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Author: rclaussen Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 90309  
Subject: Is the Grinch going … Date: 12/14/2011 2:04 PM
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… to steal Christmas.

On October 27th I completed and posted an extensive analysis of “How We Got Here - Where Are We Headed?” (http://boards.fool.com/how-we-got-here-where-are-we-headed-2... ) with regard to our current political situation.

A thrust of that post was to encourage participation in our political process by contacting your legislators. I completed such an Email this morning that some may find interesting.




The Honorable Dan Inouye
The Honorable Harry Reid
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
The Honorable Jon Kyl
The Honorable John A. Boehner
The Honorable Eric Cantor
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy (Would someone please forward to Senator McCarthy)
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Steny Hoyer
The Honorable Sherrod Brown
The Honorable Rob Portman
The Honorable Steve Stivers

Ms Pelosi and Gentlemen,

C-Span is a wonderful opportunity for the American people to observe Congress at work. As I have watched this morning’s proceedings in both the House and Senate (Wednesday, December 14, 2011) I am appalled Senator McConnell is not allowing H.R. 3630 to be brought to the floor of the Senate for consideration. Perhaps it is because the House proposed solution would fail similar to the Senate Republican proposed solution:

• Their was a bipartisan defeat of the Senate Republican effort on Thursday, December 1st to extend the payroll tax (they wanted to cut 200,000 jobs in legislation that was basically designed to grow jobs – S. 1931 introduced by Senator Dean Heller, R, NV and defeated 78-20 with 25 of 45 Republicans voting “No”).

As has been pointed out many times this morning, further negotiations to reach an agreement cannot continue until the parameters of the positions are clear. The vote needs to be taken.

It is long past time for our legislators to honor their Oath of Office to the American people and not to:

• A pledge to a lobbying organization (Americans for Tax Reform) whose founder and leader’s purported purpose is the destruction of our government (“… Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who once told National Public Radio: ''I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.'' And the way to get it down to that size is to starve it of revenue. ''The goal is reducing the size and scope of government by draining its lifeblood,'' Norquist told U.S. News & World Report.”)

• Place politics above your Oath of Office and put our country’s citizens in harms way.

I find particularly hypocritical listening to Senators Mitch McConnell and Orin Hatch complain about the Deficit and Debt when the root cause is their own unfunded actions during the previous administration and handing the new administration a financial system (for the world as well as the United States) on the verge of total collapse.

Regarding the Debt, it is important to understand this is NOT related to Social Security and Medicare. Granted, those programs do need some adjustment, but that is a discussion for a later day. If you want to understand the Debt, you only need to read this August 2006 condemnation from the Cato Institute and remember President Bush started with a surplus to be used to retire the existing Debt:

“Republicans also have their own policies of big spending to blame. Tax cutting has been made more difficult because Bush has been the most profligate president in decades. In his first five years, 2001 to 2006, federal spending increased 45 percent and deficits have soared. It’s tougher to convince the few centrist Democrats in the Senate to go along with making tax cuts permanent when federal red ink is gushing non-stop.

The big spending policies of the Bush administration have been remarkably short-sighted economically and politically, as they have threatened Bush’s primary domestic policy success of pro-growth tax cuts. For its part, the Republican leadership in Congress has gone along with, and often encouraged, the spending feast of recent years. There are only about 50 serious budget reformers in the 435-member House. For the rest, it’s been a pork-barrel pigout in recent years.”


http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6621 Tax Policy Under President Bush

With regards the “No New Taxes” pledge and its contribution to the current Deficit and Debt, an analysis of the effects of the Pledge was published in June 2004 by the Brookings Institution and Tax Policy Center. They made projections as to what would happen in 2014 and drew this conclusion:

“As a result, it would seem especially incumbent on the signers to promote spending discipline. In fact, they have done just the opposite -- supporting massive permanent increases in spending at the same time they support equally massive permanent cuts in taxes and at the same time that current and projected revenues are declining for other reasons. The policies supported by signers will require changes in future spending or taxes that no elected official has publicly supported or would conceivably support. All of these findings suggest that the no new taxes pledge and its signers are a significant part of the fiscal problem, not the vanguard of a realistic solution.”

http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/gale/20040604.pdf The “No New Taxes” Pledge (An Analysis)

This is further supported by a conclusion reached by the Congressional Budget Office during the Bush presidency:

“A conspicuous example came earlier this year when the Congressional Budget Office tried to evaluate the growth effects of the Bush administration's proposed tax cuts. The budget office's new head, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, is a conservative economist who was handpicked for his job by the administration. But his conclusion was that unless the revenue losses from the proposed tax cuts were offset by spending cuts, the resulting deficits would be a drag on growth, quite likely to outweigh any supply-side effects.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/14/magazine/14TAXES.html?page... The Tax-Cut Con

It should come as no surprise with regard to the situation we find ourselves in presently – the analysis and references used were published in 2003, 2004 and 2006.

If you should decide to reply, please reply on the content of this Email and do not submit a form reply from a staffer. If the facts presented are incorrect, please present your counter arguments so we may enter into a respectful dialogue.

Thank you,

Robert B. Claussen (A frustrated self-managed investor and Independent voter)
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