To those paying attention and who care about success in November, disgust is the operative word for the over the top negativity in the GOP primary runoffs.
With all the time in the world to campaign on a positive, future oriented conservative solutions campaign, we instead get name-calling and mudslinging to an extraordinary degree.
The Democrats are sitting back laughing at the charges, counter charges and name-calling.
As committed Republicans, we are saddened. The negativity has drowned out the attempts to talk about conservative public policy innovations for challenges facing Texas.
Is it too late to ask for a halt on all personal attacks, name-calling, and demonizing? Is it asking too much for our candidates to debate political and policy differences?
"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." - Ronald Reagan
Scoop: Next Week's Red, White And Blue On PBS, Dewhurst And Patrick Make Pledges
Next week's back-to-back shows on Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, (Friday 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.), features the GOP finalists for Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick. Both interviews were interesting and both candidates agreed to support the eventual nominee for Lieutenant Governor.
The other conditional agreement was to stop negative personal attacks and confine the campaign to the candidates experience as a public official and to public policy challenges facing Texas.
It's TCR's opinion that a switch to a positive public policy campaign would be good for everyone and the Republican ticket.
Pants On Fire: Jerry Patterson Slanders Dan Patrick On Behalf Of Dewhurst Campaign
Just when you thought that the GOP for Lieutenant Governor primary race couldn't go any lower, Jerry Patterson, clearly as an agent of the Dewhurst campaign has slandered Dan Patrick, "claiming" Dan was a draft dodger!
First, Patterson and the Dewhurst campaign should have known that Dan was drafted, that he reported for duty and failed his physical.
Second, these crazy attacks do not help Dewhurst, but make him look bad as a reprise of the 2012 campaign against Ted Cruz.
Third, TCR knows David Dewhurst well and he's better than this. What happened to his campaign about his record in office and his plans for the next four years? Since when does he have to sink to petty name-calling? Surely, he can make a better case for reelection.
Fourth, it's not too late to get out of the gutter and Dewhurst can try and salvage his reputation by repudiating Patterson's slander on Patrick.
A Continuing Series: Part 5,
The Final 10 of 50 Reasons We Are Living
In The Greatest Period In World History
TCR Comment: Morgan Housel at the Motley Fool website recently put together a fascinating list of the reasons we are in good shape. We will put 10 reasons out each issue until we get to 50.
An American Solution to Income Equality
- The percentage of Americans age 65 and older who live in poverty has dropped from nearly 30% in 1966 to less than 10% by 2010. For the elderly, the war on poverty has pretty much been won.
- Adjusted for inflation, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retirees has increased from $378 in 1940 to $1,277 by 2010. What used to be a safety net is now a proper pension.
- If you think Americans aren't prepared for retirement today, you should have seen what it was like a century ago. In 1900, 65% of men over age 65 were still in the labor force. By 2010, that figure was down to 22%. The entire concept of retirement is unique to the past few decades. Half a century ago, most Americans worked until they died.
- From 1920 to 1980, an average of 395 people per 100,000 died from famine worldwide each decade. During the 2000s, that fell to three per 100,000, according to The Economist.
- The cost of solar panels has declined by 75% since 2008, according to the Department of Energy. Last I checked, the sun is offering its services for free.
- As recently as 1950, nearly 40% of American homes didn't have a telephone. Today, there are 500 million Internet-connected devices in America, or enough for 5.7 per household.
- According to AT&T archives and the Dallas Fed, a three-minute phone call from New York to San Francisco cost $341 in 1915, and $12.66 in 1960, adjusted for inflation. Today, Republic Wireless offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $5 a month.
- In 1990, the American auto industry produced 7.15 vehicles per auto employee. In 2010 it produced 11.2 vehicles per employee. Manufacturing efficiency has improved dramatically.
- You need an annual income of $34,000 a year to be in the richest 1% of the world, according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic's 2010 book The Haves and the Have-Nots. To be in the top half of the globe you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it's $5,000 per year. Enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000. America's poorest are some of the world's richest.
- Only 4% of humans get to live in America. Odds are you're one of them. We've got it made. Be thankful.
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
Our President has attempted to make a major issue of the difference between the very successful in our country and the rest of us as a focus of his party's campaign for the 2014 elections. He does have a point that some people's income levels have really soared while others have languished. He just has a wrong-headed solution to the problem.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Obama has chosen to resolve the issue through government intervention. He has a two-pronged effort. First, he has greatly increased welfare payments which have been dissected ad nauseum by this column. Otherwise, he has consistently thought of himself as Robin Hood -- robbing from the Rich and giving to the Poor. The second aspect is artificially inflating the wages of entry level employees (raising the minimum wage). Others on the left have been driving this issue for years; Obama has just nationalized the issue, providing cover for people at the state and local level.
I studied his policies and came to a different conclusion as to how to solve this problem. It is a simple solution, but as Ronald Reagan said "Simple is not necessary simplistic." The solution is that we need to get these people jobs. What a concept! But let me explain.
Madame Pelosi is still blaming the Bush economy (she will probably be doing that on her death bed), but our president has been in office over five years and it is his economy. The Administration likes to tout that the unemployment rate has dropped during his term from over 10% to the current 6.7%. We all know that is because the rate of participation in the workforce has plunged. It is now 58.9%, down from 62.2% in 2007. That is a decrease of 3.3% of our population with wage earning jobs. That is about 10 million less Americans working and paying taxes.
The Administration speaks of how people are retiring and it is true our population is aging, but not that much and not in seven years. In addition, many 65-year-old citizens are vibrant and anxious to continue working in some capacity, but the job market is so meager it is hard for them to stay in the workforce. But that is where Obama misleads on the issue because the participation of people in the prime of their working years has plummeted. In the age group between 25 and 54 years of age, the current participation rate in the workforce is 76.7%. That is down almost five points from 1999. That is a lot of people in their prime earnings years losing time and earnings that they can never replace.
Our citizens who are suffering the worst are the college graduates. Barely half of college graduates since 2006 had full-time jobs as discovered by a recent Rutgers University study. And it's not getting better: Graduates since 2009 are getting the worst of it. They are three times more likely not to have found a full-time job than those from the classes of 2006-08. The percentage of underemployed college graduates has soared from roughly 10 percent to more than 35 percent since 1967 another study showed. While our President hops from college campus to college campus lecturing students on the benefit of a college education, the market tells them that a large portion of them are either wasting their time or seriously overpaying. 16% of bartenders and the same percentage of parking attendants have a college degree. Someone should tell them they could be unemployed or get a job in hospitality without incurring huge debt.
Despite that fact, you might now expect a rant on how Obama's policies have harmed the job market: there is no need. If it is not self-evident to you that something is wrong with the job market from the information above, there remains nothing else to say.
But what our president and his team do not understand is that if the job market were healthy, the income inequality issue would largely self-resolve. In a competitive job market wages are driven up naturally. People move from job to job advancing their careers and others get a chance to move up as positions need to be filled. If you don't believe this because you have not seen it for a while -- move to North Dakota. You will see a living example of the remedy for what Obama pleads needs a government solution. We don't need government intervention; we need more jobs.
Currently, employers dither and delay. They can pay lower wages because there are so many people clamoring for each position that is available. It is really a basic concept called supply and demand.
Mr. President, you would really help your citizens by getting out of the way and letting the capitalists take over to get the job market humming. Stop putting roadblocks in front of them. I know that is a pipe dream because he is a committed statist, but one can still dream in Obamaland.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
Interviews with Lieutenant Governor candidates David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick.
The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last thirteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 11 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 13th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.