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Cantor v. Hensarling for Speaker

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekend Wall Street Journal carried a small piece on a big brewing fight over the Ex-Im bank.

I supported re-authorization of the Bank in the past and will again in the future.  Ex-Im supports exports and exports build trade surpluses or at least keep down trade deficits.  Far more to the point, it helps key industries, like aircraft production, compete with government-subsidized products of other nations.

Ex-Im is, in a word, Hamiltonian.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling –a wonderful conservative I hasten to add– is out to get Ex-Im as an example of “crony-capitalism.”  I will ask him on my show soon to discuss it, but there is some buzz that the debate over Ex-Im is intended to put Majority Leader Cantor in a corner, one that he won’t find comfortable when competing for votes with Hensarling in a battle to succeed Speaker John Boehner when the Ohio gavel-holder steps down later this year (perhaps before the election to give Boehner’s preferred choice, Cantor, a leg up with a delegation he knows rather than one full of new faces.)

Cantor-Hensarling will be an interesting race.  (I think the post should go to the man who appears the most on talk radio between now and the vote.)  But Ex-Im is far too valuable a tool of national power to hold hostage to leadership battles.  It should be reauthorized and Cantor and Hensarling should find a different field on which to joust.

I talked about the looming Cantor-Hensarling showdown with The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes on yesterday’s show, and Breitbart’s Jeff Poor caught the exchange here.


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A Metastatic Government

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

When Hank Adler was in studio yesterday to talk about his new book (see below), he told me that his column today would be about the attempt by the IRS to enforce demands for overpayment of old Social Security benefits from third party descendants of the deceased who allegedly received the overpayment.

I couldn’t believe that the issue could be that widespread because the conduct described by Hank was so outrageous.  Unbelievable in fact.  I told him it had to be an aberration –my lawyerly way of saying to my good friend and  I though Hank had his facts wrong.

Nope. I was wrong, Hank was right, and the Washington Post today reports that this incredible overreach is being ended.  But not before everyone got another whiff of what metastatic government looks like.  They got another view with the attempted intimidation of Cliven Bundy over the weekend (though Harry Reid says that one isn’t over.)

The feds are just drunk on power, and the indifference to promises made (“If you like your plan…) to rules that are inconvenient (a hundred waivers, extensions and rewrites) to oversight (Holder’s being held in contempt of Congress and Elijah Cummings’ back-dooring Democratic targets to the IRS) and to basic Constitutional order are now spreading an attitude throughout the vast federal bureaucracy of unaccountability that results in such extraordinary, indeed almost unbelievable abuses.

It is going to get worse unless the people throw a collective flag in November, so pick a Senate race or two or 14 and get invested in bringing accountability back to D.C.

Three Books For Graduates

Monday, April 14, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Got a graduate to buy for?  High school, college or grad school?  Look no further than these three books:

1.  You Don’t Have To Be Smart To Own A Smartphone by Hank Adler

Buy this in bulk for every new job-seeker and new employee you know.  They should be handed out at the door of every law firm and big business welcoming new employees and interns.  Author Hank Adler, retired Deloitte partner and Chapman University professor of accounting, joins me in hour three today to discuss:


2.  The Happiest Life, by me, of course, and better to get this stuff down early rather than late in life:


3. In, But Not Of, again by me, but of all my books, the one most often brought up to me by people in their late 20s/early 30s as having impacted their lives:


Hillary As GHWB

Monday, April 14, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My Monday Washington Examiner point makes the obvious point that Hillary is set up to succeed President Obama just as George H.W. Bush was to succeed Ronald reagan in 1988.  Both are consummate Beltway insiders with vast networks of staffers and donors, highly developed “brands,” and extremely practiced public personas.

Which is too say that the one thing that the GOP might be expected to do in 2016 –which is slowly getting underway– is nominate a governor from a base state.  Hard to imagine a candidate as dull as Mike Dukakis getting the nod, but cycles and patterns are pretty persistent in American politics.  Hillary is the given, now we watch to see if the GOP replays the out party’s role from 1988.

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