EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for February 2, 2012
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I’ll be filling in for Neal Boortz today. You can listen live from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Neal’s (and my) flagship radio station, News Talk WSB out of Atlanta by going to http://wsbradio.com. You can call in during that time by dialing 1-877-310-2100.
It is days like today that make me thankful I think they all suck. At least I’m thankful I’m in the firmly not Romney camp.
Having told us only Romney was viable (with half-nods to Huntsman and Santorum) and having trotted out Elliot Abrams to smear Newt Gingrich with out of context quotes, even National Review is having trouble defending their candidate today.
This morning Mitt Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the poor. The poor, after all, have food stamps and Medicaid. But don’t worry. If the safety net is broken, Patrician Mitt Romney will fix it so the poor can stay comfortably poor. After all, just look what he did in Massachusetts. The poor can now wait 44 days to get in to see a doctor. Excelsior!
After making sure we all understood the poor were for the Democrats to be worried about, Romney decided to keep digging his hole even bigger. By the end of the day, Jim DeMint had to rebuke him.
Romney, digging his hole deeper, said his remark needed more context. The context, according to Romney, is that we have government programs to keep the poor . . . well . . . poor but comfortable.
Political analysts have a need to sound expertly and important when it comes to elections. They have to go in depth and explain artfully and deeply why someone won and someone lost.
It was the debates. It was the ground game. It was the strategies. It was the likability versus dislikability of the candidates. On and on they go.
What gets danced around is the money. Money is usually why candidates win or lose. Candidates with the highest favorable name ID usually win. To do that takes lots of money and lots of ads.
For all the hoopla about Mitt Romney’s victory in Florida, it really is not that hard to understand. All you need to understand is the ratio 65 to 1.
When purchasing a product or service, we all like to see the itemized list of charges – one that separates the cost of the purchase from the share going to Uncle Sam through the form of taxes and fees. Needless to say, government bureaucrats don’t like that. They desire that we remain blissfully ignorant of government’s burden on our everyday lives. This is one reason why they concocted the withholdings scheme for income tax collection. Now, they are expanding their tentacles into commercial taxes so they can obfuscate the magnitude of taxes and fees on airfare purchases.
Without much fanfare, the Department of Transportation (DOT) enacted a rule which requires airlines to ensconce all government taxes and fees in a single total advertised price with the fare. For example, if you purchase a $350 plane ticket with $50 of taxes and fees, the DOT is demanding that the airline advertise the price as $400. Airline passengers pay over a dozen taxes and fees on any given airplane ticket, but the government doesn’t want us to know that. The rule was finalized last April, but only took effect last week.
It’s another week in the Senate, and there’s another battle over earmarks. Senators Toomey and McCaskill are proposing an amendment to the STOCK Act (“insider trading bill”S. 2038) to permanently ban earmarks in the Senate. Not surprisingly, there is pushback from Harry Reid…and a number of Republicans as well.
As always, there are those who argue that earmarks are just inconsequential “drop in the bucket” expenditures; that we must focus on more impactful issues.