English: Tim Phillips speaks at an AFP healthc...

Tim Phillips speaks at an AFP healthcare rally next to the United States Capitol in October 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Phillips, a columnist at Townhall, reminded his readers that “out in the states we saw a year of broad-based victories for economic freedom that demonstrate anew that all is not lost. In fact, we are winning with the American people in many respects.”

Who, exactly, is the “we” that he is talking about? Phillips is the head of Americans for Prosperity, which was founded in 2004 and funded initially by the Koch brothers. It’s mission is to  promote conservative principles such as “limited government and free markets on the local, state, and federal levels.” It has 2 million supporters.

First, home schooling:

Despite fierce opposition from teacher unions, school choice saw important gains in several states including Georgia and Washington. In Georgia, citizens voted to approve Constitutional Amendment 1, allowing for charter schools in the state. Washington similarly passed a referendum to support charter schools. In addition, Arizona expanded its school choice programs.

Tax increases:

Tax increases were also rejected in many states. In Tennessee and Indiana voters overturned the dreaded death tax.  Citizens in Florida convinced their state legislature to kill a bill that would have imposed an internet sales tax, saving residents money every time they buy online.  Furthermore this year, Kansas passed historic tax reform that represents the largest tax cut in history of the state.

In Arizona voters ensured that a temporary tax increase will finally expire, and Oklahoma citizens voted to both cap property taxes and repeal an intangible property tax. Washington state also passed an initiative that requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.

Healthcare “exchanges”:

Governors in twenty-two states have recognized the massive expense of setting up an exchange and have rejected doing so. In Missouri, the recent passage of Proposition E blocks the governor from creating a healthcare exchange. Many other governors including Jan Brewer (AZ), Bobby Jindal (LA), Sam Brownback (KS), Rick Perry (TX), Nikki Haley (SC) and Nathan Deal (GA) have already stated they will not implement the exchanges. (my emphasis)


On the Michigan ballot, voters defeated two propositions that would have restricted freedom in the workplace…

Indiana became the most recent state to guarantee the right-to-work…

Over twenty states now recognize the importance of allowing a worker the freedom of association in not being forced to join or contribute to a union.

Phillips is encouraged:

It is important to realize that we are making progress on many fronts and we can maintain faith in the sound judgment of the American people if we present our message with precision and boldness.

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