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Congressman John Campbell

A Final Note

Well, this day came much faster than I expected.

After penning hundreds of these missives, I find myself now sitting down to write what will be my last “Laptop Report” to all of you as a Member of Congress.

For the last decade and through several sessions of Congress, you’ve given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a myriad of issues facing this nation and our world. This has truly been a privilege and honor that I never took lightly.

These reports have been a way for me to talk to you directly and to engage with you on complicated issues that weren’t always easy to solve with a polished quote or quick sound bite. In turn, many of you responded with thoughtful feedback each time. I want you to know that I read and appreciated those replies.

For those who asked to be added to my “Post-Congress” list, this will not be the last time you hear from me. We will continue our discussion sometime next year.

However, I want to take this last chance to just say thank you. I enjoyed writing these reports and I hope they offered you a perspective that you were not getting from the usual… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Lessons Learned from Afghanistan

The world is an unstable place. If this seemed at doubt even a few years ago, it certainly is no longer. Some instability is a result of violence fueled by radical religious views or by aggression born of extremist ideology. Some of it is caused by long-standing ethnic conflicts or, as we are seeing in Ukraine, by the centuries-old desire of some to conquer neighboring countries simply because they are more powerful and want to expand their territorial footprint for any number of reasons.

In Washington, it seems as though there are only two reactions to all of this. One choice is to intervene everywhere. The other is to intervene nowhere. I think both of these strategic frameworks are equally flawed. To intervene everywhere will overwhelm both our military and financial resources, not to mention potentially lead to unrest at home as a result of the inabilty to accomplish our desired goals. To intervene nowhere assumes that the conflict and violence across the globe will never reach a point where it directly threatens us, which the lessons of history belie.

The great question, of course, is when do we intervene and when don’t we? And, how far should we go… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

“Increasing Income Disparity”

State of the Economy, Part 3 – “Increasing Income Disparity”: Last week, I laid out for you the case that “income inequality” should really be called “increasing income disparity” and suggested that it is a worldwide phenomenon. I also debunked commonly expressed “solutions” for this problem you often hear from leaders in Washington. However, I have not yet presented solutions of my own. Before I do, let’s first examine the factors at work here that I believe are causing this phenomenon.

There were a number of serious recessions during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one alive today has ever talked to anyone who experienced the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So, with the exception of historians, it doesn’t get as much coverage in contemporary discussion as say, the Great Depression. What you may not know is that the Industrial Revolution caused a large job displacement at first. When the jobs on the farm went away, they were not immediately replaced in a factory. It took time before people figured out what to do with the extra disposable… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Does Income Inequality Exist?

Last year, President Obama started raising the issue of “income inequality” as a new problem in America. He then proposed to fix this problem using the same “solutions” that he and other Democrats have been pushing for 40 years: Raise the minimum wage and increase unemployment insurance payments. He also used it to further advocate for wealth redistribution via the tax code.

Republicans generally responded that the issue was made up or trumped up by Obama and that this problem either doesn’t exist or is not as big a deal as he suggests. A few Republicans acknowledged the issue and proposed we fix it with tax cuts, which of course was the remedy said Republicans have been pushing for 40 years.

In my opinion, both sides are wrong. Obama is clearly using “income inequality” as a new reason to advocate for the same things he wanted long before “income inequality” ever entered the vernacular. In the same way, Republicans using it to advocate for our standard policy choices is equally inappropriate. So, what do I think we should or should not be doing… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Terms of Surrender

It’s over…….for now.

The mainstream media (MSM) would have you believe that this was a “bipartisan agreement”. It was…..in the same way that Lee and Grant reached an agreement at the Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. It was a complete surrender on the part of Republicans. All that was “negotiated” were the terms of that surrender.

President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi got what they wanted. They employed an admittedly risky strategy a month ago centered on the basis that they would not negotiate, not compromise and not talk. Taking this position and holding it meant that it was certain the country was going to go close to “the brink” of the debt ceiling. Boehner repeatedly said that “default” was not an option. The Democrat troika never said that. They were willing to risk the future of this nation in pursuit of their socialist dreams. Their strategy left only two possible outcomes: Republican surrender or we find out what happens if a modern government runs out of money. They got the former.

The battle is lost. But, the war is far from over. The nature and timing of future battles… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown Day 14

Government Shutdown Day 14: The status of the “negotiations” or of any resolution of this Government Shutdown/Debt Limit debate is as clear as mud. But, it is becoming crystal clear what each side is really fighting over.

It’s not really about any one bill or any one policy. It is about the things that have separated Democrats and Republicans ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall – taxes, spending, deficits and government control of our lives.

As Democrats have been “feeling their oats” in the last few days due to favorable polling data, you have seen them push for the things they really want. They want the “Sequester” to go away. The “Sequester” is the one thing that has reduced spending in recent years, and they want to see spending go back up. The president said in a meeting with Republicans that he wants more tax increases. This demand has been echoed by a number of his surrogate talking heads over the last few days. And, if you listen carefully when the left acknowledges the problems with ObamaCare, you’ll notice that they say its failings are not because the government has been given too much… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown Day 9

Government Shutdown Day 9: “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here’. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

That sounds like something I would say, doesn’t it? But, I didn’t say it. Barack Obama said it on the Senate floor on March 16, 2006 just before he voted against a “clean” debt limit increase, which barely passed the Senate by a 52-48 vote. The quote above is from the last paragraph of a roughly two page speech that you can find in its entirety linked HERE.

Now, I understand that people can change their minds. In fact, I have often said that there is no shame in a… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown Day 8

Government Shutdown Day 8: The outrage continues over the Obama administration’s extreme actions to punish the American people through orders given to the park service. Vietnam vets were physically removed this week from viewing the Vietnam War Memorial, which I’m sure most of you know consists of a wall entirely outside in a park. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is inside a closed building, but is visible through a window. The Obama administration had the window covered up so you couldn’t even see the bell from the outside. And, the Feds barricaded the road in front of Mount Rushmore so that no one can even drive by and see this monument. Problem is, however, the road is not a federal road. It’s a state highway. So, the good people of the state of South Dakota asked the Park Service to remove the barricades from the state highway. The Feds refused to do so, citing that while it may be a state highway, it is on Federal land. But, then a heavy snow came just a few days ago. The snow plows belonging to the people of South Dakota plowed their roadway and plowed all those Obama administration barricades, signs and cones right into the ditch, where they… Read More

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