Allen West’s Weekly Update “America Has Crossed The ‘Red Line” on @Next_GenTV @PJTV

America Has Crossed The ‘Red Line’
It’s a millstone of debt, not a milestone to celebrate

AW NGTV

Greetings to all Americans, and here we are for another installment of the Next Generation weekly update.

We launched our “Next Generation Today” programming this week. Our pilot episode will give you a taste of the great content to come as we develop the show. Please watch it and share your feedback. Let us know what you like and what else you want to see in the future. Michelle, John and I appreciate your comments. Please keep them coming.

We also updated the Next Generation Data Card, which we encourage you to download here. We will update this card monthly to give you a quick snapshot of several key economic indicators.

Economic perspective from the CBO

Speaking of our economy, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released yet another alarming report this week. CBO’s forecast for America is bleak, as the office analyzed our growing debt and its relationship to our gross domestic product. America now finds herself with a greater debt than GDP. In other words, we owe more than we produce.Economists will tell you the figurative “red line” that marks excessive debt is around 90 percent of debt to GDP. We have eclipsed that threshold.

Even more alarming is that if we add our unfunded liabilities – the mandatory spending for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – we have far exceeded the threshold. And that was the crux of the CBO report – that we must reform mandatory spending programs and get them under control.

The CBO also found that 7 million to 8 million Americans could lose their employer-based healthcare benefits thanks to the president’s plan. Remember, the law was touted in 2010 as only costing American taxpayers $940 billion. CBO later revised that cost to $1.1 trillion and just this week revised the cost to $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years.

I suppose it was as then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

TO CONTINUE THE REST OF THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER CLICK HERE: NEXT GENERATION TV

Allen West “Its’ Amazing to me how the Mainstream Media NEVER covered the Facts”

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by Allen West

“It is amazing to me how the mainstream media NEVER covered the facts. We witnessed history today for sure: America reelected a failure. Now the immediate concern is shall the GOP be a courageous and loyal opposition or just further acquiesce and watch our next generation suffer? America needs the former, Obama and his liberal media propaganda machine will do everything to force the latter.”

MILLER: If Obama hadn’t been sworn in

Second inauguration shows the U.S. is worse off than four years ago

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

In the 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” an angel appears to the suicidal George Bailey to show him what the world would look like had he never been born. Bailey learns his friends and neighbors would be dead, living sinful lives or in financial ruin had he not been around to help over the years. With President Obama’s first term officially behind us, it’s worth considering what the United States would be like today had someone else taken the ceremonial oath of office.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projections from January 2009 expected the 2012 deficit to be $264 billion, but Mr. Obama put us on a different trajectory. His guiding hand has brought the nation closer to financial ruin with a deficit of $1.1 trillion last year. By the time the next president delivers his inaugural address, our debt will have doubled from $10.6 trillion in 2009 to more than $20 trillion.

Mr. Obama promised “hope and change” without delivering either to those struggling to find work. Today’s unemployment rate of 7.8 percent is as high as it was when Mr. Obama came to office. There are 23 million people unemployed, underemployed or who have simply given up looking for work.

Thanks to Mr. Obama’s policies, 994,000 construction jobs and 757,000 jobs in manufacturing have been lost. Long-term unemployment benefits keep being extended because 5 million have found themselves out of work for over six months. It’s no wonder this grim economy has left 46 million people on food stamps.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/21/if-obama-hadnt-been-sworn-in/#ixzz2IeimGnIO 

 

Rep. Allen West “Stop the Lies! The real truth about Medicare…please read”

by Congressman Allen West on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:23am (via Facebook)

Let’s get right to the point, there has been an enormous amount of fear-mongering and scare tactics emanating from President Barack Obama and the liberal left on the issue of Medicare.

We have a responsibility to our seniors and we shall keep it. We shall also ensure we preserve and protect not just Medicare but also the commitment to future generations of Americans, our children and grandchildren, not to bankrupt their hopes and dreams.

The Fiscal Year 2012 Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees report on Medicare and Social Security has these programs respectively going “belly up” in 2024 and 2033. That is unacceptable to me and should be to everyone.

Medicare as we know is doomed to fail and collapse unless courageous men and women take action — doing nothing but complaining and demonizing is the folly of incompetents. Lying to the American people and our seniors is unacceptable.

Here is the truth. As per a report issued by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) in July of this year, there are $716 billion of cuts to Medicare as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in Fiscal Year 2013-2022.

These cuts to Medicare cannot be disputed and show that President Obama and the Democrats see Medicare as a “slush fund” to pay for their massive government expansion into the healthcare industry, creating 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies and further exacerbating the demise of this vital program.

These cuts include $517 billion to Part A (Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund) and $247 billion to Part B (Supplemental Medicare Insurance Trust Fund) as follows:

– $294 billion payment cuts to hospitals

– $156 billion cuts to Medicare Advantage affecting 25% of seniors nationwide

– $39 billion cuts to skilled nursing

– $17 billion cuts to hospice care

– $66 billion cuts to home healthcare

– $33 billion cuts to other providers

– $11 billion cuts resulting from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, 15-member panel of unelected government bureaucrats making Medicare price control decisions).

The plan I voted for that passed in the United States House of Representatives is something completely opposite to this horrific plan. First of all, it actually spends more on Medicare in the next 10 years.

The House of Representatives-passed budget — and remember the Democrat-controlled the United States Senate has not passed a budget in over 1200 days — would repeal the IPAB which is empowered to cut Medicare in ways that would jeopardize seniors’ access to care.

The House of Representatives-passed budget saves Medicare for current and future seniors.  In other words, there is no change for anyone 55 years of age and older.

For those younger, when they become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options — including a traditional fee-for-service option -– from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits THEIR needs.

Understand that currently on average Americans are paying $110,000-$115,000 into Medicare but receive closer to $300,000 in benefits…not to mention the widespread fraud which must be tackled.

This option-based program reforms Medicare and would be determined by a competitive bidding process which doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand will help drive down price and improve the quality of care for our future seniors.

As well, premium support, competitive bidding, and more assistance for lower income seniors, or those with greater healthcare needs ensures guaranteed affordability.

These are not talking points, but truth, objective assessment and analysis.

The question is very simple, whom shall you trust in the debate about Medicare, and the larger debate about how best to get our nation back on track?

The people who stated, “we must pass the bill in order to know what is in the bill?”

The people who said the healthcare bill will only cost the American taxpayer $940 billion only to find out that it now costs closer to $1.7 TRILLION?

The people who told you the individual mandate was not a tax, only to find out that the only way Obamacare can be declared constitutional is for the individual mandate deemed to be a tax? And as a result you have a healthcare law that entails 20 new taxes and funding for 16,000 new IRS agents.

Are you really going to trust the ideas of the President of the United States who said he would cut the deficit in half in his first term, only to have four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits (the previous high was $468 billion)? The fellow who has added more debt, over $5 trillion in less than four years…more than the previous 42 Presidents combined?

Are you really going to trust the recommended approach of a fellow who said that if his trillion-dollar stimulus were passed, unemployment would never go above 8%… and that at this time it would be 5.6%?

Are you really going to trust the policies of the fellow who presented a budget that raises $1.9 trillion in new taxes in order to increase the size of the Federal Government by 53% and the budget never, ever, balances?

Lastly, are you going to trust that the affable gent who stated if he could not turn this around would have a one-term presidency — but now demands a second term — will stick to his word?

I have provided you the truth, now make your decision…whose ideas will you trust to protect, preserve, and honor the commitment of Medicare?

Rep. Allen West “Another False Obama Medicare Claim: The $6,400 Myth”

via Facebook by Allen West on Monday, August 20, 2012

It is quite obvious that truth and integrity have no place in President Obama’s reelection campaign. In 2008 he was able to run on empty words and hyperbole. Now in 2012 he is running as an empty suit unable to be honest about his failure and dismal record.

Wall Street Journal Editorial

“The $6,400 Myth”

Breaking down a false Obama Medicare claim.

One of President Obama’s regular attacks on Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform is that it would force seniors to pay $6,400 a year more for health care. But merely because he keeps repeating this doesn’t mean it’s in the same area code of accurate.

The claim is based on a now out-of-date Congressional Budget Office estimate of the gap between the cost of health care a decade from now, in 2022, and the size of the House budget’s premium-support subsidy for a typical 65-year-old in 2022.

In other words, the $6,400 has no relevance for any senior today. None. But it also is unlikely to have any relevance for any senior ever because CBO concedes that its number is highly uncertain and “will depend on the evolution of the health care and health insurance systems over time, which is hard to predict.” That’s for sure.

The more fundamental problem is that the CBO analysis has nothing to do with the current Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan plan. Nada. Over the last year Mr. Ryan has made major adjustments to his original proposal as he sought a compromise with Democrats. In its most up-to-date analysis, CBO admits that it “does not have the capability at this time to estimate such effects” in the new version. That is, it does not have the tools to make its $6,400 exaggeration again.

The reason CBO can’t model the 2013 House budget and the Romney-Ryan plan is that they harness markets with competitive bidding. Congress’s budget gnomes can’t handle these dynamic forces.

So how would Ryan 2.0 work in practice? Traditional Medicare and all private insurers in a region would make bids to cover seniors and compete for their business by offering the best value and prices. Then the government would give everyone a subsidy equal to the second-lowest bid.

If seniors chose that No. 2 option, whether it was Medicare or another plan, they’d break even and pay nothing extra out of pocket. If they picked the cheapest plan, they’d keep whatever was left over after the government subsidy—that is, they’d get a cash refund. If they instead picked the third-cheapest option, the fourth-cheapest, etc., they’d pay the difference above the government subsidy.

That structure ensures that seniors would have at least two choices (and likely far more) that they are guaranteed to do better than they do now. The amount of the premium-support subsidy would also be tied to underlying health-care costs, so it would not shift costs to beneficiaries, as Democrats also falsely claim. The very reasonable Romney-Ryan policy bet is that costs could nonetheless fall over time because seniors would have the incentive to switch to the most competitively priced Medicare plan.

COMPLETE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE BY CLICKING HERE: WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE

Rep Allen West: Weekly Wrap, Legislative Update, The Coming Week and More

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans.  It is time again for my weekly update report, as I reflect upon another week.

Sadly, the United States Senate voted this week on the selective use of the federal tax code as a weapon for political posturing, instead of doing authorization and appropriation legislation. By a vote of 51-48, with Vice President Joe Biden in attendance in case of a tie vote, the Senate voted to raise taxes on the top two out of six existing income tax brackets.

I find it quite perplexing that politicians can artificially determine what is “rich” in America for the intended purpose of targeting and demonizing a group. Many small business owners pay their company taxes on their individual returns with a total income of $200,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a family.

The additional revenue resulting from this tax increase on these two brackets is barely enough to fund our  Federal Government at its current spending rate for 10 days.  Similar to the misguided logic of the “Buffet Rule” (which would only yield $40 billion over 10 years), this policy is politically driven, not driven by sound economic principle.

The recently released Ernst and Young report clearly articulates the danger of these targeted tax increases on American small businesses, which are no doubt the economic engine of this country.

As I sit here, I am seeing more liberal progressive legislative actions and presidential Executive Orders resembling what Frederic Bastiat termed in his essay, “The Law” as legal plunder. The problem is, when the American people are told the truth, like with the 20 taxes in the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which I prefer to call the Patient Protection Unaffordable Tax Act, the left uses guilt tactics claiming anyone against it doesn’t have a heart.  Instead, the liberals and the current Obama Administration want you to believe theCongressional Budget Office (CBO) rescoring of the PPACA this week is all rosy, which it clearly is not.

Highlights of CBO report on PPACA:

– The gross cost of the bill for 2012-2022 is $1.683 trillion instead of the $1.762 trillion assessment from a March review. The original estimate was $940 billion, so it is still not anywhere near good news for Americans. Also, the primary reason for the $289 billion decrease is because the CBO expects fewer states to participate in the legislation’s MEDICAID expansion– ruled optional by the United States Supreme Court June 28th decision.

– 3 million more Americans will be uninsured compared to the March analysis.

– The new “individual mandate tax” will impose a tax increase of $55 billion over the next 10 years  on Americans.

– The PPACA’s employer mandate penalties will impose a tax increase of  $117 billion on job creators.

All of these taxes on the horizon and then we also learn this week the United States is at a 46-year-high for the number of Americans in poverty.  The Obama Administration has managed to drive more than nine million Americans into poverty in less than four years.

In closing, I find it unconscionable that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Islamic terrorists, something I remember as an 11–year-old child.

40 years later and we are still contending with this scourge, but at an even greater scope. Just two weeks ago, five Jewish tourists were killed in a bus bombing in Bulgaria. We have recently had Israelis attacked by Islamic terrorists from the Sinai. Almost daily rockets and missiles are fired into southern Israel from the Gaza strip, courtesy of Hamas. Hezbollah has grown into an even greater threat to Israel, and we all are aware of the intentions of the radical Islamic theocracy of Iran towards Israel.
Right here in America we still await the trial of Army Major Nidal Hassan, accused of gunning down his own fellow American soldiers at Fort Hood Army Installation two years ago.  News reports this week reveal Al Qaeda in Iraq is seeking to unleash new attacks against America.  If we do not call this radical terrorism out for what it is when we see it and realize when tolerance becomes a one way street, it leads to cultural suicide, we will continue down the path of surrender in the face of the most determined, resolute enemy the free world has ever known.

I would hope the IOC reevaluates its position and allows a moment of silence at the opening ceremony.  If it fails to do the right thing, I fear the Olympic flame will not burn as bright.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Congressman Allen West’s Website: west.house.gov

Legislative Update:

–  Offshore Energy — On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives approved H.R. 6082, the Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan, by a vote of 253-170, I VOTED YES.  H.R. 6082 would officially replace, within the 60-day Congressional review period under the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, President Barack Obama’s Proposed Final Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program (2012-2017) with a congressional plan that will conduct additional oil and natural gas lease sales to promote offshore energy development, job creation, and increased domestic energy production to ensure a more secure energy future in the United States.  H.R. 6082 would require the Secretary of the Interior, in order to conduct lease sales in accordance with the lease sale schedule established under the bill, to prepare a multi-sale environmental impact statement for all lease sales required under this Act that are not included in the Proposed Final Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program (2012-2017).  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), implementing H.R. 6082 would increase offsetting receipts collected from lease sales over the 2013-2022 period, thus reducing net direct spending by about $600 million over that period.  In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $35 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.

– Regulations — On Thursday, the United States House of Representatives approved H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, by a vote of 245-172, I VOTED YES.  H.R. 4078 is a package of seven bills aimed at providing additional regulatory relief from the red tape that continues to burden our small businesses.  The bill would impose a freeze on economically significant regulations that harm the economy until unemployment reaches six percent or below; permanently prevent “lame duck” administrations from issuing economically significant regulations (“midnight regs”); ensure that impacted parties have a right to intervene before federal agencies agree to binding legal settlements (“sue and settle”); require independent federal agencies to comply with the same regulatory review requirements as other agencies and requires increased transparency with respect to unfunded mandates; create a streamlined process for consideration of federal permits for construction
Next Week
– Preventing Tax Increases — Next week, the United States House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation not only to stop the tax hike set for next year but also establish a pathway to comprehensive tax reform next year – sending a clear signal to families, employers, and the financial markets that taxes will not go up on January 1, 2013.  According to a study by Ernst and Young, the President’s small business tax increase will destroy more than 700,000 jobs and reduce wages for average American workers by two percent.  In 2010, a two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax policies won broad bipartisan support including “yes” votes from 40 sitting Democrat Senators, 85 sitting Democrat House Members and President Obama.  Prior to that vote, President Obama said “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.”  House Republicans agree and will vote to provide some certainty in our struggling economy by ensuring no families or small businesses are hit with a job destroying tax increase.

– Pro-Growth Tax Reform — In addition to stopping the tax hike, the United States House of Representatives will vote on legislation that provides a pathway to pro-growth tax reform.  H.R. 6169, the Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012, would require the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to consider legislation containing the following principles for tax reform, included in the last two House-passed budgets: (1) consolidation of the current individual income tax brackets into not more than two brackets and a top rate of not more than 25 percent; (2) reduction in the corporate tax rate to not more than 25 percent; (3) repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax; (4) broadening of the tax base to maintain revenue between 18 and 19 percent of the economy; and (5) change from a ‘‘worldwide’’ to a ‘‘territorial’’ system of taxation.

Highlights of the Week:

–  Monday, 23 July; flew back to Capitol Hill; attended a policy briefing with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton on the Syrian Civil War; met with Steve Cernak, Port Director, Port Everglades to discuss Port priorities to include deepening and widening United States Army Corps of Engineers study and Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

– Tuesday, 24 July; attended a breakfast with Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn and Dr. Richard Vedder, Professor of Economics, Ohio University on Federal Student Aid and the Law of Unintended Consequences; met with House Ways and Means Committee Senior Staff on the issue of Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) legislation; addressed the Junior Statesmen Foundation summer seminar students on the idea of a Constitutional Republic and its roles and responsibilities; met with young constituent, Alexis Stannis, of Pompano Beach who was honored by the Wireless Foundation as a Wireless Samaritan for Heroic Action; met with Todd Homan, Senior Vice President, Aurora Diagnostics on pathology lab cuts and elimination of MEDICARE IOAS exemption; dinner with Army buddy Colonel (Retired) Valerie Jircitano, with whom I served multiple tours of duty (Ft. Riley, Korea, and Ft. Bragg).

-Wednesday, 25 July; attended the quarterly Army Aviation Caucus breakfast briefing which focused on the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) mission and capabilities and had the honor of sitting  next to one of the Bin Laden raid pilots; participated in the first ever joint Committee hearing with House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee to discuss key transition issues for troops transiting from Active Duty to Veteran; met with government affairs team for Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy, Inc. to discuss full spectrum development programs and plan for a visit to nuclear power plant in St. Lucie County; presented a one-minute House floor speech on the dangers of sequestration– you can see my speech here; attended a Small Business Committee hearing on “Small Business Survival in the Recession.

– Thursday, 26 July; participated in a panel discussion with colleague Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) sponsored by the YG Network Policy Forum on the topic of Department of Defense sequestration; met with constituents Jason Lovelady and former United States Army Special Forces Soldier Rafael Rivera on the launch of their new small business; had lunch with my cousin, United States Air Force Major General Ed Bolton.

– Friday, 27 July; met with Consul General Chaim Shacham of Israel- picture here; addressed the United States Department of Commerce Export Free Trade Agreement event at Northwood University; met with dear friend Dr. Mary Drabik, Provost, South Florida Bible College; conducted our monthly town hall meetings in Pompano Beach and Jupiter focusing on “Stop the Tax Hike”- more details here. 

Rep Allen West – Weekly Wrap, Legislative Update and Highlights of the Week

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans.  I want to take the time in this missive to discuss something that many Americans need to take a closer look at—tax policy. First, some historical perspective.  Back in 1913, just prior to the inauguration of America’s first “Progressive” presidential administration, Woodrow Wilson, the United States made a decision to change tax policy in America. The decision was to base taxation on production, i.e. income, as opposed to consumption of certain goods and services.  The Sixteenth Amendment states: “The congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” ??This amendment to the constitution gave the federal government the power to tax a person’s income. These income taxes would be used to pay for the government’s new programs. Taxes were not based on a flat rate but could change according to the amount of income earned. In effect, the richer you are, the more taxes you pay. If you’re poor, you get a break.  What was created was a “progressive tax” system, based upon the level of one’s income.

Today, in 2012, we find we have gone beyond the ideal of funding the basic functions of the federal government.  We are now using the tax code as a weapon. The United States has six individual tax brackets that extend from 10 percent to 35 percent, at the current tax rates. The current administration uses the tax code to manipulate certain groups and punish others.

The President supports increasing only the top two personal income brackets from 33 percent to 37 percent and 35 percent to 39.6 percent. We already have the highest corporate business tax rate in the world at 39.6 percent.  Higher personal income tax will only punish producers and is unlikely to generate more tax revenue.

As Thomas Sowell recently wrote:
“As far back as the 1920’s, a huge cut in the highest income tax rate — from 73 percent to 24 percent — led to a huge increase in the amount of tax revenue collected by the federal government. Why? Because investors took their money out of tax shelters, where they were earning very modest rates of return, and put their money into the productive economy, where they could earn higher rates of return, now that those returns were not so heavily taxed.”

In 2008, then Senator Barack Obama admitted he supported raising tax rates on higher income earners in the name of “fairness.” In other words, our government should enact targeted tax increases upon certain productive segments of society in order to funnel those dollars to economically dependent segments—-they are poor simply because the others are rich.

In fact the entire tax code is now being used to further social policy.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an example.  In this law, there are 21 new taxes on the American people. Since the individual mandate has been ruled a tax, we now face the legal precedent of behavior modification by way of taxation.

These new taxes exist only to fund a bureaucratic nanny-state with central control of healthcare, including the funding of 159 new government agencies and 16,000 new IRS agents.  It is merely a means by which to redistribute wealth in America.

We tax capital gains, dividends, and we have a death tax. We are also taxing Americans for services they use, like the new tanning tax in the healthcare act. Where will it end?

One of the grievances Thomas Jefferson listed against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was for imposing taxes “without our consent.”  It looks like we as a nation have come full circle.

President Barack Obama says he is all about “fairness?”  Currently, 47 percent of American wage-earning households don’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. Is that fair? How much hard-earned American taxpayer dollars is required to legislate “fairness?”

We need a flat tax, to eliminate the dividends and death tax, to keep the capital gains tax at 15 percent or lower, to bring the corporate tax rate down to between 22 percent to 25 percent, reduce deductions, eliminate corporate loopholes, and reduce the scope of the federal government to only the essential services individuals and the private sector cannot provide. We are at a critical mass for federal government spending.  We are trillions of dollars in debt and about to close our fourth straight year with trillion dollar deficits. More taxes will only go to further expand the government. We all know the extra American taxpayer dollars will not be going to debt or deficit reduction.

The first progressive administration in 1913 got this ball rolling.  The current progressive administration is taking it to a whole other level.
Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update: 
– Repeal of the President’s federal takeover of healthcare law — On Wednesday, the United States House of Representative approved H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act, by a vote of 244-185, I VOTED YES.  Five members of the Democrat Party voted for the repeal. The bill would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), and Title I and subtitle B of Title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  In addition, the bill would include various findings regarding PPACA.  Specifically, the bill would state: “Despite projected spending of more than two trillion dollars over the next 10 years, cutting Medicare by more than one-half trillion dollars over that period, and increasing taxes by over $800 billion dollars over that period, the law does not lower health care costs.”  And, “the law imposes new or higher taxes on American families and businesses, including 12 taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.”  Concluding, “The law expands government control over health care, adds trillions of dollars to existing liabilities, drives costs up even further, and too often put Federal bureaucrats, instead of doctors and patients, in charge of health care decision making.  The path to patient-centered care and lower costs for all Americans must begin with a full repeal of the law.”

– Mining Production — On Friday, the United States House of Representatives approved H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012, by a vote of 256-160, I VOTED YES.  The legislation would streamline approval of domestic mineral exploration and development projects by eliminating duplicative analysis, providing for timely filings for litigants, and allowing 30 months for the lead agency to prepare, consider and reach a decision on permitting for mine development. The bill would also define domestic mine projects that provide strategic and critical minerals as “infrastructure projects” in order to expedite the permitting process.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, implementing H.R. 4402 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.

This Week

– Defense Appropriations — The United States House of Representatives is expected to consider the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013.  In total, the bill would provide $519.2 billion in regular funding for the Department of Defense, an increase of $1.1 billion over the Fiscal Year 2012 level and $3.1 billion above the President’s request, according to CBO.  In addition, the bill contains $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for Defense activities related to the Global War on Terror.  The legislation would include $128.5 billion to provide for 1,401,560 active-duty troops and 843,400 reserves.  This funding level is $2.6 billion below last year, due to the reduction in troop totals.  This also includes a 1.7% pay raise for the military, which is in-line with pending Defense authorization legislation.

– Sequestration — This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012.  The bill would require the Administration to submit to the United Sates Congress a detailed preview of the sequestration required by the Budget Control Act (BCA).  Under the BCA, the spending authority of many federal departments and agencies will be reduced on January 2, 2013.  After accounting for 18 percent in debt service savings, the required reductions amount to $984 billion to be distributed evenly over 9 years – or $109.3 billion per year.  Thus, each year $54.7 billion in reductions will be necessary in both the defense and non-defense categories.  House Republicans have passed legislation (H.R. 5652) to replace these cuts with responsible savings through reform.  However, the United States Senate has yet to act.  The American people have a right to know how the White House plans to implement the sequestration cuts.  Specifically, this bill would require the president to submit a report to United States Congress that includes an estimate of the sequestration amounts necessary to achieve the required reduction for each spending category.

Highlights of the Week:
–  Monday, 9 July; taped show “Politically Speaking” with host Todd Bonlarron for PBC Channel 20.

– Tuesday, 10 July; addressed approximately 35 students attending the Bill of Right’s Constitutional Academy Program on House of Representatives’ Floor on subject of fundamental principles of a Constitutional Republic, and fielded their questions; attended House Armed Services Committee classified briefing on Intelligence Support to combat theaters of operation; met with 17 members of the South Florida Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) on critical legislative matters and tax/regulatory policy adverse effects on construction industry and small businesses; met with representatives from AIPAC on US-Israel security relationship, emerging events in Egypt and Syria, and Iran’s military ambitions; met with Florida Bankers Association President Alex Sanchez regarding the SBA 504 loan program and avenues of unleashing capital for small business growth; selected for meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and four top National Security/Foreign Policy advisors on Iran-Syria; finished the day with a floor speech on Patient Protection Affordable Care Act impacts on small businesses.

– Wednesday, 11 July; attended House Armed Services Committee classified briefing on annual report on Military and Security developments involving the People’s Republic of China, met with Ms. Karen Wilson (Coconut Creek), her brother Randall Winston (Producer of TV SITCOMs Scrubs and CougarTown), and representatives of the Lupus Foundation of America on the issue of Lupus disease awareness; attended Small Business Committee hearing on the Federal Motor Vehicle Compliance Safety program and adverse effects on the small trucking business owners; attended House Armed Services Committee Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee hearing on the Future of US Special Operations Forces. My concern is that we are over-extending this capability beyond its intended mission set/scope.

– Thursday, 12 July; met with Mr. Ted Yeats and five students from the Christian Campus organization, The Navigators, to discuss the role faith has played in my life; met with South Florida constituents ahead of Small Business Investigations, Oversight, and Regulation subcommittee hearing on the Marine Industry…during which I was afforded the opportunity to Chair the hearing….you can view the hearing here and see pictures here. Met with two Washington Center interns, Bonny Varghese from Cooper City and Nicole Dagata from Delray Beach, and discussed several policy issues; met with former Congressman JC Watts regarding an initiative called Insight America United focused on assisting GOP minority Capitol Hill staffers in professional development; met with Mr. Tom Bethel of the American Maritime Officers association who brought along Medal of Honor winner United States Air Force Colonel (Ret.) Leo Thorsness, a former F-105 pilot who was shot down and spent 6 years as a North Vietnamese POW.

Friday-Sunday; family time in South Florida

Rep Allen West “If Congress Fails to Act”

Dear Friend,

Next January, if Congress fails to act, a $494 Billion dollar tax increase will crush the American economy.
The Washington Post calls it Taxmageddon. The Congressional Budget Office says it will lead us into recession. It would be an increase of unprecedented proportions and I need your help to stop it.

Out of state, extreme left special interests have come into our district with the goal of defeating us at any cost to ensure these massive tax increases and other extreme left-wing policies continue. We’ve set a goal of raising 494 more contributions before the end of month to stop this $494 billion tax increase.

Taxmageddon poses a very serious threat to the future of our children and grandchildren. If we fail to act, America risks becoming a nation of dependency and decline.

I am working to stop these devastating tax increases, and I am committed to creating a flat and broad-based tax structure that encourages investment and innovation, and rewards hard work.

Please stand with me by making a contribution.

Steadfast and Loyal,


LTC(R) Allen B. West
Member of Congress

Congressman Allen West – Legislative Lowdown & Weekly Wrap Up #CISPA

Dear Patriot,

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

This week I posted a slide depicting the ten year federal program growth rates. I want to make sure you see it, so I’m including it below.

Click on image for larger view:

 

This graph illustrates clearly – and frighteningly — that we are not anywhere near reducing the size and scope of the federal government. Instead, the government, along with our debt and deficit, continues to grow. My friends from across the aisle continue to banter about the idea that conservatives are cutting deeply into Federal Government programs, but clearly, nothing could be further from the truth.

We are on an unsustainable path when it comes to our economic security, and continuing on this path is immoral. It is immoral for our children and grandchildren to be saddled with our fiscal irresponsibility. If we stay on this path, the future of the United States is that of a socialist egalitarian welfare nanny state – not a Constitutional Republic.

The American people must realize there is a choice between two very divergent futures. The solution does not include more taxes, which will only serve to grow the size of government.

Last week, we learned that 1st Quarter GDP growth was a lackluster 2.2%, coming off a year of 0.4%, 1.0%, 1.3%, and 3.0% per quarter GDP growth in 2011.  The notion that we need more government “investment” is not a viable path forward to restore our economic standing.

This brings up an interesting question: What exactly is the rate of return on government investment?  We grew the bureaucracy of education within the Federal Government, yet our worldwide standing in education has dropped. We created the United States Department of Energy nearly 40 years ago and yet we are still not energy independent. We spent billions of taxpayer dollars for bailouts and stimulus and as you can see, we are in an anemic economic recovery.

The most alarming part of the chart provided above is that total family income is down.  This means we are consolidating the capital of hardworking American taxpayers.

My recommendation is to invest in tax reform which focuses capital generation with our small businesses and reinvigorates production and manufacturing in America. This is the means by which we can inspire individual industrialism, innovation, and promote the conditions which will result in the next level of American ingenuity.

We just ended our April 2012 legislative session and tax return season. What will tax return season look like next year? The choice is yours!

Steadfast and Loyal,

http://west.congressnewsletter.net//mail/util.cfm?mailaction=clickthru&gpiv=2100087769.12855.64&gen=1&mailing_linkid=7657

Legislative Update:

Cybersecurity–  This past Thursday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), by a vote of 248-168, I VOTED YES.  The bill would amend the National Security Act of 1947 to enable cyber threat sharing and provide clear authority for the private sector to defend its own networks, while providing strong protections for privacy and civil liberties.  The bill would prohibit the government from requiring private sector entities to provide information to the government, and by encouraging the private sector to “anonymize” or “minimize” the information it voluntarily shares with others, including the government.  In addition, the bill would require an independent Inspector General audit of any voluntary information sharing with the government.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 3523 would have a discretionary cost of $15 million over the 2012–2016 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.

Student Loans – This past Friday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4628, the Interest Rate Reduction Act, by a vote of 215-195, I VOTED YES.  The bill would prevent interest rates on new federally subsidized Stafford Loans made to undergraduate students from increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012. The bill would extend the 3.4 percent rate until July 1, 2013.  The cost of a one-year extension of the lower rate is $5.985 billion, and in order to pay for this cost, the bill would repeal the unobligated balance of the “Prevention and Public Health Fund,” a slush fund in the president’s government takeover of health care law.  The remaining savings generated from repealing the $11.9 billion slush fund would be put toward deficit reduction. My desired solution would have been to repeal the section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which nationalizes college student loans. Competition in the private sector for college education loans will keep interest rates low, not allowing a government mandated monopoly.

Congressman Allen West’s Weekly Wrap Up – April 23, 2012

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, I hope you all survived another Tax Day. I need to make you all aware of what will become the largest tax hike in the history of America. You can read about it here in our recent Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel editorial, “The American Tax Code: A Weapon of Mass Destruction”.

This past Friday, “The Hill” newspaper reported the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its assessment of President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The CBO estimates the President’s budget would adversely affect economic growth and the higher deficits would reduce economic output between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent after five years. In addition, this budget strategy will reduce the amount of capital available to businesses.

The President’s budget will add some $3.5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, according to the CBO. However, the baseline of smoke and mirrors promulgated by the Obama Administration tries to convince the American people that deficits will be reduced by $3.2 trillion. This is why America must have an ideological debate about the direction in which this country will head. It is a debate which the liberal progressive left would rather avoid.

As you may be aware, much has been made of my recent response to a question from a constituent and assertion regarding so-called “communists” in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I am pleased it has inspired so much passionate debate, for that was precisely the point. When I was studying for my Masters degrees in political science at Kansas State University and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College, the very best professors were those who would begin each lecture with a challenging assertion. It engaged discussion and analysis, and was the best way to uncover the essence of the particular subject of the day. As Americans, we must bring to the forefront a fundamental discussion of what we want our country to be like 10 years, 20 years, and 100 years from now. Do we veer from our Founders’ vision of a constitutional republic, which preserves and protects the individual sovereignty of its citizens, along with the free market and the rights of the several states? Or do we continue to slide down a path of expanding the secular welfare state, nationalizing production, and enforcing economic equality and achievement?

You may call this what you wish. The esteemed constitutional scholar and author, Mark Levin, calls it “statism.” In our lifetime, the unpalatable and pejorative brands “socialist” and “communist” have been replaced with the more user-friendly “progressive.” But this is not a discussion about labels. It is a discussion far more important and grave, for it affects our nation’s future, our security, and the lives of each and every one of us. The dialogue must be about the future and direction of these United States. It is about the choice between two futures: a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state.

As a nation, we must directly confront those issues that are most critical. We must be able to openly and candidly discuss how we will move forward to preserve our nation’s greatness, reduce our debt and deficit, put Americans back to work, take full advantage of our domestic energy resources and ensure our security.

These are dangerous and critical times for our country. We must be unafraid to discuss and confront the challenges we face, and ensure we keep our focus on the fundamental issues, rather than become distracted by semantics. I gladly welcome this debate in the arena of political ideologies of governance.

Steadfast and Loyal

 

Rep Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up, District Highlights, Legislative Low Down 4/2/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is Sunday, April 1st.  I’d like to give a shout out to Kansas University and the University of Kentucky for being the last two standing teams as we head towards the NCAA College basketball championship. March Madness truly reminds me of what is great about America. Sixty-five teams enter with equal opportunity to be the champion. It is not about anyone making the victory decision based upon equality of achievement.  Remember when Norfolk State upset Missouri or Lehigh defeated Duke? In America, just the same as in the tournament, we all have the same opportunity to win, and that is the exceptionalism of America.


However, today represents a different type of first place for America, because as of April 1st, we now have the highest corporate/business tax rate in the world. Yes, 39.2 percent is the world’s highest business tax rate since Japan lowered its rate. Unfortunately, this is not where it ends.  We must also consider the state corporate rates, now averaging anywhere between 4-7 percent depending on the state, all of which demonstrates the United States creating an anti-business environment in America.  The good news is the House-passed GOP budget lowers those rates to 25 percent, making America competitive again. In addition to lowering the corporate and business tax rates, I believe the trillions of dollars of capital sitting on the sidelines and outside America should be allowed a onetime repatriation in order to spur on America pro-growth economic ventures, production, and manufacturing.

President Barack Obama’s policies would lead to a completely different America. The President’s policies keep taxes high, tax the capital offshore, raise capital gains (15 percent to 35 percent), raise dividends (15 percent  to 44.1 percent), and raise death (estate) taxes. The president has set policies that will raise personal income tax rates on the upper bracket, including small business owners who operate as sub-chapter S-Corporations and LLCs who utilize personal income tax rates.

The president wishes to do all this to taxation while increasing the growth of the Federal Government by 53 percent and growing our debt from the current $15.6 trillion to $26 trillion over the next ten years.  The President’s vision put forth in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget is unsustainable.  I’m obviously not the only one who believes this, as this past week the President’s budget was rejected by the House of Representatives by a vote of 0-414. This comes a year after his Fiscal Year 2012 budget was rejected by the United States Senate by a vote of 0-97.

As always, the president falls back on his greatest asset, the ability to read a speech, which is what he did last week in the Rose Garden. Again, President Obama’s response to any crisis or issue is to blame someone else and not find a solution — and giving hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to more “green energy” endeavors is not a solution, a la Solyndra.  It seems the president believes the American people are giving taxpayer dollars to the oil and gas industry as subsidies. This is quite far from the truth.

The oil and gas industry receives several cost recovery mechanisms which are known in policy circles as “tax expenditures,”  not direct government spending. These expenditures include: intangible drilling costs (research and development); foreign tax credit; domestic manufacturer’s deduction; percentage depletion; LIFO accounting (Last In First Out – relating to inventory management); geological and geophysical costs; and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and marginal well credits. Only the last two are unique to the oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas industry supports 9.2 million American jobs and makes up 7.5 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. The industry pays $86 million daily in rents, royalties, bonuses, and income tax payments to the federal government. President Obama wants to increase their taxes?  Insidious, especially considering that the same day the president was demonizing our oil and gas industry, the Chinese government-owned Petroleum Company surpassed ExxonMobil in production.

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on what is the seminal decision which will decide the path for this Republic. If the Supreme Court rules it is constitutional and in keeping with the Commerce Clause that the Federal Government can determine and mandate commerce in which the individual American citizen must participate or else face punitive charges, then our Republic and its fundamental premise of unalienable rights emanating from the Creator of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is in jeopardy.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a misnomer in its title. It does not protect the patient; it exposes him or her to 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies, to include a 15-member panel of unelected bureaucrats that will make the price control decisions on Medicare. It is not affordable because the Congressional Budget Office has now clarified the actual cost is $1.76 trillion and not the $940 billion lie told to the American people.

No doubt about it, the policies of President Obama, if they are allowed to continue, will amount to a diminished stature for the United States in the world.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

FCC Reform — Last Tuesday, the House approved H.R. 3309, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012, by a vote of 247-174, I VOTED YES.   According to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the bill would improve the way the FCC operates by increasing transparency, predictability, and consistency as part of House Republicans’ ongoing effort to ensure the commission’s work encourages job creation, investment, and innovation.

Fiscal Year 2013 Budget — On Thursday, the House approved H.Con.Res. 112, a concurrent resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, by a vote of 228-191, I VOTED YES.  The House Republican budget projects spending, revenues, and deficits over a ten-year budget window. The budget would provide for $3.53 trillion in spending outlays in Fiscal Year 2013 and assume revenues of $2.734 trillion, resulting in a deficit of $797 billion.  The resolution would provide $1.028 trillion in discretionary budget authority in Fiscal Year 2013, the same amount as called for in the last House-approved budget (H.Con.Res. 34).  The discretionary budget authority level for Fiscal Year 2013 is $19 billion below the spending ceiling established by the BCA.  Fiscal Year 2013 spending under H.Con.Res. 112 would be $187 billion lower than under the president’s budget and $55 billion below CBO’s current law baseline.  Over ten years, spending under H.Con.Res. 112 would total $40.13 trillion. Over ten years, H.Con.Res. 112 would reduce spending by $5.3 trillion compared to the president’s budget and by $4.15 trillion compared to CBO’s current law baseline.  Through a number of policy provisions the House Republican budget would also reform our broken tax code to make it simple, fair, and competitive, put the federal budget on path to balance, prevent deep and indiscriminate cuts to defense, and protect and strengthen Medicare for current retirees and future generations.  Since the president and Democrats in the Senate have refused to take responsibility for avoiding the debt-fueled crisis our nation faces, House Republicans are advancing a plan of action that will help lift our crushing burden of debt and spur job creation and economic opportunity while strengthening health and retirement security.  The budget also includes reconciliation instructions for six committees to replace the first year of the automatic sequester triggered under the Budget Control Act (BCA). For additional information and supplementary materials on the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution, including a detailed report on the budget, please see the House Budget Committee website.

Highway Funding — Also on Thursday, the House approved H.R. 4281, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, by a vote of 266-158, I VOTED YES.  The bill would extend the authority to appropriate funds from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for federal highway and surface transportation programs for 90 days, through June 30, 2012 (three-fourths of Fiscal Year 2012). Under current law, surface transportation spending authority is set to expire on March 31, 2012. The current highway program, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2009 and has since been authorized by a series of short-term extensions. The most recent extension (H.R. 2887) was approved in the House by voice vote in September 2011 and is set to expire on March 31, 2012. The Senate passed Highway Funding Bill is only for a two year period which will not provide the certainty necessary for our construction industry. The House is trying to do the responsible approach by providing businesses a five-year extension of this important funding bill.

Highlights of the Week:

Monday, March 26 – Attended and spoke at the 30th anniversary of the Groundbreaking of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Video of my speech here. Pictures here.

Tuesday, March 27 – Met with the President of Florida Atlantic University, Dr. M.J. Saunders regarding the FAU federal initiatives and projects, attended a HASC Full Committee briefing regarding mechanisms of sequestration and its effect on defense operations, spoke at the Americans for Prosperity “Hands off my Healthcare” Rally, attended a HASC Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee Hearing regarding understanding future irregular warfare challenges, met with Florida Beer Wholesalers Association members to discuss tax issues and state-based regulation of alcohol.

Wednesday, March 28 – Met with Admiral James Loy, USCG (Retired) and several others, with the US Global Leadership Coalition’s National Advisory Council to discuss the International Affairs budget; met with Dr. Kirk Schulz, President of Kansas State University and Dr. Sue Peterson, Director of Government Relations for Kansas State University; Attended a HASC Full Committee Hearing on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula; met with Ivy Greaner from Palm Beach, on behalf of the International Council of Shopping Centers to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act; attended a Small Business Full Committee Hearing regarding how partnerships can promote job growth; met with Ambassador Westmacott, British Ambassador; met with Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE, and the St. Lucie County Board of Commissioners to discuss Fort Pierce Inlet dredging, water resources, and transportation issues.

Thursday, March 29 – Spoke at the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition and Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus Breakfast, received the United States Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award for my support of pro-business issues during my first session of Congress, pictures here, press release here. Met with students from Hobe Sound Christian Academy, met with the Executive Director of AMVETS, Stewart Hickey, to discuss the AMVETS Affirmative Action Initiative.

Friday, March 30th –  Joined with Florida Governor Rick Scott in observance of March 31, 2012 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, which also coincides with Friday’s 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War: More here.

Saturday, March 31st – attended the 7th Annual Police Memorial Ride in Palm Beach Gardens.  What a wonderful time! pictures here.

Sunday, April 1st – Church and family.