Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll. Attendees at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was their preferred Presidential nominee. Rand won 25 percent of the vote in the straw poll, followed by Florida senator Marco Rubio, who got 23 percent. Paul’s father, former Congressman Ron Paul, won the CPAC straw polls in 2010 and 2011. Mitt Romney was the first choice last year. Earlier this month, Rand Paul said that he was “seriously considering” a bid for the White House in 2016.
Waste and duplication in Federal budget. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says that he and his staff have identified more than $200 billion worth of cuts that can be made in the Federal budget just by eliminating waste and duplication. During an appearance on “Meet the Press,” he promised: “I can show them all the things, the stupid things, they’ve done over the last two years that we can stop doing.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to ask you, Senator.
Those expensive Federal regulations. Just how much does it cost private enterprise to comply with all of the Federal regulations that have been promulgated? According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit research group in Washington, D.C., the tab comes to more than half-a-trillion dollars a year. The CEI says the most costly agencies are the Environmental Protection Agency, whose regulations cost businesses $353 billion a year; the Department of Health and Human Services, at $185 billion; and the Federal Communications Commission, at $142 billion a year. Just think how many more jobs could be created — and taxes paid — if some of those regulatory restrictions could be eased.
Obama’s doomsday scenarios. Even if every penny of the “sequestration” goes into effect, which I doubt, you can be sure that Washington will spend more money this year than it did last year. If the Feds would just hold spending for 2013 to 2012 levels, there would be more than $85 billion in budget cuts. But President Barack Obama and his allies want to frighten the public into opposing any reductions, thus the threats to cut back on police, firefighters, border patrols, teachers and emergency personnel. It’s all part of the game to frighten a gullible public and to intimidate conservatives in Congress.
Hillary will rake in some big bucks. Now that she is officially out of office, look for Hillary Clinton to generate some hefty paychecks on the speaker circuit. Estimates are that the former Secretary of State, Senator and first lady will be able to command more than $100,000 per lecture. Add to that the millions of dollars she will no doubt receive when she signs a contract to write her memoirs, and it won’t be long before she can rival her husband’s earnings. Of course, it will take Hillary Clinton a while to amass the fortune Bill Clinton has banked since he left office. Estimates are that the former President now has a net worth north of $50 million.
Obama ignores the law — again. President Obama is required to submit an annual budget to Congress every year by Feb. 1. It’s not just a tradition, it’s the law. But for the fourth year in a row, the Administration ignored this unequivocal requirement. Naturally, his friends in Congress and his allies in the mainstream media have pretty much ignored his flat refusal to obey the law. Are you surprised?
Appeals Court overrules Obama. Remember a year ago, when President Barack Obama claimed he was making “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (except the Senate wasn’t really in recess)? On Jan. 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the appointments were an illegal abuse of executive power. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court decided not to get involved in the dispute. That means all of the pro-union orders the NLRB issued last year could be thrown out. Stay tuned; this could get interesting.
Ratings plunge for Obama inaugural. Fewer than half as many Americans watched Barack Obama’s second inauguration on cable news channels as they did on his first Inauguration Day back in 2009. Four years ago, close to 17 million people tuned in to the special coverage on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. This time around, fewer than 7 million Americans watched any of the coverage.
Stock bulls will like this Super Bowl. Are you familiar with Wall Street’s Super Bowl Predictor? It says that the stock market will go up in a year that an original National Football League team wins the Super Bowl, but will fall whenever a team from the former American Football League is victorious. Hey, don’t scoff; it’s been right more than 80 percent of the time. And since both contestants in this year’s Super Bowl were part of the original National Football League (the Baltimore Ravens trace their lineage back to the old Cleveland Browns), followers say the market will be up for the year. Time will tell if they’re right again.
Delays expected in tax refunds. The Internal Revenue Service announced that the Congressional debate over the fiscal cliff has caused it to delay processing individual tax returns by eight days. The IRS needed the extra time to program its computers to include the changes and extensions the legislation included. The IRS says it will begin processing 2012 tax returns by the end of the month.