- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thoughtful analysis, straight reporting, maybe an appreciation? Sen. Jim DeMint had no press honeymoon upon announcing his bold career switch from U.S. senator to incoming president of the Heritage Foundation. His decision inspired a swift tidal wave of instant pronouncements in the mainstream news, not to mention snarky suggestions that the South Carolina Republican was selling out. Or worse. There was some respite, though. In contrast, Mr. DeMint’s news was greeted by gracious statements from his Republican and conservative peers, who called him courageous, tireless, passionate and principled, among other things. Their words, for the most part, were thoughtful and measured.

That is not the case elsewhere. Among the many news accounts, a brief sampling of judgment calls on the gentleman from the Palmetto State:

“[A] kingmaker for conservative Republicans, often at the expense of his own Republican colleagues — now finds himself with a comfortable and well-paying perch that will provide a platform to continue his efforts to push the Republican Party to the right.” (The New York Times)

“He was a cheerful starter of civil wars — a Republican who assembled candidates and money to beat other Republicans. (The Washington Post)

“A think tank presidency is also a great perch from which to pay a smart twentysomething to write a book that’s published under your byline and then pushed out to [a] seemingly large audience for conservative political books.” (Slate)

“Marriage made in right-wing heaven: Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation.” (The Huffington Post)

THE HISTORIC CONSERVATIVE

“Conservatives must move from stop to go, from making points to making change.”

- (Ed Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, to The New York Times, Oct. 27, 1989)

THE CLIFF MARKET

If President Obama and congressional Republicans fail to agree on the “fiscal cliff,” the stock market will fall. If they agree, the stock market will go up. Simple as that. So says a new Potomac Research Group survey of hedge-fund, pension-fund and money-market managers: If an accord is not reached, 48 percent of the learned respondents said the Dow Jones industrial average would decline by 10 percent; about a third said it would drop by 5 percent, while 11 percent said the decline would be 20 percent.

If the two sides agree, half said the Dow would rise by 5 percent, and 27 percent said it would increase by 10 percent. Another 21 percent said the Dow wouldn’t change if an agreement was reached.

As far as nuts and bolts go, almost half the respondents said they were most troubled by the possibility that the tax rate on dividends would rise to ordinary rates from the current 15 percent. One-fourth fretted most over the scheduled increase in the capital gains tax rate. Just 2 percent said they were most concerned about the scheduled increase in the top individual tax rate to 39.6 percent from the current top rate of 35 percent.

“Institutional investors, by and large, are also upbeat about the future of equity markets,” the survey said. “Fifty-nine percent of those polled said they are optimistic compared to 29 percent who said they were pessimistic.”

The poll of 60 institutional investors was conducted Nov. 27 through Dec. 3.

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