A Kitchen Table Agenda

National Review posed these questions to me and to others such as Newt Gingrich and Dr. Ed Feulner: Has the conservative movement begun to fight? Facing the specter of increasing Democratic majorities in Congress, can it rebuild? What should the Right be doing right now? Is it doing it?

You can read all the responses at their website, including mine. Here's what I proposed:

Conservatives are fighting but not persuading. We must reeducate a nation whose core principles have been eroded by left-leaning media, Hollywood, political correctness, and conservative misbehavior.

Liberal ascendance reflects American attitudes more than we like to admit, in a country where only 53 percent say capitalism beats socialism.

Simply promoting lower taxes and smaller government won’t resonate with millions who enjoy zero income-tax liability or who receive government benefits. We must explain that they still have a personal pocketbook stake.

How? With a kitchen-table agenda. In a single word: Consumerism — the belief that the free choice of consumers should dictate society’s economic structure.

Washington mandates have pushed up prices on everything that’s important. Some examples:

It adds up. A 2004 government report documented that federal regulations cost the typical family of four about $15,000 each year.

And the red tape and mandates just keep on coming. Cap-and-trade will be the granddaddy of them all. As candidate Barack Obama said, “Under my [energy] plan . . . electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Congressionally engineered hikes in the cost of everything should be discussed as families sit around the kitchen table. The full cost goes beyond regulations and taxes; it’s also an issue of freedom.

Big government remains the cause of big problems, not the solution. We know the message can work when delivered well. Ronald Reagan proved it.

Who Can Afford to Go All-Green?

This week we're inundated with more green symbols than on St. Patrick's Day, and more myths. Common-sense approaches to protecting our environment have been overwhelmed by a radical agenda.

Politicians claim they will boost the economy with green jobs. They don't mention that their legislation will destroy more existing jobs than it ever creates with new green jobs that often pay less than the jobs they kill. Other nations have learned this fact from sad experience with their environmental laws; can't we learn a lesson from them?

Read Ernest's article: Green Jobs? Or Gangrene?

Another overlooked fact about the new energy and environmental proposals is the cost to everyday Americans. Are you ready for skyrocketing energy bills? And higher taxes as well, also from the same proposals? As even The New York Times now admits, alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power are far more expensive ways to generate electricity than by using fossil fuels or nuclear energy.

Ernest exposes this in Green Agenda Soaks Taxpayers

You should also read "Seven Myths of Green Jobs," which has just been released by several academics.

The Few. The Proud. The Taxpayers.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg let the cat out of the bag when he announced that half the city’s income comes from 42,000 of its residents. So in a city of 8.2 million, less than half of one percent of the people carry 50 percent of the tax burden.

On the national scale, the top 10% of income tax filers pay 70% of the taxes and earned 47% of the income.

The Tax Foundation reports that the top 1% of American tax filers paid more taxes in 2006 than the bottom 90%. The numbers were $408-billion paid compared to $299-billion. Of 136 million returns filed that year, a mere 1.4 million Americans paid more than this other 122 million combined.

And 23-million Americans who paid zero in income taxes still received federal “refunds” of $46 billion last year.

Is this what passes for fairness today? Is this why some have Tea Parties to protest, while millions don’t care because they are paying nothing?

Read more here.


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