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.