March 19, 2012
By Brian Darling
On March 12, President Obama blamed high gas prices on “speculation about possible war in the Middle East” and “loose talk about war.” The president obviously wanted to implicate hawkish conservatives as bad guys when Americans go to the gas pump.This isn’t the first time. The Obama campaign also is waging a campaign alleging that Republicans are anti-woman. Obama used the phrase “hostage-takers” to describe congressional members of the Republican Party who obstructed his attempts to increase taxes. Expect more rhetoric along these lines as the campaign moves along.It seems like the only strategy available for the president to secure a second term is to use the media to distract voters from his lack of action to lower gas prices, his failure to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and his anti-growth economic policies.Repeal ObamaCareYet another reason has been put forth for a full repeal of ObamaCare this past week—cost.The cost of ObamaCare is far greater than President Obama promised. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that ObamaCare will cost $1.8 trillion between now and 2022. This is far higher than the $900 billion that was promised when the bill was passed.President Obama’s campaign website states that ObamaCare “will make healthcare more affordable for families and small businesses.” Clearly, this law won’t make healthcare more affordable to taxpayers.At this time when Congress is considering different bills to partially repeal ObamaCare, this study provides yet another reason it should be repealed in full. Republicans cave on nominationsLast week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on 17 District Court nominees. Reid claimed that Republican senators were slowing the nomination process by filibustering judges, even though there had yet to be one word of debate on the Senate floor on any of these nominations. This was another Reid attempt to paint Republicans as “obstructionists.”In the face of Reid’s threat to force votes on all 17 nominees and to force Republicans into filibustering the judges, Republicans caved. They gave Reid an agreement to allow votes on most of the District Court nominees. Furthermore, Reid bullied them into allowing votes on two nominees to the Circuit Courts of Appeals.If the Timid Party doesn’t toughen up soon, this is going to be a long year for conservatives.Violence Against Women ActSenate Democrats are pushing for a reauthorization of the “Violence Against Women Act,” or VAWA. This legislation is classic special-interest politics. Like federal “Hate Crimes” laws that add criminal punishment to crimes against protected groups and affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to individuals based on race, the VAWA is based on a faulty premise. The police functions of government are best left to the states, not the federal government. This legislation should be tossed aside with other attempts to use federal law to buy block of votes.The VAWA would increase federal tax dollars going to groups who work on domestic violence issues, increase legal aid to victims, expand the definition of violence to include stalking and provide handouts to local courts to hire more counseling services. These ideas all sound good, yet they have no authorization in the Constitution. They’re more properly handled at the state and local level.According to The New York Times, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) urged her colleagues to surrender on this issue for fear of Republicans, being painted as anti-woman. Evidently, identity politics has a constituency in both parties.The issue of gay rights has crept into this debate with a provision being added allowing same-sex couples to seek protection and aid under this proposed law. So it is possible for a male victim of violence by another male, if and only if they are in a sexual relationship, to seek federal aid and protection under the Violence Against Women Act.Senate Democrats recognize that this legislation will play well into the Obama campaign theme of painting Republicans as anti-women, therefore they will use the good faith opposition of conservatives to demagogue the issue to the American people.A Republican for class warfareAccording to Politico, Freshman Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) has a new plan to impose a millionaire’s tax as part of his package to cut the deficit. Some on the right get it wrong when they try to increase revenues as a means of balancing the budget. The problem isn’t that taxes are too low, it’s that government is too big.Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has a budget that balances in five years and does not raise a penny in taxes. Paul’s plan, unlike Crawford’s plan, eliminates the departments of Commerce, Education, Housing and Urban Development and Energy and privatizes the Transportation Security Administration.
Brian H. Darling is a senior fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.
First appeared in Human Events
Senior Fellow for Government Studies
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