Quote of the day: "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." – Mark Twain 1866
Samuel Clemens would be comforted to know that his life, liberty, and property are now safe for the next 5 weeks as the House of Representatives has adjourned for the traditional August recess. The Senate is in for another week, but it can do little damage without our concurrence. Here is my brief synopsis of the state of some current issues:
Healthcare: As of this writing, the last committee in the House to mark-up the ‘socialized health care bill,’ Energy and Commerce, is still meeting. So, there isn’t much I can tell you right now. But one thing you ought to know is that I am a cosponsor of a resolution that says that if the bill passes, Members of Congress should be placed onto the government plan. Currently there are 66 cosponsors of the resolution, all Republicans. So, no one who is going to vote to force you into government run health care is willing to commit that they too will go into the government run health care plan.
So-Called Stimulus Funds: The Vice President was kind enough to send me (and the other 434 members of Congress) a summary of stimulus funds being “put to work” in my district in California. Interestingly, one of the biggest ticket items on the list, is $2,648,620 for “high performance green building” work at the government owned Ziggurat (Chet Holifield) building in Laguna Niguel. OK. But what Mr. Biden’s letter did not point out is that this building will likely be torn down. The Federal General Services Administration (GSA), which manages the property says that the building needs security, seismic, electrical, ceiling, and other work estimated to cost $100 million. The realty officer for the GSA recently told the Orange County Business Journal, that “from a pure efficiency (and) economic standpoint, most people would say demolish (the building) rather than throw $100 million at it. The GSA is currently in discussions with several developers to sell the 78 acre property and building.
So, the Obama administration is borrowing another $2.6 million to make this building “green”……..and then tear it down. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Real Stimulus Funds: Of all the actions that this Congress and this Administration have taken to try and stimulate the economy, none have worked…….except for one, the ‘Cash for Clunkers' program. Regular readers of this missive will remember that among the stimulative action that I have called for, since last year, includes tax credits or other purchase incentives to encourage people to buy homes and cars. The one element of this that was passed into law is the 'Cash for Clunkers' program. The program is unnecessarily complex and, there are and will be, problems and complications with the program administration. But even with those problems, the program is working. After less than a week, it is estimated that 250,000 new cars have already been sold under the program. These car sales will clear inventories that have been stagnant from months of poor sales. That means factories will fire up again to replace those now depleted inventories, and people will go back to work. They will work in factories, in dealerships, in trucking firms, in rail yards, and for suppliers. Cities, counties, and states all over the country are highly dependent on new car sales for revenue. So, more car sales will also help fill their depleted coffers.
Because of the program’s success, the entire $1 billion allocated to it has already been depleted. $1 billion is a lot of money, but it is only about 1/10th of 1 percent of the total stimulus package passed earlier this year that resulted in such fine expenditures as the aforementioned Ziggurat building.
However, I am pleased to report that earlier today; the House passed, by a margin of 316-109, an additional $2 billion to continue this program. The $2 billion is NOT new money. It will be taken out of the so-called stimulus package. So, instead of that $2 billion being spent on something that will not work, it will be spent on the 'Cash for Clunkers' program which we know, has and will, create jobs. Instead of the money going to bureaucrats, it will serve to benefit hundreds of thousands of people around the country.
I may not write these quite as frequently over the next 5 weeks as Congress will not be in session doing any damage, but I do have a backlog of things to tell you about so you will hear from me a few times between now and Labor Day. Happy Summer!
Until next time, I remain respectfully,
Congressman John Campbell
Member of Congress
Posted: Knowledge Creates Power