Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now, as always, it is a great honor to speak on this floor where so many have given so much trying to get the country in the right direction.
I do need to address some things that have come up. For one thing, I would like to read an article from The Washington Examiner, June 9, 2010, written by Timothy Carney.
``As BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig was sinking on April 22, Senator John Kerry, D-Mass, was on the phone with allies in his push for climate legislation, telling them he would soon roll out the Senate climate bill with the support of the utility industry and three oil companies--including BP, according to the Washington Post.
``Kerry never got to have his photo op with BP chief executive Tony Hayward and other regulation-friendly corporate chieftains. Within days, Republican cosponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, repudiated the bill following a spat about immigration, and Democrats went back to the drawing board.
``But the Kerry-BP alliance for an energy bill that included a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gases pokes a hole in a favorite claim of President Obama and his allies in the media--that BP's lobbyists have fought fiercely to be left alone. Lobbying records show that BP is no free-market crusader, but instead a close friend of big government whenever it serves the company's bottom line.''
It goes on to point out that British Petroleum has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, for the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout and for subsidies for things like oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.
``Now that BP's oil rig''--this is the article written by Timothy Carney, ``Now that BP's oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in American history, the Left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with Enron and AIG: Whenever a company earns universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market.
``As Democrats fight to advance climate change policies, they are resorting to the misleading tactics they used in their health care and finance efforts:
posing as the scourges of the special interests and tarring `reform' opponents as the stooges of big business. Expect BP to be public enemy No. 1 in the climate debate.''
Again, this is the article by Timothy Carney, June 9 of this year.
Carney goes on, ``There's a problem: BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the Nation's largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired plants that switched to gas.''
Well, it goes on, it talks more. It mentions that ``BP signed off on Kerry's Senate climate bill, which was hardly a capitalist concoction. One provision BP explicitly backed, according to Congressional Quarterly and other media reports: a higher gas tax. The money would be earmarked for building more highways, thus inducing more driving and more gasoline consumption.
``Elsewhere in the green arena, BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy, two products that cannot break even without government support. Lobbying records show the company backing solar subsidies, including Federal funding for solar research. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a Federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.
``Ex-Im has also put up taxpayer cash to finance construction of the 1,094 Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, Turkey--again profiting BP.
``Lobbying records also show BP lobbying on Obama's stimulus bill and Bush's Wall Street bailout. You can guess the oil giant wasn't in league with the Cato Institute or Ron Paul on those.
``BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans. It employs the Podesta Group, cofounded by John Podesta, Obama's transition director and confidant. Other BP troops on K Street include Michael Berman, a former top aid to Vice President Walter Mondale, Steven Champlin, former executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, and Matthew LaRocco, who worked in Bill Clinton's Interior Department and whose father was a Democratic Congressman.''
``Two patterns have emerged during Obama's presidency: (1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and (2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand.
``Once a government pet, BP now a capitalist tool.'' Again, this is from The Washington Examiner's lobbying editor, Timothy P. Carney. Interesting.
Some of my friends come to the floor and talk about, make it sound like the Republicans and BP are really tight. You look at the lobbying records for BP, you look at the contribution records for the Wall Street firms that benefited so dramatically from the ridiculous bailout, yes, it was a Republican President, should have known better.
You don't set aside free market principles to save the free market, because if only socialism works in a crisis, we got no business going back to free market in the good times.
But the trouble is it was no free market. In this world in which people are not perfect and you have some greedy people, you have some people that lust for power, you have got to have a government intervention to make sure everyone is playing fairly; not that everyone has equal assets but that people have an equal opportunity. That's what a free market is supposed to be about in this world. In the next, we won't need a government. God will reign. But in this one, we need a government, and it needs not to be a player on the field and also the referee. We've had enough of that, got that going on in the flood insurance program. We now have been told in this last year and a half that, gee, we need the Federal Government playing in the health care field just to give an option. That's what we heard in the flood insurance program, and now the Federal Government is the only flood insurance program because nobody can compete with a government that gets to run in the red all the time.
So I appreciate my friends trying to lay BP at the feet of the Republicans, but the fact is that the reason, apparently, that it took so long for this administration to finally turn on BP was--they did have to turn on them because they were together, working together on the crap-and-trade bill because BP was right there with them, supporting that crap-and-trade bill. And then you had Senator Kerry, the administration, I mean, BP was their buddy. They were helping them on the stimulus package, of all things. Most of the true free market people that don't want the government taking over everything were not supportive of the stimulus bill because they knew exactly what has happened would happen. That's what people knew, that when the government starts sucking all the capital out of the country for its own uses and its own devices, then the great job creator, small business, private business across the country, cannot get loans.
And I so agree with my friend Mr. Schauer when he talks about how difficult it is for people to get loans in this country; it is just so difficult. We've got regulators breathing down their throats requiring them to hold more in reserve than the law requires, requiring them not to lend money to people that have been with them 20 and 30 years as great banking clients, threatening the full vengeance of the Federal Government if they were to make loans that some regulators told them not to make so that people can't get capital. The Federal Government is sucking it up, and it is a terrible, terrible shame.
And I appreciated my friends across the aisle pointing out that, as Mr. Schauer said, I think it's 600,000, 700,000 jobs were lost the last 5 months of the Bush administration, and then he went on and pointed out that over the last 5 months the average has been 170,000 jobs a month that have been added. My friend from Florida came in and didn't realize he had said that. Her figure was 125,000 jobs per month. But we won't haggle over 50,000 jobs average per month. We would love to have those jobs. But unfortunately, to get to an average, whether it's 125,000 or 170,000, you have to have things like we did in June. 430,000 jobs created in the month of June. Great news. 431,000, actually. Unfortunately, 411,000 of those were temporary census workers. Oh, yeah, the economy is just booming, isn't it?
It gets so tiresome hearing my friends across the aisle talk about that last year that Bush was in office and the damage he did to the economy. It's deeply troublesome because the fact is, in November of 2006, our Democratic friends took the majority by promising America that Republicans would not control spending but they would. They promised that we will get rid of this ridiculous $100 billion, $200 billion deficit for 1 year of spending by the Republicans who controlled Congress because, as anybody who has had any decent education in this country knows, the President and the executive branch can only spend money that is appropriated by the Congress. So we also know, then, for the last 2 years of the Bush Presidency, every stinking bill that passed only did so because the majority wanted it to pass. There was nothing Republicans could do in 2007 and 2008 to stop any bill in Congress that our friends across the aisle wanted to have passed. We tried. We made points of order, objections when we could see that the rules were not being followed and then would be ruled down from the Chair in order for us to appeal the ruling, which was voted down every single time that we appealed the ruling of the Chair because they had the votes to do so, not because it was a violation of the rule.
So we come to the point a fair analysis has to indicate that if the spending was out of control in 2007 and 2008, obviously it wasn't because of the Bush administration. They can't appropriate anything to themselves. And if the policies of spending caused this great loss of jobs in the fall of 2008, then it was either the responsibility of the majority party, the majority party either caused the massive problems in 2008 to our economy, or the majority party was the most incompetent ever to be in the majority in this House. I don't think they were that incompetent. I think they passed exactly what was intended.
We heard talk about the wonderful health care bill. It got pretty tiresome over the last year and a half hearing friends across the aisle accuse me and others of misrepresenting the real facts. How could we not understand what the bill was about? Well, the truth is, for those of us that read the ridiculous bills that were brought forth that were not about health care but were about the GRE--``government running everything''--we knew problems that were going to be forthcoming. Some of us came to this very podium and other podiums here and talked about what was in the bill because we were reading these provisions that deeply troubled us.
And I note, General Electric is a big backer of this administration, been so excited about the health care bill because they were going to get to have the contract for bringing together all of the health care records in the country, that the Federal Government was going to be the repository, the depository for every health care record in America. The personal, private, biological situations of every person in America would be within the control of the Federal Government.
You know, there are people who have made incredible deals happen, who have made the economy purr, and though they knew they were dying, others didn't know. The Federal Government didn't know, and so they made things happen because their biological lives were their own lives. Their lives were their own business. As a result of the ObamaCare bill that needs desperately to be repealed, if it is not, every man's most private, personal lives will be under the electronic control of the Federal Government.
We have noticed that, when someone stands up against this administration, private information seems to surface from out of nowhere about that person. So anyone who stands up against them is liable to have the full power of the Democratic government come down on them.
We know that in the days preceding the impeachment vote, or the vote to remove President Clinton from office, the White House was found to have over 1,000 FBI files in the White House. In the possession of every one of those files was a felony, meaning years in prison to anyone who possessed them, to anyone who was complicit in having them brought over from the FBI, because they had to be physically brought into the White House. They were, and you had to know there were a lot of people involved. Yet not one person was prosecuted.
They could have certainly made the case against the person who had them. I believe it was 2 years in prison--it could have been 4--and I'm sure there are different ways to charge it so you could lump on different Federal charges, but at least 2,000 years in prison minimum for having those files. Any good prosecutor knows how you work that.
You go to the guy who has the files, and you say, You're looking at 2,000 years in prison. You'll never get out, but you know what? If you'll help us successfully prosecute those who have caused you to get those 1,000 FBI files--because we know you can't do it on your own--and if you help us to know who it was who told you to get these files, who went through these private FBI files--if you help us with all of that, we can work a deal. Maybe you'll do 4 years.
That's the way prosecutions normally work, and you work up the food chain until you find the highest person who was involved in bringing those files to the White House. None of that happened. None of it. For most prosecutors, they would see that as lay-down cases that are just so easy. You know, you've got them dead to rights. Now it's just a question of how far up the food chain you get to send people to prison. It didn't happen, and that was with the physical possession of FBI files.
Now we're talking about a private company overseeing this operation. We're talking about the Federal Government's having control over all of these records. I know I've heard people ask, Well, what makes you think that anybody could ever get access to these private medical records of each individual in America?
How could anybody be so naive when you see the kind of things that have already happened in this country and the disclosure of secret information? Do you think that if this Federal Government cannot keep secret the identity of our most secret agents that they will be able to keep secret the medical records of someone who has become an enemy of the reigning party in the White House or in Congress? There are always leaks these days, it seems. There are always leaks.
We've found out, in the past few days, that the government, apparently, is going to require everybody in America to have a body mass index because the Federal Government wants to know how fat everybody in America is, and it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that, once the Federal Government knows what your body mass index is, then they will be able to make decisions based on that information.
Now, I've been belittled; I've had blogs take all kinds of shots at me; I've had people on the other side of the aisle belittle this comment I'm about to make that I've made over the last year and a half; but, boy, is it turning out that I was right and that the naysayers simply hadn't read the bill and could not see what was going to be allowed unto the Federal Government.
Here is what I would say:
Think about it. The Federal Government has all of your personal medical records. We've been told that the Federal Government has the capability of monitoring every credit card purchase, every debit card purchase that anyone in America makes. We are also told it doesn't do that, but that it has the capability. But once the Federal Government, through tax dollars, is paying for people's health care, then it will proclaim the right to know what you're spending your money on.
For example, if you have too high of a cholesterol rate and if you have too high of a body mass index, then it's quite conceivable at some point that you'll get an email or you'll get a letter from your Federal
Government, saying, We noticed your cholesterol was 160, and we noticed that you bought bacon at the grocery store this weekend. Accordingly, since you were on a Federal program, we are going to have to increase the amount that you pay to participate in the Federal ObamaCare program in which you're found.
Well, now, as we hear these things come out, now that we are a few months past the bill's becoming law, things for which I was belittled are now appearing to be quite accurate in their projections.
I heard my friends across the aisle talking about Social Security. If people are going to represent what I believe and what I have pushed for my 5 1/2 years here in Congress, I would wish that they would get it right, because it wasn't. What I pushed with my Republican colleagues the year I got here in 2005, what I continue to push today and what I will continue to push next year, whether or not Republicans are in the majority or not, is this:
Social Security tax dollars should go into the Social Security trust fund. Statements I made back in 2005 are easy to find. I pointed out back then that I had my staff do an experiment, which was to contact the Texas Employment Retirement System, the Galveston retirement system and the Social Security system and to pose this hypothetical:
Suppose somebody had worked for 30 years, averaging $30,000 a year. What would be a person's retirement income per month?
I talked about this in 2005, in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, this year. I spoke of it recently back home in East Texas. Well, what we got from Social Security was, well, you say average. A lot will depend on how many years, it was at what level, how you ended, all these other factors. So the best we can give you is somewhere between $600 a month and $900 a month. Tragic. Six hundred dollars to $900 a month. After someone has spent a lifetime paying into Social Security that's all you get? My goodness, the prescription drugs can eat that up in a heartbeat. And if you hadn't had your home already paid for, you are in big trouble.
Six hundred dollars a month in your senior years, when you ought to be a glory to your family? No, you become a drag, because this government did not do what it said it would do--put that money in a Social Security trust fund. You look at some societies throughout history, and they point out that when you pay tribute to your seniors because of their wisdom, because of what they've learned through the years, and one society they always made, at any gathering, the oldest person the center of attention. It gave people a reason to continue to live longer, so people there did live longer. It's not what we do here, and it's tragic. We relegate our seniors, who are our greatest source of wisdom and experience and knowledge, to $600 a month for Social Security.
Well, on the other hand, checking with the Texas Employment Retirement System, they came back and said, well, because it's a hypothetical and we don't have the exact years and how much was at the end and all that, the best we can say is somewhere $2,700 to $2,800 per month in retirement income. Wow. Several times the amount you would get from Social Security in the same scenario. What's the difference? The main difference is Social Security, since its inception in the 1930s, has never had a dime go into the Social Security trust fund. I thought it had until I got here. Come to find out this has been going on from the beginning. I thought it was a more recent development, maybe since the Great Society. Not true. Since the 1930s, never a dime of Social Security tax money going into the trust fund.
How about that for a start? That's what I have been advocating. Try to lay a privatizing label on me. I have been advocating this for 5 1/2 years. Put Social Security tax money into the trust fund. Now, we've got people on our side of the aisle too, a tiny minority that say uh-oh, if you were to do that it would make the government own too much in the way of bonds. But some of them also voted for the Wall Street bailout, so apparently they got beyond that concern in the 3 intervening years since they opposed my proposal.
But there are just not a lot of people in the majority, it doesn't appear, who want to put Social Security tax dollars in the Social Security trust fund so that we can ensure that it will be there for years to come and it will draw interest. And we could do so much better by the seniors, who are the Greatest Generation, the seniors who have laid the groundwork, the foundation for this greatest advancement in human history. And now we're treating them so poorly by giving them $600 a month after all they've done because we won't put money in a trust fund so it can grow and they could get more in their senior years so that they don't have to worry whether they'll have to eat or get their drugs. We owe them so much better.
And if my friends in the majority would want to do that we could do it like that. And the President wouldn't have a choice. He'd have to sign it because you would have more than two-thirds in both Houses that would vote for that. What a great day for seniors that would be. What a great day for people moving toward their senior years to know, finally, money's going into the trust fund that will start growing. First time in American history. That's the kind of thing we need to be doing.
Now, we keep hearing about this financial reform bill. It's a financial deform bill, pure and simple. It still continues this ridiculous notion of a systemic risk panel, so that the government gets to pick and choose which companies will live and which will die. Because the way it's set up, that's what's going to happen. We already saw that with Goldman Sachs and AIG, two companies that had historically given contributions four to one to the Democratic Party over Republicans. But boy didn't George W. Bush do them a favor? He let Hank Paulson talk him into bailing out his buddies, all these big Democratic donors, to the tune of billions of dollars when they got their own cart in the ditch.
Some of us realize it's nice when you help somebody get their cart out of the ditch, but you sure shouldn't let them run over you with it once they do. And that's what's happened. Goldman Sachs had their biggest profiting year in their history. So you can bet they'll be able to donate lots and lots of money this year to keep their friends that have done them the most good in office. And it won't be Republicans.
Another problem in this financial deform act is that it creates a system of bailouts as far into the future as anybody living today can see. When anyone says that a company or a bank is too big to fail, then it is absolutely essential that they be allowed to go through bankruptcy, be declared a failure, reorganized, sell off some of their attractive assets, and reorganize so never again will they be so big that they will pose a risk to our economy. That's not what happened with the Wall Street bailout. It's not what has continued to happen.
And one of the things that has grieved so many of us, that we could not believe that any White House, Republican or Democrat, could appoint a task force, a bunch of czars, and they make decisions about who lives and who dies in the automotive industry. They picked the winners and losers. They take property from people without due process of law. They force dealers, who owe money to the banks for buying the dealerships, into losing their dealership, take it away from them without any due process of law, without a chance to go to the bankruptcy court and say we have an alternative plan. Without a chance to come to the courts and say, you know what, you're not going to sell more cars by having so many less dealers.
They didn't have a chance to come to the bankruptcy courts or to the courts of America and say why in the world would you have some idiot proclaim that in a terrible recession we're going to close down tens of thousands of jobs and put them out of business, put them out of their jobs, put their families out wanting and begging because we felt like it?
We wanted our friends to be in business, didn't want our enemies to be in business. Well, the Founders were scared to death that a government might ever have that kind of power, so they took pains, they fought for, they died for the chance to have a government with not just one House in Congress but two. So if one got too far afield, the other could rein them in, keep them from doing something stupid. And if both of them did something stupid, then the executive branch, the President, could stop them with a simple veto. And if both of them got out of hand, you had a judicial branch, and they could cancel out what the others did.
And if the executive branch gets too far afield and appoints an auto task force that's going to violate the Constitution by taking property without due process of law and they're going to just run roughshod over the laws passed by the Congress that says this is the way bankruptcy proceedings go and you don't violate that, that if an executive branch ran roughshod over both the law and the Constitution, then the Congress would be upset and they would say, Wait a minute. The Congress passed those bankruptcy laws. We don't care if you did get a bankruptcy judge who wants to be reaffirmed as a judge in a few years or be a district judge down the road. We don't care if you got them to sign that bill. We're going to cut off funding for all of these czars, all of these task forces you've appointed who have no accountability to us. We're going to cut off your money. We'll cut off your task force at the knees. We'll cut off your czars at the knees because we're going to defund them.
That power was given to Congress to make sure that you don't let an executive branch appoint a bunch of czars without the consent of the Senate and then make rules and decide who loses their property without any accountability to anybody.
The Founders knew that with people in Congress in numbers in the House and Senate, they would never let the laws they passed be run over in such a fashion. They would stop the executive branch from doing that. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen.
Congress let the executive branch, through the auto task force, disregard the Constitution, disregard the law, disregard creditors' rights in the law, disregard the rights of secured creditors, promote unsecured creditors and make them owners, put secured creditors down to getting pennies and tell the secured creditors, if you say anything about it, you'll have the full force of the Federal Government executive branch come on you and you will be done in business for good. Don't you dare stand in our way. There were threats that we heard were made. And so they couldn't fight. Their only hope was that Congress would protect the power that it was entrusted with to keep the executive branch from running over the Constitution.
Congress let it happen.
But the Founders were so clever. They knew they didn't trust government, so they had this third branch, the court. And of course the Supreme Court was the only court actually created in the Constitution. Every other court in America owes its existence to this body. But the Supreme Court, thank goodness the Founders had the foresight to create that third branch. They'll stop the auto task force from disregarding the Constitution and disregarding the laws passed by Congress. Even though Congress didn't, they will. And God bless Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to her credit, put a 24-hour hold on that whole deal.
But the executive branch scared the Supreme Court sufficiently into thinking that if they extended that 24-hour hold any further, then apparently they made the Supreme Court believe that they would be responsible for the loss of every job related to the auto industry and all of those lost jobs would be on the Supreme Court's head. Why else would they let the Constitution be trampled on in such a fashion? Why else would they allow the laws to be trampled on in such a fashion?
None of the safeguards worked and people lost their businesses.
And then we get this article, July 19, from Bloomberg of all sources, and I'll read: ``The Obama administration's push to accelerate General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC's dealership closings aimed at helping the companies compete may not have been necessary and added to unemployment, a U.S. watchdog said.
``The Treasury Department should have considered whether speeding up the closings was worth the potential loss of tens of thousands of jobs, according to a report released yesterday by Neil Barofsky, special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.'' TARP, of course.
The article goes on, ``The U.S. had rejected reorganization plans from the carmakers in March 2009, in part citing a `slow pace' for GM to scale back its dealer network.
`` `Such dramatic and accelerated dealership closings may not have been necessary and underscores the need for Treasury to tread very carefully when considering such decisions in the future,' Barofsky concluded.
``The report made prompt congressional criticism of the administration's handling of the automaker bailouts. Lawmakers have already complained about the job losses in their districts from dealership closings and the process by which retailers were selected for shutdowns.
`` `This sobering report should serve as a wake-up call as to the implications of politically orchestrated bailouts,' Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said yesterday in a statement.
``Obama's Treasury Department, which has spent $80.7 billion on auto assistance under the TARP program, criticized the inspector's audit and said without government aid both companies faced failure and possible liquidation.
``The Department's auto task force in early 2009 found Detroit-based GM's plan for closing 1,650 dealers by 2014 too slow, according to Barofsky's report. In response, GM identified 1,454 dealerships to be shut down by October, Barofsky said.
``Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler, which planned to shut almost 1,200 dealerships by 2014, instead decided to immediately close 789 in bankruptcy after Treasury's urgings, according to the report.
``The Treasury Department, using advice received from industry experts, had encouraged smaller dealership networks to help the carmakers boost sales and better compete with Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., according to the report.
``GM, which later moved to trim the closers by about half, said in a statement that events described in the report `have since been overtaken by a new GM and a stronger dealer network to match,'. The statement added, `The new GM is also moving forward to improve dealer relations and has already reinstated several hundred.' ''
Reinstated several hundred? After the executive branch forced these people to lose their property without due process of law?
Continuing on with the article.
``General Motors Co. was formed last year out of bankruptcy from the best-performing assets of General Motors Corp. while a group led by Fiat S.p.A. purchased most of the bankrupt Chrysler LLC assets, forming Chrysler Group LLC. Taxpayer aid made the reorganizations possible.''
Not bad enough to put tens of thousands of people out of business and take millions and millions of dollars without due process, we also took taxpayer money. This administration and this majority let it happen.
``Dealer complaints about closures prompted lawmakers, including Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, to ask Barofsky to investigate.
`` `There is substantial confusion, even among dealers themselves, as to how GM and Chrysler selected dealerships for termination,' Rockefeller, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said in a letter to Barofsky.
``The report found that Chrysler, which made decisions on a case-by-case basis, followed the criteria for targeting dealers for termination. GM was inconsistent and retained more than 1,300 dealers who would have been shut based on sales, consumer satisfaction and profitability, according to the report.''
`` `The fact that Treasury was acting in part as an investor in GM and Chrysler does not insulate Treasury from its responsibility to the broader economy,' Barofsky said. `Treasury should have taken special care given that the auto team's determinations had the potential to contribute to job losses.' Herbert Allison, assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability''--isn't that a misnomer. Anyway, he ``said in a letter included in the report that the restructuring process `was not easy' and required `deep and painful sacrifices' from all parties.
`` `We strongly disagree with many of your statements, your conclusions and the lessons learned,' Allison told Barofsky.
``President Barack Obama signed a law in December that required the automakers to offer binding arbitration to dealers whose outlets were being closed. GM said in March it planned to reinstate 661 dealers after the company began reevaluating the closing of 1,100 retailers.''
And who's going to pay them back for all the property that was stolen from them by this administration? But I have to add stolen legally because Congress didn't stop them; the Supreme Court didn't stop them. So, accordingly, it must have been legal. They weren't stopped by the people that could have.
Well, back to the article: ``Chrysler said that same month it was offering new franchises to 50 dealers who applied for arbitration, in addition to 36 previous offers or new agreements. Chrysler terminated 789 dealers last year and said in January that 409 had applied for arbitration.''
I tell you what, we've heard from dealers who were some of the most profitable, who were doing well, and this administration took them away from them and got a bankruptcy judge to sign off, to his shame. Should be eternal shame, the damage that judge and those auto task force people caused. Shameless.
And yet when the House and Senate asked for information, notes from their meetings, they said, We're not accountable to you. We're a rogue government, is basically what they, in essence, were saying. We're a rogue government; we're czars. We do what we want. You can't touch us. Only the President who put us in these positions can get rid of us, and he likes what we've done. That's the message in essence.
When I hear my friends across the aisle talk about the importance of PAYGO, I was a Republican that voted for that in the previous term because I supported that, and then I come to find out it was a joke. It didn't mean what they were talking about with PAYGO, because every time there's a big bill, including extending the unemployment benefits, they have no intention of paying for that, just creating an exception over and over. Here it comes with a rule. Well, PAYGO suspended, we're not going to apply here.
Well, what good was it ever passing it in the first place? I learned my lesson. I thought that I could believe my friends across the aisle: yeah, we need to vote for PAYGO. People on this side of the aisle said don't believe them. I said, no, they're pushing this PAYGO bill; I'm going to vote for it. I did, and boy, did I learn. There was no seriousness about following through on that.
And it still blows my mind to hear people say over and over that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are wrong. They're right. If you do nothing but have tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, it is wrong, should not happen. But how about when you have a tax break for the people paying taxes? That's fair. When it's an across-the-board tax cut, evenly cut across the board, that's fair.
Unfortunately, we are quickly approaching the point where 50 percent or more of Americans will not pay income tax. Historians have warned about this point, that it is the point of no return. It is the line of demarcation. Once you pass it, you can't get back. Only with a miracle from God can a Nation be saved once a representative government has more than 50 percent of its voters not paying the taxes that run the government. When you get past that point, you're done.
It's one of the reasons I came here. It's one of the reasons I don't sleep much, keep working away, trying to figure out ways to hold this place together until we can have a fair deal for everybody.
Heck, I'm the guy that came up with the tax holiday idea. When the Bush administration and Obama administration were talking about, you know, really trillions of dollars to get the economy going, heck, I found out you're talking about trillions, Federal Reserve, trillions, to get the economy going. $1.21 trillion was all that was expected to be paid in personal income tax for year 2008. That's when it hit me, wow, we'd be a whole lot better off if we just said no income tax for 2008. It'd be a lot cheaper than all these bailout programs, and the American public would get their own money, and they would get to decide what car to buy. They would get out of trouble on their mortgages.
But now, this administration--and they can only do it with this Congress getting it done because Congress passes the money bills. This administration, this majority have spent trillions and trillions of dollars; and we are so obligated, there's no way to have a tax holiday right now. We've got us so deeply in debt we can't do that now. It sure would have spurred the economy a whole lot more cheaply than what we've done.
I want to finish tonight by taking, Mr. Speaker, one back to 1755. We know that there are those, including the President, who have said this is not a Christian Nation, and I will not debate that point whether we are or not now, but I know where we came from.
In 1755, George Washington was in his early 20s, 6-foot, three and a half, at least that's what he was measured when he died. Some books say six-two, six-four, six three and a half at his death, big, strapping guy, full of emotion, powerful man, athletic man. He was riding a horse, leading 100 American militiamen. They were accompanying 1,300 British Red Coats in the French and Indian War. They were heading up to Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania. And the British generals--there were 82 officers including Washington on horseback.
The British generals had decided to go take the path of least resistance, through the woods, through this low area, sort of a ravine, passing through that area. Well, Washington got concerned they could be walking into an ambush. So he asked the general, Let me send some of the men ahead that know this area, make sure we're not walking into a trap. He was belittled by the general. You think you know more about military than I do? This was a guy that was described as self-taught, described himself that way, George Washington.
So they didn't send Washington's men. They had to check, they walked into an ambush. The Indians, the French opened up, for 2 hours, firefight.
After 2 hours, over 713 British redcoats were dead, they had gone shoulder to shoulder, back to back. They were getting wiped out. The Americans, none were killed, some were wounded, but they had immediately taken cover.
Washington, at the end of 2 hours, was the only officer still on horseback, still fighting. He had had one shot out from under him, at least one. He is still on horseback fighting. Brave, he is fighting, he is calling out orders, incredible man.
All his men were amazed at this gallant, brave, courageous 20-something year old. After 2 hours, he could see the rest of the British were going to be wiped out if they didn't retreat. They retreated.
Two days later he wrote to his mother and brother, he hadn't met Martha yet. He said, in essence, when we got to a place of safety and camped for the night, I took off my hat, shook out my hair. Bullet fragments flew everywhere, had not a scratch on my head. Took off my jacket, I had bullet holes through and through, had not a scratch on me. Truly, divine providence. God protected me.
Fifteen years later, George Washington, he became a hero out of that, because word spread from all the Americans about how courageous and brave this young man was, big, tall, strong, strapping guy, how brave he was, what a fighter he was. He never lost his head. He kept his cool, kept fighting, calling out orders, just a leader of leaders, a man who was quoted as saying, men unused to restraint must be led; they will not be drove.
Fifteen years later, he was going with a friend, Larry Craig, up through that same area. Dr. Craig was with him when he died, unfortunately, but he was going to show him the area that was so famous where this occurred. They got up there where there were Indians there that wanted to sit down and meet with him. The Indian chief, the lead chief, said, we were in these woods 15 years ago, you and I were here. I ordered my men to fire at you before they fired at anyone else, and they did that. We came all this way to meet the man that God would not let die. It used to be in history books and every American history book until 1910 and began to disappear.
I won't debate whether we are a Christian nation now, but Washington knew what we knew, knew what we were.