Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2010 OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, January 16th, 2010, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to the January 16th, 2010 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Weekly Radio Address:
"Getting Our Money Back from Wall Street"
The White House Press Office: – In this week’s address, President Barack Obama proposed a fee on major financial firms to recoup – on behalf of American taxpayers - the $700 billion paid out in TARP, saying “we want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.” The President’s proposal will only affect the largest financial institutions with the most debt, so it will not only help recover the TARP funds and reduce the deficit, but also crack down on some of the banking practices that led to the financial crisis. (continued
America's Founders envisioned the American people, acting as businessmen, humanitarians, and missionaries, engaging in commercial and charitable activities around the world, bringing peace and receiving the admiration of the world.
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]
"I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
Bush's unconstitutional military invasion of Iraq has destroyed Christianity in that country.
Under Saddam Hussein's secular government, Christians in Iraq had greater freedom than in most other Arab nations, and one of the largest Christian populations in the Muslim world was in Iraq.
Iraq is now an Islamic theocracy under Sharia law. The Christian population has been destroyed. Christian Churches are burned and terrorized with impunity.
Obama is following in Bush's unconstitutional, anti-Christian footsteps.
Over the past two years, more than seven million Americans have lost their jobs. Countless businesses have been forced to shut their doors. Few families have escaped the pain of this terrible recession. Rarely does a day go by that I do not hear from folks who are hurting. That is why we have pushed so hard to rebuild this economy.
But even as we work tirelessly to dig our way out of this hole, it is important that we address what led us into such a deep mess in the first place. Much of the turmoil of this recession was caused by the irresponsibility of banks and financial institutions on Wall Street. These financial firms took huge, reckless risks in pursuit of short-term profits and soaring bonuses. They gambled with borrowed money, without enough oversight or regard for the consequences. And when they lost, they lost big. Little more than a year ago, many of
the largest and oldest financial firms in the world teetered on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by the consequences of their irresponsible decisions. This financial crisis nearly pulled the entire economy into a second Great Depression.
Reckless, irresponsible gambling was rewarded with a government bailout.
As a result, the American people – struggling in their own right – were placed in a deeply unfair and unsatisfying position. Even though these financial firms were largely facing a crisis of their own creation, their failure could have led to an even greater calamity for the country.
This claim has never been proven.
That is why the previous administration started a program – the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – to provide these financial institutions with funds to survive the turmoil they helped unleash. It was a distasteful but necessary thing to do.
Many originally feared that most of the $700 billion in TARP money would be lost. But when my administration came into office, we put in place rigorous rules for accountability and transparency, which cut the cost of the bailout dramatically. We have now recovered most of the money we provided to the banks. That’s good news, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough. We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime.
The money given to reckless, irresponsible gamblers on Wall Street did not come from "taxpayers."
That is why, this week, I proposed a new fee on major financial firms to compensate the American people for the extraordinary assistance they provided to the financial industry. And the fee would be in place until the American taxpayer is made whole. Only the largest financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets will be affected, not community banks. And the bigger the firm – and the more debt it holds – the larger the fee. Because we are not only going to recover our money and help close our deficits; we are going to attack some of the banking practices that led to the crisis.
That’s important. The fact is, financial firms play an essential role in our economy. They provide capital and credit to families purchasing homes, students attending college, businesses looking to start up or expand. This is critical to our recovery. That is why our goal with this fee – and with the common-sense financial reforms we seek – is not to punish the financial industry. Our goal is to prevent the abuse and excess that nearly led to its collapse. Our goal is to promote fair dealings while punishing
those who game the system; to encourage sustained growth while discouraging the speculative bubbles that inevitably burst. Ultimately, that is in the shared interest of the financial industry and the American people.
Of course, I would like the banks to embrace this sense of mutual responsibility. So far, though, they have ferociously fought financial reform. The industry has even joined forces with the opposition party to launch a massive lobbying campaign against common-sense rules to protect consumers and prevent another crisis.
Now, like clockwork, the banks and politicians who curry their favor are already trying to stop this fee from going into effect. The very same firms reaping billions of dollars in profits, and reportedly handing out more money in bonuses and compensation than ever before in history, are now pleading poverty. It’s a sight to see.
Those who oppose this fee say the banks can’t afford to pay back the American people without passing on the costs to their shareholders and customers. But that’s hard to believe when there are reports that Wall Street is going to hand out more money in bonuses and compensation just this year than the cost of this fee over the next ten years. If the big financial firms can afford massive bonuses, they can afford to pay back the American people.
Those who oppose this fee have also had the audacity to suggest that it is somehow unfair. That because these firms have already returned what they borrowed directly, their obligation is fulfilled. But this willfully ignores the fact that the entire industry benefited not only from the bailout, but from the assistance extended to AIG and homeowners, and from the many unprecedented emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and others to prevent a financial collapse. And it ignores a far greater unfairness: sticking the American taxpayer with the bill.
That is unacceptable to me, and to the American people. We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run. We’re going to pass this fee into law. And I’m going to continue to work with Congress on common-sense financial reforms to protect people and the economy from the kind of costly and painful crisis we’ve just been through. Because after a very tough two years, after a crisis that has caused so much havoc, if there is one lesson that we can learn, it’s this: we cannot return to business as usual.
“Why Americans Should Celebrate Christmasby Overthrowing the Federal Government”
The word "Christ" means "King." The Message of Christmas and the Principles set forth by the Christ (the Messiah) who came that first Christmas are the real solution to America's problems. The Federal Government is at war with Christmas and "The Way of Peace" announced by the Prince of Peace. The Government should be on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7). Abolishing a Messianic State is the only appropriate way to honor the Messiah. Otherwise Christmas becomes
John the Baptist prepares the way for the Messiah, as prophesied of Elijah.
As you read the Gospel accounts, ask yourself how you would react if you knew these accounts were really true. Not just true in some "religious" sense, but reported in the New York Times, proven in a court of law, or acknowledged by your personal hero. (How do you know something is true? Do you even have any "heroes?") How should you change your life if your Creator became a human being? How should Washington D.C. react if this human being claimed to be the true Ruler?
The Prophet Micah predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Jesus' parents lived in Nazereth. Therefore God predestined Caesar to issue a decree (probably relating to taxes) that would bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem before Jesus was born.
Bush claims the same global power of confiscation and migration as Caesar did. Thousands of Christians have been forced to move out of Iraq to make way for Bush's Islamic Theocracy.
An army of angels announces the birth of the Messiah, saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace to those with whom He is pleased!”
Man's chief end is to glorify God and live in peace. The Bush Administration's chief end is to erect a "wall of separation" between God and government so that the State gives no glory to God, and to wage war, thereby "stimulating the economy."
When Herod got word of the birth of a rival king, he behaved in a perfectly logical way (for someone who wants to protect his power): he massacred all male babies the age of Jesus. Herod recognized that Jesus was a threat to Herod's power.
Every day in America 4,000 unborn babies are murdered. These babies must threaten something.
Millions of Americans who call themselves Christians, on the other hand, are no threat to tyranny. None of them are being killed. Bush has killed a thousand times more human beings than Herod did, and confiscated a billion times more wealth than Herod did.
Orange, CA: We are still stuck in the Two Kingdoms issue. Could you comment on this. Is it to be understood from this doctrine that the churches under its influence cannot proclaim to the government that God's law should apply to the the government? In other words, taking the subject you are discussing about the Fed creating money out of thin air, can not this practice be related to the commandment that this kind of stealing is breaking God's law? If the church does not call the government to obey God's Law, who will?
As 30,000 additional American service-members continue to move into Afghanistan under the counterinsurgency strategy outlined by General McChrystal, Americans are reminded about our important role in this vulnerable region.
The additional troops will bring our military presence there to 100,000 Americans and 47,000 NATO partners. While this increase is essential to our efforts in the region, also key is ensuring that our men and women in the field have the equipment and support they need to succeed.
Last week I traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan with a congressional delegation to see firsthand the progress we have made in reversing the momentum of the Taliban and the many remaining challenges we face.
There is a strong professionalism and commitment demonstrated by our men and women in uniform, as well as by those in our civilian institutions who serve on the front lines.
Particularly since the surge in Afghanistan began, we have seen progress toward helping establish a country that can govern itself, defend its borders and be an important ally in fighting terrorism. However, we need to remain focused on our goals and maintain a sense of realism about what is achievable for this region.
Why did "terrorism" develop in Afghanistan? What are the religious and cultural conditions? If we kill all the terrorists, why will their descendants not become the next generation of terrorists, bent on vengeance for the murder of their forefathers by U.S. military occupation of their homeland?
Creating stability in Afghanistan requires a multi-tiered approach from the U.S. and our allies in an effort to train Afghan security forces, target insurgency, secure population centers, and strengthen Afghan and Pakistani governments.
So in a nutshell, the U.S. goal is to create a perpetual Police State in Afghanistan, constantly at war with terrorists with perpetual decline in civil liberties as a result of continued strengthening of the government.
Only with significant growth in these key areas, can we expect to prevent this region from serving as a safe-haven for radical Islamic terrorists once again. For this strategy to succeed it is essential that Afghan security forces—Army and police—must grow in numbers and effectiveness which serve to inspire better local governance.
In an effort to improve the training of local military, coalition and Afghan forces are living and working together in many cases and have established a united presence amongst the local populations. The focus on agriculture will hopefully make progress in reducing the rampant opium and narcotics trade in this area.
While President Karzai has pledged to help eradicate poppy crops, there must be development in Afghanistan of crops and methods other than poppies to sustain the people of this country.
In southern Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of State and Agriculture are working to help this former agricultural hub of Afghanistan regain its potential.
Understanding the realities on the ground in Afghanistan directly from our top military commanders is essential. Republicans are pleased with the decision by Secretary Gates to stay on as head of the Pentagon, and, we urge the President to follow his advice of making strategic decisions based on conditions on the ground.
...instead of Democratic ideology in Washington, presumably.
Secretary Gates has worked to reaffirm our short and long-term goals to our troops and continues to commend their sacrifice. This outreach is very important and we thank him.
We now know that the U.S. military faces fewer threats involving conventional forces than during the Cold War. Instead, terrorist networks deploy unconventional uses of force that remain invisible until their sudden attack.
To circumvent and pre-empt this threat, we rely heavily on our intelligence gathering systems and professionals - at home and abroad. The recent suicide attack on the CIA in Khost reminded us of the determination of terrorists.
The arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab makes clear there is much to be reviewed in the way that intelligence is shared, collected, analyzed, and in our methods of approach.
At home, a systemic failure within our intelligence analysis and airport security must be corrected to defeat the ever-changing strategy of those who seek to harm Americans. We cannot rest on one pattern or approach to tracking or analyzing threats to our national security.
Why do they seek to harm us?
The Administration should work with Congressional Republicans to review and update our current counterterrorism systems to meet the emerging and multiplying threats from Al-Qaeda. Progress in Afghanistan is also very dependent on having a strong, credible Afghan government and coordination among the international community.
"International Community" = "New World Order"
It also falls on the international community to practice vigilance in monitoring areas which appeal to terrorists as we have seen recently in Yemen.
In meeting with President Karzai our delegation made clear that the commitment of the United States must be met with by equal determination of the Afghan government. The Afghan government needs to resolve the date for Parliamentary elections. This is important to the overall success of our strategy, the legitimacy of the government, and our military commanders.
"[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.
We can continue to reverse the momentum of the Taliban, help build indigenous security forces just as we did in Iraq, and help the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan with development assistance, but, the governments in both countries must be willing to take on extremists, corruption, and develop confidence in the institutions of civilian government.
There is much to be proud of on the ground in Afghanistan. We should all be very thankful for the men and women who are making such sacrifice away from their own families every day. Thank you for listening.
What Would America's Founding Fathers Do?
The men who threw tea into the Boston Harbor over a tax of 3 pence per pound would not be happy with a tax ten times greater on every gallon of gas. Those who took up muskets over a total tax burden of less than 3% would not be happy with the fact that the federal government now takes more than half of everything you earn.
Today it is illegal for public school teachers to teach their students that the Declaration of Independence is really true (and not just an outdated historical document). The federal government is clearly at war with everything the Founding Fathers stood for.
America's greatest Americans would abolish today's federal government.
Muskets are Not an Option
There are two reasons why we should not take up arms to pull off the violent overthrow of the federal government, even if America's Founders would surely do so. First, the feds have nukes. Second, violent revolution is unChristian and unBiblical. We must beat our swords into plowshares and use persuasion to abolish tyranny. This is time for a revolution of ideas.
Revolution Won't Come in a Day
John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence
(1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we shouldn't go 20 years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
Every great athlete has a coach.
If you want to be a great American you need a coach.
If you want to achieve great things for your country, you need a coach.
Imagine what you could do if George Washington, "the Father of his Country,"
could travel through time and be your personal coach.
The results could be extraordinary.
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Help End the Mexican Civil War
Black-market profits caused by drug prohibition fund a civil war in Mexico that's threatening to spill over our borders. Drug profits also fuel the terrorists who are killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It's time to dry up the black-market profits. It's time to end drug prohibition.
Make Congress Read Their Bills Before Voting
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
End the FED
The Federal Reserve System constantly inflates and deflates the supply of money and credit, causing booms and busts. It's time to get off this roller-coaster. It's time to end the Fed.
No government money, whether borrowed or taxed, should ever be used to bailout private financial interests. If you agree, please send Congress a message telling them so.
TWIC - A Backdoor Real ID Card
Real ID is dying. But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back. Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.
Stop the Killer Horse Hormones
The FDA "outlawed" the use of Estriol, an estrogen medication that's bio-identical to human estrogen. Doctors must now prescribe animal-derived estrogen instead. Are bio-identical hormones dangerous, while animal-derived hormones are safe? No. The practice of medicine is moving to chemically identical to human hormones and away from animal hormones. Learn why the FDA decided to endanger women's health in this way, and take action.
End Asset Forfeiture
If the government suspects you used your house or car in a crime, they can take it and sell it at auction. They don't even have to prove your guilt. They call this practice civil asset forfeiture, but it's really theft. It violates the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments. It also encourages law enforcement to put profits before justice. Tell Congress to end civil asset forfeiture.
Support an Iraq Referendum
Americans keep debating when, how, or if to leave Iraq. Maybe we should ask the Iraqi people what they want. After all, it's their country. Tell Congress to request that the Iraqi government hold a public referendum on the U.S. occupation. Learn more »
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats.
DownsizeDC.org has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation.” Click here . . .
"Cap and Trade" is not the way
The politicians seem to be unifying around "cap and trade" as a way to cut CO2 emissions. If they take this step it may be the largest increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government since the creation of Medicare. Worse still, it may not even achieve its purpose. Please tell Congress to oppose "cap and trade." Learn more »
Big government prospers through failure. Each new failure is used to justify more spending and new powers. Wasteful spending in Iraq is the latest example. One way to change this is to hold government accountable. A new bill in Congress seeks to provide some of the needed accountability. Please support it. Learn more »
Stop the War for Terror U.S. policy has inflamed the Middle East. It has made terrorism more likely rather than less. We seem to be fighting a war for terror, rather than on terror. This policy must stop. The place to start stopping is with Iran. We must not attack Iran. War with Iran would devastate our economy, disrupt world oil supplies, and recruit more terrorists. Click here to stop this war before it starts.
Click herefor a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall