Archive for the ‘Jim DeMint’ Category


Sunday, January 27th, 2013



Heritage Action’s distinct lobbying plan

By , Published: January 24

Think of Heritage Action as the Clark Kent of the conservative think tank world — as buttoned-down and statistics-laden as can be, but when the nemesis (Democrats! Liberals! Wishy-washy Republicans!) come into sight, the glasses come off and the lobbying muscles flex.

“Fiscal cliff” — ZAP!

Higher taxes — WHAM!

Deficit spending — KA-POW!

The thrills — and opportunities for heroics — seem greatest when disaster is at hand. Or at least that’s how Mike Needham likes to look at it.

The 31-year-old chief executive of Heritage Action — the lobbying arm of the storied Heritage Foundation — senses victory where others see defeat.

Sure, you could interpret the passage of the Jan 1. fiscal cliff deal as a crushing loss for conservatives, who were pained to see Republicans vote for their first tax increase in more than two decades. But flip the script, Needham urges, and you’ll see that only 85 House Republicans supported the deal; 151 of them voted against it.

“That’s a whole lot of Republicans who kept their purity on the tax issue,” Needham explains. He’s as confident as ever that his group will compel conservatives to hold firm in the next stage of the fiscal fight. Needham will have a partner in former senator Jim DeMint, the conservative firebrand from South Carolina who’s set to become president of the Heritage Foundation in April.

As with DeMint, there’s little that animates Heritage Action more than being in the opposition, where an honorable defeat will always trump a watered-down compromise. Needham’s group has a distinct way to convince itself and others of its rectitude: reams of data and research from the most visible and well-funded think tank on the right. A willingness to go to the brink doesn’t hurt, either.

While some of its compatriots have reconsidered their hardline stances since President Obama’s reelection — even Grover Norquist gave the GOP a hall pass on the fiscal cliff’s tax hike — Heritage Action has retrenched. On Wednesday, House Republicans backed down from the debt-ceiling standoff and voted to suspend it for three months without offsetting spending cuts. But Heritage Action has already settled on the next crisis point to use as leverage: rallying, cajoling and shaming lawmakers to commit to a budget that balances within 10 years. And here, in part, is why Heritage Action calls itself the “new fangs” on the Heritage “beast”: It has no qualms about holding conservative members accountable to their promises — even if it risks a government shutdown. (more…)



Sunday, December 30th, 2012


The Wall Street Journal

  • December 22, 2012

Tim Scott: Meet the New Senator From

South Carolina

Tim Scott, the newly appointed Republican, will give liberals fits. His first priority is working for tax reform.



Republicans in need of encouraging signs for the new year need look no further than Tim Scott. He was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday to succeed Jim DeMint as U.S. senator from South Carolina. Mr. Scott is a charismatic and principled economic and social conservative from the Deep South. He owes his rapid political rise in part to the tea party movement. Oh, and he is black.

In a few weeks, when the new Congress convenes, Mr. Scott, 47, will take his place as the first black senator from a former Confederate state since Reconstruction. This will make it exceedingly difficult for liberals to maintain their stereotype of the South as a land teeming with white racists. “If that were true,” he says, “how could I have been elected to Congress in a district that is 70% white?” He adds: “I have campaigned all over the state of South Carolina. It is the friendliest state in the country. And truly here people judge you by the content of your character not the color of your skin.”


Zina Saunders

Though he would clearly prefer to discuss substantive matters other than race—”I try to steer away from these issues,” Mr. Scott says—he recognizes that he has been thrust into the spotlight as a groundbreaking black politician. With some prodding, he reluctantly addresses the subject.

He says that he is fully aware of the challenge that he presents to the GOP’s traditional liberal critics. “I think one of the most threatening places to be in politics is a black conservative,” Mr. Scott says, “because there are so many liberals who want to continue to reinforce a stereotype that doesn’t exist about America.” What stereotype is that? “That somehow, some way, if you’re a Republican you’re a racist and if you’re black, there’s no chance for you in society. (more…)



Friday, August 3rd, 2012




Friday, June 1st, 2012



Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

February 22, 2012

ObamaCare Versus Individual Freedom

Washington Examiner

Jim DeMint

President Obama’s new mandate requiring all employers to purchase insurance coverage for their employees that includes abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception is an outrage, of course.

But what kind of outrage is it? Most of the public outcry has understandably centered around the mandate’s assault on religious liberty.

The mandate forces every businessman or non-profit executive with religious objections to these products to buy them anyway, or pay a fine.

The mandate is unconstitutional, for its violation of the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause.  It is also illegal, for its violation of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Some of the outrage has been rightly directed specifically at the president, as both the mandate and the underlying law, ObamaCare, are his doing.

Indeed, many pro-life citizens and members of Congress only supported ObamaCare’s passage because the president assured them that conscience rights would be protected. Thus the mandate is also a personal betrayal. (more…)



Thursday, February 16th, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

  • FEBRUARY 15, 2012

Ready for Another Rotten Highway Bill?

We can dramatically cut the federal gas tax. States could adjust their gas taxes and make their own construction and repair decisions without costly union regulations.

By JIM DEMINT Mr. DeMint is a Republican senator from South Carolina

The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that our national debt could nearly double over the next 10 years—to an astounding $29.4 trillion from $15 trillion today—so you might think Washington would be looking to stop the fiscal train wreck. You’d be wrong.

Despite all the hyperventilating about a tea party takeover in Congress, the sad truth is that in 2011 Congress increased spending from the year before, raised the debt limit by $2 trillion, and funded ObamaCare.

The highway bill is the latest example of Washington’s bipartisan addiction to big spending. Every six years, Congress passes a spending bill that divvies up the revenues from the federal gas tax and other highway user fees. The money goes into an account called the Highway Trust Fund, and for decades Congress has promised not to spend more on roads and bridges than is available in the trust fund.

But the trust fund has run dry thanks to reckless spending and wasteful earmarks, so Congress bailed out the highway program—to the total tune of about $35 billion—in 2008, 2009 and 2010. (more…)



Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Thursday, October 20th, 2011

DEMINT: Venture socialism

Obama agenda is about shoveling cash to cronies


By Sen. Jim DeMint

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The demise of Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company showered with more than a half-billion dollars in stimulus loans, exposes the fatal flaw of President Obama’s jobs plans.

Government officials rushed $535 million to Solyndra because the Obama administration was determined to make the company the centerpiece of its green agenda regardless of the law of supply and demand. Billions more have been wasted by politicians betting on favored companies and making Washington bigger, using the brute force of government to force liberal preferences into the economy. Mr. Obama calls them “investments,” but this is really venture socialism.

The entire purpose of the $825 billion stimulus bill was to sink government money into politically advantageous projects. Once the federal coffers were opened, the venture vultures eagerly descended. Obama bundler and major Solyndra backer George Kaiser, who splits his time between Oklahoma and California, explained it this way in a July 2009 speech in Tulsa: “There has never been more money shoved out of the government’s door in world history and probably never will be again than in the last few months and the next 18 months. And our selfish, parochial goal is to get as much of it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can.”

Mr. Kaiser was right: The government was shoveling money to various projects faster than the country had ever seen. The Department of Energy issued loans or loan guarantees or offered conditional support for loan guarantees totaling $38.6 billion for green energy projects, one of which was Solyndra. The program was supposed to “create or save” 65,000 jobs. But as taxpayers learned in recent weeks, this type of financial support carries substantial risk for the taxpayer. If the project fails, as Solyndra did, government foots the bill. And those promised jobs? They haven’t materialized. The Department of Energy (optimistically) says just 3,545 permanent jobs have been created as a result of the program. Still, the money keeps getting shoveled to high-risk startups. The Department of Energy is expected to finalize $9 billion more in green loans by the end of the month. (more…)



Friday, June 17th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • JUNE 15, 2011

At a time of crisis a wasteful federal agency gets $200 million more.

Long before there was President Obama’s stimulus, there was the Economic Development Administration. The EDA was created in 1965 with the same high-minded intent used to usher in the $814 billion stimulus bill in 2009. Set inside the Commerce Department, the bureau and its grants are supposed to promote economic competitiveness and create jobs. In reality, the EDA has given taxpayers little return on their investment and instead become a slush fund for the well-connected.

Certainly, the bureau has funded some well-meaning projects, just as there were some noncontroversial earmarks mixed in with bridges to nowhere and teapot museums. As a recovering earmarker, I must say that I have supported certain EDA grants in the past. But to my fellow senators, I now say this: If you aren’t willing to cut spending you previously supported, our nation is destined for bankruptcy.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hand delivered a $2 million EDA check in 2008 to the University of Nevada in Las Vegas to begin construction of the ‘UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park.’


Yet, in the midst of a debt crisis, the Senate is currently seeking to increase EDA funding to $500 million a year from $300 million. Worse, this bill passed out of a Senate authorization committee with unanimous, bipartisan support.




Sunday, March 6th, 2011
  • The Wall Street Journal
    • MARCH 4, 2011

    If these outfits can afford to pay lavish salaries to their heads, they don’t need taxpayer help.

    When presidents of government-funded broadcasting are making more than the president of the United States, it’s time to get the government out of public broadcasting.

    While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, “Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!”

    PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to “let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting.” But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars.

    The executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes the taxpayer money allocated for public broadcasting to other stations, are also generously compensated. According to CPB’s 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That’s practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009.

    Today’s media landscape is a thriving one with few barriers to entry and many competitors, unlike when CPB was created in 1967. In 2011, Americans have thousands of news, entertainment and educational programs to choose from that are available on countless television, radio and Web outlets. (more…)

    Search All Posts