RNC leaders condemn bailouts

RNC LEADERS CONDEMN BAILOUTSColoradans support proposed resolution

James Bopp of Indiana, vice chairman of the Republican National Committee, is circulating a draft resolution opposing "bailouts of industries, individuals, or governments by the federal government," to be offered for a vote when the RNC's 168 members meet in Washington in late January.

Colorado's Republican chairman Dick Wadhams and national committeewoman Lily Nunez are listed among the first cosponsors. RedState.com ran a story about the resolution on Thursday. Here is the text in full.


WHEREAS, America is embroiled in an economic crisis which threatens to become a severe and prolonged recession; and WHEREAS, as an alleged remedy to the economic crisis, the United States Congress proposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“Bank Bailout Bill”), which would authorize the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to $700 billion dollars to bail out the financial industry from the consequences of its own poor decisions and misguided government policies, by purchasing distressed assets, especially mortgage-backed securities, and make capital injections into banks; and WHEREAS, when the original Bank Bailout Bill failed to pass, it was augmented with$150 billion dollars in additional, unnecessary spending designed to earn the incumbent politicians who voted for it the support of their constituents back home; and WHEREAS, Congress adopted, and the President signed, the bloated Bank Bailout Bill; and WHEREAS, the Bank Bailout Bill has neither reversed the economic crisis nor protected the taxpayers, but rather has added $850 billion dollars to their tax bill and raised the national debt ceiling from $10 trillion to $11.3 trillion, which has the potential long-term effect of further weakening the economy; and WHEREAS, the Bank Bailout Bill effectively nationalized the Nation’s banking system, giving the United States non-voting warrants from participating financial institutions, and moving our free market based economy another dangerous step closer toward socialism; and WHEREAS, what was needed, and is still needed, to fix the banking industry is not a bailout, but rather a commitment to fiscal responsibility. This entails more than considering only the quick fixes for Wall Street. It also entails considering how to restore Wall Street to sustainable profitability. It involves common sense legislation from Congress, such as (1) eliminating the capital gains tax, which will lead investors to flood the real estate and financial markets in search of tax-free profits, creating liquidity in the markets; (2) examining, and if need be, amending the Community Reinvestment Act (Pub.L. 95-128, title VIII, 91 Stat. 1147, 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq.), to ensure that it accomplishes its purpose of preventing discriminatory lending without also forcing the financial industry to engage in high risk lending; and (3) adopting a “hands off” approach from government 2 toward the financial sector, so that free-market forces can correct the market; and WHEREAS, there have been other federal government bailouts, including the $85 billion dollar bailout of American International Group Inc. in return for its nationalization, with the United States acquiring an almost eighty percent equity stake in the company, a bailout and nationalization of Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac, and a bailout of Bear Sterns; and WHEREAS, the cost to the American taxpayers of the various bailouts enacted by the 110th Congress and signed into law by the President is potentially $8.7 trillion dollars; and WHEREAS, none of these bailouts have forestalled the economic recession, protected the jobs of American workers, made American companies more competitive, or relieved the tax burden on American taxpayers, but rather have threatened to deepen the economic recession, and have increased the national debt and the burden faced by the American taxpayers; and WHEREAS, the “Big Three” Automakers (Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford) appealed to Congress for a bailout bill of their own, seeking up to $34 billion dollars in emergency aid; and WHEREAS, the American people overwhelmingly oppose a bailout of the Big Three, with 61% of those polled opposing government assistance to the automakers and 70% saying that such assistance would be unfair to American taxpayers; and WHEREAS, when faced with both Congressional and public disapproval, Ford announced that it did not need actually need federal money at this time, but Chrysler and General Motors continued to request financial assistance from the government; and WHEREAS, on December 11, 2008, the House of Representatives passed the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act (H.R. 7321) (“Auto Bailout Bill”), which authorized $14 billion dollars in loans to the automobile industry in exchange for, among other things, the nationalization of the auto industry, whereby the United States receives warrants for up to 20% of the common or preferred stock of each automaker, and the appointment by the President of an executive officer (“Car Czar”) to oversee various aspects of the auto industry’s business; and WHEREAS, the Auto Bailout Bill was rejected in the United States Senate, garnering only 52 of the 60 votes necessary to bring the Bill to the Floor for consideration; and WHEREAS, on December 19, 2008, the President announced that he would create a $17.4 billion dollar Auto Bailout Package for the auto industry, taking the money from the funds appropriated by the Bank Bailout Bill; and WHEREAS, the President has announced that Chrysler and GM must prove they are financially viable by March 31, 2009, or face the possibility—but only the possibility—of the recall of the funds extended to bail them out; and 3 WHEREAS, President-elect Obama is under no obligation to insist that Chrysler and GM meet this obligation, or pay back the money used to bail them out and the UAW is already calling on President-elect Obama to reject the wage reduction requirements of the Auto Bailout Package; and WHEREAS, the Auto Bailout Package is not only a bailout of the bad management decisions of the leadership of the automobile industry, but also a bailout of the leadership of the United Auto Workers union (UAW), whose excessive labor wage and benefit demands have substantially contributed to the automobile industry’s financial woes, as demonstrated by the fact that the average hourly cost to the unionized Big Three Automakers for its workers’ salary and benefits is nearly $80 per hour, compared with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, whose total hourly U.S. labor costs, with benefits, are about $48 per hour; and WHEREAS, the UAW has steadfastly refused to renegotiate its current labor contracts to ease the financial burden on the Big Three, and has also self-servingly insisted that bankruptcy was not an option for any of the Big Three, because bankruptcy would allow a renegotiation of their labor contracts; and WHEREAS, bailing out the UAW with the Auto Bailout Package will not make the automobile industry solvent, because it does not address the underlying cause of its financial difficulties, but merely applies a band aid to tide the industry over for the time being; and WHEREAS, the open-ended nature of the Auto Bailout Package, which only contains the possibility of a recall of the bailout money if Chrysler and GM do not have a plan for financial viability by March 31, 2009, will not provide incentive to their leadership and the leadership of the UAW to create a financially viable business plan, but rather will encourage them to continue ‘business as usual’ and count on future government bailouts whenever such are needed; and WHEREAS, the men and women who work in the automobile industry are patriotic Americans who work hard to supply America with automobiles and also to provide a decent living for themselves and their families; and WHEREAS, America’s auto workers are not helped by a temporary band aid which does not require the automobile industry and the UAW to change practices and create a sustainable profitability. Rather, they need a solution that will enable the American automobile industry to recover and thrive again in order to ensure the long-term survival of their jobs; and WHEREAS, what is needed to fix the American automobile industry is restructuring that will eliminate the competitive disadvantage faced in their costs and finished products relative to foreign brands, which can only be accomplished by (1) negotiating new labor agreements to align their pay and benefits to match those of their competitors; (2) reducing the benefits paid to their retirees so that the total burden per auto for the Big Three is not higher than that of foreign companies; (3) restructuring their business plans with an eye to the future, such that they invest in competitive products and innovative, fuel-saving technologies; and (4) recruiting management teams who excel 4 in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations; and WHEREAS, a group of governors met with President-elect Obama to press for their own bailout plan, whereby federal taxpayer would pay $136 billion for state infrastructure projects and untold billions of dollars for state health care costs; and WHEREAS, President-elect Barack Obama decided to propose an enormous public works project, which is really a cleverly disguised Government Bailout Plan designed to bail out state and local governments by providing federal tax dollars to repair and rebuild their local infrastructure; and WHEREAS, some have proposed spending up to $1 trillion dollars to fund the President-elect’s Government Bailout Plan; and, WHEREAS, the Government Bailout Plan will be the biggest earmarked spending program in our Nation’s history; WHEREAS, the Government Bailout Plan will not fix our economic woes, but rather will extend the current economic crisis, much as President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration extended the Great Depression, and will cost the American taxpayers $1 trillion dollars or more; and WHEREAS, what is needed to ease unemployment and stimulate the economy is not a Government Bailout Plan to bail out state and local governments from their deficit spending, but rather common sense solutions which will work, including (1) lowering our corporate tax rate which is the second highest in the world and fifty percent higher than our international competitors, so that corporations will have more ability to invest in product development and job creation; (2) lowering taxes on the middle class and eliminating the capital gains tax, so that America’s families will have more money to invest and spend for their families’ needs; (3) spending to replenish and, where necessary, modernize our military equipment and improve our national defense capabilities against both foreign nations and terrorists; (3) investing in energy research, exploration and development to free our Nation from its dependence on foreign oil; and (4) eliminating wasteful government spending and restructuring government programs that can be accomplished more efficiently. Together, these measures will create jobs, energize the economy and protect our national freedoms, all of which will improve the quality of life of the American family; and WHEREAS, the Republican Party must, for the good of America, reestablish our commitment to the common sense, conservative values of free enterprise, free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility, which are advocated by the Republican National Committee in its national platform; and THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee commend the Members of Congress who have opposed the bills seeking to bailout American industries and to nationalize American companies; and 5 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee call for all Members of Congress to oppose any and all future bailouts that might come before the Congress, including President-elect Obama’s public works program; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee call on Congress to identify the government programs and policies which have lead to the current economic crisis and to revise or repeal them in favor of government policies which promote free enterprise and free markets; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee, in cooperation with Republican Members of Congress and the Republican Governors of the various states, shall be authorized to engage in vigorous debate on public policy issues, including calling for Congress to oppose measures which are detrimental to the welfare of our Nation and our People, consistent with the conservative principles of the Republican Party as expressed in its national platform, and to devote appropriate resources of the RNC for this purpose. Submitted by James Bopp, Jr., NCM IN Randy Pullen SC AZ Lilly Nunez NCW CO Dick Wadhams SC CO Sharon Day NCW FL Steve Scheffler NCM IA Kim Lehman NCW IA Cindy Moyle NCW ID Dee Dee Benkie NCW IN Helen Van Etten NCW KS Kris Kobach SC KS Evie Axdahl NCW MN Cindy Phillips NCW MS Pete Ricketts NCM NE Sean Mahoney NCM NH Rosie Tripp NCM NM Carolyn L. McLarty NCW OK Solomon Yue NCM OR Donna Cain NCW OR Giovanni Cicione SC RI Cynthia Costa NCM SC Mary Jean Jensen NCW SD Cathie Adams NCW TX Fredi Simpson NCW WA Diana Vaughan SC WY




(Nov. 5, 10am) I’m sure you share my disappointment with yesterday’s election results. As President Bush might say, it was a thumpin’. Much of my distress stems not from the frustration of being on the losing team, but from a firm conviction that the Democrats in general, and President-elect Obama in particular, represent a set of values and policies that – to the extent actually implemented – will amount to a tremendous setback for the nation we love. I fear that a weak, blame-America-first foreign policy will embolden our enemies and do long-term damage to our security and that of our allies. I regret that my fellow citizen’s American dream will be dimmer when they realize that a skilled orator’s vague promises of “hope” and “change” are no compensation for the diminished opportunities produced by “progressive” policies. And, most deeply, I mourn the loss of freedom that is the inevitable byproduct of any move towards a government even more involved in our daily lives.

It’s obvious to me that Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Mark Udall and the others represent a direction for America that deserved to lose. What’s bothering me today is this: I can’t shake the feeling that we didn’t deserve to win.

As a conservative, I stand for small government. Liberals stand for a larger role for government in our lives. Did President Bush and Republicans in Congress adhere to this value when they passed a prescription drug benefit that costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars? How about John McCain’s proposal to spend $2 billion of taxpayer money on clean-coal technology? What about Republican congressmen whooping it up alongside Democrats in a mind-boggling orgy of spending?

As a conservative, I believe that a free market is the surest route to prosperity for each American. Liberals believe the economy must be controlled for social ends. Did President Bush live up to this value when he teamed up with Nancy Pelosi to turn the Treasury into a $700 billion hedge fund, picking winners and losers in the financial services industry? 91 Republicans in the House supported the bailout bill. Senator McCain supported this panicky abandonment of principle. Mark Udall voted against it. Who’s happier today?

As a conservative, I believe that parents should have the right to choose where their children attend school. Liberals believe – well, actually, I suspect that many liberals believe this too, but are unwilling to lose the political muscle provided by teachers’ unions. Were the Republican candidates in your district talking about school choice?

As a conservative, I believe that America must accept its leadership role in world affairs. In order to meet our generational challenge of defeating radical Islamist terrorists, we must be a strong nation willing to act alone when necessary. Liberals believe that security can be achieved through multilateral organizations and negotiations with anyone – even terrorists sworn to our destruction and nations with long histories of dishonesty. Did our nation’s foreign policy establishment live up to this value when we outsourced handling of Iran’s nuclear ambitions to a group of wishy-washy European diplomats?

As a conservative, I believe that America is a unique and special nation. When conservatives look at America, we see a nation clearly defined by the freedoms envisioned by our founding fathers and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. When liberals look at America, they see first its imperfections. Did your Republican candidates speak of how our citizens repay the blessings of freedom by leading the world in morality, charity, industry and justice? Or, did they seek cheap political gain by joining the chorus of doom? In the 1984 election, President Reagan made famous the line, “It’s morning in America.” With our freedoms, it should always be morning in America.

Of course, being true to our principles would not necessarily have meant that the election results would have been better this year. But the first step towards earning electoral success next time must surely be to stand for a consistent, positive alternative to the creeping reliance on government that carried the day yesterday.

We must remember what we stand for in every discussion, every policy idea, every speech or letter to the editor, every campaign contribution, and every vote. Our ideals, our words, and our actions must all be aligned. Let’s start now. God bless America!

Eric Weissmann is an entrepreneur in Boulder. He can be reached at eric@weissmann.net.


CONSERVATIVE VOTER GUIDE 2008 Ballot Issues, Judges, RTD Board Also School Taxes & Legislature By John Andrews

Here's your Backbone voter guide on the questions and races that we the people get to decide this year. Many people are already voting by mail. Polls close on Nov. 4. Be informed, do your part. We've got the tools you need. One vote per precinct may decide some contests. Don't let MSM defeatism take you out of the game!

BALLOT ISSUES - See yes/no rundown below.

JUDGES - My recommendations linked here.

RTD BOARD - Don't guess, click & be sure.

SCHOOL TAXES - Cherry Creek 3A & 3B analyzed here.

LEGISLATIVE RACES - Top Republican candidates listed here.

Colorado voters face a record 18 ballot issues in this election. But don't be annoyed with that. Don't vote no on all of them, or guess as we sometimes did on school tests, or simply abstain. Be grateful we have the power to directly alter our statutes and constitution; people in many states don't. Do a little homework, cast an informed conservative vote, and feel the Founding Fathers smiling on you. This is America as it was meant to be.

Below I'll give you my checklist of yes and no votes. If we differ, fine. That's America too. But first let me give you my thought process behind the checklist. This crowded ballot puts Colorado at a crossroads, no matter which candidates win nationally and here in the state. By our decision on the various issues...

** One road can lead to growing the economy, keeping taxes down, improving our highway system, ensuring racial equality, protecting the unborn, curbing union power, reducing corruption, and keeping government neutral in partisan politics.

** While the other road can lead to higher prices and higher taxes, energy shortages, job losses and a weaker economy, bigger government and more bureaucracy, all wrapped up in a state constitution that will always be harder for citizens to go in fix from now on.

You can tell which road I think makes sense. With this as a roadmap, here are the issues I will personally support and oppose.

Amendments ------------------- Yes on 46 for colorblind laws (Civil Rights Initiative) Yes on 47 to curb union power (Right to Work) Yes on 48 to protect the unborn (Personhood Amendment) Yes on 49 to keep government neutral in partisan politics (Ethical Payroll Standards) Yes on 52 for better roads (Severance Surplus to Highways, no tax increase) Yes on 54 to reduce corruption (Clean Government Amendment) -------------------- No on 50 so gambling doesn't increase and government doesn't either No on 51 so sales tax won't go up $186 million - help the disabled from existing budgets and privately No on 53 so trial lawyers don't ruin companies and cost jobs (CEO Liability) No on 55 so free enterprise doesn't go the way of France (Just Cause Termination) No on 56 so health care mandates don't sink employers No on 57 so a litigation lottery doesn't cripple the state's economy (Safe Workplace) No on 58 so oil and gas won't bear $321 million in new taxes, passed along to consumers No on 59 so billions in TABOR refunds won't stop reaching taxpayers in coming years (SAFE Amendment)

Note: Proponents of 53, 55, 56, and 57 withdrew them on 10/2, with the result that votes for and against them won't count. I'm voting no on these dogs anyway.

Referendums ---------------------- No on L so politicians' average immaturity doesn't get lower still (Age 21 Legislators) No on O so revision of the constitution isn't further shifted from citizens to politicians ---------------------- Yes on M for constitutional housekeeping - non controversial cleanup measure Yes on N also constitutional housekeeping - another non controversial cleanup

My no-votes are guided by a few common-sense rules. Don't tax a faltering economy. Don't attack employers with a recession coming on. And don't centralize power from citizens and voters to government officials and judges, ever.

I'm a son of the Goldwater years. All I've done in politics from the 1960s until today has been done with a faith in the Declaration of Independence and a concern that government is too big, growing too fast, costs too much, too intrusive in our lives, and delivers too little value for the dollar.

By passing the six amendments I have marked "yes," and defeating the ones I've warned against, you and I can make a real difference in the right direction this year, regardless of who wins in other races. Thanks for jumping in. The stakes are so high.

---------------------------- RESOURCE MATERIALS

The Bluebook, Colorado's official, nonpartisan, fact-based voter reference publication on all the ballot issues, including pro-con arguments and fiscal notes on the latter as well as evaluations for judges facing retention, is at this link.

A quicker summary at a glance is provided by the Independence Institute here.

Sam Adams Alliance has the indispensable, nationally complete Ballotpedia website with data on every state including this Colorado section.

But none of these three sources takes sides on the issues. We do, and so should you!

STILL MORE RESOURCES: Rocky Mountain Family Council issues guide