More and more lawmakers in Washington are lining up to say we don’t have a spending problem and are ready to defend their massive deficits that add trillions to the debt. But a new poll from Public Notice shows that the vast majority of Americans disagree; the best way to improve the economy is by cutting spending and exercising some fiscal restraint. At the same time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is warning that the debt is unsustainable without “significant” changes to entitlement spending, and the federal government is still wasting billions. Washington can keep telling themselves spending isn’t a problem all they want, but everyone else knows it’s time for an intervention.
LAWMAKERS ASK: WHAT DEBT CRISIS?
More Lawmakers Reject The Idea That Washington Has A Spending Problem. ”Call them the debt crisis dissenters. The two parties are miles apart on how to cut the deficit and national debt: Republicans want to slash spending even more. Democrats want to raise revenue. And then there are the other Democrats — the ones who reject the entire premise of the current high-stakes fiscal fight. There’s no short-term deficit problem, they say, and there isn’t even an urgent debt crisis that requires immediate attention.” (Ben White and Tarini Parti, “Democrats Ask: What Debt Crisis?” POLITICO, 4/28/13)
“Democrats Such As Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine And Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen Are Coming Around To The Point Of View That Fiscal Austerity, In All Its Forms, Is More The Problem Than The Solution.” (Ben White and Tarini Parti, “Democrats Ask: What Debt Crisis?” POLITICO, 4/28/13)
Democrats Now More Likely To Oppose Spending Cuts In Exchange For Debt Ceiling Increase: “This intellectual shift away from the need for more immediate deficit reduction is likely to make this summer’s debt ceiling fight even tougher. Democrats are now increasingly likely to revolt against GOP demands, which could include a dollar of spending cuts for each dollar increase in the nation’s borrowing limit.” (Ben White and Tarini Parti, “Democrats Ask: What Debt Crisis?” POLITICO, 4/28/13)
They Aren’t The First In Washington To Say Spending Isn’t A Problem:
President Obama: “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” (President Barack Obama, Interview with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News – Good Morning America, 3/13/13)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “[I]t is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem, we have a budget deficit problem.” (Cameron Joseph, “Pelosi: ‘Almost a false argument’ to say US has spending problem,” The Hill, 2/10/13)
Sen. Tom Harkin: “I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem. Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem. And when they talk about that, it’s like there’s an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke.” (Tom Harkin, C-SPAN, 2/14/13)
Rep. Steny Hoyer: We Have A “Paying-For” Problem. “The country has a paying for-problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought. We haven’t paid for our tax cuts. We haven’t paid for the war. … If we don’t pay, we shouldn’t buy.” (“Dem Leader Refuses to Say We Have a Spending Problem—U.S. Has a ‘Paying-For Problem,” Fox News, 2/12/13)
Sen. Mary Landrieu: Washington Spending Not “Out-Of-Control”: “I am not going to keep cutting the discretionary budget, which by the way is not out of control, despite what you hear on Fox News.” (Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), “Dem. Senator: Washington’s Spending Problem Exists Only On Fox News,” Fox News, 1/29/13)
BUT A NEW PUBLIC NOTICE POLL SHOWS AMERICANS DISAGREE
New Public Notice Poll Shows Americans Say Fiscal Responsibility Will Improve The Economy:
Public Notice Poll: Two-Thirds Say Spending Cuts, Tax Cuts Will Improve The Economy: According to a Tarrance Group survey released by Public Notice, two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) believe the federal government should cut spending and 62 percent believe taxes should also be lowered to create jobs and grow the economy. (“New Tarrance Group Survey: Majority Of Americans Want Spending And Taxes Cut To Balance Budget,” Public Notice, 4/22/13)
70 Percent Say A Balanced Budget Will Lead To Economic Growth: A significant majority (70 percent) also believes that a balanced budget would help the nation’s economy. (“New Tarrance Group Survey: Majority Of Americans Want Spending And Taxes Cut To Balance Budget,” Public Notice, 4/22/13)
After Sequester, More Than 60 Percent Want More Spending Cuts: “In the wake of the sequester, more than 60 percent of Americans still say the first thing Washington should do is find more spending to cut. This included a majority of Independent voters (63 percent) and a plurality of Democrats (40 percent).” (“New Tarrance Group Survey: Majority Of Americans Want Spending And Taxes Cut To Balance Budget,” Public Notice, 4/22/13)
THE CBO SAYS THE DEBT IS UNSUSTAINABLE WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO ENTITLEMENT SPENDING
CBO Director: Debt Will Be Unsustainable Without “Significant” Changes To Entitlements. “Under questioning from Sen. Ron Johnson, who highlighted the dire state of Medicare and Social Security finances, Elmendorf stated that putting the budget on a sustainable path would require major reforms to entitlement programs or massive tax increases that would hit the middle class.” (Philip Klein, “CBO director: Debt will be unsustainable without ‘significant’ changes to entitlements or broad tax hikes,” The Washington Examiner, 2/12/13)
Social Security Will Be Insolvent In 20 Years (Everyone Under 45). (Social Security Administration, The 2012 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, 4/25/12)
The Medicare Trust Fund Will Be Exhausted In 11 Years (Everyone Under 44). (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2012 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, 4/25/12)
CBO Estimates Entitlement Spending Will Double In The Next Decade. “Spending on Social Security and healthcare will double to $3.2 trillion a year over the next decade, threatening a sharp rise in national debt unless Congress acts to avoid the danger, congressional researchers warned on Tuesday.” (David Morgan, “Social Security, health spending to hit $3.2 trillion a year,” Reuters, 2/5/3013)
Entitlements To Become More Expensive, More Unmanageable In Long-Term: “[B]arring a major fix by the president and Congress, the government’s finances will start to worsen again as the three major entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – become more and more expensive and unmanageable under the increasing weight of retiring baby boomers.” (Tom Raum, “Gov’t Fiscal Outlook Improving – But Only For Now,” Associated Press, 3/12/13)
“Untenable Budget Situation Unless Addressed.” “During this decade and the next, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will jump by 75 percent while those of working age — the people who fund entitlements through their tax contributions — will nudge up by just 7 percent. On top of that, entitlement benefits typically grow faster than both inflation and wages, and can pay out significantly more than people pay in. The median lifetime Medicare taxes paid by new retirees in 2030 will be $180,000; while the median paid benefit will be a staggering $664,000. Vastly more elderly, combined with steadily larger retiree benefits, and relatively fewer taxpayers to fund them create an untenable budget situation unless addressed.” (Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler, Editorial: “Entitlement reform key to U.S. future,” POLITICO, 2/26/13)
AND WASHINGTON CONTINUES TO WASTE BILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS
Taxpayers Suffer Loss In Auto Company Investment: “Fisker Automotive Inc. spent more than six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce each luxury plug-in car it sold than the company received from customers, according to a research report. … Fisker has spent $1.3 billion in taxpayer and venture capital money, or $660,000 for each car it sold, the report said.”(Angela Greiling Keane, “Fisker Spent $660,000 on Each $103,000 Plug-in Car,” Bloomberg, 4/18/13)
- “The potential loss of $171 million would be largest loss of federal loan money since the 2011 failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy and laid off all its workers after receiving a $528 million loan from the Energy Department.” (Matthew Daly, “Obama Adminsitration Had Advanced Warning On Fisker,” The Associated Press, 4/24/13)
FAA Tech Upgrade Running Nearly Half A Billion Over Budget “With No End In Sight:” “For more than a decade the FAA has promised to modernize and make the civil aviation system more efficient and reliable, but the only things it has reliably generated are delays or cost overruns or usually both. The project, known as NextGen, is four years off schedule with no end in sight. … A 2011 investigation found that one part of NextGen ran $330 million over budget—or half of the FAA sequester—and then the FAA paid the contractor responsible $150 million in bonuses…. The overruns are now approaching $500 million, and that’s merely one item.” (The Wall Street Journal, “Flying the Government Skies,” 4/23/13)
IRS Overpaid Upwards Of $13 Billion In Tax Credits: “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) overpaid between $11.6 billion and $13.6 billion in tax credits designed to help low-income families in fiscal 2012 , the Treasury Department announced in a report released Monday.” (Julian Hattem, “IRS overpaid up to $13.6B in low-income tax credits, report finds,” The Hill, 4/22/13)
Postal Service Hemorrhaging $25 Million A Day: “The U.S. Postal Service could become ‘a significant burden to the taxpayer’ if it does not get needed flexibility to change its business operations, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told Congress Wednesday. … ‘We are losing $25 million dollars every day and we are on an unsustainable path.’” (“USPS losing $25 million daily with ‘broken business model,’” The Washington Post, 4,17,13)
Redundant Federal Programs Wasting Billions: “Redundant federal programs are leading to billions in waste, congressional auditors say, and the government is slow to adopt reforms to fix the problem. The White House says President Obama recognizes the problem and will propose eliminating redundant programs in the budget plan he releases Wednesday. … Over the past three years, the Government Accountability Office found 162 areas where agencies are duplicating efforts, at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. How many billions? No one knows.” (Gregory Korte, “Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions,” USA Today, 4/9/13)
- Billions For New Mapping Data: “Government agencies are spending billions on new mapping data — without checking whether some other government agency already has maps they could use.” (Gregory Korte, “Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions,” USA Today, 4/9/13)
- Duplicative Renewable Energy Programs: “At least 23 different federal agencies run hundreds of programs to support renewable energy.” (Gregory Korte, “Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions,” USA Today, 4/9/13)
- Lack Of Coordination Between Branches Of The Armed Services: “Each branch of the armed services is developing its own camouflage uniforms without sharing them with other services.” (Gregory Korte, “Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions,” USA Today, 4/9/13)
- Overlapping Research At The Department Of Homeland Security: “29 Department of Homeland Security contracts that partly or completely overlapped with research being done by another part of the same department. Five contracts funded research into the detection of the same chemical.” (Gregory Korte, “Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions,” USA Today, 4/9/13)
Stimulus-Funded Condom Study Creates Zero Jobs. The details of a stimulus grant awarded to Indiana University to study condom use have now been released on a government website. The study, titled ‘Barriers to Correct Condom Use,’ is now completed, according to the website, and the university received $423,500 of stimulus funds to perform the study. The stimulus project yielded a total of 0.00 jobs created, according to the federal government. ‘No jobs created/retained,’ the form says under ‘Description of Jobs Created.’” (Daniel Halper, “$423,500 Stimulus Program on ‘Correct Condom Use’ Yields Zero Jobs,” The Weekly Standard, 4/4/2013)
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Report Finds Unimplemented Recommendations Could Have Saved Taxpayers $67 Billion. “The Committee’s review found that the backlog had grown to a high of 16,906 open recommendations. Using the most conservative cost-saving estimates, implementing these recommendations could save taxpayers $67 billion per year.” (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Report, “Staff Report: Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations Could Save Taxpayers $67Billion,” 3/5/13)
Energy Department Approved $3.5 Million in Bonuses to 10 Employees, Some As Much As 82 Percent Above The Market Rate. “Federal employees are facing unpaid days off and salary cuts due to the sequester, but several contract workers inside the Energy Department are still raking in the cash. Ten individuals at the department’s Oak Ridge nuclear laboratory are set to make an extra $3.5 million above and beyond their normal pay, according to an Energy Department inspector general investigation that exposes a lavish bonus system. The 10 people are executives at the company UCOR, which the department hired for environmental clean-up. And despite watchdog warnings that the executives’ salaries are as much as 82 percent above the market rate, Energy Department officials continue to pay out the bonuses.” (Phillip Swarts, “Energy Department approves lavish bonuses: $3.5 million to 10 workers alone,” Washington Guardian, 3/29/13)
IRS Video Production Unit Costs Taxpayers $4 Million A Year: “The Senate’s top tax-writer wants answers from the IRS about a ‘Star Trek’ spoof that the tax-collecting agency has now apologized for making. … Baucus also questioned why the IRS had a video production unit at all — especially at its reported $4 million a year price tag. The ‘Star Trek” parody and a separate takeoff on “Gilligan’s Island” cost around $60,000 in tandem, the IRS has said.” (Bernie Becker, “Baucus to IRS: How did the ‘Star Trek’ video happen? Who’s responsible?” The Hill, 3/27/13)
Energy Department Mismanaged More Than $90 Million In Stimulus: “The Energy Department’s (DOE) internal watchdog is attacking DOE management of a $1.5-billion stimulus program to help develop technology that captures industrial carbon dioxide emissions. An Office of Inspector General (IG) audit made public Tuesday examines $1.1 billion in funding for 15 projects. The audit notes three project recipients together received $90 million even though reviews of the proposals ‘identified significant financial and/or technical issues.’” (Ben Geman, “Report: Energy Department Mismanaged Stimulus-Backed Climate Program,” The Hill, 3/22/13)
“Pentagon Handed Out $419 Million In Improper Travel Reimbursements Last Year.” “While making improvements in some spending areas, the Defense Department was singled out this week for failing to trim unnecessary travel reimbursements. In fact, the Pentagon’s internal watchdog concluded that wasteful travel spending actually grew last year to a total of $419.3 million, accounting for roughly five percent of the Pentagon’s mammoth $8.4 billion travel budget.” (Phillip Swarts, “Pentagon Handed Out $419 Million In Improper Travel Reimbursements Last Year,” The Washington Guardian, 3/21/13)
Before jumping into the state-by-state news, take note of this current polling chart from RealClearPolitics which the Democrats are hoping you will overlook because it shows Republicans currently in a position to win back a Senate majority in November….
In Virginia, more troubling news for the Democrats as a new poll from NBC/WSJ/Marist poll finds that former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine has lost 6 points since their last poll back in May and is now under-performing President Obama on the ballot by three points, while George Allen is over-performing.
- And Virginia Watchdog reports that George Allen continues to remind voters in the Commonwealth that Tim Kaine was the number one cheerleader for President Obama’s failed policies. Allen, for his part, has used numerous ads highlighting Kaine’s term as chairman of the Democratic National Committee to tie him to President Barack Obama, hoping a tepid economic recovery will provide a distinctive choice in voters’ minds.
- Meanwhile, the NRSC reminded Virginians of Tim Kaine’s liberal, job-killing record on energy. Despite Kaine’s election year posturing, he’s actually been a staunch supporter of President Obama’s job-killing cap-and-trade proposal. Additionally, Kaine has also fought against offshore energy exploration, which would create thousands of jobs and lower the price of gasoline. “Former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine’s ad is incredibly misleading, because not only does he oppose offshore energy exploration – which would create jobs and lower gas prices – he also supports President Obama’s job-killing cap-and-trade proposal,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Brian Walsh. “With a record like that, it’s clear Chairman Kaine’s record on energy is wrong for Virginia.”
In Connecticut, today released its newest ad entitled “Pattern.” The ad highlights Congressman Chris Murphy’s disturbing pattern of behavior as an elected official by revealing several questionable facts about his inability to handle his personal finances and his lack of attention to the demands of his taxpayer-funded job in Congress.
- And Murphy is still playing defense into the weekend as the CT Mirror reports that he’s refusing to release his credit score or any documentation related to his sweetheart mortgage loans. The U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Chris Murphy says it will not release his application for a $43,000 home-equity credit line that Republican Linda McMahon claims was a sweetheart deal from a political ally, Webster bank. Murphy’s campaign spokesman, Ben Marter, responded with a one-word answer when asked by The Mirror if the candidate would disclose the application, related documents or his credit score: “No.”
- Meanwhile, Hearst News reports that McMahon is winning the news cycle day-after-day while defining her opponent as Chris Dodd 2.0. Politics 101: define your opponent before he can define himself. Linda McMahon is following the syllabus. After a week of winning the news cycle against Chris Murphy thanks to opposition research that the congressman was threatened with foreclosure, McMahon is overtly trying to tie Murphy to fellow Democrat and former Sen. Chris Dodd. In a news release this morning, McMahon labels Murphy “Chris Dodd 2.0,” harkening back to the Countrywide VIP loan scandal.
In Massachusetts, it’s a bad sign when even your hometown newspaper turns on you but even the Harvard Crimson is lamenting the state of their Professor Elizabeth Warren’s campaign these days – Warren Struggles In Home Stretch….
- The Harvard Crimson: “Almost a year to the day since Elizabeth Warren declared her candidacy for the U.S. Senate outside a South Boston MBTA station, Democratic political consultants and professors said that the Harvard Law School professor still faces the same uphill battle that has beguiled her campaign since its earliest days.”
- The Crimson: “Now, with a year of campaigning behind her, Warren is anything but inexperienced, but political consultants and political science professors said she has failed to grasp the heart of the problems facing her campaign.”
- The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi: “Agreed: Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren wasted millions on ads that turned her into every man’s worst nightmare: a smarter-than-thou older woman sporting granny glasses and sensible hair.”
- Democratic Strategist Dan Payne in the Crimson: “My critique of it is simple: it’s not about Massachusetts. … It’s as though she’s running a national campaign. Brown, on the other hand, his advertising is very attached to the state.”
- Meanwhile, Worcester Politics reports – Republican Senator Scott Brown announced another addition to his “Democrats for Brown” coalition on Friday, former Democratic Mayor and current Lowell City Council, Rita Mercier. Mercier has sat on the City Council since 1996, and she was the third woman ever to hold the office of Mayor in the City of Lowell when she took on the role back in 2002. Mercier joins the likes of former Democratic mayors Konnie Lukes of Worcester, Ray Flynn of Boston and Charles Ryan of Springfield in crossing the aisle to support the Republican Senator this November. Brown has now picked up support from former Democratic mayors in the Commonwealth’s four largest cities.
In Ohio, The Hill reports that Josh Mandel is reminding voters that liberal Democrat Sherrod Brown has missed over 350 votes, while voting to increase his pay 6 times. Republican Josh Mandel’s campaign is out with a new ad in his fight for Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) Senate seat, this time attacking the senator’s attendance record during his tenure in Congress. The ad points out that Brown missed over 350 official votes, a tally that comes from the site GovTrack, which keeps record of all congressional votes. It also highlights his votes in favor of bills that would result in a pay raise for members of Congress.
In Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Connie Mack is up with a new ad that reminds voters that Bill Nelson voted for ObamaCare. Republican U.S. Senate nominee U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV has released a new TV commercial in which he focuses on what he says are the three differences between himself and incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: ObamaCare, taxes and belief in free enterprise. Mack’s take: Nelson voted for ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, and he votd against. Nelson voted for tax increases, whiile Mack voted for tax cuts. Nelson believes in government, while Mack believes in “you, free enterprise, and the spirit of the American people.”
- Meanwhile, the Palm Beach New Times reports that on October 17, Connie Mack will debate Bill Nelson’s job-killing record. The Bill Nelson-Connie Mack race is pretty much America’s most closely watched Senate race. And now incumbent Nelson — the Democrat — and Mack — the Republican — have agreed to the only confirmed statewide televised debate on October 17.
In North Dakota, The Hill reports that Rick Berg is calling on Heidi Heitkamp to pull a false political assault ad. Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) slammed Democratic challenger Heidi Heitkamp on Thursday for what he called a “false political assault” in a new ad from her campaign that attacks his business record, calling for her to remove the ad from the airwaves. Berg flew back from Washington, where Congress is currently in session, to North Dakota on Thursday — the same day the ad was released — to address the claims made in the ad. “North Dakotans know that political campaigns are hard-fought, but expect them to be fought fairly. Heidi Heitkamp’s claims are 100 percent false. I’m disappointed in Heidi, as I’m sure so too are the people of this state,” Berg said during a press conference held Thursday morning to address the ad.
- Meanwhile, Huffington Post reports that while Heidi Heitkamp tells North Dakotans she’s for fracking, her #2 contributor is an anti-fracking law firm based in New York. According to campaign records tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics, Heitkamp’s second-largest group of contributors are employees of Weitz & Luxenberg, a mass tort law firm that has represented those arguing the harms of fracking in the past. The law firm’s employees have given Heitkamp at least $22,400.
In Montana, the Associated Press reports that Denny Rehberg is demanding that we get the farm bill passed. U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg is increasing his criticism of party leaders and demanding a farm bill amid pressure from state agricultural groups. Rehberg says he is signing onto a bipartisan resolution to force GOP House leaders to bring the farm bill out for a vote. Without it, many programs popular with farmers will expire. Rehberg says he understands the move will put a “burr under the saddle” of his party leaders, but says election year politics can’t get in the way of a farm bill.
In Nebraska, where Deb Fischer has a very comfortable lead, the Associated Press reports that Fischer continues to hammer Bob Kerrey for his time in New York City. With roughly 35 million head of cattle grazing on nearly half the state’s land, ranching retains an iconic status in Nebraska. So it’s no surprise that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer’s campaign ads show her leaning up against fence posts while she’s described as a rancher who is “sharp as barb wire, tougher than a cedar fence post.” Her opponent, Democrat Bob Kerrey, is a former governor and senator who for a decade was president of a university in New York. Fischer’s campaign frequently emphasizes the contrast between their occupations, clearly betting that it will play well with Nebraska voters who have become more conservative and suspicious of government since Kerrey left the Senate in January 2001. … Polls indicate she retains a solid lead in the race.
- Meanwhile, the Weekly Standard reports that Deb Fischer is out where a new ad telling Nebraskans where she stands on the important issues. Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer of Nebraska has a new television ad out. “In Nebraska we solve problems by governing responsibly and sticking to our principles,” Fischer says in the ad. “Time Washington did the same.” Watch the ad below: “Here’s where I stand: Let’s repeal Obamacare and replace it with a fair market system that doesn’t raise taxes,” Fischer says. “Raising taxes will only hurt job creation. And besides, you pay enough already.”
- Finally, Roll Call reports that Deb Fischer has agreed to the third and final debate against New York liberal Bob Kerrey. State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) have agreed to a third debate, according to the Associated Press. The debate will take place on Oct. 1 and will air statewide on public television, radio and online.
In New Mexico, a monkey made an appearance at Martin Heinrich’s office to symbolizes his vote for the failed $825 billion stimulus, which spent money to see how monkeys would react to cocaine. As KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports: Well the guy in the monkey suit is to represent two things – first he’s to represent that we’re tired of politicians like Congressman Heinrich who are monkeying around in Washington – but the other thing he’s to represent is specifically some of the foolish money that was spent for the 800 billion dollar stimulus bill that was spent to observe monkeys fighting.
In Arizona, the Lake Powell Chronicle reports that Jeff Flake hammered President Obama and Richard Carmona for their war on coal. Rep. Jeff Flake, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, spoke to a packed house at the Page Community Center Sept. 5 about issues surrounding the Navajo Generating Station. Currently the future of the plant resides on how the owners choose to handle the proposed ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to hand down soon. “There is a war on coal at the EPA. Let’s call it for what it is,” Flake said. “And they’re going to use anything they can, it seems, to push forward that war on coal.”
In Hawaii, the Honolulu Civil Beat reports that Congresswoman Mazie Hirono voted against funding the Tsunami Warning Network. U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono earlier this year voted against funding the Tsunami Warning Network that provides Hawaii with early tsunami detection and warnings. The high-tech buoy network faced $4.5 million in cuts in February, and Hirono opposed bipartisan House legislation to fully fund the critical system for FY2013. “Hirono voted against the best interest of our state — a state in a Tsunami high-risk zone — and against one of our most important life-saving tools, by voting against fully funding the Tsunami Warning Network,” said former Director of Hawaii Civil Defense and Linda Lingle Campaign Manager Bob Lee.
NOTE: “It speaks volumes when Tim Kaine is criticizing President Obama, of all people, for not taxing and spending nearly enough,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh.
From the Washington Examiner:
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine isn’t sold on the so-called “Buffett rule,” legislation that would raise taxes on millionaires even President Obama makes a strong sales pitch for it in Virginia.
Speaking on a Charlottesville radio station, Kaine said the Buffett rule, named after billionaire Warren Buffett who once famously complained that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, would hardly make a dent in the closing the nation’s growing deficit.
“Tripping over dollar bills to pick up pennies is pretty much what they’re doing,” Kaine said.
The Senate is scheduled to vote next week on the bill, which introduces a minimum 30 percent tax rate on anyone making more than a million dollars. Republicans have called it a political stunt aimed at highlighting the low tax rate Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nomiminee, pays despite his wealth.
“What worries me is that they’re going to have a big fight about the Buffett rule, then they’ll have a big fight about some other little one-off proposal that somebody throws on the table and they’ll get to year end and they won’t have talked about the issue that’s on the table that needs a resolution,” Kaine told WINA.
Congress should instead focus on letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those making more than $500,000 a year, said Kaine, the lone Democrat running to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.
Unprecedented Social Media Campaign Will Educate Voters About Candidates’ Support For Failed Obama Policies
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — ForAmerica, the largest active online conservative organization, today launched an unprecedented social media campaign to educate voters in key Senate races for the 2012 cycle. Operation ObamaClone will educate voters on how U.S. Senators like Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), as well as candidates such as Tim Kaine of Virginia, have embraced President Obama’s failed policies. Such policies include the Stimulus bill, ObamaCare, and other initiatives that have taken our country down the path to skyrocketing debt, increased job losses, and Big Government expansion.
“For too long, these folks have been cheering on President Obama and his destructive policies at every turn,” said ForAmerica Chairman L. Brent Bozell. “The people of Missouri, Montana, Florida, and Virginia need to know how deeply into denial these officials and candidates have fallen when it comes to worshipping this failed president.”
At the new ForAmerica web sites www.obamaclonemccaskill.com, www.obamaclonetester.com, www.obamaclonenelson.com, and www.obamaclonekaine.com, voters will get valuable information about the candidates’ records, their quotes and comments, press clippings, and videos illustrating how they have morphed into ObamaClones. ForAmerica’s campaign will utilize a cutting-edge social media effort, including online advertising, videos, and more, to keep voters in those four states updated in real time about their incumbent Senators and declared Senate candidates.
Bozell said it is highly likely Operation ObamaClone will expand to other states. ForAmerica, which launched just 18 months ago, has a total budget of $5 million for the 2012 cycle.
ForAmerica (www.foramerica.org) is an online army of over 2 million people. The group is a non-profit 501(c)4 organized to educate Americans about traditional and contemporary American values, to relentlessly fight the growth of government, to oppose any substitute to freedom and self-government, to promote individual liberty and excellence, to promote economic opportunity, and to move America toward her founding principles. ForAmerica is chaired by L. Brent Bozell III, one of the most outspoken and effective national leaders in the conservative movement today.
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Henrico, VA – On the eve of the third anniversary of the passage of the failed $800 billion stimulus, the George Allen for U.S. Senate Campaign today released its newest web video entitled, “I’m Doing What The President Wants Me To Do,” highlighting Tim Kaine’s loyal, unabashed support for President Obama and his agenda, which has led to an unprecedented spending binge in Washington over the last three years.
Chairman Kaine campaigned across the nation claiming the $800 billion failed stimulus would “help jumpstart the economy” as well as “create or save over 3 million jobs.” Instead, Americans have endured 36 straight months of unemployment over 8%, Washington is now borrowing $48,000 a second, and we have seen the first ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
“’I'm doing what the President wants me to do,’ those are Tim Kaine’s words, not mine. On every major issue over the past several years, Chairman Kaine has been in lockstep with President Obama and out of step with Virginia families and small business owners,” said Dan Allen, Allen campaign senior advisor. “And now he’s running to be President Obama’s Senator, not Virginia’s.”
“I’m Doing What The President Wants Me To Do”
TIM KAINE: Hello everyone, I’m Tim Kaine.
PRES. OBAMA: Former Governor of Virginia and one of my greatest friends.
TIM KAINE: I’m an unabashed supporter of the President.
SUPER: President Obama’s Senator. Tim Kaine. Unabashed support for the $800 billion failed stimulus.
TIM KAINE: … a stimulus plan that will help jumpstart the economy …
PRES. OBAMA: … a major milestone on our road to recovery.
SUPER: MAJOR MILESTONE
SUPER: 36 straight months. Unemployment over 8%.
TIM KAINE: We’ll create or save more than 3 million jobs.
PRES. OBAMA: It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.
SUPER: Factcheck.org [MASTHEAD]: “Stimulus Has FAILED To Live Up To Initial Expectations”
TIM KAINE: I’m doing what the President wants me to do.
SUPER: “I’m doing what the President wants me to do”
SUPER: We know, Tim. But what about us?
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (editorial)
As former governors, George Allen and Tim Kaine have lengthy records to run on — and, sometimes, to run from. Both of their tenures were mixed. But Allen can claim to have improved Virginia immeasurably through one of his most controversial proposals: abolishing parole.
That reform now is widely accepted. At the time, though, it was hugely controversial. Democrats fought it bitterly. The NAACP tried to portray it as hostile to African-Americans — the Richmond chapter went so far as to say it resembled “Hitler’s annihilation of the Jews and the principle of modern-day ethnic cleansing.” The ACLU attacked it on a variety of grounds, including cost — a rare detour into fiscal conservatism for the civil-liberties group — and its effect on children and families.
Many also challenged the idea that holding offenders longer would cut crime rates. When Richard Kern, the late state criminologist, produced a study showing parole abolition could prevent more than 100,000 serious crimes over a decade and benefit racial minorities the most, skeptics scoffed. One Democratic delegate pointed out that the study “doesn’t say that others are not committing offenses,” and predicted that “the overall impact on the crime rate” from abolishing parole would be “minimal.”
Parole abolition was enacted in 1995, when criminologists were anticipating a crime tsunami. That wave never materialized. Violent crime rates nationwide are at 40-year lows, despite a recession. A variety of explanations have been offered, from community policing to the availability of abortion. Many also credit a nationwide get-tough approach after decades of what Allen used to call “liberal, lenient” criminal-justice policies.
They would seem to have reason to. During debate on Project X, as it was called, Allen predicted that abolishing parole would prevent crime not only by preventing hardened thugs from re-offending but also by deterring those not yet incarcerated from committing offenses of their own. Skeptics continued to insist crime rates would not change. If the skeptics had been right, then crime rates should be much higher today than they are.
From The Washington Post:
President Obama arrives in the state Tuesday as part of three-day North Carolina and Virginia bus tour to talk about the economy, but it’s not clear how many Virginia Democrats will be with him.
As we reported today, Democratic state legislators are none too eager to support Obama, let alone be seen with him.
The state’s top Democrats will be not be around, either.
Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner will be in Washington, where Congress is in session. (Warner is holding his first online forum today. He will start doling out video responses to questions at 2 p.m.)
Tim Kaine, former governor and Democratic National Committee chairman, is spending the day in Northern Virginia, in part to help legislative candidates who are on the ballot next month. Kaine, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate next year, appeared with Obama at the University of Richmond in August.
“We fully expect him to attend other events with the president throughout this election cycle, just as we expect our opponent will appear with the eventual Republican nominee for president,’’ Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said.
The White House would not release a list of elected Democrats who would be with Obama in Virginia.
The president began his bus tour Monday in North Carolina and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday in Virginia — two critical swing states he carried in 2008 that remain just as important in 2012.
The White House had considered stops in Danville, Newport News, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg. But prominent Democrats in Virginia — where Obama’s approval rating hovers around 50 percent — encouraged the White House to alter the schedule so he would no longer visit districts where members of his party were involved in tight races.
Instead, Obama will speak at a high school in Emporia on Tuesday and at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton and a fire station in Chesterfield County, outside Richmond, on Wednesday. He will be joined by first lady Michelle Obama in Hampton. All three events are closed to the public.
Dems and a fawning media salivating over Obama’s pick to lead the DNC. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the perfect fire-breathing partisan hack to lead the DNC since she’s never let the facts or reality get in the way of her failed philosophy
National and local coverage of President Obama’s choice to lead the Democratic National Committee