Politicians are killing the economy: All that hand washing takes loads of money
By SETH GROSSMAN, Political Columnist
(Reprinted from December 16, 2009 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/news.php?id=6359)
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.?
? Lord John Acton (1834-1902)
Republican Frank LoBiondo won his first election to Congress in 1994 by making a ?Contract with America.? He and Republican candidates around the country promised to ?restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress? and force Congress to ?live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.?
In 1994, LoBiondo and other Republicans also promised to replace career politicians with a ?citizen legislature.? LoBiondo supported a constitutional amendment with a 12-year term limit for Congress. He also promised that he would quit within that time. Fifteen years ago, LoBiondo saw how Democrat Bill Hughes, the incumbent, voted for big budgets, tax hikes, and deficits that hurt the country so that he could easily win elections for 20 years.
In 1994, LoBiondo often told of how unions had abused their power and caused hardship for his family?s small Vineland trucking business. He promised to fight corrupt union bosses.
Voters in South Jersey and around the country liked that conservative message. We put LoBiondo in Congress. We gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1952.
Congressman LoBiondo and his Republican teammates did good in their first two terms. They fought big tax and spending hikes by Democratic President Bill Clinton. They even forced him to shut down the government for a few days. Republicans forced Clinton to drastically cut welfare programs. Instead of causing hardship, Republican welfare reform put poor people to work and gave them better lives. Frank LoBiondo and the Republican Congress balanced the budget by 1997 and ran surpluses for the next four years. The economy boomed.
In 2000, George Bush became the first Republican President with a Republican Congress since 1932.
Republicans now had the power to restore Constitutional government and bring us years of liberty and prosperity. But Republicans instead broke the Contract with America that put them in power. They betrayed the voters who trusted them. Our own Frank LoBiondo was one of the first to be corrupted by that power.
As a Congressman, Frank LoBiondo has a $174,000 per year salary and a generous pension. He has expense accounts and a staff that serves at his pleasure. He is surrounded by rich and power people who need his ?friendship.? He is now a celebrity adored by the public. Many local charities depend on raffles where the winner gets a breakfast with Frank LoBiondo in the House of Representatives dining room.
What mortal would give all this up for principle? So LoBiondo does whatever it takes to win the election every two years.
And this is killing our country.
For the past 10 years, LoBiondo voted billions for expensive union ?bridge to nowhere? type projects around the country. In return, he got money for his sand dunes, the Pulaski Skyway to Ocean City, etc. He blackmailed President Bush into freezing low-cost nonunion contractors out of Hurricane Katrina reconstruction. He supported ?homeland security? spending that paid for fast food restaurants in Kansas, air-conditioned garbage trucks in Newark, etc. He bullied Atlantic City?s airport into paying airport screeners when there were no planes. He supported Cash for Clunkers, $8,000 for new home buyers, etc.
LoBiondo voted for big unions and against small business by supporting paid family leave and a law to end secret ballot votes before being forced to join a union.
LoBiondo opposed offshore drilling for oil and supported ?cap and trade? rules to make everything more expensive.
To pay for all this, Republicans George Bush and Frank LoBiondo borrowed billions ? $420 billion in 2008 alone ? before the crash! Most was borrowed from China, which put the Chinese dictators in control of our economy.
By doing this, LoBiondo was easily re-elected, even when he broke his promise on term limits. The unions and special interests like the New Jersey Education Association gave LoBiondo all the support and campaign cash he needed. And they bullied the Democrats into running weak candidates against him. (Remember the 2008 blow-up at Angelo?s in Atlantic City?)
To get votes for his pet projects, LoBiondo was OK with Barney Frank running the banking system. While on the Armed Services Committee, he did nothing from 2003 to 2007, when four years of incompetence wasted American lives in Iraq. LoBiondo voted against the bailouts only after intense pressure from local talk radio ? which he later took care of.
Before you blame all our problems on Obama and those Democrats in distant Washington, think about our own Republican congressman right here in Ventnor.
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears live on WVLT 92.1FM 8 to 9 a.m. every Saturday throughout southern New Jersey. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Athena Diner, 1515 New Road, Northfield.