Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives
Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2010 OZARKS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Saturday Morning, March 20th, 2010, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address
Click here to listen to the March 20th, 2010 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Notes and Summary of the President's Weekly Radio Address:
President Obama Urges Action on Financial Reform
The White House Press Office: – In this week’s address, President Barack Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive reforms to the financial system including commonsense rules of the road and a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that will advocate for everyday Americans. The President also urged the Senate to remain strong and resist the pressure of those who wish to preserve the status quo. (continued below)
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.
On Monday, the Banking Committee of the United States Senate will debate a proposal to address the abuse and excess that led to the worst financial crisis in generations. These reforms are essential. As I’ve urged over the past year, we need common-sense rules that will our allow markets to function fairly and freely while reining in the worst practices of the financial industry. That’s the central lesson of this crisis. And we fail to heed that lesson at our peril.
The problem is stated here. Is this proposal the solution?
Is "the financial industry" wholly to blame, or does blame also rest on the Federal Reserve for creating the dollars which "the financial industry" was allowed to play with?
Of course, there were many causes of the economic turmoil that ripped through our country over the past two years. But it was a crisis that began in our financial system. Large banks engaged in reckless financial speculation without regard for the consequences – and without tough oversight. Financial firms invented and sold complicated financial products to escape scrutiny and conceal enormous risks. And there were some who engaged in the rampant exploitation of consumers to turn a quick profit no matter who was hurt in the process.
Actually, the problem began in the Federal Reserve.
Now, I have long been a vigorous defender of free markets. And I believe we need a strong and vibrant financial sector so that businesses can get loans; families can afford mortgages; entrepreneurs can find the capital to start a new company, sell a new product, offer a new service. But what we have seen over the past two years is that without reasonable and clear rules to check abuse and protect families, markets don’t function freely. In fact, it was just the opposite. In the absence of such rules, our financial markets spun out of control, credit markets froze, and our economy nearly plummeted into a second Great Depression.
When businesses, families, and entrepreneurs are all in debt up to their eyeballs, that is not a sign of "a strong and vibrant" economy.
That’s why financial reform is so necessary. And after months of bipartisan work, Senator Chris Dodd and his committee have offered a strong foundation for reform, in line with the proposal I previously laid out, and in line with the reform bill passed by the House.
It would provide greater scrutiny of large financial firms to prevent any one company from threatening the entire financial system – and it would update the rules so that complicated financial products like derivatives are no longer bought and sold without oversight. It would prevent banks from engaging in risky dealings through their own hedge funds – while finally giving shareholders a say on executive salaries and bonuses. And through new tools to break up failing financial firms, it would help ensure that taxpayers are never again forced to bail out a big bank because it is “too big to fail.”
When the Federal Reserve creates trillions of dollars for investors to "play" with, it minimizes the risk of immoral and reckless trading, thereby increasing its likelihood.
None of this "scrutiny" and regulation deals with the fundamental cancer in the economy.
If the sale of "complicated financial products" is a bad thing, then why were the sellers and insurers of these products bailed out by the federal government? Why didn't the government allow the Free Market to punish them?
Finally, these reforms include a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to prevent predatory loan practices and other abuses to ensure that consumers get clear information about loans and other financial products before they sign on the dotted line. Because this financial crisis wasn’t just the result of decisions made by large financial firms; it was also the result of decisions made by ordinary Americans to open credit cards and take on mortgages. And while there were many who took out loans they knew they couldn’t afford, there were also millions of people who signed contracts they didn’t fully understand
offered by lenders who didn’t always tell the truth.
This is in part because the job of protecting consumers is spread across seven different federal agencies, none of which has the interests of ordinary Americans as its principal concern. This diffusion of responsibility has made it easier for credit card companies to lure customers with attractive offers then punish them in the fine print; for payday lenders and others who charge outrageous interest to operate without much oversight; and for mortgage brokers to entice homebuyers with low initial rates only to trap them with ballooning payments down the line.
No Bureaucracy puts ordinary Americans ahead of its own existence.
For these banking reforms to be complete – for these reforms to meet the measure of the crisis we’ve just been through – we need a consumer agency to advocate for ordinary Americans and help enforce the rules that protect them. That’s why I won’t accept any attempts to undermine the independence of this agency. And I won’t accept efforts to create loopholes for the most egregious abusers of consumers, from payday lenders to auto finance companies to credit card companies.
The government causes inflation. The government steals purchasing power out of your money and gives it to "special interests." Since the Federal Reserve was formed, the government has stolen 95% of the purchasing power of the dollar. Because you work hard, and because other Americans like you have invented computers and other ways of enhancing your productivity, you may not have noticed how much the government has stolen from you. Despite "inflation," the price of computers keeps going down. The prices of many things have actually gone down because of the productivity of Americans. Just because you haven't noticed it all, doesn't mean the
government hasn't been stealing from you. The government is not your "advocate." The government is your enemy.
Unsurprisingly, this proposal has been a source of contention with financial firms who like things just the way they are. In fact, the Republican leader in the House reportedly met with a top executive of one of America’s largest banks and made thwarting reform a key part of his party’s pitch for campaign contributions. And this week, the allies of banks and consumer finance companies launched a multimillion dollar ad campaign to fight against the proposal. You might call this ‘air support’ for the army of lobbyists already arm twisting members of the committee to reject these reforms and block this consumer agency. Perhaps that’s why, after months of working with Democrats, Republicans
walked away from this proposal. I regret that and urge them to reconsider.
The fact is, it’s now been well over a year since the near collapse of the entire financial system – a crisis that helped wipe out more than 8 million jobs and that continues to exact a terrible toll throughout our economy. Yet today the very same system that allowed this turmoil remains in place. No one disputes that. No one denies that reform is needed. So the question we have to answer is very simple: will we learn from this crisis, or will we condemn ourselves to repeat it? That’s what’s at stake.
Clearly, regulating "payday loans" is not the solution to the "second Great Depression." This is smoke-and-mirrors to distract consumers.
I urge those in the Senate who support these reforms to remain strong, to resist the pressure from those who would preserve the status quo, to stand up for their constituents and our country. And I promise to use every tool at my disposal to see these reforms enacted: to ensure that the bill I sign into law reflects not the special interests of Wall Street, but the best interests of the American people.
There are no "special interest" in a truly free market. In a free economy, "Wall Street" represents ordinary American people, who pool their savings and resources and invest in the businesses that improve their lives. Today Wall St. is managed by Washington D.C., and "special interests" are those who look to the federal government for an advantage over competitors, and over the American people.
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign — Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s
“Why Americans Should
365 Days a Year”
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 mass hypocrisy.
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.
A listener in California comments:
In the fifth commandment, it has seemed to us that the law is couched in familial terms but the direction of the answers in the WestminsterConfessionofFaith seem to be more focused on the other "institutions" of Gov't and church than the family. Your comments .
Kevin Craig responds:
Right! There is a chapter on "The Civil Magistrate," and a chapter on "The Church" (more than one, really) but no chapter on "The Family." The emphasis is on non-familial "institutions." As a result, I think, the power of these institutions has grown, when it should decline as Godliness increases. Institutions have come to replace the family. Prof. John M. Frame, at Reformed Theological Seminary (a Westminster-friendly seminary), with whom I agree on many things, justifies the State as an extension of the family. See my comments on his position here.
Hello, I’m House Republican Leader John Boehner. I’m speaking to you from the Capitol, where in a matter of hours, the House of Representatives will vote on health care legislation sure to have a drastic effect on our economy and our lives.
It was here fourteen months ago that President Obama took the oath of office with a promise to govern from the center. Republicans stood ready to work with our new president and find common ground to address the issues Americans care about.
Unfortunately, President Obama and Democrats in Washington chose a partisan path and a costly, big-government agenda.
The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ isn’t working as struggling families continue to ask: ‘where are the jobs?’ And taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being spent so fast that two trillion dollars has been added to the national debt on President Obama’s watch.
Now Democrats want the federal government to take over health care, which represents one-sixth of our economy.
From the beginning, the one thing the American people wanted out of health care reform was lower costs. That’s why Republicans proposed a bill based on common-sense reforms that, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would reduce premiums for families and small businesses by up to 10 percent. Our bill achieves these goals without cutting Medicare or raising taxes. All of the details are available at healthcare.gov.
The Democrats’ bill, which runs more than 2,300 pages, actually raises premiums and ushers in a massive expansion of government – with roughly 160 new boards, bureaus, and commissions.
Instead of finding a responsible way to pay for all this, Democrats impose more than half-a-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts and more than half-a-trillion dollars in tax hikes.
In fact, this bill requires 10 years of tax increases and 10 years of Medicare cuts just to pay for six years of supposed benefits, many of which don’t even go into effect until 2014. That’s not reform.
It’s clear where the American people stand. They want no part of this bill, and they haven’t been shy about saying so. We’ve seen standing room only crowds at town hall meetings. Rallies in towns and cities around the country. And now, jammed phone lines on Capitol Hill. All of this coming from citizens yelling ‘stop’ at the top of their lungs.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Leaders are too blinded by their ‘Washington knows best’ attitude, too out-of-touch with the concerns of working families, to listen.
Instead of trying to do better, Democrats have packed this bill full of kickbacks, payoffs, and sweetheart deals in order to buy the support of lawmakers and Washington special interest groups.
Democrats are so afraid of the public’s outrage that they have devised a strategy that would allow them to force this massive bill through Congress without even voting on it. It’s outrageous, and it’s an affront to the principles of representative democracy.
We were elected to make tough choices, not run from them. And this vote is certainly one of the toughest.
With that in mind, I asked Speaker Pelosi to have the final health care votes recorded by a ‘call of the roll.’ Under this procedure, each lawmaker will have to stand before the American people and announce his or her vote.
The stakes are too high, and this bill is too controversial, for anything less than complete transparency and accountability. It’s time to stand up and be counted.
Don’t let Democrats in Washington take this debate away from you. Don’t let them make this about arm-twisting and backroom deals.
And don’t let President Obama get away with asking his fellow Democrats to vote for this bill to save his presidency.
Because this vote isn’t about saving a presidency or a politician. It’s about doing the right thing for our kids and grandkids. It’s about ensuring that freedom and opportunity remain the birthright of our people. And it’s about listening to the hard-working taxpayers who sent us here.
That’s why the only responsible course of action is to scrap this health care bill. Let’s start over with a clean sheet of paper. Let’s work together on a step-by-step approach focused on lowering costs for families and small businesses.
Republicans can’t beat this bill, but the American people can. It’s not too late to make your voice heard.
Ipsos/McClatchy Poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Feb. 26-28, 2010. N=1,076 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"As of right now, do you favor or oppose the healthcare reform proposals presently being discussed?"
If favor reform proposals (N=427):
"You said you are in favor of the health care reform proposals presently being discussed. Is that because you favor health care reform overall and think the current proposals go far enough to reform health care; OR, you oppose health care reform overall and think the current proposals being discussed will keep health care reform from happening?"
"Just your best guess, do you think health care reform would increase the federal budget deficit, decrease it, or have no effect?"
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