Collins for Congress 2010: Congressman Reyes – Gov. Perry’s Strategy “is to bankrupt the U.S. Government”
From the El Paso Time, September 6, 2010
Congressman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Texans can no longer afford to keep Rick Perry in office. “His strategy – it’s not to feed people. It’s not to house people. It’s not to educate people. It’s to bankrupt the U.S. government,” he said. Reyes also urged the crowd to support White’s campaign.
Given the recent discussions and press releases regarding budget cuts necessary to overcome a projected state budget deficit of $18 billion dollars, and the proposals to cut funds from education, mental health services, and social programs, one can see how Congressman Reyes came to this description of Governor Perry’s “strategy”. He has a point, inarticulately expressed, but a point none the less, except of course for that last part about bankrupting the U.S. Government. I’m not exactly sure how a State’s Governor could accomplish that objective, or why they would want to do so in any case.
When it comes to wasteful spending, the (R) or (D) behind an elected official’s name on the ballot really is meaningless – both sides are skilled at waste. Governor Perry has long been questioned about his choices for political appointments and their relationship to his campaign donations. Congressman Reyes’ record for directing earmarks toward campaign contributors and his employment of friends and relatives has also been called into question at various times. Has either done enough to call it a “strategy to bankrupt the U.S. Government”? Hardly, but of the two clearly Congressman Reyes is better positioned to contribute to such a result. After all it is The U.S. House of Representatives that is empowered by The Constitution to spend federal money.
Congressman Reyes isn’t even in the major leagues when it comes to earmark spending. Among all Texas members of the U.S. House, he ranks 21st out of 34 Representatives in Congress during the 2008 to 2010 reporting period. He still managed to earmark $95 million dollars to pet projects, $46 million of which were solo earmarks (no co-sponsors). So clearly he is doing his part to help “bankrupt the U.S. Government”. Spending other people money must be easy.
What about spending for feeding, housing, and educating people? I guess that really isn’t his priority either. Of the $46 million in solo earmarks he received, only $3.2 million (6.5%) was spent on these functions. The average for these 11 earmarks was $295,000 as compared with an average of $1,539,000 for non -“feeding, housing, and educating” earmarks.
Decide for your self how well he provides for feeding, housing and educating, here is a partial list of earmarks I used to develop the numbers above:
$309,000 Project Vida Health Center for facilities and equipment
$208,000 SER-Jobs for Progress National, Dual-Language Financial Literacy
Technology Learning (Irving, TX)
$250,000 AVANCE, Inc., El Paso, TX for a parenting education program
$215,000 Centro de Salud Familiar Le Fe for an elementary charter school, which
may include equipment
$152,000 La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, TX for a workforce development initiative for
Limited English Proficient community members
$100,000 Project Salud
$250,000 The Border Institute of Excellence
To put the above in perspective, he also awarded the following earmarks to private corporations:
$1,000,000 Action Systems, Tactical SIPRNET
$1,000,000 Aerospace Missions Corp, Miniaturized Sensors for Small and Tactical
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (MINISENS)
$ 800,000 Romanyk Consulting, Biosurety Development and Management Program
$ 800,000 Florida Solar Energy, Boca Raton, FL
$ 800,000 Digital Fusion Solutions
Clearly Congressman Reyes has learned how to get his share of government money. The question is, has he even thought about ways to reduce spending? If he has, will he share those plans with us?
I know that each and everyone of you reading this has learned how to reduce spending in this economy. We have no choice. We don’t get to play with other people’s money. Congress needs to learn – they are entrusted with our tax dollars to use responsibly. No matter the political party affiliation, spending must be brought under control.
Write-In Candidate for U.S. Congress
Texas 16th Congressional District