As a woman who has managed a family budget for over 30 years, and as a former manager with responsibility over million-dollar budgets, I am deeply concerned about the fiscal irresponsibility shown by our current Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, and in the group my opponent has chosen to ally himself with for the past two years.
The House writes the budget for the government. It begins there, gets negotiated with members of the Senate to reflect their wishes, and a compromise budget goes to the President to sign. With this budget, we taxpayers fund things like roads, bridges and schools; social services that we all use; social services that benefit specific groups like veterans, the short-term unemployed, and those living below the poverty line; it funds research and development into better and cheaper energy and better disease prevention. We also fund the military, our post offices, and clean air and water. All of our state and local budgets depend to some degree upon this largesse from the Federal budget.
The 2012-3 House of Representatives is, by all accounts, the least productive and least fiscally conservative in the history of our country. Programs are left languishing, solutions to real, nationwide programs are left unaddressed, and the House even shut down the government.
Worst of all, Tea Party extremists, including our own Congressman Doug LaMalfa, who successfully bully their more moderate Republican colleagues into compliance, are wasting vast amounts of our tax dollars on political gambling with virtually no payoffs. Do you know how your Representative voted on these wasteful bills, resolutions and programs? To highlight just a few of the damages that have been wrought:
• $24 billion – Think the government shutdown last February was free? Think again. This round of pointless politicking cost us $24 billion, not including losses from employer/employee uncertainty around when it would end.
• $75 million – Over 50 votes to repeal the ACA in Congress, with not a single vote to improve or implement it. The sheer political grandstanding cost us over $75 million in time, labor and materials.
• $14 billion – Every year the Federal government doles out $14 billion to the top earning farmers in the U.S. through highly self-serving crop insurance subsidy payments. No audit has been done on this program, but the SNAP program to fund hungry kids in poverty was cut $8 billion this year alone to keep these subsidies propped up.
• $310 billion – This was a give-away, without offsets, to make permanent the temporary tax cuts to multinational corporations, one in four of which currently pay nothing in taxes.
In the meantime, the House voted on the Ryan budget that would have cut spending and taken money away from our local economies and our middle class.
I would support none of the above actions. I find them wasteful and provide nothing in the form of investments or assistance to the working people of the United States. When you go to the polls on November 4 to vote for a Representative in the People’s House, ask yourself who would be the better steward of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
Ask yourself: Who is the true fiscal conservative in the North State?
Heidi Hall lives in Grass Valley and is the Democratic Congressional candidate for District 1. More information can be found at www.heidihallforcongress.com.