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

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obama Strips Work Requirement From 1996 Welfare Reform


Background - Read: Obama Gut's Clinton's Welfare Reform

Tags: Obama administration, Barack Obama, strips, work requirement, welfare, welfare reform, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th: Obama Gut's Clinton's Welfare Reform

Today In Washington, D.C. - July 13, 2012:
Bill Smith, Editor: Congress is in weekend recess. The House will reconvene Tuesday, July 17th. The Senate will reconvene on Monday.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 73-24 to table an amendment with House-passed small business tax deduction to S. 2237 (Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act). Even Republicans Sens. Rubio, Toomey, Demint and several other Republicans voted with the democrats to table the amendment. After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked all other amendments, the Senate then blocked cloture on the Landrieu substitute amendment to S. 2237 by a vote of 57-41 and on the underlying bill by a vote of 53-44.

With everything else going on with Congress, we forget the Executive branch is where most actions occurs that affect more spending or the trampling on of American's rights and liberties. Amid everything happening in Washington, the following saga may possibly be the biggest story of the week So, let's review what the Obama administration was doing between campaign stops. Amy Payne of the Heritage Foundation offers up the bad news report below on this Friday the 13th.

Before presenting her article, let's recall that President Bill Clinton worked with Congress to implement successful Welfare Reform. What is now happening is that President Obama is trampled on President Clinton's welfare reform. Obama is taking actions which lead to more dependency on the Government and may be an apparent effort to influence voting in the short term by reducing people looking for employment or needing jobs. By removing the the responsibility provisions for Welfare recipients, less people must pursue jobs, employment assistance or education (to remain on welfare). He is also hiding again the weakest among us who need help from their communities and not from Big Government.

Before sharing the full article, A Summary:
The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.
This is BIG deal in that President Obama has bypassed Congress and the law again. His action has replaced the personal responsibility attached to welfare or at least placed it on the back-burner by dictatorial fiat.

The work requirements, being responsible, and getting help for training and or education were key part of President Clinton's reform. The number of people on Government Welfare plummeted under the Clinton reform. The Clinton reforms required welfare recipients to assume responsibility to cooperate in seeking assistance. They were assisted in this effort by community teams called TEA (Transition Employment Assistance )Coalitions made up of business leaders, educational experts, and caring members of the community. Each person's capabilities, skills and needs were reviewed and an individual plans put in place to help and to fund the needed effort to assist the welfare recipient towards meaningful employment. If the welfare recipient refused, the lost access to welfare. Many pursued job training and or education courses and the government continued their welfare assistance while in the local TEA Coalition coordinated community support to aid women with needed child care, transportation, etc., while the welfare client attending counseling, evaluation. job training or academic programs. The funding needed for training or education and seeking new jobs was covered by the program or other assistance. The majority in the programs received assistance with personal or medical problems, gained in self-esteem and discovered that they could be free of government dependency (the welfare system), have careers and care for their children. The welfare roles under President Clinton declined significantly. In Clinton's home state of Arkansas, welfare dropped to nil as communities stepped forward to assist trough TEA Coalitions.

I served for a couple years on our county's initial TEA Coalition and participated in coordinated efforts in the state. In our county, welfare dropped to almost zero and all physically and emotionally capable people gained employment and independence. Interesting, while their were complaints by clients, government staff members of various levels involved in supporting the welfare programs complained that success was leading to risk of reduced funding and agencies reducing jobs. They preferred more Federal funding and that meant more needy welfare clients. The biggest hindrance to the total success of the Clinton welfare reforms was government bureaucracy

The full story:
by Amy Payne, The Morning Bell: The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.

While this real news occurred yesterday, most of the media remained fixated on political ads and speeches, letting a major and unilateral shift in America’s welfare system go nearly unreported.

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Heritage Foundation played a pivotal role in building bipartisan consensus for the reform and providing many of the recommendations that became part of the law. The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.

This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.

Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.

When it established TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from waiver authority. They explicitly did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of HHS bureaucrats. In a December 2001, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that there was no authority to override work and other major requirements: “Effectively, there are no TANF waivers,” it reported.

But that did not stop the Obama Administration, which has been increasing welfare spending at an alarming rate already. President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program.

This is a chronic problem: Over the past two decades, welfare spending has grown more rapidly than Social Security and Medicare, education, and defense. The TANF reform was one small step in the direction of reducing Americans’ dependence on government programs and getting them back on their feet. Cutting its work component is likely to unnecessarily swell the ranks of welfare recipients and with no way to pay for it.

Heritage experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley explained further in their comprehensive analysis of yesterday’s announcement:
In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work. The new welfare dictate issued by the Obama Administration clearly guts the law.
Obama certainly didn’t tell people he was going to gut welfare reform when he was running for President in 2008—and why would he? “Welfare horror stories helped elect Ronald Reagan,” wrote Mickey Kaus of The Daily Caller. “A promise to ‘end welfare as we know it’ elected President Clinton…And in 2008, Barack Obama didn’t dare suggest that he wanted to do what he has done today.”
While the 1996 welfare reform successfully moved people from welfare into work, it did not “end welfare as we know it.” Now, however, the Obama Administration has ended welfare reform as we know it. The President cannot hide his disastrous unemployment record by depriving Americans of the hope of a job. He should immediately reverse this course, and offer constructive ideas for economic growth rather than government dependence.  Fact Sheet on Welfare Reform

Tags: Washington, D.C. Senate, House, Obama administration,HHS, Morning Bell, TANF, welfare, welfare reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Constitution’s Limits Threaten in an Obama Second Term

Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski, Contributing Authors: Public officials and pundits are still digesting the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision in NFIB v. Sebelius. Not yet discussed are the extraordinary implications for the size and role of government in a second Obama term in light of President Obama’s new stump speech, as it is clear there is not a reliable majority on the Court to restrain government power by enforcing the limits imposed by the Constitution.

Most provisions in the Constitution fall into two categories. The first are authority provisions, explaining the structure and powers of government. The second are liberty provisions, declaring certain rights of the people.

The original Constitution had only the former, because the latter were regarded as superfluous. If something was not found in a specific authority clause, it was automatically illegal and beyond the purview of the federal government. Political backlash from the Anti-Federalists and others led to some states threatening to withhold ratification unless a Bill of Rights was promptly added. Likely our fourth president James Madison would have lost his first congressional race to our fifth president James Monroe had Mr. Madison not joined Mr. Monroe’s call to add the Bill of Rights to the nascent Supreme Law.

Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of our Constitution is that it is a written document. It is written so that all can see what the powers of the national government are, and guaranteeing in the Tenth Amendment that all powers not specifically granted to the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people. This doctrine of enumerated powers is the cornerstone of our constitutional order and the federal system.

We wrote in our second book that if President Obama won a second term, Americans’ liberties would only be as secure as the courts were faithful to properly exercise their power of judicial review to invalidate actions that violate the Constitution. Whether invalidating unconstitutional legislation passed by Congress or unconstitutional executive actions, the courts must not flinch when cases are properly brought to them.

Mr. Madison explained that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition” for checks and balances to work. Each branch must boldly discharge its constitutional duty. Part of the tragedy of the Obamacare decision is realizing that the current membership of the Supreme Court will not exercise robust judicial review.

It appears clear that Chief Justice John Roberts conducts judicial review rigorously only when the liberty clauses of the Constitution are implicated. For example, he invalidated government action when it violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause in Citizens United (campaign finance) and Religion Clauses in Hosanna-Tabor (the ministerial exception), invalidated a federal gun ban under the Second Amendment, and extended that right against state and local gun bans through the Fourteenth Amendment.

But Chief Justice Roberts shows extraordinary deference to the federal government when the actions of the president or Congress are challenged for exceeding federal powers under the authority clauses. First came U.S. v. Comstock (2010), where Justice Kennedy chided the liberal justices and Chief Justice Roberts in giving an exceedingly-broad reading to the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Part of the consternation from the Obamacare decision was seeing Chief Justice Roberts engage in linguistic gymnastics to ignore Congress’ word choice in writing the statute and the president’s televised vows, upholding the individual mandate as a tax despite 200 years of precedent that penalties are not taxes. He also saved half of a Medicaid expansion that coerces the states, and insisted on severing it to save the rest of what was now a misbegotten mutation of Congress’ statute.

This reluctance to unapologetically apply judicial review when authority clauses—rather than liberty clauses—are implicated bodes ill for many current court challenges. There might not be five votes to succeed in challenges to Dodd-Frank, EPA’s cap-and-trade rules, the FCC’s internet-control rules, the recess-appointment challenges, and other power grabs.

Mr. Obama announced on July 6 in Ohio that this election is about a “clash of visions” about the role of government in our lives, arguing for massive entitlements and regulatory controls. If he wins, he will claim a mandate and take federal power to heights we’ve never seen. We can no longer be confident that the Supreme Court will stop him.

Liberty endures only when each branch fully and fearlessly checks and balances the other two branches. Abdicating judicial review empowers President Obama to subvert the Constitution with an imperial presidency, and fundamentally transform the United States to the detriment of future generations.
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National-bestselling authors Ambassador Ken Blackwell and Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski are on faculty at Liberty University and discuss the constitutional role of the courts in Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Ken Klukowski, Constitution, constitutional limits, role of government, Barack Obam, second term To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NRA Reaction And Will Score The DISCLOSE Act Vote

Threats to the 1st and 2nd Amendments:
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi
By Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller: Senate Democrats reintroduced a modified version of the DISCLOSE Act this week, and Republicans are sounding the free-speech alarm.

“This is the single biggest issue nobody is talking about,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Daily Caller Thursday.

The law would force corporations, labor groups and super PACs to report the names of donors for every $10,000 in political donations they make. But that amount is where the catch is, Senate GOP sources told TheDC.

The office of Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the bill’s Democratic sponsor, said the reporting threshold was raised from the 2010 level of $600 in order to “focus on large donations and reduce the burden on member[ship] organizations.”

But the average dues-paying union member contributes $500 annually, according to Republicans, placing union contributions far below the $10,000 threshold for public disclosure and protecting a major source of Democratic support from public scrutiny.

Senate Republicans argue that the DISCLOSE Act is little more than an attempt to intimidate conservative donors and chill their free speech rights.

“Billed as ‘reform,’ the measure is an attempt to identify and punish political enemies, or at the very least, intimidate others from participating in the process — an effort that’s already underway,” McConnell wrote in a an op-ed for USA Today last week. “The president has used selective disclosure not as a tool of good government, in other words, but as a political weapon.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the latest push for the DISCLOSE Act has nothing to do with conservative super PACs dramatically outpacing liberals in 2012.

“No, it has nothing to do with that. This is about our democracy. It’s stunning that the Supreme Court would take such an undermining of democracy approach to how we go forward,” Pelosi said in a press conference, referring to the Citizens United decision that declared corporations are constitutionally protected from restrictions on their political giving.

Democrats view forced public disclosure as a means to effectively dismantle Citizens United. Pelosi and others have called for a constitutional amendment to nullify the case.  . . .

The National Rifle Association, granted an exemption in the 2010 bill, is now also standing in staunch opposition to the 2012 version.

Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, told TheDC that lawmakers who vote for the DISCLOSE Act risk tarnishing their influential NRA candidate ratings.

“The NRA has been around since 1871,” Cox said in a statement. “Our members contribute for the purpose of speaking during elections and participating in the political process. We will not risk our Association or our members being silenced at election time, as S. 3369 [the DISCLOSE ACT] would do, while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us at will.”

“The cost of complying with these requirements will be immense; for many associations they may prohibit speaking altogether,” Cox continued. “That violates both the spirit and the letter of the First Amendment.”

According to National Journal, the bill is scheduled for a Senate vote as early as next week. This follows on the heels of a private meeting between President Obama and Democratic Senate leaders Wednesday. The group collaborated on setting the election-year legislative schedule, according to the Politico website.

That schedule of Senate votes is sure to serve the president’s campaign needs by framing Republican opposition as regressive or malicious. ... [Full Story]

Tags: Disclose Act, Democrats, threat to free speech, NRA, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama: Outsourcerer In Chief

by A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Barack Obama, Outsourcer, taxpayer money, stimulus jobs, to foreign sources, Spain, India, China, Australia, Vietnam, political cartoon, A.F. Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamanomics: Step In The Rght Direction…

by William Warren:

Tags: Obama, unemployment, no jobs, jobs, obamanomics, William Warren, political cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Crossroads GPS: "Tried"

Crossroads GPS: Tell Obama: for real growth, cut the debt!


Tags: Obama, Barack Obama, Spending, Debt, Unemployment, America, United States, Crossroads GPS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems Planning Vote On Their DISCLOSE Act Next Week

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Wants To
Abuse and Limit Your Free Speech
Today in Washington, D.C. - July 12, 2012:
Yesterday the House voted (244-185) in support of H.R. 6079 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010." All Republican Representatives and five democrats voted for repeal. The Democrats voting with the American people to repeal one of the biggest tax hikes in history were Mike Ross of Arkansas, Jim Matheson of Utah, Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Dan Boren of Oklahoma.

Today, the House today continued its debate on H.R. 4402 - The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act.  Working  through the lunch hour today, the House passed the bill by a vote of 256 - 160.   This bill would take steps toward streamlining the excessive regulations on domestic mining activities and providing our manufacturing community with valuable materials it needs. With the recent news that US manufacturing is in steep decline, it's essential that we make moves to roll back red tape. And this legislation would reduce our dependence on China. The House as a whole is not conducting anymore business today.

This afternoon, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2237, Democrats’ small business bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filled the amendment tree, thus blocking all amendments, and filed cloture to cut off debate on the bill. The Senate is scheduled to vote at 2 PM on a motion to table the text of a House bill dealing with the same subject, cloture on the Landrieu substitute amendment, and then cloture on the underlying bill, S. 2237.

The Hill reported yesterday, “Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) [progressive junior senator] and eight other Senate Democrats proposed new legislation on Tuesday that seeks to counteract the 2010 Citizens United case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot limit political spending by corporations, unions or other groups.”

And according to National Journal today, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is packing the summer schedule with symbolic, campaign trail-themed votes. . . . Democrats also plan next week to force a vote on a new version of the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to require disclosure of campaign spending by corporations and other groups.”

Of course in his speech to AEI last month, Senator Mitch McConnell explained what Democrats’ partisan DISCLOSE Act is really all about: “This is the Democrats’ legislative response to Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court correctly ruled that Congress may not ban political speech based on the identity of the speaker. The DISCLOSE Act aims to get around this ruling by compelling certain targeted groups to disclose the names of their donors, while excluding others, such as unions, from doing the same. . . . What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit.

"Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us. Those pushing the DISCLOSE Act have a simple view: if the Supreme Court is no longer willing to limit the speech of those who oppose their agenda, they’ll find other ways to do it.”

Indeed, in its Citizens United opinion, the Court explained, “Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints. … the government may commit a constitutional wrong when by law it identifies certain preferred speakers. … The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each. … We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.”

One wonders how or why, except for purely political reasons, Democrats can again advance a bill to limit rights to privacy and free speech of the American people while being unwilling to ask its own candidate for President of the United States to disclose issues such 1) after four years - his academic records upon which he touted his qualifications for being president and which now seem to be lacking based on his ineptness to date , 2) after four years - records and an  explanation on why and how he could have traveled on foreign passports and also attended college under funds only available to foreign students, 3)  and the latest example - his justification for the use of Executive Privilege on records never issued or communicated by the White House  in order prevent and or protect  AG Eric Holder from  properly turning over DOJ records to Oversight Congressional Committee with regard to Fast and Furious. While other incidents and situations could be detailed, these three alone show the repeated hypocrisy by  liberals in the U.S. Senate. They are very good at obfuscation and covering the "backsides" of both their liberal leaders and themselves.

Make one almost willing to support those advancing Constitutional amendment proposals to limit the time Senators and Representatives may serve in office or even removing their ability to set their own pay and benefits which are statistically obscene in comparison to their constituents.

Tags: US Senate, Disclose Act, free speech, US House, repeal of ObamaCare, minerals productions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obama-care Roadkill

A.F. "Tony" Branco, Contributing Editorial Cartoonist:
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Anthony F. Branco is the creator of politically incorrect cartoons addressing the events of today.  He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service. This editorial cartoon first appeared in Conservative Daily News.

Tags: Obamacare, unemployed, road kill, disability, food stamps, Tony Branco, Political cartoons To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Don't Eat Your Dog . . .

Read this book! I have.
~ Dr. Bill Smith, Editor
. . . The Surprising Moral Case for Free Enterprise

Arthur Brooks, President American Enterprise Institute (AEI): On Monday, President Obama announced a plan to extend some of the Bush-era tax cuts. Although lower taxes are preferable to higher ones, the president's proposal sets the wrong tone for our nation's tortured (and tortuous) tax code.

Punishing earned success by raising taxes will stifle economic growth, to be sure. But more important, it breeds an envy society, creating a culture where fairness is defined by outcomes rather than merit, work and opportunity.

There are smarter ways to reform our nation's tax code. As AEI's Jim Pethokoukis points out, we need a plan based on creating jobs, not political gain -- a plan that lowers rates across the board.

We have to make the moral case for pro-growth tax reform. AEI just released an entertaining animated video titled Don't Eat Your Dog explaining how to make the moral case that I laid out in "The Road to Freedom." And don't forget that you can make your own case on video and enter it in AEI's 2012 Video Contest for an opportunity to win $40,000.

I hope you'll join us in the call to make the moral case for the system we love.

Tags: Arthur Brooks, AEI, American Enterprise Institute, Don' Eat Your Dog, Road to Freedom, Free Enterprise, moral case for free eneterprise To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

House Votes to Repeal Obamacare

Today, the U.S House voted (244-185) in support of H.R. 6079 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010."

All Republican Representatives and five democrats voted for repeal. The Democrats voting with the American people to repeal one of the biggest tax hikes in history were Mike Ross of Arkansas, Jim Matheson of Utah, Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Dan Boren of Oklahoma.

Mike Ross and Dan Boren are not running for re-election. The The other three democrats face very tight races or are in the negatives for re-election in states moving more into the Republican column.

However, Mike Ross is from Arkansas where its Democrat Governor Mike Beebe desires to have Arkansas be the first state to fully implement Obamacare before he leaves office. However, the Republican Lt. Governor of Arkansas, Mark Darr, not only opposed Obmacare but also filed an amicus brief opposing the unconstitutionality of the mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Tags: U.S., House, votes, repeals, obamacare, HR 6079 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Initiated Acts: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Bill Smith, Editorial Comment: The following article sums up the Initiated Acts being proposed "state-wide" in Arkansas. Other states also have state-wide initiated issues. I am very interested in knowing how you and your state prevent outside interests from overrunning your state. [Besides rhetorically shooting the rascals.] Arkansas is rather restrictive of its own citizens through various layers of plantation politics covering traditions and practices, rules and regulations. In the Natural State, a citizen may own several thousand acres with lots of streams, ponds, forests, and wildlife, but they cannot "legally" hunt or fish on their own land without getting a licenses from the state. And lord help them if they want to raise bees in the middle of that thousand acres without registering the beehives with the state.

Remember learning in civics' class about being able to write-in candidates during elections. Well not so fast. In Arkansas, you may not write in a candidates name unless that candidate has first openly declared, filed a supporting list of supporters and even then their name cannot be publicly identified on the ballot as a write-in candidate, and the election officials are barred from identifying you existence. No civil "write-in" unrest is going to happen at the Arkansas ballot box. Not that I presently agree or disagree with this last point which was presented solely as a contrast to the next point.

In Arkansas, an interest, corporation or person from outside the state who wishes to worm their way around the laws passed by Arkansans and the present Constitution can find wiggle room via Initiated acts - proving they can get a resident supporter.  As the old saw goes: money talks and sin often wins. In summary the following proposed Initiated acts are a means to an end: emptying the pockets of Arkansas be it through gambling, taxes or stupidity.  Would like know how you control Initiated Acts in your state?  Or even share a few of your own 'snarky' examples of the fleecing of you and your fellow citizens.

Arkansas Initiated Acts 2012, the good, the bad and the ugly

Glenn Gallas
By Glenn Gallas: Yesterday [July 6th] was the deadline for filing petitions for citizen led initiated acts. Arkansans may initiate legislation as either a state statute or a constitutional amendment. Prior to collecting signatures, initiative proponents must submit a draft of the bill, a proposed ballot title, and a proposed popular name to the Attorney General. The Attorney General then has 10 days to approve the proposal, return it to the proponents for revision, or select an alternative ballot title or name. For an initiated constitutional amendment, signatures equal to at least 10% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last gubernatorial election are required. In 2012 the required amount of signatures needed is 78,133. The Arkansas Secretary of State verifies each signature up to 110% of the required number.

Before counting, the Secretary removes any individual petitions that are formally deficient. If any individual petition appears to contain 20% or more invalid signatures, initiative sponsors are responsible for proving that each of the signatures are valid. If the petition fails to meet the signature requirement, petitioners have 30 days to collect additional signatures. Alex Reed spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office said there are four proposed initiated acts to be reviewed.

Let’s start with the good. This process was created to give the citizens of Arkansas a voice as to what they want their state government to do. Unfortunately, the two casino measures were initiated not by an overwhelming desire by the citizens to bring casinos to Arkansas but a desire for Casino business operators to operate here. Nancy Todd’s Poker Palace and Entertainment Venues LLC wants to own and operate four casinos — one each in Pulaski, Miller, Franklin and Crittenden counties. Her amendment is titled An Amendment to Allow up to Four Casinos. Nancy Todd is a political consultant and professional poker player and said she has run 196 campaigns in 42 states. Hardly what I would consider a citizen led initiated act.

Not to be outdone by Todd’s poker Palace, Michael Wasserman of Gainesville, Texas, wants to open seven casinos — one each in Sebastian, Pulaski, Garland, Miller, Crittenden, Boone and Jefferson counties under his Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment, Inc. Wasserman has tried for years to get approval to run gambling houses in Arkansas. Again, not necessarily a citizen led initiated act. The good news again is that, “We the People”, of Arkansas have the voice to support or not support these measures. Each person has the right to decide whether or not the issue is the will of the people or the will of those who want to profit from the people. It will be up to each of us to make our voice heard.

The bad is represented by the Natural Gas Severance Tax Act of 2012, led by Sheffield Nelson. Nelson’s proposal would raise the rate to 7 percent for all wells and would not deduct treatment costs from the taxable amount. Nelson has said his initiative is about making gas companies pay to fix damage their trucks cause to Arkansas roads. Most of the revenue would go to the state Highway and Transportation Department Fund (70 percent) and to county and municipal aid funds (30 percent). Outside of the formula, $20 million would be set aside each year for municipal roads. Sounds good right? Wrong, taxes, all taxes are ultimately paid for by the consumer. This is the one defining truth that oft tends to be untold in an effort to portray a new tax as necessary and for the common good. While you will hear a lot of back and forth about good roads vs. growing business in Arkansas you will not hear one peep about why anyone would think that adding one more dollar of tax on the citizens of Arkansas is a good thing! The bad is adding another tax burden upon the citizens of Arkansas.

Well, there is only one topic left and you will be asking why I would think that the medical marijuana measure would be ugly? The answer is simple; it will be an ugly debate about a very important issue. Every day, thousands of sick and dying people in Arkansas are forced to make a difficult decision: break the law by using a medicine that their doctor recommends or continue to suffer. For many Arkansans, medical marijuana helps them live comfortably without harmful side effects. My suggestion is before the misinformation begins to fly around about this issue you take the time to research and know this issue so you become a part of the good and avoid being a part of the ugly. In a nation that has some of the most advance medicines in the world to deny access to a natural medicine because of fear of those who abuse the system is illogical and just plain wrong.

More Ugly – Finally the Arkansas legislature referred two proposed constitutional amendments in the 2011 legislative session. The first is House Joint Resolution 1001 of 2011 by Rep. Jonathan Barnett, R-Siloam Springs, proposes a 10-year, 0.5 percentage-point increase in the state sales tax to pay for additional four-lane roads. The proposal is estimated to raise $1.8 billion over a decade. The second is Senate Joint Resolution 5 of 2011 by Sen. Jake Files, R-Fort Smith, would authorize cities and counties to create districts for development and redevelopment projects, and to issue bonds payable from the city and county sales taxes. It also authorizes a city or county to issue bonds and levy a local sales tax to retire unfunded liabilities of “closed local police and fire pension plans” with the approval of voters. Both amendments supported by Republicans taxes the citizens of Arkansas more and allow municipalities to borrow money to pay off old debts and I would submit to add new debt. These are not what I would consider fiscally conservative ideas. Be prepared to listen to the arguments about how it is, “smart money” and how it will help us all in the long run. As the money leaves your pocket ask your legislator how it will help you pay your bills?

So there you have it; the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not asking you to support or oppose any of the above measures, I would simply ask that you do some research and make your own decisions and act accordingly. Arkansans will only have a voice if we speak. In America our voice is heard through the ballot box; do not take that for granted!
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Glenn Gallas is a former Republican candidate for US Congress. Gallas is noted for inspiring excellence in leadership. As a conservative he has become active in many venues including being on the Dave Elswick Show KARN 102.9 FM and his On The Right Road Internet Radio Show.

Tags: initiated acts, Arkansas, Glenn Galas, gambling, casinos, increased taxes, medical marijuana To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reid Blocks Vote on Obama Tax Plan; House Votes on Repeal of Obamacare

By William Warren
Today in Washington, D.C. - July 11, 2012:
The Senate reconvened and resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2237, Senate Democrats’ small business bill. Votes on amendments to S. 2237 are possible today if Reid doesn’t fill the tree to block amendments.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 80-14 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed (i.e. agreed to take up) to S. 2237.  Also yesterday the Senate voted 94-2 to confirm Jon Tomas Fowlkes, Jr. to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.

This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell asked consent to vote on President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on small businesses and a Republican plan to extend current tax rates for all Americans, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objected

McConnell said, “Earlier this week, President Obama reiterated his long-standing desire to raise taxes on small businesses earning over $250,000 a year. I and all of my Republican colleagues oppose this tax hike for the same reason the President opposed it two years ago — because raising taxes would only make a bad economy worse. But here it comes again, like a bad penny, the liberal crusade for more government, regardless of the circumstances, the impact it would have on working Americans, or the broader economy.”

He asked for two votes, “One on the President’s proposal to raise taxes on nearly one million business owners in the middle of the worst economic recovery in modern times, and one that would extend current income tax rates for one year and task the Finance Committee to produce a bill that would enact fundamental, pro-growth tax reform. The Senate should make itself clear which policy it supports. This is our chance to do it. On Monday, the president said if the Senate passes this tax hike on small businesses, he would sign it right away. That's what he said Monday, two days ago. I can't see why our friends on the other side wouldn't want to give him the chance.”

But Reid objected and strangely accused Republicans of filibustering the current bill on the floor simply by offering these amendments.

The AP headline already out says it all: “Democrats block Senate vote on Obama tax plan.” The Hill adds, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to vote on President Obama’s income tax plan amid defections within his caucus on tax policy. . . . Senate Democratic leaders are worried about potential defections within their caucus on taxes. At least seven Democratic senators have declined to rule out supporting a temporary extension of the Bush-era income tax rates. Several Senate Democrats running for reelection and Democratic Senate candidates have balked at Obama’s proposal to extend income tax rates only for families earning below $250,000.”

Following Reid’s objection, McConnell responded, “Let me simplify this for everybody. The president on Monday asked that we have the vote that I’ve just offered to the majority. We have a clear contrast here, 41 straight months of unemployment over 8 percent. If this is a recovery, it’s the most tepid recovery in modern times. The President’s solution to that is to raise taxes on about a million small business owners representing about 53 percent of small business income and up to 25 percent of the work force. . . . And so my recommendation is we give the President what he asked for. He wants to have a vote on raising taxes, on individuals making over $250,000 year which, of course, includes almost a million small businesses that pay taxes as individuals, not as corporations, either S corps or LLC’s. The most successful small businesses in America, in fact. That's a vote we welcome. It's a vote the President's asking for. It's a vote I just asked for. . . . Why not have those votes today? And that's what my consent agreement was about. I'm a little surprised that we're not willing to give the President what he asked for, which is a vote on a clear distinction for the American people. So they can understand how the two sides look at this important issue.”

The House reconvened and today U.S. Representatives are scheduled to vote on H.R. 6079 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010." In other words: to repeal Obamacare. After the recent Supreme Court decision, this vote on repeal may be one of the most important. At least 245 Representatives support the full repeal of Obamacare, and a dozen more appear to be getting pressure from their constituents to switch their votes to support full repeal. A decisive victory in the House puts pressure on the Senate to vote on full repeal.

And as noted above, Harry Reid doesn’t want votes on tax issues and he definitely doesn't want a vote on repealing Obamacare. Reid and other democrat leaders do not want his democrat colleagues to be on the record supporting President Obama and opposing the will of the public. It is again election year and Reid fears losing his control of the Senate as Rep. Pelosi did lost control in 2010. To be on record supporting the massive tax increase on the taxpayers and on the record supporting the permanent continuance and implementation of ObamaCare will result in the wrath of voters. So, Reid plan is to continue to duck, cover and issue two simple words "I object" in hopes that enough American voters are not paying attention so that may retain control over the Senate.

For conservatives who do not have a U.S. Senate race in your state, please consider helping those in other states to defeat progressive democrats and thereby working to remove control of the U,S, Senate by Harry Reid. It only takes a net change in of 4 Senate seats in favor of the Republicans to accomplish this task.  Obviously a larger number of gains would be better.


Tags: Congress, Us Senate, Obama tax plan, blocked by democrats, Harry Reid, US House, voteon , repeal, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mr. President, It's Time To Change The Playbook

U.S. Senator John Boozman
by Sen. John Boozman: Last week the Labor Department issued the June jobs report. Unfortunately, it looked a lot like the reports for April and May. The unemployment rate remains at 8.2%. 12.7 million Americans remain out of work, with another 8.2 million underemployed. Especially troubling are the high unemployment rates among minorities and young people; teenagers are experiencing an unemployment rate of 23.7%.

Even more troubling, our businesses were able to add only 80,000 new jobs - experts say we need between 150,000 to 200,000 new jobs a month just to stay even. It's pretty clear that our economy is not improving, and that a recession is looming if we don't make a drastic course correction.

I believe that it's time to change up the playbook. It is definitely time for President Obama to work with Congress and not against us.

Let's create jobs by empowering small business. Let's take the uncertainty out of our future with tax and regulatory reform and new domestic drilling.

And let's stop the wasteful spending and do something about our monstrous national debt, an anchor holding back our economy.

Tags: John Boozman, Senator, US Senate, jobs, economy, national debt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dr. Obama’s Cure

by A.F. Branco:

Tags: AF Branco, political cartoon, Dr. Barack Obama, Obamacare, the patient, jobs, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Why So Much Hate?

Gary Bauer
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The "tyrants of tolerance" are at it again. This time the radicals are focusing their hatred on Jane Pitt, mother of mega-star Brad Pitt. What was Mrs. Pitt's sin? She dared to express her support for Mitt Romney. Worse, she defended the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.

It all began when Mrs. Pitt wrote a brief letter to the editor of her local newspaper in response to a previous editorial suggesting that Christians should not vote for a Mormon candidate. Mrs. Pitt pointed out the obvious: If you care about traditional values, you should vote for the candidate who shares those values, even if that candidate may not share your faith.

But here's the part of her letter that made the left go nuts:"Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney's opponent, Barack Hussein Obama -- a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright's church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage."In one sentence, Mrs. Pitt provided four simple facts that expose just how extreme Barack Obama is, and put in stark contrast the choice facing values voters this November. Any Christian who wants to stop Obama's assault on our values, any American who wants to stop Obama's socialism and repeal ObamaCare, has just one option: Vote for Mitt Romney!

Unfortunately, being who she is, the left-wing media eagerly distorted Mrs. Pitt's editorial with headlines like this one: "Brad Pitt's Mom Unleashes Anti-Gay, Anti-Obama Fury In Letter." In the days since, WorldNetDaily reports that she has been deluged with hateful emails, Twitter messages and even death threats. But none of that will ever be reported by the "mainstream media."

The left pretends to champion tolerance and insists we tolerate its every demand. But it is increasingly intolerant of conservative values, and even free speech. The "tyrants of tolerance" have an extremely totalitarian impulse and routinely seek to intimidate and silence their opposition.

Democrats Pushing The Limits - After former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a madman, Obama and the media exploited the opportunity to castigate the Tea Party and call for more civility in our public discourse. In reality, it was a thinly-veiled attempt to once again intimidate conservatives into silence.

Now they are upping the ante. Politico reported yesterday that Democrat "trackers" -- paid campaign staffers who videotape their Republican opponents -- are "testing the outer limits" with far more aggressive practices. They are now videotaping the homes of GOP congressmen and candidates and posting their addresses online!

Granted, a candidate's expectation of privacy should be pretty low when he enters the public arena. But this practice borders on an invasion of privacy that strips spouses, children and neighbors of their sense of security. As one Ohio Republican said, "It's hard for my neighbors or my family to get comfortable when someone is in the bushes."

The reaction from one California GOP candidate was predictable, "We would never do that." That's precisely the wrong response! Politico writes that Democrats "are unapologetic about the hardball tactics." If these are the new rules of the game, then play the game to win! This is why the left so often prevails. It plays by different rules and seeks to intimidate people, like Mrs. Pitt, into silence.

My friends, America is at a tipping point. As the Supreme Court's recent ObamaCare decision made absolutely clear, this election is everything. The days and weeks ahead will challenge all of us to get outside of our comfort zones and to make sacrifices for the preservation of freedom.

Obama's Middle Class Tax Hike - I want to revisit an issue that was largely ignored or intentionally distorted by the media. Yesterday's "big news" was Barack Obama's White House announcement that he wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. The media reported this as though Obama were a tax cutter.

In reality, Obama was declaring his intention to hit every American with massive tax increase. If Obama really wanted to avoid raising taxes on the middle class, he could have called for a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. But he did not do that. Obama said, "I'm calling on Congress to extend the tax cuts for … Americans who make less than $250,000 for another year." [Emphasis added.]

We mentioned this fact in yesterday's report, but you need to make sure that your friends and family members understand this key point. Obama wants to raise everyone's taxes. The only difference is the timing. He wants to tax the "rich" starting in January. But there are not enough rich people to pay for all of Obama's spending, so he'll tax everyone else in 2014. Yesterday he admitted it.

That's just one more reason why Barack Obama must be defeated, and why we must elect a conservative majority to the United States Senate on November 6th!
-------------
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, hate for Christians, Jane Pitt, mother of Brad Pitt, tyrants of tolerance, Democrats, Invasion of personal space, pressure on conservatives, Barack Obama, increased taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Welcomes Dick Morris And Ben Domenech

ARKANSAS Welcomes DICK MORRIS
Healthcare Town Halls

July 13th - July 14th

Along with
Ben Domenesch - Heartland Institute
Teresa Oelke - AFP/Arkansas Director
WITH


"WHAT HAPPENS NEXT"

Friday, July 13th
Malvern @ 4:00 p.m.
Hot Springs @ 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 14th
El Dorado @ 9:00 a.m.
Stuttgart @ 1:00 p.m.

Get Your FREE Ticket and locations INFO here

Teresa Oelke, State Director, AFP-AR; Regional VP, AFP: Teresa Crossland-Oelke of Rogers has been the AR State Director of AFP since '09. Under her leadership, this chapter has expanded rapidly. She has brought many well known conservative leaders to Arkansas and has organized successful events across the state.
Dick Morris: Probably the most prominent American political consultant,  Morris has become a familiar figure as a commentator for the Fox News Channel. He is well known for hard hitting, nonpartisan, objective commentary about the U.S. political scene. He writes a weekly column for the New York Post, another for the Hill Magazine in Washington DC, and another for Fox News. DickMorris.com
Benjamin Domenech - Research Fellow, Health Care, The Heartland Institute; Managing Editor, Health Care News: Ben joined The Heartland Institute in 2009 after several years working and writing on national health care policy, beginning with a political appointment as speechwriter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, and continuing as chief speechwriter for U.S. Senator John Cornyn during the Medicare Part D debate on Capitol Hill.


Tags: Arkansas, Americans for Prosperity, Dick Morris, Ben Domenech, Teresa Crossland-Oelke To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

While the Economy Sucks, Obama Proposes Tax Hike On A Million Small Businesses

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 10, 2012:
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and following morning business, they will take up the Jon Tomas Fowlkes, Jr. to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. At noon, senators will vote on the Fowlkes nomination.

Later today, they will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 2237 - Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, Senate Democrats’ latest stimulus proposal. At 2:25, senators will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed (i.e. whether to take up and begin debate on) the bill.

The House reconvened today and will debate and consider H.R. 6079 - To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Yesterday the House passed the following bills:
HR 4155 (369-0) - To direct the head of each Federal department and agency to treat relevant military training as sufficient to satisfy training or certification requirements for Federal licenses.
HR 4114 (voice vote)- To increase, effective as of December 1, 2012, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, and for other purposes.
HR 4367 (371-0 ) - To amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to limit the fee disclosure requirement for an automatic teller machine to the screen of that machine.
HR 5892 (372-0) - To improve hydro-power, and for other purposes.
S. 2061 (voice vote) - Provides for an exchange of land between the Department of Homeland Security and the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

An important vote is coming up in the House either Wednesday or Thursday, on H.R. 4402, The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, H.R. 4402. This bill would take steps toward streamlining the excessive regulations on domestic mining activities and providing our manufacturing community with valuable materials it needs. With the recent news that US manufacturing is in steep decline, its essential that we make moves to roll back red tape. And this legislation would reduce our dependence on China. More on this bill was presented yesterday.

At the end of 2012, many tax policies are set to expire. With the expiration of these tax cuts quickly approaching, yesterday,  President Obama called for Congress to extend these tax cuts for another year—but this time with a caveat: letting the tax cuts expire for households with incomes of more than $250,000. However, since some small businesses file their taxes as individuals, some have raised concerns about this proposal impacting the taxation of small business. Get the facts behind the President's call and the pending tax increases by visiting Bankrupting America's latest fact sheet.

Public Notice, independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy, identified, "The country’s economic problems are a result of irresponsible government overspending, not under-taxing. First and foremost, we must first fix Washington’s addiction to spending well beyond its means. This is the root cause of the country’s debt burden that is jeopardizing a fragile recovery and sustained economic growth.
  • Most agree the tax code is overly complex and in need of reform.  Don’t take our word for it.  The independent Congressional Research Service called the U.S. taxation on business “complex and difficult to administer.”
  • However, this must not distract from the country’s most pressing economic problem: Washington’s inability to budget and spend responsibly.
  • Many have proposed raising taxes on those making over $1 million a year as a way to address our growing debt burden. But the numbers make the futility of the exercise clear. If Washington taxed the wealthy at a minimum rate of 30%, it would only lower the debt by .2% over the next 10 years.
  • The primary drivers of our debt are big-ticket items like defense spending and spending on entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. Washington must focus on reforming these to make them solvent in the long-term while working to prevent tax increases on hard working Americans.
As The Wall Street Journal editors reflect, “So the 2013 tax cliff is a big enough economic problem that President Obama now wants to postpone it for some taxpayers. But it isn't so big that he's willing to curb his desire to raise taxes on tens of thousands of job-creating businesses. That's the essence of Mr. Obama's announcement Monday that he wants Congress to extend current tax rates for a year, but only for those making less than $200,000 a year.”
Nearly two years ago, President Obama signed an extension of tax rates for everyone, arguing that tax increases then “would have been a blow to our economy.” But the economy today is performing even worse than it was in December 2010. At that time, real GDP growth over the prior four quarters was 3.1%, but today real GDP growth over the four previous quarters is only 2%. If tax hikes would have hurt a struggling economy then, why is the president pushing for them now?

The WSJ editors note, “Mr. Obama is demanding tax increases, not tax cuts, and large increases at that. If the Bush tax rates expire as scheduled on December 31, rates on the top two income brackets will jump to 39.6% from 35%, and 36% from 33%.” Importantly, they explain, “Congress's Joint Tax Committee — not a conservative outfit — estimates that in 2013 about 940,000 taxpayers will have enough business income to meet Mr. Obama's tax increase threshold. And of the roughly $1.3 trillion in net business income, about 53% will get hit with the higher tax rates. This is because millions of businesses report their income as sole proprietors and subchapter S corporations that file under the individual tax code.”

No wonder the AP reports today, “The economy and uncertain political climate are taking a toll on small business owners' optimism, making them hesitant to expand. The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small business owners' sentiment fell 3 points in June to 91.4 after edging lower in May. The index, compiled from a survey of NFIB members, shows that business owners are concerned about the economy. The number of owners expecting business conditions to improve in six months fell 8 percentage points and the number expecting their sales to rise slid 5 percentage points. . . . Owners said they are scaling back plans to hire and to buy equipment. That's a troubling sign for the U.S. labor market, which is struggling to gain traction.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor this morning, “For three and a half years, this White House has shown an utter lack of imagination when it comes to jobs and the economy: if the solution doesn’t involve more government, they’re not interested. That’s all they’ve got. So yesterday, . . . After three and a half years of more government, more debt, more spending, more taxes, more regulations, . . . the President issued an ultimatum: raise taxes on about a million business owners to fund more government, and I won’t raise taxes on the rest of you. That was his considered response to this crisis.”

McConnell added, “As far as I’m concerned, there shouldn’t even be a debate here–– government doesn’t need any more money. It’s government that should be answering to us for the tax dollars it’s wasted and misdirected. . . . The President has already admitted that the last thing you want to do in the middle of a recession is raise taxes. He knows yesterday’s proposal would only make the economy worse. His goal isn’t jobs; it’s income distribution. It’s his idea of fairness — which means you earn, he takes.”

The American public seems to agree!
In recent polling by right, left and centers, the results tend to send the same message - the economy sucks! According to:
  • RealClearPolitics average, which covered early June to early July, 30.2% think the country is headed in the right direction while 61.3% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Daily Beast/Newsweek: 26% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 59% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • DailyKos: 33% of registered voters (25% of Independent registered voters) think the country is headed in the right direction and 60% (65% of Independents) think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Economist, 23% of adults think the economy is getting better; 38% say it is getting worse; and 32% say it is staying the same.
  • Economist, 42% of adults believe the economy is the top issue facing the country. 84% of adults say it is a “very” important issue to them.

Tags: United States, economy, economy sucks, President Obama, tax small businesses, Us Congress, tax relief, repeal Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

GOP Primary Cleanup: Utah For Romney

The end of June came and went, and we were focusing on numerous other events. The last Republican primary to vote was in Utah On June 26th with 220,965 people voting.

Utah (40 Delegates): Mitt Romney 93%; Ron Paul 4.7%; Rick Santorum 1.5%; Newt Gingrich 0.5% and Fred Karger 0.3%. Mitt Romney received all 40 delegates.

In the final delegate total for the Republican Convention, delegates can be looked at two ways. The Green Papers identifies them as "Hard: delegates and "Soft" delegates. Hard delegates are the most important statistic.  However, Romney wins handily with both measurements.  Below are the delegate counts for the candidates and former candidates in both categories:
"Soft" Delegates
Need to Nominate1,144
W Romney1,489
R Santorum258
(available)207
R Paul154
N Gingrich142
Uncommitted35
M Bachmann1
Total2,286

"Hard" Delegates
Need to Nominate1,144
W Romney1,369
Uncommitted298
R Santorum251
N Gingrich143
(available)124
R Paul98
J Huntsman2
M Bachmann1
Total2,286

Again, Mitt Romney has enough committed delegates via the "Hard" delegate count to win the Republican nomination.  Based on comments of support, it is expected that Santorium, Gingrich, Huntsman, and Bachmann will also release their delegates to vote for Mitt Romney.

The continue push not by Ron Paul, who has acknowledged that Romney is the nominee, but by some of his supporters for an open convention is not going to happen.  Some have argued that delegates are going as Romney supporters but will switch their votes.  Since the delegates filed as a supporter for a particular candidate, are they advocating that people would have lied to secure a delegate position with the intent to deceive. I doubt this very much. It appears that people outside the Republican Party continue to stir the waters.

The goal of the Republican Party is picking a willing candidate who can both 1) defeat the incumbent - Barack Obama - and 2) lead America out of the economic and loss of freedoms melt down under the current president's Obama administration.

Tags: election 2012, Republican, primary, primaries, June 26, Utah, primary clean-up, total delegate counts, hard delegates, soft delegates, delegates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Millions to Farmers Who Aren’t Actually Farming

by Lachlan Markay: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has doled out millions of dollars in subsidies to farms on which farming isn’t actually taking place, according a new report from government watchdogs. Billions more have gone towards supporting farms that don’t grow the crops for which they’re being subsidized.

USDA gave nearly $3 million last year to 2,327 farms that had not grown any crops since 2006, according to the report, released last week by the Government Accountability Office. Of those farms, 622 had not grown any crops since 2001.
According to GAO’s analysis,
about 2,300 farms, or about 0.15 percent of the 1.6 million farms receiving direct payments in 2011, reported all their land as “fallow,” that is, producers did not plant any crops of any type on this land, for each year of the last 5 years (i.e., 2007 through 2011), as allowed under the farm bill. These producers received a total of about $2.9 million in direct payments in 2011…

In addition, according to our analysis of USDA data, 622 farms reported all of their farm’s acreage as fallow for each of the previous 10 years, from 2002 through 2011.
While some farms were receiving subsidies without actually growing crops, others got billions even though they didn’t grow the crops for which they were being subsidized, GAO reports:
Cumulatively, USDA paid $10.6 billion—almost one-fourth of total direct payments from 2003 through 2011—to producers who did not, in a given year, plant any of the crop for which they had base acres. Specifically, during this period, producers cumulatively did not plant more than 633 million acres with the crops associated with their base acres in a given year. This amounted to an average of 70 million acres each year, or 26 percent of the 268 million base acres on average that are annually eligible for direct payments.
GAO concludes with a simple policy prescription: “In light of the need to identify potential savings in the federal budget and questions about the continued need for direct payments, Congress should consider eliminating or reducing [direct subsidy] payments.”

In fact, both the House and Senate versions of the legislation contain provisions that would eliminate these direct payments in favor of expanded crop insurance subsidies.

GAO also recommends enhanced screening techniques to weed out non-farm land from USDA’s subsidy programs. The agency accepted some of those recommendations, but rejected a proposal to gather a more representative and comprehensive sample of farms that benefit from federal subsidies to confirm that those farms are still in operation.

Tags: Department of Agriculture, farm bill, farm subsidies, GAO, Government Accountability Office, Subsidies, USDA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!



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