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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, March 26, 2011
Why the "Pig Trail Gerrymander" is Bad for Arkansas
Bill Smith, Editor: Regardless of political party, voters should oppose all gerrymandering of Congressional Districts when it separates voters in the the same counties into separate Congressional Districts. In the present situation, the Democrat leadership and members is the Arkansas Legislature are seeking to abuse the public. They call it politics, but in fact it is abuse!
These Democrats are not even trying to hide their animosity to Arkansans who last November elected more conservatives to office than in prior years. It is a desperate attempt to hold on to power in the face of a resounding defeat at the polls. "The Democratic Party is using Washington-style tactics and parliamentary ploys to reverse the will of Arkansas voters who chose to elect a majority Republican congressional delegation."
The "pig trail" redistricting proposal, endorsed by the Arkansas Democratic Party is indeed “raw partisan politics” as expresses by Republican State Party Chairman Doyle Webb. “The State Democratic Party’s map does not respect the traditional communities of interest in Arkansas.” While minor realignment of counties to different congressional districts based on population changes is required, "pig trail" gerrymandering is not needed or desired. All U.S. Congressmen, including Rep. Mike Ross of the 4th Congressional District, should be opposing proposed gerrymandering actions.
Arkansas Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel who has previously failed Arkansans by opposing the abuses by the Federal Government, has already lowered himself to support gerrymandering partisan politics according to an Arkansas House member who recently addressed the AG McDaniel's support for their partisan map: “The Attorney General made a statement that he will defend any map that comes out . . .”
Tell Arkansas Democrats to stop playing partisan politics! Top Reasons Why the "Pig Trail Gerrymander" is Bad for Arkansas
The State Democratic Party’s proposed congressional redistricting map dubbed the "Pig Trail Gerrymander" ignores the traditional communities of interest in Arkansas. We have four regions: Ozarks, Northeast Delta, Central Arkansas and the Southern Timberlands.
The map splits these regions, especially the Ozarks and Southern Timberlands.
The map splits five counties in Arkansas.
The “Pig Trail Gerrymander” or “Fayetteville Finger” is the State Democratic Party’s desperate attempt to hold on to power in the face of a resounding defeat at the polls last November. The manipulated boundaries give Arkansas Democrats a path to continue 140 years of one-party rule in Arkansas.
Arkansas Democrats are more interested in power play politics than fairly representing the diverse people of Arkansas. Democrats have blocked other proposals in the House State Agencies Committee which stay truer to our current congressional makeup and split fewer than five counties.
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce opposes the capture of Fayetteville into the fourth. Fayetteville has been in the Third Congressional District for more than thirty years. Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Steve Clark said, “I believe this proposal is detrimental to the economic growth of Fayetteville and the economic growth of our region. This proposal is partisan and overly political.”
Congressman Steve Womack and former Rogers Mayor opposes the proposal stating, “it undermines 20 plus years of progress we made…and I don’t think for partisan reasons we should destroy that.” Congressman Womack is referring to the decades of efforts made between city governments to help Northwest Arkansas work as one area to improve economic development.
Tags:Pig Trail Gerrymander, Fayetteville Finger, Democratic Party of Arkansas, Republican Party of Arkansas, Partisan Pig Trail, Arkansas GOP, Arkansas, Democrat, Republican, Pig Trail, gerrymanderingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Taking advantage of the power displayed by the public employee unions in Wisconsin, socialist union leaders are planning a campaign to destroy capitalism by creating financial chaos. They consider capitalism to be in such a fragile and weakened condition, that a massive campaign aimed at creating financial chaos will bring the whole financial system crashing down.
Thus, they are organizing a coalition of unions, community groups, lawmakers and students to become a battering ram against the capitalist system. They want a half-million home owners to stop paying their mortgages and a million students to stop paying off their student loans. They believe that such mass repudiation of loans would make the banking system insolvent and the country ungovernable.
If the socialists can create massive economic chaos and dislocation, this might give Obama the pretext to impose emergency martial law so that he could call off the election in 2012 and remain in power as dictator.
But there is no question that such a scenario would lead to a civil war in the United States. Not many people in their right minds think it can happen here. But if we also have runaway inflation, who knows how the American people may react.
The left is salivating over the prospects of a violent revolution. But as Alinsky complained about the left, violent revolution will never work in America. Therefore, he created the stealth strategy that got socialist Obama into the White House. And if Obama can prevent an election from taking place in 2012, he will be able to use all of the levers of power in his hand to advance the cause of socialism.
And when out of the chaos the American people cry for law and order, Obama will be able to impose a new socialist order by redistributing the wealth, that is confiscating the wealth of the rich and giving it to the militant poor, the enforcers of the revolution.
Tt all sounds like fantasy. But it has happened in other countries, and we ought not to think that it can’t happen here, since through perfectly legal and peaceful means, our politicians have brought us more than halfway there.
------------- H/T the Patriot Updatefor Extract fromArticle by Sam Blumenfeld at the New American Tags:Unions, leader, SEIU, plan to destroy Capitalism, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Frank McCaffrey, NetRight Daily: You might not believe how much we’re paying on interest for our national debt. ALG’s Rick Manning spoke with Reporter Frank McCaffrey about how much we are spending and what it really means. [Watch the following video interview and view the graphics.The graphic at the right depicts the present but every growing interest payment. Presently our interest payment exceeds the amount the Federal Government pays for Military Pay or for Veteran Benefits or for Education and Training. The US interest payment exceeds the size of the GDP for the richest Middle East oil country - the United Arab Emirates.]
Tags:NetRight Daily, Federal Budget, U.S. Interest Payments, national debt, GDP, CR, Continuing Resolution, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
But why not? If we are going to cut programs that are proven to have failed to achieve their goals, federal spending on education should be at the top of the list. Federal spending on public schools (which is only a small percentage of their school budgets) was given specific goals in the 2002 law called "No Child Left Behind," the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It required states to set targets to have all students proficient in reading and math by 2014, to meet an annual benchmark of progress toward this goal, and in particular to demonstrate a closing or narrowing of the gap between higher-income and minority students.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan threw a cannonball into the education debate this month by admitting that 82 percent of public schools could be labeled "failing" under No Child Left Behind specifications. His solution is to stop calling them "failing," extend the target date for student proficiency to 2020 and, of course, to appropriate more money to failed programs. For years, education spokesmen have opined that kids should be able to read by the fourth grade. Good for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who is now calling for the reading goal to be third grade, and this goal is also being advocated by the Indiana and New Mexico governors.
Obama wants to put more money into the notoriously useless program called Head Start, and he increased its annual funding in 2009 by nearly $3 billion. U.S. taxpayers have given Head Start $166 billion of taxpayers' money since 1965 despite many studies proving that it was mostly wasted, did not give poor kids a head start, and any gains made while kids were in Head Start disappeared within a couple of years.
Since conservatives famously lost the battle to prevent federal spending on local public schools (which they view as unconstitutional) a half century ago, Congress has year after year increased appropriations. In recent years, Congress identified two primary purposes: to raise student achievement and to narrow the gap between high- and low-income students and between minority and white students. We the federal taxpayers have spent roughly $2 trillion on these efforts since 1965.
It's reasonable to ask, did we get our money's worth? If we look at the class that graduated from the public schools in 2009, we find that we spent over $151,000 per student to bring him from the first to the twelfth grade. That's nearly three times as much as we spent on the graduating class of 1970. Despite that massive spending, overall achievement has stagnated or declined. The gaps between minority and white students are unchanged in science and only slightly narrowed in reading and math.
We have precious little to show for the $2 trillion in federal education spending over the past half century, and Andrew J. Coulson of CATO has the charts to prove it. It now costs three times as much to provide essentially the same education as we provided in 1970. Even this bad news fails to give the big picture because, as productivity was falling in public schools, it was rising everywhere else. Nearly all the products and services most of us buy have gotten better, more affordable, or both, over the past two generations.
The fact that there is no education improvement even while spending has skyrocketed is a disaster unparalleled in any other field. In addition to the waste, this gigantic spending slowed our economic growth by taxing trillions of dollars out of the productive sector of the economy and squandering it on worthless programs.
Knowing that learning to read is fundamental to education, the public school lobby is yelping about proposed cuts in grants for literacy programs. Yes, literacy should be job number one, but after all these years why do we have to go to the unnecessary expense of passing out money to find a good reading program? Children should be taught to read in the first grade by an authentic phonics system in which they learn the sounds and syllables of the English language and how to put them together to read words of more than one syllable. There is nothing expensive or mysterious about this basic task.
Instead of wasting more federal money on grant-writers and grant-readers, tell local districts to award a bonus to first-grade teachers based on how many kids they actually teach to read. Let the teacher select the phonics system she thinks will help her win the bonus.
Phyllis Schlafly is the author of a phonics system for first-graders called First Reader, which has an accompanying Workbook. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, federal spending, education, failed education, reading, phonicsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “We don't work for the government, but here's our ‘save’ suggestion: How about not spending some $3.5 million to deceptively promote ObamaCare? It turns out it cost the Health and Human Services Department $2.78 million to buy airtime for three cable TV ads last year, featuring Andy Griffith praising the new entitlement. The ‘Matlock’ eminence rendered his services pro bono, but Porter Novelli didn't. The media consulting firm racked up 668 billable hours and earned $404,384.40 producing the spots, according to documents released by the outside GOP advocacy group Crossroads GPS through the Freedom of Information Act.”
In other words, the Obama administration spent $3.5 million of taxpayer money trying to sell Americans on a health care bill they still dislike by a margin of 59% to 37%, according to a CNN poll this week.
Aside from the problem of the expense of these ads, the WSJ editors also note the claims made in them don’t measure up. “At least Porter Novelli didn't charge taxpayers for fact-checking. Among Mr. Griffith's many deceptive claims, he tells his fellow seniors that their Medicare benefits won't change (they will, most immediately in Medicare Advantage) and that ObamaCare strengthens the program's finances (it doesn't, according to the chief Medicare actuary). Lovable ol' Andy of Mayberry then says ‘that new health-care law sure sounds good’ to him, in a transparent bid to win over senior voters in advance of the 2010 election.”
The Journal editors conclude with another idea for saving some money: “How about we go one better and save several trillion dollars by repealing a health-care bill that Americans still hate despite Sheriff Andy's endorsement?” Tags:Wall Street Journal, Obamacare, medicare, taxpayers, taxes, funds for ad, Andy Griffith, Porter Novelli, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
America Not Sold On Obama's "Kinetic Military Action"
Editor Update: The following info from Rasmussen Reports supplements the Gallup info referenced by Mr. Bauer. Gallup reports that "just 28% of Likely U.S. Voters think Libya is a vital national security interest for the United States. . . . 42% say Libya is not important to U.S. national security and 29% are not sure. . . . A plurality (45%) also thinks the United States should not get involved in conflicts like Libya for humanitarian reasons when the situation does not directly threaten this country.
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The Obama Administration won't say that the mission in Libya is a war. But what, then, is it exactly? Yesterday, during a briefing to reporters on Air Force One, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes described our involvement as a "kinetic military action." Whatever you want to call it, most Americans aren't sold on it.
A Gallup poll released yesterday found that 47% of Americans approve of the "current military action against Libya," while 37% disapprove. But here is the most significant finding: According to Gallup, the 47% approval rating is the lowest measure of support for any U.S. military campaign in recent decades.
For example, when President Ronald Reagan bombed Libyan targets in 1986, 71% of Americans approved and 21% disapproved. When George H. W. Bush bombed Iraqi military installations in 1993, 83% of Americans approved, while just 9% disapproved. When George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001, 90% of American supported the effort, while 5% did not. And when President Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003, 76% of Americans supported the war, while 20% did not.
That only 47% of Americans support the mission suggests at a minimum that President Obama has failed to adequately explain the mission. More troubling for the White House is a new Reuters poll that found only 17% of Americans view Obama as a "strong and decisive" commander-in-chief.
By the way, if you don't think there is any confusion at the White House over Libya, consider this: Fox News reports that just 30 days ago, the White House asked Congress for nearly $2 million in additional foreign aid for Libya. Why? To "train military officers, improve its air force, secure its borders and to counter terrorism."
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.This article also appeared inHuman Events. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Obama Administration, America, Libya, Kinetic, military action, Gallup Poll, Rasmussen ReportsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Over the last few months, members of Congress, governors, and state legislators have been taking some unpopular positions concerning budgets and policy issues. As the media and various interest groups have increased their pressure on these representatives, I was reminded of the advice Marc Thiessen presented to the freshman class of Congress back in January.
He is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and has been on my radio program to talk about his latest book. But it was his past position serving on the staff of Senator Jesse Helms that he used as illustrations.
His first piece of advice was to ignore the national media. Once when the New York Times wrote a nasty editorial about Helms, Marc Thiessen drafted a vigorous rebuttal. Helms smiled at him kindly and said, “Son, just so you understand: I don’t care what the New York Times says about me, and nobody I care about cares what the New York Times says about me.”
Learn the rules. That was another piece of advice he passed on to the freshman class. Helms was able to stop bad bills simply because he understood the rules of the Senate and could tie it in knots. He also knew how to force votes on important bills.
One time when Jesse Helms was doing just that in late December, a senator approached him and said, “Jesse, if you don’t relent we’re going to be here singing ‘Silent Night.’” Helms replied, “If I don’t get my vote, we’re going to be singing ‘Auld Land Syne.’” The senator got the point, and Jesse Helms got his vote.
One more piece of advice is to be kind. Marc Theissen said Jesse Helms “was kind to liberals and conservatives, senators and elevator operators, and especially to his own staff, whom he referred to as his Senate family. A reputation for kindness will serve you well – especially when you are forcing colleagues to take uncomfortable votes or miss their flights home.”
These are just a few of his suggestions. Those who serve in public office would do well to learn them, especially as they have to take more and more unpopular stands about budgets and policies. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view. Tags:Kerby Anderson, Point of View, Lessons for Politicians, politicians, Marc Theissen, American Enterprise InstituteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Lawmakers Who Want To Surrender Even More Control Over Health Care Policy Should Love HB 2138
Secure Arkansas Legislative Alert: HB 2138, the first step to implement Obamacare in Arkansas, is scheduled to be continued in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee, Room 149, State Capitol, March 18, 2011, Friday, at 8:30 am. Try to be there. Without a show of strength, this will surely pass and Beebe will get his way. It is important that we have a crowd there to show our opposition. It was tabled in the House Insurance and Commerce Committee yesterday.
The below article by Dan Greenberg, sets out a “third way” approach. This approach is a good reason why our legislators should vote down the Beebe exchange plan and explore other solutions.
In addition to this third option, there could be more options available if our legislatures avoid acting in haste and complying with Beebe's exchange plan now. No one has been this way before - these are unchartered waters and Arkansas must act carefully and responsibly because ultimately it is going to be placed in the laps of Arkansans to pay for. We must avoid costly plans that could come out of this and expanding government. Our motive is to explore all the other potential options for insurance reform that would be agreeable to all Arkansans and to avoid the putting our state into bankruptcy as happened in Massachusetts. Secure Arkansas recommends that the legislative body pause and explore other options besides (1) the federal exchange plan and (2) the Beebe exchange plan. By Dan Greenberg, Advance Arkansas Institute: Arkansas lawmakers have numerous options under federal health care reform, even though some advocates of HB 2138 are pretending that there are only two options available under federal law. HB 2138, which is scheduled for a committee vote today, is Governor Beebe's proposal for a new state-level health care exchange. Arkansas Times editor Max Brantley recently wrote that if the state fails to pass the Beebe exchange plan, "the alternative is to let the feds run the program, probably at a higher cost." Arkansas Times columnist Ernest Dumas echoed Brantley, saying that HB 2138's defeat "will accomplish only one thing: Arkansas businesses and individuals will be buying health insurance through the federal exchange supervised by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services rather than from the locally devised and regulated market."
These statements, which seem almost designed to force legislators into a false choice, are not simply misleading or irresponsible. They are flatly wrong. There are many other options available to lawmakers beyond the federal exchange and the Beebe plan.
It is true that if lawmakers do nothing, Arkansans will be under the federal exchange. But the Beebe plan isn’t lawmakers’ only other option. A third alternative, the creation of a state exchange which would be confined to purely administrative matters, would permit state agencies to perform their traditional regulatory functions.
The virtue of this “third way” approach is that it avoids the fundamental problem of the Beebe plan: namely, it avoids the prospect of creating a new state regulatory body that will likely, over time, grow independent of state policymakers and take more and more orders from the federal government. It has many other advantages: it would be much more economical, much less disruptive to established insurance markets, and perhaps even budgeted for with user fees and private contractors. The Insurance Commission, not the new Beebe exchange, could independently determine which carriers and health plans would be offered to Arkansans. Arkansas's Medicaid administrators, not the new Beebe exchange, could independently determine client eligibility. The state's existing system of licensure, not the new Beebe exchange, could independently determine the qualifications of insurance agents. Perhaps most importantly, this alternative state exchange could contain a sunset provision that would cause the whole exchange to end if federal health care reform is eliminated by the Supreme Court or by Congress.
In short, this “third way” approach would create an exchange that would preserve the state legislature’s authority in health care policy, restrict federal interference, minimize market disruptions, limit the many costs and risks that federal health care reform poses to Arkansas, and allow our state to respond flexibly and appropriately to future changes in federal law.
In any case, lawmakers would do well to avoid acting in haste. The first deadline for showing that the state is on track with federal health care reform is more than 21 months away. Establishing an exchange during a future fiscal session or special session would likely lead to more deliberate decisions than those springing from the end-of-session pell mell that lawmakers currently face. Political climates, federal requirements, and constitutional judgments all change over time: lawmakers who leap into endorsing the Beebe Administration's proposal run the risk of being embarrassed by events in the next year or so that could demonstrate that the current exchange is unworkable. (And unlike Governor Beebe, many of those lawmakers will have to run for reelection in 2012 in order to stay in office.)
Arkansas policymakers don’t have to choose between a federal exchange and the Beebe plan. Lawmakers who want what is best for their constituents should resist the urge to choose between the two unpalatable alternatives of an inflexible federal straitjacket and an inflexible Beebe Administration straitjacket. There's no harm in waiting for next year's fiscal session so that we can have an alternative that will fit Arkansas better.
------------- Dan Greenberg, a lawyer and former state legislator, is President of the Advance Arkansas Institute. Tags:Dan Greenberg, Advance Arkansas Institute, Arkansas, lawmakers, healthcare, obamacare, Gov. Mike Beebe, Secure Arkansas, legislative alert, HB 2138To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The question being - what mission was Obama passionate about.
RNC Video: You might be in trouble ... if your leadership style becomes a punchline -- for Late Night TV and "lame stream" comedians.
Tags:AF Branco, political cartoon, president, Barack Obama, Brazil, mission, coalition forces, bombing, Libya, RNC, video, late night, comics, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Obama, leadership, Latin America, trip, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Republican Party of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark. – Yesterday, Democrats pushed through committee a partisan plan that would drastically change the makeup of Arkansas’ congressional districts without any significant public input. Now, “Fayetteville Finger” author State Rep. Clark Hall says future Democrat governor candidate Dustin McDaniel is prepared to defend his party’s power grab in federal court.
In the Arkansas House State Agencies Committee Wednesday, Rep. Hall told House members, “The Attorney General made a statement that he will defend any map that comes out of this body.” Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb released the following statement in response:
“It’s shameful that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel would rush to defend an unfair, partisan attempt for his party to retain power. While he opposed countless bills this legislative session under the threat of a lawsuit, Attorney General McDaniel has no problem defending the selfish interests of the State Democratic Party.
“It’s no secret Congressman Mike Ross and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel are potential 2014 Democrat gubernatorial primary opponents. Will Mike Ross distinguish himself from his likely opponent by challenging the pig trail gerrymander or will he join his party’s attempt to ignore the interests of Arkansas voters?”
Tags:RPA, Doyle Webb, congressional redistricting, pig trail, Fayetteville Finger, Democrat, gerrymandering, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
While Obamacare Supporters Acknowledging Flaws, Not So With Arkansas Democrats
It’s interesting that in during this week, the one year anniversary of Democrats’ unpopular and expensive health care bill becoming law, supporters of the bill are acknowledging some of its serious flaws. May be these guys are also off their "cool-aide this week. However, as later detailed, Arkansas Democrats don't need any "cool-aide." More later - or skip to the final paragraph.
According to Politico, “Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY] said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City. Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city’s special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense.” Weiner said, “The president said, ‘If you have better ideas that can accomplish the same thing, go for it.’. . . I’m in the process now of trying to see if we can take [President Barack Obama] up on it in the city of New York, … and I’m taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.”
While it’s possible Weiner may want a waiver so he can impose even more controls on health care in New York, his discussion of a waiver is an implicit admission of the burdensome mandates on states and individuals in the Democrats’ health care bill.
Yesterday, Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT], detailed in an op-ed for The Salt Lake Tribune, “[G]overnors of both political parties were clear when Congress debated the $2.6 trillion health law that they could not afford a massive expansion in Medicaid. Washington didn’t listen and plowed forward instead by putting 16 million Americans onto this already broken entitlement. States are already facing a collective $175 billion budget shortfall – the highest since the Great Depression. . . . Furthermore, for all of the talk about state flexibility, this federal one-size-fits-all law leaves Washington calling the shots. . . . In a nod to states balking at the federal requirements being imposed on them, the president recently announced that states could apply for waivers from the health law in 2014 – three years earlier than was in the health law. Sounds good – but the hitch is that states will still have to meet all of the ObamaCare requirements. That’s why this proposal landed with a thud with governors.”
On Tuesday, Politico reported, “Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz says the health overhaul law's employer requirements will impose ‘too great’ a pressure on small businesses. Schultz supported the law as he watched his company's health insurance tab — $250 million as of last year — surmount its coffee bill. But he told The Seattle Times in an interview published Tuesday that he's now worried about what happens when it takes full effect in 2014: . . . ‘I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.’”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of only three doctors in the Senate, elaborated on this problem for National Review Online this week. “Under the guise of ‘responsibility,’ the [Democrats’ health care bill] fines most employers who do not offer employees health coverage. According to a range of nonpartisan experts, this type of de facto mandate has been shown to lower wages and reduce jobs,” Sen. Coburn wrote. “In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill reduces the number of workers in the labor force by 800,000 over a decade.”
As John Thune [R-SD] in an op-ed for Politico yesterday said, “After a year of learning what is in the law — and seeing its effect on families, small businesses and our economy — it is now clear that Obamacare is a failed experiment. Sadly, this failure was predictable and very expensive.”
When even supporters of the Democrats’ bill are seeking exemptions from it, it’s clear the whole thing should be repealed and replaced. As Sen. Thune put it, “Rather than fighting reality by trying to persuade the people to love a law that does not live up to its hype, Congress should scrap this failed program and replace it with common-sense reforms that can truly lower costs.”
However, there is a governor enamored by Obamacare. Arkansas' Democrat Governor Mike Beebe is seeking to be the first governor to implement Obamacare. [For more info]. It is also noted that Arkansas Democrats, who lost significant numbers to conservatives in 2010 are using their remaining control of the legislature and the Governor's office to go "all-in" in their support of the Obama progressive liberal agenda. They are even advancing gerrymandering congressional districts and blocking almost all proposed bills by conservatives. With the past advances of "big government in Arkansas, the Democrat leadership appears intent on taking every opportunity to make Arkansas the only liberal state in the South. While the majority of Arkansans did not vote in 2008 for President Obama or his agenda, the Democrat leadership, without any "kool aide," is committed to being part of a Liberal Progressive Union. "Oh what a tangled web [they] weave when first [they] practice[d] to deceive" Their false reality is being imposed on a true reality that Arkansans do not want Obamacare or the progressive liberal agenda. Tags:Washington D.C., Arkansas, Obamacare, deception, reality,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: While elected officials in Little Rock focus on proposed new legislation, State, County and local governments and numerous agencies squeeze the people of Arkansas either through more taxes or through increased indebtedness to be paid for by future taxes. When too much money is collected in a specific fiscal period (which the norm) is it returned to the taxpayers? No. Do they save the surplus money in a "rainy day fund" to aid in covering unfunded future debt? No. Instead, they follow the insidious "tradition and practice" of dividing the surplus from “General Improvement Funds” between the governor, who gets 50%, and the members of the legislature who get the other 50%. The Governor and the members of the legislature then fund “special” (pet) projects in their voting districts which in turn aids them to remain in office.
While Democrats have controlled Arkansas for over 136 years, they have also been successfully co-opting members of the other political parties when they have been elected. Having controlled for so long, even newly elected conservatives are confronted with this established “tradition and practice.” It appears that having been under the yoke of monetary enslavement for so long, many legislatures are unable to break free from spending excess revenue collections that rightly belongs to the taxpayers – the Arkansas people.
Underlying Arkansas "plantation politics" is excessive taxation of workers and business owners who are forced to fund burdensome governments. When surpluses exist and are spent on new projects, these projects more often than not require continued future support via taxes in order to continue to operate. As a result, government (including higher education) at all levels in Arkansas continues to grow.
The following data provides a basis to relate the excessive tax burden placed on Arkansans as compared to that leveled on residents of other states by their governments. To be fair, we will not look at the big states like New York and California which tax their people less, yes less, than Arkansans per dollar earned. Unfortunately, many of these states practice “continuous spending” via debt. They are traveling another road to economic destruction.
In Arkansas, one of the biggest drains on state revenue is the cost of an expanding higher education system. Most of us would agree we have good institutions of education. However, it also important to provide a favorable environment for people to be employed once they graduate. In the past, stronger economies outside of Arkansas provided employment opportunities for our graduates. We were educating large numbers of people who formerly moved somewhere else to get higher paying jobs. But now, the jobs often sought by Arkansans in other states are drying up. At the same time, the high taxes in Arkansas are stifling both entrepreneurs and corporations from locating to Arkansas.
For this article, pending legislation is ignored except to state that if the plantation politicians have their way, the overall tax burden in Arkansas will not be decreased. To highlight the “excessive" taxation in Arkansas, Arkansas will be compared to the taxation in nine nearby states. The tax data from the following nine states are considered: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
The following is an edited version of a chart from the Military Officers Association of America which compared the 50 States’ combined state/local tax burdens in calendar year 2009. The chart depicts taxes as a percentage of income which is of importance to people deciding where to relocate to after their service in the military. Not depicted in the data is that Arkansas, unlike most states, even taxes military active duty and retirement pay.
The modified chart removed 40 other states to make it easy for the reader to compare Arkansas to the nine nearby states:
Compared to the nine surrounding states, Arkansas has a higher tax burdens both before and after adding Federal taxes. Arkansas ranks as the 3rd highest taxed state (per percentage of income) out of 50 states when all taxes were considered. Delaware and Minnesota were worse. Without Federal taxes, Arkansas still ranked 7th highest in the nation for the burden of State and local taxes on the incomes of people. As noted in the chart, Arkansas has the highest combined tax burden on income regardless of the method of taxation (sales, income taxes, etc.) when compared to the selected neighboring states. And Arkansas even has 15.5% higher tax burden than the U.S. average for all states. It should be obvious, that Arkansas as a taxing problem as well as a spending problem. And, the states that surround Arkansas offer a more favorable base for businesses as well as its citizens.
It should also be noted that the greatest individual tax burden is not born by the very wealthy residing in Arkansas. The very rich do pay a significant total amount of taxes which is far more individually paid by people like Bob working at the local hardware store. However, it is the majority of Arkansans from the middle to lower income levels that bears the greatest individual tax burden on their incomes. While redistribution of wealth should “never” be the focus, it is a fact that the lower income earners in Arkansas are far more enslaved by many different forms of taxation on their incomes.
An awakening of conservatives has been happening in Arkansas, and a limited number of elected officials are not from the older school of "plantation" politics." However, they are still at high risk succumbing to the old established ways of high taxation based on Arkansas’ past history. The present legislative session evidences some faithful conservatives who are fighting an uphill battle. It is time for all Arkansans to say enough is enough. Don't be bought off with pet projects funded in your area or by the rhetoric of the established plantation politicians.
The above data clearly shows that Arkansans are paying an unfair burden of their income to the "governments" for our right to live and work in the Natural State. It is time to both remember and remind others of Arkansas state motto: Regnat Populus - The People Rule! Tags:Arkansas, taxes, tax ranking, tax burden, plantation politicsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Foundation: Arkansas Medicaid program costs have tripled since 1996, increasing from $1.3 billion to $4.1 billion (2010), with an increase of another $416 million projected for 2011.(1)
The number of unduplicated beneficiaries nearly doubled from 356,053 to 755,607. The average cost of treating a beneficiary rose from $3,651 to $5,429. The number of claims processed more than doubled to 37.6 million.
Medicaid is “a joint federal-state program of medical assistance for eligible individuals based on financial need and/or health status,” according to the Department of Human Services, which administers the Arkansas program. “Medicaid furnishes medical assistance to those who have insufficient incomes and resources to meet the costs of necessary medical services.”
Largest Expenditures by Category
Nursing home, hospital care (inpatient and outpatient) and other medical costs were the three largest categorical expenditures. Private and public nursing homes accounted for 35 percent of costs (1996) and 18 percent (2010). Hospital costs were 16 percent (1996) and 23 percent (2010). Other Medical costs were 12 percent (1996) and 19 percent (2010).(2) The three categories accounted for nearly two-thirds of Arkansas Medicaid costs in the period.
Expenditures for physicians declined from 10 to 8 percent of costs in the period.
Medicaid spending accounts for 20.4 percent of the state of Arkansas budget.
(1) “Arkansas Medicaid Fact Sheet,” Department of Human Services, November 1995; Arkansas Medicaid Program Overview SFY 2010, “Economic Impact of Arkansas Medicaid,” p. 15. (2) Ibid. p. 13. Tags:Arkansas, medicaid, costs, increased costs, Arkansas Policy Foundation, Greg Kaza,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
In the following video, Missourians share their stories with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) about dealing with ObamaCare since being signed into law one year ago today, March 23. Asking small business owners across his state of Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) was told about Democrats’ health care bill: “This is a massive piece of legislation and there’s a lot of cost associated with it;” “Our costs are going to keep escalating;” “I know of no small business whose health care costs have gone down;” “Everybody’s concerned. Nobody wants it. Everybody wants it gone.”
Tags:Senator, Roy Blunt, Obamacare, Missouri, business owners, horror storiesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gov. Mike Beebe Making Arkansas The Model For Obamacare
Letter to the Editor
by Debbie Pelley, Jonesboro, Arkansas: Gov. Mike Beebe has now decided to make Arkansas the model and experiment for Obamacare, even though a greater percentage of Arkansans voted against Barack Obama than any state in the union.
Obama and Beebe's actions remind me of the Pied Piper story. The Pied Piper piped a tune that hypnotized all the children of the community who followed him into a cave and were never seen again.
The Washington Democrats, using no logic or political skills, followed Obama as he led them into the destruction of their political careers. Now Beebe is following Obama's piping, and Arkansas Democrats are following him.
Many of us knew Beebe was dancing to Obama's tune on every issue, but the general public, even most Republicans, did not realize the degree to which he was doing that. Now that his plan for Obamacare in Arkansas is revealed, everyone will know how liberal Beebe really is. Every Republican candidate in Arkansas can use Beebe's Obamacare in the next election. That is, unless Democrats stand up to him and save their careers.
The only reason I can possibly see for Beebe's actions is that he is aiming perhaps for a Washington appointment. After implementing Obamacare in Arkansas, I don't see how he would ever have a chance at the Senate or other high office. I wonder if the Democrats are willing to sacrifice their careers for that.
----------- Debbie Pelley is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years. She is presently a grassroots citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for Arkansans and for transparent and limited government. She is a contribution author on the ARRA News Service.
Background Information provided by Debbie Pelley: Two AR Bills To Implement Obamacare in Arkansas HB2138 and SB880 - To Be Heard Wednesday, March 23, 2010
Following are the committee members and email addresses for the House Insurance & Commerce Committee that will be voting on HB2138 to implement Obamacare: "Those who support Obamacare are trying to implement it as fast as they can because they know even if the Supreme Court overturns this, it will be very hard to undo. We must keep it from getting implemented in the first place." Link to HB2138 http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2011R/Bills/HB2138.pdf by Representatives Allen and Nickels and Senator Malone. Part of the title of the bill reads: "TO IMPLEMENT FEDERAL HEALTHCARE REFORM." The House Switchboard number is 501-682-6211 - ask the legislators to vote NO on this HB2138 bill designed to implement Obamacare. You can call and leave a message even during the committee hearing on Wednesday.
Senate committee information - who to contact and say NO TO OBAMACARE! (D) Rep. Fred Allen, Dist. 33, 19 Dover Drive, Little Rock, AR 72204-4262 Residence 501-225-4979 email@example.com (R) Rep. Allen Kerr, Dist.32 1429 Merrill Drive Little Rock, AR 72211-1819 Business 501-225-3170 Residence 501-821-4477 FAX 501-225-4925 firstname.lastname@example.org (R) Rep. Jon Woods, Dist.93, P. O. Box 8082, Springdale, AR 72766-8082 Cell 479-200-3100 email@example.com (D) Rep. Buddy Lovell, Dist.56, 201 West Riverside Drive, Marked Tree, AR 72365-2014 Business/FAX 870-358-4104 Residence 870-358-3444 firstname.lastname@example.org (D) Rep. Bobby J. Pierce, Dist.19, 587 Grant 758 Sheridan, AR 72150-6766 Business 501-888-4390 Residence 870-942-1031 FAX 870-942-8737 (No email given) (R) Rep. Bryan B. King, Dist.91, 871 County Road 814, Green Forest, AR 72638-2657 Business 870-438-4565 email@example.com (D) Rep. Barry Hyde, Dist.40, 208 North Beech Street, North Little Rock, AR 72114-5906 Business 501-371-0255, ext 102 Residence 501-753-9104 501-371-0020 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org (R) Rep. Les "Skip" Carnine, Dist.94, P. O. Box 615 Rogers, AR 72757-0615 Residence 479-636-2619 email@example.com (D) Rep. James L. Word, Dist.16, 6503 Little Dove Drive, Pine Bluff, AR 71603-7945 Business 870-543-6391 Residence 870-536-4657 FAX 870-534-2152 firstname.lastname@example.org (R) Rep. Jonathan Barnett, Dist.97, 1980 Highway 412 West, Siloam Springs, AR 72761-3805 Business 479-524-6254 Residence 479-524-9440 FAX 479-524-3222: email@example.com (D) Rep. Keith M. Ingram, Dist.53, P. O. Box 1028 West Memphis, AR 72303-1028 Business 870-735-9580 Residence 870-735-8001 FAX 870-735-5799 firstname.lastname@example.org (R) Rep. Terry Rice, Dist.62, P. O. Box 2195, Waldron, AR 72958-2195 Business 479-637-3100 Residence 479-637-4420 FAX 479-637-2000 email@example.com (D) Rep. Henry "Hank" Wilkins, IV, Dist.17, 717 West 2nd Avenue, Pine Bluff, AR 71601-4001 Business 870-536-6366 Residence 870-535-4488 FAX 870-536-6327 firstname.lastname@example.org (D) Rep. Marshall Wright, Dist.51, 117 South Washington Street, Forrest City, AR 72335-3811 Business/FAX 870-633-3141 Residence 870-630-2033 email@example.com (R) Rep. Mark Biviano, Dist.50, 118 Emerald Lake Drive, Searcy, AR 72143-3055 Business/Residence 501-230-5751: firstname.lastname@example.org (D) Dist. #16Rep. Tommy Wren, Dist.71, P. O. Box 943 Melbourne, AR 72556-0943 Business 870-613-7585 email@example.com (D) Rep. John Catlett, Dist.61, 11732 West Highway 28, Rover, AR 72860-8013 Cell 479-495-9662 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org (D) Rep. Reginald Murdock, Dist.52, P. O. Box 1071 Marianna, AR 72360-1071 Business/Residence 870-295-3208 FAX 870-295-3162 email@example.com Tags:letter to editor, Debbie Pelley, Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, Obamacare, pied piper, Senate Committee, HB2138, SB880 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bernanke’s Coming Quantitative Tightening (QT1) Will Doom Obama’s Re-election
Image via Wikipedia
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: The chickens of quantitative easing — and the devaluation of the dollar that it is causing — are coming home to roost. Bloomberg reported on March 4 that commodities have reached a two-year high, while cocoa has reached a 32-year high. The Financial Times noted that cotton prices have climbed “above the price reached during the cotton embargo of the American civil war in the 1860s. Trading reports have excitedly pegged the price of oil somewhere around $100 — well above its $53 average for 2009, not to mention its $23 average for 2001.
It takes a little while for commodity price increases to begin to percolate into the consumer price index. It takes months, though, not years. There are many who expect the broad inflation measures to become uncomfortably high by 2012, perhaps even by 2011.
Although rising prices are a symptom of monetary depreciation — not of economic growth — what’s a Federal Reserve Chairman stuck with a world dollar reserve system going to do? If he’s Ben Bernanke then he will honor his declaration that “the most important lesson of all is that price stability should be a key objective of monetary policy.”
Among the steps such a chairman is bound to take will be an initial quantitative tightening: QT1. This and other tightening measures in an effort to unwind his burst of super-liquidity will tip the American and world economies back toward a slowdown. Now, a withdrawal of excess liquidity — if done with precision — would strengthen the dollar and be good for growth. This is laudable in theory, and not recessionary. A strong dollar is pro-growth.
In the grim reality of the world dollar system, however, this is virtually impossible. Vivek Ranadivé, the smartest guy in Silicon Valley you’ve never heard of, astutely wrote in 2007, “If you applied the Federal Reserve approach to ensuring a suitable temperature in your home, you would turn the heater on and off every three months, overheating or under-heating your house.”
That’s precisely what seems to happen to the economy. A not-too-hot or too-cold “Goldilocks economy” is what, in theory, the Federal Reserve aims toward. Ironically, four of the past five tightening campaigns (1973, 1980, 1990, 1994, 2001) initiated by the Federal Reserve resulted in recession.
Ranadivé’s company, TIBCO, writes and installs the code by which multinational corporations manage their inventories with great precision, according to protocols (real time rather than batch data processing) eerily similar to those of the classical gold standard. Due to the inherent imprecision of the governance protocols available to the governors of the Federal Reserve, and because of the system’s systemic lack of real-time data, it is technically virtually impossible for the Fed to tighten without causing a recession.
Unless Bernanke procrastinates badly — and recklessly — the resulting slowdown, and probable downturn, is likely to become visible well before Nov. 6, 2012. QT1, perhaps this year, perhaps next, almost certainly will influence, and perhaps doom, Obama’s prospects for re-election.
Is there another way? As it happens… Rising prices caused by dollar weakness brought about by Bernanke’s aggressive “quantitative easing” already are gaining wide notice. On March 17, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy will be conducting hearings on monetary policy and rising prices under the direction of Chairman Rep. Ron Paul and Vice Chairman Rep. Walter Jones.
Considering the distinguished witnesses being called — former Reagan Gold Commissioner Lewis E. Lehrman, with whom this writer has a professional association, James Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, and Joseph Salerno, Chair of the Economics Graduate Program at Pace University – these may be the most important monetary hearings to be held on Capitol Hill since the Nixon Shock that “temporarily” closed the gold window in 1971.
In a press release announcing the hearings, Rep. Paul decries that the “price inflation Americans suffer today is largely the direct result of relentless monetary expansion by the Federal Reserve over the past decade,” and Rep. Jones notes how “working people … are being squeezed at the gas pump and in the grocery store as they struggle to make ends meet in a world in which their salaries have no chance of keeping up with Mr. Bernanke’s printing presses.”
Bernanke is among the few living monetary authorities with some theoretical grasp of the gold standard. He observed, in an per written with Harold James, that the sustained deflation that was the precipitating factor of the Great Depression was not the fault of the gold standard, but was “the result of a mismanaged international gold standard.”
During his remarks at Washington and Lee University in 2004, Bernanke noted that
The gold standard appeared to be highly successful from about 1870 to the beginning of World War I in 1914. During the so-called ‘classical gold standard period, international trade and capital flows expanded markedly, and central banks experienced relatively few problems ensuring that their currencies retained their legal value.
He also recognizes that “unlike the gold standard before World War I … the gold standard as reconstituted in the 1920s [Ed. Note: the 'gold-exchange standard'] proved to be both unstable and destabilizing.”
Perhaps it is not too much to hope that Bernanke will decide that he does not wish to be remembered as Helicopter Ben. Or remembered as the Chairman who muddled through the boom-and-bust cycle of inherently unstable inconvertible dollars. He has the opportunity to add extraordinary luster to his legacy by beginning the process of transforming the rattletrap of the world dollar standard into something less dependent on the baling wire and glue of QEs and QTs.
Treasury Secretary Geithner said before a recent hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee that the SDR as a replacement for the dollar is not viable.
There is only one real option. Rather than play “Recession Roulette” with the world economy Bernanke could stabilize prices under a regime with an excellent track record for prosperity by putting the world back on the course of resuming a classical gold standard.
Presidents and Federal Reserve chairmen come and go. Few are long remembered; fewer still, fondly. An opportunity beckons to make, rather than be recorded in, history. Bring forth, Mr. Chairman, what you yourself termed a “highly successful” monetary policy: multilateral and domestic gold convertibility. Prosperity will ensue.
------------ Ralph Benko is a senior economics advisor to The American Principles Project and author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World. He is working on a new book, called "A Golden Age: the political consequences of the peace."This article which first appeared in the Forbes was submitted to the ARRA News Service editor for reprint by contributing author Ralph Benko Tags:Ralph Benko, Federal Reserve, chairman, Ben Bernanke, the economy, Barack Obama, commodity price increases, quantitative tightening, QT1, gold standard To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas - We need you to act! This week is the most crucial time we've seen regarding the government take-over of our health care. There are two bills coming before the House and Senate this week that, if approved, would push Arkansas into the government health care take-over.
The two bills are HB2138 and SB880. HB2138 is currently slated to be heard before the House Insurance and Commerce Committee while SB880 will be heard before the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee.
Both bills will be heard this week. Call your legislators today! Let them know to keep their hands off our health care. We must put patients, not insurance companies, not bureaucrats, but PATIENTS FIRST!
“Man is not free unless government is limited.” - Ronald Reagan
Tags:Americans For Prosperity, AFP, Arkansas, Obamacare, Patients First, government health care, Teresa OelkeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Editor's comment: Since we are not allowed to review Barack Obama's university or law school transcripts, base on the last two years of observing President Obama. we can now make a judgment based on Obama's actions. Obama either didn't do too well in Constitutional Law or he passed because of "special accommodations." Unfortunately, America is now being forced to accept Obama's special accommodations to reshape the US Constitution. Woodrow Wilson would be very proud of Obama. Tags:Barack Obama, Nobel Prize, bomb, Libya, A.F. Branco. political cartoon, US Constitution, Woodrow Wilson, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Places ‘More Burdens On America’s Job Creators’
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS: “Our Small Business Owners Remain Deeply Concerned That The Healthcare Law Costs Too Much And Further Jeopardizes The Economic Recovery Of Our Nation’s Job Creators. If new taxes, new mandates and new government programs in PPACA remain intact the law will stifle the ability to hire, grow and invest—key components that are necessary to move America’s economy forward in a robust and meaningful way. Simply put, Congress must repeal PPACA immediately.” (NFIB, Letter To Members Of Congress, 1/18/11)
NFIB: “Small Business Owners Everywhere Are Rightfully Concerned That The Unconstitutional New Mandates, Countless Rules And New Taxes In The Healthcare Law Will Devastate Their Business And Their Ability To Create Jobs.”(NFIB, Press Release, 5/14/10)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS: “Manufacturers Remain Adamantly Opposed To The New Laws’ Employer Mandates, Industry-Specific Fees, Medicare Hospital Insurance Tax Increases, Reporting Requirements, Excise Taxes And Limits On Flexible Spending Accounts – All Of Which Place More Burdens On America’s Job Creators. Congress needs a clean slate to consider health care reform that will lower costs and improve the quality of care. Repealing these laws is an important first step to lifting the burden they pose on manufacturing companies and their employees.” (NAM, Press Release, 1/18/11) [Source]
Tags:Small Business, healthcare law, Obamacare, burned on job creators, Starbucks, NFIB, US, Chamber of Commerce, NAM, IHOPTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
AirClair Scandal Tarnishes Both Missouri and Senator Claire McCaskill
Remember that sometimes arrogant "know it all" Senator from Missouri (the Great Show Me State) who dances with the Obama agenda and then denies it as often as necessary. As many knows Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has got herself embroiled in a scandal being called both "AirClair" and "Clair Air."
Rather than beat a soon to be dead "airplane," let's examine what some sources discussing Claire McCaskill's less than truthful adventures.
When a private plane takes off or lands in the United States, the FAA publicly releases the flight data in real time. For Washington Redskins fans, that is how the media can track when Redskins 1 takes to the air after the latest high profile, soon to be bust, free agent football player.
The tracking data on Sen. McCaskill's plane courtesy of FlightAware.com. Click to expand image.
However, Senator McCaskill’s plane’s activity was not released to the public as she exercised a special waiver to make her aircrafts flights not show up on the system.
With the remake of WonderWoman looming, maybe the Senator was just trying to get in the spirit by keeping her plane invisible to both Missouri tax collectors and the American public. An invisible plane is a whole new spin on transparency, although I doubt it is what most people assume she means by the term.
Claire McCaskill’s Tax Problems Go Far Beyond ‘AirClaire’ by Publius, BigGovernment.com: So, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill ‘forgot’ to pay property taxes on her private jet. (There are at least three things wrong with that sentence.) But, her ‘oversight’ in ‘forgetting’ about a $300,000 tax bill is just the latest example of her pattern of tax problems and obfuscation. The document below details a multi-decade pattern of an apparent belief that laws are for ‘the other people’, not important elected officials like herself. (Oh, and did we mention that one of her husband’s properties was used repeatedly as a crack house?) Behold what has become of the stewards of our Republic.
Fortunately for Missouri voters, AirClaire is up for reelection in 2012.
'Claire Air': How Bad Is It For McCaskill? By Evan McMorris-Santoro, TPMDC: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) attempted to bring an end to the series of bad stories about her air travel on a conference call with reporters yesterday. "I have convinced my husband to sell the damn plane," she said. "He has hired a broker, and I can tell you I will never set foot on the plane again." . . .
A quick backgrounder of the scandal so far:
On March 9, Politicoreported McCaskill had charged taxpayers for 89 flights she took on the plane she owns. Though it's not rare for senators to charter flights for official business, and it's a common and accepted practice for senators to charge the government for those flights, McCaskill sent the Treasury $88,000 to cover the cost of the flights after Politico asked about them.
Then it was discovered that at least one of the flights was a political trip and definitely should not have been paid for with taxpayer money. McCaskill said she was "embarrassed." Which is also what she said yesterday when she revealed that she failed to pay close to $287,000 in personal property taxes on the plane.
McCaskill also said she has attorneys looking for more political travel on the official flight list. So far, they've found some.
Adding to the political peril for McCaskill: Her very public record of taking others to task for transgressions with strikingly similar overtones. •De Planes! De Planes! In 2009, McCaskill was on the warpath over runaway Congressional spending. Her main target? A small fleet of business jets the House Appropriations Committee authorized the Air Force to buy for "ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress."
"Talk about the wrong message at the wrong time," McCaskill said at the time. "While American families are tightening their belts there is no way we should be buying extra executive jets. No wonder so many people think we don't get it. . . . [Full Story with Videos] Tags:Claire McCaskill, Scandal, Claire McCaskill's Plane Problem, FAA, Senator Claire McCaskill, Transparency, U.S. Senate,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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