Monday, December 9, 2013


 " No, I look at the senators and I pray for the country."                                                                           - Everett Edward Hale

What happened during those 40 years?
Senator Cochran:
•   Voted to raise the debt ceiling no fewer than 24 times, putting every man, woman, and child in Mississippi in debt to the tune of $58,000;
•   Agreed to exempt himself and his Congressional staff from Obamacare; and
•   Voted with Harry Reid to make amnesty for illegal immigrants easier.

         Another example of having a great start in life and significant accomplishments and then to end up in later years as one of our posters. William Thad Cochran, born and raised in Mississippi, was an Eagle Scout as a youth and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award as an adult. He graduated valedictorian from Byram High School near Jackson and received a B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi with a major in psychology and a minor in political science in 1959. There he joined the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and was on the cheerleading squad.After a stint in the U. S. Navy (1959–1961), he earned a Law Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1965. He then practiced law for seven years. He married Rose Clayton on June 6, 1964; the couple has two children, Clayton and Kate. (source: Wikipedia.)

Now, at age 78, Cochran is the fourth-longest currently serving Senator having been first elected to the Senate in 1978; he also served in the House from 1973 to 1978. As with the other poster boys, he’s had no private sector experience to apply to the laws he helped pass for the private sector to live by.  He is the senior Senator from Mississippi, currently the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, having been chairman from 2003 to 2005 and also chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee from 2005 to 2007.  He is currently the ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee. In his 35 years on powerful committees he has a record of supporting bailouts, more debt, tax increases, and even funding for Obamacare although, as all Republicans, he did vote against the mis-named Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.

The overriding issue today in the US is our national debt currently racing past $17 trillion –to be piled on our next generations and that doesn’t count the unfunded entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and now the multi-trillion dollar ObamaCare law!  All of our poster children have been in congress during the period of this incredible spending that caused the debt and these long-tenured politicians did little to control the spending and all of them approved of the regular increases in the debt limit.  Thad Cochran was no exception having voted to increase the debt limit ten times!  After 40+ years in congress he cannot escape blame for much of the spending and debt. In 2010 he finished at the top of the Citizens Against Government Waste's (CAGW) list of congressional earmarks, having requested a total of $490 million for his supporters.

The non-partisan ratings groups tell of his voting record -- the NationalTaxpayers Union (NTU) for taxing and spending and CAGW for waste and extravagance. NTU gives him a “C” (very low for Republicans) while CAGW rates him “lukewarm” to taxpayers.  The Club for Growth looks for votes that allow for free markets to function in growing the economy; the Club rates Cochran at a lowly 48% for his votes that suppress growth. 

Partisan rankings are best expressed by Heritage Action for the conservative view as they rate all meaningful votes. Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) rates from a liberal view but uses fewer votes and doesn’t publish often –their 2012 votes gave him 20%. So, we recommend that if you want to know the more accurate liberal rating, use the reciprocal of the Heritage Action score which is currently 57%. For more clarity we’ll note some specific votes but anyone can go to the sites for details of all of the groups –just click on the names. 

He voted for the Dept. of Education and to defeat a plan to balance the budget in ten years. Cochran voted to tax the internet! The one free marketplace that is thriving would be taxed by the thousands of jurisdiction where they have customers even if they have no physical presence and use no local services yet would be taxed by those jurisdictions! A big no-no for conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists but favored by liberals. He voted to Invoke Cloture which led to passage of the $1 trillion farm bill in the Senate –a 56% increase since 2008. Despite claims of reform, the farm bill continues to spend nearly $1 trillion on a variety of programs, including crop subsidies, conservation programs and food stamps.

 He voted against repeal of sugar supports that have raised the price of sugar in the US so high that many companies left for Canada and other places at the cost of thousands of jobs. It also adds cost to the consumer food products that contain sugar, a hidden tax. But Big Sugar is generous to the pols who vote to continue to give them advantages –it’s called crony capitalism.  Those are just a few votes that Heritage Action criteria views negatively –for all of the votes go to

 Critics of congressional term limits recite the mantra, "We already have term limits, they are called elections."  The problem with that little flower of homespun wholesomeness is that it isn't true. Competitive elections are rare in the U.S. Congress anymore. Since 1970 well over 90% are reelected very few competitively with all the benefits of incumbency.


Cochran is not the worst of the worst but he is typical of the professional politician who spends his entire life in politics and doesn’t ever have to meet a payroll or deal with government bureaucrats. No, he deals with lobbyists who pay him for voting their way; he takes their money to pay for reelection campaigning. It is a vicious circle and the people’s work doesn’t get done properly. We need citizen legislators; we need experienced successful people who will use their skills in service to the nation not self-service like the career politicians.  In Florida, and other states with limited legislatures there are regular elections and the result is a distinctly higher quality representative than before –not universal, of course, but we now have more successful people willing to offer their expertise and experience for the benefit of their state and country. 

Did we mention that our poster boy voted against congressional term limits? 

1 comment:

Geo said...

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) suggested to National Public Radio (NPR) he would like to bring earmarks back to Congress.