Tag Archives: Republicans

America…where have I been you ask?

ShrugEmoticon-1024x682This summer, updates to The MidWest Wing have been sporadic at best and I apologize for that. You might be asking – where has he been, is this place dying? The answer to the latter part is an emphatic NO. Answering the former will take a little longer though. In simple terms, I have been busy writing elsewhere for places that generate income. But there is more to it than just that. I have been struggling with what I want this place to be, to become? Where do I want to go? Do I want this to just be a place where I post news and come to vent or do I want to get back to my original goal?

When I started this blog a couple of years back I had reasoning. It has gone through a couple different names and a few different websites but the idea and motivation remain the same – to change America. I thought maybe I could be a news site, aggregating some overlooked stories and putting my spin on them. That is what my weekly columns all started out as. But then, frankly, they became bland and boring. They weren’t ME and it reflected in my writing. I was struggling each week to find something worthwhile and just picking stories that fit into a large bubble of being slightly topical to the assigned topic/state at hand on any given day. People should come here not to see the same stuff they can get anywhere else, The MidWest Wing should be a place where unique ideas are discussed, where interesting concepts are flushed out…NOT where the same political junk is rehashed and recycled or a place you read about something that might just as well appear on your local news. Continue reading

North Dakota’s Property Tax Question

 

North Dakota State Mill in Grand Forks, North ...

North Dakota State Mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, citizens in North Dakota will go to the polls to decide whether or not to end property taxes.  That’s right – END property taxes.  This isn’t a  measure like many states have, where they will cap them at a certain percentage, or lower them.  North Dakotans (is that what they call themselves?) will be voting on a measure that removes over $800 in revenue from the State and completely ends the levy of property tax on the citizens.  The measure is not likely to pass (according to the linked NYT article) but it is very interesting to look at.

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The “Occupy…” And “Tea Party” Movements – Brothers From The Same Mother

It seems that each party has its lightning rod subgroups, with the Republicans it is the Tea Party and with the Democrats it is – or could become – the Occupy (wherever) Movement.  In 2008 and 2009 the Tea Party movement was born and grew from nothing into a very big something.  In 2011, the Occupy (insert place here) Movement spring up across the nation.  One group – very conservative, the other – very liberal.  What is interesting though is that these two groups are really born out of the same issue – unhappiness with government role and actions within our economy.

Tea Party Protest, Washington D.C. September 1...

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Simple Social Security Solutions

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is trying to tackle a topic the peer group he aspires to join can’t seem to be bothered with – fixing Social Security.  Duane Sand* is running for Senate in North Dakota and has come forward with a simple, no nonsense solution for Social Security that provides areas of reform that both parties should like.

  • Reducing the combined employer-employee tax rate from 12.4 percent to 7.6 percent, a 40 percent rate reduction.
  • He also would establish a retirement age of 70 for everyone born after 2024.
  • Eliminate the current contribution cap, or the cap at which annual income is taxed for Social Security (the cap in 2011 was $106,800)

Sand said eliminating the cap would, in essence, create a flat tax and would ensure that all taxpayers, including those who make more than the $106,800 cap, are paying their fair share.

Sand also proposes to apply means testing to Social Security benefits based on retirement income needs, which he said would allow the program to cease being an entitlement regardless of income and act as a “true safety-net program.”

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Where to Cut – Special Elections

The State of New York recently held a Special Election to fill the 26th CD seat vacated after the Congressman resigned for inappropriate behavior.  We may even see another one in New York given the recent actions of Rep. Anthony Weiner, although he has said he will not resign.  It seems that lately, due to scandal or political ladder climbing, at least one state endures a Special Election every year to fill a vacant House seat.  Some states, like Indiana in 2010 after Rep. Mark Souder’s admittance of an affair, chose to leave these seats vacant or use the General Election as the Special Election.  Each state can handle this situation different depending on their State Constitution and their Governor.

I would advocate that we fully do away with the Special Election.  While the House of Representatives is supposed to reflect the will of the people, the people generally are consistent (the exception being in new or altered districts created by redistricting).  How often do we see a member of the same party take over the seat in question, and depending on the situation, it could even be someone from the departing Congressperson’s own staff.  To me, this just screams of a waste of taxpayers money and time.  With elections every two years, the “people” have a regular chance to voice their opinion – whether it be displeasure or gratitude towards their U.S. Representatives.  I am sure the leadership of both political parties disagree with my stance as they constantly pour money into these special elections.  To them, the results for one Congressional District can be a barometer for the entire Nation…unless their candidate loses.

Perhaps a better way to handle sudden openings in a Congressional seat is to instead appoint a person to fill that seat, much like they do with the most Senate openings.  If a seat is held by a Republican, then a Republican should be appointed to fill the remainder of the term, the same goes if the previous office holder was a Democrat.  Furthermore, to eliminate any sort of “incumbency advantage” (or the reverse, having a GOP Governor appoint a weak Dem so they GOP can overtake the seat next time) I would advocate that the person who fills said seat not be allowed to run for that office in the next election.  While I understand there is a downside to this by creating a “lame-duck” office holder, they are only one of 435 and would not be viewed that much differently than some who have been in Washington for quite some time while accomplishing very little.

In the end, I think this would result in a savings to the tax-payer and would also not subject them to further politicking – which we know many Americans already are tired of.  We need to not waste money just because party leadership in Washington thinks it is a good idea.  If they really want a special election to serve a mid-session barometer, then the RNC and DNC should fit the bill themselves instead of leaving the tax-payers of the state holding the bill.

The GOP should dare to DREAM

Immigration, much like gas costs and things related to it, seems to like it could be a popular topic on this site.  Here in Indiana the topic of the DREAM Act has resurfaced thanks to the early campaigning for the 2012 Republican nomination for United States Senator.  While I am not going to get into the whos, hows and whys that are going around, I do find the topic of immigration to be fascination (and as such, will probably have more on it soon).  It is interesting that a country that was created from/by/for immigrants is now so afraid of them.

The DREAM Act is one of those policy ideas that has seemingly been in existence forever, as it was first introduced in 2001 with the backing of President George W. Bush.  Throughout the years, some wording has changed but the basic premise has remained the same – the DREAM Act affords a sector of immigrants who came here illegally a chance to gain legal status upon meeting a certain set of criteria.  It applies to young immigrants, assumed to have come over with their parents, who want to continue to live and work in the United States (as such, be part of the “American Dream”).

Initially, I had planned to discuss some of the policy implications of the DREAM Act, but that is pretty widely available.  Instead, I want to encourage people to read more into it.  Don’t listen to just the soundbites and news clippings, contact your Congressperson for information and ask why he/she is or is not supporting it.  At the very least, take a look at the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act) to help make an informed decision.  In my view, equaling the DREAM Act to Amnesty is wrong as these are the children of immigrants and it would only really apply to a small section of those as is.  America is only as strong as its next generation; if we as Republicans and Americans can help residents become citizens through their own contributions, then our country and our party will be better off in the end.

The Right to Work

“The Right to Work” and Union Labor in Wisconsin and Indiana has become a big issue.  Democrats in the respective state legislatures have run to Illinois to avoid voting on these issues (actually, they have fled to basically hold their states hostage).  At issue is the discussion over making Unionization voluntary rather than forced upon employees in certain jobs.

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The Right to Work

“The Right to Work” and Union Labor in Wisconsin and Indiana has become a big issue.  Democrats in the respective state legislatures have run to Illinois to avoid voting on these issues (actually, they have fled to basically hold their states hostage).  At issue is the discussion over making Unionization voluntary rather than forced upon employees in certain jobs.

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Incorrect outrage over Congressional Health Care

In the past few weeks I have noticed a rise in the popularity of a common misperception: free health-care for our US Senators and Representatives.  Furthermore, some even carry it forward to their staffs (this also goes along with the “Congressional Employees and Officials do not pay into Social Security but receive all the benefits).

Simply put, this is 100% false.

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