Retiring Henry Waxman
If you thought it was delicious to replace Ted Kennedy with Scott Brown, you're going to love this fall's election in California's 30th Congressional District.
That's the Westside Los Angeles district currently represented by Rep. Henry Waxman. Don't know him? He's the surly thug who said during a hearing on the cap-and-trade climate bill that a reluctant public, like an uncooperative foreign government, has to be motivated by both carrots and sticks.
You can see it here on YouTube (about 4:22 into the clip):
The punitive Mr. Waxman made the comments to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was testifying that the cap-and-trade plan, which would discourage energy use with higher energy prices, would hurt the economy, increase unemployment, and raise the cost of living for American families.
"Mr. Gingrich, I'm sure glad you're not in charge of foreign policy," Rep. Waxman said. "Do you think the only way to incentivize a country is by offering them more and more carrots? You have to have some threat. And sometimes you have to say, 'To incentivize you, we're going to give you some assistance, but there are going to be consequences.'"
Newt Gingrich looked like a man who had just been handed the winning card in a game of gin rummy.
"Mr. Chairman, I don't think of American citizens the way I think of foreign dictators," the former Speaker of the House answered, "And I don't think this Congress should punish the American people. I think this Congress has every right to reward the American people, but I don't think Lincoln's government of the people, by the people and for the people should be turned into a government punishing the people, and that's a major difference."
Alas, Mr. Gingrich's words were not persuasive to the resentful man with the gavel. He rammed that cap-and-trade bill through his committee and helped to ram it through the House.
"You have to have some threat." That's the Waxman philosophy. When people won't do what you tell them to do, "there are going to be consequences."
After too many years in Congress, Henry Waxman has forgotten that his title is "Representative" and thinks it's "Executioner."
The chairman set up his guillotine on Capitol Hill last year to intimidate insurance company executives. Mr. Waxman sent a flood of angry letters to insurers demanding to see company records documenting salaries, stock options, company perks, conventions and retreats, claims, administrative and marketing expenses, and profits.
Last week the chopping block was put up again, this time for the top executives of AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar and Deere. The companies had just disclosed to shareholders that the health care reform law will cost them tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and may result in changes to the benefits currently provided to retirees and active employees.
Mr. Waxman was enraged by this and promptly sent letters to the companies' CEOs, demanding to see their accounting documentation and their e-mail correspondence. He told them to show up in front of his committee on April 21 to explain themselves.
What kind of an attitude is this in a free country?
Henry Waxman is not the principal of a middle school, and corporate executives are not drug dealers on the playground, and the American people are not truant twelve-year-olds.
The U.S. Constitution limits the power of the federal government, and arrogant power-lusters like Henry Waxman are the reason. When you watch him in action you can almost hear the voice of James Madison yelling, "I told you so!"
Madison made sure the members of the House of Representatives went home to their districts every two years to face the voters.
In the 30th Congressional District of California, where America Wants To Know happens to live, something new is waiting for Henry Waxman when he comes home to campaign.
A Republican challenger.
In the district that includes Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Malibu.
This is not an April Fools joke.
In June there will be a Republican primary in the 30th Congressional District and the man who's likely to win is David Benning, a pro-business candidate who supports a reduction in payroll taxes and lower corporate taxes. He believes that unpredictable future tax rates are hurting the economy and stifling growth. He favors policies that expand employment instead of policies that expand government and deficits.
Imagine replacing Henry Waxman with a pro-business Republican. Imagine pro-growth legislation on Capitol Hill and the guillotine on eBay.
Here's the link to David Benning's campaign web site:
And here's the link where you can chip in for Henry Waxman's retirement party:
Go ahead. Buy a balloon or two. The neck you save may be your own.