Ben Sasse: The Challenges We Face Are Bigger Than Government

By Caffeinated Thoughts

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) speaks at The FAMiLY Leader’s Celebrate The Family Banquet on 11/18/17.

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U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) speaks at The FAMiLY Leader’s Celebrate The Family Banquet on 11/18/17.
Photo Credit: David Barnett

By Shane Vander Hart and Kelvey Vander Hart

(Des Moines, IA) At The FAMiLY Leader’s Celebrate the Family Banquet held at the Marriott in Downtown Des Moines on Saturday night the focus was off of politics, even for the United States Senator who was the keynote speaker for the evening.

“I have no intention to talk about 2016 at all tonight, or frankly 2012, 2020, or 2024. I have no intention to talk about Republicans or Democrats tonight. Because frankly, one of the things that is great about civically-engage Americans is that we understand that it is almost a little bit unAmerican to organize your life around 24-hour news cycles or around two and four year, even numbered or quadrennial election years,” U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, the Republican junior Senator from Nebraska, said to the 550 evangelicals and social conservatives in attendance.

“Who we are as a people are not things that are primarily defined by what happens in the Iowa State Capitol or the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Government is really important to provide a framework for ordered liberty, but most of everything that is really, really interesting in the world can’t be done by compulsion, it can’t be done by force, and that is really the domain of government. Government’s tools are the tools of power, and we believe in things that are much more human, much more fully textured,” he said.

“The really interesting things …read more

Source: Caffeinated Thoughts Education

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Source: Education Week Vouchers

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The Federalist Party Announces Strategic Restructuring

By Caffeinated Thoughts

The Federalist Party on Friday announced that California business entrepreneur JD Rucker is stepping down as the first party organizer to set a clear precedent for future leaders in the burgeoning movement that the federalist principles of restrained and balanced government will supersede any one person or personality as the party organically grows.

The party was formed in 2016 out of frustration with both the Republican and Democratic Parties which continue to increase the size, power, and scope of the federal government. The emergent Party — which has no current ballot status — stands for restrained, balanced government as was intended by the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

“James Madison correctly noted that men are not angels, and that especially applies to men or women in positions of political power, be it nascent or absolute,” Mr. Rucker said. “Knowing that — truly understanding that — demands that I set in motion a tradition of annually rotating leadership to restrain the base, natural instincts of leaders clinging to power at the expense of all else. If a real party is taking root, it must take root organically and as autonomously as possible in each of the 50 states,” Rucker said.

The Federalist Party of America ™ announced that it will be choosing a new and temporary leader at a meeting next week.

“The Federalist Party of America ™ is under no illusion that creating a viable new political party in America is an easy task,” said party spokesperson Patricia Nicklaus. “But the party has three key things going for it: tens of thousands of member/followers within a single year; a set of clear and realistic political principles that were set down in ink by the some of the most respected political minds in world history, and the lessons of failure from …read more

Source: Caffeinated Thoughts Education

Five Principles That Iowa Legislators Should Consider for Sound Tax Policy

By Shane Vander Hart

Iowans for Tax Relief (ITR) sent an email this morning that I wanted to share some content from. The Iowa Legislature is expected to tackle tax reform during this upcoming session.

ITR lays out five principles that they believe Iowa’s tax code should adhere to:

  1. Fair: Iowa’s tax code should be fair and not favor one group of taxpayers at the expense of another.
  2. Competitive: Iowa should have lower tax rates rather than the current high tax rates that make our state less competitive with our neighbors. The Iowa tax code should encourage, rather than hinder, economic growth.
  3. Transparent: The Iowa tax code is complex and needs to be simplified. A tax structure that is simpler and easier to understand will be friendlier to taxpayers. Taxpayers in Iowa deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to tax credits and incentives, too.
  4. Limited: Iowa’s tax code should be limited, that is, taxes should only be collected to finance the essential functions of state government. It is immoral for government to believe that they have an unlimited claim to the hard-earned income of individuals and businesses.
  5. Protective of Freedom: Iowa’s tax code should promote freedom. Taxes should not be used for social engineering. Iowa should not create new taxes or substitute one tax for another.

With the budget challenges, Iowa faces it is uncertain what kind of tax reform plan the Iowa Legislature will end up adopting. With the current make-up of the Iowa Legislature something on tax reform should be able to be done, but whether it will encompass all five of these principles will remain to be seen. They do provide some good guideposts that I hope legislators consider when writing their bills.

Iowans for Tax Relief points out that a sound tax reform plan will eventually remedy the revenue problem (more like a spending …read more

Source: Caffeinated Thoughts Education

Citing safety, councilman wants cameras in every classroom

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Even before there was a federal education department, there was a federal education statistics agency. The National Center for Education Statistics turns 150 this year and a look at its studies over those years shows just how much American schooling has grown and changed. …read more

Source: Education Week Accountability