Conservatives should keep talking about poverty – and not stop

posted at 7:01 pm on January 9, 2016 by Amanda Muñoz

Today in Charleston, South Carolina, several high-profile players in the Republican Party gathered for the Expanding Opportunity Forum hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation. The goal was to discuss “ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity in America” – a topic rarely mentioned, let alone proactively championed, by the GOP on a national stage.

The event, moderated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, touted a star-studded lineup of guests: Governor Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Caron, Governor Chris Christie, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor John Kasich, Senator Marco Rubio, American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks, Senator Lindsey Graham, Governor Nikki Hayley and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, among others. Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was also scheduled to attend, but missed the event due to transportation difficulties out of New Hampshire.

Noticeably absent from the discussion were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Trump’s Saturday schedules have them at events in Iowa; however, Trump attended a rally in South Carolina Friday evening. A source close to the event planning confirmed that Trump was, in fact, invited. Interesting to note that the candidate who claims to be the biggest opportunity maker for Americans decided, for whatever reason, not to attend. Perhaps it was for the better, though, because the five-hour-long event centered heavily on dissecting specific policy provisions and offering examples of both tested and proposed solutions.

Together, the group discussed everything from criminal justice reform, drug addiction, tax reform, federal funding systems, mental health, apprenticeship and skill-building programs, education reform, and the need to role back government regulations for small businesses – trying to tackle both the causes of and remedies for pervading poverty in America. General consensus among the group was to shift federal funds and programs directly to the states. Both Huckabee and Kasich made strong cases for empowering governors and local-level officials to administer and formulate anti-poverty initiatives.

Discussion throughout the event was substantive and policy-specific; and while there were a few disagreements on the catalysts for change – including the role of the Earned Income Tax Credit – all agreed on the moral and political importance of improving education, job opportunities, community involvement and government accountability in the context of effectively and proactively waging a war on poverty that produces more real results than Left’s failed policies of the past 50 years.

Rubio, despite several interruptions from immigration protestors, put it best when he said, “Look, we are a country that has a retirement system designed in the 30’s, higher education designed in the 50’s, poverty programs designed in the 60’s, energy policies from the 70’s, and nothing looks like it did five years ago. We have an outmoded, outdated government…and a big-government Left that is more interested in protecting the status quo than in modernizing our policies to address the challenges of the 21st Century.”

The day’s most important takeaway came from the group’s direct acknowledgement of the Right’s heretofore inability to be trusted arbiters in the fight for the disadvantaged. Speaker Ryan spoke multiple times about the need to be a “new Right” – a party that stood for options and solutions rather than against them, and Arthur Brooks actually quantified the political importance of leading the optics in genuine human interest: Independent voters can swing 10 percent to the right when a candidate is empathetic and compassionate. A successful conservative take-back of the issue could mean the difference between a Clinton and Republican-lead White House.

Hopefully today’s dialogue spurs further discussion among all members on the Right, not only because of its moral impetus, but also because it’s a winning ticket both for candidates and the party. Instead of looking fragmented and pitted against one another, the speakers at the Expanding Opportunity Forum showcased something amazing – an overall cohesive, collegial, and excited team of accomplished and caring individuals willing and able to provide viable alternatives, despite the political landscape. The format gave way for much more effective, informative and substantive discourse. Famous GOP faces transformed from candidates and figureheads into leaders unwilling to back down to preconceived notions. It really was a good day for the team.

Conservatives know the power of free enterprise and the incredible difference it can make in the lives of Americans if given the chance, so it’s time to jump in the driver’s seat. We need to keep talking about how our values are the right path for advancing the human experience, because – as Joe Scarborough alluded to in his closing remarks – isn’t it better to address 100 percent rather than the 47?

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I stopped reading about here:

moderated by House Speaker Paul Ryan

celt on January 9, 2016 at 7:06 PM

Who is Amanda Munoz? Another GOPe RINO know it all like Noah Rothman?

bgibbs1000 on January 9, 2016 at 7:09 PM

this event looked and sounded like repackaged Compassionate Conservatism

commodore on January 9, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Whelp The Trump’s version of opportunity.. kill everyone who is too stupid to be rich like him.

Illinidiva on January 9, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Dr. Ben Caron and Nikki Hayley

Who are these people?

Sorry, Paul Ryan (of the great budget cave last month which gave Democrats every damn thing they wanted), Nicki Haley (of the attack on Southern heritage), and the Morning Jew crew…..

This is not an event attended by conservatives.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 7:15 PM

fight poverty with lower taxes, less regulation, less crony capitalism

not with anti-poverty programs and targeted tax credits

commodore on January 9, 2016 at 7:16 PM

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty being caused by the Federal Government, and the (non)Federal Reserve Bank – and not stop.
.

Government intervention isn’t the solution to the problem … government intervention IS the problem

listens2glenn on January 9, 2016 at 7:16 PM

Sounds like a conference designed to assure tit sucking voters that republicans are ok with continuing the entitlement society if they vote Republican.

Message = If you’re on the govt tit – we won’t make you work or change anything. “We are just like the Dems when it comes to entitlements..vote for us!”

In Attendance:

Governor Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Caron, Governor Chris Christie, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor John Kasich, Senator Marco Rubio, American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks, Senator Lindsey Graham

celt on January 9, 2016 at 7:17 PM

Echoes from the past (for cozmo):

Amanda has been kissing up to the boss lately. Here’s her latest Twitter post.

Amanda Muñoz [email protected]
Thoughtful, intelligent writer? Check. Amazing photographer? Check. @EdMorrissey’s the whole package

https://mobile.twitter.com/AmandaAMunoz/status/605847395788681216

Hashtag barf.

bluegill on June 2, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Winning: What Caitlyn Jenner means for the Republican Party

lol — c’mon :)

Axe on January 9, 2016 at 7:17 PM

this event looked and sounded like repackaged Compassionate Conservatism

commodore on January 9, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Jack Kemp wasn’t exactly a real conservative. He was Secretary of HUD, for crying out loud. He was a Gerald Ford kind of Republican- which is to say a moderate Democrat flying under false colors.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Winning: What Caitlyn Jenner means for the Republican Party

lol — c’mon :)

Axe on January 9, 2016 at 7:17 PM

Oh yeah-I recall that awful post.

bazil9 on January 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

The thing is, when a Republican talks about poverty, they say things poor people just don’t want to hear, like how poor decision making is the leading cause of poverty. In the end, it’s easier to call Republicans racist than hear painful truths.

Rusty Nail on January 9, 2016 at 7:21 PM

This is why the GOP, and even the term conservative today is a joke.

It is just a nip and tuck on the left wing narrative.

There is no poverty in the west that is not caused by a poverty of spirit. The government can not help that.

HugoDrax on January 9, 2016 at 7:22 PM

sounds like “compassionate conservatism”

WryTrvllr on January 9, 2016 at 7:23 PM

Amanda attended the event for us.

Jazz Shaw on January 9, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Rubio, despite several interruptions from immigration protestors, put it best when he said, “Look, we are a country that has a retirement system designed in the 30’s, higher education designed in the 50’s, poverty programs designed in the 60’s, energy policies from the 70’s, and nothing looks like it did five years ago. We have an outmoded, outdated government…and a big-government Left that is more interested in protecting the status quo than in modernizing our policies to address the challenges of the 21st Century.”

Without arguing the dates, it’s a good summary of the snapshot effect of Socialism — of the government taking control of things. The government took control of our 30’s “retirement system” in the 30’s, our 50’s “higher education” in the 50’s, our 60’s “poverty programs” in the 60’s, and our 70’s “energy policies” in the 70’s.

And still, Rubio talks about “modernizing our policies,” not relinquishing control.

Axe on January 9, 2016 at 7:27 PM

– all agreed on the moral and political importance of improving education, job opportunities, community involvement

How does a .gov improve education?

WryTrvllr on January 9, 2016 at 7:27 PM

Oh yeah-I recall that awful post.

bazil9 on January 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Cozmo misses bluegill. He needs to admit it.

“hashtag barf.”

lol — c’mon. :)

Ed Morrissey is a damned handsome man, though, as I’ve told him many times.

Axe on January 9, 2016 at 7:28 PM

Whelp The Trump’s version of opportunity.. kill everyone who is too stupid to be rich like him.

Illinidiva on January 9, 2016 at 7:15 PM

The people who fuel his plane and remove his trash? Really?

WryTrvllr on January 9, 2016 at 7:29 PM

The more people we can get out of our welfare system, the better it will be for all of us.

So, let them pursue legislation that might move towards those goals.

In fact, why haven’t they done so already, if it’s so important to them?

Or is this just another election year ploy?

lineholder on January 9, 2016 at 7:32 PM

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty – and not stop
…BY AMANDA MUÑOZ

…Jeb Bush press corps!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 9, 2016 at 7:35 PM

I recall an earlier school system that offered free lunches but had their funding cut. In a state of despair they decided to require applicants to provide proof of eligibility and realized that about 35% were ineligible. It appears a lot of people told their friends to simply check a box on the application and they didn’t have to worry about lunches. This is endemic in our society today, anything “free” will be abused. That our so called sophisticated government either can’t or doesn’t want to understand the concept costs taxpayers billions every year.

This is just one of probably thousands of aspects of fraud. This cannot continue to happen – I’m all for helping people who truly are experiencing bad times or can’t help themselves – but people able to work just sitting on ass all day long has to be stopped.

Where is the outcry about that? I bust ass and go pickup lunch at my local supermarket deli section and there are young and middle aged people all over walking around in shorts and t-shirts like they on vacation every day..not senior citizens btw. I’m not going to get into the demographics either but there is a common denominator.

celt on January 9, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Rubio, despite several interruptions from immigration protestors, put it best when he said, “Look, we are a country that has a retirement system designed in the 30’s, higher education designed in the 50’s, poverty programs designed in the 60’s, energy policies from the 70’s, and nothing looks like it did five years ago. We have an outmoded, outdated government…and a big-government Left that is more interested in protecting the status quo than in modernizing our policies to address the challenges of the 21st Century.”

Despite the messenger, I agreed with Rubio up until the end. There is a sizeable big-government right too. And many of its biggest proponents, including Paul Ryan, were at this event.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 7:36 PM

TRUMP wants to allow Illegal Aliens back in right away to keep Americans in poverty. He needs to fix his policy on this or I won;t be voting for him…..

Realdemocrat1 on January 9, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty – and not stop

Why? They’re busy creating more of it through crony capitalism, regulation, and importing both illegal low-skill workers and H1-B skilled workers to kick more expensive American workers to the curb.

Maybe they should just give a talk about why they don’t give a damn about the middle class and American workers, sponsored by the Chamber of ScrewMerica and K-Street.

xNavigator on January 9, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Amanda attended the event for us.

Jazz Shaw on January 9, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Given that lineup, I hope she got hazard pay.

frost_ on January 9, 2016 at 7:42 PM

Looks like the Commentariat was not impressed.

Rubio, despite several interruptions from immigration protestors, put it best when he said, “Look, we are a country that has a retirement system designed in the 30’s, higher education designed in the 50’s, poverty programs designed in the 60’s, energy policies from the 70’s, and nothing looks like it did five years ago. We have an outmoded, outdated government…and a big-government Left that is more interested in protecting the status quo than in modernizing our policies to address the challenges of the 21st Century.”

Despite the messenger, I agreed with Rubio up until the end. There is a sizeable big-government right too. And many of its biggest proponents, including Paul Ryan, were at this event.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Without arguing the dates, it’s a good summary of the snapshot effect of Socialism — of the government taking control of things. The government took control of our 30’s “retirement system” in the 30’s, our 50’s “higher education” in the 50’s, our 60’s “poverty programs” in the 60’s, and our 70’s “energy policies” in the 70’s.

And still, Rubio talks about “modernizing our policies,” not relinquishing control.

Axe on January 9, 2016 at 7:27 PM

sounds like “compassionate conservatism”

WryTrvllr on January 9, 2016 at 7:23 PM

I think conservatism (aka classical liberalism) is, in the long run, far more compassionate than leftism; the devil is in the details.

The thing is, when a Republican talks about poverty, they say things poor people just don’t want to hear, like how poor decision making is the leading cause of poverty. In the end, it’s easier to call Republicans racist than hear painful truths.

Rusty Nail on January 9, 2016 at 7:21 PM

This is why the GOP, and even the term conservative today is a joke.

It is just a nip and tuck on the left wing narrative.

There is no poverty in the west that is not caused by a poverty of spirit. The government can not help that.

HugoDrax on January 9, 2016 at 7:22 PM

The government can get out of the way.
A lot of the illnesses of society are caused by poor choices in government intervention, or the government actively supporting repressive private systems (Dickens wasn’t making it up).

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty being caused by the Federal Government, and the (non)Federal Reserve Bank – and not stop.
.

Government intervention isn’t the solution to the problem … government intervention IS the problem

listens2glenn on January 9, 2016 at 7:16 PM

AesopFan on January 9, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Winning hearts and minds

WTF…Just grab’em by the balls and yank. Those hearts and minds will just naturally follow along.

;p

Solaratov on January 9, 2016 at 7:47 PM

I recall an earlier school system that offered free lunches but had their funding cut. In a state of despair they decided to require applicants to provide proof of eligibility and realized that about 35% were ineligible. It appears a lot of people told their friends to simply check a box on the application and they didn’t have to worry about lunches. This is endemic in our society today, anything “free” will be abused. That our so called sophisticated government either can’t or doesn’t want to understand the concept costs taxpayers billions every year.

This is just one of probably thousands of aspects of fraud. This cannot continue to happen – I’m all for helping people who truly are experiencing bad times or can’t help themselves – but people able to work just sitting on ass all day long has to be stopped.

Where is the outcry about that? …I’m not going to get into the demographics either but there is a common denominator.

celt on January 9, 2016 at 7:36 PM

The first rule about Fraud Club is don’t talk about Fraud Club.
And I also support the “safety net” but it’s hard to keep it from morphing into a “hammock” because the overseers don’t have any personal skin in the game.

AesopFan on January 9, 2016 at 7:48 PM

Hey, Amanda, did you ask them how they reconcile supporting massive amounts of immigration that drive legal Americans into the welfare system and their ambitions to fight against poverty at the same time?

lineholder on January 9, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Conservatives should keep talking about the BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY and not stop.

Government does not solve poverty.

LilyBart on January 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

A very large amount of poverty can be fixed my simply following the law – deport illegals.

More can be solved by an immigration moratorium for 10-15 years.

Who on that stage was in agreement for the above?

None.

Rebar on January 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

“ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity in America”

Both Cruz and Trump have laid out rock-solid plans for doing exactly this – why should they waste time attending such an event?

Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Ben Caron, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski

Seriously? It was a parade of liberals and losers.

Pork-Chop on January 9, 2016 at 8:02 PM

Conservatives should keep talking about the BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY and not stop.

Government does not solve poverty.

LilyBart on January 9, 2016 at 7:58 PM

And the freedom of opportunity not the freedom from failure.

The liberals at this event, especially Ryan, talk about changing the way the GOP talks about the disadvantaged. That’s code for more welfare and less helping them become self-reliant and contributors to society instead of parasites on the government dole.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 8:12 PM

This is simply a “Hey liberal media, don’t be mean to me! See, see I care about the poor too!” type of Forum. Nothing was said about the unconstitutional role of the Federal Government and no one talked about how disastrous leftist policies have been for the U.S.

Brian in Titletown on January 9, 2016 at 8:16 PM

The “poor” in America are wealthy by the world’s standards.

IDontCair on January 9, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Long overdue.

bmmg39 on January 9, 2016 at 8:43 PM

A growing economy is the best anti-poverty program that ever existed.

myiq2xu on January 9, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Talk about hubris! These average intelligence, power-hungry, crony capitalists all getting together thinking that they can come up with programs that will ‘solve” poverty?

Nothing but Hubris! And, oh the damage they’ll do!

LilyBart on January 9, 2016 at 8:54 PM

Kasich was there whining about Trump ejecting a heckler from his Vermont rally.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on January 9, 2016 at 8:58 PM

“Winning Hearts and Minds” by guaranteeing a middle class lifestyle funded by the American Taxpayer!

Soon, this country is going to look like modern day Venezuela. Sure, Hugo Chavez “won the hearts and minds” of this people promising the good life.

In Venezuela, they didn’t have Christmas this year – the people didn’t even have the money to buy Christmas dinner! Why? Because government ruined the economy- that’s why.

LilyBart on January 9, 2016 at 8:59 PM

Let’s carve out a “Free America”. Take part of the country and invite people who are “Yearning to Breath Free”, and exclude all who are “yearning to live comfortably out of the taxpayers pockets” and all the power-mad politicians feeding them lies.

LilyBart on January 9, 2016 at 9:12 PM

this event looked and sounded like repackaged Compassionate Conservatism

commodore on January 9, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Just some conservatives and RINOs discussing how they would use government to manage the economy and solve “problems” better that the leftists.

rickv404 on January 9, 2016 at 9:53 PM

…isn’t it better to address 100 percent rather than the 47?

Um, I don’t think you understand what the 47% concept was about, Joe (and Amanda).

Knott Buyinit on January 9, 2016 at 10:33 PM

Why? Obama types have their EBT, Cell phone, Subsidized housing, free insurance, and other goodies.

CWforFreedom on January 9, 2016 at 10:58 PM

i know alot it people able bodied, that get disability benefits from gubmint, and get pain meds from their doctor but work under the table for cash while selling some or all of their narcotics for cash, it makes me mad they make more money than me. this progressive gubmint has lost all its senses for power and control resulting in their riches ever wxpanding. time for Trump!

losarkos on January 9, 2016 at 11:08 PM

Two excerpts from this authors article perfectly sum up the GOP.

First…

“The goal was to discuss “ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity in America” – a topic rarely mentioned, let alone proactively championed, by the GOP on a national stage.”

Then..

“all agreed on the moral and political importance of improving education, job opportunities, community involvement and government accountability in the context of effectively and proactively waging a war on poverty that produces more real results than Left’s failed policies of the past 50 years.”

So here we have the author blogging about the GOPs newly found focus on poverty and improving the quality of life for those Americans who are living in poverty. He then admits that the GOP hasn’t ever really championed or suggested any improvements..he then goes on to say how the policies that the left has enacted to adress the poverty issue has failed over the last 50 years. This cracks me up…let’s say everything the left ever tried failed…isn’t it still better to ATLEAST try than to stand by and do nothing as you admitt the GOP has? If your house is on fire do you prefer the fireman who stands there and watches it burns while he complains about the tactics of the fireman whose attempting to put the fire out but may not be having much luck? How about instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining and not helping. ..you actually HELP! Smh…

Politricks on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

so called “conservatives” are sending the entire middle class into poverty with their owners immigration policies

Garyinaz66 on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

companies that employ legal immigrants should get the welfare bill of all immigrants. A fee for their cheaper than American labor.

Mormontheman on January 10, 2016 at 1:09 AM

Jazz and Amanda,

I thank Amanda for attending this small event, and reporting on it for us.

Unfortunately, almost all of the wrong people were in attendance.

kakypat on January 10, 2016 at 1:56 AM

Politricks on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

.
The government isn’t the firemen, in your analogy.
Instead, it’s the invisible, bureaucratic agency behind the scenes, that enacts all kinds of non-sensical, impractical regulations, that impede the firemen, and everyone else … at doing their respective jobs.

listens2glenn on January 10, 2016 at 3:11 AM

Politricks on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

.
Without “recognition of God”, no one is overcoming anything.

listens2glenn on January 10, 2016 at 3:12 AM

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty – and not stop

Why?

Most of these pols know damn well that the system (as we know it) is collapsing. They and their buddies in the world of high finance know it’s a game of musical chairs. And if they can’t find a chair when the music stops playing-oh well-they’ll parachute out and retire to their (choose one) Caribbean island, remote ranch, villa, gated/guarded subdivision, fortified estate, yacht, or Alpine chalet.

Whatever is coming, I don’t think it will be some kind of Capitalism Renaissance. Won’t be a Socialist Workers Paradise/Utopia, either.

Won’t be Capitalism/free enterprise because wage growth and wealth creation can’t keep up with inflation (due to the massive stealing of trillions of dollars and other currencies via the central banking cartel, and the locking up of the majority of capital in the hands of a few…then the siphoning off of trillions to those who work if and when they feel like it…and to foreign countries for God knows what…and the wars…and the military and other bureaucratic boondoggles).

The silver content in a 1960 quarter will buy about 3/4 of a gallon of gasoline today just as it would buy 3/4 a gallon in 1960…but a 2000 quarter will buy about 1/12 of a gallon today. That’s astonishing. The real purchasing power of Americans now isn’t that much more than it was in the mid-60s. That’s astonishing as well.

But even if “they” weren’t stealing from us and mismanaging the money they take from us, eventually the system would buckle. The problem is that with Capitalism you eventually have winners. And if they choose not to return that money into wealth creation and just sit on it, then you get what we get now.

Socialism won’t work-mostly because it never has. Because it can’t. It doesn’t account for actual needs and wants of millions of people on a daily basis, and lacks flexibility because market forces are absent.

So, what we will end up with will be something that neither the Socialists nor those of us on the Capitalist side want. The “system” will adjust in such a way as to alleviate uneven pressure and achieve a balance.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 10, 2016 at 5:48 AM

We’re 21 trillion dollars in debt.

Sorry, but at some point the answer to the poor has to be “We’ve got nothing more for you.” No one wants to give that kind of answer, but unfortunately, it’s the truth.

Here’s the problem…
☞ Currently, federal (including military), state, and local governments allow employees to retire after 20 years. A person starting work for the government at 18 can retire at 38 and collect retirement checks and medical benefits for the rest of their life.
☞ They can then start a second government job and retire at 58, receiving two retirement checks plus benefits.
☞ They can then do high paid consulting work for the government for seven years. This drives up their social security check because social security payments are based on only your five highest years salary.

This is why we’re broke. We have a socialist scheme in place that is far more generous than, say, Greece, where you retire at 50. Simply raising the retirement requirements for government employees to 25 or 30 years would go a long way to fixing this.

Once we actually have some money, then we can talk about how we can spend more of it on the poor.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 6:10 AM

A few unsolicited internet comments that may help to improve articles like this in the future.

Noticeably absent from the discussion were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Pointing out that the two leaders in the GOP Presidential race skipped this event doesn’t make the event seem more important. It makes it look like an event where 2nd string losers and republicans in blue districts (like Ryan) figure out ways to give away taxpayer money to shore up their own flagging careers and protect themselves against upcoming primary challengers from their own party.

Perhaps it was for the better, though, because the five-hour-long event centered heavily on dissecting specific policy provisions and offering examples of both tested and proposed solutions.

An example or two of success stories of “tested solutions” would be useful. Providing none only reinforces the conservative view that there are none.

Independent voters can swing 10 percent to the right when a candidate is empathetic and compassionate. A successful conservative take-back of the issue could mean the difference between a Clinton and Republican-lead White House.

Then explain why the candidates attending this event are trailing in the polls and why moderate republican candidates for President tend to get their clocks cleaned.

Hopefully today’s dialogue spurs further discussion among all members on the Right, not only because of its moral impetus, but also because it’s a winning ticket both for candidates and the party.

Explain how giving tax payer dollars to people who don’t vote creates a winning ticket. Because the real life example that jumps out at me (and probably most conservatives) is Obamacare, which has decimated the ranks of the democrats.

Conservatives know the power of free enterprise and the incredible difference it can make in the lives of Americans if given the chance, so it’s time to jump in the driver’s seat.

Yes, we do know this. However, the examples given, such as block grants to states and numerous examples of how government programs never die and don’t fulfill their goals, have nothing to do with free enterprise.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 7:11 AM

Here’s the problem…

As of 2015, a military member who enlisted at age 18 and retired after only 20 years would likely be an E-6 or E-7, and thus receive, going for the high end of E-7, the princely sum of $ 26,490 before taxes.

The very few among these above who became commissioned officers would be lucky to make O-4 by 20, so we’ll go with that, but they are doing better at $44,580.

In either event, they are not going to have the skills to get a a high level GS job without more school or training, so maybe they can double their retirement checks above.

Neither group is going to get “high paid consulting work”, that is going to the 30+ year O-6s and GO/FOs, not SFC Zotz who was then GS-7 Zotz.

In 2012, there were 3.36 million military retirees, there are 109 million people on welfare.

This is why we’re broke.

Hardly. We are broke because we have blown something like $50 trillion on failed “progressive” programs for the poor.

F X Muldoon on January 10, 2016 at 7:14 AM

Unless you can promise more freebies than the democrats it’s a losing proposition. The poor, destitute, slugs of today have no intention of earning an honest living. They can receive largeness from the political class (democrats).

trs on January 10, 2016 at 7:20 AM

In 2012, there were 3.36 million military retirees, there are 109 million people on welfare.

It’s not just the military. It’s everyone in government, at all levels. I’m former military to, and I’m sorry, but asking someone to work for 25 or 30 years before retiring is not harsh.

And by the way, taking your numbers of 3.36 million military retirees at the low payment level of $26,490 comes out to $89,006,400,000 (89 billion) per year, plus benefits.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 7:30 AM

If the crony capitalists in government would quit stealing the buying power of our money, charity would be a lot more attractive.

If the people spending money to help the poor were spending their own money instead of money extorted from strangers (American taxpayers), they’d make sure they got better results, too.

In a country and time where the average person has kickstarter and gofundme literally in his pocket, there is no excuse for politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists to be making it mandatory so they can skim off the top.

GrumpyOldFart on January 10, 2016 at 7:38 AM

And by the way, taking your numbers of 3.36 million military retirees at the low payment level of $26,490 comes out to $89,006,400,000 (89 billion) per year, plus benefits.

Actually, if you look it up, the number (2012) is around $52 billion, you are forgeting that SFC Zotz who retired in 1970 doesn’t get as much as SFC Zotz who retired in 1985, and neither the one who retired in 2015.

In 2015 total federal and state welfare spending was almost $1 trillion, defense, which inclues all military pay and benefits to include pay and benefits of retirees and DACs, $848 billion.

If you throw all entitlement programs and health care into the mix, almost 70% of every dollar goes to entitlement programs, only 18%, which includes all those salaries, to defense.

I’m sorry, but asking someone to work for 25 or 30 years before retiring is not harsh.

Let us first remember that rank is a pyramid, that not everyone can stay for 25-30 years, and that there really isn’t a lot of need for permanent E-4s anymore, so there are plenty of good reasons to keep the 20 year option on the table.

Going by the 2012 numbers, because they are readily available, 4443 service members retired at 20 years. Over 7000 retired at 21-40 years. Over 2200 retired between 24 and 30. Regardless, using your logic, it would be better for SFC Zotz to retire at 20 and cost $ 26,490/year, than to hang around till 25 when he is now MSG Zotz and his retirement costs $39,670/year or to hang till 30 when SGM Zotz will cost $61,911/year.

Do the math; assuming they came in at the same time and die at age 75, and leaving out any COLA increases because the SGM’s will acrue faster, SFC Zotz’s lifetime cost would be about $980,000, SGM Zotz, $1,671,597. If Zotz was a slug and never got promoted again, if he hung around till 30 and died at 75, his lifetime cost would be $ 1,214,076. So, you should be pushing for early retirement.

Either way, the myth that Joe Lunchbox can enlist at 18, then retire at 38 living in the lap of luxury on Sam’s dime is a myth that needs to die hard.

F X Muldoon on January 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Jack Kemp wasn’t exactly a real conservative. He was Secretary of HUD, for crying out loud. He was a Gerald Ford kind of Republican- which is to say a moderate Democrat flying under false colors.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Uh, Jack Kemp is the guy who WROTE the legislation for Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, which was easily Reagan’s greatest domestic policy achievement and the catalyst for the economic recovery that followed.

If he’s not a conservative, then no one is.

Caiwyn on January 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM

Instead of looking fragmented and pitted against one another, the speakers at the Expanding Opportunity Forum showcased something amazing – an overall cohesive, collegial, and excited team of accomplished and caring individuals willing and able to provide viable alternatives, despite the political landscape.

Viable alternatives? Really? You’re telling me that at least one of these bozos advocated eliminating an entire socialist program or bureaucracy — say, closing the Department of Commerce or repealing Obamacare in its entirety — and replacing it with the free market? That is, no government “solutions” or “alternatives”. Just one?

Gee, I must have missed that. I would have thought that would have made the headlines.

Because nothing else is going to fix our economy and our culture. There are no legitimate “alternatives” to that fact.

sixerfixer1976 on January 10, 2016 at 9:33 AM

This cracks me up…let’s say everything the left ever tried failed…isn’t it still better to ATLEAST try than to stand by and do nothing as you admitt the GOP has? If your house is on fire do you prefer the fireman who stands there and watches it burns while he complains about the tactics of the fireman whose attempting to put the fire out but may not be having much luck? How about instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining and not helping. ..you actually HELP! Smh…

Politricks on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

wow. talk about an @ss backward analogy. Which fires have the dim/progs extinguished?

WryTrvllr on January 10, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Noticeably absent from the discussion were Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Trump’s Saturday schedules have them at events in Iowa; however, Trump attended a rally in South Carolina Friday evening. A source close to the event planning confirmed that Trump was, in fact, invited. Interesting to note that the candidate who claims to be the biggest opportunity maker for Americans decided, for whatever reason, not to attend. Perhaps it was for the better, though, because the five-hour-long event centered heavily on dissecting specific policy provisions and offering examples of both tested and proposed solutions.

Noticeably absent from Ms. Munoz’s post is a little dig at Cruz to accompany her little dig at Trump.

Trump doesn’t attend these little GOP Inc. coffee klatches; instead, he is bringing his message to 10,000 people at a pop. It’s called retail politicking, and Trump is the undisputed master of it.

The detritus of GOP Inc. need forums like this because no one shows up at their rallies. They are boring, interesting only to GOP Inc. apparatchiks like Ms. Munoz. Cruz is taking a page out of Trump’s playbook and avoiding these snoozers.

Joseph K on January 10, 2016 at 11:04 AM

Let us first remember that rank is a pyramid, that not everyone can stay for 25-30 years, and that there really isn’t a lot of need for permanent E-4s anymore, so there are plenty of good reasons to keep the 20 year option on the table.

I was in 5 years and left as an E5. If someone is in 20 years and is still an E4, they need to go. We don’t need to be giving those folks lifetime retirement checks.

Regardless, can I as what the source is for the numbers you’re using. A link would be nice.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 11:44 AM

If your house is on fire do you prefer the fireman who stands there and watches it burns while he complains about the tactics of the fireman whose attempting to put the fire out but may not be having much luck? by spraying it with gasoline?

Politricks on January 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM

FIFY.

See why that changes the answer now?

LBJ’s Great Society (the fundamentals of which the left defends to this day) were specifically crafted to trap more people into dependency on charity, not fewer.

FDR’s New Deal (the fundamentals of which the left defends to this day) were specifically crafted to steal money from the middle class and return as little of it as possible. Note that when Social Security was enacted, the average life expectancy was several years less than the minimum age at which you could begin drawing benefits. Also note that the funding problems were accurately predicted before a single SS benefit check had ever been written.

GrumpyOldFart on January 10, 2016 at 11:46 AM

The Democrats don’t want to eliminate poverty any more then the American Cancer Society, or other disease-centric groups, want to eliminate the disease. Follow the money. And the power of that money.

topperj on January 10, 2016 at 11:49 AM

F X Muldoon

Here are the numbers I came up with for FY 2016:

Payment to Military Retirement Fund $78.1 Billion
Income security for veterans $89.5 Billion
Veterans education, training, and rehabilitation $16.0 Billion
Hospital and medical care for veterans $66.7 Billion
Veterans housing $0.3 Billion
Other veterans benefits and services $7.8 Billion

Total 258.4 Billion

This is a hair over 1/4 of a trillion dollars every year spent on military vets. Keep in mind that the annual deficit is around $1 trillion. Also keep in mind that this is only the military. The retirement costs and benefits for the rest of the government’s bureaucracy are not included.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 12:26 PM

I was in 5 years and left as an E5. If someone is in 20 years and is still an E4, they need to go. We don’t need to be giving those folks lifetime retirement checks.

Indeed we don’t, at 20 yeas of service, 71% in 2012 were E6&7 and O4&5 as would be expected. There were 15 E-4s and they were likely some kind of medical hold, or busted but allowed to retire

Regardless, can I as what the source is for the numbers you’re using. A link would be nice.

Statistical Report on The Military Retirement System 2012

DFAS Miliaty Pay Charts, 1949-2016.

Regarding the latter, you have to remember retirement pay is based on what it was then, not now.

An 18 year old drafted in 1970 but who decided to stay till 20 retired in 1990 as an E-7 would have gotten a whopping $11,232/year.
Between 1990 and 2015, 25 years, that would have set back the government $280,800. Enlisted in 1980, retired as an E-7 in 2000, $15,600/year, or $234,000 to date. You can do the math on the rest.

Here are the numbers I came up with for FY 2016:

Moving the goalposts, I see. The original topic was military retirement, not every dime spent on a vet.

If we are going to do that, let’s throw in food stamps, welfare, social security, medicare, medicaid, and every other separate budget item that a vet might get a buck from – who knows, I am sure there are farmers who are veterans who get ethanol subsidies, lets add that too.

Regardless, even at $78.1 billion for retirement pay that covers the 3.3 million vets some of whom are pushing 100, that is a bargain compared to the $785 billion – that is over 3/4 of a trillion (see I can sound scary too) – not counting health care costs (which would drive it well over a trillion) federal dollars alone spent on welfare costs.

The bottom line is that you are so fixated on the sapling of military retirement pay, something that is earned, that you cannot see the forest of entitlements. Given your antagonism and fixation on this one budget item, one might begin to suspect, if indeed you were in for 5 years, that you have an axe to grind – involuntary separation, perhaps ?

F X Muldoon on January 10, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Moving the goalposts, I see. The original topic was military retirement, not every dime spent on a vet

involuntary separation, perhaps ?
.

No, the original topic was the retirement costs of the entire bureaucracy, including benefits. It’s all part of the massive socialist system we have in place that is costing us a fortune. You’re the one who focused solely on the military retirement pay.

And no, I have an honorable discharge.

Are there other places that need to be cut? Of course there are. Medicare fraud is an obvious one. There’s also a rule that says that if you don’t spend all of your funding in a given FY, your funding gets cut by the amount not spent the following FY. This rule should go. There should not be a penalty for saving money while still fulfilling your mission.

That doesn’t change the fact that the bureaucracy is costing us a fortune.

Anyway, that’s for the links to the data, I’ll look them over.

Magicjava on January 10, 2016 at 2:16 PM

That doesn’t change the fact that the bureaucracy is costing us a fortune.

That is inarguable, but if you have an honorable discharge, and are getting (or got) any kind of veteran benefits, more power to you, because you earned them, that is not bureaucracy, that is the price of doing business, regardless of whether the administration of the programs needs to be overhauled.

The bureaucracy that needs the axe is, for example, having more administrators than physicians at a VA medical facility, or maintaining a separate VA hospital, with separate administrative staffs, separate logistics chains, and separate ancillary staff, adjacent to a major university medical school hospital, rather than merge the two.

Regardless, there was almost $4 trillion requested expenditures for 2016 per your link, the entire DoD and VA request less than a quarter of that. Almost half is Old Age and Survivor Insurance (SS) and health care – that is where the main overhaul needs to take place to get the behemoth under control.

F X Muldoon on January 10, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Within the last few years, the Army rifted several prior-service captains (they had been enlisted and later became officers) arbitrarily-their OERs (officer efficiency reports) meant nothing. But, they were getting close to their 20 years.

The Air Force recently announced that they could no longer afford to supply honor guards for Veterans’ funerals.

The DOD-always looking to save the American taxpayer money, wherever, whenever they can.

LOL.

It’s more like a Ponzi scheme. Those at the top want to make damn sure they get their full retirement, so one of their jobs is to make their budget work. Having been in the Army, and read much of its history, I’ve long been convinced that the most mediocre officers and NCOs rise to the top. Having a near infinite stream of war materiel/supplies, air superiority and the latest and greatest military technologies makes any general look like Alexander the Great. Schwarzkopf, Eisenhower and Grant come to mind.

It’s as if the system won’t accept the fact that their service academy graduates aren’t automatically military geniuses and great leaders. Some may point out how Lee and other West Point grads in the Confederate Army kept the Confederacy alive with very little in the way of industrial support and manpower. But, if you read about the numerous missed opportunities and mistakes they made, it’s rather astonishing. Often, Confederate successes were due largely to the greater incompetence of the Union general officers.

Two of the best officers (General Joshua Chamberlain and General Forrest) of the Civil War never set foot in West Point.

I’m just rather awestruck at what we’ve been able to get away with (and accomplish) all these years. Our collective wealth is truly fantastic, and the average American has indeed been hard-working, innovative and highly motivated when left the hell alone by the PTB. In fact, the PTB have benefited enormously-and taken the credit. They’ve convinced us that our collective success is because of their brilliant guidance. And should the system collapse, it will be our fault and we’re the ones who will need to adjust and be taught a new attitude.

At the urging of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Congress in 2006 took aggressive steps to raise pay and future retirement of currently serving general and admirals, particularly those serving beyond 30 years.

Having been a well-compensated industry executive, Rumsfeld viewed admirals and generals as underpaid. Besides raising star-rank pay, he wanted the military basic pay table expanded to incentivize longer service.

He got what he wanted, and maybe more. In September 2006, a newly retired member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served 38 years drew initial retired pay of $114,000 a year. Today a JCS member retiring after 38 years draws more than double that amount, about $241,000. If that four-star officer completes a 40-year career, his or her retired pay today would be higher. Four officers today receive more than $256,000 in retired pay and one get[s] more than $277,000, according to the Defense Department actuary.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 10, 2016 at 5:50 PM

That is inarguable, but if you have an honorable discharge, and are getting (or got) any kind of veteran benefits, more power to you, because you earned them, that is not bureaucracy, that is the price of doing business, regardless of whether the administration of the programs needs to be overhauled.

F X Muldoon on January 10, 2016 at 3:03 PM

I am a disabled veteran with an honorable discharge. And I would be glad to give up my benefit checks and VA medical care if, in return, the US government would permanently close down the VA. Better still, they could charge every member of the senior management with negligent homicide.

Why? Because vets deserve better than being at the mercy of bureaucrats serving a political agenda when it comes to their healthcare.

GrumpyOldFart on January 10, 2016 at 8:27 PM

Sounds like it was a pander-fest.

Plus, not really smart for any candidate to share an event with so many. The TV debates have been a confusing mess because of that.

virgo on January 10, 2016 at 9:31 PM