During Bob Menendez’s first year in the U.S. Senate, 2006, there was a health care bill before the Senate designed to make insurance premiums more affordable for small businesses. The bill would have allowed small businesses to join together as larger groups in order to enjoy the economies of scale in their insurance purchases that large corporations enjoy. Chambers of commerce and other business associations would have been allowed to form groups to decrease the cost of health insurance so that more of the members could afford to insure the health of more of the employees and families.
At the time, I was a leader of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce and a member of the National Federation of Independent Business. The company I owned was paying 100% of the insurance premiums of its employees. Premiums were raising at about 13% per year. It was getting difficult to continue to provide health insurance. Potential hires who did not need insurance because their spouse’s employer provided it became the most attractive candidates to employ. Increasing insurance premiums consumed what would have been raises to loyal employees.
NFIB was lobbying hard for the bill. It had already passed the Republican House and President Bush had indicated he would sign the bill if it passed in the Senate. The Republican Senate majority support for the bill but the Democrats were filibustering. NFIP worked its members to contact their Democratic Senators asking that they stop the filibuster and allow the bill to be voted on.
I wrote Mendendez and Senator Frank Lautenberg asking that they support the bill. As I expected, they didn’t and the bill never made it to the Senate floor vote. Lautenberg wrote back thanking me for contacting him. Menendez wrote back telling me why he supported the bill that he voted to defeat.
Menendez’s reelection campaign is just as duplicitous as his letter to me in June of 2006.
The theme of our junior senator’s campaign is The Middle Class Is Under Attack. He says he’s fighting for the Middle Class and wants to rebuild the economy from the “middle out.”
In the debate with Joe Kyrillos last week, Menendez touted his advocacy of eliminating tax breaks to oil companies, his support of ”green” renewal energy, the regulation of banks, his support of transit villages as examples of how he is fighting for the Middle Class. His populist rhetoric makes him sound like he is really fighting for the little guy and against be big bad oil companies and banks. What Menendez and his “progressive” colleagues are really building is a government managed economy that will devastate the middle class and redefine the American Dream.
Writing at The Hayride, a blog about Louisiana and national politics, last year, Scott McKay detailed the impact that Menendez’s proposed tax increases in oil companies would have on gasoline prices nationally and on jobs in Louisiana. McKay says Menendez is either stupid because he does not understand economics, or that he thinks New Jersey voters are stupid because we don’t understand Menendez.
Menendez is not stupid. He knows that increasing taxes on oil companies will increase the price of gasoline at the pump and make domestic production of oil less viable. When debating and campaigning Menendez sounds like he wants to tax the oil companies because gas prices are too high. In reality, Menendez wants $8 per gallon gas just like President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu want.
Menendez, Obama, Chu, Al Gore, Jon Corzine, Barney Frank and their ilk want expensive energy. “Green” energy is not economically viable so long as oil, natural gas and coal are abundant and inexpensive. To them making American “energy independent” means making energy less affordable. Higher prices at the pump and sky rocketing utility bill for heat and power are the key to the new world order that they want to create. Menendez, Obama, Gore, et al, want to leave our natural energy resources in the ground. Rather than invest in making oil, gas and coal more environmentally friendly they want employ social engineering to make naturally cheap energy unaffordable.
When energy is unaffordable, the “American Dream” of a suburban home with a car in the garage and the personal sovereignty that goes along with them will be replaced with an American Nightmare of Middle Class ghettos. That’s what transit villages are; Middle Class ghettos where worker bees live together in planned condo-like communities. That is what Menendez’s Livable Communities Act would create. Cars would be only for the elite. Single family homes will only be for the super-elite. Personal mobility will be dependent of government transportation.
That what a transformation of American looks like. That’s what “the progressives” are really fighting for. They’re not fighting for the Middle Class we know. They’re fighting for a government managed economy and all of what that means for individual liberty.