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The Colberts Who Don’t Know They Are Colbert

Thursday, March 25, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My new Townhall.com column is up.

Please keep the donations to the NRCC flowing. MSM is busy trying to turn the narrative from the jam down of the hugely unpopular Obamacare to anything else. The NRCC will be charged in part with keeping the focus on the effects of the law’s roll-out and to prepare candidates to make the most effective arguments about the law and the need for repeal, reform and replace.

Off to read the obituaries to see what Obamacare did for the medical system today. Here’s the new NRCC ad running against Betsy Backflip Markey in Colorado’s 4rth Congressional District. Markey voted against Obamacare in the fall but then voted for it this week. My friend Tom Lucero is running for the seat, and you can contribute to Tom’s campaign here.

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The Tanning Tax: The Perfect Example of How Democrats Think

Wednesday, March 24, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I hope that some GOP senator offers an amendment to the reconciliation bill to repeal Obamacare’s new tanning tax. This is the perfect teaching tool. Tax-hungry Democrats target thousands of small businesses and blast them with a 10% excise tax which they are defenseless to resist because the public neither knows nor cares about the small business owners greatly burdened by the new, enormous levy. Here’s an e-mail from one listener:

Hugh,
Thousands of us ( Tanning Salon owners) were well aware of the Tanning Tax for many months, and were pro-active in attempting to contact our congressmen. We had group and individual efforts all to no avail. Most of us are real business people with major investments and are sickened by this unfair and we feel racist tax. The average client is a 40 year old middle class white female. The fall out will most likely be about 30-40% of our businesses closing with the majority being the smaller privately owed stores with the major chains being able to survive. I have 20 years, hundreds of thousands of dollars and more 7 day work weeks than most people can imagine. We are still discussing ways to try and survive this. Time to get “creative” Thanks for at least addressing this issue with a minimum of bad humor. The fact is our clients include nurses, teachers, fireman and police…all walks of life.

Many Democrats must assume that the owner-operators will simply pass the tax along to the customers, but of course some customers will scale back their use and others will drop the service entirely. Those customers with contracts cannot have the cost passed along and the owners will simply have to eat it. Democrats just took a tough year and made it a nightmare.

The Senate GOP should not miss the opportunity to hold up this deeply unfair tax as an example of what Democrats will do to farm taxes from every corner of the economy to finance their big government schemes.

I would also love to see some GOP senator offer a 10% tax on Members of Congress and their staffs. If they can strike at small businesses by the thousands, why not legislators by the hundreds?

What Ought The GOP Senators Do Next?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From my interview with Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander on Tuesday’s show (complete transcript here):

HH: I want to talk about the balance of 2010. If I had a magic wand, I’d make you all go away until we could have a vote on this thing, and a chance to say whether or not the country’s gone too far to the left. But obviously, there are appropriation bills, et cetera. But your colleague, and again, a frequent guest on this program, Lindsey Graham, is evidently engaged in negotiations on immigration, and in negotiations on cap and tax. And Senator Alexander, I just don’t think there’s any stomach for anything. What’s your sense in the Senate right now?

LA: Well, we haven’t seen Lindsey’s plan on cap and tax. My view on that is any step away from an economy-wide cap and trade is a good step. And most all Republican Senators agree with that, and many Democrats do. On immigration, of course we have a responsibility to deal with immigration, but the question is to do what. I mean, if the question is do we have a secure card for everybody who works here, so we can tell they’re legally here, that’s a good idea. If we get control of the border, that’s a good idea. If we help people learn English, that’s a good idea. If we let highly educated people from other countries get a green card so they can stay and create jobs for us, that’s a good idea. All of those are parts of immigration reform that we have a responsibility to deal with. So I doubt we’ll get into that very far this year, or economy-wide cap and trade. I think the issue’s going to be, the President actually said last year, that health care is just a proxy for a larger debate about the role of government and Washington in the lives of Americans. He’s exactly right about that, and that’s what we’ll be debating, and that’s what the election will be about.

HH: Last question, Senator Alexander, Senator Dodd is doing a jam down on the banking regulation rewrite. Are the Republicans going to stand firm, 41 united, against this?

LA: Well, against the bill as it’s presented. We were working hard to try to work across party lines and come up with a sensible bill. But Senator Shelby and Senator Corker did the best they could, and can’t do it. We want legislation that does not expand the role of government. And we want legislation that does not allow big institutions to be too big to fail. So what we’ve mainly got now are amendments to Senator Dodd’s bill, not any ability to work with him.

Pray that the Senate GOP has figured out that this is not the season for “compromise” and “bipartisan negotiation,” but a season for “loyal opposition.” We need to get to November without further disfiguring damage to the Republic, and to a referendum on the president’s hard left lurch.

In the meantime, please contribute to the National Republican Congressional Committee as a thank you for fighting the good fight.

One thing concerns me more than any other: When my producers call some House and Senate offices, their members are “unavailable” for interviews. Passing by a national audience at any time suggests the D.C. GOP still doesn’t understand the moment we are in. In the age of new media, not to speak is to be defined by the opposition.

“Over-communication” ought to be the watch-word on the Hill, not caution and cloister.

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