e-News August 13, 2010

The Week Just Past: Another Week, Another Bailout
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Obama, Reid and Pelosi Ignore Private Sector Jobs and Opportunities, Prolonging the Recession
A New Jersey Small Business’ Viewpoint
Cutting Defense – Again!
“Lame Duck” Looming?
Rodney’s Listening Tour Continues

The Week Just Past: Another Week, Another Bailout

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the House back this week for a rare mid-August voting session.  I am not troubled with being summoned back to Washington.  That’s what the residents of New Jersey expect us to do.  However, I found myself completely opposed to the bill the Speaker wanted to jam through Congress and onto the President’s desk.

“Once again I am disappointed, because in the past few months this Congress has done virtually none of the work that the American people sent us here to do. 

“We haven’t passed a budget.

“We haven’t funded the nation’s defense or homeland security.

“We made our troops wait months before passing funds to support their fight against violent international extremists.

“But this week we were called back into special session.  Some Members returned from far corners of the earth. I was forced to postpone my annual tour of Superfund hazardous waste sites across northern New Jersey and a long-planned briefing at the Port of New York and New Jersey – a major source of direct and indirect jobs for New Jersey workers.  And for what?  To pass a bill that proves once again that Congress and the Administration have a genuine addiction to spending money we do not have.

“Among the messages I heard loud and clear at my town hall meetings last weekend is the American people DO NOT want us to throw more money at our nation’s problems. Yet that is exactly what this bill does.”

    Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading I: “Stimulus Pushers" in the August 11 Wall Street Journal: this Journal editorial perfectly captures the latest “bailout” voted on in an “emergency” session on Tuesday.

Recommended Reading II: “Unemployment: What Would Reagan Do

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Obama, Reid and Pelosi Ignore Private Sector Jobs and Opportunities, Prolonging the Recession

The $26 billion bail-out bill provided $10 billion for a state education bailout that can only be used to pay teacher salaries.  In order to receive the education money, states would be prohibited from reducing their education budgets below 2009 levels and the federal money could not be used to reduce the state’s debt. 

In this way, the bill not only shields states from making tough budget choices, it prohibits them from doing so.  Such reductions would substantially stymie the efforts of Governor Christie to proceed with his education reforms.

To “pay for” these and other provisions, the bill increases taxes by $9.7 billion on U.S. multinational companies, many of which are located in New Jersey.  These tax hikes will threaten jobs and put American companies at a competitive disadvantage when operating in foreign markets.  Using the White House’s own forecasting models, Members of the House Ways and Means Committee have calculated that this new tax will cause the loss of as many as 141,000 jobs!

According to Speaker Pelosi, the legislation is “fully paid for.” However, the bill spends the entire $26 billion in just two years, while the “offsets” take place over 10 years.

There are also $13.4 billion in reductions in two programs that are popular with the Speaker and the Obama Administration – the food stamp program and renewable energy projects. Some members of the Majority Leadership have already pledged to restore funding to these programs. Some of these “cuts” could be eliminated as soon as November in a “lame duck” session.

The tax changes included in this legislation could have far-reaching consequences on the competitiveness of worldwide American businesses, put American companies at a competitive disadvantage and risk further private job losses. 

Much like last year’s $862 billion so-called “stimulus” bill, this legislation will not provide a permanent fix for states’ budget shortfalls.  Again, the Majority is delaying states from making difficult, but needed, budget decisions during this difficult fiscal climate.

Instead of increasing taxes on businesses, bailing out government jobs, and borrowing more money from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and others, the Majority should be looking to encourage private job creation and opportunities, and long-term, sustainable economic growth.

By ignoring private sector job creation and ignoring our constituents’ repeated question of “Where are the jobs?” Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid, and the Obama Administration are only furthering our nation’s recession.

Despite Rodney’s opposition, the bill was passed by a vote of 244 to 164 and was signed into law by President Obama shortly thereafter.
Recommended Reading III: Michael Derby’s Tuesday blog entry at, “Small-Business Sentiment Deteriorates Again.”  Derby reports that “Optimism over the economic outlook held by small business leaders fell in July as worries about the future mounted.”

A New Jersey Small Business’ Viewpoint

Read about northern New Jersey businessman Michael Fleischer’s perspective on the economy, which was published in the Tuesday Wall Street Journal: “Why I am not hiring.”

Cutting Defense – Again!

Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used $3.3 billion already allocated to the Department of Defense to help pay for their latest bailout for state governments.  At the same time, the Secretary of Defense this week said his “greatest fear” was that in “tough times…people will see the defense budget as the place to solve the nation’s deficit problems, to find money for other parts of the government.”

During a press briefing at the Pentagon, Secretary Gates stressed the need for “modest, sustainable growth over a prolonged period of time” in order to meet the national security challenges facing our country.

Specifically, Gates highlighted: “And as I look around the world and see a more unstable world, more failed and failing states, countries that are investing heavily in their militaries—as I look at places like Iran and North Korea and elsewhere around the world—as I look at the new kinds of threats emerging from cyber to precision ballistic and cruise missiles and so on—my greatest worry is that we will do to the defense budget what we have done four times before.”

Recommended Reading IV: Secretary of Defense Gates' announcement on major defense cuts that affect private sector companies, a not so subtle shift to hire more public employees to meet President Obama’s stated goal in the stimulus law of creating 600,000 new public sector jobs in the Washington Post.

“Lame Duck” Looming?

Because of the Congressional Leadership’s failure to get its work done on time, it is crystal clear that Congress will be reconvening for official business after the November election.  This week, the House, in effect, killed a resolution which would pledge House Members not to hold a “lame duck” session for the purpose of passing massive tax hikes, deficit spending, and other policies that the American people oppose.

Despite having total control over Congress and the White House, the Majority has delayed many important debates in the hopes of using a lame duck session to avoid scrutiny of their legislative plans.   Many members who will be voting on important budget and policy bills after the election will be retiring, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

“Most Americans oppose the idea of a lame duck session being used to override the will of the public.  Members of Congress who have been defeated in their reelections or decide to quit should not have the power to impose massive new taxes or job-killing regulations,” Rodney said.  “We should be demanding accountability and transparency.” 

True to form, the Majority “tabled” the lame duck Congress resolution before it could be considered.

Rodney’s Listening Tour Continues

Rodney continued his ongoing series of town hall meetings last weekend with two sessions in Essex and Sussex counties.

In West Caldwell, he told the gathering of constituents, "This meeting gives me an opportunity to listen. This, on top of the mail and email I receive. I know there's anger and apprehension. I've heard these concerns and I share them."

"The promise that I give you, to represent the people of this district. Someone needs to be there for New Jersey."

Earlier, he told residents in Stanhope, "In Washington, there is a lot of spending and we are borrowing too much money and doing a lot of damage. People are concerned."

"I love our country and I am confident that we have the ability to recover but we don't want the government to get in the way."

Residents brought their questions and concerns about government spending, taxation, the new health care law and foreign policy to the two town hall meetings.

Recommended Reading V: “Richard Foster for President” the Monday, August 9 editorial from the Wall Street Journal comparing the estimated cost of the new Health Care law between the White House and Medicare’s top Actuary.