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No accomplice of Obama's needs another term
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Normally when a small city newspaper editor criticizes a U.S. congressman for his voting record and positions, he may not like the bad press but he usually doesn't pick up the phone to call you. Thus I was surprised when Dennis Cardoza called me on Monday, Sept. 20 to address parts of my column of Sept. 15, "We should be saying no more pork, Mr. Cardoza."

While I've always felt that Dennis Cardoza was a very cordial, well-mannered, thoughtful individual, a family man who happens to share with anyone his passion for foster children, he failed to convince me that he's as conservative as he wants people to believe in this Tea Party era.

While Cardoza calls himself a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, many feel that he is more liberal than conservative. And let's face it, a lot of Democrats these days are scared that they will be ousted by conservatives and Tea Party candidates. They see the hand writing on the wall with the defeat of nine-term Rep. Mike Castle by Tea Party backed candidate Christine O'Donnell. Polls suggest Cardoza is safe. A Cardoza victory is not going to be because Cardoza is conservative enough but because Mike Berryhill is not an effective campaigner. Still, this is the first election in which we've heard Cardoza run attack ads against an opponent.

Cardoza cannot escape the fact that he sided with Obama on the health-care reform bill, the largest government takeover of private industry in American history. Cardoza supported Obama's liberal big government agenda of taking over the health-care industry. He also supported the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to purchase failing bank assets as proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Cardoza said he was advised failing to do so would have resulted in a worldwide depression.

To his credit, Cardoza did have the common sense to vote against the automotive bail-out. (No doubt that Cardoza would have if his district had been in Detroit.)

Throughout our conversation, Cardoza sounded a theme I made in my column that Dennis Cardoza "just doesn't get it" when it comes to smaller government. In that column I took him to task for supporting expensive government programs. He suggested that my premise that his support of bringing pork projects home didn't tell the whole picture; that the Valley needs to grab his fair share. (This is also echoed in today's letter on this page by Ken Lane.) My point whole point was missed by both gentlemen: All in Congress are going back home to say, "I got what's coming to you. I got our fair share." But all those pork projects are wasteful spending and some real statesmen need to draw a line in the sand and say, "No, we can't afford porkbarreling, we need to just knock this off and I, for one, ask you to join me in not standing in line for my handout."

Instead, Cardoza dismissed my concern about earmarks, which are essentially appropriations bills to create money within other types of bills. Cardoza may feel that earmarks are not that big in the scheme of things but that scares me because according to the Citizens Against Government Waste, earmarks increased from $17.2 billion to $19.6 billion between 2008 and 2009. Call me simple minded but nearly $20 billion doled out to often wasteful uses is irresponsible and needs to stop.

The earmark system is fraught with waste and everyone wants to dip from the so-called bottomless pit. Earmarks are a terrible way to appropriate funds and creates a situation where everyone is nudging each other off of Mama Pig to get its milk. This federal largess is funded by you and me so I should be upset when I have to scrape up $1,200 to pay more on my taxes at the same time learning the federal government just handed the Canton Symphony Orchestra Association in Ohio $95,000 or $3.8 million for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy in Detroit. Sounds good to those in Ohio or Michigan.

While Cardoza pledges not to submit earmark requests for private organizations, Cardoza has an F rating from the National Taxpayers Union, an "independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers."

I have an answer to earmarks: Quit taking so much money from the average American family so politicians can redistribute it out for political favors and votes. Let the people do local projects through local efforts.

"I do get it, Jeff, I do get it" Cardoza told me more than once.

But why did he fail to support a continuation of the Bush tax cuts? And why is he against tax cuts for those making over $250,000? After all, they pay a disproportionate share of taxes in America. In 2006, those with gross annual incomes of at least $153,500 paid about 60 percent of all income tax collected. Those with incomes of $388,800 or more paid almost 40 percent of all taxes collected! In contrast, the 50 percent of taxpayers with incomes under $32,000, paid less than 3 percent of the total taxes collected.

Rep. Cardoza then suggested to me that the "rich" won't invest the money to spur the economy - they'll pocket it. I have two responses to that: First, IT'S THEIR MONEY, LET THEM KEEP IT!!! Why penalize someone because they've been successful in making money? Isn't it the American dream to become successful and, yes, wealthy, despite some people wanting to make that a dirty word? Why do Democrats create class envy in America? If it weren't for rich people, nobody would have a job. Ever hear of a poor man giving someone a job?

My second response is, wealthy Americans are not investing as much as they could because they know who is controlling the country right now and they are scared of the socialist policies that continue to discourage investment.

I, for one, won't support politicians who are interested in supporting Obama's socialist policies, taking more control from our lives, engage in more deficit spending and meddling with the affairs of business. It's been a recipe for disaster and I'm afraid Mr. Cardoza has been an accomplice.

How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at