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We should be saying no more pork, Mr. Cardoza
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Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, was proud as a peacock last week in announcing that he wrangled approximately $19 million to help communities in his district "address" foreclosed property in Valley. Stanislaus County in particular gets $4.176 million of U.S. tax dollars.

Lately Cardoza's press office, months before the election, has been working overtime churning out press releases about the congressman snagging lots of federal goodies for his district.

Pardon my skepticism but if he's trying to win over the voters of the 18th Congressional District by bringing home the bacon, it does not impress those of us who are gravely concerned with an over-reaching and overspending Congress and Administration.

Am I to be overjoyed that the local congressman has brought home the pork? Actually it sickens me how congressman pander to the voters year round but particularly before an election. The Congress has been glad happy with the credit card and we are paying for their spending spree. Someone needs to stand up and say, no, we don't want the pork because all of this pork is what is collectively putting all U.S. taxpayers under a huge burden of debt. By the way, as of this writing, the U.S. national debt is $13,426,830,633,000.

Cardoza, a pied piper in Robin Hood's band that steals from the rich and gives to the poor (or shall I say, takes from good managers and gives to the poor managers), made available these millions through language he helped insert into the recently-passed Wall Street Reform Act. The language provided $1 billion through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for areas hard hit by foreclosures. NSP directs funding to local governments allowing them to purchase, refurbish and resell foreclosed and abandoned properties.

Why are we allowing - in some cases demanding - government to do what the private market should be doing? Government never really does anything better or more efficiently than the private industry. Let the private market handle all these foreclosed properties that are now a blight and eyesore in neighborhoods. In time new buyers will come in and those lawns will be made green once again. There's no need for our debt ridden federal government to live beyond its means.

I was also against bailouts for those facing foreclosure. In short, those of us who were responsible paid for those who were not as responsible.

I get the same indigestion when I hear ads from companies that promise beleaguered credit card debtors that they can get half of their debt eliminated (I'll assume that it's a scam). Call me old fashioned but If I used my credit card to buy something, I believe in paying back every dollar that I borrow and then some. If I get over my head in debt, it's because I did not pull back the reins in my spending. Nobody owns me a discount on my debt because I went nuts with spending and then I lost my job.

You see, the problem we have with our economy is that too many lived "high on the hog" and couldn't pay back their debts. They bought too much house than they could afford and the economic train derailed. Likewise, Uncle Sam is living high on the hog.

Last month my wife and I paid off our mortgage we've been paying since 1987. Nobody helped us do it. During that time we did not go out and buy toys - boats, RVs, lavish furnishings, fancy cars. I drive nothing fancy: a 2001 Pontiac which I found in 2005 for $3,000. I have never owned a new car in my life, nor do I expect to.

As the Benzigers were paying their bills, panicky homeowners who began defaulting on their loans demanded that the federal government bail them out. That's akin to the dude down the street in his McMansion coming to me - the guy in the modest house - at gunpoint and demanding that I chip in money so he can make his house payment. No, he should have bought a fixer-upper if that's all he could have afforded.

The funding that Cardoza was all too happy to announce is not money to bailout defaulting home buyers, but Cardoza has vowed that: "It does not help families remain in their homes, and that is the key issue we must address. I will continue to do all I can to press federal Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and the Obama Administration to develop the far-reaching programs we need to stem the tide of foreclosures and delinquencies that continue to plague the Valley."

Call me calloused but why should I, as a taxpayer, be forced to pay for programs that help families keep houses they can not even afford? Why should government rescue them?

Cardoza also recently was gleeful that $46.6 million of taxpayers' money will be used to install fiber optic lines and wireless broadband equipment so the Valley can have quicker internet. The money comes from the debt-spending Stimulus Bill which Cardoza and other Democrats supported. Again, why should taxpayer money be used to do something private industry should be doing? Why does the government need to fund faster internet?

Led by President Obama, Congress is spending Americans into oblivion and it needs to stop.

Cardoza just doesn't get it. Ever.

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