Monday, August 18, 2014

Is John Culberson A Jeffersonian-Republican...Or Not?

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie down the second with chains of the constitution so the second will not become legalized versions of the first."-Thomas Jefferson.

I share that with you because the person I'm writing about espouses on his website to BE a Jeffersonian-Republican.  This is a direct quote from his website, "As a fiscally conservative “Jeffersonian Republican,” Congressman John Culberson is committed to Thomas Jefferson’s vision of limited government, individual liberty, and states’ rights. Simply put, John Culberson believes in “Letting Texans Run Texas.” 

All of that sounds really good, doesn't it?  Well, friends, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.  Let's look at some of the voting action on the part of our fair Congressman Culberson.

I'm a Freedomworks follower and they have a Scorecard that they use to keep up with all of the House and Senate members voting records, both good and bad.  So, here's the first vote on the list in which Congressman Culberson voted against the Freedomworks recommendations.


On H.R. 3457-Omnibus Appropriations for Fiscal year 2014,  Culberson was a 'yea' vote.  This bill funded the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. It spends $45 billion more than the budget caps established in 2011, and perpetuates a vast amount of wasteful spending from previous years. Lawmakers were also given almost no time to read this 1,500 page spending bill.  Reminds me of Democrat Jeff Conyers and his quote about actually reading a bill before passing it.  "What good is it to read a bill that's 1,000 pages when you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you've read the bill?"  Sounds like it might be more than just a Conyers philosophy. 

On the FARM Bill, Culberson was also a 'yea' vote.   This final version of the Farm Bill, reconciled between the House and Senate, actually undoes some of the already modest reforms to crop insurance and food stamps that were previously in the bill. This five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill will spend nearly a trillion dollars over ten years, and remains loaded with corporate welfare and special carve-outs for well-connected agricultural corporations.

His Jeffersonian-Republican framework could be destroyed within the guise of the FARM bill.  Think about it; it expanded government, it spends more money, a trillion over ten years and keeps people on the government dole through food stamps, which is ultimately about the dependency on a hand out.

How about the amendment to House Resolution 4870, to cut Transportation and HUD spending by 1%?  Surely a Jeffersonian Republican would want to cut spending.  Sorry to say, not this time.  He voted NOT to cut spending.

I'll share one more key vote with you and it is on the Highway and Transportation Funding Act.  This bill bails out the nearly depleted Highway Trust Fund through May of 2015, using revenue gimmicks to supposedly offset most of the cost. The Highway Trust fund desperately needs reform instead of merely continuing to receive periodic taxpayer bailouts.  Congressman Culberson was a 'yea' vote on this one, too.  Read my lips, "No more bailouts!"  

Okay, since I've been playing bad cop all this time, maybe it's time for a little good cop.  One of the votes that he got right was to restrict agencies from accessing U.S. citizens' communications metadata.  I guess he felt compelled to do that after he voted for the patriot act, not once, but twice.

These are only four of the votes that earned him a 50% rating on the Freedomworks Scorecard.  To be fair, I went and checked out some of the other really well known scorecards, Eagle Forum and Heritage Action.  He rated a 75% with Eagle Forum and a 68% with heritage Action.  All three scorecards report on much of the same bills, with the exception of a few.  Both Heritage Action and Eagle Forum reported on a bill that Freedomworks did not, which was a bill to establish the Commission to study the potential creation of a National Women's History Museum, a bill that BOTH organizations recommended voting against.  John Culberson voted FOR the bill and it passed.

There's just one more bill I'd like to draw your attention to that he voted against that blows his Jeffersonian-Republican thought process out of the water; a bill to reform the Federal Sugar Program.  From Heritage Action's Website:

Amendment #98 offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) reforms the Federal sugar program: 1) repeals unnecessary trade restrictions; 2) eliminates higher price support levels; 3) reforms domestic supply restrictions to provide more flexibility to USDA; and 4) provides flexibility to USDA in administering quotas.

Heritage Action Position

In 2006, the Department of Commerce found that for every job “saved” by the program, the sugar program kills three manufacturing jobs. Despite claims that it is “zero cost” to taxpayers, the current sugar program distorts prices for sugar products for consumers. It also inflates sugar prices by capping the amount that manufacturers and consumers in the U.S. can import from foreign producers.

Again, this increases the role of government in the private sector, kills jobs and no pun intended, artificially inflates the price of sugar.  What was that about letting Texans run Texas?  I fail to see how any of the votes I've listed here and others he's cast over his tenure as a Congressman line up with his own ideology. 

5 comments:

  1. Excellent analysis & summary of a DISMAL voting record. Jeffersonian only in his dreams. I'll begin plans to "primary" him in 2016. Thanks for the insight.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your support.

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  2. Thanks, John. I really appreciate your support over the years. You're a good friend.

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  3. The quote is spurious.

    http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/two-enemies-people-are-criminals-and-governmentquotation

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