Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

President Obama Blocks Release Of Fast & Furious Documents

The standoff between the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Attorney General Eric Holder escalated dramatically today. In a last ditch effort to prevent the release of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, President Obama asserted the right of executive privilege. In short, Holder now has the president’s explicit permission to withhold the documents from Congress. Or, in fact, Obama has ordered Holder not to release them.

The administration seems desperate to shut down this investigation. Holder’s meeting with Chairman Issa came to an abrupt end last night after Holder showed up with none of the requested documents and then demanded that Issa end his investigation in exchange for some of the documents. Issa refused.

Let’s review the basics of this controversy. Government officials, over the objections of field agents, allowed weapons purchased in the U.S. to fall into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico. A Border Patrol Agent is dead as a result of this decision. The Justice Department sent false information to Congress initially denying it had allowed guns to be transferred to Mexico. Congress is demanding answers.

In response to President Obama’s claim of executive privilege, Senator Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement:

“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions. How can the president assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the president exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme?”

You would think that the White House would want this issue to go away. But today’s intervention only guarantees it will become an even bigger story.

Washington’s Spending Addiction

As the Senate debated the farm bill yesterday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) offered a series of amendments to make minor cuts to spending on food stamps. Because of the recession, millions are on food stamps, and the program is rife with waste.

In 2008, 28 million Americans received food stamps. Today, a record 44.7 million receive them. As the Wall Street Journal points out, “The cost has more than doubled in that same period to $78 billion. …One in seven Americans now qualifies.”

But this is not just a matter of helping the truly needy. The government is running radio and TV ads urging people to sign up. According to the Journal, “A federal website boasts about strategies that have ‘increased program participation.’”

In fact, one of Sen. Session’s amendments attempted to cut $500 million in bonuses “to states that sign up more people for food stamps.” His amendment failed 41-to-58. Fifty-eight senators voted to continue subsidizing the efforts of state bureaucracies to get more people on food stamps, which is then used to justify more bloated big government welfare spending.

Who’s paying for all of this? The pool of hard-working taxpayers who make up America’s ever-shrinking workforce. In total, the cuts Sen. Sessions proposed amounted to less than 3% of program’s budget over the next ten years. But his attempts to slow the spending were rejected. Is Greece now the model for a large majority of our senators?

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