Open letter to Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Jeff Brown Guest Columnist

December 13, 2013

At about 4 p.m. Thursday, I heard Washington Insider Jamie Dupree say that you were going to vote no on the “Ryan budget” but will now vote yes.

I’m sending this with no suggested way to vote since I have not studied the Ryan/Murray bill in detail. Also I’m concerned that some of the Tea Party types are willing to again shut down the government on Jan. 14. Unfortunately too many Americans are ill informed, selfish and have no understanding of our VERY dangerous financial situation so those who might have voted for Republican House and Senate candidates next fall would instead vote for Democrats if there was a shutdown in January. Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate following the elections next fall would be a disaster with President Obama still in office!

Huge savings are so obvious such as:

· eliminating non performing and unnecessary programs

· making people work, ie WPA and CCC type of jobs, versus the massive numbers now dependent on handouts

· reducing the wages/benefits of federal employees which would be justified because their wages/benefits are reportedly 42 percent higher than their private sector counterparts

· stopping the agriculture subsidy versus buying into the scare propaganda of $7 for a gallon of milk - indeed for a very short period we may pay $7 per gallon,l but I will assure you the marketplace would soon correct that

· significantly reducing regulations imposed by the Obama administration costing a reported $1.4trillion

· repealing Dodd-Franks which was a massive overcorrection for the housing bust in 2007 that the federal government largely created but in classic Congressional action this bill over regulates the banks

· repealing ObamaCare because it is a massive handout to millions, most workers will pay more for less health insurance, it will reduce accessibility and it will add hundreds of billions to our debt.

I could go on, but instead of the above approach which is consistent with conservative principals that have been the cornerstone of the American dream Republicans let the liberal press and liberal politicians whose principals have been proven not to work and RINOs lead the charge making the situation even worse. Liberals are masters at rallying the uninformed to support them. It’s time for conservatives to lead voters from being uninformed to informed and as a result insisting on less government and more personal responsibility.

Increasingly neither party is really ready to deal with our deficits, mounting debt and unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security. Therefore one long-term solution for our $17 trillion debt may be China saying enough is enough! This would make the 2008 Global Financial Crisis look mild!

As far as the approximate $70 trillion underfunding of Social Security and Medicare since President Obama and Congress lack the courage to correct this it can only mean millions of future and maybe current retirees who were required to have 7.65 percent of their income deducted to pay for both and their employers matching those deductions will never collect anywhere near what they were promised; what a nightmare of a retirement!


Congressman Westmoreland called me within 30 minutes to confirm that he was going to vote for the Ryan/Murray bill because:

· this will give us a budget for the first time since Obama became president which means we would have no more continuing resolutions thereby avoiding a government shut down on Jan. 15, and several after that

· President Obama’s discretionary spending would be curtailed

· the various units of government would have to spend the money as directed in the budget versus only having to stay within the total amounts of a CR

· he shares my concerns about the effects of a shut down on the fall 2014 elections

· if Ryan/Murray isn’t passed the Democrats will push to once again extend unemployment benefits beyond the present 99 weeks

· a budget will allow Congress to line item out or reduce specific expenses such as ObamaCare.

As a former Chairman of Health Appropriations in the Georgia House of Representatives, I agree with Congressman Westmoreland’s reasoning on the budget. As I explained above, continuing unemployment benefits further will cost $25 billion more in 2014 alone. Now that our economy is slowly improving if you don’t extend unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks you would be amazed at how many people would suddenly get a job.

Life in politics requires compromise but you better be darn sure you don’t violate your core principles long term. If conservatives will mount a sustained effort on the types of things I am suggesting above we can significantly add to the positive effects of Sequestration and the government shut down last fall without the negatives. The alternative is a DISASTER!