Posts Tagged ‘Straight Talk With Sam’

Below is the Feb. 1st edition of Straight Talk with Sam, the Congressman’s e-newsletter. In it Congressman Graves discusses Obama’s spending “freeze.”

Freeze Spending At Reasonable Level

We’ve all heard the cliché about closing the barn doors after the horse has bolted. The lesson is that you cannot prevent a problem that has already happened. But that is exactly what the President proposed to do in his State of the Union speech.

He proposed a spending freeze on non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending. Discretionary spending is the spending over which Congress has direct control. Other programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, are entitlement programs whose spending increases are based on a formula.

I agree with the President that we need to rein in Washington spending. However, we need far more than a spending freeze to repair a budget deficit that was $1.4 trillion last year and is projected to be $1.35 trillion this year.

The programs that the President is now proposing to freeze already received an enormous spending increase of 17.4% last year. Yes, we need to freeze spending, but not at last year’s budget-busting levels. Congress overspent last year. We need to freeze spending at a more reasonable level. It’s disingenuous to talk about fiscal discipline after approving one of the largest spending sprees in history.

For far too long, Washington has simply increased spending without worrying about where that money would come from. I’m glad that Congress is at least discussing spending less money. However, the time for half-hearted measures is over. We must begin to make tough decisions about our priorities. We need to get the horse back in the barn.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

Below is the most recent edition of Straight Talk With Sam Graves. In it he gives comment on the newest insult to freedom, HR 3296 “Nancycare.”What a surprise it’s as bad as conservatives have been warning it would be.

Same Bill, Same Problems

This past August, I held 23 town hall meetings across the district. I heard over and over again that my constituents did not want a government takeover of health care. That message was not delivered by slick television ads or special interest lobbyists. Instead, it was delivered by everyday people who had finally had enough. I heard the message loud and clear, but that was not the case for everyone.

Last week, Speaker Pelosi introduced her version of health care reform. The 1,990 page proposal is very similar to the plan that Americans overwhelmingly rejected in August. It costs just over $1 trillion dollars.

Who is going to pay for it? In short, we all are. The bill proposes billions in new taxes. Small businesses that file as individuals will be hit hard. It will also require all but the smallest of businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, regardless of their ability, or pay a penalty.

The bill will also require individuals to buy health insurance. Those who don’t will pay the federal government a penalty fee. In addition, there are new taxes on medical devices like wheelchairs and bandages. The bill would also cut nearly $500 billion from Medicare.

In short, this bill will increase your insurance premiums, cost us jobs with new taxes and mandates, and cut billions from our seniors’ Medicare benefits. That is not common sense reform. I will oppose this bill and work to pass common sense health insurance reform.

Sincerely,

Sam Graves

 

Three recent copies of Straight Talk with Sam Graves are posted below. The first one from 9/21 Mr. Graves proves why he is so well liked here in Clay County. I agree, FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION!

Follow the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Those 52 words begin the Constitution of the United States of America. Last week, we celebrated Constitution Day. On September 17, 1787 thirty-nine men signed the document in Philadelphia. The document set forth the framework of the government and its relationship with the people. Today it is still the oldest written Constitution in use.

Our Founding Fathers wrote a document that put the people in charge of their own government. It was not a perfect document and has been amended 27 times. However, the basic framework of our government has never changed. This document was meant to ensure that our government was always a government for the people, of the people and by the people.  

I am concerned about what is happening in Washington today. The federal government has expanded beyond the limited role envisioned in this Constitution. Each day seems to bring news of another government bureaucracy that has been created, a private company that has been bailed out or taken over by the federal government.

The best way to honor our Constitution is to follow it. We need to bring some sanity back to Washington and it starts with both the Administration and lawmakers following the Constitution.

Sincerely, 

Sam Graves

The next from 9/28 discusses a bill to force our legislatures to post any bill online 72 hours before a vote. Seems logical and reasonable to me, but we all know that WADC has no mononpoly on these two concepts.

We Should All Know What Is In the Bill

Experts recommend that you have a 72-hour kit prepared in case of an emergency. After a major disaster, services that we would normally depend on like electricity, water or even phone service can be disrupted. That’s why having a kit that includes a flash light, food, water and a first-aid supply is important.

The first 72 hours of any emergency are always the most dangerous. It is a short, but critical period of time. This week a bill was filed to require all legislation to be posted online for 72 hours before a vote. That too would be a short, but critical period of time.

At my town halls in August, every constituent wanted to know why Members of Congress were not given time to read the bill before voting on it. In June, a 316 page amendment was tacked on to the Cap and Trade bill at 3:09 a.m. before voting began on the legislation later that same day. No one could have possibly read that bill in its entirety, yet Members of Congress were asked to make a decision based on what others said was or was not in the bill.

This is a simple and common sense idea. I have signed onto the discharge position that would bring this bill to the floor for an up or down vote. If the Speaker supports this proposal, she should schedule it for a vote so that Members of Congress, the press and all Americans can fully read and understand what is in the bill.

Sincerely, 

Sam Graves

The next one, from Oct. 5, addresses Washington’s priorities and the debt that many of our elected officials have so kindly amassed for us. Thanks guys and gals, my grandchildren will have you to blame. The debt statistics are simply absurd, Bush and the congress spent like a drunken soldier, Obama and the congress are spending like alcoholics who are trying to committ suicide. Can you please stop!

Washington Has the Wrong Priorities

Happy New Year. The apple did not drop in New York and no one sang Auld Lang Syne, but the government has started a new budget year none-the-less. On Thursday, the federal government ended one fiscal year and began a new one. However, it was not a good year for taxpayers.

Overall, the federal government will borrow 43 cents for every dollar that it spends in the just completed fiscal year of 2009. The national debt now stands at $11.77 trillion. This is a $3.1 trillion or 35.8% increase since January 2007. The most recent estimate available for the year’s deficit is $1.58 trillion which is $1.12 trillion or 244 percent more than last year, at that time the highest deficit in American history.

Yet, no one in Washington is talking about fiscal responsibility. Instead of talking about saving money and reducing government, the conversation is about spending money and growing government. We were told that we had to spend all of that money to create jobs. We now know that it doesn’t work that way.

With an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent nationwide, it is now clear that simply spending money is not going to fix our problems. Washington must learn that you cannot spend, tax or bail your way to prosperity.

Washington has the wrong priorities and they are out of step with the American people. We need to get a handle on our spending problem and we ought to be working to set the table for economic growth.

Sincerely, 

Sam Graves