Thursday, December 31, 2009

Will This Plot Help to Get Obama's Mind Right?,2933,581370,00.html

The above story came from the London Times by way of Fox News. Yemen claims it is overwhelmed with Islamic fundamentalist terror suspects and that it does not have the capability to counter them. Warnings have also emerged that this weeks terror attempt was not the only plot.
The media jumped on Republican criticisms of Obama's handling of this issue in wake of the foiled terror plot. However, Al Quaida's new aggressiveness demonstrates the fact that weakness invited this attempt. They knew that President Bush or a Republican successor would not hesitate to respond with all deliberate force to a terror attempt. Obama's victory last November and subsequent apology tour bore the fruit of an attempt to murder as many innocent Americans as possible.
Obama's conciliatory approach to Islamofascism needs to end. His apologies for America seeking to expand freedom to all peoples must end. Otherwise we are in for more, not less danger. Weakness will invite a war that shall never end. Firmness and resolve will destroy our enemies.
While Democrats debate the destruction of our economy, terrorists have been plotting again to harm us. We must hit back hard.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Commercializing Welcome Centers, Rest Areas Could Ease WVDOH Financial Burden

Forty some odd years ago NASA realized that a ball point pen would not write in space. They worked on the problem and spent over a million dollars to make a ball point pen that would write in zero gravity.

They were successful and developed a beautiful pen at great taxpayer’s expense, but NASA solved the wrong problem. The problem was not to make a pen write in space, but to just “write” in space. The Russians realized that they only needed to write in space, not use a ball point pen and simply used a five cent pencil instead of wasting a million dollars. The lesson is the first thing you must do to be successful in solving a problem is make sure you have identified the true problem.

At the end of November the amount of expected revenue for the West Virginia highway fund was down $14.6 million, mostly because of the poor economy. Immediately there was talk out of Charleston about raising taxes, but the tax rate is not the real problem. The real problem is the rising cost and reduced revenue. Until these problems are solved, the state’s Department of Highways will continue to have problems even in good economic times. The state must get creative on generating additional revenue and cutting cost.

There are 22 welcome centers and rest areas run by the WVDOH. Each costs approximately $500,000 a year in annual maintenance for a total of $11 million dollars. Two of these on the West Virginia Turnpike have a Federal exemption to allow them to be commercialized, which is pretty common on toll roads. However they also occur in a few other places on non-Toll Road Interstates, such as I-95 north of Baltimore, MD.

Commercialization of West Virginia’s other twenty rest areas and welcome centers could provide a partial solution to the WVDOH funding problems. As these are leased to private companies then a $10 million drain on the WVDOH would disappear as responsibility for the maintenance would shift from the state to the private companies. There would also be a revenue stream generated from the lease agreements. A drain on the state highway fund would be turned into revenue generation, all without putting any additional burden on the taxpayers.

There would also be employment benefits for the state. Each rest area at a minimum would end up with a fast food restaurant and a convenience store/gas station. The average fast food chain restaurant employs about 60 persons and the convenience store 10 persons. This would generate approximately 1,400 private sector jobs across the state from entry level fry cooks to well paid manager positions. As an example; if the two rest areas in Braxton County were commercialized in this way, the Braxton County unemployment rate could drop from 8.3% to 5.3% making it the lowest in the state.

The benefits do not stop at increased employment and reduced operating cost to the state. The free market approach also creates new tax revenue streams into the states coffers. The 1,400 new employees and the new businesses created will pay income taxes to the state. There will now be property taxes paid to the counties at the rest areas on the equipment installed where before there was none. Most important to WVDOH is the gasoline sold at the new filling stations will pay new taxes directly to the highway fund without raising taxes on struggling WV families.

In these hard economic times West Virginia must work to solve the correct problems and reduce the burden of taxes on all the people of the state in the process. We must look for new solutions to old problems and stop thinking the only solution is increasing taxes. Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The "N" Word

Federal action against coal operations in West Virginia has put hundreds of men and women out of work and denied the state its share of potential revenue. The Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a War on Coal to destroy mining operations. Right before Christmas, an EPA action resulted in the layoff of five hundred in Clay County.

What can the State of West Virginia do in response?

This may seem painful, but a way might exist to constitutionally void federal regulations. That is nullification.

Nullification doctrine first emerged in the 1830s from the mind of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. Federal import taxes raised prices on manufactured goods, crippling farmers. Calhoun suggested that the state legislature pass an ordinance nullifying the tariff within the boundaries of the state. President Andrew Jackson met this action with a military deployment. Since then, nullification of a law passed by Congress has been seen as unconstitutional.

What about state legislative nullification of a federal agency regulation or executive order? The Constitution does recognize Congress's right to pass binding legislation. It does not recognize regulatory law or presidential executive orders. State governments are under no obligation to abide by these so called laws. In fact, the Tenth Amendment protects states from many of the laws that Congress uses to bind their actions today.

All states have to do to regain their sovereignty is to swear off of federal funds for anything. At that point, Congress has very little authority over what a state can or cannot do. West Virginia cannot arrest federal officials inspecting or making reports, but it can pass acts preventing the enforcement of executive branch regulations. Swearing off of federal funds does mean a huge drop in money for roads, schools, and other items. However, the drop in money is offset by the fact that the state no longer would have to spend countless resources on paperwork and unfunded federal mandates.

Nullification is a last ditch tactic because it will provoke a serious contitutional crisis. Thousands will gather soon in Austin, Texas to ask their governor to do that very thing. In the name of freedom, strong steps may have to be taken. The election of 2010 will go a long way towards moving back to a Republic, or forward to crisis.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Left Wing Policies Dramatically Hurt the Young

Obama and Democrats generally like to tout their popularity among the youth, even to the point of hauling out pre teens to voice approval of their policy initiatives, as if America ought to follow a ten year old on the country's gravest issues. The current Democratic Congress has already substantially harmed the young when it comes to employment and threatens to do more damage in the future.
According to Walter Williams at George Mason University, teenage employment has not seen such a bleak outlook since directly after World War II. The age 16-19 group currently sees 25% unemployment. When narrowed to blacks in that age range, the percentage jumps to 50%.
Small businesses employ more people than any other sector of the market in the United States. Minimum wage hikes slash away at their miniscule profit margins, forcing them to divest themselves of the luxury of extra part time help. Instead of hiring someone, they will do extra work or get family members to help. These are the places where a kid has teh best chance to find a solid starting job that will give him income and a real reference. Many 16 to 19 year olds do not just work for extra cash. but to support families started too early.
Worse news is coming down the pike. If health care deform and the massive taxes designed to support it pass, small business will take the brunt. They will lay off even more workers or shut their doors altogether.
The minority angle on this problem was explored further by Walter Williams in the link below