Monday, October 29, 2007

Married Women, Look Out For This Tax Hike

Certainly it's no surprise to see a Democrat proposing a tax increase; it's what they do best. But the scope of this increase -- and particularly its hostility to women -- is breathtaking.

The price tag of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) new tax proposal is $3.5 trillion. That makes it the largest increase of individual taxes ever.

And for all their talk about being the party of the soccer moms, this tax bill really has it in for married women. First, it brings back the marriage penalty. As Carrie Lukas writes for the Independent Women's Forum, the bill would impose a four percent surtax that would hit individuals at $150,000 a year. Married couples, however, would have to pay the surcharge at $200,000.

That is, the Democrats are providing a disincentive for hardworking, successful couples to marry; to do so would cost them thousands of dollars in extra taxes.

Likewise, the Democratic bill would punish married women who opt to return to work after raising their children because a married couple's incomes are combined for tax purposes. After the government takes its share, the wife would get to keep so little of her paycheck, there would be little point in working.

Note that the top marginal rate would increase to 44 percent. For the next year, we can count on President Bush to veto this tax hike. A President Hillary Clinton would probably complain that the tax does not go far enough. This is what is at stake in next year's election.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Senate Votes to Keep Internet Tax-Free

Most of us take for granted that our use of the internet -- including our email -- is not subject to tax. The moratorium that has kept the internet tax-free, however, expires on November 1, 2007.

Senate Republicans yesterday passed a seven year moratorium on internet taxes. New Hampshire Senator John Sununu and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell earned praise from the Wall Street Journal for defeating this latest tax ploy (at least in the Senate; the House has yet to vote).

We've watched the internet change our lives -- how we do business, how our children study and how we communicate with one another. This evolution cannot be credited to Al Gore (or to Darwin), but rather to a tax free environment that let entrepreneurs and customers experiment.

Taxes kill innovation. The vibrancy and competitiveness of the American economy requires a ban on internet taxes. A permanent ban would be best, but at the very least, the House should join the Senate in passing the seven year moratorium in time for the president to sign the bill before the old ban expires.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh the Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise

Check out the left's idea of public discourse. Liberal blog sites in Kentucky are urging their minions to protest outside the Henry Clay in Louisville this Friday night. The so-called "progressives" are mad that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has been selected by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy to receive its highest award.

Rather than discuss Senator McConnell's environmental record on the merits -- including the millions of dollars of federal funds that he has steered to Kentucky parks -- the left has opted to just make noise. Literally.

The charity's fundraiser has a Roaring '20's theme. That prompted the folks at DitchMitch to promise, "from 5:00-9:00 we'll be outside 'roaring' ourselves."

No need for the envirowackos to bring facts or logic. Instead, they're urged to "bring music, noisemakers (i.e. whistle, bullhorn, etc.)".

These people purport to love the environment and yet they plot to disrupt a charity from raising funds to promote environmentalism. That's not just disingenuous, it's downright tacky.

Senate Conservatives Score -- Twice

Thanks to Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, it was a great morning for conservatives on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

First, McConnell delivered 62 votes to end debate on the confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick, and then 59 votes in favor of confirmation. Judge Southwick will sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

It shouldn't be that big a deal to confirm the president's judicial nominees -- or at least give them an up or down vote -- but we have seen the Democrats stonewall nomination after nomination.

Second, Republican leadership dashed Senator Dick Durbin's DREAM Act, a curiously-named bill to give amnesty to illegal aliens. The Shamnesty proponents will be back, no doubt, but this stops them for now.

The two issues may appear unrelated, but they are not: conservatives stand for the rule of law.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hide Your Children from this C-J Source

If you wonder why the Courier-Journal hasn't stopped trying to tar Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell with supposedly "smearing" Little Graeme Frost, the SCHIP poster child, consider the C-J's source, Matt Miller. This guy is no friend to small children.

Miller works for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- the group that is charged with recruiting and funding a candidate to run against Senator McConnell and other Republicans. Plainly, the DSCC has a strong interest in keeping the non-story of Graeme Frost in the press and in embarrassing McConnell.

C-J reporter James R. Carroll quoted Miller -- and his DSCC talking points -- at some length last week regarding a McConnell staffer who discussed with reporters the blogosphere coverage of Graeme Frost's family.

It's almost funny to hear Matt Miller wax poetic about the need to protect small children, given his role in the scandal of former Congressman Mark Foley and the Congressional pages.

After Foley resigned, a House Ethics Committee investigated the page scandal and learned that Miller, who was then the Democratic Caucus communications director, saw inappropriate emails that suggested that pages were being propositioned by Foley.

Miller could have -- and should have -- alerted Congressional leadership immediately, so that it could investigate and take action. He did not.

Instead, Miller "shopped" the emails to at least three newspapers. That is, Miller potentially endangered hundreds of pages -- children -- because he wanted to embarrass the Republicans before the midterm elections.

As the Washington Post noted,

Democratic Caucus communications director Matt Miller saw the e-mails as inappropriate, but rather than taking them to authorities, he shopped them to the press, first to the Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times that November, then to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. He also gave the e-mails to the communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a point apparently validating Republican charges that senior Democrats were behind the revelation of Foley's conduct.

Miller was more interested in having the press investigate a Republican, Foley, than in actually protecting the pages from sexual predators. He and his fellow Democrats knew that pages were potentially being preyed upon, but they waited an entire year so that the story would break closer to the mid-term elections.

Perhaps when Miller accuses Senator McConnell about being callous to the well-being of children, it's Miller's guilty conscience speaking.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Real Senators Don't Hide Behind Small Children

Enough already. The Courier-Journal's -- and now the Lexington-Herald's-- relentless attempts to accuse Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of "sliming" a 12-year must be addressed. (As for why the Kentucky media have been so persistent, see the related story, below).

It's well known that the Democrats used 12-year old Graeme Frost to rebut President Bush's weekly radio address regarding the S-Chip insurance program for children, while Democratic Senate Leader Dingy Harry rode shot-gun.

The chronology is telling. On September 29, 2007, Little Graeme Frost reprises Tiny Tim as he tells the country about his car accident and how Maryland's use of federal S-Chip funds helped him to recover because his parents had no health insurance.

One week later, on October 6, the story breaks. A blog called Free Republic reports on some of the Frost family assets. It seems that Little Grame and his siblings attend a $20,000 year school and that his parents own their remodeled home in a historic Baltimore neighborhood (and, as it turns out, three nice cars).

The next day (October 7), the story goes viral. People all over the blogosphere were talking about it.

A press aide to Senator McConnell mentioned this phenomona in an email to reporters on October 8. The same press aide later that day tells reporters that the Frosts are "legit" and that there is no story. Well, maybe not in terms of the Frost's qualifying for S-Chip by income. The story of their assets, however -- which Maryland neglected to count when it gave them insurance -- has not been challenged, and poses real questions about the S-Chip progam.

The press aide updates Senator McConnell on October 11 about his emails to reporters.

The next day, October 12, WHAS reporter Mark Hebert asks Senator McConnell about his staff's involvement in this alleged campaign to smear Little Graeme. And Senator McConnell correctly stated that his staff had no involvement. Senator McConnell's statement was completely truthful, because his staff-member had nothing to do with the story's genesis and only discussed it with reporters after it was a hot topic on the blog.

The only mystery is why the staffer, Don Stewart, backed down so quickly when the mainstream media went after him. And therein lies a lesson: Democrats will obfuscate the facts by hiding behind small children, and then vilifying anyone who dares to raise a question, any question.

No one wanted to "slime" Little Graeme. But the tyke didn't just appear on Harry Reid's doorstep. His parents -- having chosen to not provide him with health insurance from their family-owned business -- then pimped him on national television. Or as the Supreme Court might say, they "injected him into the public vortex." To not have inquired about the Frost family would have been akin to ignoring FDR's wheelchair, or JFK's affairs. But then again, Democrats are used to getting a pass on media scrutiny.