Ellison: I Am Not a ‘Far-Left Kook’

The 5th District congressman shot down Bill O’Reilly’s claims that the Congressional Progressive Caucus wants to end capitalism.

Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison went on MSNBC Wednesday to counter Fox talk show host Bill O’Reilly’s claims the night before that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are “far-left kooks.”

O’Reilly criticized the proposals for decreased defense spending and increased spending on job creation, science, energy, the environment and education—adding “some conservatives claim that’s what the far-left wants: a collapse of the entire capitalist system.”

On MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s show, CPC co-chairman Ellison said the proposals enjoy widespread support and that he isn’t pushing for a collapse of capitalism. Watch the full interview in the video above.


Iraq War

Ellison also released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War:

“Ten years ago, our leaders made the costly and tragic decision to invade Iraq. Today, we commemorate the sacrifice of American troops and commit ourselves to never again send our men and women into war without a plan worthy of their sacrifice.

“In 2003, the Bush administration took us to war in Iraq claiming that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda and possessed weapons of mass destruction.  They were wrong. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to al Qaeda have been disproven. Because of the Bush Administration's decision, more than 1.5 million Americans were sent into harm’s way, and 4,500 American military men and women lost their lives. 

“The American taxpayer will be paying for the Iraq War for decades to come. We will ultimately spend roughly $2.2 trillion on the war, and up to $4 trillion including interest payments, over 3,000 percent more than the Bush Administration’s initially estimates. Along with the war in Afghanistan and the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq War remains one of the largest contributors to our deficit.                                                                                                                               

“It is our responsibility as Americans and public officials to make sure our leaders never again take us into a war of choice without adequate public debate and discussion. And it is our responsibility to make sure every veteran is able to find a job when they return from war. With the unemployment rate for veterans after September 11 higher than the overall rate, too many of our troops still struggle to find work.

“As we wind down a decade of wars and turn to nation-building at home, we must never forget the lessons of Iraq.”


The Congressional Art Competition

There is still time for high school students to submit works to The Congressional Art Competition.

Since 1982, the House of Representatives has sponsored a nationwide high school arts competition for students in grades nine through 12 and seventh and eighth graders who attend schools with grades seven through 12.

The overall winner of each participating district will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The 5th District winner will be displayed in the Capitol’s Cannon Tunnel.

Artwork must be dropped off by Friday at Keith Ellison’s Minneapolis office (2100 Plymouth Ave N. Minneapolis, MN 55411). Click here for full details.

Lynn Bottge March 26, 2013 at 03:01 PM
He is my Congressman and I am so very, very proud that he is. Totally shares my principles of "decreased defense spending and increased spending on job creation, science, energy, the environment and education." In other words, trying to make this world a better place. If this makes either of us left of communism and far left kooks, thank you for the compliments. I would say that since Mr Ellison won the election, probably more people watch MSNBC than Fox in our area.
Candace Oathout March 26, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Mr. Ellison's proposed people's budget defies logic. I have no problem with reducing defense spending in pragmatic ways. I agree that our infrastructure needs maintenance and re-building. I also agree that spending on social policies and entitlements must be controlled and reduced. I don't understand why there is such continual pressure to divide America into haves and have nots. The proposed Progressive Caucus budget he promotes puts more people to work in government jobs paid for by taxpayers, spends greater amounts for projects that are paid for by taxpayers from their stagnant/declining incomes. It increases the costs of energy and resource recovery through environmental regulation. It stifles growth of business through overwhelming regulation. It completely ignores the fact that government can only reach these goals by taking money from taxpayers who work to earn it from the individual taxpayer, to the small business operator and the largest corporations. Every dollar invested (read spent) by the government is taken from hardworking citizens before it can be "invested" by government. I wouldn't say that Mr. Ellison is a kook but he certainly is ignorant in economics. No matter how much he wishes to deny it, every dollar his caucus wants to spend is taken from someone who has worked hard to earn.
Mike B. March 26, 2013 at 05:52 PM
You makes good points, Candace, although you neglect to mention how Ellison's lack of an adult temperament also disqualifies him for the title of US congressman. Ellison has no comprehension of what makes our free enterprise system work. Like many of his fellow travelers in academia and "community activism," he has not the slightest idea of how the business world works.
steven stewart March 26, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Bill O’Reilly IS a far-RIGHT kook. A far-right fake journalist, who substitutes personal attack for facts and reason.
Spotman March 27, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Lynn, Why should there be decreased spending for defense when the world increasingly becoming unstable? With threats from North Korea and Iran, do you think less spending for defense is wise? Spending has gone runamok for years, that I acknowledge, but there is a lot of waste in government spending that should stop. Job creation? What jobs, other than more government jobs did Obummer create? Who pays for those "make work" jobs? We do. Science? What's the government doing funding science projects, like penis size in ducks? Ridiculous, just like you low educated vote that put him in office........again.


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