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Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and to all Americans, it is once again time for our weekly update. I hope this newsletter finds you well. In this new format, I’m going to share more information with you, including videos, pictures, my favorite news articles, profiles of our local men and women in uniform, our small businesses and other notable news from District 22. This will all be in addition to my weekly wrap-up of my work as your Representative.
This was a short D.C. week coming off the 4th of July weekend, which I hope everyone enjoyed. It was the 235th celebration of our Declaration of Independence. I can attest to you that the House Democrat Caucus enjoyed the 4th of July so much that the following day they invited avowed Communist, Van Jones, to address their caucus…now ain’t that a doozy!
Even though the legislative business of this week was the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill, the debt ceiling issue was really the looming focus. This weekend we are having some “negotiations” about what I believe is the 93rd raising of the debt limit since its inception. Why do we have negotiations or talks when the viable solution is clear? We have to cut federal government spending. This is not about a revenue issue, it is a spending issue. We must also cut the corporate/business tax rate of 35% to 20-22%, eliminate all loopholes and subsidies and allow the free market to work by setting conditions for long-term sustainable growth. We must cap federal government spending as per the GDP between 18-20%, instead of the insane 25% where we find it now….particularly with the looming potential of federal government spending per GDP to rise to 32% by 2017 under Democrat plans. I find it reprehensible that there are liberals who say the stimulus failed because it did not spend enough.
Finally, we must have a balanced budget amendment for the federal government to align revenues with outlays. These are the simple and viable solutions to the pressing debt limit issue; it is about finally creating fiscal discipline in the federal government.
The inane and insidious class warfare rhetoric of raising taxes and “corporate jets” reflects the incompetence of the one professing such. If we were to raise taxes, you are talking about a $300-$350B tax burden upon our small businesses. Furthermore, the “corporate jet loophole” only accounts for some $300M, hardly a major impact. The focus has to be on increasing confidence, providing better access to capital, and returning certainty with sound economic, taxation and regulatory policies.
We should be talking about stimulating the economy by eliminating capital gains, dividends, and estate taxes and you will instill confidence and certainty.
When one considers the abysmal June jobs report of 9.2% unemployment, 16.2% in the black community, and only 18K new jobs created, we are teetering on a precipice. To grow our economy out of this fragile recovery, we require some 250K jobs/month.
When polled, 70% of small businesses stated they are not projecting hiring for the next year. Unfortunately, we have David Plouffe, President Obama’s campaign advisor, stating that unemployment is not an issue in the 2012 election. If this is the position of the campaign advisor, one has to suppose it is the President’s position, after all, the President has said the jobs numbers are just a “bump in the road.”
This brings me to another observation, the end of the era of American space exploration exceptionalism. We watched the final launch of American manned space exploration, the last Shuttle launch. Now the greatest nation the world has ever known, the country who landed a man on the moon, will be hitching a ride. It is estimated that this foolhardy decision will result in some 23K jobs lost (9K direct, and 14K indirect) to the Florida Space Coast community. Appalling. The one thing which brings me comfort is a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, “Americans seem to always right themselves after they have exhausted all other means.”
Truly, “Hope and Change” has turned out to be “Hype and Chaotic Calamity.”
In closing, this past week President Obama held a Twitter town hall meeting and made a statement that Republicans are “holding a gun to the heads of Americans keeping them hostage over this debt crisis.” Funny, I thought we were supposed to temper this type of incendiary rhetoric after the shooting of our colleague Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. If anything, it has only increased, and from one side.
I suppose liberal activist groups will run ads against the President now that he has stated Social Security and MEDICARE are part of the debt limit negotiations. Will he be seen pushing a senior in a wheelchair off a cliff?
Steadfast and Loyal,
– FY2012 Department of Defense Appropriations – On Friday, July 8, the House approved H.R. 2219, the 2012 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, by a vote of 336-87, I voted Yes. The base budget of the bill would provide $530.5 billion in discretionary budget authority for defense activities, which is an increase of $17.2 billion over last year’s level. The overseas contingency operations recommendation for emergency spending for Defense activities related to the Global War on Terror is $118.7 billion, which is $842 million above the President’s FY2012 budget request. Non-emergency DoD budget authority contained in H.R. 2219 would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.019 trillion for FY 2012, a reduction of $30.3 billion below FY 2011.
– During the amendments process, I voted for several cuts to funding Pakistan and also ending funding to combat operations in Libya. The world is a volatile place and we must never forget the federal government’s preeminent essential function is to “provide for the common defense.” Our men and women in uniform deserve the resources to enable them to be trained and equipped to crush our enemies, and care for their families. It is incumbent upon us as Members of Congress to ensure the right strategic employment criteria and engagement guidance is provided for our force – a mission which I take very seriously.
Article of the Week (I guarantee you’ll learn a few things about me you didn’t know before)
South Florida’s Best and Brightest
A Profile of Allen West
(Aventura Business Monthly)
Service and Sacrifice
Sgt. Alfredo Miranda, Jr
is our soldier of the week
Age: 29 years old
Hometown: Port St. Lucie
Family: Married, father of 3
MOS: Military Police Officer/ 724th Army Reserve Unit/ Ft. Lauderdale
Stationed: Gardez, Afghanistan, training Afghan Army police officers
Deployed: March 2011, 15 month tour, second tour of duty
Fun Facts: Loves to work on cars
Sacrifice: Deployed when son was 4 months old. “He’s watching him grow up through webcam and pictures,” his wife Kimberly said. “It’s a difficult job but somebody has got to do it. I’m so proud of him.”
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