HOUSTON: Over 100 Indian Americans from Houston gathered on September 18, at India House to show their support and gratitude to Congressman Ted Poe for his introduction of HR 1699 in U.S. Congress. This event was organized by National Indian American Coalition (NIAC) with the support of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Houston, USINPAC, and many leading citizens of Houston.
NIAC has recently been organized to unite all Americans of Indian descent to raise their voices and increase their political clout in support of issues important to the Indian community, such as deficit spending, taxes, public education on Hindu culture, immigration laws, and Pakistan sponsored terrorism here and in India. This first national conservative leaning group of Indian Americans is supported by a staunchly fiscal conservative Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, who along with Governor Rick Perry of Texas, has taken a national leadership role in support of constitutional amendment to balance federal budget.
Guests were welcomed by Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Houston Chair of NIAC who also gave the audience a brief professional and political history of Congressman Ted Poe. Judge Poe was a tough judge with innovative ideas like requiring convicted felons to care for their victims. As a five term congressman, he has never shied away from introducing bold legislation like HR 1699 to freeze foreign aid to Pakistan.
Dr. Bhatia’s introduction was followed by a short video of NIAC with a brief background of its founding members comprising primarily of Indian American entrepreneurs laser-focused on issues important to Indian Americans. Shalli Kumar, Chairman of AVG, a mini-conglomerate of electronics companies with headquarters in Chicago, and also one of the founding members of NIAC told the audience:
“ There are almost 3 million Indian Americans in the U.S. with the highest median income and the highest education of any demographic. There are 400,000 Indian American owned businesses employing 1.2 million workers and contributing $150 billion a year to the GDP of the country. One out of seven Indian Americans is an entrepreneur. So, we have about half the population of Jewish Americans, with even better education and economic stats, but ask yourself as to how much influence do we have on national policy as compared to the Jewish people…Since we are half, so do we carry half the clout? 25%? 10%? How about 1%, No body seriously doubts that it is not even on the radar. And that is what National Indian American Coalition is set to change…”
One of the most hilarious moments of the event came when Kumar presented a satirical video of how the Federal Bulb Change Team changes a street light bulb. It takes three men to change the light bulb. The video was created by his son, Arjun Aditya Kumar.
“Government controlled economies all over the world have failed. Communism failed, socialism failed. A lot of you might be surprised to know that as recent as 1990, it used to take six months to get a new telephone line in India. It was License Raj, 80 Government agencies had to be satisfied before you could manufacture anything. Then in 1991, India was left with only two weeks of dollars when International Monetary Fund forced it to open the economy, empower the people, let their genius flow, and India has never looked back. It is projected to exceed U.S. GDP within the next twenty years.
As NIAC derives its inspiration from Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Mr. Kumar challenged President Obama to follow the policies of one of the most admired Presidents in American history, from your his party, John F Kennedy?
Reducing the top rate from 90 to 70 increased government revenue by 62%. When Pres. Reagan reduced the top rate from 70 to 28%, it eliminated recessions all together and the tax revenue grew by a whopping 99%.
Turning to the issue of state sponsored terrorism by Pakistan, Kumar showed most riveting video clips of Mumbai terror when Kasab and his accomplice with direct supervision of Pakistani military, opened fire at Victoria Train station in Mumbai killing 52 innocent passengers, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.
Congressman Ted Poe took the stage to a tumultuous welcome from the audience. He recited the story of Patel, a small businessman, who was shot dead by intruders in his shop while his ten year old son watched behind the cooler in horror. As a Judge, he had presided over that trial. Mr. Patel’s last words were: “somebody stop him”. In that case, the Jury stopped the perpetrators from committing other crimes by sentencing them to death. The case of terrorists killing innocent civilians in India and U.S. is no different, and the purpose of HR 1699 is to do just that. He thanked the Indian American community for raising funds for him as it would send a strong message to other congressmen to come out in support of this bill.
Congressman Poe is totally in favor of reforming legal immigration to the US, including increase in H1 Visas, as well as stream lining immigration process to reduce time for spouse visas for green card holders. He encouraged his constituents to contact his office for help with any immigration issues. Commenting on President Obama’s latest jobs program, he told the audience that the problem with the economy is Government spending, not taxes. The federal government takes in 5 billion dollars a day in tax revenue and spends $9 billion a day. Until we cut this spending, the jobs environment can not be improved. In that context he commented that Mr. Kumar should have 12 guys changing a light bulb and the bulb would be a CCFL bulb, that you simply can not count on Government spending your money wisely.