Rep Allen West – Legislative Lowdown, District Highlights and Weekly Wrap Up 2/26/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. Hope your week has been well.  I stated in my previous newsletter that I had run my last half-marathon of the season. Well, I found out this past week that will not be the case. We will have ONE last half-marathon in St. Lucie County on Saturday, March 24th.  And you can bet it is going to be a warm one! This morning I ran a 10k on the FAU campus, but more on that later.

Needless to say, this week the biggest issue on everyone’s mind has to be the rising gas prices, which are the highest prices ever for a February. As I sit here writing this update the average price across America has hit $3.67 a gallon.

This week, President Obama chose Florida to give an address on “American energy” in Miami. In actual fact, he had a series of fundraisers here so he had to come up with a reason to justify spending all that jet fuel for Air Force One. The interesting statistic is that since the President’s inauguration day in 2009, gas prices have increased by 83 percent, up from $1.84 a gallon. But we were told this week that the President has nothing to do with it.

Interestingly enough, President Obama did not mention anything about the potential dangers posed by the SCAREBEO-9 platform, a Chinese-made oil rig that does not meet any United States safety standards and is now in sitting in place 66 miles off of Florida’s coast. This platform will be drilling in waters deeper than the Deepwater Horizon and our own Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, actually provided technical expertise and guidance to the company that is leasing the oil rig, REPSOL. Further, the Obama administration sent $2 billion of hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to Brazil to conduct offshore oil exploration and went so far as to promise the United States would be their best customer.

Yet the President still maintains there is nothing he can do to bring prices down and that the answer is not in drilling — or at least not American drilling.  But the President believes he is to credit for increased energy production.

Here are the facts: it is the significant increase in energy production on state and private lands – where Washington has limited control – that is largely responsible for the recent boost in oil production.  According to a new non-partisan analysis of government data, oil production on private and state lands jumped by 14 percent during the last fiscal year.  Production on federal lands, meanwhile, dropped by 11 percent.   Whereas in 2000, federal lands were responsible for 32 percent of total oil production, that figure dropped to 19 percent in 2010.  This trend is almost certain to continue, given the Obama Administration’s draft five-year drilling plan prohibits offshore drilling in new areas, and only allows lease sales to occur in areas that are already open. 

As for any recent increases in oil production on federal lands, they can largely be attributed to the policies of previous administrations.

In addition, there are some things that can be done from a government perspective.  First, we need to end the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program which is actually devaluing our dollar against the rise in cost per barrel. Secondly, to remove the influence of “speculators,” we should pursue a full-spectrum development of our domestic energy resources, which means the Keystone XL Project and reduce dependency of resources coming from volatile regions. As well, let’s reexamine the margin call bottom line, which the speculators use.

It is a serious issue, and the most serious fact to consider is the 83 percent increase in your gas prices since inauguration day 2009. How many more failed “green energy” programs and policies sucking American taxpayer dollars will we have to endure before we get focused on real solutions?

Also, this week President Obama discussed lowering the corporate business tax rate, from one of the highest in the world at 35 percent, down to 28 percent.  The President does not tell the American people the real truth, as articulated in the Wall Street Journal Editorial on Thursday, entitled “Obama’s Tax Reform Muddle.”  Instead of allowing a one-time repatriation of the trillions of dollars of capital sitting on the sidelines, President Obama wants to tax it. Further, he is proposing an increase in dividends taxes from 15 percent to 44.1 percent and capital gains tax from 15 percent to 30-35 percent.

We should eliminate dividends and the death tax, reduce the corporate business rate to 20-21 percent and eliminate loopholes, lower capital gains tax to 10 percent, allow the onetime repatriation of the offshore capital to America, and reduce the size and scope of our federal government.

Lastly, I want to extend my sincere condolences to the families of the Army Colonel and Major who were killed by Afghanistan security forces over this “burning Koran” episode. If we had resolute leadership, including in the White House, we would have explained that these Islamic terrorist enemy combatants being detained at the Parwan facility had used the Koran to write jihadist messages to pass to others. In doing so, they violated their own cultural practice and defiled the Koran. Furthermore, they turned the Koran into contraband. Therefore, Islamic cultural practice and Parwan detention facility procedures support burning the “contraband.”

Instead here we go again,  offering apology after apology and promising to “hold those responsible accountable.” Responsible for what?

When tolerance becomes a one-way street it leads to cultural suicide. This time it immediately led to the deaths of two American Warriors.  America is awaiting the apology from President Hamid Karzai.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week: 

– Monday, 20 February, hope everyone had a very good President’s Day!

– Tuesday, 21 February, welcomed Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the Small Business Committee and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Defense Panel to a Defense Business roundtable forum held at the FAU Campus in Abacoa, near Jupiter, FL. The forum focused on the obstacles and impediments encountered by our local small, medium, and large businesses dealing with Department of Defense contracting. See more informationhere. And Palm Beach Post article on the event here. Met with Martin County business development and economic leaders with our invited guests at a lunch where we discussed key issues affecting small business growth. Conducted a meeting with the Executive Council of the Northern Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Chambers of Commerce hosted by Mayor Mort Levine and the Town of Juno Beach.

– Wednesday, 22 February, attended the opening session of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Winter Symposium at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale at Port Everglades. It was a great pleasure to be reunited with so many former Generals under whom I had served as well as colleagues and soldiers. Spoke at the Palm Beach County League of Cities luncheon meeting in the Village of Tequesta, hat tip to Mayor Paterno and his Council for hosting. Conducted our monthly town hall meeting in Broward County in Deerfield Beach at their City Chamber, thanks to Mayor Noland for hosting. See pictures here.

– Thursday, 23 February, gave an economic and tax policy update to the Fort Lauderdale/Davie/Dania Beach Marina Mile Association The Marine Industry is a foundation for the economic development of South Florida and they have my committed support. Met with the President and Director of Admissions of Jupiter Christian Academy as we prepare to move the West family to North Palm Beach County. Visited the Urban Youth Impact program in West Palm Beach. The program serves the Dunbar Village-Tamarind area to provide better opportunities and enable the kids to DREAM Big. I will attend their annual fundraising gala in April. The kids were just phenomenal! Pictures here.

– Friday, 24 February, spent most of the day in Stuart FL starting off with what shall certainly be a regular hangout, The Osceola Café, nice breakfast. Met with the Stuart City leadership and visited the Congressional office of Rep. Tom Rooney. Addressed the Stuart/Martin County Council of Chambers Trustee luncheon, purpose was to introduce myself, my life story, and my vision of representative service to the people and how we can restore our Republic and grow our economy and small businesses. Conducted our monthly town hall meeting in Palm Beach County hosted by Pastor Jimmy Scroggins and the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach.

– Saturday, 25 February, attended the annual dinner of the Associated General Contractors of America. We must reinvigorate our building base in order to energize this economy. The American construction industry has truly taken a hard hit when it comes to this economic downturn and unemployment.

– Sunday, 26 February, ran the Second Annual Stand Among Friends EmbRACE 10K run on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. Stand Among Friends is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities. Great pictures here.

– Monday, 27 February, back to Washington DC for week long session.