Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update On The Mancession: Men Lose More Jobs Then Women Do Since January 2008

Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center released a study titled "In Two Years of Economic Recovery, Women Lost Jobs, Men Found Them." What is interesting about this report is that the title of this study contradicts what the Pew Research Center found: 
"Although the latest trends in employment are working in favor of men, the full period of the recession and the recovery has set men back more than women. From December 2007 to May 2011, the employment of men has decreased from 70.7 million to 66.1 million, or by 4.6 million. For women, employment has fallen from 67.3 million to 64.9 million, or by 2.4 million. Thus, while men have taken an early lead in the recovery, they still have far more ground to cover than women to return to pre-recession employment levels."
Professor Mark J. Perry, who teaches economics and finance at the School of Management at the Flint campus at the University of Michigan, provided a graph on his blog that gives a visual demonstration of the key paragraph above:
Here's Mark Perry's explanation of the graph: 
The chart above helps to graphically illustrate the paragraph above by showing monthly employment levels for men and women from January 2002 to June 2011.  Although it's true that men have made greater employment gains since the recession ended, it's also true that men are still much worse off than women when we consider the entire period from January 2008 to June 2011.  The current number of payroll jobs in the U.S. (131 million) is about 7 million jobs below the peak of 138 million jobs in January of 2008 when the recession was first starting.  Of the 7 million jobs lost since 2008, men have lost 4.6 million or 65% of the total, compared to 2.4 million fewer jobs for women, or 35% of the total.  

Bottom Line: Despite the recent job gains for men since early 2010, the Great Recession has still had a disproportionately and significantly negative effect on men compared to women, and it's not even close: For every 100 jobs lost by women since January 2008, men have lost 192 jobs, so it's still very much of a "mancession," despite the recent "hecovery."
The debate on the mancession has been raging for a while now. Some people think the mancession is now slowing down. Others think the trend is reversing in which they're calling it a "He-covery." 
The New York Times was the first to notice the mancession in February of 2009 and became a hot topic during the summer of that year. The Atlantic, in July of 2009, cited a statistic that "eighty percent of job losses in the last two years were among men." In August of 2009, Professor Mark J. Perry,  pointed out in an earlier blog article that the trend could be traced back to December of 2006. However, some people even questioned whether or not the mancession was real. Despite the minority who question this phenomenon, it is real and it still is an ongoing economic issue
This study from the Pew Research Center makes it clear that while unemployment has improved for men, its too premature to declare that men have made a full "hecovery".

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Progressive Holy Grail: The Next Big Idea

Robert Reich has written a scathing article about President Obama's dereliction of leadership on the debt ceiling crisis which is actually a good summary of Barack's overall leadership style:
Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling. Many who were drawn to him in 2008 (including me) were dazzled by the power of his words and insights -- his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, his autobiography and subsequent policy book, his talks about race and other divisive issues during the campaign.
We were excited by the prospect of a leader who could educate -- an "educator in chief" who would use the bully pulpit to explain what has happened to the United States in recent decades, where we must go, and why.
But the man who has occupied the Oval Office since January, 2009 is someone entirely different -- a man seemingly without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, an inside-the Beltway dealmaker who doesn't explain his compromises in light of larger goals.
In Amity Shlaes' book, The Forgotten Man, she gives us a detailed account of how FDR and other progressives wandered from one big idea to the next and would seem to support one idea only to abandon it later. Progressives make poor leaders because they're enamored with "big ideas" which usually means more spending, bigger government and a lack of a coherent policy on any issue. That's why progressives are unhappy with Obama because he can't guide the nation towards the next big idea.
This is the Achilles heel of progressivism as a philosophy and as a style of leadership. Vision is where a leader can has a destination in mind and leads the people towards it. But for progressives, they roam from one big idea and when they're done with that idea, they move in search of another big idea. That's not leadership. It aimlessness.
Robert Reich and other progressives desperately want Obama wants to be courageous about his aimless leadership style and get America to rally behind the progressive quest for the next big idea but they're disappointed that he can't do it. 
Obama cannot mobilize America around the truth, in other words, because he is continuously adapting to the prevailing view. This is not leadership.
Mr. Rich is starting to realize the fundamental flaw of progressivism. Its political philosophy that doesn't engender leadership. That's why the President would continuously adapt to the prevailing view on whatever issue that confronts him because its a roadblock on the journey to the next big idea.
Robert Riech and other progressives shouldn't be angry with Obama's aimless leadership style. He's following the progressive leadership model perfectly.

Joe Scarborough: Democrats Are Privately Saying Obama Isn't A Leader On The Debt Ceiling Issue

Joe Scarborough revealed that Democrats in Congress are starting to realize what everybody in America already know about Obama when it comes to leadership on economic issues. See the clip below:

Here's the key quote from the clip above: 
Joe Scarborough: "I have got to clear this up. Mika heard two days ago on Capitol Hill Democrats all saying the same thing. And that is, this president has been invisible, he is not a leader. They said this all behind closed doors. Democratic leaders, Democratic rank-and-file. In fact, 40, 50 of the most powerful Democrats on the Hill. I will just stop right there. The complaints were all the same. The president has vanished. He has left us here alone again like he did with health care. Where is he? Now, they didn't call him a loser, but they sure as hell didn't call him a leader."
Perhaps the people who are the most angry with Obama are progressive Democrats since they expect the President to work with them on the debt ceiling issue since Barack Obama considers himself a progressive: 
Largely missing from the closed-door negotiations and deal-trading in Washington's acrimonious debt ceiling battle are Congress' progressive stalwarts, the left-of-center lawmakers who fight for middle- and low-income individuals and families. That includes the House Progressive Caucus and a few dozen members of the Senate. The debt ceiling debate has left many of these lawmakers outraged at the White House for keeping them at arm's length and out of loop.
And make no mistake: After being frozen out of the process, their "yes" votes for a final compromise deal are no guarantee. "If the White House is assuming we will just go along," says Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the co-chair of the progressive caucus, "they are mistaken."
As the 2012 election grows closer and closer it will become more and more difficult for Progressives and liberals to find a reason to pull the lever for Obama in the ballot box. They might vote for him just to keep a Republican out of office but given how low the President's poll numbers are, the chances of progressives keeping this progressive President in office for another four years are very slim.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Former New York Governor George Pataki Considering A Run In 2012

While Rudy Guiliani is still considering another run for 2012, there's another New Yorker who is also thinking about jumping into the 2012 race. Former New York Governor George Pataki hasn't made any decisions yet but he seems to be testing out the waters to see if it is safe to jump in: 
“I am definitely considering a run for president,” former New York Gov. George Pataki told reporters here.Fresh off a trip to Iowa, Pataki was in the Granite State leading a discussion on the debt crisis at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm's College. (Organizers claimed it was scheduled long before the current debt impasse began producing headlines.)
"We are engaged in generational theft. Politicians in Washington are stealing from our children's future… This is not leadership,” Pataki told the group.
When asked about the current GOP presidential field's handling of the debt problem, Pataki seemed dissatisfied.
"A Republican has to make as part of their campaign how they're going deal with the deficit and debt issue,” he told NBC News. “We have to have solutions. So far, I haven’t heard that. I'm certainly looking to see if someone has that plan in the tone of their campaign.”
Then Pataki paused to reiterate that he is taking a closer look at the White House. “I’m seriously thinking about it."
Pataki also mentioned stated that if he decides to throw his hat into the ring, his announcement might come quickly: 
As for when he might declare a run for the White House, Pataki knows the clock is ticking.
"I don’t want to put a specific date on it, but I understand that sooner is better than not.”
Pataki said it would “be great” if Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the presidential race, but he stated firmly that Perry’s move would not ultimately affect his own decision.
“I will be very involved in some way, whether it's as a candidate or supporting another candidate or some other capacity."
Pataki would have an uphill battle if he decides to run in 2012. But George Pataki is right about one thing and that is he needs to decide soon on whether he's in or not. The same is true for Sarah Palin and Governor Rick Perry.  They have kept the public waiting to see if they will participate in the 2012 election and they should make their announcement soon.  

Mitt Romney Continues To Shrink Obama's Electoral Map

The Daily Caller had an excellent article published in April in which it talked about why Mitt Romney is the best candidate to defeat Obama in 2012. They reported that the Democrats know they have an an uphill battle getting reelected in 2012 but they think they have an awesome strategy in getting a second term for Obama:
Earlier this week, Obama’s reelection campaign manager Jim Messina made it clear “that Democrats couldn’t rely on their 2008 game plan to win a second term for Obama in 2012.” As Messina describes it, one of the keys to winning in 2012 is for Obama is to “[e]expand the electorate.”
Their ‘awesome plan’ may be difficult to implement because Mitt Romney is actually shrinking Obama’s electoral map:
“Ironically, there is one GOP presidential frontrunner who is currently expanding the electoral map on Team Obama — Mitt Romney.”
How is Romney shrinking Obama’s electoral map? It’s due to his strong appeal among Independents:
But there is one item that usually escapes the casual political handicapper: Romney’s appeal among independents. This group, which swung to Obama in 2008 and then to the GOP’s congressional candidates in 2010, will be the single most important voting block for either party in 2012. In two battleground states that had been trending blue — Michigan and New Hampshire — Romney has, at times, led President Obama in a hypothetical general election match-up largely because of his appeal among these voters.
Several polls show that Romney is also leading Obama in Florida, a state that is essentially a political microcosm of all the battleground states and a state that the eventual GOP nominee cannot lose if Republicans have any hope of winning the White House in 2012.
A few months later after the Daily Caller publish that article, it appears that Mitt Romney's strategy to get widen the electoral map for himself while shrinking it for Obama is working in key battleground states
The race for president isn’t a national contest. It’s a state-by-state battle to cobble an electoral vote majority. So while the national polls are useful in gauging the president’s popularity, the more instructive numbers are those from the battlegrounds.
Those polls are even more ominous for the president: In every reputable battleground state poll conducted over the past month, Obama’s support is weak. In most of them, he trails Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.  For all the talk of a closely fought 2012 election, if Obama can’t turn around his fortunes in states such as Michigan and New Hampshire, next year’s presidential election could end up being a GOP landslide.
Take Ohio, a perennial battleground in which Obama has campaigned more than in any other state (outside of the D.C. metropolitan region). Fifty percent of Ohio voters now disapprove of his job performance, compared with 46 percent who approve, according to a Quinnipiac poll conducted from July 12-18.  
Among Buckeye State independents, only 40 percent believe that Obama should be reelected, and 42 percent approve of his job performance. Against Romney, Obama leads 45 percent to 41 percent—well below the 50 percent comfort zone for an incumbent.
The news gets worse from there.  In Michigan, a reliably Democratic state that Obama carried with 57 percent of the vote, an EPIC-MRA poll conducted July 9-11 finds him trailing Romney, 46 percent to 42 percent. Only 39 percent of respondents grade his job performance as “excellent” or good,” with 60 percent saying it is “fair” or “poor.” The state has an unemployment rate well above the national average, and the president’s approval has suffered as a result.
In Iowa, where Republican presidential contenders are getting in their early licks against the president, his approval has taken a hit. In a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for a liberal-leaning group, Romney held a lead of 42 percent to 39 percent over the president, with 19 percent undecided. Even hyper-conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann ran competitively against Obama in the Hawkeye State, trailing 47 percent to 42 percent.
The July Granite State Poll pegs the president’s approval at 46 percent among New Hampshire voters, with 49 percent disapproving. A separate robo-poll conducted this month by Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling shows him trailing Romney in the state, 46 percent to 44 percent.
Polls are just a snapshot, and these illustrate that the sour economy has been taking its toll on the president’s popularity. There’s plenty of time left before November 2012, but the fundamentals—projections of long-term slow economic growth, a White House struggling to tailor a message on job creation, and an energized Republican base—don’t bode well.
As the article points out, elections aren't won at the national level. They're won at the state level and the candidate needs to collect enough states to claim a victory. 
Mitt Romney, unlike his competitors, is focusing on the ultimate goal of winning the White House. That's why he's playing the long game by really focusing on building solid networks in each state, working to win the support of not just conservatives but independents and moderates, and focusing on his message of jobs and the economy. By focusing on these things, Obama's chances of getting reelected grows smaller and smaller. 
That's why Mitt Romney is also appealing to Americans. They're not satisfied and happy with Republican candidates who squabble with each other over stupid issues like Michelle Bachmann's migraines, sign ridiculous pledges and have short term goals like winning straw polls. 
Americans need a president who has a long term vision and is persistent in accomplishing those long term goals. That is why America needs Mitt Romney in the White House in 2012.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Congressman John Campbell Says We Need Mitt Romney

U.S House Representative for California's 48th congressional district, John Campbell, has just published his endorsement of Mitt Romney:
Today, economic issues dominate the scene in America. We have record-breaking, unsustainable deficits and face credit downgrades and a looming debt crisis. We are supposedly in the middle of economic recovery, but no one can really feel it. Unemployment is stubbornly high and shows no signs of coming down any time soon. Inflation is now running over 3%, which is relatively low, but since savings accounts pay essentially nothing, the wealth of Americans is being eroded. Europe and, yes, even China have economic challenges. Decisions about issues as diverse as national defense, the environment and immigration are all now impacted by the economic prospects and our current fiscal situation.
President Obama has been the major contributor to these problems. He has massively grown spending, deficits and debt in a misguided and failed Keynesian attempt to fix the economy. His strong and very liberal ideology continues to churn out job-killing policies in the areas of health care, energy, finance and manufacturing. He claims to love the jobs created by these industries, but his administration does whatever it can to restrict the products that these industries make and to punish those who would invest in them. And, his lack of competence and experience in matters of governance and the economy further hurt job creation and add to the uncertainty and the feeling out there that we are without direction and with little hope for the future.
“Hope and change” has failed. We need to change again. But, to whom?
I don’t want another president who has to learn management and governance on the job. I don’t want another president who doesn’t really understand how capital creates jobs and how jobs reward capital. I don’t want another president without executive experience in both the public or private sectors. I don’t want another president who blindly follows some academic ideology without assessing the practicalities of the situation he or she faces.
Please, no more people who can speak, but not lead. No more people who can read a talking point, but not think.
That’s why I am strongly supporting Governor Mitt Romney for President.
You can read the entire text of John Campbell's endorsement HERE
I don't know what else to add except to say that Congressman John Campbell is right. America really does need Mitt Romney to be the next President of the United States in 2012.

Former Governor George V. Voinovich To Endorse Mitt Romney

Former Ohio Governor and Senator George V. Voinovich will formally give his endorsement to Mitt Romney tomorrow:

Lately, Mitt Romney has been picking up alot of endrosements from of current and former governors back him for 2012. Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri will also officially give his endorsement to Mitt Romney and will help him raise money at an upcoming fundraiser. A few weeks ago, Nebraska Govenor Dave Heineman endorsed Romney as well.
Congratulations Mitt Romney for getting these endorsements!

America: Get A Grip On Your Debt Problem

As we all know by now,  raising the ceiling allows us to spend more but it doesn't fix the underlying problem  of American's national debt. America needs to get a grip reducing the debt. If Congress doesn't find a solution by August 2nd to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for financial responsibility, we won't like the consequences. 
Moody's and other credit rating companies have been threatening to reduce America's credit rating for a long time now if we don't get a grip on reducing our national debt. They warned us that it would reduce our credit rating back in January of 2011 and repeated their threat a month ago. They just issued another warning almost two weeks ago on July 13 in which they will look to see if they will make a downgrade in our credit rating. Moody's isn't the only credit rating that is threatening to reduce our credit rating. Fitch made a similar threat a week ago. 
These credit rating companies might actually follow through with their threats. The downgrade in our credit rating my happen as early as this upcoming Friday. If that happens, it would be bad news for America
Despite these repeated warnings, the Obama administration is trying to ignore them. The reason why these credit rating companies are considering a downgrade is because of the way our government spends our money:
That is why we need to either pass the balanced budget amendment because we need a permanent solution to our deficit problem that forces Congress to spend the tax payer's money wisely. If we don't, the consequences won't just be a down grade in our credit rating, but America's light on a hill will have grown dimmer.

Obama Now Irrelevant On The Economy

Not only does Obama like to lead from behind on foreign policy but that is also his preferred leadership style when it comes to handling the economy. However, as Charles Krauthammer points out, "leading from behind" really means an abdication of leadership.
When things get tough, Obama likes to walk away from his role as leader. A prime example is when Obama was negotiating with the Republicans on a tax deal in December and he left Bill Clinton all by himself at a press conference to explain the deal to the public:

With the debt ceiling crisis, Obama has demonstrated the same leadership style of leading behind on the economy. When Obama was presented with a bipartisian plan that was approved by both Democrats and Republicans in the house, the President rejected it. Despite the fact that Obama has not offered a solution to this problem, except to insist that any deal contain tax increases, he decided to lecture Congress for being left out in the cold by Democrats and Republicans in Congress who are determined to solve this problem without Obama. 
By whining like a girl about about not being involved in a deal between Democrats and Republican, his 15 minute speech had the opposite effect that he wanted. Instead of being invited back into the negotiations, Congress grew even more firm in shutting Obama out: 
Obama’s Friday appearance had a gigantic unintended consequence. It brought members of Congress together. They decided to take control. The White House is now on the sidelines. Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders are negotiating directly with one another. 
Obama's refusal to offer any plan himself and getting upset about being left out in the cold by Congress isn't just another example of him leading from behind. Obama isn't leading here. He's abdicating his duty to the point that he's becoming irrelevant on the debt ceiling crisis: 
Obama repeatedly blasted Republicans for not agreeing with his approach while providing no plan at all, and modeled the need for compromise with … a campaign speech.  Anyone listening to Obama’s fifth foray in front of the cameras this month — by far the most intense public-relations campaign Obama has conducted in more than a year — could be forgiven for wondering why the President didn’t spend at least some of that time actually developing and presenting his own plan. 
The simple answer: Obama doesn’t want the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling, cutting spending, and/or raising taxes.  This is what passes for leadership in the era of Hope and Change — voting present. 
Obama has worked hard to make himself irrelevant over the last few weeks, and he’s about to get his wish.
Leading from behind is a weak but tolerable way to lead. However, abandoning your job as a leader is unacceptable. But Obama has gone beyond voting present on this issue, he's made himself irrelevant which is unforgivable politically or electorally.
Obama desperately wants to be reelected. Yet, he's demonstrating to the American people that he doesn't want to be a leader. What's worse, he's made himself irrelevant on one of the most important issues in American history. With a crappy economic record and the fact that the economy has never been a top priority of his administration, Obama will be a one term President. 
 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Obama's Economic Record: Hope Is Fading For Americans

Obama promised hope and change but America is losing hope and are not seeing a lot of change in their pockets. As 2012 election election heats up, its time to look at Obama's economic record to see if he deserves a second term in office.
Lets look at Obama's first twenty five months in office:

January 2009 TODAY % chg Source





Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S. (regular conventional) $1.83 $3.104 69.6% 1
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel) $43.48 $99.02 127.7% 2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel) $38.74 $91.38 135.9% 2
Natural gas, Henry Hub, $ per MMbtu $4.85 $4.48 -7.6% 2
Gold: London (per troy oz.) $853.25 $1,369.50 60.5% 2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL $3.56 $6.33 78.1% 2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL $9.66 $13.75 42.3% 2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob $13.37 $35.39 164.7% 2





Producer Price Index:  all commodities 171.0 189.9 11.1% 3
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall 7.6% 9.4% 23.7% 3
Unemployment rate, blacks 12.6% 15.8% 25.4% 3
Number of unemployed 11,616,000 14,485,000 24.7% 3
Number of fed. employees, ex. uniformed military (curr = 12/10 prelim) 2,779,000 2,840,000 2.2% 3
Real median household income (2008 vs 2009) $50,112 $49,777 -0.7% 4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10) 31,983,716 43,200,878 35.1% 5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10) 7,526,598 9,193,838 22.2% 6
Number of long-term unemployed,  in millions 2.6 6.4 146.2% 3
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 vs 2009) 13.2% 14.3% 8.3% 4
People in poverty in U.S.,  in millions  (2008 vs 2009) 39.8 43.6 9.5% 4
House price index (current = Q3 2010) 198.7 192.7 -3.0% 7
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: 20 city composite (curr = 10/10) 146.4 145.3 -0.8% 8
Number of properties subject of foreclosurefilings,  in millions 2.82 2.87 1.7% 9





U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings 5 9 n/a 10
Consumer Confidence Index (curr = 12/10) 37.7 52.5 39.3% 11
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10) 29.9 23.5 -21.4% 11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date) 140 164 17.1% 12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate 89.76 82.03 -8.6% 2
U.S. money supply, M1,  in billions  (curr = 12/10 preliminary) 1,575.1 1,865.7 18.4% 13
U.S. money supply, M2,  in billions  (curr = 12/10 preliminary) 8,310.9 8,852.3 6.5% 13
National debt,  in trillions $10.627 $14.052 32.2% 14
Obama's economic record doesn't look any better thirty months after he was inaugurated: 
Not only has President Obama's failed policies hurt key industries in America successful, but he has also created 14.1 million unemployed people. Unemployment has been especially hard on minorities in this country:
For example, the Congressional Black Caucus had a news conference in which they expressed their anger for high unemployment among African Americans:
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday publicly accused the Obama administration of failing to adequately address a veritable epidemic of African American unemployment.
"Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn't find it?" asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of the caucus. "You would see congressional hearings and community gatherings. There would be rallies and protest marches. There is no way that this would be allowed to stand."
In May, the black unemployment rate was at 16.2 percent compared to 9.1 percent overall joblessness and 8 percent levels among white workers. In Milwaukee, Wis., a staggering 34 percent of black men are unemployed, CBS news reported.
The Obama administration has focused on broad-based initiatives aimed at lowering unemployment in general, while declining to address elevated rates among minority groups.
What's so fascinating is you would think that unemployment among African Americans would be a major concern for Obama. But it isn't
It’s ironic that the first black president of the United States would be the one to oversee a black unemployment rate that is almost double that of the already high national average. I can only wonder did Obama ever promote those mythical shovel ready jobs to unemployed blacks who are desperate to find work? The unemployment rate among blacks was actually much lower under the two terms of a white neo conservative republican than under a black socialist democratic president. Go figure.

The unemployment rate for blacks under Bush was ironically 9%
The unemployment rate for blacks under Clinton was 10%

The unemployment rate for blacks under Obama 16.1%
Even CBS News can’t ignore the obvious. Black unemployment hits depression era levels.
Another minority group that Obama is unwilling to address is the Hispanic community. Mitt Romney gives us the straight facts on how Latinos have not done well under Obama's Presidency:
The Unemployment Rate Among Hispanic Americans Was 11.6% In June – An Increase Of 17% Since President Obama Took Office. In June 2011, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans was 11.6%. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the rate was 9.9%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/11/11)
Over 2.6 Million Hispanic Americans Were Unemployed In June – An Increase Of More Than 20% Since President Obama Took Office. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 2,653,000 unemployed Hispanic Americans in June 2011, an increase of roughly 468,000 since President Obama took office in January 2009. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/11/11)
However, the largest minority group to be affected by Obama's policies is are people between the ages of eighteen to thirty. Once again, Mitt Romney gives us the sobering statistics of unemployment among today's young generation: 
New York Times: “Employment Rates For New College Graduates Have Fallen Sharply In The Last Two Years, As Have Starting Salaries For Those Who Can Find Work.” “Now evidence is emerging that the damage wrought by the sour economy is more widespread than just a few careers led astray or postponed. Even for college graduates – the people who were most protected from the slings and arrows of recession — the outlook is rather bleak. Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work.” (“Many With New College Degree Find The Job Market Humbling,” The New York Times, 5/18/11)
An 18% Increase In The Number Of Unemployed Workers: The unemployment level for Americans aged 20-24 has increased from 1.85 million in January 2009 to 2.19 million in June 2011. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/20/11)
A 17% Increase In The Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate for Americans aged 20-24 has increased from 12.4% in January 2009 to 14.5% in June 2011. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/20/11)
A Record-Shattering Twenty-Seven Consecutive Months Of Unemployment At 14% Or Higher: The unemployment rate for Americans aged 20-24 has been above 14% for twenty-seven consecutive months and counting. Since record-keeping began in 1948, the rate had been above 14% in only twenty non-consecutive months prior to the Obama Administration. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/20/11)
Shrinking Participation In The Labor Force: The labor force participation rate for Americans aged 20-24 has declined from 73.2 in January 2009 to 70.5 in June 2011. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 7/20/11
“Among The Members Of The Class Of 2010, Just 56% Had Held At Least One Job By This Spring [2011] … That Compares With 90% Of Graduates From The Classes Of 2006 And 2007.” (“Many With New College Degree Find The Job Market Humbling,” The New York Times, 5/18/11)
“The Unemployment Rate For New College Graduates Has Climbed Since Before The Recession, Prompting Some Recent Grads To Delay Looking For A Job.” (“Many Graduates Delay Job Searches,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/4/11)
As a result of the long term impact of unemployment for young voters, some people are that the youth will vote for Republicans in high numbers in 2012.
Minorities aren't the only ones hurt by the economy. Obama has turned a blind eye to male unemployment
The hemorrhaging of manufacturing and other well-paying jobs in America means that a rising number of young American men face dwindling prospects for earning a middle-class wage in the future. Young male unemployment is at 19 percent. More than 15 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (most of whom are male) were unemployed in January 2011. African-American males also have been hit hard. Ten years ago, both African-American men and women had the same unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. Since then, the men’s rate has more than doubled and now is almost four points higher than the unemployment rate for women. Similarly, Hispanic men now have a 1.7 percent higher unemployment rate than Hispanic women, whom they historically have outperformed.
Pointing this out has long been off-limits in polite company, but Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA, recently broke the taboo. In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, he called for an end to the government’s preferential treatment programs with the exception of those programs designed to assist African-Americans. Webb noted the especially galling practice of making recent immigrants the beneficiaries of these diversity programs. In other words, not only are we shipping good jobs overseas but we are giving preferential treatment to those moving here from overseas. I agree with Webb’s conclusion: “Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.”
While minorities have been disproportionately impacted by Obama's poor economic policies, the truth is that everyone, no matter where they are, have been affected by the President's failure to take command of the economy. Recently, the the Department of Bureau of Labor Statistics released its numbers for unemployment in June and there is not a part of America that is left unscathed from Obama's economic policies:
The West had the highest regional unemployment rate in June, 10.4 percent, while the Northeast had the lowest rate, 8.1 percent. Over the month, two regions experienced statistically significant jobless rate changes: the Midwest (+0.2 percentage point) and South (+0.1 point). Three of the regions registered significant rate changes from a year earlier: the Midwest (-1.1 percentage points) and Northeast and West (-0.6 point each).
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to have the highest jobless rate, 11.0 percent in June. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 6.8 percent. Over the month, two divisions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate changes: the East North Central (+0.2 percentage point) and South Atlantic (+0.1 point). Over the year, five divisions posted significant rate changes, all of which were decreases. The largest decrease was in the East North Central (-1.5 percentage points).
Obama is seeking a second term as President. But if we have a president whose economic policy is best described as unfocused since he jumps from one issue to another much like FDR did during his Presidency doesn't deserve a second term in office.
Thanks to FDR's progressive new deal programs, the Depression lasted longer than it should have. And Obama is clearly trying to emulate FDR's progressive economic policies. If we want to quickly get back on the road to economic recovery, the best thing Americans can do is deny Obama a second term in office.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Consequence Of Churches Promoting Entitlement Programs

As the August 2nd deadline to raise the debt ceiling comes closer everyday and as our politicians squabble on entitlement reform, its important to remember that there was a time in America when our government was not involved in running entitlement programs. Charity used to be a private enterprise. However, all of that changed when some religious organizations lobbied for government intervention:
The American experiment sought to wed the idea of freedom and virtue without the need or desire for a strong government to administer the details of life for every citizen. The American idea was an elimination of restraint by the government to be replaced by the constraint of virtue taught by institutions in society other than the government. The home, the church, the school and other voluntary associations were to be the primary relationship of life through which order and honesty were maintained.
The Great Depression, with its widespread economic emergencies, tested this idea and caused many to desire a government-run economy where predictability and security would be normal because most (if not all) personal and business decisions would largely be regulated by a governmental bureaucracy. New Deal legislation brought with it price controls on food, government insurance, monetary subsidies for bad years on the farm or in business, tight regulation on industry, new and expensive regulations for business and high tax rates.
Immediately following Roosevelt's speech in San Francisco, many theological journals and Christian denominations used the exact phrases of the soon-to-be president in their publications. Many discarded traditional interpretations of key Scripture texts to support a new political theology which mirrored Roosevelt's revolutionary New Deal. The close connections were not noticed at first, but after the laws were passed, it clearly was seen that without the church, much of the legislation could not have passed Congress. The president designed the policies, the church applied the pressure and the nation inherited the consequences.
The fact that many pastors and religious institutions encouraged the government to take over their role in providing charity has not come without terrible consequences for religious institutions: 
What is disturbing when reviewing the history of this time is how many Christian ministers defended the actions of government as fulfilling Holy Scripture's mandates to care for the poor, provide for parents in their old age and give to those who ask of you.
With this shift of thinking, the state began to function in roles once reserved for the church—to the detriment of any who would question the legitimacy of the legislation on theological grounds. The same reception awaits those in the modern day who seek to resist any "progressive" social policy in any way for fear that they will be branded as uncaring or un-Christian in their ideas.
Has government power expanded to such a degree that the church now has no voice at all in the public square? Perhaps, but the modern era of public policy reveals just how much the government has gained and how much the church has lost.
Its worth noting that the consequences of churches abandoning their role in providing charity are not limited to religious and private institutions. It has come at a huge cost to the American people. Look at the chart below: 
As you can see from the chart above, the explosive growth of spending on entitlement programs are startling. However, what's even more startling is the future of these entitlement programs:
What private institutions have done is lay a financial burden on the American people that grows larger and larger until it becomes financially unsustainable. As you can see by these graphs above, there is no dispute that entitlement programs are the single largest driver of our nation's deficit.
The reason why the costs of entitlements have sky rocketed is because these progressive and liberal churches weren't content with just getting social security into law in the 1930s. As time marched on into the 60's and 70s, many churches pressed for government intervention in medical care, housing, and education. As a result, our government had spend to spend more of our tax payer money as more entitlement programs were being created.
These churches promoted a culture of dependency on government rather than on religion. Everyone knows that  dependencies develop quickly. If you want to kill a bad entitlement, kill it quickly before expectations calcify. However, thanks to private institutions like churches and private insurance companies in the 1930s, they didn't work hard to kill these entitlement programs in its infancy but labored diligently to ensure that its existence would calcify into a permanent fixture in American government.
Yet, what is so fascinating about entitlement programs is that they are considered mandatory spending programs even though it is really a discretionary program:  
People are often shocked to learn that Social Security and Medicare are not “entitlements” at all.  Congress could pass a law stopping all Social Security and Medicare payments tomorrow, and no citizen would have a legal claim against the government based on how much payroll tax he or she had paid into the so-called “Trust Fund.”  Because Medicaid is financed by general tax revenue, its constitutionality under the general-welfare clause is even more secure, according to current legal reasoning.
Given that America's dependency on these entitlement programs have calcified, the idea of government stepping away from the enterprise of helping others isn't politically feasible or acceptable. As a result, entitlement reform is not only necessary but should be easy to do. However, the reason why they've become the third rail of American politics is that politicians are afraid to make the crucial and necessary reforms to entitlement programs for fear of provoking the wrath of those who rely completely or partially on these programs.   
At some point, we have to realize that these programs are not mandatory and that spending doesn't have to be on autopilot. Politicians and citizens alike will realize that the third rail of American politics was as only as dangerous as we believed it to be. As a result, the biggest reform we will have to make is not with the entitlement programs themselves but in changing the hearts and minds of the American people.
That means we need to educate people about the real history of charity in America. I highly recommend two books that look at what America was like before the government became involved in entitlement programs. Those books are The Charity Organization Movement in the United States; A Study In America Philanthropy and The Tragedy of American Compassion.  
It also means we need to promote a culture of independence not dependence. That means we need to teach self-reliance, independence and accountability at home, in churches and in school. The more people learn that they can make their own success and that if they ever fall on hard times, they rely on individuals and private institutions who will work to ensure that they get back on their feet again. 
We also need to push for a greater role in private institutions in helping people out and reduce, but not eliminate, the government's role in helping people. There was a time when private corporations and religious institutions provided social security, rent assistance and medical assistance and that time needs to come back again.
People don't mind helping the poor, the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged and they will continue to help people long into the future. The problem is that one institution is not suited or capable of helping people while the other institution is. Governments cannot provide that kind of service at the same quality or cost that private institutions can. 
Governments can still play a role in helping people but its role must be minimal. The government can't take care of everyone which it has promised with the passage of all these entitlement programs. If we can make entitlement reforms, reduce the government's role in helping people while increasing the role of private institutions in helping people and reintroduce the ideas of self reliance and accountability, our national deficit would be reduced, if not, eliminated completely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jim DeMint Tells The Tea Party To Not Lose Focus

Recently, Jim DeMint wondered aloud about the where the TEA party was heading: 
"What's up with the Tea Party right now?" asked Heritage President Ed Feulner near the end of the meeting. "We're not hearing much right now."

"I really don't know," DeMint said. "As I move around, people are telling me they're out there and they're engaged, but since the election they have not had as much of a focus."
DeMint also told people not to endorse candidates early in the 2012 election: 
In the meantime, he said, he's warning fellow conservatives to keep their mouths shut when it comes to making endorsements this early in the game.

"I think we're going to have a good field," DeMint said. "I'm encouraging people...not to endorse early. One of the things I found out last time is as soon as you endorse the candidates, they stop listening and go on to endorse somebody else. The longer we all hold out as conservatives the better chance we have of uniting behind a candidate to make sure our nominee reflects the heart and soul of our party."
I hate to brag, but I saw this problem coming a long time ago. In April of 2010, I wrote an article warning the tea party not to get involved in endorsing candidates running for office. Seven months later, in November of 2010,  I wrote another article about how the TEA party "leaders" were betraying the movement by claiming to be voice of millions of people who poured out into the streets in anger at how our government was mismanaging our tax payer money when there was never supposed to be leaders in the movement. 
There fact that the TEA party is losing its focus is directly related to the misguided attempt to become a kingmaker in the upcoming Presidential election. The TEA party is losing its focus because they're more concerned with elections and campaigns rather than issues. Many TEA party organizations are trying to get candidates to sign pledges, or endorsing one conservative candidate over another while attacking other conservative candidates. And the TEA party will lose its way if it keeps doing this during the 2012 Presidential elections.
Which is why I'm hesitant about Jim DeMint hosting a TEA party sponsored Presidential debate. I'm not sure how I feel about it since some are advertising this event as a way to break the mainstream media's control over the presidential debate and actually asking serious questions to the candidates. I'll hold my judgment for now.
However, not everyone in the TEA party movement is losing their focus. Some people are doing right things by  focusing on issues like the Balanced Budget Amendment, whether or not we should raise the debt ceiling, opposing increases in taxes and opposing ObamaCare. 
If the TEA party wants to continue to be relevant beyond 2012, it needs to stick strictly with its message of financial accountability and responsibility in government. By focusing on these issues, it will get the candidates they want in office because candidates will not only have to work on getting their vote but remain viligant in wisely managing our tax payer money. If they don't, they know they will face the wrath of the TEA party in the next election. 
However, if the TEA party focuses on providing endorsements for candidates and becoming a vehicle to attack other candidates, then they will get the candidate they want but they will do it at the cost of diluting their movement's power. Moreover, they will be less vigilant in keeping the country financially secure and more focused on playing kingmaker. By seeking to become king makers, they will become like other special interests groups that politicians pander to. Once the average and everyday Americans see that that what the TEA party has become, they will leave the movement.  At some point, the movement will fade away because it will have lost its focus. 
I don't want the TEA party to lose focus and fade away. This movement has been the best thing that has happened to conservatism, the Republican party and for America. I hope it remains that way for a long time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Job Creators Like Steve Wynn Can Rally Around Mitt Romney

The economy is on everyone's mind these days. Its not just the 14.1 million unemployed Americans who are unhappy with Obama's performance on the economy. Business owners are also unhappy with our President. Recently, Steve Wynn, the CEO of casino company Wynn Resorts unloaded his feelings about how bad Obama has been for business owners:
I believe in Las Vegas. I think its best days are ahead of it. But I'm afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States. You watch television and see what's going on on this debt ceiling issue. And what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing's going to get fixed until the President himself steps up and wrangles both parties in Congress. But everybody is so political, so focused on holding their job for the next year that the discussion in Washington is nauseating.
And I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems, that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration.And it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.
You bet and until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it's not going to change. And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don't want to say that. They'll say, God, don't be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama's deal and it's Obama that's responsible for this fear in America.
The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest, their holding too much money. We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody's afraid of the government and there's no need soft peddling it, it's the truth. It is the truth. And that's true of Democratic businessman and Republican businessman, and I am a Democratic businessman and I support Harry Reid. I support Democrats and Republicans. And I'm telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs.
Steve Wynn isn't the only big business CEO that is unhappy with Obama. There are others who agree with Mr. Wynn's assessment of Obama's lack of concern over the economy: 
3M's George Buckley, who blasted Obama last February as anti-business. "We know what his instincts are," Buckley said. "We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada or Mexico — which tends to be more pro-business — and America," he told the Financial Times.
Boeing's Jim McNerney, who in the Wall Street Journal last May called Obama's handpicked National Labor Relations Board's suit against his company a "fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America's competitiveness since it became the world's largest economy nearly 140 years ago."
Intel's Paul Otellini, who told CNET last August that the U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business that there is likely to be "an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we're seeing today in Europe — this is the bitter truth."
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, who observed to radio host Hugh Hewitt last month that Obama "never had to make payroll," that "nobody has ever created a job in this administration" and that the president is "surrounded by college professors."
GE's Jeffrey Immelt, one of Obama's biggest supporters, who hit out at the president last year. "Business did not like the U.S. president and the president did not like business," the FT reported him saying. "People are in a really bad mood. We have to become an industrial powerhouse again, but you don't do this when government and entrepreneurs are not in sync."
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, another Obama backer, who blasted Obama's bank tax in January 2010 as a "guilt tax," once called Obama's carbon tax idea "regressive" and this month denounced Obama's obsession with corporate jets.
Unemployment is the number one concern of all Americans. It doesn't matter if you are a young adult looking for a job, one of the 9.1% of Americans who are unemployed, a CEO of a small or large business, or employee of giant corporation or a small business, unemployment affects you, your family and friends and ultimately our country.  
Its becoming increasingly clear that America needs Mitt Romney.  He is someone that everyone can rally around. The employed, unemployed and job creators can unite around Mitt Romney.  He knows why business are crucial to America's strength as a nation and how government can have a positive or negative influence on job creation. Governments don't create jobs. They can only create an friendly or hostile atmosphere that either encourages or discourages business activity.
That's why job creators and innovators can easily get behind Mitt Romney in this election because he shares the same frustrations that they do. By creating a pro-business environment for CEOs and entrepreneurs, they can start hiring people. This concept is something Obama doesn't understand. To reduce unemployment, you have to support businesses in creating wealth and jobs, not chastise and belittle them for it. 
Mitt Romney having worked in business offices and in the governor's office, he has seen things from both the business perspective and the government's perspective. As a result, he has necessary experience and knowledge needed to reduce unemployment, stimulate business growth and expansion and make America competitive in the global economy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Did Tim Pawlenty Play The Mormon Card Against Romney And Huntsman?

A lot of buzz has been generated over Tim Pawlenty's new campaign video in which he talks about his religious faith. Before we get into why his video has generated controversy, lets watch it first: 
Some people watch this video and think that T-Paw's new campaign ad was created to play the "Mormon card" against Mitt Romney and John Huntsman:
He makes clear early in the video that he thinks voters are due an explanation from him -- and from other candidates -- as to what exactly it is that they believe.
"When somebody is running for or holds high office, whether it's mayor, governor, or president of the United States, voters want to know, and deserve to know, 'Who is this person?' You know, 'What shaped their values? What are their values? Is this a person that's good to their word? Can we count on them?'" Pawlenty says in the video, aiming squarely at fellow candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who are both of the Mormon faith.
"And for me, my faith is very important to me. It influences all that I do and it informs people about what my values are. And of course that has a great bearing on how you conduct yourself in public office," he says.
Both Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, and Huntsman, a former Utah governor and ex-U.S. ambassador to China, have taken pro-life positions and spoken in favor of heterosexual marriage, yet they have generally tried to avoid making social issues a focus.
Pawlenty draws a sharp contrast between their faith and his, making an explicit confession of Christianity. Speaking of his Catholic upbringing and journey into evangelicalism after meeting his wife, he discusses the way in which his faith helped him cope after his mother died when he was 16 years old. "Our faith is not in these earthly things, but it's in Jesus Christ," he says.
Currently, Tim Pawlenty is polling third in Iowa with only 7% of support from Iowans. He really needs do something to raise his chances of wining Iowa to make him more competitive on the national stage because he's only got 3% of American supporting him right now.
The timing of this video comes shortly after Tim Pawlenty hired Mike Huckabee's daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as Senior Advisor who will start helping Tim Pawlenty win Iowa. 
As we all know, Mike Huckabee won Iowa in the 2008 presidential primaries by focusing on his Christian faith. He released a campaign video that focused squarely on his faith that was specifically appealing to Christian voters in Iowa. This led many people like Marc Ambinder and Charles Kruathammer to believe that he was playing the Mormon card against Mitt in the Iowa Primaries. Lets review Mike Huckabee's controversial campaign video below: 

The claim that Mike Huckabee was playing the Mormon Card against Mitt Romney is not without merit. Mike Huckabee himself said that Romney's faith was valid criteria to use in selecting who would be the next President and that the contents of his religious faith should be a matter for scrutiny by the voters: 
You have declined in a couple of interviews to say whether or not you feel the Mormon religion is a legitimate type of Christianity, or a type of Christianity. I have spoken with a number of evangelicals, and one of them was talking about her concern [regarding Mitt Romney] of having a president who might not be praying to the God she believes in. The other concern I have heard is having a president who would lead people not to be saved in other Christian faiths by promoting another very evangelical religion. Do you share any of those concerns?

You know, I just don't think that's an appropriate issue for me to get into, the nuances of the Mormon faith. And it is not the sole criteria by which I think a person should be judged fit or unfit for the presidency, any more than I think people ought to necessarily make it the defining issue for me. I am very comfortable answering questions about my faith. I am probably the only candidate that has been subjected to this sort of detailed questioning about faith. I don't think Romney has even been. And my faith is a pretty mainstream view of the world and of the Bible. But I accept that as part of the whole process. I just think all of us should be prepared to answer questions regardless of what our views are, and let people sort that out. But that's why I don't feel comfortable in saying, "Let me tell you what this guy believes." You know what? I don't know what he believes. Even if I knew what his church believes, I don't know that I can say what he believes until he expresses it.
The claim that Tim Pawlenty is playing the Mormon Card against Romney and Huntsman is valid. Its no coincidence that this video was released shortly after Mike Huckabee's daughter was hired on the campaign. Its also no coincidence that shortly after she was hired, we see Tim Pawlenty using the same strategy that Mike Huckabee did by creating a campaign ad targeted towards Christian voters in Iowa. It appears that Tim Pawlenty is using a strategy from Mike Huckabee's campaign playbook. 
2012 Presidential candidate Rick Santorum thinks that Romney's faith will not be an issue in the 2012 election. Unless Tim Pawlenty wants to also adopt Mike Huckabee's strategy of playing passive agressive on Mitt Romney's faith, I'd like to know if he thinks the American voters should make Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman's faith an issue in 2012.

See The Big Differences RomneyCare And ObamaCare

I have written extensively on the differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. I've listed 13 differences between Mitt's plan and Obama's plan. I've written about how ObamaCare is a plan that benefits big unions and big businesses while RomneyCare really focuses on helping people. I have written about how Obama did not and could not have used Mitt Romney's health care plan when he created ObamaCare which gives further clarity into the differences between these two men's plans.
However, the best explanation of the differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare is found at a blog called America Needs Mitt. The blog provides a nice visual chart that explains the differences between these two plans and supports his claims with footnotes. Here's the chart: 
The chart along with the footnotes on the site is really impressive. I'm jealous and wish I had done this myself because it gives a nice side by side comparison of these two plans which helps to destroy the common claim that RomneyCare and ObamaCare are really similar.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mitt Romney Continues To Expand His Campaign Staff

If there is anyone who knows how to run things efficiently, its Mitt Romney. He's hired Brian Ballard to take on two jobs in his campaign. He has hired a man by the name of Brian Ballard to be the Finance Co-Chair on his Florida campaign staff  and also made him a member of National Leadership Team.
“I am proud to announce the addition of Brian Ballard as a Florida Finance Co-Chair and a member of the National Leadership Team for Romney for President,” said Mitt Romney. “Brian’s level of talent, expertise, and enthusiasm characterizes what is needed to beat President Obama in Florida.”

“It is an honor to join Mitt Romney’s team in Florida,” said Brian Ballard. “This is the team that will beat President Obama. I look forward to working with Mitt as he campaigns across Florida uniting Americans with the common goal of winning the White House.”

Brian Ballard Is The President Of Ballard Partners, Inc. Ballard has nearly twenty-five years of experience in Florida politics and government affairs. Ballard earned his stripes serving as chief of staff to Gov. Bob Martinez from 1988-1990. In 2008, Brian Ballard served as the McCain for President Co-Chair for Florida/National Finance Co-Chair, as well as the RNC’s McCain Victory Florida Finance Committee Chair and National Finance Co-Chair. He also served as the Inaugural Committee Chairman for Governor Charlie Crist and Inaugural Committee Finance Chairman for Governor Rick Scott. In addition to his work in Florida politics, Ballard taught Florida Government as an adjunct professor at Florida State University. He and his wife, Kathryn, reside in Tallahassee with their three daughters.