Vote to put common sense back in control in Washington

Published 11:03 am Saturday, October 23, 2010

by Ash Cutchin

I am sure area citizens are busy thinking about the upcoming elections, as well they should be.

I am.

Not only am I very concerned with our local economy and local political situation, but I am distressed by what is happening in Washington. I am deeply concerned about both the local governments and the national government spending way more than we have “in the bank,” so to speak.

Deficit spending is a huge problem in this country, and the current administration in Washington does not seem to be able to control the way they spend our money. I cite one small example below.

I am sure that recent first ladies such as Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, etc., had White House staffers dedicated to them. I do not argue that some staff is necessary.

But I recently downloaded an official White House Annual Report to Congress (dated July, 1, 2009) which listed all 487 White House staffers by name, salary and title. The list includes 16 dedicated to the first lady with titles such as deputy associate director of correspondence for the first lady, deputy director of policy for the first lady, director of projects for the first lady and similar titles.

The annual salaries range from a low of $36,000 to a high of $172,200 with an average of $59,125. The combined salaries of all 16 is $1.2 million.

Some White House officials say there may be several more employees dedicated to the first lady — as many as six more for a total of 22 this year. If, so then the combined salaries would exceed $1.5 million and probably double that if you consider benefits.

That is not the kind of hope and change many of the electorate expected, including those who voted Democratic, and it certainly seems excessive to me during these economic times when we are all struggling to keep our businesses afloat and our family budgets under control.

Randy Forbes has co-sponsored several bills targeting our uncontrolled spending. He seems to have the type of common sense that we need in Washington, one that reflects the goals and aspirations of small-business owners like me.

He is keenly aware that we cannot spend our way out of this recession, especially by continuing to spend more than we have, and borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent.

I am afraid that the majority in Congress, as led most recently by Nancy Pelosi and her supporters, have used up all the hope (i.e., dollars) and left you and me with nothing but change (i.e., nickels and pennies).

I urge everyone to get out and vote next month. And let’s do all we can to support candidates who share our values.

Together we can put common sense back in control in Washington. We are fortunate to have a good congressman in our district.

Please pray for those poor districts who are represented by the likes of Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi. God help us if they win again.

Thank you for allowing me to express my views.

ASH CUTCHIN lives in Courtland and is a native of Isle of Wight County. He is a certified general appraiser. His e-mail address is