Monday, May 16, 2011

The Party of Reagan

After my tirade against the Republican Party's leadership here in Florida, I feel compelled to elaborate on some of the good I see going on. 

-I note they have reigned in spending by some substantial dough;  While focusing on protecting most critical services under a more efficient government, Senate Republicans were able to uphold their commitment to not raise taxes and fees. They agreed upon a $69.7 billion budget with more than $300 million in tax relief measures, including the August school supply sales tax holiday and $30 million in tax breaks for Florida’s small businesses. In addition, the budget includes a $2.7 billion cut in annualized recurring general revenue and trust funds.

- Crash worthiness: Senate Bill 142, by Senator Richter, is a common-sense tort reform initiative that allows the jury to hear the full story of what led to an automobile accident.  Sounds reasonable to me.

- Homestead/Non-homestead Property: Senate Joint Resolution 658, by Senator Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, prohibits increases in the assessed value of a homestead property in any year when the market value of the property decreases. This certainly seems appropriate.

There were a few other worthy laws passed that should do some good in our state.  Overall, the Republican led state legislature managed the money well, and they are making difficult but necessary cuts in various situations.  It is necessary.  We are in the Great Recession with 12% unemployment and the state government should not be squandering money in any way, shape or form.  Some cuts were harsh, but fair.  It isn't right that state employees should have substantially better benefits than the general population, for example. 

It is this kind of government fiscal responsibility that made me a great admirer of Ronald Reagan.  He was the first President I ever voted for in 1984.   The "gipper" was one steady leader, making effective decisions but without skewering opposing opinions.  He reached across the aisle and cut deals with the Democrats on many occasions.  It was an effective leadership that got our country through a deep recession in the early 80's.   Reagan's effective leadership inspired the people to do better and encouraged that a single person can make a huge difference for good.  That sort of decent, positive leadership is what I admire about what the Republicans are capable of.  However, I must point out that  Ronnie wouldn't have been manipulating processes of voting in order to tilt free elections in his favor.  He won his office "the old fashioned way, he earned it". 

It was Reagan's philosophy that the government is not there to solve all our problems that really drew me to him and the Republican party, of which I was a member for 20 years.  Most anything taken on by the government turns into a wasteful, frustrating mess because there is no accountability.  Good intentions usually morph into a massive bureaucracy of people that are focused mainly on the very existence of their job.  As Reagan put it;  "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"  Amen brother Reagan, your nation misses you. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

"Click an ad, 'cause I'm definitely a capitalist.."

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