Went to a town hall tonight to listen to Congressman Pete Hoekstr...er...I mean Bill Huizenga...the new Michigan Second Congressional District Congressman.
It was quite a display of cognitive dissonance.
On one hand, Huizenga lamented how an inability to take on debt hampered the growth potential of the business he inherited. For some reason he couldn't use older equipment as collateral to secure some loans, and that caused a problem.
Apparently a lack of financial fluidity can hamstring business.
But Huizenga doesn't carry that lesson over to the United States, though he tries to shoehorn the country into the same mold as a business.
He has no trouble hamstringing the United States of America with a constitutional amendment to keep a balanced budget.
While small businesses nationwide are suffering because they can't take on the debt they need to grow, Huizenga seeks to deny the United States access to credit as well with a balanced budget amendment.
Perhaps Huizenga's experience with the business world is lacking considering his largest holdings were handed to him.
Anybody who HAS, in fact, started up a business with no safety net would be well aware that debt is a fact of life for many small businesses. That in fact without the ability to secure debt...even large businesses are unable to retool and grow.
A "balanced budget" amendment for a business would mean death to a business as surely as it would mean death to our nation...an inability to invest in growth or start up ventures in both cases leads to stagnation. Even successful start-ups go for years before reaching true profitability. Many operate forever with large debt loads. It was debt that allowed Ford to stay afloat, keep from needing a Federal bailout, and retool its operations to emerge once again as a strong, profitable Michigan car company.
Hell...that's one of the reasons the latest economic crisis has been so bad. Banks aren't lending. Businesses aren't able to take on the debt they need to retool, reinvent, and grow.
Huizenga's economic theories would strangle the US economy forever, just as surely as as stagnant lending has ham-strung the global private sector economy.
Scores of people took to the microphones to ask Bill Huizenga about his intractable stance on raising revenue and his willingness to take from average Americans while asking nothing at all from the wealthy Hizenga, Prince, and DeVos families. To his credit he didn't restrict the questions and he answered ever singe one. But in the process he showed himself to be woefully disconnected from the needs of his district and the needs of his nation.
One very stark point came along when he talked about his insurance policy, which has been provided for him at taxpayer expense for nearly twenty years. There stood an elderly man at the microphone telling Bill Huizenga about the massive bill he received for his wife's surgery. Huizenga's response was a fluid tangent that essentially extolled the virtues of being a Federal or State representative with health insurance while demonizing insurance because he feels that Americans are unaware of the costs of medical care...certainly not the uninsured...certainly not the old man who had initiated the conversation...
and then Huizenga proceeded to talk about how many times he took his children to the emergency room on his tax payer funded health insurance then proceeded to talk about eviscerating...er...I mean "saving" Medicare for future generations, and scrapping our new strides in universal health care.
Frankly, it was all very hard to stomach.