Hoogendyk Levin Smackdown Part II

25 minutes into the debate is where we pick up our hero Jack Hoogendyk taking on the Leviniathon…. Carl Levin the 30 year incumbent senator Is asked to explain his vote for what I affectionately call the “crap sandwich.” And then to explain how you propose to save our country from the current economic downturn.

Carl Levin says “Our economy was going over a cliff and we needed to do something. It wasn’t and easy vote, but one that was necessary”  of course there is the gratuitous dig at the Bush administration..  “We had to modify the bush proposal because there was no oversight ” True..  he modified it, and added earmark upon earmark, and I might add that crap sandwich with a touch of veal and wooden arrows never tasted any better.. Of course not stopping there he suggested that a part of the bill (I think the mayonnaise part) that certainly Hoogendyk would not have supported was a component part of it “which prevents 26 million families from having their taxes raised by an alternative minimum tax” component, also something about research and development yad yad yada..  In other words legislation which not able to stand on its own short of being a pickle in this tasty entree.

Jack Hoogendyk “isn’t it a shame we have to add sweeteners or earmarks or special deals or to do some cleanup legislation and attach it to a bill that nobody likes to get it done.” Following with “certainly I think we need to do something about the alternative minimum tax and index it to inflation” And, he insisted it was BAD legislation, noting what is happening now with wallstreet.  Jack reminds us that the Earmarks part of the bailout is TWICE the size of the entire federal BUDGET when Levin took office. One… Two..  And “what we SHOULD have done was lower the corporate tax rate and watched the $12 Trillion dollars that have left our shores come back in new investment and liquidity.”

Cap and Trade to deal with global warming? Where do our candidates stand?

Jack Hoogendyk “Maybe we should wait until next spring, as I think we are going to have one of our coldest winters in a long time.”  He adds, “I certainly believe in global climate change, it happens. Temperatures go up and down all the time, but I am a bit dubious of how much of that is caused by humans.” in a little more accepting manner, he says “At a government level, I think what we need to do is to explore ALL options, doing it through an incentive based programs instead of a penalty based program. Lets encourage investments in the solutions.”  “We need to drill now,  We need to do all of the above to be energy independent.”

Carl Levin says “Representative Hoogendyk is directly opposite of 99% of all scientists (Fact check please? er.. oh yeah, factcheck.org owned by Annenberg foundation.. damn  no help ) in the positons that he takes.  He wants to rely on free markets”  “WE MUST DO SOMETHING AND NOW AS A PEOPLE!!” Emphasis mine.. right? oh yeah but the problem is that 99 percentile of scientists are finding ways to rediscover their own data after they discover this, and this leaves the politcos such as Levin holding nothing but their .. well nothing. Funny after thought..  Levin adds that a renewable energy development provision was part of the crap sandwich too.

Michigan gets LESS than a dollar back for every dollar spent. So whats the deal?

Carl Levin continues to suggest because of his seniority he should be sent back.  Carl bragging about 11th place in getting the money to come back to Michigan after it has been run through the mill in Washington for $0.94 on the dollar. Not so funny thing is he is DEAD SERIOUS about fighting to be first in getting earmarks to bring the bacon home to Michigan.  Carl insists that his seniority places him in the position to get the most.  Essentially “c’mon people! I’m the senior guy there!  You don’t want to throw THAT away do you?”

Jack Hoogendyk Hate to say  missed an opportunity to drive home the point that the money shouldn’t go to Washington in the first place.  Jack says: “I am FLATLY opposed to earmarks and think the legislation should be straight up or down on its own merits.”  He then used time available to slam the Bailout.. as rightly he should

In 2006 representative Hoogendyk you tried to make english the States’s official language, and it failed. A measure some argued Alienated certain groups of people.  Partisanship question followed..

Jack Hoogendyk “to address the English bill, we got it through the house and in the senate it would have passed, but the Majority leader didnt for some reason put it up for a vote, and I was disapointed”  Further “more than 80 percent of the people in the state agree this is the thing to do”  The latter part of the question: “bipartisanship is somewhat a misnomer”  Aint it the truth Jack.. “but I can get things done, and have. I can work across the aisle when it is important to do so.”

Carl Levin “I think Representative Hoogendyk would have a great deal of trouble reaching across the aisle because of his extreme views”  Offered examples.  Cited the Crap sandwich again, and said Jack called the Crap sandwich “Socialism…” Sorry Carl  you really don’t get it.. Next? Reminds us that jack has said we should get out of the United Nations.. and what is the problem with that? Levin, trying to paint Hoogendyk Extreme on positions. This is an argument used by those who wish for compromise…  by the other side.  Principled people will be portrayed as “extreme” because they will not usually vote to violate their own personal moral code, and in many cases this can STOP legislation from moving forward.  Gosh.. maybe both sides should stick to principles more often?

Bringing us back to Michigan.. the two ballot proposals.

Carl Levin at first presents a mixed opinion on stem cell proposal, ( I truly wasn’t able to decipher his opinion right off.. pretty slick if you ask me, well I guess you could say he wants it to pass?) and supports Medicinal Marijuana. Got testy about an earlier assertion by Jack he was a resident of Washington first.

Jack Hoogendyk Opposes Stem cell funding for stem cell research, “waste of Billions of dollars”  and opposes medicinal marijuana, offering that there might be some “real dangers.”  With you on Stem Cell no vote Jack.  Wish I could agree completely on the other..

There are 47 Million people in this country without health insurance is that a problem?

Jack Hoogendyk “not as big a problem as some make it. “SCHIP for example has a third of those who are eligible for enrollment, are not.” also “Perhaps 15 million people in this country who make over $50 thousand dollars a year who can afford insurance are not covered by choice.”  “Then there are those who do not buy until they get sick and because of state SHALL ISSUE laws take advantage of a system tha tforces coverage even with preexisting conditions.”  Jack continued with a number of Market based solutions, such as full deductibility for individuals would lower the cost, cross state policy availability and more cost information being provided to patients. Also “DONT GIVE ILLEGALS INSURANCE” Solid answers to the health issues IMO.

Carl Levin says “the only advanced society in the world that doesn’t provide insurance for its citizens”  “shame on us” “15 million american kids..  how do we justify this.” Chastises Jack for saying its “not as big a deal”  Conveniently ignores the statisitics (no not all listed here) Jack used to make his argument.

What about Iraq?

Carl Levin supports a time table for Iraq withdrawal 12-14 or 16 months.  “Timetable forces Iraqis to take responsibility.”  “cannot keep open ended”

Jack Hoogendyk “time is coming as we have seen recent success”  Iraq is now a safe place, but telegraphing our leaving is not something we should give the enemy.

Last question:  Social Security?

Jack Hoogendyk says “We have three options:  1. GREATLY Increase Taxes, 2.  Cut Benefits, or 3. Provide for personal retirement accounts. ”  “In nine years we are going to find the IOUs in the trust fund. time to face the facts on SS, but it will be there for the people who have paid in.”

Carl Levin attempts to poke some holes in the privatization theory offered by Jack, (#3) because of the current market fluctuations.  Calls it a “crap shoot.”  ignores the fact SS is financially insolvent.

Closing statements..

Carl Levin “last 8 years we have gone in wrong direction”  comprehensive plan to fight for manufacturing”  “cop back on the beat in wall street” “called Hoogendyk on saying we need to take the shackles off wall street” Go Green technology for Michigan (even though this is what has hurt Michigan?  HMM??)

Jack Hoggendyk “Levin is on subcommittee which is SUPPOSED to know when these things are going to happen. ”  “he discovered $650 toilet seat and where has he been on recent $ trillion missing?”  “And where was he during Fannie and Freddie?”  “He supported the Community Reinvestment Act (program)  which caused it.  Where was he when they knew the problem was coming?  Levin did not support legislation which could have prevented this from happening”  “And YES I DO Believe the country is moving toward socialism.”  “I believe in equal Opportunity, I believe in empowerment, rather than entitlement” <- Quote of the Day Jack…

“I believe in equal Opportunity, I believe in empowerment, rather than entitlement” Jack Hoogendyk closing comments GVSU senatorial debate

Me too Jack.. Me too.