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e-News May 15, 2009

1. The Week Just Past
2. Bad idea of the Week
3. Recommended Reading
4. House Supports Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq
5. Residents Attend Town Meetings!

The Week Just Past

“Health care ‘reform’ is gaining more attention every day and the President this week would have you believe he has found a way to pay for his massive, nationalized health care plan, with a reported price tag of up to $1.5 trillion.  He held a White House press conference with leaders from health care trade associations and touted their plan to reduce health care prices. 

“President Obama called it a ‘watershed event’ and wants the country to believe those savings will pay for his plan.  In reality, he and Nancy Pelosi have yet to tell anyone where the first penny will come from to finance his health care proposals.  (See ‘Bad Idea of the Week’.)

“That leaves the trillion dollar question:  How will President Obama and Democrats in Congress pay for their health care proposals? 

“I support efforts to make quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for every American.   Fundamentally, those who like their current health care coverage should be able to keep it. Genuine health care reform puts patients and their health first, and protects the important doctor-patient relationship.

“Unfortunately, the President and the Congressional majority are pushing for a government takeover of health care that would have devastating consequences for families and small businesses.  A government takeover of health care will raise taxes, ration care, and let Washington bureaucrats make medical decisions that should be made by families and their doctors.

“With health care constituting about 17 percent of our entire economy and with employer-provided plans covering 187 million Americans, this will be one of the most important debates in Congress this year.”

Bad Idea of the Week

How will President Obama and Democrats in Congress pay for their health care proposals?  Recent headlines from national news organizations provide a hint:

Wall Street Journal:  “Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care”

ABC News:  “Will Obama Tax Your Health Benefits?”

New York Times: “Change in Estate Tax Suggested to Pay for Health Care”

Bloomberg: “Obama Proposes New Taxes on Dealers, Life Insurance”

Wall Street Journal: “Union Calls for Foreign Profits Tax to Fund Health Reform”

Wall Street Journal: “White House Seeks Tax Changes to Fund Health Efforts”

CQ Politics:  “Tax Plan Calls for Corporate Hikes”

There appears to be a simple, one word answer to that question: Taxes!

Recommended Reading

“Obama’s Tax Dodge Myths”, by Robert Samuelson in Monday’s Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/10/AR2009051001961_pf.html

“Who are the biggest zombies of the financial arena”: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have collected over $400 billion in bailout funding.  From Monday’s New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/business/11views.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=the%20real%20zombies&st=cse

“Tax Increases Could Kill the Recovery” by Martin Feldstein in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124217336075913063.html

House Supports Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

With Rep. Frelinghuysen’s support, the House Thursday approved legislation to provide funding to allow our troops to continue their vital missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.   The bill, which also contains security assistance for Pakistan, was passed without timetables or “benchmarks” that will tie the hands of our commanders in the field.   “Passing this funding expeditiously and getting it to our commanders in the field must remain a priority,” said Frelinghuysen.   “I would urge the Senate to pass this bill quickly and without providing funding for the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   These newly-constructed facilities house some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists and they should not be released or transferred to the United States!”

Residents Attend Town Meetings

Attendance was strong at Rep. Frelinghuysen’s public town meetings in Roxbury and Long Hill last Saturday.  Area residents gathered in Roxbury and Long Hill to discuss the key issues before Congress.  Key topics included the financial crisis, government intervention and “nationalization” of our financial and health care systems.   

During a discussion of health care ‘reform,’ Frelinghuysen warned his constituents about a recent decision by Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid to sharply limit public debate on a massive, “universal” health care legislative proposal.  “In coming weeks, the Senate will be taking the first steps toward a ‘one-size-fits-all,’ government-run healthcare program.  The Senate majority only needs 51 senators now to pass it!  Clearly, we need to expand accessible and affordable heath care, but I want my constituents to have choices. This procedure allows for precious little discussion and debate. And, it’s not the right path for America.”

Over 150 local residents attended the two separate town meetings.

“Overall, town hall meetings serve as an important opportunity for me to discuss critical issues and talk about the latest action in Congress and what it means for the people of New Jersey,” Frelinghuysen said.  “Most importantly, however, it serves as a forum where I can listen to the specific concerns and address the individual needs of all those who attend.”   

Frelinghuysen was introduced at the Congressional town hall meeting by Roxbury Mayor Kathy DeFillippo.  The meeting was also attended by other elected leaders including Roxbury Councilmen Tim Smith, Fred Hall, Martin Schmidt and Richard Zoschak.

In Long Hill, he was introduced by Mayor George Vitueira.  Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (21st District) also attended.

See the Echoes-Sentinel’s story here:

http://www.recordernewspapers.com/articles/2009/05/13/echoes-sentinel/news/doc4a087084bec3a399599617.txt

As a part of Rep. Frelinghuysen’s ongoing effort to respond to the concerns of his constituents, members of his staff were also on hand to help constituents with questions about passports, Social Security, and veterans affairs.  He also urged attendees to sign up for his regular eNewsletters by visiting his Congressional website at www.house.gov/frelinghuysen.