1)The Week Just Past: A National Energy Imperative
2) Finally…House Approves Intelligence Bill
3) The Flood of Red Ink Continues
4) America has a “Spending Problem” not a “Revenue” Problem
5) Appropriations Committee Prepares to Cut Spending, Again
6) Noted With Interest: Who Says Taxes Don’t Kill Jobs?
7) 11th Congressional District Military Academy Night
8) Whippany Park High School Band in Washington
The Week Just Past: A National Energy Imperative
“As the week closed, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in New Jersey stood at $3.87. There’s no question that this persistently high cost is damaging the ability of working families to live from paycheck to paycheck. In a larger sense, these prices are also putting a real drag on our economic recovery and private sector job creation.
“There are many reasons for this most recent price spike including the Federal Reserve’s devaluation of our dollar, turmoil in Libya and the Middle East, new demand for oil caused by economic growth in China and India and the six-month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
“In this context, it is important to note that the Obama Administration continues to erect regulatory barriers to the production of American energy here at home.
“While the Administration continues to put up roadblocks to domestic energy production, the House passed three bills that maximize energy production, help bring down gas prices and will get people back to work.
“While I do not agree with every section of these measures, the legislative approach is sound. We have to find a way to increase reliable energy supplies domestically.
“This is a national imperative. No source of energy, not oil, coal, or renewables, can be relied on absolutely. In order to provide security - national and financial - we must diversify our supplies. And since the vast majority of our oil comes from foreign sources, the best way to increase the security of our supply is by expanding production here at home.
“I would add that we need still more transparency in the energy commodities marketplace.”
Finally …House Approves Intelligence Bill
For the first time in six years, the House debated and passed a full Intelligence Authorization bill this week.
Rodney serves as the liaison between the Appropriations Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and delivered these remarks on the floor yesterday:
“The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Frelinghuysen.
“I thank the gentleman for yielding and rise in support of H.R. 754.
“Mr. Chairman, I also rise to pay tribute to the dedicated, tireless, yet largely anonymous, men and women of the intelligence community. Their work is not an easy job in the best of times. But over the last ten years, they have carried an especially heavy day-to-day burden. They work long hours under tremendous pressure, mostly in obscurity, to ensure that Americans are protected everywhere. They are the unsung heroes of national security and we owe them all more than we can possible repay.
“My Colleagues, as a member of the House from a ‘9-11 state’, I take very seriously the findings of the 9-11 Commission.
“And one the key recommendations of the Commission was the need to improve coordination of the numerous Congressional Committees charged with overseeing and funding the intelligence community and its activities.
“To this end, I commend Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers for knitting together the Intelligence Committee with the Committee on Appropriations by appointing three new liaisons.
“As the Appropriations Committee liaison, I am working closely with the Intelligence Committee to eliminate the ‘daylight’ that has existed between these two important committees AND the legislation we produce.
“Mr. Chairman, it is an undeniable fact of life that our nation is tested each and every day.
- Our counter-terrorism and homeland security capabilities are challenged;
- Our cyber-defenses are under assault;
- Our financial systems are put to the test;
- Law enforcement is stressed;
- And, of course, our military confronts enemies on the battlefield every day.
“The bill Chairman Rogers and Mr. Ruppersburger have constructed ensures that our intelligence community has the tools and the resources to analyze, predict, respond, and counter all these threats to America and Americans.
“My Colleagues, it is truly a dangerous world for the United States, its citizens and its allies.
“Yes, Osama bin Laden is gone. But our national need for accurate, timely and informed intelligence has never been greater.
“I urge support of this long-overdue reauthorization bill and yield back the balance of my time.”
The Flood of Red Ink Continues
On Wednesday, the Department of the Treasury confirmed what we’ve long suspected: the flood of red ink on the federal government’s ledgers is deepening. Treasury issued a report that showed that spending has increased 9% since last year alone!
“The need for real and immediate spending cuts and binding budget reforms could not be more clear nor more urgent,” Rodney said. “Instead, President Obama and his allies keep talking about raising taxes on working families and small business people to subsidize even more federal spending!”
Read more about Washington’s red tide:
- Federal Spending Has Increased 9% Since Last Year. Government spending totaled $2.18 trillion through April, a 9 percent increase over the same period a year ago.
- This Year’s Deficit Is Projected To Be Even Higher Than Last Years. Still the deficit is on pace to grow to $1.4 trillion in this budget year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That would be greater than last year's $1.29 trillion deficit and nearly match the record $1.41 trillion deficit hit in 2009.
- The Government Has Already Racked Up More In Deficits Than It Did For An Entire Year A Mere Three Years Ago. Through the first seven months of the budget year, the deficit has totaled $869.9 billion — a figure that just three years ago would have ranked as the highest ever for a full year. (The Associated Press, 5/12/11)
- The Federal Government Has Run A Deficit For 31 Consecutive Months. Still, the deficit was the 31st monthly shortfall in a row. With nine months of fiscal 2011 elapsed, the government has spent $869.90 billion more than it has collected—higher than $799.68 billion for the same period a year earlier. (The Wall Street Journal 5/12/11)
More Evidence: America has a “Spending Problem” not a “Revenue” Problem
Now that the U.S. economy has resumed modest growth after a deep recession, tax revenues are coming back smartly.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the federal deficit still rolled in at a record $871 billion, a $71 billion increase through April, because spending is up $181 billion, or roughly 6.4%. Medicaid alone is up 6.7%.
One lesson here: tax rates are clearly high enough to produce huge revenue as long as the economy is growing. Growth is crucial to deficit reduction.
A second lesson: the main budget problem in America continues to be government spending!
Appropriations Committee Prepares to Cut Spending, Again
Reflecting the critical need for significant budget reductions to help cut back the nation’s dangerous debt, the Appropriations Committee this week unveiled lean funding limits for each of the 12 Appropriations bills the House will pass this year. The levels are based on the Budget Resolution the House passed last month and include a reduction of nearly $46 billion from last year’s (FY 2011) levels for non-security programs.
“Facing record-high deficits, we have a responsibility this year to make the hard budget decisions,” said Rodney, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. “Most of the appropriations bills this year will include double-digit reductions for virtually every non-security area of government. Many of these cuts will not be popular, but they are imperative if we are to get our economy moving, create private sector jobs and provide a secure future for our children and grandchildren.”
Read more about the House Appropriations Committee spending limits here.
Noted With Interest: Who Says Taxes Don’t Kill Jobs?
In an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg, Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) said that raising taxes won’t destroy jobs.
- Al Hunt:John Boehner says if you increase taxes like that it’s going be a job killer.
- Sen. Schumer:I don’t believe that to be the case.
No, Sen. Schumer, raising taxes would take essential capital from job creators, investors, and families making it even harder for American businesses to compete, invest and create jobs.
Recommended Reading: Wednesday’s editorial in the Washington Times, “Securing the Border with Semantics.”
11th Congressional District Military Academy Night
On Monday, May 16, Rodney will host his eleventh annual Academy Night, which gives interested local students, parents, and guidance counselors the opportunity to meet with representatives from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Academy Night will begin at 7 p.m. at the Parsippany Hills High School auditorium, 20 Rita Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054-3820.
The meeting is open to all prospective students, their parents and school guidance counselors.
For further information, contact Rodney’s Morristown office at 973-984-0711.
Whippany Park High School Band in Washington
Rodney welcomed members of the Whippany Park High School band and Color Guard to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol this afternoon.
“These men and women provided an incredible musical presentation, made even more spectacular by the amazing skill and precision of their color guard,” Rodney said after the performance in Upper Senate Park. “All of Hanover Township, Morris County and New Jersey can be proud of these talented young men and women.”
Led by Music Directors Carl Sabatino and Peter Sciaino, the 150-member contingent performed “The Beat Goes On: American Popular Music Through the Decades.”