Dr. Boozman's Check-up

In Case You Missed It

Boozman Joins The City Wire Via Skype

Jun 19 2012

Senator Boozman joined KFSM’s Daren Bobb and The City Wire’s Michael Tilley in the latest edition of 5News presents The City Wire. Boozman joined the show via Skype from his Washington, D.C. office and discussed the issues under consideration in Washington. The first segment focused on the farm bill and the Senator’s concerns with the legislation. During the second segment discussion centered around efforts to save Fort Smith’s 188th Fighter Wing.

The President tried again to hit the reset button on economy yesterday. 

During what was framed as a major economic speech in Cleveland, President Obama again talked about the problem but failed to offer any new solutions.  Instead, he offered the same tired policies that have failed to spark economic growth and put Americans back to work.

This is the worst economic recovery in over 60 years.  And President Obama’s policies are exasperating it.  Instead of recognizing that and working with us to change course, the President continues to double-down on his failed policies. 

As I recently said on the floor of the Senate, Washington has to change course.  If we are going to turn a corner, we have to try a different approach.  My colleagues and I have a better path to a healthy economy that restores economic security and opportunity.  Our market-based reforms are exactly what this economy needs to allow businesses to hire and expand.

Clearly, by the tone of President Obama’s speech yesterday, he has no desire to work with Congress.  He is content playing out the final quarter with the same game plan that has put us so far behind. 

It is foolish to keep running the same play after it hasn’t worked the numerous times you previously ran it.  Here we are, three years after the end of the recession, and we are not close to a better economy now than we were then.  Unemployment numbers just in for Arkansas over the month of May show an increase to 7.3-percent.

A real jobs plan needs to be more than spending to bailout state governments.  Fifty separate band-aides do not repair a national economy in disarray.  A real jobs plan needs to focus on the private sector.  Contrary to what the President recently said, the private sector is not doing “fine.”  The private sector is struggling in large part because of to the President’s relentless efforts to pursue policies that do not encourage economic growth.

When the President pushed through his massive stimulus package in 2009, he claimed unemployment would be below six percent today.  With a national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, we are not even close to six percent.  And the yet the President wants another round of stimulus spending?   

It’s time to find a new playbook.

Celebrating Flag Day

Jun 14 2012

The American flag is a prominent symbol that is recognized with high regards and reverence. We honor the significance of this patriotic emblem with a special day, Flag Day which we celebrate today. 

Prior to the war of 1812, the flag was primarily used as a symbol to identify ships and forts, no significance or honor was accorded to the flag. That changed on September 14, 1814, after the 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry in the Baltimore harbor. 

The importance attached to the flag changed thanks to the efforts of a Francis Scott Key, on a ship four miles away. After the smoke cleared, Key saw the American flag still waving above the fort. An inspiring image that moved him to write a poem that we’ve since adopted as our national anthem. The sight of the flag was a symbol of American’s endurance and triumph. 

The beholding of the “broad stripes and bright stars” as Key wrote fanned the flame of pride and patriotism in what the United States of America represents. Since this historic day, the American flag took on other meanings and significance to people all over the world. Over time, the American flag has represented America’s freedom but it also serves as an icon of world diplomacy. It is a symbol that demonstrates unity and represents hope not only to American citizens but to people all around the world. The American flag also proclaims an unwritten statement that, “no matter what befalls America, we can overcome.” 

Our flag serves as a living piece of history that tells a story to current and future generations. It stands for the qualities and ideals that the United States prides itself upon such as liberty, justice, freedom, equality, love of country, national pride and national purpose. The flag represents democracy at its best while serving as an expression of national identity. This is best represented in the colors on the flag and the meanings they hold. Red means hardiness and valor, white is for purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. 

The American flag has become a symbol that citizens and allies connect with and claim as their own. Representing the ideals and values of this country, our flag is a dignified symbol that is always with the American people during the time of war or peace, celebration or crisis, unity or protest. People have raised and will continually raise the American flag to express their passion, pride and patriotism for what it means to be an American. The flag has become a powerful tool that portrays America’s beliefs and values to the rest of the world.

There is a lot at stake for southern agriculture with the version of the Senate bill that is currently up for debate. Our efforts to make the saftey net more equitable for southern farmers is getting noticed.  Here are some of the stories in the past few days about our efforts to make this bill better.  

Associated Press

Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

The Hill

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Subscription required)

Arkansas News Bureau

KARK (NBC-Little Rock)

KUAR (NPR-Little Rock)

Say a series of leaks that could strengthen the President’s image in the War on Terror had taken place.  Say those same leaks exposed classified material that could compromise national security.  One would think those breaches should rise to the level of a serious investigation, right? Apparently not in the mind of our Attorney General.

Rather than naming an outside special counsel to investigate these leaks and hold whomever is responsible accountable, Attorney General Eric Holder turned the investigation over to two U.S. Attorneys within the Department of Justice.  So, essentially, he delegated the important task of investigating leaks of classified and highly sensitive information on U.S. military and intelligence plans, programs, and operations to his own employees.

At the same time, the Attorney General has spent the more than a year obstructing the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the DOJ’s Fast and Furious gunrunning operation.  His lack of cooperation in that investigation has left him facing a contempt charge from the committee.

And you wonder why we question the sincerity of his department’s “investigation” into the leaks.

In an effort to get to the bottom of this very serious breach, my colleagues and I introduced a resolution demanding the Attorney General appoint an outside special counsel run the investigation.  This shouldn’t be necessary, but the reality is the DOJ under President Obama and AG Holder’s leadership has been far from forthcoming on these matters.

AG Holder needs to remember that neither he nor anyone with the administration is above the law.  I strongly suggest he quit stonewalling and start working on behalf of the American people instead of against them.  

With a humble and heartfelt spirit, we remember today as a day that marked the turning point in WWII as Allied troops sacrificed their lives in order to destroy the Nazi regime. On June 6, 1944, on the beach of Normandy, France, Allied Forces launched the single largest amphibious assault in history.  The goal was clear “You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world,” General Dwight Eisenhower told troops. 

On the 68th Anniversary of the day that played a significant role in Allied victory of WWII, we like to say thank you to our service members who fought tirelessly and served our country to rid the world of tyranny.  It is with gratitude and appreciation that we remember the courageous acts, selfless dedication and unwavering determination portrayed by our servicemembers. Through the courage and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, along with all Americans, we are able to enjoy the unending rewards of freedom through the acts of valor displayed on this day. 

We will forever remember the thousands of members of the Allied Forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their bravery, skill and selfless determination to fight for freedom.

For many people the Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer. However, it is important to remember and recognize the real reason for the holiday.  It’s a day that we are reminded of the deaths of the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms.  It’s important to reflect on their sacrifices.

This article, Why They Serve—'If Not Me, Then Who?' published in the Wall Street Journal is a great example of the very real sacrifices our servicemembers and their families face every day. Take time to read this reflection of the heroes who have graciously volunteered to serve our country.

Warnings from Europe

May 25 2012

Over the weekend, leaders from the G-8 nations met at Camp David.  The looming threat of a European economic collapse was at the top of their agenda.

From all accounts, it sounds like it was a lively debate at Camp David.  In one corner, you had the newly-elected president of France who believes that his nation isn’t spending enough.   In the other, Germany’s chancellor who has taken on the role as Europe’s chief proponent of austerity.  

President Obama is encouraging Europe to split the difference on those two approaches.  But is that what we are doing here at home?  If you look closely to what the President has advocated, you find austerity takes a back seat to government spending.

This is important to point out because we are not immune to the type of crisis we see transpiring overseas.  While much attention is focused on Europe’s fragile economic situation, we too are on shaky ground.  If we continue down the road we are on, we risk going the way Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Don’t think that could happen here?  Well, we already spend more per person than any of those four countries.  We have massive entitlement programs that are on a path to insolvency.  And, in recent years, we consistently drive our deficit spending to new record levels because the Senate refuses to pass a budget.

The only way will we get a handle on this situation is to reform the manner in which we budget and allocate federal dollars.  We have got to get serious about reigning in federal spending.  We have to strengthen Medicare and Social Security to ensure the solvency of the programs and control our deficits.  And we’ve got to cut the waste that is so rampant in today’s bloated federal government.

America should be leading by example.  As the world looks to us for advice on how to avoid an economic collapse, we should be in a position to give it.  We are not there.  It’s past time that we make the tough decisions that will get us there.

You may have heard our conversations with KASU in Jonesboro and KBJT in Fordyce on your way to work this morning. If you missed the interviews you can listen to them on the attachments below. We talked about a wide variety of topics including the Farm Bill, Iran Sanctions that the Senate approved earlier this week and budget proposals that were voted on last week.

Last week our Military and Veterans Liaison Steve Gray recognized the service and sacrifice of two WWII veterans with a medals presentation in Highland.

Richard Manning of Wilford, joined the U.S. Army in 1944 serving with the 76th Infantry Division in Luxembourg. Manning earned several medals for his service including the Purple Heart.

George McCants of Cherokee Village, served in the U.S. Army with the 75th Infantry Division. He arrived in Europe just before the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. McCants earned several medals for his service including the Purple Heart.

Steve travels across the state honoring the service of our veterans in medal presentations. “Gray, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force, gave a poignant account of the difficulties American servicemen and women have endured over the years, and how important their service to the country has been at such trying times in history,” Tammy Curtis wrote in the Area Wide News. Read her story about this latest medal presentation: Local World War II Veterans Receive Honors.