Harper blasts leftist policies during local visit

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 13, 2009

Many Mississippi projects were held out of the federal stimulusbill in an attempt to keep the overall price of the wasteful anddamaging legislation down, said U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper.

The Third Congressional District Republican representativerailed against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009and President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday during a pairof visits with city and county leaders and members of the public,warning of the financial and social dangers the legislation andnational leader are creating.

“We didn’t submit a high number of requests (for Mississippi)this time around,” Harper said of the stimulus bill. “We should doeverything we can to make the federal spending picture as small aswe can make it, then go see what you can get for Mississippi.”

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Harper lamented the stimulus bill’s propensity for socialrearrangement, pointing out that it funds the creation of 33 newgovernment programs.

Infrastructure spending, a supposed means of job creation thathelped sell the bill to federal lawmakers, accounts for less than 5percent of the total money in the package, he said. Additionally,he said the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would take afurther $350 billion to service the debt of the stimulus bill’s$787 billion price tag.

“When less than 5 percent of $787 billion wound up in a placeother than where it was supposed to, we’ve got a problem,” Harpersaid. “All we’re doing with bailouts, the stimulus package and thebudget is piling debt on every person in this country. You have topay for what we’re doing. I don’t think the current administrationcares about how we’re going to dig out of it. Their goal is to giveevery liberal program everything they’ve ever wanted.”

To further his point, Harper presented a copy of the stimulusbill in a pair of large, three-ring binders that he said contained1,073 pages.

“Y’all don’t run Lincoln County this way,” he told localleaders. “These 1,073 pages were posted online at midnight thenight before we voted on it. That means we have the biggestspending bill in history that no senators or congressmen read. Evenif I had a Republican speaker (of the House) or president, I’mvoting, ‘no.'”

To Harper, the stimulus bill is not the only sin committed thusfar by the Obama administration. He also spoke out against newdefense policies and energy plans, voicing particulardisappointment with the president’s handling of last weekend’sNorth Korean missile launch and the recent announcement thatmissile defense funding would be cut.

“We have enemies around the world that you can’t negotiate with- the only thing they respect is knowing we can thump ’em if wehave to,” Harper said. “I think we’re losing our thumping power.You think we scared North Korea? They know now they can do whateverthey want.”

Harper cast the same scorn on Obama’s recent failed attempt tobarter the cancellation of a European missile defense system forcooperation from Russia on Iran.

“You can tell he wouldn’t make that proposal if he wasn’t goingto cut back anyway,” he said. “You think Russia will cut back onits relationship with Iran? We’re somewhat living in a dreamworld.”

America must continue to use fossil fuels and guard againstattempts to switch to “clean” energy overnight, Harper said,calling carbon credits “Al Gore feel-good tickets.” He agreed withBrookhaven Aldermen D.W. Maxwell that Obama’s energy policies woulddestroy the oil industry.

“This is no mistake on their part, you understand,” Harper said.”It’s a way to limit domestic production. It would make some ofthese wacky energy policies more feasible.”

Harper went on to call liberals’ concern with global warming the”new religion,” saying that those in the science community whooppose it lose grant funding and projects.

“When I was in college, we were worried about aerosol spray andglobal cooling – I even stopped using spray deodorant,” he said. “Iwould anticipate by the end of the year you will not hear theliberal leadership use the term, ‘global warming,’ because they’renot sure of what it really means. Look for the term ‘climatechange.’ That leaves them some wiggle room so they can keepdictating to everyone.”

Despite liberal dominance in Washington, D.C., Harper predictedthat leftist policies would eventually backfire on the DemocraticParty, leading to a resurgence in conservative legislators inCongress.

“We have this perception of fear created by the administration,and it’s hard for them to switch gears and say now we’re supposedto be optimistic,” he said. “We (Republicans) are outnumbered, butwe have to continue to win on the message and work hard for the2010 mid-term elections, where I feel the Republicans have a goodchance to regain the majority.”