Friday, February 04, 2011
Unemployment Numbers Don't Add up to a Growing Economy
"It simply is not credible that the unemployment rate could drop by .4% with only 36,000 jobs created. This supposed drop is at least partially a result of the Obama Administration changing the methodology for determining who was in the workforce. This change in methodology coupled with a massive drop in the top line unemployment rate leaves the data open to the perception that they may have been politically manipulated.
"However, taking the numbers at face value, the Obama Administration cannot avoid the harsh reality that their economic policies have resulted in almost one million people leaving the workforce in the past two months alone. The January reported decline of 504,000 is a startling indictment of the failure of the past two years, as Americans have voted with their feet to leave the workforce.
"The bottom line is that our nation needs to create more than 100,000 jobs a month for sustained economic growth, and this report reveals that the main driver of the unemployment rate decline is that Americans are giving up on the American dream of getting a job and making a better life for their families.
"In the past year, more than two million Americans have left the labor force with the labor participation rate dropping from 64.8% to 64.2%. The labor participation rate when Obama took office in January 2009 stood at 65.5% when Obama took office in January 2009.
"This is a devastating indictment of the Obama economic policy, and if not reversed will have severe implications for our nation's economic future."
Tags: unemployment, jobs, U.S., economy, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Dems Ignore Nov. Message, Rally Lobbyists To Defend Their Massive Spending Against GOP Cuts
Yesterday, the Senate voted 55-42 to kill an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have restricted funding for projects subject to the Davis-Bacon Act. The Senate also voted 96-1 to make it a federal offense to point laser pointers at aircraft. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants to the FAA Reauthorization bill, S. 223, the week of Feb. 14th.
Over the course of this week, Democrats in have made it quite clear that they still have not heard the message Americans sent Washington in November to reduce spending, debt, and the size of government. In contrast to Republicans, who have been working to find ways to reduce spending, lower the deficit, and repeal the bloated, unpopular health care takeover, Democrats have instead looked for every way to dig in to protect the massive spending increases they instituted over the last two years.
ABC News reports today, “As Congress prepares to make deep spending cuts, an army of lobbyists is gearing up to fight back. In an e-mail obtained by ABC News, a top staffer for the key Senate Appropriations subcommittee called for a meeting of lobbyists and interest groups that would be affected by expected cuts to the Labor and Heath and Human Services budget. The Jan. 24 meeting was attended by approximately 400 people, sources told ABC, and served as a ‘call to arms’ for those determined to fight Republican budget cuts.
“‘One thing everyone should be able to agree on now is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that a higher [Labor, Health & Human Services] allocation improves the chances for every stakeholder group to receive more funding,’ the committee staffer for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote in an e-mail inviting people to the meeting. The meeting is in contrast to the rampant calls all over Capitol Hill to cut federal spending.”
According to ABC, “Another source familiar with the meeting said Democrats used the meeting as ‘an attack on House Republicans.’ ‘They said these evil House Republicans are here and they're going to kill all these programs that support little kids, senior citizens, and health care,’ the source said. ‘They're trying to instill the fear of God that Republicans are basically going to blow up all these programs, kill these programs, defund them.’”
In other words, before Republicans even presented any proposal to cut spending, Democrats have already called on their lobbyist friends to coordinate protecting their piece of the special interest spending pie.
Democrats have also launched a messaging war against spending cuts. According to a Politico report yesterday, “The plan, conceived in meetings between top White House officials and key senators, is already on display with Senate Democrats playing the role of attack dog, going after House Republicans for what they call draconian policies that would kill jobs, add to the budget deficit, lead to privatization of Social Security and Medicare and shut down the government.” And The New York Times added, “Through statements, news conferences and summoning expert testimony, Democrats are raising red flags about the threat to the economic recovery posed by the possibility of even a temporary interruption in government services or a federal default.”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) didn’t have a lot of patience for Democrats’ posturing and told the NYT, “If they spent as much time on the policy of getting together and solving the problems as they do on the politics, I think we would all be much better off.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show today to discuss the Democrats’ attempts to rally lobbyists to fend off Republican spending cuts. McConnell told her, “Sure, there are interest groups all across America who are represented here in this town, which they have a constitutional right to do, of course, who are here to defend this outrageous level of spending and that’s what we’re up against here. But I would remind everybody, you’ve got a lot more listeners than the democrats have lobbyists, and the American people are expecting us to do this. We are going to give it our best shot.”
But, Leader McConnell emphasized, “The American people here are lobbying for us to reduce spending and the various interest groups who are vested in this high spending level that we’ve engaged in the last couple of years are certainly going to be heard from. They’ll make their best arguments. And I think the important thing is for us to resist all of these special interest groups who don’t want us to reduce spending.”
Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Dems, Lobbyists, Massive Spending, GOP Cuts To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Congress Has Time and Options on Debt Limit
If Congress chooses not to raise the debt ceiling, then it could act swiftly to indicate that net interest is the highest priority to allay any remaining concerns about the possibility of defaulting on the debt. Congress could also declare exactly where spending should be cut to align total spending with receipts, not leaving this to a President acting without statutory guidance. If Congress inclines toward raising the debt limit, then it should also impose immediate, substantial spending reductions along with strong new rules such as hard spending caps to require continued, sharp spending reduction in future years. The outcome should reflect a clear, quick path to a sound fiscal policy. The responsibility for driving down spending and borrowing rests—under our Constitution—squarely with the Congress and the President of the United States. [Read Full Report]
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J. D. Foster, Ph.D., is Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Tags: Congress, debt limit, options, The Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 3, 2011: Sen. Dems Vote To Retain Obamacare; Reps Say The Fight Is Not Over
Votes on amendments to the FAA bill are possible later today. Yesterday, 51 Senate Democrats voted to preserve President Obama’s deeply flawed, unpopular health care law. All 47 Republicans voted to repeal it.
However, Democrats finally embraced repeal of a piece of the law that was going to bury small businesses in paperwork, the 1099 reporting requirement. After a year of voting against repealing that requirement, Democrats took Sen. Mike Johanns’ (R-NE) proposal and used it for their own amendment, which passed 81-17. Johanns did such an outstanding job raising awareness about the 1099 requirement that Democrats took the idea and are now claiming it as their own.
However, prior to that vote, an amendment from Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) to do the same thing while raising taxes on oil and gas companies at a time of rising gasoline prices was rejected by a vote of 44-54.
Yesterday, Senate Republicans made good on their promise to force a vote on repealing President Obama’s massive, unpopular health care spending law. Unfortunately, every Senate Democrat present for the vote, 51 in total, voted against repeal. All 47 Republicans voted to scrap the 2,700-page monstrosity and start over.
Following the vote, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released a video, saying, “The Senate Republicans promised the American people we would vote to repeal Obamacare, and we have done that. But this fight isn’t over. We intend to continue the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare with sensible reforms that would lower the cost of American health care, like medical malpractice, like selling insurance across state lines.”
Politico explains today, “Just holding the vote is a political victory for Republicans: McConnell managed to force the roll call on the floor of the Democratic-controlled Senate. And some moderate Democrats are now on the record with a vote in favor of Obama’s signature legislative achievement — something that GOP campaigns are sure to exploit over the next two years. The country is relatively split in its support for the law, particularly in states where moderate Democrats will face reelection in 2012. Republicans hope that support for the law will further erode, forcing Democrats to reconsider their support for health reform.”
Politico also points out, “Senate Republicans pledge that their first crack at repealing the health care overhaul won’t be their last. ‘Yes, we were unsuccessful, but we know where everyone stands,’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). ‘It’s not too late to start over. We should repeal this bill and start over. We may not do it today, and we may not do it tomorrow, but we will defeat this bill,’ he said. . . . McConnell has promised to force numerous votes against the health care reform law. ‘We think this is just the beginning,’ he told reporters after the failed vote. ‘This issue is still before us, and we are going to go at it in a variety of ways.’”
The Washington Post adds, "'here’s a narrative I’ve seen and read out there that this was somehow a futile act because Republicans didn't have the votes to repeal Obamacare. But I have to tell you, these are the first steps in a long road that will culminate in 2012 whereby we will expose the flaws and the weaknesses in this legislation,’ Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.) said at a news conference held by GOP leaders after Wednesday’s vote. Republicans in Congress will seek to deny the Obama administration the money it needs to implement parts of the law. They could try to strip out specific provisions, such as some of the cuts to Medicare. They might win a few of these skirmishes. But even if they lose, Republicans could use the assault as a campaign issue in 2012.”
And according to Politico, “Republicans have a bill pending that allows states to ‘opt out’ of the individual requirement to buy insurance, the requirement for large employers to provide coverage and the state expansion of the Medicaid program. They’re also eyeing a repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will control the growth of Medicare, and the individual mandate. The expiring continuing resolution to fund the government could give Republicans a new opportunity to attack the law. McConnell said they might try to ‘delete the funding for bureaucrats to ramp up Obamacare.’”
An email from Speaker Bohner's office this morning signaled the House, Republican leaders are willing to "slash domestic agency spending by almost 20 percent in their drive to bring it back to levels in place before President Barack Obama took office."
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, House Budget Chair says this is "the first salvo in a battle with Obama as they seek to keep a campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic programs." The GOP promise was to reduce spending for domestic agencies whose budgets are set by Congress each year back to levels in place under the last budget approved by former President George W. Bush. The AP responded this morning stating: "The hard-charging GOP freshman class may have some second thoughts when confronted with big cuts . . ."
Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Obamacare, government healthcare, repeal the bill, budgets, 1099 Reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Black History Month
Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor Votes No To Repeal ObamaCare
Four hours prior to the vote, Senator Pryor responded as follows via email to my request for him to vote to repeal the bill. Note that his email response even promoted a non-government website:
February 2, 2011After the final vote, Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement on the Health Spending Bill and the Senate GOP effort to repeal it: “The Senate Republicans promised the American people we would vote to repeal Obamacare, and we have done that. But this fight isn’t over. We intend to continue the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare with sensible reforms that would lower the cost of American health care, like medical malpractice, like selling insurance across state lines. This fight isn’t over, so I hope you’ll stay in the fight with us.”
Tags: Arkansas, Senator, Mark Pryor, votes NO, U.S. Senate, repeal of healthcare, email, Bill Smith, Mitch McConnell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Not True: Dems: ‘If You Like Your Plan, You'll Be Able To Keep It’
Dems: ‘If You Like Your Plan, You'll Be Able To Keep It’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “If You Like Your Current Plan, You Will Be Able To Keep It. Let Me Repeat That: If You Like Your Plan, You'll Be Able To Keep It.” (President Obama, Remarks At The White House, Washington, D.C., 7/21/09)
“Aetna was the sixth largest insurer of individual health-care customers in Colorado, reporting 22,400 of them at the end of 2009, which is the most recent statistic available from the Colorado Division of Insurance. That represented 4.29 percent of the individual health care market in the state.” (“Aetna Retrenches In Colorado,” Denver Business Journal, 1/31/11)
“Aetna Was Part Of A Large Group Of Insurers That Left The Child-Only Individual Insurance Market Last September When The Affordable Care Act Banned Insurers From Denying Policies To Kids With Costly Existing Conditions.” (“Aetna Retrenches In Colorado,” Denver Business Journal, 1/31/11)
“Then, Later In The Year, Aetna Announced That It Also Was Leaving The Small-Group Market. A Provision In The Affordable Care Act Requires That At Least 85 Percent Of Insurance Premiums In The Small- And Large-Group Markets Must Go To Health Care Costs.” (“Aetna Retrenches In Colorado,” Denver Business Journal, 1/31/11)
“One Of The Largest Insurance Markets In The Country, Texas, Has Seen All Their Carriers Drop Child-Only Health Insurance, As Have Other Large States Including Florida And Illinois.” (“Child-Only Health Plans Endangered,” Politico, 1/27/11)
“Other States That No Longer Have Carriers Selling Child-Only Plans Include Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia And Wyoming, according to the investigation by GOP staff on the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions Committee.” (“Child-Only Health Plans Endangered,” Politico, 1/27/11)
“At The Principal Financial Group, The Company’s Decision Reflected Its Assessment Of Its Ability To Compete In The Environment Created By The New Law. 'Now scale really matters,’ said Daniel J. Houston, a senior executive at Principal, which is headquartered in Des Moines. ‘We don’t have a significant concentration in any one market.’” (“Insurer Cuts Health Plans As New Law Takes Hold,” The New York Times, 10/1/10)
Lynn Bowman, Vice President Of Customer Service At Harvard Pilgrim’s Office In Quincy: “We Know That Cuts In Medicare Are Being Used To Fund National Health Care Reform." (“Harvard Pilgrim Cancels Medicare Advantage Plan,” The Boston Globe, 9/28/10)
Tags: federal healthcare, democrats, keeping your plans, false claims To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 2, 2011: Vote This Afternoon In US Senate To Repeal Obamacare
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) gave his first speech on the Senate floor. Following that speech, the Senate resumed consideration of S. 223, the FAA Reauthorization bill.
Votes are scheduled later today on amendments offered to the bill by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The McConnell amendment is identical to the text of the House-passed bill (H.R. 2) to repeal the Democrats’ health care law.
The Stabenow amendment is almost exactly the amendment that Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) has been championing for over a year, to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirements on businesses imposed by the health care law.
In fact, Leader McConnell observed today, “It turns out Senator Johanns did such an outstanding job raising awareness about the 1099 requirement that Democrats took the idea and are now claiming it as their own.”
The Hill reports today, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will force an up-or-down vote on the repeal of healthcare reform on Wednesday, testing the unity of Democrats who had promised the rollback would never see the light of day in their chamber. The vote in the Senate will come two weeks to the day after the House voted, largely along party lines, to repeal the healthcare law.”
Politico notes, “Senate Republicans promise that the first vote to repeal the health care reform law, which is likely to happen Wednesday but is expected to fail, won’t be the last strike at President Barack Obama’s signature legislation. . . . The vote represents the first chance to force moderate Democrats to make a tough vote to stand by the health care reform law, which has not become more popular since it passed in March. Through this vote and others, Republicans are hoping to build public momentum for repealing the law.”
And Human Events points out, “Both before and after the House passed ObamaCare repeal, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) said that he would never allow a vote on repeal in the Senate. Despite Reid's opposition and mainstream media reports, McConnell said that he would force a vote on the House-passed repeal. McConnell said on Jan. 19: ‘The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to vote on this bill. But I assure you, we will.’ Reid conceded yesterday that the repeal vote was inevitable.”
Speaking on the floor this morning, Leader McConnell emphasized, “The case against this bill is more compelling every day. Everything we learn tells us it was a bad idea. That it should be repealed and replaced.”
Indeed, every day there are more stories about how the Democrats’ unpopular health care law hurts job creators. Scott Womack, the president of Womack Restaurants in Terre Haute, Indiana, told the House Ways and Means Committee last week, “Restaurants are unable to raise prices in this economy. We don’t have a way to replace the lost income. Our only alternative is to cut costs. Cutting costs means cutting staff, means reducing hours. It means pushing people into part time status. … To that end, we are asking the Congress to repeal its health care law.” And Mike Sudweeks, who has a MAACO auto shop in Glendale, Arizona, told the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) last month, “We are going to have to drop employees.” And Darcey Gunn, of 5 Star Roofing in Loveland, Colorado lamented, “I have been struggling to keep my doors open the last few years. I have never laid off any employees. The last thing I need is more expenses. This is the wrong time to hurt small business owners. I will have to pull the plug.”
Meanwhile, the health law continues to have other negative consequences on ordinary Americans. According to the Denver Business Journal, “A spokeswoman for Aetna confirmed Monday that the insurer will no longer sell new individual-market health insurance policies in Colorado and will terminate current policies held by state residents no later than July 31, 2012.
The change represents Aetna’s third major recent pull-back on health-insurance offerings in Colorado. The Hartford, Conn.-based company announced in the second half of 2010 that it will also stop selling new small-group and child-only individual-market policies.” The Business Journal points out, “Insurers have complained that federal health care reform has made offering their product more expensive. . . . Aetna was the sixth largest insurer of individual health-care customers in Colorado, reporting 22,400 of them at the end of 2009, which is the most recent statistic available from the Colorado Division of Insurance. That represented 4.29 percent of the individual health care market in the state.”
Leader McConnell said this morning, “Later today, as I noted yesterday, the Senate will have a rare opportunity. For those who’ve supported the health spending bill in the past, it’s an opportunity to revisit your first vote. To listen to those who have desperately been trying to get your attention. To say, yes, maybe my vote for this bill was a mistake, and that we can do better. To listen to the small business owners who’ve been contacting our offices every day and telling us all the ways this bill keeps them from creating the jobs we need. To show that you’ve actually noticed that most Americans don’t want this bill. To show that you’re aware more people want it repealed than don’t. To show that you’ve noticed the town halls in your states. To show that you’ve noticed the opposition to this bill continues to grow. To show that you’ve noticed the federal court rulings that said this bill is unconstitutional at its core. It’s not every day that you can get a second chance on a big decision after you know all the facts. This is that second chance.” Hopefully, Democrats will take advantage of their opportunity and vote with Republicans to take the first step to repeal and replace this seriously flawed, unpopular law.
Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Obamacare, government healthcare, repeal the bill, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Bureaucrat Appear To See No Way to Cut Taxes or Expenses
Bill Smith, Editor: Today, Andrew DeMillo reported:
A lower-than-expected amount of tax refunds and a boost in individual income tax collections helped keep Arkansas' revenues above last year's figures and expectations, the state finance office said Wednesday.A follow-up to DFA confirmed that DFA Director Richard Weiss told the media:
I think it shows that we're still growing. This whole recovery for us and everyone in the nation has been rocky. There's not been a smooth increase or a surge upward, but I think we're still on a good trajectory, if you will, of getting out of the recession and getting the economy back on track.Director Weiss, a typical bureaucrat, doesn't see any room for future tax cuts because he obviously can't imagine government cutting the size of government. Fortunately, the republicans do! Weiss of course is supporting Gov. Mike Beebe proposed roll back of another half-cent cut in the grocery tax which supposedly according to the bureaucrats would cost about $15 million in general revenue. It continues to amaze most of "We the People" that government has the audacity to identify as a "cost" both their spending and reductions in taxation. This is perverted application of modern government accounting that was not an accepted government accounting practice before the 1971 when I completed a business degree with 29 credit hours of accounting.
Republican legislators are seeking to roll back spending increases in Beebe's proposed $4.6 billion budget for the coming year, including $23 million for a cost-of-living increase for state workers, to pay for other proposed tax cuts including reductions in the used car and capital gains taxes.
Data provided by Arkansas DFA:
There are also numerous other "tradition and practices" in Arkansas that need to cease. These "traditions and practices" reach into almost all branches of Arkansas government, agencies, and government. Fleecing of money from people needs to be stopped even if it appears inconsequential. Spending other people's money (OPM) is always consequential.
As promised before, there will be no free passes for "traditions and practices" costing Arkansas taxpayers. Numbers don't lie, but unfortunately liars, bureaucrats and politicians use numbers to support lies and their deceptions.
It is time for Arkansans, "We The People", to demand that Gov. Mike Beebe as the "head of government" provide ways to cut (not increase) government expenses by 20% in the two years. We should expect for him to locate and eliminate all gravy "tradition and practice" items / issues but he must find meaningful cuts in spending expenses NOT increase in revenue. And, we must demand that all the other Constitutional Officers and independent agencies cooperate in reducing "spending" cost. And if we have revenue surpluses, "cut taxes" or returned the surplus to the citizens and corporations that paid those taxes.
If these elected officials will not cooperate, they have failed in their duties. The legislature should aid then by unilaterally cutting their budgets. And for those Democrats, or even Republicans, in the legislature do not cooperate, expect defeat or in 21 months in the next election.
Tags: Arkansas, government spending, taxes, DFA, plantation politics, traditions, practices, waste, taxpayers money, Department of Finance and Administration, commissions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Buried Inside - Egypt
With the people of Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt) calling out for the removal of their present government leadership, they face an age old issue - what will be the outcome to their desire. Egypt history is long and eventful. It has had kings, queens, dictators, presidents and rule by foreign countries. And according to Christain history, it was the temporary home of the King of Kings.
Egypt's current Constitution is less than thirty years old. Few Egyptians under the age of 40 recall life before the present constitution. Let's pray for the peaceful change in government leadership. The military to date has shown restraint by displaying their power but not forcefully dispersing the crowds. Unfortunately, citizens have been denied communications via the Internet by the government.
The following cartoon by William Warren reflects two potential outcomes. However, the outcomes are not as far apart as imagined. History shows that many pursuits of a democracy yielded repressive forms of government. The citizens of Egypt presently have a Republic and they have expressed their desire for the replacement of their leaders who have "stayed too long" and abused their positions. Let's hope they will not allow anarchists to destroy their message and that they will seek leadership at the ballot box.
P.S., President Obama needs to stop commenting on what the people or the government leaders of of Egypt should do or should not do. He is not the ruler of the world! However, Obama should focus need to protect Americans and U.S. interests flowing through the Suez canal. Mr. President focus on your responsibilities and do not be distracted with the internal situation in Egypt. Egypt has been around far longer than the memory of the United States. They do not need your opinions.
by William Warren :
Tags: Egypt, Mubarak, Political Cartoons, William Warren, democracy, theocrat, tyrant, republic, government, Barack Obama, United States, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Affirming the Sovereignty of Arkansas and the United States: SB 97
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: On Wednesday of this week, eight Arkansas state senators will have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their fidelity to their oath of office by affirming the supremacies of the Arkansas and U. S. Constitutions.
Arkansas Senate Bill 97, “an act to protect rights and privileges granted under The United States Constitution and The Arkansas Constitution,” will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee under a special order of business at 11:00 a.m. in Room 171 of the State Capitol in Little Rock. (The Committee will begin consideration of its regular agenda starting at 10:00 a.m.) S.B. 97 is sponsored by Senator Cecile Bledsoe (R-Rogers) and 30 other state senators and representatives (listed at the end of this article). Contact information for the members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary is listed at the end of this article.
The proposed legislation includes the prescription that “Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Arkansas Constitution.”
While it is extraordinarily difficult to imagine why any elected representative of the people of Arkansas might oppose this profoundly simple and equally profound affirmation of the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions, the bill is expected to face opposition from some members of the Committee.Opponents are expected to propose (a) that the bill has a hidden agenda and is a gimmick to insinuate that some Arkansas courts or groups are currently not following the Arkansas Constitution, (b) the bill targets specific groups or religions and (c) Arkansas companies which are or plan to do business in other countries would be adversely affected. All of these concerns are erroneous and unfounded.
As the co-founder and former President/CEO of an Arkansas company doing business on four continents, I can affirm that S.B. 97 will have either no affect or will strengthen the position of Arkansas-based companies doing business with companies and/or customers in other countries. Nor does the proposed legislation “target” any specific group or religion. If this important legislation is adopted, no Arkansans will be limited in the practice of their religion as long as their practices do not conflict with the Arkansas Constitution or the United States Constitution. The sponsors of the bill insist that S.B. 97 is simply but importantly a pre-emptive affirmation of the supremacy of the Arkansas and U. S. Constitutions.
The Supremacy of the Constitution Under Increasing Attack
A former Yale Law School Dean, Koh represents a wide variety of issues wildly out-of-step with the values and beliefs of Arkansans. He is an outspoken advocate for the belief that American justices should take international law into account when interpreting the United States Constitution. Under this philosophy, laws made by international organizations – even if they are rejected by Congress – can supersede American sovereignty.
For instance, in a 2003 essay titled “A World Drowning In Guns
,” Koh effectively sweeps aside the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms by arguing for a “global regulatory” scheme to outlaw firearms by using international law to trump American gun rights.
Without question, the supremacy and sovereignty of the U.S. Constitution – and, by extension, the Arkansas Constitution – are under increasing attack. While the sponsors of Arkansas S.B. 97 correctly maintain the bill is needed because foreign laws are being used already in other states, primarily in domestic arbitration, the scope and extent of the intrusion of international and foreign laws on America’s judicial system has raised broad and significant concern among experienced statesmen and tenured jurists alike.
In its January 2010 “Issue Statement on International Law and U. S. Sovereignty,” the Congressional Research Service observed, “Increasing accessibility of courts around the world to alien litigants may have given rise to international “forum shopping” that subjects U.S. citizens to foreign judicial systems that are not obligated to recognize rights they would enjoy under the U.S. Constitution. Conversely, U.S. courts are ever more frequently called upon to resolve disputes between U.S. citizens and foreign subjects or governments, or even between foreign parties without significant ties to the United States.”
In a speech entitled “The Coming War on Sovereignty” given at Stanford University in April 2009, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton sharply criticized the idea of allowing global governance to usurp the United States’ interests.
According to The Stanford Review, Bolton defined global governance as, “[an] oblique way of saying, you have too much control over your own government. You really need to give a little bit of that up to other institutions or other countries. [W]e have global problems and we need global solutions.” He argued passionately against allowing organizations like the UN or NATO to control US foreign policy.
Bolton’s primary concern was the United States’ ability to use military force. “The Constitution trumps international law. If you look for a source of authority, you have to follow our own Constitutional procedures on the use of force,” Bolton argued.
The ambassador quoted former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “[I] look forward to the day when the UN Security Council is the sole source of legitimacy for the use of force.”In November 2003, then Under Secretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky said in a speech for The Federalist Society, “Our sovereignty is the basis of our freedom, and it is commendable that organizations like the Federalist Society stand ready to defend this pillar of our republic. As George Washington wrote to Alexander Hamilton, ‘If we are told by a foreign power what we shall do and what we shall not do, we have independence yet to seek and have contended hitherto for very little.’
“The United States is engaged in the world now more than ever before in our history, and we must be mindful that our sovereignty rests always with the American people and never with a foreign government or international organization.”An International Power Play to Move Outside of Our Legal Systems
“Because democratic debates in constitutional systems like ours are so unsatisfying and often so unproductive for America’s statists, they have, in essence, launched an international power play to move outside of our legal systems. They find much greater prospects for success in international forums like the United Nations than in the U.S. Congress. Hence, the role and limits of international law, determining what is legally binding for our international conduct and domestic policy, will be a critical area of debate in the coming years.” Bolton maintains.
On Wednesday, February 2nd, eight Arkansas lawmakers have a profound opportunity to critically affirm the sovereignty of Arkansas and the United States and their respective constitutions. They are:
Members of the Arkansas Senate Committee on Judiciary
(Click on any bolded name to begin an email with the subject, “Please Support S.B. 97.” Senators Ruth Whitaker and Jason Rapert are co-sponsors of the bill.)
Senator Jim Luker, Chair, Wynne, 870-238-8588
Senator Ruth Whitaker, Vice Chair (co-sponsor of S.B. 97)
Senator Sue Madison, Fayetteville, 479-442-2997
Senator Robert Thompson, Paragould, 870-239-9581
Senator David Johnson, Little Rock, 501-682-6107
Senator Jason Rapert (co-sponsor of S.B. 97)
Senator Stephanie Flowers, Texarkana, 870-772-0300
Senator Steve Harrelson, Texarkana, 870-772-0300
Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the& ARRA News Service.
Tags: Arkansas, SB 97, State Sovereignty, U.S., U.S. Constitution, Arkansas Constitution. Curtis Coleman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
EPA: “This is a Stick Up!” and Amtrak is a Zombie Rip-Off
by William Warren: EPA robbing Oil & Gas Companies of their profits and jobs via regulations.
Don’t Subsidize Amtrak, Just Let the Free Market Work!
By Adam Bitely: As the new Republican Congress debates where it will cut back spending, Amtrak is one place they could start with. If there is any example of ludicrous, wasteful government spending, Amtrak is definitely the place to look at.
To begin with, Amtrak receives most of its operational funding from the taxpayers. Cutting the subsidy and government grants to Amtrak would save over a billion dollars a year. Of course, ending a subsidy is more simply said than done.
Amtrak operates on a grotesquely large government subsidy. How much money does the Congress give to Amtrak from the taxpayers? $1.563 billion a year — a considerable sum. And when you consider that Amtrak had $2.4 billion in revenues in 2009, it is clear that Amtrak relies solely on these subsidies and grants to operate under its current design. . . . [Full Story]
Tags: EPA, Oil, Gas, Industry, Political Cartoons, William Warren, Gas Prices, Adam Bitely, Amtrak, subsidies, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 1, 2011: Florida Ruling Only Adds To Urgency Of Repealing Obamacare
The Senate began consideration of S. 223, the FAA Reauthorization bill. If amendments are offered, votes are possible on them today.
The Washington Post notes, “The decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson represents a more sweeping repudiation of the law than the December ruling in a suit brought by Virginia that found the requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance to be unconstitutional. As the judge ruled in the Virginia case, Vinson held that Congress overstepped its authority by compelling nearly all Americans to be insured or pay a fine. But Vinson went further: Likening the law to ‘a finely crafted watch’ in which ‘one essential piece is defective and must be removed,’ he ruled that the insurance mandate cannot be separated from the rest of the statute and therefore the entire law must be voided.”
Importantly, The New York Times points out, “In his 78-page opinion, Judge Vinson held that the insurance requirement exceeded the regulatory powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.”
In their amicus brief filed in November in support of the states’ lawsuit against the Democrat health care bill, Senate Republicans focused on the law’s overreach, far beyond what the Commerce Clause allows. “Indeed, in more than 200 years of debate as to the proper scope of the Commerce Power, the Supreme Court has never suggested that the Commerce Power allows Congress to impose affirmative obligations on passive individuals, or to punish individuals for failing to purchase a particular product.” GOP senators pointed out, “As Congress’s own non-partisan research arm noted, the individual mandate ‘is a novel issue: whether Congress can use its Commerce Clause authority to require a person to buy a good or a service.’” They further argued, “If Congress can use the Commerce Power to punish a decision not to engage in a private activity, on the basis that the future consequences of this choice, in the aggregate, would substantially affect interstate commerce, there is seemingly no private decision Congress could not regulate or no activity it could not force private citizens to undertake . . . when, in the aggregate, it concludes that doing so would benefit the economy.”
Yesterday, Judge Vinson wrote, “It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting — as was done in the Act — that compelling the actual transaction is itself ‘commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce’, it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. . . . It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said yesterday that “the easiest way to protect the American people from this job-destroying health care law is to repeal it so we can start over with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect jobs without unconstitutional mandates, new taxes, and costly penalties.”
Voters want it repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms . . . according to a recent Rasmussen survey which found that “58% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 47% who Strongly Favor repeal.” And a survey by Resurgent Republic found that “A plurality of registered voters (49 to 44%) supports Republican plans to repeal and replace the health care reform bill, including a majority of Independents (54 to 36% support).”
This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Opposition to the bill continues to build. And when two federal courts in a row rule that this bill is unconstitutional and we learn every day of some other way it’s not only making health care worse but also hurting jobs and the economy, it’s no wonder more Americans support repeal than oppose it, and that the percentage of those who say they support full repeal is higher now than ever.”
“The importance of a repeal vote becomes more evident every day,” Leader McConnell explained. “Americans view it as an important decision point — a marker that shows we’re serious about a return to limited government. On that point, it should be clear where Republicans stand. Every one of us voted against the bill. Every one of us voted for repeal after that. And this week, every Republican reaffirmed his or her commitment to doing it again.”
McConnell is moving today to force the Senate to act on repealing the job-destroying health care law. According to Republican sources, he plans today to offer the same proposal, which has already passed the House by a wide margin, as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration bill that is set for floor consideration, according to Republican sources. The only question is: will Majority Leader Harry Reid allow a vote?
View comments supporting the ruling on the Unconstitutionality of "ObamaCare."
Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Obamacare, government healthcare, repeal the bill, unconstitutional, mandate, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Democrats Jobs Credibility Lacking
(U.S. Dept. Of Labor, “Employment, Hour, And Earnings From The Current Employment Statistics Survey (National),” Accessed 1/24/11)
(“The Unemployment Situation – December 2010,” Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 1/7/11)
BIDEN: “In My Wildest Dreams, I Never Thought It Would Work This Well.” (“Biden On Stimulus: ‘Never Thought It Would Work This Well,’” The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/09)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “This Bill Creates 3.5 Million Jobs.” (Sen. Reid, Press Conference, 2/11/09)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “And It's A Very Significant Stimulus, 3.5 Million To 4 Million Jobs Is A Lot Of Jobs.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 3/8/09)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “House-Passed Bill/Obama Plan (HR 1) Creates 3.7 Million Jobs.” (Rep. Pelosi, “Setting The Record Straight,” Press Release 2/10/09)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “This Isn't Just A Health Care Bill, It Is A Job Creation Bill…” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 12/3/09)
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): “So I Want To Be Clear With My Colleagues And With Americans Across The Country Today: This Bill Is About You. … It Is About Helping Our Economy And Creating Jobs…” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.13750, 1/22/09)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “Most Importantly, This Bill Will Create Jobs - Up To 500,000 Of Them.” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 9/13/10)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “If We Fail To Reauthorize Unemployment Insurance, Not Only Will 83,000 Nevadans Be Left Without A Way To Support Their Families, Our Nation's Economy Could Shed Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs.” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 12/2/10)
Tags: Democrats, lost jobs, jobs, credibility, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Updated Links and Comments On Judge's Ruling on Obamacare
Relevant Links via eGOPNews:
WSJ: Florida Judge Rules Against Health Law
WSJ: Read Judge Vinson's opinion (.pdf)
NYT: Federal Judge Rules Health Law Violates Constitution
WaPo: Judge strikes down entire new health-care law
Wash Times: Judge strikes down Obama health plan
LA Times: Judge rules Obama healthcare law unconstitutional
Court says ‘Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate’
Vows to replace current law with real reform
“The Republican Party applauds today’s ruling in Florida that the Obamacare mandate is unconstitutional as it further erodes individual rights of choice,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Executive Director Chase Dugger. “Attorney General McDaniel continues to argue the suit is frivolous and costly, but he is forgetting to mention the $100 to $200 million Obamacare will cost our state. While Arkansas’ four Congressmen took a principled stand to represent Arkansas values by recently voting to repeal the harmful law, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel took a stand to oppress freedom of choice and individual liberty by not joining the lawsuit.”
Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr: “I fully support District Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that the health care reform law is unconstitutional. The judge’s ruling and the fact that a majority of states were parties to this lawsuit proves that this case has merit. I join the vast majority of Arkansans in my opposition to health insurance being mandated and run by the federal government.”
"With all Americans increasingly concerned about the unsustainable debt Obama and his cohorts have imposed on taxpayers, stopping any further advance of ObamaCare is vital to getting our fiscal house in order. First, stop any further regulation or dictates to the states. Second, repeal the law outright. And finally, move with common sense, market-based proposals to make the necessary repairs. Judge Vinson, following the ruling by Judge Hudson, has done a great service to the American people by beginning this crucial process."
"Federal Judge Robert Vinson, who has presided over the multi-state lawsuit against ObamaCare, today declared the individual mandate unconstitutional and struck down the entire law. In October Judge Vinson wrote, 'The power that the individual mandate seeks to harness is simply without prior precedent.' Today, Judge Vinson ruled, 'Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.'
"But Judge Vinson's ruling is not a fatal blow to ObamaCare. The administration is certain to appeal, and the judge did not issue an injunction against the continued implementation of the law. Nevertheless, his opinion should bolster the determination of Senate Republicans to force a vote on repealing ObamaCare while the case works its way to the Supreme Court."
Tags: Federal healthcare law, Obamacare, Judges ruling, unconstitutional, responses, US Senate, US House, Arkansas, republicans, Gary Bauer, Bill Wilson, Lt Gov. Mark Darr, RPA, Tim Griffin. House Speaker, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 31, 2011: ObamaCare Ruled Unconstitutional - Obama Not Leading On The Deficit
Federal Judge Roger Vinson has just released his ruling in a case brought by 26 states. He ruled that the health care reform bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in March is unconstitutional. In the decision, Vinson writes:
"... I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.The judge ruled the entire Act void. What part of "void" will the Obama Administration seek to avoid (pun intended)? The Obama Administration is expected to proceed on healthcare by dragging its feet and then appealing the ruling.
In another federal case brought by VA, the judge also ruled the mandate to buy insurance as unconstitutional but considered the portion mandating the purchase of healthcare insurance as severable. Eventually, this issue is expected to come before the Supreme Court as it is doubtful that the Democrat Leadership which created this monstrosity will do the right thing and support actions to Repeal The Bill labeled by the people as Obamacare.
The Senate will began late today at 2 PM . Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’d like to take up the FAA reauthorization bill, S. 223. No votes are scheduled for today.
Following Friday’s troubling news from the Congressional Budget Office that this year’s deficit will approach a staggering $1.5 trillion, The Washington Post editorialized over the weekend, “In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama failed to present a credible plan for long-term debt reduction. It’s no secret that we think he made a big mistake. If America can’t get a handle on its finances, everything else is at risk: military strength, the safety net for the poor, the ability to invest for future economic growth. But now that the president has punted, is there any conceivable path toward fiscal sanity?” The editors urged Obama to show some “presidential leadership” on the debt issues.
Appearing on “Meet the Press” yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made a similar point. He told NBC’s David Gregory, “The American people are asking us to tackle these problems. I think the president needs to be more bold. We’re prepared to meet. I’ve got a lot of new members, and Speaker Boehner does as well, who came here to tackle this big problem. . . . We’re going to give the president an opportunity to reduce our annual deficit, which is completely out of control… I agreed with the Washington Post editorial this morning, I was disappointed in the president’s unwillingness to address our long-term unfunded liabilities.”
As Bloomberg News noted, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said President Barack Obama and legislators from both political parties need to work together to reduce U.S. debt. ‘We have two opportunities, both the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling, to try to accomplish something on a bipartisan basis on both our short-term debt and our long-term unfunded liability,’ McConnell said in a television interview [Sunday] on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘The president ought to step up to the plate with us and tackle it together.’”
So what is President Obama’s plan? On CBS’ “Face the Nation” yesterday, incoming White House Chief of Staff William Daley seemed to acknowledge the problem, but was underwhelming in what he suggested for a path forward. He told Bob Schieffer, “[W]e all agree there must be cuts to this government. And again, you’re going to see this President layout a very substantial cut already . . . the freeze amounts to four hundred billion dollars over ten years.”
But a freeze doesn’t actually reduce the size of government. On the contrary, it locks in the unsustainable levels of spending from the last two years. Americans sent a clear message to Washington in November to stop spending so much of their money and reduce the size of government. Will President Obama commit to a serious plan to do those things, or will he instead look to freeze spending at the huge levels of the last two years that have led to such massive deficits?
As McConnell said previously, “Let’s look at what went [on] the last two years. We added $3 trillion to the deficit and lost 3 million jobs. We took government spending from 20% of gross domestic product, GDP up to 25% of GDP. Look, what we’ve been doing doesn’t work. And I think the message from the American people was clear, don’t do that anymore.”
Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Obamacare, government healthcare, repeal the bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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