Archive for the ‘Ginny Brown Waite’ Category
|VOLUME 8, NUMBER 34 November 8, 2010|
“Elections Have Consequences”
When it became clear after his inauguration that President Obama was not going to keep his word about a “new post-partisan age” in Washington – that he was more inclined to ram his policies through – the President famously said, “elections have consequences”. Following Tuesday’s historic vote, I would say to him, ignoring the will of the people has consequences too.
America has always been a center-right country. This great “melting pot” of a nation is home to many different kinds of people with many different views and philosophies, but at their core, Americans believe in individual freedom and personal responsibility. Citizens may disagree about the appropriate role of government, but at a fundamental level, all Americans know that ours is a system in which the government’s only real, lasting power comes from the consent of the governed.
That, I believe, is what we saw on Tuesday. Both chambers of the Congress and the White House were controlled by Democrats. They thought they had total power and a license to pursue their ideas no matter the cost. They forgot that they still needed to listen to the people. They thought they could ram through their ideal leftist version of America and that everybody in the end would thank them for it. They forgot the single most basic tenant of our democracy. If you ignore the wishes of the people because you find yourself with seemingly limitless power, the people will take that power away. It is as true today for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats as it was two hundred years ago for General Cornwallis and the British.
Whether or not the President has gotten the message remains to be seen. All I can tell you so far is that if he has, he hasn’t said it publicly. My colleagues and I have been pleading with him for months to listen to the people and to work with Republicans to find solutions that the public can support. It was clear as crystal that Americans were sick of the bailouts, sick of the government takeover of industry, sick of the trillion dollar stimulus plans, and sick of the endless willingness to raise taxes. Sadly, the President and his allies in Congress didn’t get it. They felt that they knew best. In their eyes, it was the American people who just didn’t “get it”.
I fear that is still the case. During his post-election press conference, a reporter asked the President if he would acknowledge that the unpopularity of his policies led to his historic defeat at the polls. He refused to acknowledge that simple fact. Instead he insinuated what he has been saying explicitly for weeks – the American people are scared, and when they’re scared, they just don’t listen to reason. In his mind, it is you who are wrong. You just don’t get it.
Frankly, Mr. President, that is not how this country works.
Each and every elected official, myself included, can never forget who we work for and who we are ultimately answerable to. It is not the public’s job to get on board with whatever we say, it is our job to listen to what you are saying. That is why I hope that for as long as you are living, breathing, citizens of this great nation, you will continue to share your views with your government officials, just as candidly as you have done with me. After all, at the end of the day, the relationship between Americans and their government is one of a partnership in which both sides must hold up their end of the bargain. You have never shied away from that responsibility and that is why I could not be prouder to have worked with you and to be your representative in Congress.
October 30, 2010
Every ten years, following the decennial census, congressional districts all across the country are reapportioned to reflect changes in population that have occurred. For instance, as you may know, Florida is expected to gain two new seats in Congress because of the large number of people who have moved into the state in the last decade. As part of the process of adding new districts, the borders of existing congressional districts will change even more than usual. Redistricting is an important issue for all states in our form of representative democracy, but it is especially so now for Florida residents.
Sadly, there is danger on the horizon. This year, among a number of other issues, Florida voters are being presented with Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6 on the ballot. These amendments deal with the way congressional districts are reapportioned. Specifically, the amendments that will be before you on election day would change current law which says that congressional districts must be drawn “fairly”, that they be “as equal in population as feasible”, and that they must use “city, county, and geographical boundaries”.
Instead, Amendments 5 and 6 would provide that if any redistricting plan helps or hurts any incumbent or political party, the plan would be subject to litigation. Think for a moment about what that means. If an incumbent likes the new redistricting plans, somebody can sue. If the incumbent doesn’t like the new plans, somebody can sue. In other words, no matter how the lines are drawn, no matter who draws them, somebody is going to have legal standing to sue. And when have you ever known ambulance chasing lawyers to pass up a chance at that? But don’t take my word for it, read the analysis of the proposed Amendments 5 and 6 done by the James Madison Institute.
Finally, I want to state in the most unequivocal terms how important I believe it is that we ensure that redistricting is fair to all Florida residents. All citizens in the state deserve a right to be heard as equals. That’s how the founders intended it to be. That is why I am very proud that our state already uses fairness and natural geographical features as the primary tools to determining where district lines fall. Frankly, I don’t want to see that precedent tossed aside in favor of an all-you-can-sue buffet for the lawyers. That is why I will be voting “no” on Amendments 5 and 6.
Democrats’ Lame Duck Session?… That’s Just Lame
It is often said that people should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of the people. That was the underlying principle of the form of representative democracy that the founders created. The legislature was designed to be immediately responsive to the people. The votes that members take should be reflective of the views of the people they represent. It is this principle that makes the idea of “lame duck” sessions of Congress so offensive to the American people.
If the polls are to be believed, dozens of House Democrats will lose their seats in Congress on election day. Some reports predict as many as fifty. So instead of voting on proposals that the American people are opposed to – something that may anger voters even more, the Democrat Majority has decided to postpone tough votes until after the election and before the new members are seated. It is this sort of heavy-handed, ram-it-through mentality that the founders were afraid of, and if what I am hearing proves true, they had good reason.
One of the many bills being floated for possible “lame duck” consideration is H.R. 4646, the so-called “Debt Free America Act”. This legislation, introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), hides a devastating policy behind an innocuous name. The bill states as its purpose to raise a fee on all transactions sufficient to paying off the national debt in seven years. To give you an idea of what that means; the current debt stands at roughly $13 trillion dollars. Based on current policy, annual deficits are scheduled to exceed $1 trillion per year. With a generous amount of rounding, let’s say that the bill would require a fee on transactions to total up to $20 trillion over the next seven years. That’s nearly $3 trillion per year in “fees”. The bill also claims to do away with the federal income tax… but gradually. I’m sorry to say, I just don’t trust a liberal Democrat to follow through with that. They’re saying, let’s raise $3 trillion in taxes now and we’ll just promise to cut them later. Not on my watch!
If they were serious about the national debt, they would cut the bloated federal spending programs that they just spent the last two years expanding. This bill doesn’t cut a penny – not one. Frankly, they want to have their cake and get you to pay for it too – at the grocery store, at the gas pump – every time you have to pay for something. There is a reason they aren’t bringing bills like this up before the election. They know the American people won’t stand for it. Rest assured that I won’t stand for it either. I will be in Washington for the “lame duck” session this November and I will make sure they hear your voices if they try any funny business. The American people have been put through enough already.
Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 22
August 20, 2010
Entrepreneurs Create Jobs, Not Bureaucrats
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor released its weekly “initial jobless claims” numbers. This particular report refers to the number of people who have lost their jobs who are seeking unemployment compensation for the first time. At over 500,000 new claims for the week, this report is the worst of 2010.
Analysts were in agreement that the severity of the unemployment situation had been disguised earlier in the year by the more than 100,000 people who were hired temporarily by the federal government to conduct the decennial census. In fact, since passing the “stimulus”, the economy has lost more jobs than were created in each and every month except for two. Which two, you ask? The two months surrounding the census saw a net job gain.
President Obama and his advisors have been on TV each week telling everyone how successful the so-called “stimulus” has been and how grateful everybody should be for their generosity with your money. Unfortunately, just because they say it, doesn’t make it so. The job losses are accelerating again. Worse yet, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported its 4th quarter analysis in which it found that the hardest hit employers are small businesses: small businesses employ roughly 30% of all working Americans, but made up roughly 62% of the layoffs. In short, small businesses are getting hammered and despite Republicans’ best efforts, we can’t seem to convince Democrats that raising taxes on small businesses is a horrible idea.
Obamacare and Cap and Trade represent such a clear lack of understanding of the needs of small business owners. Some say it is because President Obama has never run a small company. They say he has never really worked in the private sector and he just doesn’t get it. All I know is that he really believes that the government can solve every problem by spending trillions of dollars. But what he doesn’t get is that those trillions of dollars have to come from somewhere.
Every dollar that the government sucks out of the economy is a dollar that isn’t available to be invested or spent in the economy. It is that simple. His advisors are all academics, like Dr. Christina Romer, a professor from Berkeley, and they tell him it doesn’t matter. They tell him they have a theory that says so. But they’ve spent their careers writing papers and creating theories. They’ve never actually run businesses. Well, I have run a business and I can tell you that their theories don’t add up. Raising taxes does hurt small businesses and spending entrepreneurs hard-earned investment capital on some silly government pilot project somewhere is never going to have the impact that small business investment will. That is why it is high time we put the entrepreneurs in charge of job creation and not government bureaucrats.
Why do more people, according to a CBS poll, believe that Elvis is still alive than think that the so-called “stimulus” has worked? Because in reality, there is a better chance that Elvis is still alive than that the “stimulus” has been as effective as the Obama administration claims. And what about the bailouts? It became clear this week, as new numbers were released, that the total cost of the bailouts – aid to auto makers, the housing market, Federal Reserve programs, Fannie and Freddie, AIG, and so on – is closer to $3.7 trillion than the often cited $787 billion that the Democrats would like you to believe.
There is a growing consensus in America, that government is completely out of touch, and it isn’t just because the President chartered a private jet to fly his dog, Bo, and his personal assistant, Reggie, out to meet the first family at their vacation spot in Maine recently. It’s because politicians in Washington don’t have any qualms about getting on television every week and lying to you instead of listening to you. The Democrats keep telling you that you are wrong, that the “stimulus” is working and everything is going fine in Washington. But you know, like I do, that just because you pour syrup on dung, doesn’t make it pancakes.
The fact of the matter is that the only jobs the government creates are in the federal office buildings in Washington. Having to spend a few days a week in that town, I can tell you that they are packed to the brim. President Obama is adding thousands upon thousands of people to the federal payroll. So, what about the private sector? Has he created any jobs there? The answer is “no”. The President doesn’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do. And every one of those $3.7 trillion dollars that the government has used to bail everybody out is a dollar that small businesses can’t use to invest and hire. Making matters worse is that the President has taken such a hostile stance toward our free market system, that businesses big and small don’t have any confidence in what is coming next. The only thing they can be sure of is that taxes are going way up – it is just a question of how far.
In President Obama’s view, it is the government’s job to help everybody instead of helping them to help themselves. It is the height of arrogance and unfortunately, the guiding philosophy of the Majority party. Simply put, they know better than you do. They want you to stop asking questions and to stop demanding
answers. They want you to just trust them when they come on TV – just believe that “government knows best”.
Rest assured that each week I am in Congress, I will continue making the case for a stronger America. I will keep listening to you and making sure that your voice is part of the conversation. Because until we get back to our roots and to what made this country the strongest in human history, we will keep going down the path of failed social experiments that came before us. It is that simple.
As always, if there is anything my staff or I can do, even if it is just to listen, I hope that you will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call.
GINNY BROWN WAITE
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 18
June 25, 2010
You Can’t Feed Your Kids Road Signs
Road signs are made of aluminum, de-greasing agents, and reflective film. You cannot feed them to your kids. In fact, you can’t even pay the rent with them. That is why Americans are so confused that tens of millions of dollars of their taxpayer money is going to pay for road signs touting the success of the “stimulus”.
These signs aren’t creating jobs, they are just there to help staffers in President Obama’s administration keep theirs’. This is unacceptable. That is not what President Obama told the American people the “stimulus” would be about, and frankly, it is why a majority of Americans believe that the “stimulus” has been a complete waste.
The American people are demanding that Washington get its act together on spending. The story about the true cost of the road signs comes during the same week that the House of Representatives voted on a bill to try to do something about the $100 billion in “improper payments” made by the federal government last year. That includes paying for services and items never received, fraudulent billing, overpayment for items that could have been cheaper, and so on.
We will have to ask the ethics experts, but I am not sure what is worse, tens of billions worth of unintentional, negligent, mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money, or tens of millions in willfully misspent taxpayer funds. I leave that question up to you. In either case, this literally out of control spending must stop. The American people deserve more.