stimulus bill

The Case Of The Curiously Missing Video From Client Number 9's CNN Web Site

As we previewed yesterday, last night Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (WMAL.com) appeared on CNN's In The Arena, which is hosted by Client Number 9, the former Governor of New York, also known as Eliot Spitzer. The previous time the AG appeared on his show, Mr. Cuccinelli patiently instructed Client Number 9 on the correct interpretation of the Constitution and why ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Confused and dazed, and aware that he couldn't pawn off his misguided, misunderstood interpretation of the Constitution with any credibility, Mr. Spitzer last night brought in a hired gun to do his debating for him: Walter Dellinger, a former acting U.S. Solicitor General in the Clinton Administration. Mr. Cuccinelli calmly waxed the floor with him as well, teaching the now-Duke Law School professor the simple (and what should be apparent) fact that the Commerce Clause gives Congress power to regulate commerce, not inactivity. Yet, apparently Duke law students are learning that choosing not to buy something is economic activity and the it is perfectly legal for the government to order its citizens to buy a certain product. Wonderful!

Which probably explains this: Stranger than that twisted logic is that CNN did not post the video — although it posted Mr. Cuccinelli's previous appearance. It found time to post video of every other segment from last night's show, including a tired examination of the economy (which Mr. Spitzer says needs a second "stimulus" bill) and every liberal's favorite type guest — a Republican slamming the GOP presidential field. But no video of Attorney General Cuccinelli explaining the Constitution to two liberals. Client Number 9's producers probably figured one manhandling is enough.

While CNN didn't post its video of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli taking down two liberals last night, Washington station WMAL-AM had this portion of the AG's guest host stint on its Morning Majority show posted earlier today. It's a good discussion on several issues and worth the listen.

11th District Voters, Check Your Mailbox: CitizenLink And TFF Action Sent You The Truth About Gerry Connolly's Record!

Our sister organization, Family Foundation Action, and CitizenLink, have partnered on a mailer sent to values voters in Virginia's 11th Congressional district. The campaign there is between first-term Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian. The mailer documents Mr. Connolly's voting record, which received a zero on the Family Research Council Action scorecard. Among the lowlights are a 97 percent voting record in lockstep with the Obama-Pelosi agenda, including voting for the $800 billion failed "stimulus" bill, the monstrous Obamacare government takeover of the health care industry and taxpayer funded abortions.

To view it online, to print or forward the mailer on Congressman Connolly's record to other voters in the 11th district (or if you don't live in the 11th but know people who do), click here. 

Most agree this is the most important mid-term election in decades, if ever. It will determine whether we continue on a course sharply to the left, or apply the brakes and set a steady, constitutional course. Be informed and make the best decision you can reach, then  exercise the full power of your citizenship and vote on Tuesday; and think about getting more involved by spreading the word about the 11th district campaign or any of Virginia's other 10 Congressional districts.

If you live in the 11th district, but didn't receive the mailer, sign up to get updates from  CitizenLink by clicking here. For those who visit this site but do not receive Family Foundation alerts, click here to sign up.

President Obama "Amused" Over Spending During His Visit To Richmond

As a native Richmonder, I think it's great when a sitting president visits, no matter which party he represents or, frankly, how bad a job he's doing. After all, sometimes the bigger the trouble he's in, the greater the media attention — and this city can use all the publicity it can stand. So, it was great to see the anointed one here last week, although it was puzzling since we have no hotly contested campaign. On the other hand, maybe that's why he was here, given how toxic he's become to Democrat candidates, who lack no excuse to outrun Air Force One when they see it descending into their states. But it was especially pleasing to see Mr. Obama's motorcade route lined with "Cut Spending" yard signs, courtesy of Americans For Prosperity (I have relatives who live in one of the houses that agreed to plant the signs). Mr. Obama didn't see it the same way, although he said he was "amused" by the signs. But he was really out of touch. He alluded to Virginia 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor, in whose district he was, and the GOP call to cut spending and tax rates, when he said, "the numbers don't add up."  

While the leader of the regime may or may not have been "amused" he certainly was hypocritical: the numbers don't add up? As if his numbers — trillions and trillions of dollars of debt that resemble a banana republic — add up? Actually, "adding" is the wrong word. His policies are subtracting — subtracting the prosperity of countless Americans — and he's lecturing us on keeping our more of our wages? The fact is, every major tax cut in American history (including those under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush) has created millions of jobs and increased federal revenue through a thriving economy. The simple message of the yard signs is correct. When revenue goes up and deficits linger, it's a spending problem, not a tax problem. 

What's really amusing is that the president thinks extending the 2001 and 2003 tax rate reductions will "cost $700 billion over 10 years," as if keeping your hard earned money is an expense to the government, while he spent nearly $800 billion in one day in February 2009 when he signed the "stimulus" bill. Lots of money for no jobs. Sorry. That is nowhere near amusing. It's downright sad and an abysmal waste. Hypocrite, indeed.

He may have been amused, but his record is nothing but sad.

What Planet Is She On?

President Obama's top economic adviser, Christina Romer, said in her final speech in that capacity yesterday that "there is widespread agreement that the act (so-called stimulus bill) is broadly on track." Another Orwellian attempt to make true what is not by saying it is despite the instinctive knowledge by almost all not in denial that it is false. Truly galling, especially to the millions suffering from unemployment or underemployment. They are the ones from personal experience, not the ivory tower and its theoretical exercises — from whence Dr. Romer came and to where she returns (UC-Berkeley) — who truly know how off track the president's policies are. Here's how Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips expressed his anger in an e-mail today (the president in recent weeks has singled out AFP with vicious attacks): 

Today, the news media reported on the final speech of President Obama's outgoing economic advisor. What Ms. Romer said helps explain why our economy is so bad. Defending the failed $814 billion stimulus boondoggle, she actually said, "there is widespread agreement that the act (Stimulus bill) is broadly on track."

What planet is this lady on? Jobless claims are through the roof, unemployment is still almost 10% with 500,000 initial jobless claims, the stock market is plunging again, existing home sales fell 27% in August and new home sales fell 12% (always a key economic indicator), automobile sales fell 25% in August (we knew government run "cash for clunkers" was not genuine prosperity). I could go on.

Is the President's top economist leaving to go back to business in the private sector? Uh, no. She's going back to her academic perch at the University of California-Berkley. At least we just figured out the planet.

Reminds me of a famous quote that goes something like this: There are no experts in government. If there were, the private sector would've hired them by now. Ms. Romer and the Keystone Cops who comprise the Obama administration — most of whom have never worked in the private sector (Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog) — are, sadly,  fitting that bill.

Administration Spokesmen? Abbott & Costello Explain The "Stimulus"

Finally, someone explains with clarity the how the "stimulus" is creating (or "saving") jobs. They are not "Loafing" around, either. It makes as much sense as anything Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says (YouTube). If Abbott and Costello could have only known . . . .

Abbott & Costello perfectly explain how the "stimulus" spending bill works. It's not their signature "Who's On First?" routine, but since no one in the Obama administration knows either . . . .

America Bankrupt: Real Or Fake?

Several reports have documented how much of a failure the "Stimulus" bill is. Not only did it borrow and spend $1 trillion in new debt only to see the unemployment rate rise to 9.5 percent (and going higher), the money was spent on projects so ludicrous they wouldn't make it into a bad Hollywood comedy script. The McCain-Coburn "Summertime Blues" report documented many of them (see list), including $308 million for a joint clean energy venture with . . . BP, $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequity, $62 million for a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh, $3.8 million for a "streetscaping" project that  reduced customer traffic and caused a business to layoff two employees, and $193,956 to study voter perceptions of the stimulus. That voter study didn't reach enough voters. Our friends at Bankrupting America uncovered yet more incomprehensible spending and produced this "Real or Fake" test, as in are certain government spending projects real or fake? You couldn't make this up and be credible anywhere . . . except in Washington, D.C. The answers are sad, but true. At this rate, it won't be long before we're finacially bankrupt. We already are bankrupt in leadership.

To tell the truth: The "stimulus" bill put us deeper in debt with nothing to show for it but some humorous, but sad, stories.

While Obama Cuts The Military In Virginia, Raises Taxes On Everyone, Why Not A Fat BRAC?

Nothing unites Republicans and Democrats faster than a pair of magnets than military base closures in their states. Last week was no different when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he would close (see Army Times) the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk as part of a pare down in defense spending. On cue, a bipartisan group of Virginia's Congressional delegation, including both senators, rushed to JFCOM's defense (see Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). At risk is as many as 6,000 jobs in Virginia. (The conspiracy theory is that Virginia is being targeted by the Obama administration for its aggressive legal challenges to the health care law and the unilateral cap and trade policy implemented by the EPA.)  Secretary Gates has the unenviable task of convincing Congress (other states will face cuts as well) — during a recession his boss has exacerbated, if not created — that the Defense Department's mission is to protect the country and not create jobs. He may well be right, but while JFCOM may or may not be needed, while he's cutting fat out of the military, why isn't his boss cutting fat everywhere else

Several years ago, Congress created the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to target base closings to save money and submit those recommendations to Congress for an up or down vote, because the normal appropriation process presented a more formidable barrier than the Great Wall of China. Congressmen would trade votes to protect bases in each others' districts, regardless of the merits. Political cowardice aside, it still amazes me that Washington insiders are willing to cut the military to save a few billion dollars out of a nearly $3.5 trillion budget, of which $1.5 trillion is borrowed money, while not cutting anything nearly as important

If Congress can pass the buck to a commission to cut the fat out of the Pentagon, then why not create a commission to cut the fat out of non-defense spending? Call it the Fat BRAC. There are numerous reports by think tanks and watch dog groups, as well as individual congressmen, of deplorable spending (see McCain-Coburn Report). A commission easily could mold these findings into a package of cuts for an up or down vote.

While the Obama administration wants to raise taxes on almost everyone in the middle class and up by letting the 2001 and 2003 tax rate reductions expire, to generate $700 billion over several years (assuming the tax increase doesn't jack up the unemployment rate above 10 percent), it increased spending more than one trillion dollars in one year — $787 billion in one fell swoop with the so-called stimulus bill (more when you factor in interest on the additional debt it created.) That's arrogance and irresponsibility of the highest order. The waste in that bill (and other bills) is of deplorable and unprecedented proportions.

There is something you can do, however. As we mentioned in this post, House Republicans started YouCut, a chance to tell Congress what programs you want to see it eliminate. Each week House Republicans post a list of programs citizens want cut. The GOP Conference brings to the floor the one with the most votes. Hundreds of thousands of people vote each week. We have a permanent link to YouCut on the lower right side of this site. We encourage you to take an active role in this and make your voice heard. Then think about writing your representative and Virginia's two senators, and tell them you want a BRAC for Big Fat Federal Spending.

Stat Of The Day: America's New Growth Industry

Time for our every-now-and-then-peek into the world of finance, fiscal policy and macroeconomics — and their affect on the body politic. The widely quoted Kent Engelke (see Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Dow Jones, etc.), the chief economics strategist and managing director of Richmond-based Capitol Securities Management, today wrote this in his daily morning commentary, regarding one of the causes of out-of-control government spending at all levels:

About twenty years ago government workers gained incredible power by being allowed to unionize demanding private sector pay while maintaining generous government benefits under the guise that such were required to attract top talent. Twenty years later I believe the pendulum has swung too far. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics total employer compensation costs are $27.73 per hour in business and $39.81 in state and local government. Wow! Great pay, great benefits and a small probability of losing one’s job. Something is amiss.

Amiss, indeed. In fact, while the private sector is losing jobs, the public sector is adding jobs. Thank you, "stimulus" bill.) The only thing it is stimulating is the growth of government. Six of the wealthiest localities in the country now are those on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., including: Fairfax, Arlington, Stafford and Prince William counties, as well as the city of Alexandria (see Forbes). Not that this has gone unnoticed by the public at large. As Engelke writes, there is a political consequence to the Left's promiscuous unionization of what once was known as public service:

As all polls suggest, most have little regard for Congress reflected by 15% approval ratings. The President’s approval ratings are the lowest of any President at this time in any administration. The major reasons — (lack of)  jobs and out of control fiscal spending.

Lack of jobs, that is, except for those in government, America's new growth industry.

The Smartest President Ever!

We've been told repeatedly since 2008 that Barack Obama is a genius. He is the smartest man ever to hold the presidency. Sure enough, he proved it almost immediately after he was sworn into office — he won the Nobel Peace Prize! (Even though he couldn't deliver the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago.) Yes, he is fawned over by the elite. Chris Matthews told the nation he gets a "tingling sensation up my leg" when Mr. Obama speaks. His adorers consider him the "anointed one" or some type of secular "messiah." He even has the power to redefine "success," as he continues to label his "stimulus" bill even though it has saddled us with debt and the loss of four million jobs. He is worshiped and glorified by people who have no frame of reference. He does nothing wrong. Except say the U.S. has 57 states (YouTube.com), confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day or any number of other gaffes that would've left Conan O'Brien in business if it was a conservative president making the embarrassing pronouncements. Now comes this: We know he can't give a speech without a teleprompter, but a teleprompter can't pronounce words for you. So, just the other day, even with the 'prompter working, the commander-in-chief showed his ignorance of the military he leads by mispronouncing "corpsman" as "corpse-man." Watch and hear for yourself. With what kind of feeling does it leave you?

He's commander-in-chief, but can he create a new rank? Maybe a "corpse-man" buries the dead?

Can The Truth Finally Be Told? Mark Warner, Way Out Fiscal Liberal!

The biggest mystery since the Easter Island must be the myth the Mark Warner (contact) is somehow a "fiscal conservative," not to mention these famous remarks (click here). Starting with his Virginia record tax increase (breaking a campaign pledge) in 2004 to his 50 percent increase in state spending while governor, it's unfortunate that too many in Virginia's business community helped perpetuate the myth. Now, please, can we do away with it once and for all? Senator Warner voted for $787 billion stimulus last winter in his first major vote. Then, he voted for the omnibus spending bill ("stimulus 2"). Now, within the last two weeks, he's voted for a $1.1 trillion spending bill ("stimulus 3") (see Richmond Times-Dispatch) and for the trillions-dollar-plus socialized medicine bill. Please tell me how this is fiscal conservatism?

Of course, don't tell that to the Washington Post, which published a feature Saturday on the senator's first year. Poor baby. He's frustrated that he can't get more of his Democrat colleagues to take a more centrist course. It's pretty frightening to think of Senator Warner's definition of "centrist" after stacking up centuries of debt on us. His early record shows little sign of centrism and almost every sign of way-out-on-the-left-wing-Barbara Boxer-Harry Reid-John Kerry-(pick your favorite liberal here)-leftist-elitist-liberalism. Let the lie die now, please.