Mismanaged Providence funds focuses spotlight on Congressional race
MORE TROUBLE FOR CICILLINE: More information has surfaced about the fiscal mismanagement that was so rampant during Congressman David Cicilline's tenure as mayor of Providence. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its report on improper spending of taxpayer-provided grant money and mismanaged loans that occurred under Cicilline's leadership. Up to $1.5 million was misspent on such things as marketing, catered meetings and limo services. Twenty percent of the HUD-funded loans specifically designated for jobs creation resulted in no jobs being created (total loans amounted to $14.8 million). And of the 79 loans made, 29 were written off as un-collectable at a cost to taxpayers of $2.17 million.
This is not just a Providence problem; it is a statewide problem. The HUD loan money that was so egregiously mismanaged came from the federal tax dollars of all Rhode Islanders. We should all be upset about it!
It will become increasingly difficult for Cicilline to continue claiming that he is working hard in Washington to create jobs when he mismanaged jobs creation money so badly when he served as Providence mayor. Rightfully, his opponent in this November's congressional race, Brendan Doherty, will capitalize on this damaging information.
ROMNEY TAX RETURNS: We all know that Mitt Romney made lots of money in his private life and, like the rest of us, that he tried to give as little of it as possible back to the government in taxes. That's the American way! We also know that the more a person's income is derived from investments, the lower his overall tax rate will be because of our bizarre tax code that penalizes income gained from physical work in favor of money made through investments.
Democrats want Romney to go far beyond the requirements of the law and release years of his tax returns in hopes of showing that he paid a lower tax rate than most Americans. Like all Americans with substantial investment income, to include the majority of those clamoring for Romney to release more returns – such as most rich Democrats and wealthy publishers in the news industry – Romney paid far more in taxes than 98 percent of Americans even though it was likely at a lower rate.
It is clear the only reason Democrats and Mr. Obama want Romney's additional returns is so they can try to embarrass him for doing exactly what all of us do – try to deprive big spending, big taxing government from taking from us a huge part of our earnings. Romney should hold his ground!
LIBERTÉ OR LIBERTY: A University of Houston professor, Robert Zaretsky, in an editorial published by the Providence Journal last week, promoted the advantages of French liberté over American liberty. He sees a better liberty in France with its government taking up to 45 percent of individual income in taxes (with the new president proposing a 75 percent top rate) in exchange for massive social and entitlement programs?
Zaretsky exposed the true socialist underpinnings of his argument, however, when he laid out how French liberty was born after the French Revolution – to include, "...the French became free ... to sacrifice their individual desires to achieve something bigger and better." Americans should be happy that our version of liberty doesn't require us (yet) to "sacrifice our individual desires" so more of our work product can be redistributed to those who didn't work for it.
Mr. Obama wants to change this, of course. Promoting his philosophy that government is primarily responsible for the success of businesses in this country, Mr. Obama told a Virginia audience last week, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Of course, small business owners are irate that our president would so cavalierly dismiss the hard work, individual efforts and individual sacrifices they made that built these small businesses and that have made America the envy of the world. Beware, Mr. Obama’s version of American liberty is strikingly similar to French liberté.
EXPECT ASSAULT ON SECOND AMENDMENT: Both President Obama and his Republican opponent in the race for the presidency, Mitt Romney, have been totally silent on the bubbling issue of U.S. gun law adequacy in the wake of the theater massacre in Colorado. Neither wishes to rile gun owners and the NRA with the election just over three months away. Many Democrats are pushing Obama to introduce legislation that would make it far more difficult for Americans to purchase and own guns. Other Democrats are less open but have made comments indicating they fully expect Obama to push for more gun restrictions immediately after the election should he prevail at the polls.
The tragedy in Colorado was truly horrible! Restricting gun ownership, however, will not make such events less likely. To restrict the legal methods used by the Colorado murderer to obtain the weapons will not prevent another occurrence but will severely restrict law-abiding Americans' second amendment rights. We didn't ban fertilizer after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and we didn't ban airplanes after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Mr. Obama's record places him squarely in the anti-second amendment camp, so it will be incumbent upon all freedom loving Americans to pressure our congressmen and senators to resist an expected Obama assault on the Second Amendment if he remains president after the November election.
One comment made by a second amendment advocate after the Colorado massacre that has been paraphrased by many others should be remembered: "If there had been just one person in that theater who was armed, this tragedy might have ended differently."
TELLING STATISTICS: Number of re-election fundraisers President Obama has attended in the past six months – 106. Number of meetings he has conducted with his Jobs Council in the same time period – ZERO. Nothing more need be said.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: From a Facebook posting that speaks volumes about both major political parties: "Libertarians: Keeping Republicans out of your bedroom and Democrats out of your wallet."