Dems just can’t say ‘no’ |

Dems just can’t say ‘no’

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Blanca O’Leary regarding her second attempt to mislead your readers about Rep. Scott Tipton’s “no” vote on the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy “Relief” Bill (“Sandy aid is justified,” Letters, Jan. 29, The Aspen Times).

In my original letter, I described a partial list of pork-barrel spending in the bill that amounted to $18.38 billion. I give credit to O’Leary for correctly pointing out that $914 million I categorized as pork was legitimate relief and that the $17 billion HUD slush fund had been reduced in the final bill to a mere $16 billion (32 percent of the final bill).

On the other hand, O’Leary incorrectly claimed that the $348 million directed to the National Park Service was for the Historic Preservation Fund, while the actual number is $50 million. In other words, I was 95 percent correct. I’ll take it!

An additional partial list of non-emergency, non-relief relief approved by the bill is as follows:

• $1.1 million – National Cemetery Administration.

• $1.31 million – ammunition for the Army.

• $3.87 million – Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.

• $24.24 million – new military construction.

• $44.5 million – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft upgrades.

• $50 million – weather research programs.

• $111 million – weather satellite data mitigation gap reserve.

• $582 million – future flood control.

• $742 million – channel dredging.

• $5.38 billion (10.6 percent of the bill) – Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program to carry out projects related to reducing risk of damage from future disasters.

And there are scores of additional non-emergency spending items that cost billions of additional dollars.

I agree with O’Leary that emergency relief spending for natural disasters is a necessary and compassionate component of government spending. Pork, on the other hand, should be negotiated in the regular course of business in the House and Senate.

My point is a simple one. The United States of America is the brokest country in the history of mankind, yet O’Leary and her crowd just can’t say “no” to any new spending or entitlement. The only way we can meet our future obligations is to print more money, which this administration

is doing hand-over-fist.

During the past four years, we have increased our money supply by more than $7 trillion, while we have seen commodity prices (food, fuel, clothing, transportation, etc.) prices increase by 76 percent (the Commodity Price Index has risen from 102 in January 2009 to 181 today), as the dollar has weakened. A continuation of profligate spending will eventually force the world community to drop the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, which will open Pandora’s box on our economy.

With reckless spenders controlling the White House and the Senate, I, for one, am happy to have a watch-dog like Scott Tipton looking out for future generations of Americans.

Russ Andrews


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