Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Her Biggest Fan

Rep. Kaptur is appearing in a Michael Moore movie about the evils of capitalism Another Poster that illustrates the need for term limits if we’re ever to get back to enjoying the benefits of a Constitutional Republic. First, we must stop the headlong rush into the welfare state with its unsustainable promises and spending inevitably resulting in reduced freedoms, opportunities and prosperity. Entrenched politicians like 15-term Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) carry the blame for the massive $16+ trillion debt we’re passing on to our children.

Kaptur’s main claim to fame is that she is currently the longest-tenured woman in the House; she ranks 25th out of 435 members in seniority and serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. At a House committee hearing her questions about the sub-prime mortgage crisis were intended for the then Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, but she was actually questioning Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman. She said, “Seeing as how you were the former CEO of Goldman Sachs…” Bernanke corrected her but it was clear that she had no clue. Long seniority puts people like her in positions for which they have had no relevant experience, no real life experiences outside of government jobs and politics.
The experience she did have after college was with the Lucas County Plan Commissions from 1969 to 1975 and as director of planning for the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs from 1975 to 1977. She later was a domestic policy advisor during the Carter Administration. Kaptur earned a Master’s Degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan in 1974 and did post-graduate study in urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.

After introducing the World War II Memorial Act to the House of Representatives in 1987, 1989, 1991, it finally was passed in 1993. The legislation authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a World War II memorial. And a fine memorial it is.

Another area where she has an intense interest is on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights issues. Her votes for gay marriage, for adoption by homosexual couples and virtually all GLBT bills got her a 75% rating by The Human Rights Campaign indicating a strong pro-gay rights stance. On the other side of that coin is the Family Research Council’s lowly 6% rating on pro-family issues.
In a Youtube piece, Kaptur urged Americans facing foreclosure to “be squatters in your own homes. Don’t you leave -- Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Foreclosures in her district skyrocketed 94% last year. Is that responsible adult behavior?

Under some pressure from the tea parties -- “Joe the Plumber” is a constituent and soon to be challenger for her seat in Congress-- Marcy Kaptur expressed strong opposition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s tactyics in:
•Forcing Congress to rush the stimulus spendidng decision.
•Disarming the public through fear. Controlling the media enough to ensure that the public will not notice that this bailout will indebt them for generations taking from them trillions of dollars they earned and deserved to keep.
•Controlling the playing field (hiding info from the public, holding private hearings, and private teleconferencing calls).
•Diverting attention and keeping people confused.
•Having the goal to privatize gains and socialize losses.
After all that rhetoric she voted for the bailouts and stimulus bills and she laid all of the blame on Wall Street executives for their greed and held them responsible for the crisis saying, “You have perpetrated the greatest financial crimes ever on this American Republic. You think you can get by with it because you are extraordinarily wealthy, and the largest contributors to both presidential and congressional campaigns in both major parties.” [See Posters for Chris Dodd and Barney Frank to begin to determine blame for the financial crisis.] She went on to suggest that the Federal Regional Reserve Banks should have a new job to help renegotiate mortgages and any refinancing gains should return a major share of any profits to a new Social Security and Medicare lock box. Brilliant!

She backed The American Clean Energy and Security Act inserting an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Energy to create power marketing authorities in regions where none currently exist. One such area would be in her district, the Great Lakes region. Kaptur said the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation could serve as the vehicle for administering up to $3.5 billion in loans from taxpayers (more debt!) to stimulate economic development through creation of green energy such as solar power and wind power. We know how well that worked out --think Solyndra for starters. Kaptur said the $3.5 billion would promote "regional equity" and serve as a powerful engine for job creation in a region that has suffered from high energy costs --as if solar and wind would reduce those costs.

In 1996, Kaptur was asked by Ross Perot to be his vice presidential running mate because, like him, she was an anti-free trade protectionist. They both opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement –remember Perot’s “giant sucking sound" of American jobs heading to Mexico if NAFTA passed? She wasn’t quite that stupid and turned him down. She consistently voted against job-creating trade bills most recently with Singapore, Peru, Columbia, Panama and Korea despite the high unemployment in her district in order satisfy the unions. Union $upport insures reelection which is Job#1 for career pols, so they take priority over constituents.

She was listed by the Nation magazine, self-described as he "flagship of the left," in its “Most Valuable Progressives” awards as the “Most Valuable House Member” in 2008. But the congresswoman is often at odds with members of her own party over her position against free trade and abortion. As expected for a progressive Democrat, her voting record puts her at the bottom of the Citizens Against Government Waste ratings –at a lifetime 10%, she is determined to be “hostile” to taxpayers. She was CAGW's "Porker of the Month" in July 2010. Confirming her progressive credentials, the American Conservative Union rates her at a lowly 15% while the leftist Americans for Democratic Action rates her highly at 85%. The Club for Growth gives her a "7" lifetime of a possible 100 for her growth-stifling voting record and her numerous votes against efforts to curb earmarks. For a comprehensive record of her votes go to www.ontheissues.org/OH/Marcy_Kaptur.htm

Marcy Kaptur is a Big Spender of taxpayer’s money and that resulted in the huge national debt being passed on to our progeny --generational theft of colossal proportions! Would a term-limited representative succumb to such spending? Maybe, but far less likely than a professional politician whose reelection depends on appeasing the leadership of the party and giving lobbies what they want in exchange for campaign money. You can help promote Sen. Jim DeMint’s proposed constitutional amendment to term limit Congress by signing the petition at www.termlimits.org.

Monday, October 17, 2011

When Perfect Attendance is Costly

If our $14.7 trillion dollar debt is any indication, the majority of the 535 members of congress are qualified for these posters. Who else would spend so much more than they take in and for what reason?

Well, if you are a professional politician with no real talent or skills in the private sector, then being a politician offers great rewards; as long as you’re willing to do or say almost anything to get elected. And then to disregard your solemn oath of office in doing all that is necessary to get reelected. The career politicians we’ve exposed so far have spent all, or nearly all, of their working lives in politics. With no experience in the real world, they create legislation in areas they have no knowledge of or experience in, resulting in bills they seldom actually read. Then these bills go to a huge bureaucracy to administer by writing thousands of regulations that the working population has to follow--or be fined and maybe even go to jail. They, themselves are routinely unaffected by the laws they pass. Sometimes they even specifically exempt themselves from these laws.

Special interests have thousands of lobbyists offering big bucks to these elected officials to pass laws favorable to them. They need this money for reelection, and they pile up $millions for that purpose. Our laws end up with too many exceptions for favored industries, and as a result our tax code is extremely complicated; you can be sure that every loophole is bought and paid for by lobbyists.

Lobbyists are uniformly against any term limits on their “honest” politicians. They define “honest” as those who, once bought, stay bought. We need a law requiring members of Congress to wear logos like race car drivers and golfers wear to advertise who gives them money.

Typical of this kind of politician is Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). We mentioned Collins in our poster of Olympia Snowe, also a Senator from Maine. Both are considered “moderates” in the Republican Party and both vote with Democrats so often that many Republicans refer to them as RINOs –Republicans In Name Only. Recently, as taxes, regulation overreach and onerous executive orders have mired the economy in recession, Sen. Collins has taken note and written a mostly reasonable piece in the Wall Street Journal (9/26/2011).

However, in this op-ed she calls for a one-year “time out” on excessive FedGov regulations. What? A time out? Beam me up, Scottie! She writes, “A one-year moratorium on such regulations is a common-sense solution that would help create jobs.” That's preposterous. The common-sense solution is to tear up the regulations permanently. Businesses will not start hiring with only a one-year window of certainty regarding regulations. Uncertainty is one of the major problems, and with a one-year "timeout," uncertainty would not be eliminated. What we need is a permanent solution, not a short-term gimmick. This is just another glaring example of a career pol showing how out of touch with reality she is.

Who is Susan Collins?
Collins was born and raised in Caribou, Maine. Both parents served in elected positions and her uncle was a state Supreme Court justice. She met Sen. Margaret Chase Smith —whose Senate seat she now holds-- in 1971 while participating in the U.S. Senate Youth program in Washington D.C. In 1975 she graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in–what else?—government.

She was a legislative assistant to Congressman and later U.S. Senator William Cohen until 1987 when she returned to Maine to join the governor’s cabinet and other political jobs in the State capitol until 1992. President George Bush appointed her to the Small Business Administration for a few months after which she went to Massachusetts to become Deputy State Treasurer for another few months. Back to Maine she won an eight-way primary race in the 1994 gubernatorial election but didn’t get support from conservative Republicans and came in third behind an independent and the Democrat. After a short job at Hussen College she ran for the Senate with Sen. Cohen’s help when he went on to join President Clinton’s cabinet. She won a four-way primary and beat the Democrat 49% to 44%. She’s been a fixture there ever since.

Notice once again the typical route to Congress--no practical experience in the free market, no position in the private sector much less ever having to meet a payroll or create a job. Yet these are the people who tell us how to run our businesses and make decisions that affect every aspect of our lives!

Collins is aggressively pro-abortion. She is a member of Republicans for Choice and was one of only three Republicans to vote against the Partial Birth Abortion Act. A major LGBT organization, the Human Rights Campaign, endorsed her campaigns. Collins voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Both Collins and Snowe voted to acquit Clinton in his impeachment trial admitting he broke the law by committing perjury, but they didn’t think that was serious enough to remove him from office. She voted against restrictions on travel to Cuba, harsher punishments for drug users, and amending the U.S. Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. She was the recipient of the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Award (10/5/2011); curiously, her co-recipient was Rep. Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim.

A protectionist, she regularly votes against free-trade, including the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). In 1999 she and Snowe were two of the four Republicans (with Jeffords and Specter) to vote for an amendment to the Trade and Development Act of 2000 which would have conditioned trade benefits for Caribbean countries on "compliance with internationally recognized labor rights." This vote for what is in effect world governance put her to the left of many Democratic senators including Edwards, Dodd and Biden. Just last week she was the only Republican to vote against the trade agreement with Columbia that is expected to create thousands of jobs in the US.

She wrote in that WSJ article, “…the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule on fossil-fuel emissions from boilers that—by the EPA's own admission—would cost the private sector billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. The owner of a small business in Maine told me the proposed rule would require him to scrap a new, $300,000 wood waste boiler he recently installed.” She’s just finding this out after sponsoring such bills herself like the Cantwell-Collins bill (S. 2877), also called the Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal (CLEAR) Act, that creates a program to regulate fossil fuels. How many thousands of regulations in those bills?

She voted for the confirmation of two U.S. Supreme Court nominees, Alito and Roberts but she also voted for President Obama's nominees, Sotomayor and Kagan.

Collins was one of just three Republican lawmakers to vote for the so-called stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and in mid-December 2009, Collins was again one of just three Republican senators to back a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill for the fiscal year beginning in 2010. You can see how the $14.7 trillion deficits happen.

In January 2009 Collins voted in favor of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. But she voted against ObamaCare in December 2009 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Currently, she is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Feel safer now?

Collins has an unbroken voting record in the Senate, never missing a single vote since becoming a senator in 1997. Too bad.

We really need term limits www.termlimits.org