Line of Fire

The Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012

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I agree with Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s secretary.

It’s unfair that she pays a higher marginal tax rate than her boss.

Since she and Mr. Buffett have yet to make available their tax returns for the past four years so that we can accurately assess their claims about their tax rates, let’s for the moment take her word that she pays a 35.8 % tax rate. We don’t know how she calculates this–whether it’s her marginal tax rate or her effective tax rate, whether it refers to taxable income or gross income, or whether it includes FICA payroll taxes as well–but for the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s simply her marginal tax rate on taxable income. At the 35% marginal tax rate, this puts her taxable income at $379,150 a year, clearly among the top 1% of earners in the country.

Her boss, Warren Buffett, claims to pay a 17.4% tax rate. Again, since he hasn’t released his tax returns, we don’t know exactly what this means, but for the sake of argument, let’s say he’s referring to his effective tax rate on taxable income.

The solution to this terribly unfair treatment of Ms. Bosanek is obvious.

We need to pass The Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012, which would reduce income taxes for every American so that no one pays an effective tax rate in excess of 17.4%. This is approximately the effective tax rate that Ms. Bosanek would pay today if she earned what the average secretary to a CEO earns–a little over $67,000 annually.  Ms. Bosanek is a victim of the current tax system because she’s such an outstanding and valuable employee to Mr. Buffett. She’s being penalized for excelling.

The problem, you see, is that Ms. Bosanek is penalized by the highly progressive nature of our current income tax system.  The marginal tax rate jumps from 15% to 25% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $34,500. Then it jumps to 28% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $83,600. It jumps further to 33% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $174,400, and then to 35% for every dollar of taxable income in excess of $379,150.

Come to think of it, the easiest way to solve this problem of fairness would be my proposed Warren Buffett’s Secretary Tax Relief Act of 2012. Under this new tax law, we would establish a single flat income tax paid by all Americans that sets our tax rate at 17.4% of every dollar of taxable income earned, from the first to the billionth.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Buffett and His Secretary Can’t Get Their Story Straight on Taxes

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Chalk this up as the first strategic blunder of the Obama campaign. The poster-child of their class warfare narrative, Warren Buffett’s secretary, has just made a tax claim that, if true, reveals her to belong in the top 1% of income earners in America.

The Obama campaign communications team–in this case, ABC News–joined forces this evening with Warren Buffett and his secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to selectively release some information about their personal tax returns. Note that neither Mr. Buffett nor Ms. Bosanek took the transparent approach of  releasing their complete tax returns for the past four years for review by the entire public, as I called on them to do yesterday.

Here’s what they claimed in the ABC  report: “Bosanek pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent.”

It’s hard to interpret this statement without additional information. Do they mean “effective tax rate” or “marginal tax rate” ?

When they say “income,” do they mean total gross income or taxable income?

Since the top marginal rate on taxable income (which kicks in when taxable income exceeds $379,150) is 35%, it’s impossible that Ms. Bosnak’s claim that she pays a tax rate of 35.8 % applies to her taxable income. Since taxable income is always less than total gross income, the claim is even less credible for that measure.

Despite these factual inconsistencies, Bosanek doubled down, putting herself forward as the face of Obama’s tax inequality mantra:

I just feel like an average citizen. I represent the average citizen who needs a voice…Everybody in our office is paying a higher tax rate than Warren.

If she’s really paying a marginal rate of 35%, she’s earning over $379,150 per year in taxable income, which places her in the top 1% of income earners nationally. If this is true, Ms. Bosanek is anything but an average citizen. An average citizen–say someone who earns the median salary of a secretary to a CEO, which is $67, 791, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Certified Compensation Professionals–pays a much lower effective tax rate on taxable income than Ms. Bosanek. Assuming this average citizen took about $15,000 in deductions, she would pay an effective tax rate of 17% on taxable income of $52,791, the same rate Mr. Buffett claims to be paying.

Whether Ms. Bosanek is in fact in the top 1% of earners, or her claims, along with those of Mr. Buffett, are simply not correct is something no one will know for sure until both Ms. Bosanek and Mr. Buffett release their personal tax returns for the last four years.

In either case, as the story continues to unfold it will be painfully obvious to most voters that the Obama campaign’s attempt to portray Ms. Bosanek as the sympathetic face of tax inequality has backfired badly.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Time for Warren Buffett and his Secretary to Release Their Personal Tax Returns

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The political theater of the Obama Administration continues at this evening’s State of the Union Address. Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s personal secretary–you know the woman who has become the poster-child for President Obama’s attacks on the “unfairness” of the not progressive enough tax code–will be seated in the  First Lady’s box this evening. Buffett has repeatedly lectured to us about a tax code in which his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does.

Ms. Bosanek, who until recently had only been thrust into the public dialogue over “fairness” and redistribution by her publicity seeking and political favor hunting boss (note how his Burlington Railroad company benefits financially from the President’s decision to halt the Keystone Pipeline) has now thrust herself into the national debate.

Fair enough.

Now that she’s voluntarily participating in the public arena, I call on both Ms. Bosanek and Mr. Buffett to release their own personal tax returns for the past four years. Let’s see what their tax rates really are. This is an important political argument that will be a central theme of the Obama campaign for the rest of the year. Having made the claim on behalf of the Obama campaign, it’s time for Mr. Buffett and Ms. Bosanek to demonstrate its veracity.

I suspect we’ll find that Mr. Buffett has benefited significantly from his own lobbying of Congress. And I’m curious to see exactly how much higher Ms. Bosanek’s tax rate is than Mr. Buffett’s.

The analysis of their personal tax returns is likely to be highly educational for the entire country.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

 

 

A Better Tea Party Slapdown

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I do not dispute Michael Patrick Leahy’s claim (“Tea Party Slaps Down Mitt Romney in South Carolina”) that a fair measure of Newt Gingrich’s wide victory margin in South Carolina can be attributed to Tea Party influence. I would agree with that claim. The Tea Party is angry. Newt Gingrich is angry.

Gingrich, the winner of our third presidential contest, gives voice on a national stage to the Tea Party’s outrage and frustration over enlarging socialist public policy, liberal media bias and entertainment industry antagonism. He goes after them directly and does not tend to mince words or shrink from a fight. The tea partiers are hearing from Newt what they want to say themselves — and how they want it said. And voting for him over Romney in this Southern primary sends a message to all concerned that this is their attitude toward a whole host of adversaries; some included the Republican establishment.

The question for me is this: Is a primary election the proper place to vent a frustration that could give improper cover to a candidate that does not deserve their attention and which could give the false impression that this candidate, above all others, understands and respects their values and will carry them forward into national policy once in office?

I think not. The stakes in this election are high and missteps along the way are amplified. When the Tea Party calms down and takes a careful, steady look at the candidates still standing, they would be wise to seriously consider the candidate who has been with them all along and even heralded their very emergence: Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the quintessential Tea Party politician and has been for decades preceding the rise of this populist movement. Physician, veteran and congressman Ron Paul consistently articulates the Tea Party position on a range of public policy issues. He opposes unconstitutional and immoral entitlement programs, corporate bailouts, stimulus packages and capricious military adventures that materially harm our national security. He would happily dismantle federal agencies that do nothing but prop up union power and favored special interest groups at taxpayer expense. He is the primary spokesman for ending the central banking cartel that controls monetary policy, debases our currency, prints endless supplies of debt-based money and manipulates interest rates that trigger devastating economic booms and busts. In Congress, he has steadfastly voted for lower taxes, for a balanced budget, for gun rights, for an unregulated internet and for stricter limitations on the power of the executive branch.

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801

Both the Tea Party and Ron Paul have long agreed that the country is moving in the wrong direction. If you are driving your car toward the edge of a cliff, you need radical change. Ron Paul is precisely that type of change. And we need it now, not later, when it’s too late. And I think it is also important that we lend our considerable support to a candidate who not only has the right message but who delivers it consistently as a seasoned statesman with an even temper.

So, consider wisely and vote accordingly. We all have a lot to loose. A national victory for Ron Paul would be the hardest slapdown the Tea Party could possibly deliver.

Tim Peck was a co-founder of the Asheville, North Carolina Tea Party.

Pawlenty’s Wrong: Gingrich Can Beat Obama

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In light of the drubbing Mitt Romney received Saturday at the hands of Newt Gingrich, failed Presidential candidate and Romney surrogate Tim Pawlenty asserted today that Newt Gingrich can’t beat Obama.

The dramatic increase in voter turnout in South Carolina’s Republican primary (up 35% in 2012 from 2008) tells us otherwise. This morning’s news about Gingrich’s 9% lead in Florida from Rasmussen Reports confirms the trend. At the moment, the energy in the Republican race for the nomination is behind Gingrich.

As I’ve noted in this space previously, there are plenty of reasons for the Tea Party to doubt Gingrich’s record as much as Romney’s. But the Romney surrogates who focus on alleged electability problems are missing the key point of this battle.

Voters in South Carolina were well aware of Gingrich’s shortcomings. Yet they voted for him in part because, as Ann Coulter notes disapprovingly, they want someone who can take the battle to Obama.

If Governor Pawlenty wants to make the case why tea partiers should vote for Romney he should focus on the much more fertile ground and explain–if he can–why Romney policies are more in alignment with the tea party’s core values of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutionally limited government than Gingrich’s.

As it stands now, Pawlenty’s argument is just “white noise” — an irritating sound in the background you just want to go away.

Whether Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or even Rick Santorum or Ron Paul secure the Republican nomination, this much is clear to me based on the tremendous turnout in South Carolina. Whoever the Republican Party nominates will defeat President Obama in November, 2012, provided they earn the support of the Tea Party movement.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book,Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

The Tea Party Slaps Down Mitt Romney in South Carolina

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Newt Gingrich’s stunning 40% to 28% victory over Mitt Romney in today’s South Carolina Republican Presidential primary is more a Tea Party slap down of Romney than a complete embrace of Gingrich.  The victory was so clear that Fox News called the race seconds after the polls closed at 7 pm eastern time. I’ve written previously in this space that the two GOP frontrunners are both more Big Government Hamiltonians than limited government, tea party aligned Jeffersonians.

While both candidates are far superior to the Constitution-busting collectivist currently occupying the White House, it would be highly inaccurate to call either candidate a consistent supporter of the Tea Party’s three core values of constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.

Wasn’t that Newt Gingrich just the other day bashing Romney for his years operating as a free market capitalist at Bain Capital? Isn’t he the same guy who took over $1.5 million in fees from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, endorsed RINO Dede Scozzafava in NY-23, sat on the global warming couch with Nancy Pelosi, clasped arms with Al Sharpton to promote more expansive Department of Education programs, and enthusiastically supported President Bush’s budget breaking pharmaceutical benefits give-away in 2003?

And isn’t that the same Mitt Romney who introduced RomneyCare to Massachusetts, the model for Obamacare, supported the TARP bailout, the Stimulus Package, at one time supported cap and trade like policies, and counts John McCain among his supporters?

But, as the old pros often say, “politics ain’t bean bag,” and modern political candidates are neither Jesus nor John Locke. They are ambitious men with personal agendas who can be persuaded to do the right thing by forceful political pressure applied at the right place and time by savvy conservatives.

What distinguishes Gingrich from Romney is less policy than style and tactics.

Stylistically, he loves to attack, and, as his decimation of John King in Thursday’s debate illustrates, he’s quite good at it.

Tactically, he’s figured out something that the buttoned down Romney, practitioner of the corporate model of hierarchical decision making, has missed entirely.

The energy and passion in Republican politics today is found in abundant supply–and almost exclusively–in the Tea Party movement. While Romney has dismissed and ignored it entirely, Gingrich has cultivated and successfully used it. To be fair, the movement itself has used Gingrich to its advantage, as it did in March, 2009 when he and his American Solutions group were invited by three small online conservative activist groups to co-sponsor what became the hugely successful Tax Day Tea Party rallies of 1 million Americans held in 900 cities on April 15, 2009.

But Gingrich is not a champion of the Tea Party’s core values. He is, like most politicians, the champion of his own ambitions. He’s spent his career crafting political coalitions, and he sees the Tea Party movement as yet another interest group to be manipulated to support his personal goal of securing the most powerful job in the world.

While Romney’s campaign staff ignored endorsements from a handful of local tea party groups, as well as offers to campaign for him in South Carolina, the Gingrich campaign has made a concerted effort to engage with and obtain support from South Carolina tea party leaders. Allen Olsen, the former leader of the Columbia, South Carolina Tea Party, was an early Gingrich supporter in that state, for instance. Joe Dugan, leader of a tea party group in Myrtle Beach, was another Gingrich backer who helped get-out-the-vote today.

Most of the credit for Gingrich’s South Carolina success must go to young Adam Waldeck, a Gingrich campaign staffer who has loyally followed Gingrich from American Solutions, where he was that group’s “point man” dealing with the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition that sponsored the 2009 Tax Day Tea Party, to South Carolina, where he’s played a key role in nurturing and developing local tea party relationships and endorsements. Another tip of the hat goes to Kellen Giuda, the Tea Party Coalitions Director in the Gingrich campaign who first persuaded Gingrich to be one of the featured speakers at the New York City Tax Day Tea Party event back in April of 2009.

These efforts to court the Tea Party movement paid off in a very big way today in South Carolina. Polls showed that by a margin of 46% to 21%, those primary voters who call themselves supporters of the Tea Party voted for Gingrich over Romney. This provided him with his margin of victory.

Now that it looks like we are set for an extended race to earn the Republican nomination, it’s time for the Tea Party to communicate clearly what it wants from all four of the remaining candidates. We’ll work to help get-out-the-vote in both the primaries and the general election, but all four of these candidates need to earn our support by not only engaging with us and acknowledging our influence, but more importantly by modifying their policies to consistently align with our three core values

For the Romney campaign this means it’s time to start making those phone calls to us. We don’t want to talk to third level staffers. We want to talk candidly and directly with Mitt Romney himself. If you’re not prepared to do that, don’t bother calling.

Because, frankly, our phone lines are already burning up with calls from Newt Gingrich and his campaign team.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and co-organizer of Election Day Tea Party 2012. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

A Second Term Will Mean Obama’s “Era of Personal Rule”

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John Yoo had an excellent article in National Review yesterday in which he skewered Laurence Tribe’s elaborately contrived defenses of President Obama’s “so-called recess appointment” of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Brian Darling over at RedState also had a very good summary of the constitutional issues involved.

Add to this the President’s subsequent three “so-called recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board and I see a dramatic parallel between President Obama’s disdain for the Constitution and Charles I’s flaunting of Parliamentary authority with his reckless forced loan program that culminated in the five knights case. In order to secure the necessary Parliamentary taxes to fund a war with Spain, Charles feigned acceptance of Parliament’s Petition of Right, which re-asserted the traditional personal liberties of Englishmen. Once he received the necessary taxes, Charles dismissed Parliament and went on an eleven year period in which he arbitrarily exercised power with neither Parliamentary nor constitutional constraints. His abuses during this “era of personal rule” were the proximate cause of the English Civil War.

With these “so-called recess appointments” (natural extensions of his dismissiveness of the proper Constitutional role of Congress that we saw with the passage of the Stimulus and Obamacare) President Obama has expanded upon a similarly reckless course of action designed to create constitutional crises. If he’s re-elected in November, 2012, look for this trend to continue. The Obama “era of personal rule” will not be far behind.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Chief Justice Roberts Defends an Independent Judiciary

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In his annual report on the state of the judiciary, Chief Justice John Roberts recently struck a blow for our centuries old Anglo-American tradition of an independent judiciary:

“The Supreme Court does not sit in judgment of one of its own members’ decision whether to recuse in the course of deciding a case…Indeed, if the Supreme Court reviewed those decisions, it would create an undesirable situation in which the court could affect the outcome of a case by selecting who among its members may participate.”

In the midst of some very legitimate complaints that more than half a century of judicial activism has transformed the world of American jurisprudence from an original Constitutionalist view of “a few islands of federal government power in a sea of individual liberty” into, as Professor Randy Barnett describes it now as “a few islands of individual liberty in a sea of federal government power,” it is refreshing to see Chief Justice Roberts affirm the importance of judicial independence.

Calls from the left have come for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from the ObamaCare decision on the flimsy grounds that his wife, for a while, received income from the conservative Heritage Foundation. Calls from the right have come for Justice Kagan to recuse herself from the ObamaCare decision on the more substantive charge that, as the Solicitor General who helped prepare the legal case for ObamaCare on the federal government’s behalf, she has a conflict of interest.

Chief Justice Roberts is right to tell both the right and left to back off from these recusal calls.

We can only have an independent judiciary in this country, if it IS in fact, independent. The time to raise concerns about the ideology and character of Supreme Court justices is at Senate hearings prior to their confirmation.

Political leaders have an obligation to vigorously voice their opposition to nominees during that process. Once a Supreme Court justice is confirmed, the only recourse for removal, as the Constitution provides, is through impeachment. And the standard for impeachment can only be actual criminal activity while on the bench.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Newt Gingrich’s Dangerous Attack on American Constitutional Principles—and Tea Party Values

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A few weeks ago, the idea factory that is Newt Gingrich generated its worst idea in 68 years.

Following in the footsteps of the court-packing scheme proposed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937, the former Speaker set forward an outrageous set of “judicial reform” proposals. These plans have more in common with Roosevelt’s grand plan to subordinate the centuries old Anglo-American legal tradition of an independent judiciary to the whims of a power hungry class of political operatives in the legislative and executive branches than they do with serious minded Constitutionally based reform.

His campaign posted a 50 page document,  Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution, outlining his proposals  on his website. His purpose, he says, is to “[r]estore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated Constitutional powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.”

Criticisms have come from the left and the right. Erwin Chemerinksy, Dean of the UC Irvine Law School, argues that Gingrich suggestion that we consider impeaching federal judges because of the content of their decisions is unconstitutional:

“Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution allows impeachment only for “treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors.” It does not allow, and never has been used, to remove judges because their opinions are unpopular. Life tenure for federal judges exists precisely so that they will decide cases based on their best understanding of the Constitution and the law, not to please politicians and voters.”

Mark Fitzgibbons, at American Thinker, argues Gingrich courts the demise of the Citizen United ruling. He points to this clause in Gingrich’s proposal:

“Acting together, the legislative and executive branches can therefore limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts through ordinary legislation. This legislation would remove the power of the courts to hear certain types of cases that the executive and legislative branches believe that the federal judiciary has simply gotten wrong in the past.”

Fitzgibbons properly notes  that with such power, an Obama-Reid-Pelosi axis “would have acted to limit the courts’ authority to hear First Amendment cases involving elections, such as Citizens United.” Gingrich’s proposal, Fitzgibbons concludes, “is both unconstitutional and unwise.”

An independent judiciary has been the cornerstone of Anglo-American jurisprudence since 1610, when Sir Edward Coke, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas (roughly equivalent to our modern Supreme Court), told King James I to keep his hands out of decisions made in his court. James wanted Coke to decide a case in the crown’s favor, but Coke emphatically told the Stuart tyrant to stay out of his business:

“The King in his own person cannot adjudge any case, either criminal…or betwixt party and party…this ought to be determined and adjudged in some Court of Justice, according to the Law  and Custom of England.”

Coke paid the price for his defiance—serving time in the Tower of London after losing his judicial appointment—but the Stuart tyrant was unable to effectively defeat Coke’s notion that an independent judiciary was a critical element in the balance of powers in seventeenth century England.

The most serious challenge to an independent judiciary in the United States came with Roosevelt’s court packing attempts. Angry with the Supreme Court that had struck down much of his first New Deal, Roosevelt petulantly set about to correct the errors of the court. After his landslide victory in 1936, he followed his March, 1937 inauguration with a “fireside chat” with phrasing that eerily predicted the language in Gingrich’s recent proposal:

“In the last four years, the sound rule of giving statutes the benefit of all reasonable doubt has been cast aside…During the past half-century the balance of power between the three great branches of the federal government has been tipped out of balance by the courts in direct contradiction of the high purposes of the framers of the Constitution. It is my purpose to restore that balance.

Fortunately for the country, FDR’s proposal to add six new justices to the Court, died in a skeptical Congress a few months later.

Now, more than seven decades later, Gingrich has proposed his own version of FDR’s court packing plan. This shouldn’t surprise us. After all, as recently as 2005, Gingrich called FDR “the greatest president of the twentieth century.”

Like FDR, however, Gingrich’s ideas represent a dangerous attack on the Constitution, one which reflects his lack of commitment to not only Constitutional principles, but also the core values of the Tea Party movement. Most of us, committed as we are to Constitutionally limited government, recoil at the thought of making federal judges scrape and bow before self important legislators and Presidential candidates.

While Gingrich is correct to point out that seven decades of an activist judiciary has dramatically and incorrectly expanded concepts of the federal government’s proper Constitutional role, his medicine will do more harm to the patient than the illness it is designed to treat. The long term solution to address the imbalance caused by this judicial activism is to elect Constitutional minded Presidents who will appoint “originalists” to the court and conservative Senators with strong backbones who will fight for their confirmation.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Will the Condemned Incandescent Light Bulb Receive a Last Minute Pardon?

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As those who read my e-book, I Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial  know, the 100 watt incandescent light bulb has less than three weeks to live. Now, in Congress, what amounts to a last minute pardon from the governor is in the works.

I must admit to being cautiously optimistic about the prospects for a pardon. The idea put forward by some Republicans in the House of Representatives is to prohibit the implementation of the new and unwise standards for 100 watt incandescent light bulbs to go into effect on January 1, 2012 as part of the last minute budget deal currently in the works.

I was skeptical that the Republican leadership’s poorly planned efforts to end the ban in July would work, but this approach has a chance.

Though I think in most cases “melting the phones” of Congress on key votes is a tactic that doesn’t usually yield much in the way of results, I think this latest effort is different. If, therefore, you believe as I do that this crazy ban on incandescent light bulbs is an egregious violation of our right to choose, please think about calling your member of Congress, and letting them know you want them to vote in favor of saving the incandescent light bulb as part of the current budget deal.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

The views presented on our guest blogs are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Broadside Books. We thank all of our guest bloggers for their thoughtful perspectives.

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