Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll

I went up to Ames with Eric Goranson today. It was a complete circus with all of the special interest groups and media. The Ron Paul group was rather energetic (I'm being diplomatic).

We visited the Fair Tax rally in the morning which sounds like a very awesome idea. I encourage you to go to their website and learn more. It has a lot of grassroots support building. In a nutshell it is about replacing the federal income tax and FICA with a national consumption tax of 23%. This plan would also include a monthly "prebate" which would help those who are below the poverty line. They made a very convincing case. I encourage you to check out their website.

We caught Mike Huckabee's band Capitol Offense - they are really good. I was impressed. We enjoyed Kinfolks BBQ at the Huckabee tent and then got some homemade ice cream at Duncan Hunter's area. We both got to meet Duncan Hunter and his wife. We then decided to go vote before the speeches began - we are both Huckabee supporters. We then walked around checking out the other candidate tent areas - I saw Newt Gingrich walking down the sidewalk the opposite direction. We were still hungry so tried to get some Famous Dave's at Brownback's tent. You needed ticket, darn! We then checked out Mitt Romney's tent - they got the coup of caterers with Hickory Park. The line was too long and we suspected you needed a ticket there as well - too bad. If you ever get up to Ames, IA going to Hickory Park is a must. I give the Romney campaign kudos for getting them to cater.

The speeches were interesting. I didn't feel Romney really said anything of substance, but it was clear that he had the majority there. John Cox spoke - I didn't even know he was running - who is he? I felt bad that he hardly had anybody at his tent. Tom Tancredo had some good things to say, but you can tell he was very nervous. He had a good crowd, and you could tell his message was resonating with some. I like that he is strong on illegal immigration, but it almost comes across as anti-immigrant. I don't think that is the case, but that is how it will be spun. Duncan Hunter spoke and he you can tell he has a lot of great experience on defense and national security. He should be on a short list for Secretary of Defense in a Republican administration. Ron Paul's speech surprised me. He didn't really bring up his position of wanting to pull out of Iraq immediately. Most of it I could agree with, but not bringing up that position was a little disingenuous. Tommy Thompson also seemed like he had a good crowd. He brings a lot of good experience as well. His background of welfare reform is very impressive. He wants to find a cure for breast cancer by 2015 (I may not have the exact year right).

Governor Huckabee I feel gave the best speech. He was the only one who received a universal standing ovation (not just his supporters). He also had a lot of support too. Sam Brownback had a good showing today as well, and probably gave one of the better speeches I have heard from him. All in all it was a good day. Eric and I also have a chance to talk with Kim Lehman of the Iowa Right to Life Committee. If you live in Iowa, be sure to support their upcoming book sale, and support their petition to keep the pro-life plank on the GOP platform.

Well got home, and got the results later. Here are the unofficial results out of 14,203 ballots cast.
  1. Governor Mitt Romney - 4516 votes - 31%
  2. Governor Mike Huckabee - 2587 - 18.1%
  3. Senator Sam Brownback - 2192 - 15.3
  4. Representative Tom Tancredo - 1961 - 13.7%
  5. Representative Ron Paul - 1305 - 9.1%
  6. Governor Tommy Thompson - 1009 - 7.3%
  7. Senator Fred Thompson - 231
  8. Mayor Rudy Giuliani - 183
  9. Representative Duncan Hunter - 174
  10. Senator John McCain - 101
  11. Mr. John Cox - 41
I think that Representative Hunter will leave the race since he was beat by candidates who were not even there. Mr. Cox should also drop out, but I would encourage him to run for a seat in the U.S. House. I would suspect that Governor Thompson may leave the race too, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, it was a fun day. I should have pictures up in a day or two.

Update: Check out Eric's post on the Straw Poll results.

Update - 8/19: I finally have the pictures from the straw poll up here.

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3 comments:

Recovering said...

Good post! I have since updated mine!

Ian said...

Huckabee is a very adroit public speaker. He communcates his message in life-like, cogent terms, with compelling examples like the story he told (at the Ames Straw Poll) of what his then-11-yo daughter entered into the "Comments" section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Couldn't somebody do something?”

Effective.

Huckabee puts listeners at ease, and reassures them through clear concepts and a natural, integrated manner of communication (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not demanding, like a Ron Paul, nor is he as “well-scripted” as Romney, nor as mechanical-squinty like Brownback.

Most importantly, Huckabee convinces many that he is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement. While many - like Romney, and others, who are invested in the current income tax system - seek to demagog the well-researched FairTax plan, its acceptance in the professional / academic community continues to grow. Failure to enact the FairTax - choosing instead to try to "flatten" a NON-FLATTENABLE income tax system - will result in an irrevocable economic meltdown!

Just take a look at the WEAK response Romney followed Huckabee with on last weekend’s “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos.”

Here is why the FairTax MUST replace the income tax. It's:

• SIMPLE, easy to understand
• EFFICIENT, inexpensive to comply with and doesn't cause less-than-optimal business decisions for tax minimization purposes
• FAIR, loophole free and everyone pays their share
• LOW TAX RATE, achieved by broad base with no exclusions
• PREDICTABLE, doesn't change, so financial planning is possible
• UNINTRUSIVE, doesn't intrude into our personal affairs or limit our liberty
• VISIBLE, not hidden from the public in tax-inflated prices or otherwise
• PRODUCTIVE, rewards, rather than penalizes, work and productivity

Its benefits are as follows:

FOR INDIVIDUALS:
• No more tax on income - make as much as you wish
• You receive your full paycheck - no more deductions
• You pay the tax when you buy "at retail" - not "used"
• No more double taxation (e.g. like on current Capital Gains)
• Reduction of "pre-FairTaxed" retail prices by 20%-30%
• Adding back 29.9% FairTax maintains current price levels
• FairTax would constitute 23% portion of new prices
• Every household receives a monthly check, or "pre-bate"
• "Prebate" is "advance payback" for monthly consumption to poverty level
• FairTax's "prebate" ensures progressivity, poverty protection
• Finally, citizens are knowledgeable of what their tax IS
• Elimination of "parasitic" Income Tax industry
• NO MORE IRS. NO MORE FILING OF TAX RETURNS by individuals
• Those possessing illicit forms of income will ALSO pay the FairTax
• Households have more disposable income to purchase goods
• Savings is bolstered with reduction of interest rates

FOR BUSINESSES:
• Corporate income and payroll taxes revoked under FairTax
• Business compensated for collecting tax at "cash register"
• No more tax-related lawyers, lobbyists on company payrolls
• No more embedded (hidden) income/payroll taxes in prices
• Reduced costs. Competition - not tax policy - drives prices
• Off-shore "tax haven" headquarters can now return to U.S
• No more "favors" from politicians at expense of taxpayers
• Resources go to R&D and study of competition - not taxes
• Marketplace distortions eliminated for fair competition
• US exports increase their share of foreign markets

FOR THE COUNTRY:
• 7% - 13% economic growth projected in the first year of the FairTax
• Jobs return to the U.S.
• Foreign corporations "set up shop" in the U.S.
• Tax system trends are corrected to "enlarge the pie"
• Larger economic "pie," means thinner tax rate "slices"
• Initial 23% portion of price is pressured downward as "pie"
increases
• No more "closed door" tax deals by politicians and business
• FairTax sets new global standard. Other countries will follow

Shane Vander Hart said...

Great argument for the Fair Tax. My only concern with this, and perhaps that would be addressed with additional research is larger families paying more tax due to having more expenses, and I wonder how this would affect corporate donations if they don't have the tax incentive to give. I only wonder about that since I work for a non-profit.

The "mechanical-squinty" description for Brownback is rather unique. I haven't heard that one before.

Over all I think Huckabee is strong on domestic issues, I think he has a practical stance on Iraq and the war on terror, I think the communicates well. He is staunchly pro-life. He has great experience, and he is a Washington outsider. All those are reasons why I'm supporting him. Not to mention he has run a very positive campaign so far.