Tag Archive: Lance

Ryan Plan Has Support of all NJ GOP Representatives

Promoted by Rosi. Here’s the roll call of today’s vote in the House.

For all that our six-member GOP House delegation is considered “moderate” and “independent,” their continued votes in Congress tell a different story.

Today they voted for the Ryan Budget, which — among other things — turns the current Medicare program into a voucher program.

If the party and/or its affiliated super PACs don’t hang this around the necks of lean-GOP reps like Leonard Lance (NJ-7) and Jon Runyan (NJ-3) they’re making a terrible mistake.  They need to be tied to the Washington Republican party, because they do whatever they’re told to by the Washington Republican party.

It’s not enough for Blue Jersey to point this stuff out, or for the state party to send an e-mail to their own supporters.  The folks responsible for taking back the House and winning elections need to take advantage of this huge gift.  

I doubt they will.

December 1st Day of Action: End The Bush Tax Cuts for Top 2% #TheActionNJ

promoted by Rosi

Join your fellow progressives in New Jersey (and across the country) for a Day of Action this Saturday, December 1st.

In 2008, we had an historic election. From coast-to-coast, he energy and enthusiasm to turn the page on 8 long years of George W. Bush taking our nation backwards was truly palpable.  Everyone was fired up and ready to go.

Barack Obama won, and folks were still fired up after the polls closed.  In the weeks between Election Day and the Inauguration they were still ready to go…but they weren’t sure where to go.  People were asking “what’s next?” However, there was no real way to direct energies in the short-term.

Now, its 2012. And after Election Day, folks are again asking “What’s next?” Well, this time, there’s an answer. There’s a simple way for us to focus on something we all agree on:  The President needs our help to make sure Congress sends him a bill to sign that extends tax cuts for 98% of Americans, while letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire on the wealthiest 2%.

This Saturday, December 1st, a whole bunch of us are taking part in a Day of Action – both online and off. Not just here in New Jersey, but throughout the country. But, I hope you’ll step up to help our state lead the pack.

Online…please pitch in with doing a tweet or two this Saturday to be part of our New Jersey action. It’s really easy. It takes only 30 seconds and 140 characters or less to tweet a line or two saying that (or why) you support letting the Bush Tax Cuts lapse on the top 2%. Just be sure to use the hashtag: #TheActionNJ in the tweet.

It could be as simple as a statement as to why you think letting these cuts expire is important – for our middle-class families, for all small businesses, for our future, for the sake of vital federal programs, to help fix the fiscal cliff predicament, etc.

Or if you want to say something about how Congressman Runyan (@RepJonRunyan) or LoBiondo (@RepLoBiondo) or Lance (@RepLanceNJ7) or Smith should do the right thing, that’d be fine, too. But the most important thing to remember is to use the hashtag #TheActionNJ this Saturday.

Offline…if you want to get off the couch and meet up in person to take part in this action, you can also join us at 4 activist trainings across spread across the state this Saturday.   Here are the details on these Activist Information & Training Sessions:

1). Toms River: Branch OC Library, 101 Washington Street (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

2). Montclair: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 67 Church Street (11 am – 12:30 pm)

3). Willingboro: Senior Center, 429 John F. Kennedy Way (11 am-12:30 pm)

4). Pleasantville: Christ Worship Worldwide Church, 249 W. Bayview Avenue (10 am – 2 pm)

Please come learn about what the “fiscal cliff” is (and what it is not), as well as how it will affect the vital programs we care about. Join us to learn how the issues facing Congress this lame duck session affect our families, our businesses and our communities.  Not to mention how we can mobilize our neighbors. And we can brainstorm ideas how to show our Congress members how important it is to let the Bush Tax Cuts lapse for the 2% income earners.

At its core, this election was all about fairness. And Congress should heed the will of the people by letting the Bush Tax. Check out www.TheAction.org for some more information, and be sure to follow @JoinTheAction on twitter, as well.

This upcoming fight will set the stage not only for President Obama’s second term, but also for our fiscal stability for years to come. And the President needs our help to win it.

Real quick, here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re tweeting on Saturday (or just to keep in mind, in general):

a).  Obama would sign legislation right now extending tax cuts for 98% of Americans

b). Congress should not hold the middle-class hostage just to keep the system rigged for the top 2%

c). 97% of small business owners would not be affected by letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire on the wealthiest 2%

d). The top 2% would still receive their tax cut on the first $250,000

e). Tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% doesn’t have the same positive effect on our economy as tax cuts for middle-class families

f). Congress should listen to the voters, not Grover Norquist

I hope to see a whole bunch of the Blue Jersey family on Twitter this Saturday, posting and re-tweeting with reckless abandon. Even if some New Jersey Republicans do not change their stance by doing the right thing and support the President’s plan, the pressure we put on them will be felt by GOP leadership. This can only serve to strengthen the President’s hand in negotiations. We also need to make sure our New Jersey Democrats support President Obama by letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire on the wealthiest 2%. We should let them know that we stand up for them – and alongside them – when they do the right thing, too.  

See you on Twitter this Saturday! (And remember to tag it with #TheActionNJ)

Congress is failing to get the job done; The Supercommittee is Not so Super.

promoted by Rosi

In Article One of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers required Congress to control debt and spending.  Our current Congress is failing.  In fact, 535 Members of Congress could not agree on how to get spending under control and failed to meet their Constitutional responsibility, shirking this obligation and delegating it to a small supercommittee of six to do what they couldn’t do.  This supercommittee came up on its deadline, and also failed.  Meanwhile, our families and businesses are suffering at their hand.

How did we get here?

The Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, a.k.a. the “supercommittee,” was formed as a result of a congressional battle over whether or not to pay our current obligations.  The compromise to raise the debt ceiling included the creation of the supercommittee to identify ways to reduce the deficit.   It was signed by President Obama on August 2nd.  Failure to raise the debt ceiling would have had dire consequences to the American economy, including default on our treasury obligations.

In an effort to get something passed and avoid default, the legislation punted spending reductions to the supercommittee composed of twelve legislators whose goal was to find specific cuts to make up $1.2 trillion of the $2.1 trillion in deficit reductions by November 23. If Congress did not approve the agreement, the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts will automatically be divided equally against defense and non-defense spending, excluding Social Security, Medicaid and some low-income programs.  

On September 8, the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction had its first official meeting.  I remained hopeful that this select group could have moved beyond partisan politics and come to an agreement, but unfortunately they failed again.

It’s important to put the current debt crisis into historical perspective.  When George W. Bush took over the responsibility of the budget from Bill Clinton, the budget was running a surplus.  The deficit crisis we face now is the result of the failed policies of the Bush Administration, and I am afraid this new Congress is trying to take us back to those broken policies.

In 2008, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimated the total cost of the Iraq war at $3 trillion, including both direct expenses and the war’s detrimental effect on the economy.  It’s worth noting that, at the beginning of the war, George Bush estimated the cost at between $50 billion and $60 billion.  In 2010 Stiglitz called his own estimate too low.  Some of his additions included ongoing medical care for our troops, the war-generated increase in oil prices, and the neglect and lengthening of our commitment in Afghanistan.  Let’s not quibble about the details and call it an even $3 trillion.  That’s still a lot of money to have spent in order to deal with imaginary weapons of mass destruction, as compared to the $2.1 trillion that the supercommittee needs to cut.

When President Obama signed the agreement forming the supercommittee, the Republicans immediately declared victory.  And as is all too often in Washington, politics as usual began, and the political rhetoric from both sides was hurling across the Capitol.                                                

An important factor in understanding our economic crisis is to know just how much financial damage the current recession has done.  According to the Pew Economic Policy Group, real estate wealth decreased $3.4 trillion in the United States during the period from July 2008 through March 2009.  During this time, stock wealth decreased by $7.4 trillion, wages lost amounted to $360 billion, and the Gross Domestic Product was reduced by $650 billion.  Add to it the cost of the stimulus packages, the cost to the FDIC to bail out failed banks, the cost of bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and so on. In human terms, 5.5 million workers lost their jobs early in the crisis, and the vast majority of those jobs have not come back.  Lost jobs result in lost wages, which means the loss of tax revenues for the government.

The bottom line is that we need to get people back to work.  The best way to address the debt is through a strong economy with full employment.  I will create jobs.  As a small business owner, and teacher, I understand the challenges our families and businesses face, and I will work everyday I am in Congress to implement solutions to our problems and get people back to work.

If it weren’t for Bush’s war in Iraq and the Republican generated financial meltdown, the current deficit and unemployment problems would not exist. The Republicans who caused these problems are less

extreme than the Tea Party that has a stranglehold on our country, and are standing in the way of sensible policies to spur job creation and improve the economy.  Hopefully, the election in November of 20

12 will reverse this trend and usher in a Congress that can get the job done.

Amazing Race for a Soon to Be Non-Existent 7th District

The 2012 cycle finance numbers are finally out for the second quarter of 2011, and I kniow you all have been waiting with bated breath for the news.

There’s only one race in New Jersey as of right now, and it’s a two-fer.  But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of the state.

Every incumbent is raising money, though some slower than others. Chris Smith (R-4) and Albio Sires (D-13) each raised less than $100K this quarter, but neither is really in trouble.  There’s little talk that either of them could be districted out next year.  

Scott Garrett (R-5) is the winner, pulling in a whopping $703,681for the quarter first half of the year, outpacing the number two William Pascrell at $489,056 and Frank Lobiondo at $486,271.  Updated: I give you the first half numbers because the FEC pages are not being helpful in parsing things out by quarter yet.end update

Those are the highs and lows, but the real interesting one right now is the 7th.  Most folks out there suspect that the 7th will be the one to disappear.  It’s the weirdest looking district, an easy win for the Republicans most of the time but recently got more Democrats registered than Republicans.  It borders on Democratic districts (6, 10, 12 and 13) and Republican districts (5 and 11) into which it could be subsumed.

The 7th has also never made any sense at all, with the urban and hyper-Democratic east combined with the more rural and hyper-Republican west. more…