This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Tribune-Review’s Brad Bumsted Talks Supreme Court Scandal


Radio Program Schedule for the week of November 1, 2014 – November 7, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about scandal at the state Supreme Court
  • Joe Geiger of the First Nonprofit Foundation has James Jones from the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg in the Community Benefit spotlight
  • Beth Anne Mumford of Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on special treatment for labor unions

This week on American Radio Journal:

  •  Lowman Henry talks with Donald P. Nielson of the Discovery Institute about his new book Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the U.S. Senate races that will decide party control of the Senate
  • Eric Boehm is joined by Mark Lagerkvist of New Jersey Watchdog for a Watchdog Radio Report on the battle to gain public access to Governor Chris Christie’s travel expenses
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on one World War II veteran’s story

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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GOP Launches a New ‘War on Poverty’


In his 1964 State of the Union Address President Lyndon Johnson launched what became known as the “war on poverty” saying: “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it, and above all to prevent it.”

Like the war in Vietnam, which he simultaneously fought, Johnson lost the “war on poverty.”  In 1964 the U.S. Poverty rate stood at 17.3%, after a half century with spending totally in the trillions of dollars, that rate today is stuck at 15%.

The “war on poverty” has been lost because the central theme of Johnson’s address got subverted to the cause of big government.  Anti-poverty programs sought not to “relieve the symptom of poverty,” but rather to entrap poverty stricken families in a web of government dependency.  At that the “war” has been successful as, for example, a record 47 million U.S. households today receive food stamps.

Although President Johnson’s anti-poverty initiative failed in its stated goal, it has been a resounding political success for his party.  Under the guise of compassion, Democrats have been successful in creating an entire class of voters dependent on government.  As a result entitlement programs now make up an unsustainable percentage of the federal budget and are driving trillion dollar budget deficits.

Conversely, Republicans have been portrayed as modern day Scrooges who care more about the bottom line than about the needs of poor Americans.  While the negative fiscal impact of deficit spending is real, the GOP has enhanced this reputation by failing to provide realistic solutions to fighting poverty through the provision of human services.

That, however, is changing.

In what is shaping up as a major change in how Republican policy-makers deal with poverty and the confusing and inefficient labyrinth of human service programs designed to combat it, major initiatives are underway at both the state and national level to develop a new – and hopefully more effective – anti-poverty paradigm.

At the national level Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, has spent years researching and developing hisExpanding Opportunities in America program. Ryan proposes reforms to the nation’s educational and social safety net programs.  He also wants a review and streamlining of the thousands of federal regulations that frequently are a roadblock to providing effective services.

Funding for human services trickle down to the state, and ultimately to the county level where many such programs are actually implemented.  So, in addition to federal bureaucracies a level of state administration gets overlaid on human service programs before the dollars actually get to the counties and nonprofit organizations providing service.

State Representative David Reed, who serves as Majority Policy Chairman, last year launched his Empowering Opportunities: Gateways out of Poverty Initiative.  Reed returns to Lyndon Johnson’s original promise saying: “With more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians struggling in poverty today, our responsibility is to begin the discussion anew on the most effective and successful means of transitioning our citizens from a life of poverty to self-sustainability.”

Congressman Ryan and Representative Reed have thus laid the groundwork for a major change in the way our nation and state address dealing with persistent poverty.  But, bringing about such systemic change will not be easy.  Defenders of the status quo will predictably claim the proposals lack compassion, and some conservatives will balk at a continued major role for government in combating poverty.

After fifty years of failure it is crystal clear that what we have been doing simply hasn’t worked. Ryan and Reed are proposing a way forward that could begin the process of actually addressing the root causes of poverty in a way designed to lift people out of government dependency.  At this point we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Business Climate Survey Results


Radio Program Schedule for the week of October 25, 2014 – October 31, 2014

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with former Virginia Governor James Gilmore of the Free Congress Foundation about the federal response to Ebola
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on what to expect from a U.S. Senate under Republican control
  • Eric Boehm and Katie Watson have a Watchdog Radio look at examples of government waste found in Senator Tom Coburn’s new “waste book”
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on what will happen if the dollar ceases to be the world currency

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Kevin Shivers from the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business hosts a Capitol Watch look at results of the Fall 2014 Keystone Business Climate Survey with Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation and Neal Lesher from NFIB
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on the GOP’s new war on poverty
Business Climate Survey Results

A sneak preview of just some of the Business Climate Survey Results!

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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PA Business Climate Improving…But Obamacare a drag on employment, pay


For the first time in a decade, by a narrow margin, more Pennsylvania employers say business conditions in the commonwealth are improving than say the state’s economy is getting worse.  But, that optimism is tempered by a lack of job creation and lower wage hikes due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

George W. Bush was president and on the verge of re-election in 2004, the last time respondents to the Lincoln Institute’s Keystone Business Climate Survey thought the business climate was getting better rather than worse.  Since then the nation has experienced the Great Recession and subsequent slow recovery.

But, the current survey finds 20% of the business owners and CEOs responding say over the past six months business conditions in Pennsylvania have gotten better, while 19% say the state’s economy has gotten worse.  By comparison, one year ago 31% felt business conditions had gotten worse and just 14% saw an improvement.

There is not, however, optimism for the immediate future.  Looking ahead six months, 27% expect business conditions in Pennsylvania to get worse, while 16% expect conditions to get better.

Driving the current burst of optimism are increasing sales.  Thirty-six percent of the companies said sales have increased over the past six months as 24% reported decreased sales.  Looking ahead, 32% project sales will increase, 13% expect sales to drop.

Employment levels dropped over the past six months, with 20% reporting higher employment and 24% saying employment at their business has decreased.  Looking ahead six months, 21% project adding employees, while 9% plan to employ fewer workers.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act

It is clear the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is having a negative impact on both the number of jobs that are being created, and on wages and pay hikes. Twenty-five percent of the business leaders participating in the survey said they have decided not to hire additional employees due to the requirements of Obamacare.  Ten percent said they have actually reduced the number of employees because of ACA; while another 3% said they hired, but did so later than they had planned.  Less than 1% said they hired sooner than planned because of Obamacare. Fifty-eight percent said ACA has had no impact on their hiring plans.

In terms of wages/salaries, 33% said they have delayed giving pay raises due to the costs of Obamacare.  Twenty-eight percent indicated they reduced the amounts of pay raises, while 26% said they paid new hires less to compensate for the costs associated with compliance of the Affordable Care Act.  Five percent reduced the pay of current employees, while 2% said they increased employee pay in response to ACA requirements.  A total of 42% said Obamacare has no impact on their wages/salaries.

State Issues

Education spending has been a major issue in the gubernatorial campaign. But, unlike the electorate at-large, business owners and CEOs participating in the Fall 2014 Keystone Business Climate Surveysay the state spends too much money on public education.  Forty percent think state government spend too much on public education, 29% say the state spends too little, while 27% say state spending on public education is about the right amount.

By a large margin, 78% to 19%, the employers say they are not willing to pay higher taxes to provide additional funding to public education.  There is, however, strong support for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) which businesses can claim for donating money to K-12 educational institutions.  Forty-seven percent think the General Assembly should allocate more month to the tax credit fund so more businesses can participate; 36% say the fund should be kept at current levels.

Taxes have also been a major campaign issue in 2014.  When asked whether Pennsylvania should retain the current “flat” income tax or move to a “graduated” income tax where low income earners are exempt and higher income earners pay a higher rate 84% said they support the current “flat” income tax, 14% would like to see a “graduated” rate.

A proposal to exempt the first $30,000 from state income taxes and raise the rate for money earned above that level from 3.07% to 5% drew strong opposition from the business leaders.  Seventy-three percent oppose such a system with 60% saying they are strongly opposed.    Twenty-three percent said they would support such a change.

Mandating paid sick leave for employees was opposed by three-quarters of the business owners and CEOs who participated in the Lincoln Institute survey.  Seventeen percent said they would support mandating paid sick leave for businesses with over 50 employees. Another 6% support mandating paid sick leave for all businesses regardless of size.

Job Approval Ratings

Mirroring the national trend, President Obama received a highly negative job approval rating from the business owners and CEOs.  Eighty-five percent voiced a negative view of the president, while 13% offered a positive assessment.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is viewed favorably by 51% of the survey participants while 24% have a negative view.  The numbers reverse for U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. as 60% offered a negative view of his job performance against a 21% positive rating.   Fed Chairman Janet Yellen received a 38% negative / 28% positive rating; and, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew scored a 42% negative / 8% positive.

At the state level Governor Tom Corbett sports a 52% positive rating while 35% disapprove of the job being done by the Republican governor.  The CEOs and business owners turned thumbs down on Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who received a 49% negative rating against just 16% positive.  Most offered no opinion on the job performance of Auditor General Eugene Depasquale and State Treasurer Rob McCord.  Of those who did, Depasquale had a 20% negative / 11% positive rating and McCord scored 21% negative / 17% positive.

Participants in the Fall 2014 Keystone Business Climate Survey took a dim view of the job being done by both Congress and by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  Eighty-nine percent offered a negative assessment of the U.S. Senate, with 7% having a positive view.  The U.S. House of Representatives fared slightly better scoring a 72% negative / 22% positive rating.  Sixty-three percent have a negative view of the job being done by the Pennsylvania Senate, 19% approve.  The Pennsylvania House of Representatives turned in a marginally higher score, with a 62% negative / 23% positive rating.

And, Governor Tom Corbett finally came out ahead in one poll.  Sixty-five percent of the business owners and CEOs said they plan to vote for the incumbent governor in the November 4th General Election, 20% say they will cast their ballot for Democratic challenger Tom Wolf.  However, 53% expect Wolf to win the election, while 29% predict a Corbett victory.

Methodology

The Lincoln Institute’s 2014 Keystone Business Climate Survey was conducted electronically from September 26, 2014 through October 17, 2014.  A total of 316 responses were received.  Of those, 69% are the owner of their business, 24% are the CEO/COO or CFO, another 4% are a state or local manager. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents are located in southeastern Pennsylvania, 18% in southwestern Pennsylvania, 14% in the northwest section of the state, 17% in south-central Pennsylvania, 11% in northeastern Pennsylvania, 6% in the Lehigh Valley, six percent in north-central Pennsylvania and 1% in the Altoona/Johnstown area. Complete numeric results are available at www.lincolninstitute.org.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Chris Nicholas’ Election Overview


Radio Program Schedule for the week of October 18, 2014 – October 24, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry gets an overview of the 2014 elections from Chris Nicholas of the PA Business Council
  • Frank Gamrat and Eric Montarti explore building a hotel at the Pittsburgh convention center on the Allegheny Institute Report
  • Beth Anne Mumford of Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on economic freedom

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jim Martin of the 60 Plus Association about the impact of new EPA regulations on older Americans
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on the make-up of the new class of Congressional freshmen
  • Eric Boehm and Tori Richards have a Watchdog Radio Report on continuing problems at VA hospitals
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on the battle for control of the U.S. Senate

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on American Radio Journal: Dick Morris Talks Obama Power Grab


Radio Program Schedule for the week of October 11, 2014 – October 17, 2014

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Dick Morris about his new book: Power Grab: Obama’s Dangerous Plan for a One Party Nation
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story behind the suddenly competitive U.S. Senate race in South Dakota
  • Eric Boehm has a Watchdog Radio look at the CATO Institute’s new report card on the nation’s governors with Nicole Kaeding of CATO
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on why bombing alone won’t stop ISIS

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association has a Capitol Watch interview with Chan Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers about the current status of the business climate for manufacturing
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why the conservative agenda has bogged down in Harrisburg despite Republican control

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on American Radio Journal: John Gizzi Analysis of Governor Races


Radio Program Schedule for the week of October 4, 2014 – October 10, 2014

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with John Gizzi, Chief Political Correspondent for Newsmax for a state-by-state analysis of governor races
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on why party control of the U.S. Senate may not be known until January
  • Eric Boehm and Mark Lisheron have a Watchdog Radio look at the legacy of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the rising cost of talk radio programming

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with Lebanon Valley College professor Dr. James Broussard about his new book Ronald Reagan: Champion of Conservative America
  • Joe Geiger of the First Nonprofit Foundation has Mark Ware from the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County in the Community Benefit Spotlight
  • Beth Anne Mumford of Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the political spending of labor unions

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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