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Left And Right Politics

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Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

A Letter From Senator Bill Nelson

Posted by Billy On August - 12 - 2011

I received an e-mail from Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fl) informing his constituents of how serious he is about staying away from the mud-slinging and bad talking about the “other” political party. He does say that it’s both the Republicans as well as the Democrats that are responsible for the problems in America.

Here is the letter he sent out to the people in his district, followed by the response I sent to him.

After watching Standard & Poor’s performance in the Enron and housing debacles, it’s hard to stomach their decision to downgrade America’s credit.

But even coming from S&P, there is a message we should hear: The finger pointing and hyper-partisanship has to stop. If it doesn’t, we really will be on the road to ruin.

Democrats need to see tea partiers as something other than debt-limit hostage-taking Republicans. And Republicans need to see President Barack Obama and Democrats as something other than big-spending socialists.

We’ve got to stop this attack madness. We have to bring civility back to the public square. We have to put the country back on the path to fiscal sanity.

To do that, we need to cut some $4 trillion to $5 trillion. We made a down payment on this with the $2 trillion dollars we cut just last week. Now we need to go further.

To understand what we have to do, though, we first need to look at how we got here.

We went from a $236 billion budget surplus in 2000 to a $1.3 trillion deficit last year — and a record $14 trillion debt. A huge chunk of the debt comes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re bringing the troops home.

Another significant piece stems from the Bush-era tax cuts. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, says the tax cuts for the wealthy should be left to expire. They’re set to do so at the end of next year. We should let that happen.

Agree or not, don’t you think most Americans were better off before the tax cuts than they are now?

Much of the rest of the debt comes from the economic downturn since 2008.

That brings us to today. And there’s no mystery about what we have to do. It’s just common sense. In addition to the spending cuts Congress just made, we need tax reform.

And by tax reform, I mean closing loopholes, special interest tax breaks and corporate subsidies. It’s just plain wrong to be protecting tax breaks for oil companies and to be rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Subcommittee, I’ve scheduled a hearing for early September to investigate closing many of these loopholes. Doing so will likely generate $2 trillion over the next decade. Add that to the $2 trillion in spending cuts we’ve made — and we’re in the $4 trillion range that we need to hit.

It’s time to stop the shouting and bickering and political attacks. It’s time to show the world that America can take care of business.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is a member of the Senate Finance and Budget committees.

Senator,

The piece that you wrote for Politico is nothing but a poor attempt to convince me to vote for you next year. I will tell you that that will never happen.

Your attempt to lie to the American people about the so-called surplus in 2000 is just something else for me to tell my neighbors and friends about when they ask me for my political advice. The surplus you refer to was nothing more than a projected number if nothing in the equation would change. You know damn well that politicians, both Republicans and Democrats alike, do nothing to stop the spending of our tax dollars.

As for the $2 million you say that Congress just cut is also a lie. Again you cut money from the projected spending that you guys would like to do in the future. It’s like me saying I saved $90,000 this year since I wanted to spend $150,000 next year and will only spend $60,000. Of course I only make $60,000 a year, but that doesn’t matter since I saved $90,000 from “cutting” my spending.

It’s politicians like yourself that has ruined this country and too bad we are left to deal with you and your type forever since there is no term limits for you Senators and Congressman.

If you want to get my vote, pass a term limit bill before your next five weeks vacation that you and your fellow politicians don’t deserve. You civic service was never meant to be a career.

As for tax reform, absolutely we need tax reform. Let’s get it all over with and enact the Fair Tax Plan and get rid of the IRS. If it wasn’t for taxes, you guys would have nothing to use to get the different classes of people mad at each other which takes the focus off of the crap you and the others are doing in Washington DC. There are two classes in this country, the citizen class and the political class.

As for your last section where you state, “It’s time to show the world that America can take care of business.”, You are so right and for us as a country to do that, we need to clean out the House and the Senate of all politicians that have held the office for more than 6 years. Working along side of GOOOH.com (Get Out Of Our House) we are working to make that happen.

In closing, I want to thank you for your time in sending out this e-mail to remind me and my fellow readers/subscribers and countrymen of what’s important to America.

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Fannie And Freddie Are Looking For More Handouts

Posted by Billy On August - 10 - 2011

That’s right the government sponsored mortgage entities are looking to borrow more money from the tax payers of America. Only hours after being downgraded by standard and Poors on Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would need to ask for a $1.5 billion injection to help balance their books. I am not surprised at the fact that these two businesses (I use that word loosely) can not pay their obligations to the debt holders, the American tax payer. To add insult to injury, they want to take more from the same people who have been keeping them afloat for the last three years.

Both of these companies have been poorly run and not regulated properly for the past 10-15 years. It’s only in the last three years that all the dirt is being revealed. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd started the ball rolling in 1995 drafting a bill, The Fair Housing Act, later signed by president Clinton. The bill was meant to help lower income families to get a mortgage to buy a home. Unfortunately, the politics of Washington strong-armed the mortgage industry into approving just about anyone who wanted a mortgage, even if they couldn’t even afford the down payment and/or the monthly payments. Of course many of the issues didn’t really kick into high gear until years later when more and more people started to realize how easy it was to get a home without any money down and with low interest rates (for the first 2-3 years). Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) started to pop-up throughout the United States. All of these factors added to the entire housing market collapse as well as the financial situation with both Fannie and Freddie.

In the last three years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received over $170 billion and they are no where near getting their heads above water. There is so much leverage within the financial/housing market that it will takes years to correct. Because of that reason, the federal government can not just close the doors on Fannie and Freddie. It would cause major declines in the housing market throughout the country as well as causing the interest rates to skyrocket out of control.

Plans have to be made to start transferring the assets of these two government subsidized programs to the private sector. It’s not something that can be done immediately, it will take 5-7 years to do so, but the idea is to start now so in a few short years America’s housing market will be stable again and more in line to how the mortgage industry needs to be operated.

With private companies running the show, stricter rules will be in place to manage the mortgages as the qualification to getting one. Owning a home should be looked at as a benchmark of a person/family’s success, not as a right to own one because you exist. When the federal government is involved, it becomes more of a political tool to help get a candidate or a particular party into office. Washington has never operated as a business and I doubt they would know how to in the first place.

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Free Phones From The Federal Government?

Posted by Billy On August - 4 - 2011

In the current state of this economy, The federal government has decided to give people, who are already on some sort of entitlement program, a free cell phone and 250 minutes each month. For those of us who pay for our own cell phone and would like to know where the funding for this program is coming from, you’re paying for it, that’s who.

That’s right, you are. If you’re like me, you’re the type that looks at the bill each month to be fully aware of what I’m being charged for. On our monthly bill, there is a charge from the federal government. For each cell phone provider, it’s written different. My company lists it under government fees and taxes. An extra 3% is added to my bill each month. These charges help pay for these free phones. The programs, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, are federal government programs to provide free phones to the lower income families.

So how do you qualify for this program? If you are already on some sort of entitlement program, you pretty much qualify. Depending on what state you live in will decide the details of the program.
In the state I live in, Florida, here’s the basics to qualifying:

If you’re on any one (or a combination) of these programs, you qualify.
. Medicaid
. Food Stamps/SNAP
. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
. Temporary Cash Assistance

. Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs (BIA)
. Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
. National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program

The way we read it, this Safelink Wireless program gives you a free cell phone, free monthly service, and free minutes. You qualify even if you make 35% more than the designated “poverty” level or if you’re already getting additional freebies from the government. And we see nothing that indicates you have to be a legal resident of the United States to qualify.

How much more is it going to continue? As it is right now, $1 trillion of the national budget is slated for low-income assistance. I understand that there are people who are in dire straits because of the current (and for some time to come) economic situation, but this is going a little too far now. As we’ve seen in the last week, our country is already having difficulties paying for the programs it has in place. The federal government has gone too far over the last twenty years and if we don’t stop it, it will get worse.

As it is, many Americans are starting to think that the government owes them something just for the simple fact of existing. Why is that? Because the federal government has given the American people that feeling that it’s what they are there for. The federal government has made it where many people have no idea of what the federal government authorities actually are. Americans no longer seem to care about what the government does as long as they’re getting something for free.

These types of programs do nothing but weaken the country as a whole and damages the natural flow of the free market. When will people realize that once the government gets involved with any industry and starts to subsidize any part of it, the products that come out of the industry has gone up for their customers. Doing this is going to do nothing but push the price of service up even more. Each phone that is connected, the phone provider is paid $10 per customer. My own bill’s basic service is $49.95 a month. So how is the company making money off of the program? They charge the individual customer $49.95 for basic service along with the government fees and federal universal charges to make up for the lost.

Until we as Americans stand up to the politicians and their way of doing business, we will continue to deal with programs like this one. Like the old saying goes…”Nothing is forever except for government programs.
These are the things that need to be cut in the budget, I know damn well the Social security and Medicare are just scare tactic tools that politicians use to confuse most Americans.

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The 14th Amendment

Posted by Billy On July - 29 - 2011

As the debt ceiling talks continue to deteriorate into nothing more than school yard standoff, Many democrats are pushing for President Obama to bypass Congress and cite a small provision in the 14th Amendment. The section the Democrats are referring is in Section 4.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Of course they only recite the first sentence of the section. As the text is written, yes, the United States does have an obligation to pay all debts. As any responsible adult should, so should the country/government . The problem I have with the Democrats and the Obama Administration is that they easily omit the most important part of the 14 amendment (in my opinion), Section 5 which reads…

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

I can see why the president and the Democrats in Congress would want to ignore (or fail to mention) section 5. Because as it reads, the legislation branch holds the power of the 14th amendment, which is Congress, not the president. If Obama does overstep his boundaries of the executive branch of the federal government to raise the debt ceiling without the appropriate bil from Congress, it will be an impeachable political move. Obama has said (as well as the media), that he is a Constitutional scholar and understands the Constitution better than anyone. If that’s the case then he also knows the truth about this section and will not enact it. Obama and his aides know that he lacks the Constitutional power to do so, but that doesn’t mean the the Democrats and others alike aren’t pushing for him to change his mind.

So since we’re looking at the 14th Amendment, let’s look at Section 3 for just a moment…

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

As the text reads, neither the president, vice-president or any member of Congress shall engage in insurrection or rebellion against the Constitution or given aide or comfort to an enemy of the document. So I guess our executive and most of the legislative are already in violation of this amendment. The Health Care bill, Cap and Trade are just two of the most recent violations against the Constitution, I won’t even try to go back as far as 30 years where there were so many other violations we can consider.

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