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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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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 (429-347 BC)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Rises Despite Obama Jobs Campaign

“1,200 more Arkansans are out of work this month thanks to the failed leadership of Barack Obama and Arkansas Democrats”

Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose for the fourth straight month in August from 8.2 to 8.3 percent, still remaining a 24 year high for the state.

“1,200 more Arkansans are out of work this month thanks to the failed leadership of President Obama and Arkansas Democrats,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “America needs a real jobs plan, not another half-trillion dollar stimulus. Arkansas Democrats helped Obama pass the first stimulus which cost taxpayers nearly $1 trillion with little result. Even though Americans have said ‘enough,’ Obama wants Congress to spend more.”

Meanwhile, according to the President’s Press Secretary, Obama is busy campaigning for “growth and jobs” everywhere but Arkansas, despite facing the highest unemployment rate in nearly a generation under the leadership of state Democrats.

“Why isn’t the state Democratic Party asking Obama to campaign in Arkansas for ‘growth and jobs?’” asked Vasilos. “It’s been nearly five years since the President last visited our state. While 112,000 unemployed Arkansans are looking for a job, President Obama isn’t doing his.”

Arkansas Unemployment Rises from 8.2 to 8.3 Percent
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
112,000 Arkansans are Unemployed
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Obama Campaigning for Jobs Everywhere But Arkansas
“‘The president is campaigning ... for growth and jobs,’ said spokesman Jay Carney. Obama himself pointed out this morning that his re-election bid is still 14 months away, though plans to promote his $447 billion jobs bill resemble nothing so much as a campaign for office. The Democratic National Committee is running ads on behalf of Obama's jobs campaign. The president is promoting the plan visiting states that are key to his re-election bid: Virginia last week, and Ohio and North Carolina in the next two days.” (David Jackson, “WH says Obama is only campaigning for jobs,” USA Today , 9/12/11)

Obama Hasn’t Been To Arkansas In Almost Five Years
“Obama hasn't been in the state since 2006, when he helped Beebe win the governorship.” (Associated Press, US News, 9/8/10)
[Source: Republican Party of Arkansas]


Tags: Arkansas, jobs, unemployment, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

U.S. Senate Budget Republican Recap 9/16/11

“Keynesian elites in Washington continue to insist what common sense denies. They tell us that even more spending and borrowing is the answer. But when you’ve reached 100 percent of GDP, to try this failed experiment yet again is to put the whole country at risk. We’ve seen where this road leads and it leads the way of Greece. Why should we continue to trust the ‘masters of the universe’ who tell us that we can spend and borrow our way to prosperity? They’ve been wrong from the beginning.” - Sen Jeff Sessions’ opening statement at this week’s Budget Committee hearing (the first scheduled by Senate Democrats in six months)

Compiled by Stephen Miller, Communications Director, US Senate Budget Committee:
‘Wrong From The Beginning’: Sessions Questions Economic Predictions Over Stimulus
The Hill: “Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said Obama’s entire bill, which the administration is sending to Congress Monday evening, can be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy and business… The White House dug in on its refusal to say how many jobs the package would create, pointing instead to an estimate from Moody’s that said the bill would create about 1.9 million jobs.”

Ranking Member Sessions drew attention to the fact that Moody’s and the White House predicted dramatically higher economic growth rates than anemic GDP growth experienced:
“We may have raised our legal debt limit but we have breached our economic debt limit. America’s $14.5 trillion gross debt is now 100 percent of GDP. A prominent study from economists Rogoff and Reinhart—praised by Treasury Secretary Geithner as ‘excellent’—shows that when a nation’s gross debt reaches 90 percent of GDP it loses, on average, a percentage point or more in GDP growth each year. Our debt is depressing growth to unexpected levels and costing us millions of jobs.

In 2009, the Administration claimed its stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent. After the bill became law, however, unemployment rose to 10 percent and remains at 9.1 percent today.

One of our witnesses today, Dr. Zandi, in testimony before this committee about one year ago, stated, ‘The next six to twelve months will be uncomfortable as the economy struggles to gain traction, but a full-fledged expansion should take hold by this time next year.’

In January of this year, CBO projected economic growth for 2011 would be 3.1 percent. In February, OMB projected 2011 growth would be 2.3 percent. Yet the economy experienced just .4 percent growth in the first quarter of this year, followed by 1 percent growth in the second quarter.

Indeed, Dr. Zandi, who has been one of the most prominent advocates of spending and borrowing as the way to boost the economy, and who has been a close advisor to the Democratic Senate majority, has seen his projections prove to be dramatically inaccurate. His Moody’s Analytics in January of this year predicted we would have an astonishing 3.9 percent growth for this year, but have this month drastically lowered their growth estimates to 1.6 percent. Forgive me if those grim numbers do not give me confidence that the newly proposed stimulus plan will produce the results promised.”

Labor Dept Reveals Billions In Improper Unemployment Payments Wall Street Journal:
“Nearly $19 billion in state unemployment benefits were paid in error during the three years that ended in June, new Labor Department data show.

The amount represents more than 10% of the $180 billion in jobless benefits paid nationwide during the period. (See a sortable chart of each states’ overpayments) The tally covers state programs, which offer benefits for up to 26 weeks, from July 2008 to June 2011. Layers of federal programs that help provide benefits for up to 99 weeks weren’t included.

The figures were released Wednesday as the Obama administration promotes its bid to reduce waste at federal agencies. The federal government foots the bill for administering the programs, and states are supposed to pay for the benefits. Many states exhausted their unemployment insurance trust funds during the long recession and slow recovery, prompting them to borrow from the federal government to replenish their funds.

Improper payments most often occur when recipients claim benefits even though they have returned to work; employers or their administrators don’t submit timely or accurate information about worker separations; or recipients don’t correctly register with a state’s employment-service organization.

The Labor Department launched a plan to crack down on the improper payments, targeting Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, Washington, Louisiana and Arizona in particular for their high error rates. Those states will undergo additional monitoring and technical assistance until their error rates dip below 10% and remain there for at least six months, according to the Labor Department.”
Key Fiscal Details Missing From Stimulus II ABC News writes:
“As Obama touts the American Jobs Act as a ‘fully paid for’ panacea for high unemployment and sluggish economic growth, his critics insist he’s glossing over the fine print when it comes to adding to the deficit…‘Given the depth of the economic crisis we now face … the lack of fiscal detail that has been provided to Congress is both disappointing and irresponsible,’ wrote Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, in a letter to Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew earlier this week…

The legislative package sent to Capitol Hill Monday does not detail any of the administration’s cost estimates, nor does it include projections for revenue to be raised from spending offsets included in the bill. Officials have only outlined their estimates in broad strokes during public statements and briefings with the press… Administration officials acknowledge the president’s plan would mean increased deficits in the first few years after it was enacted but insist the trend would be reversed more than a decade later...

White House says even [interest] costs would be offset and paid for… The details of those projections, however, have not been released for public scrutiny.”
SEN. CORNYN OPPOSES SECOND STIMULUS
SEN. GRAHAM DISCUSSES PRESIDENT’S JOBS BILL
SEN. JOHNSON RECOMMENDS $1.4 TRILLION IN SPENDING CUTS

Broken Promises After analyzing the legislative text of the plan and discovering that key fiscal details were missing—details that were promised as part of the plan’s submission—Ranking Member Sessions sent a letter to OMB Director Lew requesting that additional information be provided at once. Sen. Sessions wrote:
“Following the president’s address, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared that ‘the president will submit a bill early next week, the American Jobs Act, which will specify how he proposes paying for the American Jobs Act.’ Meanwhile, the president urged on Monday: ‘No delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.’

When we received a copy of the legislation yesterday, we were expecting the Office of Management and Budget—which enjoys a five hundred person staff—to provide a precise and detailed estimate of the fiscal impact of the president’s proposal. But no such information was provided.

Perhaps even more troubling, however, is that despite the emphatic promise that we would learn yesterday how the bill would be offset, this information is missing too…

OMB must provide to the Congress and the American people, at a minimum, the basic information that demonstrates in detail, as promised, how this bill will be funded. This information should be provided without delay. Specifically:
-- A table showing the expected budgetary impact, by specific policy, of the legislation on an annual basis for fiscal years 2011 through 2021 (the period covered by the president’s most recent budget submission).

-- A schedule showing the added interest that the federal government would have to pay on an annual basis and the resulting change in the federal debt (because it is unlikely that the specific offsets contained in the legislation would equal the effect on the budget of the specific proposals intended to encourage economic growth).

-- A table illustrating projected changes to the deficit for each of the next ten fiscal years as a result of this legislation. (The bill would presumably create a sudden increase in near-term borrowing, but the offsets are stretched out over a decade. The debt limit agreement saves $7 billion in budget authority for next year’s annual appropriations; this bill, regardless of the offsets, would wipe those savings out.)”
Experts Agree: Pursue Policies During Thursday's hearing in the Senate Budget Committee (its first in 182 days), Ranking Member Sessions emphasized the economic danger of continuing to increase the deficit, and asked all three economists testifying—two selected by Democrats, one by Republicans—whether they agreed that it would be wise to pursue policies that create jobs and do not add to the debt. Sessions cited three policies in particular: producing more American energy, reducing costly bureaucratic regulations, and instituting growth-oriented tax reform. All three witnesses endorsed the wisdom of such an approach. The full exchange may be viewed here.

In his opening statement (which can be viewed in its entirety here), Sessions remarked:
“The fact that our nation continues to operate without a budget plan lies at the heart of our current economic crisis. America desperately needs the confidence and predictably that only a concrete fiscal plan can provide. The budget process isn’t broken—Washington has simply abandoned it…

Now, in the grips of crisis, we are told the president has a new plan to revive the economy. We received a proposal on Monday, with no fiscal details, that just offers more of the same. It calls for a sudden increase in the deficit with a promise to pay for it at a later date. In other words: more spending, taxing, and borrowing.

President Obama still doesn’t get it: the debt is destroying jobs today. Increasing it only digs us into a deeper hole.

Keynesian elites in Washington continue to insist what common sense denies. They tell us that even more spending and borrowing is the answer. But when you’ve reached 100 percent of GDP, to try this failed experiment yet again is to put the whole country at risk. We’ve seen where this road leads and it leads the way of Greece.

Why should we continue to trust the ‘masters of the universe’ who tell us that we can spend and borrow our way to prosperity? They’ve been wrong from the beginning…

More taxing, spending, and borrowing is not the way forward. We need policies that improve conditions for job creation and that stop adding to the debt…

In a time of crisis, confusion, and fear, we should return to basic, core principles—the tried and true. Pay your debts. Spend within your means. Live according to a budget. Remove the barriers of ineffective bureaucracy. Allow the private sector to flourish. If we take these steps—if we rely on the good sense and wisdom of the American people—we will see a resurgence of growth, jobs, and opportunity. There is no quick fix or gimmick that will get us there. The road ahead is not easy. But through diligence and common sense, we can put the country on a sound, prosperous path and build a better future for Americans today and for our children tomorrow.”
SEN.ENZI: ADMINISTRATION MUST STOP GETTING IN WAY OF JOB CREATION
SEN. THUNE IS WILLING TO “MEND, IMPROVE, MODIFY” PRESIDENT’S JOBS PLAN

Sessions Explains Why FEMA Bill Requires Scrutiny
On Thursday, Senator Sessions spoke on the Senate floor regarding Majority Leader Reid’s attempt to speed through the Senate, without proper examination, the FEMA bill that would borrow nearly $2 billion more than the president’s own disaster relief request. Sessions remarked in part:
“There is no doubt this country has sustained a series of disasters that will require federal support and funding. We have seen them in Alabama, my home State, where we had the worst series of tornadoes in history… We have had floods. We have had fires and droughts around the country… So it is incumbent upon us in Congress to wrestle with that and to try to figure out what should be done…

You know they say: ‘That is not much money, just $2 billion. We spend a lot more money than that around here on all kinds of things, and we shouldn't worry about it, Sessions. You are just slowing down the emergency bill. It has to go through right now…’

I suggest that this kind of rapid spending – emotional, political movement of the money through this body – is why this country has gotten into financial trouble. We just increase the price tag for a bill [by] $2 billion and rush it through and attack anyone who has the gumption to stand up like Senator Tom Coburn and raise some real questions about it. How much of this can we pay for? Can we pay for it all? We probably could. We probably should. Or pay for part of it so it’s not borrowed? …

I say responsible, senatorial management requires us to examine the legislation. And when we have a bill that [spends] about 40 percent more than the president asked for, maybe that ought to throw up a red flag around here.”
Add’l Committee Activity
SEN. GRASSLEY ANWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
SEN. CRAPO QUESTIONS PANEL OF EXPERTS AT TAX REFORM HEARING
SEN. PORTMAN’S OPENING STATEMENT AT DEFICIT REDUCTION HEARING
SEN. TOOMEY INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP BUSINESSES RAISE CAPITAL
SEN. AYOTTE JOINS BIPARTISAN GROUP TO ENCOURAGE SUPERCOMMITTEE TO “GO BIG”

Tags: US Senate, Budget Committee, Jeff Sessions, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mr. President, We're Done Paying Your Bills

American Crossroads: As President Obama travels the country, seemingly thinking that by saying the words "pass the bill" over and over he can will it into existence, American Crossroads is hitting back and exposing this 'jobs' bill for what it really is: another taxpayer-funded stimulus.

Entitled “Pay this Bill,” the new video spoofs Obama’s repeated exhortations for Congress to “pass this bill” by editing video footage to make the president say what he means – that American taxpayers must “pay this bill.”


Tags: Barack Obama, President Obama, American Jobs Act, jobs, bill, stimulus, taxes, democrats, American Crossroads, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

September Has Been A Bad Month For The Teleprompter

ALGNewsNetwork : September has been cold for the President Obama and his Teleprompter. We go though the bad news for Obama, check it out.


Tags: President, Barack Obama, Teleprompter, September, 2011, Unemployment, Poverty, Solyndra, Unemployment Rate, Approval Ratings To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

American Economy - Decline and Fall?

By Paul Jacob, Common Sense: Widespread unemployment, fear, and consternation: Why now?

Three answers:
  1. Imperial over-reach. No nation can police the world forever. Empires once existed for loot. But on net the U.S. doesn’t take wealth from others. Instead, we spend our own wealth “protecting” others, often confusing our “national interest” for the interests of well-connected businesses. Hardly sustainable. Flag-waving about how good the U.S. is won’t stop the decline.
  2. Churning. We pretend to live in a “welfare state,” but wealth does not consistently go from rich to poor, to compensate for disadvantages. Wealth churns from one group to another, with each power shift. Trying to live at the expense of everyone else is not just a game for the poor. Government, without constitutional limits, inevitably shifts wealth haphazardly from the politically powerless (the least organized) to the politically powerful (the best organized) — with always a cut for the bureaucracy and political insiders. Of course such a system must decline, at some point.
  3. Sub-standard standards. In too many domains of life, we’ve almost given up. Certainly folks in high places act quite low. And the people who control our money, for example, don’t even pretend to keep a stable supply, a “standard”; instead, they pride themselves on “keeping bubbles going” . . . making unsustainability our standard policy.
But Americans do have an advantage over our Old World friends and foes. We have a history of dedication to better principles. Our best bet for recovery? Return to them. This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Decline and Fall, unemployment, fear, consternation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama WH Emails Reveal Solyndra Warning Signs Ignored

Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept. 16, 2011:
Yesterday, the Senate voted 62-37 to agree to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) substitute amendment, which included $7 billion in FEMA funding and Burma sanctions, and pass H.J. Res. 66.

Prior to that vote, the Senate rejected amendments from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to offset the FEMA funding by cutting duplicative government programs and from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to offset the FEMA funding by cutting foreign aid.

Also yesterday, the Senate voted 92-6 to pass H.R. 2887, extending the FAA authorization for 4 months and extending highway programs for 6 months. Prior to passage, the Senate rejected two amendments from Sen. Paul: one to limit highway trust fund spending, and one to reduce the FAA authorization to the 2008 level.

Even more troubling revelations about the Obama administration’s loan of $535 million in stimulus money to bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra are being reported today.

The Washington Post reports, “A White House official fretted privately that the Obama administration could suffer serious political damage if it gave additional taxpayer support to the beleaguered solar-panel company Solyndra, according to newly released e-mails. The firm had burned through millions of dollars and in January still tottered near collapse. The official wanted the government’s top budget official to warn Obama’s energy secretary about the risk, according to the e-mails. At the time, the Energy Department was trying to pump taxpayer money into the California company to save it from imminent failure. The firm had received a $535 million federal loan from the agency in 2009, but early this year confided to the Obama administration that without a rapid infusion of cash it was in danger of defaulting.”

The Post notes, “OMB staff members had warned that the Energy Department’s restructuring of Solyndra’s loan might be throwing good money after bad, other e-mails show, and could cost taxpayers $168 million more than if Solyndra had liquidated in January. . . . Internal administration e-mail traffic from 2009, released this week, showed that White House officials pushed for a quick decision on a loan guarantee for Solyndra. They hoped the timing would allow Vice President Biden to announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s new factory in Fremont, Calif.”

The AP reports, “At least three reports by federal watchdogs over the past two years warned that the Energy Department had not fully developed the controls needed to manage the multibillion-dollar loan program that provided more the loan to Solyndra Inc., a now-bankrupt solar panel manufacturer. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that a White House official dismissed reports about Solyndra's gloomy future. An email from Greg Nelson, a White House official who had been involved in the planning of Obama's May 2010 trip to Solyndra's headquarters, to a Solyndra executive downplayed a July 2010 news story in a trade publication that criticized the company's financial health.”

Also, according to the AP, “A 2009 report by the Energy Department's inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks. In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees. The report did not publicly identify the companies that were not properly vetted, but congressional investigators say one of them was Solyndra. The company was the first to receive a loan guarantee after the program was expanded under the 2009 stimulus law.”

And The Wall Street Journal writes, “[T]he $535 million government loan guarantee so prized by the solar-panel maker may have ultimately contributed to the company's undoing, say investors with knowledge of the company's operations. The new factory built with Department of Energy funds foisted fixed costs on a company already struggling through an industry shake-out, they say. What's more, the debt paradoxically made raising more money difficult. Once the government demanded priority in the event of failure, private investors were less likely to prop up the company. One Solyndra investor said that, in retrospect, ‘the worst thing that happened to Solyndra was the loan.’”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “[W]e’re hearing reports that the White House fast-tracked a half billion dollar loan to a politically-connected energy firm that their own analysts said wasn’t ready for primetime. This place was supposed to be the poster child of how the original stimulus would create jobs. Now it’s bankrupt and most of its 1,100 employees are out of work. And they want another stimulus?”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, White House, Obama Administration, Solyndra, Fema, FAA, Highway bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

New Stimulus, Same Old Promises

There Are At Least 1.7 Million Reasons To Be Skeptical Of President Obama’s Latest Jobs Prediction
1,705,000 Fewer Jobs Since The First Stimulus Passed In February 2009

NEW STIMULUS PROMISE: ‘Obama Said His Proposal Would Create 1.9 Million Jobs’
“At a private fundraiser last night, Obama said his proposal would create 1.9 million jobs, while reducing the 9.1% unemployment rate by a percentage point…” (“Obama: My Bill Will Create 1.9 Million Jobs,” USA Today, 9/16/11)

OLD STIMULUS PROMISE: ‘4 Million Jobs’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It's A Plan That Will Save Or Create Up To 4 Million Jobs Over The Next Two Years.” (President Obama, Town Hall Meeting, Fort Myers, FL, 2/10/09)

OBAMA: “… My Bottom Line Is, Are We Creating 4 Million Jobs?” (President Obama, Press Conference, 2/9/09)

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: In “18 months” stimulus will “create 3.5 million jobs … literally drop-kicks us out of this recession.” (Vice President Biden, Remarks At Recover Plan Implementation Meeting, The White House, 2/25/09)

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)

Tags: Obama, stimulus, old promises To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rush Limbaugh: "Mr. President, If You love Us?"

To get your blood going, here is Rush Limbaugh comments on Obama if you love me antics which was posted yesterday. One of the wisest guys in Americans sets behind the EIB microphone and won't run for president. While President Obama implores America that if we love him then we would pass his jobs bill. We have narcissism to the nth degree, what will be next?


Tags: video, Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, love me, jobs bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Transparency Shines On Arkansas Plantation Politics

Bill Smith, Editor: The light of transparency is being shined by numerous Arkansas grassroots conservative groups on Arkansas Plantation Politics. In recent weeks, we have noted shocking abuses based on the history of brazen Arkansas Plantation Politics. And these abuses emanated from the Governor's office.

Now even the major statewide newspaper which bears on its masthead the words "Arkansas Democrat" has been forced to take note and has commented on the dalliances of the Arkansas Democrat Governor.

The following referenced press release by the Arkansas Republican Party highlights the situation. Indeed, it must be difficult for the leadership at the Republican Party of Arkansas not to gloat after having seen the numerous unfounded attacks on the newly elected Republican Secretary of State.


Statewide Editorial Calls Out Democrat
Governor Mike Beebe’s Failed Leadership on
Double Dipping, Shane Broadway Appointment

“IS THIS what Governor Mike Beebe calls transparency in government?”

What’s in a name? Wordgames in state government
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/15/11
“…Just how much double-dipping is there in state government? The story by Michael Wickline on the front page of Sunday’s paper reported that at least 4,100 rehired retirees — excuse us, working retirees — can still be found in state government. They cost Arkansas taxpayers a total of $89.4 million in salaries last fiscal year, and $84.1 million in pension payments. Which works out to an average salary of $21,800 a year plus an average annual pension of $20,500. Or a total of some $42,300 a year per employee.

It’s not easy to tell just which double-dippers are drawing just how much from the state treasury. To do that, you’d have to know their top pay grade for 36 months, how many years they put in before “retiring,” and the formula used to calculate their pension benefits.

To do all that, to quote Allen Kerr, a state representative from Little Rock who’s been trying to reform this system for years without much success, “You just about would have to hire a retirement actuary.”

There’s no way to just call up a handy website, type in a name, and find out exactly how much each of these double-dippers is costing you the taxpayer. That would be too simple, too direct, too open. No sense making it easy for the public to find out what its state government is doing—and for whom.

IS THIS what Governor Mike Beebe calls transparency in government? It sounds more like obfuscation in government. Like claiming his choice of a political buddy as director of higher education in Arkansas fulfilled the legal requirement. Really? In its official opinion this week, the state attorney general’s office took a different view, concluding that the director had to be appointed through a search and-select process and have actual experience in higher education. Just as the law says. Who says lawyers can’t see the obvious?

There’s a simple enough solution to the continuing embarrassment and outrage called double-dipping: Just give all these rehired retirees—by whatever name—the same choice so many of us who don’t work for state government have: Either retire and collect benefits or stay on the job and keep collecting a salary. One or the other. Which sounds fair enough. Instead of letting all these rehired retirees do both, that is, doubledip. It’s not the labels that need changing but the system itself.

The state legislature could fix this problem—if it had the will. And if the state had a strong leader instead of a governor who may be for economical government in the abstract, but shows little interest in actually reforming a tricky arrangement that undermines public confidence in state government—and in him.”
Read Full Editorial.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, double dipping, working retirees, lack of transparency, appinting unqualified buddy, Dept of Education, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

“Repeating History” 9/14/2011

A.F. "Tony" Branco: History Repeating Itself. Let's hoope it continues through the 2012 Elections.

Tags: 2012 Elections, News, Anthony Weiner, Bob Turner, Israel, NY9, Reagan Democrat, Ronald Reagan, Turner, Weiner, A.F. Branco, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems 'Balking at Obama's Jobs Bill' - House: Addresses NRLB Abuse

Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept 15, 2011:
The House has passed HR 2587 (238- 186), the "Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act." Eight Democrats voted yes with the House Republicans. Seven House Republicans voted no along with the majority of House Democrats and went on record siding with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) abusive and unprecedented interference on behest of the Unions to prevent Boeing, a private company, from opening a new plant in a right to work state. Another example of abuse through regulations and regulatory decisions by the Obama administration which impact private businesses, the economy, and jobs. The Act was introduced by Congressman Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in response to the NLRB’s gross overreach attempting to move a Boeing production facility in South Carolina.

[Paragraph update added at 3:00pm] “The NLRB’s interference and overreach extends way beyond South Carolina and into every state. Our country and Arkansas needs to create more good, private sector jobs in order to get back on the path to prosperity, said Teresa Crossland-Oelke, AFP Arkansas State Director. “I applaud the bi-partisan support of our entire federal delegation Congressman Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Mike Ross for standing up to the NLRB to protect vital jobs and get America back to work.”

The Senate resumed consideration of H.J. Res. 66, the Burma sanctions bill, which Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to use as a vehicle for FEMA funding.

At 4 PM, the Senate will vote on three amendments to the bill: One from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), which would offset the FEMA funding by cutting duplicative government programs, one from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), which would offset the FEMA funding by cutting foreign aid, and finally Reid’s substitute amendment, which includes FEMA funding and the Burma sanctions language. All 3 amendments would require 60 votes for adoption. Under a unanimous consent agreement, if the Reid amendment is agreed to H.J. Res. 66 will be passed.

Reid is also seeking an agreement to take up yesterday's House-passed extension of the FAA authorization and highway bill, H.R. 2887.

The New York Times writes today, “President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide. ‘I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,’ Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said in an interview Wednesday, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who prefer an à la carte version of the bill despite White House resistance to that approach. ‘For that reason alone I think we should break it up.’”

The NYT also points out, “Republicans have focused their attack on the tax increases that would help pay for the spending components of the bill. But Democrats, as is their wont, are divided over their objections, which stem from Mr. Obama’s sinking popularity in polls, parochial concerns and the party’s chronic inability to unite around a legislative initiative, even in the face of Republican opposition. Some are unhappy about the specific types of companies, particularly the oil industry, that would lose tax benefits. . . . A small but vocal group dislikes the payroll tax cuts for employees and small businesses. . . . There are also Democrats, some of them senators up for election in 2012, who oppose the bill simply for its mental connection to the stimulus bill, which laid at least part of the foundation for the Republican takeover of the House in 2010.”

And it’s not just The Times noticing Democrats’ distaste for the president’s latest stimulus bill. Speaking to NBC’s Chuck Todd on MSNBC this morning, Joe Scarborough observed, “Their problem is though of course, Chuck, this morning, the Democrats are the ones that are in open revolt . . . .” Todd replied, “That’s right. It’s the Democrats.” Politico writes today, “It’s open season on President Barack Obama — and that’s just from members of his own party.” Yesterday, Roll Call noted, “President Barack Obama’s plans to pay for his jobs legislation are facing a cool reception from some House Democrats . . . .” And Politico reported, “President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party.”

Senate Democrats have called the new stimulus proposal “terrible,” declared the tax increases paying for it are “not going to fly,” referring to them as “frustrating” with “an unfairness to it.” Others have questioned whether it’s even worth trying to pass the whole thing together. And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) declared, “I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama has proposed, as well as the actual effectiveness some of these policies will have when it comes to creating jobs.”

And though “[i]n five speeches over a week, President Obama has said ‘pass this bill’ or some variant of it 90 times,” according to Politico, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t seem to share the president’s urgency.
National Journal reports, “President Obama’s calls for quick action on his plan to boost employment are aimed at pressuring Republicans, but he faces a more immediate hurdle in Senate Democrats’ plodding pace. The floor schedule outlined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., means that Obama’s plan may await action until late October or later. . . . The president’s latest demand for congressional speed came a day after Reid indicated he plans to take up a lengthy list of measures that look likely to delay a vote on Obama’s proposal for at least a month.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out on the Senate floor this morning, “[T]his bill’s top selling point, according to the President, was that both parties should like it. Yet, so far, the only thing both parties in Congress seem to agree on is that there’s got to be a better way.
Earlier this week, after several of us suggested that the President would have a hard time convincing members of his own party to support this plan, a number of them proved us right. While the President was out in Ohio insisting over and over again that Congress pass the bill, it seemed like the only Democrats who were even willing to talk about it here on Capitol Hill were tearing it apart.”

The real problem, though, Leader McConnell explained, is that President Obama’s stimulus policies just haven’t worked. “I mean, we’re in the middle of a crisis. . . . And the President’s solution is to demand another Washington stimulus bill, because the first one worked out so well. . . .

“The first stimulus is a national punch line. Turtle tunnels, sidewalks to nowhere. And now we’re hearing reports that the White House fast-tracked a half billion dollar loan to a politically-connected energy firm that their own analysts said wasn’t ready for primetime. And they want another stimulus?

“Look: even if you didn’t know about any of the waste or the alleged cronyism, here’s the bottom line: two and a half years after the President signed the first stimulus, there are 1.7 million fewer jobs in this country, 1.7 million fewer jobs after borrowing and spending $825 billion to create them. What more do you need to know than that? We’ve gone down that road. Shouldn’t we try something different?”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, NLRB, abuse by NLRB, Obama Stimulus, jobs bill, trade bill, FAA, Highway bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Falling Out Of Love With Obama's New Stimulus Plan

Democrats Are ‘In Open Revolt’ Over President Obama’s New Stimulus Plan
President’s Appeal: ‘If You Love Me, You Gotta Help Me Pass This Bill.’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “If you love me, you gotta help me pass this bill.” (“Obama: If You Love Me, Help Pass Jobs Bill,” ABC News, 9/14/11)
“In five speeches over a week, President Obama has said ‘pass this bill’ or some variant of it 90 times. That’s 18 times in his speech to Congress, 18 times at the University of Richmond, 12 times in the Rose Garden (when he officially unveiled his 155-page bill), 18 times at a high school in Columbus, and 24 times at North Carolina State University.” (“Pass The Bill, Obama Says 90 Times,” Politico’s 44, 9/14/11)

Dems ‘Prefer To Stay Just Friends,’ Give ‘Cool Reception’ To ‘Desperate’ President
“…Mr. Obama told voters in North Carolina, ‘If you love me you’ll pass this bill,’ but even some members of Congress from that state may prefer to stay just friends.” (“Democrats In Congress Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/15/11)

MSNBC’S JOE SCARBOROUGH: “Their problem is though of course, Chuck, this morning, the Democrats are the ones that are in open revolt...” NBC’S CHUCK TODD: “That’s right. It’s the Democrats.” (MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 9/15/11)

NBC’S CHUCK TODD: “In a moment, at a time when the campaign, the Obama campaign is desperate to have him seen as a tough leader again, you don’t want to get rolled by your own party.” (MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 9/15/11)

NBC’S CHUCK TODD: “…to have this string of Democratic Senators come out and tell the New York Times… Joe Manchin this thing seems too big and Bob Casey saying, I would like to deal with it piece meal. Oh by the way, Casey and Manchin are up for reelection in swing states/red states in Pennsylvania and West Virginia respectively. So, that is not a good sign.” (MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 9/15/11)

JAMES CARVILLE, Democrat Strategist: “What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic. We are far past sending out talking points. Do not attempt to dumb it down. We cannot stand any more explanations. Have you talked to any Democratic senators lately? I have. It's pretty damn clear they are not happy campers. …For God's sake, why are we still looking at the same political and economic advisers that got us into this mess? It's not working.” (James Carville, “What Should The White House Do? Panic!,” CNN, 9/15/11)

POLITICO: “It’s open season on President Barack Obama — and that’s just from members of his own party. With frustration and disappointment mounting from defeats in Tuesday’s two special elections and over Obama’s jobs plan, the media is filled on Thursday like never before with Democrats on the record publicly questioning and doubting the president and some of his policies, and a few even unleashing biting criticism.” (“Obama Under Attack - From Dems,” Politico, 9/15/11)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.” (“Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/15/11)

ROLL CALL: “President Barack Obama's plans to pay for his jobs legislation are facing a cool reception from some House Democrats who wonder how the proposals — which went nowhere in the 111th Congress, when Democrats held majorities in both chambers — can attract support now.” (“Lukewarm Response For Jobs Bill Payment Plan,” Roll Call, 9/14/11)

“…the ideas, which include limiting tax deductions to charitable contributions and increasing taxes on hedge funds and private equity groups, have not fared well in Congress, prompting opposition from key Democrats.” (“Lukewarm Response For Jobs Bill Payment Plan,” Roll Call, 9/14/11)

POLITICO: “President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party. As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right anecdote to spur major job growth and turn around their party’s political fortunes.” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

“…as details of the plan began to be vetted on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, it was clear that the White House needed to redouble its sales job — or tweak its plan — to force Democrats to fall in line at a pivotal point in Obama’s presidency.” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Dems: Bill ‘Terrible,’ ‘Frustrating,’ ‘Not Going To Fly’
SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation … For that reason alone I think we should break it up.” “‘I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,’ said Senator Robert Casey, Democrat from Pennsylvania, in an interview Wednesday, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who prefer an a la carte version of the bill despite White House resistance to that approach. ‘For that reason alone I think we should break it up.’” (“Democrats In Congress Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/15/11)

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute…” (“Some Democrats Are Balking At Obama’s Jobs Bill,” The New York Times, 9/15/11)

LANDRIEU: 'That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that," said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. ‘Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case.’” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “I don't know exactly what I'm going to do yet with the president's jobs bill, but we're going to have a full caucus meeting on it on Thurs,’ Reid told reporters, saying merely that he had introduced the bill Tuesday. A number of Democrats have previously opposed some of the ideas in the bill.” (“Reid Not Sure if Obama's Jobs Bill Can Pass,” Fox News, 9/13/11)

SEN. JIM WEBB (D-VA): “‘Terrible,’ Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. ‘We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.’” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-AK): “Frustrating … There’s an unfairness to it.” “Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was ‘frustrating’ to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last week’s address to Congress to find savings. ‘When you start singling out certain industries, there’s an unfairness to it,’ he said in an interview. ‘On the pay-fors, I have a problem.’” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama has proposed, as well as the actual effectiveness some of these policies will have when it comes to creating jobs…” (“Manchin’s Strategy For Surviving 2012 In A Red State: Bash President Obama,” The Hill, 9/14/11)

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D-MD): “I disagree with the president.” “Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat whose state includes some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., said she didn't support the health-care tax. ‘I disagree with the president,’ she said.” (“Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg, 9/14/11)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): “I don’t think anybody expects it to pass en bloc.” “‘I don’t think anybody expects it to pass en bloc,’ Kerry told reporters Tuesday afternoon after the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy luncheon. ‘So, the issue is going to be what, if any, parts of it might be cherry-picked. And really that depends a lot on the overall mix of the negotiation.’” (“Obama Jobs Proposal Won’t Pass In One Piece, Kerry Says,” Washington Post, 9/13/11)

SEN. TOM CARPER (D-DE): “I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan… That’s better than everything else the president is talking about — combined.” (“Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Tags: Democrats, no love, Obama, stimulus bill, jobs bill, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Culture of Free Enterprise

by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: The United States developed a culture of free enterprise early on, and most Americans want it to continue. That is one of the conclusions from The Battle by Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute.

The founders promoted a free market where Americans were able to truly live their liberty. Thomas Jefferson famously said this in his first inaugural address. "A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

People from other countries began to realize how exceptional America’s culture of free enterprise was. French nobleman Alexis deTocqueville called Americans "the freest people in the world." During his time in America he was struck by the fact that Americans pursued their interests under the supervision of limited government and banded together in voluntary associations.

This is true to this day. According to Arthur Brooks, Europeans are half as likely as Americans to attribute success in their own life to their own efforts. He even suggests that some of this might even be genetic, that is part of the American DNA. Think about it. We are a nation of immigrants. Immigrants tend to be entrepreneurs and willing to give up security and take risks for the possibility of prosperity.

Arthur Brooks contends that we live in a 70-30 nation. A Pew Research Center poll asked a broad range of Americans this question: “Generally, do you think people are better off in a free market economy, even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time, or don’t you think so?” Almost 70% of respondents agree that they are better off in a free market economy.

The good news is that 70% of Americans believe in free enterprise. The bad news is that the other 30% are in control of important arenas in our society such as the academy, media, and government. And that leads to the subtitle of the book by Arthur Brooks that says, “How the fight between free enterprise and big government will shape America’s future.” This is our challenge for the future. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.
Kirby Anderson is an author, lecturer, visiting professor and radio host and contributor on nationally syndicated "Point of View" and the "Probe" radio programs.

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Point of View, United States, America, Free Enterprise To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ICYMI: Obama campaign sets up web site to silence dissent, criticism

Joe Newby, Spokane Conservative Examiner and Facebook friend and activist reported on the Obama's campaign efforts to silence dissent by conservatives. Before sharing his post, Consider these humorous twits appearing on twitter:
arra Dr. Bill Smith Make Sure I am on the #AttackWatch list #tcot #sgp

asskickymchotti Green Eyed Warrior that's about the $3.4 Million of Federal Stimulus Money to Pay for Turtle Tunnel?? Yeah that's what I thought! #Attackwatch

MelissaTweets RT @iowahawkblog: I'm grateful to live in a country where the totalitarians are so hilariously inept. #AttackWatch

thorninaz Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!

GlennBeckClips ACHTUNG! GOVERNMENT ALERT to All school children! If your parents are Tea Party members REPORT IT NOW to #ATTACKWATCH Heil Obama! #TCOT

fuzislippers Fuzzy Slippers Dear # attackwatch is the person who dreamed up this laughingstock still employed? Just curious.

walkerva My boss makes more than me. Sure, she took on all of the risk by being the business owner, but still... . Please look into it. #attackwatch

BallStAlum96 Jeffrey A.C. Borysko I used to think that Prez Zero was diabolical and very smart, but attackwatch has made me realize he is a freaking idiot reallybadidea

KatyinIndy #attackwatch Obama's illegal alien drunken Uncle Omar is missing; how does one actually lose a President's relative? tweetcongress

HillBuzz #attackwatch Please look into the fact Obama got all Ds and Fs in college. Please release his transcripts to prove this is not true.

michellemalkin Stiff competition! I did not make Top 10 attackwatch tweets. Must. Try. Harder. is.gd/fJU1Ne

Mary Katharine Ham Design regression from Fight the Smears to #AttackWatch is metaphor for Obama 08 vs. 12. Same product, subtract style, sprinkle desperation.

BradMarston: I found a website with lies about @BarackObama It's WhiteHouse.gov #attackwatch

@Pedlar7 #attackwatch I'd like to report the US Senate for not passing a budget for 800+ days. #HarryReid

andilinks Andi Silver: People are calling our President the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers, that's not allowed is it?

ResistTyranny Hey @AttackWatch, should we file 39,000 complaints? That's how many tweets we've posted, and most attack Obama. #AttackWatch
Joe Newbury's article:

Be careful what you say at the dinner table - someone just might report you to Barack Obama.

The Obama campaign has decided it must deal with any and all criticism aimed at the President.

To accomplish this, the campaign has set up a web site, attackwatch.com, to monitor “inaccuracies… falsehoods… gossip…“ and ”smears” against the President.

The site includes a new Twitter hashtag, #attackwatch, and an account - @Attackwatch - to make it easier for the President's followers to report attacks and discuss them as they happen.

The move is reminiscent of the "internet snitch brigade" set up to counter and silence criticism of Obamacare.

At the time of this writing, three "attacks" were prominently displayed on the site, including Rick Perry's alleged "massive job lie," Mitt Romney's 'job chart' the site claims "shows flawed understanding of the facts," and a claim that Glenn Beck "twists the facts on Israel."

Tags: Obama campaign, webiste, attack watch, silencing free speech, silencing dissent To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's Libstick on the Pig - His Jobs Bill

"Pass the Pork" is what President Obama is demanding. Looks like Obama is willing, in the words of Sarah Palin, to attempt to dress up his jobs program by "putting lipstick on the pig." Thus Tony Branco's cartoon.
by A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: President Obama, Lipstick, Pig, lipstick on a pig, pass the pork, American jobs act, Barack Obama, Pork Barrel Spending, stimulus, Tony Branco, satire, cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Public Distrust of Obama's Projected Additional Stimulus Spending

Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept. 14, 2011:
The Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to proceed to H.J. Res. 66, the Burma sanctions bill, which Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to use as a vehicle for unpaid-for FEMA funding - $6.9 billion in federal disaster assistance.

Yesterday, the Senate voted again on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.J. Res. 66. This time cloture was agreed to by a vote of 61-38.

Yesterday, the U.S. House passed H.R. 2887 a short-term extension of highway funding through March 31, 2012  and extended the operating plans for the Federal Aviation Administration through the end of January, 2012 and includes an extension of a federal highway bill. The Senate is expected to follow suit and thereby avoid another shutdown. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved a four-month extension of the highway program. However the differences between the House and Senate bills will require reconciliation including an notably is provision addressing unions.

Rep. John Mica (R-FL), Chairman, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that he will not agree to anymore extensions. He wants a six-year reauthorization bill funded only by what the Highway Trust Fund produces - a projected 36% reduction in highway funding and thus a savings to the taxpayers. Past highway funding has been supplemented by funding from the General Fund which is over stretched.  Recall of the stimulus going to highway work signs which was a waste of taxpayer's money.

There’s a great deal of skepticism of President Obama’s latest stimulus proposal today among Democrats in Congress and among the general public, which is certainly understandable, given the well-known failures of Obama’s original stimulus and the revelations about Solyndra.

Politico reports today, “President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party. As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right anecdote to spur major job growth and turn around their party’s political fortunes.”

Rank-and-file Senate Democrats clearly aren’t sold on the tax hikes in the bill. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) told Politico the tax hikes were “terrible,” saying “We shouldn't increase taxes on ordinary income.” According to Politico, “Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was ‘frustrating’ to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last week's address to Congress to find savings. ‘When you start singling out certain industries, there's an unfairness to it,’ he said in an interview.” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was blunter: “That offset is not going to fly, and he [the president] should know that.” And Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), told Bloomberg News, “I disagree with the president,” concerning a tax on health care plans.

Even Senate Democrat leaders don’t sound enthusiastic. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said yesterday, “I don't know exactly what I'm going to do yet with the president's jobs bill . . . .” According to Bloomberg News, “Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat, said the caucus isn't yet united behind all of Obama's proposals to cover the bill's $447 billion cost.” And Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said, “I don't think anybody expects it to pass en bloc.”

Meanwhile, the American public is skeptical that the president’s stimulus proposal will live up to his assertion it will create jobs. Bloomberg News reports, “A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re- election. . . . By a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent, Americans doubt the package of tax cuts and spending proposals intended to jumpstart job creation that Obama submitted to Congress this week will bring down the 9.1 percent jobless rate. That sentiment undermines one of the core arguments the president is making on the job act’s behalf in a nationwide campaign to build public support. Compounding Obama’s challenge is that 56 percent of independents, whom the president won in 2008 and will need to win in 2012, are skeptical it will work.”

Also, Bloomberg writes, “The downbeat assessment of the American Jobs Act reflects a growing and broad sense of dissatisfaction with the president. Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12 shows. The disapproval number represents a nine point increase from six months ago.”

It’s little wonder that there is so little confidence in the proposals in President Obama’s new stimulus plan, given the well-known failures of the original nearly $1 trillion stimulus, some of which are becoming ever more apparent as more news comes out about the half-a-billion dollar loan the Obama administration provided to failed solar company Solyndra. ABC’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross summed it up in a report for World News Tonight, saying, “The text of White House emails obtained by ABC News, and the Center for Public Integrity, reveal for the first time the role of senior Obama administration officials in the Solyndra loan. It was a loan shelved by the Bush administration, but put on a fast-track just six days after President Obama took office.” And The Washington Post reports, “The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.”

USA Today editors write, “Despite initial misgivings about the company's viability, an Energy Department program aimed at boosting ‘clean energy’ projects had guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, which produced an innovative but expensive solar panel. Taxpayers are now on the hook for some or most of that money, depending on whether someone buys the assets. . . . Even if Solyndra's collapse is nothing more than good intentions gone awry — a big if — it is a cautionary tale about why government should be extremely wary about betting tax dollars on specific companies. If there's one thing the marketplace virtually always does better than government, it's picking individual successes in an uncertain and highly competitive business. In fact, government involvement can unfairly tilt the playing field toward one company and away from competitors.” They conclude, “This is a stain on Obama's stimulus program.”

It’s easy to see, then, why so many lawmakers on Capitol Hill share the deep skepticism of Americans on the president’s plans for more stimulus spending.

Tags: Washington, D.C., Us Senate, US House, Obama, stimulus spending, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama Wants To Save A Job -- His!

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: President Obama is hitting the campaign trail, going to the critical swing state of Ohio to sell his American Jobs Act. But a truth in labeling law would require the Administration to call the bill "Obama's Job Act." It has nothing to do with creating new jobs and everything to do with helping Obama save his job!

After claiming for days that the nearly $500 billion proposal is fully paid for, we've learned that Obama is demanding more tax hikes that not even a Democrat Congress would agree to. Just 10 months ago (not exactly ancient history) the Democrat-controlled Congress voted to renew the Bush tax cuts and not to raise taxes on anyone. Why does Obama think the Republican-controlled House would raise taxes when his own party would not?

Do you recall during the debt limit debate when the House GOP passed "Cut, Cap and Balance"? The media were incredulous. Every commentator panned the effort as a "waste of time," because the bill stood no chance in Harry Reid's Senate. What did Obama just do? He sent a bill to Capitol Hill that stands no chance of passing. Yet today we're told that "politics is standing in the way" of Obama's brilliant plan.

Here's what you need to understand: Obama doesn't want the bill to pass. This is not about creating new jobs for Americans -- it's a campaign strategy to save his job! That is why Obama is on the campaign trail today.

Obama wants to convince voters that he is for teachers, while Republicans are for "millionaires and billionaires." He is for new schools, but the GOP is for "corporate jet owners." Obama is for the middle class, and Republicans are for hedge fund managers. It's class warfare again, and these themes will be the centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

Here are two more points to consider.

First, I know everyone likes getting a break on their Social Security payroll taxes. But right now Republicans generally, and Gov. Perry specifically, are getting crucified for suggesting that the program is in need of reform.

Yet for the second year in a row, Obama and his Democrat allies are taking billions out of the Social Security system in order to buy votes. Obama is telling audiences that he has given them the largest tax cut in history -- an absurd claim that earned Obama "four Pinocchios" from the Washington Post. Who really has the best interests of Social Security at heart?

Second, liberal pundits are doing their best in these presidential debates to pigeonhole Republicans as extremists for refusing to raises taxes to reduce the deficit. Again, what did Obama just do?

Will his half trillion dollars in new tax hikes go to reduce the deficit? No. It's for another round of stimulus spending. And we're having this debate today because Obama's previous $800 billion stimulus bill failed so miserably. Perhaps this one will only fail half as badly. The editors of USA Today were not impressed -- calling it "Jobs plan déjà vu."

Your liberal friends will attempt to turn the tables on you, asking rhetorically, "If you don't support Obama's plan, what is yours?" Here is the answer:

Economic growth has stopped because there is a crisis of confidence among consumers and employers. This is caused by America's growing debt and the fear of higher taxes. It is being stoked by images on the TV of riots in Greece and England (the results of failed socialist states) and by a president who continually gets on TV to demand higher taxes. Our jobs plan is to get Obama out of office, so we can cut spending, cut regulations and lower taxes!

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, a recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. Recovery begins when Obama loses his!
-------------
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

Tags: Obama, job, jobs, Keeping His Job, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Poverty Rises to 1 in 6 Under Obama Administration

Stop Obama Policies to Reduce U.S. Poverty
By Hope Yen, GOPUSA: The ranks of America's poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in more than two decades.

The Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year. It comes at a politically sensitive time for President Barack Obama, who has acknowledged in the midst of a re-election fight that the unemployment rate could persist at high levels through next year.

The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, or 46.2 million, up from 14.3 percent in 2009. The official poverty level is an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four.

Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment. . . .

Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22.7 percent, according to calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Georgia, New Mexico and Arizona. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 6.6 percent. . . . [Full Story]

Tags: Obama, Obama administration, poverty, increased poverty, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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  • 6/22/14 - 6/29/14
  • 6/29/14 - 7/6/14
  • 7/6/14 - 7/13/14
  • 7/13/14 - 7/20/14
  • 7/20/14 - 7/27/14
  • 7/27/14 - 8/3/14
  • 8/3/14 - 8/10/14
  • 8/10/14 - 8/17/14
  • 8/17/14 - 8/24/14