1) The Week Ahead: New Jobs Require New American Energy
2) Keeping the Focus on Deficits and Debt
3) Preserve and Protect Medicare
4) Who Pays Taxes?? A Primer
5)Bringing a “Hurricane Hunter” to New Jersey
The Week Ahead: New Jobs Require New American Energy
“Our efforts in the House of Representatives to create an atmosphere that supports the creation of private sector jobs are being thwarted by rising energy costs. Out of control gasoline prices are placing additional strain on family budgets and are making it harder for business owners to grow and create new jobs.
“Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s proposed solutions to gas prices, now approaching $4.50 per gallon are backward energy policies that will do nothing to bring down prices, will eliminate jobs and reduce domestic energy production, and make us even more dependent on foreign oil producing nations.
“This is a genuine national security issue. During the ‘oil shock’ of the ‘70s, the USA imported less than 25 percent of its oil. Today, we import 70 percent! The majority of our foreign oil comes from unfriendly or unstable nations.
“If unfriendly nations such as Venezuela were to suddenly stop selling oil to the United States, costs would go up across the board. It would also be difficult to meet all our military, business, and personal energy needs. Therein is the security risk.
“In short, we must find other sources of energy besides petroleum. Diversity of energy supplies is key because no single source of energy, not oil, coal, or electric, can be relied on absolutely, and, yes, conservation is key.
“Understanding the problem is the easy part, but solutions will not come quickly. Now is the time to lay a foundation for energy independence. There are steps we can take as a nation to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, find cleaner energy sources, and make more sources renewable.
“In the House, we will take more steps in coming weeks when we vote on policies that expand domestic energy production. If we hesitate, delay or fail, it will be that much more difficult to create new private sector jobs.”
Keeping the Focus on Deficits and Debt
The latest in a long series of “deficit reduction” commissions convenes next week and all eyes should be watching to see if this is a serious effort or just another installment of political theater.
Noted economics correspondent Robert Samuelson wrote a piece in the Washington Post earlier this week and proclaimed, “Obama has no plan to balance the budget — ever.” (You can find the link to his article below.)
“Frankly, I hope Samuelson is wrong,” Rodney said. “We need the President to work with us NOW, within a certain time frame, to develop an executable action plan to force Washington to live within its means and get people back to work.”
House Republicans this month put forward an honest, fact-based budget that will end deficits over time and manage down the more than $14 trillion debt.
A USA Today/Gallup poll this week said that by more than 3-to-1, those Americans surveyed say the deficit stems from too much spending, rather than too little tax revenue.
“In the face of record debts and deficits, any move to increase the U.S. debt limit must be coupled with immediate spending cuts and binding reforms to get our fiscal house in order and boost long-term economic growth and private sector job creation,” Rodney said. “To be clear, our country must and will pay its bills, but we can't continue to recklessly spend money we don't have and max out the national credit card.”
Recommended Reading: Robert Samuelson, writing in the Monday Washington Post,“Obama abdicates on the budget.”
Recommended Reading from “across the pond”: Economist Liam Halligan, writing inThe Telegraph on Monday, “America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?”
Preserve and Protect Medicare
Recommended Reading III: Betsy McCaughey, writing in the Wednesday Wall Street Journal,“Medicare As We've Known It Isn't an Option. Paul Ryan's premium support plan is preferable to Obama's rationing panel.”
Who Pays Taxes?? A Primer
As the debate over tax reform begins in earnest once again, it is instructive to take a look at individual tax rates and shares by income in 2007, the most recent data avilable from the Internal Revenue Service:
- The top 1 percent:Americans who earned an adjusted gross income of $410,096 or more accounted for 22.8 percent of all wages. But they paid 40.4 percent of total reported income taxes, an increase from 39.9 percent in 2006, according to the IRS.
- The top 5 percent:Americans who earned $160,041 or more accounted for 37.4 percent of all wages in 2007. But they paid 60.6 percent of the country's total reported income taxes, up from 60.1 percent a year earlier.
- The top 10 percent:Americans who earned at least $113,018 paid 71.2 percent of the nation's income taxes, up from 70.8 percent a year earlier.
- The top 25 percent:Americans who earned at least $66,532 paid 86.6 percent of the nation's income taxes, up from 86.3 percent a year earlier.
- The top 50 percent:Americans who earned at least $32,879 paid 97.1 percent of the nation's income taxes, up from 97 percent a year earlier.
- The bottom 50 percent:Americans who earned less than $32,879 paid 2.9 percent of the nation's income taxes, down from 3 percent a year earlier.
Find more information here.
America’s Manufacturers Honor Rodney
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, has honored Rodney with its Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence in recognition of his consistent support of manufacturers and their employees. The award was presented at an event sponsored by NAM member Sanofi-Aventis in Bridgewater, New Jersey this morning.
“Congressman Frelinghuysen supports common-sense policies that will enable manufacturers to create and maintain good high-paying jobs in New Jersey and throughout America,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “A vibrant manufacturing base is vital to getting our economy turned around and ensuring quality of life for all Americans. It is critical to have lawmakers like Rodney whose actions consistently match their words when it comes to a pro-manufacturing agenda for economic growth and job creation.”
“Manufacturing is a keystone of this nation’s economic engine, and a strong manufacturing base is essential for a strong and growing economy,” Rodney said. “It’s hard to envision significant job creation in America without a vibrant manufacturing sector and that is why I work to make sure that government gets off manufacturers’ backs AND their balance sheets.”
The nationally recognized NAM “Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence” honors members of Congress who demonstrate support for policies that enhance the ability of manufacturers to succeed in the global economy. Key manufacturing votes for the 111th Congress included energy policy, taxes, regulations and labor law reform, among others.
Bringing a “Hurricane Hunter” to New Jersey
One month before the official start of the Atlantic “Hurricane Season,” Rodney brought a genuine National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Hurricane Hunter” to visit with students at four elementary schools in his Congressional District this week.
Captain Barry Choy, a NOAA pilot and scientist, met with students at Valley Road Elementary Schoolin Stanhope, Ironia School in Randolph, Liberty Corner School inBernards Townshipand the Thomas Jefferson Schoolin Morristown.
“Captain Choy has had the unique opportunity to fly directly into some of the worst hurricanes our country has ever seen,” Rodney told the students. “Our goal is to have his fascinating presentationdemonstrate the value of math and science education and will hopefully inspire many of these pupils to pursue their life’s work in these fields.”
Captain Choy, an officer with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps -- one of the seven uniformed services of the Unites States -- is currently Chief Science Officer with the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).
Choy came to NCEP from the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Florida, where he served as the Chief of Flight operations and flew WP-3D Hurricane Hunter planes. He has flown into many major hurricanes during his career, including Katrina.
Hurricane season begins in June and often runs well into the winter.
There is a Hurricane Preparedness web site to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
Visit NOAA here.
Visit NOAA’s National Hurricane Center here.