The elected representatives of 'we the people' were hard at work last week on our behalf. The new Obama administration churned out proposals and legislation on a variety of fronts including the environment, the economy, and the (former) war on terror.
In response to the Federal Reserve's report of an increasingly gloomy economic forecast, with an expectation for higher unemployment and a steeper drop in economic activity, our public servants in Congress introduced the Paid Vacation Act, requiring companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job.
In a boon to deadbeats, President Obama on Friday signed new credit card legislation and warned the American people to be fiscally responsible, saying "Some get in over their heads by not using their heads," he said. "I want to be clear: We do not excuse or condone folks who've acted irresponsibly."
This lack of money didn't keep Obama from proposing last week that the US contribute $100 billion, of the money we don't have, to help the IMF with global bailouts. And on Friday evening of a holiday weekend, it was leaked that the government had 'loaned' an additional $4 billion of our tax dollars (making a grand total of $19.4 billion) to the soon to be bankrupt General Motors.
Also ignoring this lack of money, our public servants were hard at work trying to figure out how to bail out minority owned media. They're also crafting a hugely expensive overhaul of health care system. The Senate proposed raising the federal excise tax on beer by 145% to pay for it. Uncle Sam also would snatch an additional $7 on a case of wine -- a staggering increase of 233%. And that's just the start.
In case 'we the people' object, Obama's latest budget proposal includes plans to double the budget of the IRS, to make sure all Americans invest their fair share.
Thankfully for Democrats, only 24% of Americans understand what cap and trade is. Probably even fewer understand that this legislation, called the largest tax increase in history, will cost the average family app. $3,100 more per year in energy costs, according to the Heritage Foundation.
Cap and Trade is being rushed through Congress, despite a new report showing that levels of numerous gases linked with air pollution, like carbon monoxide, have fallen off since 2001 and air quality in the U.S. has improved significantly over the last decade. Translation: The greenhouse gases Congress is in such a rush to regulate are at their lowest level in 19 years.
In a rare bit of under reported good news that could help ease our dependence on foreign oil, Louisiana struck gold with a massive natural-gas discovery - estimated at some 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That's the equivalent of 33 billion barrels of oil, or 18 years' worth of current U.S. oil production.
House Democrats yawned, and continued crafting a bill described as a “sweeping” reform of federal drilling rules, effectively reducing incentives for oil companies to take advantage of our own ample energy resources. The House also voted down amendments designed to encourage nuclear power.
Speaking of our number one public servant, last week President Obama reassured an anxious nation that upholding our values will shield us from terror. Whew. Unfortunately, a couple days after this statement, an IED exploded outside a Starbucks in downtown Manhattan. This, just after the FBI apprehended a group of four Muslim bad boys who were allegedly planning on blowing up other portions of New York.
These ex-convicts apparently adopted their fanatical Islamic leanings while incarcerated in U.S. jails. The very jails President Obama seems determined to call home to the really hardened bad boy terrorists currently residing in Camp Gitmo. But hey, Obama is fulfilling his pledge of transparency. Once these Gitmo guys set foot on US soil, they get lots of rights, and should they go to trial, terrorists the world over will reap the transparent benefits of any discovery.
Our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was also hard at work on America's behalf last week, proudly announcing the intention to give gay American diplomats the same benefits their heterosexual counterparts enjoy. Meanwhile, Iran has just moved 6 warships into international waters and North Korea has put the world on alert by performing another nuclear test.
In other assorted work product last week, our Democrat elected officials shot down a GOP inquiry into Speaker Pelosi's very public 'mis-statement' about the CIA. With fellow Dems covering her backside, Speaker Pelosi, on Sunday high tailed it to Shanghai, on the taxpayer's dime. Far away from all those pesky reporters who just aren't supposed to ask her questions she can't answer.
Oh, and House Democrats on Tuesday stopped a Republican plan to force a campaign finance inquiry that likely would have investigated several influential Democrats. It was the eighth time since late February that the Republican move was halted.
This is what our public servants accomplished on our behalf last week. The only remaining question is: What are 'we the people' going to do about it?
This article was originally published in American Thinker, May 26, 2009