Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Ford's Pro-Tax and Ethics Problems

I have posted a few thoughts on Harold Ford at Blogging for Bryant. Most of my 2006 Senate posts will end up there, for future reference.

A few extras: Harold Ford has a 10% rating in the 2005 ratings by Americans for Tax Reform, the lowest mark by any of the Tennessee Congressional delegation. That's even worse than his 35% rating for 2004.

He is no friend for those of us in the middle class who are overtaxed, and he is proving it with his voting record.

Rod, ever care to address this?


Ed Bryant: Against Tennesseans' Best Interests

Blogging for Bryant's latest attack against Congressman Ford is nothing but a package of lies.

They again try to portray Congressman Ford as a tax and spend liberal, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is Congressman Ford is the most fiscally discipline candidate in this race by far. In fact, his fiscal record is second to none.

Congressman Ford believes that it is immoral to run up huge deficits that will be passed on to our children and grandchildren. That is why in his nine years in the Congress, he has never voted for a budget that was not balanced. That is also why in his Covenant with Tennesseans, Ford calls for a constitutional amendment that would mandate that our budget be balanced.

Further, during his tenure in Congress, Harold Ford Jr. been opposed to efforts that would increase the debt limit by nearly $2.6 trillion.

In comparison, while in Congress Ed Bryant voted in favor of a total of $1.1 trillion worth of federal debt limit increases. To put that in perspective, that is a $3.7 trillion dollar difference directly tied to my future and that of my peers.

Put simply, Ed's fiscal record is abysmal.

More of Ed's noteworthy failures on fiscal responsibility:

While Ed Bryant was in Congress, federal spending increased 43 percent and the national debt grew by $1.5 trillion or $5,800 for every Tennessean.

Ed voted to pass on our debt to our children and grandchildren by voting for over $1.1 trillion of federal debt limit increases while in Congress. HR 2586 on 11/09/95, HR 3136 on 03/28/96, and S 2578 on 06/27/02

Ed had the unique opportunity to vote for the first balanced budget in a generation, but instead decided to vote against it. He voted against the final version of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which passed 346-85.
This was legislation that even conservative Republicans like Tom Delay and Rob Portman hailed as a landmark piece of legislative history on the House floor the day of its passage, because of the fact that it would actually balance the federal budget for the first time in a generation :

"I rise in support of this legislation that finally balances our Federal budget. It is about time. I have waited my entire adult life for it." - Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Congressional Record, 07/30/97

"I think we need to step back a moment and think about what a victory this is for the American people. For the first time in more than a generation, we are actually going to balance the budget. We are going to stop spending more than we take in every year, an immoral practice that leaves the bill for the next generation." - Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH), Congressional Record, 07/30/97
While serving in Congress, Ed cast several votes against the best interests of Tennesseans by voting to cut programs vital to the State:

Ed voted to eliminate the Energy Department, thus potentially eliminating the jobs of 700 Department of Energy employees at Oak Ridge National Lab. HCR 178, 05/16/96, Roll Call #179

Ed even voted for a $20.9 billion energy-water bill that would eliminate federal funding for the TVA, which provides power to Southeastern states and oversees navigation, recreation and other non-power services along the Tennessee River. HR 4060, 09/28/98, Passed 389-25. (Heck, Van was even smart enough to vote against the measure!)
Tennessee Republicans Fred Thompson and Bill Frist along with Vice President Al Gore also opposed the cuts.

Frist had this to say about the cuts, " The federal government has decided to duck its obligation to provide funding for TVA," Frist said. "The committee's actions will force TVA to fund its non-power programs through its power accounts, resulting in an unprecedented unfunded mandate." CQ Weekly, 10/03/98
Big Government Ed!

When I hear Jay Bush and other Bryant supporters say that Ed is for small government, I roll on the floor laughing!

I mean this guy lobbied on behalf of a Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that will cost the American people more than $1.2 trillion in the coming decade, which is almost triple the amount originally promised.

BlueCross BlueShield employed Ed to help on the Medicare modernization plan: "BlueCross BlueShield hired [Ed] Bryant for help with Congress on plans for Medicare modernization, BlueCross spokesman Bill Steverson said. Bryant's past work on health-care issues and his membership on the Commerce Committee made him attractive to the insurance company, he said." Associated Press, 09/08/04
Here are some more highlights of the wasteful and down right terrible Medicaid bill Ed advocated on behalf of lobbyists:

Originally Bush pledged to keep the total cost of the drug benefit to $400 billion over 10 years: "Beginning with his January 2003 State of the Union address, Bush pledged to keep the total cost of the drug benefit to $400 billion over 10 years." Washington Post, 02/09/05

Later White House figures indicated that the new Medicare prescription drug benefit would cost more than $1.2 trillion in the coming decade: "The White House released budget figures yesterday indicating that the new Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost more than $1.2 trillion in the coming decade, a much higher price tag than President Bush suggested when he narrowly won passage of the law in late 2003." Washington Post, 02/09/05

Conservative leader in the US House, Mike Pence, blasted the bill because of its high cost and burden it would leave on future generations: "Our children will never forgive us for this act of financial malpractice." - Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana on the Medicare prescription drug benefit , National Review Online, 11/21/03
Despite their best efforts, the Republicans cannot paint Harold Ford Jr. as a tax and spend liberal and it infuriates them.

As noted above, in his nine years in Congress, Congressman Ford has never voted for a budget that was unbalanced. He believes it its immoral to pass on billions of dollars of federal debt on to our children and grandchildren.

Instead of lying about Congressman Ford's fiscal record, Ed needs to check his own because he is the one that is out of step with Tennesseans.

Time after time Ed voted to pass more debt on to future generations, while voting against programs that are vital to Tennessee.

Our next U.S. Senator needs to be someone who has Tennessee's best interests at heart.

Clearly, Ed Bryant doesn't and Harold Ford Jr. does.

That is why Congressman Ford will be victorious this November!
Chris -

Who is Rod?

And if I find "Rod," I'm sure that he will be willing to address your concerns after you address my original ones (Ford's rankings with various anti-tax groups, Donna Brazile's comments regarding Ford as a member of the Left Wing of the Democratic Party, Ford's refusal to remove William Oldaker from as his PAC treasurer when Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy have seen it necessary to do so).


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