"The Labor Department released its monthly report on unemployment Friday, noting the national jobless rate held steady at just under 10-percent in March. However, the reality is that the "official' jobless rate does not really reflect true conditions in New Jersey. That's because many people who want to work full-time are forced to take part-time jobs and many have given up on their job search altogether and are no longer counted in the "official' unemployment rate.
"I have said it before and I will say it again: job creation and opportunities in the private sector should have been our prime focus for the last year, not enactment of a government takeover of health care or nationalizing the federal student loan industry or GMAC or domestic auto manufacturers.
"Tragically, the policies of higher taxes, runaway spending, government takeovers and record public debt are having a chilling effect on the nation's job creators. More than 7.5 million jobs have been lost since Speaker Pelosi and her Majority took control of Congress three years ago and 3.3 million jobs have been lost since the President signed his "stimulus' plan into law a year ago.
"When Congress returns from its Spring recess, the House will begin consideration of the annual budget resolution which will be based on the budget proposed by the President in February. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the President's budget plan will increase the public debt to $20.3 trillion by 2020.
"According to the same experts at CBO, the Congressional Majority has run up a $655 billion deficit in just the first five months of this fiscal year!
"As I listen to people across northern New Jersey, I hear them say that they want action now that will control runaway federal spending. I agree. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer for Washington to enact real solutions that will reduce spending and help put people back to work.
"We can't borrow, spend and tax our way back to a strong economy. And we should not try!"
Recommended Reading: Charles Schwab in the Tuesday Wall Street Journal: "Low Interest Rates Are Squeezing Seniors":
The President: More Health "Reform" Coming
The President told NBC's Today Show on Tuesday that the government takeover of health care was not enough. More "reform" is coming: "I think it is a critical first step in making a health care system that works for all Americans. It is not going to be the only thing. We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs."
The truth of the matter is that the package he signed into law last month raises costs for taxpayers, employers, small businessmen and women, and especially for younger workers. The Associated Press reported this week that "Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans -- a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect. Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required by law to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That's when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase. The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years."
Read the AP story here:
Recommended Reading II: An excellent "read" by William McGurn in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal "The Tax Police and the Health-Care Mandate":
Noted With Interest: Student Loan Bureaucracy Having "Difficulties"
On the very day that President Obama was signing legislation completing the government takeover of the federal student loan business from private sector lenders, the agency running the program was offline! According to the Washington Times, "Visitors to the site www.studentloans.gov early Tuesday afternoon saw an error message, while users Monday saw either an error message or, in the evening, were simply unable to connect to the site at all."
Should we be surprised to see a massive government bureaucracy having technical difficulties?
Many borrowers are already concerned that they will have to deal with government bureaucrats at federal "call centers", rather than with loan specialists at banks. And college Presidents from New Jersey report that many young people are not having their loan applications processed in a timely manner because the federal government has not hired enough workers to handle the load!
Recommended Reading III: Jon Hilsenrath in Sunday's Wall Street Journal: "Lost Faith in Institutions Hurt's U.S.'s Prospects":
"One Expensive Hole": Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Site
As Ranking Republican on the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Rodney understands that a threat to America's energy security is a threat to America's national security. Diversity of supply leads to security of supply which is why he supports, among other forward-looking actions, building more nuclear power plants to produce electricity. (New Jersey already gets 48 percent of its power supply from nuclear reactors.)
It is ironic that as support for nuclear power has reached an all-time high in the United States, the Obama Administration is closing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, leaving the U.S. without any long term solution for its nuclear waste, currently stored in temporary facilities around the country
This week, CNN's David Mattingly filed this report on the fate of the Yucca Mountain facility:
Fast Forward on Nuclear Arms?
The Obama Administration is moving quickly in the areas of nuclear weapons and arms control. President Obama next week will travel to Prague to meet Russian President Mevedev and sign a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on treaty. The new treaty will require each side to reduce the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 and the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers and bombers to 800.
After the President signs the treaty, it will be submitted to the United States Senate for possible ratification. The treaty bears extremely close examination on a number of fronts.
One of the most serious questions is: will the pact limit our use of conventional, non-nuclear strike systems? The treaty is said to limit both deployed and non-deployed strategic launchers at 800 and it seems that this limit will hold whether the launchers are armed with nuclear warheads, or not. If launchers are subject to this strict numerical limitation then the treaty by definition imposes a limitation on U.S. options for fielding conventional, non-nuclear strike systems -- a very dangerous prospect for our military.
CIA: Iran Can Produce Nukes
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released a report this week that indicated that Iran is preparing to produce nuclear weapons after its uranium expansion program of 2009.
'Iran continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so,' the annual report to Congress states.
Read Bill Gertz's story in the Washington Times here:
It's "Census Day"!
Today is "Census Day" as the government conducts its national head count. New Jersey households received their 2010 Census form this month and it is critically important that you fill it out and send it back in.
According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, the 2010 Census will determine how more than $500 billion in federal funds is distributed annually across the country. Specifically, 215 federal programs rely on Census data to determine how much money they send to states, counties and municipalities.
We live in a state which time and time again gets shortchanged on the return of our tax dollars from Washington. So it is vital that everyone in New Jersey be counted!
So find that Census form. Fill it out and send it back!
Rodney has held meetings with mayors and other public leaders designed to enlist the support of local leaders to assure the widest possible participation and the most accurate count of everyone in our communities.
11th Congressional District Academy Night
On Monday, May 3, Rodney will host his tenth annual Academy Night, which gives interested local students, parents, and guidance counselors the opportunity to meet with representatives from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Academy Night will begin at 7 p.m. at Montville High School's auditorium on May 3.
The meeting is open to all prospective students, their parents and school guidance counselors.
For further information, contact Rodney's Morristown office at 973-984-0711.