Ricky Gill to address National GOP Convention

ricky gill, congress, california, 9th districtRicky Gill, a Lodi family farmer running in California’s competitive 9th Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney, will be one of a select number of candidates to address the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on August 27. Continue reading “Ricky Gill to address National GOP Convention”

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U.S. Debt by Party and President

Neither Republicans or Democrats have any credibility in claiming to offer effective checks on spending, the U.S. deficit, or National Debt.

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When it comes to determining if one U.S. political party or institution—White House, Senate or Congress—neither Republicans or Democrats have any credibility in claiming to offer effective checks on spending, the U.S. deficit, or National Debt. Any claim to the contrary simply is not true when we look at the data.

I prepared this chart for my poli sci class. I used the department of the Treasury website for the debt and GDP figures and I used the CBO website for the deficit figures. I did not use inflation adjustments and all sorts of other corrections to the estimations (and folks these are estimates—no two sites agree), but the “as a % of GDP” columns do provide some of the stability necessary for comparison.

Deficit/Surplus is the annual shortfall between revenue and outlays. Debt is the cumulative effects of those shortfalls. Off budget spending I just don’t know much about—for example the Iraq war has allegedly been largely “off-budget”. I then simply divided each of those columns by the GDP estimate for that year. Since I don’t use inflation adjusted dollars, those are the best column for comparisons.

In 2007 about 8.7% of the US budget was spent paying interest on the debt.

Note too that if you add the deficit from any one year to the debt for that year, it seldom equals the debt for the next year. There have been significant “off-budget” expenditures of various sorts that doesn’t show up in deficit estimates but do eventually have to have an IOU written for them (debt). This is particularly the case in the last few years of Bush 2.

No combination of party control of the major political institutions does any better or any worse than any other combination as far as I can see. The Obama, Dem majority in Senate and House combination has done the “worst” but that’s not a product of the Dems in sole control (since the other instances of Dems in sole control aren’t like the 2009 row).

Anyway, I concluded I’d never hire any of these folks to watch over my household finances. (If you don’t get this in color and with bold—1998-2001 are years of surplus).

U.S. Debt by Party

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Garamendi Town Hall

Congressman John Garamendi holds first Town Hall meeting in Livermore. And No, he did not read the Healthcare Bill

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Livermore – Newly elected Congressman John Garamendi (CA-10) held his first Town Hall meeting in Livermore yesterday. Congressman Garamendi was joined by Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena, several Members of the Livermore City Council, the President of Las Positas College Dr. DeRionne Pollard, and about 100 members of the public.

Garamendi was not at all shy about what he would like to accomplish as the newest Member of the House of Representatives, telling audience members, “It’s all about jobs!”

Indeed, unemployment numbers are of great concern in California as they very well should be considering the current 12% unemployment rate that many might argue is a low-ball figure. But is it the government’s roll to create jobs? In a pre-bailout, limited government society based on free-market principles one might ask, “how would the government know what’s best for job creation?”

garamendi townhall livermoreOne of the first questions from the audience was regarding government run health care and where the federal government gets the authority to enact such legislation. During the question a statement was made that if the government wants to create jobs they should kill nationalized health care.

Garamendi replied with long-winded justification for the government’s involvement pointing out that he recently voted yes on H.R.3962, which passed in the House by a narrow margin. His comments drew a few boos from the audience, with one woman shouting out, “Shame on you!” There were also some supporters that applauded with approval. Ironically, Garamendi informed us all that, “The more we spend [on health care] the worse the result.” He also talked about Medicare, claiming it was a public option that works. A gentleman sitting next to me replied, “Medicare is bankrupt.”

Other questions were asked about federal assistance with education, programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, water and extending BART to Livermore, where residents’ have long been paying taxes for BART services (over 50 years) with no tracks laid beyond the Dublin/Pleasanton station.

garamendi townhall afghanistanGaramendi mentioned that there has been a reduction in federal funding for community colleges from roughly $15,000 per student down to $8,700 per student per year. Due to the reduction, Garamendi suggested that the number of students enrolled in community colleges throughout the state will be lower than in years passed. He asserted that extending BART to Livermore is for the communities to decide, not him. He also told audience members that, “the climate is changing” and “sea levels are rising.”

Back in May, I asked candidate Garamendi about his position on the undeclared military police actions in the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Afghanistan and if he would support bringing the troops home from those conflicts safely and securely. Surprisingly, the self proclaimed ‘Proven Democrat’ explained that he was always against the war in Iraq, but that Afghanistan was a completely different story since it bordered Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons. He even went as far to suggest that we would see an expanded effort inside of Pakistan in the near future.

Apparently, Garamendi holds a different perspective now on U.S. military presence in Afghanistan stating that he would not support an increase in U.S. troop levels within that country.

I also asked Garamendi if he actually read the 2000-page health care reform bill (H.R.3962) before voting yes on the legislation. Garamendi replied that he, “read a summary of the important parts of the bill.” Garamendi staffers actually had copies of the summary that were made available for the public to review.

The summary was only 4-pages! The summary section that covered “impos[ing] a surtax on the income of individuals who do not obtain health care coverage and on employers who fail to satisfy health coverage participation requirements” didn’t stop Garamendi from voting yes! Nor did the summary section that spelled out a “5.4% surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000” or the “2.5% excise tax on medical devices.”

You can only begin to question the principles of a Representative whose first action in Congress was to vote yes on a massive unconstitutional government take-over of health care that he didn’t even take the time to read!

We all understand that a 4-page summary of a complicated 2,000 page bill can not possibly give enough information about legislation that will affect every American’s life.

Next time, Congressman Garamendi should consider reading the U.S. Constitution… it’s only 4,400 words, none of which grant authority for federal government run health care.

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Garamendi vote helps pass healthcare bill

John Garamendi’s first vote helped t pass historic healthcare legislation

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The House of Representatives narrowly passed a Health Care bill 220-215. The narrow margin underscores the role that the two special elections for Congress played last week combined with the lone Republican that voted for the measure.

Without the combination of Democrats winning both Congressional elections (NY-23 and CA-10) and the cross over of Rep Cao (R-LA) where the very issue of government health care played a major role, the measure might have been defeated 217-218.

The measure still has to be squared away with a Senate version, but nevertheless, the voters of the district who weighed in on the issue with +12,000 votes for Garamendi got exactly what they were demanding and he was promising: one more YES vote for health care reform.

While many of the readers of this blog and in Californian budget politics in general are spoiled with the idea that a minority rule is acceptable (that is the subject of another upcoming post) at least for this vote, the majority prevailed.

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CD-10 Livermore Exit Poll

Exit Poll in Livermore for CD-10 Special Election

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Today, from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM Halfway to Concord conducted an exit poll in Livermore at the Rincon Branch Library polling station.

Normally, the City of Livermore has 51 individual polling stations, which has been consolidated down to 12 stations for the Special Election.

Those who were polled were asked one simple question, “Which candidate did you vote for today?”

Fourty-nine individuals participated in the poll, and fourteen chose not to participate.

During the 90-minute poll, Republican David Harmer tallied the highest number of votes ending with 23 total.

Democrat John Garamendi received 18 total votes.

American Independent Jerry Denham lead the third Party candidates with 5 total votes, followed by Green Party nominee Jeremy Cloward who received 3 votes. Socialist Mary McIlroy didn’t get any votes.

Partisan turnout numbers: 63 Republicans had voted by 4:00 PM, 44 Democrats, 13 Decline to State and 1 Libertarian (121 total).

Feel free to follow me on Twitter for election status updates and results at http://twitter.com/WalterViceChair

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Gun owners endorse Harmer

The Gun Owners of America (GOA) support conservative Republican David Harmer for Congress.

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The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington D.C. has endorsed Republican David Harmer for Congressional District 10. Not only did Gun Owners of America (GOA) endorse Harmer, but they also gave him an ‘A’ rating based on his unwavering support of the right to keep and bear arms.

Harmer provided answers to a GOA Candidate Survey questioneer which according to GOA Vice Chairman, Tim Macy, signifies Harmer’s 100% support of 2nd Amendment rights.

Harmer authored a 1998 Brigham Young University Law Review article entitled Securing a Free State: Why the Second Amendment Matters that helped contribute to the shift in legal thinking that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, as opposed to a collective right.

Residents’ in CD-10 that value their gun rights’ may want to show up at the polls next Tuesday and cast their vote for conservative Republican David Harmer.

Harmer’s main competition, liberal Democrat John Garamendi represents the opposing position to that of Harmer’s constitutional stand point on firearms. Garamendi is supportive of strict federal gun control laws and is in favor of the intrusive California ammunition restriction bill (AB962) that was signed into law earlier this month mandating that individuals purchasing ammunition be fingerprinted and registered at the time of sale, that gun stores keep and maintain records on each individual buyer for at least five years and make those records available for inspection by the California Department of Justice and even outlaws private mail order ammunition purchases. Attempts are already underway to repeal this unpopular law.

Halfway to Concord contacted the Garamendi campaign to obtain more information on their candidate’s position only to find out from paid staffers that, “…the 2nd Amendment is not a major issue with John’s [Garamendi] campaign.”

If you’re pro-gun, pro-rights and pro-self defense, the choice is obvious… David Harmer for Congress!

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