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 & 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
Friday, February 24, 2012
Obama Administration Giving Away Kentucky Jobs To Prison Felons
Let's follow some bread crumbs to the current story being reported below:
1) What state is the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell From? Kentucky
2) Who has opposed President Obama and Eric Holder in relocating terrorists to be tried in U.S. Courts in Kentucky? Sen. Mitch McConnell
3) Who apposed the relocation of GITMO detainees to Kentucky, Illinois and to other states? Sen. Mitch McConnell
4) Who keeps calling out the President for making unconstitutional appointments to the NLRB and the CFPB when the U.S. Senate was not in recess and Senate hearings were pending? Sen. Mitch McConnell
5) Who has been continually criticizing President Obama from the floor of the U.S. Senate for Obama's failed jobs programs and failed stimulus and other programs? Sen Mitch McConnell
Do readers believe that it is just a coincidence that Michael Mansh of Ashland Sales and Service, in Olive Hill, Kentucky, which has made presidential and other jackets for the Federal government since 1997, has been notified that the Federal Prison Industry which pays prisoners 23 cents an hour and then sells the jackets to the government at the previously price sold by the private small business? Do you suppose the destruction of 100 jobs in Olive Hill, Kentucky is not being done with a nod of encouragement by AG Eric Holder, members of the Obama White House Staff or other agencies, and possibly even President Obama?
Get the Picture? Honest law abiding willing Kentucky workers are being forced out of jobs by the Federal Government who will then use Felons / prison labor to make the same jackets while making us the taxpayers pay the same price. Many if not all of the displaced workers will eventually wind up on unemployment which again cost the taxpayers even more money.
Do you recall how the Obama administration previously acquired GM (Government Motors) with your tax dollars and picked winners and loser by closed down dealerships owned by Republicans while keeping open dealerships owned by democrats? The thuggery by this administration is odious. Are Kentucky workers being displaced by felons because the Senate Republican Leader from Kentucky has opposed the Obama agenda including Obamacare? View the Fox News report, do some research, and then decide for your self.
Michael Mansh of Ashland Sales and Service in Olive Hill, Kentucky, is interviewed about an Obama administration plan to take the contract his company has to create jackets for the president and give it to federal inmates instead.
Tags:Obama Administration, Felons, prisoners, Olive Hill, Kentucky, jackets, jobs, the economy, Ashland Sales, Michael Mansh, Fox News, video, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Senator, Mitch McConnellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:another apology, apology, Barack Obama, Koran , burning Koran, strangling the 1st Amendment, amendmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Administration Is Great With Blame Game & Damaging The U.S. Economy
"Our forefathers never envisioned a need for the requirement that a person should love the United States of America in order to run for or to hold the office of President. They believed that free American citizens would not stupidly vote for any person who was not in love with the Republic of the United States of America and who was 'America First' in speeches, deeds and actions." ~ Dr. Bill Smith
In a new report, Heritage’s Nick Loris breaks down five half-truths in the President’s speech: Half-truth #1: Oil production is the highest it has been in eight years. The increased production of oil and gas in the U.S. is largely a product of increased production on private land. The Administration could have encouraged much bigger gains by providing access to federal land. Half-truth #2: Increasing oil production takes too long and would not impact the market for at least a decade. The sooner we make investments in domestic energy, the sooner those benefits will be realized. And with some serious reforms, some of this oil can reach the market in much less than a decade. Half-truth #3: Oil is not enough. America has only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. President Obama frequently uses this number to push federal investments in alternative sources of energy that cannot stand the test of the market. The reality is that he uses this number deceptively. Half-truth #4: Oil is not enough. The country needs an “all-of-the-above” approach to reduce its dependence on oil. While a familiar refrain from the President, it is a line that too often translates into wasteful subsidies for pet energy projects. A market-based strategy is the only all-of-the-above approach. Half-truth #5: Speculators are driving up the price of gas, and they need to be reined in. While the President tries to blame the market, he ignores the power of supply and demand. By removing roadblocks to domestic energy production, the President can ensure that there is a healthy supply of American energy on the market, keeping prices competitive.
In addition, Loris lays out five things that Congress and the Administration could be doing to keep prices low.
Get moving on permits
Require lease sales when ready
Create a sensible review process
Remove regulatory delays and limit litigation
Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline
Despite Obama's Rhetoric, His Policies Actually Hinder Domestic Energy Production And Cost Jobs
Reacting to President Obama’s speech on energy yesterday, The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “‘The American people aren’t stupid,’ thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let’s hope he’s right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell. To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?”
The WSJ editors look at domestic energy production and write, “Mr. Obama rightly points to the rising share of U.S. oil consumption now produced at home. But this trend began in the late Bush Administration, which opened up large new areas on and offshore for oil and gas drilling that are now coming on stream. Mr. Obama sneered at expanded drilling as a candidate in 2008 and for most of his term has done little to expand it. In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill.”
They add, “Oh, and don’t forget the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have increased the delivery of oil from Canada and North Dakota’s Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refineries, replacing oil from Venezuela.” Though President Obama has been promoting what he calls an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, his rejection of the Keystone XL stands out in stark contrast to his stated goals. Even Democrats and unions criticized his decision, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) saying the it was “a major setback for the American economy, American workers and America’s energy independence.” And today, The Hill reports, “New polling data shows strong support for approving the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that the Obama administration rejected in January, a decision that unleashed a torrent of GOP attacks against President Obama. The Pew Research Center poll released Thursday finds 66 percent who have heard about the issue say the proposed pipeline to bring oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries should be approved, while 23 percent say it shouldn’t.”
Meanwhile, The Journal editorial points out, “Mr. Obama yesterday also repeated his proposal that now is the time to raise taxes on oil and gas companies, as if doing so will make them more likely to drill. He must not believe the economic truism that when you tax something you get less of it, including fewer of the new jobs they’ve created.” It’s worth noting that the last time Democrats in Congress floated the idea of raising taxes on energy companies, several Senate Democrats blasted the idea, and it was voted down with bipartisan opposition. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) called the proposal “laughable” and said, “Will it create jobs? No. It will actually hurt job production in the United States.”
The WSJ editors conclude, “We’d almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama’s gas-price predicament if it weren’t a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort.” It’s certainly instructive to recall what both Obama and his future Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said about gas prices in 2008. The AP wrote at the time, “Obama suggested that the main problem with high gasoline prices is their rapid rise, not their total of about $4 a gallon. ‘I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment,’ Obama said.” And Chu said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
Last Summer in a speech, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell slammed President Obama’s energy policies, “The President says he’s a proponent of domestic energy production, but let’s be honest: he hasn’t shown it. And this shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is an administration, after all, that appointed an Energy Secretary who said a month after the President’s election that, ‘somehow we need to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ Since then, the administration’s policies have helped get us there. Not only have gas prices skyrocketed, but the administration’s policies are also hindering the creation of thousands of good, private-sector jobs that so many Americans desperately need.”
And last summer's skyrocketing prices are nothing compared to the present gas price fiasco brought on by the Obama Administration's policies. Obama and his progressive minions are great with the blame game as they seek every advantage to damage the the United States economy, to pit American citizens against each other and to permit non-Americans citizens and even foreign powers to gain advantages over our economy and our American way of life. Tags:Barack Obama, Obama administration, blame game, damaging, the economy, cost of gas, gas prices, Steven Chu, energy prices, energy crisis,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Destiny Knocks On Arkansas' Big Government Plantation Door
Bill Smith, Editor: I commend the Arkansas Republican legislative members who, as the minority party, challenged Arkansas Plantation Politics which has burdened average Arkansans. The background of this worthy attempt is detailed in the related article presented below.
If Arkansas is going to confront the "enslavement by big government," its consumption of the personal and corporate incomes of Arkansans, and the burden of its by-product "government waste," we need committed conservatives not Obama-lite or McCain-lite to be elected as Arkansas State representatives and senators in November, 2012. As much as I hope for the defeat of Barack Obama in 2012, I hope that awakened Arkansans now see the elected Obama go along, get along Democrats who have supported the efforts of Barack Obama and Mike Beebe.
Gov. Mike Beebe, as the senior elected member of the Arkansas Democrat Party, has willfully led and promoted the efforts of Big Intrusive Government including advocating for implementation of Obamacare. It is not that Arkansas government has not been intrusive before Mike Beebe (who has been a fixture of Big Government for a very long time). However, now, Arkansans have had enough of Government programs consuming their incomes, savings and retirements without equivalent reasonable returns in services. It is primarily elected Arkansas House and Senate Democrats, who are and have been funding and supporting the programs desired by the Governor Beebe . These members have shored up and protected Beebe's efforts. These democrats have ignored the public or have attempted to persuade their constituents that they are doing their best when in fact they have been unwilling to even give serious consideration to challenging State Government 1) to do more with less especially in today's technological world and 2) to eliminate and / or to consolidate inefficient agencies and departments. Some of them have even openly filed briefs to the Supreme Court supporting Obamacare in Arkansas.
Enough is enough! Today began the week (only one week) in which the citizens have an opportunity to file for elected office to replace these progressive liberal members of the legislature. We also have a unique opportunity which happens once every 10 years: ALL positions of the Arkansas State Senate as well as the State Legislature are up for election. Destiny Knocks On Arkansas' Big Government Plantation Door. I pray that people will seize this opportunity. Katherine Vasilos, Communications Director, Republican Party of Arkansas: Democrats in the Arkansas General Assembly are simply unwilling to compromise when it comes to reducing waste, fraud and abuse in state government. Rather than working with legislative Republicans to compromise on a leaner state budget for 2013, Democrats are playing politics with Arkansas jobs by threatening state worker layoffs.
The reality is that Democrats are fearful of Republicans who are bringing new ideas to the political process.
Last week, the GOP proposed a budget that reduces spending in Governor Beebe’s $4.7 billion budget from 3.5 to 3.1 percent – hardly the disaster Democrats want you to think it is. $21 million in spending reductions is absolutely achievable without layoffs, yet Democrats say they are “not willing to give an inch” when it comes to compromise.
When Arkansas families tighten their belts, state agencies need to as well. Battles for efficiency in the way our state spends taxpayer money are battles well-fought for the people of Arkansas.
In fact, on Wednesday a Republican-sponsored bill to cut funding for lawmakers’ dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government was voted down by Democratic lawmakers on the Joint Budget Committee. The bill would have saved the state $267,400 by ending this taxpayer-funded perk. It’s clear we need to trim our state budget and it’s even clearer that state lawmakers should start with themselves.
It’s sad to see Arkansas Democrats embracing this type of Washington politics instead of a truly bipartisan budget that will benefit Arkansans by preserving much needed services like Medicaid. If our state can’t find ways to reduce the budget today, where will we find the money to a fund a projected $250 million Medicaid shortfall next year?
By introducing a conservative budget alternative, legislative Republicans have successfully opened up the traditionally Democratic-controlled, behind the scenes state budgeting process to the people of Arkansas. State government should be held accountable to the taxpayers of Arkansas, period.
Take action today!Click here to submit a letter to your local paper thanking Arkansas Republicans for fighting to reduce spending, protect Medicaid and increase transparency. Tags:Arkansas, Plantation Politics, Reducing Waste, Protecting Medicaid, Opening Up State Government, Mike Beebe, big government, democrats, recuced government , republicans, legislative members, legislature, media, RPA, Republican Party of Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
"Congressional Democrats are once again resorting to the tired line of price manipulation by so-called speculators and oil companies to explain why Americans are paying more at the pump. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is accounting for rising prices by market forces, saying alternatively that it's because the economy is recovering and includes increased demand overseas, particularly China.
"They need to get their stories straight, because they are entirely inconsistent. Are prices being manipulated, or are they rising as supply fails to keep up with increased demand as the economy recovers?
"Meanwhile, both of these contrary explanations miss the underlying weakness of the dollar that is the real cause for price pressures in commodities, including food, oil, gasoline, and is observable in precious metals like gold. While demand did rise globally from 88.3 million barrels a day in 2010 to 89 million in 2011 according the Energy Information Agency, so too has global production increased to 90 million a day in Dec. 2011. So, market forces alone do not explain the price swing.
"Of course, this happens every time the nation experiences price shocks: government officials thrash about looking for anyone to blame but themselves for a problem they helped to create with their big spending, money printing ways."
Letter To The Editor: by Norm Beznoska Jr. (Strongsville, OH): Two months ago, I wrote a letter about Obama REFUSING to open the critical Keystone Pipeline from Canada to New Orleans, which not only cost our American economy 20,000 new jobs, but is now costing Americans $4.00 gallon gasoline. Since Obama cancelled this pipeline project, Canada is happily sending millions of barrels of cheap oil to the Pacific and waiting Chinese Oil Tankers instead. Of course, all you Obama fans could always pump your tires up like Obama said in 2008 to save gasoline. LMAO!
Two readers and Obama fans criticized me for saying "Thanks for Nothing, Obama". So, let me correct myself.
Thanks Obama, for $4.00 gasoline; 13 million Unemployed Americans; 8.3 Unemployment rate; 47 Million Americans on Welfare and Food stamps; millions of Illegal (yea, I said Illegal) aliens pouring across our borders; smaller food portion sizes like 59 ounce Orange Juice instead of 64 ounces, 1.5 quart ice cream instead of a half-gallon, 12 ounce cookie packages instead of 16 ounces, at 25 percent higher prices. And, another $5 Trillion dollars in debt to bankrupt us, our children and grandchildren. This from the man who said: "I will cut the deficit in half before the end of my first term".
Hope and Change? Hoax-and-Chains is more like it!
-------------- Letters to The Editor represent the opinions of the writers. P.S., And maybe a lot of readers. Tags:Norm Beznoska, Letter to Editor, Barack Obama, Hope and Change, Hoax-and-Chains, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
AP: "To Close Tax Loopholes, Obama Would Open New Ones"
The AP writes today, “Cutting corporate tax rates and deleting loopholes is just what most economists prescribe for the tangled U.S. tax code. So why isn't everyone cheering the plan President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday to slash the top corporate tax rate and end breaks that let some companies pay little or nothing in taxes? Economists note that Obama's plan would upturn the very playing field the administration says it wants to level.”
Indeed, the story notes Obama’s plan “would give manufacturers preferential treatment: Tax breaks would effectively cap their rate at 25 percent. Other companies would pay up to 28% . . . . Some say such varying rates can distort the economy by diverting investment into some industries and away from others that might pack a bigger economic punch. ‘The administration is not making sense,’ says Martin Sullivan, contributing editor at publisher Tax Analysts. ‘The whole idea of corporate tax reform is to get rid of loopholes, and this plan is adding loopholes back in.’”
Interestingly, the piece points out, “Among the skeptics is Obama's own former economic adviser, Christina Romer, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In a column this month in The New York Times, Romer argued that there was no economic justification for the government to favor manufacturers over service-oriented companies.
‘Our earnings from exporting architectural plans for a building in Shanghai are as real as those from exporting cars to Canada,’ Romer wrote.”
Meanwhile, the AP writes, “Other economists oppose a separate plank of the Obama plan: a minimum tax on foreign earnings of U.S. multinational companies. No other country imposes such a tax on its companies, they note. U.S. businesses would face a competitive disadvantage. . . . ‘No other developed country imposes such a 'minimum tax' on the foreign earnings of their corporations,’ said the Business Roundtable, a trade group of chief executives of large U.S. companies. Some economists agree. The minimum tax proposal for international earnings ‘is totally misguided both from a competitive standpoint and a jobs standpoint,’ said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. ‘Obama's plan, if enacted, will shrink the U.S. footprint in world markets and lose jobs.’”
On top of all these questions about the policy itself are indications that the Obama administration isn’t even that serious about getting these policies approved. The New York Times notes, “The White House provided few details on Wednesday, and most concerned the proposed reductions rather than the offsetting increases, thwarting detailed analysis. The administration introduced its overhauls of financial regulation and health care in the same way. But the high-concept approach also reflects that Wednesday’s announcement was a campaign event.” And yesterday, the AP wrote, “While Obama has been promoting various aspects of his economic agenda in personal appearances and speeches, the decision to leave the corporate tax plan to the Treasury Department to unveil signaled its lower priority.”Reuters added, “For now, [analysts] said, tax proposals will largely amount to political messaging.” Tags:Obama, Barack Obama, loopholes, tax loopholes, corporate taxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: It is a well-regarded economic principle that if you want more of something you subsidize it to promote it, and if you want less of something you tax it to penalize it. Today's Wall Street Journal has crunched the numbers on Obama's latest budget and it seems that Obama's tax increases, particularly on dividends, are intended to destroy wealth creation in America. Consider this excerpt from the Journal's editorial: "Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8% -- nearly three times today's 15% rate.
"Keep in mind that dividends are paid to shareholders only after the corporation pays taxes on its profits. So assuming a maximum 35% corporate tax rate and a 44.8% dividend tax, the total tax on corporate earnings passed through as dividends would be 64.1%."
We've been down this road before. Higher capital gains and dividend taxes yield lower revenues because they discourage and punish investment. Lower tax rates yield greater revenues because they encourage investment. It is playing out right now in England, where a higher tax on the "rich" has generated far less revenue than anticipated.
It's not a complicated concept to grasp -- unless you are a committed socialist who ignores sound economic policy in favor of abstract concepts like "fairness" or "spreading the wealth around." (Who could that be?)
But even worse, this massive new tax hike would disproportionally impact seniors and retirees, many of whom live off of investment income. And because interest rates are so low right now, many have been forced to invest in dividend-paying stocks. According to IRS data "Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65."
As the Journal concludes, Obama's wealth-destroying, job-killing policies to soak the rich "will drench almost all American families." Obama's socialism will destroy this country, just as similar policies have brought Greece and much of Europe to the brink of bankruptcy and worse. ------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families,, power to tax, power to destroy, taxes, taxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: As the 2012 election season turns full throttle, the president and members of his administration are pointing to their only economic success story — the government’s investment in an ailing, failing auto industry and the subsequent revival of the nation’s manufacturing base.
Vice President Biden recently stated on a campaign stop that “Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.”
But let’s put this presidential campaign victory tour into perspective. The president and even the media fail to acknowledge a critical fact, that the initial decision to help the automobile industry began with the Bush administration. This recovery plan was set in motion under a Republican administration, approved with votes in Congress from both parties, and was then continued by President Obama.
It’s odd how this president and the press are so anxious and willing to blame former President George W. Bush for a failing economy and soaring national debt, yet the president’s primary example of a GM turnaround began under the Bush watch. Apparently the president wants it both ways. In reality, this auto industry recovery is an example of both parties working together to help save a national treasure in our auto industry and preserve jobs in industries that depend on auto manufacturing.
I wrote some time ago that conservatives, myself among them, were certainly justified in opposing government involvement and partial ownership of a private company such as General Motors. Generally, when the government gets its fingers into private industry, problems only get worse.
But since the decision was made to invest tax dollars in GM and Chrysler, let’s look under the hood of GM to examine how and why this company is making a comeback. When you check the facts, you quickly understand how GM’s accomplishments have nothing to do with this president and everything to do with restoring sound business practices that are rooted in conservative free-market principles — something you’ll never hear Obama, Biden or the media talk about.
The old days of GM building poor-quality vehicles that no one wanted to buy are over. The company finished 2011 by increasing U.S. sales by 14 percent versus 11 percent for the entire auto industry. GM’s market share increased to 19 percent, the first share increase for the company since 2002. All four GM brands increased their total sales and posted double-digit gains in retail sales.
Since the bailout, GM has racked up a remarkable seven consecutive quarters of profitability. How? Not due to any help from the Obama administration. New management at GM has made it clear that politicians will stay out of the car business.
GM renegotiated its deal with labor to bring employee salaries in line with its competitors. This new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers union maintains a low, break-even level and gives employees a direct stake in company’s performance. If the company doesn’t do well, people don’t make as much! Gone are automatic, built-in incentives for employees or overly generous retirement packages.
The company has been restructured to carry less debt on its balance sheet — $4.2 billion in automotive debt at close of Q3 2011, versus $45.8 billion for the old GM.
There are many new managers in top positions and a new board of directors is in place. Seven of eleven board members are new to GM.
But at the end of the day, GM’s resurgence is based on a fundamental decision to get back to work. The company is simply building better cars, trucks and SUVs, and no amount of bailout money would have helped if the people at GM, from the CEO to the line worker, weren’t working harder to help return this company to profitability.
Before Election Day, I am sure we will have to endure seeing more photos and video of the president sitting in GM and Chrysler vehicles and listen to him tell us how he is the savior of the auto industry.
Truth be told, it’s the American worker that is the real hero in this story, along with a company that is rededicating itself to a free-market system.
---------------- J. Ken Blackwell formerly served as mayor of Cincinnati, Secretary of State of Ohio, as an ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission and is presently a senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council. a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Blackwell's article was also published today on The Hill, Congress Blog Tags:Ken Blackwell, auto industry, GM, labor deal profits, Obama administration, American workerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Welcome to the real ObamaCare, whereby a handful of leftists in D.C. impose the views of their big-money donors on more than 300 million Americans. If the Obama mandate for contraception remains intact, then liberals will next demand that Americans pay for other objectionable items that are not really medical care.
We can expect future mandates, under the guise of "health care," to include sex-change operations, late-term abortions, embryonic stem-cell use, and a variety of other procedures that many Americans do not support and certainly do not want to be compelled to foot the bill for. Obama’s mandate for abortifacient drugs opens a slippery slope that would erode the moral authority of religious institutions in America.
Obama and the liberals have overplayed their hand. By baring their teeth, these lackeys for the Left have awakened Democratic voters to the real contempt that liberals hold for religious values.
All 181 U.S. Catholic bishops oppose Obama’s mandate, and Rasmussen polling estimates that 65% of Catholic Americans also oppose it. There are about 75 million American Catholics, most of who have traditionally been Democratic voters but who wouldn’t hesitate to cross party lines to defend their church leaders.
It will be fascinating to see how many Democratic politicians up for reelection this November side with Obama and against religious organizations. Liberals are just fine with throwing some Democratic incumbents overboard to advance far-left goals, just as the enactment of ObamaCare in 2010 cost many Democrats their congressional seats.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's congressional testimony made clear that the Obama Administration is dug in permanently to enforce the regulation that religiously affiliated institutions must offer their employees health insurance that includes abortion drugs, sterilization, and contraceptives. Of course, insurance companies price their products to make a profit, so clearly the cost will be concealed and distributed so many will pay for services that violate their religious beliefs.
Dick Morris exposed how George Stephanopoulos outed the Obama strategy behind this outrageous action. Knowing that abortion is no longer a winning issue for Democrats, Obama wanted to shift the debate to contraception.
However, his ploy has failed. He really shifted the debate to religious liberty, and to how the Obama Administration is planning to force Americans to pay for procedures which their religion teaches them is morally wrong.
The religious liberty issue is definitely not confined to Catholic hospitals, schools, colleges and charities. It opens up the whole attack on religion and on Christianity that is now going on in the Obama Administration, the courts, and even the military.
The U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains sent an email to senior chaplains telling them that Archbishop Timothy Broglio's letter criticizing the Obama insurance rule was not to be read from the pulpit. There is no evidence that Obama personally issued this order, but the Army Chief of Chaplains must have thought he was taking a politically correct action.
Has anti-religious bigotry become so pervasive that chaplains believe they must censor their sermons to conform to Obama's prejudices?
Just recently, the Obama Administration forced the Air Force's Capabilities Office to strike the Latin word for "God" from its logo. Since schools seldom teach Latin any more, I wonder how many realized what this meant.
At the Veterans Affairs Department, Obama's agents banned Military Honor Details from reciting the significance of each fold of the American Flag during the burial services of our heroic men and women who gave their lives for our country. Obama says the ceremony promoted religion and therefore the recitations had to stop.
Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, a Catholic college. But he ordered his staff to cover up a crucifix with a giant black tarp because he didn't want anybody to see a religious symbol while he was talking.
Obama has joined in the war against religion being waged by the ACLU and the atheists in the courts. We've all heard about the lawsuits attempting to delete "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance and remove Ten Commandments monuments and crosses from every public place.
Less well known, but important in the big picture, are the judges' decisions to ban the football coach from bowing his head during student-led prayer before a game, and the decision to ban grace before supper at Virginia Military Institute.
The plan is even more far-reaching. It confirms that the ObamaCare law can impose any regulation the bureaucrats choose, such as death panels.
The firestorm over this most recent regulation is one more proof that social issues and fiscal issues are inescapably intertwined. Social-issue policy decisions determine fiscal ones.
The Heritage Foundation has just released its 2012 Index of Dependence on Government. It shows the shocking fact that one in five Americans is dependent on government, meaning reliance on government handouts for housing, health care, food stamps, college tuition and retirement assistance. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Obama's War, Religious Liberty, Obamacare, Obamacare mandates, federal healthcare, churches, non-profits, military, religious freedom, US Constitution, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
PRESIDENT OBAMA:“So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax ratefor the first time in 25 years –- without adding to our deficit. It can be done.” (President Obama, State Of The Union, 1/25/11)
Maybe we all need a dose of sanity when it comes to energy policy. Yesterday, David Holt, who heads the non-partisan Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) detailed exactly how disastrous this administration's policies have been for energy producers and consumers alike on internet radio show ;Coffee & Markets. You can listen to and/or download the audio from the segment here: here and read the following partial transcript of Holt's remarks.
Selected quotes from David Holt interview, Coffee & Markets, Feb. 21, 2012:
"Consumers have been concerned about energy prices and kind of a lack of a U.S. energy policy for a long time. The fact that gasoline prices are now rising and this administration is suddenly paying attention to energy prices and its lack of energy policy is somewhat lamentable. We wish the administration had paid attention to this issue long before now. Now voters and consumers around the country are actually feeling the pinch."
"We need it all. No is not an answer. Any society that continues to say no to long-term development of alternative energy – we need that. But we need to recognize that it's long term. Oil and natural gas? The United States is sitting on trillions of barrels of oil, trillions and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. We have enough oil and natural gas to sustain our own needs, to reduce our reliance on imports from countries that frankly are hostile to the United States now. So anyone that says no, anyone who persists that false choice that its either the environment or development, that’s not a true argument either."
"Right now we need oil and natural gas, energy prices are going up, our reliance on hostile nations is continuing to put this country into a very precarious state from a national security perspective, and pointing fingers and saying 'no' just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need all of the above, and we need everyone to get on the same page and start moving forward."
"This administration had a very, very easy win for all quarters of the economy in the U.S. to find safe reliable affordable abundant supplies of energy from our neighbors to the north, which is currently already our number one energy supplier, and putting us in a situation where we don’t have access to this 700,000-plus barrels of oil a day, to all the tens of thousands of jobs that would have been immediately created with this shovel-ready project, a $7 billion private industry project, all the things that the Obama Administration continues to say they want – but yet they deny this project and continue to put us in harms way."
"So all the arguments that you saw from the Administration on why they chose the delay on Keystone were really false arguments that have already been answered. The fact that the mainstream media hasn’t really caught onto that is also lamentable. We hope this administration will make a timely decision because this country needs it and it is one of the easiest things we can do to quickly, quickly help solve our energy problems."
"So we are very concerned that high energy prices will drag this economy down. Very concerned that we’ve had a complete lack of energy policy. And an energy policy that’s headed in the wrong direction, that’s locked down the gulf of Mexico, that’s shut down keystone, that wont allow access to offshore Alaska, that continues to hamstring the natural gas industry with threats of regulation and more control…everywhere you turn from an energy perspective, this administration, previous administrations, other Congresses, have hamstrung our ability to meet our energy needs domestically, and it is well past time for this administration to stand up and do the right thing to spur economic growth to get the economy going again and to beat our energy needs in a sustainable way."
"There is long-term sustainable growth in the Canadian Oil Sands. They’re looking at signing some agreements with China and building some pipelines that would carry the oil sands to the Pacific coast, to carry the oil to the Far East and elsewhere. So if the United States doesn’t get our ducks in a row very quickly, we face losing out a great opportunity. So I hope the Republicans and Democrats alike continue to put pressure on this administration, make this an election issue."
"The all of the above approach is gaining more residence. It’s a very logical decision. As I said at the front end, no is not an answer. We need yes to all of the above. We need to start developing our infrastructure for an alternative energy and diverse energy future, but we need to recognize the abundant supply of oil and gas we have available to us now, and thoughtfully, safely, responsibly access those resources, because we cannot continue to have this false choice pitting the environment against development. We’ve got to be able to do both, and we’ve got to be able to appease the thoughtful votes in the middle on this issue, to say this is the way to economic prosperity in this country."
"We all have this thing that I was raised with called the American Dream, where each generation hoped that the successive generation had more economic opportunity than they had. Well I think for the first time a lot of us are fearful that we will not pass onto our kids and grandkids the same economic opportunity that we had. That is something that we’ve got to stop in this country. Energy is a way to keep the economy going again, keep the manufacturing base going, and building a great economic future for all of us. Energy policy is a cornerstone of that, and we hope this administration or the next administration gets that and makes it a cornerstone of their policy." Tags:American Dream, Obama's Energy Policy, Consumer Energy Alliance, CEA, David Holt, Coffee & Markets, energy policy, Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, LCFS, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Perfect Storm of Regulations Killing American Energy
The Perfect Storm over Craig, Colorado - The town of Craig, CO is dependent on the production of affordable and reliable coal energy. The onslaught of federal and state regulations on coal energy is causing this town economic hardship. Many do not realize that policy have direct consequences on individual lives. Learn how you can help help Craig, CO by going to: Energy for America
“Society cannot have reliable power based on when the wind blows and/or when the sun shines,” said Rick Johnson, plant manager at Craig Station, in a new video about the town’s plight.
Johnson oversees the 1,311-megawatt Craig Station plant, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in America. To illustrate his point, Johnson notes in the video the drastic difference in megawatts produced by coal energy compared to renewable sources.
The Cimarron Solar Facility in New Mexico, for example, has a capacity to produce 30 megawatts. The Kit Carson Windpower Project in Colorado has a capacity of 51 megawatts. Neither plant was operating even close to that capacity during filming of the video.
Heritage’s Nick Loris, an expert on energy policy, warned that additional regulations would ultimately mean higher electricity prices for consumers and economic consequences.
“Coal-fired electricity provides nearly half of America with affordable, reliable electricity generation but environmental activists have been intent on significantly reducing that percentage,” Loris said. “Adopted, proposed and pending regulations that are both expensive and stand on a weak scientific foundation would significantly increase compliance costs for existing coal plants, and make it more difficult to build new coal plants, increasing the cost of electricity and destroying jobs.”
Aside from producing energy, the Craig Station plant offers other benefits to the community. It employees more than 300 people and helps generate revenue for other businesses in the area — like so many other energy companies in Colorado.
Some of those businesses are already suffering as energy companies, facing Colorado’s new regulations, look elsewhere to invest their resources. Revenue at the local Best Western Hotel is down significantly, forcing the owners to lay off workers for the first time.
“Really what’s happening in Colorado is this perfect storm of federal regulations hammering down on the energy industry and state regulations that are having a tremendous impact on the cost of electricity,” said Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research. “This is happening in places all around the country where we see this attack on the very energy sources that have powered our economy and made this engine run.” Tags:Craig, Colorado, CO, coal, renewable state mandate, energy, Energy for America, businesses, Colorado, economy, electricity, energy, Institute for Energy Research, mandates, power plants, regulations, renewable energy, VideoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
President Obama’s Energy Secretary Wants ‘To Figure Out How To Boost The Price Of Gasoline To The Levels In Europe’ ‘The Main Problem With High Gasoline Prices Is Their Rapid Rise, Not Their Total’
“…Obama suggested that the main problem with high gasoline prices is their rapid rise, not their total of about $4 a gallon. ‘I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment,’ Obama said.” (“One Down, More To Go For Republicans Aiding McCain,” The Associated Press, 6/12/08)
CNBC'S JOHN HARWOOD: “So could these high prices help us?” SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): “I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.” (CNBC's “Special Report,” 6/10/08)
ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC News: “So how high could prices go? ABC’s Cecilia Vega has more in Los Angeles, where five dollar a gallon gas already a reality there, Cecilia?” CECILIA VEGA, ABC News: “Yea, Robin, 5.09 for the premium, check this out, 4.93 for regular, and it could soon look this way all around the country… the average price of gas nationwide has never been higher for this time of year… and brace for it to only get worse. Some predictions show gas reaching five dollars a gallon by Memorial Day.”(ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/21/12) Tags:gasoline, gas prices, Steven Chu, Energy Secretary 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 20, 2011:
U.S. Senate and House are not in session this week! However, the activism of the White House, its czars, and various departments and bureaus continue. Recalling the old saying, "there is no rest for the wicked," well in fact, the wicked in Washington, D.C. do not rest, which keep the rest of you fine people concerned and others tracking these bureaucrats.
All the people working for the federal government across our Nation are NOT wicked. The are our neighbors, family members, friends, etc. Most are doing their jobs as required. Unfortunately, the dictates of their job are also defined by the dictates of the Big Government liberal bureaucrats: Agency and Department Heads. Even when they take action that chips away at the freedom of others or invades the lives and privacy of their fellow citizens, they do it because they are following their jobs unaware of the consequences to them and their fellow citizens.
As George Washington said in his Farewell address: "[T]he habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."
Public Notice, a D.C.nonprofit watchdog group points shares the following today. There are good regulations that keep us safe and keep our environment clean and then there are regulations that increase the costs for Americans and businesses, which only holds back our economy from creating jobs.
We all recognize regulations are needed. Many regulations keep us safe, but in many instances the federal government needs to stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken. At the end of the day, federal regulations come with added costs for Americans and businesses alike.
According to a report released by the government (SBA, Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, 2010), the average U.S. household pays nearly $15,600 in added costs directly linked to federal regulations each year.
As regulations have grown over the years, so have the price of everyday household items.
Americans know the amount of federal regulations have drastically increased over the years. As they’ve watched these regulations increase, they’ve seen the prices of goods and services continue to rise.
Small businesses bear the brunt of federal regulations. It’s time we put small businesses on a level playing field, so they don’t drown in the government’s red tape.
According to a government report, “small businesses…bear the largest burden of federal regulations” (SBA, Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, 2010).
This isn’t a surprise. While large businesses may be able to use loopholes, mom-and-pop stores don’t have the benefit of having a team of lawyers and lobbyists to get around the government’s red tape.
Consider the Economic Snapshot
Current Deficit: $349 billion
Current National Debt: $15.39 trillion
Debt Per Household: $134,736
Debt Per Individual: $49,170
Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
Consecutive Months of Budget Deficit: 40
KEY POLLING DATA Gallup released a poll on small businesses and hiring. According to the survey, 46% cite government regulations as a reason they are not hiring. Five issues, including the rising cost of health care and the economy in general, received higher percentages.
According to a poll by The Hill, “Forty-five percent [of adults] felt the budget’s primary focus should be on job creation while 40% said cutting spending was the most important priority. ... Independents broke slightly in favor of cutting spending (43%) over creating jobs (40%), although that spread is within the poll’s 3 percentage point error margin.”
Congress: Average approval for late January to mid-February was 11.5% according to the liberal leaning RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 81.8%. Also, according to the RealClearPolitics average, which covered early- to mid-February, 33.8% think the country is headed in the right direction while 59.8% think it is headed in the wrong direction. Tags:Washington, D,C, congress, recess, president's day, polls, economic snapshot, public noticeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Republican Jewish Coalition's latest web ad: Pres. Obama's 2013 budget request includes a sharp cut in defense aid to Israel, specifically cuts to joint missile defense programs. These cuts would leave Israel vulnerable at a very dangerous time, when Israel faces serious rocket threats from Hamas in Gaza and from Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a growing nuclear threat from Iran. Call the White House and tell Pres. Obama not to cut missile defense aid to Israel - 202-456-1111.
For the second straight year, President Obama is seeking to decrease funding to joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.
Tucked within Obama’s 2013 budget proposal is a request to reduce the amount of money Israel receives for its critical missile defense systems by $6.3 million relative to the 2012 budget proposal. Among these defense systems are Arrow and David’s Sling, both of which are jointly operated with the U.S.
Publicly, the president has referred to himself as a stalwart champion of the U.S.-Israel military alliance. But administration efforts to reduce the amount of missile defense aid that Israel receives appear to be a growing trend in the president’s budget proposals.
In fiscal year 2011, the administration requested $121.7 million in military aid for Israel’s key missile defense programs, according to the Defense Department. That number dropped to $106.1 million in the 2012 budget proposal, and plummeted again to $99.8 million in Obama’s newly released 2013 proposal.
Tags:Republican, Jewish Coalition, Israel, Obama, Iran, missile defense, security, Hezbollah, Hamas, RJC, Democrats, NJDC, budget, aidTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Presidents Day: Warnings From Our First President On Leaving Officer
Image: Library of Congress
The first president of the United States was beloved by those even in his day who would have mad him king. However, he loved the country and the republic. While the people of his day preferred for Mr. Washington to remain in office, he set the precedent that a president should only serving two terms. This precedent was broken by a Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it took an Amendment to the Constitution to assure that it did not happen again under a lawfully administered republic.
The following excerpts included warnings by President George Washington in his farewell address:
9. The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
10. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of american, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
11. But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those, which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.
12. The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds, in the productions of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connexion with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
13. While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighbouring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
14. These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the union as a primary object of Patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope, that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to Union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who in any quarter may endeavour to weaken its bands.
15. In contemplating the causes, which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by Geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavour to excite a belief, that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart-burnings, which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those, who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren, and connect them with aliens?
16. To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions, which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.
17. All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
18. However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
19. Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations, which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard, by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that, for the efficient management of our common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
20. I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
21. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
22. The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
23. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
24. It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
25. There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
26. It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way, which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
27. Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
28. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric ?
29. Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
30. As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue; that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
31. Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices ?
32. In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential, than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.
33. So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
34. As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
35. Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
36. The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
37. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
38. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
39. Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?
40. It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
41. Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
42. Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
43. In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
. . . 51. Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views it in the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
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