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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Mike Ross (AR-04) Is A Sick Blue Dog
Rep. Mike Ross from Arkansas' 4th Congressional District is a key leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democratic House members that advocates the principles of fiscal responsibility and government accountability." - Rep. Mike Ross's official website (Source)
However, he and other "blue dogs" have become the "lap dogs" of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and there voting record proves it. Below are the Myths and the Real Voting Record of Mike Ross.
While the state of Arkansas is shifting right and may this year elect more conservative republicans than elected in Arkansas history, Rep. Mike Ross with a failing fiscal conservative score is still holding the lead in polling the 4th Congressional District over a conservative Beth Ann Rankin. This is it strange because Mike Ross has a voting record in Washington, D.C. that is diametrically different than the positions of the majority of Arkansans. Mike who is anything but a fiscal conservative has learned the power of "the purse" and has often brought home more money (earmarks, bacon, etc.) to his district than the other representatives. Somehow Ross' liberal antics in Washington, D.C. have been overlooked by this predominately rural congressional district. His continuous voting for Nancy Speaker as Speaker of the House seems to be overlooked. Mike has only been allowed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to vote differently than his fellow democrats on a couple issues because Pelosi had enough votes without them and agreed to provide Ross political cover.
The following myths about Mike Ross and Mike's votes were compiled by the Club for Growth.
"I firmly believe we can no longer avoid addressing the nation's fiscal challenges because we are passing this immense burden on to our children and grandchildren and it is a threat to our national security." - Rep. Mike Ross's official website (Source)
"We must stop the out-of-control spending in Washington and begin reducing our skyrocketing national debt. If we do not, we will begin to suffer from massive inflation costing our already fragile economy even more jobs. American families have tightened their belts in these tough times and it is time that the federal government takes the same responsible approach to budgeting. We have to change the way Washington operates and begin working together to develop solutions to our problems." - Rep. Mike Ross's official website (Source)
"As a member of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, I have helped develop a comprehensive plan aimed at cutting spending and balancing the budget." - Ross's official website (Source)
Voted NO - After Voting Yes To Get It Out of Committee
Repeal ObamaCare's Individual Mandate?
On Cap and Trade
On Repealing TARP
On Obama Budget
On Cash for Clunkers
On Auto Bailout
On Fannie/Freddie Bailout
The Bottom Line: Can Mike Ross again convince his constituents that his "fake" opposition to ObamaCare and Cap and Trade is proof enough that he's a fiscal conservative? It's hard to look past the high unemployemnt, bailouts, the earmarks, and the big spending bills. Ask Rep Mike Ross why he supports Nancy Pelosi and votes like a liberal progressive in Washington, D.C. Tags:Mike Ross, Arkansas, AR-04, blue dog coalition, myths, voting record, lab dog, liberal voting, Club for GrowthTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The following article by Thomas Sowell continues his prior discussion of political "red hearings" by political elitists who wish to distract voters from the truth of the current situation. If you have not done so check out the first article.
by Dr. Thomas Sowell: Some of the longest-serving members of Congress, whose party has overwhelming majorities in both houses, are having far closer election races than they are used to. These include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, not to mention 18-year veteran Senator Barbara Boxer.
Despite their long records, they seem to want to talk about everything except their records. They could tell us why they voted for ObamaCare and huge stimulus bills, without time enough to read them. Instead, they have come up with enough red herrings to stock an aquarium.
One of the big distracting talking points is that the Republicans in Congress have been "the party of No." Given the overwhelming majorities of the Democrats in both houses, in addition to their control of the White House, whether the Republicans said "yes," "no" or "maybe" could not stop the Democrats from doing anything they wanted to do.
It should also be noted that the Democrats were in power in Congress before President Obama got to the White House. So "the mess" that he constantly reminds us he "inherited" includes runaway spending by Congressional Democrats, of whom Senator Barack Obama was one of the more prominent big spenders.
Usually, the incumbents can talk about their "experience." But experience at what? Deception? Earmarks? Reckless spending?
Senator Harry Reid is playing the race card, saying that he can't see how any Hispanic can vote for Republicans. But this is the same Harry Reid who in 1993, rejected "those who ask us to wink at illegal immigration" and warned against having "the social and cultural makeup" of the country "radically altered" by these immigrants.
In 1993, Senator Reid introduced a bill-- the Immigration Stabilization Act--to cut back on all immigration, both legal and illegal. Senator Reid said: "Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits, often without paying taxes." He said, "Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance," and added: "These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world."
Today, of course, Senator Reid is singing an entirely different tune. He has what Thorstein Veblen once called a "versatility of convictions." So do a lot of "experienced" politicians. Instead of talking about the track records of people who have been wielding power in Washington for years, much of the mainstream follows the scent of the red herrings that have been dragged across their trail and focuses on the personal lives of the candidates who are challenging the incumbents.
Whether it is Meg Whitman's housekeeper or remarks that Christine O'Donnell made when she was a teenager, or how much money Carly Fiorina made when she was a corporate CEO, the media are right on it-- and right off the serious issues about what the incumbents have been doing to this country. If everyone who made silly remarks when they were teenagers were prevented from being elected, at least half the elective offices in the country would be vacant. And since when is earning a high income in private industry a disqualification for holding public office?
The Obama administration has fewer people with real world experience in the private sector than any other administration in years. Maybe if they had more people with practical experience in the economy, we wouldn't be in the mess that politicians created.
The big question for the election next month is whether the voters keep their eye on the ball and judge candidates by what policies they advocate or whether they can be thrown off the track by red herrings. We have already seen in 2008 what can happen when voters fail to pay attention to a presidential candidate's track record, and let themselves be dazzled by rhetoric, symbolism and media hype.
------------- Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Note: This article was received via multiple emails and the article is provided for educational purposes. Tags:Thomas Sowell, red herring, part II, politics, distraction, experience, deception, earmarks, reckless spending, race card, versatility of convictionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Herman Cain, Contributing Author: President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress believe it is practically immoral to allow people who have made a lot of money to decide how they want to spend it. It is equally immoral for some people to think that they are entitled to other people’s money through the force of the government.
Class warfare has been a winning tactic for Democrats for a long time, but a lot of voters are waking up to the false promise of that old tired song. Some people are realizing that they might be “rich” one day. They are asking the question that, if they work their anchovies off to make some real money, then why should the government take it and redistribute it to those who did not want to take risks and work 24/7 for themselves and their families?
Studies have shown for decades that a majority of people who start out in the lowest economic quintile (20 percent) will advance at least two quintiles higher over time with some of them making it all the way to the top quintile. My dad was one on those achievers.
My dad walked off his father’s small dirt farm with just the clothes on his back to pursue his American dreams. His only equity was sweat equity! At one point in his life he worked three jobs to try to improve his economic situation. He was a barber, janitor and chauffeur all at the same time.
When my dad died at the age of 56 in 1982, his net worth was $982,000. He started with nothing! We used the capital gains on his estate to take care of my mom who had multiple sclerosis until she died 24 years later. After mom passed, I wrote an estate tax payment to the government for $1.3 million dollars, since we had invested wisely and Dad’s estate had grown in value.
So that’s one reason I am sick and tired of people whining about what the rich ought to pay! The Declaration of Independence says “the pursuit of happiness.” It does not say anything about a guarantee or a Department of Happy.
I am also sick of the lie press secretary Robert Gibbs and other Democrats are claiming that by not taxing those families making over $250,000 a year, we will add $700 billion to the deficit. It’s a lie because it is based on static analysis, which is the method bureaucrats use when they are trying to dupe the taxpayers into another tax increase. Show me the analysis!
And another thing! For the president to tell people at one of his staged backyard town hall meetings that he needed to raise taxes on those families to help reduce the deficit and the national debt is simply disingenuous. The American people have been screaming for over a year for the government to stop the spending! But he and his Democrats in Congress have been deaf to the public.
The president and the Democrats have no positive accomplishments to boast about leading up to the 2010 congressional elections. So they play the race card, the class warfare card and politics of personal attacks.
Most people who are able to generate a modest amount of wealth usually donate a large portion of their wealth to charitable and community-based organizations. That’s where it does the most good because it is closest to where the need is based. Going through the mechanism of government redistribution is inefficient and unfair.
Two thirds of those “evil rich” people making over $250,000 a year are small businesses that employ nearly two-thirds of the workers in America. A caller reminded me last week that if those businesses have to pay more in taxes, some of their workers might lose their jobs.
Abraham Lincoln said, “You don’t help the poor by hurting the rich.” This administration is determined to hurt the rich and make more people poor. ----------------- Mr. Herman Cain is an American newspaper columnist, businessman, politician, noted speaker, and conservative radio talk-show host. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and previously worked as a mathematician for the Department of the Navy, a business analyst for the Coca-Cola Company, and for the Pillsbury Company, where he became Vice-President of Corporate Systems and Services. In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. He authorized the ARRA News Service Editor to reprint his articles with attribution; This article also appeared at HermanCain.com. Tags:Herman Cain, Democrats, class warfare,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
FRC Washington Update: The President's new health care law is finally resulting in some bipartisanship. According to a new poll, both parties are growing to hate it. Although the numbers for repeal are solidly in the Republican camp (56% want the law overturned), a general dissatisfaction is starting to creep into the President's own party. A shocking one in four Democrats is now in favor of repeal--with 49% of undecided voters piling on. That news is particularly bad for 12 Freshman Democrats, who are taking a crack at a second term in hostile districts. In each one, "a majority of those surveyed said they want the controversial law gone." And that starts with firing the people who put it there.
For Reps. Chris Carney (D-Pa.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), their case isn't helped by news coming out of Scranton, Pennsylvania that three major Catholic hospitals are selling off their facilities. Despite being on sound financial ground (owners say they're actually ahead of this year's budget), "the new requirements brought on by the new health care legislation make it hard for [us] to stay in business." When asked about ObamaCare, the CEO said that it "is absolutely playing a role" in their decision to unload three hospitals that have been mainstays in the community for almost one hundred years. Sister Marie Parker talked about how sad they are to let go of a century of service. "Sisters of Mercy are strongly supportive of this decision because we do understand the realities of health care and we think it's best for the community."
By "realities," she's undoubtedly talking about the most despicable part of ObamaCare: taxpayer-funded abortion. Without strict conscience protections in place, medical workers everywhere could be ordered to perform these procedures against their will. So Mercy Health is protecting itself the only way it knows how--by getting out of the business before that business includes abortion. How many others will be forced to do the same? Since the very beginning, there's been a history of faith-based health care in America. Some estimate that as many as one in five patients get their care from hospitals with religious ties. As the government crowds out the groups that meet those needs, where will people go?
And the medical community isn't the only one being crushed under the weight of this law. Businesses--small and large--are feeling the squeeze of the new regulations. McDonald's is just one of the corporations that threatened to cut coverage for employees because of rising premiums. When the chain made its displeasure known, the administration intervened. At least 30 unions and businesses that have made a public stink about the costs have been rewarded with waivers from Health and Human Services. "The big political issue here is the President promised no one would lose the coverage they've got," said Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant. "Here we are, a month before the election, and these companies represent one million people who would lose the coverage they've got." Unfortunately for the average American, there aren't enough exemptions to go around. Tags:FRC, Washington update, ObamaCare, Government Health Care, Democrats, repeal the billTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Blanche Lincoln Practices Liberal SIN Principles in Discussion With the Media
Bill Smith, Editor: The following videos were made by Jason Tolbert of the Tolbert Report when Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) spoke with the press at the Clinton Library on October 8, 2010. In the videos, note how Lincoln responds to questions in an arrogant and incomplete fashion. Even before April 15 of 2009, Sen. Lincoln was encouraged to meet with Arkansans at citizen town hall meetings. She refused or at least refused all options that allowed interaction except on her grounds. We might understand her negative demeanor during a campaign especially with her low poll numbers. But, Arkansans will never understand why or accept the fact that their Senator refused to meet with them even 20 months ago. It is so apparent she couldn't stand to meet with those whom she sees as "lesser people" and with those she upset with her actions and votes even over a year ago.
Lincoln proceeds to slight TEA Party groups which arose in Arkansas to a large measure because of her failure to communicate with and to listen to the citizens of Arkansas. In the videos, she displays both an arrogance and a defensive posture. She either doesn't care, believes she knows better than the people, or she doesn't have any good answers, She continues to play the elitists game because that is where she must go for future employment when she is booted out of office in Arkansas.
In the following videos, note Lincoln's responses to questions. She displays the attributes of a liberal progressive elitist as defined by conservative radio talk show host Herman Cain. Cain originated the SIN principles for identifying unchangeable unrepentant liberals: (S)- Shifting the subject, (I) - Ignore the facts or even the questions, and (N) - Name Calling.
Consider the following comments by Senator Lincoln from the following Tolbert's Video #1: [Admin comment: Video source removed after former Sen. Lincoln was defeated in her re-election.]
With respect to negative advertising, Sen. Lincoln was asked: "Do you think the TEA Party was part of that?" Lincoln: "I think some of them are and some of them I don't think are. I think many of the TEA Party folks are just interested in greater transparency and accountability in government and I don't disagree with them on that!"
"I was the one that asked for transparency in this health care reform debate. Um, I am the one who voted no on the DOD, um moving - you know that's about uh, uh that is about transparency and accountability - it is about the rule of - um, you know, that transparency and accountability should be the rule not the exception."
Question: You mentioned the ads in the past, but who is stirring up anger against you right now? Lincoln: "Well I think, you know, were you look at -- people get their information not just from what is going on here not just from our state. I mean if you look at what's going on whether it is here in our state or whether it is the national news, they got cable news, they got blogs and emails, and websites and everything else. It really turns it up. Yea, I think there are plenty of things outside of Arkansas and there are some things here." Comment: What medical prescription is she on?
Followup Q: What are the entities that you are talking about? "All those I just mentioned."
Followup Q: What is an example of - oh, you mean the news, the national media? "Well yea. There are a lot of independent groups as well."
Followup Q: Such as? "I don't know, there are plenty of them out there."
Comment: Listening to her on the video is bad enough; but actually reading her comments make me wonder - "you know" - how she has remained an Arkansas Senator for so many years. She is right that there are a lot of groups out there trying to stop her. But she can't name one. Blanche may not be able to name any of those groups, but I could!
"I think there are people in all groups who are just being encouraged to be complacent because, you know, the conversation is all about how terrible everything is?"
Comment: LOL, Lincoln has no idea how un-complacent the people of Arkansas are and on Election day, they will be voting her out of office.
Continuing, now consider the following comments by Senator Lincoln from Tolbert's Video #2: [Admin comment: Video source removed after former Sen. Lincoln was defeated in her re-election.]
"If we don't figure out how we are going to solve these challenges, they are going to over come us."
"I think all the people that want to create all this turmoil and all this upset, this fear and anger are people who aren't really coming up with good answers to the questions ."
"I mean, you know, if you want to consider the TEA Party - as I said before, I think SOME of the Tea Party people do want to just create fear and anger. Um, Some of them don't. I think they are a pretty varied group out there. Um, there are some that I find myself agreeing with on transparency and you know the kind of things that need to be seen. ---- Your looking for specifics, I know you are looking for specifics. But I, uh, there are plenty of them out there and that's maybe one of them."
Comment: Blanche views some of those big bad Arkansas Tea Parties as wanting to "just create fear and anger."
Lincoln claims about John Boozman: ". . . when it comes to veterans issues, you know, at some point you got to follow it all the way through. And if you look at the voting record record he's got, he hasn't supported - um - you know, whether it is the health care, or the benefits, or the body armor; the other things that our veterans and our military have needed."
Comment: Lincoln ran off the track with this one: Rep. John Boozman is a Ranking Member on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Boozman was a son, "military brat" of a retired Air Force Master Sergent. He has always been pro military. The Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC endorsed Boozman. Boozman drafted a bill to protect veterans' gun rights. The NRA endorsed Boozman. Why didn't Lincoln ever talk about her votes, her record? - She shifted the subject. Tags:Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas, arrogance, video, Jason Tolbert, Herman Cain, John Boozman, 2010 electionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Americans Have Had It! Unemployment and Deficit Numbers Illustrate A Failed Democrat Agenda
According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, the Labor Department reported that the economy lost 95,000 jobs in September. The AP adds, “The Labor Department says the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent. The jobless rate has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s. The private sector added 64,000 jobs, the weakest showing since June.” The rate has remained above nine percent for 17 consecutive months. There are currently 15 million Americans unemployed.
Reacting to these disappointing numbers this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Americans are speaking out, and they want Washington to focus on jobs. But with each passing month, and each new jobs report, it becomes increasingly clear that while massive Washington spending is growing the size of government, it’s clearly not growing sustainable private-sector jobs. The trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t live up to promises made by the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress; the massive growth of the federal government didn’t result in a similar growth of jobs; and the maze of new regulations, health care mandates and taxes are having a predictable impact on the economy.”
House Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence responded, “The American people are hurting under the weight of the failed economic policies of this administration. On top of the borrowing, spending and bailouts, Democrats are poised to allow the biggest tax increase in American history to take effect on January 1, 2011. It’s time for a new direction to get this economy moving again. Congress should come back to Washington and vote immediately to ensure that there will be no tax increases on American families, small business owners, and family farms.”
So what have Americans gotten from the stimulus? For one thing, hundreds of billions of dollars of debt, since none of the spending in the bloated bill was paid for. Thanks in part to stimulus spending, the Congressional Budget Office announced last night that the deficit for 2010 was nearly $1.3 trillion, “the second-worst mark since 1945,” according to Dow Jones. “The congressional scorekeeper said the total deficit recorded in the just completed fiscal year was only $125 billion less than the record high of $1.4 trillion set in fiscal 2009.” In other words, the two worst post-World War II deficits were last year and this year. Dow Jones also notes, “The deficit in fiscal 2010 was equal to 8.9% of U.S. gross domestic product, well above the long-run target of 3% that is considered by most economists to be sustainable.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports today on what some of that deficit spending has gone towards. Included is the ZOMBIE STIMULUS. On “The federal government last year sent about 89,000 checks of $250 each to dead or incarcerated people through the Obama administration's economic stimulus program, according to a watchdog report. The Social Security Administration distributed about $13 billion to 52 million eligible beneficiaries in the form of $250 checks as part of the economic recovery program. The program cost a total of $814 billion.” Specifically, the Post reports, “About 71,600 recipients were dead before the SSA certified their payments, receiving a total of $18 million, according to the report. An additional 17,300 inmates received a total of $4.3 million. Most of the inmates were eligible to receive checks because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act prohibited payments only to people incarcerated in the three months before it passed, which was November 2008 to January 2009. The SSA maintains conviction records and is normally required to suspend payments to incarcerated beneficiaries.”
So with unemployment higher than 9.5% for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, continuing job losses, and anemic private sector job growth, Americans are being reminded again today that President Obama and Democrats preferred economic solutions, growing government and deficit spending, simply aren’t working. Instead, Americans are faced with record deficits, record debt, and the news that millions of dollars of stimulus money are going to dead people and convicts.
Each month, the country awaits improvement and each month, it is disappointed. There is more to unemployment than just one number. A further breakdown of unemployment by the numbers can be seen below:
$1,161,000,000,000: The total cost of the Democrats “stimulus.” CBO estimates the cost of the bill will reach $814 billion and interest on the debt for the bill will be at least $347 billion.
9.6%: The unemployment rate for the month of September.
17: The number of consecutive months that unemployment has been above 9 percent.
14: The number of consecutive months that unemployment has been above 9.5 percent—the longest such span since the Great Depression.
95,000: The number of jobs lost in the month of September.
17.1%: The rate of underemployment in September. This accounts for the unemployed, those unable to find full-time work and those discouraged from looking for work.
14,767,000: The number of unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of September.
As Sen. McConnell echoed the opinions of most of us, “Americans have had it. They’ve had it with Democrats focusing on their own pet issues at the exclusion of Americans’ top priorities, and they’re tired of being told that if only the Democrats pass their agenda those priorities will be met. The results are in. The Democrat agenda has been a failure for the economy and for jobs.” Tags:Democrats, failed agenda, unemployment, deficits, 2010, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, simulus, dead people, incarcerated people ZombiesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Blue Dog Coalition Myth of Being Fiscally Responsible Democrats
As evidenced in the report by the Club for Growth. the documented votes by alleged Blue Dog Democrats, led by Mike Ross of Arkansas, have NOT been fiscally conservative. These democrats have served at best as Lap Dogs for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. After reading the following report, visit the links to the members of the Blue Dog Coalition to view their actual votes which have helped to wreck our economy, to increase the National Debt, unemployment and taxes, and to expand run-away Federal Spending.
------------- "The evidence is overwhelming: The Blue Dogs are not fiscal conservatives, and only a few can credibly claim even to be fiscal moderates." - Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth
INTRODUCTION: The 15-year old Blue Dog Coalition is almost invariably characterized as the "fiscally conservative," "fiscally responsible," or "moderate" wing of the House Democratic Caucus - especially by the Blue Dogs themselves. A Google search of "fiscally conservative Blue Dog" returned more than 434,000 results, and the first text written on the Coalition's website refers to the Blue Dogs' "independent voices for fiscal responsibility and accountability." In the political media, in particular, the conventional wisdom is so ingrained that "Blue Dogs" operates as a short-hand term for "economically conservative Democrats.
But a detailed analysis of Blue Dogs' voting records suggests the conventional wisdom is wrong. On economic issues, the Blue Dogs are only marginally less extreme than their non-Blue Dog Democratic colleagues, and far more liberal than House Republicans. This fact, more easily obscured under Republican congressional majorities, has become more pronounced since the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in 2007.
Whatever substantive distinction the "Blue Dog Coalition" ever carried has all but dissolved into a crude and cynical branding mechanism. The Blue Dog Coalition exists not to help conservative Democrats influence policy, but to allow conventional Democrats to deceive the media and their constituents.
HISTORY: The Blue Dog Coalition was formed by Southern Democrats after the 1994 Republican mid-term landslide as a group of conservative but loyal Democrats - "yellow dogs" choked blue by their leaders' increasing liberalism. Unlike most congressional coalitions who seek to influence Congress through ever-larger numbers, the Blue Dogs conspicuously limit their membership every Congress.
The ostensible idea was to create space for moderate Democrats to distinguish themselves from a liberal Democratic Caucus that was increasingly out of touch with a right-of-center electorate. But whatever cooperation they initially offered the Newt Gingrich-led new Republican majority, over time, the Blue Dogs have drifted from that original stated mission.
THE VOTES: By any objective measure, the Blue Dogs as a group are not fiscal moderates, let alone fiscal conservatives. Since the formation of the Coalition in 1995, the Blue Dogs' economic voting record has consistently drifted leftward. According to the Annual Congressional Score Card of the National Taxpayers Union, a conservative economic watch dog organization, the Blue Dogs debuted in 1995 almost as advertised, earning an average score of 52 percent. As the chart below shows, the votes have gotten worse almost every year since:
Of particular note is the precipitous drop in 2007 when the Democrats retook control of the House for the first time since the Blue Dogs' founding. It was then that the Blue Dogs' influence ought to have been optimal. The Coalition's membership was larger than the Democrats' overall majority of 15 seats in the 110th Congress and 40 seats for most of the 111th. The Blue Dogs could have - and should have - been a moderating influence on Speaker Pelosi's economic agenda and President Obama's gargantuan spending increases.
No such luck. On the biggest, defining votes since the Democrats took the House, the Blue Dogs have voted almost in lock-step with their party leaders.
BLUE DOG SUPPORT
Fannie & Freddie Bailout
Cash for Clunkers
2009 Obama Budget
And with one leader in particular the Blue Dogs are more like lap dogs. Of the 62 votes cast by Speaker Pelosi during the current 111th Congress on economic issues, the Blue Dogs voted with her 80 percent of the time. Only two - Reps. Bobby Bright (AL-02) and Gene Taylor (MS-04) - have voted with Speaker Pelosi less than half the time, while three have voted with her every time.
PAYGO: If there is one tangible policy initiative responsible for the Blue Dogs' reputation for fiscal conservatism, it is PAYGO: "pay-as-you-go" rules that require the House to offset new spending and tax cuts with spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere in the budget.
Blue Dogs for years led the fight for PAYGO, vocal advocacy that helps explain the group's reputation for fiscal integrity. When Democrats reclaimed Congress in 2007, they established PAYGO as a standing rule of the House, ostensibly ushering in a new era of fiscal responsibility. How, then, has the federal deficit exploded in the years since?
Two reasons. First, the PAYGO rule - which Democrats gave statutory force in 2010 - is almost meaningless as currently written. It pertains only to entitlement spending. Annual discretionary appropriations bills and emergency spending bills are exempt.
And second, the PAYGO rule provides big spenders an escape hatch: the rule can be waived with a simple majority vote in the House. And so, rather the submit to the actual rigors of fiscal restraint, House Democrats have consistently waived the PAYGO rules to ratchet up spending without the "required" offsets. This kind of cynicism would be tragic for the "fiscally conservative" Blue Dogs, except that they are overwhelmingly complicit in the charade.
Since 2007, House Democrats have waived or ignored PAYGO rules 26 times. Blue Dogs voted with them 86 percent of the time. Only one Blue Dog - Bright again - defended the integrity of the PAYGO system more than half the time. Ten Blue Dogs voted to waive or ignore PAYGO every single time.
EARMARKS: Finally, there is the matter of earmarks, special projects members of Congress drop into spending bills, usually without any oversight, directing federal funds to their districts and states. Of the 54 current Blue Dogs, 52 are enthusiastic earmarkers, including 8 appropriators. Only two, Walt Minnick (ID-01) and Jim Cooper (TN-05), refuse them.
CONCLUSION: The Blue Dog Coalition's nearly universal reputation for fiscal conservatism is wholly undeserved. They do not influence policy by voting as a bloc against spending excesses. They routinely betray the PAYGO principles on which their reputations rests. And they do not change the culture of spending in Congress by standing against earmarks.
The Blue Dog Coalition, in reality, is not a vehicle conservative Democrats use to influence policy, but an artificial brand conventional Democrats have created to help market themselves. This is the true purpose of the Blue Dogs' self-imposed membership limit - the exclusivity confers on each member an unearned aura of independence and fiscal credibility. Their false reputation aside, Blue Dogs are barely distinguishable from all but the most extreme liberals in the House Democratic Caucus. Tags:Blue Dog, US House, Coalition, myths, Chris Chocola, Club for Growth, NTU,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Idiot Boards, Barack Obama, Political Cartoons, Solar Panels, Teleprompters, White House, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Twenty months in two minutes - Since Obama was elected
The road to Socialism and the man who would take us there.
Scott Johnson, Powerline: Can it be only twenty months or so that Obama has been in office as president? It feels more like twenty years. Ben Howe captures the essence of these months in a video he calls "The Socialist," with credits to himself as director, to Caleb Howe for post-production, to Karl Marx for the story, to the Sixties for the conception, and to Barack Obama starring as The Socialist.
Ben Howe: Every age seeks visionaries to leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world – but rarely are they found without a few strikeout also-rans getting a crack first. In 2008, millions of Americans thought they had found the real thing.
Over the subsequent two years the nation moved inexorably – though rarely without battle – toward European-style socialism. Through the warring perspectives of a few powerful, deluded men and women who claim to know what’s best for you, we reached a national drama rife with both bureaucracy-creation and wealth destruction.
The Socialist moved from the halls of academia to the offices of ACORN to a pew in Chicago, and eventually all the way to the oval office, all the while spurred on by the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making. In the midst of the chaos and mounting disasters, average American citizens began to object, eventually adding up to more than the sum of their parts in what has become a multi-front, 21st century clash of worldviews.
The video provides a graphic counterpart to Stanley Kurtz's political biography of Obama to be published on October 19. Kurtz's new book is Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. Tags:Twenty Months, video, socialism, Barack Obama, Ben Howe, The Socialist, Nancy Pelosi, Joe biden, Karl Marx, share teh wealth, new debt, new taxes, new spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: Sometimes, it is best to just call out the enemy for who they are or call out a situation for what it is. Mark Alexander today in the following article has nailed another critical description of a term in today's political lexicon: "Poverty Pimp." However, I do not agree with Alexander that 90-plus percent of the black Americans vote in any election for the Democrats. This statistic might be true for blacks, whites and all others who are enslaved to government programs. Today, over 60% of black Americans are in the middle or upper class. In the next election, the issue will no longer be the election the first black American president. This time the election will be a referendum on what the Democrats (Congress, President, Czars and Department Administrators) have done in the last 22 months to wreck our economy and to increase unemployment, the national debt, federal spending, etc. In today's world we find President Obama in continuous campaign more and acting like the "Pimp-in-Chief." Americans, regardless of race, are awakened. Let's not get distracted in the 27 days by Democrat lies, distortions and dirty tricks. November is Coming! Focus - Get Out the Vote - it is time for the awakened electorate to be heard at the ballot box. Then we must continue to hold those elected accountable and to prepare for 2012 when we can retire another round of progressive elites. by Mark Alexander, The Patriot Post:
"The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would ... assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it." --Adam Smith
As a measure of community service, I round up my Boy Scout Troop periodically to meet with my friend, and Patriot Chaplain, Lurone Jennings, an inner-city community pastor.
We gather early on Saturday mornings to serve families who are struggling to make ends meet, most of them elderly and living in squalor. After cleaning around their shacks, providing meals and praying over those families, we always reconvene with Pastor Jennings for a time of fellowship.
Recently, I asked Lurone to explain what factors he thinks have contributed most to poverty in our city and nation. Without missing a beat, he said, "Poverty Pimps," referring to those who are elected to public office on the promise of a handout rather than a hand up -- this from a man who has devoted his life to serving those most irreconcilably ensnared by those pimps.
Handouts, of course, are a much easier sell than hand-ups, but the consequences in terms of human dignity and society are devastating. Promising to give a man a fish rather than encouraging him to take up fishing to provide for himself is one of the clearest philosophical delineations between the worldviews of contemporary liberals and conservatives.
Lurone explained that, while New Deal and Great Society liberals may have had good intentions, the net result of their socialist endeavors has been the institutionalization of poverty, and the victimization and enslavement of what has become the Left's most reliable constituency of any stripe or association: black folks.
These days, a candidate for office can count on receiving 90-plus percent of the black vote in any election, so long as he has that all-important "D" next to his or her name.
Generations of Americans have become accustomed to being given, or at least promised, fish caught by someone else. Today, Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist bourgeoisie have banked their entire political fortunes on classist rhetoric, promoting disparity in order to foster dependence.
Once was the time that the Democrat Party was the embodiment of individual responsibility and states' rights. But the party was led astray by "useful idiots" on the Left, and by the end of Franklin Roosevelt's reign, the Party had been turned on end.
Indeed, the most famous of former Democrats, when asked why he left that once-proud party, replied, "I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me." That, of course, was Ronald Reagan.
Now, the Democrat Party, with Obama and his Leftists cadres leading the charge, is determined to break the back of free enterprise and thereby ensure an impoverished voting majority. And they're well on the way to doing so.
The objective of Obama's "fundamental transformation of the United States of America" is to replace free enterprise with a "social democracy," which Merriam-Webster aptly defines as "1: a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means; 2: a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices."
Eighteenth-century philosopher and political economist Adam Smith once wrote, "It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people." In his 1776 masterpiece on man and economy, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," Smith set forth that Liberty and free enterprise go hand in hand, and that should any potentate of state attempt to centralize the economy, that would most certainly be the end of Liberty.
Today, we Americans, in this last "Shining City on a Hill," stand at the precipice separating Liberty from tyranny. In a few short weeks, we'll learn whether our nation is going to plant its feet firmly, shout "Enough!" and fight for the restoration of Essential Liberty, or be pushed yet another step closer to the abyss of totalitarianism.
With less than a month until the midterm referendum on the most menacing socialist agenda in U.S. history, I'm reminded of a pamphlet published in 1916 by an outspoken advocate for Liberty, William J. H. Boetcker. He entitled his tract "The Ten Cannots," and it fittingly contrasts the competing political and economic agendas of the right and left in this era: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves."
In the meantime, let us stand firm against the Poverty Pimps, and, noli nothis permittere te terere (Don't let the bastards get you down)! Tags:poverty pimps, poverty, handouts, politicians, socialism, Democrat Party, Barack Obama, leftists, elitists, Obama administration, redistribution of wealth, Adam SmithTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The New York Times reports today, “As Obama administration officials put into place the first major wave of changes under the health care legislation, they have tried to defuse stiffening resistance — from companies like McDonald’s and some insurers — by granting dozens of waivers to maintain even minimal coverage far below the new law’s standards. The waivers have been issued in the last several weeks as part of a broader strategic effort to stave off threats by some health insurers to abandon markets, drop out of the business altogether or refuse to sell certain policies. Among those that administration officials hoped to mollify with waivers were some big insurers, some smaller employers and McDonald’s, which went so far as to warn that the regulations could force it to strip workers of existing coverage. . . . To date, the administration has given about 30 insurers, employers and union plans, responsible for covering about one million people, one-year waivers on the new rules that phase out annual limits on coverage for limited-benefit plans, also known as ‘mini-meds.’ Applicants said their premiums would increase significantly, in some cases doubling or more.”
Throughout the health care debate, Republicans pointed to the unavoidable consequences of Democrats’ attempts to insert more government into the health care system. In fact, the very week the unpopular health care bill passed, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warned of “all the unintended consequences that will inevitably result from a 2,800-page bill that sets up dozens of federal boards and a thicket of new rules and regulations — regulations that we know won’t withstand their first contact with reality.” He continued, “When the White House was questioned about the glitches in the bill, they said the Secretary of Human Services was on the case. They said she’d issue a new regulation to correct the problem. But this is precisely what Americans are afraid of. This bill hadn’t even been law for 24 hours, and already they’re proposing regulations to cover over mistakes and errors. And we haven’t even seen the last of it.”
And this past week was the latest example. The Wall Street Journalreported last Thursday that “McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.” It was obvious all along that the new mandates, regulations, and additional expenses in Democrats’ health care legislation could result in companies dropping their health coverage. And the WSJ story just confirmed those fears.
But the Obama administration treated the story as a PR challenge, rather than a flaw in the law itself. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack reported that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, “The McDonald's story is flat out wrong. . . . I’m sorry they weren’t more accurate in their reporting.” McCormack noted, “Sebelius suggested that McDonald's may in fact get a waiver from HHS that would enable the fast-food giant to continue offering limited benefits plans to its employees.” And today, the NYT reports that the Obama administration has now granted these waivers.
The American Spectator’s Philip Klein makes an important point about this. He writes today, “[B]y granting waivers to avert PR nightmares, like the news of McDonald's dropping coverage, it also adds another disturbing element to the ObamaCare regime. Those companies with the best access and lobbyists are in the best position to be granted a waiver. Bureaucrats can choose to apply a different set of rules to different businesses, and in some cases those rules can determine whether a given business survives. Thus, the waivers themselves are another example of the arbitrary nature of government power.”
So not only are the poorly thought out regulations and mandates in Democrats’ bill leading to the prospect of some Americans losing their health care coverage, the increased powers given to the government under this bill are now allowing the Obama administration to respond to play PR games with health coverage, picking winners and losers as it suits them.
Remember when Republicans were called alarmists for saying businesses would dump employees from their insurance plan. Well, we can already see that some of the "nation’s biggest employers are seriously considering cutting employee health care and paying the lower-cost penalties instead." The result is that the Obama's promise that "if you like the plan you have, you can keep it." You can't keep a healthcare program that your employer no longer provides! Speaker Pelosi said we’d have to pass this health care bill for people to find out what was in it, she knew what she was talking about. We are finding out everyday that this flawed Obamacare legislation needs to be repealed and replaced. Tags:Obamacare, government health care, lost benefits, Obama administration, Repeal ObamaCareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Faisal Shahzad, the jihadist who tried to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square, was sentenced to life in prison yesterday. After his sentencing, Shahzad launched into a 10-minute tirade against America. Here are some excerpts from this follower of the “religion of peace”:
“Brace yourselves because the war with Muslims has just begun. Consider me the first droplet of the flood that will follow. The defeat of the U.S. is imminent and will happen in [the] near future.”
“We do not accept your democracy or your freedom because we already have Sharia [sacred Muslim] law. . . The past nine years, the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam.”
“If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”
Apparently Mr. Shahzad didn’t get the memo. President Obama has repeatedly said that America is not and never will be at war with Islam. So what “war with Muslims” is Shahzad talking about? And all that hateful rhetoric about the defeat of America and dying for Allah doesn’t sound very tolerant or peaceful. What on earth could possibly motivate Shazhad to say those things?
Of course, I’m being sarcastic. This is a very serious issue, and Shahzad left no doubts about what motivated him. When the judge declared his sentence, he shouted “Allahu akbar” (“Allah is greatest”). Shahzad also declared himself a “proud terrorist.”
Thankfully, Shahzad failed in his attempt to wage jihad in Times Square. Nine years removed from 9/11, it’s easy to be complacent, to underestimate the evil we are fighting. The FBI re-created the bomb Shahzad attempted to detonate. Had he succeeded, the results would have been devastating, as you can see the video.
Obviously most Muslims are not engaged in jihad. But millions of Muslims worldwide embrace the narrative of Faisal Shahzad and other “holy warriors.” That narrative is that Islam is oppressed by the West and that a great upheaval is coming that will bring down America, Israel and all of Judeo-Christian civilization. This is what links the stories of murder and mayhem coming in every day from every corner of the world at the hands of Islamists.
Our political, media and academic elites are unable or unwilling to confront and defeat this onslaught. Some aren’t even sure Western Civilization is worth defending. ------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. This article also appeared in Human Events Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser Tags:Faisal Shahzad, terrorist, terrorists, Islamic jihadist, Islamists, war, Muslims, video, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House GOP Presses for No Earmarks in Post-Election Omnibus Spending Bill
By Republican Leader Press Office: House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other members of the House GOP leadership joined Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and dozens of other House Republicans yesterday in sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging that no earmarks be included in the massive omnibus spending bill the Democratic majority appears likely to try to pass during a “lame duck” post-election session next month after the November elections:
“Earmark lists made available coincident with Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Subcommittee markups include thousands of earmarks worth more than $3 billion. Due to the Republican earmark moratorium, all but the slightest fraction of these earmarks were requested by members of the majority….Taxpayers deserve to have appropriations legislation considered under an open and transparent process. At a minimum, taxpayers should be protected from thousands of unvetted earmarks, produced by a process driven by a spoils system, being stuffed into any end-of-year appropriations measure and shielded from review. Having made the decision to leave earmarks out of the final Fiscal Year 2006 spending plan, there is precedent for the majority taking such a step."
In a speech last week at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Leader Boehner said earmarks have become a symbol of the broken trust between the American people and their elected leaders. He noted an entire lobbying industry has been built around the practice, and vowed to press for reforms that will "end the earmark process as we know it."
Boehner's comments were echoed by Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), who also joined Boehner in signing Rep. Flake's letter to Speaker Pelosi.
House Republican leaders have also called for an end to the practice of passing massive "omnibus" spending bills, arguing such bills make it too difficult to cut spending and too easy to shield spending projects from public scrutiny and debate. The GOP Pledge to America, which emphasizes the need to stop the job-killing spending spree in Washington, calls for immediate action on billions of dollars in spending cuts and a series of congressional reforms that would help fight unnecessary spending. Tags:US House, Republicans, GOP, stopping earmarks, earmarks, Democrat, Omnibus Spending bill, Lame Duck, post-electionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congress Is On Recess But They Are Haunted By Obamacare & Reckless Spending Votes
Bill Smith, Editor: While the Congress is in recess except for pro forma sessions to prevent President Obama from making recess appointments, their record is haunting them as they return home. Democrats up for re-election are especially haunted by their votes for Obamacare and reckless spending. Note, being haunted has nothing to do with the news these days of witchcraft, but it has everything to do with their "dumb ass" (pun intended) decisions which is wrecking the greatest free economy in the world. While some Republicans have in the past danced the line with the progressive elitists on their agenda, they have been are also being called to accountability. The Republicans have been clearly reminded of the Party's conservative principles by the voices of the majority of Americans who are conservatives. For some Senators, it will take another two elections for them to face the voters over their votes.
Unfortunately, some liberal representatives and senators will be returned to Congress because the citizens whom they represent have already been drawn to receiving money provided through a myriad of government programs. This money is not really the "government's money" but is "other people's money" which has been taken or confiscated via taxation and fees or is being money borrowed from foreign countries like China and Saudi Arabia. And these confiscated or borrowed funds are in excess of the basic needs of government as established by the Constitution.
The constituents of these elected liberals have become like the former Roman mob. They are knowingly willing to sacrifice the individual freedoms and the economic future of generations, just as many of them have already done by sacrificed their children be it physically or mentally. For the mob, American exceptionalism is not one's ability to live free and independent but instead their envy and covetousness and the ability to take from others.
By casting off foundational principles and even common law as a basis for laws and rules based in Judeo-Christian principles like ten commandments, America is now faced with assaults on numerous levels. It is very evident that how a government handles and or mishandles "other people's money," is a major indicator of the pending rise or decline of that government. As Benjamin Franklin responded when asked which form of government have you given us, "A republic, if you can keep it." While Patriotic Americans still say the "Pledge of Allegiance with the words "Republic of the United States of America," the progressive elites and their mob followers are leaving the following pledge and the future of America lying on the floor of history to be trampled on:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
John Adams MMIV provides today's insights into Congress' actions and the fallout for Democrats due to their votes for ObamaCare and Reckless Spending:
ObamaCare: After Democrats rammed through their unpopular health care takeover through Congress over the objections of a majority of Americans in March, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted, “By November, those who voted for health care will find it an asset, those who voted against it will find it a liability. . . . As people learn what’s actually in the bill, six months from now at election time this will be a plus because the parade of horribles — particularly the worry that the average middle-class has that this will affect them negatively — will have vanished and they’ll see that this will affect them positively.”
With the election less than a month away, though, Americans still don’t like Democrats’ monstrosity of a health care bill and Democrat candidates all across the country are having their eyes opened. The Hill reports today, “Healthcare reform is hurting the reelection chances of freshman Democrats in the House, according to The Hill/ANGA poll. A majority of voters in key battleground districts favor repeal of the legislative overhaul Congress passed this year. President Obama predicted in the spring that the new law would become popular as people learned more about it. But the poll shows Republicans strongly oppose it, independents are wary of it and a surprising number of Democrats also want it overturned.” In fact, 56% of those surveyed favored repeal of the health care law, and nearly 1-in-4 Democrats (23%) agreed. Democrat pollster Mark Penn notes, “Undecided voters wanted the healthcare law repealed by 49% to 27%.”
And Politico reports that ostensibly pro-life Democrats who voted for a health care bill with inadequate protections against government funding of abortions are finding that their vote is “haunt[ing]” them. “[Pennsylvania Rep. Kathy] Dahlkemper and other anti-abortion Democrats are at risk of becoming an endangered species in the House. She and others eventually signed on to the health reform law, endorsing an executive order that barred federal funding of abortions. But SBA List and other anti-abortion groups opposed the executive order, contending it was too weak. Now, SBA List is engaged in a multimillion-dollar attack on its former allies, replete with bus tours and billboards alleging that members ‘voted for taxpayer-funded abortion.’”
In a CNN piece analyzing how Democrats got to this point, Gloria Borger writes, “‘Health care seemed like a totally inside-the-beltway deal,’ says a Democratic pollster. ‘That went against [President Obama’s] own brand.’ And that's a dangerous thing for any leader, especially one whose persona was tied to a different way of doing business. After spending nine months debating health care, the Democrats had no choice but to try and pass something. Yet instead of going for a scaled-back version -- as then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had counseled -- they went for the whole thing. They won. But if there are any Democrats campaigning on the wonders of reform this cycle, they can all fit in one VW.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats for their arrogant approach to health care and many other issues in the Weekly Republican Address Saturday. “Over the past 19 months, we’ve witnessed something truly remarkable in Washington. We’ve seen a governing party basically tune out the American people who elected them and aggressively advance an agenda that most Americans vehemently opposed. In fact, the more Americans spoke out against government takeovers, government-run health care, wasteful spending, and debt, the more Democratic lawmakers seemed to dig in.”
And Democrats are now seeing the results of their stubborn push for a health care takeover that Americans opposed and which has so far resulted in higher health care costs, higher taxes, lost jobs, and cuts to Medicare. And in just the last couple of weeks, there has been a series of stories showing companies are likely to change or drop health care coverage because of the law, while insurers are telling consumers to brace for “whopping rate increases” thanks to the new mandates. This isn’t what Americans had in mind when they said they wanted health care reform. No wonder majorities in swing districts would like to see the Democrats’ law repealed.
Reckless Spending:The Washington Post reported yesterday, “The nation's economic future would be endangered if the government does not rein in budget deficits in the years ahead, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Monday, and Congress should consider new budgeting rules to try to make that happen. ‘One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point,’ Bernanke told an audience in Providence, R.I. ‘The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process . . . or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.’”
According to Reuters, “President Barack Obama on Monday said the United States was facing an ‘untenable fiscal situation’ and would have to get serious about tackling its federal deficit.” The President is right, but it’s been his White House and his party in Congress that have pushed for and enacted deficit spending at historically high levels. Indeed, the Reuters story notes, “The U.S. budget deficit is forecast at a record $1.47 trillion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2010.”
And it all started barely a month after Obama took the oath of office when he signed the $817 billion stimulus bill. Recall that Democrats sold it as emergency legislation that would hold unemployment around 8% and create 4 million jobs. Unfortunately, today, the unemployment rate is still 9.6% andover 3.3 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was signed in February 2009. And a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that “[o]ver two-thirds of Americans believe that President Obama's signature stimulus bill was a waste,” according to The Hill.
But the tide of red ink only rose from there. Just this spring, Democrats passed over $200 billion in new deficit spending on extensions of unemployment benefits and other legislation. Republicans repeatedly insisted that while unemployment benefits should be extended to help those out of work, Democrats must find a way to pay for it. In the end, though, Democrats chose to ignore these warnings and they rammed a bill through anyway, adding another $34 billion to the deficit in July.
The Wall Street Journal editorialized, “Democrats are simply spending much more, sending outlays as a share of GDP above 25% for the first time since World War II. The White House now says outlays will be higher in 2011, at 25.1% of GDP, than at the height of the stimulus in 2009 and 2010. This is an ironic tribute to the degree to which Democrats on Capitol Hill have been increasing spending willy-nilly below the media radar. The 111th Congress is the most spendthrift in a century outside of World Wars I and II.”
When President Obama was a senator from Illinois, he once said in a speech, “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”
What other conclusion can one come to given Democrats’ track record on spending and debt than that it has been “a failure of leadership,” as Obama once said? Even, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admitted in July, that Republicans underestimated "how committed Democrats are to spending money we don’t have. . . . They just don’t seem to appreciate the fact that by adding to the national debt, they’re increasing the long-term burden on everyone — the unemployed, the employed, and our children and grandchildren who will have to pay for it.” [Sam Adams MMIV is a pen name for an un-named beltway source.] Tags:Us Congress, Democrats, Senators, Representatives, Obamacare, reckless spending, United States of America, Republic, RepublicansTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama's Tax Piracy - Tax Hikes To Drive a Second Collapse?
Bill Smith, Editor: Today, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air commented on Peter Ferrara's new book: "President Obama Tax Piracy: Broadside No. 17." In the past, most people would have skipped a book with with economics and facts for a mindless but enjoyable novel providing momentary enjoyment. But TEA Party Patriots, listeners of Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and numerous other conservative talk show hosts, and the memberships of varied conservative organizations and groups have evidenced a growing concern with both the on going and the pending progressive elitists' socialist agenda for America. People are not only reading, they are looking for substance to educate themselves and others very quickly. The comments today by Morrissey interwoven with charts and words by Ferrara should wet your appetite for Ferrara's new book being released in paperback. It costs less than one of those "evil" large greasy burgers and fries. I know it's tough to choose; so, as an example I am ordering everything: the book, the burger and the fries. by Ed Morrissey, Hot Air: Congress left Washington without addressing the massive tax hikes that will come at the end of the year as the tax-rate reductions of 2001 and 2003 expire. Absent action on Capitol Hill, those increases will take $4 trillion out of the economy over the next ten years — and even if the lower tax bracket reductions get extended, $700 billion of capital will get redirected from the private sector to Washington. How will that impact economic growth in the US? Peter Ferrara argues that it will create not just a double-dip recession, but a second economic collapse — one worse than what we experienced in 2008.
In his new treatise published by Encounter for its Broadsides collection, Broadside No. 17: President Obama’s Tax Piracy, Ferrara notes that Barack Obama has chosen the opposite strategy in economic policy from both John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, especially the latter. Reagan cut taxes, especially on capital gains and dividends, and broke down regulatory hurdles. Obama wants not only to raise taxes on those who have the most capital, he wants to make it harder for them to use it as well, quoting a similar analysis by Arthur Laffer:
[W]hen the U.S. economy comes to 2011, the train’s going to come off the tracks. . . . The tax boundary that will occur on January 1 , 2011 tells me that GDP growth in 2010 will be some 6 percent to 8 percent higher than GDP growth in 2011 . A year on year decline from trend of some 6 percent to 8 percent in 2011 growth would represent a larger collapse than occurred in 2008 and early 2009 .
Ferrara includes this helpful and rather cheerless chart to emphasize what Laffer predicts as we hit the “tax boundary”:
On top of that, and in large part because of it, the government won’t see the revenues it expects, either:
President Obam’s budget projects that his tax increases on “the rich” (singles making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000) would raise $678 billion in increased revenue during the next 10 years. The ObamaCare legislation projected another $210 billion from the increased payroll taxes on those workers for a total of nearly $1 trillion. But these tax increases won’t raise anywhere near the revenue projected. Obama will be lucky if this tax piracy doesn’t result in less revenue. . . .
The projections of higher revenues from the other tax rate increases all fail to take into account the negative incentive effects discussed above and the counterproductive interactions from all those effects. Since we know from experience that those incentive effects are powerful and real, the result at a minimum will be less revenue than expected, if not less revenue overall.
This is the problem of static analysis on tax policy. It assumes that the changes in tax policy sets up no other incentives or changes any behavior. Of course it does, though, as do even threatened changes. Ferrara believes that the economy may actually look better than it is this year because capital holders are moving gains and income into 2010 to avoid higher taxes next year. After we hit the tax boundary, all the incentives go the other direction, and that means negative growth across the board.
President Obama’s Tax Piracy gives a worst-case scenario to be sure, but even a milder version of the predicted reaction would be ugly indeed. Ferrara backs up his argument with plenty of data and analysis for a 49-page treatise, the format of the impressive Broadside series. He reviews the results of policy changes in tax law and regulatory expansion and retraction over the past 50 years and draws clear policy implications from all. We have been down both roads before, and often enough to have a map to the destinations of each.
Ferrara’s book will be released in the next couple of weeks, but do yourself a favor and pre-order a copy The price makes it affordable to almost everyone, and also will be released in Kindle format, which I highly recommend. Tags:Barack Obama, tax, piracy, increased taxes, economic collapse, Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, Peter Ferrara, book, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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