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 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. 




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Politician, hypocrite is thy name

Career politicians will say what they think you want to hear, join a cause that they think will appeal to the most voters; and they'll spend your money on whatever they think will buy them the most votes.  It might impoverish future generations but again, so what? They'll be gone by then. The theme throughout is hypocrisy
During a recent five hour hearing on a House Republicans’ lawsuit against President Obama, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY 28) launched into a tirade reported in the Wall Street Journal by Kim Strassel. Strassel decried its disingenuousness and utter hypocrisy. The suit targets Obama’s unilaterally changing core provisions of the so-called Affordable Care Act a/k/a Obamacare.  Slaughter called the law suit a “political stunt...timed to peak as the midterm elections are happening.” She said the Republicans, half of the House, are running to the judicial branch and that a lawsuit against the president is “certainly not the correct way to resolve [a] political dispute.” A lawsuit against the president, she declared is “preposterous.”
 Here’s the hypocrisy part.  In 2006 she sued president Bush over a bill that reduced some spending on Medicare and student loans. Also plaintiffs in the suit were other Poster Children --John Conyers, John Dingell, Charles Rangel, JamesOberstar, Barney Frank, Pete Stark and other Democrats, half of the House.  Ms. Strassel mused that maybe her suit had “slipped her mind.” Among the interesting facts in the article was that 44 other lawsuits seeking standing were filed over time 70% by Democrats and the reason they failed was because they were “political stunts.”
This recent hypocritical display is quite common among the professional politicians who have been in congress a long time. Rep. Slaughter is the oldest woman in congress and has been in there since 1986! And prior to that she was in the New York legislature since 1975 with an interim stint with the
Governor Cuomo administration. Lifetime politician.  
Her voting record is one of tax & spend. Our favorite scorecard is the one by conservative Heritage Action because it covers more of the important bills and can be referenced simply by going here. Liberals/progressives can easily score the politician from their view by using the rating percentage in reverse.  AT 8% on this scoring you know she’s right up there as a major cause of the nation’s $18 trillion debt.  With a rating of  8% she’s a major cause of the nation’s $18 trillion debt.  No matter what it was for or how much it cost, if the money was there or not, she voted for spending –for 28 years!
 The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union has consistently rated Slaughter a “Big Spender.”  Citizens Against Government Waste (non-partisan) calls her “Hostile to Taxpayers.”  See the history here .   The liberal/progressive Americans for Democratic Action is proud to give Rep. Slaughter a 95% rating –see those votes for the 112 congress here .   The Club for Growth rates on votes affecting growth of the economy, job creation and fiscal soundness without considering social issues. The Club found a vote somewhere to give her a lifetime score of 5% --a killer of jobs and the economy. There are other scorecards and ratings groups but these are indicative of how our Poster votes.  

Wikipedia notes: Slaughter is one of the most liberal and progressive members of the New York congressional delegation from upstate New York, and in the 110th Congress, was the most progressive member of the entire House of Representatives according to the National Journal.  Among representatives from upstate, only fellow Democratic Representative Maurice Hinchey has a lower lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union.  She is one of several Democratic congressmen and senators who post at Daily Kos, a Democrat-oriented blog. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.    

 In early 2005, she authored the Fairness and Accountability in Broadcasting Act, which would reinstate the [UN]Fairness Doctrine to limit influence of opposing views on talk radio. Slaughter said she wants to see the ban on assault weapons restored, background checks bolstered and gun shows eliminated. She said doctors should be allowed to ask about guns in the home. So much for the first and Second Amendments. Another item that must have slipped her mind is her oath of office which goes like this:
   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.

 Now do you understand why we desperately need term limits on congress?      go there and sign the petition in favor of term limits on congress.  Thank you!





Monday, May 19, 2014

The World According to Sheila Jackson Lee

·         The U.S Constitution is 400 years old

·         In 1969 Astronaut Neil Armstrong planted the flag on another celestial body. Mars.

·         "Christian militants" are as big a threat to America as Islamic radicals

·         North and South Vietnam are today living peacefully side by side

·         Congressmen oppose Obama's efforts to raise the debt limit because he is black

And then there's this beaut:
·         Congress should stop passing laws and help Obama create executive orders instead

 Just who is this person who wants Obama as king? 
Sheila Jackson Lee is a nine-term Democrat from Texas’ 18th Congressional District and a member of the Socialist Party of America. She is one of the many serious contenders in “the worst of a bad lot” contest. During a speech on the House floor in March she claimed that the United States Constitution is 400 years old!   Really! 

She gets the Congressional bonehead award for asking if the Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong! Rep. Vernon Ehlers quipped, “We just don’t teach enough science.” Worse, she   is a member of the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee. Perhaps some committee reassignments are in order. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, convened a June 2011 hearing to consider threats against the U.S. posed by radical Islam. At the hearing Rep. Lee suggested that "Christian militants" posed a comparable threat to the rule of law in the United States as Islamic radicals.

Just last year, Jackson Lee went on seven-day trip through Asia and stuck the taxpayers with the $23,646 bill. That is just ONE Congresswoman taking ONE trip. But, she is not alone… career pols routinely take extravagant foreign trips at taxpayers expense.
It gets worse: She told the House Judiciary Committee that the “penalty” the health-care law imposes on individuals who do not buy health insurance is not, in fact, a penalty. The law itself states: “If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) [having a government-approved health-insurance policy]… there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual.” Elsewhere, in a section entitled “Payment of Penalty,” it says that individuals failing to carry a government-approved health insurance policy must pay a maximum penalty of $750. In her view, however, this language does not actually impose a penalty: “I would make the argument, one, that instead it is an incentive to do right--that it is not penalizing because penalty is punishment,” Jackson-Lee told the Judiciary Committee.

During the debt ceiling debate, who thought of race being a factor in some way? For Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who often plays the race card to deflect attention from issues at hand, of course they are relatedThe Hill reported that Jackson Lee thinks members of Congress are purposely making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because he is black.  She uses the race card so much that one of our correspondents exclaimed that “the "card" must really be worn and torn by now!”

The Socialist Party of America announced in their October 2009 newsletter that 70 Congressional democrats currently belong to their caucus, including Sheila Jackson Lee. She favors socialist regimes and has urged better relations between the U.S. and Venezuela, which she describes as a friendly nation. She said the U.S. should reconsider its ban on selling F-16 fighter jets and spare parts to that country. The U.S. State Department bans such sales due to "lack of support" for counter-terrorist operations and Venezuela's anti-American relations with Iran and Cuba.
A socialist is someone who has read Lenin and Marx. An anti-socialist is someone who understands Lenin and Marx.~ Ronald Reagan
 In July 2010 Jackson Lee said: "Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.” Of course, Vietnam had not been split for four decades.

Speaking in July 2010 at the NAACP national convention, Jackson Lee compared the Tea Party to the KKK  apparently not aware of, or just not caring, that they are exact opposites on virtually on every facet of their existence...nor that the KKK was created by the Democrats not the Republicans. I checked this next one out twice because I couldn’t believe it, but it appears to be true...
This right out of Snopes: A black congresswoman (this would be Sheila Jackson Lee, of Houston) reportedly complained that the names of hurricanes are all Caucasian-sounding names. She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture such as Chamiqua, Woeisha, and Jamal. She would also like the weather reports to be broadcast in 'language' that street people can understand because one of the problems that happened in New Orleans was, that black people couldn't understand the seriousness of the situation, due to the racially biased language of the weather report. I can hear it now: A black weatherman in Houston saying... -see the funny, somewhat profane report syuxtscQhl.99

Go to Bing or Google if you want to see many of her other ridiculous comments. One quote you’ll find among them is someone saying this about her, “If stupidity was a weapon, Sheila Jackson Lee would be a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb.”

How did she get there?  She went to high school in Queens, NY and then for a political science degree at Yale followed by a JD from the University of Virginia. Affirmative action? Moved to Houston when her husband got a job there and Houston Mayor Whitmire appointed her to a judgeship in 1987; ran for a council seat in Houston and served there until 1994 when she ran for congress and has been there ever since. She has one of the highest staff turnovers in Congress going through 11 chiefs of staff in 11 years.  In 2011 she was named the "worst boss in Washington" by Daily Caller.  The Huffington Post stated that Jackson Lee regularly appears on Washingtonian magazine's list of the meanest member of the House of Representatives.

Voting record
As you’d expect, Heritage Action, the conservative scorecard, rates her very liberal (read: progressive) at 19%; non-partisan National Taxpayers Union gives her a grade of “F” as Big Spender; non-partisan Citizens Against Government Waste calls her “Hostile to Taxpayers”; non-partisan Club for Growth record shows that she votes her socialist anti-free market philosophy consistently at near zero for economic growth Progressive Americans for Democratic Action gives her an 80% rating for 2112 (the latest available) –she missed several of their Bills.
Any wonder that with these Poster Children in there forever that the national debt is rising daily –a debt children not even born yet will have to pay.  How important are term limits on Congress? 

Monday, January 27, 2014

High-Priced Politician

Senator Mary Landrieu is one of our most expensive politicians. You do remember her invoice to taxpayers for her vote on Obamacare?  Landrieu demanded a $300,000 payment to Medicaid for Louisiana before she would vote for the program. That noxious deal became known as the Louisiana Purchase and, along with a similar bribe dubbed "the Nebraska Cornhusker Kickback" to Sen. Ben Nelson, were the deciding votes which allowed the Bill to pass.

But she's an award winner! Citizens Against Government Waste has just nominated her 2013 Porker of the Year for her refusal to support reform of "the antiquated and costly federal sugar program in the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill." Her arrogant response to her critics: “Yes, the price of a candy bar might be a penny or two higher, but who needs cheaper candy bars? No one.”

Senator, what we actually need are cheaper politicians.

But career politicians do not follow their own rules–they’re above that, you know. They call themselves "public servants" but act like little kings and queens. A recent case in point is the bloated $1.1 trillion, 1,532-page omnibus spending bill that breezed through both House and Senate without any of our “public servants” even bothering to read it.  It’s their job, dammit! This pork-filled monstrosity was passed instead of the legally mandated budget; the Congressional Budget Act requires the President to submit a budget to Congress by February 1st and then the House and Senate have to agree on a final version.

And it is Sen. Mary Landrieu and the other Poster Children who are responsible for this sad state by their breach of duty. Tragically, thanks to these entrenched career politicians, the United States is well along on the path to financial ruin.

Senator Rand Paul offered a Bill (S.Res 28) to the current 113th congress that “Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider any measure or matter until one session day has passed since introduction for every 20 pages included in the measure or matter in the usual form, plus one session day for any number of remaining pages less than 20.” as seen in this video. Sen. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, would not allow it to be voted upon. Sen. Reid recently called the idea of passing a budget “foolish.”

As another poster, Rep. John Conyers said, “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” (See Sen. Reid’s and Rep. Conyers’ posters –click their names on the right side of this page). 

Now you know why we call these Poster Children “the worst of a bad lot.”

Mary Landrieu is true to her roots--she's from a political family. Her father, Moon Landrieu, was mayor of New Orleans and a former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her brother Mitch is the current New Orleans mayor and formerly lieutenant governor of Louisiana. She went to a Catholic high school and graduated Louisiana State University in 1977. After a couple of state-level posts and a failed run for governor in 1995 she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and has been there since. She’s also chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee. She's up for reelection in 2014.(See comment following.)

As most of our posters, Landrieu has spent her entire life in politics with little or no experience in the private sector. No matter--in 2008 she became Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship! Career pols get to rule on subjects they have no understanding of or experience in –it's all a matter of tenure. Special interests affected by their laws help them understand their business needs while contributing to their reelection. And for the career pol, reelection is Job #1. 

With term limits it will be more likely that candidates who have been successful in business and professional careers can get elected.  Real life experience might avoid much of the counter-productive rules and regulations coming from lifetime professional politicians whose only experience is politics. 

The U.S. unfunded liabilities debt (promised future obligations) now exceeds $118.5 trillion, a debt of over $1 million per U.S. taxpayer. And now we must add in the multi-trillion dollar Obamacare law. On March 1, 2012, Landrieu voted against a measure that would have repealed a birth control mandate in the health care bill. In October 2013, she introduced a bill to force health insurance companies to re-issue plans which they had already cancelled.

Without Sen. Landrieu’s votes, Obamacare would not be the disaster to our healthcare system and economy that it is today. 

 All of our poster children have been in congress during the period of this incredible spending spree and these long-tenured politicians did nothing to control spending--and all of them approved regular increases in the debt limit.

The non-partisan ratings groups: NationalTaxpayers Union (NTU) for taxing and spending and  Citizens Against Government Waste's (CAGW) for waste and extravagance. NTU gives Landrieu an “F” for most years and a “D” for others, among the worst in congress rates her “Hostile” to taxpayers The Club for Growth looks for votes that allow for free markets to function in growing the economy; the Club rates her at a lowly 16% meaning she votes for growth-stifling programs 84% of the time! .  No wonder the economy is stagnant.

Her Heritage Action score is currently 3%  --that makes Landrieu 97% liberal. The ADA gave her credit for voting to not let religious groups opt out of the Obamacare abortifacient* mandate. (She says she’s a Catholic.) But the ADA didn’t like her vote to enable the construction of the XL pipeline. For more clarity go to the sites for details --just click on the links given after each to see all of the votes. 
Congressional term limits is a costless reform that can go a long way to limiting the damage that entrenched politicians like these Poster Children can do. Now, with congress approval ratings in single digits is a propitious time to get it done. See and sign the petition –we’re already over 250,000 signatures on our way to a million.
 *abortion-inducing drugs, etc.