Thorner: U.S. Rep. David Brat brings understanding to federal budget crisis

August 12, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 
“A Salute to Rep. David Brat was presented by Family-Pac Federal, Paul Caprio, Director, at a private luncheon event held at Harry Caray’s MVP Room, 33 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL  60011.  David Brat received Family-Pac’s “Congressman of the Year” award at last year’s Family Pac’s 14th Anniversary Boat Cruise on Lake Michigan.  He was also the featured speaker. Brat, a Republican, has been the representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district since Nov 12, 2014, when he defeated Eric Cantor in 2012. Hislegislative record is impressive. According to Heritage Action Score card, Rep. Brat has a lifetime average of 95%, in contrast to a 67% average of all Republicans.
Prior to lunch being served and enjoyed, Paul Caprio expressed his disappointment over the failure of the Republican majority in Congress to take charge of the purse strings, with specific mention of the Budget Authorization Bill which included $543 million for Planned Parenthood and even $289 million in additional spending for the most hated of all government agencies, the IRS.  Rep. Brat went counter to the Party establishment in support of the grass roots when he voted “nay.”
John McEnroe, Chairman of the Board, introduced Rep. Brat.  Emphasized was the unique prospective Brat brought to the House, having earned a masters of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in economics from American University.  Brat worked for the World Bank assisting developing world economies and in the private sector for Arthur Andersen before he became a professor of economics and chairman of the economics department at Randolph Macon College.
In keeping with Rep. Brat’s background in religion and history, John McEnroe recommended Brat’s recently published book, “American Underdog: Proof that Principles Matter”, published on June 28, 2016, which emphasizes the role history and classic philosophy in the future of America.  Rev. Brat’s book can be purchased here.
 
Rep. Brat’s remarks about the moral and economic lessons of our civilization
Rep. Brat mused how few politicians share this nation’s Judeo-Christian background with their voters.  Although senators and representatives do attend prayers sessions at the Capitol, an hour or so later they are “stabbing” fellow legislators on the floor of the House or Senate.  This question posed by Rep. Brat drew a blank. What is staring Paul Ryan in the U.S. Chamber from where he is sitting?  The answer:  Moses.
In referencing his book, Brat believe that in order to change the status quo we must tap into moral and economic lessons that are as old as our civilization, citing the following three areas that encompass the  philosophical roots of Western civilization and the ideas of classical Greece:
  • The Judeo-Christian tradition, which Rev. Brat currently believes to be at a critical point in this nation Separation of Church and State is now under attack. Our Founders believed rights came from God, not government.
  • The rule of law which is necessary for a civil society to exist or chaos takes over.
  •  Free-market economics where a large number of small factories compete against one another.  70% of jobs come from small business.
Rep. Brat’s staggering statistics from the CBO
According to David Brat the government is spending far beyond its means, and the cost to finance this enormous debt will only grow.  The situation exists, in part, to a sluggish economy and huge government spending programs, but it is further exacerbated by this nation’s deficit spending which increases the amount the government needs to borrow and the cost of the borrowing.  Brat predicted that by 2027 all federal revenues will go towards paying for mandatory programs and interest on the debt.  Unless our government takes on even more debt there won’t be any money left to pay for roads, bridges, education, the military, etc., unless this nation takes on even more debt.
Rep. Brat gave these staggering and extremely cautionary statistics according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office, the CBO report.
  • In 2008 the Federal debt held by the public was equal to 39 percent of gross domestic product; now it is 75 percent of GDP and on track to 86 percent of GDP in 2016 and to 141 percent in 2046.  This would be the highest ratio of debt to GDP ever recorded.  What has been the highest ratio, 106 percent, was recorded just after World War II.
  • The Social Security program will be insolvent in the next few years, as the Disability Insurance trust fund is scheduled to run out in fiscal year 2022 and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will be exhausted in calendar year 2030. Federal spending on health care is expected to increase 60 percent to 8.9 percent of GDP in 30 years, thanks mostly to increases in Medicare spending.
  • During the past 10 years Federal outlays for Social Security and Medicare made up almost 40 percent of the government’s non-interest spending, compared with 16 percent 50 years ago.  Medicare will be in deep trouble in 10 years.
  • In 10 years debt will average $1.2 trillion a year.
Rep. Brat stressed the importance of candidates becoming involved with NFIB (National Federation of Independence Business) as a way to win elections and get things right again with this nation.  Executive over reach and government regulations are strangling small businesses when it comes to job creation.
 
Freedom Caucus vs. the Patriot Group
When Rep. Brat was asked how he is treated in the House, Brat related this story.  House leaders don’t get it on slashing the federal budget. Aren’t Conservatives supposed to stand for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and reducing government waste.  But despite Republican control of both the Senate and the House, the deficit is set to go up over $100 billion to the $530 billion range. Last year marked the highest level of federal government spending ever.
As a member of the Freedom Caucus, Brat and other Freedom Caucus members provided solutions on how to trim $30 billion from the Obama-Boehner deal budget number, but they were meet with scorn, even cursed at, by Patriot Group members, of which Bob Dold is a member.  In contrast to House Freedom Caucus members who don’t receive funding to run for reelection, the Patriot Program — chaired by GOP Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio — will provide fundraising and organizational help to its twelve members as Republicans seek to protect their historic majority.
 
Trump or Hillary?
Despite all the media attacks against Trump in the current Trump-Hillary battle, Rep. Brat still believes Trump will win, that the experts are wrong, because this is an unusual election.
If Hillary should be elected president, for those Republican who say that in four years Hillary can be taken out and an acceptable Republican candidate can then be chosen to run, this is but a pipe dream.  With academia and the media all in the tank for Hillary even now, how would four years from now be any different?  She could easily knock out a second term.  Brat is unsure whether this nation can survive if Hillary is elected.  Every time a legislator comes out to publicly announce that he/she is not supporting Trump, their action will lower Republican turnout.
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