The current (July 20) issue of The New American includes our first congressional scorecard on the 111th Congress, which convened in January. The scorecard, entitled “The Freedom Index,” rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements.
It will come as a surprise to many Americans to learn that the Federal Reserve, created by Congress in 1913, has never been audited. Even though the organization possesses complete control over the nation’s monetary system, the Fed remains an untouchable base of power.
“Cap-And-Trade” global-warming legislation that would — by President Barack Obama's own admission — “skyrocket” electricity rates as well as raise taxes on consumers narrowly passed the House of Representatives June 26 by a vote of 219-212. The legislation would levy new taxes and dramatic new regulations in order to cap carbon and other “greenhouse gas” emissions. Congressional Quarterly reported that eight Republicans who voted for the bill tipped the balance in favor of the legislation.
The Washington Post has reported today that Congress will vote Friday on the 1,092-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions in order to fight global warming. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the measure, which is also known as "cap-and-trade" legislation, would create $846 billion in higher taxes and increase federal “direct spending by about $821 billion.” In addition to the direct tax implications, the bill's extensive new “cap-and-trade” regulations could skyrocket all Americans’ utility bills and create massive job losses.
Another sweeping draconian measure from your representatives in Washington is quickly taking shape under H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act (FSEA) of 2009. Though not officially introduced until June 8, this bill seems to be the bill of choice for passage, as opposed to the eight other bills on the same subject that still sit in committees.
The term "Nanny State" refers to the increasing government intrusion in personal life decisions for the "peoples' own good." Advocates of a nanny state argue that it is the role of government to assume a parenting role for adult citizens. The very notion of a nanny state illustrates how those in power truly view us "little people": we are far too dumb to know how to manage our own lives and we need a leviathan federal bureaucracy to tell us what to eat or drink or what to abstain from. The most recent example of the nanny state in action is the legislation by Congress to expand the regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include tobacco. President Barack Obama, himself an admitted smoker who has struggled to quit but suffers frequent relapses, has vowed to sign the legislation into law.
It will come as a surprise to many Americans to know: 1) the Federal Reserve is not part of the U.S. government, but is a private organization; and 2) it has never been audited. But more than half of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives have become cosponsors of Congressman Ron Paul's bill to audit the Fed, and similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
Bill H.R. 1207 to audit the Federal Reserve now has 200 cosponsors. That’s 45 percent of House members, closing in on a whopping 50 percent. Impressive. So much so, the Federal Reserve is hiring public-relations guru and veteran lobbyist Linda Robertson as a resource to advise the Fed on “communications strategies.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $4 billion “Cash for Clunkers” bill on June 9 that is aimed at both increasing fuel economy of cars and bailing out the beleaguered U.S. auto industry. Of course, there’s no guarantee the subsidy would help U.S. automakers, who have generally specialized in larger, gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles and luxury automobiles in recent years. The $4 billion subsidy, which is expected to be drawn from February's $787 billion federal economic stimulus package, may end up subsidizing purchases from Toyota, Honda and other foreign manufacturers that specialize in fuel economy.
On June 4, the House voted 310-118 for a bill (H.R. 2027) limiting the use of whole-body imaging devices as the sole or primary method of screening at airports. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sponsored the bill, which drew support from both sides of the aisle.