Why You Are A Conservative

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guns: A Winning Issue

Over the last several decades our nation's moral compass has deteriorated. The prison population has steadily increased, drugs are more and more rampant, and, while there are some signs that the younger generations of Americans are increasingly likely to believe that abortion is morally wrong, abortions in America have not declined and are accepted by much of mainstream society. Conservatives have sought to stem America's cultural decline, but seem to be losing on many fronts. Yet there is one cultural issue that the right seems to be winning and winning big: the private ownership of guns.

Conservatives believe that allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns allows those same law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals. Liberals, on the other hand believe a wholesale ban on all guns will make society safer. Yet, the highest gun murder rates in America can be found in those cities where guns, or at least handguns, are banned. Washington D.C.'s strict gun control ban did not keep it from becoming the murder capital of the world. Chicago and New York also have strict gun bans, but high murder rates. In fact crime has gotten so bad in Chicago that some leaders of that city have called for the national guard to come into the city and assist law enforcement. The relationship between Chicago's strict gun ban, put into place by Democrats and supported by liberals such as Chicago's own Barack Obama, and the high crime rate should be obvious; simply passing a law banning guns will strip law-abiding citizens of the right to protect themselves, while criminals, who could care less about the law, are able to arm themselves. In addition, criminals in places where guns are banned know that law abiding citizens will follow the law and disarm, making it safer for him to continue committing crimes.

The plight of many large American cities with gun bans is yet another example of the unintended consequences of liberal policies. The liberals that have been in charge of these big American cities for decades truly believe that if they ban guns, no one will have guns. Such a simplistic view does not take into account the reality that criminals ignore the laws of society. That is what makes them criminals. For instance, many drug dealers have to carry a gun regardless of what law is on the books in order to protect their product, their organization, and themselves. That calculation will not change whether or not some politicians have voted to ban guns altogether.

While the ineffectiveness of gun bans in large urbanized areas of America has continued for years, in the wake of Barack Obama's ascendancy to the presidency, gun ownership in America has skyrocketed. In fact, only until recently has the ammunition shortage seen in 2009 abated. This is clearly a reaction by a large percentage of the population concerned that Obama's policies will erode their Second Amendment rights. Fearing that Obama will try to restrict gun ownership and gun use as much as he can, many Americans are choosing to buy guns and ammunition now out of concern of what the future holds.

Yet politically, President Obama and other gun control advocates have seen some significant set-backs in recent years. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Washington D.C. handgun ban was unconsitutional and popular opinion has steadly become more and more supportive of the idea that the populace has the right to arm themselves. While conservatives still have an uphill climb when it comes to reversing the decline of morality in America, the acceptance of the idea that the citizenry has a right to arm itself seems to have become more and more entrenched in the America psyche. This is a winning issue for conservatives in the long run and is a bright spot for conservatives in the ongoing war over America's soul.

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Message to My Fellow Americans

I'm tired. My job is very demanding. It required a lot of education to obtain it and it takes tons of hard work to keep it. Many times I give up my entire weekend, on a moments notice, to do my job. But that is not why I am tired. I've worked hard my entire life and by now I am used to it. In fact, I like my job very much. It is fulfilling, challenging and pays well.

Simply put, I am tired of having to pay for your stuff. I am tired of subsidizing your education. I am tired of paying your social security. I am tired of paying the costs required to raise your children. I am tired of paying for the roads that you use. I am tired of paying for your food, shelter, and clothing. I am tired of paying you farming subsidies. And with a new massive health care entitlement on the horizon, I will quickly tire of having to pay for your health care and will be disgusted to pay for your abortions.

You see, I am tired of paying for all this stuff because you don't have the common decency to provide for yourself. Yet you elect politicians who force me to pay for all of this on your behalf through taxes and an increase in the national debt, which will force my children to pay even more in taxes. We are different because I am a part of the small minority in this country who pays more in taxes than they receive in benefits. You, on the other hand, are able to steal from me by electing politicians to do the deed for you.

Now I didn't go to a private school. I went to public school. My parents aren't rich. I don't have a trust fund. I got the same education many of you got. The difference is that I took advantage of it and worked hard, which is why I have a job that pays handsomely today. Yet instead of praising me and thanking me for providing all that I do for you by paying for the government that you insist on expanding, I am despised. I am labeled "rich" and "greedy" because my job pays me over $100,000 a year. Never mind that I must give 50% of my income to the federal, state, and local governments in the form of income, property, and sales taxes. Never mind that I had to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans, or that instead of partying in college on the weekends like many of you did, I studied. Never mind that I pay more for everything I buy because you elect politicians that impose more and more costs on private industry, which then simply passes those costs onto me. Never mind all that. Apparently I should just pay more for the common good, even as it becomes more and more clear to me that most of the money I give to my government and, in essence to you, is wasted.

I have watched with much dismay the American government larger every year of my life. I have watched as many of you have loudly demanded something from me and the rest of productive society, whether it be more money, favorable treatment, or special rules. And like I said, I am tired.

And the day might soon arrive when I just say "Enough!." I'll decide that working this hard isn't worth it when I have to carry so many of you on my back. And when I decide to stop carrying you and providing for you, what will you do? What will happen to you when I shrug?

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Perry for Governor

On Tuesday March 2, Texans will go to the polls to vote in either the Republican or Democrat primary. All conservatives should carefully consider their vote on March 2, especially in the race for governor. As many are aware the current governor, Rick Perry, is facing a challenge from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson for the right to be the Republican nominee for Governor. I urge every conservative to show up on March 2 and vote in the Republican primary for Rick Perry.

Bad government policies imposed by the federal government involving intervention in the housing, banking, and health care industries has led to the prolonged economic downturn we are dealing with in America today. Yet Texas is the leader in job growth and economic strength. In 2008, according to economists who analyzed the data, Texas created more jobs than all the other states combined. Why is that the case? What makes Texas so special? There are many reasons for the recent success of Texas in weathering the economic downturn, but one of the major ones has been the action, or lack thereof, of the state’s political leaders.

You may struggling to think of any major initiative or law that Perry has pursued that might have been the impetuous for the resilience of the Texas economy in the last few years. That is because there hasn’t been one. And that is the point. Economies do better when politicians stay out of the way and let the economy go through natural ups and downs. When taxes are raised and regulation is increased it becomes less profitable for businesses to operate. Less profitability means fewer jobs and fewer benefits. By not doing anything, while the federal government and most other states have been frantically trying to raise taxes and increase regulation, the politicians in Texas have allowed Texans to get back on their financial feet, instead of having to pay more taxes or deal with more regulation.

That is not to say that Perry has not down anything to improve the Texas economy. Small scale ideas implemented by Perry such as targeted tax cuts and the establishment of "Rainy Day" savings fund that can be used to fund the state government in the future were solid successes. But Perry's greatest success story is that he resisted the temptation most politicians in Washington D.C. and in other states around the country have to increase taxes and pass more laws in an attempt to "fix" the economy. As the liberal economic policies of Barack Obama have proven once again, government simply transfers wealth from one person to another, it cannot increase wealth, and it certainly cannot create private sector jobs. Texas is both creating wealth and creating jobs when most of the country is doing the opposite precisely because it getting out of the way.

Senator Hutchinson, on the other hand, is the epitome of a big-government Republican who has sent too much time in Washington D.C. I could spent all day citing examples of Senator Hutchinson's big government, big spending proclivities (for instance she has voted nine times to raise the federal debt ceiling), but one recent vote by Senator Hutchinson should dissuade anyone of believing she is a fiscal conservative. In October 2008 Senator Hutchinson voted to bail out large financial institutions, costing taxpayer $700 billion dollars. While the bill contemplated the banks that received this money would pay back the taxpayers with interest, as with most federal programs, the bailout has been fraught with fraud. In addition, the Obama administration is now attempting to use the money paid back by the banks for large new spending programs rather than reducing the national debt. As result, taxpayers stand to lose billions on a program that rewarded banks who made bad business choices. Senator Hutchinson, if she were truly a conservative, would have realized that the money spent bailing out banks will never be recovered. Instead of voting against the bailout, she embraced it.

Simply put, our nation is broke. We cannot keep spending money we do not have without severe consequences in the future. Senator Hutchinson's vote to add billions to the national debt to bail out private companies should disqualify her to lead Texas. The last thing Texas needs is to import the big spending ideals of Washington D.C. and California.

Now that is not to say the Governor Perry has not had his missteps. In 2007 Perry issued an executive order forcing all sixth grade girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer. It is not clear why Perry chose to require the vaccination instead of making the program voluntary to ensure that parents made the ultimate decision. Regardless of the vaccine’s value, quite a few Texas parents found the mandate to be a troubling overreach of government authority, and three months later, Perry accepted a law that reversed his mandate. Yet a minor misstep like this is forgivable to social conservatives in light of Senator Hutchinson's constant and consistent pro-choice stance, including supporting the Roe v. Wade decision.

This March the choice could not be more clear for conservatives. Governor Rick Perry deserves to be reelected as Governor of Texas.

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Liberal Economy

Over the last few months Americans have realized that the American economy will not be roaring back anytime soon. As as result, liberals in power and liberals who voted those liberals into power are quick to blame the Republican Party, especially George W. Bush, for the ills of today. Nevermind the Democrat party has controlled both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate since the end of 2006.

Yet it should be clear that the policies of the left should bear the brunt of the blame for America's current situation. Barack Obama has been in power for a year and during that time has enjoyed a congressional majority of members from his own party rarely seen in American politics. The House of Representatives has 256 Democrats and only 178 Republicans. In addition, the U.S. Senate has 60 members who are either Democrats or are left-leaning independents, while only 40 members are Republican.

Such a power disparity has allowed the left to control economic policy. This control resulted in the $787 billion dollar "stimulus" plan, the cash-for-clunkers program, and bailouts of large banks and the automobile industry. Each of these programs has been an unmitigated disaster.

In February 2009 Congress and President Obama promised the stimulus would prevent American unemployment from reaching 8.0%. However, not only did unemployment race past 8.0% after the stimulus was passed, unemployment climbed to 10.0%. Now, almost one year since passage of the stimulus, unemployment has not improved and the country is $787 billion more in debt. The stimulus is yet another example in American history of failure by government to create and sustain jobs.

The cash-for-clunkers program gave a $4,500 subsidy for giving up a car that was fuel inefficient for a newer model that supposedly was more fuel efficient. The result was a boon for the car companies, at least in the short-term when consumers realized that they could use $4,500 from their neighbor (using the federal tax collectors as an intermediary) to buy a new car. However, Congress only allocated $1 billion for the program. That limit was met in a matter of days as consumers clamored to exchange their old cars for new ones using someone else's money. Congress, thinking this transfer of wealth a success, quickly allocated another $2 billion. The result was even further destruction of perfectly good cars and a complete waste of $3 billion.

But that failure was tiny compared to the decision by the Obama administration to bail out most of America's financial institutions and the formerly mighty car companies General Motors and Chrysler with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. This decision saved the companies in the short-term, but has done nothing to turn around the American economy. And, as usual, the American taxpayer is stuck with the bill.

Over the last year the members of the American governing elite, today dominated by the left, have demonstrated that their policies are not only ineffective but are destructive to the American economy. It should be clear by now that increasing government spending, expanding the federal debt by the trillions, and bailing out select companies does not serve to expand an economy. Until the American people understand that and start electing those who know that private enterprise, not government, is the best and only way to create lasting wealth, people like Barack Obama and Congressional liberals will continue to implement policies that erode the greatest economy in the history of mankind.

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ted Kennedy: Liberal to the End

On August 25th Senator Ted Kennedy died of a brain tumor. As a Senator from Massachusetts who served from 1962-2009, Kennedy was the third-longest serving member of the Senate in American history. No one should ever personally attack a politician of either party when they die, but the political legacy of Ted Kennedy is important for conservatives to remember because during his time in the Senate Kennedy pushed and enacted hundreds of laws that have had disastrous consequences for America.

For instance, in 1965 Kennedy sponsored the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which set the stage for a flood of illegal immigrants coming to America. The bill loosened immigration laws, making it much easier for would be illegals to come and stay in America. Today, it is estimated that over 20 million illegal immigrants are in the United States.

In 2001 Senator Kennedy joined with President George W. Bush to enact the "No Child Left Behind" law that greatly expanded the federal government's role in the oversight of American public education. Not only that, but even though the bill has resulted in a 20% increase in federal education spending, American test scores have continued to plummet. As with most things, the more the federal government has become involved with education the worse education has become.

Senator Kennedy was also a rabid supporter of universal health care in the form of a government takeover of the health care system. Yet where did he go for treatment for his condition? Not Cuba, England, Canada or France; all countries whose health care systems he praised at one time or another. No, he got the best treatment available in America and it prolonged his life for over a year. If he was simply an ordinary man, under the government systems in other countries, he would have had to wait for months for any substantive treatment. In America he was treated right away.

Also of note, Senator Kennedy's presidential aspirations were dashed when, in 1969, Kennedy, vacationing on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, got into a car with Mary Jo Kopechne as a passenger. Kennedy was drunk at the time and he drove his car off a bridge. Kennedy swam to safety, but did not notify the police until hours after the incident, when the car was discovered. Kopechne drowned. The District Attorney, a political ally of Kennedy, did not pursue manslaughter charges. Then the people of Massachusetts, in their infinite wisdom, went on to re-elect Kennedy eight more times.

Ted Kennedy's political legacy will be that of hard-core liberalism. No one should wish another ill will. However, from a political perspective, the liberal ideals that Ted Kennedy championed in the United States Senate will not be missed.

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~The Conservative Guy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nationalizing Health Care

It has become clear that President Obama and Democrats in Congress intend to completely change the health care system in America. While their exact plan is unclear, what is clear is that the federal government will have a much larger role in the American health care system. In the western world, America is unique in that the private sector, not the government, plays the majority role in providing health care. But those with power in Washington today want that to change. They want to make our system similar to those in England, France, and Canada where the government supposedly makes health care "free."

Yet, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. While the health care systems in those countries are "free," those systems have resulted in rationing. Health care is rationed in those countries because there are not enough doctors, medical personnel, medical equipment, or drugs to meet the demand. Since governments only take in funds through taxes, their budgets are limited. These limited budgets mean some things can be provided for "free" but many goods and services simply are not available when the tax revenue runs out. For instance, millions of Canadians cannot find a family doctor and wait months, if not years, for simple surgeries. In France the supply of doctors is so limited that in the 2003 heat wave in that country 15,000 citizens died from a lack of care. In America's quasi-free market system, demand can be satisfied by profit seeking companies and hospitals that provide goods and services for a price.

Another factor to consider is the effect nationalizing health care will have on American medical innovation. The world is almost totally dependant on American medical innovations. Almost all the new drugs and medical equipment are created by American companies. The government run health care systems in the western world discourage innovation because there is no profit incentive to innovate. What company would spend millions of dollars developing the next cancer drug or a new surgical device if their government forces them to sell the product at a price so low costs cannot be recouped in order to provide everyone with "free" health care? In America pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Merck spend billions of each year developing new drugs because they can then turn around and sell those drugs for a profit. Those billions of dollars spent on research and development would not be spent under a government system since the government would inevitably set prices below costs, making any new development a money losing proposition. For instance the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas spends more on research and development than all of Canada.

To those who want to "be kind" and "help others" by having the government provide health care, you should ask yourself this question: What high quality good or service does the government provide at a low cost? There are none that come to mind. The postal service is broke and is chronically raising its prices as private sector companies UPS, Fed-Ex, and DHL have become masters at shipping packages all over the world at a low price. The government run rail service, Amtrak, has never turned a profit. In fact, in a glimpse of the future of American health care if the government takes control of it, one need only look at the government health care provided to wounded soldiers. In Veterans Affairs hospitals, the federal government provides "free" care to present and former soldiers. Yet those hospitals are in such horrid condition that the bureaucrats that run the hospitals have started to counsel some veterans that, rather than seeking additional care, they are better off dead. If the U.S. government cannot even provide decent care for military veterans, what makes anyone think they can provide care to the entire nation?

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Green Energy Fantasies

As readers of this blog know, I do not believe that man-made carbon emissions pose any significant threat to the Earth's environment. However, environmentalists argue that America must cease using fossil fuels in order to prevent global warming, decrease carbon emissions and decrease pollution. Yet in order to make their wish a reality environmentalists must replace the energy generated by fossil fuels. America, as the most prosperous nation in human history, requires large amounts of energy to support American infrastructure, development, and comfort. For over 100 years fossil fuels have provided America with this energy. So what source of energy do environmentalists propose America start using? Wind power seems to be the choice that has gotten the most attention and makes some sense. America has vast amounts of open space and a "wind corridor" that stretches from Texas to North Dakota.

But like most liberal ideals, the generation of wind power in order to replace fossil fuels is seemingly great in theory, but utterly fails in practice. One of the centers of the environmentalist movement in America is Austin, Texas. Austin is a liberal city in the midst of a conservative state. Austin residents pride themselves on being a little odd and champions of the environment. Austin is full of hybrid cars covered in bumper stickers conveying various environmental messages. These voters elected a city council that was determined to turn Austin into the "green energy" capital of the world.

The result took the form of a program called GreenChoice, implemented in 2000. Under the plan, Austin Energy, the electricity provider for the Austin area, buys electricity from wind farms as a means to allow their customers the option of supporting alternative energy and to promote development of other green resources. Yet today over 99% of the electricity purchased by Austin Energy generated from wind farms remains unpurchased. Why? Simple. Since wind farms are far more expensive and less able to keep up with demand no one in Austin is willing to buy the higher priced energy. It seems that all those Prius owners and environmentalist crusaders in Austin will not back up their supposed beliefs with concrete action by actually buying higher priced "green" energy. GreenChoice was supposed to bring about a green energy revolution. Instead, it has resulted in higher energy prices that few people are actually willing to incur and the waste of millions of dollars invested by the city of Austin in the program.

Another green energy project that was supposed to bring about a revolution was the plan of T. Boone Pickens to massively expand wind farms across America. In a rollout that received an enormous amount of media attention Pickens proposed massive capital investments with the goal of building out the capacity to generate up to 22% of America's electricity demand from wind. Pickens has implemented a $58 million public relations campaign to sell his idea. Yet once again reality has demonstrated that green energy is nowhere close to replacing fossil fuels. The economic downturn and the realization that many more transmission lines, which would cost billions of dollars to build, are needed to make his dream a reality mean that Pickens has chosen to significantly scale back his goal. In fact, he might abandon his efforts altogether.

The take away from these two examples is that wind power is simply unable to generate enough electricity to make its use cost effective. The technology simply does not yet exist to replace fossil fuels with wind power at a price that makes sense. It does not matter how hard some may want to replace fossil fuels but it just is not feasible at this point in human history. Until the technology catches up, massive investment in wind power will just be a colossal waste of money.

Any comments or questions can be received at whyyouareaconservative@gmail.com

~ The Conservative Guy