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Press release – 2/11/14 – Debt ceiling passed ‘clean’

With an abruptness rarely seen in fiscal debates over the past several years, the House of Representatives passed a “clean” debt ceiling increase that will negate the need for further discussion on the issue until 2015. The Bill passed with only 28 Republican votes, and all but 10 Democrats.

Of the 28 votes that came from Republicans, Rep. Richard Hanna was again among those that broke from the main voice of Republicans – as he did in October and since. In fact his separation from the main body of Republicans in the House has gained traction in much of the mainstream media that are now correctly labeling Rep. Hanna as a moderate – as opposed to his “conservative” stance that enabled his election to Congress in 2010.

meet and greet in Vestal NY, at home of attorney James Sacco

coffee and doughnuts meet and greet in Vestal NY

NY-22 candidate Michael Vasquez had this statement on the vote,

“It is a shame to see that the debt ceiling passed in the manner it has. Not only does this vote stall the previous slight move towards accountability and responsibility with regard to the national debt, as there is no limit to the amount of increased debt that the nation can attain with this Bill, but by is vagaries it reverses that budding trend.”

Candidate Vasquez went on to say,

“If the apparent abandonment of fiscal responsibility were not enough, the salt in the wound is the continued existence of military pension cuts – sure to affect constituents of the NY-22 around Fort Drum (Herkimer County) and retirees from Griffiss Air Force Base (now under civilian use as Griffiss International Airport – Onieda County) as well as vets across the rest of the District. Our military retirees deserve better than the targeted attack on their benefits, that this ‘clean’ debt ceiling deal apparently cements in place. I would not have voted for this ‘clean’ Bill.”

The cut in military pensions was part of the Ryan-Murray budget deal enacted at the beginning of the year. That deal immediately increased Government spending by $63 billion, as opposed to the $43 billion saved via the Sequester requirements of 2013. To pay for that increased spending, in part, military pensions were targeted. Rep. Hanna was among those that voted for this deal.

2013: a year of forgetable triumphs and memorable failures

2013 started the year on somber tones – the loss of children in the Sandy Hook shooting was still very fresh in the mind of the nation. Equally as memorable were the lingering questions about what happened at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was the beginning of the 2nd term of President Obama. The transition promised in 2007 was mere moments away, in the eyes of Liberals and fears of Conservatives.

At the beginning of the year, Congress was at 15% approval. A rating that was well earned due to the gridlock in Washington D.C. It was not only a feature of the 1st Obama Administration, it was a guarantee to continue based on the unchanged chasm that separated the Republican led House of Representatives, the Democrat led Senate, and a President who had many promises but little to show for them.

Thus, the year started with an assault on the 2nd Amendment. For the “good” of the nation, to “protect” our children, the President circumvented Congress and enacted 23 Executive Orders to create gun restriction laws. A use of Executive Orders that a Senator named Barack Obama denounced President G. W. Bush for even considering on 2008. Actions that even VP Biden admitted (though little covered by the major news media)

At the same time, Congress expressed its unwillingness to do its job in regard to fiscal responsibility with the enactment of HR 8. Government spending increased, taxes increased by $41 for a mere $1 of increased spending reductions. The road to fiscal instability was set and confirmed.

All of which meant that while Congress succeeded in avoiding the “fiscal cliff” of 2012 it failed horribly to address the long-term danger that the national debt posses to the nation. That the President succeeded in providing the delusion of safety, while failing to impede the criminal or criminally insane from their actions and yet criminalized law-abiding citizens that never posed a problem in the first place.

If that were all that 2013 did to America it would have been bad enough. But with a steady and increasing pace we learned that it would get far worse. In fact on January 20, 2013 I made a statement that would prove to be the summation of the year

“What is our path?

Fiscal unsustainability, modified by international instability, adjusted for an ever growing centralized Government power on the backs of ever fewer individual freedoms and Rights, wrapped by political gridlock and a pursuit of the best intentions that lead to… well you know the saying.”

But the specter of an immigration reform that rewarded violation of our laws edged closer to reality. A process that would continue, in ebbs and flows, throughout the year. While no final course has been set, the path that we are approaching in 2014 seems to lead to a politics backed law that negates the rule of law and needed reforms.

Separately, North Korea followed by Syria and then Iran, all took their places at the forefront of international politics. Each with the terror of weapons of mass destruction as a critical component of how we reacted. And in order, we effectively ignored North Korea, threatened unilaterally Syria, and capitulated to Iran. Hardly actions of a strong defender of democracy across the globe. Actions that concerned, angered, and distanced our international allies while emboldening our enemies.

In fact it can be well argued, and Israel is making that argument, that our actions have done more to destabilize world peace in the long run than even produce a short-term calm. Chemical weapons are (allegedly) being used by those we supported in Syria, North Korea continues to advance its nuclear arms, and Iran seems destined to become a nuclear power sooner than later (though their promises of a lack of interest in nuclear bombs belies the untruth they have proven to speak in past promises).

On the fringe of all these major headlines (not even to the middle of the year for most of this) there was the terrifying question of what our Government is doing with Drones – aerial unmanned vehicles. We learned early on that our Government sought, and possibly gained approval from the DOJ, to kill U.S. citizens abroad – via drone strikes and without trial or forewarning – for actions they may or may not even be aware of. An issue that was sadly forgotten before the 2nd Quarter even started, as the Drone Caucus (which includes Rep. Richard Hanna) continued to march the nation towards unlimited use of drones domestically [More on that in a bit].

Also on the fringe, there were the early promises of tax reform and infrastructure reform (which every year since 2009 has been called by a new catch phrase – “shovel-ready jobs”, “infrastructure investments”, “fix-it-first”, and so on). There were promises of a bloom of renewable energy jobs and global warming (or climate change as the new phrase) prevention – which were based on a desired outcome even in the face of a reality that confirmed without question that the jobs were not blooming and that climate change was infeasable at best and ineffective regardless of action.

Add to this even more Commissions. To support American manufacturing as of the State of the Union (that went nowhere from that moment on), then on the NSA and the Affordable Care Act as the year waned. But like Bowles-Simpson and the President’s Job Council, the answers that would be provided ensured no real action from Government nor the Congress. While some may hold hope for results in 2014, history has shown that regardless of the determinations made, the Obama Administration and Congress only regard these Commissions as a means to politically ensure re-election and maintaining political powerbases.

All of this and we still have failed to even reach the middle of 2013 overall.

But let’s skip to the middle of the year. Scandals and Government overreach, with a Congress that was locked in gridlock with representatives that were either unwilling or too calculating to take positions until the political math of the situation was clear.

Take your pick. There was the continuing inconsistent answers on Benghazi – with a complete lack of accountability for anyone that was publicly even tangentially connected to the fiasco. There were the revelations of the abuses by the NSA, domestically and internationally, that drew public outrage while some politicians flip-flopped and obfuscated their position (I specifically will point out Rep. Richard Hanna). There was the rush to unilaterally engage in essentially an act of war against Syria – instigated by the President, over the objection of the public and for once most of the Congress (at least those that took a position).

The Benghazi attack is now being brushed aside as a false distraction while legitimate questions remain. The NSA continues to wield power that at least one Court believes is unconstitutional, even as the findings of a Commission is being evaluated without even a hint of promise a single recommendation will be enacted. Syria remains embroiled in a war, with both sides having chemical weapons, neither side pleased with America, and our nation embarrassingly dragged into an agreement that lessened our stature and international standing.

Plus there are the revelations that The FBI, DEA, and other Agencies of the Government have been using drones domestically – without a shred or clarity on how they have been used, if abuse has occurred, or any impact of the legality of their use – since 2006. Sadly, there is also the delusion lifting reality that mass shootings continue to exist unabated – just as VP Biden promised, even as freedoms were restricted.

Which leaves only the Government shutdown and Obamacare.

The fiscal ineptitude of Congress manifested itself in a attempt to remove Obamacare – based on the fear of its inability to achieve the goals that it promised, and the freedoms it sacrificed. This was not a universal move – it was pushed by Republicans that had voted repeatedly to remove Obamacare (well those that did not abandon the votes they had made – again I specifically point out Rep. Hanna). It resulted in a limited shutdown, that was emphasized by drastic measures meant to create an emotional backlash and result in a political win for Democrats (much like the Sequester, but this time done effectively).

The result was a Congressional approval rate of 8%, a political loss for Republicans, and ultimately a budget deal that increases deficit spending, grows the national debt, expands the size of Government, all for a promise of a future reduction in future increased spending. The reality is that the addiction of Government to spending taxpayer money they have yet to earn remains the only constant regardless of political party.

As for Obamacare, well, the description of failure is a compliment. Perhaps the quote of President Obama – labeled as the Lie of the Year – puts it into context

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”

No, millions cannot. The President, and Democrats in general according to Sen. Gillibrand of NY, knew it years ago. In addition we learned the President, knew that the Healthcare.gov website would fail the moment it was unveiled. That many of the fears of Conservatives were absolutely true and correct. That for the hundreds of millions of dollars in over-budget spending that was allocated and spent, untold tens (maybe hundreds) of millions more would need to be spent to even be moderately functional.

At the end of the day, and year, with deadlines made and passed by, the website that is the hub of all that Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act – the name changes with the popularity of the program) was promised to be continues to fail to be 100% operational. Essential targets of young and health Americans signing up for the program have failed to be met (by enormous proportions). Attempts to appease the public have resulted in attempts to usurp power from Congress (President Obama “allowing” plans that legally cannot exist to continue).

All of this while an Obama Administration struggles to prop up dubious and insignificant facts (numbers of visitors to the website), rewords clearly stated and recorded facts (see the Lie of the Year), and shrugs off detailed and absolute calculations of requirements (numbers signed by specific dates), and claim success where abject unmitigated undeniable failure is apparent even in the eyes of the most Left and unwavering of supporters (like Jon Stewart).

The result of 2013 has been the equivalent of a boil on the arse of the nation.

At every turn the public has been failed. From the Executive Branch and the Legislative. From politicians at various levels. From mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility. From abuse and overreach of powers. From limits and restrictions of freedom.

For all of this, 2013 has been a year where the only memories that Government has provided are of ineptitude and uncompromising failure. Each claim of success has been met with an ever greater misstep and decline.

The only thing that is a positive is the hope that in 2014 the nation cannot fall as far as it already has. That with the mid-term elections of Congress and various State and local races, there might be some hope of regaining accountability, responsibility, fiscal austerity, and protection of freedoms that are essential to the continuation of the nation.

2014 could be a year of great upheaval in Congress, which would mean great change in Government – whether the political parties like it or not. It could be a year where Government regains its limitations, improves its confidence with the American public, and rises from the mire of its current international standing. 2014 could be all of this…

But that will be a different summation, for a different day.

Government addiction to spending and waste are the problem with national debt

When I wrote about the issues that I believe are critical for the NY-22 and the nation in 2014, I included the national debt and deficit. I stated,

“So not only do we need a real budget, we need a budget that is realistic in containing the Government to spending levels that are effective.”

I was speaking about the $17 trillion in debt that continues to grow every minute. I was speaking about Congress, and their unwillingness to stop spending more deficit money than dozens of countries combined can earn in a single year. A refusal to seriously address a problem that has only one clear path – becoming Greece or worse. I also offered my solution, freezing the budget at current levels while cutting spending 10% across the board.

But I had no idea at the time that the solution could even more simple than that, according to Sen. Coburn.

Government spending is not just a Democrat issue, though the current Administration has done more to burden the nation in 4 years than almost all prior Administrations combined. It’s a Republican issue too, as the Ryan-Murray deal highlights: the limits of the Sequester have been thrown away, to be addressed by some other Congress 10 years from now, if ever.

Sen. Tom Coburn said it as clearly as it can be stated,

“Most members of Congress are more interested in getting themselves re-elected than they are in fixing what’s wrong with the country.”

He also said,

“The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement. There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps. What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices — and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills — possible.”

The Wastebook that the Senator refers to is a compilation of some of the most useless, nonsensical, and pork-barrel of deficit spending that our Government engages in. Willfully enforced by Congress, to enable members of Congress to maintain their positions of power (almost as if they were a nobility) without concern for constituents or the fiscal future of the nation.

Examples of the wasted money that the US spent in 2013 alone, that in total exceeded the combined GDP (2012) of Jamaica and Iceland combined:

  • NASA gave a $124,955 grant to Arjun Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a small company hoping to build a 3-D pizza printer.
  • The State Department spent $630,000 to attract followers to its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • $50 million to National Technical Information Services, an agency that charges for reports that often can be found for free through a Google search.
  • $65 million has been used by New York and New Jersey for tourism ads while only one person in Staten Island, as of October, received housing assistance despite passing a bill in January to provide $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the debut of Superman, spent $825 million over 3 years ($125 million in 2013 alone) on a documentary on superheroes.
  • $1.5 billion to keep the lights on in unused or underutilized federal buildings.

    The list goes on and on. Which does not include the $319 million spent on the Healthcare.gov website, or the unknown amount of emergency spending to get the website to actually work, or the estimated additional $600 million that will be spent to try to convince the public that they should use the site.

    In fact, if just the waste of 2013 – just the $30 billion in the Wastebook alone – were saved, it would result in more savings than the Ryan-Murray deal (that passed the House and Senate – thank you Rep. Hanna, Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand) will do in 10 years. Which goes to how serious is Congress about the fiscal stability of the nation? Sen. Coburn answered that question from CBS News

    “They don’t pay attention to it. It’s hard work to get rid of junk, it’s hard work to do oversight, it’s hard work to hold the agencies accountable. And so what they would rather do is look good at home, get re-elected, and continue to spend money, and that’s Republican and Democrat alike.”

    If, after the elections in 2014, serious people who are actually dedicated to being fiscally responsible and accountable to constituents – or in other words almost none of the incumbents currently in either house of Congress in my opinion – were to enact laws to save the $200 billion that Sen. Coburn estimates is the minimum being wasted each year in America (almost the 10% I suggested as a solution) there would be no need for a Ryan-Murray budget deal. In fact, progress on paying off the debt would for the first time take place.

    I will say this, it is refreshing to see the validation of the solution I proposed to resolve the spending addiction that Congress and the Government has at this time. The national debt and deficit can be resolved, if we have elected officials that are willing to work as hard as constituents that fund this wasteful spending via their taxes.

    In 2014 we can have that fiscal Conservative who will fight to restrict the waste, and respect the financial futures of our children and grandchildren. Visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com to learn more and lend your support.

  • Transcript of interview for Michael Vasquez and WUTQ Mark Piersma and Frank Elias of Talk of the Town

    The following is a full transcript of the entire interview on 11/21/13 @ 7:20am, on 100.7FM WUTQ “Talk of the Town” with Mark Piersma and Frank Elias. The full audio of the interview can be found at http://wutqfm.com/interviews/79893

    This transcript has not been edited.
    *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Mark Piersma: On the phone right now, he is the…I guess he is labeling himself as the Conservative Republican candidate for the primary for the Congressional 22nd District race, on the phone right now from Binghamton it is Michael Vasquez. Good morning sir, how are you?

    Michael Vasquez: Good morning Mark, How are you doing today?

    Mark P: Ah, it cold but at least the sun is shining bright. So that’s always a plus right?

    Michael Vasquez: Always

    (laughter)

    Mark P: So Mike, give us your background and why you decided to jump in this Congressional primary?

    Michael Vasquez: Well I’m a 45 year old homeowner here in Binghamton, and a small business owner as well as working a full-time job; and what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years is political commentary. I’ve covered every issue that’s out there on the news, I’ve spoken to just about everyone of the politicians in the lower Central NY and Southern Tier, and I just seen… we’re not getting represented properly in Congress.

    I think that’s true. I mean look at the approval rate, 8.5%. Everyone agrees on that. It’s time we start getting that because we have too many serious decisions facing Congress, we’re not getting the serious answers.

    Mark P: 6240870, give us a call, 6240870. So Mike, what kind of are the key issues that feel that Congressman Hanna has failed to represent his constituents to the fullest?

    Michael Vasquez: Well, just in this year he’s been…he’s flipped positions on immigration, on the NSA, he’s failed to provide opinions and direction or representation on Syria.

    I know this is not something that’s new, I mean if you look back at his history, going back into 2010 Time Magazine was noting how he’s flipped on positions since that time. And it’s consistent, you can find that throughout his entire history. It doesn’t take more than a Google search to find all the times he has flipped positions. That’s not a proper representation for the public. How can we trust our Representative and know that he is putting our issues first if we can’t trust where he stands on the issues.

    Frank Elias: Michael, good morning. This is Frank…

    Michael Vasquez: Hey Frank.

    Frank: Hey Michael, question. You mentioned flipping positions on immigration, NSA, and even Syria. Can you give us your position on immigration, NSA and then Syria as the 3rd and final question.

    Michael Vasquez: Sure.

    In terms of immigration, I have strong concerns about just giving a… as its written now the proposals are being looked at are looking to reward criminal and… well criminal activity, let’s call it what it is. These are people who have actively pursued violations of our law and right now the proposal is give them jobs [actually citizenship]. That’s not something I’m for, I’m against that. I understand we have to do something to address the issue, but I don’t thing giving them citizenship is going to help us. In addition I disagree with Mr. Hanna that we need to add 90,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs for immigrant workers instead of giving them to US citizens. That’s a proposal he is working on right now and I disagree with that. I believe its HR 2131.

    The second question, was in terms of the NSA. I’m in favor of the Amash Amendment (H Amend 413) that was put out and Mr. Hanna voted against it. That was something to protect the average citizen. It didn’t change them [NSA] in their ability to protect the nation, it only stopped them from doing the abuses that we are seeing happen rampant in that organization and no one has addressed.

    The law would have actually said and protected the average citizen. Mr. Hanna voted against that. That’s…that’s very telling. That’s our 4th Amendment.

    In addition, the last one was in Syria. While the entire world, I mean in England, Germany, 70% of Americans had a firm position on what we should… what our President was doing, our unilateral decision to take action that could have taken us into another war; Mr. Hanna at the same time the rest of the world had a definitive answer couldn’t come up with one. He needed to keep looking into it.

    Mark P: um hmm

    Michael Vasquez: That’s…That’s someone that I take a more political approach to this, and when I say political I mean politician. Waiting to see where the winds blow to take a position.

    Now I could be wrong. I don’t know Mr. Hanna, but I can only go by what he has reported and what I am seeing across the nation at that time. There is more… I could go into drones. There are many other issues that have serious concerns.

    Mark P: 6240870, we are talking with Congressional Republican candidate from Binghamton Mike Vasquez, go ahead Frank…

    Frank: Mike you did a good job responding to those questions. Can you educate us more, a little bit about yourself? Tell us your education, your work history, could you please?

    Michael Vasquez: Sure. In terms of my, you asked first about my education… I went to Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. I don’t think anyone knows about that school out here.

    (laughter from DJ’s)

    I’m originally from New York City, I’ve been up here about 10 years

    Mark P: OK

    Michael Vasquez: In terms of college I went to Rutgers University. I studied English, Philosophy, and Chemistry. I did not get a degree. I wasn’t blessed with the money to finish, and instead started working.

    I’m a former stockbroker. I’m a fully licensed auto insurance agent. I own my own company, which is M V Consulting, Inc

    Frank: Is that M V or N V

    Mark P: M V

    Michael Vasquez: M as in Mike, V as in Victor.

    Mark P: You know Mike, you call yourself a Conservative Republican, is that correct?

    Michael Vasquez: Yes.

    Mark P: How do you translate Conservatism to the general voters? People hear the word Conservative and they get very afraid and they think its the old stogy white guy with money that hates gays, hates abortion, and hates immigrants. How do you translate that to the voters and to really get the ideals of Conservatism to the general populace so they understand what it is to be a Conservative?

    Michael Vasquez: OK. I find it funny. I’ve never been… no one has ever looked at me an mentioned old white..

    (Laughter from DJ’s and then Mr. Vasquez)

    For those that are the listeners that don’t know, I am a Black Puerto Rican.

    Mark P: Right.

    Michael Vasquez: But I understand that’s the image that’s been sold to America about what it is to be a Conservative. What a Conservative is, is what most people in America tend to be. These are people who are law-abiding, they have a strong faith in our nation, they believe strongly in the Constitution as has been written, and the laws that are in there.

    A fiscal Conservative, which I am definitely, wants to make sure that our Government spends out money wisely, does not waste it, and has the foresight to say ‘we’re not going to keep spending money that we do not have, causing the nation to go into a death spiral of debt that will ultimately hurt us.

    If you compared our Government to any… to the same way we are using our funds, compare that to a corporation or an individual. That’s a person that would lose their house. That’s a corporation that would be sued by every single shareholder for abuses. You can’t just keep spending.

    That’s $17 trillion in debt, we have a $15 trillion GDP. In just 3 years the numbers are going to become, $22 trillion in debt, $18 trillion GDP, and that’s assuming interest rates don’t move. Which is almost incredible to see.

    We can’t survive like that. No business can, no people can.

    Frank: Michael, this is Frank. Again I’d like to say refreshing interview. I think you are… speaking well.

    Yesterday we had on Mike Kicinski, who is also going to be challenging Congressman Hanna in the upcoming primary. A couple of things that he highlighted, similar to what you just said, debt and spending. He also Identified the health care issues, specifically the health care act. What would your positions be in regard to… well we ask Mr. Kicinski would you raise the debt ceiling… as was done recently? And what would you have done differently with the Affordable healthcare Act? if anything?

    Michael Vasquez: Starting with the Health Care Act, I have been writing about this and covering as a political commentator and a member of the press since 2009. This was always a flawed law, it was admitted to be a flawed law, this was passed as a partisan action that was NOT read. many of the Democrat were proud of it. And as we have come to find out many of the aspects of the law that are outright lies have been known.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand admitted such on ABC News. That Democrats knew this was going to happen and voted for it anyway and decided to never tell anyone. I don’t agree with any of that.

    There are aspects of the law that are good, and I think that’s great. We should keep them. But I believe at this point, because it is so messed up it needs to be repealed and replaced with an actual bipartisan that takes into account things that actually improve the cost of healthcare.

    Like malpractice. Capping the malpractice amounts. That’s one of the biggest, one of the highest cause of increases of healthcare costs across the nation. Which ACA [Obamacare] doesn’t address.

    Or how about have actual interstate trade. Not just within one State, but if Alaska has a plan that qualifies for New York State and it’s cheaper why can’t I buy that program? That’s an issue that was brought up, Democrats rejected it outright. I don’t know why. I believe that’s something.

    If we can actually get a bipartisan law, we can get a law that’s actually good. You’re other question… that was the healthcare, the other one was, I’m sorry?

    Mark P: Yeah, Frank. I even forgot.

    Frank: The other one was raising the debt ceiling.

    Michael Vasquez: Debt and the debt ceiling is difficult. because you don’t want to cause international turmoil and cause the entire money markets to go into a tailspin. It would be worse than the recession that we saw. At the same time we can’t just keep spending.

    So its not just a one sided approach. This is not… it’s spun sometimes or looked at as just being a independent thing by itself. That’s not correct. We have to have a budget. We don’t have and haven’t had,

    Mark P: We haven’t had one for what, 12 years we’re going on? or something like that? yeah.

    Michael Vasquez: Yeah, it’s incredible. You can’t run anything… businesses have difficulty planning, international trade is difficult when you don’t have a budget and people don’t understand what you are going to be spending. That’s part and parcel of the problem right there. We need a budget.

    We get that in place, and if we have a budget that can go backwards in time. Not just the future spending, let’s actually cut actual spending. That’s not going to be pleasant, and not everyone will love everything that has to be cut. But if we cut back, let’s say just 10%, which there is more waste than that in the Government right now. If we just cut actual spending by 10%, at that point you don’t even need to raise the debt ceiling.

    Mark P: Yup.

    Michael Vasquez: It maintains itself, if not brings us back. That helps us address the debt, and that helps us deal with the interest rate on the debt. So you take both of them at the same time… But if I an caught in a catch 22, would I endanger the nation? NO. If I could freeze the debt ceiling without endangering the nation and the economy of the nation? Of course I would reject increasing it.

    But I’m not going to hurt… I’m not going to go out there and sabotage ourselves just to be able to make a point.

    Mark P: Frank, last question, we have to wrap up…

    Frank: Michael, very much enjoying this conversation. I’d like to ask you, a final question. Your position regarding military conflicts throughout the world, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East, other than Syria. You just addressed Syria, but Iraq, Afghanistan, a position on that?

    Michael Vasquez: My positions are very strong positions. I’m a former Marine. Served in the Marine Reserve. I take a very serious approach to that as I understand, my father was a Viet Nam vet – came back with Agent Orange. So I understand what it is to put someone on the front lines, I understand the cots to families after they come back home.

    Many of my friends from Afghanistan, Iraq, have has some issues. Serious ones. We need to take care of them, cause they put themselves in the ultimate position for our nation, because we asked them to.

    I do not believe in giving away lives lightly. there are incidents across the nation [meant globe] that do require our intervention. Because it will ultimately comes back to our safety here at home, and 9/11 proved that. But at the same time we have to do it right.

    I do not agree with, I do not agree with President Bush when he sent over troops initially, to start the war. But…the day the first boot lands on that foreign soil we have an obligation, as a nation, to have a winning strategy. We are there to win, not to draw not to retreat.

    If we are going to lose our soldiers, lose our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, then let’s get something for that.

    Mark P: Mike, ah sorry to cut you off but my producer is telling me we are way over time, so we have to get going. Mike Vasquez, thanks so much for the opportunity to speak with you and to introduce you to our audience. We put all the links up to your websites on our Facebook, and looking forward to this coming primary Mike. Thanks so much for joining us today. Good Luck.

    Michael Vasquez: Thank you and I look forward to doing it again.

    …and Obamacare will fix it all

    One of the great problems in politics today is not the laws that are being passed, though many are quite troubling. It’s not the partisanship that has gridlocked Congress, though that is pervasive and adds to the problem. It’s the fact that there is no consideration of the consequences of what is being shoved into law.

    Obamacare is of course a great example. Here we have a partisan law, passes without being read, that the public has never wanted, touted as the great fix to healthcare insurance woes. So far, the website cost 3x it’s initial estimate and is inferior to similar sites by 10 years of technology. Millions are finding out that “affordable” is a relative term, rarely matching the hype that this law has been surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands are quickly learning that keeping the insurance and doctors they have and like is not an option – or when it is, it is too expensive to be realistic.

    Is this because healthcare reform was a bad idea? NO. Was it because of the partisan gridlock? Partially, as excluding reform ideas from across the isle limits the effectiveness of any law. Is it because partisan ideology demanded that politicians not pause for a moment to reflect (or read) what they were doing. The consequences of their actions were of no concern in the face of getting it done. Mere years later and already havoc is starting to play out, with no end in sight of how long the dominoes will fall.

    All of that, and the worst consequence of all. Partisanship sold the Rights of America on the cheap. A precedent has been made that Government has a Right above the people. If the Government can make everyone do one thing, it can make them do anything. Maybe not this Administration, or even the next, but eventually it will happen because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Still, this is not the only example. Look at the Obama Stimulus, which was another speedy race to pass a law that few understood the scope of. In June of 2009 it was found, by the Associated Press, that food was literally being taken out of the mouths of the public.

    “People are finding out that because of the extra $25 they cannot decline, calculations made including this money is placing Americans over the Government limits for food stamps and other forms of aid. The range of the loss is unknown (and likely to remain so), but the AP provided an example – costing a family $300 in food stamps they now cannot receive.”

    Perhaps the best example is all the bluster about the national debt. Each side keeps talking about how devastating the cuts are and how big a cut is being made. Except they leave out that the cuts are reductions in the future increases in spending. And even then Congress tries to find ways to spend money it doesn’t have and evade laws it put in place to prevent spending more. If you think that anyone is being honest on the debt, try and find one person who has stated the impact of interest rates increasing to just the level since 1980′s (4.25%). You won’t find that in any plan of debt reduction – which is odd since it will nearly overnight add several trillions of dollars to the debt, assuming not another dime is spent.

    The problem is that Government thinks it can fix it all. Congress thinks that enough short-term fixes will patch up any problem forever. More than a few elected officials are quite happy riding the fence on issue after issue, making a few well placed comments to keep constituents in the dark and their re-election secure; knowing full well that at some point it will be time to pay the reaper. Except that politician won’t be around to worry about it, apparently they hope.

    If all you want are 30-second soundbites, the headline is all you need from this commentary. You can vote for whatever politician makes the best empty promise you like – such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s, ‘You need to pass it to find out what’s in it.’ If you think that Government is filled with people endowed by an election with knowledge that surpasses the norm, simply because they won, there are plenty of politicians that act as if they are nobility (like Sen. Schumer for one example) that you can vote for.

    But be prepared. Voter apathy combined with the political ambitions of too many in Congress have led to consequences that we are really not able to kick down the road without consequence any more. Our credit rating is in danger, our energy independence is questionable, our freedoms are eroding, and our economic stability is in jeopardy. If you believe that simply fixing the bugs on a website will resolve the holes in Obamacare, you really won’t like what probably will happen over then next several years.

    Politicians are not soothsayers, nor should they try to be. But reasonable attempts to think more than 1 election down the road, combined with taking the time to pass laws that are actually meaningful and what voters want isn’t too much to expect. Having a Congressman that can actually take a position and stand by it would be a nice change in the New York 22nd Congressional District as an example; and if that Representative could also try to pass a law that might benefit constituents and the nation, well that would be a night worthy of fireworks.

    Until voters take on politicians and vote out those that are the worst in preserving their power at the cost of quick fix gimmicks and finger-pointing, dominoes will fall where we least expect them, leaving us a weaker and less great nation.

    It doesn’t have to be like that. We can have better laws, better Representatives and Senators. We can have a better Government that is smaller and more controlled. All we need to do is vote.

    ***Michael Vasquez is exploring a run for the New York 22nd Congressional District in 2014.***

    Meet and greet with voters and potential supporters Oct 26 2013

    I just wanted to publicly thank attorney James Sacco for putting together a meet and greet of potential supporters at his home in Vestal, NY. I also thank everyone that attended, for their time and questions about the 2014 New York Congressional election.

    It was a great night, speaking to a couple dozen voters, discussing their concerns and questions about how the representation for the New York 22nd Congressional District can be improved. The conversation covered everything from by background, experiences, and motivations; as well as where I stand on issues including immigration, the national debt, taxes, drones, the 2nd and 4th Amendment among others.

    meet and greet in Vestal NY, at home of attorney James Sacco

    coffee and doughnuts meet and greet in Vestal NY

    It was a great opportunity to hear from more of the public on what they really want to see address on the floor of Congress, and understand what they believe is not being done to represent their views currently. I continue to see a consistent theme of issues that neither Congress nor our current Representative are focused on.

    I look forward to speaking at several more meet and greets at the homes of supporters and potential supporters, as well as other events. It’s important to be connected to constituents, and this is a significant way to do so. If anyone would like to host a similar event for me to appear at, please contact me at Michael@ElectMichaelVasquez.com.

    That email can also be used for those that want to volunteer directly in helping spread the word about the 2014 NY Congressional race. Those that would like to donate $20, $50, or whatever amount up to the limit of $2600 for individuals can do so online via paypal at https://electmichaelvasquez.nationbuilder.com/donations
    or mail a check/money order made out to Friends of Michael Vasquez at PO BOX 515, Binghamton NY 13902.

    More news is coming in November!

    Sincerely

    Michael Vasquez

    Michael Vasquez talks about improving Congress with Southern Tier Tea Party in Vestal, NY

    On June 4, 2013, Michael Vasquez spoke before the members of the Southern Tier Tea Party and the general public at the Vestal Public Library. The discussion was part of an event featuring Binghamton Mayoral candidate Douglas Drazen, as well as Mr. Vasquez, to present the options that face voters in the upcoming Binghamton, NY elections and the 2014 NY Congressional election.

    Michael Vasquez took the opportunity to introduce himself to the constituents at the meeting, and to share his views on how Congress can become more accountable and reflective of the issues that are foremost in the minds of residents in the NY-22. Mr. Vasquez also took the time to express his thoughts on the 2nd Amendment and the growing issue of domestic unmanned aerial surveillance (drones). The following video is the uncut conversation of Michael Vasquez at the event:

    Part 1 – Michael Vasquez introduces himself to NY Southern Tier residents

    Part 2 – Michael Vasquez shares views of improving Congress and better representation for the NY-22

    Following the introduction and the ways to improve government, and a similar discussion by Mr. Drazen, the question and answer portion of the event took place. It was during this time Mr. Vasquez expanded on a few ideas to create jobs, balance the budget, cut government debt spending, and reduce the national debt. In addition, Mr. Vasquez took the opportunity to gain greater insight on the concerns that the average American feels are a priority, and need to be discussed on the floor of Congress.

    The following video of the Q&A is edited only to present the questions to, and answers from, Michael Vasquez:

    Q&A in Vestal, NY with Michael Vasquez and Southern Tier residents

    Michael Vasquez is continuing to explore a run for the 2014 New York 22nd Congressional election, and will be traveling throughout the NY-22 over the summer.

    As always we look forward to your comments, questions and support. Please visit exploratory.ElectMichaelVasquez.com to learn more.

    America is on wrong track according to 61%

    wrong trackThere may be no better example of the state of the nation, and the effectiveness of current Government, than the fact that 61% of the nation believe America is on the wrong track. The blame for the path America is on is not just partisan, its universal.

    With only 27% stating that personal finances are getting better, 45% think college grads will have trouble getting a job, and 47% think a housing recovery is still 3 years away, Congress remains in gridlock. All the while the national deficit is $16.8 trillion and rising – even with $77 billion in additional taxes and $30 billion in Sequester cuts.

    This isn’t really shocking though.

    Government isn’t listening to the public, and the results are clear. The majority of Americans haven’t believed that America is on the right path since before 2009. Obamacare was passed against the will of the majority, and today 55% are still unfavorable towards this law. President Obama is using Executive Orders in a way that even Senator Obama would never approve. Only 15% approve of the way Congress is handling the economy, immigration, gun control, and the rest of their job.

    For the New York 22nd Congressional District, the lack of connection appears to be equally apparent. In just the last couple of weeks I have been amazed by the number of people that either don’t know who represents them in the NY-22, or believe that they are still represented by former Rep. Maurice Hinchey – who retired last year. Given is the fact that so far I have only spoken to a fraction of the constituents that make up the NY-22, but with the current Representative having made 45 town hall style meetings with the public (of which only 9 appear in a Google search of “Richard Hanna meets constituents“) and a re-election, the Southern Tier – at least – remains largely unconnected to Congress.

    But hopefully this will change. Already Rep. Hanna has attempted to clarify why he is in favor of immigration reform, and giving STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] jobs to foreigners. He has made sure to get the press aware that he is meeting constituents – as he did on May 1st. But he has yet to explain, that can be found via Google search, why he did not attend the Joint Economic Committee meeting on resolving long-term unemployment.

    I would like to think that the challenge of a Republican primary is motivating these changes. I would like to think that the knowledge of voters having a real choice is inspiring a re-dedication to the concerns of the New York 22nd District. Especially at a time in the nation when Government, from local to national levels, is actively restricting freedoms (Executive Orders for gun restrictions, NYSAFE Act), compromising law (Executive Orders on immigration, amnesty proposals in immigration reform talks, sanctuary cities), mandating action (Obamacare, Chevy Volt), even potentially removing long-standing safeguards (FCC decency policy). Which says nothing of the on-going fiscal irresponsibility of Government.

    But the trend of millionaire and career politicians has for decades been a study in doing just enough to appear invested in the constituent, right up until a primary threat or election passes. The ultimate result of which brings us back to what path 61% of Americans believe we are on.

    Status quo in elections, mediocre politicians, and a lack of real connection to the issues, concerns, and daily life of constituents needs to end.

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