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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, 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 or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles.Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
In particular, the Economist editorial calls out the Dodd-Frank law for its complexity:
At 848 pages, it is 23 times longer than Glass-Steagall, the reform that followed the Wall Street crash of 1929. Worse, every other page demands that regulators fill in further detail. Some of these clarifications are hundreds of pages long. Just one bit, the “Volcker rule”, which aims to curb risky proprietary trading by banks, includes 383 questions that break down into 1,420 subquestions.
The result is “financial firms in America must prepare to comply with a law that is partly unintelligible and partly unknowable.”
Next in the Economist’s sights is the 2010 health care law which has its share of ridiculousness:
Next year the number of federally mandated categories of illness and injury for which hospitals may claim reimbursement will rise from 18,000 to 140,000. There are nine codes relating to injuries caused by parrots, and three relating to burns from flaming water-skis.
While the regulatory pile-on is bipartisan, this chart from the Jobs Creators Alliance shows the number of “economically significant rules” has gone up more steeply in the last few years under the current administration. The White House concedes their new rules have cost businesses $25 billion, more than double the costs from the two previous administrations.
The complexity of all these rules squeezes the air out of the economy. For example, the Economist notes that the Sarbanes-Oxley financial law caused America’s share of initial public offerings (IPOs) to drop from 67% to 16%. In addition, more rules prevent businesses from investing in projects, growing, and hiring workers. Then Gallup found almost half of small businesses say government regulations are keeping them from hiring. And we’re surprised unemployment is as high as it is?
A step toward a solution is also bipartisan, the Regulatory Accountability Act, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Susan Collins (R-ME). It would require agencies to weigh the costs and benefits of proposed rules, add more transparency and public input to the rulemaking process, and ensure agencies use sound scientific and technical data in their analysis.
It’s a way to uncoil the regulatory python around the American economy, allowing it to spring free to create jobs and prosperity.
-------------- ARRA News Service Editorial Note: In sharing the excellent article by Mr. Hackbarth, we are not endorsing actions of the Senators mentioned. It is seldom that we offer or share anything positive about Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor. The reasons are obvious. This site is conservative and he is not. However, it surprised me that he co-sponsored the "Regulatory Accountability Act." We will wait (not holding our breath), to see if this Act develops into a meaningful restraint on government regulations. After all, this is the same Mark Pryor who supported the Federal health Care law which has been one of the biggest takeovers of American business and biggest attacks on individual rights and personal liberty through regulations. So for now, Sen. Pryor, we are indeed watching your words and actions.
The Free Enterprise Magazine is a publication of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Sean Hackbarth is the conservative free market advocate and coordinates blogger, policy advocacy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce . He personally blogs at The American Mind. He is also a valuable ARRA News Service informational source on the economy and on pending issues before Congress Tags:Sean Hackbarth, Free Enterprise, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Dodd-Frank law, 2010 health care law, regulatory python, regulations, rules, final rules, the economy, business, industryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ICYMI: RNC & NFRA Adopt Resolutions Exposing Agenda 21
Bill Smith, Editor, NFRA and ARRA Member: I have been asked if the Republican Party cares about or knows about UN's Agenda 21 and its impact on the property and personal rights of American citizens. My answer has been yes. However, until the Republican National Committee publicly acknowledged the existence of Agenda 21 and the issues, it has been difficult to convince those who asked the question that the RNC is concerned. The RNC has done so now.
In addition, the identified "Conservative Wing of the Republican Party," the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) has also lead in the effort. It would do well for conservatives to align with the Republican Assemblies chapters. While these chapters and state organizations operate independent of the political structure of the RNC and republican state organizations, the members of the NFRA are active as conservative republicans voices within the Republican structured organizations.
Previously without such acknowledgment of Agenda 21 and is objectives by the RNC, it has been difficult to convince the general public including some conservatives that major threats exist to property rights of Americans under UN's Agenda 21. Agenda 21 agreements and funding via grants to government agencies and organizations carry with them obligations which can bind members and communities to international and UN agency agreements, regulations, etc., established by foreign nations or their representatives and which acceptable to the American citizens, our American beliefs and ideals, or our Constitutional rights. The biggest treat is to individual property rights and to community owned property. Threatened property rights include the ability to make individual decisions about ones own real property (land, water rights, mineral rights, use rights, etc.) and to personal property including livestock, use of animals, equipment, tools and eventually money and exclusive ownership of that property). Included is the threat of limiting a person's ability to use their own land or property or to even live and work in a one's geographic area / region. Relocation of humans appears to be part of Agenda 21.
National Federation Republican Assemblies: UPDATE: The Republican National Committee approved the resolution exposing Agenda 21 at their Winter Meeting, January 13, 2012. The resolution will be recommended for adoption into the Republican Party Platform at the 2012 Convention. See the resolution (PDF) . Note: the resolution is the third from the top.
It has been reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC)passed a resolution exposing Agenda 21 for what it is: a disregard for American freedom, private property rights, and a key player in the Leftist move toward a one world government. Agenda 21 (ICLEI) assaults the very foundation of America. The RNC has not yet made an official statement or released the resolution. We call on the RNC to release this immediately, and we salute the individuals who signed this document.
Text of the RNC Resolution:
RNC Resolution Exposing United Nations Agenda 21
WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992; and,
WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects; and
WHEREAS, this United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called “sustainable development” views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment; and,
WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth; and,
WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy National sovereignty is deemed a social injustice; now therefore be
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21 and hereby exposes to the public and public policy makers the dangerous intent of the plan; and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that the U.S. government and no state or local government is legally bound by the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty in that it has never been endorsed by the (U.S.) Senate, and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that the federal and state and local governments across the country be well informed of the underlying harmful implications of implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 destructive strategies for “sustainable development” and we hereby endorse rejection of its radical policies and rejection of any grant monies attached to it, and therefore be it further
RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of the Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, all Republican candidates for President who qualify for RNC sanctioned debates, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
Chief Sponsor: Helen Van Etten, Republican National Committeewoman for Kansas
Co-Sponsors: Carolyn McLarty, Republican National Committeewoman for Oklahoma
Kim Lehman, Republican National Committeewoman for Iowa
Paul Reynolds, Republican National Committeeman for Alabama
Demetra DeMonte, Republican national Committeewoman for Illinois
Solomon Yue, Republican National Committeewoman for Oregon
Donna Cain, Republican National Committeewoman for Oregon
Cindy Costa, Republican National Committeewoman for South Carolina
John Sigler, Republican State Chairman for Delaware
Steve Scheffler, Republican National Committeeman for Iowa
Peggy Lambert, Republican National Committeewoman for Tennessee
Jim Bopp, Republican National Committeeman for Indiana
Bruce Ash, Republican National Committeeman for Arizona
DeMarus Carlson, Republican National Committeewoman for Nebraska
The National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) has long led the charge to restore conservative values and principles to the RNC, and we believe this is a sign that our message is being heard. The NFRA Board passed a slate of resolutions at the NFRA Presidential Preference Convention in October 2011, including the following on Agenda 21:
NFRA RESOLUTION OPPOSING UNITED NATIONS’ COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLANNING
WHEREAS, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies recognizes that the pillars of freedom and liberty are life, liberty and property. As such, we seek to identify those candidates that understand and support these same noble characteristics of our great nation and that it is the combination of these truths that makes America “exceptional”; and
WHEREAS, some little known facts about comprehensive land use planning, known as Agenda 21 include, but are not limited to, the following:
The UN’s Agenda 21 was revealed to the world at the Rio Earth Summit II in 1992;
Agenda 21 was signed into soft law in 1992 and requires only administrative approval and not legislative approval;
The UN’s Agenda 21 was granted administrative approval when President Clinton, through Executive Order, created the first President’s Council on Sustainable Development;
The President’s Council on Sustainable Development created the domestic plan known as “Sustainable America”;
Official non-Government Organizations known as NGOs are certified through the UN based on their compliance and willingness to institute UN created policies like Agenda 21 and the "Wildlands Project". Examples of NGOs include, but are not limited to: the Sierra Club, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Planning Association, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability; formally known as the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.”;
GATT, NAFTA and other trade agreements also contain components that are derivatives from the economic components of Agenda 21;
Income redistribution as a form of “economic justice” is a tool to be used by Agenda 21;
Agenda 21 is anti-property rights;
The terms “Sustainable Development”, “Smart Growth”, "Comprehensive Land Use Plan”, and “Sustainable Agriculture” are domestic equivalents of Agenda 21; and
The Global Biodiversity Assessment Report identifies private property ownership, single family homes, traditional agriculture, and consumerism as “unsustainable.”; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that we, the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), oppose the nondomestic policies of Agenda 21 based on failure to recognize private property rights as one of America’s cornerstones of freedom and liberty; be it further RESOLVED, that Article one, Section ten of the Constitution prohibits any State or subordinate governmental body from contracting with nondomestic entities such as ICLEI; and be it RESOLVED, that the NFRA shall not endorse a candidate or elected official including the office of President that refuses to oppose the same. Tags:2011 NFRA Presidential Preference Convention, NFRA, National Federation Republican Assembly, Agenda 21, Liberty, Property, Republican National Committee, RNC, United NationsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
After three year, it is extremely obvious to democrats (barring liberal progressives), republicans, and independents that President Obama 2009 Stimulus has been an abject failure. All we have to do is look at our neighbors, friends and family and our economy. Question: Barring President Obama and his friends and family, Are Americans better off today that when the Barack Obama signed his 2009 Stimulus bill? For the majority, the answer is NO.
If readers need source information beyond which has been provided over the last few days, below are more links.
· “CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for more than six months -- referred to as the long-term unemployed -- topped 40 percent in December 2009 and has remained above that level ever since.” (CBO Report, 2/16/12)
OLD STIMULUS CLAIM: Unemployment Won’t Exceed 8 Percent
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)
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)
“The Napa Valley wine train, to tourists a great way to see America’s most celebrated wine region, to others exhibit a in what’s wrong with the stimulus… 54 million stimulus dollars to build a new rail bridge, elevate and relocate 3,300 feet of tracks and put flood walls around the train's main station.” (ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/2/10)
$1 Million For The ‘The Sunset Strip’ ‘Nose Job’
“Sunset Boulevard, also known as ‘The Sunset Strip’ and one of the most famous streets in the world, will be getting a $7 million facelift after more than 75 years of use, with a free million dollar nose job coming from Uncle Sam. The City of West Hollywood Council received one million dollars in federal funds from the Federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA)...” (“Feds Stimulus Sunset Strip Beautification Project,” WeHoNews, 9/28/09)
$150,000 For A Bridge That ‘Doesn’t Go Anywhere’ And ‘Ends In A Sheer, 8-Foot Drop’
“A historic stone arch bridge that received more than $150,000 in federal stimulus funds this year has fallen short of some people's expectations -- mainly because it doesn't go anywhere. The bridge, which dates back to the 1860s, ends in a sheer, 8-foot drop after it crosses the Contoocook River. Traffic no longer crosses the span, which parallels a modern bridge near the intersection of Routes 202 and 149.” (“$150 Thousand For 'Bridge To Nowhere,'”The Union Leader [NH], 8/12/10)
$2 Million To Extend And Restore “The Crookedest Railroad In The World”
“Jumping fish are now on display at Volland and Canal. It's not an aquarium. It's pieces of art in this median. This is the final touch to the first phase of ‘The Columbia Park Overlook Project.’ Stimulus money paved the way. Phase ‘two’ calls for new sidewalks, and better bike access from Fisher to Volland on Canal Street.” (“Fish Art And Other Kennewick Stimulus Projects,” KEPRTV [Pasco, WA], 9/8/09)
Editorial Pages Across The Country Have Been Criticizing President Obama’s Stimulus Package Ever Since It Passed
An ‘Indisputable Flop,’ ‘A Demonstrated Failure’
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “If the federal government can't responsibly manage the money it's doling out in the name of economic stimulus, then it has no business doling out the money — period… Public investments… must be based on due diligence. Not big money politics. Not stimulus rollout timetables. Not sun-struck ideology….A nickel's worth of business sense and a dime's worth of caution might have saved Uncle Sam millions — and the Obama administration a heap of trouble.” (Editorial, “The Solyndra Saga,” The Chicago Tribune, 9/15/11)
THE NEW YORK POST:“It was an $800 billion misadventure that will be wreaking havoc on the economy for years to come. No, not the war in Iraq, where an American combat-troop presence officially comes to an end tomorrow. We're talking about President Obama's economic-stimulus program.” (Editorial, “Bam's Spending Spree,” The New York Post, 8/30/10)
Tags:Barack Obama, Obama Administration, 3 years, stimulus, failed, Editorial Criticism, Investment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Payroll Tax Cut Extention Expected & Three Years of Stimulus Failures
Update: House passed (293-132) and Senate passed (60-36) to extend a reduction of two percentage points in the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through 2012 for about 160 million workers, to provide/fund unemployment benefits with a roll back in time allowed for unemployment benefits from 99 weeks to 63 weeks, and the extended the "doc fix" through 2012 which keeps doctors from seeing a 27 percent drop in Medicare payments for treating the elderly. Vote Summary:
- House: Yes vote: 146 House Republicans and 147 Democrats; No vote: 91 Republicans and 41 Democrats.
-Senate: Yes vote: 45 Democrats, 1 independent and 14 Republicans; No vote: 30 Republicans, 5 Democrats and 1 independent.
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 17, 2012:
Votes on payroll tax extension likely today. The House and Senate leaders prepared for final votes Friday for a #150 billion economic package.
Senate resumed consideration of S. 1813, the highway bill. If cloture is not invoked then they will vote on the nomination of Jesse Furman for US District Judge, Southern District of New York. Then the Senate will vote on conference report extending the payroll tax cut, H.R. 3630.
ABC News writes, “Three years ago, President Obama signed into law the famed stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. ‘Stimulus’ is such a dirty word today that hardly anybody in the White House says it publicly anymore. But for old time’s sake, let’s go to the highlights reel:”
Three years ago, Romer and Bernstein also issued their now-famous chart and predicted that unemployment would not exceed 8% with Democrats’ stimulus plan. But unemployment has stood above 8% for 36 months and “CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014.”
Newspaper editorials have been slamming the stimulus bill for three years.The New York Post said during the summer of 2010 that “[i]t was an $800 billion misadventure that will be wreaking havoc on the economy for years to come.” Months after the bill was signed, The Denver Post declared, “[W]e've learned not to trust the government's accounting on the massive stimulus bill just yet. The jobs figures are wildly misleading . . . .” Last fall, The Richmond Times-Dispatch snarked, “The stimulus did less good than earlier estimates suggested. There's a big shock.” When President Obama and Democrats were demanding another stimulus bill last year, The Wall Street Journal asked, “Why did his first jobs plan—the $825 billion stimulus—so quickly result in the need for another jobs plan?” And the Orange County Register wondered, “Considering the indisputable flop of 2009's massive infusion of tax money, why would spending less this time fare better?” The Daytona Beach News-Journal concluded, “[T]he $800 billion Stimulus I bill passed by Congress in 2009 did not live up to its billing. Despite this massive infusion of deficit spending, the economy has continued to sputter.” And considering the Solyndra debacle, the money for which came from the stimulus bill, Obama’s hometown Chicago Tribune wrote in September, “If the federal government can't responsibly manage the money it's doling out in the name of economic stimulus, then it has no business doling out the money — period . . . .”
Amazingly reports are still coming out about the various failures of the stimulus. YESTERDAY, NBC in San Francisco reported, “Three years ago politicians in Washington and here in the Bay Area touted the urgent need for the federal stimulus package . . . . The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit spent weeks analyzing government stimulus data, in partnership with the nonprofit investigative news group ProPublica. . . . But our computer analysis shows money approved doesn’t always mean money spent—or jobs created. According to the latest government data, 19 Bay Area stimulus projects funded in 2010 or earlier have not broken ground. That totals more than $70 million. They haven’t created jobs, either. We found two projects approved more than two years ago that have not even started. . . . ‘Give the money to help people find jobs,’ said unemployed San Jose resident Harry Ahn, ‘and I would be expecting more people to actually be finding jobs.’”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in his speech at CPAC 2012 last week, “Three years ago this month President Obama signed a trillion dollar Stimulus bill that we were told would keep unemployment below 8 percent and drop-kick us out of the recession.
“How’d that work out? Well, unemployment has now stood above eight percent for 36 months. Three years straight. If you lose a job in the Obama economy, you can now expect to spend 40 weeks looking for a new one. Fewer people have jobs today than when the Stimulus was signed. And more than three years into this presidency, there are still 5.6 million fewer jobs in this country than when the Great Recession began. Among African Americans, unemployment is nearly 14 percent. Among Hispanics, it’s 10.5 percent. Among recent college grads, it’s more than 13 percent. For those who need help the most, this President’s economic policies have done the least. So if I were President Obama, I’d keep the champagne on ice. This is not an economy to be proud of.” Tags:Washington, DC, US Senate, US House, stimulus bill, results, failures, payroll tax cut, doc fix, unemployment benefitsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Three Years Ago Obama Signed Infamous Stimulus Package Into Law
Washington - Today it is exactly 3 years since President Obama signed his infamous stimulus package into law. It was a plan designed to create jobs by growing the size of government, and its record has not been good.
(Click Image for High Resolution Version)
Democrats said their costly plan ($1.2 trillion, including interest) would “save or create” up to 4 million jobs and bring the unemployment rate down to about 6% today. The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8% at any point in the last 36 months. Furthermore, the official unemployment rate does not actually count unemployed people who have given up looking for work.
The above chart shows the “labor force participation rate.” This statistic represents the share of working-age Americans who are either employed or unemployed but looking for work. It is not a pretty picture. Only 63.7% of working-age Americans are currently in the workforce – the lowest in almost 29 years!
To put it another way, 36.3% of working-age Americans do not have a job and are not even looking.
After 3 years of failure, it’s time to try something that will work. Let’s ramp up energy production. Let’s cut away government red tape that slows down job creation. And let’s design new tax code that is simpler, flatter, and fairer. Let’s pass the Jobs Through Growth Act, and create jobs by growing the economy – not the government. Tags:Barack Obama, Obama, Stimulus Plan, three years ago, where are the jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Each Of These Popular Jobs Proposals Has Support From The Obama Administration And Over 400 Members In The House Small Company Capital Formation Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA); S.1544 / H.R.1070
OBAMA ADMIN SUPPORTS THE IDEA · “The President is putting forward responsible measures that will help growing businesses… The President is calling to raise the offering limit under Regulation A from $5 million to $50 million, coupled with strong investor protections.” (The White House, Press Release, 1/31/12)
· House Dem: “I'm proud to be a cosponsor... What better time than now when our economy needs this important boost.” (Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Congressional Record, H.7231, 11/2/11)
WAITING FOR A SENATE VOTE · Companion measure S.1544 sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). Cosponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
WHAT IT DOES · Changes SEC rules to allow companies to sell up to $50 million in shares without filing lengthy paperwork.
Shareholder Registration Thresholds Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); S.1941 / H.R.1965
· House Dem: “I rise in support of today's legislation… the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act (H.R. 2940) will allow small companies to raise capital more easily by removing restrictions...” (Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congressional Record, H. 2003, 11/3/11)
WAITING FOR A SENATE VOTE · Companion measure S.1831 sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
WHAT IT DOES · Eliminates an SEC regulation that inhibits companies from reaching out to potential investors in order to raise capital.
Democratizing Access To Capital Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA); S.1791 / H.R.2930
OBAMA ADMIN SUPPORTS THE IDEA · “The President is putting forward responsible measures that will help growing businesses… The President is calling for a national framework that allows entrepreneurs and small businesses to raise capital through ‘crowdfunding.’” (The White House, Press Release, 1/31/12)
· House Dem: “By passing this bill, we will make it easier to provide different avenues for startups and smaller businesses to access the capital they need to move our economy forward...” (Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Congressional Record, H.7299, 11/3/11)
WAITING FOR A SENATE VOTE · Companion measure S.1791 sponsored by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).
WHAT IT DOES · Changes SEC regulations that inhibit entrepreneurs from raising capital among large groups of small dollar investors. Tags:Obama Administration, White House, Senate, jobs bill, Small Company Capital Formation, Shareholder Registration Thresholds, Access To Capital For Job Creators, Democratizing Access To CapitalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Early in his administration, President Obama, pledged to cut the federal deficit in half. But his recent budget proposal, to say Obama has not kept his promise is an understatement.
Determined to keep Americans drowning in debt, Obama proposes to accelerate federal spending $3.8 trillion in 2013 to $5.8 trillion in 2022, a whopping increase of 53 percent. By spending more than $45 trillion in the next 10 years, the most generous accounting would assume $6.7 trillion would be added to the federal deficit, bringing debt-to-GDP ratio who a crushing 76.5 percent.
The slow ending of the Afghanistan war gave the Obama Administration room for an $800 billion Washington-style accounting gimmick, where borrowed money that would not have been used is counted as saved. In terms of actual cuts in defense spending, Obama is shifting the focus from what is known to work in missile defense to developing futuristic missile intercepts which will require years of experimenting at great expense to taxpayers while a vulnerable America waits.
It has become obvious that America faces increasing nuclear threats from hostile regimes like Iran and North Korea. In June, Iran announced it was planning to triple its capacity to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, which can easily be converted to weapons-grade material. This week, Iranian President Ahmadinejad plans a major announcement for Iran’s advancement in its atomic program, a move to show how increased U.N. sanctions have failed to halt Iran’s technical progress.
Our first line of defense against short and intermediate-range airborne attacks is the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), which can intercept enemy missiles while in flight. Their proven track record is why they are also essential to the NATO effort in Europe to defend against missiles from hostile nations.
Yet, despite the SM-3’s impressive performance history and expanding capabilities that will ultimately protect our homeland from a long-range missile attack, President Obama has all but turned his back on the missile. In his newly released budget, the President cuts funding for the newest evolution of SM-3 (known as IB), which will result in 52 percent fewer missiles while commanders in theater have
consistently complained about shortages. The President’s $300 million reduction may also slow production, which could make the new missile delivery date of 2015 very difficult to meet.
The timing couldn’t be worse considering U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predicted last month that Iran would be capable of launching a nuclear missile at the U.S. as soon as 2014.
But President Obama’s short-sightedness doesn't end there. At the same time the President chopped funding for the first missile that will be able to protect us against an ICBM attack, he chose to pour $224 million into a sophisticated and tedious missile program that is on life support.
The missile, known as IIB, is but a back-of-the napkin concept that will not be ready for deployment until 2020, at the earliest. In a bipartisan move this past December, Congress virtually eliminated the 2012 budget for the program. The message was clear: we have more urgent budget priorities and current threats demand we deploy a missile to protect the continental United States much sooner than
Apparently, President Obama did not receive that message from Congress. After spending millions on development, Obama has unilaterally decided to shift resources toward more complex future missile variants—a process notorious for being obscenely over budget and off schedule—while rejecting the Congress’ more sensible approach to fiscal responsibility and a more robust national defense.
President Obama’s decisions on missile defense will create a multiple-year window where a country such as Iran could strike before our new SM-3s are in place. By reversing course, not only would taxpayer dollars be used more effectively, America will be properly protected from enemies well into the future.
---------------------- J. Ken Blackwell is aa fomer Ohio Treasurer and Secretary of State. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth and of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Barack Obama, budget, budget bomb, accounting gimmick, spending increases, Disarming America, unilateral reductions, cutting military programs, threats, Iran, North KoreaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and senior policy adviser to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, has a very illuminating column in today's Wall Street Journal. The column sheds new light on Obama's contraception mandate and argues that ObamaCare will lead to higher health care costs, rationing and premature deaths.
In their wisdom, the liberal Democrats who wrote the ObamaCare legislation dramatically expanded the authority of United States Preventive Services Task Force. That might sound like some shadowy outfit from a B movie, but the members of this task force might be better known as ObamaCare's mandate makers.
Dr. Gottlieb writes that it is the job of this task force to "evaluate preventive health services and decide which will be covered by health-insurance plans." The committee will mandate some medical tests and treatments while refusing to cover others.
If the government tells insurers, "You MUST provide services A, B, and C, and, by the way, your profits are now capped," -- and that is exactly what ObamaCare does -- then they will have to cut back on other services. As Dr. Gottlieb explains: "Health plans will inevitably choose to drop coverage for many services that don't get a passing grade from the task force and therefore aren't mandated. Insurance companies will need to conserve their premium money, which the government regulates, in order to spend it subsidizing those services that the task force requires them to cover in full."
Prior to ObamaCare, your insurance company determined the cost of your premiums based on your health factors and the level of service you wanted. If your rates went up, you had the freedom to find another company. But now, thanks to ObamaCare, your premiums will be decided by Big Government, which is adding more and more mandates, and there will be very little competition in the price as a result of all the mandates that every insurer will be required to cover.
By the way, the task force is not subject to any of the other rules and procedures that govern similar federal agencies. There are no requirements for it to hold public meetings or to consider public comments, there is no process to appeal its decisions and it cannot be sued. How's that for big government?
------------- 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:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, health care rationing, Obamacare, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 16, 2012:
Senate resumed consideration of S. 1813, the highway bill. Many amendments have been filed for the highway bill, but there is no agreement on how to work through them yet. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered his own amendment and then filed for cloture on it. He also filed for cloture on a district judge nomination that would be voted on if cloture fails on his highway bill amendment. Currently the cloture vote on the Reid amendment is scheduled for Friday morning.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 94-5 to confirm Adalberto Jose Jordan as a judge for the Eleventh Circuit.
Tomorrow marks the 3-year anniversary of President Obama singing his nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill into law. In his speech at CPAC 2012, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell noted, “Three years ago this month President Obama signed a trillion dollar Stimulus bill that we were told would keep unemployment below 8 percent and drop-kick us out of the recession.”
A report from Obama economic advisors Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein in early 2009 claimed that if the stimulus passed, unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. And their now-famous chart showed that by now, unemployment was supposed to be down to 6% with the stimulus bill’s passage and 7% without it. Barely a week after the bill was signed, Vice President Joe Biden boasted, “this is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and to tee this up so the rest of the good work that's being done here literally drop-kicks us out of this recession . . . .”
Yet three years later, the unemployment rate has been higher than 8% for 36 months. The average duration of unemployment was 40.1 weeks as of January. Over half a million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was signed, and millions have been lost since the recession began. Clearly the stimulus did not live up to the Obama administration’s promises.
And while the stimulus, which added nearly $1 trillion to the debt, was failing to “drop-kick” the country out of recession, the Obama administration was using money made available in the legislation to finance disasters like Solyndra. Just this week, in an article titled, “Federal funds flow to clean-energy firms with Obama administration ties,”The Washington Post reported, “With the 2008 economic crisis, new private investment in fledgling clean-tech companies withered. But passage of the $787 billion stimulus package offered new opportunities to launch and grow those firms, with $80 billion set aside for clean energy and energy-efficiency efforts. Suddenly flush with cash, the Energy Department was under orders to ramp up quickly and get money out to promising companies. The administration tapped industry players to take on key Energy Department roles, both as agency staffers and outside advisers on agency boards.” The result? “Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.” Tags:Washington, D.C., anniversary. Obama stimulus, fewer jobs, more debt, wasted government investments, Solindra, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony's Cartoon is based on the story this week of a 4-year-old North Carolina girl who had her home-packed lunch deemed unsuitable by a food inspector at her school, West Hoke Elementary School. The inspector said her turkey sandwich wasn’t healthy enough and gave her a school lunch instead which consisted of chicken nuggets!
For more info and an interesting post is on Human Events: Attack of the lunch police: Give me a turkey sandwich, or give me death. Tags:food police, handouts, Michelle Obama, Public Education, Public Employees, public sector unions, School Lunch, government abuse, AF Branco, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Proclaiming in a New York Times headline that "Obama Adjusts a Rule Covering Contraceptives," the pro-Obama media tried to dig the President out of the political hole he had jumped into. But calling Obama's revised rule an "adjustment" or an "accommodation" or other soft-sell word can't cover the fact that the revision is essentially the same as the original rule.
Barack Obama and his Administration are the lackeys of the feminists. And furthermore, they must think the American people are too stupid to see through the deception he is trying to put over on us.
A big New York Times editorial cried out that Obama's action means "The Freedom to Choose Birth Control." Poppycock. Every American already has the right to choose birth control, but that shouldn't give them the right to have somebody else pay for it, and that's what ObamaCare demands.
The bottom line is that the ObamaCare insurance, which employers are mandated to provide and individuals are mandated to buy, will include birth control, the morning-after pill (an abortion drug), and sterilization, at zero cost to the individual without any additional premium, co-pay, or out-of-pocket expense. And yes, this mandate does apply to religious hospitals, schools, colleges, and charities, even though their religion teaches them that these acts are immoral and wrong.
Obama's original rule called for religiously affiliated institutions to pay for these controversial services, which even liberal commentators denounced as a gross interference with religious liberty. It was even denounced by Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne and Democratic Senators, and the ever-loquacious Joe Biden hid out in uncharacteristic silence.
The debate about this rule went on within the Administration for several months. Obama eventually sided with the feminists (no surprise) against the warning of then Chief of Staff William Daley.
After the firestorm erupted, Obama may have thought he could get the Catholic Bishops to go along with his accommodation (as a couple of liberal nuns did), but the Bishops saw through his duplicity. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out that the "adjustment" still includes a "nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients" and also that the many "self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate."
The accommodation orders insurance companies to pay the costs of these birth control/abortion services, but you can be sure insurance companies will price their products to make a profit. It's obvious that insurance companies will distribute and conceal the costs so nobody appears to be paying for the controversial procedures.
Since the insurance companies will not be permitted to charge different fees for different employees, all their customers will be paying something for the controversial services. In plain words, all religiously affiliated institutions and their employees will be paying for birth control/abortion drugs, but not "explicitly," as the Wall Street Journal delicately explained.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) summed up this issue: "The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers 'will not' have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their 'insurance companies' will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer."
The political donnybrook continues as many people are speaking out against Obama's rule, both the original and the revised version, because it is an outrageous interference with religious liberty. How dare Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tell religiously affiliated institutions that they must do something that violates their moral code?
This issue has aroused people of all religious denominations to speak out. They now realize we have a President who made himself part of the organized attack on religion anywhere in the public square, an attack we see so frequently in the courts and in the schools.
One of the shocking parts of this charade is the fact that the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains sent an email to senior chaplains telling them that Archbishop Timothy Broglio's letter criticizing the Obama rule was not to be read from the pulpit. Has anti-religious bigotry become so extreme, even in the military, that a chaplain's sermon is expected to be banned or censored to conform to Obama's prejudices?
Lesson #1: this issue demonstrates that the Obama Administration is participating full-strength in the ongoing campaign against religious liberty. Lesson #2: this issue demonstrates that national health care involves so much more than health, and that all decisions, major and minor, will be controlled by federal bureaucrats, not by patients, not by doctors, not by taxpayers, and not by any elected representatives, state or federal.
As Walter Cronkite used to say, "That's the way it is." Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Barack Obama, Feminists, national health care, federal bureaucrats, government control, sterilization, contraception, abortifacients, birth control, Catholic Bishops, insurance companies, religious libertyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
... it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. (James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments)
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. (Shakespeare's "Macbeth")
Dr. Alan Keyes
Alan Keyes, Renew America: In March, 2009 I posted an article on my blog calling attention to Obama's "moves to make medical workers 'Slaves in Conscience.'" Such persecution of conscience was unavoidable once Obama's commitment to evil principle was armed with the powers of the presidency of the United States. What I wrote in that article is worth rereading now that many Roman Catholics and other Christian people are finally being roused to recognize and act against it:
Catholics and other professing Christians should take note. Except they repent of it, those who voted for Barack Obama surely face grim judgment from the Supreme judge of the World for their enlistment in the electoral army of this paragon of evil. But even before such judgment in the next life, in this life we will all have to suffer the grim consequences of his abandonment of respect for the unalienable rights to life and liberty.
Too bad that, in 2008 and before, so many of these lately roused Christians lost sight of the example of America's founding generation. It would have instructed them to "take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties," reacting against Obama's proven commitment to evil principle before "usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise." Of course such precautionary discernment requires the ability to think and act in terms of principle (i.e., the first beginnings of action). With his characteristically practical wisdom, Christ admonishes us to understand that evil comes "out of the heart" (Matthew 15:19). It originates (as the Creator observes in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21) in the intentions of the heart, which are made manifest in the characteristic thoughts and ideas that reflect the workings of the mind.
With respect to the fundamental issues of moral right, Barack Obama's rejection of the most fundamental "laws of nature and of nature's God" has been clear throughout his career, especially in his adamantine commitment to the murder of human posterity, before and after birth. This is why it was a moral atrocity for a university claiming to educate in the tradition of Catholic Christianity to honor Obama after his election. This is why it is morally irrational for professing Christians to support creation of a health-care delivery system dominated by an administration of government scrupulously cleansed of every acknowledgement of the existence and authority of the Creator.
Whatever the outcome of the political tempest being stirred by this latest episode of Obama's entirely predictable disregard for the rights of conscience, this is only the beginning of the era of persecution. Its onset is made inevitable by the ascendancy of an elitist faction determined to overturn the God-acknowledging premise of constitutional self-government in the United States. Where the substance of right is endowed by the Creator, there can be no right that in substance contradicts His provision of justice for all. Up to now, however, the elitist faction has successfully moved to sever the concept of civil and political rights from that founding principle. They have redefined "rights" to include exercises of freedom that violate or have no regard for right. So in the name of "abortion rights" (the freedom to murder our helpless nascent offspring) government may deny security for the unalienable right to life of our posterity; may discard and violate the conscientious liberty of medical and other workers; may trample upon the free exercise of religion; may abuse the powers of legislation and law enforcement to force people, as individuals and in their rightful associations with one another, to take actions that we can, by God and America's own founding principles, clearly and rationally demonstrate to be against both human and all natural justice. As I have said before:
This is the essence of that slavery, which the Obama faction now means to impose. ... Because some people wish to do and benefit from evil, others must become its tools and instruments, against their will. Because some wish to escape responsibility for the nascent life invoked by their cries of sexual ecstasy, others must accept complicity in the murders that carry out their will. At the very least the people who embrace this foul cult of human child sacrifice should have to do the dirty work themselves. But when has evil been content to wallow in its own excrement? The very pride that impels it to defy the boundaries of decent conscience rouses its resentment against those who, by standing apart from its rituals, announce their condemnation of its crimes. As it was with slavery, so it is now. Evil does not accept a house divided, but will "press forward" until "It will become all one thing, or all the other."
Abraham Lincoln said it, and he was right. He spoke of the crisis of slavery that brought on the Civil War. Now we have come to a similar crisis, one that will determine whether American government will be a union of conscientious souls determined to do right, or become instead a league of wicked intentions determined by force and tyranny to impose the ruling passion of the day though all and every God-established right be ruined in the process. Tags:Alan Keyes, era of persecution, Barack Obama, rejection, laws of nature, nature's God, rights of conscience, crisis of slavery To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
New Poll: Overwhelming Majority Wants Spending Cut, Taxes Low
. . . Americans Have Little Confidence President’s Budget Will Accomplish Either
Arlington, VA – A new poll sponsored by Public Notice and conducted by The Tarrance Group, reveals that the majority of voters want to see President Obama’s budget cut spending and lower taxes, while few expect it will materialize.
When asked about the best way to grow the economy and create jobs, voters respond with a strong preference for cutting government spending and keeping taxes low (55%) as opposed to increasing government spending and asking the rich to pay more in taxes (36%).
Gretchen Hamel, Executive Director of Public Notice, stated the following:
“President Obama and Congress are misleading themselves if they think voters are confused about what they want. Americans know that absent a budget and a real, serious review of our nation’s finances, the same reckless overspending will continue. It’s time for the President and Congress to stop pushing paper and making speeches, and get serious, do their jobs, cut spending and get our fiscal house in order.”
Key Findings: The poll shows the federal budget deficit and government overspending will be a top concern this year:
- Americans believe the economy and overspending are connected. Fully 73 percent believe the economy is extremely or very impacted by the national debt.
- Americans want to solve the nation’s fiscal and economic problems by cutting spending. 55% of voters say the best way to get the economy moving again and create jobs is to cut government spending and keep taxes low. Only 36% think the best way to improve the economy is to increase spending.
- However, Americans are pessimistic Washington will cut spending. While 75% want President Obama to cut spending in his fiscal year 2013 budget, only 31% think he will.
- Perhaps that’s because Congress has failed to even pass a budget in the last few years. 84 percent of voters find it extremely or very concerning that the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in the last three years.
View the complete poll. It was conducted February 6-8, 2012 and the results noted above are from 800 registered “likely” voters across the country. In 95 out of 100 cases, the confidence interval associated with a sample of this type is +/- 3.5%.
----------------- To interview Gretchen Hamel on the findings of this poll, contact Public Notice Public Notice is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing the facts and insights on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well being. Tags:Public Notice, poll, spending cuts, low taxes, budget, deficit, overspending, poll, spending cut, taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
LA Times: Obama's Budget "No Real Solutions" - Chicago Tribune: Plan Would "Grow Our Debt By Leaps And Bounds"
Click Image to View The President’s Budget in 62 Sec. The most important figures and how they affect you.
President Obama was never serious about his pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Like every budget this administration has proposed, this one was written with red ink. The deficit spending proposed in the President’s FY13 budget topped a trillion once again. ~ Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 15, 2012:
At noon, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Adalberto Jose Jordan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit. Following the vote, the Senate will return to consideration of S. 1813, the highway bill. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible today.
The House today will consider H.Resolution 547 addressing several bills including H.R. 3408 to set clear rules for the development of United States oil shale resources, to promote shale technology research and development, and for other purposes; H.R. 3813 to amend title 5, United States Code, to secure the annuities of Federal civilian employees, and for other purposes; and H.R. 7 to authorize funds for Federal-aid highway, public transportation, and highway and motor carrier safety programs, and for other purposes. In addition the House and Senate conferees are attempting to negotiate another payroll tax break for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Yesterday, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We’ve all had a little more time now to look at the President’s budget, and I have to say, the more one looks at it the harder it is to believe that this is the President’s considered response to the crisis we face. President Obama knows better than anyone in this country that government spending and debt is out of control, and that America is headed down the same road as Europe. The budget was his chance to show it. Instead, he decided to basically pretend these problems don’t even exist, and to the extent that he does acknowledge them, to propose solutions that are either gimmicks or that he knows will never come to pass.”
In addition to the many editorials identified yesterday, more editorial are screaming out that if the United States continues on the path Obama has set, our future could look much like the present in Europe. The Detroit News wrote, “President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal should be dismissed as a blueprint for his re-election campaign. But it's worse than that. If passed as presented — and there's little likelihood of that — the spending plan would lock America on an auto-pilot course for Greece.”
The Los Angeles Times noted, “The day after the Greek Parliament approved another round of deep spending cuts in the face of violent protests, President Obama released a budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that offers no real solution to the United States' long-term fiscal problems.”
And, President Obama’s hometown newspaper was particularly harsh. In an editorial titled, “Athens on the Potomac,” the Chicago Tribune decried, “Conveniently, one of this nation's plausible futures plays out vividly on a TV screen near you: Fire-heaving mobs enraged by the harsh consequences of rampant public borrowing have torched one of Europe's grossly indebted capitals, Athens. Fretful officials in other capitals — Rome, Lisbon, Madrid and more — must wonder whether the flames will rage in their countries next. . . . Monday's document, in truth, is a campaign playbook — the vision of government that Obama hopes voters will reward with a second presidential term.”
The Tribune points out, “[T]he proposal [President Obama] floated Monday actually would aggravate the somewhat rosier debt projections he provided to Congress as recently as September. What we have then is a debt debacle that, even with the president's plan, would continue to grow our debt by leaps and bounds.”
As Leader McConnell declared, “The failure of leadership here is breathtaking. The President knows how grave our nation’s fiscal condition is. . . . This President is failing the American people. The only question is how long it will take for that failure to catch up with us.” Tags:US Senate, Us House, Obama Administration, Budget Plan, newspaper reports, no real solutions, more debt, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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