Articles by " jmelendez"
20 Apr
2011
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Harry Reid’s “Extreme” Claim

With the recent budget battles and threat of government shutdown, you would think that the President’s party would want to be level-headed compared with their Republican competition. Once again, Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Harry Reid stated that cutting $61 billion from this year’s $3 trillion-plus budget was “extreme”. Really? Considering that most American’s have had to cut much more than three percent from their budgets, it’s not so extreme, but mainstream. This is why even the ever-liberal Newsweek magazine considered Obama and his minions the political losers in this budget battle. Harry Reid needs to understand that moving our country towards bankruptcy is truly extreme.

7 Mar
2011
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The Case for a National Primary Day

Many constitutional conservatives originally suggested the idea of a national primary day, back in 2008. This idea seemed to stand in sharp contrast to the Democrat’s undemocratic system of proportional delegates and superdelegates. We Republicans seem to like the winner-take-all system, mostly. The idea was meant to quickly decide our candidate, so we can spend more time and money beating the Democrats in general election races.

Perhaps, this idea needs to be resurrected again. Back in late February, MSNBC and Fox News reported that the RNC will be punishing Florida, with regards to its delegate count, if it moves its primary from March to February in 2012. This could happen to other states, as well. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by doing this? Haven’t we noticed that Obama’s polls numbers are improving with mild improvements in the economy?

We would be stronger as a party by adopting a national primary day, especially if we have it in late January or early February to coincide with Iowa’s or New Hampshire’s normal caucas/primary date. That way, the early states won’t be upset and we get intense national media attention. Now many of you will say, “Josh, that will never happen”. But it’s an idea that is fitting with our party’s surge in constitutional conservativism, and the urgent need to unseat the only Marxist president we’ve ever had.

1 Mar
2011
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Government Waste that Liberals Want to Keep

The non-partisan Government Accountability Office recently released a report detailing how the federal government wastes HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars. This results from the duplication and inefficiencies across the vast wasteland of government bureaucracy. “So what?”, you may ask…

How about $200 billion over ten years by consolidating data centers across all agencies? How about $62.5 billion across 18 food assistance programs? How about $2.9 billion across programs designed to “help” the homeless? These last two examples are really disturbing, since so many needy people are not getting the help they so desperately need. What about duplication of technology and ordnance programs for the Pentagon at $77 billion? With that money we could be taking much better care of our veterans, injured service members, and technology needs, to maintain the world’s number one military.

Folks, this isn’t about laughing at $40,000 coffee makers, quoting Ronald Reagan, or bashing public-sector unions. This is about dramatically cutting taxes and spending, while truly helping the most needy people in society further their lot in life. Liberals are hurting the people they supposedly what to help. The consequences society suffers are serious – serious as cancer. We have to get bold and capture electoral groups we normally don’t pursue. This is what we have to do to build a permanent conservative majority in this country. As Bill Cosby said, “Come On, People!”.

25 Feb
2011
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Can Obama Pull A Reagan?

Here’s a short but sweet blog for a Friday night…Obama wants to emulate Ronald Reagan’s success in the 1984 elections. He’s hoping to ride a new economic expansion to a second term. There are many problems with this “hope”.

First of all, we have a pending, but huge inflation problem on the horizon – Reagan had rapidly declining inflation. Second, taxes were dramatically cut in 1982, whereas taxes are increasing now to Jimmy Carter-era levels. Third, we have near-record high oil prices. Fourth, we have high, long-term youth unemployment that is increasing, not decreasing like in 1984. Finally, for the first time since the 1930’s, private-sector wages are below the government’s.

Good luck winning next November, Mr. President. Or, as they say in Wayne’s World, NOT!

24 Feb
2011
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An Opportunity We Can’t Miss

At first, it is easy to be enraged by the radically left elements of the Democrats. It’s also easy to be amazed at how unapologetically far-left unions and their supports have been at rallies in the Midwest. It’s almost as if they are socialist and don’t care what the rest of the country thinks. You may think, “can they really be THAT myopic?”. Well, yes they can.

I was stymied at first, then came to realize the union protests are a political Godsend. We have an extraordinary political opportunity here, with the left being shrill and us being logical. Democrats are using the government shutdown playing card to hurt Republicans politically, as they did in 1995. Fortunately for us, that won’t work.

Obama isn’t as politically savvy as Bill Clinton, and John Boehner is much more well liked than Newt Gingrich (although both Speakers are great in my view). The public is much less sympathetic towards unions now, and the economy is far worse than in 1995. We must have strong, consistent message discipline. The liberal media already is saying Obama is “tacking to the center” to prepare for the 2012 Elections. Really? That’s an empty claim – no tacking to the center is happening, unless if some journalists started taking LSD during coverage of the story. We have to seize this chance to score a major political victory. We cannot allow the left to saddle us with extraordinary debt, while public sector unions enjoy salaries and benefits far above the private sector norm.

20 Feb
2011
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Let’s Stand In Solidarity With Our Wisconsin Comrades

Just when you thought liberals couldn’t shift further to the left, well, they just did it again. Teacher’s unions have loudly protested even minimal contribution requirements to retirement and health care plans. Obama called the Republican sponsored plan to limit collective bargaining rights on contribution limits an “assault on unions”. Teachers refused to show up for work, and get this – so did the Democratic legislators that were supposed to vote on the proposal. They got on a bus and left – left the state that is.

When Gov. Scott Walker (R) said, “we’re broke” in Wisconsin, he meant it. Much of the industrial Midwest is suffering from the effects of the recent (and still ongoing?) severe recession. That means tax revenues have significantly declined. Why is it that teacher’s unions can’t accept budget cuts when so many Americans have had to cut their own? It’s because they have a philosophy that they are “public servants” and are entitled to free health care and state-backed, fully-funded pensions. They say it’s a matter of “fairness”. However, is it fair that most Americans contribute most of the cost of their health care and retirement, while teachers do not? Is it fair that OUR taxpayer dollars are funding this inequality? It’s disgusting to hear teachers talk about fairness when the median teacher salary nationwide is $48,000 per year versus $35,000 for the typical private-sector worker. Does “public service” entitle one to higher salaries when military personnel receive less pay than both groups? Is it fair that these unions are using children (that should be in school) to further their cause at the state capital?

Amazingly, liberal MSNBC ran an article last week about “out of control federal, state, and local government spending”. That’s not what you would expect from a liberal media outlet. It even reported that 64% of Americans do not support the Wisconsin teachers’ unions side of the argument. Republicans, we have an opportunity to win crucial swing-states in the Midwest in 2012 – Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. With the far-left drift many Democrats are moving towards, this should be easy. Let’s not be like Democrats “who snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.

17 Feb
2011
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Painful Choices, Part 2

Fox News has reported that the President’s deficit reduction calculations fail to include interest on the national debt. White House budget staff members, who have been testifying before Congress, are focusing on “principal balances”. Feisty Republicans and the Obama Administration are using “credit card” analogies to describe and defend their positions. Obama indicated that by focusing on the “principal balaces” in the budget, it will help determine what interest is owed. Apparently for him, it’s not practical to factor existing interest, because we have to get the principal under control first to be able to make any interest projections.

Well, folks, as a individual who works in banking and is intimately familiar with credit cards, the prior period’s interest is included in THIS period’s principal. Regardless of what political persuasion that someone has, House Republicans got the finance correct this time. Interest on the national debt is 14% of the budget, last time I checked. Last fiscal year’s interest is included in this fiscal year’s new principal.

House Republicans got the (simple) finance right not because they’re Republicans, but because the nation’s “credit card” balance compounds the interest from one fiscal year to the next. Most Americans know that interest accrues on previous interest, including NEW principal. This is an inconvenient truth Obama tries to ignore, as liberals continue to mortgage America’s future.

15 Feb
2011
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Painful Choices

The official budget for the US government’s 2012 fiscal year has been released to the general public. Obama claims that some “painful choices” had to be made. Republicans, meanwhile, were simply asking the President to follow recommendations of his own deficit and debt reduction panel, mainly composed of Democrats.

Instead, Obama provided plenty of pork barrel spending. Also, he was not willing to begin scaling down Medicare and Social Security for future generations, against the advice of his panel. He even made a substantial cut in Pell Grants for low income college students, and cuts in food stamps. Can we say Jimmy Carter? Why would a liberal president stuff pork and hurt the poor at the same time? How foolish.

What about the debt panel recommendations? Again, Obama wants Medicare and Social Security to exist in perpetuity, because he wants working and low-income households dependent on the Democrat Party for votes, for generations to come. They fear that if to many of these households become independent vis-a-vis funding their own retirement or competitively-priced private health care, they will vote Republican. Instead, they are fine with doctors and trial-lawyers milking the Medicare and Social Security systems to drive up costs and keep people dependent. Again, my fellow Republicans, we have no excuse not to win next year.

9 Feb
2011
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Obama Tells Business Executives That Regulation Is Good

As an individual who works for a very large financial institution, I can appreciate the burdens of excessive government regulation. Sure we need to have some regulation in place to prevent egregious abuses, but when regulation of commercial activity in the United States numbers in the MILLIONS of pages, economic growth is stifled.

Obama recently told many executives from our largest corporations that the regulations that exist and that he has added are “good” for the recovering economy and job creation. He also implied that they are good for consumers. Oh, really? Case in point – what do newly added banking regulations do for consumers? Well, banks are now passing to the increased costs down to the consumer. You like your free checking and savings accounts? This month, both may be disappearing at a bank near you. This is, of course, unless you meet minimum balance requirements of $1500, $2500, or even $5000 in total balances, or direct deposit. By the way, major banks will be scaling back their rehiring plans as well.

It’s clear that Obama has not learned his lesson from the embarassment of the 2010 Elections. It’s clear that Americans have a healthy distrust for big government intrusion into their lives and pocketbooks. Republicans, we have no excuse not to win the presidency in 2012.

6 Feb
2011
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Wal-Mart in New York City

How is Wal-Mart a relevant political issue for us? It’s an issue when far-left groups seek to prevent it’s opening in otherwise low-income neighborhoods. It’s also an issue when liberal unions are keeping out employers who would otherwise create jobs.

Rumors are circulating that Wal-Mart is looking to open a two-floor, 180,000 sq. ft. Supercenter in a brownfield, retail redevelopment complex in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. This area has a high concentration of low-income and crime-ridden areas, which, unfortunately, affects a disproportionate number of blacks and hispanics. While the area is slowly improving (but still harsh), East New York is a “food desert”. Union driven mini-supermarkets and corner stores limit affordable and healthy food choices for many low-income residents in the neighborhood. Wal-Mart would make food stamp budgets go further and provide jobs for a neighborhood experiencing 17% unemployment.

Far-left groups seeking to promote “social justice”, want to keep Wal-Mart out due to “abusive wage practices” and “a conservative culture that discriminates against women and minorities”. However, is preventing job creation and affordable food choices promoting “social justice”? Is charging low-income earners dues who work in union stores addressing the poverty concerns in the area? Is preventing captialistic adjustments that these stores would have to make in the face of Wal-Mart good for the economy of the neighborhood?

These stores will not go out of business if they make the addjustments they need to make to stay alive. They have loyal customer bases that Wal-Mart doesn’t have. Besides, given the anti-Wal-mart sentiment that exists amongst New Yorkers, what do these overpriced union stores have to fear? They just want to keep their political and business cash registers ringing at the expense of low-income minorities. It’s no accident that the mini-supermarkets and the unions are in collusion with each other. High prices keep both groups happy, while neighborhood residents travel far to afford basic necessities. As you can see, liberals don’t have a monopoly on “social justice”.