Allen West – Weekly Update “The Troubled State Of Our Union And the presidential speech that ignored it”

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Two stories dominated the news this week. The first was the killing of ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner. Our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives because of this deranged individual.

The second big story was President Obama’s annual State of the Union address. Let’s assess that traditional speech and what it means for America at the beginning of a second Obama term.

Obama proclaimed early in the speech, “Together we have cleared away the rubble of crisis and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.” I don’t know where the president is getting his facts, but we pointed out America’s glaring problems in a video commentary. Click here to watch it now.

Obama also said, “The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem.” But then throughout the address, every single solution he offered called for government action, except where it is most needed.

Those who watched his speech or read the transcript saw nothing about rectifying our debt, deficit, monetary policy or regulatory environment, or about easing the pain of Obama’s healthcare law. And the president sought to escape responsibility for hollowing our military through budget sequestration, which his own press secretary admitted earlier that day was an administration idea.

Two pieces of legislation on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk would replace the harmful, indiscriminate sequestration with targeted spending cuts. But then again, according to the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., we do not have a spending problem.

We keep hearing about balanced approaches, but the last fiscal bill we saw called for $41 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts.

The president also claimed in his speech that his plan “is helping to slow the growth of healthcare costs.” Unfortunately, the cost of insurance premiums has risen 17 percent – from $13,425 in January 2009 to $15,745 in February 2013 — and the Obamacare tax on medical devices will cost the industry 43,000 jobs.

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Congressman Allen West’s Final Weekly Wrap-Up

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Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans, it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.

Today is the 71st Anniversary of the attack on US Naval Base, Pearl Harbor which truly marked our entry into World War II. I can still remember my dad sharing with me his feeling when he heard about this attack on the radio. Of course, he would go forth and serve in the US Army during World War II in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Little did my dad realize at the time, that he was beginning a legacy of service to our nation that has now spanned four generations. My dad was a member of that “Greatest Generation” and today his grandson, my nephew, carries that honor to this day.

As with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, America has, and always will, produce the caliber of men and women who stand as guardians for our nation’s honor. These are men and women who have answered the call then and continue to do so now.

Tomorrow many in our nation will watch the next generation of these men and women as “America’s Football Game” takes place, Army vs. Navy. I wonder how many of these young men and women have relatives who were at Pearl Harbor, or served in World War II?

I am proud to know that my own godson, Midshipman John Melvin Hendricks (that rascal who joined the Navy) will be taking that field tomorrow, his second year.

So as we remember Pearl Harbor today, let us never forget those who will stand and answer the call to arms to protect this Republic, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

And in speaking of those who serve, I was angered by the developments this week surrounding Army Major Nidal Hasan who three years ago shot 43 soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians, killing 13. An Army appellate court decision removed the current assigned judge from the case citing that he was not impartial. Furthermore, the court backed the assertion that Major Hasan did not have to be forced to shave his beard.

It just appears again that we are placating and playing the game of political correctness. It is horrific enough that we have classified this terrorist attack as “work place violence” but consider the continued disappointment of those who lost loved ones on that day… for them, it will always be a day which shall live in infamy.

This week we voted in the House of Representatives to remove the word “lunatic” from federal law. However, that does not mean there isn’t plenty of lunacy going on in the workings of the federal government!

Further, I find it interesting when media pundits and talking heads ask the disturbing question, “What will America do if Bashar al-Asad uses chemical weapons in his people?” I would have hoped it would never get to the point of his feeling empowered to use those weapons. It just seems we continue to take a defensive posture reacting to events.

If we had done as military generals on the ground had suggested in Iraq and retained a viable and credible military presence in the region, we could have precluded this. Instead we now have Iran transiting across Iraq to support Asad… and continuing to support terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

The Obama Administration was in such a rush to demand former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step down. Why not the same vigor when it comes to Mohammed Morsi?

I also recall the Obama Administration supporting a Marxist/Socialist President in Honduras and not supporting the movement in Iran against Mahmoud Ahmandinejad.

Confusing? Just imagine what our allies are thinking.

And what happened in Benghazi? America must never stop asking that question, regardless of what the mainstream media wants to hide. Losing an Ambassador, a Foreign Service officer, and two former US Navy SEALS must never EVER become the new normal.

Today, we received the monthly jobs report for November, with 7.7% unemployment and 146,000 jobs created. On the surface it is good news. However, one step beyond the superficial, we realize this is still an economy limping along.

First, the previous job creation numbers from the months of September and October were revised downward by 50,000 respectively. Second, the unemployment rate dropped due to another 350,000 Americans dropping out of the labor force. This means we still have a labor force participation rate hovering at 63.6%, which has and continues to be a record low. At this rate, we could theoretically achieve an unemployment rate of zero if everyone just quit working altogether.

Finally, our U6 computation rate remains dangerously high, due not only to 12 million unemployed Americans, but also a little over 8 million underemployed Americans.

Combined with a fragile economy where the US Federal Reserve is printing money in order to cover a monthly $40 billion mortgage debt, America is hardly out of the woods.

These simple facts just reinforce the need to have sound fiscal, tax, and regulatory policy — not politics — that will incentivize economic growth and wealth expansion. The last thing the private sector and job creators need worry about is more confiscatory economics masquerading as viable solutions to a serious fiscal problem.

Washington DC spends too much, and sending this Administration more American taxpayer dollars is not the answer. It is mathematically impossible to tax “the rich” enough to make a dent in our debt. We must be talking about where to reduce spending first. And why is it that only taxpayers, not the federal government, are expected to “share the burden?”

This is my final weekly update from our Congressional office, but it is by no means my final weekly update… When one door closes, another opens and we shall continue to advocate for truth, the restoration of this Republic, and promote Constitutional conservative principles in the New Year.

It has been my honor to serve as the Representative of the People of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. The fight for our Constitutional Republic has truly begun and I will be on the frontline.

May everyone have a wonderful holiday season and may God bless the United States of America.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

-This Week

Coast Guard Authorization—On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation to authorize appropriations for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) through Fiscal Year 2014 and for the Maritime Administration through fiscal year 2013. H.Res.825, Providing for the concurrence by the House of Representatives in the United States Senate amendments to H.R. 2838, with an amendment, passed by voice. The amended Coast Guard authorization would authorize$17.34 billion for Coast Guard operations and $296 million for the national security aspects of the Maritime Administration. H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011, originally passed the House of Representatives in November, 2011. That bill passed the United States Senate with an amendment in September, 2012.

– Next Week

The United States House of Representatives will meet next week on Tuesday, December 11, for legislative business. The House will consider a number of bills under a suspension of the rules throughout the week. Last votes for the week are now expected on Thursday, December 13 (this is a change from the announced calendar). Also, in a change to the official calendar, the House of Representatives is now expected to be in session the week of December 17.

Highlights of the Week:

– Mon, 3 Dec; presented the USSOUTHCOM Colors, delivered blessing, and gave a short address to open the Annual Caddy for the Cure golf tournament and Wounded Warrior recognition at TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs; attended the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) annual Awards dinner.

– Fri, 7 Dec; 71st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a “day which shall live in infamy;”attended Memorial service for a supporter and dear friend, Warren Maretsky, who unexpectedly lost his life this week. Warren was a great man, husband, and father who will be sorely missed, especially at the morning gatherings at Pomperdale Deli.

– Sat, 8 Dec; will watch America’s football game, Army-Navy, praying for an Army victory, we sure could use it… GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY; traveled over to Tampa to be the keynote speaker for the annual United States Army St. Barbara’s Day Dining-Out and Ball.

–  Sunday, 9 Dec; will participate in the Annual South Florida President’s Council (SFPC) Christmas Toy Run motorcycle ride in Broward County.

Congressman Allen West Weekly Wrap Up, Legislative Lowdown, Highlights in the District 12/2/12

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When Congressman Allen West was first elected 2 years ago he committed to his constituents that he would send them a detailed report each week as to what he was doing in his service for them, what the issues were that he was encountering and what progress he was making in addressing those issues. NO other Congressional Representative in the country does this. Even though Congressman West’s service as a Congressional Representative will end in January, even though NO other Congressional Representative bothers with such a report to those that they serve, Congressman West continues, steadfast and loyal, to meet his commitment to his constituents by generating this weekly wrap up. This man’s service in Congress will be sorely missed. Here is is weekly report for the week of 12-2-2012. – Larry Snowden

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans, it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.

While I enjoyed watching Georgia and Alabama battle it out for victory in the SEC Championship, the great contest in which our nation is engaged to ensure wealth expansion and economic growth remains part of the American way of life was never far from my mind. It seems this Administration has made its position very clear. Despite all historical economic evidence, the President and his Administration refuse to acknowledge that greater revenues are indeed derived from lower tax rates, and fewer deductions and exemptions rather than the opposite.

What’s more, the President appears to believe his policies have not contributed in any way to the economic mess in which we find ourselves – which is even more astounding considering his Administration is now demanding complete and permanent authority to increase the debt limit. Where will this end?

Sadly, this brings to mind another president, Mohammed Morsi, who just recently decided he also needed much broader powers, and had the Egyptian constitution rewritten in 16 hours in the middle of the night. Only weeks ago, the Obama Administration was praising Mr. Morsi.

Meanwhile, back at the “fiscal cliff,” President Obama wants $1.6 trillion in more taxes, $50 billion more in stimulus spending, continued extension of the 99-week unemployment benefits – to the tune of about $30 billion per year — maintaining the payroll tax cut, which has led to Social Security running a deficit  and which even the AARP opposes, and has said we can talk about spending cuts later. And when exactly would that be?

I wonder how many Americans have heard the simple maxim: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

I also wonder how many Americans truly believe President Obama has any intention of rectifying our fiscal issues? We are indeed heading to that 53% growth in the federal government and more expansion of the welfare-state, which is exactly what his Fiscal Year 2013 budget laid out.

There is no plan to reduce our debt or deficit, just more spending. America is truly moving away from an opportunity society to a dependency society. That means more votes for those in power who will provide, as de Tocqueville stated, the largesse from the public treasury.

I want to share with you three quotes that I certainly wish this Administration would read:

1. “The first object of taxation is to secure revenue. When the taxation of large incomes is approached with this view, the problem is to find a rate which will produce the largest returns. Experience does not show that the higher rate produces the larger revenue…

I agree perfectly with those who wish to relieve the small taxpayer by getting the largest possible contribution from the people with large incomes. But if the rates on the large incomes are so high that they disappear, the small taxpayer will be left to bear the entire burden”.  – President Calvin Coolidge…who lowered tax rates and increased revenue.

2. “Taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, that given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance, than an increase, of balancing the budget”.  – John Maynard Keynes, 1933

3. “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. Efforts to avoid tax liabilities make certain types of less productive activity more profitable than other more valuable undertakings and this inhibits our growth and efficiency. The purpose of cutting taxes is to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy”.  –President John F Kennedy, during his January 1963 address to Congress

It was George Santayana who stated in the 1920s, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sadly, I fear we are on a bullet train to repeat the economic failures of the past.

In closing, I want to put the events at the United Nations this week in some sort of context. Since 9-11 2012, has anyone paid attention to the deteriorating situation in the Middle East? It is a Middle East where, according to President Obama’s foreign policy, we are “pivoting away.”

Since November, we have seen Israel come under horrific attack from Hamas in Gaza, who is being supplied from Iran. We have had Egypt go 180 degrees away from any semblance of an “Arab Spring” of democracy to a radical Islamist regime led by the Muslim Brotherhood. Lastly, by a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions (which are in effect tacit yes votes), we now have a “Palestinian” non-member observer state recognized by the United Nations — coming after Israel was rocketed with not a peep of protest from Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestine is a territory which historically had nothing to do with Arab people. In fact, it was Roman Emperor Hadrian who renamed the region Palestinia from Judea to punish the Jews after their defeat in the second Jewish insurrection against Rome. The original word Palestinia comes from the root word Philistia and the ancient Philistines were originally Greek.

After decades of good propaganda and a lack of historical understanding on the part of many, the United Nations has created something which has no historical basis. What is most disturbing is a terrorist organization, which is attacking a sovereign State, has now been awarded legitimacy.

Are any of these events a result of the President beginning his second term or is it all just a strange coincidence?

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

– This Week

STEM Jobs Act of 2012—On Friday, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation to provide up to 55,000 green cards a year to new green card programs for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced science, technology, engineering, or mathematics( STEM) degrees. H.R. 6429, which was approved by a vote of 245-139, I VOTED YES. This bill would create a new green card category for immigrants who have received STEM doctorates from U.S. universities. The bill would require immigrants to meet the certain eligibility requirements in order to apply for a STEM green card and require universities to meet certain requirements to be eligible institutions. The bill would also create a new green card category for immigrants who have received STEM master’s degrees from U.S. universities. The bill would allow foreign students to receive student visas to attend college in STEM fields without having to demonstrate that they have no desire to stay permanently in the U.S. Several changes were made to the bill as introduced, including expanding the “V” nonimmigrant visa program to allow the spouses and minor children of permanent residents to wait in the U.S. (without work authorization) for green cards to become available.

 – Next Week

The United States House of Representatives will meet next week on Monday, December 3, for legislative business. The House will consider a number of bills under a suspension of the rules throughout the week. The House is not scheduled to have any votes on Monday in order to facilitate the annual White House Congressional Holiday Ball. Also, in a change from the announced calendar, no votes are expected on Thursday, December 6.

Highlights of the Week:

– Tuesday, 27 Nov; Met with Lt. General (Ret) Kicklighter, US Army to discuss commemorative events for remembrance of the Vietnam War and its veterans and families; presided over House special order speeches for the evening.

– Thursday, 29 Nov; met with Ms Star Parker of CURE to discuss messaging to inner city residents on conservative principles and values; attended House Armed Services Committee classified briefing on Benghazi attack, more troubling than settling may I add; met with “Doc” McCauslin, CEO of the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) to discuss ongoing efforts to support our veterans.

–  Sunday, 2 Dec; ran in the 2012 Palm Beaches Half-Marathon (finished middle of the field with 2:04:45); will attend the New Officers induction ceremony and dinner for the South Florida 82d Airborne Division Chapter.

Congressman Allen West Weekly Wrap Up 11/18/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is time again for my weekly update report.

Today we received the weekly first-time jobs claims and the figure was staggering, at 439,000. The expectation was 375,000 as the previous report was 355,000. There are already those who are saying that this increase is due to Hurricane Sandy, and we have heard weather being the cause for economic indicators before. Last time it was a tsunami.

The truth is that there are workers being laid off because of the impending concerns of what could be the most massive tax hike in United States history, known as the “fiscal cliff.” Of course today we found out Mr. Richard Trumka, head of AFL-CIO, believes this to be just a “myth.”

Myth?

All one has to do is look at the near-700 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the last 10 days as an immediate indicator. There has been a huge sell-off of stocks due to the coming increase in the dividends taxes from 15% to 43.4%.

America is currently in debt to the tune of $16.3 trillion and has had four straight years of trillion- dollar-plus deficits. We have had our credit rating downgraded and the spending seems to be never ending.

An analysis of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget provides us insight into his vision: $1.9 trillion of new taxes, a debt increase from $16 trillion to $20 trillion in four years, and then $26 trillion in 10 years. We will have deficits that are never below $900 billion and his budget never balances — so much for a “balanced approach.” Lastly, what will result is a 53% growth of the Federal Government. Our Federal Government currently spends almost 25% of our anemic Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but under the Obama Administration’s plan, that level of spending will get close to 32%.

Our GDP is sputtering along at an abysmal 1.6%, when you subtract the growth in government spending.

The President’s plan is to raise taxes on the “wealthy” which he believes to be those earning $250,000 and above.

America has a progressive tax code system with six different tax brackets: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%. These are referred to by some as the “Bush tax cuts/rates” and if nothing is done they will expire as of December 31, 2012 and each bracket, except the 15% bracket, will increase anywhere from 4-5%. Some believe only the 33% (up to 37%) and 35% (up to 39.6%) should be allowed to expire. The “supposed” increase in revenue from this amounts to $85 billion annually, which will fund our government for less than 2 weeks.

The Obama Administration calls this protecting the “middle class,” but middle-income earners ($38,000 to $110,000) have seen their median income drop 4% during the last four years.

If taxes are raised taxes on those top brackets there will be an adverse effect on small businesses that operate as Sub-chapter S-Corporations and LLC’s using their personal income tax rate. This means, according to an independent Ernst and Young report, 2.1 million small businesses affected and potentially 710,000 more jobs lost.

This week, President Obama met with union and other progressive organization leaders when he also should have met with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the United States Chamber of Commerce… this is where nearly 75% of the American economy lives, not in unions.

We will have an increase in capital gains taxes from 15%-25%. The death tax will go from a 35% bracket to a 55% bracket and the minimum exemption level drops from $5 million to $1 million. There are some 20 new taxes in the healthcare law, which will affect all Americans.

The bottom line is, there could be a negative effect on 158 million Americans representing 88% of United States households who will see a tax increase, on average, of $3,500.

What is a better solution?

First of all, we could just freeze current tax rates in place. Second, we need to flatten out the tax system, with just two rates, 25% and 10%, and reduce personal tax exemptions and deductions. We should keep capital gains taxes at 15%, or even better, reduce them to 10%. We should eliminate dividends and death taxes. We should promote a repatriation of the trillions of dollars of capital that is offshore, and tax it at a the corporate tax rate of zero for the first six months and a reduced corporate tax rate of 15%, for months 6-12.

We should reduce our corporate tax rate from 39.6%, the world’s highest, to 25% with no corporate exemptions. I can almost bet a declared plan such as that would inspire economic growth for America.

There were other ideas, which emanated from the Bowles-Simpson Commission that could be incorporated.

There are many promoting that tax rates should be raised for those earning $250,000 or more.  I believe the more pragmatic approach is to make the amount $2 million. I believe that is a level which will inspire and incentivize economic growth and personal wealth, which is the American Dream. Now, we must realize that the real drivers of our economic woes are our mandatory spending programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Along with the net interest on our debt payment, this is about 62% of our budget. We must tackle this situation, and reform these programs to protect them for current users and preserve for the future.

Finally, we must get our spending under control in Washington DC. It is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. And piling 60% of the budget cuts on just 19.6% of our budget — defense spending — is not the answer. Our most important responsibility is to provide for the common defense. While I supported the $487 billion cut over 10 years to the defense budget, the sequestration is a dangerous venture.

Why should we not be cutting our defense to the bone? Just look at the current situation in Israel and a world that is far more volatile.

For the first time in some 20 years, enemy rockets and missiles have fallen near the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, approximately 150 just on November 15th. The government of Israel has noted that, since the beginning of 2012, more than 768 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza, and over 12,000 in the past 12 years. Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. I strongly condemn the actions of a known radical Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas.

Now is a time when Israel, the world, and their enemies must know, by action that the United States of America will never abandon the State of Israel and that never again, truly means never again.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

This Week

–  On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the ”Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012” – by a vote of 365-43 that authorizes the President to: (1) determine that the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of the Trade Act of 1974 (denying normal trade relations treatment to non-market countries that restrict freedom of emigration and other human rights) should no longer apply to the Russian Federation, and (2) extend permanent normal trade relations treatment to the products of the Russian Federation and Moldova upon its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  This legislation will also force visa restrictions and financial punishments for those involved in the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or were involved in the criminal conspiracy uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.

Highlights of the Week:

–  Monday, 12 Nov; guest speaker at the Summit Christian School Veteran’s Day observance program; greeted Veteran’s at the Golden Corral in Boynton Beach during dinner; addressed the South Florida Veteran’s Day dinner.

– Tuesday, 13 Nov:  returned to Capitol Hill for short legislative session and organizational meetings

– Wednesday, 14 Nov; attended and participated in House GOP Conference organization meeting and leadership elections.

– Thursday, 15 Nov; attended House GOP Conference organization meeting for rules development; attended and participated in the Republican Study Committee organization meeting.

– Saturday, 17 Nov; addressed the Restoration Weekend forum at The Breakers; attended the Christian Bikers Party in Port St Lucie.

Congressman Allen West Weekly Wrap And Highlights from the District

Dear Patriots,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans, it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination. It has been a whirlwind of a week and truly a changing direction for our America.

As you all are aware, this is an official Congressional report and therefore we cannot discuss campaign related issues. Quite sure you are well aware of the current situation regarding our election.

There have been several items of concern this week which I believe are indicators of what a second term for this administration will look like.

At this moment I am watching the breaking news of the resignation of CIA Director General David Petraeus. As many of you may know this resignation is occurring the Friday before hearings are supposedly to be held next week on the Benghazi incident. General Petraeus, from a national security perspective, did the honorable thing by resignation, however I hope his leaving will not hinder getting to the truth on Benghazi. This also follows with the interestingly timely relief and retirement of USAFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham.

And that leads me to the second point, regarding Mark Basseley Youssef, the Coptic Christian immigrant from Egypt. He is the individual arrested as the culprit who unleashed Muslim anger because of a silly anti-Islam video. Not since Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships,” have we seen one individual responsible for inciting more emotional outrage as reflected in the 11th anniversary of the September 11th Islamic terrorist attacks. He will now be serving one year for a parole violation.

Could it be that Mr. Youseef is being punished, as President Obama stated at his United Nations Assembly address, because “the future does not belong to those who insult the prophet of Islam?”

Which leads me to the next point… not only should President Obama’s statement cause us concern. We should also be concerned about the Organization of Islamic Countries who supported United Nation Resolution 1618, which would make any deemed offensive comment toward Islam an international crime.

On that note, a related United Nations issue is that within 24 hours of President Obama’s reelection, the United States signed on with another 156 other countries to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, while Russia voted against it. This treaty which would require the United States Senate approval of a treaty which will have certain adverse effects upon our Constitutional Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Following along with more international occurrences, am I the only one who finds it odd that only days before the national elections, Iran fired upon a United States drone? The drone was operating in open airspace when two Iranian jets fired upon it. Now, why is it that we heard nothing about this until after the election? Kind of like us not knowing about a Russian attack submarine operating undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for some two months. Is this the future of our national security?

Back years ago when I was a teenager living during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, I recall the Saudi oil embargo crisis, which resulted in fuel rationing, on odd/even days. History has an impeccable way of repeating itself – just ask the folks up in New Jersey and New York. Amazing that we can send aid halfway around the globe to Indonesia and Japan, yet Americans are freezing and destitute right here, due to the incompetence of government agency relief efforts.

But you just do not hear a peep from the mainstream media on this stuff.

Lastly, I think you all now realize that the “fiscal cliff” is indeed real. It has been something that I have been discussing for quite some time and stock market behavior following the reelection of President Obama is just an indicator. The “sell-off” which has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop some 430 points, 3.3%, in three days should cause concern. We are seeing individuals who recognize the fact that capital gains and dividends taxes will rise from 15% to 25% and 43.4% respectively. Money is moving away from stocks and towards bonds. The predictable economic growth of America will be horribly affected.

The misguided belief that raising taxes will solve the problem will only bring about another recession.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget called for $1.9 trillion in new taxes, but the debt grows from $16 trillion to $20 trillion in four years and to $26 trillion in ten years. Deficits never go below $900 billion and the President’s budgets never balance… but you do get a 53% increase in the growth of the federal government.

If we do not expand our tax base, lower rates, eliminate exemptions, and provide tax and monetary policy certainty we are truly heading off that cliff like Thelma and Louise.

We are dangerously close to the tipping point.

In closing, 10 November, 2012 is the 237th birthday of the greatest fighting force known to mankind, the United States Marine Corps — Semper Fidelis.

And Sunday is Veterans Day. Welcome home brothers and sisters, and God bless those of us who have taken that oath of office to serve, sacrifice, and commit to this great nation –the longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known, these United States of America.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:

– Monday, 5 Nov: attended the Crossmatch Company BBQ luncheon, their company develops biometric devices for use by our men and women on the 21st Century Battlefield. Discussed with them current issues of economic security and national security and how it will affect their business.

– Thursday, 8 Nov: participated and spoke at the Sixth Annual Pompano Beach High School Army ROTC Fallen Heroes Ceremony. Seeing the young men and women in High School Junior ROTC uniform, just as I was back in 1975 does my heart well.

– Friday, 9 Nov: attended and was the keynote speaker for the Martin County High School Air Force  Junior ROTC Veteran’s Day program. I spoke of the three aspects of being a veteran: service, sacrifice, and commitment. We must ensure to pass on a greater and more exceptional America to these future leaders and warriors.

– Saturday, 10 Nov: will speak at the National Navy SEAL Museum Muster in Ft. Pierce. What a special privilege to stand among SEAL Medal of Honor winners. Will attend the Stuart Air Show to see the power of American aviation ingenuity and expertise. Happy 237th birthday to the finest fighting force the world has ever known, the United States Marine Corps.

– Sunday, 11 Nov: will attend the Boynton Veteran’s Council Veteran’s Day ceremony; participate in the West Palm Beach Veteran’s Day Parade by riding my motorcycle with the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club; attend and speak at the US Navy SEAL Muster reception at the South Florida Shooting Club in Palm City.

Congressman Allen West’s Weekly Wrap Up – November 2, 2012

Dear Patriots-

Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. It is time for our weekly update. I pray all of your children and grandchildren enjoyed a wonderful and safe Halloween and got plenty of treats.

Speaking of which, today the October jobs report numbers were released, and no matter what the figure, the bottom line is simple, 23 million Americans are still struggling for employment in our nation.

I am pleased to hear nationally there were some 171,000 jobs created, and I pray these were full-time employment jobs and not predominantly part-time positions. However, we need a private sector jobs market that is creating 250,000 to 300,000 jobs per month to get us moving back to a national full time employment rate of 5%.

Today the unemployment rate released was 7.9%, but the projection from the almost $1 trillion stimulus package — one of President Barack Obama’s deemed legislative successes — stated unemployment would be at 5.8%. In other words, at the end of his first term, America is 2.1% worse off in reported unemployment. Were Americans tricked into believing the stimulus would work?

We still have an alarming U6 employment rate (unemployed, underemployed, and dropped from the rolls) of 14.6%, just down from 14.7%. And lastly, our workforce participation rate remains very troubling, at an historic low rate of 63.8%. The key point here is that we have more Americans forced into part-time employment or simply forced out of the workforce.

We also must consider that President Obama promised to cut the annual federal deficit in half at the end of his first term. To put that into perspective, the first annual deficit under President George W. Bush (when Nancy Pelosi was House Speaker and Harry Reid was Senate Leader) was $458 billion. According to President Obama’s promise, we should be looking at an annual federal deficit in this fourth year of his term at $230 billion.

Instead we have had annual deficits under President Obama of $1.42 trillion, $1.29 trillion, $1.3 trillion, and now at the end of his first term… $1.1 trillion. How many Americans were tricked into thinking our deficits would reduce?

President Obama likes to talk about his economic plan. Well, his Fiscal Year 2013 budget is evidence of his economic vision. It includes $1.9 trillion in new taxes, but the debt — which was $10.6 trillion when he came into office and is now $16 trilliion — grows to $20 trillion in four years, and $26 trillion over the next ten years. Annual deficits never go below $900 billion. His budget never balances. And all the American people get is a 53% increase in the Federal Government… if they’re tricked into accepting it.

Considering the looming “fiscal cliff,” we are hardly out of the woods, and could easily slip into a double-dip recession. Higher taxes on job creators will result in more uncertainty, higher unemployment, and economic malaise.

Let us not forget that we are limping along with a Gross Domestic Product that is not going “Forward” — it is positively anemic, with the last report for third quarter at only 2%, actually 1.6% when one eliminates Federal Government spending.

Al Qaeda is not decimated. And we are not ending combat engagements, we are just going home. The horrific incidents of the 11th anniversary of 9-11 where we had countless United States Embassies and Consulates attacked, a United States Ambassador killed for the first time since the Carter Administration, and three other Americans, including two former US Navy SEALS, all remind us that the world is more unstable and the Obama foreign policy has proven the projection of weakness is provocative.

The saving grace America is that in September of 1980 the final unemployment statistic for the Carter Administration before the election was 7.5%… and subsequently America got a treat: President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Today, we learned the unemployment rate today was 7.9%…Trick or treat, America.

Steadfast and Loyal,

P.S. The thoughts and prayers of my wife Angela and I continue to be with the people of New Jersey and New York City who have been severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Many here in South Florida have relatives and connections to the areas worse hit by the storm. In this time, we pray God will provide you the comfort and perseverance to weather this storm. Just as a new day began the day after the storm passed, so shall, in the coming days, an even better sun rise upon your restored lives and communities… America is always here for you.

Highlights of the Week:

– Monday, 29 Oct; addressed the Jupiter High School leadership skills development class to discuss principles of leadership, time management, styles of leadership; had lunch with several veterans, including a World War II bomber pilot, at Schooners restaurant in Jupiter where we told old warrior stories and shared perspectives about serving our great nation; addressed three classes of 6th and 7th Grade civics students at Manatee Academy in Port St Lucie.

– Tuesday, 30 Oct; addressed the entire 7th Grade of civics students at Western Pines Middle School, even played a game of civics trivia.

– Wednesday, 31 Oct; visited the Riviera Beach United Parcel Service (UPS) distribution center to address employees, drivers, and hand out drivers recognition awards… even donned a set of “Browns” to make several deliveries to local small businesses in the North Palm Beach County area; addressed a group of real estate professionals at Golden Bear Realty in Palm Beach Gardens on current issues affecting the mortgage industry.

– Thursday, 1 Nov; spoke at the Ft Pierce Kiwanis Club Annual Farm City BBQ. Addressed tax, regulatory, and access to capital concerns for Agriculture industry along the Treasure Coast; visited Genuine Bio-Fuel in Indiantown where they are converting used restaurant oils into actual diesel fuel. Walked through the entire process and watched as a tanker came and was fueled with the diesel product.

– Saturday, 3 Nov; will attend a ribbon cutting in Port St Lucie for Teens in Action Training Center for Community Development Outreach

– Sunday, 4 Nov; will address congregants at two church services: Grace Place in Stuart and Common Ground in Ft Pierce.

Rep. Allen West’s Weekly Wrap and Highlights of the Week

Dear Patriot-

Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. It is time for our weekly update.

My wife, Angela, and I bid farewell this week to two constituents who were very dear friends. One was a highly accomplished businessman and stalwart conservative, Larry Day. May God bless you Larry, and may God bless your wife Sharon. We will miss you.

Our other dearly departed friend was Mrs. Greta Sussman, an American patriot. Greta was so warm and kind to Angela and our daughters, especially when she invited our family to her home for Friday Shabbat dinner.  It was very special. To her husband and former Mayor of Hillsboro Beach, Chuck, I want to say that Angela and I will always be here for you and your lovely family.

Americans like Larry Day and Greta Sussman are why I serve this great nation. They are indicative of that unique American exceptionalism and indomitable spirit that never surrenders.  As we go forward as a nation, it is that indomitable spirit that will guide us back to the greatness that we know is achievable. An integral subset of that indomitable spirit is our American entrepreneurial drive, which has fueled our free market and enterprise system and given birth to unprecedented economic growth, innovation, ingenuity, and investment.

Still, today’s report of a 2.0 percent GDP growth for the third quarter, is not reflective of what rugged individual industrialists can achieve. Our previous second quarter GDP growth was initially reported as 1.8 percent only to be downgraded to 1.3 percent. My concern is that this number will receive the same revision in mid-November.

The almost $1 trillion stimulus promised a GDP projection of 4.5 percent right now, as well as unemployment of only 5.8 percent. One disturbing aspect of today’s report is that the key driver of private sector job creation, real nonresidential fixed investment, declined for the first time since the first quarter of 2011. Real nonresidential fixed investment remains 7.2 percent lower than it was when the recession began in the fourth quarter of 2007. Also, the tiny 0.72 percentage point of today’s reported 2.0 percent annualized growth rate was the result of higher Federal Government consumption and investment. We all know the Federal Government is currently spending about 25 percent of our GDP  with estimates from the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget projecting it to grow to nearly 32 percent.

Today’s report cements America’s current recovery in last place among post-World War II recoveries lasting more than a year.  Since the recession ended in June 2009, real GDP has increased a total of 7.2 percent.  The average total increase in real GDP over the comparable 13 quarters in the other recoveries was 16.8 percent.  In the strong President Ronald Reagan recovery of the 1980’s, real GDP increased a total of 19.6 percent.   In comparison, President Reagan had the economy humming at 7.1 percent GDP growth at the same period of time in his presidential term.  If the economy had grown at the average pace of the other post-World War II recoveries, real GDP would be $1.2 trillion higher (based on 2005 dollars).  A Reagan-style recovery would have produced an economy with $1.6 trillion more than the current recovery (again, based on 2005 dollars).

A bigger economy would mean more job creation and higher federal revenues. If the economy had grown at the average pace of the other recoveries, and revenues had returned to a Fiscal Year 2007 level relative to GDP, the budget deficit would have been reduced by more than half. In other words, we would currently have a budget deficit of only $230 billion, rather than $1.1 trillion. Sadly enough, the debt is taking the opposite growth path, which is why we have an upside-down debt to GDP ratio.

Lastly, we continue to learn more about the incident in Benghazi, yet we hear no response or explanation from President Barack Obama. I remember the University of North Carolina basketball team, under Coach Dean Smith, used a tactic called, “four corners.” It was a stall tactic implemented, particularly in the second half, since there was no shot clock to run down the clock.

It is evident by his appearances on those really tough media outlets like Inside Edition, Daily Show, Late Night, Tonight Show, and MTV that President Obama, a basketball enthusiast, learned about using the four corners. But there’s one difference.  The President’s team has no lead on the scoreboard, and the American people have the ball. The only question is, will they slam dunk?

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:

– Monday, 22 Oct; visited Thermal Concepts Company in Davie which develops high capacity commercial HVAC systems to discuss tax and regulatory policy effects on small business growth, hat tip to Larry Maurer; visited The Learning Experience, at their headquarters in Boca Raton, hat tip to Richard and Michael Weissman for hosting us to discuss their concerns with business growth and expansion.

– Tuesday, 23 Oct; visited Viesel Fuel in Stuart at the request of President/CEO Stu Lamb, an amazing company which takes used cooking and vegetable oils and converts into a diesel additive and ships out to refineries. Photoshere. Stu is a former US Air Force test pilot who saw a need because of high gas prices for his vehicle fleet and through ingenuity and innovation, built a new business; addressed the residents at the Miles Grant Golf community in Port Salerno at a luncheon focusing on the Greatest Senior generation and the legacy which we must pass on to the next generation. We discussed their concerns on tax, healthcare, and MEDICARE/Social Security; visited an inner city after-school program led by Travis Pitts of Pitts Enterprises Inc. in West Palm Beach. I spent about an hour with young kids discussing their hopes, dreams, and the importance of education and reading.

– Wednesday, 24 Oct; addressed the Florida Bankers Association at their quarterly luncheon at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. We focused on the looming fiscal cliff, monetary policy, and the unintended circumstances of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform legislation on small community banks; toured the Workforce Solutions center in Port St. Lucie to understand how they are attacking the high unemployment situation in the Treasure Coast region, I focused on veterans services. I also visited the Army and Marine Corps recruiters who are located adjacent to the facility- photo here; visited the Aegis Communications call center located next to Workforce Solutions where they have just hired 300 local residents, hat tip to Paula in HR. Photos here.

– Saturday, 27 Oct; plans to visit the traveling Vietnam War Wall in Martin County, my older Brother fought in Vietnam with Charlie Co, 1/26th Marine Regiment; will attend the Ft Pierce Gun Show to meet fellow gun owners and American Patriots; and drop by the Port St Lucie Fall Fest as we prepare for Halloween; finally rounding off the day in boots and jeans for the Indiantown Rodeo.

– Sunday, 28 Oct; will run my first half-marathon of the season, Oceanside Physical Therapy Halloween Half-Marathon in Jensen Beach.  I am going to need physical therapy afterwards!  Will speak at Truth Church in Ft Pierce and pray to God to ease my pain after running 13.1 miles; will attend the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Port St. Lucie Shooting Center, come by and shoot some rounds with me!

Rep. Allen West’s Weekly Wrap Up and Highlights for the Week

Dear Patriots,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans. It is Friday, October 19th and it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.

Over the last few weeks, the nation has been focused on the events in Libya and the state of our nation’s foreign policy. I wrote an editorial on that very subject published in Human Events on October 9th, entitled “Looking the Other Way: President Obama’s Dangerous Foreign Policy.” Please click here to read, as I dive into many areas in detail as to what the President is failing to do, and what I believe must be done differently to keep Americans safe.

Also this week, we have been once again reminded of some disturbing economic trends in America. First of all, we had an increase in first-time jobless claims up to 388,000. This is a clear indicator that we are far from out of the woods, and again makes one wonder how we went from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent unemployment in the last month while the workforce participation rate and U6 employment computation rate (unemployed, underemployed and discouraged) remained unchanged.

In South Florida, we have unemployment in Broward County at 7.5 percent (the only bright spot), Palm Beach County at 9.6 percent, Martin County at 9.7 percent, and St. Lucie County at 12.2 percent.  If the same difference between the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national unemployment and U6 national figures of 7 percent was applied, we would be looking at true rates ranging from 15 percent-19 percent including unemployed, underemployed, and unaccounted, discouraged workers.

As well, recent foreclosure statistics have now placed Florida at number one in the country and our own St. Lucie County in the top two for the State of Florida. We have so much to rectify.

For those who still refuse to believe we are witnessing a massive growth of the nanny-state government, we learned this week that welfare spending in America has increased by some 34 percent during this Obama Administration. This is why I have said on more than one occasion that we are seeing the battle between the opportunity society and the dependency society. The former promotes the fundamental Constitutional Conservative premise of limited government. The latter is rooted in the beliefs of the liberal progressive socialist welfare state.

Another key factor that gives credibility to the notion that our economy is not recovering, is the horrific monetary policy being enacted. We are now in what is called “Quantitative Easing III” (QE III). Actually, we are in QE III.5 because in between two and three there was something called “Operation Twist” which involved the purchase and sale of United States Treasury bonds in an attempt to lower longterm interest rates.

At this moment, the United States Federal Reserve is printing money in order to buy up our own debt to the tune of nearly $40 Billion a month, with no declared end stated.  I find it interesting that we can tell the Taliban when we are leaving Afghanistan, but we cannot predict when we shall stop printing more money.

I thought the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of 2008 was supposed to buy up the bad mortgage securities that poisoned our financial industry. Yet, here we are four years later still printing money to buy up the debt related to these assets.

In addition, we have interest rates at artificially low levels, just 0.25 percent at my last check. Yet, our financial institutions are not lending money to help small businesses expand and as a result our economy is stuck on an anemic 1.3 percent  GDP growth.

It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize none of this is adding up.  President Obama is just not equipped to articulate why, and he doesn’t understand how to resolve this. It certainly is not about “taxing the wealthy.”

This past weekend, gasoline prices in some parts of California hit $6.00 for Supreme Unleaded. Is this to be the new normal?

Remember, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) does not take into account fuel and food prices. If it did, combined with our printing currency, we would probably realize we are in a state of inflation.

The news is not good. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:

– Tuesday, 16 Oct; attended the Grand Opening/Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Allegro Senior Living Community in Jupiter and presented them with a flag flown over our Nation’s Capitol; attended daughter Austen’s volleyball game against Dwyer High School.  Those young Ladies of Dwyer are pretty good! At the game I was able to meet and take a picture with Dwyer JROTC Cadet Knight who suffers from cerebral palsy but had the American flag mounted to her wheelchair for the presentation of colors!

– Wednesday, 17 Oct; addressed the quarterly safety meeting of the Ranger Construction Company in Port St Lucie; attended the St Lucie Chamber of Commerce networking social in Port St Lucie.

– Thursday, 18 Oct; addressed the Boca Raton Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Chapter of Senior Small Business advisors on current economic issues affecting small business growth. Also presented them with a copy of the Congressional Record remarks introduced on the United States House of Representatives floor recognizing the Boca Chapter and best in America; click here to see photos of the event. Attended the 2012 Best Places to Work in Martin County luncheon; visited the A-1 Roof Trusses business in Ft. Pierce to address effects of onerous tax, regulatory, and access of capital policies on small business growth- great pictures here; addressed the local Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers Association to hear their concerns and update them on pressing national security issues.

– Friday, 19 Oct; addressed the Community Prayer Room group at Summit Christian School on the topic of “God’s Perfect Will for our Nation;” attended Austen’s last regular season volleyball match, ending her season at 19-5.

– Saturday, 20 Oct; attended the Palm City Chamber Fall Fest event.

– Sunday, 21 Oct; participated in the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization 5K; spoke at the First Bethel Baptist Church in Ft Pierce; addressed the congregants at the Chabad Jewish Center of Martin County in Palm City.

Congressman Allen West’s Weekly Wrap & Highlights

Dear Patriots-

Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans.  It is Friday, October 12th and time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.

I must begin by discussing what has to be a most disturbing issue for the American people, the Benghazi Consulate terrorist attack. This week, the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on this incident and we are still receiving conflicting messages and information.

Anyone suggesting this is a “politicized” issue is just trying to preclude the truth from becoming evident to the American people. A very serious mistake was made and it cost the lives of four Americans. The intelligence of the American people was insulted, and continues to be insulted with “excuses” and “blame games.” It has been one month and we are still not any closer to having a definitive statement from the Obama Administration on the truth about this terrorist attack. Vice President Joe Biden’s dodging of the question during Thursday’s debate on whether the attack was indeed an “intelligence failure” shows the Administration is still not willing to accept responsibility.

The testimony this week of the Benghazi Consulate’s Regional Security Officer in front of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, clearly outlined that prior to the attack, there had been a request for security personnel. This request had been denied, not because of any budget cuts, but because of someone’s inaccurate assessment of the security situation. As a matter of record,  the Regional Security Officer had received additional “hostile duty” pay, so budget cuts would have had nothing to do with this incident. Yet somehow, someone deemed it not “hostile” enough to fulfill his additional security request.

Consider President Obama’s actions in the immediate week following the attack.  He took a trip to Las Vegas, partied with music stars Jayzee and Beyonce, and did television interviews with Dave Letterman and The View. This is an unacceptable and insensitive course of action from a President after a terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of 9-11.

I find it unconscionable that President Obama stated just this week in San Francisco that “Al Qaeda is on its heels.”Perhaps the President should listen in on more of those “intel briefs” by actually sitting, being briefed and asking questions, rather than just taking the briefing papers and reading them on his own.  If so, he would hear firsthand how Al Qaeda is not nearly decimated or “on its heels.”  The terrorist network continues to exist in the Maghreb (North Africa), Arabian Peninsula (Yemen), is resurging in Iraq (a large jailbreak of terrorists recently in Tikrit), is operating in Syria, collaborating with the Afghan Taliban, and joining forces with Al Shabab in Somalia and extending into Sudan.

The Obama Administration has already destroyed our economic security.  Refusing to call this Radical Islamic Fundamentalist enemy out for what it is, the Administration seems bent on destroying our national security as well.

During his speech to the United Nations, President Obama stated, “The future does not belong to those who would slander the prophet of Islam.”  Our President should have stood strong and supportive of his own country and said“The future does not belong to those who will not support and defend our United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

In closing, last week I had the honor of being invited to the 70th birthday celebration of a dear supporter, friend, mentor and Town of Palm Beach Councilman, David Rosow, hosted by his lovely wife, Jeanne. The birthday dinner party was held on Palm Beach Island at the Sailfish Club and one of the many distinguished attendees was Mr. Rush Limbaugh, who happens to be a constituent of the district I represent.  Into this illustrious setting, walked the son of Herman Sr. and Elizabeth West born respectively in 1920 in South Alabama and 1931 in South Georgia, accompanied by the daughter of Marine Security Guard (Ret) Keith and Patricia Graham, Jamaican immigrants to America. When my parents and the parents of my wife, Angela, were born, our parents would not have been able to visit Palm Beach Island, much less attend an event like this. However, it is because of the vision and dream of our parents that all things are possible in America, that Angela and I would be right there some 51 years later.

Herman Sr. and Elizabeth’s son is the Congressional Representative for one of the highest per capita income zip codes in America, the Town of Palm Beach. By my side that evening was my wife of 23 years, mother of our two daughters, and an accomplished woman with an MBA and a PhD.  It did not require President Obama and his economic and social justice policies of fairness, fair share, fair shot, or economic patriotism to enable my wife and I to walk into the Sailfish Club last Sunday. It was Thomas Jefferson, who articulated that we have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our Creator,  not man, and therefore not government. We are all created equal and have the access to the equality of opportunity this country has perfected and affords to its citizens and all who come to our beautiful shores.

America is a great and exceptional nation, and as Angela and I drove home that night we were reminded of such. I pray all of you realize how blessed we are to live in the greatest Constitutional Republic the world has ever known.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:
– Saturday, 6 Oct; participated in the New Horizons 5K Race in Port St Lucie; attended the University of Tennessee South Florida Alumni picnic; threw out the first pitch at the Brothers in Arms Saluting our Heroes Softball Showdown-picture here

– Sunday, 7 Oct; participated for the fifth straight year in the 16th Annual 5 Mile Dunn’s Run in Deerfield Beach to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County.

– Tuesday, 9 Oct; received the RetireSafe 2012 “Standing up for America’s Seniors Award- picture and info here; addressed Juniors and Seniors, to include the JROTC Cadets, at Forest Hill High School on my life from being a High School JROTC Cadet to today, and the key principles of leadership.

– Wednesday, 10 Oct; met with Canadian Consul-General Louise Leger to discuss the topics of national security, sequestration, Middle East foreign policy, and trade and economic ventures between Canada and Florida- pictures here; hosted a town hall meeting with special guest Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Danny Danon and approximately 10 Israeli Mayors in Century Village in West Palm Beach; addressed and provided a legislative update to the Martin County Veterans Council on the topics of veterans healthcare, military voting, and military defense cuts.

– Thursday, 11 Oct; attended the Treasure Coast Builders Association breakfast in Port St Lucie; was joined for the day with Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK); Keynote speaker for the 82d annual meeting of the Indian River Citrus League; received the Florida Farm Bureau’s “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award-picture here— along with Chairman Lucas, addressed Farm Bureau Members on critical issues of the Farm Bill- pictures here, funding for invasive species research, immigration reform, tax reform, and concerns from respective commodity sectors of Florida agriculture.

– Friday, 12 Oct; commencement speaker for the graduation exercise of 150 graduates of MedVance Institute in Port St Lucie.

Congressman Allen West’s Weekly Wrap Up and Highlights of the Week

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans.  It is time again for our weekly update for dissemination.

My biggest concern from this past week is the numbers from the monthly jobs report released on Friday. There is no doubt that we all want to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Americans from this horrific epidemic of joblessness. However, it is the manner by which we are “recovering” that has me somewhat scratching my head.

You see, a savvy Commander always looks for trends and inconsistencies in order to understand the battlefield and develop a sound strategy. In this case, I have been absolutely perplexed with the amount of statistical revisions emanating from the Obama Administration.

Case in point, last year in the final quarter of 2011, October through December, we were initially told the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was at 3%. That number was later revised upward to 4.1%. Two quarters later the GDP growth number for Second Quarter 2012 was reported to be at 1.7%.  Yet, just a month ago that number was revised downward to 1.5%.

The September jobs report put national unemployment at 7.8%, down from 8.1%. Amazingly enough, that is the exact same number from January 2009.

However, there was no change to the workforce participation rate, which remains at a 30-year low at 63.6%. Accompanying that is the fact that the U6 computation, which includes unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans who are no longer counted, remained unchanged at 14.7%.

How is it that the national unemployment rate could drop .3% yet not yield commensurate change in other measurable categories?

In South Florida, we still face very high percentages: Palm Beach County in the mid 9%, Broward County hovering around 8 %, Martin County almost 10%, and St. Lucie County near 13%. We are not seeing this major shift down here in our little piece of paradise.

The Thursday before the monthly jobs report, we were told there had been an increase in first time jobless applications, up from last month.

Regardless of this 7.8% report, the Obama Administration stimulus promised in its projections an unemployment rate somewhere between 5.8%-6% at this point in time. Therefore, we still blew almost a trillion dollars and fell short of designed expectations.

Well, at least we did drop $2 billion from last year’s deficit of $1.3 trillion to come in at $1.1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It is still our fourth straight trillion-dollar-plus deficit. Supposedly, President Obama was going to cut that deficit in half.

Remember, the deficit was “only” $458 billion in 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year, and Bush had to contend with a United States House of Representatives run by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a United States Senate run by Majority Leader Harry “Where’s That Budget” Reid.

10 Key Facts on Jobs and Unemployment:

1. 4.1 Million Fewer Jobs than Projected: In January 2009, the Obama Administration forecast there would be 137.6 million jobs in December 2010. Instead, there were 130.3 million jobs in December 2010. Even 21 months later in September 2012, there are just 133.5 million jobs – 4.1 million fewer than the Administration’s forecast for late 2010.

2. Slower Jobs Recovery than during the Great Depression: This is the only “recovery” since World War II that the jobs lost in the recession had not been recovered by this point. In fact, the recent pace of job creation during the “Obama recovery” has been slower than during the Great Depression.

3. Less Full Time Work: Since January 2009, the number of full-time employees has fallen by more than 600,000 while part-time employment has grown by almost 1.4 million. This means part-time workers account for all of the net employment growth in the Obama years – the opposite of what Democrats predicted when they said their stimulus plan was “likely to move many workers from part-time to full-time work.”

4. Manufacturing Jobs Down: Since January 2009, more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs have been eliminated—the opposite of the Administration’s projected increase of 408,000 manufacturing jobs due to their trillion-dollar stimulus.

5. Ten Times More New Dropouts than New Employees: During the Obama Administration, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 8.2 million, while total employment has grown by less than 800,000. This means that during the Obama years, new workforce dropouts have outnumbered new employees by 10 to 1.

6. Far Higher Unemployment Rate than Projected: September’s 7.8% unemployment rate remains far above the 5.5% rate the Administration predicted for this month in their January 2009 report on the projected effects of stimulus. Democrats actually predicted unemployment would fall to 7.8% in September 2009 – a full three years ago.

7. Real Unemployment Is Almost 11%: If the unemployment rate included the “invisible unemployed” (discouraged workers who dropped out or never joined the workforce), the September 2012 unemployment rate would be 10.9%.

8. More Unemployed Now than When Economy Was in “Free-Fall”: In September 2012, there were 12.1 million officially unemployed workers. That’s 39,000 more than when President Obama took office in January 2009 – when the Administration said “we were in economic free-fall.”
9. Two Million More Long-term Unemployed: In September 2012, there were 4.8 million long-term unemployed for more than six months – more than two million more than when President Obama took office in January 2009.
10. Economic Misery up 80%: The “Obama Misery Index” shows that unemployment and debt have risen by a combined 80% since the start of the Obama Administration.

This all reminds me of a certain novel, “1984” by George Orwell.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:

*met with Riviera Beach City Councilwoman Dawn Pardo to discuss resolution to Army Corps of Engineer permitting to improve economic development for the City waterfront.

*addressed the Palm Coast Association of Health Underwriters on Affordable Care Act and Small Business concerns.

*participated in the New Horizons 5K Race in Port St Lucie; attended the University of Tennessee South Florida Alumni picnic; threw out the first pitch at the Brothers in Arms Saluting our Heroes Softball Showdown.

*participated in the Annual Dunn’s Run 5 Mile race in Deerfield Beach to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County.

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