Friday, February 17, 2012

McCarthy: President's budget represents largest tax increase and highest debt in American history, not the way to put country back on track

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield and House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill.

 "Almost three years ago, President Obama pledged to cut our nation’s deficit in half by the end of his first term. He has not followed through on that promise. Not only are we going into our fourth
consecutive year of $1 trillion deficits, the budget he released Monday includes the highest government spending, the largest tax increase and the highest debt in American history.

 "The families and businesses in Bakersfield know what increased taxes mean for them, but I want to take a moment to focus on the impact of what the President’s continued spending and borrowing mean. Under the President’s budget proposal, our $15 trillion debt would jump to $26 trillion by 2022. Just four years ago, our debt was $9.4 trillion. This is not the way to put America back on the path to prosperity. We just have to look to Greece to see the consequences of massive borrowing. Greece’s debt is over 150 percent of its GDP, and under this Administration, our debt has already increased to over 100 percent of GDP and will only keep climbing under his policies.

 "Federal debt is just like any other debt. If someone borrows $1000, that person has to pay it back with interest. On the federal level, we’re paying approximately $250 billion every year just in interest on
our debt. That’s more than six times what we spend on the Department of Homeland Security. Under the President’s proposal, our interest payments would skyrocket to $850 billion by 2022.  This unsustainable path potentially means higher interest rates that will drive up the costs of paying off the federal debt, as well as higher consumer and business interest rates that could drive up the costs of mortgages, cars or small business loans right here in our community. This is already beginning to happen in Italy.

 "We have to address the borrowing. Economists agree that failing to get a handle on our debt and deficit will harm private sector job creation. The President’s pledge in 2009 to cut the deficit in half
shows he understands the importance of fiscal responsibility, yet his Administration refuses to take any meaningful action to make necessary changes. And the continued debt crisis in Europe shows us first-hand the impacts of tax, spend and borrow policies. That’s why I’m disturbed by the President’s budget, which includes more of these same failed policies.

 "The President missed a major opportunity with his budget proposal. Instead of continuing the progress Republicans started last year to get our spending under control and make serious budget reforms, it
takes us further down the path of unsustainably and does nothing to ensure our kids and grandkids are left with a better tomorrow. We need= to move away from this tax and borrow mentality that has marked this
Administration, and that’s why my colleagues and I have made cutting spending a top priority and will be unveiling a responsible budget in the coming months.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beverly Byl ends tumultuous time at CSUB and Karen Goh picks up big name supporters in bid for Supervisor post

 * ... BYL OUT: Beverly Byl, once the chief fund raiser at Cal State Bakersfield, has landed a new job as interim vice president for University Advancement for Cal State University Maritime in Vallejo. Byl's time at CSUB was a rocky one, and her departure ends a period of turmoil during which she and some of the university's strongest supporters butted heads. At one point during her tenure, the chairman of the university Foundation, Geoff King, called for her to step down. A few months ago she lost her title as VP of Advancement and was repositioned to become head of governmental affairs. No word yet on how or if she will be replaced.

* ... GOH: Friends of Fifth District supervisor Karen Goh held a fund raiser this week at the downtown home of Kyle and Kim Carter. Goh, who was appointed to the post to replace state Sen. Michael Rubio, is now running for a full term and has picked up the support of a long list of heavy hitters. Among the fund raiser "host committee" were Morgan Clayton, Lou and Sheryl Barbich, Judi and Rob McCarthy, Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Ray and Joan Dezember, Sal and Cynthia Giumarra, Harvey and Lavonne Hall, George and Linda Martin, Mary K. Shell, Steve and Katie Valentich, Larry and Susan Moxley, Tony Martinez, Don Martin and Chuck Kirschenmann. The only other declared candidate in the race is former public defender Leticia Perez.

 * ... BROCKS: Most of us remember Brock's, the popular locally owned department store downtown, but how many of us had a Brock's  charge card? This from reader Sandy Palmer Spray: "I have my mother's Brock's charge card, one of the earliest issued I think, in the 1950s.  It is small, like an addressograph card size, pink, just her name and account number on the back.  It is still in the little pink plastic case it arrived in and I am not sure if she ever used it as she was a cash kind of gal. I treasure it as one of many fond memories of Brock's."

 * ... SPOTTED: On a friend's Facebook page: "And for tonight's official 'I'm old' moment: my son informed me that he has 'no idea' what a pay phone is!"

  * ... OVERHEARD: My mouth was watering as I overheard a hair stylist describe a Valentine's Day take-out special from Cafe Med: "We had two 9-ounce filets plus shrimp, plus twice baked potatoes, a Greek salad with their special pita bread and all for $47. I can't tell you how delicious it was."

 * ... MARRIAGE: Did you know that interracial marriage in the United States has reached an all-time high? That's according to USA Today which says that in 2010, 8.4 percent of all marriages involved interracial couples, compared to 3.2 percent in 1980. The Pew Research Center says interracial marriage has gone from "taboo to rarity, and with each passing year, it's less of a rarity."

 * ... EXCHANGE STUDENTS: A local organization is trying to find temporary homes for French exchange students who will soon be visiting Bakersfield. The students are aged 15 and 16 and will stay every night in the host family home. Susan Peninger is the coordinator for Horizons du Monde, so if you are interested, give her a call at (661) 332-7147.