Sunday, February 14, 2010

FL-18: Ros-Lehtinen's economic knowledge leaves out Great Depression

Thanks to the Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club we have some better understanding of how poor our representation in Congress is. My representative, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, now over 20 years in the US House, spoke to us last Tuesday and put out a ton of verbiage revealing how little she and her Republican colleagues understand of economics.

Her main theme was the deficit, and if you look at these clips you’ll see that she wants to freeze spending, and to do it now. She apparently hasn’t heard that the Great Depression of the 1930s was on the road to recovery in FDR’s first term until he was nagged to distraction by criticism of his spending, and so his administration put on the brakes and then came the double-dip of 1937, I believe. I’m not even looking it up -- it’s such common knowledge. But not among today’s Republicans. Their mantra is stop deficits now. NOW!

OK, we know that the family budget should be balanced. But that’s not really applicable to running the world’s biggest economy, and families, too, have to borrow for major expenditures. Ros-Lehtinen led off her  speech with the stop-deficit talking point, and then in the Q-and-A she was given two chances to modify it, but instead she mischaracterized economic thought.

No, Congresswoman, no economists think that deficits are OK, as you say. They may say that deficits are necessary to help end a recession, but then you’re supposed to get to a balance of income and outgo.

Anyway, check out this clip. Note that she’s reading from a paper but still says clearly false things about the national debt and the size of President Obama’s budget proposal in relation to the national debt.

It has taken me forever to process this, and I apologize. New computer gear slowed me down, plus winter visitors from the frozen North.

Inspiration to finish came Saturday evening as C-Span replayed another Republican member of the US House, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, the deputy whip of her party. She had done the Friday morning call-in program, and my, was she an eloquent spouter of the party line, leading with the deficit. I was struck by the way her message was identical to what Ros-Lehtinen had said on Tuesday in Miami Beach.

The Republicans all have been told what to say. This is the balky line we will hear until the Obama administration brings out the hammers of logic and a disciplined majority.

Blackburn was asked what should happen in the summit President Obama has called for Feb. 25, and I was stunned to hear her say that the Tennessee governor should be called in to explain how health care should be run. Yes -- she wants to go back to Year Zero and start from scratch.

I think this is going to be one heck of a year in the US Congress, and we should gear up to let even our Republican members of Congress know what we think of their no-knothing, er, know-nothing way of representation.

Blackburn said there would be town halls during this break for Presidents Day. We should find out where the Republicans are appearing and let them know their knowledge of economics gets an F.

Thanks, by the way, to Ros-Lehtinen for coming out and speaking to the general public in Miami Beach. There are more good clips of her talk that I’ll try to grind out. She has been in the US House since 1988, and my member of Congress since 2002, and this is the first appearance I know of outside her usual friendly circle.

The first question to her was about her husband Dexter Lehtinen and his legal work for the Miccosukee Indian tribe, which does a lot of business with the federal government, and whether that might be a conflict of interest.

“It’s about ethics,” the questioner, Mike Burke, cried when she didn’t know what he was asking about. Ethics? She didn’t know, just like her economics. I’ll try to get this clip up, too.

Final note: While the rest of you were glued to the screen watching the snow games, your blogger was editing his crude video and looking at C-Span. Such is devotion.


MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :

Luis C. Isaza E said...

On Job Requirements

I am a retired corporate executive who spent about 30 years in corporate life. Administration and finance was my background and field of experience. I have an MBA from the University of Georgia, but I never went to school to prepare for a CPA degree. Because I did not have this professional credential, there were some positions during my career that were not open to me, even if I had the knowledge and experience to do the job. Now, let me go to my point.
One of the most vociferous spokesperson (Tancredo) of the right wing Tea Party movement suggested that we should have a literacy test before people are allowed to vote. I found myself in agreement with this man, perhaps for different reasons. He probably wanted to use this pre-requisite as a tool to keep some undesirable elements in society (in his view) from voting.
A test of qualifications is required for any job, except for the job to be a member of Congress. That lack of testing for our honorable representatives results in the shameful and unbelievable state of affairs observed when our representatives in Washington discuss and give opinions on matters about which they are ignorant. We have people in congress that never took a basic accounting, economics, or finance course. Even so, they are required to analyze, give opinions, and contribute to the creation of laws in an effort to keep our society from going bankrupt. We remain paralyzed going from crisis to crisis, because our honorable representatives are unprepared to understand what is happening in the world they are supposed to govern. Why do we not require our members of Congress to pass a technical literacy test? Why? Why not? If we did, we would be assured that they have minimal qualifications to hold their jobs.

One clear example of this unbelievable lack of knowledge is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's speech at the Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club.