Rep. Bob Gibbs won’t defund Obamacare

I sent my Congressman, Bob Gibbs (R-OH) an e-mail urging him to join Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and millions of other Americans in their effort to defund Obamacare when the next Continuing Resolution comes up.

Here was his e-mailed reply (the highlights are mine). The vast bulk of his response is the same old “Obamacare is bad and I oppose it” language every Republican says but on which they rarely follow through. The substance is in the lines I highlighted.

August 21, 2013

Dear Alo,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding defunding Obamacare. As your representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this important issue.

As you know, the federal government is currently operating on a continuing resolution through September 30, 2013. Unless the 12 remaining appropriations bills or another continuing resolution (CR) is completed most government functions will cease to operate on October 1st. This has lead to calls from some Senators and Congressman to not take up a CR and allow the shutdown of the federal government to prevent the implementation of Obamacare.

Although it is common misconception there is no dedicated funding stream for Obamacare in a CR. CRs only address discretionary appropriations, not mandatory spending, which makes up the bulk of Obamacare spending. In fact a recent Congressional Research Service report determined a government shutdown would not stop Obamacare due to the large amount of discretion the Administration would have.

I want to be perfectly clear, I oppose Obamacare and I have supported every vote to defund, repeal and stop it. Furthermore, I have co-sponsored over thirty pieces of legislation to repeal the most devastating pieces including the Independent Payment Advisory Board and 1099 provision.

Once fully implemented, Obamacare will cost more than $2 trillion (more than double what was originally estimated), raise taxes by $1.1 trillion, cut Medicare by $716 billion, and add over $700 billion to the deficit. Every day we get closer to its implementation it’s becoming painstakingly clear to Americans how bad this law really is.

Recently, the architect of the bill, Senator Baucus, referred to the law as a train wreck and Health and Human Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius stated she did not anticipate how complicated implementing the president’s healthcare law would be. In light of news the IRS was deliberately targeting certain Americans can we really trust them to be in charge of our healthcare?

Even more telling was the Obama Administration quietly announcing they would delay enforcement of a major provision in Obamacare over the July 4th holiday. By delaying the employer mandate provision, which requires companies with over full time 50 employees to provide healthcare, the President has admitted his healthcare bill is unaffordable and crippling to small businesses. Unfortunately, we will be in the exact same position next year because this does nothing to fix the underlying problems with the law.

Obamacare is not controlling costs as promised. In fact, despite the President’s statement premiums would decrease by $2,500, the average family premium has grown over $3,000 and climbing since 2008. Over 30 studies have concluded the law will make health care premiums more unaffordable in 2014. The Ohio Department of Insurance estimates the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, representing an increase of 88 percent from 2013.

Another promise the President made was if you like your insurance you can keep it. In reality, seven million Americans will lose their job-based health insurance and 30 percent of employers will definitely or likely drop coverage for their workers in 2014. That number increases as employers become more aware of the law.

Then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised that Obamacare would create four million jobs, including 400,000 almost immediately. Yet according to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business, Obamacare could eliminate 1.6 million jobs by 2014 (66 percent of these loses could come from small businesses). These losses are due to the 21 new or higher taxes and regulations contained in Obamacare that will further harm our economy. Even worse the study doesn’t factor in employees whose hours are being reduced in order to comply with these new regulations.

Currently, over 20,000 pages regulations have already been issued or about eight times the length of the original bill. The grim reality is there are hundreds of more regulations to come and no one knows what they will be. Our job creators are citing these unknowns as reasons for planned layoffs and why they cannot expand their business and hire new employees. A recent Gallup Poll of small businesses found 41 percent have frozen any new hires and 19 percent have reduced their workforce due to Obamacare.

While we must lower healthcare costs, Obamacare is not the answer. The President’s flawed healthcare plan does nothing to address rising healthcare costs while adding trillions of dollars in new government spending we cannot afford. Ohioans have overwhelmingly made it very clear that this government takeover of the health care system is not what they had in mind. That is why I voted 40 times to repeal or defund all or part of this harmful legislation since I have been in Congress.

I will continue to fight to repeal this job-killing law and find common ground for competition-driven reforms backed by a majority of Americans that will actually lower healthcare costs and make it more affordable for those who choose to purchase insurance coverage. However, with a federal government shutdown our military members would not receive their pay and certain beneficiaries would experience delays in the processing and payment of their social security benefits. That is just not an acceptable option.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. Please continue to keep me informed on the issues that are important to you. For more information on my work in Congress, or to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, please visit my website at:


Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress


I’ll post a rebuttal of each highlighted claim, but since he’s on the record now, the voters of Ohio’s 7th District deserve to know where he stands.

Mark Levin’s Liberty Amendments

The Liberty Amendments

The quick and dirty summary

You’ll need to read the whole book to properly understand the problems America faces, but here’s the situation in a nutshell. We live in a post-constitutional republic with a federal government that no longer obeys — but sometimes pays lip service to — the US Constitution. Merely electing new politicians to replace the old ones isn’t enough to fix the problem anymore. The system as it stands is rigged against your individual liberty, and unless we fix the system, we’re doomed to live under soft tyranny (defined four years ago here).

Constitutional scholar, lawyer, and radio host Mark Levin urges Americans to use the last resort provided in the Constitution to save the country from tyranny:

Levin aims to change the rules of the game… or, more properly, reset them, to restore the brilliant system put in place by America’s Founders. With the situation explained and his goals set forth in a few introductory pages, he executes the rest of his book with the planning and precision of a SEAL team taking an objective. Each of his proposed “Liberty Amendments” is laid out in a brief chapter that explains its importance, sources it to the writings of the Founding Fathers, and anticipates the more reasonable objections that would likely be raised. Little time is wasted on the unreasonable objections, for Levin does not intend to address an audience of the stupid, greedy, or hysterical. He also knows his statist adversaries are not interested in rationally discussing the death of the Leviathan they nourished for generations.

“What’s he proposing?”

Levin proposes that we use the second of two methods for enacting amendments to the US Constitution, and he offers 11 amendments that would fix the rigged system we’re currently stuck with. If you want to read them by themselves without any background, click here to jump to the end of this post.

For a much more detailed look at why this convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution makes excellent sense, go read the first chapter of The Liberty Amendments, which Levin released for free at the beginning of the month. It’s brief, and everything’s footnoted and explained in detail, including references to historical debates between the Founders. The quotes reveal how and why they drafted Article V of the Constitution, which sets forth the amendment processes.

Here’s the whole carefully-worded text of Article V (emphasis mine):

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Article V, US Constitution

“It’s a Constitutional Convention? Run!”

What we’re talking about here is not a constitutional convention, because there’s no such process set forth in the US Constitution. A constitutional convention is what a people do when they draft a new constitution from scratch. What Levin urges is something different. Look at that red highlighted text again. This would be a a convention for proposing amendments to the constitution, not a convention for tossing the whole thing out and starting over. Let us not hear any wild-eyed warnings against a “Con-Con,” then.

This is simply the second of two constitutional methods for proposing amendments, where the federal government does nothing but clerical work — verifying that 2/3 of the legislatures of the 50 States have called for a convention, and choosing between two ratification methods. True, we’ve never used this method before, but so what? Until now, we’ve enacted 27 amendments, all using the first method where they’re proposed by the US Congress and sent to the States for ratification. Now Congress has completely lost its moorings and no longer responds to our concerns, and it will never propose amendments to limit itself, the President, the federal courts, or the federal bureaucracy. So be it. The Founders wisely left us another constitutional remedy for this problem, one that allows us to rein in our government without violence. That’s all this is.

“But what if the federal government objects?”

Look at the green highlighted text. If the legislatures of 34 out of 50 States apply to the US Congress to call a convention, Congress must do so. There’s no discretion or wiggle room because the operative word is “shall.” It does not say that Congress “may” call a convention … or “should” or “can” or “might if it feels kinda generous.” There’s only a very limited and insignificant role for Congress in this situation — counting to 34, then picking one of two previously-established ratification methods. They can’t monkey around with the content of the amendments, nor can they stop them.

Also notice that neither the President, the Supreme Court, the federal bureaucracy, the lower federal courts, the 50 governors, nor the State courts have any role here. They’re all just spectators. This process barely involves the US Congress, and the legislatures of the 50 States truly run this show. Once 34 States call for a convention to propose amendments, Congress must call a convention, and all 50 States get to send delegates … even the States that didn’t want the convention to begin with.

“What’s to stop a runaway convention?”

If you’re worried about a runaway convention, where the delegates come up with a dozen good amendments and 800 wacky ones, there’s a safeguard. Reread the yellow highlighted text. The proposed amendments must be submitted to the 50 State legislatures or to 50 State conventions (whichever method Congress picks), and not a single amendment gets enacted unless 3/4 of the States ratify it. This is an inherently federalist process. Even if only 34 States call for a convention, they’ll have to get 38 States to ratify an amendment before it’s enacted. That’s a high bar to clear, so it severely limits the odds of wacky or unpopular proposals becoming law.

If you’re still worried that 310 million Americans are prone to enact a bunch of insane amendments to the US Constitution, I don’t know what to tell you. Why haven’t they already done so? Why haven’t they already tossed the Constitution formally, if that’s what they truly want? You’re either out of touch with reality (because you’re mistaken about your countrymen) or you’ve got no hope to begin with (because you can’t stop 310 million people from tossing the Constitution tomorrow at 6:00 if they want to).

Recent experience suggests that the activists on both sides are the one who will get involved, and the lazy majority will eat their Cheetos and watch reality TV. And here’s where things get promising.

“C’mon. How can this possibly work?”

While utopian statists have a death grip on the federal government, we constitutional conservatives and libertarians outnumber them at the grassroots level. Our ranks crush theirs. This process stacks the deck in our favor because it completely bypasses the masterminds in Washington, DC. Without that giant bludgeon, the statists have nothing. You and I have a snowball’s chance in Hell of meeting — much less persuading during an in-depth conversation — our US Representative or either of our US Senators. But our State Representative and our State Senator? That’s an entirely different ball game. It’s relatively easy to get their attention. None of them lives far from you. Odds are that none of them is very rich or very powerful. Neither does any of them have a bloated staff of underlings dedicated to protecting them from your influence. Very few people go to them for anything these days, largely because all the action’s in Washington where the federal Leviathan has sucked up all the money and power and oxygen.

You have proportionately huge influence over your state legislators. Use it.

“OK, but what do I do?”

Call your State Representative’s office and ask for a meeting. Call your State Senator and tell them you want to have a chat face to face. See what happens. A significant chunk of State legislators already want to see more authority returned to the States where it belongs, and that makes them your allies. Call yours and set up a meeting with each.

If they won’t see you, find five people who share your goals and call back again. They’ll schedule the meeting.

If saving the Republic and your individual liberties is worth $31.62 to you, grab two copies of The Liberty Amendments and write your name, e-mail, phone number, and on the inside cover of each book. Give one to your State Rep and the other to your State Senator, and tell them you’d like them to read it. Tell them you’ll be in touch in a month to discuss how to get the ball rolling.

When you have your second meeting, suggest that they co-sponsor a simple resolution that says something like …

Rescinding all previous such applications, the Legislature of the State of _______ hereby applies to the United States Congress to call a Convention for Proposing Amendments to the United States Constitution.

That’s it. Get that started in your State House and in your State Senate, then get cosponsors. Get a majority in one body, then in the other. Once you get the same language passed though each body, you’re done.

One State down, 33 to go … and the other 33 aren’t your responsibility.

“So once the convention is called, what kinds of amendments would we need?”

Here are the eleven amendments Mark Levin came up with. I think they’d go a very long way toward fixing the rigged system we’re currently stuck with, and they would reverse this slide into tyranny.

Nine out of the eleven really warm my heart. I have a different amendment in mind that would balance the budget and limit spending and taxation, but I’m just one guy. I could easily live with Levin’s two spending and taxing amendments instead. Hell, who’s to say you haven’t got better ideas?

Just consider this: if you’re one of the first people to get this ball rolling in your State, who do you suppose might get a call from your State Rep or State Senator when it’s time for them to choose delegates for the convention? Imagine being involved in making history, and in a good way! So go buy two copies, read one, make your two phone calls, and go hand the books to your legislators.

We can save the Republic, but someone has to start the ball rolling. If not you … then who?

Ohio state senators introduce “assault weapons” ban

Five of Ohio’s 33 state senators want to ban so-called “assault weapons.” Here’s the definition they propose in Senate Bill 18:

Sec. 2923.171. (A) No person shall knowingly possess or acquire any assault weapon.

(D) As used in this section, “assault weapon” means an automatic firearm that has not been rendered permanently inoperable, a semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges, and a semi-automatic firearm with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept ten or more cartridges.

This definition includes most pistols and rifles, and some shotguns. Notice that they don’t seek to ban “high-capacity” magazines, but rather any guns that accept them. If you’re a gun grabber and want to get rid of Firearm X, you need only build a ten-round mag that fits it (hire a machinist, baby!), and ta-daaa! It’ll be illegal to possess or acquire that gun in Ohio.

Also note that there’s no grandfather clause for current owners of so-called “assault weapons,” nor for collectors of vintage firearms.

Read the bill and you’ll also see a broad provision for a new “firearm and ammunition transactions database” too.

Sec. 109.5731. The attorney general shall prepare for the establishment and operation of a firearm and ammunition transactions database that will be maintained by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation. The attorney general shall establish the database in conformity with the requirements of any act that is enacted by the general assembly.

I wonder why the state government might be interested in who buys, sells, and owns guns and ammunition? First comes registration, then comes confiscation.

The state senators responsible for this disaster are Shirley Smith (D – Cleveland), Nina Turner (D – Cleveland), Mike Skindell (D – Lakewood), Eric Kearney (D – Cincinnati), Edna Brown (D – Toledo), and Charleta Tavares (D – Columbus). Get on the phones, people. Stop this before it gains momentum.

7:00 AM Update: More from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

7:15 AM Update: This is a Madsen-Rasmussen M1896 Self-Loading Rifle. It’s 117 years old.


Under S.B. 18, this rare antique would be defined as an illegal “assault weapon” in Ohio.

Ohio Republicans who voted to raise taxes

RINO SeasonThe Congress responded to the fiscal cliff it created by passing a bill that raises taxes by $41 for every $1 of spending cuts.

Our alleged “budget hawk,” US Senator Rob Portman voted “yes.” From our US House delegation, John Boehner, Bob Latta, Bill Johnson, Steve LaTourette (outgoing), Steve Stivers, and Pat Tiberi all voted “yes” to increase your taxes. These gentlemen all deserve to be primaried out of office when they stand for reelection in 2014.

Kudos to Ohio’s Republican US Representatives who stood strong and voted “no.” That would be Steve Austria (outgoing), Steve Chabot, Bob Gibbs, Jim Jordan, Jim Renacci, and Jean Schmidt (outgoing).

I’ll post the text of the bill once it’s available. You see, Congress also violated its pledge to post all legislation for public review online for 72 hours before voting on it.

Is it any wonder that Congress has a 5% approval rating?

Proposed GOP rule change would neuter the party’s base (Updated)

If the Rules Committee has its way at the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential nominee will be able to substitute delegates of his or her choice for the delegates from each of the states and territories duly chosen by the local parties.

Here’s the e-mail I sent to Ohio’s two representatives on the Rules Committee.

Mr. Bennett,

I’m writing to you in your capacity as one of Ohio’s two delegates on the 2012 RNC Rules Committee. I am a registered Republican in [city redacted], OH. I’m also a grassroots conservative activist & blogger. This major problem caught my attention today:

I OPPOSE the rules change that will give future presidential campaigns control over who gets to be a delegate (current RULE 15, but being renumbered to 16) and I OPPOSE the new RULE 12 which allows the RNC to change the rules at any time between conventions.

The grassroots members of the GOP should select the delegates, not the party’s nominee. I urge you to sign the minority reports on Rules 15 & 12.

We are paying attention back here.

Mr. Alo H. Konsen
[address redacted]
Twitter: @akonsen

If you’re a conservative Republican and want to take action before the Rules Committee slides this change into effect at 2 PM on Tuesday the 28th, you’d better get moving. Follow that link to Michelle Malkin’s site up above and read the whole post. You can find your state’s two delegates on the Rules Committee here.

Yes, it’s annoying. The RINOs are counting on you being too annoyed, busy, and distracted to resist their power grab. Just copy and adapt my message to your needs and let them know you oppose cutting the grassroots out of the nominating process. Two e-mails from you can yank them back to responsible behavior.

8/28 2:30 PM Update: Bob Bennett (@RTBGOP) just responded. This just hit my inbox.

Thank you for your email. The good news is that with your help we have been able to kill the changes you objected to. The rule would not have had impact in Ohio, however, as usual Ohio’s voice and leadership was sought and you helped provide it.

Tomorrow the full rules committee will eliminate the change in the rules regarding the delegate selection process and thus eliminate the need for the minority report. Your point was well taken.

Thank you again for your email.

8/29 Update: The grassroots have been stomped by the GOP establishment. Again.

Why won’t Sherrod Brown take credit for passing Obamacare?

Today should be a happy day for Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, the Democrat whose vote pushed Obamacare over the finish line in March of 2010. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it today. There was a time way back in October 2010 ancient history when Sherrod Brown urged his fellow Democrats to run for election with the passage of Obamacare as their main campaign theme.

But a funny thing has happened in the 20 months since: Sherrod Brown doesn’t talk about Obamacare anymore. Notice anything missing from these two screen shots (taken an hour ago) of his Twitter activity?

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

If you peruse the press releases on his campaign web site, you’ll find no mentions of Obamacare. On his Senate site, you’ll see a prime example of spreading the blame:

“Supreme Court Justices appointed by presidents of both parties today made an independent legal judgment to uphold the health law. I hope today’s ruling will put an end to the partisan bickering so that we can continue our focus on jobs and improving the economy” Brown said.

Translation: “Don’t blame me and my party for this abomination. Let’s talk about something else. Please.” If you manage to confront him in person and ask him about his instrumental support for Obamacare — without which it would not have passed — his response will be the following:

Look! Shiny object!

C’mon, Senator, man up for once. Own it. Obamacare is your baby.

Would George Washington call out the National Guard against the Tea Party?

Progressive Twitter gadfly and public employee union fan Brian Higgins seems to think so:

Brian T. Higgins

First, refresh your memory about the Whiskey Rebellion:

President George Washington issued a congressionally authorized proclamation ordering the rebels [resisting federal whiskey taxes in western Pennsylvania] to return home and calling for militia from four neighbouring states. After fruitless negotiations, Washington ordered some 13,000 troops into the area, but opposition melted away and no battle ensued. Troops occupied the region and some of the rebels were tried, but the two convicted of treason were later pardoned by the president.

Now ask yourself a few questions. Have the Tea Partiers burned down anybody’s home, as the Whiskey Rebellion did? Have the Tea Party activists committed any violent acts at all? Have they committed any crimes, period? Have they even left litter behind after their rallies? Do they deserve to be prosecuted for treason?

The answer to each question is obviously no.

20120612-084909.jpgSo why does Brian Higgins, who describes himself as a classified staffer for Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine, think George Washington would call out the National Guard to suppress the Tea Party? The National Guard is the modern organized militia, after all. Could it be that Mr. Higgins simply despises his political opponents so intensely that he fantasizes about having them beaten into silence? A reasonable person could conclude as much from his statement.

Should he choose to retract, revise, or reiterate his opinion on the justification for suppressing the Tea Party through military force, I’ll update this post. If he drops his post down the memory hole, I’ll point that out too.

Your turn, Mr. Higgins.

Bust Ohio public employee unions in 2013

Governor Scott Walker’s resounding victory in Wisconsin yesterday speaks volumes. It was a battle with constitutional conservatism and fiscal sanity on one side, and parasitic government employee unions on the other. Given that Walker and company won in Wisconsin, the home of the modern progressive movement, we should try to do the same here in Ohio.

We lost the SB5 battle a few months back, but we haven’t lost the war. If our side tweaks the proposed legislation to exempt the union privileges of police, firefighters, and first responders, we’ll have many more supporters. We should make sure that the new law prohibits mandatory public union membership and mandatory dues collection. We should also remind people that we correctly predicted there would be widespread layoffs among teachers and other public employees if SB5 was repealed … and it’s still happening.

We probably can’t get everything we want in one fell swoop. We should achieve what we can next year, and when the voting public sees how the state budget and local budgets retreat from the brink, we can push for more — namely, evisceration of the unions for police, firefighters, and first responders.

If Ohio can try again in 2013, we’ll almost certainly benefit from economies of scale. Every conservative governor and legislature watched the fight in Wisconsin, and today they’re thinking “If Wisconsin can win against the public union thugs, why can’t we?” The full might and fury of the nationwide union machine rained down on Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature … and failed. Now imagine the union response when five, ten, or twenty states simultaneously apply the Wisconsin Strategy. The union thugs will be forced to divide their dwindling resources, and their natural constituency will be weaker here in middle-of-the-road Ohio than in über-liberal Wisconsin. What an opportunity to apply maximum force to the opponent’s weakest point!

One more optimistic factor: a 2013 special election will be dominated by activists. 2012 is a presidential election year, so we’ll see high turnout among low-information voters. Next year, grassroots conservative activists have a much better opportunity to push the electorate because we’ll be a larger percentage of the folks who actually show up to vote. The low-information voters will stay at home to watch American Idol and the Kardashians. Leftists will be listless and demoralized if Barack “I’m A Cool Celebrity” Obama suffers defeat, making them less likely to go to the polls.

It took decades for progressives to eat away at our constitutional republic. Restoring it will take decades too. We have been asleep too long, but it’s not too late to cure the cancer that ails America. Next year we can excise a big chunk of the malignant tumor known as the public employee unions.

Time to get back to work.

Do we have a revenue problem?

Take a look at the average American’s share of federal revenue and spending from 1920 to now, adjusted for inflation to the value of a dollar in the year 2005. Click the chart to see it at full size.

We do not have a revenue problem

Since around 1995, the amount of revenue Uncle Sam has been able to squeeze out of the average American has leveled off between $6000 and $8000 per year, suggesting that we’ve hit the practical limit. Historically, the most revenue the federal government can expect to raise is an average of 18% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product; the entire annual American economy). In brief boom times or during existential threats like World War II, the federal government can squeeze more than 18% out of the economy, but it never lasts long. No matter how hard Uncle Sam tries, the biggest average chunk he can grab is locked in at 18% of the economy, because people respond to taxes.

In the seventeen years since 1995, Uncle Sam’s borrowing and spending has not leveled off. The average American’s share is past $10,000 per year and climbing. Our debt is piling up faster than we can repay it. The “recovery” from the late 2008 economic crash has been flat for years, but Uncle Sam keeps pushing the gas pedal down as we drive toward the edge of the cliff.

There is no more revenue to be had.

Squeezing blood from a stoneIf the federal government raises taxes it can only collect more than 18% of the economy for a short period, and then revenue will drop again, as always. If the government keeps borrowing — or tries to print boatloads of money — to feed its spending addiction, the inflation rate will skyrocket. That will destroy the value of the dollar, which will destroy the economy and your life’s savings.

As long as “money out” is a bigger number than “money in,” the national debt will grow and you’ll be on the hook for it. It will sink the economy as surely as that iceberg sank the Titanic. “Money in” is not going to get bigger, but “money out” absolutely will keep getting bigger as long as we keep sending the same progressives to Washington. They won’t stop themselves. Only we can stop them by replacing them with sane people who will reduce “money out” until it’s a lot lower than “money in,” and keep it there for generations. We can either take our medicine now and have an unpleasant experience, or we can keep deceiving ourselves and watch America collapse. There is no third option. The insane big-spending politicians in Washington are going to ruin your life and your children’s lives unless you stop them. Listen to the warning and save your country and your family.

We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either misinformed, a fool, or a liar.

The do-nothing Senate

The House of Representatives (242 Republicans, 192 Democrats) has passed a budget every year and sent it to the Senate. The Senate (53 Democrats, 47 Republicans) has refused to pass a budget for 1,057 days and counting. Passing a budget in the Senate requires 51 votes.  Remind me again: which one is the do-nothing party?

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sure is a useful tool.

Obama and Reid

But hey, to hear our own Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tell it, passing a budget isn’t all that meaningful.

Is Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) a conservative? (Updated)

Guest PostHave you noticed that every candidate in the GOP primary is a “conservative” now?

Clearly, they know what to say. They might even know what to do. But getting them to actually do what’s needed most – take the initiative to rein in federal spending – means voters will have to wise up.

Ohio’s Congressional District 2 is represented by Jean Schmidt, who calls herself a conservative and boasts of big-name endorsements and high scores from conservative watchdog groups.

But how many actual conservatives got elected to Congress the first time around with the benefit of $37,000 in Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee money? (Source: 1 2 3 contributions)

What is conservative about earmarking $14.6 million, the most of any Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky member of the House, in 2007’s congressional spending bills? (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 7, 2007)

How can one claim to be a fiscal conservative while supporting $25 million in federal spending on a local park? (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, May 1, 2007) Note that this occurred when the federal debt was approaching $9 trillion.

In 2009, Rep. Schmidt requested more than $10 million in District 2 spending as part of a pork-laden bill, prompting nearby District 8’s Rep. John Boehner – who has publicly sworn off earmarking – to urge President Obama to veto the entire bill. (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, Mar. 6, 2009)

Interestingly, in 2010 Rep. Schmidt cited Congressional overspending as her reason for voting against extending the Bush tax cuts. (Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 18, 2010) The problem for her, it seems, was that everybody except Rep. Schmidt was spending too much money.

Yet, as Rep. Boehner’s record illustrates, a Congressman does not have to treat the U.S. Treasury as a personal printing press in order to get re-elected.

In fact, as the video Alo kindly linked below explains, 85 percent of Congress consists of “safe seats,” solid-red and solid-blue districts where the winner of the right primary is virtually certain to win in November.

Add that only 1 in 10 registered voters participate in the primaries, and it’s clear that only 5 percent of the electorate (or, a majority of primary voters) actually chooses most of Congress.

So, all a GOP incumbent has to do in most districts is convincingly don the “conservative” mantle through the primary, then go back to politics as usual. Congress is full of such representatives. They get high scores from ACU and other organizations, but they don’t actually take initiative to get Washington under control. Why bother, if the primary voters aren’t paying attention? It’s hard work, turning a ship that big around.

But that’s what will have to happen. Voters will have to realize they’ve been sending the same go-alongs and earmarkers to Congress every two years, expecting a different result.

Some incumbents, such as Rep. Schmidt, actually have credible primary challengers this time around. Many incumbents do not. Hence, the attention this particular contest has drawn from people concerned about the impending fiscal disaster that few in Congress seem ready to head off.

Are you a primary voter? Are you ready to change the course of Washington? Your chance occurs on March 6.

Michael Smith
Campaign for Primary Accountability

2:15 PM Update (Alo Konsen): Hello, Representative Schmidt. Nice to see you.

Hello, Rep. Schmidt!

The financial wizardry of Sherrod Brown

I was just checking the latest posts over at Ace of Spades HQ and saw the following. Click it to zoom in:
Sherrod Brown advertises on conservative blog
My own senior U.S. Senator, the radically left-wing utopian Sherrod Brown, apparently thinks it’s a smart move to spend campaign funds on ads at conservative blogs. This genius has already shown that he’s supremely confident in his ability to spend your money better than you can, since he’s delighted to grow every conceivable government program or entitlement you can dream up (except for national defense, which he’d like to gut). Is it any surprise that he’s equally profligate when it comes to spreading around that sweet, sweet union cash?
Let me know when his challenger Josh Mandel starts buying ads on Democratic Underground, won’t you? I’ll try my best not to hold my breath while I wait.
Barack Obama and Sherrod Brown

Turnout for today’s election

According to the poll workers at my little precinct, where I’m routinely the last voter of the day, today’s turnout was 675, with 176 voting absentee. That’s high for an off-year election. It just keeps going up every time.

What is Ohio’s Issue 3 all about?

Here it is in a nutshell:

Do you want to keep health care decisions between patients and doctors, and not politicians and bureaucrats? Do you want the freedom to choose the care and insurance that best fits your own needs? If so, vote yes on Issue 3, the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment.

Unless Issue 3 passes, this is what your health care system will look like.

And no, you will not get to keep your private insurance, because all private insurance plans will be crowded out by the government. You will be forced to join Obamacare if Issue 3 is defeated. If Issue 3 passes, we have a chance to defeat Obamacare and preserve your control over your relationship with your doctor, your insurer, and your employer.

Why vote “yes” on Ohio’s Issue 2?

Government employee unions are inherently corrupt, and they don’t care that cities across Ohio are going broke under the weight of pensions and health care expenses demanded by fat cat union bosses. Don’t fall for the myths they spread about the supposed evils of Issue 2. Don’t accept their dishonest scare tactics blindly and emotionally without thinking it all the way through.
Here are five good reasons to vote yes in tomorrow’s election:

  1. Strengthening Communities
  2. Safer Neighborhoods
  3. Rewarding Our Best Teachers
  4. Giving Teachers a Choice
  5. Restoring Power to Taxpayers

If Issue 2 fails to pass, you’re going to feel it in your wallet (an average of $6150 for each Ohioan), and you’re going to see it in layoffs of police, firemen, EMS crews, and teachers (because without Issue 2, cities cannot afford to employ them all).