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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for June, 2011

Sorry for Neglecting My Blog

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Hi fellow bloggers–––

I was away on a European Safari, sailing down the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. I left my computer home and did not blog for almost 4 weeks. Now I’m back, have reviewed the political hijinks, which occurred while I was away, and have a number of posts to make up for my absence. I also have seen some quite interesting shows and will provide my evaluation of them in a later post. Please let me know what you think about these last 7 posts I’ve published below.


Pawlenty’s Economic Plan

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

On 6/7/11, Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota and candidate for president in 2010, proposed a far-ranging blueprint for economic growth, a new tax code, a balanced budget, and renewed American innovation and investment.

The following are some excerpts:

“Let’s start with a big, positive goal. Let’s grow the economy by five percent, instead of the anemic two percent envisioned currently. … We should cut the business tax rate by more than half. I propose reducing the current rate from 35% to 15%. … On the individual rates we need a simpler, fairer flatter tax system overall. I propose just two rates: 10% and 25%. Under my plan, those who currently pay no income tax would stay at a zero rate. After that, the first $50,000 of income – or $100,000 for married couples – would be taxed at 10 percent. Everything above that would be taxed at 25 percent. …

“I know government can cut spending, because I did it in Minnesota. I cut state spending in real terms for the first time in our state’s history. … We can start by applying what I call ‘The Google Test.’ If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it. The post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie and Freddie, were all built for a time in our country when the private sector did not adequately provide those products. That’s no longer the case.”

1. Establish a new tax code for businesses, individuals, and families

2. Cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% to spur investment and American competitiveness in the global economy

3. End the era of crony capitalism by eliminating corporate tax loopholes, subsidies and giveaways to level the playing field

4. Providing the option for small and medium sized businesses to pay the corporate rate

5. Replace the individual tax system with two brackets creating a flatter and fairer tax structure

Individuals making $50,000 or higher will be taxed at 25%
Individuals making $50,000 or lower will be taxed at 10%
Married couples making $50,000 or lower will have an effective 0% tax rate

6. Eliminate capital gains tax and dividend tax to encourage investment and saving

7. Eliminate estate tax and interest income tax

8. Pass a Constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget and caps federal spending as a percentage of our economy around the historic average of 18% of GDP

9. Propose that Congress grant the President temporary and emergency authority to freeze spending at current levels, and impound up to 5% of Federal spending until the budget is balanced if Congress fails to cut spending

10. Apply the “Google Test” to government agencies. If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be doing it.

11. Employ Lean Six Sigma throughout all federal agencies saving up to 20%

12. Require sunsetting of all federal regulations unless specifically sustained by a vote of                 Congress

13. Ratify trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama

14. Double American exports by pursuing new bilateral free trade agreements

15. Strengthen the American dollar by limiting the mandate of the Federal Reserve to focus only on inflation and price stability.

This sounds like a reasonable blueprint to turn our economy around. The Democrats have already denounced it, and the Republicans have said little about it. To me, this and the Ryan plan together would stop our march into collectivism and allow us, once more, to become the economic engine we have always been.

CHQ and the Candidacy of Rick Santorum

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

ConservativeHQ.com (CHQ) is a community of conservatives and Tea Partiers opposed to America’s ruling class and committed to bringing small government constitutional conservatives to power by 2020.

The CHQ Staff conducted a poll on 6/8/11 in response to Rick Santorum announcing that he is running for president. They asked, “How would you vote in this one-on-one matchup?” and then explained:  “Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.  If he gets the Republican nod, how would you vote in November 2012?”

66% of our Tea Party activists answered, “I would vote for Rick Santorum.”  Not surprisingly,  only 1% would vote for his opponent, President Obama. The remainder, 16% said, “I would vote for a third-party or independent candidate,” while another 16% answered, “I do not know at this time how I would vote.”  The remaining 1% said, “I would not vote.”

In an earlier one-on-one matchup, only 30% of Tea Party conservatives said they would vote for Romney versus 0% for President Obama.  A majority—55%–said they would vote for a third party or independent candidate, 8% said they were undecided, and 7% said they would not vote.

Romney would get less than half as many Tea Party votes as Santorum.

Yesterday the Washington Post-ABC News poll( see our previous post) released its most recent results, in which Romney beat Obama 49% to 46% among all registered voters.  Romney’s main problem is to get the Tea Party conservatives behind him, since they figure so prominently in the Republican primaries.  If he can do that, he might be able to beat Obama in 2012.

But, given Romney’s negatives, since most conservatives would vote for Santorum, he might soon become a first tier candidate as the race heats up and ultimately the Republican standard bearer.

The Club For Growth On Romney For President

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The Club for Growth is a national network of thousands of Americans, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. We work to promote public policies that promote economic growth primarily through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, training and educational activity.

The Club for Growth wrote a white paper on Governor Mitt Romney back in 2007.  Most of the information below is from that report, but since Romney has been outspoken on several issues since then, they updated his record to reflect those positions.  The Cato Institute, a free market think tank rates the country’s governors on a biennial basis.  In both their 2004 and 2006 reports, they gave then-Governor Romney a “C” on tax and spending issues.

Because of his long tenure in public life, especially his presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney is considered a well-vetted candidate by now.  Perhaps to his consternation, he has developed an unshakable reputation as a flip-flopper. He has changed his position on several economic issues, including taxes, education, political free speech, and climate change.  And yet the one issue that he doesn’t flip on – RomneyCare – is the one that is causing him the most problems with conservative voters.  Nevertheless, he labels himself as a pro-growth fiscal conservative, and the Club for Growth has no doubt that Romney would move the country in a pro-growth direction.  He would promote the unwinding of Obama’s bad economic policies, but the Club thinks that Romney is somewhat of a technocrat. After a career in business, quickly finding a “solution” seems to be his goal, even if it means more government intrusion as a means to an end. To this day, Romney supports big government solutions to health care and opposes pro-growth tax code reform – positions that are simply opposite to those supported by true economic conservatives.  How much Romney’s philosophy of governance will affect his policy goals if elected, the Club for Growth leaves for the voters to decide.

For the full text of the white paper, go to: clubforgrowth.org

The Political Picture: Obama vs The Republican Contenders –––Early June, 2010

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The public opinion lift Obama had after the killing of Usama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of his handling of the economy and the deficit climbed to new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The country is in a gloomy mood with high gasoline prices, crumbling home values and a disheartening employment picture, raising new concerns about the pace of the so-called economic recovery.

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is  on the wrong track, and 90% continue to rate the economy negatively. 60% say the economy has not begun to recover, no matter what official statistics might say, and most of those who feel the economy  has improved consider the recovery weak.

Nevertheless, the Post-ABC poll shows Obama leading five of six potential Republican presidential candidates and in a dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are tied at 47% each. Among registered voters, the Romney is slightly ahead, 49 to 46%.

60% of those surveyed gave Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Almost half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. 66% of  independents disapprove of the Obama’s handling of the economy, with a slim majority who do so strongly.

45% trust congressional Republicans more than Obama in dealing with the economy, an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March. However, 42% still prefer Obama on this issue.

The Post-ABC poll asked Republicans and GOP-leaning independents whom they would vote for today. Romney topped the list, with 21%, followed by Palin at 17%. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has suddenly shown interest in becoming a candidate, is at 8 percent. Without Palin in the race, Romney tops out at 25%, all others in single digits.

However, dissatisfaction with the GOP field continues at a high level, many respondents saying they are unhappy with their choices. At this time four years ago, almost 70% of Republicans said they were satisfied with their field of candidates.

This is all interesting, especially if you read my next post.

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved