Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and to all Americans. It is once again time for our weekly update.
During this time period I have done some extensive traveling. I returned from a 72-hour visit to Doha Qatar (Combined Air Operations Center) and Afghanistan this past Tuesday evening, 26 June. I can humbly state that in my first six months of being in Congress, I have spent more time in Afghanistan than our Commander-In-Chief in his first three years.
We released our Afghanistan summary report which you can find on my website, http://www.west.house.gov, under “press releases”. Feel free to review and share with others. Ours was the first CODEL (Congressional Delegation) visit after the President’s speech on Afghanistan troop reductions.
As I sit here typing this missive, I am pondering the 235th birthday of the longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known; the United States of America. I went back and re-read the Declaration of Independence, which was written 235 years ago by a young Thomas Jefferson. What many perhaps do not realize, is that the Declaration of Independence not only set forth a new ideal for government and challenged the status quo of aristocratic and sometimes autocratic monarchies, it contained a list of grievances justifying why, “in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another… that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.”
Here are examples of some of these grievances from the Declaration of Independence:
“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”
“He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People and eat out their Substance.”
“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.”
“For imposing Taxes upon us without our Consent.”
Now, I just started to consider, what if Thomas Jefferson were sitting with me right now this weekend and assessed what our Constitutional Republic has become under this Obama administration. What would he outline as the potential “grievances” as he did 235 years ago?
Since Mr. Jefferson cannot use Microsoft Word, he dictated these grievances to me:
He has enacted a fiscal disaster called the stimulus package of some $900B which increased the national debt and did not keep unemployment in America under 8%. It resulted in a reported unemployment topping at 9.8%. For the black community, which supported him by overwhelming numbers, an unemployment rate between 14-16%.
He has proposed raising taxes during a weak economic recovery which would adversely affect long term sustainable growth. He has proceeded to seek increase of capital gains, dividends, and estate taxes. He has not considered reducing the corporate/business tax rate of 35% in order to incentivize private sector growth. He has promoted a widening chasm and divisiveness in America due to his incessant class warfare rhetoric.
He has nationalized several aspects of free market production in the automotive, financial, and healthcare industries in violation of the principles of capitalism and free enterprise.
He has signed into law a healthcare vision which creates 11 new taxes (one of these taxes to be a tanning tax), 16,000 new IRS agents, $500B in cuts to the MEDICARE program, 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies (to include a 15 member panel of bureaucrats which shall regulate the expenditures of MEDICARE), mandated individual American citizens to purchase a private sector commodity (which is not supported by the Commerce Clause), and has provided nearly 1400 exemptions to political cronies from adhering to the law he signed.
He has increased the federal debt by some $5T since taking office and due to historic levels of excessive spending, created record deficits of $1.42T, $1.29T, and $1.65T in just three years. He has seen 41 cents of every dollar being borrowed and 47% of the federal debt owned by foreign nations.
His proposed FY 2012 budget was voted down in the Unites States Senate, 0-97.
He has expanded a “dependency” class in America reflected in a 41% increase in food stamp recipients.
He has failed to produce a full spectrum energy independence resource development program while seeing average gas prices during his tenure go from $1.89 to a high water mark of approximately $3.81. He has inappropriately commanded the release of strategic oil reserves and provided the country of Brazil $2B for its offshore oil exploration.
He has created a shadow government of some 35+ individuals termed “Czars” who are not confirmed by the United States Senate and respond only to him, yet have overarching regulatory powers- a clear violation of our separation of powers concept.
He has increased the regulatory burden on American business through bypassing the legislative process with his executive branch agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
He has supported an inept and incompetent Attorney General who has failed to prosecute voter intimidation cases (New Black Panther party), initiated a dangerous gun-smuggling program (Operation Fast and Furious) – which resulted in deaths to our own law enforcement agents, and refused to uphold a law, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).
He has failed to take the steps necessary to secure our borders and stem the flow of illegal immigration, termed as “repel invasions” in our United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8 and Article 4, Section 4; and brought a federal lawsuit against a sovereign state seeking to protect its citizens from this threat.
He has violated the War Powers Act of 1973 and sought to redefine the term “hostilities” to suit his liking.
He has telegraphed troop reductions to our enemies- against the consult of his experienced Field Commanders, while embracing negotiations with our enemy, the Taliban, and recognizing another, the Muslim Brotherhood.
He has placed the security of our most trusted ally in the Middle East, Israel, in danger while increasing funding to the Palestinian Authority (Fatah, just another Islamic terrorist group) whilst they have enjoined a reconciliation pact with long- standing terrorist group, Hamas.
In conclusion, Thomas Jefferson simply stated that, in his humble assessment, the unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator; life, liberty, and the pursuit (not guarantee) of happiness- are being threatened. He offered his analysis that this current government, the Obama administration, as instituted by the American people, has abridged the consent of the governed and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.
So the 235th anniversary celebration of American Independence message to President Barack Hussein Obama, and his liberal progressive cronies, is simple: “You must go!”
Legislative Update: The House was not in session, therefore, no legislative update.
Highlights of the Week: Besides visiting with our men and women in Afghanistan, I attended the First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale 4th of July celebration services. I was reunited with my former driver in Iraq, SGT Robert Delgado and we discussed the meaning of sacrifice. I participated in several Independence Day celebrations in South Florida, but most important was the “Wade-In” 50- year anniversary on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, reflecting on a period in our community’s history when Edna Johnson and a few others challenged the beach segregation policy. And here I am, with the honor, 50 years later, of being the Congressional Representative of Ft. Lauderdale beach. America is exceptional!
Steadfast and Loyal,