Archive for the ‘Third Party’ Category

Do I Buy a Pig in a Poke?   Leave a comment

I was leery of the Conservative Party when it first got started in 2008. For one thing, it seemed a bit cheeky to call themselves the American Conservative Party. And, frankly, there was no time for them to build any sort of consensus by the November 2008 election. I gave them a cursory glance in 2012, but felt that the issues Obama presented were too important to allow him to win while I voted on principle. So, now, assured that there are three years to consider a new direction for the country, I am ready to say I like their platform.

As a Christian, I like their stand on religious freedom, which is that they don’t have much to say about it other than that it is a right and therefore protected. Remember what I said under the Constitution Party analysis … I’m an evangelical who is just fine with other religions worshipping freely in this country so long as their worship does no physical harm to anyone or damage property. I’m not threatened by what others believe — I know how it’s going to turn out in the end. A political party that takes a neutral position based on the Constitution aligns itself with my feelings on that subject.

I like that the ACP aren’t going for the presidency in 2016 and plan to focus on city councils and school boards in 2014 and maybe Congressional races in 2016. All politics is local and this sounds like a true grass-roots movement. When, if, they’ve a track record at the local and state levels in enough states, they can become a true national party. That is far more sensible than wasting time, energy and money getting certified for a presidential election at this point. Ballot access laws make that a dicey project at best.

On the other hand, the ACP seems a bit uncomfortable with allowing non-partisans like myself access to some of their state sites. They want money first. That could explain why my fellow Alaskans don’t appear to have formed a state site yet. Most of us are unwilling to buy a pig in a poke.

So, it looks like, at this moment, I am going to remain a non-partisan … for now.

Posted September 6, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in Third Party

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Libertarian Party?   4 comments

The Libertarian Party isn’t really a conservative party. It’s a fiscally conservative party that advocates for leaving the other guy alone. On the surface, I like that idea, but I’ve got some reservations.

I agree that government exists to protect the rights of every individual and should not be engaged in choosing groups of individuals for special protection.

First, I have some good friends who were strong members of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years who withdrew several years ago because of the LP stance on the legalization of drugs and abortion. As a Christian who believes that murder is murder even if the victim is pre-born, I don’t think I can vote for people who say it doesn’t matter. I don’t find the constitutional argument for privacy holding any water in this instance. Our founders never would have agreed that murder was okay so long as it was private. The taking of human life is murder. Maybe I wouldn’t be comfortable with women and doctors who perform abortions being prosecuted as aggressively as people doing driveby shootings, but I still hold with the moral concept that abortion is murder and that the Constitution doesn’t give us a special right to commit murder under special circumstances. “All men are created equal” except if “they’re a black person living below a certain geographical line and then they’re not.” That was a special right granted white southerners by the Supreme Court and it was still wrong.

I agree that the military is way larger than it needs to be and that the United States should not attempt to act as global police officer, but when researching the LP, I also believe we must maintain our ability to wage war on foreign soil and not just react after the fact to aggression that comes against us. I believe that stance will leave us at the mercy of our enemies, fighting on Main Street USA instead of “over there”. We shouldn’t get involved in the wars of others and we shouldn’t pick fights just because we can, but why shouldn’t our enemies be the ones who suffer the consequences when they start wars with us rather than us having to rebuild?

I strongly disagree with allowing an open-borders immigration policy on the grounds that the United States has a right and obligation to its current citizens to protect them not only from military foreign invasion, but also from cultural foreign invasion. The United States of America will not remain the United States of America if we allow ourselves to be overrun by citizens of other countries who have no interest in assimilating to our culture. Even legal immigration needs to be measured to allow for assimilation of new immigrants without overwhelming the existing culture. Immigrants should add to our culture, not transform it.

So, while there are parts of the LP platform that I agree with, I cannot agree with enough of it to feel comfortable with it.

I think I’m beginning to understand why third-parties have such a hard time in national political races.

All Politics is Local   1 comment

What holds up conservativism from sweeping the nation?

When my dad, the classical liberal, used to tease my mom and call her a “conservative”, she was one of a tiny group of self-described conservatives in America. In the 1960s, the entire national “convention” could have been held in the hockey arena in Fairbanks Alaska. Things have changed. Today, 40-45% of the nation’s voters describe themselves as “conservative”. That makes us the largest voting bloc in the nation. But as I explained in my earlier post, mostly we’re supporting the Republican Party in electing moderate progressives who then give “conservatism” a bad name by acting in pretty liberal ways. The Republicans say we conservatives should moderate our positions in order to attract people to the Republican Party, but becoming progressives does not seem like a viable way to advance the cause of conservatism. In fact, I could argue that is what we’ve been doing since the 1990s and look where we are today.

I don’t think our principles are the problem. If they were, our numbers of voluntary association would not be increasing and they are. I think it is the Republican communication of those principles that cause us difficulty. When the Republicans got waxed in the 2012 election, it seemed as if they might self-analyze, but they’ve decided to look more like Democrats, so conservatives need to start looking a lot more like conservatives than Republicans.

If, as a conservative you’re still hanging onto the GOP, there are some things to consider about the 2012 election. The Republicans lost the minority vote, the women’s vote, and the city vote, but they also lost a large number of conservatives – and then they lost the election. If you were following the polls prior to the decision to nominate Mitt Romney, the GOP had a substantial lead over President Obama. That gradually disappeared in the runup to the general election. If you went out on conservative websites, you saw supposedly conservative commentators trying to convince conservative voters that Mitt Romney was palatable to them. But the final election results and polling following show that conservatives stayed home on election night. And the GOP lost the election.

So what does that tell us?

Conservatives are propping up the Grand Old Party and if we withdraw our support, puff, the GOP goes the way of the Whigs. In a 3-way election, if conservatives vote as a bloc, we win. But how do we pull that off?

The American Conservative Party has a good idea. I may be irritated with their insistence that you have to pay to research their ideas, but I give kudos where they’re due. Theyr’e concentrating on local elections and letting the federal level go for now. Why? Because the two major parties have a stranglehold on the federal election … for now. Ballot access laws prevent third parties from getting on the ballot in most states. However, by concentrating on each state individually, third parties can get on local school boards and city councils and then into state legislatures, so that by the time they declare for the Presidency they won’t be unknown to the people in at least a plurality of states. I wonder what color a third party might get on the election map. I like green.

All politics is local anyway and if we can prove to our communities that conservatism works, then we can move onto transforming our state governments and then our nation.

American Conservative Party   Leave a comment

I was leery of the Conservative Party when it first got started in 2008. For one thing, it seemed a bit cheeky to call themselves the American Conservative Party before conservatives had a chance to decide if they had earned that title. And, frankly, there was no time for them to build any sort of consensus by the November 2008 election. I gave them a cursory glance in 2012, but felt that the issues Obama presented were too important to allow him to win while I voted on principle. So, now, assured that there are three years to consider a new direction for the country, I am ready to say I like their platform.

As a Christian who also believes in civil liberties, I like their stand on religious freedom, which is that they don’t have much to say about it other than that it is a right and therefore protected. I like that they aren’t going for the presidency in 2016 and plan to focus on city councils and school boards in 2014 and maybe Congressional races in 2016. All politics is local and this sounds like a true grass-roots movement. When, if, they’ve established a track record at the local and state levels in enough states, they can become a true national party. That is far more sensible than wasting time, energy and money getting certified for a presidential election at this point.

On the other hand, the ACP seems a bit uncomfortable with allowing non-partisans like myself access to some of their state sites. They want money first. That could explain why my fellow Alaskans don’t appear to have formed a state site yet. Most of us are unwilling to buy a pig in a poke.

So, it looks like, at this moment, I am going to remain a non-partisan … for now. If they have a booth at the Alaska State Fair in Fairbanks, I’ll stop and talk with them. If not, well, they’re missing an opportunity here and not just with me, because as I said, most Alaskans are high-information voters.

Finding Our Voice   Leave a comment

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2013/44_are_fiscally_conservative

Conservatives are the largest voting bloc in the United States. According to a January 2012 Gallup poll, 40% of Americans described their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% of liberal. Forty-four percent of likely voters said they were fiscally conservative in a January 2013 Rasmussen poll. So why aren’t we sweeping conservatives into office year after year, presidential election after presidential election? Politics … party politics – dictates that conservatives who vote with the Republican Party are forced to settle for moderate and progressive Republicans and endure the heartburn over broken promises after supporting an impostor.

Ted Cruz celebrates his victory in the Texas Senate race with his father, Rafael, and daughter Caroline on Nov. 6, 2012, in Houston.

It would be untrue for me to say there aren’t good, conservative Republicans holding office. There are some who serve diligently and deserve our profound thanks and support. However, despite their good intentions and hard work, they are powerless against parliamentarian tactics, establishment rule and cronyism. Conservatives have learned to accept that every Republican claims to be conservative during campaign season. The problem with our complacency is they eventually reveal their true colors as progressives and then real conservatives suffer and the conservative movement as a whole loses support. Party politics assures Republicans are voted into office instead of conservatives.

Starting in 2008, conservatives stayed home on Election Day, refusing to support a losing proposition. It was a smallish movement then that probably did not get Barack Obama into the White House, but in 2012 it decided the election of Barack Obama to a second term. Just enough conservatives hang in to keep the Republicans competitive, not knowing they could change the course of our country if we would act in unison.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/08/the_case_of_the_missing_white_voters_116106-2.html

Without our support, the Republican Party would vanish overnight, and America would have a legitimate “conservative movement.” Unfortunately, too many conservatives believe that they have no voice without the Republican Party, so we compromise. Why put one’s self in such a dilemma and partake in such a soul-wrenching affair just to say later that the lesser of the two progressive Republicans is better than a progressive Democrat?

Why not pick up and move camp under a single, solitary conservative party?

I know … they never win … unless people vote for them as happened in 1860 and almost happened in 1992. Conservatives are 40-45% of the electorate. Bill Clinton won the 1992 election with only 38% of the vote. Third parties can make a difference and a true conservative party that spoke to the principles of our voting bloc could easily win a three-way election … which would send a strong message to the liberals and moderates that conservatives really do exist and we really do think our principles are what the country needs.

The real problem for me is … how do you pick one?

Agreeing with Chris Christie   Leave a comment

Yes, I know there are people who think Chris Christie is wrong for planning a special election on Lautenberg’s vacated seat, but I don’t happen to be one of them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/chris-christie-special-election_n_3384968.html

The United States of America was founded on the principle of citizen self-government. We get to vote for our political representatives. Presumably, the people of New Jersey voted for Senator Lautenberg. Chris Christie could appoint someone to take his spot. If you’re a Republican and you want a Republican in that seat, you’re pissed off that Christie is not going to give you what you want

Let’s examine that!

New Jersey is a deep, deep blue state, but it elected Chris Christie — a moderate Republican with some conservative policies — as its governor. The voters also elected Lautenberg, who appears to have been pretty liberal. However, you can’t assume they voted for him five times because they loved his politics. Most people from the East Coast that I know vote on name recognition and the best ad or political rally slogan. I’m not saying there aren’t people on the East Coast who vote on issues and the content of character, but I haven’t met many and my husband’s entire family comes from the East Coast.

So, a special election provides the opportunity for the people of New Jersey to consider a brand-new slate of candidates and the issues they bring to the campaign. It is an opportunity for them to vote for a liberal, an independent, a moderate, or a conservative. They seem to be, by and large, happy with Christie, so it may be that the people of New Jersey will pick a Senator who will be more conservative than Christie might have chosen.

And, if they don’t — that’s their choice. Those of us who live in other states need to recognize that New Jerseyites have a right to be represented by people who they feel will serve their interests rather than those we think will serve ours.

And, folks, you really do need to get over the idea that the GOP represents conservatives. As evidenced by Christie’s chummy behavior with President Obama, the GOP represents the GOP and its political power. Christie may well think Obama can help him get reelected. So, maybe you’d rather the people of New Jersey — who are not coming up for reelection — make this decision.

Who knows? They might pick a third-party conservative candidate who owes nothing to anyone for his election except to the voters themselves.

Why I am Registered Non-Partisan   Leave a comment

I’ve said repeatedly that I am a nonpartisan, so you are unlikely to get a lot of party rhetoric from me. I don’t follow GOP insider news, but I heard this on the radio a while back and researched it, then Don over at Rio del Norte Line asked me something about the Alaska GOP. This story is indicative of why I am a nonpartisan and why I think conservatives are not very bright in continuing their attachment to the Republican Party. This scenario is being played out around the nation, wherever conservatives have tried to move the Republican Party back to the principles of the majority of GOP members. The battle is far from lost, but in Alaska, the “old guard” is winning because they have the resources.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130409/alaska-gop-drama-results-chairwomans-ouster

The fact is that the GOP “old guard” has its own, more or less moderate progressive vision for the State of Alaska while conservatives have a fiscally responsible, smaller government vision for it. Who is in the majority? I don’t know. I’m not a GOP member, so don’t rub elbows with the precincts, but I would note that a “tea party” candidate whipped Lisa Murkowski’s hind end in the largest GOP primary turnout in state history (2010), which indicates an awful lot of people who vote in the GOP primaries favored the conservative candidate. Although the GOP leadership endorsed Joe Miller, their support was half-hearted at best and he lost in a squeaker against the better funded write-in candidate, Lisa Murkowski. I can’t say for sure there were shenanigans going on, but it felt Chicago-like.

I know nothing about Debbie Brown other than she replaced Russ Millett who was never even seated. That’s the bigger story, because Russ Millett was elected by the party at the state convention, but the “old guard” refused to acknowledge him. You will also note in this story in the Alaska Dispatch how dismissive the reporter is toward Millett and supportive of the “leadership of the GOP.

How anyone with principles can think that the Alaska GOP represents the Alaskan people’s interests is beyond me!

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130403/castoff-millette-going-after-alaska-gop-over-misappropriation-funds

For a more balanced story, I’ve included a link to a small press that’s doing great Alaska coverage – the Alaska Native News – and the story on this that ran in the Anchorage Daily News.

http://alaska-native-news.com/political_news/7687-alaska-s-republican-party-ousts-incoming-chairman-russ-millette.html

http://www.adn.com/2013/01/31/2772735/republicans-to-resume-leadership.html

I’m hoping Alaskan conservatives – many of whom are like me and are registered non-partisan/undeclared – will read this and recognize that we need to make some major changes in this state.

This is the latest news on the GOP wrangling.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130501/who-supports-latest-alaska-republican-party-chairman

As I said, as a non-partisan, this is why I will like be voting third-party in next year’s elections. Joe Miller has filed to run against Democrat Mark Begich, but he has to get through the primary and Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell has indicated that he might also be running. They’re both conservatives; Treadwell is more likable and less likely to get comfortable in DC – I know Joe personally and I’ve met Mead and liked him, so I’d probably vote for Treadwell, but I suspect neither of them will make it through the GOP primary if the current GOP leadership is in power. They have their anointed and it isn’t conservatives.

Alaska’s ruling class has always been progressive Republicans. The rest of us here are much more conservative, but because we vote Republican we’ve given these people a great deal of power that they are unwilling to give up. They resist regime change like all good ruling classes and the attempts to foment revolution through party politics are apparently failing.

Besides, I like the idea of sending an Alaska Independence Party candidate to Washington DC. In a state where 58% of registered voters are non-partisan/undeclared, third-parties have a great chance of actually winning. And, I would love to see what an AIP member would do and say in DC. Ted Cruz could use some company.

Don Young Is Not A Racist!   Leave a comment

First, let me preface this by saying I’ve met the man several times and spent an entire day with him back when I was in college. So this is not just a distant observation. Politics in Alaska is closer than it is in almost any other state.

Don Young made an unfortunate comment that is “so Don”. He’s a free-speaking, off-the-cuff, doesn’t-care-if-he-offends Alaskan. This is what Alaskans love about Don. He’s one of us! You Lower 48ers can keep your suave, not-exactly-sure-where-they-stand Congresspeople. We’re hoping to replace Don with someone more conservative/libertarian and just as Alaskan.

His wife of several decades, Lulu, was a Gwich’in Athabaskan (Alaskan Indian). His daughters are also Indians. He and Lulu were completely devoted to one another. His early career was as mayor of Ft. Yukon, a Native village. He still has a home there and still goes back there during vacations and people there say he’s “just folks”. He’s not a racist.

What he said was inappropriate, although if you enter the country illegally, you are a criminal, so you really shouldn’t get up in arms when a citizen calls you a derogatory name. It might have been more appropriate to just say “illegal immigrant”, but the man’s getting old and maybe he’s tired of being politically correct when – like most of the state he represents – he isn’t.

Don has had a long and distinguished career. He chaired the House Transportation Committee for six years and the House Resources Committee for six years. He is currently the second-highest ranking Republican on both committees. He would be chairman of one of them if he hadn’t refused to sign the “no earmarks” pledge. His voting record is moderate, mostly because he has a very pro-labor record. That’s not surprising considering that almost 25% of the workers in Alaska are represented by labor unions.  He’s also anti-abortion, anti-gun control and anti-federal land control. He is one of far-too-few Republicans who voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. From a purely Alaskan standpoint, he has been very good to Alaska – steering a lot of federal dollars our way. As an Alaskan, I see that as a drop in the bucket to what Alaska’s resources pay to the federal government and what economic opportunities Alaskans have missed because of the federal stranglehold on our land, our resources and our environment. I used to say “Release the land hostage and Alaska will take no more federal pork.” These days, I see the federal government is in so much trouble financially from all the spending and I advocate for our delegation to cut pork wherever it can – but I still think the feds ought to release the land hostage. Don also is a big promoter of the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which is still on the table – languishing in the Senate.

So, Don is a mixed bag as a representative. I don’t think he’s any more corrupt than any of his colleagues. I like him personally. He’s very Alaskan. And, he is definitely not a racist.

This is not to say that I am not working toward the goal of replacing Don in the House. Sean Parnell nearly won against him in the 2008 primary and he’s already announced he won’t be running for a second (and a half) gubernatorial term in 2014, so chances are good, Don will be retiring. I personally hope that Don chooses to step down gracefully and allow Sean Parnell (or some other equal candidate) to take his place as the nominee. I’d really like to see an Alaskan Independent Party candidate go to DC. Don’’s done well by Alaska, but the times have changed. We need legislators who are willing to cut the pork and the regulation while still fighting for Alaska’s equal treatment among the 50 states.  Don needs to let younger folks take up that challenge.

GOP Declares War on … Republicans?   3 comments

I give credit where credit is due. This is based on an analytical article by Scott Rasmassen from two weeks ago. As a non-partisan, I have no allegiance to a political party and not much surprises me coming from the GOP anymore. You know, since they tried to convince conservatives that Mitt Romney was one of us, they lack a certain credibility in my view.

 

While Washington media and pundits hailed the “fiscal cliff” deal as a significant bipartisan accomplishment, voters around the country didn’t much agree. According to Rasmussen polls, seven out of 10 Democrats approved of the deal while seven out of 10 Republicans disapproved. I’d say that nine of ten non-partisan conservatives disapproved too.

Coming on the heels of this agreement, Politico reported another area of bipartisan agreement. While Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans “… in many a post-election soul-searching session” have come to agree. The article said that, in light of the party’s election failures of 2012, establishment Republicans (the elites of the party) have concluded that they have a “primary problem.”

Viewed from the ivory towers of the DC power structure, the problem for the GOP is that Republican voters think it’s okay to replace incumbent senators and congressmen who do not represent the views of their constituents. In 2012, Republican voters in Indiana dumped longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary battle. In 2010, Alaskan Republican voters dumped Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a primary battle (although she came back as a write-in candidate to win a 32% plurality, which was just enough to secure her Senate seat from her Republican challenger, Joe Miller). The Indiana battle infuriated establishment Republicans because they liked how Lugar worked and the replacement candidate was flawed and allowed Democrats to win what should have been a safe Republican seat. In Alaska, establishment Republicans also liked Murkowski as opposed to her more conservative GOP opponent, but there was no risk of the Democrat winning the election (which makes one wonder about conspiracies in the halls of power).

Politico reports that the Washington GOP team is gearing up a new effort to protect incumbents and limit the ability of Republican voters to successfully challenge establishment candidates. There’s logic in that move for those whose sole aim is to win a majority in Congress rather than change the course of government policy. Seen from a non-partisan perspective, however, it looks like the professional politicians (the political class as some have called it) are saying that the only way to win is to pick candidates who closely resemble themselves. So why should conservatives, even Republican conservatives, bother to vote if they won’t be allowed to select candidates who represent their values? This may explain why more than two-thirds of Republican voters believe GOP officials in Washington have lost touch with the party’s base and it may also explain the significant drop in GOP participating in this election, despite party registrations making it the largest party in the nation.

It may explain why party elites believe that Mitt Romney was just too conservative for American voters while most conservative voters thought Mitt Romney was a progressive RINO to the point that many of them stayed home on November 6, 2012. This is evidence of the divide between the leadership of the Republican Party and the voters the leaders would like to call their base; a gulf that widens with every election cycle. This cycle some voters stayed home rather than vote for the party anointed; in 2016, they may start voting Libertarian or Constitution Party as a viable option to select a candidate who will represent them.

The GOP establishment has a choice to make. They can either act like grown-up leaders of a national political party in a representative democratic republic or they can protect their own self-interest like any good oligarchy.

An oligarchy protects its self-interest and stays in power no matter who it has to sell out. After decades of pandering to conservative voters to keep us as their base, the GOP establishment has now decided it must, at least in the short-term, pander to other groups to try to bring them into the big tent. With all due respect, you are never going to please conservatives by spending a lot of money on unpopular programs like welfare and auto company bailouts. We want smaller government that spends less and is paying down the debt. You might win the mushy middle, but what good does that do you if you lose the 38% of the electorate that self-describe as conservative?  And recognize that the 30.3% of voters who are registered unaffiliated include voters like me who are CONSERVATIVES to the right of the GOP base but willing to vote with you-all if you give us at least some of what we want.

If the GOP elite want to act like a national party in a representative democratic republic, they need to understand their constituents. Mature party leaders would spend significant amounts of time listening to Republican voters rather than isolating themselves further from them. They’d ask the tough questions about why we prefer “tea party” candidates over their establishment anointed candidates. They would seriously ponder why just half of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of House Speaker John Boehner, who is the current face of the Republican leadership. They would analyze why only 37 percent of Republicans believe the economy is mediocre – not good, but merely fair.  And, they’d take responsibility like grown-ups and acknowledge that government spending in the US has gone up every year since 1954 regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats were in the majority. Then, after some real soul searching, these party elitist would-be leaders would chart a realistic course to address those concerns. That new “contract with America” would include some bitter medicine for the political elite of the GOP, such as giving up corporate welfare programs that benefit their friends and allies. Then they would take the bold step of sharing this plan of correction with the voters and helping Republican voters identify primary candidates who challenge the establishment who could also be effective on the campaign trail without sounding like Democrats.

My prediction is that the GOP elite will continue to protect the insiders from the voters and keep their perks rather than represent their constituency. Expect more “centrist” candidates who will promise greater spending and more programs that appeal to the optimistically misinformed. Don’t be surprised if your state GOP announces a move to Republican caucus primaries that favor insiders away from primary elections that favor the general electorate. This confirmation of the GOP oligarchy should be a signal for GOP conservatives (and anyone else who thinks our elected officials should represent us rather than themselves) to leave the Grand Old Party in droves and seek third-party representation that more closely resembles our values.

Both Major Parties are Irreversibly Broken   2 comments

This post by Cynthia Tucker in the Philadelphia Inquirer resonates with me, even though I don’t agree with her conclusions.

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20130107_Myth_of_the_frugal_Republican.html

Ms. Tucker’s rant concerning the Republican Party can be aimed squarely at both major political parties. Neither of them is interested in cutting spending and each has their own pet projects that just have to receive full funding. The Republican Party needs to look honestly at the defense budget and make substantive changes that do not reduce our defense capabilities, including our ability to respond overseas to threats to our national security, but do reduce overall spending. There’s a lot of waste. Let’s start with a simple clear-headed look at what we ACTUALLY pay our service men. Oooo, third-rail! How dare I mention this! I live in a military town so I know things many people don’t know. Servicemen get paid a slightly below average wage for what they do. However, that is offset by a very generous housing allowance – so generous that off-base rental housing in Fairbanks Alaska is unaffordable by the average working family. It is indeed cheaper to buy here, by about 25%, and the difference is driven by the military housing allowance. I suspect if we researched other areas of country with large military presence, we’d find a similar situation in the off-base rental market. When you gather in the perks that come with a military paycheck you quickly find that military members make more than the prevailing wage and it’s a stable income. It’s also, overwhelmingly, a much safer profession than, say, electrician or fire fighter (to name two occupations that get paid about what a warrant officer makes). Yes, sometimes you have to go to war, but most soldiers never get anywhere near combat. So, let’s be realistic and give it an honest look.

Democrats – seriously, three years of unemployment? Supported housing? Food stamps? Paid-for daycare for non-working women? Free education? Free cell phones? Free mass transportation – maybe we should give these folks free cars? Free health care? Free … free … there is no such thing as a free lunch, so somebody has to pay for it. What percentage of a $250,000 income is considered acceptable? Just so you know – if you tax $250,000 at 90%, the earner still has $25,000 to live on. Does that seem fair? And, when that still isn’t enough – what then? Do we start revising the definition of “rich” downward or do we start asking people who are able to get off their butts and work for a living?

http://washingtonexaminer.com/message-from-alaska-our-disaster-relief-isnt-pork/article/2517643

Baby steps would be nice. Let’s take a good look at how we do spending bills. Instead of passing huge omnibus bills that are filled with pork or, as the above article points out, worthy but unrelated disaster relief, how about we require Congress to break these bills out so we actually know what we’re spending and why we’re spending it.

No, that’s not going to happen anytime in the next two years, but we the people can start demanding it now so that in two years we can elect representatives who will move in that direction.

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