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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 16, 2010
Americans See Federal Gov't Poses Immediate Threat to Rights & Freedoms
Gallup Poll - CNS News: The percentage of Americans who think the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens has increased significantly over the last seven years, rising from 30 percent to 46 percent, according to a Gallup poll. Only 51 percent of Americans now say they do not think the federal government poses “an immediate threat” to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Similarly, the percentage of Americans who think the federal government has too much power has also significantly increased, from 39 percent in 2002 to 59 percent today.
In its Sept. 13-16 polling, Gallup asked the 46 percent of respondents who said that they think the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of Americans in “what ways” they think the government is posing this threat. The top four answers were that the government has too many laws and is too big in general, that it is too involved in people’s private lives, that it is threatening freedom of speech, and that the health-care law signed by President Barack Obama is a threat. [Full Story] Tags:Gallup Poll, Federal Government, money, threats, trust, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Tad DeHaven: If you believe in a higher power, then I've got evidence for you that God has a sense of humor. Last week, the American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 200,000 workers, had to extend its elections for national officers because ... wait for it ... thousands of ballots got lost in the mail.
The irony is amusing, but what isn't funny is the financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service. The grand ole government mail monopoly has seen its revenues plummet from the combination of a weak economy and growing competition from cheaper, quicker electronic communication alternatives.
Although the USPS has been able to shave billions in expenses, it hasn't been enough to stop the bleeding. The USPS, which is close to maxing out its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury, faces the prospect of running out of operating cash by year's end.
A big drag on the USPS's bottom line is the pesky postal unions. Even though postal operations have become more automated, labor still accounts for 80 percent of the USPS's costs. The USPS has been able to eliminate thousands of positions through attrition, but it still possesses the second-largest civilian workforce in the country, behind only Wal-Mart. With 85 percent of that workforce protected by collective bargaining agreement, the unions have become a giant anchor on an already sinking ship.
In 2009, the average postal employee received about $79,000 in total compensation. This compares to $61,000 in wages and benefits received by the average private sector worker. Studies that have made "apples to apples" comparisons of postal workers to private sector workers have repeatedly found that postal workers receive a significant compensation premium.
The premium isn't surprising considering that postal employee benefits are even more generous than the benefits regular federal civilian workers receive. The USPS covers a higher proportion of employee premiums for health care and life insurance than other federal agencies. Postal workers participate in the federal workers' compensation program, which generally provides larger benefits than the private sector, and instead of retiring when eligible, postal workers can stay on the more generous workers' compensation rolls.
Another issue is that union contracts inhibit the flexibility required to efficiently manage the USPS workforce. For example, most postal workers are protected by "no-layoff" provisions, and the USPS must let go lower-cost part-time and temporary employees before it can lay off a full-time worker not covered by a no-layoff provision.
Collective bargaining agreements also make it difficult for the USPS to hire part-time workers, which could generate substantial savings. Hiring workers who can work less than 8-hour shifts would give managers needed flexibility to address seasonal and weekly fluctuations in workload.
The USPS inspector general recently pointed out that the USPS's utilization of part-time workers is below UPS, FedEx, and its international counterparts. While only 13 percent of the USPS's workforce is part-time, the figures for UPS and FedEx are a respective 53 and 40 percent. Germany's Deutsche Post, which is privatized, employs a workforce that is 40 percent part-time.
Unfortunately, the game is rigged in favor of the postal unions — to the point of absurdity. An arbitrator weighing a decision on a contract dispute between postal management and a union does not have to consider the financial position of the USPS when rendering a decision. Yes, you read that correctly.
American Postal Workers Union chief William Burrus doesn't think it's absurd. In fact, he recently called the idea that arbitrators should consider the USPS's financial position "antidemocratic." The APWU is currently in contract negotiations with the USPS. When asked about the possibility of union concessions in light of the USPS's financial woes, Burrus called a pay increase for his members an "entitlement" and stated that his union wants "more control over activities at work, more money, better benefits — we want more."
The sad reality is that having watched the unionized workforces at GM and Chrysler receive preferential treatment from the federal government, there's little incentive for Burrus and the postal unions to not ask for more. The postal unions are likely betting that in a worst case financial scenario for the USPS, policymakers will tap taxpayers for a bailout. Unfortunately, if recent history is a guide, they're probably correct. Tags:Postal Service, USPS, going broke, employee, health care, life insurance, benefits, APWU, postal unions, CATO InstituteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Chris Slavens, Guest Author: The president’s job description, found in Article II of the Constitution, is a simple one. He is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He may nominate judges and ambassadors, and make treaties, with the Senate’s approval. He may “give to Congress information of the state of the union,” and “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”—and that’s about it.
Compare this short list of duties to President Obama’s actual activities this month: flying from state to state on Air Force One, attempting to persuade a disillusioned base that Democrats’ policies have helped the country despite all evidence to the contrary, blaming his predecessor for everything from the recession to the weather, and urging voters to get behind Democratic candidates on November 2. For the remainder of October, he will spend few, if any, full days in Washington.
In short, he is desperately trying to hang on to his majority, and has forsaken his legitimate, constitutional duties for the thrill of the campaign trail. Perhaps Obama is only reliving the glory days of his 2008 campaign—which is understandable, considering the level of public animosity towards him a mere two years later—but Americans are not paying him $400,000 per year (plus benefits) to campaign for his buddies.
Obama’s presidency will resume on November 3. Until then, he is the Campaigner-in-Chief of the Democratic Party.
Not that he’s the first, as students of political science will be quick to point out. Clinton campaigned extensively for Democrats in the months leading up to the election of 1994, which, from their perspective, turned out to be a disaster, and other presidents have talked up fellow party members in anticipation of mid-term thrashings, but does the fact that a thing has been done before make it right? Whether it is legal or not, should a sitting president place the welfare of his party before that of the American people?
No. Obama is the President of the United States, not the President of the Democratic Party, and he is paid by the taxpayers to look out for their best interests, not those of career politicians struggling to hold onto their seats. If he is to spend the month of October on the campaign trail, perhaps he should forfeit one-twelfth of his salary, and hand the reins of power to Vice President Biden. Better yet, he should stop campaigning and start doing his job.
Besides, there is no evidence that his backyard talks or staged town hall meetings (which are sponsored by the Democratic National Committee and filled with friendly supporters) will have a positive effect on the mid-term election. Some analysts suspect he’s doing more harm than good, as was probably the case last year when Republicans won a round of special elections, despite Obama’s vocal support for their opponents. This fall, the president’s tour of the country has been marked by silent crowds and frustrated supporters who don’t know what to make of their savior’s failure to keep his campaign promises—and not all are naïve enough to buy into his “Republicans are blocking progress” defense.
If Republicans are as successful next month as they hope to be, and reclaim the House and—less likely—the Senate, Obama will have two years to waste as a “lame duck” president, a figurehead ignored by both Congress and the American people. He’ll have plenty of time in which to enjoy his new hobby, traveling the country and complaining about patriots, which seems to fit his personal version of the president’s job description.
-------------- Chris Slavens is a libertarian columnist. He lives in Sussex County, Delaware. He contributes to numerous conservative sites including NetRight Daily, ARRA News Service, Conservative Voices, and his own blog, Slavens Says. Tags:Chris Slavens, Barack Obama, 2010 election, Campaigner-in-Chief, President of the United States, U.S. Politics, Bill ClintonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Treasury Dept. Set To Confirm Dems' Record Deficits Over Last 2 Years
The AP reports today, “The Obama administration is set to report Friday that the federal budget deficit exceeded $1 trillion for the second straight year, providing critics of government spending with fresh ammunition ahead of the midterm congressional elections. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year that ended Sept. 30 will total $1.29 trillion. That's down by $125 billion from the $1.4 trillion in 2009 - the highest deficit on record. Soaring deficits have become a problem for Democrats in an election year focused on the weak economy.”
So where did these deficits come from? Certainly any accounting cannot begin without mentioning Democrats’$817 billion stimulus bill, of which not one dime was paid for and which didn’t live up to Democrats’ promises that unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8% and that it would create 3.5 to 4 million jobs.
In an editorial earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal explained where else Democrats spent this borrowed money. “Once again domestic accounts far and away led the increases. Medicaid rose by 8.7%, and unemployment benefits by an astonishing 34.3%—to $160 billion. The costs of jobless insurance have tripled in two years.” Recall that Republicans spent months earlier this year attempting to get Democrats to simply pay for extending unemployment benefits, yet Democrats repeatedly refused.
The WSJ editorial also pointed out, “CBO adds that if you take out the savings for deposit insurance, funding for all ‘other activities’ of government—education, transportation, foreign aid, housing, and so on—rose by 13% in 2010. . . . But all we have to show for spending nearly 25% of GDP for two years running is a growth rate of 1.7% and 9.6% unemployment. . . . The 21.4% federal spending increase in two years ought to put to rest any debate about the nature of America's fiscal problem. The Pelosi Congress has used the recession as an excuse to send spending to record heights, and its economic policies have contributed to a lousy recovery.”
Discussing the sea of red ink Democrats are drowning the country in, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today, “Americans are speaking out, and I share their deep concern about the size of government and the seemingly endless spending in Washington. After adding trillions more to the national debt, Democrats in Washington now want to take more money from the struggling Americans who need it most — and from the small-business owners across our country who create jobs. Saying no to more spending, more taxes and more debt is exactly what our constituents have been asking us to do. So we’ll keep doing it.”
These record deficits are the result of Democrats’ reckless spending. Yet Democrats are now looking to pay for it by raising taxes when Americans can least afford it, after refusing to cut other spending to pay for their spree. Americans are right to be fed up with Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility and don’t deserve to be hit with higher taxes in the middle of a recession because of it. Tags:Treasury Department, deficits, democrats, Washington, D.C., CBO, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Beyond the Headlines: The Truth About The US Jobs Crisis . . .
. . . The Headline: 9.6% ... The Real Deal: 17.1%
Bankrupting America: The jobs report released on Friday shows that unemployment persists at 9.6 percent. As high as this number is, it doesn’t tell the whole unemployment story. But we do: see our new infographic to uncover the truth about our jobs situation. In additional to the above video, you can download a one-page, more explanatory cheat sheet (with sources) that display the facts presented in the video. Tags:United States, job crisis, Bankrupting America, bureau of labor statistics, jobless recovery, jobs, jobs and economy, labor force, Public Notice, unemployment, economy, unemployment rateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obamacare Caused Premium Increases Hitting Families & Small Businesses
When Democrats were attempting to sell their unpopular health care takeover to the American people, one of their promises was that health care premiums would go down, as would costs. Announcing the agreement among Democrats on the bill that would eventually become the basis for the law, President Obama said, “We [Senate Democrats and the administration] agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Finance Committee, and one of the key architects of the bill said, “For all Americans -- all Americans -- premiums will be lower.” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) aimed that the bill “will reduce costs of people” and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) pledged, “Health care reform will … result in real economic gains to families.”
Like so many other promises about the health care law, it turns out that this one is also being broken. Premiums are going up because of the law, not down. A month ago, The Wall Street Journal warned, “Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats' efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections.” And this week, Americans are finding out about those increases all across the country.
In Seattle, KING5 News reports, “Ralph Nilssen's five beautiful kids are about to get more expensive. Regence Blue Shield sent him a letter saying rates are going up - way up. Regence put the blame - at least in part - on the new and controversial health care law. ‘Obama care went into effect and my rates went through the roof,’ said Nilssen. In the letter, Regence told Nilssen his $532 monthly premium could nearly triple next year. ‘I just sat back and said you've got to be kidding me,’ he said.”
In Buffalo, NY, the Buffalo News reports, “Two of the region's three dominant health insurers intend to raise premiums on average by double digits for next year, and the third wants a double-digit increase for plans not structured as health maintenance organizations. The premium for one insurance plan could rise almost 36 percent. The insurers cite rising costs of medical care and federal health care reforms.” Small businesses may be among those hardest hit. “Joe Milazzo, owner of Milazzo Renovations in Lancaster, already was paying $1,200 a month for individual coverage from Independent Health Association when he got a notice of an increase of roughly 15 percent. ‘It’s craziness,’ he said. ‘It’s getting to the point where health insurance payments are more than the mortgage payment.’”
And in Connecticut, The New Haven Register explained in an editorial recently, “The cost of the expansion of health care coverage approved by Congress is hitting home in Connecticut, according to the state Insurance Department and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Insurance Department has approved premium increases of more than 20 percent for some of Anthem’s individual coverage plans. . . . Anthem said the increases were necessary because of rising medical costs and the expanded benefits required by the new law pushed by President Barack Obama.” Tags:Obamacare, higher premiums, families, small business, democrats, repeal obamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Barack Obama, Politics, Government, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Ramirez, political cartoon, chamber of commerceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: President Obama recently sat down to share his heart with a New York Times reporter. Did he talk about the growing ranks of the unemployed? No. Was he crying for families losing their homes? Not really. He was, however, really passionate about – HIMSELF.
He whined about how tough his White House gig has been. He complained about the “mythology” of the 2008 campaign, saying, “The mythology has emerged somehow that we ran this flawless campaign, I never made a mistake, that we were master communicators… And somehow now, as president, things are messy and they don’t always work as planned and people are mad at us.”
Obama laments that his policies have framed him as “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat.” He confesses that the stimulus bill was oversold, admitting, “There’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” Wow! Now he tells us! Obama even seems to put some of the blame on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, admitting that he probably should have “let the Republicans insist” on adding more tax cuts to the stimulus bill.
Sorry, but I’m not shedding tears for Obama. Barack Hussein Obama was the most obscure, inexperienced and left-wing candidate for president in decades. To gloss over all of that, his campaign and the media presented Obama as America’s “savior.” This was a carefully crafted image that worked to his great benefit. He encouraged it with mass rallies of adoring fans, some of whom fainted in his presence.
Listening to Obama now, you’re left with the impression that even he knew that all the talk about hope and change – all the soaring rhetoric about “We are ones we have been waiting for” and “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” – was just hype to get himself elected. He has wrecked our economy, undermined our values, belittled his own country, put us on the edge of bankruptcy and made us less safe. And we are supposed to feel sorry for him? ------------- 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:Barack Obama, Whining, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Lincoln Claims to be “most independent voice in Washington” - LOL
Little Rock, Ark. - In today's U.S. Senate Debate, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) claimed repeatedly to be "an independent voice for Arkansas" and also made the remarkable claim that she is "the most independent voice in Washington," despite voting along with President Obama 95% of the time. Republican Party of Arkansas Senior Communications Advisor Alice Stewart has issued the following statement:
"Senator Lincoln’s claims of being an independent voice are completely disingenuous when she is a loyal rubber stamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Lincoln big-government agenda in Washington,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Senior Communications Advisor Alice Stewart. “Just because she says it, doesn’t make it so; because her rhetoric doesn’t match reality, the only thing independent about her voice is that it does not reflect the conservative values of Arkansans.”
In 2009, Lincoln Voted With President Obama 95% Of The Time.(ibid)
Lincoln Repeatedly Provided Obama The 60th Vote On Important Legislation Lincoln Voted For Cloture On Obamacare.(H.R. 3590, CQ Vote #395: Motion Agreed To 60-39: R 0-39; D 58-0; I 2-0, 12/23/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Was Obama’s 60th Vote On The Stimulus.(H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Was Obama’s 60th Vote THREE TIMES To Raise The Debt Ceiling. H.R. 4314, CQ Vote #397: Passed (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 60-39: R 1-38; D 57-1; I 2-0, 12/24/09, Lincoln Voted Yea; H.J. Res. 45, CQ Vote #14: Agreed To 60-39, 1/28/10, Lincoln Voted Yea; H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
The Stimulus Bill Lincoln Supported Hiked The Debt Ceiling To $12.14 Trillion.(H.R. 1, CQ Vote #64: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 60-38: R 3-38; D 55-0; I 2-0, 2/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
On Christmas Eve 2009, Lincoln Voted To Raise The Federal Debt Limit By $290 Billion. “Passage of the bill that would increase the federal debt limit by $290 billion to $12.4 trillion.” (H.R. 4314, CQ Vote #397: Passed (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 60-39: R 1-38; D 57-1; I 2-0, 12/24/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Just Over One Month Later, Lincoln Voted To Raise The Debt Ceiling By Nearly $2 Trillion. “Passage of the joint resolution that would increase the statutory debt limit by $1.9 trillion to $14.29 trillion. It also would establish a statutory requirement that new tax and mandatory spending legislation be budget neutral, enforced by automatic across-the-board spending cuts in non-exempt programs if the pay-as-you-go tally at the end of the year shows a deficit. It would require the Government Accountability Office to investigate areas with duplicative goals and activities within the government.” (H.J. Res. 45, CQ Vote #14: Agreed To 60-39, 1/28/10, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Helped Pass The Obama Budget And Omnibus Lincoln Voted For The Conference Report Vote To The $446.8 Billion FY2010 Omnibus Bill.(H.R. 3288, CQ Vote #374: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) by a vote of 57-35: R 3-32; D 52-3; I 2-0, 12/13/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
Lincoln Voted To Adopt The Conference Report On The $3.5 Trillion FY 2010 Budget Resolution. “Adoption of the conference report on the concurrent resolution that would allow up to $1.086 trillion in non-emergency discretionary spending for fiscal 2010, plus $130 billion in fiscal 2010 for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would assume $764 billion in tax cuts over five years, including an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 annually, a three-year adjustment to prevent additional taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax and a permanent extension of the 2009 estate tax levels. It includes reconciliation instructions to House and Senate committees to report a total of $2 billion in savings, presumably from health care and student loan programs, by Oct. 15. It would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for health care and climate change legislation.” (S. Con. Res. 13, CQ Vote #173: Adopted 53-43: R 0-40; D 51-3; I 2-0, 4/29/09, Lincoln Voted Yea)
“President Barack Obama Has Cut His First Ad In Support Of Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Re-Election Campaign, urging Arkansans to back the incumbent Senator for her work on two policy topics that have become focal points of her primary campaign.” (Sam Stein, “Obama Portrays Blanche Lincoln As A Populist Crusader In Radio Ad,” The Huffington Post, Posted 5/4/10)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “There Are Almost 100 Shovel-Ready Transportation Projects Already Approved In Colorado Which Are Beginning To Create Jobs.”(President Obama, Remarks, 8/15/09)
OBAMA: “When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door, but they've already lined up the projects and they can make them work.” (President Obama, Meet The Press, 12/07/08)
OBAMA: “…I Can Say That 14 Days After I Signed Our Recovery Act Into Law, We Are Seeing Shovels Hit The Ground.”(President Obama, Remarks At The Department Of Transportation, 3/3/09)
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “The Recovery Act, As We Call It, Provides A Necessary Jolt To Our Economy To Implement What We Refer As ‘Shovel-Ready’ Projects, meaning projects that were on the books that were needed in the municipalities and the states that would improve the quality of life for our constituents, the competitiveness of our businesses, but were unable to be funded.” (Vice President Biden, Remarks At Progressive Governance Conference, 3/28/09)
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): “Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects Are The Most Immediate Way To Create Jobs And Get The Economy Moving Quickly. The Recovery Plan Includes $48 Billion In Funding For Ready-To-Go Road, bridge, rail and other projects to immediately and directly create jobs.” (Sen. Levin, Congressional Record, S.2304, 2/13/09)
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): “Local People Are Saying To Us, Please, Senators, Do Something To Help Us Get Out There, Spend The Money On These Shovel -Ready Projects --the highways, the bridges, the transit systems, the sewer systems, the safe drinking water issues. Help us do it.” (Sen. Boxer, Congressional Record, S.1383, 2/3/09)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): “I Have Heard Colleague After Colleague Say: Well, What Job Is Going To Be Created Through This Spending? Well, Let Me Tell You Very Directly. If You Have A Shovel-Ready Project, We Can Put That Into Place Tomorrow. There Are Thousands Of Them Across The Country Ready To Go.”(Sen. Kerry, Congressional Record, S.1806, 2/6/09)
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “We Have Shovel-Ready Projects In Every Jurisdiction In My Home State Of Maryland.”(Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.1386, 2/3/09)
SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): “This Economic Recovery Bill … Funds Shovel-Ready Infrastructure.” “This economic recovery bill that we will consider this week begins to move us in the right direction. Now, there ought to be some tweaks and some iterations on it, and we are going to consider that in the amendatory process, but let's consider the thrust of it. It funds shovel -ready infrastructure--those projects that are ready to go--which are going to strengthen our Nation while creating jobs in the construction sector.” (Sen. Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1372, 2/3/09)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “We Need To Repair This Infrastructure, And The Beauty Of Doing It As Part Of This Package Is That It Puts People To Work Immediately On Projects That Are Shovel Ready.”(Sen. Feinstein, Congressional Record, S.1380, 2/3/09) Tags:Barack Obama, Joe Biden, spin control, shovel ready jobs, no jobsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Admits "There's No Such Thing As Shovel-Ready Projects"
In a lengthy New York Times Magazine piece about President Obama, Peter Baker reports a rather interesting observation from the President. “While proud of his record, Obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong — and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. . . . During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called ‘tactical lessons.’ . . . . He realized too late that ‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works.”
Consider that again. Twenty months after President Obama and Democrats in Congress pushed through their $817 billion stimulus bill, paid for entirely with borrowed money, on the premise that it would create jobs and put Americans back to work, the President is now admitting that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”
But during the debate over the stimulus, Democrats assured Americans that these projects were “the most immediate way to create jobs and get the economy moving quickly,” as Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) put it. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) boasted, “If you have a shovel-ready project, we can put that into place tomorrow. There are thousands of them across the country ready to go.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said, “We need to repair this infrastructure, and the beauty of doing it as part of this package is that it puts people to work immediately on projects that are shovel ready.” And just after the bill passed, President Obama bragged, “…I can say that 14 days after I signed our recovery act into law, we are seeing shovels hit the ground.”
Yet 20 months later Obama now apparently realizes “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” So are Democrats prepared to admit that their other promises about the stimulus haven’t been borne out? Many Americans remember White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein predicting that if the stimulus passed, unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. Around the time the bill was signed Vice President Joe Biden famously declared, “[T]his is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and . . . literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “This bill creates 3.5 million jobs.” And Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said, “[W]hen you spend money on infrastructure, you're not wasting money, you're investing money, and it has a return. And of course, we know, jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what we're all focused on.”
Like 8% unemployment and 3.5 million more jobs, “shovel-ready” is another promise that the legislation created by Democrats and the Obama administration has failed to live up to. But at least President Obama is admitting that this one wasn’t realistic in the first place. What about all the others? Tags:President Obama, Shovel Ready, jobs, unemployment, lost jobsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pro-Life Conservative Women Changing the Face of Politics
by Catherine Snow, CitizenLink: The 25-year span of political dominance by pro-abortion women and political recruiter EMILY’s List may soon come to a close, as a record number of pro-life women vie for office. Whether it was the liberals’ attempt to destroy former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during the 2008 election or the overreaching, abortion-driven agenda being forced on Americans by President Obama and the Democrat majority.
From U.S. House and Senate races to gubernatorial bids to state and local contests, two women in the Republican House leadership believe that 2010 will be a transformative year for conservative women in politics.
"GOOD REASONS TO VOTE" During an interview with National Review Online, U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state said:
"Women voters are fired up for this year’s election and will most definitely not be staying home on Nov. 2, and there are at least 146 good reasons for this.
"A record number of Republican women have sought federal office this year – 129 GOP women in House races and 17 in Senate races. In 1994, another record-breaking year, 91 Republican women ran for the House and 13 for the Senate. How can EMILY’s List say that the party is running women out when more and more women are running?
This is the year of the strong conservative woman, but because those women are overwhelmingly pro-life, EMILY's List clearly doesn't see them as good enough.
Rogers added that conservative women candidates are now a better reflection of the majority of American women:
"The type of women we are running – political outsiders who are moms, small-business women, women who up until recently never thought of running for office but were inspired to run because of the dangerous course (on which) President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are taking America — are threatening to the liberal special-interest groups who believe that to be a woman you must be a liberal and that conservative women candidates…must not only be defeated, but also branded as somehow anti-woman. This is absurd."
EMILY'S LIST-LESS ATTACKS - Liberal media pundits, along with pro-abortion politicians and activist groups, have denounced the veracity of what conservatives have coined as the "Year of the Conservative (Pro-Life) Woman."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president and chief executive officer of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) – the pro-life movement's answer to EMILY’s List – said the number of pro-life women in this election cycle is turning into a referendum on abortion politics.
"EMILY's List is running scared –and it shows," Dannenfelser said."Clearly, in this 'Year of the Pro-Life Woman,' which Sarah Palin helped make possible, women have found their political voices. Pro-life "Mama Grizzlies' represent the majority of women across the country."
NATURALLY CONSERVATIVE - Bruce Walker, in his June 11 article for The American Thinker, said the results from this year’s primary season show that voters are tiring of identity or special interest politics – especially the “perversion of representative limited government proposed by the left:”
"Women are, in many ways, more naturally conservative than men. Bad and dangerous schools, for example, are more likely to arouse direct action by mothers than by fathers. Pornography, juvenile promiscuity, and related social issues are at least as troubling to women as to men."
“The avalanche of abuse thrown at Sarah Palin shows how much leftists fear strong conservative women. But Palin, like Bachmann and Brewer, are unperturbed. These women, along with others who will win office in November, are changing the face of American politics.” Tags:conservative, women, pro-life, politicsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Why would your Congressman support raising your taxes? Heritage Action offers this inside look. [Heritage For America Video]
rel Tags:video, Obama, tax hikes, excuses, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
WSJ Addresses The Reid - Pelosi Congress Using The Recession As An Excuse To Expand Government Spending
In a must-read editorial today, The Wall Street Journal writes, “Perhaps you missed it, but then so did the Washington press corps. Late last week the Congressional Budget Office released its preliminary budget tallies for fiscal year 2010, and the news is that the U.S. government had another fabulous year — in spending your money. . . . Spending rolled in for the year that ended September 30 at $3.45 trillion, second only to 2009's $3.52 trillion in the record books. But don't think this means Washington was relatively less spendthrift. CBO reports that the modest overall spending decline results from three one-time events. The costs of TARP declined by $262 billion from 2009 as banks repaid their bailout cash, payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were $51 billion lower (though still a $40 billion net loser for the taxpayer), and deposit insurance payments fell by $55 billion year over year. ‘Excluding those three programs, spending rose by about 9 percent in 2010, somewhat faster than in recent years,’ CBO says.”
The WSJ editors continue, “What did Washington spend more money on? Well, despite two wars, defense spending rose by 4.7% to $667 billion, down from an annual average increase of 8% from 2005 to 2009. Once again domestic accounts far and away led the increases. Medicaid rose by 8.7%, and unemployment benefits by an astonishing 34.3%—to $160 billion. The costs of jobless insurance have tripled in two years. CBO adds that if you take out the savings for deposit insurance, funding for all ‘other activities’ of government—education, transportation, foreign aid, housing, and so on—rose by 13% in 2010.”
“As for the deficits,” the editorial goes on, “the 2010 total was $1.29 trillion, down slightly from $1.42 trillion. That's a two-year total of $2.7 trillion, or more than the entire amount during the Reagan Administration, when deficits were supposed to be ruinous. Now liberal economists tell us that deficits are the key to restoring prosperity. But all we have to show for spending nearly 25% of GDP for two years running is a growth rate of 1.7% and 9.6% unemployment. Those slow growth numbers have contributed to the deficits by yielding paltry tax revenues.”
Recall that it was a week ago that Reuters reported, “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.” But it’s been the policies of President Obama and the Democrat majorities in Congress that have gotten the country into this very fiscal situation. As the WSJ editors put it, “The 21.4% federal spending increase in two years ought to put to rest any debate about the nature of America's fiscal problem. The Pelosi Congress has used the recession as an excuse to send spending to record heights, and its economic policies have contributed to a lousy recovery.”
A new Bloomberg National Poll of likely voters today finds that after unemployment, “[t]he budget deficit, which was $1.291 trillion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 and $1.416 trillion for 2009, ranks as the second most pressing issue, cited by 27 percent.” Little wonder, then, that the poll’s marquee result is, “Hope has turned to doubt and disenchantment for almost half of President Barack Obama’s supporters. More than 4 of 10 likely voters who say they once considered themselves Obama backers now are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all . . . .”
Indeed, and as the WSJ editors conclude, “The solution is to stop the spending and change the policies.” To do so, requires America to vote the big spenders out of office. While we can't as yet removed the big spender in White house and his appointed big spending administration officials, we can do something about Congress. All of the positions for the House of Representatives are up for election and about one-third of the US Senate. November is Coming! Tags:Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, government spending, big spending, Congress, CBO, recessionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Death Before Truth: Political Correctness in America
Paul A. Ibbbetson
By Paul A. Ibbetson, GOPUSA: If you want to see the pervasive nature of political correctness in America today, the national public outcry following the Rigoberto Ruelas suicide in California is a salient example. Ruelas, a fifth grade teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles, is believed to have committed suicide after receiving poor ratings in a teacher-rating database that was posted in the Los Angeles Times. Specifically, Christina Hoag of the Associated Press reports that Rigoberto Ruelas was described by friends as being distraught over scoring "average" in his teaching effectiveness in English and scoring as "less effective" in the area of math. Ruelas had an overall score of "less effective." As Ruelas' body was found in the Big Tujunga Canyon area in the Angeles National Forest by law enforcement officials, the question, "who is to blame?" cascades across the nation.
The apparent suicide of Rigoberto Ruelas brings about the usual pain and anguish of such events. Having worked numerous suicide investigations as a criminal investigator, I understand there are many common elements that family and friends suffer through when individuals choose to take their own lives. One of the common themes is an attempt to rationally explain how such a tragedy could take place. With the attempt to find explanations for such traumatic events comes the common quest to assign blame. This is when the politically correct operatives step out of the woodwork to point the public toward those they wish to be held accountable. I feel true sadness and sympathy for the family, friends and students who grieve Ruelas' death. However, the attacks on the L.A. Times for reporting Ruelas' sub-par teacher ratings are not deserved justice, rather the implementation of political correctness. Within political correctness, value judgments of almost any kind become taboo, especially those that account for personal conduct. Ironically, it is politically incorrect to even talk about political correctness.
The Ruelas case brings the point home. Who is to blame for the death of Rigoberto Ruelas? If we take the example being modeled by the teachers union, it is not only the unfairness of the evaluation system that found Ruelas lacking as a teacher, but more so the audacity of the L.A. Times for reporting his deficiencies. Nowhere in the teachers union's politically correct assessment of this incident do we hear them talk about holding teachers accountable for their own actions. As is the case with political correctness, those who publicize a value judgment are treated as the offenders while the problem itself is allowed to grow and build. Following political correctness, no problem is too big to ignore. The Ruelas case reflects this. As reported in the Associated Press, it was not just Ruelas who had teaching issues at Miramonte that the L.A. Times made public. The Miramonte Elementary School itself ranked as "least effective" in raising test scores, and only five out of 35 third to fifth grade teachers at the school were ranked as high as "average." The problem was widespread but would have remained hidden from the view of parents and the public without publication. So, is the L.A. Times the culprit in this story, or is it some really bad teaching? You won't hear any apologies from the teachers union United Teachers Los Angeles for Miramonte's poor teacher performance. Instead, they are demanding that the L.A. Times stop posting teacher evaluations. Without the now-controversial publication, educators such as Ruelas would still have been evaluated on the criteria of respect and likability. Is this the yardstick of evaluation that is in the best interest of the students of Miramonte? It certainly would have been more politically correct.
Taking political correctness to the next level, the teachers union has called for a boycott of the L.A. Times. The idea that teachers should have their own report cards and accountability made public will now be put to the test. The unfortunate reality in this case is that the students of this school have lost a teacher, and their pain is justified. Family and friends are without someone they care about and their mourning is difficult to bear witness to. However, in the case of suicide, the responsibility falls with the individual, as this is a personal act, and a very selfish one at that.
If this teacher truly killed himself in reaction to a poor teacher evaluation made public, a politically incorrect truth needs to be accepted. It was not a poor evaluation or the L.A. Times' decision to publish it along with other educators' results that ended the teacher's life. It was Ruelas' personal decision to leave this world instead of addressing it that is causing the pain felt by family and friends today. It was his decision to run from a poor performance evaluation instead of improving himself or challenging the criteria by which he was evaluated. In the end, it was a very selfish decision of this teacher to abandon those that held him in such high regard for the false belief in escape. This is an important lesson that the teachers union could be addressing, instead they are obscuring true issues of accountability by evoking political correctness.
------------- Paul A. Ibbetson is a published author and lecturer on the Patriot Act. He is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Kansas State University. He authored "Living Under The Patriot Act: Educating A Society" and "Feeding Lions: Sharing The Conservative Philosophy In A Politically Hostile World." Paul is the radio host of Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 FM. Tags:political correctness, suicide, teacher, teachers unions, GOPUSA, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Go See "I Want Your Money" in Theaters On October 15
Bill Smith, Editor: A Movie You CAN'T Afford to Miss. This Friday October 15, I WANT YOUR MONEY – the highly anticipated, hilarious Obama exposé that everyone is talking about - will open in movie theaters nationwide.
If you’re tired of Obama’s big-government-tax-and-spend policies, YOU WILL LOVE THIS MOVIE! I WANT YOUR MONEY is a controversial new film about the competing economic visions championed by Presidents Reagan and Obama – a duel of speeches, wit, animation and narrative that leaves audiences laughing, cheering, yelling . . . and engages them in the national conversation about the mounting national debt, and why it matters. After all, IT’S YOUR MONEY THEY ARE SPENDING.
I screened this movie and then participated in two advanced showings of the film to two very different audiences. One in Washington, D.C and one in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. The movie resonated with both audiences and it will resonate with a majority of people except for liberal elites. Although a documentary, the movie is interspersed with animated cartoons which allows the viewer time to absorb the material and to have a laugh while points are illustrated. Without these cartoons the movie would indeed be shorter, peoples blood pressure would be elevated, and their minds would have been overtaxed with the reality of the present situation.
There is also hope in this movie as the truth is shared about socialism which is destructive to individual freedoms and the well being of people. The words of Ronald Reagan share how capitalism, individual freedom and choice raises the economic well being of all people at all income levels. Audiences will find finds themselves cheering at the end movie when the "Gipper" takes on Barack Obama.
Take your family and friends to this movie. While the November elections are upon us, this movie will help prepare people for conversations with their elected officials after the elections. It is time to hold them accountable at all levels be it Federal, State, County or City. Remember, it is "your money," your family and friends' money and the money of future generations that the government is taking and wasting.
I Want Your Money includes insightful interviews with Newt Gingrich, Steve Forbes, Ed Meese, Mike Huckabee, John Stossel, Michael Reagan, Congressmen Tom McClintock, Thad McCotter and former California governor Pete Wilson, among many others, EXPLAINING CLEARLY WHY OBAMA’S PLAN HAS FAILED, AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO RECOVER.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
- "Don't procrastinate, go to this movie and share what you learn with others!" - Bill Smith, ARRA News Service
- “A must see for Americans!” - Stephen Moore Wall St. Journal
- "Hilarious, highly informative and inspiring!" - MovieGuide
- “A great film; entertaining and very clever!” - Former Attorney General Ed Meese
- “This is not your usual (boring) political documentary. It’s engaging and funny, even as it conveys a serious message about economics and politics.” - Hans A. von Spakovsky, National Review
- “This film will make all American taxpayers laugh, think and, I hope, act to save our jobs, our economy and our future.” - Grover G. Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
- “A Tea Party party!” - Kara Swisher, Wall Street Journal
- “Barack Obama meets Ronald Reagan, in the Oval Office!” - - Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner
- "Ray Griggs' documentary I Want Your Money has achieved the impossible: making the federal government's insatiable appetite for the fruits of your labor both enlightening and entertaining." - U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, Republican House Policy Committee Chairman
- “Why don’t politicians think like us when it comes to money? Watch I Want Your Money to find out -- and do it before the next election.” - Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women For America
- "I Want Your Money exposes the venality of the Obama economic plan, but does so in a playful, lighthearted way. The result is that its humor is as devastating as its factual revelations." - Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring
- “A sobering yet humorous look at the damage we are doing to our country by shirking our moral responsibility on fiscal discipline. - Tony Perkins, FRC Action President
- “Where's the lefty documentarian Michael Moore? A young conservative Moore wannabe is out with new movie, I WANT YOUR MONEY-pretty good, too!” - Michael Medved, radio talk show host
- "I WANT YOUR MONEY is brilliant, entertaining and very funny. Responsible citizens of voting age should view I WANT YOUR MONEY as required viewing. - Pete Wilson, former Governor of California, US Senator
- “Visually inspiring, spiritually uplifting, bravely accurate and at times hysterically funny.“ - Kerri Houston Toloczko, Institute for Liberty
- “A concise, viewable history of how America got into its economic mess and what policies will free our country's citizens to prosper once again.” - David A Keene, President, American Conservative Union
- “Educational yet fresh and entertaining.“ - Darla Dawald, National Director of ResistNet.com
Conservative friend and advocate for the movie Victor Vanden Oever provided promotional comments incorporated in this article. Tags:movie, I Want Your Money, released, theaters, your moneyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congressman Price said Fourth Congressional District Arkansans need to elect Rankin because she is a better choice than Democrat Mike Ross. He called Ross an an enabler of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her far left political agenda.
“We have tried the tax, borrow, and spend agenda of Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats, and American families are now living with the massive debt, uncertainty, and economic ruin it has created,” Price said. “Beth Anne Rankin believes we can do better and that our children and grandchildren deserve leadership in Washington that will not mortgage their future. I look forward to working with Beth Anne as we take our nation in a positive, pro-growth direction.”
Rankin said Price understands that the Fourth Congressional district race is not only important to Arkansas, but the entire nation. "I am honored to have the endorsement of Congressman Tom Price. With the shocking vote of Congressman Mike Ross on September 29th to stand with Pelosi and defy the efforts of both Democrats and Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts highlights just how critical this race is,” Rankin said. “Not only did the Fourth District need their congressman to stand up and fight right now for the extension of the tax cuts, but all of America needed Mike Ross to stand up and do the right thing. Appallingly, he did not. At a 210-209 vote, he and Pelosi were the deciding votes to adjourn without action on the desperately-needed tax cuts. We need to send a true conservative to Congress, and that is not Congressman Mike Ross."
Price is the author of a Republican alternative health care reform bill that Pelosi used her power as Speaker to prevent from being considered. The Empowering Patients First Act of 2009, or H.R. 3400, would bring about positive changes to provide access for all Americans to affordable, quality health care. Since he was elected to Congress in 2004, Price's priorities in Congress have been reforming the tax system, strengthening health care and education, keeping American families safe, ensuring enforcement of immigration laws and promoting a 21st century energy plan.
Rankin is a small business owner and seventh-generation south Arkansan who spent seven years working as Policy Advisor for State-Federal Affairs in the Governor's Office for Gov. Mike Huckabee. As Policy Advisor Rankin served as the liaison to the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors Association, Capitol Hill and the White House. Rankin coordinated the Governor's Summit on Economic Development. She also served as a Board Member on the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Raised on the Rankin Farm in Magnolia, she was an honor graduate of Magnolia High School, attended Southern Arkansas University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ouachita Baptist University with a double major in history and music. She is a Nationally-Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) owns Beth Anne Productions, a music teaching studio. Tags:Arkansas, Beth Ann Rankin, Tom price, endorsement, AR-04, Fourth Congressional District, US Congress, Mike RossTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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