The GOP and The Pursuit of Happiness

Eric Andersen Eric Andersen, Undesignated 10 Comments

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When Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa voted to give the concrete industry the coercive power to tax as they did this week, only a few days removed from Trump’s mandate to bring reform, we accomplished three things despite our good intentions.

1. We violate free markets.

We are protecting an oversized industry that Americans are valuing less, one that is unable to compete on it’s own. Indeed if it was a thriving industry it would not be necessary to revert to crony capitalism to sustain it.

2.  We destroy jobs.

The millions of dollars taken by the new tax on concrete are no longer going to be in the individual’s pocket to purchase goods and services at other local businesses. This is basically a labor transfer from healthy businesses without connections in Washington to a less healthy business with connections in Washington. Labor outside the concrete industry will lose jobs in direct correlation to where Congress requires the new tax be paid. What basically happened is 188 Republican Congressmen (that’s 8 out of 10 Congressional Republicans) used their monopoly on power to tell 330 million Americans what businesses our nation should and shouldn’t have.

3. We decrease happiness.

Happiness is a function of our ability to pursue it. Happiness requires freedom and property. Slaves aren’t typically models of what we would refer to as “happy” people. There is a reason for this. They lack freedom and property to pursue it. Whether we find happiness in going to a movie or giving to a charity it cannot be pursued without the dollar required to do so. Every dollar taken by this new tax is a dollar we no longer have to spend on what we value and what makes us happy.

This is why constitutionally limited government is so important to making America great again. Every expansion of government directly impacts our ability to pursue happiness.

If the GOP sincerely desires to be a party responsible for bringing happiness to San Diego families, then those voting Republican, elected to the San Diego County Republican Central Committee and elected to office must get with the program and begin holding each other accountable.

I am attempting to do my part and hope my friends in the Party will do the same. We must begin locally. I know of no other way to make America great again.

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Eric Andersen is a member of the Central Committee of the San Diego County Republican Party and current Chair and Co-Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego County. He is a Co-Founder of im2moro.com, former Rock Church Citizen of the Year and former Caucus Chair for the 71st Assembly District.

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Comments 10

  1. Eric, you have the ability to see what the rest of us should have seen. Let the free market make this call, not the government.

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    Received a reply from Congressman Hunter’s Chief of Staff in Washington, Joe Kasper.

    “New tax?! Get real. Industry decides. Permits but doesn’t require the same thing most in the ag industry do. The Milk campaign, beef it’s what’s for dinner, the incredible edible egg or pork the other white meat. You’ve heard em–maybe even enjoyed from time to time. Buzz me in DC next time you post. I can assist.”

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    Thank you Joe. I am familiar with the dairy check off program and its subsequent marketing campaigns.

    “got milk”
    “Milk: It does the body good.”

    Those were deceptive Ad campaigns (milk doesn’t fight osteoporosis, contains cholesterol, fat, calories, allergens and impurities and its possible links to rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) funded by dairy producers and administered through the Dept of Agriculture designed to increase our consumption of milk which declined annually from 0.96 cups in 1970 to 0.59 cups in 2011.

    The Dairy Check Off Program was an attempt by private business owners whose sales were declining to use big government to cartelize, costing consumers millions of dollars in higher milk prices. Of course the cost of the check off was passed on to our families at the grocery store hurting lower income families the most.

    This Concrete Act (Concrete Check Off)is not about the welfare of the 750,000 or so of us out here in the Congressman’s district as much as it is about the welfare of a few concrete manufactures who know how to gain the favor of a congressman.

    Were you aware the Dairy Check Off began as an optional program in 1983?

    I have actually read H.R. 985. Has our Congressman?

    I will share the clauses below in a separate comment that cause me to believe the concrete tax is not optional.

    Shall we expect a Wine Act? Bourbon Act?

    Noticed you refer to bad law as precedent for the Congressman’s vote. Is there a reason we don’t see Congressman Hunter referring to an enumerated power in the U.S. Constitution?

    You are welcome to call if I can ever be of help.

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    H.R.985 – Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015

    SEC. 5. REQUIRED TERMS IN ORDERS
    (k) Books and Records
    (1) IN GENERAL-The order shall require that manufacturers shall –
    (A) maintain records sufficient to ensure compliance …

    SEC. 6 ASSESSMENTS.
    (a) ASSESSMENTS.— “ASSESSMENTS shall be paid”, “not less than quarterly”, “the rate shall be $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold.” Can be increased annually.

    SEC. 9. ENFORCEMENT
    (a) Jurisdiction. – A district court of the United States shall have jurisdiction to enforce … and restrain any person from violating this Act.”
    (1) CIVIL PENALTIES– A person who willfully violates a regulation under this Act may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation.”

  5. I spoke with Congressman Issa’s office and they researched it with the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association. They were told this:

    “We as an Industry have worked hard over the last years to educate and inform Members and Staff that HR 985 is not a tax and does not make Government bigger or get in the way of small business. HR 985 is quite the opposite. It gets Big Government out of the way and allows small, family owned businesses to compete, fairly, in an ever changing economy”.

    This is not necessarily true. There is no getting around the “assessment” of up to a nickel/unit. The bill would establish a “Concrete Masonry Products Board” which will be overseen by the Department of Commerce; essentially, Commerce regulates and directs this board and the industry.

    The key provision is the use of force on an unwilling industry participant. Commerce has the right AND RESPONSIBILITY to do this:

    (Sec. 6) Any such order MUST also require that quarterly assessments be paid by manufacturers for any concrete masonry products manufactured at least 180 days before remittance of the assessment to the board.

    This is the use of force (government) to “assess a fee” (aka tax) on EVERY concrete manufacturing business “for the good of the industry”.

    Can concrete manufacturing associations assemble an “Assessment Board” and issue bills to each of its members to fund such cooperative industry research? Absolutely and it can make such an assessment a provision of membership in the associations. But concrete producers don’t have to join the associations to do business.

    HR 985 puts the Department of Commerce in control of every single concrete producer in the country and directs its subsidiary unit (Concrete Masonry Products Board) to levy a per unit “assessment: on every producer.

    That is a tax. It’s a new tax. Congressmen Issa and Hunter voted for it.

    Both of them broke the signed Pledge they made to the American people.

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    Chodorov, Buckley’s mentor, wrote (paraphrase) when a government ceases to defend rights and begins to encroach on them it ceases to be government just as a merchant marine who practices piracy ceases to be a merchant marine.

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