Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Twofer in South Florida

     We’re doing two poster children this time because they’re similar in many respects --besides having hyphenated names. Both Cuban-American Republicans, 14-term Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Dist 27) and 7-term Mario Diaz-Balart (Dist 26) have similar voting records down there with the Dems on the conservative and libertarian scorecards and that means big spending, taxing and regulating.  We could include Carlos Curbelo (Dist 25) with the other two except that he is just in his first term but suffice to say that his voting record is in the range that causes conservative Repubs to call him a RINO –Republican In Name Only.  The three districts are the southernmost districts in Florida.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was born in Cuba and came here when she was seven. She earned a Ph. D. in education from the University of Miami and then taught and operated a private school in Miami.  She served in the Fla. House from 1985 to 1987 and in the Fla. Senate before being elected to the U.S. Congress when Claude “Red” Pepper died in 1989. Interestingly, she was succeeded by Mario’s brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, in both the Fla. House and Senate. Lincoln went on to serve in Congress for four terms. The Diaz-Balart family were all Democrats until about 1985 when they switched to Republican. Ileana’s husband, Dexter Lehtinen, was a Democrat who served with her in both the House and Senate –he switched to Repub when they married. You’ll see Dem characteristics in their voting records.

     Mario Diaz-Balart studied political science (what else?) at the University of South Florida and at age 24 began his political career as an aid to Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez –that’s when he switched his political affiliation.  He served in the Fla. legislature from 1988 to 2002 with terms in both the House and the Senate before being elected to the U.S. Congress in 2002 succeeding his brother, Lincoln. It is more complicated than it sounds as there were district changes involved in all of these tenures.  Mario’s (and Lincoln’s) father was an anti-Castro politician in Cuba; their aunt Mirta was Fidel Castro’s first wife.

     Both Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart opposed ending the Cuban embargo and objected to the recognition obama is giving the Castro regime. They see it as providing hard currency strengthening the regime weakened from factors such as losing Venezuela’s support due to that dictatorship’s failing economy.  

     Both of these Reps have some good qualities but, on balance, they have not been helpful in getting government spending, taxing and regulating down to the point that the economy can be restored and debt brought under control. I use the various scorecards of reliable free market, conservative and libertarian groups to judge them.  I take my cue from Mathew 7:20 rewording it as “By their votes ye shall know them.”  It is not what they say; it is what they do that affects our daily lives.  And the career pols don’t have to live under the results of their votes as long as they stay in Washington, D.C. (District of Corruption). So, reelection, to them, is Job One. 

     My current favorite scorecard is by conservative Heritage Action –go there to see the individual votes explained succinctly. That card scores Ros-Lehtinen at 35% and Diaz-Balart at 39% --the only Repub lower is Curbelo at 27% with the highest rated Florida Dem at 19%.  Notably, both favored renewing the Export-Import Bank to continue corporate welfare to huge companies like Boeing and GE as well as other vote-buying programs.  

     The American Conservative Union (ACU) is the nation’s oldest grassroots conservative organization and their latest report says that the lowest-ranking Florida Republicans were Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp observes that, “… the liberals in Congress tend to vote together as a block…The Left does a great job of enforcing lockstep orthodoxy, to the detriment of the constituents they represent.”  You’ll find a wide spread among Repubs but a close bunching of Dems on all of the scorecards.

     The liberal Americans for Democratic Action selects certain votes that limit the picture one gets from their ratings. One would expect the ADA ratings to be the opposite of the conservative ratings but their limited selective bills to rate upon do not give that result.  In fact, both of our posters got very low ratings. *** click on the name of the organizations to link to their ratings pages for details.

     The non-partisan Club for Growth rates on economic growth issues and finds Ros-Lehtinen at 40% and Diaz-Balart at 39% --again, not exactly pro-growth among the lowest ranked Repubs.  Without a growing economy and with continued deficit spending our children are in for a rough time in the job market.  The non-partisan Citizens Against Government Waste calls Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart “friendly” to taxpayers in 2014 –in between Taxpayer Hero and Hostile to Taxpayers—not real good and not real bad. Lukewarm.

     There are other ratings that help fill in the picture but our point here is that we desperately need turnover in congress if we’re going to get fresh ideas from citizen legislators who run as public servants and not career pols. The latter make decisions that advance their careers with judgments not always consistent with their oaths of office and rarely consistent with the common good. How else could we have the astronomical debt? To help in the cause please sign the petition for a congressional term limits amendment at www.termlimits.org

     Caution: don’t think that the three cited here with low-mediocre ratings are the rule with Cuban-Americans –Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both score close to 100% on conservative/libertarian scorecards most of the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tweedle-Dem and Tweedle-Repub?

In 1984 Charley Reese wrote a column in the Orlando Sentinel about congress that is still being shared around the internet. And with good reason for it is as true today –in some ways, more so!—than it was then.

545 people are responsible for the mess, but they unite in a common con It begins, “Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.” Charley makes the point that we citizens “…don’t propose the federal budget –the president does. We don’t vote on appropriations –congress does. We don’t write the tax code –congress does. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red... Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party….”

 Recently I received a fund-raising appeal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-WV) on behalf of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) because McConnell says we need to keep the Senate in “conservative” hands. Excuse me, words have meanings and conservative does NOT fit Sen. Kirk. The truly conservative Heritage Action Scorecard rates Kirk down with liberal Democrats at 27% --only Republicans Sen. Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Dold (R-IL) are slightly more liberal at 18% and 22%, respectively. Sen Kirk votes against economic growth issues most of the time as computed by the Club for Growth.

 The point of this Poster is that altho Republicans as a group are far more likely to vote for lower spending (NTU), less waste (CAGW), more economic growth and individual freedom, there are far too many career Repubs for whom attracting campaign contributions for getting reelected is more important.

 The difference between the parties is stark. The Heritage Action Scorecard provides a breakdown by party. The average House Repub scores 75% vs House Dems 6%; In the Senate the Repubs average is 74% while the Dems average is 3%. However, individual Repubs at the lower end of the ratings are very similar to Dems in voting for uncontrolled spending and regulating and for more federal government control over every aspect of our lives. To them, the debt they’re piling onto our children is of no concern. Among conservatives and libertarians in the party they’re known as RINOs –Repubs In Name Only.

 We’ll highlight a few of the worst below. Just over 150 –all Repubs— rate 80% or better; 98 scored 0% --all Dems; the 263 under 40% included 15 Repubs. We’re continuing to use the Heritage Action Scorecard because it covers more votes and breaks them down for us and is an almost exact opposite of liberal/progressive scorecards. A liberal/progressive reading this can be proud of Sen. Nelson (D-FL) at 0% while a conservative/libertarian would know that he is in favor of Big Government and all that implies. It is an accurate, useful tool.

   Among the Repubs with scores reflecting big spending, taxing and wastefulness, in addition to Sen Kirk, and who have been there more than 8 years:

  Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) at 18% is, for all practical purposes, a Dem as she votes with them most of the time. See her Poster of a few years ago: When Perfect Attendance is Costly . We should update her poster but not much has changed except that the $14.7 trillion debt is now closer to $19 trillion! And she did her share of running up that burden on our children –no mention of her having any children. She favors same-sex “marriage” and is avidly pro-abortion.

  Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV) is in her first term in the Senate replacing Dem Jay Rockefeller but her entire life has been immersed in politics. Her father was Governor Arch Moore; she spent two terms in the W. Virginia legislature and 7 terms in the U.S. House and now as U.S. Senator. In searching her record in the House I discovered the Madison Project which interestingly uses a combination of Heritage Action and Club for Growth scores to arrive at a Madison Performance Index (MPI). MP concludes that Shelley Capito has spent her time in Congress, “… amassing one of the most liberal voting records in Washington.” Since she has voted both socially and economically liberal, MP put her in their Hall of Shame.

  Six-term Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) is at 39%. Before being elected to congress in 2004 he was in the state legislature for 14 years –as with most of our Posters for term limits, he spent little time in the productive private sector. Not surprisingly, he’s not big on economic growth, either –latest Club for Growth rating is 37%.

 Two long term Florida Repubs with liberal voting records – Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart –both at 39% current Heritage Action score qualifies them for mention here as RINOs. They will be the subject of our next in-depth poster so, for now, they’ll just get this mention. Note that the highest rated Dem on the conservative scorecard is Rep Henry Cuellar (D-TX) at 33% --lower than the lowest Repub.

  Bottom line: both Parties have put the country deeply in debt –and continue to do so. When getting reelected is Job #1, professional politicians will vote for what furthers that goal and only secondarily for what is constitutional and/or best for the country. Exceptions are too rare. Only congressional term limits can and will remove the incentives to continue the destructive tax-spend-elect system for tenure.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Masters of the Liberal Plantation

We shouldn’t have to mention the fact obvious to any honest American that the color or shade of one’s skin is not a meaningful distinction to differentiate among ourselves. Actual discrimination by race is long gone in our society. Using long past abuses to gain some advantage today is just a political ploy.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is a monolithic group with virtually identical voting records, disgusting behavior and a complete disregard for their oaths of office. They lack the knowledge, principle and integrity to hold their high positions, but unfortunately, there they are: All of them, but one, Poster boys for term limits. Let's look here at just one more. We’ve already reviewed Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel (a co-founder of the CBC), James Clyburn, John Conyers and Hank Johnson.

Congressman Alcee Lamar Hastings, born September 5, 1936, represents Florida's 23rd congressional district, a post he has held since 1993. He spent ten years as a federal judge (1979-1989), but was (oh, my!) impeached and removed from office for corruption and perjury--making him a perfect candidate for Congress and the CBC. He was only the sixth federal judge in American history to be impeached and removed from office. (For more details, see Alcee Hastings in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia).

Students of Congress probably think that a bribe-taker who sullied his high office like that would fit right in as one of “the worst of a bad lot.” But how does one of such low reputation get elected over and over again? He has had some reputable opposition but they couldn’t come close. And that, of course, is the point of this blog: Entrenched politicians have such power and money derived from their offices that challengers have little chance of unseating them. Part of the reason that blacks like Hastings can be elected and stay in office indefinitely almost no matter what they do is the federal mandate that districts be established with majority black populations. Blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats so no Republican need apply. Many Republicans also favor this racial districting because it then concentrates more of their likely voters in their own districts. Politics has become a slimy, self-serving business. They don't call D.C. the District of Corruption for nothing.

In September 2008, Alcee made controversial statements on vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, saying: "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks." He made the comment at a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. He talks a lot about "civil rights" but nobody ever thought he was civil.

The Congressional Black Caucus is, by definition, racist. Yet this is generally overlooked by Congress as a whole. A notable exception was Oklahoma congressman J.C. Watts who famously called the group, “race hustling poverty pimps.” Because he voted as a conservative, they labeled Rep. Watts an “Uncle Tom.”

Because Democrat party policy is to chose chairmanships by seniority rather than by competent experience in the committee subject some of the worst of a bad lot are in powerful positions and cause more harm than good. The gerrymandered districts insure reelection of the black pol in predominant black district thus guaranteeing seniority eventually. Republicans have term limits on chairmanships.

The Criminal Caucus
Hastings is not the only CBC member tainted by scandal as we’ve seen in previous posters.

There’s the case of another bribe-taker, nine-term Rep. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson. The FBI found $90,000 in cash in his home freezer in 2005, yet he was reelected in 2006. He is currently residing in other federal facilities as a result of his eventual conviction. That is one of the few ways congressmen have been term-limited.

At one point in the 111th Congress in 2008 eight lawmakers were under formal investigation by the House ethics committee, including Rangel and Waters. All eight of them were CBC members.

Membership in the Caucus is limited to black legislators –they don’t say it but if you’re a Republican or a black conservative, don’t bother. Just ask Gary Franks who was the first Republican member. He was Chairman of the Republican Party Task Force on Civil Rights that produced the 1991 Civil Rights Bill which passed by the largest plurality of any past Civil Rights Bill. And he was a supporter of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. He played a significant role in passing the Welfare Reform Act in 1995 that gave a new life to so many who were stuck on welfare. Yet he was much maligned by the Black Caucus.

Will recently elected conservative Republican Mia Love be welcomed in the Black Caucus? 

It is a rare member of the Caucus who is not reelected with little or no opposition. Of course, that is also true, although to a lesser degree, of the the Congress as a whole. From its history we can conclude that the CBC is not so much a “Black” caucus as it is a Liberal Caucus --and a far left one at that. It routinely plays the “race card” to pursue its welfare state goals which are closely tied to the member’s reelection campaigns. By promising their constituents freebies from the government they are overwhelmingly retained.

The Caucus opposes education reform such as school vouchers or teacher tenure rules which keep bad teachers in the classrooms especially in minority schools. It favors ever higher minimum wage laws that have the effect of preventing the poorly educated from getting their first job; black youth unemployment is around 50%! Since blacks on average have shorter life spans they receive a lower return on their Social Security payroll taxes. Yet, the CBC opposes Social Security reform such as privatization which would give their constituents ownership of their pension accounts and a chance to build an estate. This practice is often referred to as “keeping them on the Liberal Plantation.”

We started with Alcee Hastings so let’s complete this poster by recognizing his time at the public trough. Like most of the other poster children, he spent the bulk of his life on government payrolls after getting a law degree. He's been sued for sexual harassment and has raised concerns about how he spent overseas travel funds. In 2012, Judicial Watch ranked Hastings as being the largest practitioner of nepotism employing his girlfriend  --to the tune of over $600,000!--on his congressional staff.

No surprise that the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union has rated Hastings “F” for every year in Congress which earns him the appellation “Big Spender.” His long tenure helps explain our $17+trillion national debt. The Club for Growth gives him a score of “4” out of 100 which means he routinely votes against programs that promote growth in the economy. Specifically, he votes against trade, reform of Social Security, regulation reform, school vouchers, lower marginal tax rates and limiting spending.

Last week Alcee whined about his low pay and at a committee hearing he insisted he should be paid more. $175,000/yr, a huge pension plus all kinds of perks and God knows what else he scrounges on the job just isn't a fair wage for a man of his accomplishments --in his humble opinion.

So there you have it: Alcee Hastings and the Congressional Black Caucus. Another strong argument to term limit Congress. Sign the petition: http://www.termlimits.org/ 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Proud Progressive



Professional politician, Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin, (D-WI), began her political career in 1986 on the Dane County Board of Supervisors and a year on the Madison City Council. Then in 1983 onto the Wisconsin Assembly representing the most liberal Madison district before being elected to Congress in 1998; after 7 terms was elected in 2012 to the US Senate succeeding Herb Kohl.   So, another Poster Child has spent the bulk of her life in government with little or no experience in the private sector. Her voting record, as you’ll see below, shows that inexperience in a lack of understanding of economics and what makes for freedom and prosperity. 

Current problem
Ron Honl, a whistleblower from the Veterans Administration in her district came to her many times with evidence of the need for an investigation pleading with her to intervene but she ignored him.  She not only did not act on the information she didn’t even pass it along to someone who could have followed up. She had for several months the information regarding the exceptional high rate of opiate prescriptions coming out of the Veterans Affairs center in her district. Three deaths there linked to the overmedication are being investigated by the VA Inspector General and Baldwin is lawyering up as the Republican party of Wisconsin and now one of top aides are going after her in connection with the matter. 

She fired the aide offering her a generous severance package with a confidentiality agreement. The aide, Marquette Baylor, rejected the deal and is considering a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Baldwin, an avowed lesbian.

Baldwin describes herself as a proud progressive and her voting record proves it –she is one of the most liberal members of Congress. She along with many of our Poster Children is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  The CPC supports strong environmental laws, government control of healthcare, unlimited support for labor unions, same-sex marriage, much higher income taxes and many more welfare programs among other big government  issues of a statist nature.

Her support of obamacare is over the top: she even voted for a bill (HR 525) to give veterinarians obamacare grants and benefits. Being a lesbian she was an early supporter of same-sex marriage --in 1994 while in the Wisconsin legislature she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in her state.

By Their Votes Ye Shall Know Them 
With that brief background you’d expect conservative scorecards to be very low rated and you’d be right: HeritageAction rates her lifetime 16%; Conservative Review grades her “F” at 4%. Liberal rating from Americans For Democratic Action gets 95% for the last year they publish.

 The respected independent public policy groups that follow the voting records for a specific purpose, not partisan politics, are instructive:  Citizens Against Government Waste calls the Junior Senator from Wisconsin “Hostile” to taxpayers at 4% --in contrast the State’s Senior Senator Ron Johnson who is applauded as a “Super Hero” to taxpayers at 100%.  The Club for Growth shows her at 5% in favor of economic freedom for votes favoring free trade, free markets, rational tax policy affecting job creation, growth and prosperity. Again, Sen. Johnson is at 95%.   The National Taxpayers Union gives her an “F,” their Big Spender category.
There are numerous groups that rate congress from one view or another but these are instructive sufficient to understand Sen. Baldwin as one who favors Big Government statism over individual freedom. As we said in the beginning, her lack of real world experience, never having to work for a living or raising a family in the environment created by the laws she passes on the people affects her votes.

 Unarguable Testimonial from one who knows from experience
Our argument for term limits is that instead of career politicians we need turnover so that those elected can go home and live under the laws they passed. Sen. George McGovern had a long career in politics but after he retired he went into business –a hotel with bar and restaurant and convention services—which went bankrupt after two years. “In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business,” McGovern said about his first real experience in the private sector.  “I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. Senator and a more understanding presidential contender.”  Career politicians are destroying the Republic!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” -George Washington

The Father of our Country was the real father of term limits here by setting the standard of two terms for president. Our Founders knew that a limited government was the only way to avoid power-seekers from ruling over us. They also knew that citizens without a strong moral basis government would get out of hand.  And grow it did—and the less virtuous are disproportionately attracted to it.  

This blog tries to show how career politicians are corrupting our whole system of constitutional rule of law for their own benefit, mainly for their reelection to stay at the trough.  Some of them like Harry Reid and the Clintons have become very wealthy in public office.  You don’t get rich on the salaries from those jobs. It was supposed to be ‘public service’ offered by mostly successful business and professional citizens, like George Washington, who want to offer their experience, time and effort for a period in keeping the freedoms and prosperity that come from our system of individual liberty and responsibility.  No more.

About 95% of incumbents are reelected. Is it because they’re so good at keeping their oaths of office?  At the start of each new Congress the House and the Senate perform a solemn constitutional rite that dates back to the First Congress in 1789:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

The vast majority of our elected representatives violate this oath almost every time they are in session.  Look at the “CRomnibus” bill they just passed so-called because it is a combination of the Continuing Resolution and the Omnibus spending bill.  It is loaded with, literally, hundreds of expenditures prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.  Heritage Action commented, “This legislation funds President Obama’s unilateral, unlawful actions, which include granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally.” Sen. Ted Cruz raised a constitutional point of order against the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending that would have sent the bill back to the House to remove amnesty funding. But, a group of Republicans** joined the Democrats in voting to reject Cruz's point of order and to ignore the serious constitutional problems within the CRomnibus. By funding the entire government for a specified period instead of individual departments and functions in normal order our self-serving reps avoided their responsibility to review, change and approve budgets submitted by the president.

   Since 2009, Obama and Harry Reid have unconstitutionally refused to accept any new budget originated in the House of Representatives but instead have insisted on "amendments" which allow them to keep borrowing $trillions –now up to $18 trillion! That is all being piled on our children and grandchildren. Talk about taxation without representation! 

Only by limiting terms of office can congress be changed enough to get back to the limitations of the “rule of law,” a constitutional republic –the system that made us free and prosperous when adhered to.  Term limits is a costless reform that has been proven successful in the laboratories of democracy --the 15 states that have enacted them.  My state of Florida is great example.

*There are numerous books documenting how career politicians “…extract your money, buy votes, and line their own pockets” --EXTORTION by Peter Schweizer explains the process and names names. 
  But These 24 Senate Republicans voted to waive the Constitution and did so after being given a mandate by voters to stop obama’s dictates, betrayed us all:   Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO),  John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI),  Mark Kirk (R-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Roger Wicker (R-MS)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Earmark Porker

A multiple recipient of the dubious distinction “Porker of the Month” from Citizens Against Government Waste tells you right away that this career politician helped grow the $18 trillion deficit created by profligate government spending. His most recent dishonor from CAGW was earned by his second attempt to restore earmarks (his first was March, 2012).  House Republicans rebuffed Rep. Roger’s effort to earmark projects for “state, locality, public utility or other public entities.” Earmarking led to congressional corruption, including the incarceration of members, staff, and lobbyists who used the process to buy votes. “A return to earmarking would again entice members to vote-trade, hold back-room deals, and increase wasteful spending,” declared CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Voters awarded Republicans control of the Senate and a larger majority in the House in order to [restore regular order to the budget process and cut the bloat that continues to plague government]: A return to the bad old days of earmarks would be a repudiation of that mid-term election message.” For attempting to reinstate earmarks instead of focusing on fiscal restraint, CAGW names Rep. Rogers the November 2014 Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month.

     Alabama Representative Mike D. Rogers (R-3rd) was a successful lawyer and is now a professional politician who will begin his 7th term in 2015.  Getting reelected is Job #1 for career pols and earmarks help in buying votes with taxpayer money. And voting for deficit spending in favor of grateful special interests –campaign contributors—also raises cash and dissuades qualified opponents from running against such advantages.  The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union gives Rogers a “C” meaning he is the middle range and definitely not a “Taxpayers’ Friend.”

     Rogers is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge vowing to commit, in writing, to oppose all tax increases.  The implied commitment is to not create spending that must be paid by increased taxes. Virtually all of our poster children ignore that part.  In fact, the governor of his state, also a signer of the Pledge proposed eliminating tax deductions for Alabama families as a means for solving his overspending problem.  Get this: Republican Gov. Bentley says that eliminating deductions is not the same as raising taxes.  Hello?  The families’ taxes go up as a result but he doesn’t call it a tax increase? 

     On social issues Rogers has voted in opposition to abortion and gay marriage; supported an amendment to declare that people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools. He cosponsored legislation to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. He sponsored a bill expressing the continued support of Congress for equal access of military recruiters to institutions of higher education.

     He has acted to protect the Armed Services industry in his area.  On the Armed Services Committee, he opposed military base closures and won passage of a bill that would assure that universities would provide access to their facilities for military recruitment purposes and ROTC.

     He dissented with the Morocco free trade agreement to protect the Alabama textile industry; and votes to continue price supports for Big Sugar –protections that raises costs to virtually all consumers. His votes in support of increased food stamps (SNAP) and against work requirements for able-bodied on welfare also raise costs to taxpayers.  For a clear explanation of Rep. Rogers' voting record see Heritage Action Scorecard and decide for yourself if we need term limits to rotate these big spenders out of office.  

     He actually sponsored legislation making it illegal to satirize or in any way parody the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Oh my! We don’t want to criticize the government, do we?  

     Mike D. Rogers is not the worst of the “worst of a bad lot” but he leaves a lot to be desired for his big deficit spending that puts his three children and all of our children in enormous debt. Trying to pay the interest alone will greatly reduce their opportunities in life. Term limits is the one costless reform that would enable successful professional and business people willing to come to congress as a civic duty, not a career. We need the benefit of successful experience in the private sector –something we have very little of now in congress.  Most are lawyers or others who have never worked in any productive aspect of the economy.  See https://termlimits.org/ustl-petition/ on how you can help by at least signing the petition.


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Tax Cut is an Expense?

 Rep. Steny Hoyer once was nominated for “Porker of the Year” by Citizens AgainstGovernment Waste* for refusing to acknowledge that Washington has a spending problem and instead asserting, "The country has a paying-for problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought; we haven’t paid for our tax cuts; we haven’t paid for war." Representative of Maryland’s 5th  district since 1981, Steny Hamilton Hoyer is currently second in rank in the House Democratic Leadership behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi. To a career politician with no experience in the private sector (he did some lawyering) tax cuts are an expense that have to be paid for.  How do we “pay” for a tax cut?  See answer below.  *CAGW calls Hoyer “Hostile to Taxpayers” for his votes for waste and extravagance.

Back to the real world and Steny Hoyer’s impact on the country.  The spending that hasn’t been paid for will be his legacy: The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union gives him an “F” for every year for over 20 years—this failing grade places him in the "Big Spender" category.  He sure knows how to spend but lacks any idea of how to pay for it.

One way to pay for such extravagance is to earn more and one way for a country to earn more is to have a strong vibrant growing economy –just as back in the real world, if you spend you need a job to earn enough to pay for it. Am I right or am I right?  The Club for Growth  knows that so they urge congress to vote for economy-building bills and against economy killers. Again, Steny disappoints with another failing grade of 8% -- a long way from 90 -100% that earns the Club’s appellation “Defender of Economic Freedom.”   A growing economy generates tax revenue --and tax cuts pay for themselves as they help stimulate the economy. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan so dramatically and successfully proved that with their tax-cutting policies. Our Poster Children could learn from history if their goal was have to have a free and prosperous society.  Unfortunately, their goals are more concerned with reelection and power and, too often, with leftist ideology.

Check out Rep. Hoyer’s record as rated by the conservative Heritage Action Scorecard that covers more bills not just those regarding waste, taxes and growth like the three non-partisan groups cited. Also, check out Americans for Democratic Action for the liberal ratings.  At 13% from Heritage Action and 75% from the ADA ,  Rep. Hoyer confirms his statist bent. Look at his votes and judge for yourself.  He never votes against spending or for any limitation on government or for economic freedom/growth and so he is a major reason for the $18 trillion debt being charged to our posterity. 
           His stands on issues of the day: Against the Second Amendment, for gun control; Pro taxpayer-paid abortion; For raising income taxes; Against deportation of illegals; Supports same-sex marriage.  Check the various scorecards for individual votes on these and the other issues.

 Term limits on congress would go a long way to eliminating incentives for career pols like Hoyer to continue spending without limit. Now, about 95% of incumbents are reelected with few seats seriously contested. Incumbents have such huge advantages in money from lobbies for special interests and they have name recognition. Those advantages are too daunting in time, effort and expense required for a civic-minded person to offer to represent the interests of the taxpayers for a specified period. It is proven in the states that have limited their legislators’ terms that fresh blood often brings in reps that are successful in business and professions and are not as concerned about reelection as they are about civic duty.  Many now come in with experience in the private sector that they can put to use on behalf of their constituents –something few, if any, of our poster children ever have.