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Archive for January 10th, 2011

Wonder what you would find if you frisked the CATO Institute’s Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors in 2010?

Answer: The only A Students were South Carolina’s Mark Sanford (R), Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal (R), Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty (R), and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin (D).

This report was originally released back in September 2010 when I was interning at the National Republican Senatorial Republican Senatorial (NRSC) so I never had the time to blog about the report’s findings. Fortunately, I was just reminded of this detailed and fascinating report, because Nick Gillespie – from Reason Magazine – recently sat down with Chris Edwards, the CATO Institute’s director of tax policy studies, for an interview.

Here is the CATO Institute’s introduction to its recent Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors in 2010:

State governments have had to make tough budget choices in recent years. Tax revenues have stagnated as a result of the poor economy, and that has prompted governors to take a variety of fiscal actions to close large budget gaps. Some governors have cut spending to balance their budgets, while others have pursued large tax increases.

That is the backdrop to this 10th biennial fiscal report card of the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2008. It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records — governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

Here are the only four governors to receive an A:

And here are the not-so-lucky seven governors to receive a F:

Quite frankly, I am not shocked to see a majority of the failed governors coming out of the Democratic Party. After all, tax and spend are their two favorite words when it comes to public policy (Joe Manchin being an exception).

Personally, I recommend that you read the entire report, but the three individuals I am most focused on are the top three Republicans who received an A: Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. Why? It’s simple… They are (or were) potential candidates for the 2012 presidential election.

Mark Sanford, one of the biggest supporters of spending restraint and pro-growth tax reforms, used to be my top pick to go up against President Obama in the upcoming 2012 election. Unfortunately, my high-hopes were crushed when the governor decided to mysteriously disappear to go hookup with his Argentinean mistress. Either way, I think other Republican governors and potential candidates could learn a lot about spending restraints from Gov. Sanford’s record.

Bobby Jindal is another Republican governor who has been strong on tax and spending policies. Although his policies have remained consistently strong, I lost all interest in him as a presidential candidate after his boring and uninspiring response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. That mindset, however, has slowly changed over the past two years. Jindal’s response to the Gulf oil disaster has shown that he can be a true leader. It will be interesting to see if he decides to run in 2012.

Lastly, there is Tim Pawlenty who is currently one of my top picks to run against President Obama in 2012. The man has done a remarkable job in Minnesota which is not known for its Republican-friendly political environment. Even with Minnesota’s left leaning legislature, Pawlenty has been able to cut spending during a recession and has refused to raise taxes on his constituents. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, Pawlenty is currently an underdog compared to other top Republican candidates, such as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney. Personally, I remain optimistic and think he can compete with the other top Republican candidates… Only time will tell.

If you would like the check out the rest of the Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors in 2010, click here.

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Wonder what you would find if you frisked some of the Democrat groups out there?

Answer: They are using Saturday’s shooting as a fundraising tool.

This is absolutely appalling. Warner Todd Huston – from Big Government – reports:

An extreme, left-wing Democrat group calling itself 21st Century Democrats has had the gall to send out an email blast using as a fundraising tool Saturday’s criminal shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Judge John Roll and four others were killed in the incident, one of them a 9-year-old girl, but these Democrats are ignorant enough to be using this incident to try and squeeze donations from its supporters. Some might think the action of 21st Century Democrats is itself a crime — a crime against decency.

The email blast sent out Sunday morning to its supporters tells members that “we don’t know yet” why Jared Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords but goes on to lay the blame on Sarah Palin and Gifford’s opponent in the past election for using “violent imagery” in his campaign.

The email goes on to ask members to “join us in sharing your thoughts and prayers to the Congresswoman and her family by visiting our website where we have set up a page for you to do so.” Naturally once you click on the link you are taken to a page that prominently displays the group’s DONATE NOW button. It is not in the slightest way discreetly designed. As soon as you go to this so-called prayers page you see a large button asking for donations and another one underneath it urging visitors to “sign up” for email blasts and information.

Disgustingly, 21st Century Democrats is using this crime in a fundraising effort.

Don’t believe it? Here’s a screenshot just in case the group decides to scrub it off their website:

Click here to view full image.

This group has no decency.

I suppose they are just following in the footsteps of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, because they are, in his words, not letting a serious crisis to go to waste. Unfortunately, if this group isn’t doing it then others sure are. According to Politico, some Democrats plotted to blame the Tea Party patriots for Saturday’s horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona:

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

Unfortunately for the Democrats, apart from being incredibly insane, all of the evidence is pointing to the fact that Jared Loughner – the shooter – was more left in his political ideology.

*UPDATE* – January 11, 2011 – 10:45 PM.

What is wrong with Democrats? The Weekly Standard reports:

This afternoon Sanders sent out a fundraising appeal, seeking to raise money to fight Republicans and other “right-wing reactionaries” responsible for the climate that led to the shooting.

He writes:

Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country.  I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at www.bernie.org.  There is no question but that the Republican Party, big money corporate interests and right-wing organizations will vigorously oppose me.  Your financial support now and in the future is much appreciated.

Despicable.

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