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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Congress Faces Major Issues - Will it Be Games or Solutions?

End the Export-Import Bank
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 8, 2012:
The Senate reconvened and resumed consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2343, a bill dealing with federal student loan interest rates. At noon, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to (whether to begin debate on) S. 2343.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 91-3 to confirm Jacqueline Nguyen to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

Yesterday, we identified a long list of potential bills being considered by the House this week. Of special note is The Corporate Welfare Bill: H.R. 2072 the re-authorization of the Export-Import (Ex-IM) Bank and raising the agency’s statutory lending cap by 40% from $100 billion to $140 billion. The Ex-Im Bank is a form of corporate welfare. It provides subsidized financing to foreigners who buy American products, mostly from large companies like Boeing and GE and od all places drilling for oil in Brazil verse the United States.

On Wednesday, the House will vote on reauthorization of a corporate welfare slush fund known as the Export-Import Bank.  The bill, H.R. 2072, would expand Ex-Im’s borrowing authority from $100 billion to $140 billion, potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for the full amount.

In an article yesterday, Phil Kerpen addressed House Republicans:
"Historically, Ex-Im loans have overwhelmingly benefited one company: Boeing.  Boeing is a great company, but it can compete without help from American taxpayers.

"Even worse, in recent years Obama has transformed Ex-Im, which he once correctly denounced as “Little more than a fund for corporate welfare” into the kind of slush fund he can love: one that rewards his cronies in the green energy industry.

Solyndra received $10.3 million from Ex-Im’s “Renewables Express” program on its way to bankruptcy. First Solar, which took a $449 million loss last quarter in a desperate restricting to attempt to avoid bankruptcy, received Ex-Im backing for sales of solar panels to its own Canadian subsidiary.

"Worst of all, three years ago Ex-Im was the pot of money Obama used to massively subsidize offshore oil drilling in Brazil at the same time he was shutting it down here in the United States.

The Republican House was elected thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of tea party activists dedicated to ending corrupt big government manipulation of economy. The House must be reminded that the Export-Import Bank is precisely the kind of program they were elected to end, not to expand.
Kerpen has set up a form on American Commitment  which you can use to contact your member of Congress on this key issue. It was easy -  I even used it to contact my Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR).  You can also call through the switchboard at 202-225-3121.

Bill Wilson of ALG noted: "The Ex-Im Bank, a relic of the Great Depression, as constituted today gives foreign companies an unfair competitive advantage over U.S. companies, and therefore serves little purpose in today's global economy. "Any member that votes for this is going to have to explain why they support a bank that lent over $10 million to bankrupt Solyndra to set up solar panels — in Belgium. Why they support a bank that apparently lent millions to a Mexican drug cartel and an oil company that may have had Russian mob ties. The Ex-Im Bank has outlived its usefulness and must be eliminated."

We’ll find out Wednesday whether House Republicans and alleged conservative democrats are listening to us and are they truly willing to start cutting back on wasteful spending. As I said yesterday, "We can only hope that others will also oppose this bill but until more people are elected who will stop supporting un-constitutional or questionable bills, be they for corporate, public or personal welfare, the United States will continue on the fast track to bankruptcy like Greece."

Of minor note, the House items passed the following bills yesterday:
  • H.R. 4097, (Approved Voice Vote) John F. Kennedy Center Reauthorization Act of 2012 "To amend the John F. Kennedy Center Act to authorize appropriations for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and for other purposes."
  • H.Con.Res. 117, (377 - 0) Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service
  • H.Con.Res. 118, (375 - 0) Concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run
  • H.Con.Res. 106, (Approved Voice Vote) Concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the Greater Washington
  • H.Con.Res. 105, (376 - 0) Authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for an event to celebrate the birthday of King Kamehameha
  • S. 1302, (Approved Voice Vote) A bill to authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in Tracy, California, to the City of Tracy
In an op-ed today for Politico, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell writes, “Few groups today are struggling more under the Obama economy than recent college graduates. More than half either can’t find work or can’t find work to match their skills, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Close to half, or 42 percent, of recent college graduates, a Pew Research Center study found, are back living with their parents.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, “In a study to be released Thursday, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found that recent graduates are taking awhile to find work. Only 49% of graduates from the classes of 2009 to 2011 had found a full-time job within a year of finishing school . . . .” Further, “[T]he class of 2012 faces tougher competition thanks to . . . ‘the recession hangover.’ Young adults who graduated into the dire labor market of 2008 and 2009 and have been out of work or underemployed since are applying for the same jobs as new grads are. The same goes for earlier grads who were laid off during the recession.” And, the WSJ notes, “even when new graduates do find jobs, their starting salaries tend to be lower than those for their counterparts who graduated a decade earlier . . . .”

Last month the AP reported that “[a] weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed” and a recent Pew study found “the gap in employment between the young and all working-age adults—roughly 15 percentage points—is the widest in recorded history.”

As Sen. McConnell writes, “The president has been trying for weeks to convince college students that their struggles have less to do with him than with ‘some in Congress’ who stand in his way. And for weeks, Senate Democrats have echoed his taxpayer-funded distraction and misinformation tour. . . . Fearful that young people might start to realize the reason they need relief right now is because of the Obama economy, Democrats have turned the college loan issue into yet another fake election-year fight. The goal is to distract young people from the fact that they’re suffering disproportionately under this president’s policies.”

This morning, Leader McConnell elaborated, “It’s not exactly a state secret that Senate Democrats have turned the Senate floor into an extension of the Obama campaign over the past few months. And that what happens here these days has a lot more to do with what some political consultant in Chicago thinks is good for the President’s reelection than what the American people think would be good for the country as a whole. . . . Today’s vote on student loan rates is a perfect example of this cynical election-year strategy in action. Rather than working with Republicans to help young people in this country weather the effects of the Obama Economy, Democrats have sought to distract them from it.

“Here’s the real issue behind today’s vote: right now, more than half of college graduates can’t find a decent job. Close to half of them are back at home living with their parents. As a Wall Street Journal article from late last year put it, ‘the U.S. labor market may be in a malaise but young adults are in crisis.’ The real solution, of course, are pro-growth policies that make it easier for U.S. businesses to hire. . . . The real enemy of recent college graduates is this president’s economic policies. Until Democrats are ready to admit that, we’ll keep falling behind. And the real losers will be the young people . . .”

As we can see from the above Congress Faces Major Issues. The question remains "Will it Be Games or Solutions" With the Democrats in control of the Senate. we note the continuance of the Obama Games. Over in the House under Republican leadership they have more options. They can confront the issues. Yes, I realize they are all up for re-election. But consider this, should a military person, a few months from his combat tour potentially ending, say "You go fight the battle comrades, I am hunkering down here to play it safe." Congressmen do not die because of their vote. They often act like their careers are more important than the American people the represent. It is time for solutions which include defunding and eliminating a long list wasteful programs and agencies like the Export-Import Bank.

Tags: Washington, DC, US Senate, college loans, College grads, no jobs, US House, Ex-Im Bank, Export-Import Bank, wasteful spending, corruption, Games or Solutions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:49 AM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous Steve said...

Such a great tips... i read and learn some good things.

5/09/2012  

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