Month: December 2015

Four things the left doesn’t understand about gun rights supporters

So let me get this straight: a couple of Muslim terrorists affiliated with a movement to enslave the world under an Islamic kingdom kill innocent Americans and our political left’s response is to attack the National Rifle Association? It appears so. Hillary Clinton lashed out at the NRA before the facts were even known about the attack in California. Liberals in Congress and the media immediately began beating their anti-NRA war drums. And the White House said those who oppose the president’s gun control measures are just “scared of the NRA.”Perhaps the most telling of these attacks came from the New York Daily News. It called the NRA’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, a “terrorist” and placed his picture below one of the two San Bernardino killers. The headlined charged that the Islamic extremists were enabled by the “NRA’s sick gun jihad against America.”Seriously? Okay sure, let’s have a debate about the NRA and forget that this was an attack by two Islamic State agents operating openly in our homeland. Let’s forget that a foreign terrorist easily passed one of those vaunted visa background checks by listing a fake Pakistani address. Most importantly, let’s forget that not a single gun control law being proposed by Democrats would have stopped this terrorist attack or any of the other recent high-profile mass shootings.But before we suspend these crucial truths to hold a red herring debate about the NRA, there are a few things leftists should know about gun rights supporters like me. First, the…

Alabama simply can’t afford expanded Medicaid

Last month the committee appointed by Governor Robert Bentley to study the state’s health care situation issued a report that essentially recommended that a costly yet key ingredient of Obamacare be brought to Alabama – the much-debated Medicaid expansion. Members of the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force made a noticeable effort to distance their recommendations from that central tenant of Obamacare, probably because the overall law remains so unpopular. Their report states that we should pursue an Alabama-driven solution that “reflects Alabama’s values and meets Alabama’s needs,” but the framework is basically the same.Under most proposals, Alabama would increase the pool of those eligible for Medicaid, which is the government’s free health care program for the poor, to those low-income adults earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level, or about $16,000 per year. That would close the so called “Medicaid Gap” by providing insurance for the estimated 290,000 Alabamians who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid yet too little to afford government-subsidized private insurance. That sounds nice, except that we know that free health care isn’t really free. Estimates show the move could immediately cost Alabama taxpayers $40 million a year, but that’s only thanks to the federal government’s offer to pay the lion’s share for the first three years. After that, Uncle Sam starts walking away and Alabama would be stuck paying about $100 million in 2018, then $222 million in 2020, and who knows how much more of an increase after that. Nothing grows…

Carson and Trump don’t understand American conservatism

The campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump once looked unrealistic, but they kept rising in the polls.Many political pundits said they’d eventually fade and drop out, but they kept rising in the polls.And then other candidates, the establishment in both parties, and the media viciously attacked them. Yet they survived ... and both keep rising in the polls.Carson and Trump have enthusiastic supporters. They’re bringing new voters into the party, and both poll very well against Hillary Clinton, especially in battleground states. So why is a traditional conservative like myself seriously worried about a potential Carson or Trump ticket? Simple: because neither seems to believe in American conservatism and our movement’s organizing principle – limited government.One candidate would increase the government’s power to regulate speech – with no thought as to whose speech would actually be silenced. The other sees nothing wrong with the government snatching property from one citizen and handing it to another.First, let’s look at Trump.Our Founders believed, as did philosopher John Locke, that one of the reasons governments are instituted is to protect the property of its citizens. We all know that we have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but it was Locke who first wrote that our rights were actually to “life, liberty, and estate.” Thomas Jefferson saw no distinction between property rights and liberty itself, and conservatives have carried that torch throughout our nation’s history.“Property rights,” philosopher Milton Friedman once wrote, “... are the most basic of human rights…