A 2012 Republican Strategy for Congress

A great editorialearlier this month by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.

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America’s Choice seeks to highlight the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party led by President Obama. It could do so over the coming months by presenting to the country, through a series of votes in the House of Representatives, the battle between those who believe in broadest terms in limited government and freedom and those who promote government control and dependency.

What are the choices these votes could present? Growing government spending and debt or growing the private sector and reducing government. Limiting energy development or using America’s energy resources. Punishing success or pro-growth tax reform. A government takeover of health care or repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with patient-centered, free-market reforms.

The alternatives are stark. President Obama’s faith in government is so strong that he has increased its size to 24% of gross domestic product from 21%, and increased our nation’s debt by over $4 trillion. Republicans, on the other hand, believe long-term self-sustaining jobs are created in the private sector—that government cannot tax, spend and borrow our nation to prosperity.

As Senator Johnson points out, this strategy highlights the stark differences in vision with the Democrats and President Obama.

America’s Choice would clearly present two different visions of the country’s future—one represented by the Republican Party and the other represented by the Democratic Party and its leader, President Obama. Once Congress returns from recess later this month, the Republican majority in the House could focus on one major area of domestic policy at a time. For example, February could be used to debate, craft and pass an energy utilization policy.

When the House debates and passes an agenda item, Republican senators, candidates and conservative groups could concentrate on the same issue, using the same powerful facts and figures to inform and persuade the American public. Coordinating our focused efforts improves our ability to compete with the presidential bully pulpit and counteract media outlets that often work to marginalize us.

In 2011, President Obama stopped running the country and started running his re-election campaign. In his cynical attempt to divert attention away from his record by dividing us, Republicans have been put on defense. The America’s Choice agenda would put us on offense.

If done well, we just might put enough pressure on Senate Democrats and the president to actually pass legislation that will begin to solve our problems. If not, Republicans will have provided Americans with a clear choice in November.

And ultimately that is what Republicans need to do in the coming months, provide a clear choice to voters.  Especially since the prospects of President Obama working with Republicans are very slim.

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Palin: Eliminate all energy subsidies

Hmm looks like Wisconsin 8th District Congressman Reid Ribble isn’t the only Republican who thinks all energy subsidies should be on the table.

Seems presumptive Presidential candidate and former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin agrees.

Asked Tuesday whether she supports the federal subsidy of ethanol, an always critical issue in the presidential nominating cycle, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went one step further and called for the elimination of all energy subsidies.

“I think that all of our energy subsidies need to be relooked at today and eliminated,” Palin told RCP during a quick stop at a coffee shop in this picturesque town tucked into the south-central Pennsylvania countryside. “And we need to make sure that we’re investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren’t going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can’t afford it.”

“We’ve got to allow the free market to dictate what’s most efficient and economical for our nation’s economy. No, at this time, our country can’t afford the subsidies. Before, though, we even start arguing about some of these domestic subsidies that need to be eliminated — should be — we need to look at ending subsidies and loans to foreign countries and their energy production that we’re relying on, like Brazil.”

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Bobby Jindal lashes out at Obama administration

The point needs to be made that a moratorium on deepwater drilling is going to result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

Way to keep up the heat Governor Jindal!

(H/T – Gateway  Pundit)

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Built on a house of cards?

That’s apparently the deal with Wisconsin‘s global warming bill.

Critics of the so-called “Clean Energy Jobs Act” (CEJA) bill are pointing to a major assumption it makes about future national regulation of carbon emissions that would make or break the bill.

Right now it is cheaper to produce electricity from fossil fuels than from renewable sources.  Supporters of CEJA are counting on that to change.

In calculating the cost-benefits of CEJA, The Wisconsin Public Service Commission “assumed a future cost for emitting carbon dioxide from power plants that starts at $20/ton and rises slowly with inflation,” according to the Office of Energy Independence.  If that happens, the PSC says it will then be cheaper to produce electricity from renewable sources than from fossil fuels.

To capitalize on that possibility, CEJA would enforce Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that set requirements on how much renewable energy utilities would have to sell.  By 2025, a full 25 percent of all electricity sold in Wisconsin would have to come from renewable sources, under the bill.

If the PSC’s assumption is correct, the Office of Energy Independence predicts electric utility bills would go down under this legislation.” However, to date, the federal government has had little luck in passing that  type of carbon regulation, the PSC is counting on.

Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) argued it’s dangerous to base state legislation on what might or might not happen in Washington at some unkown date in the future.

“Those are tremendous assumptions and take remarkable leaps of faith, because if Cap and Trade in Washington isn’t dead, it’s certainly on life support,” stated Heubsch during a panel discussion.

Representatives Spencer Black (D-Madison) and Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay), who wrote the Assembly version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, sat on the panel with Heubsch and defended reying on the assumption.

Representative Soletski argued it is not a great leap of faith to believe Washington will eventually pass some form of carbon regulation, and Wisconsin needs to be ready for it.

“If not now, when?  It’s going to happen,” said Soletski. “We are going to put an emphasis on renewables.  We are going to put an emphasis on efficiency.  Are we going to do this in 2010, or are we going to do this in 2020 or 2030?”

Representative Black argued other states used the same methods as Wisconsin in analyzing potential climate legislation, but Wisconsin has been much more responsible in its assumptions.

“Other states have actually gotten much more robust numbers,” said Black. “Very intentionally, the Public Service Commission put in the most conservative assumptions, so it is completely defensible.” (Source: MacIver Institute)

So now we pass legislation in Madison based on assumptions?  Nice.

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