One Way To Save Taxpayers Money

Yesterday Roll Call posted an article stating that the House of Representatives has paid out more than $15 million over the last decade to settle harassment cases, though that number also includes discrimination claims. There has been no information released as to exactly why the payments were made or exactly which members of Congress were involved.

The article reports:

Speier’s (Representative Jackie Speier) office clarified Wednesday that the Office of Compliance, which handles workplace and accessibility issues on Capitol Hill, does not provide a breakdown for the type of discrimination payments made.

The OOC’s $15 million figure covered more than 200 payouts made from fiscal years 1997 to 2016 for all claims the office covered, such as racial and religious discrimination cases, discrimination against people with disabilities and sexual harassment, a Speier staffer said.

Why were the taxpayers paying out this money instead of the people involved?

It seems as if sexual harassment has become the issue of the day. I find this a bit disingenuous. In addition to the pass given to Bill Clinton, where was this issue when Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd were in Congress? There is a danger of a witch hunt here. There is also a danger that because of the political divide in the country right now, the investigation of sexual harassment in Congress will turn into a very ugly political process.

 

Preventing The Fleecing Of The Middle Class

The American tax code is a tribute to the effectiveness of lobbyists and big campaign donors. The loopholes in the code for people who make a lot of money are numerous. Even with loopholes in place, the rich pay a lot of taxes. As I have previously reported, The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. These numbers come from actual IRS data.

However, it seems that when it comes to eliminating loopholes, it’s always the middle class loopholes that go away.

Breitbart posted an article today about Congress‘ latest effort to take away a middle-class tax break. Because of a certain lack of faith in the future solvency of Social Security, many employers offer employees 401k retirement plans. Aside from allowing middle-class families to save for the future, these programs provide a place to put money so that it will not be taxed during the highest earning period of the employee. It will be taxed later at retirement when traditionally a person’s earnings are lower and generally taxed at a lower rate. Congress was evidently planning to alter the current system.

Breitbart reports:

“There will be NO change to your 401(k),” Trump tweeted. “This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”

House Republicans were considering a plan to slash the amount of income American workers can save in tax-deferred retirement accounts. Currently, workers can put up to $18,000 a year into 401(k) accounts without paying taxes on that money until they retire and withdraw money from their savings. Proposals under discussion on Capitol Hill would set the cap lower, perhaps as low as $2,400. The effect would be a huge tax hike on middle class workers.

The plan to lower the cap on 401(k)’s would not have had an effect on long-term government deficits. Instead, it would have raised tax revenue now but lowered it in the future, since the retirement savings would already have been taxed. But taxing the savings would have had an impact on household budgets and may have discouraged workers from saving, increasing their future dependence on government benefits.

Let’s cut spending to ‘pay for’ tax cuts. Actually, if taxes are cut, economic growth should increase to a point where there is no loss of revenue. During the 1980’s, after President Reagan cut taxes, government revenue soared. Unfortunately, the Democrats who controlled Congress at the time greatly increased spending, so the government debt increased rather than decreased. Generally speaking, lowering taxes increases revenue–people are less inclined to look for tax shelters.

The Laffer Curve works:

Congress needs to keep this in mind while revising the tax code.

 

Ignoring A Major Story

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article which reveals how biased our mainstream media has become. If you depend on the mainstream media for your news, the following events may come as a surprise to you.

The article lists the timeline on the scandal involving the Information Technology specialists working for many of the Democrats in Congress. This is the timeline (the story has been covered from the beginning by The Daily Caller):

  • August 1GOP Rep: House IT Scandal Among ‘All-Time Congressional Scandals’ Of Last 30 Years.” That time frame would take things back to before the infamous House Bank scandal, which ended the careers of dozens of Congresspersons who routinely wrote checks despite having insufficient funds in their House Bank accounts to cover them. Of the 22 congresspersons singled out for particularly egregious abuse in this scandal (and although, to be clear, many other congresspersons engaged in the practice), 18 were Democrats.
  • August 3“Florida Congressman Pays Girlfriend’s Family, Money Launderer For Unexplained Work.” If it involves Florida and political corruption, you almost have to know that the name of Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was one a federal judge until he was impeached and convicted by the House and Senate, respectively, in 1989, will come up. In this instance, Hastings allegedly “used his taxpayer-funded office to pay high salaries to a convicted money launderer, as well as Hastings’s girlfriend and her daughter, and the Florida politician won’t say what kind of work the convicted money launder(er) does.” This is potentially relevant to the Imran Awan case because it “raise(s) questions about how common it is for members of Congress to place ‘ghost employees’ on the payroll” — an allegation which potentially applies to Awan’s vastly overpaid relatives.
  • August 4“DWS: Imran Awan Is The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest, Most Wonderful Human Being I’ve Ever Known In My Life.” This item by Jim Treacher, whose penetrating sarcasm is a national treasure, isn’t newsworthy by itself, but it does link to a Broward County (FL) Sun Sentinel item where Wasserman Schultz ridicules the notion that Awan was trying to flee the U.S. when he was arrested at Dulles Airport after having transferred about $300,000 to an account or accounts in Pakistan. If a Republican congressman made such a claim about an aide in a similar situation, the late-night leftist activists posing as comedians would be all over it.
  • August 4 — “Wasserman Schultz Says Laptop She Sought To Keep From Police Was Awan’s, Not Hers.” Imagine that: After resisting police efforts to seize the laptop based on issues relating to whether it belongs to a “member” (of Congress), Wasserman Schultz has now totally changed her tune, claiming that, in reporter Luke Rosiak’s words, “it was Imran’s laptop but purchased using taxpayer funds from her office,” and that, in her words, “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.”
  • August 5Jeb Bush Just RIPPED Debbie Wasserman Schultz Over The House IT Scandal.” What Bush said or didn’t say isn’t nearly as important as the should-be-obvious point that if someone like Chuck Schumer or Andrew Cuomo was “ripping” a Republican involved in a scandal like this, you’d have to rent a major hotel meeting room to accommodate the establishment media horde which would be hanging on their every word instead of ignoring the successful governor of one of the nation’s largest states.
  • August 8“Grassley Seeks Immigration Files For Pakistani Suspects In House IT Probe.” Yes, “suspects” is plural: “the immigration files were requested for … (Imran Awan’s) wife, Hina Alvi, his brothers Abid and Jamal, sister-in-law Natalia Sova and friend Rao Rabbas. All are suspects in the criminal investigation, which became public in February.”
  • August 17“Two Former Wasserman Schultz IT Aides Indicted For Conspiracy Against US.”
  • August 18“Media Ignores Indictment Of Wassermann Schultz IT Aide.” How often does the actual indictment of criminal arrested on serious charges while potentially facing far more serious charges relating to a congressional scandal get totally ignored by the establishment press? I’m sorry, I meant to ask how often that happens if the person involved is or is associated with a Republican or conservative. Answer: almost never.
  • August 22“Dem Rep Dodges Questions On Arrested House IT Staffer.” New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke “agreed last year to sign away $120,000 of missing computer equipment for the two former IT aides who authorities now believe stole the gear from Congress,” and “refused to answer questions” from a reporter about Awan.
  • August 24“DWS ‘Islamophobia’ Claim Prompts Angered Marine To Go Public On Awans.” Yes, Wasserman Schultz and Awan’s Bill Clinton-connected lawyer are claiming that the matter is of no substance, and that it’s really about “Islamophobia.” It’s really hard to blame the Marine involved for getting extremely angry over this when he sees someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and protect this country’s interest so obviously demonstrate that she cares about neither.

Isn’t this story newsworthy?

How Much Does It Cost?

The one thing that the Obama Administration should be famous for is the amount of regulations imposed on the American people through the Executive Branch of government–not through Congress, the body that is supposed to make laws–but through the Executive Branch. There is a cost on these regulations. The Washington Examiner posted a story today detailing that cost.

The article includes the following chart:

costofregulatoinsThe article reports:

The new high in regulatory costs, said Batkins (AAF’s Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the watchdog group), came after new fuel standards for trucks were implemented.

His study goes back to 2005, when George W. Bush was president, and said that Obama is responsible for about three-quarters of the added regulatory costs.

“The Obama Administration surpassed 500 major regulations last summer, imposing $625 billion in cumulative costs. Earlier this year, regulators published the administration’s 600th major rule, increasing burdens to $743 billion. Now, thanks to data from the last term of the Bush Administration and another billion-dollar rule from EPA, the regulatory tally has surpassed $1 trillion. These figures are direct estimates from federal regulators, but it will take more than an effort from these regulators to amend hundreds of major regulations. Congress, the next president, and even the courts must participate in the next generation of regulatory modernization,” he reported.

The reason that Congress is charged with making laws is that they are accountable to the voters. The Executive Branch (other than the President) is not elected and cannot be held accountable to the voters. However, as illustrated by November’s election, the voters do have a certain amount of power in terms of who controls the Executive Branch. Hopefully the Inauguration of Donald Trump will signal the end of over-regulation in America at least temporarily.

A Different Solution To America’s Spending Problem

The national debt has doubled since 2007.  It is now approximately $19,000,000,000,000. Congress has not been successful at stopping spending, and the economy is struggling along with the burden of debt and over-regulation. One Congressman has a proposal that will deal with at least part of the problem.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about a proposal by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The article reports:

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) joined Lee to formally introduce the Article I Regulatory Budget Reform Act, which would require Congress to cast a vote on the “total regulatory burden” federal agencies are able to enforce on the private sector each fiscal year.

“Federal regulations come with a cost, albeit a hidden one. The American people can look up in the federal budget and see a monetary cost for the IRS and the EPA. They should also be able to look up what the regulatory cost for these agencies are as well. Beyond making the cost of federal regulation transparent, a regulatory budget will help restore accountability for the cost of regulation onto the people’s elected representatives,” Hensarling said at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington.

“With a regulatory budget, it would become so much more difficult for members of Congress to simply pass the buck and blame the faceless, nameless bureaucrats for the cost of regulations on the American people’s families and their businesses,” he added.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress is charged with making laws. They are supposed to be held accountable for the laws they pass. Unfortunately, we have wandered into a system where unelected bureaucrats are making our laws, and we can’t vote them out of office.

The article adds:

Lee argued that most of the major bills Congress has passed only “establish aspirational guidelines,” which gives the executive branch the power to determine the specifics. He said Congress should establish “regulatory-cost limits” for federal agencies to follow.

“For the rule-writing bureaucrats, these open-ended laws are gifts that keep on giving. For instance, in the years since Congress first passed the Clean Air Act in 1977, federal bureaucrats have used the law to enact more than 13,500 pages of regulations – roughly 30 pages for every page of legislative text,” Lee said.

“But for the American people, this kind of government without consent is a violation of the social compact at the heart of our republic and exactly why they no longer trust the federal government,” he added.

The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document. The government it established works. Unfortunately we have altered that government to the point where it barely works and is not trusted by the American people. We need serious reform in Washington. Senator Lee’s proposal might be a good place to start.

Who Is Making Our Laws?

We have reached the point in our representative republic where the people making the laws are not the people the voters elect and not the people the voters can hold accountable. A very large percentage of our laws are in the form of regulations that come from un-elected bureaucrats who cannot be held accountable by the voters. Yesterday the Conservative Tribune posted an article about the cost of these regulations.

The article includes the following graphs:

Hidden Government TaxHiddenGovernmentTax2The article reports:

Most troubling is the the nature of our regulatory system. They are designed by rogue and unelected bureaucrats. Regulations effectively become laws with little oversight or accountability. 

This isn’t a small problem. Take for example your elected representatives in Congress. In 2015, CEI finds that Congress enacted 114 laws (that’s probably too many). However, unelected bureaucrats issued 3,410 rules in that same year. In other words, the “fourth” branch of government that is unaccountable issued 30 regulatory decrees for every one law passed by Congress. That’s simply insane. 

In total, there are 178,277 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations which outline the 94,000 rules currently on the books. The cost to enforce all these regulations comes at a massive price. CEI finds that federal agencies spent $63 billion in taxpayer dollars to administer and police this regulatory enterprise.

As bad as this seems, it’s about to get worse. There are currently 3,297 new regulations in the implementation phase. Of this total, CEI finds that 218 are considered “economically significant,” a definition the government uses when a regulation will have an economic impact of $100 million or more. 

The hidden regulatory tax is becoming dangerous to American democracy. The regulatory apparatus is out of control. Over the past 23 years, the number of regulations has increased by 2,060 percent. Individuals that are not elected, or confirmed by elected representatives, should not have such great authority and power over our lives. 

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is eye-opening.

It’s About Time

On Tuesday The Washington Free Beacon reported that lawmakers in Congress have filed legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. It’s about time.

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

Gamal al-Banna, the brother of Hassan al-Banna, the man who founded of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, was interviewed for a Norwegian television documentary, called “Freedom, Equality and the Muslim Brotherhood,”, He stated, “They (the Muslim Brotherhood) do not believe in freedom at all. There is no Islamic authority that respects freedom or democracy.”

Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are cut of the same cloth. The documents uncovered in the Holy Land Foundation Trial (if you follow the link, the first half is in Arabic, the second half is the English translation) explained clearly that the Muslim Brotherhood was (and is) in the process of implementing a plan to bring America under Sharia Law and create a world-side caliphate. The plan of the Brotherhood is to do this by infiltrating the American government and influencing policy. Al Qaeda has the same goal–they just want to do it by violent means rather than peaceful means.

Unfortunately, the Muslim Brotherhood has successfully infiltrated the American government at all levels. In 2012 US Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley was condemned by the Joints Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and relieved of teaching duties at Joint Forces Staff College for teaching a course judged to be offensive to Islam. Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez commented on the state of things: “All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive (or just too informative).”

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

“I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism,” said Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, during testimony in 2011.

Intelligence officials have established that elements of the Brotherhood run terrorist financing operations in the United States. Much of this information, however, remains classified.

Other officials have explained that terror groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al Qaeda can all trace their roots back to the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders.

Cruz has also led congressional efforts to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps an official state sponsor of terrorism.

That bill, submitted at the end of September, would likely mitigate the impact of sanctions relief provided to Iran under the recently inked nuclear deal.

“Branches of the [Revolutionary Guard Corps] have murdered hundreds of Americans,” Cruz said in a statement at the time. “They have attacked our allies, notably Israel. They have provided material support for other designated terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet for years the United States has sanctioned [Revolutionary Guard Corps] entities while leaving the organization itself untouched.”

It is about time we declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

One Answer To Federal Government Overreach

According to the IJReview, the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill last Wednesday that had only two provisions.

The article lists the provisions:

  1. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a policy directive issued by the U.S. DOJ to law enforcement agencies in this state that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with an executive order issued by the President of the U.S. that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

Simply stated, unless Congress passes the law, Arizona is not going to follow it. That is the way our government is supposed to work. Thank you, Arizona.

 

Has Anyone In The Obama Administration Read The U.S. Constitution?

TownHall.com is reporting today that President Obama is “very interested” in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

The Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

The U.S. Constitution also states:

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

Note that in both cases, Congress is tasked with the responsibility of levying taxes.

The article reports:

Obama’s preferred option would be for Congress to pass a corporate tax hike that would fund liberal infrastructure projects like mass transit. But if Congress fails to do as Obama wishes, just as Congress has failed to pass the immigration reforms that Obama prefers, Obama could take actions unilaterally instead. This past November, for example, Obama gave work permits, Social Security Numbers, and drivers licenses to approximately 4 million illegal immigrants.

The President has frequently exceeded his executive authority. Congress has been reluctant (or toothless) to fight back. Unless members of Congress from both political parties begin to stand up to these power grabs, by the time President Obama leaves office, our country will be unrecognizable. It’s time to put the good of America above party politics.

 

Policies Have Consquences

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article detailing some of the impact President Obama’s policies will have on the federal deficit after he leaves office.

The article states that during the remainder of President Obama’s term, the deficit should shrink. That is the good news. However, all of the news is not good.

The article reports:

…The bad news is the deficit begins spiking again in 2017, the year Obama’s successor will be sworn into office, before returning to $1 trillion a year in 2025.

All that red ink comes without another Great Recession, with the country’s biggest wars supposedly ending, without any new big-ticket spending items.

The article explains the reason for the increasing deficit:

Medicaid spending will be double what it was when Obama took office, thanks in part to Obamacare. Spending on the health care exchanges, a mere $15 billion in 2014, will be just under $100 billion annually in only two years.

Between 2016 and 2025, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will cost $920 billion and $1.1 trillion on health insurance subsidies. That’s a rounding error away from $2 trillion.

…The baby boomers’ retirement isn’t Obama’s fault. The fact that the major federal retirement programs are all still structured the way they were for the baby boomers’ parents and grandparents is partly his fault. And the costs of Obamacare are almost entirely his fault (Congress deserves its share of the blame too).

It is very obvious that the first step to solving this problem should be to abolish ObamaCare and return healthcare and health insurance to the private sector. That will not solve the entire problem, but it would be a big step forward. Let’s see if the new GOP majority in Congress is willing to do that. If not, it’s time to elect a different GOP majority.

Solutions That May Be Too Late

I am sure that all of us have heard many fellow Americans say things like, “There’s no point in voting–they are all alike” or “Washington is so corrupt, it can never be fixed.” These are very discouraging statements, particularly because there is some truth in both of them. Ted Cruz is offering solutions. I am just not sure he can break through the corruption to get those solutions implemented.

Yesterday Western Journalism posted an article entitled, “Ted Cruz Unveils A 10-Step Path For GOP To Follow Into 2016.”

The article quotes a statement made by Ted Cruz that is chilling because it is true:

“If we simply settle into business as usual in this town and keep growing and growing and growing the leviathan and keep shrinking and shrinking and shrinking that sphere of individual liberty, we will demoralize the millions of men and women who came out in November and gave Republicans the biggest majority in the house since the 1920s.”

After giving a speech at Heritage Action’s 2015 Conservative Policy Summit, Ted Cruz tweeted his 10-Step Plan. Here are the highlights:

1. Embrace a big pro-jobs, growth agenda.

2. Do everything humanly possible to repeal Obamacare.

3. Secure the border and stop amnesty.

4. Hold government accountable and rein in judicial activism.

5. Stop the culture of corruption in Washington.

6. Pass fundamental tax reform, making taxes flatter, simpler, and fairer.

7. Audit the Fed.

8. Pass a strong balanced budget amendment.

9. Get the federal government out of the business of dictating education standards.

10. Deal seriously with the twin threats of ISIS and a nuclear Iran.

These are fantastic ideas. Unfortunately, there are very powerful forces at work that will oppose a number of these ideas. We need to support these ideas. If you don’t like Ted Cruz, find someone you can support who supports these ideas.

Last fall, I heard a statement from a member of Congress who was very concerned about the direction our nation has taken. I am not mentioning his name because I can’t remember how public the event was. The member of Congress stated that unless we elect someone out of the political class–someone like a Rand Paul or a Ted Cruz–we may not be able to turn this country back to its founding principles. Please keep that in mind when you decide who to support in 2016.

Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when he was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

If we are to keep our Republic, we need to get rid of the political establishment that has taken hold of Washington, D.C. Removing establishment politicians of both parties is our only hope.

Congress Needs To Cut Its Own Pay Before It Takes Benefits Away From Our Troops

Yesterday the Military Times posted an article about the changes Congress and the President are making to the benefits received by our active duty military. This is the same military that Congress and the President have been deploying overseas for the last thirteen plus years.

The article reports:

The lower pay raise will be the most obvious hit for troops, who would be in line for a 1.8 percent raise based on anticipated private-sector wage growth.

For an E-3 with three years of service, the lower raise is a loss of about $195 a year. For an E-7 with 10 years, it comes out to $356. For an O-5 with 12 years of service, it’s $667 in annual salary.

Pentagon planners noted that move alone will save them about $3.8 billion over the next five years. Opponents argued that it creates a new wage gap between troops and their civilian counterparts, giving them less disposable income.

In addition, lawmakers approved trimming back the housing allowances paid to troops who live off base. The Pentagon initially sought to reduce the tax-free housing benefit by 5 percent by reducing the 100 percent of troops’ estimated housing costs that are covered now down to an average of 95 percent — in effect making troops pay 5 percent of their housing with out-of-pocket cash.

The new deal allowing only a 1 percent reduction for one year pushes off future decisions for now.

This is not the way to save money in the defense budget. Note that the article reports that cutting the amount of pay raises will “create a new wage gap between troops and their civilian counterparts.” Our military is a volunteer force. You can only cut wages so much before people stop volunteering.

I have a few suggestions here. How much does a welfare family receive in benefits compared to how much an enlisted military family receives in wages? Can we cut the federal government’s contribution to welfare and let the states sort out welfare fraud? Why is it that welfare programs seem to be the one thing that never gets cut? Why is welfare not running out of money and Social Security (which people pay into) always cited as going broke?

If the Republicans who got elected to Congress in November want to respect the wishes of the voters who elected them, they will find another way to cut the spending. To accept the continued hollowing out of our military and the cutting of benefits paid to our soldiers is to tamper with the national security of America. The voters will hold them accountable.

Advice From A Knowledgeable Source

Townhall.com posted an article today by Hugh Hewitt giving advice to the outgoing Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Hewitts advice is simple:

First, do not cut the expected hike in the military housing allowance or increase the deductible applicable to medical services for military families on active duty. I would hope the GOP learned its lesson last year that your base is deeply committed to the proposition that the active duty and retired-career military should be the last category to receive benefit cuts, not the first in line to get whacked.

…Next, do not vote for a Continuing Resolution that is other than a stop-gap measure. Allowing a lame duck Congress to set spending for the balance of 2015 just after the country voted overwhelmingly to reject the authority of Harry Reid and his allies over that process would itself be a rejection of the people’s vote.

Mr. Hewitt then makes a very prescient prediction:

Look, this president only knows how to do one thing, which is how to make the Congressional GOP look bad –very bad in fact. That is his goal, his entire reason for being for the next 24 months. The president intends to force a shut down next fall, and no matter what you try and do between now and then, he will force that shutdown. The only thing you can do successfully is frame his incipient irresponsibility by quickly passing an updated version of the Ryan Budget –one which removes the sequester from the Department of Defense— and then follow up with the appropriations bills that conform to that budget, communicating every day of the year that you are acting responsibly and the president is refusing to do so.

Be ready. That prediction makes a lot of sense. The President is an expert at convincing the press that he is right when he is wrong. The voters are looking for two things in the new Republican Congress–one is a return to the idea of small, limited government and the second is the developing of a backbone to stand up to a lame-duck President. I am a Republican, and I am waiting for the Republicans to convince me that they are not simply interested in being in control of the bureaucracy, but understand the need to shrink the government and cut spending.

Will Keystone Make A Difference?

The Wall Street Journal (not linked–the article is subscribers only) posted an editorial in its weekend edition about President Obama’s recent remarks about the Keystone XL Pipeline.

When asked about the pipeline, President Obama responded, “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Either the President is economically ignorant or he is attempting to take advantage of the lack of economic knowledge of the average American (the tactic used to sell ObamaCare).

The editorial at the Wall Street Journal points out:

Someone should tell the President that oil markets are global and adding to global supply might well reduce U.S. gas prices, other things being equal. A tutor could add that Keystone XL will also carry U.S. light oil from North Dakota‘s Bakken Shale. So even if he thinks that bilateral trade only helps Canada, he’s still wrong about Keystone.

…Mr. Obama routinely entreats Congress to spend taxpayer money on “infrastructure” to create jobs, yet he implies that the 1,179-mile Keystone infrastructure project won’t create jobs.

Chances are that President Obama will veto the bill that passed the House and Senate regarding the Keystone Pipeline. The only reason the Senate allowed the bill to be brought up was to help Senator Landrieu win re-election. I am not sure the bill would have been brought up if the Democrats were not sure the President would veto it. I doubt enough Democrats will actually support the bill to override that veto. It would be nice if they did. Keystone would be a wonderful way to boost the American economy without charging Americans more taxes.

 

When You Bury Your Head In The Sand, Something Else Is Exposed

In recent weeks, I have heard many Democrat party pundits (some disguised as news reporters) explain why the Democrats should not worry about the 2014 mid-term elections. Obviously these pundits have been proven wrong, but it might be a good idea to take a look at the reasons behind the statement.

Byron York at the Washington Examiner posted an article today entitled, “Voters‘ Verdict Explodes Democratic Myths.” These are the four myths the 2014 mid-term election destroyed:

1) The election wouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama.

2) Obamacare wouldn’t matter.

3) An improving economy would limit Democrats’ losses.

4) Women would save Democrats.

5) The ground game would power Democrats to victory.

So let’s take a look at these ideas. Most of the Republican candidates for Congress used campaign ads that tied the Democrat candidate to President Obama–often citing how often the Democrat candidate voted for President Obama’s policies. You could argue that it wasn’t a referendum on President Obama, but it was a referendum on his policies.

ObamaCare was not passed in a regular legislative process–the Democrats had to play parliamentary games to get it through–without one Republican vote. I believe the voters resented that, and that they will resent it even more when they see their new premium hikes. Many voters also resented the fact that they were not able to keep either their health insurance or their doctors (as they were promised).

Although President Obama claims that the economy is recovering due to his policies, Americans are not convinced. Under the Obama Administration, voters have seen the workforce shrink, the gap between rich and poor increase, and the income and wealth of middle class families decrease. The stock market may be roaring, but the average American is not seeing prosperity.

Women did not bring the Democrat Congressional candidates across the finish line. There are many women who do not feel that the government has to be their caretaker. Some of us resent the fact that the government is requiring private corporations to provide forms of birth control that include abortion. Not every woman wants the government to be her sugar daddy–some of us think we can make it on our own.

About that Democrat ground game. The ground game doesn’t work if you are selling a product no one wants. The special interest groups that voted for President Obama in 2012 have not been able to collect on what they were promised. The youth vote can’t find jobs and the unemployment rate in the black community is still very high. The naive youth vote has now lost its naivety. They are not likely to be fooled by empty promises again. Also, contrary to what the media has tried to tell us–Republicans are not stupid–they are as capable of getting out the vote as the Democrats–they just need to make sure they have a salable product.

This is a beginning. A beginning is nice, but more important is where we go from here. The national debt is spiraling out of control, the government takeover of healthcare is a disaster, and over regulation is stopping economic growth. It’s time to deal with these issues.

 

 

Common Sense From The Huffington Post

I missed this article when it came out, but the Huffington Post posted an article in early August that makes an important point.

The article reports:

The story about Bill Gates’ swift and silent takeover of American education is startling. His role and the role of the U.S. Department of Education in drafting and imposing the Common Core standards on almost every state should be investigated by Congress.

The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and — working closely with the U.S. Department of Education — impose new and untested academic standards on the nation’s public schools is a national scandal. A Congressional investigation is warranted.

The close involvement of Arne Duncan raises questions about whether the law was broken.

Just the idea that the federal government is taking over local education is frightening.

The writer of the article explains why she opposes Common Core:

The revelation that education policy was shaped by one unelected man, underwriting dozens of groups. and allied with the Secretary of Education, whose staff was laced with Gates’ allies, is ample reason for Congressional hearings.

I have written on various occasions (see here and here) that I could not support the Common Core standards because they were developed and imposed without regard to democratic process. The writers of the standards included no early childhood educators, no educators of children with disabilities, no experienced classroom teachers; indeed, the largest contingent of the drafting committee were representatives of the testing industry. No attempt was made to have pilot testing of the standards in real classrooms with real teachers and students. The standards do not permit any means to challenge, correct, or revise them.

In a democratic society, process matters. The high-handed manner in which these standards were written and imposed in record time makes them unacceptable. These standards not only undermine state and local control of education, but the manner in which they were written and adopted was authoritarian. No one knows how they will work, yet dozens of groups have been paid millions of dollars by the Gates Foundation to claim that they are absolutely vital for our economic future, based on no evidence whatever.

The article points out that at a time when local districts are struggling to fund education adequately, they are now being asked to spend additional money on Common Core materials, testing, software and hardware. This does not make sense.

Diane Ravitch, who wrote the article at the Huffington Post is a Research Professor of Education, New York University; and Author of the book, ‘Reign of Error.’ She is calling for a Congressional investigation into Common Core.

With Friends Like These…

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about an amazing statement by President Obama. President Obama’s current approval rating according to Real Clear Politics is averaging about 41.4 percent this month (somehow the mainstream media is not reporting this fact). Keeping that in mind, consider this quote from a recent speech:

“Well, look, here’s the bottom line,” said Obama, “We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They’re on the right side of early childhood education.

“So, this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.”

If you were a Democrat candidate running for Congress, how would you feel about that statement?

This Isn’t Going Away

This is a copy of a letter posted at the Center for Security Policy. The letter was written to Representative Trey Gowdy, Chairman House Select Committee on Benghazi and signed by a group of American leaders seeking the truth about the attack on the CIA Annex in Benghazi.

This is the letter:

October 10, 2014

Hon. Trey Gowdy
Chairman
House Select Committee on Benghazi
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As you are well aware, on May 8, 2014, the House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 567 “Providing for the Establishment of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, Libya”. With the publication this week of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leaders in War and Peace, the need for such an inquiry has become both indisputable and even more urgent.

In particular, it is clear that there is more – and likely much more – that has yet to be established about the murderous September 11, 2012 jihadist attack on American facilities in Benghazi and those assigned to them. Indeed, former Secretary Panetta is providing an account of the Benghazi attacks that differs dramatically from what President Obama and his spokesmen presented in the hours, days and weeks after the attack.

For example, when shown a video clip of the former security contractors who defended the CIA Annex, who described how they were told to stand down that night by their superiors, Mr. Panetta agreed that Congress needed to investigate their story. Secretary Panetta has claimed that he set in motion a number of military units that night. Why was none of them directed to actually reach Benghazi? Who gave the ultimate order to U.S. military forces not to come to the rescue of our people in Benghazi that night? Was it the Secretary of State? The President? Or someone else? If so, on whose authority?

In addition, Mr. Panetta is saying in the course of his book tour that he disagreed with the assessment of CIA Director David Petraeus that the attacks were a demonstration turned violent. But what was the source of Gen. Petraeus’ assessment, since we know from other congressional committees that the CIA station chief in Tripoli was emailing the Director’s deputy, Mike Morell, within 48 hours of the attacks, telling him emphatically there had been no demonstration in Benghazi that night?

The need for full accountability for what really happened in Benghazi – and to establish how to prevent such murderous attacks on our foreign missions in the future – has taken on even greater urgency in light of recent developments with ominous implications for American diplomats, military personnel and security contractors overseas. These include:

  • This summer, we had to evacuate our embassy in Tripoli, Libya because of threatening jihadist operations there.
  • This week, our embassy in Sanaa, Yemen has come under attack – reportedly putting another 80 Americans at risk from jihadists who are openly boasting of their plans to kill Americans.
  • Should Baghdad fall to the Islamic State in coming weeks or, more likely, the Green Zone come under enemy fire, some1000 of our countrymen and women could be at risk.

Has our government learned the lessons of Benghazi? Does it have actionable plans in place that will provide for the defense of our embassies and people in Sanaa or Baghdad?

We believe that Congress has a responsibility to get to the bottom of such questions as a matter of the utmost urgency. Otherwise, more American lives may be on the line and needlessly lost.

Clearly, the fact that the House of Representatives is in recess is not an impediment to holding hearings in the immediate future as you and other Members of Congress have been returning to Washington in recent days to hold high-profile hearings concerning a Secret Service scandal and the spread of Ebola. It strains credulity that Congress cannot find time for hearings about an act of war in which four Americans – including our ambassador – were killed, with many others seriously wounded as sovereign American territory was attacked by terrorist enemies determined to murder more of us. We know for a fact that the Islamic State, al Qaeda, Iran and a growing universe of jihadists are busy plotting to create more Benghazis, here and elsewhere.

What is the select congressional committee doing to prevent that?

We respectfully request that you make plain to the American people, who are seeking the truth and anxious to avoid any repetition of Benghazi that might arise from its continued suppression, that you will promptly secure the testimony under oath of Secretary Panetta and the other principals and key subordinates who have first-hand knowledge of the events that took place on the night of the 11th of September. In light of the stakes, hearings for this purpose should be held this month, not weeks and weeks from now.

Sincerely (signatories as of 4:15 PM DST – 10/10/14),

  • Andrew C. McCarthy, Chairman, Benghazi Accountability Coalition
  • Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President & CEO, Center for Security Policy
  • Charles Woods, Father of Ty Woods, victim of 9/11/2012 terror attack in Benghazi
  • Michael Ingmire, Musician, Writer, Activist, Uncle of Sean Smith, victim of 9/11/2012 terror attack in Benghazi
  • Allen Roth, President, Secure America Now
  • Sandy Rios,  Director of Governmental Affairs for AFA
  • Paul Caprio, Director of Family Pac Federal
  • Kenneth Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador, UN Human Rights Commission
  • Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
  • Dick Brauer, Colonel, US Air Force (Retired), Co-Founder of Special Operations Speaks and member, Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • Ken Benway, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired), Co-Founder of Special Operations Speaks
  • Dennis B. Haney, Lietenant Colonel, US Air Force (Retired), Special Operations Speaks
  • Daniel W. (Jake) Jacobowitz, Political-Military Consultant
  • Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition
  • Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman & Founder, Traditional Values Coalition
  • Thomas McInerney, Lieutenant General, USAF (Retired), Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • Wayne V. Morris, Colonel, US Marine Corps, (Retired), Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • Kevin M. Shipp, Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • Charles Jones, Brigadier General, US Air Force (Retired), Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • John A. Shaw, Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • Clare Lopez, Vice President, Center for Security Policy
  • Joseph E. Schmitz, Former Inspector General of the Department of Defense
  • Tera Dahl, Executive Director, Council on Global Security
  • Brigitte Gabriel, Founder & CEO, ACT for America
  • Anita MonCrief, Advisory Board Member , Black Conservatives Fund 
  • Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
  • Allen B. West, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)
  • Fred Fleitz, Former CIA analyst and Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy
  • Roger Noriega, former US Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to the OAS
  • Henry F. Cooper, Ambassador and former Chief U.S. Negotiator at the Defense and Space Talks and former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Paul E Vallely, Major General, US Army (Retired), Chairman, Stand Up America
  • Roger Aronoff, Citizens Commission on Benghazi
  • William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Lt. General, US Army Special Forces Command (Retired)
  • James A. “Ace” Lyons, Admiral, US Navy (Retired), President/CEO, LION Associates, LLC
  • Dr. Ron Crews, CH, Colonel, US Army (Retired), Executive Director, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty
  • C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
  • Kenneth R. Timmerman, Author, Dark Forces:  The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi
  • David N. Bossie, President, Citizens United
  • Ginni Thomas, President, Liberty Consulting, LLC
  • John Fonte, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

The list of people who have signed this letter is an indication of the concern about the seeming cover-up of the events in Benghazi. It is time for the truth to come out.

 

The Unspoken Legacy Of President Obama

On Monday, The Daily Signal posted an article about President Obama’s legacy. It’s something that the press has not really highlighted.

The article reports:

In President Barack Obama’s second term, the Senate has confirmed more than twice the number of judicial nominees than were confirmed in President George W. Bush’s second term. This is due mostly to the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., succeeded in eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominees (excluding the Supreme Court, at least for now) in November 2013..

The chart below illustrates how the elimination of the filibuster has impacted the nomination process:

Infographic by John Fleming

I am not a big supporter of the filibuster, but I am also not a big supporter of stacking the courts with judges with a political bias. That is what has been going on. Since many of the problems with ObamaCare will be decided in the courts, the Obama appointments to the lower courts could easily move America further to the left than Congress would have been able to do. Our Constitution was designed to create a representative republic. The idea was that laws would be made in Congress. People could hold their Congressman accountable and vote him out of office if they did not like the laws he supported. (Actually, that is not totally true. Initially, the House of Representatives was elected by the people, and the Senators were appointed by the state legislatures. In 1913, Congress passed the 17th Amendment, which called for the direct election of Senators. Up until that point, the state legislature could recall their Senator if he was not supporting bills that were in the interest of their state. The direct election of Senators changed the balance of power in the U.S. government and seriously diminished the power of the states against the much larger federal government.) Unfortunately, we have now reached a point where our courts are making laws. As the courts lean left, we may find ourselves living in a country with a very different form of government than what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

Economic Policies Have Consequences

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about Congressional Budget Office (CBO) statements on the condition of the American economy. The CBO is not optimistic about the future.

The article reports:

The CBO updated its fiscal projections Wednesday, and they reflected its new gloomy view that the future of the U.S. economy is one of slower growth and lower productivity.

“They think that we will get back up to potential growth,” said Loren Adler, an analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “but they make it clear that they think potential growth is lower than it used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

The CBO first reached the conclusion that future growth will be slower when it released its long-term budget projections in July, but only incorporated it into its official 10-year budget projections Wednesday.

In its new projections, the CBO sees the economy suffering from a scenario in which its potential is slightly lower than before — 1 percent lower in 2024 than previously expected.

As a result of weak economic growth this year and slightly slower potential growth over the next 10 years, the CBO sees $514 billion in lost revenue.

…The CBO’s scenario — slower growth and permanently lower interest rates — is consistent with the “secular stagnation” scenario outlined by former Obama economic adviser and Harvard professor Larry Summers, who has argued that the U.S. economy may not be able to generate enough consumer demand for goods and services on its own without stimulus from the Federal Reserve or through federal spending.

The assumption that demand will return to normal “now seems problematic,” Stein (Center for American Progress’ Harry Stein) told the Washington Examiner, noting that he wasn’t sure whether the CBO assumed secular stagnation in its model.

So how do you grow an economy? Ronald Reagan seemed to have the answer–lower taxes. If you look at the deal that President Reagan made with Congress (a Democrat-controlled Congress), Congress was going to cut spending along with the tax cuts. Unfortunately, Congress chose to ignore their part of the bargain, and spending during the Reagan years increased greatly and deficits went up despite record tax revenues coming into the government. Even with the growing deficits, the economy grew rapidly once the tax burden was taken off of the people who create jobs and produce wealth. The Obama Administration has increased the income of the wealthy while leaving the middle and lower classes behind. This is the fruit of crony capitalism. The gap between rich and poor has increased during the Obama Administration–not decreased. If you want to see America prosper again, elect people to Congress who will cut taxes and cut spending.

A Dangerous Executive Order

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Obama’s latest Executive Order. The President claims that the order will bar federal contractors from practicing “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. That sounds good, but there are some problems with it.

The article reports:

Today’s executive order does not contain any religious liberty protections—though it does retain an older federal regulation that permits religious organizations that favor employment of co-religionists to continue such practices. But there is no protection for organizations that hire based on mission—not on affiliation—to continue to do so. This in effect excludes taxpayers who hold conscientious beliefs about sexuality that run counter to Obama’s from being eligible for federal contracts funded with their own tax dollars.

The article also explains the solution for this Executive Order:

In response to this executive order, Congress has an opportunity to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act—sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in the House (H.R. 3133) with more than 100 co-sponsors of both parties and sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R – Utah, in the Senate (S. 1808) with 17 co-sponsors—would prevent the federal government from taking such adverse actions. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Indeed, tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement.

We have always had transgendered people with us. They should be treated with respect. However, people with religious convictions should also be treated with respect. The right of conscience has always been a part of American law–from abortion law to gender issues. The Executive Order President Obama signed today is an affront to the freedom of all Americans–it does not respect their First Amendment right to practice and live according to their religious beliefs. Someone needs to read the U.S. Constitution to all of the people in Washington .

Question Of The Week

We have all watched the IRS and its ‘the dog ate my homework’ defense of its failure to produce the documents Congress is requesting. This lack of cooperation resulted in the ‘Question of the Week’ being asked in the Congressional hearings.

As reported by The Blaze:

‘At What Point Does It Become Obstruction of Justice?’: Jim Jordan Angrily Grills IRS Head Over What He Waited Two Months to Do

That is the question.

The ACLU Gets It Right

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Congressional Democrat’s attempt to repeal the First Amendment. Part of this attempt would insure that incumbent politicians would be able to stay in office indefinitely–opponents would be prevented from raising the amount of money necessary to achieve the name recognition needed to be viable candidates. A hearing on the bill was held yesterday.

The article lists some of the details of the law, which is sponsored by Tom Udall:

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates. …

Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

States would also be given similar powers.

Here are a few quotes from the ACLU‘s letter to Congress opposing the bill:

To give just a few hypotheticals of what would be possible in a world where the Udall proposal is the 28th Amendment:

    • Congress would be allowed to restrict the publication of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir “Hard Choices” were she to run for office;

    • Congress could criminalize a blog on the Huffington Post by Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, that accuses Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) of being a “climate change denier”;

    • Congress could regulate this website by reform group Public Citizen, which urges voters to contact their members of Congress in support of a constitutional amendment addressing Citizens United and the recent McCutcheon case, under the theory that it is, in effect, a sham issue communication in favor of the Democratic Party;

    • A state election agency, run by a corrupt patronage appointee, could use state law to limit speech by anti-corruption groups supporting reform;

    • A local sheriff running for reelection and facing vociferous public criticism for draconian immigration policies and prisoner abuse could use state campaign finance laws to harass and prosecute his own detractors;

    • A district attorney running for reelection could selectively prosecute political opponents using state campaign finance restrictions; and

    • Congress could pass a law regulating this letter for noting that all 41 sponsors of this amendment, which the ACLU opposes, are Democrats (or independents who caucus with Democrats).

Such examples are not only plausible, they are endless.

This proposed law is one example of the reason term limits for politicians would be a really good idea. One of the major effects of this law would be to insure that incumbents would remain in office. It is an unfortunate fact of life that any limit on campaign donations gives an advantage to incumbent office holders–they have access to the press and can stage press events. Candidates running against them have a much more difficult time getting the attention of the press–therefore they are forced to spend money on campaign ads in order to be viable candidates.

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Multi-Tasking In The Obama Administration

Watching the actions of the Obama Administration this past week, I am amazed at what they have accomplished. That is not necessarily a positive statement; it is simply an observation.

The recent Rose Garden press conference to announce the return of an American soldier was a sight to behold. The attempt to generate positive news coverage was obvious, even if the event might not have gone exactly as planned. The father of the returning soldier gave praise to allah in the language of the Taliban. But think of the problem those who understand just what happened will have making their case. No one wants to see an American soldier left behind. What kind of cold-hearted person would even consider criticizing the return of a soldier? So it is possible that the Obama Administration will get away with whitewashing the fact that there are some real questions regarding this soldier’s capture by the Taliban and the American lives lost in trying to get him back.

There is also the question of the Taliban ‘dream team’ being freed from Guantanamo in exchange for one American soldier. There are questions as to whether or not it is legal to release prisoners from Guantanamo without notifying Congress in advance. Is this the trial balloon that determines how much push back there will be when high level terrorists are released? Is this the first step in closing Guantanamo?

The President has now set a precedent for trading Americans for terrorists. That does not in any way make Americans safer. This whole scenario is a nightmare for the future security of America and Americans. However, if he gets away with it, it will be a public relations victory for President Obama.

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The People Who Make Our Laws Can’t Even Follow Their Own Rules

CBN News is reporting today that despite passing a law last year that made earmarks illegal, Congress passed more than 100 earmarks for 2014.

The article reports:

Every year, the Pig Book Summary blasts Congress for its wasteful pork barrel projects.

“There are 109 earmarks, costing taxpayers $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2014,” Thomas Schatz, with Citizens against Government Waste, told CBN News.

Congress has even passed millions in spending for agencies who didn’t want the money.

One example of an agency that did not want the money is the $90 million for M1 tanks the Pentagon insists it really doesn’t want.

The article further reports:

“The secretary of the Army said they don’t need to build more M1s. They want to delay this for four years and save $3 billion,” Schatz said. “There are 2,000 M1s sitting idle in the desert of California.”

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is getting $866 million to mostly duplicate research on the very same illnesses and diseases as the civilian sector.

“Breast cancer research can be done at the National Institutes of Health and it’s done –billions of dollars [for] other research done at other agencies,” Schatz charged.

Americans are pinching pennies to stay afloat in the so-called economic recovery, and Congress is borrowing money our children and grandchildren will have to pay back. This is ridiculous. It’s time to vote every Congressman out of office who has supported the runaway spending of recent years.

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