Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mike Pence: 'Stumulus Bill has failed; Hoosiers Deserve Real Plan for Real Recovery'

by Congressman Mike Pence

America is known as a land of opportunity. Our country was built and sustained by risk-taking entrepreneurs whose pioneering ideas and hard work forged a nation of economic prosperity.

We have seen this firsthand in Indiana. Innovative leaders like Bill Cook, Clessie Cummins, Tony Hulman, Eli Lilly, Madam C.J. Walker and others developed products and services that allowed our state to grow and flourish. Successful small business owners in towns and cities across the state are a testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of Hoosiers.

In these tough economic times, days of widespread economic opportunity might seem like single-class high school basketball -- a relic from a bygone era. Right now Indiana families are hurting in the city and on the farm. Unemployment is at 10.1 percent statewide and is higher in many of the counties in eastern Indiana.

Hoosier families I talk with are anxious about this economy. They are concerned about runaway spending in Washington. Most of all, they are worried about jobs.

In Indiana, we have been blessed with six years of outstanding leadership from Mitch Daniels. The governor and his team have made job creation a priority from day one and put our state in a position far better than many of our neighbors.

But in Indiana and across the country, we need more good-paying jobs. We need Washington to foster a climate in which small businesses have the opportunity to innovate and expand. A new generation of entrepreneurs must have the resources and freedom to succeed or fail.

Our leadership in Washington claims that we are on that road to recovery. Last week, the White House issued a report saying that the stimulus bill that passed a year and a half ago had "saved or created" 2.5 to 3.6 million jobs." This report, based on a highly inflated projection of how much economic growth is created for every government dollar that's spent, is further evidence that folks in Washington just do not get it.

The national unemployment rate was 7.7 percent when the stimulus was passed. Today it is 9.5 percent. Since the passage of the stimulus, more than three million jobs have been lost across the country, resulting in a net job loss of 2.4 million.

These numbers tell the real story: the stimulus bill has failed. Hoosiers deserve a real plan for a real recovery, not more spending, more taxes, more debt and more unemployment. Economic freedom is the key to returning America to prosperity. In Congress, I have proposed a constitutional amendment limiting federal spending to one-fifth of the national economy, the historical standard set since World War II. Getting control of spending and ensuring that the federal budget cannot grow faster than family budgets will provide our job creators with stability.

Instead of raising taxes in the midst of a recession, Washington should embrace across-the-board tax cuts for working families, small businesses and family farms. Preserving and expanding tax cuts set to expire at the end of this year will encourage investment and lead to new jobs.

Hoosiers know that trade means jobs. Each day trade agreements languish on Capitol Hill, jobs and economic opportunities are squandered. Passing pending trade agreements with countries like Colombia will benefit Indiana farmers, manufacturers and other Hoosier exporters by eliminating tariffs that serve as barriers to trade.

In the weeks ahead, I will be outlining new ideas for economic growth. Ending wasteful spending, encouraging investment and unlocking the boundless potential of the American entrepreneur are steps Washington must take to get our economy back on track. We must preserve the land of opportunity for future generations.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Congressman Mike Pence on FOX News Sunday

Mike Pence on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews

Mike Pence To Join Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus

LTC Robert "Buzz" Patterson
Chris Dickson

by Brian Beutler

Michele Bachmann's freshly minted Tea Party Caucus has its first member of GOP leadership: Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence.

At a press availability this afternoon, Pence was enthusiastic. "You betcha," Pence said when asked if he'd join.

"I come out of a background -- I was chairman of the Republican Study Committee, I was chairman of...the House Conservative Caucus," he added. My hope is that this Tea Party caucus...will be an avenue for bringing some of the energy and the enthusiasm and the focus that I've seen, from the National March on Washington where I spoke on 9/12, to traveling around Indiana and all around the country, deeper into the well of Congress.

Pence has been solicitous of the Tea Party movement in the past -- the 9/12 Tea Party in DC was promoted heavily by conservative groups like FreedomWorks and right wing radio and TV host Glenn Beck. But his enthusiasm for joining the new caucus is a reminder that GOP leaders continue to flirt with the far right flank of their base.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Mike Pence Returns to Iowa

Jul 8 2010, 8:32 AM ET |

Oh, he's definitely thinking about running for President. (That's because, so far as I'm aware, he's not writing a book.) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) will return to Iowa as the guest of Steve Scheffler's Iowa Christian Alliance on Oct. 2. (The ICA was last known for getting mad at Sarah Palin for backing Terry Branstad over Bob Vander Plaatz in the gubernatorial primary.) This is Pence's second visit to Iowa in a year.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Defending Israel Takes More Than Hugs

PENCE & BAUER: Defending Israel Takes More Than Hugs

17 months of damage can't be erased with one friendly meeting

By Mike Pence and Gary Bauer

as printed in The Washington Times, July 7, 2010

The alliance between our nation and Israel has deep and enduring roots, yet since taking office, President Obama has torn apart the ties that bind. Despite a meeting this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that by many accounts was cordial, much still remains to be done to restore the friendship between our two countries.

The modern nation of Israel was established as the clock struck midnight in Jerusalem on May 14, 1948. Eleven minutes later, President Harry Truman, rejecting the advice of Secretary of State George Marshall and most of the foreign-policy establishment, recognized the newly restored Israeli nation. The next day, Arab states declared war on Israel in an effort to kill the new nation in its crib.

Since then, under Israeli prime ministers and American presidents of both parties, the friendship has endured. Both countries believe in the dignity of every human being. Both nations believe in fundamental human rights - freedom of speech, assembly and dissent. We share values rooted in the rich soil of Judeo-Christian civilization; we face hatred from similar enemies.

The Israeli people are overwhelmingly pro-American, and Americans express affection for Israel at levels that are rivaled only by our feelings toward Great Britain. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attack, Americans were shocked to see street celebrations break out in parts of the Middle East, with dancing crowds celebrating the pain inflicted on us. But we were comforted to see Israelis cry along with us, lower their flag and declare a day of mourning as we buried our dead. Israelis understood very well what had happened to America. Proportionately, more Israelis were killed by Palestinian jihadists during the intifada than we lost on Sept. 11.

It is against the backdrop of this cherished alliance that the realization is slowly taking shape in both Israel and the U.S. that Mr. Obama is the most anti-Israel president ever to occupy the Oval Office.

In the 17 months since taking the oath of office, the president methodically has moved the United States away from our friend Israel while reaching out to the most thuggish regimes in the Middle East. He sends letters offering friendship to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who says Israel will be "wiped off the map," while at the same time disrespecting Mr. Netanyahu.

Mr. Obama protests that nothing has changed and that he is committed to the U.S.-Israel relationship. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention to reassure the audience that we are committed to Israel's security. Other administration functionaries use the same talking points, but public policy tells a different story. The administration shows a disturbing pattern of currying favor with enemies like Iran while pushing aside the concerns and interests of allies like Israel.

Iran's government is responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq. Yet the White House offers the Iranian regime friendship, diplomacy and dialogue. The president has displayed infinite patience with Mr. Ahmadinejad. Iran's deception has been overlooked. Mr. Obama has eagerly sought talks while promising no preconditions even as Iran insists that its nuclear program will not be negotiated. A year ago, when Iranian reformers were beaten and murdered in the streets of Tehran, the Obama administration was slow and tepid in its condemnation for fear it would damage the administration's outreach to the oppressive Iranian government.

Compare this indulgent treatment of Iran to the bullying Israel has received from the Obama administration. There was unprecedented outrage when the administration heard that the Jerusalem municipal authority had allowed building permits to go forward in a well-established, undisputed Jewish neighborhood. White House officials made sure to "leak" to the media that Mr. Obama was livid with Israel. The White House publicly demanded that all building stop in East Jerusalem, a demand to which no Israeli prime minister could ever agree.

The American people have been left to wonder how an American administration could denounce the Jewish state of Israel for rebuilding Jerusalem. What should a reasonable observer conclude when Israelis building homes in their own capital elicit more White House anger than does Mr. Ahmadinejad, who promises a second genocide and urges the Iranian people to imagine a world without Israel and the U.S.?

When the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference met in May, it was widely assumed that the Obama administration would use the opportunity to rally support against the Iranian nuclear program. Instead, the conference, with the support of the Obama administration, issued a statement demanding that Israel, which is not a signatory to the treaty, open its nuclear program to outside supervision. It's unprecedented for a U.S. president to sign on to a resolution that singles out Israel and ignores Iran, Syria and North Korea.

The most recent browbeating of Israel came when the president criticized Israel's blockade of Gaza as "unsustainable." This administration does not understand the critical importance of the Gaza blockade. The terrorist organization Hamas has used Gaza as a launching pad for thousands of rockets that killed innocent civilians in Israel. The blockade helps keep weapons away from Hamas, saving lives in Gaza and Israel. Yet the American president sees fit to join the anti-Israel international chorus, which seeks little more than to tear down Israel's right and ability of self-defense.

Time and time again, the pattern is the same. The world is being sent a clear and unmistakable signal: This administration will not stand with Israel against the circling vultures. The Obama administration's policies are undermining our ally, emboldening Israel's enemies and making a Middle East war more, not less, likely. By endangering Israeli security, Mr. Obama is also making America less safe. Our alliance with Israel is not a liability; it is an asset. Together with other free nations, we are defending our shared values.

A group of respected world leaders and academic figures, including former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, met in Paris recently. They boldly asserted, "There is no West without Israel." They are right. Israel is the "tip of the spear" of Western democratic values in a dangerous neighborhood of thugs, jihadists and dictators. The weakening of the Israeli nation does not help America. It puts us more at risk. Undermining a 62-year alliance with Israel doesn't win friends for the U.S. - it makes every nation question the value of aligning with America. After all, if America will break with its most cherished ally, what other nation could rely on our promises?

We are entering dangerous waters. Iran is marching forward with its nuclear program. NATO member Turkey appears to have realigned against U.S. interests and toward a new alliance with Iran and Syria. The president's policies toward Israel are damaging an alliance that now more than ever needs to be strong. Meeting with Mr. Netanyahu and treating him with respect this week was a good start. But much work still remains to be done.

Rep. Mike Pence is chairman of the House Republican Caucus, and Gary Bauer is the president of American Values and chairman of Campaign for Working Families.