Friday, February 10, 2012
McCarthy: Time for Obama to stop telling us what we 'need' like high speed rail
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"February 6 marked President Ronald Reagan’s 101st birthday. What strikes me most when I reflect on his life is that his words and actions continue to inspire America. He truly believed in this country
"This week, it was hard to ignore the uproar surrounding the Obama Administration’s mandate that flouted religious freedoms and our First Amendment rights. In attempting to implement the new health care law (whose own constitutionality is currently in question in the Supreme Court), the Administration set out new rules that would force religiously-affiliated organizations to comply with mandates in Obamacare, even if those mandates infringe on their conscience and beliefs. I join many of you who have called my office in outrage to this decision, and I will work to ensure this action does not stand.
"Unfortunately, this Administration has made a habit of telling the American people what they ‘need.’ This week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in California to talk about how badly the state needed high-speed rail (HSR). Sound bites are nice, but the fact is that HSR is the last thing California’s strained budget and overburdened taxpayers need. The money’s not there, the ridership estimates are exaggerated and the people don’t want it. Both the Bakersfield City Council and Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to oppose the project, and 59 percent of voters say given the chance to vote again, they would vote no.
"The Federal Government is going into its fourth year of $1 trillion deficits and the State of California could run out of money by early March. HSR is not a smart investment, and I’m continuing to push
legislation to freeze all unspent federal dollars for the project. Many Californians work hard to support their families, save for their kid’s college, and build a nest egg for retirement, all the while
paying taxes to Washington and Sacramento. We must do more to ensure that government respects the money you send to Washington and spends it carefully.
"Despite all our challenges, America remains strong and I remain optimistic. I am reminded of President Reagan’s farewell speech, where he described that shining city on a hill. President Reagan said, “I’ve
spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors
and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” And that’s how I see it, and see it still.