An Open Letter To Patrick Murphy And The Voters Of Bucks County
By MARK AFFLECK, For The Philadelphia Bulletin
Monday, July 12, 2010
According to the latest Rasmussen poll, 56 percent of likely voters rate Congressional performance as poor and only 12 percent of likely voters give Congress a rating of good or above. Interestingly enough, past election results seem to indicate that the vast majority of incumbents will be reelected regardless. Why would this be? Most voters acknowledge a disconnect between the Congress and the voter but assume that their local Representative is not part of the problem.
Shall we take a look at some of Hon. Patrick Murphyâ€™s votes and assess whether or not he is immune to this voter disconnect? Here is what your elected official voted for:
â€¢ The $700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street (TARP)
â€¢ The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
â€¢ The stimulus: $787 billion to stimulate the economy. Thatâ€™s 3/4 of a trillion added to the National Debt
â€¢ Health Care Reform: ObamaCare is estimated at $1 trillion
â€¢ The Fiscal 2010 Budget Resolution: $3.56 trillion in federal spending for the fiscal year beginning on September 1, 2009. An estimated 1 trillion dollar deficit
â€¢ An increase in the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion
â€¢ Cash for Clunkers: $4 billion for an auto trade-in program
â€¢ Cash for Clunkers: another $2 billion to fund the shortfall of this program
â€¢ The Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill: $105.9 billion increase in the 3.56 trillion dollar budget
â€¢ Cap & Trade: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the effect of the House committee version of the bill would be to raise federal taxes by $846 billion and direct federal spending by $821 billion over the 2010-2019 period
â€¢ To allow warrant-less electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States
â€¢ Favored Whole-Body Imaging (WBI) as the primary method of screening at airports. (WBI searches show extremely intimate details of oneâ€™s body and the images are stored electronically.) Mr. Murphy balked at the opportunity to provide pat-down searches as an alternative.
â€¢ Approved the offshore drilling compromise that forced oil companies to drill at distances of 100 miles from the coast. We can now see the risk of drilling at such depths.
â€¢ National Service: CBO estimated 5-6 billion dollars on paid â€œvolunteerâ€ positions in National Service programs such as AmeriCorps
â€¢ A National Police Force: $1.8 billion a year from fiscal 2009 through 2014 for the Justice Departmentâ€™s COPS program. An increase from 1.05 billion.
â€¢ Hate Crimes: To expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability.
â€¢ Foreign Aid: Foreign assistance including $5.8 billion to help combat HIV/AIDS overseas, $2.7 billion for Afghanistan, $2.2 billion for Israel, $1.5 billion for Pakistan, $1.4 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (a United Nations-inspired entity), and $1.3 billion for Egypt
â€¢ $1.1 billion in fiscal years 2008-10 to train and equip the Mexican military and law-enforcement agencies for the stated purpose of combating drug trafficking and organized crime
â€¢ $405 million in fiscal years 2008-10 for aid to Central American countries
â€¢ Increase of $32.8 billion for SCHIP: State Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program (The Congressional Budget Office found that between 25 and 50 percent of children who enroll in SCHIP dropped their private insurance to get â€œfree care.â€) The uncovered portion of expenses bids up the cost of private insurance. This program also covers 400,000 – 600,000 legal immigrants.
Mr. Murphy practically brags on his Web site about all the money he brings into our community. The voter must realize that in order to bring in the pork, he has to spend it in other districts as well. I wonder, when you look at your bank account, do you focus on your deposits or your withdrawals? I have a family of six, and I can assure you that we have tightened our belt. I think it is time for Washington to do likewise. The choice is yours in November.
Mark Affleck is an IT professional, graduate of Drexel University, a husband, and a father of four.