Saturday, March 28, 2009

Even More McCollum

Betty McCollum Week continues on Fraters Libertas with Part III of this series investigating the public statements of Betty Mac. (Parts I and II.) Once again, all of these are available for context stripping and out of proportion blowing by media members wishing to give her the Bachmann treatment.

Following her "send the Republicans to Guantanamo Bay" remark, we have this further evidence that she's in need of some better comedy writers:
After questioning current and former executives of Standard & Poor's, Moody's Corporation, and Fitch Ratings, Congresswoman McCollum said, "We have heard stories of culpability, incompetence and, in my opinion, corruption. This Member of Congress has downgraded your AAA rating!"
If she ever leaves Congress, she definitely has a future as a Member of the Jerry Springer audience.

Another theme in the rhetoric and record of Rep. McCollum is the advocacy of grandiose plans and absurdly unrealistic objectives. Along with this is no concern for the financial consequences to the US taxpayer or even understanding of the concept of scarce resources. Maybe that's the case with every liberal in Congress, but it seems especially egregious with her.

First some empty grandstanding:

Last night, in a show of overwhelming support for Congresswoman Betty McCollum's (D-MN) efforts to preserve the Mississippi River, the U.S. House of
Representatives voted 326 - 79 to pass the America's Historical and Natural Legacy Study Act.
I understand the Mississippi River was *this* close to evaporating until that critical bill, to study something, passed. Thank you Betty McCollum for saving America's largest river system.

Lest you think she's only worried about saving things for her fellow Americans, be aware she has a more global perspective for use of your tax dollars:

"Eradicating polio is within our reach if we have the political will and financial commitment to make it happen," McCollum said today.

Rep. McCollum is the Chair and Co-Founder of the Congressional Global Health Caucus, which emphasizes U.S. action to foster basic health and quality of life across the globe.
I didn't realize polio was still out there. According to Wikipedia, it is, although eradicated in most of the world and considered to be endemic in only four countries. I suppose its not the worst use of tax dollars I've ever heard to attempt to end this dread disease once and for all. But it's that description of the "Global Health Caucus" (to foster quality of life across the globe) and McCollum's volunteering of our "financial commitment" that raises warning flags.

Further public statements confirm, she ain't stopping with polio. Next up for the US taxpayer:

In her speech, McCollum called on the U.S. government to commit to ending global poverty.

"Every year 8 million people die because they are too poor to get the basics they need to stay alive," said McCollum. "It is my belief that the United States has the ability, the resources, and the moral obligation to work in partnership with other wealthy nations, and make the investments to reduce global poverty."

The US government ending global poverty? And you taxpayers thought multi-trillion dollar bailouts, stimulus packages, nationalized health care, carbon taxes, and exploding Social Security and Medicare obligations were going to be expensive.

More on what Betty McCollum believes you should be paying for:
Can our faith, our values, and our tax dollars be combined into an American "tzedakah" to increase our commitment to feeding the hunger, healing the sick, educating all girls and boys, empowering the ignored and alienated, and inspiring hope in every corner of our planet?
Drum roll please ...
I say yes.
I think she wrestled with that question about as much as Barack Obama did about using human embryos for experimentation.

Keeping the tally going, beyond ending global poverty, we now have as US government goals curing sickness around the globe, educating all girls and boys around the globe, and empowering the ignored and alienated. (I think she just secured the Atomizer's support with that one).

It is frankly unbelievable that taxpayers would continue to send to Congress a woman holding these beliefs about what to do with their money. But they do in MN CD-5, with increasing majorities. In that her understanding of economics and the proper role of government reflects that of her fellow Congressmen, the source of our national economic quagmire is understandable.

Not as clear is how these people can become so out of touch with reality. How does someone elected for the purpose of representing the interests of the people in St. Paul start creating spending plans to end global poverty? How does someone start concocting open-ended billion dollar spending obligations for the taxpayers who are already on the hook for untold trillions in debt obligations for other government "stuff"?

Some insight from Rep. McCollum herself:
When I was elected to Congress in 2000 I had never had a passport and only once had I traveled outside the U.S., it was a trip to Canada. But following the events of September 2001, I knew I needed to become a student of international relations.

(...) My journey into international relations has been shaped by a war in Afghanistan which I supported, and a war in Iraq which I opposed. I have had the opportunity to meet kings and queens and presidents and prime ministers. But, the experiences that have left the biggest mark on me are the faces, words, and courage of the people I've met in the poorest corners of the globe. What I have come to realize is that their future and their fate is in part in my hands, and yours.
Everybody sing: She's got the whole world in her hands. She's got the whole wide world in her hands.

And she's got a Messiah Complex in her head.

The combination of the belief that she is called on to save the world and her control over US taxpayer dollars, which she believes to be unlimited, is a toxic asset and a prescription for disaster. Maybe voters don't care about this when economic times are good and the free ride looks like it will last forever. But during the worst down turn since the Great Depression, can we still afford people like Betty McCollum in Congress? Does the bubble ever pop on these people?

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