Congressman Charlie Dent is taking no proactive actions to prevent a collapse in the purchasing power of the dollar. Instead, his actions are worsening the situation.
At the last town hall Congressman Charlie Dent gave on September 21, I attended so that I could hear what he and our fellow citizens had to say. I also delivered a paper copy of my plan for the Open Office. The Congressman gave me a chance to ask a question, which I commend him for. I did not have a chance to start my camera to record my question, but it was done in a very polite manner, and went something like:
“Congressman Dent, since 1913 the Federal Reserve has destroyed well over 95% of the purchasing power of the dollar. I am very concerned about the future of our currency, the dollar. You just talked about saving money by not voting for the health care bill, but a couple months ago you voted for HR 3081, which awarded close to $50 billion in overseas foreign military and economic aid. HR 3081 gave over $2 billion in military aid to Israel, $1 billion in military aid to Egypt, $150 million in military aid to Jordan, $60 million in military aid to Colombia among many other nations. And just last week you approved to spend $4.125 billion on government-sponsored car technology research in HR 3246. My question to you is this: what are you doing right now to prevent a collapse in the dollar?“
Congressman Dent gave his reply which was videotaped here:
“The question is what am I doing right now. Specifically is not spend money unnecessarily. The money I am talking about is the $787 billion stimulus plan, it cost over a trillion dollars, which I voted against. It overspends. It borrows too much. It spends too much. It delivers far too little. Now, that is just one very specific example of what we can do to help us.
“I am very concerned about inflationary pressures at some point. The deficits that are being run up right now in this administration I think are unsustainable. I think are unsustainable. We are talking deficits in excess of 12%, 13% of gross national product. Now it’s true this country has run up deficits throughout much of its modern history. In the depression we did. Second world war we certainly did. And since the second world war we have generally – we have often run deficits. The worst deficit we have had this year was in the early ’80s in 1981 or 1982 of a deficit of about 6% of gross national product during the Reagan years and a Democratic Congress. Even during the war our deficits were 20% of gross national product but today, I think largely because of this stimulus in particular. I think that we are seeing, again, an unsustainable debt level.
“Here I have now [holds up copy of HR 3200, the old Obama health care bill]. This is one reason why I oppose this bill because what it does is further drive our deficits well into the future. And its not just the first 10 years. Its the second 10 years. The federal government does a lousy job of projecting long-term entitlement costs. We don’t do a good job of it. We usually say, OK, Medicare 1965 is going to cost whatever was projected. It has cost far greater than that. We just don’t do a good job of it. I believe that the costs here in this legislation [Obamacare bill] are significantly understated.
“He talked about the, uh, aid bill. We have treaty obligations with Israel and Egypt and Jordan and a bunch of our aid actually goes to countries like Pakistan and Israel Egypt. Part of it is going into the help for the search for Osama Bin Laden. That’s a big part of what we are doing in Pakistan. So we do have some obligations that we are going to have to deal with that are non-military. But it does support our efforts globally.”
The conversation moved on, and I received my answer. He is doing very little to preserve the integrity of our currency. I must mention before criticizing him, that Congressman Dent could have mentioned he has co-signed HR 1207 to audit the Federal Reserve (whose monetary policy has NEVER been audited), but this only occurred after a 3-month letter and phone campaign by many others, myself and many other patriots. Two days after my first open letter, he co-signed the bill. Now, who says open letters don’t work?
Now, let’s breakdown the statement:
“Specifically is not spend money unnecessarily. The money I am talking about is the $787 billion stimulus plan, it cost over a trillion dollars, which I voted against.”
Now, this infers that the $49 billion for foreign military and economic aid and $4.125 billion for car industry research are necessary. One must wonder why $3 billion was not sufficient for the car industry, or if research is so productive, why $6 billion was not awarded from the taxpayer’s pocket. The obvious answer is that bureaucrats have no idea how to allocate capital, and this is why this problem should be left to the free market, which naturally regulates investment and capital flows.
These are just two of the recent examples of what he has done within the past several months, and voting against the Obama stimulus plan came at the beginning of 2009. However, if one remembers back to late 2008, Congressman Dent voted FOR the Banker Bailout, which awarded a similar chunk of the people’s money to the banking industry and special interests. Dent’s logic is quite flawed as he does support stimulus plans. Excessive spending has caused our problems, and in effect Dent is recommending more spending to solve them. Again, my point about how much bureaucrats should allocate to different economic sectors holds true. Congress really has no idea, and it is made far worse since government operates either by plundering taxes from the current generation or creating debt – a tax on the next generation which, quite conveniently, does not have a vote in this matter.
Now, if Congressman Dent earnestly believed that his stimulus plan was better, he should have been hard at work writing one and offering it to the public to read – which was never done, and the Republican stimulus plan was very similar to the Democratic one, with a $600 billion price tag and a higher allocation to infrastructure. Instead, he could be found watching the Super Bowl with the Obamas. Newsweek even reported: “Charlie Dent wanted to vote for Barack Obama’s stimulus package. Obama really wanted Dent to vote for it.”
“I am very concerned about inflationary pressures at some point. The deficits that are being run up right now in this administration I think are unsustainable.”
This is a very misleading statement as the Congressman infers that he has no responsibility on this matter. “Inflationary pressures” are created by the excessive money-printing and credit expansion of the Federal Reserve, as I outlined in this plank. It does not take a genius to realize that creating more dollars leads to the inflation of prices, and this power was delegated to the FED by Congress. Now, who is responsible for allowing the FED to create these dollars and credit? Congressman Dent, along with the rest of Congress, is responsible! This reduction in purchasing power is akin to theft via inflation, which is really a hidden tax.
Now, of course our deficit is unsustainable. However, one must also look at the past Bush administration. Who was to be found voting again, again, and again over the past 5 years for more federal spending? It was none other than Congressman Charlie Dent. Plus, if Dent truly believes the deficit is unsustainable, why would he award $49 billion in foreign military and economic aid? Why give away $4.125 billion for car research?
“This is one reason why I oppose [the Obama health care] bill because what it does is further drive our deficits well into the future… The federal government does a lousy job of projecting long-term entitlement costs.”
As I outlined to Congressman Dent in “Health Care: Another Open Letter to Congressman Dent from Jake Towne“, what are the costs of HIS proposed health care plan? And even if they were listed, if the government does a lousy job in projecting costs, why should we trust the figures? Dent should seek practical solutions as I outlined in my health care plank instead of favoring more and more government interference in our health care, while he utilizes the elite congressional health care plan for his family. (I have made a campaign promise to not enlist in this plan, nor the lucrative congressional pension plan, which Dent will qualify for, that will award him up to 80% of his pay for the rest of his life.)
“We have treaty obligations with Israel and Egypt and Jordan and a bunch of our aid actually goes to countries like Pakistan and Israel Egypt.”
This is a lie. The below list only encompasses a portion of the bill, and while there is likely bureaucratic horse dealing behind each line item, there is simply no authority to disburse public funds to foreigners without the approval of Congress. In the house floor speeches, there is no reference to any existing treaties, although much of the debate time is specifically spent on supporting the $2 billion in military aid to Israel. And even if there were “obligations,” Dent could have joined the 106 other members of Congress who voted against the bill. In fact, HR 3081 only cites the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for its authority and precedence. In defense of the Congressman, I have requested a list of HR 3081′s treaty obligations from his office for each of the below line items, and will gladly publish an apology if I am proven incorrect – although I still maintain that Dent should still not have voted to give away $49 billion.
“Part of [the aid] is going into the help for the search for Osama Bin Laden. That’s a big part of what we are doing in Pakistan.”
Congressman Dent is confused here with yet another foreign aid act he voted for that I did not bring up in my question. This bill was for $10.6 billion, where he voted to award Afghanistan $6 billion in nation-building and the remainder to fund their military. If the intent of the bill is simply to catch Bin Laden, I must remark that the funds for HR 1886, the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement (PEACE) Act of 2009, would have been better used to increase the bounty for Bin Laden from a paltry several million to several billion. Compared to the vast expense of supplying an army of tens of thousands in the field for close to a decade, not to mention hundreds of dead soldiers, this would be a far more judicious use of funds to achieve the aim of capturing Bin Laden.
Congressman Dent did not mention a single action he would proactively take to maintain the integrity of the dollar, which is part of his job description in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States. He voted to give away literally billions in aid to foreigners rather than to at least have the decency to use it domestically. He wags his finger and says we must be wary of spending too much while he himself opened the floodgates last year by voting for the Banker Bailout, and approved $63 billion this summer just in the three bills mentioned above.