U S Congressman Tom Marino presented a post-election review / legislative outlook to approximately 70 attendees at the November 19 meeting of Susquehanna Valley Conservatives.
To open the meeting, congressman Marino thanked those in attendance for supporting his recent re-election.
Much of the early discussion in this question and answer forum dealt with Obamacare. Can it be stopped, is there any legal recourse, etc ? Unfortunately the answer to such questions was ‘No’. It is now the law of the land and with Governor Romney’s defeat it will be fully implemented over the next four years. Congressman Marino did point out; however that there are 19 state governors who have chosen not to set up insurance exchanges for their states as written in the law – rather they will let that default to the federal government.
Mr Marino issued a sobering warning about America’s ongoing credit worthiness – aka the ‘fiscal cliff’. According to the congressman, we are already over the cliff; hanging on by a fingernail. Moody’s credit rating agency has already suggested the possibility of another credit downgrade for the US if we cannot get our fiscal house in order. China – which owns 26 or 27 % of our debt is also expressing concern over our ability to repay.
Some members of congress seem to think we just need to print more currency as a way to solve our debt crisis; however history has shown repeatedly that that particular ’cure’ is toxic in any economy.
If the US cannot reach some sort of compromise/action plan, the possibility exists that the dollar will no longer be recognized as the international medium of exchange, and could possibly be replaced by the Chinese luan. China has no debt, their currency is stable (although artificially maintained by their government) and they could make a compelling case to the World Bank why the luan should replace the dollar. If that happens, the consequences to our economy would be dire.
Many in the audience expressed despair in one form or another by asking ‘What can we do?’ type questions. There was a sense that our ability to exercise any control over our future (as well as the countries) is slipping away.
Mr Marino pointed out that most Americans don’t pay any attention to politics/legislation. There is a growing lack of any sense of responsibility among many of our citizens. They would rather just ‘let the government deal with it’. As concerned citizens we must continue to be diligent and express our desire for fiscal responsibility / downsizing government / cutting spending, by writing our congressmen and senators and making our concerns known.
The congressman expressed frustration over the culture in Washington. Most elected officials care about only 3 things: 1) getting re-elected, 2) retaining power, or 3) regaining power. He stated there is too much power in the hands of too few people. The Speaker of the House, The Senate Majority Leader, and 10 or 12 committee chairmen control what legislation is or is not brought forth for action.
To wrap up, Mr Marino reiterated his support for two fundamental changes: 1) term limits – which would help break down the cultural barriers that prevent problem solving, and 2) ‘one bill/one subject. Too many bills get loaded up with riders or pet projects as part of the horse trading that is legislation. As a result, legislation becomes too unwieldy to read before voting on it (‘We have to pass this bill to see what’s in it’ – Nancy Pelosi) or too costly / muddled / side-tracked to be effective.
SVC National Debt Tracker
Debt at Beginning of Meeting $ 16,295,648,921,413
Debt at End of Meeting 16,295,915,134,607
Increase in Debt during the Meeting $ 266,213,194
Increase per Minute * $ 2,957,924
Our National Debt increased at the rate of almost $ 3 MILLION DOLLARS PER
MINUTE during the 90 minutes of this meeting !
Next Monthly Meeting
There will be no December meeting.
The next meeting will be held Monday, January 14, 2013.