For the past two special elections in Fairfax County, Democrats have resorted to creating door hangers for GOTV invoking certain talk show hosts and public figures as scare tactics. Dave Marsden used Sarah Palin (we could use it to, as we could say, “I can see my house from my basement apartment”), and now, Eileen Filler-Corn, who is running against Kerry Bolognese, is using Rush Limbaugh. So, my question is: who will they use next?
Guest Post by Congressman Bob Goodlatte
This week President Barack Obama sat down with a bipartisan group of House and Senate Members to discuss health care reform. While only time will tell I hope that this signals a true turning point in the health care discussion. The American people have repeatedly called on Washington to scrap these massive health care bills in favor of a more modest approach. I have held town hall meetings, telephone town hall meetings, and I’ve received thousands of letters, phone calls and e-mails from folks all across the Sixth Congressional District and the message is simple: Washington must push the reset button on health care reform.
In fact, a recent opinion poll shows that 61 percent of Americans would prefer a more modest approach to health care reform which includes allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines to improve competition, creating a risk pool to help people with pre-existing conditions afford coverage, and curbing lawsuits against doctors to cut down on the practice of defensive medicine. Only 21 percent of the participants in this nationwide poll favored the massive bills currently being pushed by the President and Speaker Pelosi.
While American families want health care reform that will expand access and choices and decrease costs, the proposals currently before Congress include tax increases, Medicare cuts, job-killing mandates, and higher premiums. This latest health care bill is nothing more than the same government-run insurance, mandates and taxes the American people have overwhelmingly rejected.
Instead we must focus on strategies that help Americans obtain the best quality health care at the least cost, and ensure that the government fosters increased access to quality care based on individual choice, not by taking away choices from people on the grounds that government knows best.
My constituents have told me they overwhelmingly support proposals which allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines, allow individuals and small businesses to join large pools to get more competitive rates, provide tort reform to cut down the high cost of defensive medicine, allow full tax deductibility of health insurance premiums, provide portability of health insurance and protection against pre-existing condition exclusions. I agree and in addition, I support health insurance tax credits for individuals and families who don’t have access to employer-based health insurance, increasing the number of community health centers, and encouraging the use of health information technology to achieve greater efficiencies.
Our nation’s health care system needs reform. Now is the time for action. It is my hope that this Health Care Reform Summit will launch a true bipartisan health care debate. I look forward to working with others in Congress to advance the principles that have strong public and bipartisan support and enacting legislation that makes health care more affordable and more accessible for all Americans.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at http://www.goodlatte.house.gov.
Normally, I would highlight a song for Saturday Tuneage. However, this week marked the start of Spring Training for Major League Baseball. As most of you know, I am a die hard baseball fanatic. In honor of my favorite sport, I wanted to focus Saturday Tuneage on my favorite baseball movie…Major League.
The White House held the infamous “Blair House Project” (or health care summit, for those who want to be politically correct) yesterday. There was heated debate between the Republicans and Democrats about how to address the health care plan. Currently, the Democrats are prepared to “go it alone” to get this monstrosity (I term it as a monstrosity, because basically, we will all be placed under government health care) passed and signed into law.
Throughout most of yesterday, I was partially keeping track of Twitter to find some crazy one liners and news from this event. The most insane comment goes to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) for her comments, where she deems domestic violence as a “pre-existing condition” and prepare yourselves for this one…talking about a constituent’s need for dentures and possibly resorting to using a dead relative’s teeth. Reminder…I am not making this shit up.
Then, there was a smack down that ensued. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took President Obama to task for the health care bill. Basically, it sounded like a rematch of the 2008 elections.
With all of the debates and hijinks taking place yesterday, it leaves one to ponder if Congress and the White House will ever embrace a health care plan that does not compromise liberty and damage the free market economy. Currently under the Democrat controlled Congress and White House, we are unlikely to see any improvements for health care, rather there will be more people hurting and struggling for quality coverage.
At a Board of Supervisors hearing on Tuesday, Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin released his budget recommendations for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010 and goes through June 30, 2011. It should come as no surprise that the recommendations include bringing back the vehicle registration fee and a real estate tax increase. While the budget recommendations do have some cuts, such as no pay raises for county employees, there is one key agency that is requesting additional funds and it might contribute to more tax increases.
Now, it might not seem odd that the Fairfax County School Board is requesting additional funds, but the economic situation requires cuts in this agency as well. For example, Fairfax County is seeking more funds to pay for pensions and better health care coverage. Meanwhile, there are taxpayers struggling to keep their health care coverage. While public education is an essential service, the school board should look over their own specific budget and tailor it accordingly.
Speaking on the budget recommendations, Arthur Purves, President of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, said:
The county and school system went on a spending binge during the housing bubble. County and school salary increases far exceeded private-sector salary increases. In addition, county and school employee benefits costs soared to pay for pensions and generous health insurance, while the private sector-taxpayer is losing pensions and health insurance.
Specifically, the school board has a one-year $98M increase in employee benefits costs, of which $71M is for pensions, $15M is for retiree healthcare, and the rest for health insurance. If they do not get a tax increase, the school board will lay off teachers, increase class size, and cut band and sports to free up $98M. This is after an eight-year period where school salaries increased faster than taxpayer salaries.
The county also has a $35M increase in pension costs.
We believe it is unfair to raise taxes so that the county employees can be better compensated than the taxpayers. Instead, the county and schools should cut salaries to free up money to pay for employee benefits increases.
Perhaps, it is time to look at each department in Fairfax County and evaluate their budgets carefully. It is not the time for tax increases, rather it is the time to find where there is excessive spending and find ways to reduce it.
Today, Governor Bob McDonnell directed the Virginia Department of Transportation to begin patching up potholes beginning in March. This winter has not been very kind to the roads, and potholes are everywhere in neighborhoods across the Commonwealth.
McDonnell had this to say about the potholes:
“VDOT’s top priorities are motorist safety and emergency response. Potholes are a roadway hazard and a nuisance for every person driving our highways, that’s why we’re declaring a Pothole Blitz this March. We are going all-out to repair these pavements and make traveling safer and more comfortable for Virginians.”
However, you can help assist in getting the potholes repaired.
“Motorists traveling across Virginia know best where the worst potholes lie. We want citizens to help us identify potholes as they form so that VDOT crews can quickly be dispatched to make repairs,” McDonnell said. “VDOT crews, state police and contractors report potholes as they travel for their duties. This March, we are asking for citizen’s help to identify these hazards. All Virginians can be a part of this Pothole Blitz so we can work together to improve everyone’s safety and comfort as they travel through our great Commonwealth.”
To report a pothole, citizens should visit http://www.VirginiaDOT.org or call VDOT’s Highway Helpline at 800-367-7623 (ROAD). TTY users, call 711.
Hopefully, winter will soon be over and the nice warm weather will return.
Recently, the Fairfax Education Association held a press conference to discuss the budget. Also, on the agenda was discussion of the 41st House District, and one of those speaking was a teacher and FEA member who spoke out against Kerry Bolognese and his positions being tailored to score political points. This teacher might have had an interesting past…go figure!
Kerry Bolognese, candidate for the open House of Delegates seat in the 41st District recently released a new TV ad. The special election to fill this seat will take place on March 2nd at polling locations throughout the 41st District.
Thankfully, someone is memorializing the scourge of internet browsers. Hasta la vista, IE6! Have fun burning in hell for eternity. Those who are web developers will come to embrace this post and have a laugh at this.
Here is the proper obituary:
Internet Explorer 6 died a horrid death after a web developer went through and tripped up the code. After causing many gray hairs and screaming attacks, IE6, as he/she/it/that was called, gained great popularity. IE6 was born at a lab in the underground bunker at the Microsoft headquarters. Throughout his long, troublesome life, IE6 eventually created a spawn, IE7, who is still living and causing similar issues as his dear old dad.
IE6 is survived by his son and IE8, his new wife.
Since IE6 made every web developers life hell, he requested everyone party by wearing blue and gray.
It seems like Rep. Tom Perriello’s seat might not be safe after all, especially after The New York Times reported in this weekend’s edition that there are concerns about his re-election chances.
“After collecting pledges for millions of volunteer hours, O.F.A., under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, is starting its “You Fight, We’ll Fight” effort by asking people to help in two regions to aid vulnerable lawmakers — in Colorado, for Senator Michael Bennet, the Democrat appointed last year — and in Virginia’s 5th congressional district, for Representative Tom Perriello, the freshman Democrat.”
If you think this is bad, then you should definitely check out the special plea that David Plouffe sent to Organizing for America.
“Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia are two new members of Congress who have stood up for health reform and suffered vicious, deceptive attacks from the opposition. Now they’re both facing tough re-election fights, and they need our support.”
Why would the Democrats be having anxiety attacks over this race? Is it due to Perriello’s support of almost all of Obama’s policy objectives? After all, Perriello supports Obama’s cap and trade initiatives, when the district he represents is not in favor of many of the President’s key policies.