2/26/2010 9:13:00 AM Overspending is not a good thing, congressman
To the Editor:
In a recent press release, 8th District Congressman Steve Kagen brags about Congress recently voting to impose Pay-As-You-Go rules on itself. Kagen also claims "I voted against every single bailout that came along."
Congressman Steve Kagen is not telling you the full truth about his voting record.
Steve Kagen voted in favor of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout of the banks when it passed in the House (H.R. 1424, more formally known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, roll call vote number 101).
He can rightly say he did not vote for the final version of the bill (roll call vote no. 681). So I guess this is a case where he voted for it before he voted against it.
Beyond the bank bailout bill, Congressman Kagen's voting record has been anything but conservative when it comes to spending your money for you. Here are just a few examples.
Steve Kagen voted in favor of the 1,434-page conference report of H.R. 1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the "stimulus bill" roll call vote number 70)
You might remember that one. You know, the $787 billion bill that was rushed through Congress in such an "emergency" that no one bothered to read the bill before they voted on it. This was the bill that promised to keep unemployment under 8 percent, and promised to create more than three million jobs in the private sector.
Steve Kagen voted in favor of H.R. 2346, the $177.3 billion emergency supplemental spending bill, which included $1 billion plus $2 billion more under the 'Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program' better known as "Cash For Clunkers" (roll call vote number 348)
Steve Kagen voted in favor of HR2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act, aka the Waxman-Markey cap-n-trade "clean energy" bill, that plowed through the House by a vote of 219-212 with virtually no one having read that 1,500-plus page bill. This monstrosity of a bill has hidden costs to you and me that are flat out incalculable (roll call vote number 477)
And then there's the socialized health care bill. When Congressman Steve Kagen was asked about the bill, he replied, "I am writing the health care bill. What would you like in it?"
Steve Kagen voted in favor of the bill (H.R. 3962, roll call vote number 887).
In his original press release, Steve Kagen claims "When voting for any legislation, I only have the best interests of my constituents in mind."
Really, Congressman? Is that because we're too stupid to know what's in our own best interests?
Citizens Against Government Waste has given Congressman Steve Kagen a 2008 taxpayer-friendly rating of 8 out of 100 (hostile to taxpayers) for supporting just 8 percent of 48 key votes in 2008. CCAGW gives Kagen a lifetime rating of just 7 percent.
Steve Kagen's letterhead proclaims, "Together We Will." He says he's still fired up and ready to go. About the only Obama-esque slogan he hasn't borrowed is that whole hope-n-change thingy.
Guess that one isn't working out so well.
Kagen continues to blame "the previous administration" for two wars, tax cuts for the rich, and bailouts for their friends on Wall Street. I remind him, first, that a president cannot spend money that hasn't first been appropriated by Congress, and, second, that he did vote in favor of TARP (roll call vote number 101). Furthermore, the Bush tax cuts went to everyone who actually paid income taxes. And, finally, national defense (warfare) is just about the only legitimate Constitutional function currently performed by our federal government.
Steve Kagen writes, "Being fiscally responsible must begin somewhere, so let it start with me." Given Congressman Kagen's voting record, we're still waiting for his fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of this country to begin.
We poor dumb taxpayers have tightened our belts. We're still waiting and hoping for Washington to do the same. About the only real "change we can believe in" these days is our spare change.
Steve Kagen proclaims "mandatory pay-as-you-go budget rules will force our federal government to live within its means." What he isn't telling you is that Congress can change these rules at any time. And in the past these same rules have been used not to curb excessive spending, but to raise taxes to pay for all that spending.
Deficits aren't caused by a lack of tax revenue. Deficits are caused by too much spending.
I will agree with Steve Kagen on one point - enough is enough.