dr. Hasan was as pleasant and forthright as a person could have been in her position, making clear repeatedly that neither she nor her family felt ill will toward McInnis.
Nevertheless, the simple facts of what she said make McInnis look even worse than he did before, something I didn’t think was possible.
In particular, as readers of these pages know, I was wondering just what the Hasan family thought they were buying for $300,000 (over two years), because papers about water, even if not plagiarized couldn’t be worth that much money.
To the extent that I had suspicions about politically motivated overpayment for a small service, i.e. to pay for some prior or future “favor", those concerns were put to rest by Dr. Hasan.
She said that the reason McInnis was paid so much was essentially that they thought they were hiring him for a full-time job and had to offer a salary that could compete with his other options at the time that he left Congress.
In particular, Seeme Hassan, mother of Aliya and Ali, believed (and presumably still believes) that understanding water issues, not least interstate water issues, are extremely important to the long-term success of Colorado and are very poorly understood.
Therefore she, through the Foundation, signed up McInnis for a “fellowship” for $150,000 a year which was supposed to include not just writing papers, but also getting the issue into the media, giving talks, and generally doing whatever he could to educate Coloradoans on the issue of water, water rights, water law, etc.
Shortly after taking the fellowship, McInnis then signed up for a full-time job as a partner with law firm Hogan and Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). McInnis told the Hasans that the quality of his work would not suffer from having this new commitment, but clearly it did, as can be seen not only from the plagiarized papers but also from the fact that, according to Dr. Hasan, he did none of the other things he was being paid to do.
The Foundation basically just shrugged their shoulders and didn’t renew his fellowship after the second year, much nicer to McInnis than I would have been in the same situation. It seems clear from listening to Aliya Hasan that the Hasan family’s motivation here is in no way sinister, underhanded, or politically motivated and to the extent that I wondered aloud if it might have been, I apologize to the Hasan family. (I have met most of the family and found them interesting, intelligent, and genial…and committed to fundamental American principles.)
Dr. Hasan noted that her family only learned about the plagiarism from the same media reports from which everyone else (except the people who discovered the plagiarism) learned about it.
The Foundation has demanded its money back, so they can put it to better charitable and/or educational use elsewhere. McInnis has said he would repay the money. Dr. Hasan said, while not trying to sound confrontational, that if McInnis did not make good on his promise to repay the money the Foundation would pursue legal remedies against him, i.e. sue him. She also said that they were more than willing to “work with” McInnis on a repayment schedule.
All in all, Aliya Hasan explained her family’s position and the history of the relationship in a way that fills in many pieces of the puzzle, and did it in much better cheer than I probably would have in the same situation. I applaud her for the excellent interview, especially given that she was, by her own admission, a little nervous being on the radio talking about something so controversial and so outside her normal daily interests. By coming on the air, she did Coloradoans a service. We know more than we did before.
Unfortunately for Scott McInnis, the more we know, the less tolerable it is for him to remain a candidate.
Really, imagine a guy being elected governor who has to make debt payments every month to reimburse a Foundation he essentially defrauded. No way, no how.
In short, McInnis took the Foundation’s money for a full-time job and then took another job and kept taking the money.
Scott, please get out now. You can’t win. And I’m not just saying that because of the new Rasmussen poll which now shows you two points behind John Hickenlooper, a 7-point drop in a month.
I note in the poll that Maes is also behind Hickenlooper…something which leads to further discussion about what the GOP should do now, if it has any real options at all. But that’s a topic for another day.
In response to a press release from the Hasan Family Foundation earlier today, Scott McInnis has put out his own press release, taking responsibility for the water paper issues and promising to repay the money he was paid for the papers:
Scott McInnis, Republican candidate for Governor, today issued the following statement in response to a news release issued by The Hasan Family Foundation:
“I have said since this matter was brought to my attention that the articles provided as part of the Hasan Family Foundation fellowship were faulty. I explained how this problem arose, and I accepted responsibility.
“I apologized to the Hasans for this mistake, and I expressed my determination to make it right with my dear friends. I will be in contact with the Hasan family to make full payment arrangements. I agree with the Foundation that this brings this matter to a close, and I look forward to continuing to speak on the campaign trail about the critical issues facing all of Colorado, including jobs and economic recovery.”
It’s not surprising that McInnis trying to put this behind him, as far and fast as possible. It’s unclear whether that will be possible.
More interesting is the question of why the Hasans have said they will have no further comment on the issue. It sort of begs the question of whether the Hasans also have something they’re not entirely comfortable talking about, such as just what they thought they were getting for $300,000. It strains credibility to accept that they thought some “Musings on Water” were worth that kinds of money…so just what were they buying?
How low can Democrats sink in their 2010 electoral desperation? OK, it’s not a serious question because there is no level to which the left in general will not sink to keep control of governments, citizens, and our money.
But this is, as the WSJ’s John Fund put it, “unusually cynical"…
In the primary race for Iowa’s Republican gubernatorial nomination, the Democrats apparently decided that they’d rather run against someone other than former Iowa governor Terry Branstad.
So they created a group called “Iowans for Responsible Government” which was, according to the Des Moines Register, “financed entirely by contributions totaling $782,500 by the Democratic Governors Association.”
And that group, pretending to be a conservative organization, ran ads against Branstad calling him a “liberal” and trying to tie him to Presidents Clinton and Obama, and to Nancy Pelosi:
This sort of gambit by Democrats carries serious risk: elections are won and lost among independent voters, and independent voters are likely to be extremely displeased with implicitly being lied to.
Past and future Governor Branstad’s campaign cleverly bought IowansForRepsonsibleGovernment.com and put up a web page debunking the group and its message.
According to Rasmussen, Branstad already holds a 26-point lead over his Democrat challenger. One might think that could go even wider – not that it matters – after this news.
The good news is that the Democrats recognize that, at least in some places in America, “liberal” is an insult.
Over at InTrade.com, the chances of the GOP taking back the Senate, i.e. picking up 10 seats or more, are trading around 18%, with a tie Senate, i.e. GOP picking up 9 seats, trading around 12%.
In order for either of these to happen, but particularly the former, the GOP needs not only to run the table on the races which either have a GOP incumbent running for re-election or in which the GOP candidate seems to be the front-runner already (such as Rand Paul in Kentucky), but they also need to win one or two much more difficult races, such as Washington State or California.
One other such race shows some good news for Republicans today with Rasmussen reporting for the first time that their poll shows Republican Ron Johnson ahead of far-left incument Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin’s Senate race, even if only by 1%. Wisconsin is quite a liberal state, at least in their voting history. For someone like Feingold to be essentially tied shows just how horrible a year this is shaping up to be for Democrats.
Odds of a Republican House are now over 55%, and I think that’s still low…
In their never-ending desire to tax everything under the sun, a Democrat congressman and several Democrat co-sponsors are proposing a measure which would end up applying sales taxes to out-of-state purchases made on the Internet.
Please see my article on the subject for Human Events: