Below are a couple editions of Straight Talk With Sam. This is Congressman Graves newsletters in which he gives a little opinion on current issues. First up the 10/12 edition, the Czars and their lack of accountability. Thanks Congressman Graves for Speaking up about this!

Czars Should Be Accountable to Congress

According to history, the word “czar” is derived from the word Caesar and means emperor. In Eastern Europe and Russia, a Tsar was equivalent to kings. In the United States, the czar title is given by the media to a high level official in an administration.

These officials report to the President and are meant to be in charge of an important policy area. Every President since Franklin Roosevelt has named at least one czar. These czars do not fall under Congressional oversight or require Senate confirmation, because they are members of the President’s staff.

The steady increase of czars is changing our government. We now have an auto czar, a border czar, a drug czar, a health czar, a green jobs czar and the list goes on and on. I believe that any President should run their office as they see fit within the framework of the Constitution. However, creating a new level of bureaucracy that does not answer to Congress has gotten out of hand.

At a minimum the American public has a right to know who these czars are, why they are qualified and what is in their job description. That is why I have signed on to Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s resolution requiring the White House to do just that.

In addition, I believe all czars should testify before Congress. No branch of our government should be more powerful than another. Czars should be accountable to Congress and the American people.


Sam Graves

Up next is the 10/19 edition. In this edition Congressman Graves addresses those that are calling for a second stimulus package. Because the first one worked so well? We now have Christina Romer on video, one of Obama’s “brilliant” economic advisors saying that the stimulus will provide basically no economic growth next year. Gee, I could have told you that. Did these people find their economic degrees in the same Cracker Jack box that President Obama found his Nobel APeaceMent Prize in? America we have a situation analogous to children playing with cutting torches right now.

A Better Stimulus Package, Not a Second One

As the leaves turn in late October, it is clear that the Fall is fully upon us. This time of year is dominated by carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes and scary stories about ghosts, ghouls and goblins. If there are such things as ghosts and goblins, I have no doubt that they originated in Washington D.C. After all, in Washington, no bad idea ever dies.

That rule was proven again last week when word surfaced that some lawmakers were quietly drafting a second stimulus bill. The first “stimulus” bill cost Americans $787 billion and resulted in more government and higher deficits.

Currently, we have an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent. Analysts tell us that the unemployment rate will continue to climb above 10 percent in the coming months. Clearly, this stimulus spending has had little to no impact.

With the largest deficit in American history, Congress needs to focus on legislation that will help create jobs, rather than simply spending more money. The administration has to understand that you cannot spend, tax or bail your way to economic prosperity. Yet that seems to be the only answer coming out of Washington.

Instead of spending billions more; Congress ought to redirect the unspent money from the first stimulus bill toward something that will actually help create jobs. The fastest and most direct way to help families and small businesses is immediate and direct tax relief. It has worked every time it has been tried.

What we need right now is a better stimulus package, not a second one.


Sam Graves


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