My speech to AFP's Right Online conference

So far, this has been an exciting and energized conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas.  I’m expecting to get a few more interviews later today that I will post, but this morning I mainly focused on getting my speech ready for the general session at Right Online.  Since I’m unclear as to whether this will be televised live, delayed, or at all on C-SPAN, I’ll post my speech as written here.  (If it is on video later, I’ll post that too.)  I decided to try a lighter, humorous touch to make my point, and those of you who listened to my last night on the Hugh Hewitt show will recognize where I got my inspiration to talk about the sudden re-emergence of 1970s nostalgia.


Remarks to Right Online conference

Thank you, and it’s great to be back at Right Online with so many of my friends, and readers of Hot Air.  It’s exciting to see how energized and active conservatives have become!

But I’m afraid I do have to make a confession.  I am not what I seem.  Yes, yes, I know I seem like a man of taste and sophistication, but unfortunately I have a deep, dark secret.

I love … disco.  The music of the 1970s is my guilty pleasure.  I have been known to shake my groove thing, yeah yeah.  I will boogie oogie oogie until I just can’t boogie no more.  Granted, I get to that point a lot quicker than I did in the 1970s, but it’s the thought that counts.

Now, I may have a nostalgic love of the music of the 70s, but unfortunately, it’s not the music that’s coming back.  Instead, it’s the economics of the 1970s that has made a comeback in the Obama administration and the Nancy Pelosi Congress.  It’s the same failed ideas of top-down centrally controlled economies that led us to the glory days of stagflation.  And leisure suits!

Democrats want to pretend that the interventionist policies and confiscatory taxes they champion will work this time around, despite the utter failure of these moves in the 1970s.    The bloated and incompetent regulatory regimes that helped strangle American manufacturing in that decade will now get imposed on Wall Street, thanks to a poorly conceived financial regulation bill that “fixes” everything except what actually broke in the financial collapse.  Meanwhile, at Fannie and Freddie and the FHA, we’re back to pushing cheap loans and securitizing the excess risk in order to conduct social engineering.  I’d call that Doing  The Hustle.

In health care, the same top-down government control that brought us gas lines in the 70s will shortly bring us hospital and clinic lines in the 21st century.  Dumping more regulation, mandates, and price controls on providers and insurers will drive them out of business and leave all of us with long waiting times for treatment.  In fact, the real trick in the new ObamaCare world will be … Staying Alive.

How about unemployment?  That’s an area of nostalgia, too.  When Jimmy Carter ran for re-election, the percentage of people employed in the full US population was 59%.  When Barack Obama took office, it was 60.6%.  After spending over $860 billion in a stimulus plan that supposedly would keep Americans from losing their jobs – money we had to borrow – the percentage of population working is now 58.5%.  Obama certainly looks like Carter, the second time around.

Meanwhile, we’ve added a new wrinkle to the gold medallions and polyester suit – exploding deficits.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have managed to do the impossible and make overspending Republicans from a few years back look like Ebenezer Scrooges.  Democrats added a trillion dollars a year in extra spending in just three budget cycles since regaining power in Congress, an increase of 38% in just that short amount of time.  National debt has spiraled from $8.5 trillion just prior to the 2006 midterms to almost $12 trillion, an increase of over 40% in three years and is now at 93% of our gross domestic product.

When I tell you that Greece is the word, you know it has a groove, it’s got a meaning.

Fortunately, the 1970s had an antidote.  It was the Reagan revolution in the 1980s.  We stopped penalizing capital.  We lowered taxes.  We rolled back the regulatory Leviathan and unleashed the power and dynamism of American innovation and ingenuity.  That didn’t happen by accident, either, but from the work of men and women who had had enough and got active and organized.  They found reliable leaders and kept enough pressure on Congress to force them to listen.

And what happened?  We triggered the greatest expansion of wealth in our nation’s history.  And we can do it again, too.

We have a duty to our country to act when it goes off track – to organize, get involved, make our voices heard and make our politicians listen.  That’s why I’m proud to be here among so many committed activists and to work with such a great organization as Americans for Prosperity, to fight with you for the free-market principles and private property rights that created an economic boom that lasted a generation.  This generation can do it again, as long as you keep it coming, folks, keep it coming – don’t stop it now!

Thank you, and God bless America!


I challenge Duane “Generalissimo” Patterson to continue this theme at the Hughniverse for his Duane FM show by playing three hours of non-stop disco, or at least 70s music.  If we have to put up with the decade’s economics for a while, the least we can do is revisit some of the music.