Election will offer clear philosophical choices for U.S. COMMENTARY Stephen M. Alinikoff
I CONSIDER myself an average citizen, lucky enough to be born in a country that has bestowed bountiful gifts to my family and to me. I have lived my entire life in the Wyoming Valley and was born in the waning days of World War II. The country has changed dramatically since then and I must say in most respects not for the better. I honestly feel that we will not be leaving our children a country in which their generation will be better off and better equipped to surpass the achievements of previous generations.
If I were not so angry with what is happening with my beloved country I would have merely passed over an article in The Times Leader, which reported a meeting that Congressman Paul Kanjorski hosted at the East Mountain Inn on Sept. 8.
What Kanjorski was reported to have said is emblematic of one of, if not the major problems facing this nation: a dysfunctional Congress totally out of touch with the desires, needs and history of this country.
Kanjorski related his defense of the bailout packages over the last two years: “Those days will be remembered as the most instrumental moments of the 21st century.” Kanjorski, Nancy Pelosi, Charley Rangel and Maxine Walters were the ones standing between us and the total financial collapse of the United States. Yes, he honestly believes that and expects us to believe it.
The congressman went on to say: “If you recall gun sales were way up, America was weaponed up, that’s what the times were like two years ago.” He then said something that has yet to be followed up by our local or national media. He told the group “8,000 troops stood at the ready” in North Carolina to come to Washington to guard the White House and the Capitol.
I certainly was not aware we were so close to an armed insurrection. My question is: from whom?
It really is hard to believe, if nothing else Congressman Kanjorski is at the top of his game when it comes to political hyperbole on the campaign trail. History and its facts do not lie. The facts are that over the last 77 years, we have seen an undeniable march of one-party rule and that party’s philosophy being legislated into statutory policy.
It is the undeniable philosophy of central government growth at the expense of federalism and individual rights.
It is an undeniable fact that we are on the verge of a national bankruptcy, which, if continued, will have consequences for our national security and ability to remain the world’s preeminent power.
It is an undeniable fact that all legislation concerning matters of revenue, taxes, spending and finance must constitutionally originate in the House of Representatives.
From 1933, (the 73rd Congress) to the present (the 111th Congress) there have been 38 sessions of Congress. Thirty-one of the sessions – 81 percent – have been controlled by the Democratic Party. In the most recent 26 sessions the percentage in Democratic control has been 85 percent – even higher.
Kanjorski, one of the most senior Democrats, has served since 1985. He has worked to bring us public projects such as: an inflatable dam; some sort of shooting range/training facility to be placed somewhere. He also was successful in steering over 5 million in taxpayer funds to a failed business owned by family members. As one of the most senior members, he was one of the leaders in bringing us “Obamacare,” which will create the single largest bureaucracy by any Congress in our history.
In his meeting at the East Mountain Inn, he also heralded his role in passing Wall Street reform although he didn’t mention that the two main culprits – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – were left noticeably untouched in this new legislation. Those agencies have been used by Congress for years as a repository for political jobs and bad loans.
After reading the article, I do not for one moment doubt that Congressman Kanjorski believes in what he said and has done and is proud of where he has taken us. He is not only one of the leaders of the present majority in Congress, but also one of its most outspoken defenders.
So, our choice seems clear. If you are satisfied with the politics of Kanjorski, Pelosi, Walters and Rangel, and where they are taking us, your choice is easy.
However if you feel anger about the half truths, the lack of integrity, the self serving attitude and arrogance as well as the downright incompetence of our elected representatives, the choice is also yours.
Stephen Alinikoff lives in Kingston. He is a managing principal in a local insurance and investment firm.