Saturday, July 30, 2005

6th item in The Republican Contract with America

The sixth item promised in the Republican Contract with America is very straight forward:

"Require committee meetings to be open to the public."

The Republicans made a very feeble effort to implement this in the first couple of years with some success. Today it is business as usual. In fact, many conservative think tanks feel that the political process has got even more "back door" in the last few years. Most of the legislation that was just passed had certain meetings held that the public was NOT invited to.

The Republicans definately do not hold to this promise at all. This promise is a complete failure, in fact, we may have lost ground on this promise...

Contract Score:
Promises Kept 3
Promises Broken 3

5th item in Republican Contract with America

This 5th item in the Contract is simple, it states:

"Ban the casting of proxy votes in committee."

To make a long story short, this was done by The Republicans. They passed this rule in early 1995, and it still stands today. This makes it so Congressman have to attend Committee meetings in order to vote. It is a good rule...

Contract Score:
Promises Kept 3
Promises Broken 2

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Item 4 in The Republican Contract with America

Item 4 in The Republican Contract with America is also a simple one to grade.

"Limit the terms of all committee chairs."

The Republican Congress passed internal rule change 355-74 on 1/4/95. This internal rule does make some rules that limit the number of years a Congressman can chair a committee. This internal rule change is pretty liberal; however, I have to say The Repubicans fulfilled this promise.

Contract Score:
Promises Kept 2
Promises Broken 2

Item 3 in The Republican Contract with America

Item 3 in The Republican Contract with America stated:

"Cut the number of House Committees and cut committee staff by one-third."

This is a simple one to grade, The Republicans did not do as they promised. They started out making an attempt to fulfill this promise with the use of internal rule change 416-12 (Passed on 1/4/95).

I went back and looked at the average number of staff members for a Congressman in 1984. In 1984 the average congressman had 15 staff members. Then I went and looked at the average Congressional staff in 2004. The number is still 15. In other word, nothing has changed as far as the size of the average Congressional staff.

Then I went back and looked at the total number of Congressional Committees from 1984 and compared it to the total number of Congressional Committees in 2004. The two numbers are almost identical. I will admit that in 1995 and 1996 they cut some committees; but, since that time they have added many new committees. They just cannot seem to help it.

Contract Score so far
Broken Promises 2
Kept Promises 1

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Item 2 in The Republican COntract with America

Item two was also supposed to be accomplished on the first day of this historic Congress.

"Select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste. fraud, and abuse."

This was a major campaign promise of the Republicans in 1994. They did make a very feeble effort to have an audit performed in 1995. This audit never really materialized. Little of the waste, fraud, and abuse that was found was eliminated.

Waste, fraud, and abuse is rampant in Congress and EVERYONE in Washington DC knows it. We need to elect politicians who will really ELIMINATE waste, fraud and abuse...

So the score is:
Promises Kept 1
Promises Broken 1

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Item 1 in the Republican Contract with America

Eight items were promised on the first day by the Republican majority after the 1994 Congressional election.

The first item on this list is

"Require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress."

This is an interesting campaign promise. This was not a particularly hard campaign promise to keep either. Realistically this promise has been kept in my opinion. Congress is part of the Federal Retirement System. They pay Social Security Taxes but are treated as Federal employees.

I wish that Congress was part of Social Security like the rest of us; but, they are not. I think that if their retirement benefits were paid out by Social Security they would have more of a vested interest in fixing Social Security.

That being said, Congress has a comparable retirement system to many Federal workers.

So, in my opinion, The Republicans have basically kept this promise.

So the score is:
Promises Kept 1
Promises Broken 0

The Republican Contract with America, they lied!

In 1994 The Republican Party swept to power with an unprecedented political ploy. They made a "Contract with America." In this "Contract" they promised to do certain things. It turns out, they lied.

I was a devout Republican in 1994. I was deployed overseas on a nuclear submarine when the "Contract" came out. When I read it I was extremely excited. I thought that our politicians were finally going to straighten Washington out. I was wrong. The Republicans used the "Contract" as a political promise to get in power. Once they got in power, they became just like the politicians they replaced. The voters need to remember that and get rid of these politicians.

There are two portions of the "Contract." The first part of the "Contract" has a total of eight items that The Republicans promised to handle on the first day of the Republican majority. The second half of the "Contract" consists of ten items The Republicans promised to implement within the first hundred days.

Over ten years have passed since this "Contract" allowed The Republicans to take power in Congress. Each year the Republican married has gotten larger and larger. There is no reason why the Republicans could not have passed all eighteen items over the last ten years. We have a Republican Senate and a Republican President. All eighteen items should be law. They are not!

We will analyze all eighteen items over the next few days.

Our very own Congressional Representative, Mark Souder, was elected on this platform. We will grade his progress on his promises.

I want to know how you all feel about this "Contract!"

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The government is setting the wrong priorities for the Police!

I am very supportive of the local police departments. I think they do a dangerous job and I think they generally do their job in a very professional manner. I appreciate the various police departments in this area.

That being said, our government that oversees the police departments and gives them direction is doing a dismal job of setting the priorities of these departments.

Allen County has a population of about 342,000 people. As of July 23rd, 2005, there are 6687 active arrest warrants for Allen County. You can verify this information for yourself. Please go to:


">http://www.indianasmostwanted.com/counties/allen.html


this website, Indiana's Most Wanted, tracks all of the outstanding warrants in the State of Indiana. It is updated daily. You can look and see the outstanding warrants listed alphabetically, you can generally see pictures of the individuals, you can see what crimes they are accused of, etc. It is a very informative website that is professionally maintained by the State of Indiana.

If you select just a few of the people the police are looking for you will see that they are wanted for a variety of charges including: Robbery, Assault, Battery, Battery to a Child, Domestic Battery, Child Molesting, Driving Under the Influence, Check Fraud, Probation Violations, and about any other crime that you can imagine. Not all of the crimes are major; some people have warrants for neighborhood code violations and minor traffic citations. Also, remember that these people are most likely not all guilty, they are accused of a crime and need to go to court.

It is obvious that Allen County has a large population of people roaming our streets who the police are looking for. These people are not under arrest, they are free and they may keep committing crimes. A person who is accused of Child Molesting could be out molesting other children. A person who has several outstanding warrants for Driving under the Influence is free and may keep Driving under the Influence and kill a citizen who is not breaking the law. You get the idea.

I am not sure how many outstanding warrants there should be in Allen County. There obviously will be some outstanding warrants no matter how much manpower the police use to serve outstanding warrants. I think a reasonable number might be a thousand; but, I am not sure.

What really gripes me is when the police are directed to setup checkpoints and check to determine if law abiding citizens are wearing their seat belts. If you are not wearing wearing your seat belt the police issue you a $25 ticket. The law abiding citizen then has to find the time to go and pay this fine. I am sick and tired of the "nanny state" we live in. The police should be serving outstanding arrest warrants and protecting citizens from violent criminals, not enforcing the "nanny state!"

While the police are issuing tickets to law abiding citizens for not wearing seat belts there are several thousand outstanding warrants that the police are not serving. Many of the citizens who are accused of the crimes detailed in the outstanding warrants actually committed real crimes that they need to be prosecuted for. The police should spend their time protecting the law abiding citizens of their community. That is the job of the police in my opinion.

Sometimes the police enforce their "click it or ticket" campaign with grants from The Federal government. I have an idea for the Federal government; leave law abiding citizens alone and issue grants for the police to arrest Child Molesters, Rapists, Murderers, and other violent criminals.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Supreme Court Nominee

President Bush appointed a Supreme Court nominee. Now, let the spin begin.

Advocacy groups on both sides have started a campaign to put their own spin on Mr. Roberts. This is a joke.

The Senate needs to look at a candidates qualifications. The job of a Supreme Court Judge is to "interpret the law." This is an imprortant job; but, it is their only job.

All I can say is this, I am sure Senator Kennedy and Senator Boxer and Senator Schumer will be fun to listen to in the next few months. I will keep my "barf bag" handy. I will need it.

I think this will be an interesting test for Senator Bayh from Indiana. He keeps telling us he is a moderate; but, when it is time to actually vote on legislation he almost always sides with the Liberal Democrats.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Is government too small, too large, or about the right size?

I have always been interested in both economics and politics. I would like to get everyone's opinions on the size of the government of The United States.

I am looking at government spending as a percentage of GDP. In simple terms, I am looking at what percent of all money spent in The United States is spent by the government (Federal, State, and Local governments all combined.)

According to my research:
In 1920 government spending was 12 percent of GDP
In 1947 (After WWII) government spending rose to 22 percent of GDP
Today government spending is about 40 percent of GDP (I found government
statistics range from 36 percent to 43 percent!)

As a note of comparison the German government, a socialist government, spends about 51% of its total GDP.

Do you think the government is too large, too small, or about the right size? Please post your comments. I think this could be an interesting discussion.

I graduated from Snider High School in 1985. If I would have been asked this question in 1985 I would have said that the government was about the right size. Today I feel much differently, I think the government is too large. I think the government should spend about 25% of GDP.

What do you think?

From a political standpoint both The Democratic and Republican parties are increasing government spending at every level each year. They are both passing legislation that favors larger government. Libertarians believe the government should be smaller.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I hope to see you at the July 18th Meeting

The next meeting of The LIbertarian Party of Allen County is tonight, July 18th, at 7 PM. The meeting is at The Mad Anthony Brewery at the corner of Taylor and Broadway. We have reserved the meeting room.

From 7 PM - 8 PM we will have a presentation by Hoosiers for a Fair Tax. They will present their ideas for a "Fair" Federal Tax. This should be a very interesting and informative presentation.

This presentation will be followed by our business meeting that will run from 8 PM - 9 PM.

I hope to see you there!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Seatbelt laws are silly

The current seat belt laws enforced in Indiana are senseless. There is no reason for the government to force law abiding citizens to wear seat belts in their own vehicles. Each person needs to be responsible for their own actions; it is not, and never has been, the government’s job to pass laws that protect adults from their own actions.

If we allow the government to keep passing silly laws where will it stop? Will the government pass a law making smoking cigarettes illegal? It is a statistical fact that far more people die of first and second hand smoke then die due to people not wearing seat belts! Will the government pass a law making it illegal for citizens to be obese? It is another statistical fact that being obese is a hazard to your health; obesity definitely causes more deaths then not wearing a seat belt. I certainly do not want the government passing any more of these silly laws.

If you are caught by the police not wearing your seat belt, you have to pay a $25 fine. I have a much better use for that $25. Join the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party is doing what it can to limit the expansion of government. We need your help. Please join a group of people that has banded together to oppose the expansion of government and the continued erosion of the United States Constitution. Please contact me at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net or give me a phone call at 260-338-0833. You can learn more about us at AllenCountyLP.org.

My first BLOG

I am a Fort Wayne native who is interested in local politics. I am happily married to my wife Karena and we have two great kids. Kayla is four and Graydon is two.

I live on the north side of Fort Wayne and was recently annexed into The City of Fort Wayne against the will of my family and my neighbors.

I started this BLOG to discuss politics. I want to focus on local politics, with occasional forays into both Indiana and Federal politics. I hope to get several people to become involved with this BLOG.

I was a Reagon Republican until about 1996. I was stationed on a nuclear submarine in Pearl Harbor at the time. I was extremely excited about The Republican Contract with America. In fact, I immediately joined a local campaign and contributed money to The Republican Party. I believe in everything contained in The Contract with America.

I left The Republican Party in 1996. I became upset when The Republican Party decided not to press forward with the legislation that they promised. I am especially upset with the fact that The Republican Party is now expanding the size of government even more then Bill Clinton did when he was President. How is that possible? We have a Republican Congress, Senate, and President, they used to believe in a smaller, more limited government.

I have simple beliefs. I love my family and I love my country. I am very patriotic and support The United States military. I am a fiscal conservative, I do not believe in deficit spending and I believe that we should have a balanced budget. I believe in the Constitution of The United States. I believe in States rights. I hate the fact that the Federal government extorts the fifty States on a regular basis. I do not believe in a "nanny state." I think the government needs to be limited and should not be involved in every aspect of our lives.

Please let me know what you believe in and what you think!