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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, August 11, 2012

It’s Obama’s Plan that Guts Medicare

Phil Kerpen
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: If Republicans ignored public opinion to gut Medicare to the tune of $741 billion over 10 years (and about $5 trillion over 20 years) there would be no other issue in any federal election until that law got repealed.  Democrats would be relentless and seniors would be up-in-arms.  And understandably so, especially because about 10,000 baby boomers are now retiring every day.

Yet that was precisely what Obama’s health care law did to Medicare, and the liberal media is dutifully downplaying the significance of these devastating cuts.  Republicans should be banging the drum as heavily as the Democrats would if the shoe were on the other foot.  Yet there is a sense that it would be unseemly or inconsistent to do so.  We’re the party of cutting spending, right?  So we shouldn’t attack Obama’s slashing of Medicare?  Dead wrong.

This was best explained by my friends Peter Ferrara and Larry Hunter, who wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
The drastic reductions in Medicare reimbursements under ObamaCare will create havoc and chaos in health care for seniors. Many doctors, surgeons and specialists providing critical care to the elderly — such as surgery for hip and knee replacements, sophisticated diagnostics through MRIs and CT scans, and even treatment for cancer and heart disease — will cease serving Medicare patients. If the government is not going to pay, then seniors are not going to get the health services, treatment and care they expect.
They continued:
Everyone should know by now that Medicare suffers dramatic long-term deficits and unfunded liabilities, and is in need of fundamental, structural reforms. But effectively refusing to pay the doctors and hospitals that provide the medical care the program promises to seniors is no way to solve that problem.
That is the crux of the issue.  The big lie from Democrats about Ryan’s plan is that it would end Medicare; quite the contrary, it would save Medicare from devastating cuts to reimbursement rates coming now thanks to Obama.

Most conservatives would not have created the Medicare program the way it presently exists.  But it would be wrong to simply deny people who spent their entire working lives paying taxes into the Medicare system access to the care they believed they were paying for.

Ryan’s plan recognizes resource constraints exist and empowers individuals to harness the power of competition to provide more with less and create greater choice.  It put seniors– not unaccountable bureaucrats like Obama’s IPAB — in control.

Obama’s plan – now staring us in the face because his $741 billion in cuts (per the Congressional Budget Office:, see (page 5, table 2 of this PDF) have been enacted into law to pay for his vast new government takeover of health care – is to simply starve Medicare of funds. That’s wrong – and conservatives shouldn’t hesitate to attack it forcefully and without reservation.
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© Copyright 2012 Phil Kerpen. He is the president of American Commitment where he first shared this article; a columnist on Fox News Opinion, and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him. Phil Kerpen is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, Obama’s Plan, Guts Medicare, medicare, surgery, the elderly To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Videos: Romney Selects Ryan

The announcement of today's news: Paul Ryan Is Mitt's Nominee for V.P.  and the text of the speeches by  Mitt Romney Paul Ryan are posted here.

Thank you to ABC for posting the following high quality videos of the event:
Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as Running Mate


Paul Ryan 'Deeply Honored' to Join Mitt Romney as Running Mate


Tags: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republican, Vice President, ABC video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Paul Ryan Is Mitt's Nominee for V.P.

Today, Republican Republican candidate Mitt Romney presented Paul Ryan as his nominee for Vice President. Ryan is a noted fiscal and social conservative, a TEA Party favorite, and a seven term U.S. Representative for Wisconsin having been first elected at age 28. If nominated at the RNC 2012, Ryan will be the first member of Generation X to have run for either Vice President or President. Today's announcement was made in Norfork, VA.

Romney said, "His leadership begins with character and value. Paul Ryan works in Washington, but his beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin.

"He combines a profound sense of responsibility from what we owe the next generation and an unbounded optimism in America's future and an understanding of all the wonderful things the American people can do."

Paul Ryan is clearly ready for the challenge. Below are the text of both Romney and Ryan's speeches. Highlights have been added. Red meat for people that love America.

MITT ROMNEY:
“Ladies and gentlemen:

“It’s great to be back in Virginia and here in Norfolk. Your city’s beauty is only matched by its proud heritage as a defender of freedom. Today we take another step forward in helping restore the promise of America. As we move forward in this campaign and on to help lead the nation to better days, it is an honor to announce my running mate and the next vice president of the United States: Paul Ryan.

“Paul Ryan is a leader.

“His leadership begins with character and values. And Paul is a man of tremendous character, shaped in large part by his early life.

“Paul’s father died when he was in high school. That forced him to grow up earlier than any young man should. But Paul did, with the help of his devoted mother, his brothers and sister, and a supportive community. And as he did, he internalized the virtues and hard-working ethic of the Midwest.

Paul Ryan works in Washington – but his beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wis. He is a person of great steadiness, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose word is good.

“Paul’s upbringing is obvious in how he has conducted himself throughout his life, including his leadership in Washington.

“In a city that is far too often characterized by pettiness and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception. He does not demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable people can have honest differences. And he appeals to the better angels of our nature. There are a lot of people in the other party who might disagree with Paul Ryan; I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment.

Paul is in public life for all the right reasons – not to advance his personal ambitions but to advance the ideals of freedom and justice; and to increase opportunity and prosperity to people of every class and faith, every age and ethnic background. A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.

“With energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt – and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change course.

“Paul Ryan combines a profound sense of responsibility for what we owe the next generation with an unbounded optimism in America’s future and an understanding of all the wonderful things the American people can do.

“Paul also combines firm principles with a practical concern for getting things done. He has never been content to simply curse the darkness; he would rather light candles. And throughout his legislative career he’s shown the ability to work with members of both parties to find common ground on some of the hardest issues confronting the American people.

“Paul and I are beginning on a journey that will take us to every corner of America. We are offering a positive, governing agenda that will lead to economic growth, to widespread and shared prosperity, and that will improve the lives of our fellow citizens. Our Plan to Strengthen The Middle Class will get America back to work and get our country back on track.

“We offer solutions that are bold, specific, and achievable. We offer our commitment to help create 12 million new jobs and to bring better take home pay to middle class families.

“To strengthen the middle class, we will provide our workers and our children with the skills to succeed. We’ll cut the deficit, have trade that works for America, and champion small business. And finally, we will unleash our energy resources to achieve North American energy independence.

We will help care for those who cannot care for themselves, and we will return work to welfare. As poverty has risen to historic and tragic levels, with nearly one out of six Americans now having fallen into poverty, we will act to bring these families into the middle class. Unlike the current president who has cut Medicare funding by $700 billion, we will preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security. Under the current president, healthcare has only become more expensive. We will reform healthcare so that more Americans have access to affordable healthcare, and we will get that started by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

“And at a time when the President’s campaign is taking American politics to new lows, we are going to do things differently. We are going to talk about aspirations and American ideals; about bringing people together to solve the urgent problems facing our nation. And when that message wins in America, it will be a victory for every American.

“Today is a good day for America. And there are better days ahead. Join me in welcoming the next vice president of the United States - Paul Ryan.”
Romney made one houmous deviation and introduced Ryan as “the next president of the United States.” However, Mrs. Romney called the slip of the tongue to her husbands attention and Romney returned to the microphone to correct himself and concluded,“Every now and then I’m known to make a mistake - but I did not make a mistake with this guy.” As a side note, Barack Obama made the same deviation when introducing Joe Biden as his running made in 2008.

PAUL RYAN:
“Thank you Governor Romney, Ann. I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running mate.

“Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country.

“I want you to meet my family. My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our sons, Charlie and Sam.

“I am surrounded by the people I love, and I have been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country I love.

“Janesville, Wis. is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now.

“For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.

“I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.

“That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

“My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. I still remember a couple of things he would say that have really stuck with me. “Son you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”

“Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem ... and Mitt Romney is the solution.

“The other thing my dad would say is that every generation of Americans leaves their children better off. That’s the American legacy.

Sadly, for the first time in our history, we are on a path which will undo that legacy. That is why we need new leadership to become part of the solution – new leadership to restore prosperity, economic growth, and jobs.

“It is our duty to save the American Dream for our children, and theirs.

“And I believe there is no person in America who is better prepared – because of his experience; because of the principles he holds; and because of his achievements and excellence in so many different arenas – to lead America at this point in its history.

“Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.

“In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt, and despair.

This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years. Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.

We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since World War II.

Nearly one out of six Americans are in poverty - the worst rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.

Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

President Obama, and too many like him in Washington, have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different, and dangerous, moment. We’re running out of time - and we can’t afford 4 more years of this.

“Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises - with painful consequences - if we fail to act now.

“I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs, and factory towns. Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.

I hear some people say that this is just “the new normal.” High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It’s the result of misguided policies. And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.

America is on the wrong track; but Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the right track!

“I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.

“I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.

“At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.

“At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.

“As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.

“In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.

“Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie, and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.

We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

“But America is more than just a place ... it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.

“This idea is under assault. So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.

We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn’t have to be this way.

“The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:

We won’t duck the tough issues ... we will lead!

We won’t blame others ... we will take responsibility!

We won’t replace our founding principles ... we will reapply them!

We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:

“What kind of country do we want to have?

“What kind of people do we want to be?

We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.

“Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.

“Thank you.”

Tags: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Norfork, Virginia, speeches To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, August 10, 2012

WaPo Fact Checker: Obamacare "Premiums Almost Certainly Will Go Up"

Today, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler examines another one of President Obama’s frequent claims about his unpopular health care law, that its passage will cause health insurance premiums to go down. In a speech in Cincinnati last month Obama said that once the law is fully implemented, changes it makes “[mean] your premiums will go down.”

Kessler notes, “[T]he law . . . mandates a number of significant changes that many experts believe will put upward pressure on premiums. There are potentially important policy reasons for each of these changes. But remember, you usually don’t get something for nothing.”

He points out, “Currently insurance companies offer lower premiums to younger Americans, since they generally have lower health costs. But starting in 2014, the law implements an age band so that the amount an older individual pays will be no more than three times what a younger individual pays. So if a state currently allows an age band of 5:1, older Americans might see a premium decrease — but younger Americans would see a premium spike. A similar dynamic exists with the law’s requirement that insurers selling policies through the health exchanges will no longer be able to charge different premiums based on a person’s health status when coverage is first purchased. This is known as a community rating. So healthier individuals generally will see higher premiums. The popular provision that requires insurers to accept everyone regardless of their health status (i.e., pre-existing conditions) also will transfer costs to healthier individuals. Insurers must offer an “essential health benefits” package, providing coverage in 10 categories. . . . [T]he benefits are more extensive than what most individuals and small businesses already purchase. So that will also boost premiums, especially if you currently have a less extensive plan. A report in the June edition of Health Affairs found that “more than half of Americans who had individual insurance in 2010 were enrolled in plans that would not qualify as providing essential coverage under the rules of the exchanges in 2014. The law also contains various taxes and fees, including a health insurance tax. Those costs presumably would be passed on to consumers, resulting in higher premiums.”

Further, Kessler writes, “There have been several national and state studies, conducted by credible analysts, that have attempted to calculate the impact of these changes on premiums. . . . [T]he bad news is that, on average, premiums almost certainly will go up — with some people really getting hit with increases. ‘Based on the analysis of the individual market, there is a concern for rate shock to a material portion of the population,’ a report for Rhode Island said. ‘The individuals who currently are qualified for preferred rates will be seeing large increases in their healthcare premiums if they do not qualify for premium subsidies.’”

He concludes, “The president asserted that because of the law, small business and individual premiums ‘will go down.’ . . . The law’s provisions, especially the requirement for essential benefits, will almost certainly increase premiums, though tax subsidies will help mitigate the impact for a little over half of the people in the exchanges. But a lot of other people — such as a young male who currently has a plan that does not include all of the required benefits — are likely going to have sticker shock when they see what happens to their premiums starting in 2014. As we said, you don’t get something for nothing. . . . Three Pinocchios.”

Recalling past comments on this issue:
This is not how Obama and Democrats in Congress sold their health care law. As the Senate was debating the bill, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), declared, “Bringing down costs of health insurance and making it more affordable is job one for this health care reform.” And President Obama said six months after he signed the law, “All this is going to lower premiums. It's going to make healthcare more affordable.” He boasted last year, “This law will lower premiums.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the day of the Supreme Court’s decision on the law, “Two and a half years ago, President Obama teamed up with Democrats in Congress to pass a health care bill they knew most Americans didn’t really want. Americans had been very clear about what they thought of this bill. So Democrats settled on a deeply dishonest sales pitch aimed at convincing them otherwise.

And nearly every day since then, the promises that formed the heart of that sales pitch have been exposed for the false promises they were. Americans were promised lower health care costs. They’re going up. Americans were promised lower premiums. They’re going up. Seniors were promised Medicare would be protected. It was raided to pay for a new entitlement instead. We were promised it would create jobs. CBO predicts it will lead to 800,000 fewer jobs. People were promised they could keep the plans they liked; millions have now learned they can’t. For two years, the list of broken promises has grown longer and longer. . . . With every passing day we learn something new about this terrible law. Not only does it make the problems in our health care system worse, but it leads to a tax on middle class families who are either unable or unwilling to purchase health insurance. So, it’s time for Democrats to stop trying to defend the indefensible and join Republicans in wiping this colossal legislative mistake clear off the books.”

Tags: Obamacare, higher premiums, repeal obamacare, Washington Post To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Hidden Taxpayer Treasure . . .

. . . What about your state?
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Paul Jacobs, Common Sense:  If I found $54 million I didn’t know I had, I’d be ecstatic. Yet, when California taxpayers discovered $54 million stuck in secret state parks system bank accounts, they were miffed.

California parks, constrained by the state’s multi-year budget crunch, were facing closure. Meanwhile, these funds went unreported to the Department of Finance. Ruth Coleman, who has led the parks system for the last decade, resigned. Her second-in-command was fired.

A spokesperson for California’s finance department admitted that, historically, the department had relied upon “accurate and correct accounting being reported to us by the relevant departments.” The San Jose Mercury News called it, “The little-known practice of trusting — and not verifying . . .”

Seems there are 500 “special funds” accounting for supposedly $37 billion about which California’s Department of Finance doesn’t have any real clue.

Jonathan Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, says this is hardly “an isolated incident,” and points out that it must be piled “on top of the High Speed Rail fiasco, pay hikes for legislative employees, having to pay $34 million in penalties for overdue bills, raids on special funds to pay for Legislative malfeasance, etc.”

Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continues to push a tax increase. One of his arguments for the tax hike has been that parks were being closed due to the budget crunch — er, well, rather, due to state officials hiding $54 million dollars.

The Governor’s tax initiative is in trouble. Coupal notes that fiscally prudent Californians have defeated the last eight tax increases on the ballot.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Tags: California, hidden money, special funds, taxpayers, Common Sense, Paul Jacob To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!http://thisiscommonsense.com/2012/08/07/hidden-taxpayer-treasure/

A Cancer Close To The Presidency Of Barack Obama

Just like in the days of Richard Nixon, we have a Cancer close to the Presidency of Barack Obama. Lies and Deceit abound. The following information ad is only 1:17 minutes (77 seconds) long and you can view the actual statements and linkages to this cancer in President Obama's White House. 
American Crossroads:


Tags: Obama, Barack Obama, Cancer on the Presidency, 2012, Stephanie Cutter, Bill Burton, Priorities USA, Super PAC, Election 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Democrat Ghost Stories

by William Warren:
William Warren political cartoon - Democrats attack Mitt Romney success while ignoring Obama's 8.3% Unemployment Record and Trillions in debt

Tags: democrat, ghost stories, attacking Romney, Obama's 8.3% unemployment, political cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Rasmussen: Voters - Romney 46% Obama 43%


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 43%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. The president enjoyed a bounce immediately following release of last week’s job report. However, the bounce has faded, and the race is back to where it was just before Friday’s report.

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, Daily Presidential Tracking, Aug 9, 2012, tweet To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Economic Slump Fueled by Higher Gas Prices

Bill Smith, Editor: The prices at the pump are damaging the economy and the Obama administration appears to be just fine with the present situation. The below article by Amy Payne addresses actions by the Obama administration that adds "fuel to the fire" in wrecking havoc on our economy.

However, we must not forget that state governments and in some cases local government have added a massive burden via taxes on gasoline and diesel at the pump. The arguments in favor of higher taxes at the pump abound. The reasons may appear to be logical at the time but the fact is that like taxes on food, fuel taxes are very regressive and hit lower income families the hardest. And as the economy slumps, we all are feeling more of the pain.

But things are actually far worse at the pump!
Once the fuel taxes are collected, there is little opportunity for accountability on the use of the money collected. Obviously, there are a myriad of arguments by politicians for fuel taxes. That is not the point of these comments. In today's economy, travel by middle to low income families has become more restricted due to the economic slump which has been "fueled" by higher gas prices. And the higher fuel costs includes the taxes paid at the pump. Because of the higher prices at the pump, people are also forced to pay more for food, clothing, goods and services, and even mowing their grass.

Consider the following pictured embedded taxes (data as of July, 2012) that you pay to be able to get to and from work, to be able to go to and from the store, or to even mow your grass. Then consider that these taxes are also embedded in the cost of the products and service you buy. The cost of fuel including these taxes paid by businesses (both small and large) are embedded in the cost of production, transportation, and marketing / selling of a products and services. You paid taxes at the pump for your own fuel. Next, you have the privileged of paying a sales tax on the fuel costs -- including the fuel taxes -- paid by others relative to the product or services you purchased. Thus, you (we) pay an embedded tax on taxes.

Destroying the American economy is not only advanced by those who ignore the U.S Constitution, despise capitalism, . . ., it is also accomplished by people with good intentions via over regulation and over taxation.

by Amy Payne, Morning Bell, Heritage: Unemployment is at 8.3 percent. The economy is sputtering at 1.5 percent growth. Food prices are rising due to drought conditions across the country. And gas prices are up again, pinching Americans’ summer budgets. It is past time for the President and Congress to pursue smart policies that would put us on a path to relief.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the current national average for regular is $3.66 per gallon. That’s up 28 cents per gallon from a month ago, and July had its biggest price jump since AAA started tracking prices in 2000.

There are many factors affecting prices that we cannot control—worldwide tensions, especially in the Middle East, can drive up oil prices. Global demand, especially from China and India’s rapidly growing economies, continues upward.

But after three years of adding regulatory hurdles and blocking exploratory access and development, President Obama’s policies are helping keep prices higher than necessary.

If the President truly wanted to lower gas prices, he would work to increase supply. But when given the opportunity, he has done the opposite. He turned down the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada. His Administration has made it even harder for companies to explore and extract domestic energy resources by canceling, delaying, or withdrawing a number of lease sales for exploration and development. Meanwhile, huge swaths of federal lands have been put off limits for energy exploration.

Domestic refinery outages have had a recent impact on gas prices. Two of the factors holding back domestic energy production are regulatory red tape and litigation—and these, we can do something about. As Heritage’s Nicolas Loris notes:
Environmental activists delay new energy projects by filing endless administrative appeals and lawsuits. Creating a manageable time frame for permitting and for groups or individuals to contest energy plans would keep potentially cost-effective ventures from being tied up for years in litigation while allowing the public and interested parties to voice opposition or support for these projects.
We don’t have to stand still. Congress could alleviate the energy crunch in 10 different ways by taking action on things we can control, like restrictions on oil shale development and offshore drilling.

One of the most common objections is that increasing domestic oil production takes too long and would not impact the market for at least a decade. The longer people make this argument, however, the longer it will take. 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.

Gas prices aren’t under the control of any one President. But Americans shouldn’t settle for policies that restrict oil exploration, refining, and production and artificially drive prices higher.

Tags: the economy, economic slump, domestic energy production, energy prices, gas, gas prices, gasoline, diesel, higher gas prices, taxes, price at the pump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Gingrich Blasts ‘Radical’ Obama’s Drive to Illegally Gut Welfare Reform

Lachlan Markay, Heritage Investigates:  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was instrumental in passing welfare reform in the 1990s, blasted President Obama’s attempt to gut the law in a conference call on Wednesday.

“Hard-core liberals like Barack Obama were deeply opposed to the bill,” Gingrich said, referring to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which fundamentally altered the nation’s largest cash assistance welfare program.

Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it would allow states to waive the law’s work requirements–the key to the reform’s success – requires that recipients of Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) benefits work or prepare for work in order to receive welfare assistance.

As noted by Heritage’s Robert Rector, who broke the story, the law’s work requirements were explicitly exempted from HHS’s authority to waive requirements in various laws. But the administration has proceeded apace with its violation of the law.

Gingrich attributed the move to “an unending desire to create a dependent America” by administration officials who “are even more radical” than the president himself, specifically noting HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“Most people agree today that this has been the most successful conservative reform in modern times,” Gingrich said of the welfare reform effort. Indeed, as Rector notes in a column for National Review, the American public overwhelmingly supports TANF’s work requirement – 83% in favor and only 7% opposed, according to a recent Rasmussen survey.

“Obama’s goal,” Rector writes, “is to ‘spread the wealth’ by massively increasing the welfare state.”

Tags: Newt Gingrich, Barac Obama, guts welfare reform, welfare, TANF, Temporary Assistance, meedy families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

1 In 3 Doctors Won't Take Medicaid Patients

The Wall Street Journal reports, “About one in three doctors across the country doesn't accept new patients who are covered by Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program that is supposed to enroll millions more low-income Americans as part of the Obama administration's health overhaul, according to a new government study. Some 31% of physicians in a sample of 4,326 said they wouldn't accept Medicaid beneficiaries, economist Sandra Decker of the National Center for Health Statistics reported in an article in the journal Health Affairs published Monday. Most of the doctors cited the low reimbursement from Medicaid.”

The Journal points out, “The health law passed by Democrats in March 2010 was supposed to expand coverage to around 16 million low-income people by signing them up for Medicaid. The Supreme Court decision in June effectively gave states the chance to opt out of the expansion. It isn't yet clear how many will do so, although it's likely to be a hot political issue. Either way, the coverage gained by low-income Americans could be less useful if they are unable to find a doctor to see them. Researchers in the new study found a wide variation among states. In New Jersey, nearly 60% of doctors said they wouldn't accept new patients with Medicaid coverage. In other states, such as Wyoming, almost all doctors did accept Medicaid patients. Smaller practices and doctors in metropolitan areas were less likely than other doctors to take new Medicaid patients.”

Not only is it likely that people pushed into the Medicaid system by Obamacare won’t be able to find a doctor accepting new patients, states aren’t sure they can even pay for expanding the program. Democrat Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said back in March, “I have no idea how we're going to pay for it.” Democrat Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer fretted, “I'm going to have to double my patient load and run the risk of bankrupting Montana…” And even Democrat California Gov. Jerry Brown wrote to President Obama last year, “We will be further disadvantaged under the Medicaid expansions mandated under the Affordable Care Act … proposals to shift several billion dollars in Medicaid costs to California would be devastating and would clearly move us in the wrong direction.”

As Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), a doctor, told reporters at a press conference last week, “[W]e saw . . . in a front page story in The New York Times on Sunday, a report that said under this health care law it's going to be harder to obtain medical care. And even in the first paragraph of the article it says what I've been saying for the last two years, there is a difference between coverage and care. . . . [With] this huge expansion of Medicaid, what they're finding is that now over half of the family physicians, primary care physicians in this country are not taking new Medicaid patients. . . . Across the board, when they poll people about the health care law, as recently as two weeks ago the poll numbers continue to show that people believe that this health care law is, number one, bad for the economy and number two, it is bad for them personally. We need to repeal and replace this health care law.”

Also read: Medicaid Patients, Not Uninsured, Crowded Emergency Rooms

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

Collective Perspective - White House Protects Occupy Groups

AF "Tony Branco:
And considering the "collective perspective," read FoxNews article: White House told authorities not to crack down on 'Occupy' protesters - The Obama administration told law enforcement authorities to go easy on Occupy Wall Street protesters, even though they were violating local laws, according to documents obtained by watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Emails from the General Services Administration show that the federal agency, acting on orders from the White House, told federal law enforcement authorities in Portland, Ore., not to enforce curfews on protesters camped out on federal property. . . . "We now have a new GSA scandal -- one that involves the Obama White House," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "These documents clearly show that federal agencies colluded with the Obama White House to allow the Occupy Wall Street protesters to violate the law with impunity. These documents tell us that the GSA and DHS can't be relied upon to protect federal workers or property." ... Read Article

Tags: collective perspective, USA, Barack Obama, political cartoon, AF Branco, FoxNews, Judicial Watch, White House. GSA, scandal, do not enforces laws, Occupy groups To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

More Sequester ‘Guidance’

The Obama Administration Is Helping Bureaucrats Prepare For Sequestration, Even As They Work To Hide Layoff Notices From Private Sector Workers
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with … government.” (President Obama, Press Conference, 6/8/12)

OMB Implementing Plans To ‘Work With Agencies … On Issues Raised By A Sequestration’
“The Obama administration said on Tuesday it’s preparing to work closely with its sprawling bureaucracy on the daunting prospect of automatic spending cuts set to take effect next year.” (“OMB To Work On Sequestration Issues,” Politico, 7/31/12)

“…OMB issued guidance to federal agencies saying it will begin consulting with them on the automatic spending cuts set to take effect in January.” (“OMB Tells Agencies It Will Begin Consulting On Sequester,” The Hill’s ‘DEFCON Hill’ Blog, 7/31/12)
Dept. Of Labor ‘Slapped At Defense Contractors,’ Sequester Planning Called ‘Inappropriate’
“The Obama administration slapped at defense contractors, saying threats to issue layoff notices before the election because of pending Pentagon cuts is ‘inappropriate.’” (“Obama Administration Pushes Back At Defense Layoff Threats,” The Hill, 7/30/12)
Reference former article: Sequestering "Hiding" Layoff Notices For The Loss of Over One Million Jobs

Tags: Sequester Guidance, Obama administraqtion, hiding layoff notices, job reductions, lost jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

If the Federal Government Ran the Olympics…

Obama Olympics
Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chair, House Republican Study Committee: Could you imagine if the federal government ran the Olympics? The Department of Competition would determine winners and award medals. They’d subsidize some competitors and punish others. As a result, athletes would spend less time training and more time making political connections. Liberals might even tax you if you refuse to watch, although they won’t call it a tax, of course.

These ideas sound absurd, but they’re closer to reality than you might think. Consider the Department of Energy program that gave gold medal loans to now-bankrupt companies like Solyndra and Beacon Power. It didn’t take long to show these “winners” couldn’t actually compete.

The list goes on. Our tax code creates an uneven playing field for families and businesses alike. The federal government has grown so large that most industries see good reason to divert money from production to lobbying. As for the president’s health care law, the tax Democrats promised wasn’t a tax prevents real competition and fails to reduce costs.

How is any of this fair?

In the Olympics, only the best will come home from with gold. The competition is tough, and the winners truly earn their success. Frankly, the liberals trying to run our economy from Washington, D.C. could learn a lot by watching our athletes compete.

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

Gov. Scott Walker at AFP DREAM Summit

Gov. Scott Walker
Tim Phillips, President, Americans for Prosperity (AFP): There were many memorable moments from this year's Dream Summit, but the most powerful memory occurred on Saturday when our 2,000 grassroots activists presented Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with AFP Foundation's highest honor - the 2012 George Washington Award.

The award recognizes Gov. Walker as a champion of economic freedom and limited government. As AFP Foundation’s keynote event speaker at the 2012 Defending the American Dream Summit - Tribute to Ronald Reagan Dinner, Gov. Walker went on to deliver a powerful speech at his first major event in the nation’s capital since his recall victory.

Tags: Americans for Prosperity, AFP, Wisconsin, Governor, Scott Walker, 2012, Defending the American Dream To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Public Notice: An Olympic Sized National Debt

Public Notice: The United States may be giving it their all at the Olympics, but our performance back home is another story. At no point in time, even shortly following WWII, has the amount of debt we have in relation to the size of the economy (GDP) been as large as it is this year. The above infographic presents the the Olympic size debt that we have put ourselves in.

As Europe tries to work out its debt crisis, the Olympics are well underway in London. Uncertainty regarding the future economy remains on the world’s leaders’ minds as nations compete. Here in the U.S., the federal debt is rapidly approaching $16 trillion and people still struggle to find work under a stagnant economy.
Government Spending & the Economy1
The transnational Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported this year that debt tends to impact economies when it reaches around 70-80 percent.2 And for the current fiscal year, the United States’ debt as a percentage of the economy is expected to reach 104.8 percent3.
Below, we take a look at the U.S. debt as a percentage of the economy in each summer Olympic year, starting in 1948.
Olympic Year / Debt as % of Economy
1948  /  98.2
1952  /  74.3
1956  /  63.9
1960  /  56.0
1964  /  49.3
1968  /  42.5
1972  /  37.1
19764  /  36.2
1980  /  33.4
1984  /  40.7
1988  /  51.9
1992  /  64.1
1996  /  67.1
2000  /  57.3
2004  /  63.0
2008  /  69.7
20125   /  104.8
  1. Unless otherwise noted, all numbers sourced from: OMB Historical Table 7.1 “Federal Debt at the End of the Year 1940-2017″
  2. OECD. Fiscal Consolidation: How much is needed to reduce debt to a prudent level? April, 2012.
  3. OMB Historical Table 7.1 “Federal Debt at the End of the Year 1940-2017″
  4. During 1976, the fiscal year shifted from January-December to October-September. The period in between is not included in FY1976’s debt totals.
  5. Estimate.

Tags: Public Notice, Olympics, U.S. National Debt, Olymbic Sized National Debt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tim Hawkins - God Bless You, Chick-fil-A

The Patriot Post shared this comment today:  "While the Chick-fil-A controversy may still be as hot as a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Christian comedian Tim Hawkins' smooth and hilarious ballad extolling the virtues of the restaurant remains as funny as ever."

Dan Cathy's YouTube Channel: Tim Hawkins stopped by the 2010 Operator's Seminar and shared a new love song for Chick-fil-A! Watch Video »

Tags: comedy, parody, Tim Hawkins, Chick-fil-A, Seminar To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Liberal Wheel of Insanity

AF "Tony" Branco
The "Liberal Wheel of Insanity" of Raising Taxes on the Rich and Killing the Economy works for the Obama Administration agenda, California's Jerry Brown and other Emperor Obama's minions such as Harry Reid, Debby Wasserman-Shultz, Nancy Pelosi et.al.

Tags: liberal, wheel of insanity, California, Jerry Brown, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Nancy Pelosi, raise taxes on the rich, kill the economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Pentagon Official: Sequestration a Step Toward ‘Hollow’ Military Force

Tray Smith, Heritage Investigates:  A senior Defense Department official testifying before the House Armed Services Committee last week said implementing sequestration, across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect in January, “would represent a major step toward creation of an unready, ‘hollow’ military force.”

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s second-in-command, told House members that sequestration “introduces senseless chaos into the management of more than 2,500 defense investment programs” and “would be devastating to DoD, just as it would to every other affected federal agency.”

The cuts would take almost $55 billion out of the national security budget next year. Among the consequences Carter listed, it would:
  • Result in fewer people to fix weapons, including weapons damaged in war.
  • Force cuts in base support services, facility maintenance and maintenance of government-owned family housing.
  • Delay payments to service providers through the Defense Health Program, which provides health care for retirees and military dependents.
  • Indiscriminately reduce more than 2,500 procurement programs, research projects and military construction projects.
  • Force military managers to buy fewer weapons, including four fewer F-35 aircraft, one less P-8 aircraft, 12 fewer Stryker vehicles, and 300 fewer Army medium and heavy tactical vehicles compared with the President Obama’s budget for 2013.
  • Delay the new CVN-78 carrier, the Littoral Combat Ship program, and the DDG-51 destroyer procurement.
Outside of the armed forces, Carter said the cuts “would have devastating effects on the intelligence community.”

Several members of the House Armed Services Committee issued similarly dire warnings about sequestration last week at a YG Network Summit on Capitol Hill, moderated by The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano.

“Imagine if there is a day though where we’re involved somewhere, something kicks off, we need a carrier in the region, and there’s just literally no option,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said at the event. “That’s a potential. That’s nothing we’ve ever imagined but it could happen.”

Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) said that while the cuts would be painful for the military, they wouldn’t make a significant difference in the federal budget deficit.

“If we eliminated the whole discretionary budget, everything, take all the spending out of education, research and development, law enforcement, infrastructure, and defense — eliminate it all — we would still be running a deficit of a half a trillion dollars a year,” McKeon said.

The defense sequester would total $492 bill over the coming decade and come on top of $487 billion in cuts the Pentagon will already be forced to absorb under last year’s Budget Control Act. The defense cuts equal half of total spending cuts under the sequester, even though defense spending only makes up 11 percent of total federal outlays.

The cuts would come even as the military faces continued threats abroad and aging military equipment. On average, B-52 bombers are nearly 50 years old, long-range bombers are nearly 35 years old, midair refueling tankers are 49 years old, and fighter aircraft are 22 years old.

Carter said he could not even outline a plan that would mitigate the consequences of sequestration.

“The reason for this is that sequester was designed to be an inflexible and mindless policy,” he said. “It was never designed to be implemented.  Instead, it was enacted as a prod to Congress to devise a comprehensive package to reduce the federal deficit.” [Video Source]

Tags: Buck McKeon, Budget Control Act, defense budget, defense cuts, Defense Spending, entitlement spending, House Armed Services Committee, Office of Management and Budget, Heritage Investigates To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

NYT: Fear of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Has Industry Pulling Back

The New York Times reports today, “A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off new hires because they fear paralysis in Washington will force hundreds of billions in tax increases and budget cuts in January, undermining economic growth in the coming months. Executives at companies making everything from electrical components and power systems to automotive parts say the fiscal stalemate is prompting them to pull back now, rather than wait for a possible resolution to the deadlock on Capitol Hill.”

The Times notes, “[M]ore diversified companies like Hubbell Inc. in Shelton, Conn., have begun to hunker down as well. Hubbell, a maker of electrical products, has canceled several million dollars’ worth of equipment orders and delayed long-planned factory upgrades in the last few months, said Timothy H. Powers, the company’s chief executive. It has also held off hiring workers for about 100 positions that would otherwise have been filled, he said. ‘The fiscal cliff is the primary driver of uncertainty, and a person in my position is going to make a decision to postpone hiring and investments,’ Mr. Powers said. ‘We can see it in our order patterns, and customers are delaying. We don’t have to get to the edge of the cliff before the damage is done.’ The worries come amid broader fears that the economy is losing momentum — the annual rate of economic growth in the second quarter fell to 1.5 percent from 2 percent in the first quarter, and 4.1 percent in the last quarter of 2011. On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that factory orders unexpectedly fell 0.5 percent in June from the previous month, while data on the labor market released Friday showed job creation still falling short of the level needed to bring down the unemployment rate.”

Further, “More than 40 percent of companies surveyed by Morgan Stanley in July cited the fiscal cliff as a major reason for their spending restraint , [Vincent Reinhart, chief United States economist at Morgan Stanley] said. He expects that portion to rise when the poll is repeated this month. . . . With many Fortune 500 companies now setting budgets and planning for 2013, chief executives say they cannot afford to hope for the best. Wall Street is also paying more attention: over the last few weeks, chief executives of companies like Honeywell, U.P.S. and Eaton all cited the uncertainty as a threat to earnings in the second half of 2012. ‘We’re in economic purgatory,’ said Alexander M. Cutler, the chief executive of Eaton, a big Ohio maker of industrial equipment like drive trains and electrical and hydraulic systems. ‘In the nondefense, nongovernment sectors, that’s where the caution is creeping in. We’re seeing it when we talk to dealers, distributors and users.’”

As noted in various prior ARRA News "Today in Washington, D.C." articles, we have noted that Senate Republicans have been pushing to alleviate this uncertainty by extending all the current tax rates for another year. Senate Democrats had an opportunity to do that, but they voted it down, preferring to impose tax hikes in January on many job creators instead.

The U.S House has passed numerous to create jobs, bills to cut bureaucracy that is stymieing businesses who hire people, bills to cut spending and reform various government agencies' or to stop their negative actions. However, Senate Leader Harry Reid has not been willing to take up these bills in the Senate. The stalemate to recover is in fact one person; Harry Reid" urged on by his puppet master President Obama and his White House minions.


Tags: Fiscal Cliff, industry businesses pull back, Harry Reid, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Identity Theft Scam Targets Electricity Consumers

Mel Coleman, CEO, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative: Be on the alert to an identity theft scheme targeting electric consumers across the nation. A punishing heat wave, large utility bills, and a bad economy have given criminals a “perfect storm” of opportunity to prey on the suffering of others. The perpetrators have been marching across the country, making their way from state to state, persuading victims that a special federal government assistance program -- sometimes described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama's administration -- is available to pay their utility bills. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online, but only after they "register" by surrendering their Social Security numbers and other personal information.

There is no such utility payment assistance program, and the old adage still holds true -- if something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out your social security number or bank account information to someone who calls you without verifying the call.

WHAT TO DO
If you receive a phone call from a person representing themselves as a North Arkansas Electric Cooperative employee and you suspect it is a scam, hang up. Do not give the caller any personal information. Be especially protective of your social security number, bank and credit card numbers, and driver’s license number.

Legitimate companies will not call or e-mail you asking for your account number or password, so keep your account information to yourself. You should also not assume that you can trust caller ID to let you know where a caller is located. Because scammers may use Internet calling technology, the area code you see may not reflect where they really are. Jot down the person's name, then hang up and call your Electric cooperative or Company to verify the call.

If someone appears at your door claiming to represent North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, you can call us to verify the visit. Never let anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or unless the person has proper identification. For our company the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative logo should appear on hats, shirts, and vehicles. The same is true for other companies. If you suspect someone is impersonating an Electric Company employee, do not let them into your home and call the police or sheriff immediately.

Finally, please warn neighbors, friends and relatives who may be susceptible to these types of scams.
-----------------
Editor's Note, The above was adapted from a Scam Alert being sent out by various electric cooperatives.  The alert by Mr. Coleman was modified for our broader readership as this scam is targeting everyone in the U.S.  For those who are serviced by Mel Coleman's company, may call the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative's main line at (870) 895-3221 to verify any person making a call. For other readers, plan ahead and look up the number for your electric cooperative or electric company.

Again, there is NO bailout or government funded utility payment assistance.  Assistance is not via your government.  Some assistance may be available through support groups funded by your neighbors, your community through such organizations like the Salvation Army and churches.  Another major assistance is to reduce your utility bills by reducing your power usage.  Contact your utility company for ideas and assistance in this area.


Tags: identify theft scam, electricity consumers, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Legislation to Improve Veterans TBI Rehabilitation Signed Into Law

Washington – President Obama today signed into law Senator John Boozman’s legislation to improve rehabilitative services for our nation’s veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvements Act of 2011, (S. 957 as amended) was part of a larger package to improve veterans’ benefits (Sec 107 of H.R. 1627).

The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvements Act of 2011 was the first legislation that Senator Boozman introduced as a member of the Senate.  “After serving on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for many years, and electing to continue that service on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I felt that it was important for the very first bill I introduced to reaffirm my commitment to ensuring that we continue to uphold all of our promises to our veterans and their families,” Boozman said. “Signing this legislation into law is a great victory for our veterans and their families who are fighting the unseen injuries of war.”

Due to ambiguities in current law, TBI treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs narrowly focuses care on physical restoration.  Boozman’s bicameral, bipartisan legislation clarifies the definition of rehabilitation so veterans are guaranteed care that adequately addresses their physical and mental health needs, as well as quality of life and prospects for long-term recovery and success.

“With so many veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with TBI, we have an obligation to the men and women who serve and sacrifice on behalf of our grateful nation. Providing the best services to our troops who have sustained a TBI is part of our commitment to ensure that our military personnel know we will be there for them and their families when they return from battle,” Boozman said.

Because of advances in medicine, service members who would not have been expected to survive catastrophic attacks in previous conflicts are returning home today from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with unprecedented severe and complex injuries. Since 2001, more than 1,500 service members have suffered from a severe TBI, many of whom require rehabilitative programs ranging from total care for the most basic needs to semi-independent living support. A restrictive approach to rehabilitation puts these wounded warriors at risk of losing any progress they made towards recovery.

Sen. Mark Begich (AK) is an original cosponsor of the Senate legislation. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tim Walz (MN-01) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-09).

“I appreciate the support and assistance of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Blind Veterans Association, and my colleagues in both chambers in helping to advance this legislation,” Boozman said, “This is a perfect example of everyone working together to improve veterans’ health care services and ensuring that our wounded warriors get the care they deserve. I am grateful for everyone’s support throughout the legislative process.”

"Many of our warriors have sustained traumatic brain injuries that require long-term rehabilitative care,” Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director Steve Nardizzi said. “This critical legislation will help ensure that needed rehabilitation is not prematurely cut off, and that these veterans can get the kind of support they need – whether those are health-services or non-medical community-based assistance -- to achieve maximum independence.”

The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services Improvements Act of 2011 would ensure wounded warriors suffering from TBI receive a more comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation plan that focuses on physical restoration, mental health, independence, and quality of life. It would also help veterans in maintaining the gains they have made during initial phases of treatment by requiring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to develop rehabilitation plans that stress improved physical, cognitive and vocational functioning in the long term.
------------------
U.S. Senator John Boozman is from Arkansas. He is an optometrist and a member of the Doctors Caucus and has shown great concern for the care of veterans.

Tags: veterans, wounded warrior, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative, rehabilitation, S. 957, John Boozman, US Senator, Sponsor, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Obama Legacy: U.S. Credit Downgade

Editor's Comment: In the following article, RNC Chairman Priebus could have even piled on even more about President Obama failure to maintain the credit worthiness of the United States. The U.S. Credit rating also suffered a second downgrade in April, 2012. Bloomberg reported: "Egan-Jones Ratings Co. cut the U.S. credit rating one step to AA, the second downgrade in nine months and two levels below its highest grade, with a negative outlook citing the nation’s increasing debt burden.

U.S. debt has increased to 100 percent of gross domestic product, while debt climbed 23.6 percent from 2008 to 2010, the credit-rating firm said in a statement today. Egan-Jones lowered the U.S. grade to AA+ in a July. . . . The downgrade was based on “the increasing debt load coupled with the fact that there has been no tangible progress in addressing the country’s growing debt to GDP” ratio . . . Standard and Poor’s cut the U.S. grade by one step to AA+ on Aug. 5 and has a negative outlook on the country’s debt."

Reince Priebus, Chairman, Republican national Committee: One year ago yesterday, as a result of President Obama's failure to cut the debt and rein in federal spending, America's creditworthiness was downgraded. For the first time in American history, America lost its sterling AAA credit rating.

Just as American families have to work hard to ensure they have good credit, so too does the federal government. The President and his liberal allies' spending binge is on track to add more than $1 trillion to the debt for the fourth straight year.

Our country needs real leaders to turn things around. As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney led the state to a credit upgrade. His plan for a stronger middle class will deliver more jobs and more take-home pay for American families while reducing spending to responsible levels.

Mitt Romney and the entire Republican team (House and Senate Republican candidates) have the experience needed to lead us toward a balanced budget and they will work to restore the sterling credit rating our nation lost under President Obama.

Tags: United States, credit rating, downgraded, Obama legacy, government spending, government waste, high taxes, declining GDP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!



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