novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts tagged Jeff Barnett

The idea of Democrats’ talking about “fiscal sanity” is a bit hard to swallow, but for now we will take Barnett at his word.  Let us examine his words:

When President Clinton left office, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected a $5 trillion surplus over the next decade.

Thank you, Republican Congress.

However, with Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the federal government ran up a $6 trillion deficit.

Uh, no.  The debt was $6T.  If you don’t know the difference, you don’t belong in Congress.

Now, Barnett is not running against George Bush.  He is running for Congress.  So let us look at the deficits while Congress was under Democrat control, and when it was under Republican control.  Democrats were in control of the House from 1955 to 1995, so we’ll start with the 1956 deficit and go to the 1996 deficit.  Republicans then had control of the House from 1995 to 2007, so they are responsible for FY1996 through FY2008.  The Democrats have been in control since then.  In the FY1956-1996 timeframe, the federal deficit averaged 2.17% of GDP.  When the Republicans controlled the House, the deficit averaged 0.81% of GDP — less than half what is was when Democrats were writing the budget.  Since the Democrats retook control of the House — FY2008-2010 — the budget deficit has averaged 7.91% of GDP.  Only during the WWI and WWII eras were the deficits higher.

Two tax cuts, two unfunded wars and one unfunded healthcare benefit (Medicare Part D) destroyed fiscal responsibility in Washington. Now we are in the deepest recession in 75 years. Frank Wolf crafted the budgets that created those record-breaking deficits.

Mr. Barnett again shows his ignorance of the facts.  (I will concede that he may be lying.)  We were attacked in 2001, and by the end of 2001 we had soldiers in Afghanistan.  In 2003, we were at war in Iraq.  The budget deficits for FY2002 and FY2003 were 1.48% of GDP and 3.39% of GDP.  We peaked at 3.48% in FY2004, and dropped all the way to 1.14% of GDP in FY2007 — the last year the Republicans were writing the budget.  So how can Republican policies be responsible for the deficit, when the deficit was coming down until the Democrats took over?

This year the federal government will take in $2.2 trillion and spend $3.6 trillion. This temporary deficit spending is necessary but not sustainable. A Democratic Congress and White House worked together before to balance the federal budget. We can do it again.

When did that happen?  The last balanced budget was in 2001, when Republicans controlled Congress.

I am absolutely committed to balancing the federal budget. It is immoral to pass debt of this magnitude to our children. How we fund government and what we expect from government must change. As a first step, stop squeezing middle class taxpayers.

Are we squeezing the middle class?  In 2001, before the Bush tax cuts, the middle quintile was paying a total federal tax rate of 15.3%.  In 2007, that dropped to 14.3%, according to the CBO.  That’s a 6.5% decrease.  Meanwhile, the total federal tax rate for the top quintile dropped 6.0%.

Start taxing the wealthy at the same rate as the middle class. Under the Alternative Minimum Tax, couples making more than $433,000 a year pay a lower marginal tax rate than couples making $150,000.

The marginal top rate under the AMT is 28%.  That are starts at $175,000 for married couples filing jointly.  Below that, the rate is 25%.  Here again, Barnett is either wrong or lying.

The super-wealthy not only pay a lower percentage in income tax; they also pay a smaller percentage in capital gains tax. No wonder we have a federal deficit.

The long-term Capital Gains tax under the AMT is 25% at all income levels.  Under the normal tax code, that rate tops out at 15%.  Is Barnett lying again, or wrong again?

As a second step, we must cut discretionary spending. Because the Defense Department spends half of all discretionary spending, it has to be part of the solution. America spends about as much as the rest of the world combined on defense. As we complete our two wars, we must reshape our defenses within affordable budgets.

All defense spending, including both Afghanistan and Iraq, is less than our total deficit.  If we were to completely eliminate the DoD and dismantle our military, we would still not have a balanced budget. As I mentioned before, the deficit has not seen these levels except during WWI and WWII.  Then, the culprit was military spending, and everyone knew it would come down when the war was over.  But discretionary spending is not the problem now.  Entitlements are.

These two steps are easier said than done. They will generate armies of lobbyists in response. The same fear tactics and half-truths used in the healthcare debate will reappear. However, decisions of this magnitude are what Members of Congress sign up to do. Voters deserve to know exactly what their Congressman will support. We must regain fiscal sanity in Washington.

If you want to regain fiscal sanity, we must first confront fiscal reality.  Bartlett fails to do that.

This is the first in a series of posts in which I will repost the contents of Jeff Barnett’s ISSUES page and deconstruct what he says.

The first topic is Create Jobs:

Our thirty-year incumbent Congressman has a terrible record on job creation. In 2009 he voted against a bill that created 1.4 to 3.3 million jobs. Just this year, he voted against a bill that will reduce the deficit and save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, and firemen around the country, including thousands here in Virginia.

Of course, the “created 1.4 to 3.3 million jobs” claim is pure speculation.  Nothing is said about where the money came from.  If it was taken in taxes, then it was taken from those who would invest it or spend it.  That side of the equation is not addressed at all.  How many jobs were lost because that money was not available in the private sector?

That Barnett cites Blue Virginia is a complete joke.  Then ban anyone who disagrees with them, because they cannot argue from logic.  They claim that the bill would provide $540M to Virginia.  OK, but the Education Jobs Fund costs $23B.  So Virginia would get about 2.35% of the money.  But Virginia has 2.56% of the country’s population.  And since we also have the 6th highest per capita income, we get taxed at higher rates than does the nation as a whole.  Get taxed (or indebted) to the tune of $600M to get $540M in benefits — nevermind the wasteful federal bureaucracy required to administer the program?  No thanks.

Virginia can’t afford a Congressman who stands in the way of job creation. That’s why I have put together a comprehensive series of short term, mid term, and long term initiatives to create jobs.

In the short term, we must help small business, the #1 source of new jobs.
How do we do this?

  • Give small business and the self-employed the same healthcare rates as big corporations.
  • How does the federal government give what it does not have? By taking it from someone who has it. Since the federal government does not have control of insurance premiums, it will have to take that control from the insurance companies.

  • Help small banks; they extend credit to small business to invest and hire
  • Why do small banks need help? Perhaps just getting off their backs, and not threatening them with discrimination lawsuits if they don’t give loans to those who cannot afford them would help.

  • End today’s overwhelming focus on large omnibus government contracts. Allow small companies to really compete with big corporations.
  • Here, I think he may be onto something. However, the reason the government likes large omnibus contracts is that they reduce government overhead.

    In the mid term we need to build for the future. Public/private partnerships are the key. The internet, genetic drugs, commercial jet aircraft — all started with government “seed” money. Private entrepreneurs took government programs and spun-off world-class commercial industries. Their spin-offs created next-generation jobs. The secret is to work with government agencies and technological innovators. As your Congressman, I will initially focus on green jobs and the IT/Intelligence Community. Both have huge upsides. Both are ideal for the 10th Congressional District.

    I know how this works. I did it when I was in business as a corporate advisor. I wrote about it in my first book. Bottom line: I know how to create 21st Century Jobs.

    He also has some good ideas here. Much good has come from public/private partnerships. I’m all for spending money on basic research. It is very difficult for the States to come up with the capital to invest in such projects, and in the aggregate they do benefit the States generally, and thus qualify as legitimate spending under the General Welfare clause.

    In the long term, we need to build life-long education and training for workers displaced by continuing waves of new technology. The era where a person can graduate from college at 22 and spend forty years at the same company is over. We need the ability to continually go back to school to learn the skills needed to succeed in our constantly changing economy.

    School does not teach up-to-date skills. They cannot. By the time it gets to be taught in schools, it’s several years old. Anyone with a professional education should already be keeping his skills up to date. If he is not, he has only himself to blame. Furthermore, who do they tax the most? College grads. (They make more, so they get taxed at higher rates.) So, Barnett’s plan is to take money from the college grads, to give it to the college grads. Naturally, some of this will be siphoned off to support the useless bureaucrats who implement this circular transfer of money. Brilliant.

    It appears that the Democrat strategists in Northern Virginia believe they’ve found the secret formula for selecting candidates:  clone Jim Webb.  The truth is that with a Jim Webb clone, they may as well combine the genes of Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.  Throw in a little Charlie Rangel, and you’d be pretty close to the DNA of the Democrats in the House.  There is no such thing as a “moderate Democrat” any more.  In the Obama/Emmanuel/Pelosi/Reid world, you toe the loony-left line, or get the ax.

    The Democrats are putting up Webb-clone Jeff Barnett to run against Rep. Frank Wolf.  Barnett is like a bad imitation of Jim Webb’s younger brother.  You can almost imagine Barnett trying on Brother Jim’s big pants at night, when no one is watching.

    Like Jim, Jeff has a military background.  Like Jim, Jeff talks tough in public.  Like Jim, Jeff appears to be a normal, Northern Virginian retired government employee.  But, just like Jim, scratch the surface and a liberal monster appears.

    What you find under the surface is a loyal supporter of each and every loony scheme the far-left leaders of Jimmy-Jeff’s party concoct.

    The Democrats learned long ago to hide their true beliefs and their true goals for America.  Especially in a solid district like Frank Wolf’s 10th Virginia, the Democrats must conceal their true core beliefs and objectives.  But Webb has a voting record he cannot conceal.  Let’s look at some of his vote ratings:

    Issue:  Abortion

    Rater:  NARAL Pro-Choice (abortion supporters);  Webb’s score:  A perfect 100/100 support for unrestricted abortion.

    Issue:  LIberal, Anti-American litigation

    Rater:  ACLU;  Webb’s score:  90/100, for a solid B+ in the mainstream of Congressional liberals.

    Issue:   Right to work

    Rater:  AFL/CIO (liberal union); Webb’s score:  98/100, almost perfect support for job-killing unions.

    Issue:  Defense

    Rater:  Center for Security Policy (Conservative defense group); Webb’s score:  30/100, a failing grade in the area that Webb pretends he’s not liberal.  But votes don’t lie, Jim!

    Issue:  Education

    Rater:  NEA (Ultra-liberal, anti-child educators union); Webb’s score:  A, for his unfailing support of the teachers union and administrators against freedom of education for our children.

    If Jim Webb had run on the above voting record, he would not have been elected.  Jim Webb, like most of the rest of the Democrat cabal roosting in our Congress provides 100% support to the raving loony left’s schemes to seize control of the economy, the auto industry, banks, the oil industry, energy, and more.  Jim Webb toes the loony left line with each of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid votes for more and more socialism and less and less freedom.

    And just like Jim, Jeff Barnett is a “proud” supporter of Obamacare.

    And just like Jim, Jeff Barnett blames business for the housing market scandal.

    And just like Jim, Jeff Barnett is scared to death to deal with the reality of the housing collapse.  Jimmy-Jeff does not want us to hear about the revolving door that provided rewards from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Democrat toadies–$90 million to Franklin Raines alone.

    If you liked the housing collapse at the hands of Pelosi/Reid/Webb, then you’ll love what the Democrats have planned next–Vote Jeff Barnett!

    Frank Wolf believes in accountability, and the rule of law.  Frank Wolf is on the lookout for the rights of all Americans, not just select Democrat interest groups.  Frank Wolf or Jimmy/Jeff Webb/Barnett.  Your Virginia, your call.