Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is time again for my weekly report back.
Congratulations to the University of Kentucky for winning their eighth NCAA Men’s College Basketball championship — only three more to catch UCLA!
This weekend, I was finally able to get back out and enjoy the underwater world off the coast of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. About nine of us braved some 3-5 foot seas early to get in some really nice Easter weekend SCUBA diving. However, it was in driving back from the South Florida Dive Headquarters marina in Pompano Beach that I saw something disturbing.
There it was — a purple banner flying in the wind at a gas station just east from I-95, “Now accepting EBT cards and SNAP.” For those of you who do not know these abbreviations, the EBT is the Electronic Benefit Transfer card, which is a plastic means by which one can utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This is not something we should be proud to advertise! Truly it seems the safety net is slowly becoming a hammock. This program has expanded well beyond its original intent and expanded to a far greater percentage of Americans. Now we see a growing number of businesses in this country, including sit-down and fast food restaurants, standalone and gas station convenience markets, and even pharmacies eager to accept SNAP benefits. The number of businesses certified in the SNAP program has gone from around 156,000 to more than 200,000 in five years, and food stamp benefits have ballooned from $28.5 billion to $64.7 billion. This is a highly disturbing trend. Food stamps were intended to provide a safety net for the small percentage of Americans who needed assistance. But since President Obama’s inauguration, the number of Americans receiving assistance has increased by 45 percent.
We continue to see polices coming out of the White House bent on dividing, not uniting America. The rhetoric of no blue and red states has now been replaced by divisive rhetoric and actions focusing on class, 1 percent vs. 99 percent, race, and gender. We are witnessing the degrading of the American individual citizen to being viewed as part of various collectives, and even referred to as units in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The real group waging a war on women are liberals. Their fiscal failures evidenced by the growing debt burden threaten the future of America’s children and grandchildren. Their ineptness in keeping gasoline prices in America at a reasonable cost is resulting in harming the many soccer, hockey, and lacrosse moms who are struggling to get their children to tournaments.
Let us not forget the constant foreign affairs missteps that are resulting in a diminishing global influence for our country, and subsequently the children who shall inherit this degraded state. Think about the rockets and missiles that were launched from the Sinai desert into Eilat, which the media is not covering. Jewish mothers fret for the future of their children who now live under threat from a new front, now out of Egypt. This is the same Egypt now clearly under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, to whom President Obama sent almost $1.5 billion in foreign aid because of their threat to Israel, and paid $5 million worth of American taxpayer treasure to Egypt to release some 19 Americans held hostage.
I reject this divisive rhetoric by the Obama administration because my focus is on our economic, energy, and national security. What can be more beneficial to men, women, and children in America?
The President’s criticism of the House GOP budget is almost pathetic when you consider the “support” he received for his own budget. Let me refresh your memory. The President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget failed 0-97 in the Senate and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget just failed 0-414 in the House. Furthermore, it has been some 1,074 days since Harry Reid and the Democrat-led Senate has passed a budget.
Bottom line, President Obama presents a budget and policy which raises taxes, and never ever balances –but it does result in more debt, $15.6 trillion today, $26 trillion in 10 years.
President Obama must come to a very clear realization that his economic policies have led to the longest streak of consecutive months of unemployment at eight percent or higher. This is the longest “losing streak” in the history of America. I am glad that some 165,000 Americans were able to find a job in the last month. However, we still have close to 13 million Americans unemployed. There are around eight million Americans who fit the category of “underemployed.” Don’t forget, one of the interesting reasons why unemployment dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent is because more Americans simply fell off the radar.
The question is, how many Americans have given up and are no longer being tracked by the Department of Labor? Some say this number is in the area of 1 to 1.2 million Americans.
Along the same lines, it seems that President Obama does not clearly understand the 1803 Marbury vs. Madison case, which established the premise of Judicial Review for the Supreme Court. It is the Supreme Court’s job, their raison d’être, to interpret laws against the supreme law of the land, the United States Constitution. Judicial activism, on the other hand, is legislating from the bench, creating laws, or over-turning the referendum of the electorate. In some 209 years, the Supreme Court has ruled approximately 150 laws as unconstitutional.
This was not a good week for the President’s administration, and lets not overlook the news reports that the Obama administration leaked information about Israeli air base usage in Azerbaijan.
In closing, I offer a Bravo Zulu to the two Unites States Navy fighter pilots aboard the F/A-18D on which they did their best to avoid creating a greater catastrophe. If this crash ends up being maintenance-related, perhaps this is a result of the excessive budget cuts to our Military, which are hitting our operating forces.
I am sad to see a Marine Sergeant may lose his career because he dared to criticize the President on a Facebook page. Should we have disciplined this young NCO? Yes. But to end this Warrior’s career with a less than honorable discharge is not the answer. This Marine had served nearly nine years in the Marine Corps and was planning to reenlist. Maybe if America had leadership that gained the respect of our military, instead of simply using them as stage props for speeches, this atmosphere would not exist.
Steadfast and Loyal,