E-News 7/15/11

The Week Ahead: A Key Decision on our Dangerous Debt

President Obama: Don’t Raise Taxes in a Recession (circa 2009)

Rodney Leads on Cutting Spending

House Committee Examines Obamacare Medicare Rationing Board

The Close Relationship Between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez


The Week Ahead: A Key Decision on our Dangerous Debt  

“Next week will be an important week in the effort to restore fiscal stability to America. As the President and Congressional Leaders continue their negotiations on a package of spending cuts and other reforms designed to pull America back from the brink of a debt crisis, the House will vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution.

“In my view, the starting point toward resolving the current impasse over raising the debt ceiling must be steep and immediate federal spending cuts.  These reductions must be implemented now because the ‘promise’ of cuts five or eight or ten years from now means little without a way to enforce them.  The only way to truly guarantee delivery of these reductions from future politicians is if the Constitution requires it.

“The House will vote next Wednesday on a Balanced Budget Amendment that would require supermajorities in the House and Senate to run a deficit, raise the debt ceiling, raise taxes and spend more than 18% of GDP.  The federal government has consistently collected revenue equal to about 18% of U.S. economic output.

“Make no mistake: this is a major change in budget policy.  However, after decades of out-of-control spending, we need this tough medicine to cure Washington’s dangerous addiction to spending money we do not have!

“There’s no doubt that a Balanced Budget Amendment faces high hurdles.  To take effect, Constitutional amendments require the approval of two-thirds of the House and the Senate and then three-fourths of the states.   

“I will be supporting it and urging my colleagues to do the same.  Our future and our children’s future are at stake.”

                                                                   Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading: “The Obama Downgrade” in Friday’sWall Street Journal

President Obama: Don’t Raise Taxes in a Recession (circa 2009)

In August 2009, President Obama said clearly and with convictionthat “you don’t raise taxes in a recession.”

If you do not remember this pronouncement, the President was in Elkhart, Indiana when he told an interviewer:

“Q: Let me jump to another topic, Scott Ferguson, he's upset about taxes, he says: "Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy." And he actually wants to you look at historical markers where this has been — you say, you know, where this has been a helpful thing coming out of a recession.

“President Obama: Well, first of all, he is right. Normally, you don't raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven't and why we have instead cut taxes. So I guess what I would say to Scott is his economics are right, you don't raise taxes in a recession. We haven't raised taxes in a recession…”

You can read the entire interview here

Two years ago, the President recognized that it is bad economics to try to tax our way out of the fiscal hole the federal government has dug. 

Most Americans could not agree more, especially considering that our economy remains stalled in recession and millions of Americans remain out of work.

Yet despite his previous statements, the President and his Congressional allies continue to demand tax increases on working families and small businesses that we are counting on to create jobs. That sort of approach is simply counter-intuitive and will only make the jobs and economic situation worse. 

Recommended Reading:  Small business hiring continues to slide.  Hiring and the mood among small business owners continued their downward spiral, according to survey results from the nation’s largest small business group.  The survey found that only 11% of small businesses expect to add jobs in the next three months, which is down from 13% in May, compared to 16% in April and 18% in March, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. Catherine Clifford reports “Small Businesses Pessimistic About the Future” on

Rodney Leads on Cutting Spending

While the White House and Congressional Leaders continue to discuss near-term and future budget cuts, the House this week completed work on legislation Rodney has introduced that will significantly cut spending this year.  The Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012 totals $30.6 billion which is over $1 billion below the amount spent in current fiscal year and nearly $6 billion below the amount President Obama asked for in his budget request.  The spending in the bill has not been this low since Fiscal Year 2006!

This is a fair bill that recognizes the stark fiscal reality that faces our country. We have worked hard to ensure that our highest priorities – defense of our country and support for American innovation and competitiveness – receive critical funding. At the same time, the bill cuts back on programs with large unspent balances, ensuring that every hard-earned taxpayer dollar will be well spent. This bill improves oversight of the agencies under the jurisdiction, and rightly so, to protect taxpayer money,” Rodney said during debate on the House floor

The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (KY) praised Rodney’s work: "This bill is a model of fiscal restraint. I can attest to the fact that the Committee has taken a long, hard look at each and every line in this bill to make sure that we are getting the greatest value from each and every taxpayer dollar spent, cutting back funding for programs that are not operating up to par. This bill is also proof that we can make these common-sense spending reductions without damaging or impairing the programs that help keep our country safe and our citizens at work.”

House Committee Examines Obamacare Medicare Rationing Board

While the nation’s attention is focused on the wrangling over a long-term plan to address the nation’s budget deficit and debt crisis, the federal bureaucracy in Washington is quietly rolling out Obamacare regulations that will ultimately hurt seniors’ access to care.  The President’s new healthcare law empowers Washington-based bureaucrats to ration Medicare.  That’s a significant and troubling departure from the current program.

The House Budget Committee held a major hearing this week on the new Independent Physicians Advisory Board (IPAB) - a group of 15 unelected bureaucrats, appointed by the President to lengthy six year terms, who will, in effect, have the power to ration health care under Medicare.

“In passing Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi and her allies voted to take health care decisions away from seniors and their doctors and give them to a board of unelected Washington-based bureaucrats that will have the authority to deny care under the guise of controlling costs,” Rodney said.  “In order to ensure today’s seniors and tomorrow’s retirees will have a Medicare program they can count on, reforms will have to be made.  Unfortunately, under Obamacare, Medicare has neither been saved nor strengthened.  They have cut $500 billion from the program to spend on other programs and have authorized 15 bureaucrats in Washington to control and effectively ration care to seniors.  That’s unacceptable!”

Rodney has co-sponsored H.R. 452, which would abolish IPAB.

Recommended Reading: It is three years before most of the new health-care law kicks in, but already some of America's largest employers are peppering the Internal Revenue Service with concerns that making the changes will be far more complex than they anticipated.  Janet Adamy writes in the Wednesday Wall Street Journal: Employers Lobby to Weaken Insurance Mandate. In Implementing Law, Much Will Ride on the Details; Who Qualifies as a 'Full-Time' Worker?

Recommended Reading:On Fidel Castro and Huge Chavez.  Juan Forero and Adam Liebendorfer writing in the Thursday Washington Post about their close relationship. Read “A close bond built on friendship – and oil” here