August 25, 2009

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There

It is being reported that the federal budget deficit for this year will top $1.6 Trillion and will be upwards of $9 Trillion in the next ten years ( These are astoundingly huge numbers and are difficult to even comprehend.
The budget deficit describes the difference between the amount that is being collected in taxes and the amount that is being spent by Congress. What we have with these deficit projections is record spending with the check being picked up (eventually) by our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. To put things in perspective, imagine you decided to go on a spending binge, buying everything your heart desired regardless of cost, with the catch being that all of your debt would be paid by your future heirs. Would you be comfortable doing this to your children? I don't think any responsible individual would, but that is exactly what Nancy Pelosi, Brian Baird, and other liberal progressives in Congress are doing.
To be fair, President Obama did inherit a deficit of $482 billion -- $170 billion of this is the direct result of the first "stimulus" that was passed (Obama voted for it while in the Senate). As a result, in eight short months, liberals have expanded the deficit nearly five fold. Over this same period, unemployment has risen from approximately 5% to 9.4% with projections that it will be double-digits early next year. To compound the situation, the Democrat-controlled Congress has passed a tax increase, the House has passed the so-called Cap and Trade legislation that will hamper economic growth, and now they are considering adding $2 Trillion to the deficit by taking over health care. I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like I live in bizarro world where up is down and spending more money is actually viewed as "controlling costs".
As a financial advisor, I constantly work with clients to determine how best to manage their money and plan for their future. If a client comes to me with a debt level that is unsustainable, we first look at ways to reduce the debt. If that same client went to this government, they would be told to spend more. Our government is making decisions that will have a detrimental affect on our future, and that of future generations of Americans. However, as Americans we have a say in our destiny and that means we still have the ability to build a bright future.
First, we need to renew the call for a balanced budget amendment. Every state and local government in the nation must balance their budgets, there is no reason why the federal government should not do the same. One of the remarkable things about passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution would be that every state in the union would be debating the merits, and the decision would ultimately rest in the hands of "we the people" in individual states.
Second, John F. Kennedy was profound when he said "Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government." It has been proven time and time again that a reduction in the marginal tax rates stimulate economic growth - Kennedy proved it, Reagan proved it, George W. Bush proved it, and Democrats in Congress owe it to the American people to do it.
Third, we must reduce or eliminate the capital gains tax. Again, history is on the side of tax cutters. Revenues to the government have increased when the capital gains tax was reduced ( Moreover, the complete elimination of capital gains taxes would spur investment, job growth, and research by giving business owners, executives, and individual investors more capital to inject into the economy, expand businesses, and invest in new equipment and technology.
Finally, the Congress should seriously explore putting a cap on spending (e.g. the rate of core inflation ( plus population growth). As economist Stephen Moore has pointed out "a cap would reduce aggregate outlays through 2019 by $750 billion and by 2030 by $3 trillion" (source: WSJ 8/6/09). Furthermore, it would force Congress to end the practice of earmarks and would require our leaders to make the tough decisions that we send them to Congress to make.
We live in challenging and remarkable times. We are not, however, facing insurmountable problems. The American people (not our government) have shown the way to prosperity in the past and the same holds true for our future. I am looking forward to being a new voice for you in Washington, DC. Someone who upholds the values of individual liberty, responsibility, and self-reliance -- values that this country was founded on.
It is time for Congress to hear our one, strong voice. Join me as I fight to ensure that all of our voices our heard.

August 16, 2009

Americans Deserve To Know What's Happening to Their Nation's Defenses

Democrats in Congress, in concert with the Obama administration, have been attempting to rush through legislation that will fundamentally change America. As you might expect with legislation of this magnitude, the vast majority of Americans are focused on these major pieces of legislation. However, we must not forget what Nancy Pelosi and Brian Baird are doing to our nation's defenses.

In today’s changing security environment, America faces many different types of threats. North Korea regularly fires missiles in the direction of the West Coast while our soldiers fight against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. We should never become numb to these threats and conflicts, and we must never let down our guard; we should always remember that without a strong national defense, we simply will not survive as a free nation.

It is the duty of every generation – both civilians and those in uniform – to uphold our nation’s liberties and to see to its defense. As a civilian that once proudly served my country in the U.S. Navy, I am constantly reminded of our duty to stay informed, make our voice heard in government, and vote.

With that in mind, I am deeply concerned with what’s happening in Washington with regard to our nation’s defenses. Why? Because Democrats are recklessly cutting our defense budget in a time of war.

The President’s 2010 defense budget request is for $534 billion. And while some might simply look at President Bush’s 2009 budget of $515 billion and conclude that Obama is asking for an increase, they should look more closely. If war supplemental spending for both Presidents are added, we find that the 2010 Obama budget totals $30 billion less than President Bush’s overall 2009 budget of $647 billion. A $30 billion cut in a time of war!

And these spending cuts won’t come from government efficiencies or eliminating waste. In fact, President Obama and Democrats in Congress are degrading the current military advantages we enjoy over land, at sea, and in the air by cutting capabilities.

For instance, cuts to the F-18 Super Hornet are endangering the capabilities of our naval forces by creating a dangerous fighter aircraft shortfall. Multi-purpose F-35 fighters have run into significant delays, and won’t be delivered until 2015 at the earliest. Meanwhile, the administration and Democrats in Congress have failed to purchase enough proven F-18 Super Hornets to make up for a gaping fighter jet shortfall of at least 200 aircraft – four aircraft carriers worth.

While the argument is that the Hornet will be replaced with the carrier version of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the truth is that the F-35 is not a replacement, but a compliment to the F-18. Democrats could easily solve the problem by purchasing more F-18’s now, but they have stubbornly refused.

In addition, the Democratic-dominated Congress has just eliminated the most dominating fighter ever produced, the F-22 Raptor. Again, the excuse for cutting the F-22 is that the Air Force version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be coming online. Again, the F-35 is not a replacement for the far more capable F-22, but a compliment to it and it is more than two years behind schedule. With Russia and China taking an adversarial stance against the United States, siding with countries like Iran and the aforementioned North Korea that are threatening American interests, does it make sense to eliminate the one aircraft that is capable of penetrating the most sophisticated air defenses?

Our missile defenses are also on the chopping block, with ground-based anti-ballistic missile systems being cut just as they are showing the most promise. With North Korea threatening Hawaii and the West Coast by testing nuclear bombs as well as ballistic missiles with ranges of 4,000 miles, does this make sense?

As a veteran of the United States Navy, I remember well the mission: defeat any threats to the continued free use of the high seas by the United States. This high mission requires constant vigilance, at peace or at war. Staying on the cutting edge of military capability on land, sea and air is the best way to deter our adversaries from aggressive action against America and her allies. Is this not worth our generation’s time and treasure as we fulfill our duty to protect our nation’s freedom?

I need your help to be a voice in Congress for a strong national defense. Visit and donate today!

August 8, 2009

Honoring Those You Serve

It has been a truly interesting and incredibly revealing week in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Not only has our current member of Congress, Brian Baird, compared constituents protesting against government run health care to “brown shirts” and “Nazis”, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Baird took a trip to the Great Barrier Reef that cost taxpayers $103,000 (this does not include the cost of the military aircraft)

This trip is being reported on the heels of another story in the Journal that detailed Baird’s “scientific discovery” trip to the Galapagos Islands. It has now become clear why Baird, Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats in Congress spent $500 Million in taxpayer dollars to buy more airplanes for their travel.

Baird’s trips and his recent comments underscore the level of arrogance and hypocrisy that plagues this Congress. By comparing constituents who disagree with you to Nazis who are creating a “environment that gave us Timothy McVeigh”, you are not only dismissing and diminishing the very real concerns that the American populace have, but you are also attempting to set yourself above the very people you serve rather than serving among them.

Robert K. Greenleaf states in his book Servant Leadership that “too many who presume to lead do not see more clearly, and in defense of their inadequacy, they all the more strongly argue that the ‘system’ must be preserved…”. We are seeing Greenleaf’s words play out in the current Congress. Our leaders believe they know better and do not want to be bothered with “petty” desires of we the little people. That is not leadership. Leadership is a willingness to engage with those with whom you might disagree, not to belittle and demonize those people. Leadership is a willingness to serve and, through that service, elevate others who also wish to lead.

I have dedicated a large portion of my life to public service, whether during my time in the United States Navy, or serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Bush. In every instance, I had the opportunity to not only lead, but also work for leaders who truly cared about people. I saw, first hand, the level of hate filled vitriol that was spewed at President Bush during his eight years in office, and I was amazed at his ability to remain calm and thoughtful in the face of outright hostility. It’s quite ironic that our Democrat members of Congress could learn something from the way President Bush carried himself in the face of adversity.

I am looking forward to being a new leader, and new voice for the people of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. We have a true opportunity to restore humility, fiscal sanity, and empathy to the Congress. I am looking forward to the journey, and a vigorous debate with Brian Baird over who can best serve the people of Southwest Washington. I hope you will join me on this journey.