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Friday, June 18, 2004
Random Thoughts

1. Ron Reagan, Jr. - The media gave Ron Jr's comments critical of the Bush administration a lot of attention the last couple days. Of course, if Ronald Reagan had a conservative son, I'm sure they would be rushing in to get his view on things. What's that -- he does have a conservative son? Wow. You would never know it.

The interesting thing is that Michael Reagan is actually a conservative talk show host --you would think if anyone would exploit Ronald Reagan for his own political gain, it would be the guy with a financial interest in it. So far, I haven't seen him on anything. He has a nice thank you letter on his web site and that's pretty much it (he even thanks John F. Kerry). I hope he will change his mind, though. I don't think he should let Ron Jr. hijack his father's legacy.

2. Speaking of hijacking Reagan's legacy, does anyone really think that the best way to honor Reagan is to increase federal funding for stem cell research and allow federal funding for fetal tissue research? I know that Nancy would like that, but here is a news flash: the gipper was pro-life. He was also for the free market, rather than the government, solving problems whenever possible.

But Ok, if we are going to apply the "WWRD" (What Would Reagan Do) approach to policy questions, I am all for it -- so long as we apply the same standard to budget cuts and another round of tax cuts.

3. On the subject of the deficit. The Dems have had a field day complaining that the deficit is too high. When this election is behind us and Bush is presenting the first budget of his second term, I am hopeful that he says that he heard the Democrats message loud and clear and, consistent with their demands for a balanced budget, he is cutting the following programs by 50%. We should see if the Democrats support of balanced budgets works as well in practice as it does in theory. Given that it was the Democrats who prevented passage of a constitutional amendment to preven the Congress from approving a non-balanced budget, I think we know the answer.

Look, I thought Kemp was crazy when he said we would grow out of the deficit problem. I was a Kasich, green-eye shades guy during all my years working on the Hill. The reality is, I am all for the Kasich cuts approach, but it only gets you so far. The reason we closed the gap during the 105th and 106th Republican Congresses is that we did both. The economy grew like mad and we restrained the growth of spending. Mind you, spending still went up, but the economy more than kept pace. The problem, of course, is that we hit a recession and Congress continued to spend as if nothing had changed.

The question is, how do you get the economy to grow? The answer, is to reduce the tax burden so people have more money to (a) buy stuff and (b) invest their money in businesses. The result, more people making stuff, selling stuff and working generally. Once again, that approach seems to be successful.

4. Speaking of taxes, for a long time the Democrats were saying that if this was a war, we all need to sacrifice. Sacrifice, they said, requires we pay more in taxes, not less. Yet, last time I checked, Kerry is saying he is only going to tax the rich. That's not true, of course, but that's what he is saying. Well, I want to know -- which is it? Does everyone need to sacrifice? Or just the rich?

I'm not sure why in a time of war it is necessary for me to send more of my money to Washington to be spent on social welfare programs, but if it helps the war effort, I guess that works. When they write the history of the war, I am sure they will point out the valient efforts made by the hundreds of thousands of welfare state bureaucrats on the front lines of TANF and Medicaid.

5. Ok. The big story. Our enemies are sad, pathetic men. Scratch that, they are not men, they are dogs. We should treat them like dogs. Of course, I am thankful that they didn't do anything truly dispicable to him, like put a hood on him and make him participate in a naked human pyramid. Now that would be barbaric.

The good news is that Bush didn't pull any punches with his reaction. "These people are barbarians," he said. That puts it rather bluntly. Perhaps we can move past this religion of peace nonsense and start calling our enemies as we see them.

6. Speaking of calling them as they see them - I saw recently that the New York Times had the prison abuse story on the front page for 43 out of 47 days. Yep. That is what, 41 or 42 more front page stories than they gave to the Nick Berg attrocity? How many days do you think Paul Johnson warrants a front page story?

7. Speaking of media bias, I have heard a lot of complaining about the coverage of the Reagan funeral from the left, as if this is evidence that the media has no left wing bias. Please. Reagan was a 93 year old Alzheimer's patient. It is pretty tough to shit all over him the week of his funeral. The fact is, the media hated Reagan and they crucified him in the press on a daily basis. They hated the guy and did everything they could to hurt his presidency. The one thing they haven't done, with a few exceptions, is to admit that Reagan was right and they -- the intellectual class, the academics, the journalists -- were dead wrong about the nature and strength of Soviet communism. They ridiculed him when he said that the Soviets would end up in the Ash heap of history.

Hmmmm. Media hates Reagan. European elites hate Reagan. Leftists and academics hate Reagan. Reagan cuts taxes. Reagan bombs our enemies. Reagan denounced as a cowboy and a dunce. Hmmmm. That Reagan guy sure reminds me of someone. I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe John F. "Nuclear Freeze" Kerry can shed some light on this one.

8. Teresa - I heard some complaints from readers about JPC's attack on Teresa Heinz Kerry. I think Ad Hominem attacks on her are out of line, no matter how annoying she is. I do think that there are some substantive things that are fair game -- for example, her foundation's charitable support for organizations that celebrate terrorist killings. You have to wonder what other groups she contributed to and whether they were simlarly extreme. Perhaps that explains her reluctance to make her tax records available to the public. Now some readers might complain that first ladies are completely off limits. But something tells me if Laura Bush gave money to organizations that promoted racism they would be singing a much different tune.

If Teresa wants to stand around and hold cookies at photo ops, then I say we leave her alone. But if she acts as a Kerry spokesperson, then she is fair game. To treat her with kid gloves because she is a woman is really condescending and sexist.

That said, I am for keeping our arguments focused on the facts, rather than personalities and insults. Accordingly, I will insist on the same standard of fairness, accuracy and goodwill that has been demonstrated by famed, award winning filmmaker Michael Moore, who, last time I checked, was really, really, really, really fat.

9. One last bit of advice - have a great Father's day, all of you. Even those of you who are winners of life's lottery and in the top 5% of income earners. You know who you are.

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