e-News January 22, 2010

  1. The Week Just Past
  2. New Jobless Claims
  3. Increasing our National Debt…Again?
  4. U.S. Intel Chief: Detroit Bomb Case Mishandled
  5. Recommended Reading: Dimming our Focus on China
  6. Encouraging Support for Haiti
  7. Town Hall Meeting Tomorrow!    

The Week Just Past

“It was a week of change.

“I had the honor of attending the inauguration of Governor Chris Christie in Trenton on Tuesday and look forward to working with him over the next four years to change New Jersey for the better.

“In the aftermath of the Massachusetts U.S. Senate special election, I was interested to hear Wednesday that President Obama warned Congressional Leaders not to ‘jam’ a health care bill through now that they've lost their super-majority in the Senate.   Of course, this is the same President who wanted a completed health bill on his desk by August.  Then by Thanksgiving.  Then by Christmas.  Then by his State of the Union address.   This is the same President who led the closed-door negotiations which barred the public, the press, C-SPAN and members of the Congressional minority.

“President Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should immediately abandon their efforts to craft a partisan, expensive health bill that is fueled by job-killing tax hikes and $500 billion in cuts to Medicare.  Instead, they should ‘start from scratch’ and adopt an incremental, bipartisan approach to health care reform that reduces costs and expands insurance coverage without raising taxes or adding to the national debt, rationing care or putting the government between patient and doctor.”

Rodney Frelinghuysen

New Jobless Claims

Economic experts were said to be surprised yesterday when the Labor Department reported that the number of newly-laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

Layoffs have slowed and the economy saw some growth in last year's third quarter, but companies are still very reluctant to hire new workers. The unemployment rate is 10 percent (10.1 percent in New Jersey) and many economists expect it to increase in the coming months.

This is yet another indication that so-called “stimulus” plan has failed.  This most recent unemployment claims data show almost 12 million Americans claimed unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for the most recent week of full data. This is an increase of almost 4 million since Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid sent President Obama their “stimulus” bill in February 2009. Instead of “creating 3.5 million jobs” as the Majority has repeatedly promised, almost 4 million more Americans are now collecting UI checks instead of paychecks.  And the jobs that were “created or saved” were primarily public, government jobs!

“We need to give businesses, especially small businessmen and women, reasons to consider growing and hiring,” Rodney said.  “Washington must stop threatening them with tax increases, more bureaucratic red-tape and a government mandate forcing them to provide health care whether they can afford it or not!”

Rodney has voted for a plan that:

1. Allows small businessmen and women to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.

2. Let small businesses join together to purchase health insurance for their workers the way large businesses and labor unions do.

3. Lower taxes for all taxpayers by reducing the current 15 percent income tax rate to 10 percent and reducing the current 10 percent rate to 5 percent.  This will provide an immediate increase in income to every taxpaying family in America and free up capital to help small businesses hire more workers.

The Price of Fannie and Freddie Keep Going up

On Christmas Eve, when the attention of most Americans was diverted elsewhere, the U.S. Treasury Department quietly disclosed that it was removing the $400 billion cap on funding the federal government can provide to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to keep them afloat.  We can only assume that the stage is now set for another massive infusion of taxpayer dollars for the housing giants. 

Peter Wallison is a former White House and Treasury Department official who now serves as a financial services expert with the American Enterprise Institute.  He’s written “The Price of Fannie and Freddie Keep Going Up.”  Read the piece here:

Given all the talk about restricting the pay of top executives at the nation’s big banks, one wonders if similar restrictions will be imposed on the leadership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now totally owned by U.S. taxpayers.

Increasing our National Debt…Again?

Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would allow the national debt to reach a staggering $14.3 trillion.

Since control of Congress changed hands in 2007, appropriations spending has jumped by 41 percent making the government more dependent on new taxing and new borrowing! And that does not even include the “stimulus” dollars and other “emergency” measures the Congress approved last year!

“We have to stop spending borrowed federal dollars like there is no tomorrow,” Rodney said. “ In December, I supported finding a solution to the nation's growing spending problem by casting a “no” vote on a bill that would raise the national debt limit by another $290 billion dollars.  If you reach your spending limit on a credit card, you can't ask the company to increase your line of credit, you have to make fiscally responsible decisions to pay down your debt.  It is time to say enough is enough, stop pointing fingers and fix this crushing debt burden facing our country.”

Recommended Reading II: An excellent article by Arkadi Kuhlmann in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:  “Why mortgage modification isn’t working.  The loan adjustment success rate is just 1%”:

U.S.Intel chief: Detroit bomb case mishandled

Many Americans are concerned about the President’s decision to move legal proceedings against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and some fellow terrorists to the federal court system in New York City, rather than accepting his guilty plea in front of a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As an outgrowth of that, many Americans are disturbed that the terrorist in the Christmas Day Detroit bombing was arrested, read his “Miranda” Rights and allowed to “lawyer-up” instead of being questioned by trained national security interrogators.

This week, the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he was not consulted on whether the terrorist who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane over Detroit should be questioned by the recently created White House High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG.  The HIG was established by President Obama last August, with much fanfare.

"That unit was created exactly for this purpose," Blair said. "We did not invoke the HIG in this case. We should have."  Michael Leiter, chief of the National Counter Terrorism Center was also not consulted.

Noted with Interest:  New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn opposes bringing terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts to Mahattan for a federal criminal court trial. 

In her view:

“Plans to hold the 9/11 terror trials just blocks from where this terrible tragedy occurred have caused tremendous concern across our city, especially in our Lower Manhattan communities. Holding the trials in Lower Manhattan will cause significant disruption to local residents and business owners, considerable expense to New York City taxpayers, and will divert a substantial amount of our police force to the surrounding area.”

Recommended Reading: Dimming Our Focus on China

The Washington Times reported this week that “the White House National Security Council recently directed U.S. spy agencies to lower the priority placed on intelligence collection for China, amid opposition to the policy change from senior intelligence leaders who feared it would hamper efforts to obtain secrets about Beijing's military and its cyber-attacks. “

So Russia trumps China and should be more of a focus??

Encouraging Support for Haiti

The House passed legislation this week that would allow taxpayers to claim deductions on donations related to the earthquake in Haiti on their 2009 tax returns, as long as they make them before March 1.

Without the bill, taxpayers would have to wait until 2011, when they file their 2010 taxes, to take the itemized deduction for any Haiti donations made this year. Congress backed similar tax deduction legislation (PL 109-1) shortly after the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004. 

“The American people have been incredibly generous in coming to the aid of the people of Haiti,” Rodney said.  “This small but important step will help the people of Haiti rebuild their shattered nation.”

The bill also would allow contributions made via text messages to be deducted. To qualify, filers would need to show a telephone bill to prove the donation.  An official with the American Red Cross said the nonprofit has received more than $22 million in text-based donations from U.S. users for Haiti relief efforts.

If you are wondering how you can help, here are links to the Center for International Disaster Information's (CIDI) Guidelines and FAQ, which will be helpful in answering questions.

Rodney’s Town Hall Meeting Tomorrow!

Rodney will hold another public town hall meeting tomorrow morning in Hanover Township.  All area residents and concerned citizens in the 11th Congressional District are invited to participate.

He will provide an update on his work in Congress, including his efforts to oppose tax hikes and large federal spending increases, promote homeland security, support America’s military service members and their families.

The Town Meeting will be held:

9:00 AM
Whippany Park High School
165 Whippany Road, Whippany, NJ 07981

Seating may be limited.  Persons with disabilities requiring unique arrangements should call 973-984-0711.