August 30, 2010

Are We Willing?

On August 18th, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute wrote an outstanding article regarding the need for true reform in Social Security and the “cowardice” of some Republicans not to embrace some of the reforms detailed by Congressman Paul Ryan

Republicans are missing out on an historic opportunity to gain a mandate for true and lasting reforms to Social Security. We must lead on this issue and be willing to engage in the arena of ideas. Reform must happen. There is broad agreement that the current Social Security system is unsustainable. The question is whose ideas will win out?

Ronald Reagan taught all conservatives that our ideas are more popular than liberalism and progressivism. The problem with conservatives, pre-Reagan, was an inability to effectively articulate the ideals of conservatism and draw the pure analogy between conservatism and the first principles of our country. Republican candidates should be willing to lead on this issue, stand in the arena, and join the fight.

Social Security is a promise made to generations of Americans and we are in danger of being unable to keep that promise. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2010 Social Security will begin paying out more in benefits than it brings in through payroll taxes. Furthermore, although the Social Security Trust Fund is supposed to keep Social Security solvent through 2041, the default fallback for Democrats, the sad truth is there is no actual money in the Social Security Trust Fund. Instead, Congress has spent the money and replaced it with IOU’s ( Finally, today’s worker has a promise of less than a 2 percent return on the money paid out to Social Security. That is less than core inflation and it has to change if we are seriously interested in retirement security for all Americans.

Real reform is needed in Social Security that:

1)  Keeps the promise of Social Security that was made to the current generation of Americans;
2)  Creates a system that will maintain the solvency of Social Security without tax hikes;
3)  Establishes an “inheritable” account that non-users can leave to heirs;
4)  Creates a system that is fair to minorities (particularly Black Americans) whose life expectancy is below the national average; and
5)  Gives workers ownership over their savings.

There has been great work done on the issue of Social Security Reform by Congressman Paul Ryan (, the Cato Institute (, the Heritage Foundation ( and The Social Security Reform Center (, among others. I have incorporated many of their ideas into this plan.

The Plan

1) Allow younger workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in guaranteed, inheritable, personal accounts;
2) Set aside a portion of earnings on private accounts for deposit in the Social Security Trust fund for the first 15 years of the private account;
3) Maintain the current system of Social Security for workers 55 and older and those near retirement;
4) Allow workers 59 ½ and over the choice to opt out of Social Security and take a lump sum payment;
5) Lift the 401K and/or IRA limits for those workers who chose to opt out of Social Security and eliminate required minimum distributions;
6)  Discontinue the use of wage indexing to determine the amount of benefits and replace it with progressive price indexing;
7) Establish legislation that puts the Social Security Trust Fund off limits for any purpose other than Social Security spending; and
8) Implement age indexing for Social Security benefits that correspond to current life expectancy tables.

We have a choice. We can continue to put off the problem of Social Security insolvency, or we can make hard choices. In order to meet future Social Security obligations under our current system, we will either have to raise taxes by 30% or cut benefits by 24%. Neither of those is a positive solution; we can do better.

The goal of this plan is to not only bring Social Security into the 21st Century and keep it solvent, but also to provide Americans with real choices in retirement. The current system will not keep up with the growing number of baby boomers who are reaching retirement. Something needs to be done.

These are not radical ideas by any stretch.  They speak to the yearning of all Americans to be free of the yoke of government control.  We need leaders who are not only able to develop creative and workable solutions, but who are also willing to implement good ideas. Doing nothing and hoping for the best is not an option.

August 26, 2010

Two Evils

Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.
- Oliver Goldsmith (Irish writer, poet, physician, 1776)

In the days since our August 17th primary election, I have read a lot of articles and comments about "having to chose between the lesser of two evils" in our state's Senate race. I, for one, reject that notion out of hand. It is abundantly clear that Dino Rossi is a considerably better choice than Patty Murray. Without question. It's not even close.

If elected to the United States Senate, Dino Rossi will be one of the few members of Congress (of either party) who has actually owned a small business. He will be one of the few who has actually created jobs in the private sector. He will be one of a small handful who have experience writing and managing private sector and public sector budgets. And, most importantly, he will be someone who has a record of conservatism to call upon. He has lived it, and his voting record speaks to that fact.

If you like Cap and Trade - support Murray over Rossi. If you like reckless and out of control spending - support Murray over Rossi. If you like - Sonja Sotomayor and Elena Kagen - support Murray over Rossi. If you think partial birth abortion is okay - support Murray over Rossi. If you like bailouts for billionaire bankers, Cash for Clunkers, earmarks, $2 trillion deficits, and $14 trillion in debt - support Murray over Rossi.

If you are as frustrated by the direction this country is going in and are disgusted by the legislation I just laid out, then you cannot sit out this election or throw your support to Murray. Too much is at stake!

Those of us supporting Dino Rossi are not choosing between the lesser of two evils. We are choosing to take advantage of an opportunity to undo the darkness that progressives like Patty Murray have foisted upon the American people and the people of Washington state. This cannot be an exercise in ideological purity - it is an opportunity to rescue our country from a cabal of big government, quasi-socialists, who are taking us down a path that is counter to our first principles. Dino Rossi can help this country change direction.

As somone who has experienced a political defeat, I understand, uniquely, the frustration of Didier supports - and Akers supporters for that matter. Moreover, Senator Don Benton is someone I have grown close to since I managed his race for Congress in 1998. He was my staunchest and most vehement supporter in my race for Congress this year. When he entered the Senate race, he was my guy - no question. I wasn't happy when he saw the writing on the wall and dropped out when Dino announced. Neither was Don. But, he did the right thing for his party and, more importantly, for his country. And, he stood up, supported Dino, and encouraged his supporters to do the same.

Let's put things in perspective. If supporters of George HW Bush, Howard Baker, Phil Crane, and John Connelly had decided not to support Ronald Reagan in 1980 following their defeats in the 1980 GOP Primary, Ronald Reagan may have never been President. Two of those candidates, Bush and Baker, were from the "Rockefeller Wing" of the Republican Party and thought (at the time) that Reagan was too conservative to get elected. They could have rejected Reagan as an ideologue, encouraged their supporters to do the same, and we would have had four more years of Jimmy Carter turning our nation into a laughingstock.

They stood with Reagan. Why? Because to do otherwise was unacceptable. They were unwilling to sacrifice the good of the country for their own pride, ego, or ideological purity. And praise God that they were!

The US Senate race in Washington State could very well be the most important campaign in America. Think about it. There is a very real possibility that Republicans will already have control of the House before ballots are even counted in Washington State. However, Republicans HAVE to win Washington in order to have a realistic shot at winning a majority in the Senate. This is it, this is our time.

I don't know if Dino will like me saying this or not - it's just my opinion, but if he is elected to the United States Senate, I believe he will be the first true conservative to represent our state in the Senate. He will reject higher taxes, he will insist on individual and economic freedom in this country, he will work for true spending restraint, he will be a voice of reason and compassion, and he will be a voice for the small business job creators - the backbone of our economy.

Our country is desperately in need of conservatives of conscience and clarity who recognize the threats we are facing. Dino Rossi represents the best hope for our state to send someone to the United States Senate who understands what's at stake and knows what needs to be done. Dino Rossi is a statesman, and our country needs men and women like him.

The choice couldn't be more clear. Socialism is evil, totalitarianism is evil, progressivism and its assault on the individual is evil. That's the darkness were fighting against. Supporting Dino helps bring our country back into the light.

August 24, 2010

My Statement on the Results of the Aug 17th Primary Election

Callie and I are so thankful for the wonderful people that came into our lives as a result of this campaign for Congress.  We are so appreciative of the supporters that were willing to give of their time and their treasure in this effort.   Although I was not victorious, I am a better person for having had the opportunity to spend the last 16 months getting to know the people of the 3rd Congressional District.

Throughout the primary election I continually stressed my belief that the 2010 election is the most important election in my life time.  I still believe that.

My primary motivation for entering this race was my deep concern for my son’s future.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama are bankrupting this wonderful nation. They have rejected America’s unique role in the world and place in history. They have put the needs of their special interest allies, like big unions and big corporations, before those of the American people .  We cannot allow their misguided efforts to undermine America’s prosperity.

Denny Heck, if elected to Congress, will vote to continue the Pelosi regime. He will vote with those who want to restrict the economic and individual freedoms of all Americans.  He will not do anything to stop the reckless spending that is occurring, or reign in the unsustainable debt that is accruing.  It is imperative that Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives in order to stop progressives like Denny Heck from marching this country into the abyss.  Republicans must capture every seat in which we have a realistic chance of victory - that includes the 3rd Congressional District.

Jaime Herrera won the primary election and is the Republican nominee.  She now has the opportunity to put the 3rd Congressional District back in the Republican column.

I respect, immensely, the feelings expressed by those of you who have determined to "vote your conscience" in this campaign, but I want to implore all of you to set aside any notion of sitting out this election, conducting a write-in campaign or, worse, voting for Denny Heck.
If you share my deep concern for our country - a concern for the future country that our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will inherit - then set aside your anger and disappointment, reject Denny Heck and vote for the Republican nominee.