December 2011

HR 3671— Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012: NO

By Tom McClintock on December 19, 2011

Viewed in isolation, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 reduces total discretionary spending authority (those expenditures that don't require statutory changes, including war and emergency spending) from $1.209 trillion in FY 2011 to $1.181 trillion in FY 2012), or $28 billion (2.3 percent).  Viewed over the past five years, however, this still constitutes an increase of $144 billion, in discretionary spending (13.5 percent).  

This may constitute an improvement over the past year, but begs the question, "Does it put the nation back on the path to fiscal solvency?"

Cracking Freedom’s Foundation

By Tom McClintock on December 14, 2011

House Chamber, Washington, D.C.-December 14, 2011

Mr. Speaker:

I rise in opposition to Section 1021 of the underlying Conference Report (H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act).  

This section specifically affirms that the President has the authority to deny due process to any American it charges with "substantially supporting al Qaeda, the Taliban or any 'associated forces'" - whatever that means.

Would "substantial support" of an "associated force," mean linking a web-site to a web-site that links to a web-site affiliated with al-Qaeda?  We don't know.  The question is, "do we really want to find out?"

Squaring Social Security and the Payroll Tax Cut

By Tom McClintock on December 6, 2011

House Chamber, Washington, D.C. December 6, 2011

Mr. Speaker:

Topping the list of unfinished business this year is the impending collision of two closely related crises: the expiration of the payroll tax cut and the acceleration of Social Security's bankruptcy.

Last year, Congress voted for a payroll tax cut that averages roughly $1,000 for every working family in America. 

As warned, it failed to stimulate economic growth and it accelerated the collapse of the Social Security system.  But as promised, it threw every working family a vital lifeline in tough economic times. 

The Plunder of Colfax

By Tom McClintock on December 1, 2011

House Chamber, Washington, D.C.
December 1, 2011

Mr. Speaker:

In the Sierra Foothills in northeastern California lies the little town of Colfax, population 1,800, with a median household income of about $35,000. 

Over the past several years, this little town has been utterly plundered by regulatory and litigatory excesses that have pushed the town to the edge of bankruptcy and ravaged families already struggling to make ends meet.

Colfax operates a small wastewater treatment plant for its residents that discharges into the Smuthers Ravine.  Because it does so, it operates within the provisions of the Clean Water Act, a measure adopted in 1972 and rooted in legitimate concerns to protect our vital water resources.