Greetings everyone, and wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and blessings in 2017. I’m writing this missive from San Antonio, where I’m supporting Angela through a tough time as her family prepares a memorial service for her dad. We will press on, but the outpouring of love and prayers has been overwhelming. Thanks.
Amidst this sadness, I must take a moment to share my elation over the college football bowl season. It was fantastic to watch my two alma maters, Tennessee and Kansas State enjoy victories over Nebraska and Texas A&M respectively in their bowl contests. There were some disappointments this season, but both finished 9-4 and looked strong. As well, my hometown Atlanta Falcons secured a number two seed in the NFC playoffs, and eclipsed the vaunted St. Louis Rams offense with the most points scored in a season.
And more reason to be thankful…Our daughters are having great success with their academic studies. Aubrey will complete her Masters program at Southern Methodist University, while Austen will be off to Ft. Knox, Kentucky this summer as she begins her quest to be the fifth generation of West to serve our nation in uniform, the third consecutive officer. And interestingly enough, her now deceased grandpa was once a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Knox. The circle of life is amazing.
And speaking of life’s circle, or in this case, cycle, I will be heading to Capitol Hill this week for some meetings and that’s what I wish to address here.
The new 115th U.S. Congress will be sworn in this week. It’s a GOP-led Congress which now has a Republican president. There are no more excuses, and there cannot be any lack of conviction and purpose as the objective is the restoration of this Constitutional Republic.
These first 100 days are vital, and there must be no cowering, or else the 2018 midterm consequences will be immense. At this moment, the GOP Congress and the incoming Donald Trump presidential administration do not have a mandate, but they have a huge opportunity. If they sustain and gain even more seats in the 2018 midterm election, then they’ll have been given a mandate.
Bill Clinton thought he had a mandate early in his first term; he got bushwhacked in his first midterm. Barack Obama thought he had a mandate in his first term and he got taken to the wood shed in his first midterm. And even George W. Bush believed he had a mandate after his reelection, but got a rude awakening in 2006 which ushered in Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as House and Senate leadership.
Therefore, in order to avoid falling into the same chasm, the new 115th Congress and the Trump administration need be focused proactive communicators. Needless to say, the mainstream media will not be allies, as they certainly were for Obama in 2009.
So here is what I recommend. Make your objectives very clear, and achievable, as Ronald Reagan articulated it was about economic growth and defeating the Soviet Union — some things never change, huh? As Reagan came off the “malaise” of Jimmy Carter, so has Donald Trump become the successor of Mr. “Hope and Change” — an utter failure — unless you are a progressive socialist chucklehead.
First, it has to be about economic growth, and that means tax reform. This has to be concurrently for personal income tax, which enables our small businesses to grow, and corporate business tax, which returns investment capital to the United States. Mr. Trump has pushed for a reduction in the tax brackets; that must be refined and passed. He’s given his vision for a one time repatriation of offshore capital at a reduced tax rate, 8 to 1- percent, and those tax revenues could be used to for infrastructure repair. That to be followed by a new corporate business tax rate of 15 percent — we currently have the highest in the world at 35 percent. Just imagine what that type of reinvigoration of the free market that could do? We see the markets already believe in it. What a difference it would be to go from someone who dismissed American entrepreneurs by telling them, “you didn’t build that” to a completely new atmosphere and policy mentality!
Along with that, we must have regulatory reform, as we recently shared here the über out-of-control bureaucratic administration state under Barack Obama must be reined in — hence the REINS Act. We can no longer afford the hidden taxation coming from the “I have a pen and a phone” absurdity of a megalomaniac who refused to understand the process of legislating and governing. As stated, Obama was spoiled in his first two years. If he’d focused on economic growth policies — which he was too much of an intransigent ideologue to do after his 2010 and 2014 midterm disasters — perhaps his legacy would be different. We certainly wouldn’t have the less than two percent GDP growth and worst economic recovery, perhaps ever.
But, most importantly, this new Congress and Trump administration has to tackle the budget/spending disease in Washington D.C. No amount of tax and regulatory reform will mean anything unless they enact budgeting reform. They must phase in zero-based budgeting, and a great place to start with that is in the Department of Defense. We at NCPA wrote about that recently — maybe some in the new 115th Congress, Armed Services Committee members, will give heed?
As well, from an economic growth standpoint, Congress must end the onerous taxation of Obamacare. It was nothing more than a grand wealth redistribution scheme with its twenty new taxes. Also, Obamacare, for all its worth, was nothing more than a great expansion of Medicaid — not exactly increasing efficiency in the delivery of quality healthcare. What the 115th Congress needs to do is focus on those who needed the help, those individuals who were above the poverty line, yet below an economic wealth line to purchase quality health insurance for themselves and their families.
That means going back and reestablishing the vitality of health savings accounts — something Obamacare actually taxes — and use targeted tax credits. We need to break up the state-by-state health insurance monopolies and get back to that foundational free market principle of competition. And create high risk pools with either tax credits or subsidies for folks with preexisting conditions. But no bailouts for health insurance companies, no more of that “risk corridor” nonsense.
We also need to give a shot in the arm to our energy sector — stop, end, this insidious war that Obama and Hillary Clinton had on our fossil fuels. Let’s truly get to producing, consuming, and exporting our own resources, and see this as a very important tool against adversaries aligning against us and the free world. One of my major concerns is a Russian-Iranian collusion that ends up controlling a large portion of the world’s oil and natural gas resources. We have to beat these guys, and our energy security is fundamental to doing so.
The last aspect of economic growth and reforms has to come from our failing monetary policy which sought to artificially prop up Obamanomics — you know, that ol’ Keynesian tax and spend nonsense. No more manipulating interest rates and printing money. As a matter of fact, we need to audit the Federal Reserve and gain accountability of the taxpayer resources — something else that need be done at the DoD. An economically strong America can handle .25% interest rate increases, that is if we get back to a true free market economy, not crony capitalism. Perhaps the 115th Congress will finally go back and fix the stupidity of the Export-Import Bank, not a role of American taxpayer dollars.
After economic growth, the second major goal of the 115th Congress and the Trump administration MUST be to restore American leadership on the global stage. That means a foreign policy that once again instills trust in our allies, and evokes a concern and yes, fear among our enemies. No more “reset buttons,” flexibility, and empty rhetoric about red lines and who must go.
A critical point has to be the restoration of our relationship with Israel at a time when the Islamic terrorist-supporting Palestinians — and that is their history —feel emboldened. Thanks, Obama. There is no “two-state” solution when one gives and gives, and the other doesn’t even recognize the one established State of Israel. The United Nations once made a decision that the two-state solution was to be Israel and Jordan. The islamic terrorists of Yasser Arafat, the PLO, now Fatah, said no, and used violence to get what they wanted. What the heck has changed today? Time to steel up our spine, and that means also seeing folks like Putin, Rouhani, Jinping, and little fat boy with the bad haircut for who they are based on their actions.
Finally, economic and energy security along with foreign policy mean nothing unless you have a credible deterrent, and that means rebuilding our military. It can be done in a fiscally responsible manner: it must be. And with economic growth we can have the superior deterrent force we will NEVER have to see on its knees at gunpoint! Our war fighting strategies must move away from nation building to strike operations: find the enemy, and hit him hard. And that means reintroducing a word that’s been missing — victory. The Department of Defense is not a civilian jobs program; it’s about recruiting, training, equipping, deploying, fighting and winning.
Oh yeah, I’ll be in DC is for the quarterly NRA Board of Directors meeting. And here’s the deal there: if the Supreme Court can tell every state in America that it MUST conduct same-sex marriages by using the 14th Amendment equal protection clause to make marriage a right…then doggone, my concealed carry license SHALL be respected in every state!
You don’t get to cherry pick when you want to violate, or accept, the concept of federalism. So, if two Bubbas or two Bubbettes can get married anywhere in America, why by golly Oscar, I will be carrying my firearm anywhere in America. After all, the Second Amendment has been around a whole lot longer than the SCOTUS decision on Obergfell vs Hodges. And I intent to make that right happen, if the left wants “marriage equality” — which in and of itself is somewhat a misnomer — then I want my “gun equality.” And you can bet your bottom dollar, there are some folks in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and elsewhere who want that right, since these progressive socialist mayors wanna protect criminal illegal aliens in sanctuary cities, and not law abiding American citizens.
I personally think it’s gonna be a GREAT 2017, so buckle up for the ride of your life as we do indeed “make America great again” and dump this fundamental transformation bovine excrement.