'So many bad ideas' in D.C., Kit Bond tells Rotary Club

Friday, August 14, 2009
U.S. Sen. Kit Bond speaks to members of the 1140th Engineer Battalion at the Missouri National Guard Armory July 17 in Cape Girardeau. He announced he secured $500 million in additional federal funds for National Guard equipment. (Fred Lynch)

The Democratic agenda being pushed by President Barack Obama and the Congressional leadership is a target-rich environment for Republicans, U.S. Sen Kit Bond said to area Rotarians Thursday.

Health-care changes, energy legislation known as cap-and-trade, spending programs that will balloon the federal debt and questionable spending of stimulus dollars just scratch the surface, Bond said.

"There's so many bad ideas in Washington that when I try to decide what to fight I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony," Bond said.

Bond, who is stepping aside in 2010 after 24 years in the Senate, said that more modest proposals in each area, coupled with restraint on spending, would find a welcome reception in Congress.

Bond said he opposes a "government takeover" of health care. The Democrats' plan, which includes the option to enroll in a government-directed insurance program, will drive private insurers out of the market, Bond said.

A more reasonable approach, Bond said, would be a measure that restricts malpractice awards, sets prices for health care based on community experience and bars insurers from denying coverage based on existing medical conditions.

Bond predicted that the cap-and-trade bill, touted by Democrats as a spur to environmentally responsible energy development and conservation, would halt any recovery from the recession. He cited figures from the National Federation of Independent Businesses that it would cost 1.6 million jobs. He also recited figures from a study by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri that the bill would add up to $30,000 to the annual operating costs for grain farmers.

The bill, he said, is an "attack on areas that depend on coal. This measure would deindustrialize the Midwest and South."

A good energy bill, Bond said, would encourage nuclear power, electric vehicle development and exploration for new oil and gas in the United States.

Overall, Bond said, the Obama administration is grabbing for too much power.

"We have gotten some guidance from Washington that says government knows better how to run your life," Bond said. "Nuts."

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent Address:

639 Elks Lane, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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