|As our Congresswoman (and as a politically-involved private citizen), Liz Berney will work for:
- Common Sense Tax Relief. Liz signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge, which commits her to “oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.” Liz will vote against “cap and trade” (a/k/a “cap and tax,” which would cause energy prices paid by consumers to skyrocket and have virtually no impact on global warming). She will attempt to repeal new health care taxes and penalties which the current Congress may impose, in favor of common sense tax deductions and credits for health insurance and medical expenses – which will make health care more affordable without bankrupting taxpayers and the country.
- Liz will also fight to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax; and for a federal tax deduction for “529″ college savings plans to help families save for college. We need to eliminate the alternative minimum tax because it discriminates against New Yorkers (and citizens in other high-tax states). Also, more families than ever will be hit next year, because the AMT exemption will drop to $33,750 per individual or $45,000 per couple. If we don’t act, families will pay hundreds to thousands of dollars more in taxes.
- Cutting Wasteful Spending. Our current congressman (Ackerman) is rated “F” (“Big Spender”; the worst possible rating) by the National Taxpayer’s Union. Liz will be a welcome change from his wastefulness. In 2009, under Obama and the Democratic Congress, the federal government spent $1.8 trillion more than it had, quadrupled our budget, and increased the national debt to more than $11 trillion, most of which is owed to foreign nations. Liz will vote to stop the out-of-control pork-barrel wasteful spending and indebtedness which threatens out national security and is an unconscionable burden on taxpayers and future generations. Liz will also vote against increases in Congressional salaries and benefits, and work to make federal and Congressional expenditures truly transparent.
- Strengthening America’s National Security and Fighting Radical Islamic Terrorism. The recent attempted airline bombing on Christmas day 2010 and attack at Fort Hood demonstrate that our ability to “connect the dots” is still insufficient. Liz will work on investigating the technologies and human training we need to finally improve this major homeland security problem. Liz supports profiling foreign terrorists at airports, better training of security personnel (including training airline personnel how to check and question passengers and detect suspicious situations), wiretapping and permitting tough lawful interrogations of foreign terrorists, and making sure that Homeland Security funding is directed to target cities and areas such as New York and Long Island. Liz is opposed to the closure of GITMO, bringing GITMO terrorists to New York for trial, and the release of terrorists to Yemen and other areas which contain Al Qaeda facilities. Incredibly, in May 2009, our current Congressman (Ackerman) offered to bring the GITMO terrorists to New York.
- Liz supports providing the necessary military resources and counter-insurgency strategy, and cooperating with Pakistani anti-Taliban forces, to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorists to attack us from again.
- Liz supports strong, effective action to end the Iranian nuclear threat to our country, Israel and the entire Middle East. Liz agrees with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and other security experts that effective action means supporting regime change and steps such as providing refueling planes to Israel for an attack on the Iranian nuclear enrichment and production facilities, and that proposed sanctions are “too little, too late.”
- Liz is appalled at the current administration’s treatment of our Democratic allies around the world, who are essential to our own security and intelligence-gathering ability. Liz supports the right of the people of Honduras to oust a Chavez-allied dictatorship. Liz supports Israeli “settlements” (the cities and towns in 3% of the West Bank), a right which former President Bush guaranteed to Israel in writing. Withdrawal from these areas would subject Israel to constant attack on its longest border, and destabilize the entire region. (Ackerman is against the settlements.)
- Protecting citizens who report suspicious terrorist activities. The recent attempted terrorist bombing over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, which was thwarted by airline passengers, demonstrates the important role which citizens play in stopping terrorism. Incredibly, our current congressman (Ackerman) voted against the law protecting citizens who in good faith report suspicious terrorist activity. Congressman Peter King proposed this law in 2007 after the “Flying Imams” sued the airplane passengers who reported the Imams’ suspicious activities, such as obtaining items which could be used as weapons. Liz will support laws that encourage the sensible policy: “If you see something, say something.”
- Emergency Actions To Achieve Energy Independence and Cut Oil / Fuel Prices. Liz will support emergency actions to achieve energy independence and cut fuel prices, using already-available and advanced technologies. Americans are being victimized by OPEC’s manipulation of oil supplies and prices, which have crept up during recent months. We are sending $650 billion per year to OPEC countries for oil. We are thus funding both sides of the war on terror. Energy independence is critical to our economy and national security. Liz will support emergency energy independence actions including:
- (1) Supporting increased domestic production, oil shale, clean coal, solar, wind, nuclear — essentially all safe energy means needed to achieve energy independence.
- (2) Requiring new cars sold in the U.S. to run on any combination of gasoline, methanol, and ethanol (“flex fuel” cars), and encouraging the additional option of cars which run on electricity. Cars can be manufactured to use “flex fuels” at an average cost of approximately $100 per vehicle. Flex fuels can be produced from biomass, farm, and waste products, and coal (using clean technologies), which are readily available in the U.S. and friendly nations. Moving to flex-fuel and electric cars would have numerous advantages: It would break the OPEC monopoly over fuel prices, benefit farmers in the U.S. and throughout the world including third-world countries, and would be environmentally safer. Famed expert energy scientist Dr. Robert Zubrin (author of “Energy Victory”) endorses this program.
- (3) Making low-cost certified conversion kits available so that existing automobiles can run on “flex fuels.” This would have the same advantages noted above. (Other nations are already doing this.)
- An end to sending out tax dollars to groups that support terror against America and Israel. Shockingly, our current congressman, Ackerman, has been abusing his position as Chair of the Mideast Subcommittee to promote misguided appeasement policies which have resulted in more terrorism, and to promote giving hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which still teaches its children to “Kill all Americans and Jews” and still glorifies and pays suicide bombers. Abbas’ government recently condemned to death by firing squad a brave Palestinian policeman who had given Israel information on 4 terrorists, which saved innocent Israeli lives. A respected study found that when funding to the P.A. increases, violence increases. Liz will fight to stop this insanity. Liz will oppose giving our tax dollars to Abbas and the P.A. as long as they promote terrorism.
- Consumer safety and children’s safety. Liz will work to improve product safety and to prevent future Enrons and other fraud. (Our current Congressman is remiss in these areas.) As a grandmother and attorney involved in consumer safety issues, Liz is especially concerned with protecting children from unsafe toys and other products.
- Honoring all our citizens’ holidays. Liz will respect and honor all our citizens’ holidays. (Our current congressman Ackerman is infamous for his bizarre discriminatory votes against resolutions honoring Christmas and Judeo-Christian traditions, while he voted for honoring Ramadan and Muslim traditions.)
- Ethics in government. Our current Congressman is infamous for being one of the biggest check-kiters (111 checks) in the Congressional banking scandal and for his resignation from the House Ethics Committee. Ackerman allegedly leaked confidential information about his rivals for political advantage. Ackerman’s local media ties raise conflict of interest concerns (particularly his prior ownership of a 60 percent interest in The Flushing Tribune, a chain of six weekly newspapers, and Multi-Media Advertising Inc.) Recently, Ackerman’s $1,000 to $15,000 investment in a war supplier ballooned to $1 million (since reduced to $250,000 – still a tidy profit) from federal military contracts. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that Ackerman is thus war profiteering. Liz will support restricting Congresspersons from making conflict-of-interest investments in local media and in companies which benefit from federal contracts. See Sunlight Foundation articles and New York Times article about Ackerman’s involvement in the house banking scandal and resignation from the House ethics committee. More recently, the Daily News did a series describing other potential ethic violations by Ackerman.
- Securities fraud. The Madoff scandal demonstrates that strong, intelligent enforcement of securities fraud laws is critical to the financial well-being of the American public. Madoff contributed to Ackerman’s re-election campaigns just before and after Ackerman voted to make it more difficult to enforce securities fraud laws, and his committee failed to exercise proper oversight over the Securities & Exchange Commission. Liz’s work as an attorney has included investigating and prosecuting securities frauds (including Enron), and she will work to make sure that we have the tools to fight and prevent these damaging scandals.
- Common sense health care solutions. The recently-passed ”Affordable Health Care Choice Act” is actually making health care less affordable, and includes numerous new taxes which will especially burden New Yorkers. New Yorkers will pay 15% of the national cost of the health care law, although we are only 6% of the population. There are some consumer protections in the new health care law worth keeping, but most of the other provisions should be repealed in favor of common sense solutions, including incentivizing the use of health care savings accounts, permitting people to purchase insurance across state lines, reducing mandates, insisting that tobacco settlements be used for their intended purpose of paying for health care, and focusing on smoking cessation and other prevention efforts.
In our community, Liz Berney will be dedicated to safe neighborhoods, quality of life, and constituent services. Liz wants to hear from you! Liz will be our most accessible Congressperson ever. All constituents will be welcome to email, call or drop by her district office for help on any matter, including social security and veterans’ affairs.
Paid for by Committee to Elect Liz Berney, P.O. Box 222010, Great Neck, NY 11022