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Monday, May 2, 2016

Starting the 112th Congress off right

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It happens every two year. Another session of Congress is sworn-in. Sometimes the majority party retains control. Sometimes, like this year, the previous minority party wins enough seats to retake the majority.

When the 112th Congress convened recently, it was accompanied by a unique event. For the first time, the full text of the United States Constitution was read aloud on the House Floor. The reading of the Constitution -- alternating between Republican and Democrat speakers -- marked a new chapter for how things ought to be done.

The Constitution was the first document defining the government as a conduit of the people and preventing the infringement upon the rights of its citizens. Put simply, the Constitution grants the federal government a limited role in the lives of the American people.

For too long, Congress has ignored the proper limits imposed by the Constitution on the federal government. Instead of creating an even bigger federal government and empowering more bureaucracy, we should return to the principles of limited-government espoused by this founding document.

Notably, the House of Representatives has adopted a rule which requires any bill introduced in the 112th Congress be accompanied by a statement outlining its Constitutionality. This will serve to remind members of Congress of the oath we took to support and defend our Constitution.

It is our responsibility to the American people we live up to this ideal. Our nation's debt is more than $14 trillion, unemployment has pushed 10 percent for months, and ObamaCare continues to create a climate of uncertainty.

In September, House Republicans unveiled a governing agenda which called for an immediate end to Washington's spending binge by returning non-defense, discretionary spending for fiscal year 2011 to the pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels of fiscal year 2008. This first step would save the American people $100 billion this fiscal year alone.

Now is the time for Congress to take steps to put our fiscal house in order, enact job-creating measures, and relieve American businesses from burdensome government regulations. Congress needs to take a hard look at entitlement and other mandatory spending programs which are rife with fraud and inefficiency.

While eliminating wasteful government spending is a good first step, we must get serious about reducing the massive debt our nation is facing. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are completely innocent when it comes to the economic downturn, and now is the time for both parties to come together to make tough choices.

The American people deserve real results. They want us to focus on cutting federal spending, providing tax relief for families and small businesses, and impeding the growth of government. These are the commonsense policies which will get our economy back on track.

On the morning of January 6th, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle read the words written in 1787 which established the greatest nation on Earth. It will be a historic challenge to live up to these ideals of good government.


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Dear Representative Smith

If you expect your opinions and actions to be taken seriously, then be serious and quit referring to the "Affordable Care Act" as "Obamacare" -- the elections are over. Your job as Representative for the Nebraska 3rd District is to represent all constituents within your district in an unbiased professional manner. Please try to refrain from using political rhetoric while serving in your official capacity as our elected Representative.

You often claim to be a staunch proponent of Small Business, yet you don't seem to address many of the real issues surrounding their concerns. The solutions to their problems cannot always be addressed by reducing the "burdensome government regulations" you often quote as being the core problem. In fact, most can be attributed to lack of regulations and or proper oversight of those regulations.

Small Business concerns from across the country have finally come together in an effort to change the unbalance of tax obligations resulting from the ever increasing use of Offshore Tax Havens by U.S. Multinational Corporations and Banks. Offshore tax havens reward tax evaders, rob public coffers of needed revenue and offload taxes to responsible businesses and households.

Over the last two decades, there has been a marked increase in the use of international tax havens for the principal purpose of tax avoidance. Several hundred U.S. multinational banks and corporations utilize tax havens to reduce or eliminate their taxes and shift tax responsibilities onto the backs of domestic businesses and individual taxpayers. Our economy and domestic business sector is undermined when large companies are rewarded for financial manipulation rather than productive investment, innovation and job creation.

Fifty years ago, corporate income taxes accounted for 23.2% of federal government receipts, and individual income tax payments were less than twice those of large corporations' tax payments. Today, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget estimates corporate tax receipts will account for just 7.2% of federal revenues in

2010, with large corporations contributing less than one-sixth as much as small business and individual taxpayers to the Federal Treasury (small businesses most often pay taxes according to their owner's individual tax rates). One significant reason for this shift is large corporations' ability to shift domestic income to offshore subsidiaries in tax havens.

U.S. multinational corporations count on roads, airports, courts, telecommunications, public education and a whole host of other infrastructure and public services that are paid for by our tax dollars. It is unfair for them to use this infrastructure for free or heavily discounted -- subsidized by the rest of us. Tax Havens distort the economy by favoring Wall Street and global corporations over Main Street businesses and community banks. Tax havens foster an unlevel playing field that penalizes businesses that responsibly pay their taxes.

http://businessagainsttaxhavens.org/wp-c...

Deregulation of our financial system has been proven to be the major factor leading to our current economic crises. How can you realistically justify further deregulation when the facts absolutely do not support that position?

http://cop.senate.gov/documents/cop-0129...

One final question Representative Smith concerning the recently passed "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010", known as bill HR 4853. In section 745 which addresses Expensing of Environmental Remediation Costs, I noticed the effective date was pushed back to Dec. 31, 2009. Does this mean that BP will be able to expense their costs of remediation involved with the recent Gulf Oil Spill?

Estimates of BP's costs are nearly $40 billion and climbing. Since this expensing will drastically reduce their taxable income it will amount to a large loss of tax revenue and place a further burden on small business concerns. Does this amount to a back door bailout for the oil industry? Could you please clarify this issue for me?

SEC. 745. EXPENSING OF ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION COSTS.

(a) IN GENERAL.--Subsection (h) of section 198 is amended by striking ''December 31, 2009'' and inserting ''December 31, 2011''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.--The amendment made by this section shall apply to expenditures paid or incurred after December 31, 2009.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext...

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news...

http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/final-...

Thanks for considering my concerns,

Best Regards to you and your family

-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 8:21 AM

Went on a cruise last year.. Was going to mexico, but the desease scare rerouted the ship to the cayman islands. Visiting there, there were 500+ banks that had an office on this island. The other industry seemed to be jewelry stores.. Just saying, something is definetely wrong.

-- Posted by mickhaney on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 10:07 AM

A great post Geezer, but don't expect and intelligent answer from the him. The only thing he can offer is the "party line talking points."

Sad, very sad.

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 9:15 PM

Geezer seems to have the dems talking points down pretty darn good!

Sad, very sad.

-- Posted by remington81 on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 9:06 AM

remington81

I post my comments based on well documented researched facts that relate to the issue as much as possible -- I didn't realize facts were only associated with the Democratic Party. I learn something new everyday.

I don't know if I should consider your comment an insult or a compliment.

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 4:34 PM

I'm wondering why geezer is so pre-occupied with tax revenue...and not real cuts in government spending.

Geezer stated well researched facts for his/her assertions. Well, then Geezer, got any well researched facts about the last country that taxed themselves into prosperity?

Hmmm.

-- Posted by Mickel on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 6:44 PM

Mickel

Because unfortunately, taxes are the method nearly every government in the world utilizes to fund the public systems we all take for granted. Every generation before us met their obligation in this manner, why should our generation be any different?

Apparently you didn't read any of my comments or you have interpreted them out of context. My argument is in fact trying to accomplish lower tax rates by eliminating the offshore tax havens which place an unfair burden on our Small Business community. Why do you think our Treasury Department sued Switzerland to obtain names of individuals and corporations utilizing tax havens?

The reality is that our country is growing at a rate of nearly 1% a year and the life expectancy is also increasing. It is unrealistic to think that the government we rely on to administer our national and international policies will not have to grow accordingly.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear for you -- our current financial crises did not stem from high taxes or a bloated oversized government. It came about primarily due to deregulation and lack of oversight which allowed speculative trading to take place beyond what is considered prudent by anyones standard. It cost us dearly.

I have included a link to an article that compares countries with the highest and lowest tax rates -- pros and cons. Enjoy

http://www.businesspundit.com/12-countri...

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1249...

-- Posted by Geezer on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 10:39 PM


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U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith
Washington Report