Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is just amazing to me how fast the year has gone by. It seems like only yesterday the 112th Congress was sworn in on January 5th.
I am recovering this morning from Sunday when I ran in the Palm Beach half-marathon- see story here– in West Palm Beach. I dedicated my run to young Max Bello of Jupiter who suffers from juvenile diabetes. Max and I ran the first 3.5 miles together. What an incredible day!
In other news, the new unemployment numbers were released this past Friday and there are those who are taking credit and celebrating. The “new” unemployment rate is 8.6% but that number does not tell the entire story. We also witnessed some 315,000 Americans who have completely given up searching for employment and therefore dropped from the workforce. We also remain concerned about the large number of underemployed Americans. In addition, with the upcoming holidays there is seasonal employment. There are conservative estimates the actual national unemployment rate is closer to 10.2%.
Forty two percent of Americans have been unemployed for at least six months. Jobless claims were up at 402,000 and yes, there was an anemic 120,000 jobs added — which mainly seem to be in retail. Which makes one wonder why the President would delay the Keystone XL pipeline project until after the election in November 2012? Based upon testimony at a congressional hearing this week, seems even the President’s union pals are not happy.
And a funny thing happened as well this week: the Department of Labor went back and “revised” the jobs created numbers for two previous months.
There are now 23 pieces of policy legislation passed in the House of Representatives relating to job creation sitting on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk. If we do not develop policies that promote confidence and certainty for our private sector, small businesses and corporations, then we shall not truly move the needle.
The current debate on Capitol Hill centers on another manipulative “fix” for our abysmal economic situation in America. The sad truth is there are those on both sides of the aisle who believe the American people are not competent enough to understand their political gimmicks aimed at personal electoral gain.
The temporary payroll tax cut has done nothing to stimulate our economy in this past year. We have seen Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in America over the past three quarters at only 0.4%, 1.0%, and 2.0%. Social Security, which is the primary recipient of payroll taxes, ran a deficit this year because of this payroll tax cut. For the third straight year we had a federal deficit of more than $1 trillion.
However, the political messaging wants to focus the American people on short-term “candy” which is in truth, long-term “poison.” We are in essence brokering our fiscal future for the insidious masquerade of immediate gratification for the American people. Listen carefully, for this is nothing more than a simple attempt to buy votes.
Do we want to do something substantial? Why not take the 2% that we are cutting off the payroll tax and apply it to income tax rates and make it retroactive to January 1, 2011? That is a viable solution, not a temporary fix, which means we would not have to come back and debate the same issue a year later.
As well, how has extending unemployment insurance, not “paid for” I might add, helped our jobs situation in America? It has not. What it has done is create and expand a victim class, totally dependent on subsistence from the Federal Government. Some on the other side of the aisle talk as if they are really concerned about Americans, but they seem not to be. It seems they only want economic slaves wedded to them for their “perceived” political survival.
So no, I will not vote to extend these gimmicks of political and economic enslavement of my fellow countrymen. I shall continue to fight for all Americans to restore our economic security and strength through fiscal policies and reform that are rooted in principle, not politics. The America I know and love, for which I was willing to sacrifice my life, is worth this fight. This is not about class. America is not about class. America is about the individual freedom that enables an entrepreneurial spirit to flourish for ALL Americans to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
Our economy has a gunshot wound to the chest… no more band-aids!
Lastly, thanks President Barack Obama- looks like radical Islamists will have a 60-65% control of the Egyptian government. You are now right there with President Jimmy Carter for being a total failure in Middle East foreign policy. Is this what you meant by an Arab Spring? More like Arab winter.
Steadfast and Loyal,
ALL INFORMATION OBTAINED DIRECTLY FROM CONGRESSMAN ALLEN WEST’S E-NEWSLETTER: CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE
– Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act — On Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, by a vote of 235-188, I VOTED YES. The bill would pre-empt National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed rulemaking that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections by providing employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at a NLRB pre-election hearing.
– Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Elections and the Election Assistance Commission — On Thursday, the House approved H.R. 3463 by a vote of 235-190, I VOTED YES. The bill would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF), terminate public financing of presidential campaigns, and return PECF funds to the general treasury for deficit reduction.
– Regulatory Flexibility — Also on Thursday, the House approved H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011, by a vote of 263-159, I VOTED YES. The bill would close loopholes that the federal government agencies are exploiting to avoid the requirement that they analyze the effect new regulations would have on small businesses.
– APA Reform — On Friday, the House approved H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, by a vote of 253-167, I VOTED YES. The bill would define “major rule,” “high-impact rule,” “guidance,” and “major guidance” to broaden the definitions of rules that would be impacted by the bill.
– REINS — The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011. The bill would restore Congressional accountability for the regulatory process requiring Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign off on all new major rules—those with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more—before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or state and local governments.
– Farm Dust — The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1633, The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011. The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing any new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for coarse particulate matter for at least one year from the date of enactment of the legislation. The bill would also limit federal regulation of nuisance dust by EPA to areas in which it is not regulated under State, tribal, or local law, where the nuisance dust causes substantial adverse effects, and the benefits of federal regulation outweigh the costs.
– Tuesday, 29 November, Recorded a short video address for the Hebron (Israel) fund annual dinner. I recommend we become more aware of what is occurring in Hebron, which I visited in December 2009. Met with Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer on the Keystone XL pipeline project and other issues facing Canadians “snow-birding” in South Florida. Ambassador Doer has my full support in moving the Keystone project along. Met with Mr. Robert Johnson, creator of Black Entertainment Television, on policies to stimulate urban area and minority business growth.
– Wednesday, 30 November, Participated in a Small Business Committee hearing on how the SBA is meeting the recovery needs of disaster victims. Participated in the 18th Annual DC’s Funniest Celebrity Contest for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer Fund- see photo here. Out of the nine contestants, finished 3rd and took home a trophy. see story here.
– Thursday, 1 December, Taped a Holiday Season message for our troops deployed with the Pentagon Channel.
– Saturday, 2 December, Attended the Latin American Motorcycle Association pig roast at the American Legion Post in Riviera Beach. Attended the final game in the distinguished career of FAU Coach Howard Schnellenberger, and bid him “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”
– Sunday, 3 December, Ran the Palm Beaches half-marathon, took lots of extra strength pain reliever, and then attended the Annual Palm Beach Chapter of the 82d Airborne Division Association Holiday banquet.