Congressman Adam Smith really understands deficit spending well. He is making the rounds with pie charts, polls and statistics explaining how reducing the deficit needs a “constituency”, kind of like big oil, lower taxes or gay rights, for example. The last time there was supposedly a constituency for deficit reduction (according to Smith) was when Ross Perot was on the campaign trail!
Such lamentation reminds me of a child making excuses for a dirty diaper. Dad brought home the bacon that the baby ate. Mom put the diaper on the baby. Of course, babies don’t know better and regularly make messes in their diapers. Because babies can’t talk and use pie charts, we don’t actually hear any excuses. We just see- and smell– the mess.
The federal government, on the other hand, has been spending astronomical amounts! In between monetizing debt (he claimed this week that quantitative relief has been halted for the time being) and bailing out banking systems across the globe, we have seen and heard explanations from both major parties that are actually messy mountains of dirty debt diapers. The Tea Party and the U.S. Constitution are the only protection we have short of making Democrats (and a whole bunch of Republicans) wear diapers to keep things under control.
Along with a 100 percent rating from NARAL (he even opposed banning partial birth abortions) he voted for the following spending bills:
Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)
Voted YES on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (Jan 2009)
Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (Sep 2008)
The Congressman didn’t seem particularly concerned about how the voters in th Ninth District felt about so-called health care reform when he voted for the bill. Apparently, the Tea Party constituency doesn’t contribute any money that can actually get congressmen like Adam Smith reelected.
You wouldn’t think that his lack of a Tea Party constituency has anything to do with Smith’s voting record, however! Despite his bipartisan stance (he claims he hasn’t attacked Paul Ryan’s budget plan too violently), when he comes to Federal Way and talks to our Noon Kiwanis Club or the Chamber of Commerce, he sounds like a fiscal hawk. Well, sort of.
Smith admits there are places in the budget that can be cut. But he is quick to remind voters that in most categories of spending over seventy-percent of the voters don’t want cuts. The voters don’t want higher taxes but are concerned about spending and the deficit. The fact that any cut may gore the ox of one of his beloved constituencies explains why he just votes ‘Yes’ on every spending bill. Something has to give (Smith admitted at one of our recent Kiwanis Meetings that the debt is a threat to national security) and Smith states the problem rather neatly.
Ironically, every one of his talking points could be arguments in favor of raising taxes but he is clever enough not to actually propose such a solution.
Smith’s talking points are the very Democratic talking points being trotted out in pony shows all over the country. The charts look like the same ones that Harry Reid & Company held up for their big photo op several months ago and could probably end up in the Smithsonian someday.
The congressman does admit that there is some room for cuts, however. He should admonish his fellow lawmakers that the interest on the budget deficit has become a knife at the throats of the American taxpayer and a threat to national security.
Maybe some exhortation is what is needed from Smith but he claims the pie charts and the excuses are evidence of leadership on his part! Fire in the belly is too much to expect of any politician that has been reelected as many times as Adam Smith. But shouldn’t we demand some commitment from our Representative in Washington? Let’s tell Adam Smith to take a stand when he goes back to the Beltway.
Telling the voters which cuts he thinks should be made might be some kind of leadership. Instead we get the thinly veiled excuse that his hands are manacled with chains of polling data- data that indicates most cuts will be unpopular with too many voters. Leadership would be getting up in Congress and pounding on the table top with a clenched fist, “Enough is enough!”- not just eloquently reminding us back home of what we already know.
Any elected official is shrewd enough to realize that he wouldn’t be able to take out his pie charts and fool his Congressional colleagues about his voting record. But he seems to get away with it when it comes time for the Ninth District voters to go to the polls. If he suddenly becomes too self-righteous and tells his Congressional colleagues that it is their fault the spending is out of control, Smith’s colleagues might vote against some of pork that he regularly brings home on the Baconalia train.
When asked about foreign aid he indicated that foreign aid will always be with us and besides… most of it goes to Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan to keep us safe from people that want to kill us.
How much money goes to Brazil for oil drilling? Smith claimed that most of the funds are private loans that are only guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers. The money goes mostly to U.S. companies with interests in Brazil, he thinks! But he doesn’t want to commit himself to those claims on the record.
It is amazing how Smith can talk so aggressively about the federal government’s debt problem here in Federal Way. It almost sounded like the problem started after 911- or when the dot com bubble burst! He claims the deficit has doubled in the last eleven years as if the last two years were just business as usual. Incidentally, check the American Conservative Union web site:
The ratings are from 0 to 100 with 100 being good. Adam Smith ratings for the past 3 years are:
2008 – 4;
2009 – 0;
2010 – 8.
Jim McDermott ratings for the past 3 years are:
2008 – 8;
2009 – 4;
2010 – 0.
The three year average for Adam Smith and Jim McDermott is tied at four (4).
Adam Smith is just a Jim McDermott liberal who gives better speeches and lives in a swing district where he has had to learn to be very versatile! Smith told the Chamber folks last year that the deficit is caused by Americans carrying too much credit card debt and never even mentioned the unprecedented government borrowing for which he has been pimping shamelessly within the Beltway.
Yet Smith seems downright independent in his approach. Maybe we should ask him about that independent flair that he exhibits. By the way Congressman, were there any spending bills you voted against during the last two years?