Heritage Action was founded by one of the leading conservative advocacy groups, The Heritage Foundation, for the purpose of holding politicians accountable based on their voting record. A simple scroll through the votes by Representative Mike Rogers on the Heritage Action website reveals why he is given a 69% lifetime voting scorecard by them.[i] Representative Rogers may be “conservative” on some issues, but he is not a fiscal conservative. He supports big federal government spending packages that pass on enormous amounts of debt to our children. One must look no further than his “yes” vote on the $1.5 trillion Omnibus and Supplemental Package that passed in March of 2022 to get a glimpse about where Mike Rogers stands. Heritage Action wrote the following about the spending bill:
A 2,741 page, $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package filled with Biden policy priorities along with an attached $13.6 billion for aid to Ukraine. It fails to reverse the COVID-19 emergency [use authorization] or the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates, as conservative leaders have called for, and doubles down on the Green New Deal style government subsidies for green energy and climate policies.[ii]
Someone may ask, how could someone who represents a professed conservative district like Alabama’s 3rd vote for a bill laced with big-government spending and liberals’ “pet projects?” The answer is that the U.S. Congress is the place where everybody gets a little more of what they want and everyone’s wallet stays fatter for a little longer. Meanwhile, we plunge faster down the fiscal cliff and into the valley of economic ruin that will be very difficult for future generations of Americans to climb out of. If you take the time and probe a little deeper, it becomes apparent why Representative Rogers would vote for such a bill.
Representative Rogers is the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, and the Democrats ideally want to boast that the bills they’ve passed have received bipartisan support. Therefore, the Republicans jockey for as much increase in military spending as possible in exchange for support of the Democrat bill. With the Army Depot in Anniston as one of the largest employers in Alabama’s 3rd District, Representative Rogers can then better fulfill on his promise to do everything he can to keep the Depot open. The same priorities applied in 2018, when against the approval of Heritage Action, Representative Rogers voted for the $300 Billion Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, even though the Republicans had the presidency and both chambers of Congress at that time. He supported fiscally irresponsible spending in exchange for more spending for the military.
Therein lies the primary difference between Representative Rogers and me. Of course, I want a strong military. Of course, I want to prioritize spending on the military over “entitlement programs” since national defense is an enumerated power of the federal government in our constitution. Of course, I want more jobs for the people of Alabama’s 3rd District. However, I am a fiscal conservative. I want a strong but affordable military so that its strength can be sustained over the long term. I want jobs for people in Alabama’s 3rd District but not by heaping massive amounts of debt on our children. I simply believe we should do what it right, that is, spend wisely within our means, and trust God to both keep us safe and to provide our sustenance. That is supposed to be why we have “In God We Trust” as the national motto on our currency.
Ronald Reagan used to be one of my heroes (and I still like to quote him on many issues) until I realized that it was under his administration that we began to accumulate massive amounts of debt from which we have never recovered. We may have won the Cold War for the short term, but considering where we are fiscally, I am not sure how long the U.S. will remain a military superpower to be able to sustain that win. When great amounts of debt are used to support a military, the Bible verse comes to mind, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). For far too long, we have been going down that route of trusting in “horses and chariots” and diminishing our trust in the name of the Lord our God.
However, I offer hope. I believe it is not too late to turn from our idolatry as a nation and to simply spend within our means. I do not know what that will look like and what the outcome of that will be. What I do know is this. God always blesses obedience to His will. That blessing may not come in the way we may hope for, but it will come.
I realize that with my gaining ballot access as an Independent Candidate and the Alabama Libertarian Party gaining statewide ballot access, Alabama’s 3rd District will have four choices on the ballot in this year’s general election in November rather than two as usual. However, if you are simply trying to decide between Representative Mike Rogers and me, the choice should be clear. If your main concern is more jobs in the district for the short term, having fatter wallets for the short term, and having a stronger military for the short term, then Representative Rogers is your man. If instead you agree with me that doing what is right means spending within your means, will you also join me in seeking to support doing the right thing and trusting God with the results?
I don’t know about you, but I have found God to be faithful to meet my needs in ways unexpected when I have sought to do what was right before Him, rather than what was seemingly more financially beneficial. Who would have thought that the Israelites would have gained victory over the powerful Egyptian army when they were trapped between them and the Red Sea? God made a way when there seemed to be no way. I just want to be on His side.