Friday, January 04, 2008


Iowa voters are ready for new leadership. Voters are tired of being ruled by the old guard ruling class. Wall Street republicans are moaning about the Huckabee surge but if it comes down to a contest between the liberal Obama and the socially conservative Huck they will strongly support Huck.

Of course Iowa is just the opening salvo in a year long battle. Romney took a big hit. Huck and McCain leave Iowa with momentum. Rudy is playing a rope a dope strategy in hopes the fighters will be worn down before Florida. Hillary is still the democratic front runner but Obama's margin was impressive. He pulled in a lot of young and independent voters. Still, Hillary must be considered the front runner. She has the national organization. Obama and Huck are "outsiders". The voters are not looking for the traditional old white man with lots of experience. The Obama line is that Cheney and Rumsfield relied on experience to get into a mess in Iraq.

Economic conservatives will whine about Huck's willingness to seek government solutions to economic problems. Huck's record has been smeared by the Wall Street establishment crowd as his fair tax would take away the corporate welfare games and benefits. Many say that the 16th amendment will never be repealed but I believe a planned gradual shift from the income tax to a consumption tax would make the IRS unnecessary. Lots of people talk about being better stewards of our environment but few are willing to put their real money where their mouths are. We play silly games such as the recycling of trash game!

Yes the fact is that driving garbage trucks through a neighborhood two times to pick up two separate loads of trash is an exercise in futility. There is no net savings for the environment. Garbage service of one pick up and subsequent sorting of reusable materials is more economic that two trips, not even counting the time required by the public to sort. The reason we have the recycling programs is to make the public feel better about themselves and about the politicians who are "concerned about the environment". Ironically, a Chinese woman has gotten very wealthy by importing trash from America. The fact is that landfill space is still very cheap relative to the cost of sorting trash. Besides that, methanol capturing systems have turned landfills into clean burning gas fields. The public complains about the excess spending of the federal government while producing tons of personal waste while staying on a steady consumption binge. If you really want to encourage recycling, eliminate the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax on new goods. A 23% consumption tax would encourage the real savings produced by smart recycling programs like the online "free cycle program". It might make sense to repair an old product if a new one includes an extra mark up of 23%.

Under the fair tax, the government would collect and spend about the same money but instead of taxing productivity, wasteful spending would be taxed. All the harping of John Edwards and Hillary about unfair tax rates on the rich would prove to be pointless. Under the fair tax, the pre-bate would give the poor a leg up, savings and investment would soar and wasteful spending would fall. The energy problem would be solved in a hurry. Huck promises that the USA would be energy independent by the end of his second term!
Pundits incorrectly assume that Huck draws all his votes from evangelical Christians. He is the only republican who talks to the "working class". He speaks straight about his beliefs and his beliefs effect his policies. Treating others as you would like to be treated is a liberal idea in the mind of many but people want respect and equal opportunity not charity. We want equal rights, the rule of law and protection from predators. We also want privacy. We want to make our own economic decisions and we want government to be as unobtrusive as possible.


Obama and Huck are going to get blasted by the heavy guns over the next several weeks. "Old money" owns news papers, TV and even big portions of the Internet. The smallest flaw or mis-step will be made into a serious mistake in judgment. Obama and Huck have tough roads ahead but the Iowa vote says that the desire for change is in the air. "Old money" is hard to beat. Time will tell.