Thursday, January 5, 2012

Against Tammy Baldwin

      Wisconsin’s 2nd district is currently represented by seven-term Democrat Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Rather than seeking re-election to the House, Congresswoman Baldwin is instead seeking election to the U.S. Senate in 2012, replacing four-term Democratic Senator Herb Kohl.
      Congresswoman Baldwin is to be commended for her consistent opposition to wars and foreign entanglement, and her consistent support of First Amendment rights, a sensible drug policy, and the freedom of choice. However, her short-sighted stances on the economy and her tendency to tow the Democratic Party line prompt a closer examination of her voting record.

      In 2011, Miss Baldwin voted with the Democratic Party 94% of the time, and since 2007, she has voted with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 93% of the time.
      From 2009 to 2011 – facing heated criticism over the individual insurance mandate and the assertion that the federal courts have repeatedly upheld the rights of the states to regulate health care – Miss Baldwin helped the House pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “Obamacare”) health insurance reform act, the implementation of which will end up costing taxpayers approximately $1 trillion.
      In 2009 – in the face of claims that Former Vice President Al Gore, former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and President Obama himself have personal financial stake in the carbon emissions exchange industry, and assertions that the Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to regulate the environment – Miss Baldwin supported “cap-and-trade” carbon emissions trading legislation. A complete adoption of similar “cap-and-trade” policies may potentially cost taxpayers as much as $200 billion a year.
      Additionally, Congresswoman Baldwin has voted many times in favor of gun control measures, and received an “F” rating from the N.R.A. for her lifetime support of the 2nd Amendment.

      Tammy Baldwin has also demonstrated an inclination towards irresponsible spending.
      In 2010, she voted against the Cut-Cap-and-Balance budget control measure, which would have cut more than $110 billion out of the 2012 federal budget. Although I agree with the few conservatives who opposed the bill because its cuts would not have been deep enough, this vote is not the only instance of Baldwin’s weakness in regards to fiscal restraint.
      Despite assertions that the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution prohibits federal spending to benefit particular areas of the country, Miss Baldwin casts her having obtained $200 million for Wisconsin’s 2nd district as the “secur[ing]” of funds for “worthwhile projects”.
      In 2006, Congresswoman Baldwin supported the expenditure of nearly $5 billion in military and economic foreign aid to the governments of Israel and other Middle Eastern nations. She also voted to bail out General Motors and Chrysler, which – despite its original projected cost of $14.3 billion – has recently been estimated to cost taxpayers $85 billion.
      In 2009 – in the face of claims that it would not noticeably stimulate private-sector job growth but rather only serve to increase the size and payroll of the federal bureaucracies, and that the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to provide corporate welfare, nor to invest in national infrastructure, science, or energy efficiency – Baldwin supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “Stimulus Package”), whose cost to taxpayers is $78.9 billion over ten years, but may be as high as nearly $3.3 trillion were its major provisions to be permanently extended and its effects on debt service to be factored in.
      In late 2008 and early 2009, Miss Baldwin supported numerous economic stimulus and recession prevention and relief measures, which authorized the implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), and the immediate expenditure of nearly $1.1 trillion, but which added long-term Major Fiscal Exposure commitments of about $12.2 trillion.

      Tammy Baldwin’s voting record has shown her deficiencies in discerning the true costs of large emergency spending bills, and in judging whether such legislation will cause Congress to either become capable of exercising oversight of responsible spending by – and regulation power over – the relevant industries, or else become powerless to confront the financial influence which such spending will cause banks and big businesses to exert over the political process stemming from the levels of monetary favors which this spending has conditioned them to expect in the future.
      Baldwin’s record represents a troubling precedent for the trajectory of a continued Democratic Party representation of Wisconsin’s 2nd. This is why Democratic 2nd district voters who respect the Constitution and value individual civil liberties would do well to avoid nominating Assemblywoman Kelda Helen Roys – Miss Baldwin’s endorsed candidate – in the primary, but also remain wary that Roys’s opponents – Mark Pocan, Dave Worzala, and Matt Silverman – may make the same mistakes as Congresswoman Baldwin did should either of them be elected to the House.

      I am running for Congress because – if elected – I would carry on Tammy Baldwin’s legacy of promoting peace, free speech, the freedom of choice, and a sensible drug policy, while additionally taking a stricter stance supporting the Constitution, including gun liberties, the rights of the states, fiscal restraint, and the freedom of the marketplace.

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