By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
Last week, suburban Mainland High School near Atlantic City, rushed to let 40 students skip their regular classes and hear Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo campaign for his eighth two-year term.?? (LoBiondo won election in 1994 by promising term limits.)
“We were informed the previous Thursday that he had space in his schedule, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity” said Brian Smith, Mainland’s Advanced Placement Government and Politics teacher.
What did the Congressman teach those students????
According to last week’s Current article, “After LoBiondo gave a short explanation of his duties in Washington D.C. as the 2nd District congressman, students asked a variety of questions”.
??? What are the duties of a “2d District congressman”???? They are written in Article I, Section 8 of our United States Constitution:
??????? Members of Congress can make laws to regulate commerce between
??????? states and foreign nations.?? They can make uniform bankruptcy and
??????? immigration laws.?? They can make laws to establish our national currency,
??????? establish national mail service,? make patent and copyright laws, establish
??????? federal courts,? define and punish pirates and terrorists,? and establish,
??????? maintain, and regulate our armed forces.
??? Why did George Washington,? James Madison, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, William Patterson, and the other “founding brothers” write our Constitution this way??? Thomas Jefferson explained it best,?
???????Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the
??????? nation, and its foreign and federal relations. . . . State governments
??????? with the?civil rights, law, police, and administration of what concerns
??????? the State?generally. . . . Counties with the local concerns of the counties,
?????? ?and?each ward direct the interests within itself.?? It is by dividing and
??????? subdividing these republics from the great national one down through
??????? all?its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s
??????? farm by himself.?? By placing under everyone what his own eye may
??????? super-intend, all will be done for the best.?? What has destroyed
??????? liberty and the rights of man in every government which?has ever
??????? existed under the sun??? The generalizing and?concentrating all cares
??????? and powers into one body.
The men who created this country knew from bitter personal experience that the English Parliament had become oppressive and corrupt because there were no limits on its powers.?? Members of Parliament routinely taxed and restricted businesses in distant India and America to reward friends in their home districts in England and Scotland.
But Congressman Frank LoBiondo did not win seven elections and get millions of dollars by serving national interests and following the Constitution.?? LoBiondo told the students he was a? “2d District of Congressman”, and that his job is to serve the people of this district.?? His official website (www.house.gov/lobiondo) makes that clear: “Regrettably, I am unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 2d District of New Jersey”.
Most of Frank LoBiondo’s official website tells you how to get money from the federal government in the form of “grants, loans, business, and nonfinancial help”.?? We pay $65,000 in federal tax money each year to Jason Galanes, Cong. LoBiondo’s full-time press secretary.?? Galanes’s job is to get local newspapers to print articles praising LoBiondo every time someone in the district gets money from the federal government.????
A few weeks ago, Galanes got most local newspapers to “report” that Frank LoBiondo announced $69,920 of federal funds for Northfield’s fire department, and $84,213 to Ocean City’s.?? Most voters think LoBiondo is so good at getting federal money for our district, that we dare not vote for anyone else.?? But they are wrong.?? New Jersey gets only 57 cents for every dollar we pay to the federal government in taxes.?? We rank dead last among all the states.
The reason is simple.? The Congressmen in the other 434 districts around the country play the game just as well as Frank LoBiondo.?? When the Mainland High School students questioned our Congressman, not one of them mentioned this or anything about our Constitution.?? Nobody asked him why it took four years and 3,000 American deaths before we changed commanders and adopted a winning strategy in Iraq.?? But we know why.????
Most of our 435 Congressmen were too busy getting money for their districts to worry about national problems like winning the war.?? And a lot of that that national tax money is paid to local public schools like Mainland.??
Last week, I informed Brian Smith, the Advanced U.S. Government teacher, and Political Science Club Advisor Nathan Lichtenwalner that we at www.libertyandprosperity.org have qualified speakers prepared to discuss what our Constitution says, and why our country worked better when we followed it.?? I am still waiting for an invitation.
Seth Grossman is a Somers Point attorney who hosts a talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM; He is also the Executive Director and founder of www.libertyandprosperity.org,? a tax-exempt education organization.?? Mr. Grossman had been a councilman and freeholder in Atlantic City during the 1980’s.? He may be reached by calling 609-927-7333 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.