Before looking at what is on the agenda for the United States Congress in 2010, let's take a look at some bills Representative Thompson introduced lately. On December 3, 2009 Mike Thompson introduced three bills. H.R. 4192 is the Stornetta Public Lands Outstanding Natural Area Act of 2009. Part of the Stornetta property near the Point Arena lighthouse became public lands a few years back. If the bill becomes law, it would be administered under the National Landscape Conservation System. H.R. 4210 is the STORAGE Act of 2009, which would extend a tax energy investment credit (loophole) to property where energy is stores. H.R. 4211 is an amendment to the IRS tax code to help out friends of Mike. Read the text to see just how special you have to be to get this tax break. Maybe Mike could supply a list of businesses in the district that would benefit? Or are the donors for this bill from outside the district? It sounds like it might apply to small business loans to the wine industry.
On to 2010. Starting in 2006 a majority of the House of Representatives were elected by the voted in the belief that they would end the war in Afghanistan. Strangely, in each NATO nation that has troops in Afghanistan, polls show the majority of voters are against the war. I guess post 1984 democracy can be defined as "rule over the people." Expect Mike to do what he can to keep the war going, while providing just enough criticism of how it is conducted to give him some political cover.
2009 was a great year for not passing a comprehensive medical insurance reform package. Those efficiency-crazy Germans started their national healthcare system before the end of the 19th century. Expect any bill that passes our Congress to be a model of complexity and inefficiency, because inefficient governance makes for big private industry profits.
The economy is recovering, but expect special interest groups to continue to get government help on the theory that they are "creating jobs." I read a report that in the government stimulus package for the technology industry it takes $1,000,000 to create one tech job for one year. Mike, could you introduce a bill to just send me a check? How much would that cost me? How come when most citizens of the district get to the club door, they say you are not on the list? Who gets to dance with Mike?
The environment will continue to deteriorate. Expect Mike Thompson and the rest of Congress to not even discuss the most basic problem, the size of the human population. They will likely discuss global warming, but do nothing realistic about it unless it involves tax breaks to build even more technology. They won't even plan for future famines by beginning to store vast quantities of food now, something I hear even an ancient king of Egypt once did (Genesis 41). No, they will be too busy helping their donors get special tax loopholes to do any of the work that really needs doing for America.
Even though the economy is going to revive in 2010, a lot of Americans are going to need to continue to ramp down their expectations. The corporate sector was happy to advance credit to workers in the last decade, but not actual pay. Note that on a large scale it is the same money, produced more or less out of thin air by the Federal Reserve. In 2010 the Fed has announced in plans to keep lending to banks at near 0% interest, and will encourage the banks to loan to the rest of us mainly through credit cards at interest rates of 18% and higher. Write a letter to Congressman Thompson about that, and see what reply you get.
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Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.