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Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown – Day 2

Government Shutdown – Day 2: Last night, we voted on three bills on the floor of the House. Each allowed one aspect of the shut down government to reopen until December 15th. The first one allowed the processing of veterans’ health claims. The money for these claims is entitlement spending and is not affected by the shutdown. But, the processing and paying of these claims stopped because of the shutdown and this bill fixed that. The second bill allowed locally derived revenues in the city of Washington, DC (revenue from things like parking meters and local taxes), which have nothing to do with the federal government, to be distributed to the city so it can continue normal operations with normal revenue. By the way, this is a quirk in the law specific only to the “federal city”. Thirdly, it would fund the U.S. Park Service in order to reopen the national parks.

All 3 of these bills were brought up under an expedited process in the House called “suspension of the rules”. This process enables quick action, but it requires a 2/3rds vote of the House to pass a bill. That means it is within the power of the minority party to… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown – Day 1

“Well, I won’t back down. No, I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.” – Tom Petty

“I have always figured that half a loaf is better than none, and I know that in the democratic process you’re not always going to get everything you want.” – President Ronald Reagan, February 9, 1983.

Government Shutdown – Day 1: Back in March of 2010, I wrote a daily “Laptop Report” during the weeks leading up to the passage of ObamaCare through the House by the slimmest of margins. I recounted all of our attempts to convince enough Democrats of the folly of this miserable law. Not a single Republican voted for it and a number of Democrats opposed it – but, not enough.

Today, I will again begin a daily “Laptop Report” series for the length of this government shutdown. I have no idea how long this will last. No one does. But, I will give you a few of my thoughts and update you as this process moves along.

The two quotes at… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Update from the “Cliff”

Given Thursday evening’s events in the House, it looks more and more like we may be going over the “fiscal cliff”. Therefore, I wanted to give you an update on what that could potentially mean for you. I also wanted to clarify the total impact of the income tax rate changes that we will face should we go over. These figures, which appeared in my previous “Laptop Report”, have been updated.

The total impact of all the income tax rate changes is estimated to raise revenue of roughly $4.5 trillion over 10 years. The total effect of all of this would be to reduce the deficit by approximately $7.7 trillion over the next ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That means CBO projects an “average” annual deficit of roughly $230 billion if we are over the “cliff” vs. a deficit of about $1 trillion a year if everything is extended.

Again, these projections are based on “static modeling”. That means they do not take into account the economic impacts and the behavioral changes that will occur as a result of what I’ve outlined above. When these tax hikes take place, people will most certainly take actions to… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Taxes and Culture

Taxes and Culture: Being a CPA and all, I often opine in these pages about things fiscal, financial and economic. Today, in the mainstream, establishment press, all you hear about is the “fiscal cliff” and taxes and such. I care a great deal about taxes and the deficit, as you regular readers well know. And, you will hear much from me about these issues in the coming months. But, the underlying issue before us right now with the so-called “fiscal cliff” is, in my opinion, not actually fiscal or financial. It is cultural.

As you may not be aware, I have always believed that the culture of an organization is the biggest single attribute that will determine the success or failure of said organization. In my 25 year business career, I was obsessed with the culture of our company and with that of companies we might acquire or with which we might do business. A business with a strong culture of customer service will empower people with service skills and will change or weed out those people who don’t care how they treat others. If a company has a culture of dishonesty, even an honest person will cheat now and then because… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Neither Snow nor Sleet nor Dark of Night…

We all are familiar with the rest of the variations on this phrase describing the dedication of the US Postal Service (USPS) in delivering the mail. Well, snow and rain may not be keeping the Post Office from delivering the mail, but financial problems within the USPS may soon halt delivery.

This has not gotten much publicity, but the USPS is in real trouble. The USPS is an independent, but wholly-owned entity of the federal government. It is designed to be self-supporting such that the rates it charges will cover the costs of delivering the mail. This worked for a long time. Obviously, for over 200 years. But, not so now. After earning modest profits from 2004-2006, the agency started hemorrhaging money in 2007. Between 2007 and 2010, it has lost over $20 billion. These losses are now accelerating in 2011 with a loss, in the first 3 quarters of this year, amounting to $5.7 billion. The USPS has already borrowed the maximum $15 billion it is allowed to borrow under the law and has already deferred another $4 billion in payments to its employee retirement fund to cover these losses. The Continuing Resolution adopted by the House last week… Read More

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