The GOP Hearts Romney, Palin, Huckabee

If Gallup’s newly-released poll looking at the GOP presidential field tells us anything about the current mood of Republican voters, it’s that despite the GOP base's much-publicized outrage over the nation's lack of fiscal restraint, they’re not terribly focused on candidates with strong records of limiting government spending. None of the top three candidates—Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee—have particularly distinguished themselves as serious government cutters. As governor of Arkansas, for example, Huckabee allowed state spending to rise by 65 percent, raised the average tax burden by 47 percent, and expanded the state’s government workforce by 20 percent. Romney, meanwhile, presided over the creation of Massachusetts’ over-budget, subsidy-and-mandate-driven health care system, which served as a model for ObamaCare. And while Palin has dabbled in limited government rhetoric, her main role on the national stage has been as a culture-war lighting rod.

And the fourth-place candidate, Newt Gingrich, isn’t much better. He’s tried at times to portray himself as a policy entrepreneur—a Republican ideas man who is serious about governance. But he also has a reputation as a say-anything-for-attention political opportunist, which seems to be the character he’s been playing lately while talking up Dinesh D’Souza’s "hackneyed psychological theory" that Obama’s liberalism stems from a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview.

To find a candidate with any demonstrated record of fiscal restraint, you have to drop down to the five spot, with Ron Paul, who picked up seven percent of the respondents. Further down the charts, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels garnered only two percent, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson got just one percent each.

How much does this actually mean for the 2012 election? This far out, the answer is probably not much. It’s still early, so polls are arguably measuring name recognition as much as actual support for the potential candidates’ records. It's telling, though, especially because Republican leadership seems to be singing much the same tune—feigning interest in small government while sidestepping the root causes of the country's dire fiscal situation.

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  • Trespassers W||

    I know it's a little early for Halloween, but:

    Obama is getting re-elected.

  • ||

    That was scary without my 3D glasses.

  • ||

    With what the 38% that say he deserves re-election? I don't even think Obama is going to run for re-election much less win such a thing.

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm guessing that's 38% against "anyone else in general".

    Against "any of these people in particular", he's going to win, and I dare say comfortably.

  • ||

    That would come under the heading of things you need to believe. Like MLK, you have a "dream", good luck with it!

  • Rich||

    Historically, Republicans have generally nominated the early front-runner as the party's presidential candidate.

    Romney vs Obama. Tough call. Both fringe Christians. It'll depend on the weather, unless the "early voting" stuff is pervasive/mandated by 2012.

  • ||

    What? One is a member of LDS and the other is a believer in Black Liberation theology.How can you classify either one as Christian, even "fringe" Christian?

  • Rich||

    Sorry, guess I get too subtle once in a while. I rephrase:

    Many voters consider secret-polygamists and secret-Muslims as "fringe" Christians.

  • ||

    How can you classify either one as Christian, even "fringe" Christian?

    Your not christian if you worship at the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints?

  • cynical||

    I dunno, are you a Muslim if you worship at the Nation of Islam? Point is that most other Christian sects, so far as I know, don't consider Mormons to be Christians. Christianesque, maybe.

  • Rudan||

    If Palin or Huckabee gets nominated, I'm not voting. I'd vote Romney or Gingrich as the lesser of two evils and I'd happily vote Ron Paul, but he's not getting nominated as long as the Christian right is still aching for war.

  • ||

    I still don't get the " Well, I just won't vote " mentality.

  • Ska||

    If you're given a false choice, why endorse it by participating?

  • ||

    Dick, it is more likely that you'll be killed in a car accident travelling to or from the polling station than you're vote will have any affect at all on the outcome of any electoral race.

    That's the light hearted answere.

    The serious answer is, there is no point voting for scoundrels who's philosophy and morality are repugnant.

    While you maybe lucky enought to belong to the clas that gets the most spoils from redistribution policies, you don't actually get anything for casting a vote for the winner.

  • zoltan||

    I mean, his name is Dick.

  • ||

    "Obama is getting re-elected."

    What do you know that Rahm Emanuel doesn't know?

  • ||

    I'd rather be the Mayor of Chicago.

  • Joe M||

    Ugh. I'd rather see Obama stay in power with a GOP congress than a full swing back to one-party governance on the other side. Unless, of course, Paul or Johnson had a chance in hell.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    We won't know until they try. A currency crisis might help, but if things have already reached that stage I suppose there's not much a Paul or Johnson administration could do to right matters anyway. Hm.

  • Rich||

    If you would indulge me by "engaging in hypotheticals", TTMN, do you think there's much a Paul or Johnson administration could do to keep matters from going ballistic?

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    It's a question that keeps me up nights, Rich. I'm not entirely convinced that our current troubles are soluble, even if the government were to do everything perfectly. We have huge and worsening systemic problems that demand basic and rapid structural reforms concerning economic governance, the role of government in society, and our foreign policy. However, I agree with the Burkean insight that organic and gradual change is best, and that the sort of radical reform I envision could be hugely destructive to social cohesion - and potentially the rule of law - if implemented too quickly. So basically, it's a Scylla and Charybdis situation, where we need large and immediate reforms to prevent collapse, but not too large or too immediate, lest they cause a collapse. And I'm not entirely sure there's a safe course between the two.

    But practically, as to what a hypothetical Liberty administration could accomplish, the most immediate act could be, as Commander in Chief, ending our expensive and draining foreign wars and ending our indefinite occupation of large swathes of the globe. Afghani tribesmen can kill each other without our help, and Germany and Japan are wealthy enough to pay for their own defense. Furthermore, the President, as head of the Executive branch could appoint directors to regulatory agencies who would use their regulatory discretion to reduce market inference to the minimum amount mandated by law, helping to trim back the choking regulatory jungle that's grown up in this country. Finally, he could veto all appropriations bills if Congress hasn't agreed to a budgetary plan that balances the budget in a reasonable amount of time - certainly they would likely be passed over the vetoes, but the required compromises to reach 2/3 majorities would hopefully strip out a lot of bad spending.

  • Cruz||

    And then I jizzed in my pants

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    Hey, I didn't bloviate unprompted - Rich asked what I thought!

  • Rich||

    Thanks. I appreciate your well-crafted response, and agree with your thinking. My take on the, um, easing-us-into-radical-change-problem is implementation of heavy-duty incremental grandfathering, a la what is threatened with Social Security. Something like: The President would give the people two months to get used to the idea that the belt gradually tightens over two years on economic governance, the role of government in society, and our foreign policy.

    Ready for another, Cruz?

  • Rich||

    Thanks to *TTMN*. (FTC.)

  • ||

    "I'd rather see Obama stay in power with a GOP congress than a full swing back to one-party governance on the other side."

    There are two Congressional elections between now and then.

    Clinton had a second wind after taking a beating in '94; it smelled almost as bad as the first, but the point is, we probably shouldn't count our chickens before they've hatched.

  • ||

    Ditto

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If only the anti-establishment line of the tea party would see fit to flex their political muscle by doing whatever necessary to get Paul the nomination.

    If they can get fucking O'Donnell and the like nominated, why not Paul?

  • zoltan||

    Paul would be running for president, not senator. I imagine that the Tea Party might form around Palin or another war-lover.

  • Jeff P||

    15 years ago that would have qualified as an Onion headline.

  • ||

    Hey look, it's the celebrity/well known GOP figures that top the polls! Go figure.

    American voters, you suck.

  • EJM||

    Three of the top four also happen to be paid Fox News contributors.

  • ||

    ""Three of the top four also happen to be paid Fox News contributors.""

    Yes, Murdoch's control of the US is almost complete.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Koch...Soros...Murdoch...who's supposed to be running this thing? I think we need Gabe here for a ruling.

  • kinnath||

    I posted a weeks or so that it looks like Max Headroom is coming true -- in that show, the candidates were nominated by the networks and the president was selected based on network ratings.

    So it looks like 2012 will come down to a Fox/MSNBC grudge match.

  • ||

    None of the top three candidates—Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee—have particularly distinguished themselves as serious government cutters.

    What else is new. They're part of the ruling class, and all they're interested in is their turn at the helm. Then the crew will mutiny and the other team will take their turn again.

    To make actual changes we need an actual mutiny.

  • Alan||

    In what way are Palin, Romney and Huckabee "ruling class?" Because they've been in government? Kind of hard to not have a ruling class with that definition.

  • Ryanxxx||

    The American ruling class is a network of public and private officials who decide the course of the country. They often go from corporate to government jobs and back again. Most don't hold elected office, but there are some exceptions, like the people listed above. Not only have they held office, but they have immense sway within their party machines and have become media figures as well.

  • zoltan||

    Nearly life-long politicians, mind you.

  • SIV||

    Hillary Clinton defeats Giuliani to win the Presidency in 2008. Remember that election?

    The only candidate on that list who stands a chance of securing the GOP nomination is Sarah Palin.

  • SIV||

    "in the top four"

    Daniels might.

    As Old Mexican points out below 7% of Republican voters naming Ron Paul as their top choice is more telling than the other >5% picks.

  • ||

    Daniels is my choice for a dark horse candidate.

    But the election is two years away! An eternity in presidential politics. What was Obama's name recognition in 2006?

  • rhofulster||

    You mean "several geological ages"

    /Rove off

  • nobody||

    As a recent transplant to New Jersey, it's been confusing and exciting to see Chris Christie kind of sort of achieve his agenda.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Yeah, but he'll only have been at it for a little more than a year before he seriously starts campaigning, if he wants the 2012 nod.

  • Old Mexican||

    To find a candidate with any demonstrated record of fiscal restraint, you have to drop down to the five spot, with Ron Paul, who picked up seven percent of the respondents. Further down the charts, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels garnered only two percent, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson got just one percent each.

    It may be that the poll just shows how well known the potential candidates are. The fact that 7% of GOP respondents considered Ron Paul a potential candidate for 2012 is telling, and interesting.

  • ||

    It is. That shows that Paul has a base of support within the party and is a force to be reckoned with. He is probably not going to win and might not even run. But, the 7% showing based on name recognition alone shows that him and his ideas have a significant following.

  • Virginia||

    I'm happily surprised Johnson registered at all.

  • American Voter||

    Come on! Who could forget "you doesn't has to call me Johnson"?

  • ¢||

    If Gallup’s newly-released poll looking at the GOP presidential field tells us anything about the current mood of Republican voters, it’s that

    they don't like any of the candidates. Romney "wins" at 19%. That's say-whatever-to-get-this-asshole-off-my-phone territory. "Yeah, that guy. YOU'RE WELCOME."

    Obama's going to win '12, approval-ratings regardless, because America is near enough to majority-asshole that such a fine exemplar of all things asshole can't lose. The only question is which Republican will sacrifice his electoral career in the loss—"his," because Palin's probably not chumpy enough to do it.

  • Joe M||

    ...America is near enough to majority-asshole...

    Damn, that's harsh.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You're being silly about this in your second paragraph; sensible in your first.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Further evidence that republican voters are shitbags.

  • ||

    If any of the top four, (Romney, Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich) get the nomination they will preach fiscal restraint but offer no specifics other that the old saw of cutting fraud waste and abuse.

    Social Security, Medicare, our global military posture will all be off the table. Believing the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility is every bit as delusional as believing the Dems are the party of civil liberties.

    I am no longer playing their game. It's third parties or leave it blank. I will no longer give my imprimatur to the chinese fuck story that is the two party system.

    IOW, I don't give a shit who the Republicans or their Democratic clones nominate. I won't vote for them.

  • ||

    It is funny. The devil Bush put Social Security on the table and it got nowhere and he got zero credit for it from the likes of you.

    Ultimately, medicare and social security need to be dealt with. But they don't have to be dealt with now. And there is a hell of a lot of government that could be cut in addition to those things. A President who did something about the rest of government would be a hell of an improvement over what we have even if they didn't touch entitlements.

    And as far as a global military posture, that is pretty much dictated by our enemies. It would be wonderful if everything in the world really was our fault and all we would have to do is say we were sorry and throw our guns down. But life doesn't work that way. Any President who claims to be a "candidate of Peace" is either delusional or lying. You may not be interested in war. But sadly it is often interested in you.

  • ||

    "Ultimately, medicare and social security need to be dealt with. But they don't have to be dealt with now."

    Umm, they need to be delt with REAL soon. and since you are messing with people's retirements, people need to have notice of future changes in time for them to adjust their plans.

    So since any plans will be phased in over a long time, the sooner we make our decisions the better.

    If that's not enough, the financial markets continuing to fund our deficits will eventually dependon on us having a sound plan.

  • ||

    ""And as far as a global military posture, that is pretty much dictated by our enemies. ""

    I think Russia has the same attitude, until they went broke.

    Good thing we are staying clear of that Afghan quagmire that put a hurt on them. ;-)

  • ||

    It is funny. The devil Bush put Social Security on the table and it got nowhere and he got zero credit for it from the likes of you.

    He didn't propose means testing, he didn't propose raising the retirement age, he didn't propose anything that would have staved of the coming entitlement driven fiscal calamity. He merely proposed letting younger people partially opt out of the system while guaranteeing everybody else their benefits. It was not a plan to set Social Security on a financially sound footing.

    Still, I not only gave Bush the Lesser credit for that nibbling at the margins attempt, I gave him credit for his half hearted attempt at immigration reform as well. If you think the GWB years were in any way fiscally responsible you must have a damned good view of your appendix.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What would be your proposal for means testing Social Security?

  • ||

    Speaking of views of appendixes, judging from the SIV link below, you definitely have a good, although that should surprise no one.

    And the Bush idea was serious. It did more than nibble at the edges. If you got younger people to opt out of the damn thing the ponzi scheme would eventually come to an end. Not everyone gets to live in the fantasy land of your colon. Some people have to live in reality. And the reality is that you are not going to solve the social security issue by declaring war on all the greedy old people. Getting people to opt out is the only solution.

  • zoltan||

    Engaging in a nation-wide campaign to encourage seniors to commit suicide might work!

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    How is means-testing Social Security a libertarian position?

  • Ryanxxx||

    "dictated by our enemies?"

    So if Iran gets itself some nuclear weapons halfway around the world, with no long range delivery system, and no intention to use them on America, I suppose from your statement that they'll be "dictating" that we bomb them.

    John, we have the best-equipped and most advanced military in the world. We are still an economic powerhouse, even with recent setbacks. We are protected by two oceans. Pulling back would be easy if we wanted to. The Taliban aren't gonna team up with China and Hugo Chavez to rape your sister.

    And the people who ARE trying to attack us are trying because of our foreign policy. Read the manifestos of any suicide bomber who's targeted America. Read Al Qaeda's declaration of war.

  • ||

    Agree, Ryan!

  • Cytotoxic||

    So they attack Jylands-Posten because of Denmark's foreign policy?

  • Ryanxxx||

    Who's "they"? And what attack are you talking about?

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    "And as far as a global military posture, that is pretty much dictated by our enemies."

    So, John ... you’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaeda?

    /Chris Wallace

  • SIV||

    You're not going to consider voting for Obama again J sub ?

    (gotta love "search" :^)

  • ||

    Like I said, Homey don't play that game anymore. Feel free to give your tacit approval of the two party system by casting a ballot for one of them. Just make sure you know the lyrics to "Won't Get Fooled Again" so you can join in the chorus afterwards.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    That is a brutal beatdown. The only detraction is that immediately underneath it you predict that Obama "possibly will reduce identity politics".

  • SIV||

    There's this too:

    SIV|8.16.08 @ 4:25PM|#

    What happened to Weigel?

    Obama Campaign/DNC Media Partner staff meeting?
  • ||

    I simply have stopped voting. For me, Al Franken in 2008 was the last straw.

  • Anonymous||

    You deserve that.

  • Abdul||

    Social Security and Medicare wil nevere ever be cut for the simplest of reasons: old people are the largest single voting demographic.

    Christ, it would be like voting to replace apple pie with falafel.

  • zoltan||

    They also have the richest, most powerful lobby in America.

  • Cruz||

    Social Security, Medicare, our global military posture will all be off the table. Believing the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility is every bit as delusional as believing the Dems are the party of civil liberties.

    That sums it up beautifully

  • Ragin Cajun||

    No mention of Paw-Paw? I hear Cato just gave him an "A" for something.

  • Chinese Pornographer||

    I will no longer give my imprimatur to the chinese fuck story that is the two party system.

    I lesent that!

  • ||

    Huckabee is for the Fair Tax. That alone means he would get my vote.

    As both an economist, and a CPA, I can honestly say I the Fair Tax would do more for this country than almost any other option (although it would decrease my own future earnings).

  • ||

    Huckabee is for the Fair Tax.

    He's also a scumbag nanny-stater of the first order. Screw that noise.

  • ||

    Examples please.

    I recall him being fairly good on WoD ect (not as good as I would like of course). But better than your average Rep.

  • ||

    Also, if you can't get everthing you want, I think a much better fiscal tax policy is a good place to start.

  • ||

    Changing the tax code isn't up to the President. The Prez can recommend, veto, or sign.

  • ||

    agreed, but he can certainly push for it, and as you said sign it.

  • ||

    "" but he can certainly push for it, and as you said sign it.""

    Sure. The President can write a bill and submit it, just like any other American. Of course, Congress can ignore it like any other American's bill.

    Ron Paul seems to understand the limits of the Executive, and I think that's one of the main reasons the republican don't really like him. Voters want superman, they want a guy (maybe girl) that will stand up and say how they will fix problems de jour.

  • ||

    Example of Huck being a nanny?

    He signed the law that made it illegal for you to smoke in your car if children are present.

  • ||

    great example.

    Not enough for me to prefer Rommney, or Palin. But agreed that is bad.

  • ||

    He advocated a national smoking ban. I no longer smoke and have no intention to ever again, but that kind of smug dickery makes me wonder what REALLY keeps him up at night.

  • Cruz||

    Hey wasn't Hucklebee the one who said he'd fix the economy by building highways during the debates?

  • ||

    Republicans don't hate nannys as much as they lead on.

  • SIV||

    Huckabee supports any tax he can look at his record as AR Gov

  • ||

    Looked at his record, balanced budget, raised some taxes reduced others. Overall did a pretty good job in AK.

  • ||

    Balanced budget? Come on, unless AR changed it, a balanced budget is required by law.

    And he was never govenor of Alaska (AK). Arkansas is AR. But a lot of people make that mistake.

  • ||

    balanced budget is required in CA too. That doesn't really mean shit does it.

  • ||

    It doesn't at all. That's why I wouldn't consider it a plus when looking at their record.

  • SIV||

    Might want to check your postal abbreviations. The Huckster raised sin and sales taxes as part of a large net tax increase. As Club For Growth said: Huckabee is a serial tax increaser. States have to balance their budgets by law.

  • ||

    Club for growth = full of shit. I have zero respect for them.

  • zoltan||

    See my below comment. It was Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform who called him a serial tax increaser. The Club for Growth called him a liberal for increasing taxes five times.

  • SIV||

    Thank you for the correction.

  • zoltan||

    From wikipedia.org

    Huckabee supports drug courts for non-violent drug offenders, believes that drug education fails and drug punishment works, and that stricter penalties for drug-related crimes should be enforced. He opposes the medical use of marijuana, and said he would continue to raid, arrest, prosecute, and imprison patients who are using marijuana as a medicine

    More spending on the drug war.

    He specifically mentions nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass and he supports federal research and development of these energy sources.

    More spending on "energy independence".

    . As Governor, Huckabee supported a conservation tax for Arkansas parks.[18] Huckabee supports a "cap and trade" emissions control and also thinks confronting global warming is a moral issue

    One example of a tax and CAP AND TRADE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

    Mike Huckabee increased state spending 65.3 percent from 1996 to 2004. During his tenure, the number of state government workers in Arkansas increased over 20 percent, and the state’s general obligation debt increased by approximately $1 billion.

    Higher spending and more government leeches.

    Huckabee supports a larger military and a fifty percent increase in defense spending.

    Huckabee wants more dead American servicemembers (unmeasurable spending habit).

    And it was Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform who called him a "serial tax increaser". The Club for Growth just called him liberal.

  • creech||

    What did Clinton poll in 1990?
    Someone may yet come out of "no where" - Daniels/Christie ticket?

  • Rich||

    I assume you mean Mitch, not Charlie or Jack. A long shot. Maybe if Christie does most of the talking.

  • SIV||

    I'd vote for Charlie Daniels if he'd re-affirm his 1970s positions

  • ||

    Polls are fucking meaningless masturbation.

  • ||

    meaningless masturbation

    And the award for oxymoron of the day goes to...

  • Max||

    [fap, fap, fap]

  • ||

    It's not surprising to me that you would focus on the self-abuse. No homo.

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Did someone call for me?

  • NoVAHockey||

    I think you have to wait to see how Nov. turns out. If the Dems lose big in places like PA or OH and other rust belt states, are those voters really going to return to Obama in 2 years when the local economies haven't improved?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Anybody think Kasich could get into the national mix should he waltz to victory in Ohio?

  • rhofulster||

    I am amazed that he has such low name-rec in Ohio - didn't he have a national profile when he was in congress?
    But what do I know, 5 years ago I was looking to place a long shot bet on Michael Coleman becoming pres in 2016.

  • ||

    Coleman you have to be kidding right he is a joke as mayor of Columbus sure wouldn't want him to in charge of the country.

  • rhofulster||

    Didn't say I wanted him to be president. Five years ago, he had the inside track on the governership until his wife screwed up. A governor of Ohio who doesn't screw up too bad has some kind of shot at the presidency. I was looking to cash in.

  • Some dude||

    How can they even consider Romney when it is his Romneycare that has been nationalized.

  • ||

    It's the GOP! They don't have to make sense! They just need to spout the right catch phrases, just like the Dems. They know their base will pull their lever at the end of the day, regardless of what they do.

  • ||

    Huckabee is for the Fair Tax.

    Aside from Huckleberry's many and varied repugnant characteristics and beliefs, I remain deeply (DEEPLY) skeptical about this so-called "Fair Tax".

  • ||

    What's to be skepitcal about.

    Let's see, gets rid of income/payroll etc taxes, and replaces it with a broad based consumption tax.

    This has a number of effects.

    1. We stop wasting 200b a year in tax compliance costs, and tax avoidance measures.

    2. Everyone moves all their offshore money back into the US. No need for cayman island accounts.

    3. Gives domestic manufactorers a leveler playing field, because SS and Medicare costs that are baked into American goods in the current system, are no applied to ALL goods (through the consumption tax).

    It also signifcantly increases freedom (most people wouldn't need to file a tax return) AND reduces the corpratism found in the current tax code. No more lobbying for credits etc.

    Any specific questions?

  • ||

    What is to stop the greedy bastards in government from having a fair tax and an income tax? I don't trust them to repeal the existing taxes. Or even if they did, to not to set the fair tax rate anywhere near equal to current tax rates. Since the fair tax is a much more hidden tax, it would be much easier for them to raise it.

    I see your point about its value. But I don't think our government is in anyway trustworthy enough to administer it.

  • ||

    I would certainly agree that the government isn't trust worthy.

    But, the Fair Tax is actually a bill. So if the bill got approved it would dislove the rest of the taxes.

    I think the Feds would have a VERY hard time putting an income tax back in after Americans got used to not having it.

    The raising of the sales tax rate IMO would be an easier approach.

  • ||

    the other problem is that it is wildly regressive. Advocates for it say they would get around that by providing rebates based on income. The problem is that that then creates an incentive to hide income in order to qualify for the rebates and we are right back to where we are now.

  • SIV||

    But, the Fair Tax is actually a bill. So if the bill got approved b>

  • SIV||

    FUCK it previewed OK

    So if the bill got approved it would dislove the rest of the taxes.

    Civics FAIL

    Not without repealing the 16th Amendment. Congress could revive an income tax at any time.

  • ||

    Did you miss the next fucking sentence?

    "I think the Feds would have a VERY hard time putting an income tax back in after Americans got used to not having it."

  • SIV||

    How many would strongly object to say a 5% tax on income over 1 million a year?

    Then they ramp up the rate and push down the income threshold. Just like when the income tax was originally passed.

  • ||

    The entire premise of the Fair Tax seems to rest on the promise of "Sure, We'll repeal the 16th Amendment after adding a national sales tax. Trust us."

    Do you think that the very large and wealthy tax compliance industry would let this bill go through without serious modifications to keep their jobs intact?

  • ||

    Actually the Fair Tax isn't regressive. It includes a prebate that untaxes everyone up to the poverty level. After that, you are taxed on what you buy. Want to pay less tax, then buy less stuff. IE buy used, or do the service yourself.

    Also rich people buy more stuff, so they will probably be taxed more.

    "The entire premise of the Fair Tax seems to rest on the promise of "Sure, We'll repeal the 16th Amendment after adding a national sales tax. Trust us.""

    Passing the Fair Tax does NOT require getting rid of the 16th.

    Look at how hard it is for the Dems to just let the Bush cuts expire. you really think they could implement an income tax again once people got out of it?

    It's REALLY hard to get new taxes through. That's why they strive so hard for stealth taxes. But that would be much harder without an income tax.

  • ||

    As long as the 16th survives intact, there is nothing to prevent a future Congress from repealing the Fair Tax law, or a provision of it, and enacting an income tax.

    Or not repealing the income tax at all to begin with. History has shown us, if nothing else, once governments are ruled by inertia and there would be much foot dragging by the entrenched interests who stand to lose in all of that.

    I don't share your trust, however much, in these invertebrates we call our ruling class.

  • ||

    Passing the Fair Tax does NOT require getting rid of the 16th.

    This statement is true.

    Which is the problem.

  • ||

    You guys are so jaded you refuse to go for something that can make a HUGE difference. So sad.

  • Anonymous||

    While it is not currently so, there has been talk about writing a trigger clause into the bill such that it does not go into effect until the repeal of the 16th.

  • zoltan||

    Want to pay less tax, then buy less stuff. IE buy used, or do the service yourself.

    Or barter! Woo!

  • ||

    Huh, my state, like many states, manages to have a state income tax *and* a state sales tax, which is how it would likely end up with the current political regime. I keep hearing from our masters how we don't have a spending problem, but instead a taxing problem. What do think their plan would be?

    Do you seriously think we should trust the Federales to keep their promises this time?

  • ||

    I don't trust the Feds to do anything. All actions must be watched intently.

    Also, I would expect that most states would end up getting rid of their income taxes if the Feds did.

    I imagine there would be a huge push for that.

  • zoltan||

    Quite an imagination you've got there!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Stop blurring Hucklebee with Huckleberries.

    That's an insult to the berries.

  • ||

    I think a much better fiscal tax policy is a good place to start.

    SPENDING

  • ||

    "That part will happen pretty definitely."

  • Joe-not one of the recent ones||

    And you sir cant stop the signal.
    Or
    Grenades?

  • Yonemoto||

    "feigning interest in small government while sidestepping the root causes of the country's dire fiscal situation."

    You mean the federal reserve?

  • ||

    it's way to early to start picking candidates for 2012.

    These names are only being thrown around because they are familiar.

    At this point, in 2006, everyone thought the race would be Guiliani vs. Clinton.

    For all we know, Rand Paul could have a smashing victory in Kentucky andend up being the GOP nominee.

  • ||

    Thanks, GOP voters, for confirming that I don't have to give a flying fuck about your sorry-ass party any longer.

    These pathetic milquetoast, welfare-state pimpin', empty suited, kulture-warrior mongrels are who you put up as the your best shot? Seriously? What makes you any different from the slobs in charge now?

  • ||

    Let ma add that Romney has no discernible principles whatsoever, Palin is a fucking airhead not qualified to head librarian in Podunk, Gingrich is just a crotchety old man nowadays, and Huckabee remains an ingnorant hillbilly whackjob preacher.

    Maybe the GOP can nominate McCain again.

  • ||

    I hear they might dig up Reagan and have him run.

    Zombie Reagan in '12!

  • Corn Sugar||

    Why drag your mother into this?

  • ||

    No one is talking about Pawlenty. If I had to bet, I would bet on him. I don't think Palin will run. Romney is yesterday's news and will never live down Romneycare. Gingrich is too much of a lose cannon to run an effective campaign. Johnson is too much of a peacenik. And Paul is too old.

    Daniels is a possibility. But he is too establishment Washington. Pawlenty in contrast has a better fiscal record than Daniels as governor and has no ties to Washington to taint him. If he runs, I bet Pawlenty is the guy.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Pawlenty is a GOP-Clinton-like weasel. So I guess that makes him a smart bet.

    I'm sooooo glad to see him go as governor of MN that I haven't even begun to dread the fact that we have 3 equally stupid jerks lining up to replace him.

  • ||

    Really? I see where he got an "A" from the CATO institute for his fiscal policy as governor.

    I honestly don't know that much about him. Why do you say he is a Clinton like crapweasel? What has he done?

  • Anonymous||

    I second this request.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    1) He has a Clinton like shady financial deal with a backer that he has managed to avoid talking about much. He also managed to collect $54K from one of his co-investors in said shady deal as a payment for being a consultant to his buddy's businesses. Of course, no one can point to any work that he did to actually earn the money, but he escaped any harm because it fit through a loophole in the laws.

    2) Earned a $400K fine from the election commission for illegally coordinating his campaign with the GOP party.

    3) When you hear him brag about how he has never raised taxes, remember that he:

    a) Added $0.75 to each pack of cigarettes and called it a "health impact fee". He still refuses to concede that that was a tax increase.

    b) Signed the bill that allowed the Twins to tax the residents of Hennepin county for a new stadium. By state law, the residents of Hennepin were supposed to be able to vote in a referendum on the stadium tax. The Twins and the local county commissioners got a bill in front of the state legislature that overrode that requirement. Of course all the non-Hennepin county legislators approved the tax (your constituents don't pay a dime and they can drive a short distance to a shiny new stadium). Pawlenty signed the bill and again refused to agree that it was any sort of a tax increase. According to him, it was the county commissioners who raised the tax not him.

    In short, he is a slick pol who plays fast and loose with the facts.

    I will admit that he did hold the line against most tax increases. Of course, it isn't hard to look good fiscally when compared to the Dem-Farmer-Labor controlled legislature.

    In fairness, I also have to report that I know several people who know T-Paw personally and they all say he is a very nice guy. I just happen to think he is another say anything to get elected guy.

  • zoltan||

    The other things sound like typical politician crap but: His campaign was fined $400,000 after the State Ethics Board concluded there had been an illegal coordination of campaign ads with the State Republican Party.

    What on earth? Isn't this something you get penalized for in football? What the hell is "illegal coordination" of ads with your own party??!

  • ||

    Wow out of that mess only one of them has went against both the republicans and the democrats to get things that needed done, done.

  • ||

    Wow out of that mess I could not find a coherent sentence.

  • ||

    I remain convinced that the best way to show my support for smaller government isn't to vote for the people who run it.

    The best way to show my support for limited government is to refuse to vote for any of 'em.

  • ||

    How does that help? Do you think the people who run the government give a flying fuck about what percentage of the population voted for them? I don't. I think they just care that they won. There is always going to be someone who votes, even if it is just the candidates' families and those who will get jobs if the right person wins.

    Say 98% of the country followed your advice and didn't vote. The other two percent would vote. And the winning side would proceed to do whatever the hell they wanted and look out for those who did vote at your expense.

  • Cruz||

    It doesn't matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes. - Stalin

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I think that pols would be spooked if they won with only 1.5% of the ballots cast. It would be hard to claim a mandate to do anything when nobody voted for either you or your opponent.

    The best solution would be to have a "None of the Above" option on the ballot. If NOTA option won, then all candidates would be barred from all government offices for the next two years and the winner would be determined by the next day's lottery numbers. Instead of winning $100 million, you would get to be senator. A double-win because it would save money and prove that ANYONE can be a senator.

  • alan||

    Good idea, but at least since the election of Patty Murray that proof has not been in doubt.

  • ||

    "I think that pols would be spooked if they won with only 1.5% of the ballots cast. It would be hard to claim a mandate to do anything when nobody voted for either you or your opponent."

    Now that makes sense.

    What if we all just collectively started ignoring the politicians?

    What if the politicians woke up one day, and everybody just completely ignored them?

    What if they passed laws, and it just didn't matter anymore--because everyone just ignored them? Nobody would watch them on television. Nobody would vote anymore...

    You think that sound unrealistic, John?

    Explain to me how voting for politicians in the hope that they'll stop screwing us makes any more sense.

    That worked once, like thirty years ago. I have a much bigger impact in the decisions I make daily anyway...

    You know who the problem is? It's people who think we're gonna vote our way out of our problems.

    It's like talking to Moonies. The first step in making sure you don't get sucked into a personality cult? Admit you have a problem.

    Anybody who thinks voting for somebody will solve our problems is half way to being a moonie already.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or you could vote for third party candidates. I hear there's a party that actually comes close to your views. They might be incompetent idiots, but so are the people currently in power.

  • ||

    So long as there are people who say that election results legitimize their right to screw me over, I will continue to refuse to participate in those elections...

    It's only rational.

    It doesn't matter who wins--they're going to screw me. It doesn't matter who I vote for--whoever wins is going to use the election as the justification for screwing me.

    Not me anymore. There's no way to vote for someone who won't screw me--and they always screw me. So I'm not givin' 'em a leg to stand on.

    If voting for whoever wins legitimizes them screwing me--and voting against them legitimizes screwing me too through my participation...

    Then let's see how they legitimize screwing us when enough of us don't participate.

    Not voting justifies screwing me too? Everything they do against me, they do against my will. I never legitimized any of it. I will never legitimize their authority over me.

    I do not respect their authoritay!

    I do more influencing friends and family than my vote would ever count for anyway. If they want to legitimize their authority to screw me--they're gonna have to do it without my help.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Here, have a Kleenex and dry the fuck up.
    And this is bullshit. Voting can matter. It mattered here in Canada when we elected fiscally-conservative Libs in '93, it mattered here in BC when we elected right-wing libs in 2001, and it mattered over in Britain when they saved the country by voting for Thatcher in '79. So stop crying.

  • ||

    Give me a Reagan or a Thatcher to vote for and I'll think about it...

    ...but I don't see a Reagan or a Thatcher in sight!

    I want a rabid, vicious, unapologetic capitalist pig--and I'll never vote for anything short of that.

    You show me someone like that--someone who'll make the bureaucrats riot in the streets--and I'll think about voting again.

    Until then? Every vote is a vote for legitimizing the office--and I want to see that legitimacy fall apart from the inside...I sure as hell don't want to contribute to it.

    They have not right to do what they do. ...and I'm not about to give 'em a right--why would I do that?

    Stop licking the hand that steals from you. It isn't just irrational.

    It's disgusting.

  • Max||

    So the big libertarian hope is a boring old racist fuck with a fization of the gold standard. Jesus!

  • Corn Sugar||

    Thank you for your comment. Rest assured, we value your input.

  • zoltan||

    You are every bit as important as everybody else.

  • Cruz||

    A CPA talking about the fair tax reminds me of that phrase: "If you're only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

    Income tax is what? 1 Trillion dollars minus the compliance costs. Healthcare is bigger than that. If you were to do some "Austerity" you could kill the income tax entirely and replace it with nothing.

    Isn't "Fair Tax" an oxymoron?

  • Cruz||

    your* too

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I have this slight feeling that Jim Douglas may try to run in 2012. I have to admit, I consider voting for him. I'd need to find out what some of his national levels views are, since they didn't really come up while he was governor of VT.

  • ||

    Palin is the premier fiscal conservative in the pack because the facts prove it.

    http://www.conservatives4palin.....iscal.html

    Also, she is the Tea Party Candidate because she was a Constitutionalist long before the Tea Party came around, even consulting original founders of Alaska's state constitution for intentions.

    Mr. Suderman, you are one LAZY columnist.

  • ||

    Here are Palin's accomplishments as governor in ONLY 2.5 years.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3544.....plishments

  • ||

    Palin cut spending. It is a fact. If you do not like her, that is your business, but please do not accuse her of something and then fail to provide any evidence.

  • ||

    Some of your Ron Paul fans are idiots. I would vote for Romney but not Palin. Are you guys idiots or what? Romney is further away from Ron Paul than Palin is, but somehow you have convinced yourself that you can live with Romney but not Palin? Out of all the potential candidates. Palin is by far the closest to Ron Paul. Do you see any other fighting for tea party candidates and helping them win?

  • ||

    Conservatives4Palins response to this article is deserved.

  • ||

    No evidence to substantiate the Palin remarks. Pure hatchet job. TERRIBLE journalism, as I have come to expect.

  • LibertyBill||

    Wait, wait, wait. Reason is surprised that Conservatives loves statists that were Red??!!! Color me shocked!

  • ||

    Nice try on Ron Paul, but he's a huge porker. Loves bringing federal dollars back to his state. Doesn't sound very fiscally conservative to me. Sarah Palin is gonna get the Repub nom, so you better get used to the idea. No one else has a chance against her. Definitely not these guys. The next President needs to be bold so that we can make our country stronger again. Sarah Palin is that person.

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