Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very adept at playing politics with important issues. He points to the sequester as a prime example. Initiated by Democrats, they then turned around and pointed the finger at the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as being the villains for the forced spending cuts — which Martinez accurately points out are just cuts in the rate of growth, not really cuts in total spending, which continues to increase.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

After serving as mayor of Tampa for six years, Bob Martinez resigned to run for governor in 1986. The former Democrat became Florida’s first Republican governor in 16 years but lost his re-election bid four years later following the state’s controversial attempt at implementing a tax on services — a measure the Legislature passed but quickly repealed.

He later served for nearly two years as the nation’s “Drug Czar” under President George H.W. Bush. Since then, Martinez, who has always maintained residency in Tampa, has kept an active but mostly behind the scenes profile in Florida political circles.

I recently sat down with the former governor in the offices of the law firm where he works as a lobbyist to talk about his life in politics, his legacy and issues facing the Republican Party and the country.

We start out talking about the national political environment and the major issues facing our country — most notably the national debt and government spending.

“Since the federal government doesn’t have to balance the budget, they have the ability to just kick the can. Every time they kick the can, after a while voters stop listening,” he says.

Economic and budgetary issues are hard to explain, and are far removed from people’s lives — or so they think, Martinez says. Explaining them is “… complicated because there is no sound-bite answer.”

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very Continue reading “Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman”

All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include tax increases, spending cuts and an extension of the debt ceiling. Although the tax increases and spending cuts are a good start, they’re a mere drop in the bucket. A $400 billion unspecified cut in entitlement spending here and a $440 billion tax increase there (both over a period of 10 years), won’t do anything other than symbolize the need to do something. Those mediocre attempts to rectify an $86 trillion debt would be like throwing a gallon of water on a five-alarm fire of a completely engulfed building that stretches for several city blocks.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 22, 2012

Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.
Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.

If the 1960s are most remembered for the Kennedy and King assassinations and the fight for racial equality, and the ’70s for Watergate, Vietnam protests and the gas crisis, the ’80s for the fall of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Reagan’s optimism, the ’90s for the tech boom and Bill Clinton’s intern, the 2000s for the September 11th tragedy and the election of the first black president, the decade of 2010 will be defined by the bankruptcy of America.

You could write tomes explaining how this happened and who is to blame, but that won’t solve the problem. The fact is, America is broke, and it’s only a matter of time before we face the upheaval seen in Greece (in 2011, only Greece, Italy and Japan had higher debt as a percentage of GDP than the United States). The only reason we aren’t there yet is due to our politicians’ proclivity for punting.

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include Continue reading “All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion”

In our daily lives, family matters most

We’ll overcome whatever foolish moves they make, and ultimately the American spirit, the free markets, and the freedoms we so love and are willing to fight for will prevail.

The dumbest thing Kathy Castor bragged about this week

To create jobs in the Tampa Bay area, we must play to our strengths. That means supporting small-business owners, and bolstering the Port of Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base, schools, colleges and universities, and tourism (Hey, what about widows and orphans? Seriously though, note how Mrs. Castor generically references small-business owners, and then runs down a long list of government. This suggests she has no idea how to create jobs or bolster the economy).

Rep. Kathy Castor

(Here’s the latest propaganda from Congresswoman Kathy Castor. My comments in blue italics within parenthesis.)

Comments by Chris Ingram big-government solutions by Kathy Castor

Dear Friend,

To create jobs in the Tampa Bay area, we must play to our strengths. That means supporting small-business owners, and bolstering the Port of Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base, schools, colleges and universities, and tourism (Hey, what about widows and orphans? Seriously though, note how Mrs. Castor generically references small-business owners, and then runs down a long list of government. This suggests she has no idea how to create jobs or bolster the economy). Last month, the Murray Company and Tampa Family Health Centers broke ground on a new health clinic in Sulphur Springs, we were encouraged to see the Port of Tampa receive a grant (Both examples use Continue reading “The dumbest thing Kathy Castor bragged about this week”

The Water Cooler: Marco’s mail; Castor’s propaganda; Tampa set to party

This was rather unusual coming from a guy who is a United States Senator whose mom was a maid and dad was a bartender. The statement hardly seems to be the “Marco Rubio” story and certainly slaps in the face of most Republican rhetoric about hard-work and determination being the primary factors that influence success in America.

The Water Cooler is a snapshot of some of the things people are talking about

By Chris Ingram

Marco’s PAC Mailing

Yesterday I received a solicitation in the mail from Marco Rubio’s new political action committee.

The piece included a letter from Marco that read, “For too long leaders in both parties have gotten away with [spending money we don’t have]. Washington Republicans have acted like Democrats…and literally passed the buck to future generations.”

Rubio should be applauded for this frank assessment, though he could have gone a little further by naming some of those Republicans – though it would have made the mailing about 40 pages long if he had.

Also included in the mailing was a reply card with the following in big bold letters: Continue reading “The Water Cooler: Marco’s mail; Castor’s propaganda; Tampa set to party”

Sam Rashid for U.S. Senate

Sam Rashid, known for being a behind the scenes political puppet master in Hillsborough County and an occasional target of my irreverent views has an excellent column in today’s Tampa Tribune about the budget fight, spending and taxes.

Tampa’s political kingmaker calls it like he sees it — and he’s right this time

By Chris Ingram

Sam Rashid, known for being a behind the scenes political puppet master in Hillsborough County and an occasional target of my irreverent views has an excellent column in today’s Tampa Tribune about the budget fight, spending and taxes.

Rashid’s column is refreshing in that it takes responsibility for the mess, instead of blame; and recognizes the shared sacrifice all Americans will have to accept to get out of the hole we’re in (including cuts to entitlements and yes, raising taxes).

The debt-limit “deal” expected to be signed by President Obama this week is just that — another “deal.” It’s based on projections and expectations that the next Congress will act responsibly — don’t count on it.

Deals are what got us into the current mess we’re in. What we need is Continue reading “Sam Rashid for U.S. Senate”