Category Archives: Congress

They Are For It, After They Were Against It?

To hear Democrats, and particularly the President, tell it, we must raise the debt ceiling immediately and to do anything other than raise it $2.4 trillion no questions asked, is “dangerous”, “irresponsible”, “risky”, “playing with fire”, etc. Mr. Obama went so far as to pull out the old liberal stand-by, i.e., scare the old people,  telling them Social Security checks may not go out if this isn’t done immediately.

Whoa, hold on a minute. Did the President of the United States just threaten citizens with taking away their own money? Haven’t we been told our whole lives that Social Security is a trust fund? You mean they can just not give our money back to us if they don’t want to? Hmmm, no conservative has ever warned you about that have they? Don’t worry, seniors, this is an idle threat. Social Security wouldn’t be the first, tenth or probably fiftieth thing cut if/when the government runs out of money. But the fact that he said it ought to really give America pause. That is if we were listening.

Back to the pending doom of not raising the debt ceiling. Interestingly, in 2006, all 45 Democratic Senators, including then Senator Obama, voted against raising the debt ceiling. The increase being discussed then was a paltry $780 billion, but today when raising it more than 3 times that amount is on the table, they would have you believe it is a mere formality and conservatives are being silly to hold it up. Heck, the President has gone so far as to say not raising it would be irresponsible. Really, Mr. President? Then what the hell were you and your cronies up to in 2006?

According to Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid in 2006:

“Any objective analysis of our country’s fiscal history would have to conclude this administration and this rubber-stamping Republican Congress are the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of our country. In fact, no other president or Congress even comes close.”

Here’s more of his rhetoric from way back… ooops, just five years ago:

Oh Harry, what’s that expression about the pot calling the kettle black? So, in 2006 Republicans were being irresponsible for raising the debt ceiling $800 billion, and today they are being irresponsible for not raising it TWO point FOUR TRILLION! I guess Democrats got their John Kerry impersonation mixed up and they are for it after they were against it.

The country is fiscally doomed and this kind of “leadership” is exactly why.

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Filed under Congress, Financial

Oops, He Did It Again!

Perhaps this entry should more accurately be entitled, “Oops, They Did It Again!” since by a rough count this makes the 9th significant figure within the Democratic party to be caught cheating on their financial reports and/or taxes in the past 6 months, including SIX nominees of the Obama administration. But for today let’s focus on Representative Charlie Rangel (D – NY) who according to the New York Post has now admitted to failing to report to Congress $1.3 million in income and $3 million more in business transactions during the years 2002-2006.

The gut-wrenchingly hilarious irony is that Representative Rangel is the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and is therefore… wait for it… in charge of writing U.S. tax law. The man is cheating at the very rules he is responsible for writing and then claiming ignorance as a defense. One question that comes immediately to mind is if Chairman Rangel can’t seem to figure out the complicated tax code, how in the world is one of his poor constituents supposed to understand it and comply?

Of course, if the average citizen does fail to understand it and comply, he or she will pay huge penalties and interest at a minimum and risks jail time if the IRS decides the mistake was intentional, but good ol’ Charlie isn’t going to jail. Nope, instead, he gets to keep his Chairmanship writing tax law and his job for which the American taxpayers pay him $158,000 per year plus expenses.

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption

Sorry, Nancy, That Is Not How It Works

“I don’t have anything more to say about it. I stand by my comment.” With those words Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the third in the line of succession to the Presidency of the United States, attempted to simply brush aside her outrageous behavior in recent weeks. Apparently, if you are a Democrat in Washington you can call the CIA liars, say you weren’t aware of something that you were aware of and bash the opposition for a policy you raised no objection to; then when the press starts asking tough questions you simply say, “I don’t have anything more to say about it”. I imagine there are just a few Republicans wishing those were the rules by which they were allowed to play.

Sometimes you just have to laugh at politicians and the words that come out of their mouths. Nancy Pelosi actually believes that it should be up to her what questions the press will ask her and when. Of course, that is understandable as the ‘in the bag media’ has done nothing to contradict that view for years now.

After spending the last several years hammering the Bush administration for its policy surrounding waterboarding it turns out that Speaker Pelosi knew the tactic was being used the entire time and did nothing to stop it. That in and of itself would be bad enough, but then the Speaker went further saying the CIA was lying and that she didn’t know. Only now it has been proven that she did, so in the end, she was lying when she called the CIA ‘liars’.

This is the behavior that the Speaker of the House believes she can simply brush under the rug because she doesn’t feel like talking about it anymore. Sorry, Nancy, that’s not how it works. Even if your friends in the main stream media once again fail to perform their duty as reporters and let you off the hook, the rest of us will not.

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption

Nothing Better To Do?

In an apparent admission that they have nothing better to do (something many of us have known for quite some time), the U.S. Senate is holding hearings on how the NCAA picks it’s national champion in college football. I know it sounds like I must be making this up, but unfortunately, I’m all too serious. Still can’t believe it, view the press release; the Anti-Trust Subcommittee has listed this crucial topic of grave national concern (he said with dripping sarcasm) as one of the handful of issues they intend to hold hearings on during this session of Congress. While most fans of college football would agree that the current system is far from ideal, U.S. Senate hearings are the last thing we need.

Frankly, I would just as soon they not hold hearings on any issues, including the important ones, since everything this government touches turns into a larger more expensive government run program sucking the life out of the U.S. economy, but if they are determined to do something this year, perhaps they could make it something the slightest bit relevant to the management and protection of our country!

Senators, please do something, anything, to earn your keep.  Here’s a hint… This isn’t it!

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Filed under Congress, Random Senselessness

What’s Good For the Goose

Senate Democrats have been railing for the past week against the executives at AIG who accepted their bonuses even after the collapse of the company and subsequent bailout by taxpayers. But it doesn’t seem the same Senators feel quite so strongly about giving money back when it’s their own money.

In a Washington Times article today it was revealed that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $100,000 from everyone’s favorite scumbag, Bernie Madoff, since 2005.  This is money STOLEN from his investors.  But, guess what?  The Democrats aren’t giving it back, at least not yet.  It seems that while it’s perfectly reasonable to pass ex post facto legislation to take back bonuses from AIG executives – bonuses that were legally although perhaps not morally earned – it’s too much to ask that Senate Democrats would give back $100,000 worth of STOLEN money.  Apparently, what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander, but we knew that about our politicians already, now didn’t we.

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption, Government Spending

Which Is It, Mr. Miller?

Most of you have never heard of George Miller. Too bad it isn’t going to stay that way. Mr. Miller is the Democratic Congressman from California’s 7th District, a position he’s managed to squat on for a whopping 35 years since 1974, but more on term limits another time. Why am I writing about Representative Miller you ask.  Because Mr. Miller needs Some Sense!

Recently Representative Miller along with two of our more Senseless Senators, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Harking re-introduced the Employee Free Choice Act.  The legislation, as you may have heard, rewrites the law surrounding Union organization.  This is an awful piece of legislation for both the business owner and the American worker but you can bet it’s good for the Unions hence their aggressive push to strong-arm Congress to pass the legislation.  More here about how this legislation hurts American workers.

So why am I upset with Representative Miller?  Read the letter below that he and a number of his colleagues sent to the Government of Mexico in 2001 and I’m pretty sure it will become clear.  Here’s a link to the original for the doubters among you.

August 29, 2001.

JUNTA LOCAL DE CONCILIACION Y ARBITRAJE DEL ESTADO DE PUEBLA, LIC. ARMANDO POXQUI QUINTERO,

7 Norte, Numero 1006 Altos, Colonia Centro, Puebla, Mexico C.P. 72000.

DEAR MEMBERS of THE JUNTA LOCAL DE CONCILIACION Y ARBITRAJE of THE STATE of PUEBLA: As members of Congress of the United States who are deeply concerned with international labor standards and the role of labor rights in international trade agreements, we are writing to encourage you to use the secret ballot in all union recognition elections.

We understand that the secret ballot is allowed for, but not required, by Mexican labor law. However, we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.

We respect Mexico as an important neighbor and trading partner, and we feel that the increased use of the secret ballot in union recognition elections will help bring real democracy to the Mexican workplace.

Sincerely,

George Miller, Marcy Kaptur, Bernard Sanders, William J. Coyne, Lane Evans, Bob Filner, Martin Olav Sabo, Barney Frank, Joe Baca, Zoe Lofgren, Dennis J. Kucinich, Calvin M. Dooley, Fortney Pete Stark, Barbara Lee, James P. McGovern, Lloyd Doggett.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Here’s a letter from less than eight years ago where Rep. Miller (and a number of other political hacks who you can be sure will vote for the E.F.C.A. when it comes to the floor) is so staunchly in favor of private ballots for union elections he is attempting to influence a foreign government to his way of thinking.  Now, a mere 8 years later, he’s willing to throw out secret ballots – hmm, wonder which lobbying group got to him?  Can anyone say AFL-CIO?

So which is it, Mr. Miller?  Are you for secret ballots or against them?  When you figure it out, would you let the rest of us know.

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Filed under Congress, Random Senselessness

Wish I Had a Job Like This!

You know what’s funny? Watching CSPAN. No, I’m serious! It’s absolutely hilarious watching these hack politicians from both parties fall all over themselves to get in front of the microphone and condemn the compensation packages on Wall Street. Why is this so funny?  Have any of you ever examined what a U.S. Congressman makes in salary and benefits?  They’ve got a lot of nerve condemning Wall Street for its excesses!  Here’s a little background information for you.  They get:

  • Salary of $174,000 per year.  (leadership gets more – Nancy Pelosi makes $223,500).
  • They get a cost-of-living increase every year regardless of performance.
  • An extremely generous pension for life that starts after as little as 5 years of service (it’s complicated and I won’t bore you with it, but you can get all the details here.
  • Staff allowance – Reps. get about $1.3M and Sens. around $3.0M per year to hire staff.
  • Expense allowance for travel, telephone, etc.  Basically anything you can think of, they expense!
  • Foreign Travel – as appropriated by Congress.
  • Free Mail Service to their constituents.
  • Free office furniture and equipment.

All this is for a part-time job.  Remember, they are only in session about 125 days a year (hilarious video on that subject here).  When Congress was first seated in 1789, they were paid $6.00 per day and only for the days they were actually in session.  This remained unchanged for the next 66 years until 1855.  Sixty-six years without a raise and now they give themselves a raise every year?!?  $6 a day, that sounds good, let’s go back to that plan.

No, seriously, my proposal is for a straight compensation for performance plan for Congress.  The rest of the world only gets paid when they actually do their job and do it well (ok not true for unions, but everybody else).  So, what would a pay-for-performance package for Congress look like?  Balance the budget, get a salary. Produce a surplus, get a bonus.  But, run a deficit, sorry pal, no paycheck for you!  It really is that simple.  And while we’re at it, we can tie their staff compensation to a similar albeit less harsh formula.  Something like deficit = 75% of salary,  balanced budget = 100% of salary, surplus = 125% of salary.  Any manager or small business owner can tell you that rewarding performance is the only way to actually get performance and yet we pay these people (and re-elect them) for failure year after year, decade after decade.  Congress is failing us in every way.  Both parties.  Every day.  Why do they still have their jobs?  Why are they still getting a paycheck?  And, how in the world can they possibly deserve a raise?

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption, Government Spending