The Pryor Times

State News

March 20, 2012

Pettigrew seeks Boren’s seat

Wayne Pettigrew, Republican candidate for 2nd Distrist Representative was in Pryor Thursday and Friday. Pettigrew held a reception at First Priority Bank Thursday night.

Earlier Thursday, his campaign sent out a mailer stating his support for Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve Board. In the letter, Pettigrew promised, if elected, he would “co-author HR 1207 by Representative Ron Paul to require that the Federal Reserve be audited concerning its powers and policies to determine whether it has exceeded Constitutional authority.”

Paul announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election from his Texas district and would concentrate all his efforts on winning the Republican presidential nomination.

Pettigrew said while Paul will not be in Congress next year, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady would be introducing the same bill and the number of the bill would not be HR 1207, but another number. HR 1207 passed the Republican-controlled House last year, but died in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Pettigrew said the Federal Reserve should have had its books audited every 10 years. Since its creation in 1913, the Federal Reserve’s books have never been audited. The Federal Rererve is a collection of private banks that have been authorized by the federal government to print money and set interest rates.

Pettigrew, who has been a Republican state representative from north of Oklahoma City, is originally from McAlester and moved back to the district in December of 2008. He lives in Pittsburg County near Lake Eufaula. He is a graduate of East Central University in Ada with a degree in accounting. Pettigrew said when he was in the Legislature, the conservative opinion quarterly Oklahoma Constitution named him one of the top 10 conservative House members since the newspaper began rating legislators.

Pettigrew stresses his accounting background as his reason for running for the House, saying that whoever is elected will have a  “suicide mission” because that member of Congress is going to have to make budget cuts that will be unpopular. Pettigrew said the country may be two years away from an economic collapse if spending is not cut now. In two years, Pettigrew said, “credit world wide will be exhausted.”

Pettigrew said the U.S. pays $242 billion in interest on the national debt alone and that the U.S. dollar is now 55 cents per one British sterling pound.

According to Pettigrew, the national Democratic and Republican committees have polled the 2nd District and both polls favor Republicans for this open seat by a margin of 60 to 40 percent.

Pettigrew spoke Friday at the Rotary Club meeting at First United Methodist Church. His presentation was about monetary policy and the Federal Reserve. Pettigrew showed the group a chart demonstrating federal spending which has steadily increased since 1980, beginning with President Reagan’s build-up of the military and spiking in 2008 with the bailout of the banks following the economic crisis of that year.

Pettigrew quoted the late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman who said, “Economic freedom is as important as political freedom.” Freidman was a proponent of a flat tax and an opponent of the Federal Reserve. According to Pettigrew, the Federal Reserve has printed $2 trillion since 2010 to purchase government-backed securities and to control the interest rates for banks.

He said inflation has not skyrocketed because much of the money that is printed by the government stays in federal member banks and is not circulated in the public through loans. The reason the Federal Reserve can do this is because the U.S. dollar is no longer backed by the gold standard. President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard in 1971.

Pettigrew said the total for congressional earmarks for last year amounted to $20 billion. Pettigrew said the federal budget for the Department of Education was about $33 billion 10 years ago. Today, it amounts to $80 billion.

He showed a list of waste in the budget compiled by Sen. Tom Coburn’s office. The earned income tax benefit amounted to $40 billion, fraud from assisting people after Hurricane Katrina came to $2 billion. The resanding of beaches at resorts came to $3 billion and inefficiencies and cost overruns at the Pentagon amounted to $295 billion.

In some smaller items of waste, by smaller meaning millions rather than billions, he said government officials flying first class cost taxpayers $143 million and funding to promote the Kennedy family legacy came to $146 million.

Rep. Dan Boren announced last year that he would not be seeking another term in the House. Pettigrew seeks to fill that seat.

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