Is The Tea Party Dead Or Alive?

There’s a proclamation being shouted across the land. Have you heard it? The Tea Party is dead. This declaration is being put forth by a variety of dubious sources. It comes from agenda driven liberals, the Republican establishment and uninformed bloggers. This presumption is based upon intentional misinformation by those with an agenda and it is based upon faulty analysis by those that don’t.

It has been three years since the movement first burst onto the national scene. After dominating the headlines for more than a year, the movement, according to these babbling bloggers, has wilted and died. There is no credible evidence presented, no autopsy report, no cause of death explained. No, apparently the pronouncement is based upon the shallow and amateurish observation that, after last year’s debt ceiling showdown, there is a lack of headlines.

To us, living in the age of 24/7 news cycle and having information accessible in seconds via the internet, three years seems like a long time. And therein, lies the rub. To fill this absolutely massive niche, the media, to stay relevant and survive, has been forced to change. The mission now is to have something, anything, out there to be consumed. True journalism, based upon investigation, corroboration and objectivity has devolved into opinion-ism. The journalist has been forced to make room for the spin-doctor and the interview has been replaced by shouting matches. Today it is far more important to have something to actually publish than something to actually say. No, a lack of silly, ultimately meaningless headlines thrust upon us by movement haters with an agenda, does not prove the movement is dead. Uncountable government policies have been approved or rejected without the appropriate headlines. It doesn’t mean they aren’t real. Furthermore, a lack of public presence as a result of less rallies doesn’t mean it’s dead. A lack of rallies can be interpreted another way, that marches and speeches were fine to start but it is time to get down to business (we’ll explore this shortly).

The Tea Party is not a political party. It is a movement. It is a collection of vastly different folks from across this massive country, with a handful of common ideas and concerns. From a political perspective this is a weakness because the movement lacks cohesion, can send mixed messages and has no leader to serve as a rallying point. But it is also a strength. A leaderless movement, lacking a specific target, is less vulnerable to attack. Ask yourself, just how many headlines, articles and interviews can be presented with sweeping generalizations about the movement being racist before it becomes repetitive and boring? You see, there comes a point of diminishing returns. If you are in the business of attracting an audience being repetitive and mundane is a fatal flaw.

One can present the idea, and I will, that the Republican administrations of Bush, Sr. and Bush, Jr., were embarrassing, if not insulting, to many registered Republicans. Add the Democratic administrations of Clinton and Obama and you have a situation wherein, Republican conservatives have been getting their butt kicked for some twenty years. How much political correctness and nanny-state policy do Democrat and the Republican establishment expect them to endure? Is it any wonder that Obama’s national health-care, ridiculous spending and intentional disregard for the Constitution set them off?

Enduring two decades of insult is painful. But it is also educational. Many valuable lessons can be learned from twenty years of disregard. And conservatives have learned one of the most important: you start from the ground up. Most on the left refuse to believe conservatives have any staying power because they see them as nothing more than red-necks, racists or religious zealots clinging to their guns and Bibles. But the Republican establishment knows the truth, and they are concerned. You don’t dust-off a relic like Bob Dole during the primary season unless you’re feeling threatened. And as further proof, I’ll remind you of the 2010 elections.

Take a survey from the American people about those elections and far too many won’t know anything about them. Some, a bit more informed, will respond correctly, that it was eye-opening because of the change in the House. Republicans needed 39 Democratic seats to win back the U.S. House and almost doubled it, exceeding the goal easily. Other Americans, even better informed, realize that in the Senate, Republicans fell just three seats short of taking control. This occurred, of course, under the umbrella of a liberal president supposedly “given a mandate for change” from the people. Yet, even this is a surface level understanding of what actually happened during November, 2010.

The reality being hidden from the American people by liberal-leaning media, and rarely touched upon by babbling bloggers, is the fact that the 2010 elections were an utter disaster for Democrats, going way beyond losing the House and being threatened in the Senate. Fueled by the conservative movement, Republicans gained 680 seats in state legislative races. Republicans now control 25 state legislatures compared to 15 controlled by Democrats. Five states switched to GOP control in both chambers and Republicans took control of 29 of the 50 State Governorships. Clearly, this sounds a little more significant than just “Republicans won the House”, yes? Let’s not forget, a big bonus from massive legislative wins means having the ability to redraw Congressional districts. This makes it much more difficult for targeted incumbents to get re-elected. You don’t think Barney Frank is retiring because he’s tired of power, do you? He’s jumping from a sinking ship. Eighteen Democrats have announced they are retiring. Why? Could it be that, like Barney Frank, most of them see the writing on the wall?

However, as a fledgling movement based upon principle and ideas, not on candidate names, conservatives often found themselves in a tight spot. Do you choose an established politician or an inexperienced newcomer as your candidate? So, mistakes were made. But another valuable lesson was learned. It is important not to rush, to take your time and develop your candidates. The ideas from the movement are applied to the candidate, not the other way around. And that is why the Republican establishment as much as the left, would like you to believe the Tea Party is dead. Career Republican politicians know they are in peril. If they maintain the status quo, and the conservative movement pushes forward, they are on the chopping block. It is better for them to try and discredit it and stop it now, while it is in its infancy.

In order to establish meaningful change, not just some junker policy passed to shut the public up, you must start at the bottom. You build the foundation of a house first, then install walls and a roof. In nature, plants send down roots before stems and flowers. Already, just 13 months removed from the mid-terms we are seeing changes. Do not be fooled by the lefties and their constant whining of grid-lock. In order to turn around a runaway train the first thing you need to do is stop it. But there is more. We see significant budget, union-busting, and voter-fraud movements from states and cities throughout the country. I ask you, seriously, what was expected from the Tea Party within a year or two, a president? Not likely.

At this stage, the focus must be recruiting volunteers, holding seminars and examining legislation on the local and state levels. This is not glamorous and it is certainly not headline material for NBC. But it is necessary. The conservative movement is seeking a change in the country. And with enough change at the local and state levels a conservative presidency will come. It will be inevitable.

The reality is the conservative movement, symbolized by the Tea Party, is not dead. It is being ignored by those that won’t acknowledge it in hopes that, by doing so, it will fade away. It is also being hidden from you by those that fear it and it is being done an injustice by uninformed, babbling bloggers. If the Tea Party movement is dead why is the conservative influence so palatable? We know it is because RINO Mitt Romney talks of dumping Obama-care while on the other side of the stage, thirty year, belt-way insider Newt Gingrich is talking about chopping government agencies. There is no doubt, Tea Party members would enjoy a true conservative candidate. But they also clearly understand that there exists degrees of preference. A conservative candidate is better than a moderate, a moderate better than a RINO. And as for the presidency, a Republican is preferable to a Democrat. And therefore, it is an electable Republican president that is the important goal this year. A conservative would be ideal but is not absolutely critical because the reality is, all of the current Republican candidates know to whom they must answer.

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30 Years Later and America Again Needs Leaders Who Can Create Another Economic Recovery Tax Act

Jack F. KempBookmark and Share     Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut Act of 1981. The bill’s official legislative name was the Economic Recovery Tax Act. The legislation was authored by Jack Kemp in conjunction with Senator William Roth. Both men were co-sponsors of the legislation but Jack Kemp was the main architect and  the man  credited for  “selling Reaganomics to Ronald Reagan.”    Then Congressman Jack Kemp, had introduced the Economic Recovery Tax Act in the House, several times before  the 1981 legislative session, but Democrat Congressional leaders and a Democrat President failed to move on it.

But once Reagan became President, he took the initiative to act on it and successfully pushed The Kemp-Roth bill through Congress. Were it not for Reagan, the economy-saving legislative initiative may never have passed, but were it not for Jack Kemp, it may never have existed in a way that was quite as strong and definitive as it wound up being.

The Kemp-Roth Tax Cut amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and was responsible for encouraging the economic growth through:

  • The reduction of individual tax rates;
  • By expensing depreciable property; and
  • Creating incentives for savings and other small businesses.

The main features of the Act were responsible for:

  • Reducing the tax rates by 25% over three years;
  • Accelerating depreciation deductions;
  • Indexing of individual income tax parameters;
  • Excluding income of two earner married couple by 10 %;
  • Reducing windfall profit taxes; and
  • And expanding provisions for employees stock ownership plans.

Once enacted, the days of malaise that existed under the old tax code during the Carter years, turned into the days of rejuvenation. It took a while to actually turn the economy around but it didn’t take as long as many predicted and once the economy did turn the corner, it took off.  Once it began in November of 1982,  and lasted 92 months without a recession until July of 1990, and set a  record for the longest peacetime expansion ever.  This histroy of so-called Reaganomics greatly contrats the Obamanomics of today.  While the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth during  the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has only  produced less than half that at 2.8%, and to add insult to injury, the last quarter came in at at a dismal 1.8%. growth  After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more.  After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.

This makes it quite clear that one of the two policiers did better than the other

The Kemp-Roth based plan that created Reaganomics  amounted to one of the most successful economic experiments  in history.  The recovery rstarted in officialyl officiaslly statreted in November 1982,  when the tax increases of the 1990 budget deal killed it.  What is so striking about Obamanomics is how  so utterly antithetica to the Kemp-Roth plan  pursues the opposite of every one of these planks of Reaganomics.  Instead of reducing tax rates, President Obama is committed to raising the top tax rates of virtually every major federal tax.  As already enacted into current law, in 2013 the top two income tax rates will rise by nearly 20%, counting as well Obama’s proposed deduction phase-outs.

As a result, while the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%.  After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more.  After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.

You may be asking yourself what this topic has to do with a site that is covering the 2012 presidential election.  If  so, the answer is simple.  In the 2012 presidential election, the G.O.P. needs to emerge with a nominee who embodies the thinking, persistence,  and courage of  Jack Kemp. 

While Kemp was never a President,  in addition to being an accomplished Congressman, he was a successful Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H. W. Bush.  His most notable accomplishment in that position was his  much touted Urban Enterprise Zone policy which encouraged development in blighted neighborhoods through tax and regulatory relief to entrepreneurs and investors who launched businesses in those blighted areas. This in turn made great strides in bringing back communities that had previously been written off.   

In its entirety, all of Jack Kemp’s work had a positive influence on  our nation that was as great as any President and it all stemmed from his sense of conviction to conservative fiscal policies, his faith in the individual more than government, and his belief that the free market was the true engine of our economy.  And it is that type of thinking that our nation needs more of and now more than ever.

Today our nation is being led by a man who is most likely well intentioned but assuredly misguided.   He and his Party, the American liberal party,  truly believe that government is the economic engine that creates jobs, makes products, and produces sales.  They do not grasp the fact that anything the government does costs, more than it makes and that what it makes is not their money but our money……the taxpayers money.  They do not grasp the fact that we can not continue to spend more than we have and take more from the people than make.  We can not keep on taking from Peter to go give to Paul. In time Peter will go broke and soon after, Paul will too.  Many of us realize that that time is already upon us.  Now we just need a leader like Jack Kemp who understands that and a President like Ronald Reagan who can get government to adopts that thinking.

Jack Kemp is no longer with us , but if he was I am sure he would repeat the following words that he once spoke

“Every time in this century we’ve lowered the tax rates across the board, on employment, on saving, investment and risk-taking in this economy, revenues went up, not down.”

And he would be right.

We need more leaders like Jack Kemp today, but until one is found we have the Kemp legacy to help guide us, and hopefully we will soon have leaders who will see that light that Jack Kemp, William Roth, and Ronald Reagan once shed upon us with their faith in less government, less spending, less taxation, and more freedom.

Today however, on this thirtieth anniversary of the signing in to law of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), I ask that you pay homage to Jack Kemp by visiting a Facebook page that has been dedicated to him, his life, his work, and his legacy. Please visit the Jack F. Kemp Facebook page and press the “like” button. Show your appreciation for him, his leadership and his belief in people more than government, and the free market than the government bureaucracy

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Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.


Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at

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