Himes is supporting failing policies, not his constituents

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorCongressman Himes represents himself to be an independent-thinking representative of the 4th district, reflective of the independence of his constituency.  Unfortunately his record does not reflect that position.  He has voted 95% of the time with Nancy Pelosi (and the President).  Is this what he considers “thinking for himself?”  A 95% record of voting with the Democrats does not remotely mirror his constituency.

Himes correctly focuses on the problems of a lackluster economy.  This has been the worst recovery in the last 50 years.  In the first quarter of 2014, the GDP, the Real Gross Domestic Product — the total output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent (-2.9% growth), one of the worst ever non-recession performances, the steepest decline in five years and a precipitous decline from the fourth quarter of 2013 when real GDP increased by an unimpressive 2.6 percent.

 

Citing the Obama record in job creation as a sign of a growing economy, Himes does not say that many of those jobs are part-time jobs or represent underemployment for those people in them; nor does he mention that we now have the lowest labor participation rate in our history 62.8%, meaning many people have dropped out of the labor force and have stopped looking for work.   However, he says the way to fix the CT Economy is through “meaningful investment in infrastructure,” i.e. Government raising taxes to create construction jobs.  Though he claims to be concerned about businesses large and small, he does not talk about making CT a more attractive economic environment for private businesses and private companies.  He further says that companies will not locate in CT because they fear the traffic (!); not because of the inhospitable tax, regulatory and economic climate here that makes CT one of the worst places to start a business, to make a living and then to retire! TopRetirements.com rated states according to their desirability for retirement.  They ranked Connecticut dead last.  And definitely do not die here if you have heirs.  Apparently, probate judges in CT have arbitrary powers to dictate “who owns the property of a decedent, and they can decide whether to strip a citizen of his or her liberty by declaring the citizen incompetent.  It is far from clear that Connecticut probate could withstand constitutional scrutiny under the Due Process clause of the U.S. Constitution.  And Inheritance taxes range from 7.2 % to 12 % depending on the size of the estate (over $2 million) on top of the Federal rates.

It has gotten so bad that 49% of CT residents would leave the state if they could! (Gallup Poll) Only 31 percent of Connecticut residents surveyed view the state as the best or one of the best states in the country to live in. That put Connecticut in the bottom 10 of the poll in which residents responded positively to their state.

In addition, 17 percent of Connecticut residents polled said the Nutmeg State is the worst possible state to live in the United States. That was tied for the second-highest percentage of responders; Rhode Island (another Democrat-governed state next door) came in with the worst score. (Gallup Poll May 1, 2014)  And it looks like many people have left CT:

  • Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, is estimated to have about 146,000 (2012) – fewer than it had in 1930 (146,716).
  • New Haven, Connecticut’s second largest city is estimated to have about 131,000 people (2012) – fewer than in 1910 (133,000).
  • Hartford, Connecticut’s third largest city, is estimated to have about 125,000 people (2012) – fewer than in 1920 (138,036).

Another part of Himes’ plan for economic growth in the 4th district is to revamp JFK and LaGuardia airports!  Those would be NY jobs, not CT jobs.

 

Congressman Himes wants to cut defense even further than the $1 trillion Obama has already cut it, to pay for more Government spending on infrastructure.  This is at a time when Russia is expanding its territory, taking land from Ukraine, Georgia and threatening other surrounding countries like Poland.  The Middle East is being consumed by Al Qaeda and its affiliates (ISIS) and our ally, Israel, is under assault by Hamas.   Latin America is in turmoil and apparently our military is so disabled that according to the Obama Administration story, it is unable to rescue American diplomats when they are under attack, as in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  Himes voted against the National Defense Authorization Act “while stressing his commitment to defense, a critical issue in a state like Connecticut where building submarines and helicopters are drivers of the economy.”  Well, which is it?  Is he for a strong National Defense and supporting the CT industries and jobs that assure it or is he against it?  His vote carries more weight than his words on a page.

 

In discussing the disgraceful problems at the VA, Himes calls for “…a change agent who comes in with a mission to make the changes that need to be made.”  Admirable but the problem is a flawed system that shows what happens when the Government bureaucracy controls and attempts to provide Health Care.  The solution is not in another bureaucrat.  The solution is in applying free market principles such as allowing veterans to seek the medical care they need wherever they choose to get it and (the government) paying for it through vouchers or a similar system.

 

This brings us to Obamacare, which Himes supports when many in the district (and a majority of Americans) oppose it.  The VA system was held up as the example of how the Affordable Care Act (or as I prefer to call it, the Un-affordable Care Act), would work for the American People.  Really?  When it comes to Obamacare, let’s look at what Congressman Himes’ fellow Democrats have said about it:  Former Senator Max Baucus called the law “a train wreck.”  Sen. Jay Rockefeller has said that the law is “beyond comprehension.” Yet Jim Himes supports it.  When he states that he is interested in any good ideas to fix Obamacare, why did the Democrats, including Himes, refuse to even allow any Republicans in the room when the law was written nor will they consider any Republican changes today.  I also question his number of “over 20 million Americans…” who have signed up for health insurance under Obamacare.   In researching this question, the highest number I can find is 8 million people, not 20 million, (in Bloomberg article by Alex Wayne on June 17, 2014, New York Times article by Robert Pear June 15, 2014, Vox.com article by Sarah Kliff June 12, 2014).  Many of the 8 million are people who had health insurance but have lost it due to Obamacare and many others are people who have been pushed onto Medicaid. Obamacare covers previously uninsured people by expanding Medicaid and this in turn raises premiums for people with private insurance.  According to Betsey McCaughey, the new law transforms Medicaid from a temporary safety net to a permanent entitlement to replace private insurance.

 

My personal aversion to Obamacare stems from my abhorrence of the Government having anything to do with my private medical care, controlling my access to medical care and dictating treatment to my doctors.  If a Government controls a person’s medical care, it controls the person.  That is not America.

 

While Himes states that “Over the last four years we’ve seen low, single-digit healthcare inflation,” that statement ignores the huge increases that many Americans have experienced in their health insurance premiums both privately and with policies purchased through Obamacare.

 

It is weak and wrong to portray the ACA as providing a boost to the economy by allowing people who previously had been afraid of losing their health coverage to leave their jobs to pursue dreams of starting their own businesses.  That does not happen in such a hostile and uncertain business climate.  What is happening is that companies are not hiring the 50th employee, not expanding and are using temporary and part-time workers in order not to have to provide them with health insurance.

 

When I look at the weak and pathetic economic climate in America, when I look at our foreign policy, our diminished standing in the world and the dangerous, deteriorating situation in many regions of the world which poses existential threats to America and our allies, I see a President and a Democrat Party who defer our national security and interests to our enemies.  When I look at the deluge of illegal immigrants flooding across our southern border encouraged and unimpeded by a President and his Party who encourage this human disaster; when I see young Americans refuse to allow those with whom they might disagree to speak (they do not actually know if they disagree because they refuse to listen to them) due to the miscarriage of our educational system controlled by the teachers unions and allies of the Democrat Party; when I see a calamitous future for our health care system as a result of a law imposed by the President Obama and the Democrat Party on the American People that a majority of the American people oppose, I see failure everywhere.  Those failures are the result of Democrat Policies promoted by President Barack Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid.  They are the results of policies that Jim Himes has supported 95% of the time.  It is time for change in Washington and it can start in the 4th District of Connecticut.  If the voters send Jim Himes back to Washington to continue to vote in favor of failed policies and failed results, it would be the definition of insanity (according to Einstein).
In Dan Debicella the Fourth District will have a true independent voice and representative in Congress

 

Leora Levy
Greenwich

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