Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, let me begin by hoping all of you had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I pray everyone had safe travels and enjoyed special time with family and friends, and a good time shopping on Small Business Saturday!
As I head back to Capitol Hill, I reflect on the many challenges facing us as legislators. However, there is an even bigger challenge facing the entire nation. During my time in the military, I was mentored by men and women who carried an honored title, “Leader.” They taught me that leadership has five components: courage, competence, conviction, commitment, and character.
Washington, D.C. has a budget deficit, but the leadership deficit is even more disconcerting. Leaders take responsibility and rarely take credit, a simple lesson that was taught to me as a young Captain in the U.S. Army by a superb Battalion Commander. So as I draw closer to ending my first year as a Member of Congress, I want to briefly discuss failures in leadership, as a strong American leader would not take the misfortunes facing the American people and leverage it for “political gain.”
Here are the facts for America since January 2009:
– More than 2 Million Americans are unemployed, close to 26 Million are underemployed (National unemployment at or above 9% for 28 straight months, double that in the Black community.)
– Average gas prices have gone from $1.83 to $3.45.
– Federal debt has gone from $10.6 Trillion to over $15 Trillion, with three straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits (debt per person has gone from $34,000 to over $48,000)
– Food stamp recipients up by 41%, with 16% more Americans in poverty at 6.4 Million, the Misery Index is up 65%, and nearly 48.5% of Americans are on government aid.
– Home values are down 11%, and health insurance premiums are up 23% from $3,354 to over $4,000.
– United States global competitiveness is down from 1st to 5th in the world.
Yet with these abysmal statistics, all we hear from the big megaphone of the White House is we need to tax people, particularly certain people, more. We hear about extending payroll tax holidays which is nothing but a band-aid approach only providing a very short-term impetus. What no one is telling the American people, especially Seniors, is that the constant use of payroll tax breaks continues to erode the funding of Social Security – which is already running a deficit. When combined with the unemployment situation, we are speeding up the demise of Social Security in America.
If the solution is to extend unemployment benefits, then we are creating a situation where we must continue to borrow more money to fund initiatives, which will promote and exacerbate the destructive economic indicators.
We currently borrow 42 cents on every dollar… a dollar which soon, thanks to the insidious monetary policies emanating from the Federal Reserve, may not be the default currency of the world.
This is not leadership. It is policy by election cycle sound bite where the purpose is just to get reelected. Politicians are now preying on the uninformed electorate and are not developing visionary pro-growth economic policies for America. The obvious goal is to create more victims in America, an America of dependency – not individual independence.
I have never previously held elected office and four years ago was returning from a two-and a- half year assignment as a civilian-military advisor to the Afghan Army. I do not see myself as a “politician.” I seek to be a political leader and thus hope to be an American Statesman.
Therefore, I will not be supporting, if I get a straight up and down vote, any of these manipulative deceptive political gimmicks – such as extension of payroll taxes and unemployment benefits.
I will be supporting stabilizing or lowering tax rates in America, and prefer to flatten them, eliminate loopholes, and reduce subsidies and deductions.
No more raising of the debt ceiling! We have shown the American people enough ineptness, incompetence, failure, and lack of courage and conviction to last a lifetime. Our system of governance is broken and we need major bold structural reforms.
Predictably enough, I am quite sure the Democrat party, many in the media, and political opponents will take my words, and eventual votes, and use them against me- feel free. I am not going to manipulate, deceive, or mislead the American people for “political gain” such as the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is comfortable doing.
If the constituents of this Congressional District would rather have a follower than a principled leader to represent them… well, the quote of Plato comes to mind, “those who refuse to participate in politics shall be governed by their inferiors.” However, it is not just about participating; it is about being educated and informed on the issues.
The challenge to our constituents, as well as all Americas, is how long will you be treated as mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed crap? There is an incredible choice Americans must make next November 2012.
Shall America continue as a Constitutional Republic led by men and women of courage, conviction, and character… or shall America become a bureaucratic nanny-state ruled by manipulative deceivers seeking their own political gain?
Is America truly that shining City on the Hill, or will that light be forever extinguished? Choose wisely, your children and grandchildren are watching… as well as our enemies abroad.
Steadfast and Loyal,
SUBSCRIBE TO ALL CONGRESSMAN ALLEN WEST’S E-NEWSLETTERS HERE: west.house.gov
Highlights of the Week:
– Monday, 21 November, Attended the Disabled America Veterans Thanksgiving luncheon and presented a special award to a three-time Purple Heart recipient from Vietnam, presented two checks to deserving local students for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship award.
– Tuesday, 22 November, Participated in the Big Heart Brigade Thanksgiving dinner preparation…pulled meat off (4) turkeys to assist with over 6000 volunteers preparing 100,000 meals for local needy families.
– Wednesday, 23 November, Visited with Veterans and families at the Fisher House Thanksgiving luncheon at the West Palm Beach VA Hospital. I was really pleased to see the High School students there serving the luncheon from local Palm Beach County High Schools.
– Thursday 24 November, Participated in the first -ever Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot 5K race, incredible turnout, over 1,000 runners. Watched lots of football and ate some darn good chow! Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy 15th birthday to my daughter Austen.
– Friday, 25 November, Office work and watched more football.
-Saturday, 26 November, Small Business Saturday! Time to get in some early holiday shopping.
– Sunday, 27 November, Family day.
– Monday, 28 November, Met with the Mayor of Stuart, FL