Sunday, February 5, 2012
Your Typical Career Politician. Or, why we have a $16+ trillion debt
(updated 2/5/12 re term limit amendment vote.) Clarence William "Bill" Nelson is the senior U.S. Senator from Florida, (my home state since 1973). As most of our Posters, he is a lawyer having obtained his law degree in 1968 after which he went to work for then governor Reubin Askew. He was elected to the House of Representatives for six terms from 1972 to 1991 and ran for governor in 1990 and lost to Lawton Chiles. Then he ran for Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner in Florida and won two terms before running for the U.S. Senate where he has been ever since. Again, fitting the poster profile in not having any real life experience in the productive private sector. When one spends his entire adult life in politics one becomes adept at getting reelected and, of course, for a professional politician that is Job #1.
On 2/2/2012 on the vote to limit the terms of congress it is telling that the senators who voted against term limits have been in the Senate for an average of 13.6 years compared to just 6.4 years for those who support them. The longer people are in Congress, the more power they get, and the more they lose touch with the voters who elected them. See how your Senator voted: www.senateconservatives.com/site/votes/112/2/11?c=5R4F2B4F9B3A137 hint: All Democrats but Joe Manchin of WV voted AGAINST the reform even though they know full well that a super-majority of their constituents are in favor of term limits.
Now, at age 68 he is running again for another 6-year term. His voting record has generally been down the Democrat Party line over 93% of the votes with some exceptions for local political realities. One exception is his more recent vote for elimination of the estate tax (after having voted for the tax in previous years) given the senior-heavy demographic of Florida --seniors don’t want half of their estates taken by FedGov. Of course, it has yet to be repealed. Nelson supports continued restrictions on Cuba as Florida has a huge Cuban exile population.
Five Senators up for reelection in 2012, including Nelson, sent a public letter to VP Biden asking him to reaffirm his commitment to leaving Medicare unchanged in his negotiations with the bipartisan negotiators on the budget. They did this to impress (read: fool) their voters knowing full well that the ObamaCare that they themselves voted for just a few months before cuts over $500 billion from Medicare, raiding Medicare to fund Obamacare. Honesty is just another casualty of Job #1 –getting reelected. Reelection efforts take precedence over all for, by the reasoning of a career pol, “how can I continue to help the people if I don’t get reelected?”
The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union has given him an “F” in all but one year when he earned a “D” placing him firmly in their “Big Spender” category. Our Poster Children most of whom are in that category are the main reason we have a $14 trillion debt and $zillions more in unfunded liabilities. Another non-partisan organization, the Club for Growth, confirms NTU’s rating by giving Nelson a 13% lifetime score, near the bottom for voting consistently against pro-growth policies regarding spending, taxes, regulations, free trade and legal reform. Citizens Against Government Waste gives Nelson a lowly 18% “Hostile to Taxpayers” lifetime rating for wasteful spending. Clearly, it is the professional politician that has put our country in the dire financial and overall economic position we find ourselves in today.
Votes and ratings on other issues:
• Rated 100% by NARAL for his aggressive support for abortion.
• Voted for TARP, so-called Stimulus bills and against paying down the debt and against a modest $40 bil reduction in overall spending.
• Rated 89% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance.
• Rated 86% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance.
• Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-union education votes and opposition to school vouchers and for greater FedGov spending and control of education.
• Consistently votes against domestic energy production; for cap and trade tax plans; for global warming restrictions on the economy; Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025.
• Rated 79% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. Voted for Cash for Clunkers. Fund projects for international conservation of cranes. (Sure, why not –China will loan us the money.)
• Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.
• Rated 33% by CATO, indicating a mixed record on trade issues.
• Voted NO on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections. Voted NO on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration. (Why do you suppose?)
• Opposes Second Amendment rights to gun ownership.
• Supports More Federal Funding for Health Coverage. Rated 100% by APHA, indicating a pro-government health record.
• Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.
• Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared "sanctuary cities".
• Voted to restrict employer “interference” in union organizing; eliminate the secret ballot for employees on joining a union (for “card check”); raise the minimum wage to $7.25/hr.
• Voted No to confirm Samuel Alito and Yes to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
• Social Security: Opposes efforts to partially privatize; Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security.
Our point, as always, is the fact that the longer one is in the Congress, the more he will vote to expand the size and scope of the federal government because he is responding to special interests that support his tenure by contributing to his election campaigns. Each special interest has got to get its way which usually means special favors from FedGov such as tax breaks, subsidies, mandates –whatever. That relationship explains our multi-million word tax code and the uncountable regulations imposed on all segments of society.
It needs to end and term limits on Congress is one reform that is most effective as proven by the limits already on many other levels of government throughout the country. Go here to support the proposed congressional term limit Constitutional Amendment: www.termlimits.org