Government Spending To Create Jobs And Grow The Economy

Dear Friend,

This week, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

It was encouraging to hear the President focus on the pressing need to get our fiscal house in order.  Where there is room for consensus on these important issues that affect job creation, I look forward to working with President Obama and my colleagues to put those policies into place that will help move the economy forward for all 5th District Virginians.

It was disappointing, however, to hear the President renew his commitment to pursue more stimulus-style government spending.

The President’s call for more spending ignores the message sent by voters on Election Day, and it stands in stark contrast to the immediate actions taken by the House that seek to create jobs and repair our economic outlook by putting an end to Washington’s reckless spending spree.

As the failed trillion dollar stimulus proved, increased government spending did not create the millions of jobs promised and only added to our record-breaking deficits and over $14 trillion in debt. The new projection that this year’s deficit will reach nearly $1.5 million only reinforces the need to cut up Washington’s credit cards once and for all.

That is why I have been proud to support many measures that have come before the House that will rein in out of control government spending and help put Central and Southside Virginia on a true path towards a long-lasting economy recovery.

Those measures include voting to cut non-security discretionary government spending back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels and voting to repeal the budget-busting government takeover of health care, cutting $2.6 trillion over ten years and reducing the deficit by $700 billion. The House has also voted to cut Congressional budgets, to end the wasteful mandatory printing of bills, and to end the taxpayer funding of presidential election campaigns and party conventions, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Additionally, I have signed on as an original co-sponsor to a balanced budget amendment that would force Washington to learn to live within its means so we don’t saddle future generations with even more insurmountable, crippling debt.

While this is only the beginning and there are many tough decisions ahead, supporting legislation that helps create jobs and grow our economy has been a top priority for me in this first month, and it will continue to be throughout my two years as your representative in Congress.

If you need any additional information on these or any other issues, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, or Danville office: (434) 791-2596.

Uranium in Chatham

Received via Email today:

The National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study on the proposed development of the Coles Hill uranium deposit in Chatham, the largest untapped uranium deposit in the United States. The Academy is inviting public comment on the plan at a town hall meeting in Danville on Monday. ( see the details below )

The issue of jobs from uranium mining in Pittsylvania County is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s a “We, the people” issue that needs to be discussed and decisions need to be made using the facts and the common sense this area of the country is known for:

Uranium mining and milling has never been done any where in the world with a wet environment or the population density of Virginia, making our state a potential experiment. The facts are worth investigating before any decisions are made. Uranium is a highly toxic heavy metal that emits alpha-radiation and is soluble in water. For every pound of usable uranium mined, a ton of radioactive rock ( tailings ) will be excavated and the tailings will be required to be held on site for years to try to prevent seepage of radioactive tailings into groundwater, overspills into surface waters or dispersion by air. The high potential for water contamination is why uranium mining and milling has never been attempted in a wet climate to date.

A picture is worth a thousand words; please watch this home video of the Flood of 96′, Hurricane Fran, Coles Hill Area

 

The proposed uranium mine site at Coles Hill near Chatham is a wet environment which has been known to flood as it did in 1996. Coles Hill is upstream from Lake Gaston, the primary drinking water for Virginia Beach and some other parts of South Hampton Roads. Other localities may need to get water from the Roanoke River basin in the future. In addition to posing a threat of contaminating water, the proposed mine at Coles Hill could deplete water from Smith Mountain Lake, only 14.5 miles away.  Andrew Lester is executive director of the Roanoke River Basin Association. That basin includes 9,580 square miles and more than 400 miles of rivers, including the Smith River, according to the RRBA website.“It’s never been shown it (uranium mining) can be done safely,” Lester said. Lester also said uranium mining poses a danger of groundwater contamination.

With unemployment in Southside Virginia in double digits, many people and organizations including Americans for Prosperity continue to support innovative methods to create jobs and promote economic development ( but at what cost?)   That’s why we’re asking you to educate yourself and to get involved at this pivotal moment.

The world-renown National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study on the proposed development of the Coles Hill uranium deposit in Chatham.   The Academy is inviting public comment on the plan at a town hall meeting in Danville on Monday:

Details:

Monday, December 13th
6:00- 9:00 PM
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540

No Picture

From Wisdom brings Enlightenment!

This was received by email. Not sure of the source but it’s hilarious.

I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind
a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the successful passing of the recent
health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the
young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all,
he is healing the sick.” The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah,
and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market
would work for health care. They are all crooks and thieves and don’t deserve
all of that money.” Another said, “The stupid Republicans want us all to starve
to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a saint for
what he did for those of us less fortunate.” At this, I had had enough.

I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached
their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?”
They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the
end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay
all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?”
They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?”
asked a young man. “There isnt anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh
at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. “I am serious,
I will give you my house for free, no money what so ever. Anyone interested?”
In unison, a resounding ‘Hell Yeah’ fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives
this money free bargain.” I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the
spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent
disgust. “I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.”
Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces.
The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” I smiled and said, “I dont know.
I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” They giggled amongst
themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to
give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” I smiled and leaned into the
table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” They gaped at
me for a moment.

“Hell, Ill take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them.
“Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked. The elderly couple seemed
amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table.
“Oh hell yeah! Where do I sign up?” I took a napkin and wrote, I give this man my home,
without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I
shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction. I signed it and handed it
to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. “Where are the keys
to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. All eyes were upon us as
I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them
before the excited new homeowner.

“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends,
I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere from this point forward.
You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home.
You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for
this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with
enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine.
You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my
terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked
at me dumb founded.

“Are you out of your freaking mind? Who would ever agree to
those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. “You did when you
signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full
knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the
agreement. Was all I said.” The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to
restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people.
“You can shove that stupid deal up youre a** old man, I want no part of it!”
exclaimed the now infuriated young man. “You have committed to the contract, as
witnessed by all of your friends; you cannot get out of the deal unless I agree
to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the
power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly followed and without thought chose to
enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” At this, the table of
celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the
deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent.
“What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the
health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost
of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did
not earn; that you are entitled to that which you did not earn; that you willingly
allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform
yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from
which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives
it unto you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away; therefore, it is not freedom.”
With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the
nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation and was surprised by applause.
The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said,
“Thank you Sir, these kids dont understand Liberty these days.” He refused to allow me to pay
my bill as he said, “You earned this one, it is an honor to pickup the tab.” I
shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled, and sensing
a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

MARY TAYLOR

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Perriello votes NO to DEBT limit increase

In a surprise to the many residents of the fifth district Congressman Tom Perriello voted “nay” to a bill that will increase the nations debt limit to 14.3 TRILLION dollars.

We almost always disagree with Tom Perriello on just about every issue. This is on instance where we agree with him. He’s got to earn that Blue Dog status somehow. If only Webb and Warner would have voted the same. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to mind piling more debt onto the backs of our children for the next 100 years.

Perriello (D-VA) Nay Source

Warner (D-VA), YeaWebb (D-VA), Yea Source

Fox News Blog Reports:

The House of Representatives Thursday voted to raise the debt limit by $1.9 trillion. That vote raises the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, a new high for the amount of debt the U.S. has ever carried.

As recently as 2001, the U.S. debt was only at $5.7 trillion. But exploded throughout the past decade after September 11 amid record spending by the Bush and Obama Administrations.

If Congress doesn’t hike the debt ceiling, the U.S. would be unable make good on Social Security and Medicare payments.

The Senate approved the debt limit increase in mid-January on a 60-40 party-line vote.

The House vote was a close one, 217-212. All Republicans and more than 30 Democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling.

Moderate and fiscally-conscious Democrats were suspect of voting to hike the debt.

If only we had more statesmen in the halls of congress.

Hungry for Truth

Received by email today:

By Donald J. Boudreaux, Ph.D., J.D.
Macy’s lately has taken to displaying in many of its stores a poster
claiming that the number of Americans at risk of hunger is one in eight.
That’s 12.5 percent of the population. Macy’s hope is that its posters will
prompt its customers – who clearly aren’t starving, lest they’d not be shopping
for new clothing and kitchen appliances – to contribute to charities that help to
feed the alleged 38 million or so Americans who cannot afford to feed
themselves.
Desire to help others is noble. It’s noble, though, not in and of itself.
It’s noble only if it’s likely to lead to helping others who truly need help. A
desire to help others that prompts well-meaning people to address nonexistent
problems isn’t so much noble as it is misguided and, possibly, dangerous.
Is the claim that one in eight Americans is seriously at risk of hunger
even remotely plausible? No. Food in the U.S. is remarkably inexpensive
which is attested to by the fact that ours is the first society in history whose
poor people suffer disproportionately from obesity.
Also, because feeding oneself and one’s family is perhaps the most
fundamental of all human impulses, if so many Americans were truly “at risk
of hunger” on a regular basis, then it is nearly impossible to explain why poor
Americans are so richly endowed with goods and services far less necessary to
survival than food.
According to Ralph Rector of the Heritage Foundation:
�?
eighty percent of poor American households are air-conditioned;
�?
the typical poor American has more living space than does the
average resident of Paris, London, and most other European cities;
�?
almost 75 percent of poor households own a car and more than 30
percent own two cars;
�?
nearly 90 percent of poor households have microwave ovens.
People who are truly hungry do not forgo food in order to spend their
meager incomes on cars, air conditioning, and consumer electronics. Says
Rector:
“As a group, America’s poor are far from being chronically
undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins,
and minerals is virtually the same for poor and
middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above
recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat
than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes
100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children
today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average,
one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed
the beaches of Normandy in World War II.”
These facts simply and irrefutably contradict the notion that a significant
number of Americans routinely go hungry. Indeed, we can confidently say that
modern industrial capitalism has slain one of history’s greatest killers: starvation.
As long as industrial capitalism exists, people who live under it will not starve.
“So what?” you might ask. “What’s wrong with a few white lies if they
cause better-off Americans to be more charitable to the poor?” I answer,
“There’s plenty wrong with such lies.”
Unlike, say, a tribesman of 25,000 years ago, no citizen of modern
societies can observe firsthand the condition of his or her society. Each of us
can observe our families, our neighbors, and a handful of other people.
However, none of us, not even such a well-traveled citizen as the President of
the United States, can possibly observe firsthand more than a tiny fraction of the
hundreds of millions of people who are part of our society.
So what we know, or what we think we know, about the condition of
society comes overwhelmingly from the press and from popular culture.
Because most of the information conveyed by these sources cannot be checked
by direct observation, and because checking this information even indirectly
(say, by going online to examine reliable data) is time-consuming, whatever the
press and popular culture convey stands a good chance of being widely accepted
as true, even when it is demonstrably false!
Thus the problem: if many Americans believe that a significant portion
of their fellow citizens are truly and regularly hungry, then that belief will
prompt not only charitable giving to address a mythical problem, but political
responses that address the same mythical problem. Politicians have little
incentive to disabuse voters of such myths because the greater the number of
“crises�? a society is thought to be facing, the greater the demand for government
to “do something�? to solve these problems.
While in some ways Macy’s motives might be admirable, in a deeper
sense they deserve scorn. By perpetuating the myth of widespread hunger in
America, Macy’s misleads its customers not only into misdirecting their charity,
but also into supporting government policies that serve no one except the
politicians and bureaucrats who administer the policies.
#####
(Donald J. Boudreaux is professor of economics at George Mason University,
and senior fellow for economic policy and tax reform at the Virginia Institute for
Public Policy. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted,
provided the author and his affiliations are cited.)

Democrats Target Independents in VA

The battle over independent voters looks to be a hard fought one this November:

Democrats Target Independents in Colorado and Virginia
The New York Times
Kate Phillips
February 21, 2010 @ 10:18 AM

Democrats are ramping up their efforts to woo those fickle independent voters, beginning by deploying volunteers from the considerable Obama campaign army now known as Organizing for America.

After collecting pledges for millions of volunteer hours, O.F.A., under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, is starting its “You Fight, We’ll Fight” effort by asking people to help in two regions to aid vulnerable lawmakers — in Colorado, for Senator Michael Bennet, the Democrat appointed last year — and in Virginia’s 5th congressional district, for Representative Tom Perriello, the freshman Democrat.

Both are facing tough challenges in the midterm elections, with an anti-incumbent mood suggesting sizable gains for Republicans and with public support for an overhaul of health care dropping in public opinion polls, given the uneasiness and upset over the economy. Mr. Bennet faces a primary battle from within his own party, confronting a popular opponent, Andrew Romanoff, the former state House speaker, when Democrats caucus there on March 16. And Colorado has become one of the most-watched swing states in the West. Just last week, President Obama traveled to Denver to stump for Mr. Bennet at a rally and a private fund-raiser.

Mr. Perriello’s district remains conservative and has experienced significant unemployment, factors that a large field of Republican candidates have used to target him.

In an e-mail message sent last night to those volunteers, David Plouffe, the former campaign manager for the Obama campaign and guru to grassroots Democrats, wrote: “Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia are two new members of Congress who have stood up for health reform and suffered vicious, deceptive attacks from the opposition. Now they’re both facing tough re-election fights, and they need our support.”

Mr. Plouffe’s e-mail includes links for volunteers to follow to sign up, using the organizing tools familiar to those worked door-to-door for the Obama campaign in the 2008 cycle. They’ll be given lists of independent voters to telephone or contact.

This latest effort mainly targets independent voters, whose influence has been heavily felt in recent elections involving the Republican wins in Massachusetts for Senator Scott Brown and in the New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races. In the wake of those losses for Democrats, Mr. Plouffe was enlisted by President Obama to take on a new oversight role for House, Senate and governors’ races.

Both parties have been eying independents as they shift into high gear for the midterms. With this move, O.F.A. is also signaling how it intends to harness the millions of volunteers who fanned out across the country to elect President Obama and other Democrats.

No Picture

Roanoke Still Stealing Private Property

We received this from TertiumQuids
The City of Roanoke is still confiscating
citizens’ property for developers,
despite the law forbidding it

Just a few weeks ago, a judge ruled that the City of Roanoke and its redevelopment and housing authority could take the property of a very viable local business and turn it over to another private business, simply to create more tax revenue and the potential for more jobs. The judge did this – and the city took the property – despite a law passed in 2007 forbidding this very type of confiscation.

In another twist, the recipient of the land, Carilion Health System, now says it doesn’t even want the property, and claims it never did! If that’s true, why did Carilion wait until AFTER the court case – after all of the heartache and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses to the property owners and the taxpayers – to tell everyone this? E-mails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act between Carilion execs and the city show that the health care giant has actually wanted the land for the last 10 years. Is it simply lying now to save face?

We interview Jay Burkholder, the owner of the property in Roanoke that houses a successful flooring business. We also talk with one of his attorneys, Josh Baker with Waldo & Lyle in Norfolk. The law firm specializes in eminent domain cases and is the only one in Virginia dedicated to representing only property owners.

Click here to listen to the podcast on our Web site, or right click and “Save Target As…” to download it to your computer.

Sleeping Blue Dogs

Yesterday, Americans for Limited Government released the voting records of some 90 Blue Dog and other so-called “moderate” House Democrats on twelve key votes in 2009.

Bottom line: When it comes to profligate spending, the Blue Dogs are anything but watchdogs. And the moderates make Paris Hilton look tight-fisted.

The ALG analysis includes votes on the $789 billion “stimulus”, bankruptcy mortgage “cramdowns,” ACORN funding, a $108 billion International Monetary Fund expansion, the Waxman-Markey carbon emission caps, the $2.1 trillion “public option” health system, the $154 billion assistance program for bankrupt states, and the $290 billion debt limit expansion.

In short, they were some of the most controversial measures to pass the House this year. And to be certain, they all passed.

Instead of being stalwart financial watchdogs, these so-called “moderates” in the House have turned out to be nothing more than supine lapdogs sleeping through the greatest financial burglary in human history. They have proven unable or unwilling to stop a single piece of budget-busting legislation this session.

The analysis was conducted to gauge a caucus that touts itself for being “fiscally responsible.” According to the Blue Dogs’ website, “In the 111th Congress, the Coalition intends to continue to make a difference in Congress by forging middle-ground, bipartisan answers to the current challenges facing the Country. A top priority will be to refocus Congress on balancing the budget and ridding taxpayers of the burden the debt places on them.”

However, by and large, the Blue Dogs and other so-called Democrat “moderates” voted with Pelosi & Co. to spend more than $3.6 trillion in 2009. The analysis shows 856 Yea votes and only 207 Nay votes. Over 80 percent of the votes cast by these “conservatives” and “moderates” acquiesced to the unprecedented spend-a-thon that is putting taxpayers on the hook for a debt that, quite simply, can never be paid back.

In 2009, the national debt soared to over $12 trillion. By 2011, it will top the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at over $14 trillion. By 2020, it will surpass $20 trillion.

As ALG President Bill Wilson noted yesterday, “By its own measure, the Blue Dog coalition has not succeeded. The House of Representatives this year alone has voted to spend more than $3.6 trillion, to nationalize the health care system, to strangle the nation’s access to energy, and to bankrupt the Treasury—and yet the Blue Dog and so-called ‘moderate’ Democrats have done nothing to stop the profligate financial catastrophe unfolding at the nation’s Capitol.”

To be fair, a few of the members in the analysis did vote Nay on some of the more controversial measures: Bobby Bright (AL-CD2) voted Nay on 9 out of the 12 votes. So did Walter Minnick (ID-CD1). And Parker Griffith (AL-CD5), who now caucuses with House Republicans, voted Nay 7 times.

Others, like Charlie Melancon (LA-CD3) and Glenn Nye (VA-CD2) did not get religion on spending until the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-tax” bill of last summer. Then, they proceeded to vote Nay on the remainder of the expensive measures. Largely, though, these five Representatives are the exception, and not the rule.

Take the cases of Mark Schauer (MI-CD7) and Dina Titus (NV-CD3). Self-described “moderates,” they voted against expanding the national debt limit by $290 billion. Of course, that was after voting in favor of every single big-spending initiative throughout the year, all of which will place upward pressure on the deficit.

Some members actually voted for every single contentious measure they were present for, according to the analysis: Leonard Boswell (IA-CD3), Sanford Bishop (GA-CD2), David Scott (GA-CD13), Joe Baca (CA-CD43), Dennis Moore (KS-CD3), Jane Harman (CA-CD36), Adam Schiff (CA-CD29), Dennis Cardoza (CA-CD18), Henry Cuellar (TX-CD28), Loretta Sanchez (CA-CD47), Mike Thompson (CA-CD1), Tim Bishop (NY-CD1), John Hall (NY-CD19), Bob Etheridge (NC-CD2), John Spratt (SC-CD5), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-CD15), and Steve Kagen (WI-CD8).

In 2010, these members will need to find some way of restraining Congress, before the people report to the polls in November to be the final judges of their representatives’ austerity—and integrity. But, to do that, they’d have to first wake up and take note of the fact that they slept through—or aided and abetted—the greatest robbery in American history.

In the end, nobody will believe the Blue Dogs and other so-called “moderates” in the House Democrat Caucus really stand for anything if they cannot, in fact, stop anything.