Heritage: 10 Ways the GOP Can Appeal to Hispanics

COMMENTARY BY
Mike Gonzalez@Gundisalvus

Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is a widely experienced international correspondent, commentator and editor who has reported from Asia, Europe and Latin America. He served in the George W. Bush Administration first at the Securities and Exchange Commission and then at the State Department. His book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans,” was published in September. Read his research.

Far too many conservatives have grown pessimistic about the prospect of Hispanics ever agreeing with their policy prescriptions. Others have erred in the opposite direction, suggesting that only shifts in tone or even engaging in a pandering competition with liberals could fix the problem.

These approaches are wrong and self-defeating. If conservatives allow liberals to have a monopoly on Hispanic aspirations and dreams, they will find it increasingly difficult to enact their policies. At the same time, conservatives must understand that some of their problems with this demographic have structural aspects that require long-term solutions.

Hispanics had a higher margin of support for vouchers (+47 percentage points) than Republicans (+42 percentage points)

Here are 10 suggestions for how conservatives can start the arduous work of convincing Hispanics that conservative policies are better. They are found in my recently published book, “A Race for The Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans,” which I will discuss with National Review’s Jim Geraghty tomorrow at 11 a.m., at The Heritage Foundation in a program introduced by Heritage President Jim DeMint.

1. School choice. School choice is the lowest of hanging fruits. Hispanics already like school choice, and they like it a lot. Whether it’s vouchers, charters schools, education savings accounts or tax-credit scholarships, the intensity of their support is even higher than those of non-Hispanic whites or Republicans. In June, the Friedman Foundation reported Hispanics had a higher margin of support for vouchers (+47 percentage points) than Republicans (+42 percentage points) and also higher intensity. School choice also is a classic “wedge issue.” It is the job of conservatives to explain that it is teachers’ unions, the cash cow of liberal politicies, which stand in their way.

2. Family formation. The ongoing breakdown of the Hispanic family is the big news that is never in the news. Although we hear much about the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate among African-Americans, Hispanics’ 53 percent rate hardly ever makes headlines. But a rate that high militates against any hope of Hispanics ever supporting conservative causes in large numbers. Illegitimacy stands upstream from nearly all the societal pathologies that lead people to fall prey to dependency on government. Conservatives must make it their job to help Hispanics get that rate down.

3. Get them to become savers. Education and family have to do with what social scientists refer to as human and social capital, respectively. Financial capital is the stuff in the bank. Hispanics in this country are famously underbanked or even unbanked, which means they don’t use banks enough or even at all. Sending remittances home often prevents capital formation here. Studies show the habit of saving by itself, regardless of how much is saved, is a great predictor of the ability to become upwardly mobile. Policies that will make Hispanics save more will make them more independent of government and thus more likely to be conservative.

EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

4. Show them how liberal policies have put them in a hole. It’s important for conservatives to not only offer a positive policy agenda that gets Hispanics out of a hole, but also to explain how liberal policies have put them there. Dependency on government helps undermines the family, and liberals’ aggressive marketing of food stamps, Obamacare and other government services to Hispanics should be blamed for contributing to family breakdown. Multiculturalism, another liberal policy, has only balkanized Hispanics and prevented them from joining the mainstream.

Affirmative action is unjust, hinders meritocracy and seeds resentment against immigration.

5. Give them their proper stake in the culture Without Mexico’s cultural imprint, the Southwest would be a scorching version of the Midwest, which for all its allure simply lacks the legendary nature of the Wild West. Mexican-Americans should take great pride in this country and its history, as they helped chisel out the culture of one of its iconic regions. There were Mexicans at the Alamo—fighting on the Texans’ side against Santa Ana—and the first provisional vice president of the Texan Republic was a Mexican-American. This history doesn’t get taught as much as it should because the liberals in charge of our education prefer to emphasize divisiveness, a history of discrimination (which all immigrants have suffered from) or such synthetic PC-ness as “Cinco de Mayo.” Conservatives should emphasize the cultural importance of Mexican-Americans to the making of the American spirit. You give a man a stake in something and he will want to conserve it, which is after all how you make conservatives.

6. Sever the perceptive link between success and government intervention; end affirmative action. Progressives knew what they were doing when they concocted the current affirmative action structure back in the 1970s. Right away, immigrants and their descendants were conditioned to perceive a link between government intervention and success in life. But affirmative action is unjust, hinders meritocracy and seeds resentment against immigration. There’s no reason to accept the affirmative action arrangement we were bequeathed.

7. End Bilingual Education. Bilingual education often ends up being a sad misnomer—many of the “bilingual” education programs und up being monolingual, meaning only in Spanish. This prevents Hispanic kids from getting one of the tools that will lead to success: proficiency in English. Bilingual ed also separates Hispanics kids from their future compatriots at a key time in their development.

8. Ask them if they want to replicate conditions that made them abandon their homeland. This should be a no-brainer. Why would someone from Cuba or Venezuela want to see here the big-government policies that have ruined their lands, or a Mexican the statist and pro-union policies that has prevented Mexico from enjoying its oil wealth. Indeed, why would anyone who emigrated here from anywhere between the Rio Grande and Patagonia want the absence of the rule of law or of strong property rights that haunts part of the region? As for volunteerism, former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda wrote in his masterpiece “Mañana Forever:” “In the United States, there are approximately 2 million civil society organizations, or one for every 150 inhabitants; in Chile there are 35,000, or one for every 428 Chileans; in Mexico there are only 8,500, or one for every 12,000.” Why would any Hispanic want that here?

9. Return to assimilationist policies. I am often asked whether today’s immigrants share American values, and the questioners almost always assume the answer is no. As the point above makes clear, sometimes no doubt it is. But America has been a country of immigrants for four centuries. And not all of those who arrived from County Cork, Eastern Europe or Sicily came believing in a strong work ethic, the creed that many societal problems can be solved by civil society through volunteerism and an abiding trust in the superiority of rule of law over rule of man. Assimilation is what made people the world over understand the American system. It is self-defeating that we have stopped encouraging it.

10. Explain to them that it’s not a question of being dependent or not, but of depending on someone in your family, in your community or circle of friends, or on a government bureaucrat.Liberals have done a good job at depicting conservatives as uncaring individualists with a devil-take-the-hindmost philosophy—so good that even some conservatives bought the stereotype. Not even libertarians can be reduced to such tropes, and definitely not conservatives, who understand dependency is part of the human condition. The only question is whether we depend on relatives, friends or others in our community or whether we turn to an impersonal bureaucracy that simply doles out help without any understanding of need or responsibility. Hispanics get human interdependency and will respond well to policies that help relatives and neighbors set up mutual-aid networks.

Originally posted at: http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/25/10-ways-conservatives-can-appeal-hispanics-without-becoming-liberal-2/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

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Letter by Mike McFadden: Franken asleep at the switch

The recent National Surface Transportation Board hearing in Fargo regarding the ongoing railcar shortage highlighted two things: 1) The railcar shortage is costing our farmers millions of dollars and, 2) Sen. Al Franken’s, D-Minn., engagement is limited to meetings and letters rather than the development of real solutions.

Our farmers, local elevators and agricultural cooperatives are very concerned that the 2013 crop will not be moved prior to the fall harvest due to a lack of railcars. I agree that the Canadian Pacific and the BNSF railroads must do everything within their power to fulfill agreements in a timely and cost-effective manner so that last year’s crop can be moved to market. However, much more needs to be done to address the railcar shortage issue in the long-term.

Unfortunately, Franken has been asleep at the switch when it comes to actually working toward a viable solution. The railcar shortage issue is, in large part, an energy infrastructure issue. The shortage of pipelines has forced oil from North Dakota onto the rails. This has resulted in distribution bottlenecks because there are now not enough railcars available to carry farmers’ crops to market.

It is unclear to me how  Franken can tout his support for agriculture yet not be supportive of enhancing our energy infrastructure. How can we grow our agricultural sector if our farmers can’t transport their products because of rail shortages?

The reality is that Franken has been a willing partner in stifling growth and opportunity due to his energy policy. Time and time again, he has voted against energy infrastructure projects, including the Keystone XL pipeline. If he is serious about keeping Minnesota competitive in the global marketplace, he should have been proactive in finding infrastructure solutions.

Franken’s news releases claiming that he has been fighting to fix the “especially poor rail service” ring hollow when farmers are wondering what to do with this year’s projected record crop. They cannot afford empty promises when they are preparing for harvest.

We should be supporting our agricultural sector and our rural communities with tangible actions, not endless meetings. We need certainty so our farmers and local elevators can continue to thrive rather than confront transportation bottlenecks that are not of their making.

All the letters and news releases in the world won’t move one bushel of corn or soybeans, deliver one ounce of fertilizer for spring planting, or lower the cost of energy. The railcar shortage points to a larger problem with our nation’s energy policy.

Not only has Franken been invisible on the railcar issue, he has actually played a pivotal role in creating the problems that have led to the distribution bottleneck now facing Minnesota’s farmers. It’s time for a change. Minnesota deserves a senator who will go to Washington to solve problems, not create them. We can do better, and it starts with better leadership in Washington.

McFadden is Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota.

Article originally posted at: http://www.inforum.com/content/letter-franken-asleep-switch

Insurance Company with Lowest Rates, Most Customers Pulls Out of MNsure

eated: 09/16/2014 10:49 AM KSTP.com 
By: Jennie Olson

It’s a major blow to the MNsure health insurance exchange – the insurance company with the lowest rates and the most customers signed up through MNsure will not be back in 2015.

The decision is expected to have a major impact on health insurance customers and the governor’s race.

Golden Valley-based PreferredOne Health Insurance just notified MNsure and the Minnesota Department of Commerce of their decision through a letter. Sources tell KSTP’s Tom Hauser that MNsure CEO Scott Leitz was notified by phone Tuesday morning.

Leitz and PreferredOne CEO Marcus Merz released a joint statement about the decision:

“Today PreferredOne made the decision to not offer health plans through the health insurance exchange in 2015. Simply put, both organizations understand that MNsure is still an evolving partnership.  This decision impacts 2015 enrollment. Consumers still have at least four, well-known, Minnesota based carriers who are committed to providing important health coverage to Minnesotans through MNsure, including people who qualify for tax credits and public programs. MNsure and PreferredOne will work closely to minimize impact to current enrollees in a PreferredOne Plan through MNsure.”  

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Leitz said he is disappointed with the decision but Minnesotans will still have other options for health insurance through MNsure.

“We level the playing field for consumers. We provide options so Minnesotans can make wise choices,” he said. “We anticipated some bumps along the way, and we’re still seeing some of those bumps.”

As of Aug. 6, Preferred One had 59 percent of the individual market MNsure enrollees. Blue Cross Blue Shield was a distant second at 23 percent, with HealthPartners, Medica and UCare much further back.

Preferred One got such a large share, because they had the lowest rates of the five insurance companies in the program.

MNsure board chair Brian Beutner says this doesn’t change what MNsure is doing for Minnesotans.

“What’s important to keep in mind … this is a long-term solution, and what happened today is just one step along that journey,” Beutner explained.

It’s possible this could signal big rate increases to be unveiled in early October, and that could have a significant impact on the elections.

“One of the big land mines looking out over the campaign will be when MNsure announces its new rates for health insurance premiums,” University of Minnesota political expert Larry Jacobs said. “If those go up by 10 percent, some have even suggested 15 percent, then that could really shake up this election.”

Minnesota House Republicans and the MN GOP have already released statements about the news.

“MNsure is such a debacle that PreferredOne is now pulling out for ‘financial and administrative reason,'” Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey said. “This tells Minnesotans what they already know, MNsure is a failure.”

Minnesota Democrats, including Governor Dayton, have not commented at this time.

The change won’t affect coverage for 2014, but it will affect new sales and renewals for 2015.

Anyone who has PreferredOne through MNsure can still directly renew through the company, but they won’t get the government subsidy. To get the subsidy, they will have to choose a different insurance plan starting Nov. 15.

U.S. Ranks 32 out of 34 Countries In New Global Tax Index “At least we beat France!

.S. Ranks 32 out of 34 Countries In New Global Tax Index

“At least we beat France!”

By: alanjoelny (Diary)  |  September 17th, 2014 at 06:52 AM  

The Tax Foundationreleased its first global stat called the “International Tax Competitiveness Index”. This index aims to measure two criteria, competitiveness and neutrality, by examining “the extent to which a country’s tax system adheres to”, these “two important principles of tax policy”.

The index accounted for more than 40 tax positions and policies. In their analysis, two of the most damning reasons for ranking the United States near the very bottom of the list include the highest corporate tax rate (39%), as well as the “rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically”. As such, the United States outranked out only Portugal and France and was placed 32 out 34 industrialized nations.

The concept of “competitiveness” is described as one that “limits the taxation of businesses and investment”. The Tax Foundation acknowledges that heavy taxation runs the risk of the flight of capital and business location. This is turn drives “investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth.” We are seeing this is the growing popularity of business inversions, which is driving President Obama and Sen. Chuck Schumer to create punitive legislation on business that wish to leave. Ironically, if they are successful, the WSJ notes, ” the U.S. could fall to dead last on next year’s ranking. Now there’s a second-term legacy project for the President.”

Not only are corporate taxes the highest on this list of 34 countries, it is pretty much the highest in the entire world:

The accounting firm KPMG maintains a corporate tax table that includes more than 130 countries and only one has a higher overall corporate tax rate than the U.S. The United Arab Emirates’ 55% rate is an exception, however, because it usually applies only to foreign oil companies.

The other major concept besides competitiveness that shaped the overall index rankings is the concept of “neutrality”. Neutrality is characterized as “a tax code that seeks to raise the most revenue with the fewest economic distortions. This means that it doesn’t favor consumption over saving, as happens with capital gains and dividends taxes, estate taxes, and high progressive income taxes. This also means no targeted tax breaks for businesses for specific business activities.” These various forms of taxation, as well as the massive crony capitalism enterprises widely seen in the United States, are found to “misallocate capital and reduce economic growth”. This factored heavily into the low ranking that the United States received.

The United States is falling behind around the world:

“Liberals argue that U.S. tax rates don’t need to come down because they are already well below the level when Ronald Reagan came into office. But unlike the U.S., the world hasn’t stood still. Reagan’s tax-cutting example ignited a worldwide revolution that has seen waves of corporate tax-rate reductions. The U.S. last reduced the top marginal corporate income tax rate in 1986. But the Tax Foundation reports that other countries have reduced “the OECD average corporate tax rate from 47.5 percent in the early 1980s to around 25 percent today.”

This new index ranking should be a wake-up call and a springboard for discussion about much-needed tax reform. Our tax code is byzantine, our businesses are over-taxed, and our economy is continuing to suffer. Our reputation should not be, “At least we beat France!” We can do better. We have done better. We deserve better.

Article originally posted at red state.com

Adult Stem Cells Help Bryan Hinkle Make a Lifesaving Comeback

By David Prentice

Bryan Hinkle was living the American dream. But a disease called CIDP got in the way. CIDP(Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the peripheral nerves. Bryan was diagnosed with CIDP as a teenager, but the disease was masked and controlled with medication and life went on. Then his disease came back with a vengeance, robbing him of virtually all feeling in his legs and feet. He ended up in a wheelchair, depressed and afraid.

“My biggest fear was that I was going to die,” says Bryan of those darkest of days. “This disease was winning and it was going to overtake me. I was just living my days, waiting for the end to come.”

But then Hope made a comeback. Bryan came across news of a doctor in Chicago who had developed a ground-breaking adult stem cell therapy for CIDP. Bryan was accepted into the treatment program, and received a transplant of his own adult stem cells as part of the therapy. Within two days he noticed a difference, and his recovery continued from there.

Today Bryan has his American dream back. He leads a happy, healthy life thanks to adult stem cells, a discovery that’s changing the face of regenerative medicine and giving people real hope in their fight against dozens of diseases and conditions. Bryan says, “I’ve regained my independence. I’m helping take care of my children, I’m being the husband and the father that I dreamt about not too long ago. And for that, I’m just thankful—thankful and amazed.”

You can see Bryan’s amazing comeback at stemcellresearchfacts.org.

Article originally posted at: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2014/09/adult-stem-cells-help-bryan-hinkle-make-a-lifesaving-comeback/#.VB8UonMo7qD

Governor Dayton Killing Energy In Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2014 
Contact: Brittni Palke 

Governor Dayton Killing Energy In Minnesota
The Public Utilities Commission votes to delay the approval of the Enbridge Sandpiper Pipeline.

Minneapolis, Minn. – Governor Dayton and his administration are effectively killing the Enbridge Sandpiper Pipeline in Minnesota and energy production in Minnesota. On Thursday the Public Utilities Commission led by Dayton appointees further delayed the approval of the Enbridge Sandpiper Pipeline across Northern Minnesota. Governor Dayton claims he’s for creating jobs and solving the rail car issue facing Minnesota farmers as they try to get their grain to market, but all Mark Dayton is doing is bowing to environmental extremists.

“Instead of trusting Minnesotans, empowering problem solvers and encouraging job growth, Mark Dayton is bowing to environmental extremists who are bent on never moving ahead with the Enbridge pipeline project just because there is oil in it,” said Keith Downey, Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. “Oil will continue to come out of the Bakken oil fields and our farmers still need to get their grain to market.  This decision hurts Minnesota farmers, and Minnesotans who desperately need a job. Mark Dayton’s campaign is the only one benefiting from this decision as the liberal extremists come forward to thank him and line his campaign coffers. Mark Dayton should be ashamed of his administration and demand that this project move forward for the benefit of all Minnesotans.”

Background

Mark Dayton is killing jobs in Minnesota and hurting farmers. “Minnesota regulators on Thursday ordered a broader search for the best pathway to build a major new crude oil pipeline across the state. The 3-2 decision by the state Public Utilities Commission was a setback for Enbridge Energy, which wants to build the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline through northern Minnesota to carry North Dakota oil to a terminal in Superior, Wis., that feeds refineries across the Midwest.”
(David Shaffer, Minnesota regulators want broader look at pipeline route, Star Tribune, September 11, 2014)

“Minnesota rail delays costing farmers – $100M and counting” “The study — by Edward Usset of the U’s Center for Farm Financial Management — estimated the rail delays cost Minnesota corn growers $72 million in lower prices from March to May, an average loss of 30 cents per bushel. He put the revenue losses at $18.8 million for soybean growers, or 40.5 cents per bushel, and $8.5 million for wheat growers, or 41 cents per bushel.”
(Steve Karnowski, Minnesota rail delays costing farmers – $100M and counting, Pioneer Press, July 10, 2014)

“If approved in Minnesota and built, Sandpiper will provide a stable, reliable source of North Dakota crude oil to refineries in the Upper Midwest and beyond. Additionally, Sandpiper will have a significant positive impact for Minnesotans. As recently reported, the agriculture industry alone is losing hundreds of millions of dollars because of a stretched rail system. If more oil can move by pipeline — which is safer and more efficient — rail and trucks will have more capacity for other goods.”
(Brad Shamla, Counterpoint: Pipelines move oil safely and efficiently, Star Tribune, September 10, 2014)

Enbridge would create 1,500 jobs in Minnesota. “The $2.6 billion project is designed to bring North Dakota crude oil to Enbridge’s terminals at Clearbrook, Minn., and Superior, Wis., and promises more than 1,500 temporary construction jobs and the potential to reduce the amount of oil moving on trains.”
(David Shaffer, Door open for new Enbridge Energy pipeline route in northern Minnesota, Star Tribune, August 7, 2014)

Broad support from numerous stakeholders including Kevin Pranis of the Minnesota/North Dakota Laborers’ Union who told the Star Tribune that using existing rail lines to continue transporting North Dakota crude oil through Minnesota poses “significantly greater risks,” than the pipeline. “The standards in place for rail lines, even the new ones being put in place for tank cars, are nowhere near the standards in place for pipelines.”
(David Shaffer, Door open for new Enbridge Energy pipeline route in northern Minnesota, Star Tribune, August 7, 2014)

Minnesota Farmers are losing millions because of rail car shortages. “A study that shows Minnesota grain farmers lost $109 million in revenue from March through May proves that the state’s major rail carriers are not sufficiently addressing agricultural shipping problems, Gov. Mark Dayton has told federal transportation officials.”
(David Shaffer, “Dayton wants more answers from railroads on ag shipping problems,” Star Tribune, August 27, 2014)

Article originally posted on: mngop.com

Democrat Politician Says, “All My Heroes Were America’s Enemies”

by Steven Ahle on September 18, 2014 in BuzzPo.com

Charles Barron, a democrat,  is about to be elected to the state assembly, and told the New York Observer that, “All my heroes were America’s enemies.”  Barron is all excited about Robert Mugabe, the dictator of  Zimbabwe, who had tens of thousands put to death in order to take over their land and to do away with his opposition.  Barron hosted Mugabe the last time he came to theUnited States in 2002.

When the democrat was asked about Mugabe’s more extreme policies like killing up to twenty thousand people, Barron said,“No one’s perfect.  I see him as a freedomfighter.”  So other than murdering 20,000 people and enslaving an entire country, Mugabe is a peach of a man.  Other comments made by democrat Barron about Mugabe include:

“I would love for him to come to Albany. I would love for him to come anywhere in theUnited States, really.  I think he’s a shining example of an African leader on the African continent.”

“He was one of the few African leaders who had the courage to take the land back from the settlers.”

Mugabe is not the only murdering dictator Barron has loved.  He also worshiped Fidel Castro in Cuba and  Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya.

Barron was just term limited out of his job on the New York City Council.  His wife, also a democrat,  did not run for reelection to the state assembly to allow her husband to run for the office, while she runs for his council seat.

In Zimbabwe, homosexuals are arrested on sight.  Mugabe has described homosexuals as “worse than dogs and pigs”.