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e-News May 21, 2010

The Week Just Past
Pushing Back on a Job-killing Value Added Tax
Bad Idea of the Week: “Larding Up” the Troop Support Bill
New Healthcare Law Hurts Small Business
Outrage of the Week:  Apologizing to China!
Christmas Day Bombing: Repeating Mistakes of 9-11?
Bringing a “Hurricane Hunter” to New Jersey

The Week Just Past:

“As you know, I have been saying for months that Congress has its priorities all wrong.  With the real unemployment rate hovering around 17 percent, the House and Senate should be focused on the creation of jobs and employment opportunities for Americans.

“The New York Times said it very well this week: ‘A year that Democrats decreed would be about ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ has produced a far different check list as its sixth month nears: health care, financial regulation, energy…’

“I think it’s notable that each one of these so-called ‘reforms’ Speaker Pelosi and her majority have proposed and pushed through the House would cost American jobs through higher taxes, more spending and increased bureaucratic regulation. 

“And now comes word that the House probably won’t pass a budget this year – robbing Americans of the chance to cut government spending and help create new jobs.  This will be the first time since the modern budget process was created in 1974 that the House will fail to approve this important document!

“But what Speaker Pelosi is currently working to pass is another package of tax breaks and benefit extensions.  The measure contains more than $150 billion in spending that is ‘unpaid’ and provides ‘zero’ net tax relief.

“As you will recall, the massive and unprecedented deficit spending in the ‘stimulus’ bill last year did not create many jobs and neither will this bill.  This is just more spending on the same failed policies and no real tax relief.  This isn’t a ‘tax-extender’ bill; it is a deficit-extender bill!”

Pushing Back on a Job-killing Value Added Tax

Rodney joined many of his colleagues yesterday in sending a letter to the President’s debt commission asking the members to reject a job-killing Value-Added (VAT) Tax.  The letter notes that the VAT tax - which has been imposed in 150 nations - has failed to stem the rising tide of deficits and debt that are engulfing much of Europe.  Sold as a means of matching revenue to spending, the VAT tax has only served to finance a permanent expansion of government in Europe.

An excerpt of the letter explaining the job-killing nature of the VAT tax follows:
"In a depressed economy, the number one priority of government should be to stimulate job growth.  With unemployment at nearly 10 percent, Americans cannot afford the burden of a new job killing tax.  But this is exactly what a VAT will do.  A VAT will increase the cost of goods and services for all Americans, including the lower and middle classes.  It will tax our manufacturers, sending even more jobs overseas."

Speaker Pelosi and some of President Obama’s closest advisors have already embraced the VAT.
 
Bad Idea of the Week: “Larding Up” the Emergency Funding Bill That Our Courageous Troops Need Now!

With the clock ticking down until Congress adjourns for the Memorial Day recess, it appears that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is maneuvering to load up a critical emergency war funding and disaster assistance bill with unnecessary, unrelated provisions. 

Media reports indicate that the House Majority is jostling for billions in funding for extraneous add-ons to the emergency legislation – including an additional $23 billion to bail out state governments and apparently billions for a summer youth program.

“As we approach Memorial Day – a day to honor those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price – our troops are running dangerously low on funds,” said Rodney, a senior member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  “And our natural disaster assistance accounts are all but empty, and the need for relief from these disasters is growing. Yet, the Majority is once again playing political games, delaying the bill, and engaging in more backdoor maneuvers and taxpayer-financed spending sprees.”

“Our troops need this bill right now, not weeks from now, and certainly not after it’s been loaded up with billions in non-emergency spending,” he said.

It remains unclear when Congressional leaders will release publically the legislation to Members of Congress or the public, and when will it be brought to the House Appropriations Committee and to the House floor.

New Healthcare Law Hurts Small Business

President Obama continued his campaign to “sell” the recently-enacted government takeover of health care this week.   In a visit to Ohio, he touted the tax benefits available to small business under the new law.  But small businesses know that the new law will make it more expensive – not less – to offer quality health care to their workers and it will hurt the economy and threaten millions of American jobs.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) – which joined 20 states in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new health care law – has stated the tax credit the Administration cites “will do little to nothing to make purchasing insurance more affordable for small firms.”  The NFIB says that  only 12 percent of small businesses would benefit in any way, and the credit goes away after a short period of time.  It’s clear that the Obama Administration and Speaker Pelosi are not listening to the American people, and they certainly are not listening to small businessmen and women. 

The Outrageous Picture of the Week:

The front page of the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday was entitled: “Group Hug” and depicted Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan in an embrace with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as they celebrate their nuclear fuel exchange.  The deal will probably undermine Western efforts to prevent Iran from continuing its nuclear weapons program.  Secretary of State Clinton reportedly knew about the pending deal, but kept Congress in the dark.

Recommended Reading: Tuesday editorial in the Wall Street Journal: "Iran’s Nuclear Coup"

A Very Dangerous Loophole: Read “Russia Can Send Missiles To Iran.”

Bill Gertz writes in Friday’s Washington Times that a draft U.N. resolution negotiated by the Obama Administration that would impose sanctions on Iran will not block the controversial transfer of Russian S-300 missiles to the Iranian military. The S-300 system is highly effective against aircraft and some missiles. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said the S-300 missiles, which have been contracted by Tehran but not delivered, will be used to defend Iranian nuclear facilities!

Outrage of the Week:  Apologizing to China!

For only the second time since 2002, the United States and China conducted discussions about human rights.  Such engagement between our two nations is potentially helpful.
What is not helpful is that a senior official of the United States government would seem to apologize to the People’s Republic of China – one of the world’s greatest human rights abusers – for a new immigration law in Arizona that requires police to ask about a person's immigration status if there is suspicion the person is in the country illegally.
Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, in talks on freedom of religion and expression and labor rights, proactively brought up the Arizona law “early and often” as an issue of “discrimination or potential discrimination!”

The facts are these: the People’s Republic of China has actually exterminated millions of its own citizens and is a society where most of its people have little or no rights.  

“Long gone, apparently, is the tradition of keeping our national debates inside our borders while presenting a ‘united front’ to the world,” Rodney said.  “However, to suggest some sort of equivalency between China’s horrendous human rights record and Arizona’s attempt to enforce federal immigration law is absolutely outrageous!”

Recommended Reading III: Mark Helprin writing in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal: “Farewell to America's China Station, Beijing is poised to project ever greater power in the Pacific. The U.S. doesn't appear up to the challenge.”

Christmas Day Bombing: Repeating Mistakes of 9-11?

The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a scathing report this week that indicated that fourteen intelligence failures led to last year's Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Detroit.  The unclassified report charged a series of errors — from problems with the terrorist watch list to multiple failures to connect crucial intelligence data on the alleged bomber. "The Intelligence Community failed to connect and appropriately analyze the information in its possession prior to December 25, 2009 that would have identified (Umar Farouk) Abdulmutallab, as a possible terrorist threat to the United States," the report summary said.

“It should be clear to the Administration that our homeland security efforts cannot continue to depend on luck, incompetent terrorists and alert citizens to keep our communities safe,"  said Rodney, a member of the House Special Intelligence Oversight Panel.  “I will continue to press the successor to the resigning Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, to ensure that sufficient intelligence manpower and resources are directed against threats to the Homeland."

Bringing a “Hurricane Hunter” to New Jersey

One week before the official start of the Atlantic “Hurricane Season,” Rep. Rodney is bringing a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Hurricane Hunter” to visit with students at three middle schools in his Congressional District on Monday, May 24. Lieutenant Commander Peter Siegel, a NOAA aviator and navigator, will meet with students at the Mount Prospect School in Basking Ridge, the Central Avenue Elementary School in Madison and the Lester C. Noecker Elementary School in Roseland.

“Lieutenant Commander Siegel has had the unique opportunity to fly directly into some of the worst hurricanes our country has ever seen,” said Frelinghuysen.  “His fascinating presentation will help to educate us on the science behind hurricanes and demonstrate to the students the value of math and science education.”

Lieutenant Commander Peter V. Siegel III currently serves as the Aviation Advisor to the Director, Office of NOAA’s Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Centers in Silver Spring, MD. In this senior staff position he informs, advises and influences OMAO aviation program initiatives and advises NOAA leadership on high-profile aviation issues.

NOAA’s Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2010 begins on May 23rd and runs through May 29th.
The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness web site is 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.