Submitted by Staff on Mon, 2008-06-16 00:00.
What is the importance of the war in Iraq relative to other current issues? This is a question I am often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy. The difficulty with the way the question is often asked relates to the perception that we are somehow able to divide such issues, or to isolate the cost of war into arbitrarily defined areas such as national security or international relations. War is an all-encompassing governmental activity. The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America ’s standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.
The cost of this particular war is enormous, and therefore its of great importance. There is no single issue that is more important at this particular time. The war has, of course, made us less safe as a nation and damaged our credibility with allies and hostile nations alike. Moreover, years of growing deficits have been spurred on by the high price tag of war, and the decision to pay that price primarily by supplemental spending rather than traditional “on-budget” accounting.
Submitted by Staff on Mon, 2008-06-02 00:00.
Recently Congress sent the latest Farm Bill to the president. The bill features brand new federal programs, expansion of existing subsidies, more food stamps and more foreign food aid. This bill hits the taxpayer hard, while at the same time ensuring food prices will remain elevated. The president vetoed the bill, citing concerns over its costs and subsidies for the wealthy in a time of high food prices and record farm income. Nevertheless, this over-reaching, government-expanding Farm Bill will soon be law.
The truth is most farmers simply want honest pay for honest work. However, if the government is providing competing farms with advantages, and one wants to remain a farmer, one must seek a proportional advantage from government. It is a difficult position for the farmer. Some are better at qualifying for taxpayers’ largesse than others as evidenced by the fact that more than 60% of the subsidies go to just 10% of recipients, edging out the small family farm. This entire system is unfair and demoralizing. It disproportionately benefits big agribusiness at the expense of struggling family farms.
Submitted by Staff on Tue, 2008-05-27 00:00.
Most of my efforts on Capitol Hill are focused on reducing the federal government’s size and scope, but I make an exception for a very important group of people. Our nation’s men and women in uniform commit a selfless act of patriotism when they take up arms in defense of our country. As a veteran myself, I salute all those currently serving, or who have served in our armed forces. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices, their courage, their time away from friends and family, and the dangers they undertake. This Memorial Day we honor our soldiers and vets, we remember those who never came home, or who have since passed on. Above all, we acknowledge our respect for all who have served in the military.
Congress has considered several bills this past week that would affect veterans. Many of the measures are very positive. I applaud efforts to shore up health care for veterans, and make sure that veterans know about the services available to them. I strongly support improving educational opportunities for veterans. I also believe a pay raise is well-deserved, and long overdue for our men and women in uniform. These benefits constitute their pay for serving our country.
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-05-18 00:00.
This week, as the American economy continued to suffer the effects of big government, the House attempted to pass two multibillion dollar "emergency" spending bills, one for continued spending on the war in Iraq , and one increasing spending on domestic and international welfare programs. The plan was to pass these two bills and then send them to the president as one package. Even though the House failed to pass the war spending bill, opponents of the war should not be fooled into believing this vote signals a long term change in policy. At the end of the day, those favoring continued military occupation of Iraq will receive every penny they are requesting and more as long as they agree to dramatically increase domestic and international welfare spending as well.
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-04-20 00:00.
Taxes were on the forefront of many Americans’ minds this week as they scrambled to meet the April 15th deadline to file their returns. Tax policy in this country hurts taxpayers twice – once when they pay taxes, and then when the government spends the money. Americans are sick and tired of the financial burden and the endless forms to fill out. To add insult to injury, after collecting this money the government does some very detrimental things to the economy.
Submitted by Staff on Mon, 2008-04-14 16:33.
Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies today pointed out a deep flaw in the "Fair Tax" advocated by some Republicans, including former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. "The so-called 'fair' tax has two parts, namely a sales tax on almost everything, and a monthly welfare check mailed to every household. Fair tax advocates say the welfare check is a tax rebate, but you get the check even if you paid no tax."
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-04-13 00:00.
There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the Federal Reserve and the actions it has taken over the past few months. Many media pundits have been bending over backwards to praise the Fed for supposedly restoring stability to the market. This interpretation of the Fed's actions couldn't be further from the truth.
The current market crisis began because of Federal Reserve monetary policy during the early 2000s in which the Fed lowered the interest rate to a below-market rate. The artificially low rates led to overinvestment in housing and other malinvestments. When the first indications of market trouble began back in August of 2007, instead of holding back and allowing bad decision-makers to suffer the consequences of their actions, the Federal Reserve took aggressive, inflationary action to ensure that large Wall Street firms would not lose money.
Submitted by Staff on Wed, 2008-04-09 00:00.
WASHINGTON , DC – Congressman Ron Paul deserves applause for a pro-taxpayer voting record last year, according to the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU). The nonpartisan citizen group announced that Congressman Paul was one of only a few dozen lawmakers in the House and Senate to win the 2007 “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.”
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-03-16 00:00.
House Democrats recently adopted a budget with massive tax hikes, many of which are directed at those Americans who can least afford them. By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, this budget will raise income taxes not only on those in the highest income brackets, but raises the lowest bracket from 10% to 15% as well. Estates would again be taxed at 55%. The child tax credit would drop from $1000 to $500. Senior citizens relying on investment income would be hurt by increases in dividend and capital gains taxes. It's not just that the Democrats want to raises taxes on the rich. They want to raises taxes on everybody.
The problem is, policing the world is expensive, and if elected officials insist upon continuing to fund our current foreign policy, the money has to come from somewhere. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost us over $1 trillion. The Democrats' budget gives the President all the funding he needs for his foreign policy, so one wonders how serious they ever were about ending the war. While Democrats propose to tax and spend, many Republicans aim to borrow and spend, which hurts the taxpayer just as much in the long run.
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-03-02 01:00.
It is becoming harder and harder for Washington and the mainstream media to ignore the ripple effect the collapse of the housing bubble is having on the economy. Inflation is up, cost of food is up, oil and gold are up, foreclosures are up, unemployment is up, government spending is at record highs, its seems that the only thing down is the value of the dollar. The middle and lower classes are getting squeezed as prices jump and wages stay flat.
Though it is good that Washington is acknowledging the problem instead of sweeping it under the rug, I always get nervous at their ideas of solutions. A proper solution requires an honest, in-depth look at the root of the problem.
Submitted by Staff on Wed, 2008-02-27 01:00.
A topic that is on the lips of many people during the past few months, and one with which I have greatly concerned myself, is that of moral hazard. We hear cries from all corners, from politicians, journalists, economists, businessmen, and citizens, clamoring for the federal government to intervene in the economy in order to forestall a calamitous recession. During the boom, many of these same individuals called for no end to the Fed's easy credit. Now that the consequences of that easy money policy are coming home to roost, no one wants to face those ill effects.
We have already seen a plan from the administration to freeze mortgages, a plan which is alleged to be only a temporary program. As with other programs that have come through this committee, I believe we ought to learn from history and realize that “temporary” programs are almost anything but temporary. When this program expires and mortgage rates reset, we will see new calls for a rate-freeze plan, maybe for two years, maybe for five, or maybe for more.
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-02-24 01:00.
One major concern I discussed a few weeks ago regarding the Trans Texas Corridor is where the land will come from. Another concern is where the money will come from. Official government websites for the TTC assure that public-private partnerships will shield the taxpayer from bearing too much of the cost burden, but a careful reading shows the door is definitely open to public funding sources, while at the same time there is no doubt of the intention to charge tolls on the road.
Taxpayers already pay for their transportation system through hefty gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees, and other fees. They have every right to expect the roads they have already paid for to be properly maintained and toll-free.
Submitted by Staff on Sun, 2008-02-17 01:00.
For decades we have welcomed new immigrants to our American "melting pot". We respect those who come here peacefully to pursue their American Dream. But Americans have noticed lately that modern problems associated with illegal immigration are at a crisis point. Taxpayers are now suffering the consequences.
Costs of social services for the estimated 21 million illegal immigrants in this country are approaching $400 billion. We educate 4.2 million children of illegals at a cost of $13.8 billion. There have been almost 2 million anchor babies born in this country since 2002, with labor and delivery costs of between $3 and 6 billion. There are currently 360,000 illegals in our prisons and we have spent $1.4 billion to incarcerate them since 2001. In Prince William County near DC, ICE can't deport criminal illegals fast enough and has actually asked its local jails to slow down on referring them. Jurisdiction over illegal immigration lies at the federal level, yet many municipalities are struggling with the compounding problems of mandated costs and tied hands. My office has heard from at least one sheriff in my district considering seeking compensation from the Federal government for the cost of so many illegal immigrant inmates that wouldn't be here if the Federal government was doing its job and protecting our borders. The problems are widespread.
Submitted by M.J. Taylor on Sat, 2008-02-16 17:26.
"The one thing I fear if either of these cretins become president is higher taxes because I don't want to give the bums any more than I'm already giving them. They're bleeding me dry. I don't want to give the bums in the street another turkey sandwich. I don't want to give junkies another needle. I am sick and tired of the taxes I pay, and I don't want to pay another dime."
from Trevor Zimmer: Savage claimed Lantos used the Holocaust as "a weapon the rest of his life"
Submitted by Staff on Mon, 2008-02-04 12:23.
The Constitution guarantees Americans the right to be secure against all unreasonable seizures. My home state of Texas is unfortunately planning on some very unreasonable seizures of land with the monstrous Trans Texas Corridor highway project. The TTC plans call for a highway to cut through about 4,000 Texas miles, and with separate rail lines for passenger and freight, a multi-lane highway with separate truck lanes, utility and cable easements, this highway could be as wide as 1200 feet across. In the end this project would consume something like half a million acres of land in Texas . However, since the exact path of the road has not been determined, it is putting much more acreage in jeopardy, and in limbo.
Taking land is destructive enough. But the perpetual threat of taking an undetermined amount of land is hanging over the heads of millions of Texans and putting their lives at a standstill. Land is a store of wealth and a source of stability. This highway project is tragically threatening that for so many Texans.