Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

2012 Update

  • A new CBS poll is making headlines today. According to the poll, Herman Cain is now tied with Mitt Romney in the race for the GOP nomination. Both men are at 17%. Rick Perry is in third place at 12%. No other candidate is in double digits.
  • Rick Perry is also making headlines today. According to various reports, Perry raised $17 million in less than 50 days for his presidential campaign from donors in all 50 states. He reportedly retains $15 million cash on hand.
  • Politico reported yesterday that lawyers from the law firm of Baker Hostetler have been making calls to various state agencies to determine presidential filing deadlines. Politico notes that Baker Hostetler represents only one potential presidential candidate — Sarah Palin. If Palin is seriously considering jumping into the race, she has until October 28th to decide.

The Durbin Tax

In the wake of the financial crisis, the Democrat-dominated Congress passed the Dodd-Frank bill, imposing massive new regulations on the financial industry. One of the provisions in Dodd-Frank was an amendment added by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that reduced certain fees banks charged retailers. These regulations also reduced the banks’ bottom lines.

Now we’re seeing the unintended consequence of big government’s interference — new debit card fees directly passed on to consumers. Bank of America recently announced that it would start charging customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards. Other banks are doing the same. Some are rightly calling the new fees the “Durbin Tax.”

Desperate to avoid responsibility for their failed policies, Durbin and Obama are again bashing the banks. Durbin took to the Senate floor and urged customers to leave Bank of America. Sensing the chance to attack an institution with a lower approval rating than he has, Barack Obama piled on too.

He accused Bank of America of “mistreating” its customers, and added, “You don’t have some inherent right just to, you know, get a certain amount of profit.” Really? Predictably, Obama called for even more regulation, which I guess he would need if he is going to start setting caps on corporate profitability.

Bank of America’s stock fell 10% Monday to its lowest level since the financial crisis. If Bank of America loses depositors, what will happen? The government will have to bail out Bank of America again.

Think about this for a moment. Do we elect presidents and politicians to bash businesses like the oil industry, the banking industry, the insurance industry or the tourism industry? Do we elect them to impose limits on success in America? Or do we expect them to pursue sound policies that create an environment in which businesses can thrive and create jobs?

Friends, I’m not writing this to defend Bank of America’s fees. Trust me, I’m frustrated by these new fees too. But I am even more frustrated by socialists who manipulate the free market and then blame businesses and capitalism when their bad ideas go bust. As angry as you may be with Bank of America, put the blame where it belongs — on Obama and his liberal Democrat allies!

Here’s the other point I don’t want you to miss. Remember when Palestinian mobs attempted to rush Israel’s border fences? Days later Obama rhetorically joined the mob threatening Israel’s borders by demanding that Israel start negotiations with the Palestinians based on the 1967 borders.

Yesterday I told you that the Democrat establishment would embrace and attempt to co-opt the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in order to help Obama’s reelection efforts. By attacking Bank of America as he did, Obama rhetorically joined the mob that is now attempting to “occupy Wall Street.” Consider this excerpt from Politico:

“It’s not bad base politics either. Obama’s team has been looking for ways to signal, if not overtly express, its support for a growing wave of anti-Wall Street protests that progressives hope will be the left’s answer to the tea party movement.”

Now left-wing Democrats are overtly signaling their support for the mob on Wall Street.

Wolf v. Norquist

One of the misconceptions about Washington is that all politicians are corrupt and only interested in feathering their own nests. I’ve seen a lot of that over the years, but I have also had the pleasure of working with many principled individuals, genuine public servants, who were often strong men and women of faith. I believe there are more such individuals in office today thanks to the 2010 elections!

One of the good guys is Rep. Frank Wolf, who represents a swing district in northern Virginia. Rep. Wolf is a Christian who is close to James Dobson and Chuck Colson. I am proud to call him a good friend. One of the issues he has championed has been the plight of Christians oversees. In fact, I have a daughter who works for Rep. Wolf on religious persecution issues, and I could not be more proud of the work they do!

Rep. Wolf is taking fire this morning for having the courage to go to the House floor and raise concerns about one of the conservative movement’s most influential figures — Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Whatever you may think of Norquist’s no-tax pledge, it has been used as a club to prevent the elimination of special interest tax breaks that riddle the tax code. A perfect example of this are tax credits for ethanol, which are dubious at best and counterproductive at worst. As Rep. Wolf noted, when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a stalwart conservative champion, tried to eliminate ethanol subsidies, Norquist suggested it was equivalent to a tax hike.

As I have repeatedly argued, the problem in Washington is not too little revenue but rather too much spending. I am open to tax reform and tax simplification. The best way to do that is to get rid of these sorts of special interest tax breaks.

If you hear stories about Rep. Wolf in the days ahead, you need to understand that he is not trying to raise your taxes. He is no RINO.

Rep. Wolf has also been deeply concerned about other issues Norquist has been involved that have nothing to do with taxes, such as gambling and alliances he has built with questionable Islamists. I was shocked, and frankly angry, when Norquist suggested that those opposed to the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero (about 75% of the country) were guilty of bigotry.

You can find Rep. Wolf’s speech here.

Quick Hits

  • It’s not just new debit card fees that are going to cost you more. Your utility rates are about to skyrocket thanks to more government regulation.
  • Barack Obama has been berating congressional Republicans for weeks for refusing to take up his latest tax hiking, big spending stimulus bill. To prove who was really stalling the bill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell went to the Senate floor yesterday and asked for unanimous consent to bring up Obama’s bill. Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid objected!
  • Kudos to Morton Klein and the Zionist Organization of America for pointing out how differently President Obama recognizes Jews and Muslims.

    According to Klein, Obama’s latest Rosh Hashanah message is “addressed strangely to ‘everybody,’ and … never actually mentioned ‘Jews’ or ‘Judaism’ even once. …President Obama’s August 2010 Ramadan Message … referred to ‘Muslims’ six times and to ‘Islam’ twice, stated that ‘American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country,’ and praised ‘Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings … a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.’”

    The contrast couldn’t be more striking and is very revealing of Obama’s worldview.

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