Mar 4, 2013
McClintock and Costa Introduce Merced Wild and Scenic River Boundary Adjustment Legislation
Washington, D.C. Congressman Tom McClintock, who represents Mariposa County, and Congressman Jim Costa, who represents Merced County, introduced a bill today that would allow Merced Irrigation District to apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to raise the spillway at Lake McClure. The legislation adjusts the Merced Wild and Scenic River boundary to match the FERC project boundary for the New Exchequer Dam.
Merced Irrigation District is proposing to raise the spillway by 10 feet, which would allow for the storage of up to 70,000 additional acre-feet of water in a wet year. The District is currently unable to apply to raise the spillway because it would cause temporary increases in the levels of approximately 1,800 feet of the Merced River where it joins Lake McClure. The Merced Wild and Scenic designation prohibits such increases in water levels.
“At a time when California is suffering increasingly scarce water supplies and paying among the highest electricity prices in the nation, this legislation will allow for both increased water storage and additional hydropower generation,” remarked Congressman McClintock. “The benefits of a minor adjustment to the boundary rescue this desperately needed resource from truly outrageous bureaucratic red tape.”
“As we face a looming water crisis this year, it is more important than ever that we continue to explore long-term solutions that improve water reliability throughout the state,” said Costa. “Though there is no silver bullet to solve our water challenges, increasing storage at Lake McClure Reservoir would give us another tool to prepare for dry years. Boosting storage is taking out an insurance policy to protect jobs and keep our economy moving.”
Lake McClure has the storage capacity of over a million acre feet of water, and the spillway raise could allow for the capture of up to an additional 70,000 acre feet of water in a wet year. This would increase carryover storage and increase average critical dry year water supply by 15,000 acre feet. It would also enhance groundwater storage, provide incidental flood control benefits and the additional water could generate up to 10,000 MW hours of hydropower per year, enough to serve 1,700 homes.
Dec 13, 2012
The Fiscal Cliff
Congressman Tom McClintock
House Chamber, Washington, D.C.
December 12, 2012
To understand the federal budget mess and the so-called fiscal cliff, it’s important to remember three numbers: 39, 37 and 64.
Thirty nine percent is the combined increase of inflation and population over the last ten years. Thirty nine percent.
Thirty seven percent is the increase in revenues during the same period. That’s despite the recession and tax cuts. Not quite keeping place, but pretty close.
Sixty four is what’s killing us. Sixty four percent is the increase in federal spending in that period. That’s nearly twice the rate of inflation and population over the last ten years.
The spending side of the fiscal cliff is the so-called sequester: automatic cuts in federal spending. To hear some tell it, these cuts will mean the end of western civilization.
Hardly. After a 64 percent increase in expenditures this decade, the sequester doesn’t actually cut spending at all: it simply limits spending growth next year to about a half a percent.
I opposed the budget deal that created the sequester last year because it fell woefully short of what Standard and Poors clearly warned was necessary to preserve the nation’s triple-A credit rating. Sadly, that fear was born out. But now, the sequester is all we have.
It’s true that defense takes the brunt of it, but does our defense spending today really need to be higher – inflation adjusted — than it was at the height of the Vietnam War, when we faced down the Soviet Union and had 500,000 combat troops in the field?
The sequester isn’t stepping off a cliff – it’s taking one step back from the cliff.
The tax increases, however, are a different matter. Without intervention, the federal tax burden will balloon 21 percent at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, taking somewhere between two and three thousand dollars from an average family. This summer, the House passed legislation to protect our nation from such a calamity, but Mr. Obama vowed to veto it and the Senate blocked it.
Instead, Mr. Obama tells us that he will veto any plan that keeps taxes from going up on those very wealthy folks making over $200,000, who, he says, need to pay their fair share.
(I suppose fairness is in the eye of the beholder. The top one percent earns 17 percent of all income but pays 37 percent of all income taxes. But that’s beside the point).
The fine point of it is that a lot of those very wealthy folks making over $200,000 aren’t very wealthy and they aren’t even folks: they’re 1.3 million struggling small businesses filing under sub-chapter S. Our small businesses produce two-thirds of the new jobs in our economy.
This battle IS very much FOR the middle class. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Mr. Obama’s tax increase on the so-called wealthy will actually throw some 200,000 middle and working class families into unemployment. Two hundred thousand. And that’s the optimistic estimate. An independent analysis by Ernst and Young puts that figure at closer to 700,000 lost jobs.
That’s because the President’s taxes would slam 84 percent of net small business income – that’s precisely the income used to support and expand the labor force.
In their blind pursuit of an “eat the rich” ideology, Mr. Obama and his acolytes are imposing a policy that would utterly devastate hundreds of thousands of middle class families who depend on the jobs these small businesses provide.
And for what? To wring enough money to fund Mr. Obama’s spending spree for a grand total of eight days. It’s telling that three-fourths of the new taxes he has proposed would be used to finance the new spending that he has also proposed.
Republicans don’t want to see taxes go up on anyone, period. We don’t want to see this government willfully throw hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work by this policy.
The President obviously believes that in the 11th hour, Republicans will have no choice but ultimately to protect as many taxpayers as we possibly can, since the only alternative will be tax increases on everyone, including the job creators. He may be right.
But that would mean a bleak and bitter new year for all those families who will watch helplessly as their jobs evaporate before their eyes.
Let us pray the President has a change of heart before setting this calamity in motion.