#CarlyFiorina and Zero-Based Budgeting

We noted yesterday one way that the Congress can get the budget under control and reduce spending. Another is zero-based budgeting, which is supported by Republican candidates Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush and former candidate Rick Perry.

Zero-based budgeting is a simple concept in theory, but a difficult one in practice: it requires each federal agency to justify each project in its budget request each appropriations cycle. Rather than the “baseline budgeting” being done now, where the previous year’s budget is taken as the starting point, and then an increase figured in, zero-based budgeting would require that each program be considered, and added or not added, with each appropriation.

In 2000, during Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor, Florida was one of the first states to enact an eight-year cycle of agency reviews to help it better evaluate budgetary requests. The effort was abandoned a few years later after state legislatures found the process expensive and time-consuming, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Well, yeah, it’s tough, so tough that the federal government hasn’t done it since Jimmy Carter was President. But just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done again. However, it doesn’t have to all be done at once: it could be implemented for two agencies the first year, then two more the second. Coupled with our suggestion of moving to two-year appropriations, with half of the budget done one year and the other half the next, it could be managed. In one four year term, the next President could get eight major federal departments onto zero-based budgeting.

Just think how much junk gets added into a budget one year, and then, because baseline budgeting is used, it simply continues for year after year after year. Carly Fiorina plans to move to a zero-based budgeting system, though few of the details have been released, and her campaign website doesn’t have the specifics.

Fiorina Hits Government Waste: ‘Just Plain Abuse And Corruption’

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter | June 11, 2015

“Every single agency” of the federal government has wasteful components, according to Carly Fiorina, who said she’d push to implement a new budgetary tool to eliminate inefficiencies across government if elected president.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, The Daily Caller asked the Republican presidential candidate if she would get rid of any federal cabinet departments or agencies as president.

“While it might feel good to name two or three agencies that we could eliminate all together, the truth is every single agency has vast amounts of inefficiencies, ineffectiveness (even worse), duplication, just plain abuse and corruption,” Fiorina said.

Fiorina called for “zero-based budgeting” to prevent wasteful programs from slipping through the cracks every year.

“Not only would be know where every dollar is being spent, but we ask every agency to justify every single program every year,” Fiorina said.

Carly Fiorina campaigning at the Iowa State Fair

There’s more at the link.

Zero-based budgeting isn’t exactly a glamorous issue, and sometimes the stresses and requirements of campaigning for office shunt the policy wonkishness to the sidelines, but Mrs Fiorina was a hard-driving CEO at Hewlett-Packard, and she made some enemies there, including Walter Hewlett, son of H-P co-founder Bill Hewlett. It’s arguable that pushing zero-based budgeting could cost Mrs Fiorina any chance of carrying Virginia, with its sizable population of federal government workers in the suburbs around Washington. “Some tough calls are going to be required,” Fiorina said. “When you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. I made a few.” If she wins the election in 2016, actually implementing zero-based budgeting would make her a whole lot more enemies . . . but it would be the right thing to do to get our huge federal budget under control. It’s only when you really know what is in the budget, and every line item has to be justified and explained, that we can ever hope to manage it.

Why the left despise Carly Fiorina

Apparently, to be a powerful and respected woman, you may hold only a set of carefully restricted views! From The New York Times:

Carly Fiorina Both Repels and Enthralls Liberal Feminists

By Amy Chozick | September 28, 2015

When the novelist Jennifer Weiner watched the second Republican presidential debate with her two daughters on Sept. 16, she felt a sense of pride at seeing the lone woman on stage, Carly Fiorina, hold her own against Donald J. Trump.

Carly Fiorina speaking on Thursday at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. She also visited an anti-abortion pregnancy center in the city. | Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times Click to enlarge.

Then Mrs. Fiorina denounced abortion and Planned Parenthood in a graphic monologue that thrilled many conservative Republican voters but left Ms. Weiner appalled.“It’s so weird — she looks like one of us, but she’s not,” said Ms. Weiner, who in addition to being a best-selling author is an influential feminist with a large social-media following. “You’re on the bus with her until she starts talking about Planned Parenthood.”

As Mrs. Fiorina’s presidential campaign gains traction — and as the focus on her statements about Planned Parenthood intensifies — liberal women across the web are expressing conflicted feelings about her candidacy. At times, there is gratification at watching a woman forcefully take on Mr. Trump; at other times, horror at Mrs. Fiorina’s conservative policy positions, which these women see as anathema to the feminist cause.

“Can you love a campaign but hate a candidate’s policies?” read the subtitle of the writer Robin Marty’s Sept. 18 essay on Cosmopolitan.com titled “Carly Fiorina Is the Candidate I Wanted Hillary Clinton to Be.”

Mrs. Fiorina has encouraged feminists to take her seriously.

There’s a lot more at the link, but it’s almost entirely on one subject: abortion. You can read it, but it’s pretty much tedious. The feminist left are utterly appalled that a female candidate might not find abortion to be some sort of secular sacrament — and there was a twitter hashtag #shoutyourabortion which encouraged women to talk about the positive aspects of slaughtering their unborn children — and might, just might, think that an unborn child is a living human being.

The left tried the same ploy in 2008 and 2012: opposition to abortion was equated with opposition to all forms of contraception, something which no Republican presidential candidate has advocated. The idea that Planned Parenthood, a private organization, shouldn’t be receiving $500 million in federal subsidies because of their abortion business is morphed into wicked Republicans want to deny women contraception.

In reality, Republicans, including Mrs Fiorina,1 have advocated making oral contraceptives an over-the-counter medication, rather than something available only by prescription.2

None of this is surprising, of course: we had already said that, now that she was a top tier candidate, the left — as well as her Republican opponents — would be coming after Mrs Fiorina with sharpened blades. What the left simply don’t understand, and really cannot comprehend, is that Mrs Fiorina isn’t running to become the first female President of the United States, she’s running to become President of the United States. She happens to be a woman, yes, but that isn’t really an important part of the equation for Republicans; we care that she is running on her accomplishments rather than on her genitals.

The Times story, if you go on beyond the point I quoted, becomes less a story about the differences between Mrs Fiorina and the feminist left than an editorial-masquerading-as-a-news story, one the author apparently hopes will undermine Mrs Fiorina’s candidacy.

You see, the left are horrified that Mrs Fiorina, like Sarah Palin before her, succeeded in life not by playing the woman card, but by getting in the arena with men and fighting for position as an equal. If a woman succeeds in the professional world, in competition with men, she must make obeisance to feminism and the left because not giving all of the credit to feminism means that, shockingly enough, such women might not agree with their political positions, either.

But conservatives? We value achievement, we value working for what you have, we value a real equality which says, “Go out and compete, show us what you can do,” rather than the false equality of professional feminism which tells women that they must have help from the left or they will always be behind. We believe in real equality; the left never have.

  1. The Washington Post used Mrs Fiorina’s photo to illustrate the article.
  2. Interestingly enough, some of the feminist groups oppose this:

    The Republican-proposed bill on Capitol Hill, to the dismay of women’s health advocacy groups, does not guarantee insurers would continue to cover the cost, as most plans are now required to do under the Affordable Care Act. NARAL Pro-Choice America called the proposal “nothing but political pandering to trick women and families into thinking we are covered while dismantling one of the most critical gains in the Affordable Care Act.”

    The goal, apparently, isn’t easier access to contraception, but getting the government to provide it.

It’s curtains for Carly!

She handled herself well!

Stage Backdrop Collapses Behind Carly Fiorina During Speech

By Brian Roth | Updated at 11:28 PM CDT on Sunday, Sep 27, 2015

A curtain backdrop appeared to collapse behind Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as she spoke in a San Antonio campaign event.

Several women were seen rushing to shield Fiorina after the bunting and curtain frame crippled, sending frame piping and cloth falling to the ground.

After Fiorina returned to the front of the stage, she immediately asked if everyone was okay – then someone yelled “Trump!”

“Trump, Hillary, it could have been lots of people,” said Fiorina.

There were no reports of injuries.

There’s more at the link.

To me, this is just an amusing campaign trail story, a slight accident in which no one was hurt, but it did show that Mrs Fiorina can be calm and cool when the unexpected happens. Then again, we already knew that.

Carly Fiorina and the Long Knives

When Carly Fiorina was a second-tier candidate — her 2% support earned her a place in the “junior varsity” debate for the first round — she wasn’t being continually bashed by her opponents and the professional media. Her performance in that debate gained her support, and she was in the varsity debate for the second round on CNN. Another strong performance moved her into second place in subsequent polls, and now the long knives have come out. Stephen Rattner of The New York Times calls her tenure at Hewlett-Packard “disastrous,” and the supporters of Planned Parenthood met her at an Iowa event to throw condoms at her. In other words, Mrs Fiorina’s performance as a candidate has the left worried, very worried.

Mrs Fiorina has said that the federal government should stop funding Planned Parenthood, which it currently does to the tune of $500 million a year. The question that The First Street Journal has asked is simple: since the wholly-misnamed Affordable Care Act requires everybody to have health insurance, including providing subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance on their own, and Obama Administration regulations require that all health insurance policies fully cover contraceptive care,1 with no required patient co-payments allowed, why should Planned Parenthood even need the subsidies? If everyone has insurance which covers contraceptive care,2 Planned Parenthood should have very few patients who don’t have insurance and whose care needs to be subsidized.

The truth is simple, and stark: most health insurance does not cover abortion, and that’s what Planned Parenthood needs government money to subsidize. Oh, they will claim that it isn’t, due to the Hyde Amendment’s requirement that any organization which provides abortion services among other things must keep all federal funds segregated from the abortion business, but money is fungible: the use of the federal subsidy to pay for other things leaves Planned Parenthood with more of its other resources to support the abortion business.

Planned Parenthood is a private organization, and ought to be able to survive on its own, without subsidies, if the public demand for its services is sufficient. I do not object to Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services,3 and if they can make a successful business, without government assistance, I have no objections, nor do I believe that most Americans would object.

  1. A very few religious employers may avoid the contraceptive requirement.
  2. I am 62 years old and my wife is 55; ‘twould take an intervention by the Lord, as He did for Abraham and Sarah, for us to have another child, but President Obama insists that we need contraceptive coverage.
  3. The author is Catholic, but does not believe that the government should prohibit those people who wish to use non-abortion contraception from being able to do so; the author does believe that all abortions should be banned, except those necessary to save the life of the pregnant women from imminent death.

Latest polls: Carly Fiorina beats Hillary Clinton

Yeah, the election is 13½ months away, but this is still great news!

Quinnipiac Poll: Carly Fiorina Beats Hillary Clinton In Head-To-Head Matchup

Fiorina barely came out on top in the head-to-head matchup with 44 percent support, compared to Clinton’s 43 percent.

By Taylor Tyler | Sep 24, 2015 11:50 AM EDT

If the 2016 presidential election was held today, Republican contender Carly Fiorina would beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Fiorina barely came out on top in the head-to-head matchup with 44 percent support, compared to Clinton’s 43 percent.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson also beat Clinton in a matchup, 49 percent to 42 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush did too, 44 percent to 42 percent. Clinton, however, managed to beat Republican front-runner Donald Trump, 45 percent to 43 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t announced his candidacy yet, was the strongest of the Democratic candidates when matched up against Republicans, beating Fiorina 46 percent to 43 percent, Bush 46 percent to 41 percent and Trump 51 percent to 40 percent. Biden tied Carson with 45 percent each.

The poll found that most voters believe Fiorina won last week’s second Republican primary debate by a long shot, which a recent CNN/ORC poll also found. Twenty-eight percent of respondents told Quinnipiac that Fiorina outperformed Trump, who placed second with 11 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was ranked third in debate performance with 6 percent.

Trump still continues to lead the overall GOP field, though, with 25 percent support among Republicans and Republican leaners. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson follows with 17 percent, and Fiorina came in at 12 percent. Bush was in fourth with 10 percent, and Rubio took fifth with nine percent.

There’s more at the original.

A lot can happen between now and November of 2016, and there’s no guarantee that either Mrs Fiorina or Mrs Clinton will win their party’s respective nominations.

Good news for Carly Fiorina; very bad news for Scott Walker

From CNN:

Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field

By Eric Bradner, CNN | Updated 10:05 AM ET, Sun September 20, 2015

Washington (CNN)Carly Fiorina shot into second place in the Republican presidential field on the heels of another strong debate performance, and Donald Trump has lost some support, a new national CNN/ORC poll shows.

The survey, conducted in the three days after 23 million people tuned in to Wednesday night’s GOP debate on CNN, shows that Trump is still the party’s front-runner with 24% support. That, though, is an 8 percentage point decrease from earlier in the month when a similar poll had him at 32%.

Fiorina ranks second with 15% support — up from 3% in early September. She’s just ahead of Ben Carson’s 14%, though Carson’s support has also declined from 19% in the previous poll.

Driving Trump’s drop and Fiorina’s rise: a debate in which 31% of Republicans who watched said Trump was the loser, and 52% identified Fiorina as the winner.

READ: The complete CNN/ORC poll results

And Scott Walker? His support is indicated by an *, or less than one half of one percent. :(

Let’s remember one thing: it’s still mid-September of the year before the primaries and the general election. There have been many other flashes in the pan, many other candidates who were never expected to be anything, who surged to an early lead; Howard Dean in 2004 comes to mind. A lot can — and will — happen before the Iowa caucuses, and Mrs Fiorina could overtake Mr Trump, or she could fade badly. One thing is certain: the long knives are out, and she’s getting attacks from both the left — very strongly — and even some from the right.

As I have noted previously, I have not yet changed my endorsement, but I have become very disappointed with Scott Walker. Considering that my endorsements have pretty much been the kiss of death for a candidate — I gave my early support to Rick Perry in 2012 — perhaps the best thing I can do for Mrs Fiorina is not to endorse her! :)

#CarlyFiorina isn’t running to become the first female President; she’s running to become President!

From The Wall Street Journal:

The Card Carly Doesn’t Play

Most political women pander to gender, but Fiorina wants to make it on the merits.

By Kimberley A. Strassel | Sept. 17, 2015 7:15 p.m. ET

Asked during Wednesday’s GOP debate which woman he’d put on the $10 bill, Jeb Bush named Margaret Thatcher. As Mr. Bush then joked that it would probably be illegal to put a British prime minister on American currency, eyes flicked to the woman standing to his left. Quite so.

Carly Fiorina in Phoenix, Sept. 11. Photo: Cheryl Evans/Associated Press

Carly Fiorina isn’t Margaret Thatcher, just as her Republican rivals aren’t Ronald Reagan. Yet Ms. Fiorina has a bit of Thatcher about her—and in one way in particular. She isn’t a woman running for president. She’s a presidential contender who happens to be a woman.

That’s new for the GOP. Women have made remarkable inroads everywhere, but there still may be no tougher realm than Republican politics. This isn’t, as the press suggests, because conservative voters are old fogies who’d chain their wives to sinks full of dirty dishes. It’s because conservative voters demand more from their candidates.

Women Democrats pander on gender issues—abortion, birth control, the myth of unequal pay. They promise female voters special handouts. They pitch their womanhood as a qualification for office. And their base loves it.

Women Republicans don’t get to engage in such vote-buying. They are expected to be principled, knowledgeable, serious. They are expected to propose policies — sometimes unpopular ones — designed to help all Americans. And, because the general public (both right and left) is still new to the idea of a woman president, they are expected to do all this twice as well as men.

This was Elizabeth Dole’s problem in her fleeting 2000 presidential bid. Ms. Dole ran on her gender, arguing America ought to elect its first female president — which was no argument at all. It was a problem in 2012 for Michele Bachmann, who loved to claim special insight as “a mother of five” and a “homemaker.” It was a problem for Sarah Palin, whose occasional flubs allowed late-night comics to undermine her seriousness as a vice-presidential candidate.

The Iron Lady didn’t do identity politics, and Ms. Fiorina doesn’t either. At the debate she offered unadulterated substance. She was informed, focused, specific. Want to know what Carly thinks of Putin? Here. Need Carly to explain how hard it is to alter the 14th amendment? Right at ya. Curious if Carly is familiar with Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, and where he’s traveled lately? Boom, boom, boom.

There’s a lot more at the link.

A bit of a quibble with the author’s last (reproduced) paragraph: Mrs Fiorina didn’t get it right about how difficult it is to alter the 14th Amendment; she said that it required 2/3 of the states to ratify a change, where the requirement is actually 3/4 of the states. The 2/3 requirement is the supermajority required in each House of Congress to pass an amendment and submit it to the states for ratification.

But the article is right on target: I can’t say that it’s true for every supporter of Mrs Fiorina’s campaign, but at least for me it is important that she is not running as a female candidate but as simply a candidate, not claiming that she should be the first female President, but simply that she is the best person running to be our next President.

We already have a candidate running to be the first female President in Hillary Clinton, a woman of an extensive résumé but few actual accomplishments, a candidate running, because it’s her turn to be President, damn it! but who is considered presidentibili not because of anything she has actually done but simply because she married the right man; Hillary Clinton might have been elected to the Senate and appointed Secretary of State, but Hillary Rodham would never have been.

I am not naïve enough to believe that none of Mrs Fiorina’s support is due to her being a woman, any more than I think that her being female might not cost her some votes as well; that’s simply the way the world is. Even the oh-so-liberal New York Times sexistly tweeted last night:

My response was obvious:

You see, at The First Street Journal, we don’t care about Mrs Fiorina’s chromosomes or her genitals; we care about whether she is a good candidate, whether she would make a good President.

Will Mrs Fiorina make a good President? The answer is: we can’t know until she actually becomes President. There is no real training program for presidents, and the closest position we have in the United States is the gubernatorial seat, and while we have had former governors who have been good Presidents, we’ve had too many who have made lousy Presidents. Every presidential candidate is, in the end, a guess and a reach.

But, of all of the candidates running, Mrs Fiorina seems top-notch to me: she is intelligent, she’s obviously a quick learner, she is tough and intuitive and she gets to the core of problems quickly. She didn’t start near the top, but came up from the bottom, and has a personal understanding not only about how things work in the executive suite, but in all of the layers from the entry-level on up. We are not interested in her becoming the first female President; we are very interested in her becoming President.

Carly Fiorina’s new ad

Donald Trump insulted Carly Fiorina’s looks, but all that he did was to inspire her latest ad:

John Hitchcock called Mr Trump a “loud-mouth misogynist,” and that’s certainly true enough: for Mr Trump, the only women worth anything are trophy wives. But, at least so far, Mr Trump hasn’t seen any problems in the polls as far as his support among Republican women is concerned.

Will that change? Mrs Fiorina’s performance in tomorrow’s debate might change things, but it still seems way, way, way early in the campaign season to see anything serious.

Good news for Carly Fiorina!

From The Washington Post:

How Carly Fiorina earned a spot on the big stage at the GOP debate

By Karen Tumulty | September 1 at 5:12 PM

The organizers of the next Republican presidential debate have announced changes to debate criteria that mean former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will almost certainly join the rest of the top-tier candidates on the main stage at the Reagan Library on Sept. 16.

Carly Fiorina

“CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August,” the network announced. “Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between August 6 and September 10 will be included.”

The CNN move is being greeted as a positive development, and not only for the most obvious reason, which is that a woman will be in the mix, in contrast to the 10-man tableau that a huge national television audience saw at the first debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

Fiorina also had fairness on her side, say supporters. The original rules would have made the cut according to an average of polls conducted between July 16 and Sept. 10. That arithmetic minimized the significant rise in Fiorina’s numbers since she made was widely reviewed as the single best performance of the evening in Cleveland, despite being relegated to the earlier, non-prime-time “undercard” debate of longshot contenders.

Now, Fiorina’s presence on the main stage–which, under the new formula, may end up including 11 candidates–is likely to make that faceoff a far more interesting debate.

There’s more at the original.

My previous criticism of Mrs Fiorina’s campaign remains valid to me, but I still like her as a candidate, and I’m glad to see that she has moved up to the majors. She will add some real punch to the debate, and she deserves to be there.

Anyone can run for President, but it’s clear to me that way, way, way too many Republicans are in this race; candidates like Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum all wish that they had as much chance as a snowball in Hell, and they need to drop out now.

#CarlyFiorina and a big campaign problem

From The Wall Street Journal:

Carly Fiorina: ‘I’ve Earned a Place on the Main Stage’

By Reid J Epstein

Carly Fiorina, shown at an ice cream parlor in Iowa Thursday, has seen her poll numbers improve since her performance in the Aug. 6 GOP presidential debate. Zuma Press

Carly Fiorina deserves to be in the next prime time debate, she said Friday.

“Based on every meaningful metric, I’ve earned a place on the main stage,” Mrs. Fiorina wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal.

Mrs. Fiorina’s claim to a spot in the big show is the latest salvo in her campaign’s effort to pressure CNN, which is airing the Sept. 16 debate from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., to alter its rules to improve her odds of appearing with the first-tier candidates.

The problem for Mrs. Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., is CNN’s rules. In May the network announced its debate qualification criteria. For the main debate in prime-time, CNN will take the top 10 candidates according to an average of national polling taken between mid-July and mid-September. Lesser candidates will be relegated to a late-afternoon debate.

Fox News Channel employed similar qualification standards for its Aug. 6 debate in Cleveland. After Mrs. Fiorina’s standout performance in the second-tier debate there, her poll numbers spiked. If CNN used only polls taken after that debate, Mrs. Fiorina would undoubtedly make the main debate stage at the Reagan Library Sept. 16.

Mrs. Fiorina is now in seventh place in the Real Clear Politics average of GOP primary polls. She tied for sixth place, with 5% support, in CNN’s own poll of Republican primary voters released two weeks ago. But she is weighed down by preponderance of polling before the Aug. 6 debate, when she was mired below 2%.

August is a slow month for national polls. CNN will almost certainly be weighing more polls from before the Fox News debate than after it. The Fiorina campaign wants CNN to weigh the collection polls taken before the Fox debate equally with the set of polls taken after it.

There’s more at the link, but this is a tweet I sent to her campaign on Saturday:

And this one:

I’ve said previously that my early support was for Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), though I did note that I found his early lack of an issues page on his campaign website was disappointing. While not putting up a specific issues page, Mr Walker’s website now contains plenty of information for voters through its news page.

Now, I like Carly Fiorina. I haven’t jumped ship with Governor Walker yet, but I like Mrs Fiorina’s feistiness, and her take-no-prisoners approach, but her’s doesn’t exactly seem like a professionally organized campaign when her own campaign website, the place where people who are interested in her candidacy would naturally go to find her stands on the issues — her campaign website is the top listing, because it’s an advertisement, on a Google search for Carly Fiorina — doesn’t have that information. Instead, the reader gets just three choices, to Meet Carly, to join the campaign, and, of course, to make a donation. You can eventually find an “Answers” page, in which the website suggests videos of Mrs Fiorina as answers to typed in questions, but it isn’t very good, and it’s hard to spot. Perhaps she has some bigger problems, as in trying to get on the first tier debate — where she ought to be — but fixing her campaign website is the expenditure of a few hundred dollars, not millions and not even thousands. Does the former Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard have a rank amateur running her website?

To be fair, Mrs Fiorina’s twitter campaign has the following:


both of which were posted after my tweet to her campaign — not that I would assume that my tweet was in any way responsible for those :) — but they have an obvious problem to a half-deaf voter like me: written answers work best, not only for me, but for any reporter or blogger who wants to quote the candidate exactly.