Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans.
We are getting close to the end of 2011 and still after almost 920 days, the United States is without a federal budget.
Many folks, usually liberals, have been approaching me and saying, “You Republicans need to compromise!” Well let me tell you about a CODEL (Congressional Delegation) trip to Iraq for Thanksgiving I had been planning and the reason it fell short. Since I was there for the first one in November 2003- as a Battalion Commander- I felt in my heart I should be there for the last one, and lend encouragement, gratitude and support to our stellar men and women in uniform before they make the final trip home.
We must have a minimum of three Representatives for a CODEL and there must be at least one from the minority party. Well, we had two Republicans- myself as well as my colleague Congressman Chris Gibson of New York (who is a retired Colonel and his former Airborne Brigade is currently in Iraq)- but we could not get even one Democrat to join us.
Leadership is about vision and conveying truth to those whom one has been chosen to lead. Leadership is not about telling people what you think they want to hear and promising everything for the sake of political gain. When we gaze across the Atlantic Ocean to Greece and Italy, we do not see a failure of liberty, freedom, capitalism or free markets, we see a failure of leadership.
My concern is here in America, we are actually not far off that course. Greece has a debt to GDP ratio somewhere near 128%. This past week, in America we learned our debt to GDP ratio hit 100%. This means, what we owe equals what we produce. This is unconscionable.
Still, all we get from this leadership in the White House is more over-promises from the government, like forgiving student loans. We also get more wasteful government spending schemes such as the American Jobs Act, President Barack Obama’s “mini-me” stimulus plan.
We are very close to seeing the dollar no longer being the default currency of the world. The “crony capitalism” emanating from Washington, D.C. manifesting itself in bailouts and dangerous venture capitalism escapades, such as Solyndra, combined with failing monetary policy, such as “Quantitative Easing III,” threaten the overall fiscal health of America.
What we see are countries such as Russia, China, India, Germany, and Brazil becoming the economic powerhouses in the world. All the while, our fiscal, monetary, tax and regulatory policies promote the growth of the bureaucratic nanny-state, not American ingenuity and entrepreneurship.
Even in South Korea this past week, there were protests against the new free trade agreement, as South Koreans fear an influx of cheap goods. If we continue down this path there is one simple question, “who bails out America?” My answer: Americans will bail themselves out — just as Papandreou may possibly resign. Americans should resign themselves to offering a “pink slip” to our own failure in leadership.
We can’t wait.
That is why this past week, I was honored to host 75 business leaders of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce during a “Fly-In”- as they visited Washington, DC. It is imperative that we have our private sector leaders and small business owners on Capitol Hill as they ask us the hard questions. This is still a Constitutional Republic, regardless of how some may want to fundamentally transform it, and the people are the preeminent owners.
During their trip to DC, the Chamber members had a special session with Army Vice Chief of Staff, General Chiarelli, were addressed by the Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, were received at the home of Chilean Ambassador, Arturo Fermandois and his wife Carolina, met with more than 15 bipartisan Members of Congress, and had closing addresses with the First Commanding Officer of U.S. Central Command, Admiral William Fallon, Pulitzer Prize syndicated Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and former United States Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao. These visiting members from the Chamber of Commerce are representative of the incredible spirit of investment and innovation, which will bail out America from this ideology of big government that threatens our future.
Turning to the international front, this week there were reports of Al Qaeda flags flying in Benghazi, Libya. Soon, we shall get a report on Iran from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Kurdish Leader of Iraq and a long-time, staunch supporter of the United States, Massoud Barzani, visited Tehran in a conciliatory manner, bowing before Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei. Who in the world would want to expose themselves as having a pro-American orientation? We can’t wait.
I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Lynn University President Kevin Ross, his staff, faculty, and student body for being selected to host the final and decisive Presidential debate on October 22, 2012 on their campus. I was pleased I was able to get a letter signed by every member of the Florida delegation – House and Senate – Republican and Democrat – in support of Lynn University’s application to the Commission on Presidential Debate.
I also want to congratulate Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel for being the host city for this spectacular event.
In conclusion, a sincere Veteran’s Day wish to all my brothers and sisters who have been willing to give that “last full measure of devotion” to our nation. I will be paying tribute to our Vets in several events in South Florida, click here for my schedule. Some gave all, all gave some. 10 November 2011, we shall all revel in celebrating the 236th birthday for the finest fighting force the world has ever known, our United States Marine Corps…Ooh Rah!
Semper Fidelis, Steadfast and Loyal,
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