Weekly Update from Allen West via Next Generation TV

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The Quest For Electoral Integrity – America needs it but won’t get it from this administration

Based upon my most recent experience with elections last November, I have learned quite a bit about voting irregularities. I clearly admit that I have never seen such a lack of professionalism and integrity as in evidence last fall. And if we continue down the path of suspect elections like those in South Florida, among other places, then we no longer will have the consent of the governed.

Therefore, when I found out this Monday, April Fool’s Day, that President Obama had signed an executive order last Thursday, right before Good Friday and Easter Sunday, establishing the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, well, I figured that news, along with the declaration of April as National Financial Capability Month, was a really bad hoax.

To my chagrin, I learned that neither report was a hoax. Unfortunately, the election commission, nine members all appointed by Obama, is a joke in a very real sense.

Their mission is to identify best practices and otherwise recommend ways to promote efficient election administration so that all eligible voters can cast ballots without undue delay. They also have the task of improving the experience of voters who face ballot obstacles, such as members of the military, overseas voters, those with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency.

The commission can consider:

  • The number, location, management, operation and design of polling places;
  • The training, recruitment and number of poll workers;
  • Voting accessibility for uniformed and overseas voters;
  • The efficient management of voter rolls and poll books;
  • Voting technology and machine capacity;
  • Ballot simplicity and voter education;
  • Voting accessibility;
  • The management of provisional ballots on Election Day;
  • Absentee balloting programs;
  • The adequacy of contingency plans for natural disasters and other emergencies that may disrupt elections;
  • And other election administration issues that the co-chairs agree the commission should address.

The stench of hypocrisy

So the administration that did nothing to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in the 2008 presidential election is supposed to be trusted to assess obstacles to voting?

The administration that has yet to bring any charges against poll worker Melowese Richardson, who arrogantly admitted to voting six times in Hamilton County, Ohio, last year, is supposed to assess poll-worker training and voter suppression?

The president who heads the party that believes showing a picture ID before voting is voter suppression – but who ironically was nominated at a convention where entrance required picture IDs – is supposed to be objective?

The hypocrisy is incredible.

This executive order truly extends the reach of the president into the business of states, which is exactly what he intends to do. One can only imagine the recommendations the commission will make.

I wonder if the commission will investigate the actions of St. Lucie County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker, who admitted to submitting election results with irregularities. She also faces a lawsuit brought against her based upon questionable actions in November.

Will this commission investigate Palm Beach County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, who extended early voting without consent of the state and informed only Democratic campaigns?

Are those the type of “best practices” this commission will examine?

Election reform minus the commission

At a time when America is facing a horrendous economic situation, rising energy prices and a national security meltdown on the Korean peninsula, we see where Obama’s priorities are: attacking Second Amendment rights and eroding the integrity of the American electoral process.

Now, all you liberal progressives out there who read this missive and whose heads are about to explode, honestly ask yourselves, what if former President George W. Bush had done this by executive order after the 2000 election? Yeah, you would have gone apoplectic and every mainstream news outlet would have covered this story and demanded Bush’s impeachment.

My election recommendations are simple: Get rid of early voting. There should only be Election Day voting and absentee voting for those who cannot vote in person. Election Day should be a national holiday, paid, and polls should be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with no rush for the media to proclaim winners.

We should not have same-day voter registration and voting. And in keeping with English being the language of America, ballots should only be in English. Anyone who cannot read and understand the language probably should not be a citizen and, therefore, should not be voting.

Voters should be required to show picture IDs to verify they are who they say they are. Tell me where anyone can go in America without such identification. That is not voter suppression.

Remember Melowese Richardson. How many votes did her multiple voting suppress?
Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen B. West

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Weekly Update from Allen West via Next Generation TV 3/29/13

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Democracy And Priorities – The court clash over gay marriage and its impact

I enjoy the multiple televisions on display in the PJ Media newsroom because I can contrast news coverage on Fox, CNN and MSNBC. But I admit that as the day winds down, and especially amid March Madness, we drop MSNBC for ESPN. Funny thing, watching ESPN rather than MSNBC actually makes you more enlightened.

I noticed on the TVs this week that two of the three stations gave incredible prime coverage to one topic, gay marriage. This is obviously a very emotional issue, and the cable stations presented the news through an emotional prism.

My take? Marriage is between a man and a woman to support the furtherance of a society through the creation of progeny. I support the traditional family structure, though sadly that structure is being decimated in the black community. However, I also support civil unions, and one can bet that the vicious gay rights lobby will come out with its predictable vehement attacks against this statement.

But that begs a question: How does one get particular rights based upon sexual behavior? I thought John Locke first established that we all have the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and estate (property). I have been checking the Constitution a lot since January 2009, especially the Bill of Rights, because it seems that now everything is a right when most presumed rights actually are privileges.

A threat to the will of the people

This brings me to my real point about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court hearing of oral arguments in two cases about gay marriage and the ensuing media attention. America is a constitutional republic, and our political process is executed through a democratic system of electorate voting.

One case before the court is over the “constitutionality” of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California. The issue was presented as a referendum to the people back in 2008, and they passed it, joining other states that have voted to not allow same-sex marriage.

This is where and how the issue should be settled, as states issue marriage licenses. Do not query me about the states that previously banned interracial marriage. Race is not behavioral, so there truly is no basis for comparison. And no, I do not equate the civil rights movement to the “gay rights” movement.

The most disturbing aspect of the Proposition 8 case before court is not the issue itself. My concern is that the referendum of the people has been disregarded. The people of California voted for Proposition 8.

Now we see a special-interest group, a minority special interest group that refuses to accept the referendum of the people, seeking to have the court system legislate and overturn the will of the people. This is a clear violation of our democratic process, and a dangerous precedent is being established.

In the other case before the high court, we see a previous president (Bill Clinton) speaking against a bill (the Defense of Marriage Act) that he signed into law. This is a dangerous precedent as well, whereby a past executive undermines the rule of law.

These are the story lines we should be hearing from the media, not the overly emotional aspect that has no lasting effect upon our republic.

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Allen West via Next Generation TV – Weekly Wrap Up “‘That Dawg Don’t Hunt’ In America”

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‘That Dawg Don’t Hunt’ In America” – A Southern saying that echoes through the news

Down South we have this little saying to articulate in our simple vernacular that something does not make sense. Let me give you a few examples:

See, to schedule a soccer game on the third Saturday in October in Neyland Stadium, well, that dawg don’t hunt. For a fella to wear a Speedo on a bass boat on Lake Eufala, well, that dawg don’t hunt. To try and run a drag race at Churchill Downs, well, that dawg don’t hunt.For a woman to wear a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes on the back of a Harley on her way to a biker bar, well, that dawg don’t hunt. Or for some kids to be sitting in a Southern Baptist church and start complaining that they’re ready to go home, well, that dawg certainly don’t hunt.This past week as I thought about the news, I just mused, well, that dawg don’t hunt.Consider the Obama administration announcing, or pronouncing, that there would be no more White House tours because of forced “budget cuts.”

The last time I checked, we live in a constitutional republic with a representative democracy to elect our officials. In a republic, the people are served and, as President Abraham Lincoln stated at Gettysburg, “the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

That means the White House belongs to the American people, not the person who at any given time, by way of election, has the privilege to live there with our consent. The White House and the Capitol are not Versailles, and this is not a monarchy.

So when in the same week we find out Americans are giving $250 million to President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, well, that dawg don’t hunt! Those are hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and doggone, why the heck are we sending money to a terrorist organization while telling Americans their house is closed due to “budget cuts.”

Freedom of sedition is not a right
Or how about Louis Farrakhan recently urging Chicago gangs to protect an Islamic state in America? Yes, Farrakhan said he was sent by Allah to end Western civilization. At the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion, he implored all African Americans to “contribute to a united treasury and create a separate nation that would be protected by Chicago gangs.”Or how about Mustafa Carroll, executive local CAIR director, speaking at Muslim Capitol Day in Austin Texas. “If we are practicing Muslims,” he said, “we are above the law of the land.”In America, we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but we have one Country and one Constitution. Advocating against either is not a freedom but rather sedition, and frankly, that dawg don’t hunt.
Justifiable outrage over Benghazi and drones
My former House colleague Frank Wolf of Virginia contacted me about another issue this week. He has sent letters of inquiry about the 30 survivors from the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and he has sources telling him about seven severely wounded Americans who had been recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.We reported that story on “Next Generation Today. Some people, like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will say, “What difference does it make?” It makes a lot of difference ma’am. We don’t leave our men and women behind, and we certainly do not hide our wounded like lepers.And by the way Mrs. Clinton, when you traipse out in a few years wanting to be president, well, that dawg don’t hunt. We will not forget what happened on your watch: When the call from Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi came at 2 a.m., you did not answer and four Americans died on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.I was equally outraged to watch U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, while testifying before the Senate, refuse to respond simply to questions about the constitutionality of our government using drones against American citizens on American soil. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other concerned senators took a principled stand against such drone attacks by engaging in an old-fashioned filibuster this week, which is a powerful way of saying, well, that dawg don’t hunt.

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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 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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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. 

Congressman Allen West – Legislative Low Down and Weekly Wrap Up 6/3/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans.  It is time again for my weekly update report to you all, marking the end of another month.

With the end of another month, we have just received another monthly jobs report.

It has never been more evident that President Barack Obama’s policies have failed you, my fellow Americans.  He has taken a situation that was bad and made it catastrophically worse.

This current jobs report marks the 40th consecutive month of eight percent or higher unemployment, the longest sustained period of such unemployment since the Great Depression, and the worst economic recovery in United States history.

Despite assuring Americans that his plans of growing government and raising taxes will help the economy, the President’s policies result in just the opposite as the unemployment rate continues to increase, now at 8.2 percent, and families continue to struggle.

The economy picked up only 69,000 jobs in May, well below even the lowest expectations.  Actually, if the U6 computation for unemployment is used (which includes the unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged job seekers) the rate is closer to 14.5 percent.

President Obama continues to disappoint the American people without any real solutions for how to turn this country around.  Instead, he ignores the dismal reality facing most families.  It is simply unacceptable.

The United States House of Representatives has sent more than 30 jobs-related pieces of legislation to the United States Senate, which continues to sit on Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk.  These bills are based upon policies which will enable job creators to get Americans back to work.  However, instead of signing them, the Democrats and this Administration continue to play politics with Americans’ lives.

The President has a clear vision for this country, but unfortunately it includes job-killing overregulation, increased taxes, and a healthcare plan that has already had devastating effects on the economy, before it has even been fully implemented.

Americans deserve a response from President Obama on this very somber jobs report. They deserve a response that does not point the finger or blame, but takes responsibility for the three and a half years of failed economic policies. President Obama has been in office, flying around the country and the world, without anything to show for it in the way of improving American lives or building confidence in this economy.

Any way you look at it, we are suffering though the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. The following figures demonstrate—regardless of what the unemployment rate might be—that the President’s agenda is detrimental for the economy as a whole and especially for the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

  •  Job Growth Slowest Among Post-War Recoveries: According to data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, after the same amount of time following a recession, the average job growth in the past 10 recoveries was 6.9 percent. Under President Obama, jobs have grown by just 1.9 percent.
  • GDP Growth Revised Down, Trending Down: On May 31 the Bureau Of Economic Analysis announced that the economy grew at a 1.9 percent pace in the first quarter of this year, slower than the 2.2 percent rate initially reported. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2012 was down from the 3 percent growth in fourth quarter of 2011. On an annualized basis, GDP growth in 2011 was 1.7 percent, down from 3 percent in 2010.
  • 1 in 2 People are Now Poor or Low-Income: According to a December Census Bureau report, nearly half of all Americans are now classified as poor or low-income as a result of the Obama Economy. The 97.3 million Americans who fall into the low-income category combined with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line now equal 146.4 million people or 48 percent of the United States population.
  • Record Number of Americans on Food Stamps: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of February 2012 was 46.3 million. Today, 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of 44 percent since President Obama took office.
  • Half of Recent College Graduates Are Jobless: More than 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed. About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed.
  • Ease of Starting a Business in the United States fell from 4th to 13th: According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 report, the United States now ranks 13th in the world in the ease of starting a new business and has been steadily declining since President Obama took office. In 2011, the United States was 8th. In 2009, the United States was ranked 6th. It was 4th in 2008 and 3rd in 2007.
  • Economic Growth Lagging Far Behind Historic Recoveries: In an economic failure unprecedented in postwar America, the Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics for the first quarter of 2012 show that 18 quarters after the start of the recession, this recovery has still not matched its pre-recession real per capita GDP level. On average, America’s postwar economy has recovered all lost real per capita income by the 6th quarter after the recession’s start—about a year and a half—while this recovery has still not recovered after 18 quarters—over 4 years.
  • The American People Know that the President’s Policies are Making the Economy Worse: According to a May 21 NBC/WSJ poll, only 33 percent of respondents believe the economy will get better in the next year, down five points from April and seven points from March. In addition, approval of President Obama’s handling of the economy stands at 43 percent, down two points from last month, his worst showing on this question since December. And just a third of respondents (33 percent) think the nation is headed in the right direction. In a May Washington Post poll, 83 percent of those in the poll rated the state of the economy as “poor” or “not so good,” a much higher portion of negative views than at any other time in the 10 years preceding the recession.
  • Total Employment Still Down: While the unemployment rate has fallen in recent months, the actual number of people in the United States with a job has decreased by 322,000 since President Obama took office.
  • Percentage of Working Americans at a 30-Year Low: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was at a 32-year low of 63.6 percent in April. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation as more and more American give up on finding a job.
  • Youth Unemployment Worst since the Great Depression: The unemployment rate among youth job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 was 24.9 percent in April. Youth unemployment has been above 23 percent for 34 months, the longest streak since the Great Depression.

The Obama Administration and the media can attempt to spin these facts however they wish, but the facts themselves don’t lie. Every day, more and more Americans are waking up to the truth.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Legislative Update:

– Intelligence Authorization — On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5743, the Intelligence Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013, by a vote of 386-28, I VOTED YES.  The bill would authorize the intelligence activities of the United States government for Fiscal Year 2013.  This bill would fund the requirements of the men and women of the Intelligence Community (military and civilian), many of whom directly support the war zones or are engaged in other dangerous operations to keep Americans safe.  These activities are intended to enhance national security, support and assist the Armed Forces, and facilitate United States foreign policy.  This is the principal source of funding for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and provides resources for the coordination of programs, budget oversight, and management of the intelligence agencies.  On an unclassified basis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that spending subject to appropriations under section 103 of the bill would cost $525 million over the Fiscal Year 2013-2017 period, in addition to the authorization of $514 million in direct spending to the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System (CIARDS).
– MilCon/VA Appropriations — Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 5854, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013, by a vote of 407-12, I VOTED YES.  The bill would provide a total of $71.7 billion in non-emergency, discretionary budget authority for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Fiscal Year 2013, which is the same as the Fiscal Year 2012 level. The bill would provide $10.6 billion for military construction projects, a decrease of $2.4 billion below last year’s level and $573 million below the President’s request. Funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs in Fiscal Year 2013 would include $60.7 billion in discretionary funding which is $2.3 billion above last year. In addition, the legislation would provide $54.5 billion in advance appropriations for VA medical accounts in Fiscal Year 2014. Including $74.6 billion in mandatory spending, which does not count against the subcommittee’s allocation, the bill would provide a total of $146.3 billion in budget authority for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding in Fiscal Year 2013. H.R. 5854 would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.028 trillion for Fiscal Year 2013 as contained in H. Con. Res. 112, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

Next Week:

 Energy and Water Appropriations (continuing consideration) —  The House of Representatives will continue consideration of H.R. 5325, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013.  The bill would provide a total of $32.09 billion in non-emergency, discretionary budget authority for the agencies and programs funded through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Budget authority in the bill would be a reduction of $965 million or 3 percent below the spending level requested by the President for Fiscal Year 2013 and $87 million or 0.3 percent above the Fiscal Year 2012 funding level. H.R. 5325 would contribute to an overall level of discretionary budget authority of $1.028 trillion for Fiscal Year 2013 as contained in H. Con. Res. 112, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

– Additional Appropriations — The House of Representatives is also expected to continue consideration of Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bills, and will likely take up the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill and/or the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill. The DHS Appropriations bill would provide $39.1 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, a decrease of $484 million below last year’s level and a decrease of $393 million below the President’s request. The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, excluding Senate-only items, would provide $3.3 billion, for the House of Representatives, the support agencies of the United States Congress, services for visitors, and United States Capitol operations and maintenance, which is $34 million below last year’s level and $190 million below the requested level.

– Preventing Obamacare tax increases — Also next week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider a package of bills to repeal the onerous 2.3% medical device excise tax (H.R. 436), to restore the ability to use tax preferred health accounts (i.e. FSAs, HRAs, HSAs, and Archer MSAs) for over-the-counter medicines without a prescription (H.R. 5842), and to allow for the payout of unused Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balances, up to $500, at the end of a plan year, as ordinary wages (H.R. 1004).

Congressman Allen West – Weekly Wrap Up 5/29/12

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our Constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. As I sit and write this, I am reflecting on Memorial Day 2012, which also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War, where my older brother served and was wounded at Khe Sahn.

The weather has been so nice here in South Florida and my concern is that many Americans did not stop to reflect upon what makes our nation such a free and exceptional Constitutional Republic during their holiday festivities. Many citizens have the day off, but the question is whether they remember those who gave “the last full measure of devotion?”

In memoriam:

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, Here am I. Send Me!”- Isaiah 6:8

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”. – John 15:13

When I reflect on all of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for America since the battle at Lexington and Concord all the way up until today, those two Bible verses come to mind. What manner of person answers the call to service and leaves behind the comforts of their loved ones and homes to protect our beloved America?

Those who serve their country represent the best among us. They are the brothers and sisters with whom I, and many others, have had the privilege and honor to stand beside. They are our true heroes for whom we find a sense of impeccable pride when we remember their faithful sacrifice.

Two hundred years ago, America fought her second War of Independence, the War of 1812. In that war, we were blessed to have written the words which every American should know by heart, “The Star Spangled Banner:”

Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilights last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let us remember the men at Fort McHenry. During that bombardment,  these brave men ensured that our flag, the standard of liberty, freedom, and democracy, continued to stand. Let us remember that we are indeed the “Land of the Free” because we have always been and shall forever be the “Home of the Brave.”

Before I go, I want to leave with you a special video, “Here’s to the Heroes, a Military Tribute” as sung by the Ten Tenors, view it here.

It is no surprise this video has already received more than 1.8 million views!

Requiem en pace, Frater et Soror.

Steadfast and Loyal,

WATCH THE VIDEO OF REP ALLEN WEST RECOGNIZE FALLEN SOLDIERS IN NON COMBAT SITUATIONS:

CLICK HERE

READ MORE AT west.house.gov 

Rep Allen West “Weekly Wrap Up for May 7th”

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans.  It is time for another weekly update to all of you.

This past Saturday, President Barack Obama came on TV live from Columbus, Ohio, at Ohio State University, speaking before a group of young people. I looked and saw this new slogan on signs being held by these young people, “Forward ” and wondered if they know from where that motto emanated?  I also wondered if those same young people realize how high the unemployment rate is for their age demographic.

This past week, we witnessed the street violence of these so-called “anarchists” embedded in the Occupy Wall Street movement. We even saw five young men charged with the crime of wanting to destroy a bridge in Cleveland, Ohio. It just seems that the promise of hope and change has devolved into “Divide and Rule,” supported by a principle of “Violence and Disruption.”  All the energy these individuals put into protesting, shouting, and complaining should go toward finding a job!  We now see what lies ahead for our country for the next few months – more shouting, demagoguery, protesting, deception, and manipulation all in the name of moving “Forward.”

Here are some simple, yet disturbing factoids:

– We have the lowest workforce participation rate in the past 31 years, right at 64%.

– If  the underemployed and those who have dropped out of the workforce are included, unemployment in America is close to 14.5%.

– We have the longest running rate of unemployment at or above 8% since the Great Depression.

– At this time in President Ronald Reagan’s first term he produced 363,000 jobs per month (April 1984) as opposed to President Barack Obama’s dismal 115,000 (April 2012).

– GDP growth is an abysmal 2.2% in the previous quarter (Jan-Mar 2012), coming off  2011 GDP quarterly numbers of 0.4%, 1.0%, 1.3%, and 3.0%. President Reagan’s economy was clipping along at 6% GDP at this same time.

– According to President Obama’s economic advisors, the stimulus bill was supposed to have resulted in unemployment at 6% at this time.

– We now have the highest corporate/business tax rate in the world, 39.6%.

– According to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), only 8% of small businesses are looking to grow and expand in the next year.

–  In three and a half years President Obama has incurred more debt, over $5 trillion, than all presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton combined.  The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget would increase the debt by another $10 trillion. What’s more, 47% of our debt is held by foreign nations, 28% by China. The Federal Reserve holds the greatest percentage of our debt.  This is horrible monetary policy.

– Since inauguration day in 2009, gasoline prices in America have gone from $1.84 to $3.89, close to a 112% increase.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.   I have confidence the sun shall certainly rise and shine upon America again as more Americans learn the facts and seek viable solutions to the economic woes of our country. We shall witness the dawn of a New America which shall restore this Republic, recommit to our foundational constitutional principles and values, and reclaim our sense of American exceptionalism.

In closing, having been in combat, and even been on a few raid operations, the honor should always go to our Men and Women in the combat zone, not those far away watching video feeds. The joint document-signing between President Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai reminded me sadly of Sir Neville Chamberlain in the 1930’s– “Peace in our time.”  President Obama’s speech, in the hours of darkness, promoting negotiations with the Taliban and a new sunrise for Afghanistan, was responded to by the Taliban with deadly simplicity.  They attacked and killed seven people 90 minutes after President Obama left. They did not appear to be peacefully inspired by his speech.

It was Alexander the Great who stated, “I would not fear an army of lions if led by sheep, but I would fear an army of sheep if led by a lion.”

We will not lose our Constitutional Republic to braying sheep – or donkeys  for that matter.
Steadfast and Loyal,