Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Weak… Anemic… Barely crawling…

Revised figures show our economic growth expanded at a slower-than-expected 1.3% pace during the first quarter of the year.  The President claimed that his “Stimulus” would foster economic growth.  The recent jobs figures and now the revised first quarter GDP data paint a different picture.  The President’s “Big Government” policies will not create jobs.  Let’s pursue a real job creation agenda, one which spurs the private sector instead of wastefully adding to our already out-of-control national debt.
I visited with Mark Smith on KASU's "Morning Edition" today.  Along with a lengthy discussion about the debt ceiling debate, we talked about the Norwegian terror attack, FEMA's upcoming deadline for disaster aid and Congressman Mike Ross's retirement announcement.  If you missed it, you can listen to the entire interview here.

We started a new video segment this week entitled "From the Mailbag", where I sat down and answered a couple of constituent letters about the debt ceiling, "Cut, Cap & Balance Act" and the President's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Living in Arkansas we’re no strangers to severe weather. But when things turn dangerous and deadly we expect the help necessary to rebuild and recover from the losses left from Mother Nature. 

Arkansas has no doubt experienced more than its share of storms, floods and tornadoes in 2011, forcing the state to rely more on federal assistance. In every instance the Arkansas Congressional Delegation has supported the Governor’s request for aid in letters to the President and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator. 

After resubmitting a disaster declaration request for Franklin and Johnson Counties, FEMA determined individuals in Franklin and Johnson Counties can apply for and receive federal disaster assistance.

The disaster recovery centers are closing at the end of the week in these counties so if you or someone you know needs to register for aid please call 1-800-621-FEMA or go to the recovery centers. To read more information about this click here.


One of the ways we recognize our veterans for their service and sacrifice is to award them medals they earned during their time in uniform, but did not receive while serving. That is due in part to the dedication of retired Lt. Col. Steve Gray who laid the groundwork for this outstanding constituent service. Steve goes above and beyond to address the needs of the veteran community. His work was recognized by the Times Record after a reporter attended one of Steve’s medal presentations. “If a medal were given for giving out medals, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Stephen Gray would undoubtedly earn one,” Rusty Garrett wrote in The Times Record. You can read about Steve’s medal presentations at The Times Record.

Our main focus right now is reducing our debt and this begins with reducing spending and putting in place a mechanism, like a Balanced Budget Amendment, that will prevent overspending in the future. 

We borrow money from foreign governments like China who own more than $1.1 trillion of U.S. debt. This year alone, the federal government will spend $3.7 trillion while only collecting $2.2 trillion. This is unsustainable. We cannot afford to continue down this path.

We’re working to reach an agreement on how to get us on the path to fiscal responsibility. Listen to my latest interview with KUAR on what we’re doing to put us on the right course.

One day after Moody's Investors Service said it will begin a review of our government's credit rating, a senior Vice President at the global credit rating powerhouse said that if the U.S. government misses a debt payment, our sovereign rating “could be cut the next day.”

From the Wall Street Journal (Subscription required):

One such scenario Mr. Hess envisions--if the U.S. misses a debt payment--would be downgrading the country by one notch the day after a payment was missed and keeping the rating on review for an additional potential downgrade.

That review would give Moody's Investors Service time to look at the potential long-term effects on U.S. Treasury debt. Long-term questions include the speed at which the initial missed payments were made up; the effect a missed payment has on future borrowing costs; and any regulatory changes implemented to avoid future defaults.

I added the emphasis to the end to highlight the fact that Moody’s—and the other big international credit rating agencies—are looking for the U.S. to not only raise the debt ceiling, but enact long-term solutions to our financial problem.  This is why I continue to work toward an agreement that includes significant cuts and a spending cap mechanism (such as a balanced budget amendment) to prevent us from having to raise the limit once again.

We got into this mess by spending money; we can’t fix the problem unless we cut spending.  Let’s get to work reining in the reckless spending and putting our nation back on a fiscally responsible path.

I recently stopped by the Comcast Newsmakers studios to talk about the need to rein in the excessive federal spending and pass a spending mechanism--such as a Balanced Budget Amendment--to prevent us from having a fiscal crisis on par with that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

If you live in the Little Rock media market and are a Comcast customer, you can catch my interview on CNN Headline News airing at the following times:

Monday, July 18th – 7:24am and 12:24pm
Tuesday, July 19th – 8:24am and 1:24pm
Wednesday, July 13th & 20th – 9:24am and 2:24pm
Thursday, July 14th & 21st – 10:24am and 3:24pm
Friday, July 15th & 22nd – 11:24am and 2:24pm
Saturday, July 16th & 23rd – 8:24am and 2:24pm
Sunday, July 17th & 24th – 10:24am and 1:24pm

You can also stream the entire interview from my site.

Thanks to the kind folks at Comcast Newsmakers for inviting me on and thanks to each of you for taking the time to watch this interview.