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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Tax Revenues Devoured by Entitlements
Michael Sandoval, Heritage Investigates: The looming unsustainability of the big three entitlement spending programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—is not inevitable, but in order to avoid the catastrophic effects of consuming every bit of tax revenue in just one generation, reform is a necessity.
Take a look at Medicare, the largest portion of the projected entitlement expense by the year 2045.
Here’s the projected outlook of spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security by 2045, when entitlement spending matches tax revenues, from Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures, using Congressional Budget Office figures:
The need for Medicare reform in light of the impending crisis going forward has elicited the acknowledgement of all sides, which Heritage’s Amy Payne highlighted in a recent Morning Bell:
Quick quiz: Who said this about Medicare? “With an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.”
Obamacare has already ended Medicare “as we know it.” Obamacare will not preserve Medicare or even prevent the program’s descent into unsustainability. Instead, as Heritage’s Alyene Senger reported, the Congressional Budget Office adjusted its estimate of Medicare cuts to $716 billion over 10 years, in a raid on Medicare’s core services:
According to the CBO, the payment cuts in Medicare include:
$260 billion payment cut for hospital services
$39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services
$17 billion payment cut for hospice services
$66 billion payment cut for home health services
$33 billion payment cut for all other services
$156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage (MA); $156 billion is before considering interactions with other provisions. The House Ways and Means Committee was able to include interactions with other provisions, estimating the cuts to MA to be even higher, coming in at $308 billion
$56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.* DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.
$114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP* (does not include coverage-related provisions).
Far from protecting seniors and preventing the program’s insolvency, the Medicare raid cuts services for seniors and hastens Medicare’s impact on the federal credit card, as it makes up the largest portion of the projected entitlement spending by 2045.
Only true reform—particularly, converting Medicare to a “premium support” system—could produce the adjustment necessary to keep Medicare from careening out of control. Tags: congressional budget office, Entitlements, expenditures, federal budget, medicaid, medicare, Obamacare, premium support, reform, social security, tax revenue, Heritage Investigates, Chart of the WeekTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Republican Officials Issue Statements on Convention Scheduling
Tampa, Fla. – Today, the heads of the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Convention issued the following statements regarding Convention scheduling in light of Tropical Storm Isaac:
Republican National Convention President and CEO Bill Harris made the following statement: "Our chief priority is the safety of the residents of Florida, of those visiting the Convention, and all those in Gulf Coast states who may be impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac. We have been working closely with the campaign, the party, and state and local officials for months to ensure a successful, enjoyable convention. Federal, state and local officials assure us that they are prepared to respond, if needed, and the scheduling changes we are announcing today will help ensure the continued safety of all participants – our foremost concern. We are also committed to keeping the delegates and guests of the convention well informed about the situation, and we will continue providing updates in the hours and days ahead."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus made the following statement: "Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th. After consulting with Governor Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket." Contact: James Davis or Kyle Downey, 813-252-5888 for more info. Mitt Romney tweeted this evening:, "The safety of those in Isaac’s path is of the utmost importance. I applaud those in Tampa making appropriate schedule changes."
Tropical Storm Isaac moved into Cuba on Saturday after causing flooding and several deaths in Haiti. Forecasters say it is on a track that would bring it toward Florida on Monday and Tuesday. Tags:RNC 2012, Convention, weather delay, Tropical Storm Isaac, Florida,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The following article Ken Backwell addresses the "Downward" direction proposed for the institution of marriage by the Democratic Convention. However, this week the Republican National Committee Platform Committee reinforced "true marriage" by rebuffing efforts to weaken the definition of traditional marriage.
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: The progressive mindset is set. It believes that whatever it pursues at the moment must be progress. Think Progress is one of the groups that is convinced progress is achieved by the right people thinking the right thoughts. Or, the right people thinking the left thoughts. "We are the people we've been waiting for," said candidate Obama four years ago. Better to wait for Godot.
The president's re-election slogan is an expression of this mindset. Forward. Just that one word. It's not as bad perhaps as MSNBC's "Lean Forward." Imagine you're on a cliff, looking over into the vast chasm below. And someone at MSNBC gets the bright idea: Lean forward. We are all on that cliff. The combination of the largest tax hikes in history with the most draconian federal spending cuts is confronting us with what many have called "Taxmadgeddon."
The most fatuous application of Forward. has to be the Democratic Convention's plans to end marriage as we know it. Determined to do follow what is "inevitable," very liberal delegates will embrace platform proposals that will spell the end of marriage. Do they fully realize what they are doing?
Jonathan Turley may not be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, but he understands something about constitutional law. This George Washington University law professor told an overflow crowd at the Newseum in 2008 that granting marriage rights to same sex couples would lead to polygamy. "And I'm for that," he said. He was wildly cheered by the hundreds of progressive congressional staffers, government attorneys and journalists in attendance. To understand how the one leads ineluctably to the other, we have only to consider the LGBT designation. If two persons of the same sex can marry, how can you fairly stop a person who identifies as bisexual or who has undergone a sex change operation from marrying persons of both sexes?
If your only requirement for a marriage is that people love each other, have a committed relationship to each other, and that they give their consent, then you cannot bar twins from marrying. Once you've permitted identical twins to marry, how can you bar twin brother and sister from marrying? They love each other. They have a committed relationship. None of us has had such a biological bond since before birth with our own spouses.
Vice President Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act as a U.S. Senator. Now, of course, he says that he is not influenced by his many years as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, he takes his guidance on marriage from Hollywood, specifically from the comedy series, Will and Grace. If Hollywood producers are to set the standard for constitutional law in our country, then marriage will be ended, to be sure. For Hollywood has given us another series, Big Love. It's an HBO production about polygamy. It's pretty favorable toward polygamy, they tell me. Following in the train of Hollywood is The Advocate, America's leading gay publication. The Advocate in 2006 featured a cover story titled Big Gay Love. It was a knockoff of the HBO series.
Is this really where Democrats want to go? Do their very progressive delegates think the voters at the grassroots will approve their lurch to the progressive extremes? Democratic delegates will be meeting next month in Charlotte. The state of North Carolina voted in May to uphold true marriage. All the polls said voters in the Tarheel State might give true marriage a 55%-39% affirmation. Actually, when the real votes were cast, the strength of true marriage was even greater--61%-39%. This is a pattern that holds up all over America. True marriage has consistently won over counterfeit marriage. And the margin when voters vote is consistently greater than when pollsters poll.
Minorities give strong support to true marriage. In North Carolina, black and Hispanic voters provided the winning margin for marriage. Something else Democrats should consider before voting to end marriage: In North Carolina, 49% of Democrats voted for true marriage. The polls could not measure voter intensity, but imagine how strong must be the pro-marriage sentiment at the grassroots if 49% of Democrats defy such party bigwigs as President Obama, Vice President Biden, and former President Bill Clinton.
True marriage is a lot more popular than either of our political parties. We have urged Republicans to stand firm for marriage and applauded them when they do. But we also urge them not to hide their light under a bushel. Marriage is not a wedge issue, it's a bridge issue. It's the way Republicans can embrace minorities and immigrants. We appeal to Democrats to step back from that brink. If you care about the poor, don't end marriage. Marriage is the best social program for economic and educational uplift for the poor. Even the liberal Brookings Institution tells us if a young person will avoid having a child out of wedlock and graduate from high school, the chances of that young American living in poverty are only 4 percent!
Is ending marriage really Forward? Or is it Downward? This is not the first time our parties have dealt with the marriage issue. The Republicans wrote their first party platform in 1856. In that earliest appeal to voters, the party termed Slavery and Polygamy the "twin relics of barbarism." Pretty tough language for a new political party. They didn't win that year, but they did take their place as America's second party. And with a strong pro-marriage plank, they were poised to capture the White House with Abraham Lincoln just four years later.
Earlier this year, the Presbyterian Church-USA and the United Methodist Church--two very liberal denominations -- voted to uphold true marriage. It was something of a surprise. Many commentators thought ending marriage in these denominations was "inevitable," too. But African, Korean, and Latino affiliated churches and minority delegates at home pulled the church groups back from the brink.
Democrats can do this, too. Ending marriage is not Forward. It's Downward. Pull back in time.
--------------- Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is the co-author of the new bestseller: The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency. He is a National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Democrats, Democratic Convention, plans to end traditional marriage, Platform, marriage plank, Forward, Downward, progressive, extremes, true marriageTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: In 1999, the American Association of Retired Persons officially changed its name to "AARP," which has since officially stood for nothing. So it’s fitting that in the orgy of corrupt backroom deals that resulted in the president’s deeply unpopular health care law, the worst of all was cut by AARP, an insurance purveyor that used to be a seniors group. With Obama taking to the airwaves touting AARP support, it’s important to remember how the dirty deal was done.
Seniors hated Obama’s bill, because they rightly feared its steep cuts to Medicare with no meaningful cost containment mechanism other than denial-of-care. Those cuts have already ballooned from an initial estimate of $500 billion to $700 billion, and additional cuts from the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board are authorized without a vote of Congress.
We now know, thanks to an investigative report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, that opposition among AARP’s own membership was even more overwhelming. An e-mail from AARP lobbyist Nora Super to White House staffer Lauren Aronson on July 23, 2009 said: “We really need to talk. Our calls against reform are coming in 14 to one.”
Yet a few months later, AARP was fully on board and officially supporting the very bill that was overwhelmingly opposed by its members. Indeed, so fully on board that Jim Messina (then a top White House staffer and now Obama’s campaign manager) sent AARP executive Nancy LeaMond a December 16, 2009 e-mail with the subject: “Now that byou [sic] support the bill (tomorrow am)” and the body: “Can we get immediate robo calls into Nebraska urging Nelson to vote for cloture?”
AARP dutifully complied, and their pressure – along with the corrupt Cornhusker Kickback, convinced Ben Nelson to put the bill over the top.
Why did AARP ignore the overwhelming opposition among seniors, calls from their own members running 14-1 against, and emotional town hall confrontations all over the country?
AARP is in the business of selling insurance, and their offerings were uniquely well-positioned to benefit from the bill, because the steep cuts to Medicare Advantage would force beneficiaries into traditional fee-for-service Medicare, making them potential customers for AARP’s Medigap policies.
That’s a billion reasons for AARP to betray seniors and support Obama’s bill.
The report found that while AARP offers a Medicare Advantage plan through United Healthcare, it does so under a flat-fee licensing agreement that would give the company the same revenue even following savage cuts to Medicare Advantage.
Its Medigap policies, on the other hand, are its biggest cash cow and AARP makes money with every policy sold. It was a win-win for AARP’s bottom line, but at a devastating cost to the seniors it pretends to represent.
Sweetening the deal for AARP, the bill created a special, AARP-specific carve-out exempting its Medigap policies from the rate regulations applied to its competitors.
In light of this betrayal, my friend Jim Martin of the 60 Plus Association, a fiscally conservative seniors group, has suggested that AARP ought to once again be an abbreviation: the Association Against Retired Persons.
RNC 2012 Convention Announces Entertainment Lineup
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Gov. Mike Huckabee
Tampa, Fla. - Besides the serious business of nominating the next president and vice president of the United States, there will also be plenty of quality entertainment at the 2012 Republican National Convention, organizers promised today.
"We've booked outstanding performers and world-famous acts," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who today announced the entertainers who will be on hand. "The convention attendees will be treated to special performances they will remember for a very long time."
Performers will cover the spectrum of music genres, Priebus said, "Everything from pop and rock to country and gospel."
The performance lineup will feature an exclusive, worldwide premiere of "One Light," a new single from the Grammy award-winning rock band, 3 Doors Down. The group has sold more than 20 million recordings since its 2000 debut.
"We are honored to be asked to play the RNC and are excited about our performance," said Brad Arnold, lead singer of 3 Doors Down. "We consider it a privilege."
Other performers include Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Oak Ridge Boys, Neal Boyd, Randy Owens, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Taylor Hicks and BeBe Winans.
The complete list of entertainers performing at the Republican Convention is as follows:
The House Band
GE Smith & the GE Smith Band
George Edward "G. E." Smith is an American guitarist. He was the lead guitarist in the band Hall and Oates and the musical director of Saturday Night Live. Smith was lead guitarist of Bob Dylan's touring band from June 7, 1988 to October 19, 1990. http://gesmithmusic.wordpress.com
Monday, August 27
Oak Ridge Boys
The Oak Ridge Boys are an American country and gospel vocal quartet. The group was founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular in southern gospel during the 1950s. http://oakridgeboys.com
Conrad is a seventeen year-old musician and vocalist from Jacksonville, Florida who is legally blind. He has been playing music since the age of two. He has received accolades on an international level, being chosen by 12 million Cartoon Network viewers as the most talented teen musician in the country. http://www.conradoberg.com/about.html
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and American Icon, Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre during the 1970s with their signature hits like Sweet Home Alabama, Freebird and many others. http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com
Tuesday, August 28
New Jersey native Philip Alongi is an exciting young tenor whose powerful voice matches his stature. He has performed over a dozen major operatic roles throughout the U.S. http://www.philipalongi.com/opera/Home.html
Neal E. Boyd
Neal E. Boyd is an American pop opera singer. He is best known as the 2008 winner of America's Got Talent. Neal resides in Missouri where he is a candidate for the State's 160th House District Seat. http://nealeboydformissouri.com/
Michael Lane Turner is an American singer-songwriter. Signed to Warner Bros. Records since 2004, he released two singles for the label, including "Always Wanting More," which reached No. 56 on the Hot Country Songs charts in 2004. http://www.newcountrystar.com/LaneTurner.htm
Randy Owen is an American country music artist. He is known primarily for his role as the lead singer of Alabama, a country rock band that saw considerable mainstream success throughout the 1980s and 1990s. http://www.randyowen.com
Jack Martin Blades is an American musician. He has worked in several bands: Rubicon, Night Ranger, and Damn Yankees. He also recorded with Tommy Shaw under the name Shaw/Blades, and has done work alongside TMG, the Tak Matsumoto Group. http://www.jackblades.net
3 Doors Down
From that first explosive burst of Kryptonite which ignited their storied career at the top of last decade, to subsequent multi-platinum albums, and a non-stop touring regimen that finds them still notching shows around the world at a record pace, 3 Doors Down have earned a hard-fought pedigree as one of Rock's most exciting and authentic radio icons. Their impressive and steady ascension up the ladder has seen them score multiple #1 hits, snag several Billboard and other awards, and log scores of sold-out shows over a growing global terrain that is nearing 40 countries. 3 Doors Down have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and have played in excess of over 1,000 shows. http://www.3doorsdown.com
Wednesday, August 29
Ayla Marie Brown is an American recording artist from Wrentham, Massachusetts and former NCAA basketball player. She is also known for her American Idol showing, placing in the Top 16 on season 5 in 2006.http://www.aylabrown.com
Beau Davidson is an American recording artist, actor, and model. He has appeared on Country Music Television, Great American Country, MTV and Vh1, as well as television shows and print magazines.http://www.beaudavidson.com
The Katinas are a Contemporary Christian music group. The family of five brothers hails from American Samoa, and moved to Washington, USA after the death of their mother in 1988. They now reside in Nashville, Tennessee where they sustain a heavy touring schedule. http://thekatinas.com
Daniel Jay "Danny" Gokey is an American country music singer and church music director from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol. His wife, Sophia, encouraged him to try out for American Idol and died one month before his audition from a congenital heart condition. Danny established the Sophie's Heart Foundation in her memory to make a positive impact on students' lives through a Music and Arts Program http://www.dannygokey.com/
Thursday, August 30
The Mighty Sound of SEVEN
The acclaimed operatic talents and musical careers of Amick Byram, Charlie Harris, Frank Hernandez, John Cavazos, Kelly Ford, Phil Armstrong and Van Dobbins III have converged to form the vocal ensemble known as, SEVEN. https://thesoundofseven.com
Taylor Reuben Hicks is an American singer who won the fifth season of American Idol. Hicks got his start as a professional musician in his late teens and performed around the southeastern United States. http://taylorhicks.com
Benjamin "BeBe" Winans is a gospel and RandB singer. He is a multiple Grammy, Dove, NAACP, Soul Train and Stellar-Award winning member of the noted Winans family, most members of which are also gospel artists. http://www.bebewinans.net
Tampa Gospel Choir
This Tampa Bay area choir is under the leadership of Marvin Winans, Jr. Tags:RNC 2012, Tampa, Florida, music, singers, bands, entertainment, entertainers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The below letter to the editor is by Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. He is a Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative and active in the Oklahoma Republican Assembly. And he offers some interesting musing!
By Bob McDowell: This being the last week of August, we are coming to the end of the proverbial 'long hot Summer' (there was once a movie by that name). And, indeed, it has been just that with July being reported as the 'hottest on record' by the meteorological gurus. One wonders if some of the records of the 1930's have been erased, or just conveniently 'forgotten' since my memory of those days is of even higher temperatures with many days of calm winds.
At that time the only places that were air conditioned were the banks, theaters, and a very few office buildings. Even the country club in Tulsa built in the middle of that decade only had air conditioning in the "Mens Grill" and evening dinners were served on the terrace outside. Many families, including mine, set up cots in the back yard and slept out there, which meant an early rise in the morning.
In addition, it has been reported that many of the 'official' temperature recording units are improperly placed, thus giving excessively high temperature records. A large number of these mislocated units reported have been in California (surprise, surprise) where some of the strongest proponents of "global warming" are located. The rules for locating these recorders state that they cannot be near sources of heat, such as burners, engine exhausts, pavement, incinerators, or air conditioning compressors. Reports to me have placed them next to incinerators, near run-up pads to receive the jet exhausts, and surrounded by concrete or asphalt.
Thus it would appear that the Oklahoma summer has not been record hot, but such appears to be the case further North. My son reports that the Denver area has had more days of 100 degree temperature than he can remember, his whole life. In 34 years as a 'displaced Okie' my memory only recalls three such days and less than that where the low was 70 or above. In addition, the states along the Canadian border have experienced a much hotter than average Summer and, along with that, more severe weather, probably due to their higher humidity levels.
In any event, most of us are happy to see the end of the tunnel and approaching cooler days and nights. In fact, the winter might just be colder than average, but do not count on that.
It continually irritates me that the Communist/Socialist sympathizing politicians and their 'lamestream' media followers continue to blame the higher temperatures on "man made global warming". They blast Senator Jim Inhofe for his rejection of that premise and falsely state that he is rejecting that the climate is warmer. In my opinion, he is correct in rejecting the premise put forth, originally by VP Al Gore, that it is the activities of man that is the cause of the increased average temperatures and that they will continue to rise until we all burn up and the sea levels will flood the coastal areas. These are claims made to cause us to have a lower standard of living and a smaller population.
Back to the 'end of Summer'. Most people tend to take the 'end' to the holiday now observed as "Labor Day", the first Monday in September, which in 2012 falls on the third. It is problematic that the same 'most people' have no knowledge of where this holiday began. It began, before my birth, shortly after the inception of the Labor Union movement, and was at first called by the founder, Samuel Gompers, as a day off to recognize their Unions. By the time of my first memory it was recognized as a declared national holiday which also marked the start of school the next day. While there is little doubt that unions were established to correct some very real evils in the industrial age, they have been largely taken over by brutal and thuggish leaders who really care more about their own power and wealth than the rank and file membership. And, quite frankly, they should not be allowed in government employment. Tags:Bob McDowell, Oklahoma, letter to editor, End of Summer, globl warmingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
According to the CBO report, “For fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion, CBO estimates, marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion. . . . Federal debt held by the public will reach 73 percent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year—the highest level since 1950 and about twice the share that it measured at the end of 2007, before the financial crisis and recent recession.”
When President Obama released his latest budget plan earlier this year, Sen Mitch McConnell responded for all fiscal conservatives. He said. “The failure of leadership here is breathtaking. The President knows how grave our nation’s fiscal condition is. When he thinks it helps him he even admits it. A year ago today, when debt and spending were in the news, he used his budget announcement to reiterate a pledge to cut the deficit in half. . . . A year later, he hasn’t even come close.”
Then yesterday on the NO JOBS side of the Obama economy, Bill Wilson, President of Americans For Limited Government, responded to the negative Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing extended unemployment benefits are running out:
"In the past year, Congress' extended unemployment benefits welfare scheme ran out for 1.3 million people. And there is still no work to be found for them. They have become permanently unemployed. Since Obama took office, the labor force participation rate has dropped from 65.7 percent to 63.7 percent, with about 4.8 million people who have dropped out and simply stopped looking for work. "The data is simply devastating. The number of people employed has only grown by 2.7 million in the past year, not even coming close to keeping up with the growth of the noninstitutional population has grown by 3.6 million. Meanwhile, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 2 million — in a single year! Since the beginning of 2008, a net 4.1 million jobs have been lost while the employable population grew by 10.7 million! The establishment's hope was that by priming the pump with more than $3 trillion of monetary and fiscal 'stimulus' at the beginning of the recession, and ramping up the welfare apparatus in the near-term, eventually, a robust recovery would ensue, and the temporary measures could be repealed. But the government did nothing to make it more cost-effective to do business here in America, to encourage investment here. So, now we're just floating along, no real growth recovery, and certainly no recovery in the jobs market. "New college graduates cannot find work, those who lost their jobs in the recession still cannot find work 4 years later, and the government's tepid support programs and 'stimulus' did nothing to turn the economy around. We're dead in the water, no matter what the happy talkers say."
In summary, The Obama Economy Sucks Big Time! Tags:Obama economy, the economy sucks, no jobs, BLS, extended unemployment, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NEW YORK TIMES: “…if Congress takes no action to stave off tax increases due and automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, the economy could fall into a recession, with total output shrinking and the jobless rate rising to about 9 percent in the second half of 2013… Fears about tax increases and spending cuts — the ‘fiscal tightening’ — are depressing economic growth…” (“Report Sees Risk Of Recession If Budget Stalemate Persists,” The New York Times, 8/22/12)
“Democrats have made clear that they are ready to allow tax rates to rise and automatic cuts to kick in for both defense and domestic programs... Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who outlined the Democratic strategy in a speech this month, put the GOP on notice that her party would rather plunge off the fiscal cliff than extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. White House aides pointedly backed Murray's threat on Tuesday.” (“Democrats Waxing Tough On Fiscal Cliff,” National Journal, 7/25/12)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV):Q: “Do you agree with Senator Murray that if you do not get a balanced deal, you'll fight this into 2013?”SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV):“…Patty Murray knows what she's talking about.”(Sen. Reid, Press Briefing, 7/17/12)
Tags:CBO Projections, fiscal cliff, Democrat plans, CBO, significant recession, democrats, Thelma and Louse economics, economics, tax increases, spending cutsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Editorial Comment: Pro death - abortion for babies or euthanasia for the elderly and the in-firmed - Barack Obama was gleefully glad that he could refocus the attention away from him to Rep. Akin in Missouri. As identified by Tony Branco, the handwriting is on the wall regarding Obama's major failures and yet the biased press tosses Obama a partisan softball question.
Sadly in politics, kissing babies and supporting the killing of babies garners democrats favorable attention. However speaking for life is mocked, ridiculed and personally damaging.
Even conservatives and supportive pro-life advocates like Sarah Palin demonstrated a willingness to abandoned their pro-life positions if need be to be able to defeat a democrat that will support the Reid / Obama agenda in Washington, D.C. The message by conservatives to their "social conservatives colleagues appears to be "shut up!" God Help Us! Oh, I forgot, we can't say that either! Tags:Barack Obama, diversion, abortion, conservatives, social conservatives, shut-up, political cartoon, AF Branco, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
GOP Delegates To Vote To Nominate Mitt Romney on Monday
Bill Smith, Editor: Aaron Blake of The Washington Post beat me to the punch in posting on the decision today to change from the prior years timing for RNC 2012 delegates to vote for their Republican nominee. In reality, Mitt Romney has more than enough delegates to be nominated. Theoretically, the RNC 2012 delegates could have considered waived any vote and declared Mitt Romney by acclamation as their official candidate for president. But what fun would that be? Besides the delegates have paid a lot of money to attend the RNC Convention and to cast their vote. And then there are teh faithful Ron Paul delegates who want to declare their votes. With the recent news of a potential hurricane, the RNC today shifted its agenda to assure that the Convention would declare their nominee even if later events are "rained out" or disrupted by anarchists. However, Mitt Romney are still scheduled to spoken about and to speak to the convention and the nation on Friday.
Since the following story relates the facts announced for the Convention, we are going to have Aaron Blake educate us on the changes announced today. Aaron Blake, The Washington Post: Delegates from each state will cast their votes for president on the first day of the Republican National Convention on Monday.
The “rolling roll call of the states” is the formal process by which delegates cast votes on behalf of their respective states and paves the way for the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate, which will officially take place on the final day of the convention next Thursday.
Convention spokesman Kyle Downey said the states will vote in alphabetical order, as opposed to the occasional approach of trying to rig the process so a specific state — for example, Mitt Romney’s home state of Massachusetts — puts him over the threshold he needs to secure the nomination.
The vote is also generally held later in the convention — usually on the third of the four days.
The process used to be far more entertaining and important, with the party uncertain who its nominee would be at the time it went to convention. There was some talk early this year of a competitive convention if the GOP nominating contest dragged on too long, but it’s clear now that Romney will be the party’s nominee.
All of Romney’s opponents except Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rick Santorum have released their delegates, with Newt Gingrich releasing his today.
Santorum is expected to release his delegates this week; Paul is not expected to release his.
Some have suggested Paul could win as many as 500 of the 2,286 delegates at stake. But those close to the situation suggest the number will be closer to 200, and Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton says the campaign has identified 373 delegates and alternates (alternates generally don’t vote).
“We have identified every RNC delegate and alternate, both bound to us, bound to Romney or unbound, and have 373 delegates and alternates that support Dr. Paul,” Benton said.
That’s about the only drama that will take place Monday. The rest is basically a formality and a campaign rally.
While the vote will pave the way for Romney to officially win the nomination, he won’t actually accept that nomination until Thursday. That allows the party to continue spending primary funds (which it cannot legally do after he’s officially nominated) during the intervening three-day period and makes for a grand finale at the end of the convention. Tags:RNC 2012 Convention, change, delegate voting, schedule, RNC , Tampa, Florida, election 2012To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Worrying Signs From Tampa – Protest Management for RNC 2012
What is going on in Tampa, FL to protect the attendees and Tampa citizens during next week's Republican National Convention? What are some of the concerns, threats, and potential misunderstandings regarding potential anarchists? Although the following brief addresses Tampa, the shared concerns are relevant for the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina. While peaceful protestors vary in their concerns and focus at these conventions, hard core anarchists have the same intent and design for both events. The following brief was provided to the ARRA News Service by Chris Battle, Editor of Security Debrief.
Sam Rosenfeld, Homeland Security Policy Institute: It’s not easy being the police department responsible for hosting a NSSE. Counter-terrorism and protest management requirements compete. U.S. law enforcement tend to see this competition as a zero sum game where there’s winners and losers, rather than the two requirements being complementary. A truly effective security effort at an NSSE attracts no or very little media attention – attention that the organizers want focused on the party message rather than the security effort. The signals that Tampa is sending suggest this will not be the case for the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC).
The fundamental requirement for a police department hosting an NSSE is understanding the threat so that the response is proportionate and effective. There are worrying signs that the City of Tampa doesn’t understand the threat or how to manage it effectively. If they don’t understand the threat to legitimate protest and law enforcement properly, how will they be able to facilitate constitutional rights and maintain the counter-terrorist capability that’s necessary?
Anarchists and Extreme Left Wing groups are not synonymous with protesters, but in the effort to combat the former, law abiding protesters are often dragged into the fray, subjected to mass arrests, CS gas and other indiscriminate, ineffective means that don’t actually contribute to either upholding the law or constitutional rights.
The pressure on Tampa PD to manage the protesters effectively will be high because the anarchist movement has evolved over the past four years. There is a new trend of willingness to actually fight the police and de-arrest individuals, something simply not in evidence four years ago. Chicago PD showed significant evolution in their engagement-heavy approach – they were fortunate in that the anarchist “A team” didn’t attend. The real problem that we are likely to see in Tampa is a repeat of the mistakes of 2008 RNC in St Paul/Minneapolis, where a small group of organized anarchists caused the police to overreact on Day 1, and for the police to continue to be heavy handed for the rest of the period.
Effective understanding of the threat is critical. If Tampa PD doesn’t understand the threat, they will be unable to manage it by facilitating protest by the majority and targeting, arresting, and successfully prosecuting actual criminals.
Three examples suggest this lack of understanding:
The City Attorney not understanding the cause of the lack of sign-up for protest march licenses;
The police spokesperson’s misunderstanding about what the anarchist movement is and its members’ motives; and
The City Attorney publishing legislation that either doesn’t understand anarchist reality over police urban myths, or is deliberately restricting new media and using anarchists as the scapegoats for it.
In it, there were interviews with a number of members of the security preparations committees. These include the City Attorney, who is responsible for the legal preparations for hosting the convention. This process must be conducted in close cooperation with the police and federal authorities if it is to be effective. The report states
Shimberg [Tampa City Attorney] said that organizers of parades or marches must sign up with the city to use the route, and are slotted in 90-minute increments. But as of July 6, only three groups have signed up. Shimberg said he’s surprised more groups haven’t come forward, and doesn’t know what the low numbers signify. There’s no deadline to sign up for the parade route, but he said there are 28 open slots during the four-day convention.“We’re a little baffled,” he said. “I’m not sure if it means that people don’t want to go where we want them to go, or if they’re just not coming.”
The protesters are coming. They’re coming in strength. However, they agreed months ago that because they didn’t respect the mechanisms that the City of Tampa had put in place, they refused to participate in the city’s processes. Experience tells us that the effective response in this situation is to engage with the protest groups, particularly the moderates, and negotiate sensible agreements that facilitate constitutional rights but that ensure that the counter-terrorism effort is not only effective, but enhanced. There are no signs from either side that this engagement is taking place or is successful. It’s not too late to implement an effective policy that would resolve this situation, isolating those who would be violent or promote criminal damage rather than encouraging solidarity between all protest groups, regardless of their attitude to violence towards others and the police.
Misunderstanding of What the Anarchists Are, and Therefore the Threat They Pose.
The police spokesperson, Laura McElroy, is talking of the protesters when she says in this article:
“The large majority are law-abiding protesters who are coming just to be part of the political process; for their voice to be heard,” said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. “A small percentage is trouble-makers.” She said officers have developed a security plan and even attended the NATO conference in Chicago in May to observe how violent protests were handled. “We are preparing any way possible,” she said. “We can’t talk about the particulars. We are building a comprehensive security plan. “Anarchy is a tactic, versus a group,” she said. “It is used by different groups. Typically, they are loosely organized and misguided individuals who break the law and disrupt the event.”
She is absolutely right in the first paragraph – the majority of protesters are law abiding and simply want their voices heard, and only a small percentage are trouble-makers. The accurate figures are that generally 1 percent to 5 percent attend ready to initiate confrontation with the police, a further 15 percent will participate in that confrontation if they see that there is a very small risk of repercussions for doing so, and 80 percent don’t want anything to do with the confrontation.
She is not correct in the implication that Chicago handled violent protests that will be of the same intensity as in Tampa. The anarchists coming to Tampa will be better organized; for internal reasons, there were few anarchists in Chicago, and those who were there were inexperienced at best. The few experienced anarchists who attended and watched the confrontation with the police were embarrassed at the poor effort, and if there had been more experienced anarchists there, the bloc would not have marched themselves into a police containment and would have been much harder to deal with.
Most worrying is her statement that “anarchy is a tactic, versus a group. It is used by different groups. Typically, they are loosely organized and misguided individuals who break the law and disrupt the event.” This is wrong. Anarchy is a belief system, not a tactic, and it includes a wide variety of viewpoints and an equally wide variety of potential tactics, from those whose involvement will be feeding other protesters through to those that will want to cause criminal damage and confront police. While their idea of organization may not be the same as ours, their ability to operate in this environment should not be underestimated, as many of them will have considerably more experience of large scale protest events than Tampa police do. This experience has increased dramatically in the past few years, and the anarchists have gained confidence from it, as seen in the recent increase of attacks on police and police stations, better tactics to neutralize the effect of less lethal weapons, and increased use of “de-arresting” tactics.
Misunderstanding of Anarchist Tactics
The RNC’s true purpose is to promote the nominee and the platform (though particularly this year, the nomination process is only a formality). To do that, reporters have to have the ability to freely report. In recent legislation, the City Attorney has outlawed a range of items such as camera bipods and tripods that are of use to journalists. The justification was that these items have been used in the past to attack police officers during protests. However, there is no actual evidence of this in the United States, any more than there is actual evidence of any protesters in the United States using jars of urine and feces – it’s an urban myth that is commonly referenced but lacking in substance.
Managing the security and protests surrounding an NSSE is difficult. Understanding the threat is critical in managing it effectively; to be prepared to manage those actually intent on violence, while being respectful of the constitutional rights of everyone else. The City of Tampa is signaling that it doesn’t understand the threat, which is either a communications issue or an intelligence and operations issue. Both are problems, but it’s not too late to address them. The City of Tampa and Tampa PD pride themselves on their professionalism – part of that approach is being willing to accept that there may be better information out there than current and former U.S. law enforcement are able to provide.
-------------- Sam Rosenfeld is a former British Army infantry officer with an MBA from Wharton and an MS in Risk Management, he is the Chairman of the Densus Group, a firm that specializes in geopolitical and corporate risk management and mitigation. Tags:security, protestors, anarchists, threats, police, protest management, Tampa, Florida, Republican National Convention, Worrying signs, threats, Sam Rosenfeild, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The Obama presidency has certainly been a time of firsts and broken records. Obama smashed the record for campaign spending in his bid to win the White House four years ago, and he won a historic victory.
But with all the hype about hope and change came a lot of broken promises, like Obama's pledge in February 2009 to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He's not even close.
This week the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deficit for this fiscal year will be $1.1 trillion. That's another first for Barack Obama -- the first time in our nation's history we have ever run deficits in excess of $1 trillion four years in a row.
This is absolutely staggering, friends. Obama added more to the national debt than every U.S. president from Washington to Reagan combined -- just in his first 19 months in office! And what do we have to show for it?
Today it was reported that claims for jobless benefits rose once again. And, once again, the figures for the previous week were also revised upward. Obama and his socialist allies insist we need to spend more to stimulate the economy.
But they promised us that spending all this money would lower the unemployment rate to 5.6%. Instead, it's now 8.3% and higher today than when Obama took office. Yet another broken promise.
And please, friends, don't fall for Obama's class warfare rhetoric that if only we taxed the rich a little more we could pay down the deficit. As we have noted repeatedly, Obama's tax increases on the rich amount to a drop in the bucket. If you are a visual learner, check out this video.
The New York Times recently reported that economists estimate raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more would raise about $85 billion a year. Well if the deficit is $1,100 billion, that leaves Obama $1,015 billion short. Where will he get the rest? From you!
Can you afford four more years of Barack Obama?
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Barack Obama, spending record, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: A very public marital melodrama is now playing in San Francisco. It shows the idiocy of domestic violence laws and the extremism of the feminists whose ideology paints men as innate batterers and women as victims of the patriarchy.
The target of their current campaign is the elected Sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi. After six months of demeaning publicity and headlines like “Sheriff arrested for wife beating,” last week the city’s Ethics Commission voted 4 to 1 against him. He has been suspended without pay and may soon be fired.
The saga isn’t over yet, but the story is so bizarre that it deserves to be told nationwide. The accused has my sympathy, even though he is a leftwing Democrat. Yes, I believe that leftists deserve due process and fair treatment in our criminal justice system.
The local prosecutor charged Mirkarimi with the crimes of domestic violence and child endangerment, which sound bad, but the evidence was trivial. The domestic violence charge was based on Mirkarimi grabbing his wife’s arm during a New Year’s Eve argument which allegedly left a bruise, and the child endangerment charge was based solely on their toddler (who was not touched) merely being present when this argument took place.
Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez, never made any complaint and she publicly defended her husband. She is an intelligent adult, a former Venezuelan telenovela star, who is perfectly able to make her own decisions.
At Mirkarimi’s arraignment, Lopez declined to paint herself as a domestic violence victim. She told the judge, “This is unbelievable. I don’t have any complaint against my husband.”
Lopez added, “This country is trying to pull my family apart. This is the real violence, I believe.” She made a written statement saying that the episode was “completely taken out of context.”
Outside the court, Lopez told reporters that “this country has not allowed me to work on my marriage in a healthy way. I feel like … everybody is using my family, myself, in a political game just to destroy Ross. … This country is destroying my family.”
Mirkarimi’s trouble was aggravated by a picture taken by a neighbor — not of the argument — but only of the bruise on the wife’s arm. Lopez did not authorize the release of the picture to the police.
A picture of a bruise is meaningless, especially when no one is claiming to be hurt. Some people bruise easily. Many people get ugly bruises playing sports and apparently enjoy every minute of the game.
Lopez did not request a restraining order but Judge Susan Breall issued one anyway, forbidding Mirkarimi to see his wife or son or to go into his own house. He hasn’t seen them for many months.
Faced with defending himself at a criminal trial, Mirkarimi agreed to a plea bargain, which involved pleading guilty to one misdemeanor that does not include domestic violence. The prosecutor dropped the three original charges, but Mirkarimi was sentenced to three years’ probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, 100 hours of community service, a $400 fine, and required attendance at family counseling.
Why is this minor marital argument, in which no one is complaining, the government’s business? Where are the liberals, libertarians and gays who are always demanding that the government get out of the bedroom?
Based on the newspaper reports, it appears that this country is, indeed, determined to destroy this family. The prosecutor, the judge, the cops, and the neighbor have all contributed to the problem.
Most of all, the marriage is being destroyed by U.S. laws that encourage marriage breakup, divorce, arrests when no victim makes a complaint, restraining orders designed to separate family members, hearsay used as evidence in court, child punishment that is called child protection, child-custody disputes instead of shared custody, always blaming the man, assuming the woman is incompetent to assert her own interests, police policies that require the cops to arrest somebody (guess who that always turns out to be), exaggerating a minor argument into a criminal case, and ignoring the marital privilege.
The feminist lobby has intimidated most public officials from speaking out against the abuses committed by those who allege domestic violence, but one brave San Franciscan has spoken up in Mirkarimi’s defense. Former Mayor Art Agnos said, “I know this man and this woman. They love each other. They support each other. They love their child. They want to be together again. It does not rise … to anything close to domestic violence.” Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, government, marriageTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
"If I Wanted America To Fail"
UPDATE: Correction: Video retitled weFight. Free Market America officially releases its new video --- weFight--- tomorrow morning. But, the ARRA News Service is joining in the efforts to early promote this video and thus are doing this early release so our readers, subscribers and followers on various social media sites can see this video right away. I am sure after you have seen it, you will share it.
The prior video by Free Market America --- If I Wanted America to Fail --- caused such a stir that it was banned by Twitter. The ARRA News Service joined with Americans For Limited Government and others in releasing the first video in April, 2012 which presently has 2.5 million views on YouTube even though it was banned. If you haven't viewed it -- view it!
Now, watch weFight - it will move you and then join us and get out there, share the video and join the Fight for freedom and our American way of life!
GOP Platform Committee Rebuffs Weakening Traditional Marriage
by Bethany Monk, CitizenLink: Republicans working to craft the party’s platform before the RNC 2012 National Convention gets under way next week rejected two proposals on Tuesday which would have changed the GOP’s position on marriage.
Rhode Island Delegate Barbara Fenton proposed replacing the plank endorsing marriage as the union of one man and one woman with language advocating civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples.
“That was discussed and briefly debated,” said Gregg Keller, executive director of the American Conservative Union. “That went down pretty decisively, however. The argument that was generally advanced by the people pushing the proposal was the separation of church and state, and the idea that government should not be ‘meddling’ in these institutions — that they should just get out of it altogether.”
Nevada Delegate Pat Kerby proposed an amendment which would add support for same-sex civil unions to the party’s support for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“We can take this stance and still keep our commitment to the institution of marriage,” Kerby said. His proposal also was quickly voted down.
Meanwhile, the closest vote of the day concerned language supporting abstinence education in public schools. It was one of the few times the platform committee needed to record a tally instead of using a voice vote, Keller said.
Ultimately, the resolution passed 41-35.
“I think there was some concern in the room that as conservatives and Republicans, we believe in local control of education — that people on the ground, parents and school boards, are the best arbiters of the education their children receive,” he explained. “The concern was that we say we believe in local control, but here we are dictating, potentially from afar, the kind of education children on the ground will be receiving. There was a concern from a member in Alabama who said there are boys and girls in their teenage years that are sexually active. This particular member thought that is a fact of life, and we were faced with two options: We could either try to help children who are sexually active by means of giving them schooling in STDs, contraception and the like, or we could not give them some of the tools this member thinks they believe they need because they are sexually active.”
Despite the debate, the overall platform is resoundingly conservative. The language drafted will go through an editing phase before the Republican National Convention begins on Aug. 27.
“People were really pleased about where the document started,” Keller said, “and even more pleased about where it is today in terms of protecting conservative values.” Tags:RNC, Platform Committee, marriage plank, Traditional Marriage, civil unions, social conservatives, conservative valuesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Romney-Ryan: Let's Save America - Freedom - Plan to Save Medicare
Obama-Biden: Let's Transform America - Free Stuff - Cut Medicare $716 Billion Tags:Clear Choice, Romney-Ryan, Save America, freedom, save medicare, Obama-Biden, Transform America, cut medicare, political cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
. . . If Democrats Pursue "Thelma and Louise Economics" And Take Our Country Over Fiscal Cliff!
The Washington Post reports today, "The nation would be plunged into a significant recession during the first half of next year if Congress fails to avert nearly $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to hit in January, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday. The massive round of New Year’s belt-tightening — known as the fiscal cliff or Taxmageddon — would disrupt recent economic progress, push the unemployment rate back up to 9.1 percent by the end of 2013 and produce economic conditions 'that will probably be considered a recession,’ the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said."
The Hill adds, "In its most dire warning yet about the fiscal cliff, the CBO said the economy would contract by 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013 if the George W. Bush-era tax rates expireand automatic spending cuts are implemented.Unemployment also would rise from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 9.1 percent next year, the office estimates. . . . CBO says the fiscal cliff will be worse than it had previously projected and that the ‘underlying strength’ of the economy is weaker.
And according to The New York Times, "In its semiannual report, the budget office said that the economy was somewhat weaker than it had projected in January. Fears about tax increases and spending cuts — the ‘fiscal tightening’ — are depressing economic growth, it said."
This CBO report only serves to underscore the danger of Senate Democrats’ suggestion that they would let the country plunge over the fiscal cliff just so they could enact tax increases. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that “Democrats say they are prepared to go over the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year” and The Washington Post pointed out, "Democrats are making increasingly explicit threats about their willingness to let nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts take effect in January unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher taxes . . . .” In a major speech, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), part of Democrats’ Senate leadership said, “So if we can't get a good deal… then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013… our country is going to have to face the consequences…"
But it’s now clearer than ever the danger facing the economy if Democrats follow through on their threats. As Politico puts it, "A trip over the fiscal cliff would likely send the U.S. economy into a recession in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday . . . ."
A Senate staffer pointed out that these consequences of Democrat's all-consuming focus on tax increases were highlighted last month by Senator Mitch McConnell, "At a moment when more Americans are signing up for disability than finding jobs, Democrats said they think it’s a good idea to drive the country off what economists are calling America’s fiscal cliff this coming January. You might call it Thelma and Louise economics – right off the cliff. But whatever you want to call it, Democrats are evidently so determined to raise taxes on American job creators that if we don’t let them do it, they’d actually welcome an economic calamity that could rock not only the American economy, but the global economy too. Needless to say, that isn’t a program for jobs or economic growth. It’s an ideological crusade." Tags:CBO, report significant recession, fiscal cliff, democrat, Thelma and Louse economics, economics, tax increases, spending cutsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Image Hat Tip: Kenneth Wallis addresswing Arkansas and Little Rock local politics. Tags:Obama Brand, Instant Democrats, illegals, Kenneth Wallis, ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Romney-Ryan Forces Americans to Finally Face Looming Fiscal Doom
By Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski (Contributing Authors): We do not know who will win the White House in November. But we do know that American politics has crossed the Rubicon on spending and entitlements, and these issues will at long last complete the journey from a forbidden third rail to a central element of national politics. Even if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose this year’s battle to Barack Obama, they will win the war on the challenge of our generation.
Congressman Paul Ryan is best known for his budget, the Ryan Roadmap, which ties together the two sides of our fiscal-crisis coin: First, the major entitlements of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will soon be bankrupt and unable to provide for millions of beneficiaries. And second, our growing $16 trillion debt will result in an unprecedented economic disaster if not balanced and then paid off.
President Barack Obama and his Democrats are replying with the inexcusably-irresponsible argument that overhauling entitlements and balancing the budget are cruel and unnecessary. They cry that this will harm seniors and deprive people of needed benefits, willfully ignoring the reality—with can be proved beyond doubt on a napkin using fifth-grade math skills—that the status quo cannot and will not continue.
Beginning in 1783, national leaders like John Jay corresponded with George Washington—the recently-retired commander-in-chief of the Continental Army—about the need for structural change in American government. They made the case that the Articles of Confederation had failed, and the national governing document must be fundamentally overhauled.
This eventually led to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. But before reaching that point, as late as 1786, Washington agreed that young America teetered on the edge of an abyss, but that a critical mass of American citizens had not yet reached the same assessment. Things would get worse before they could get better, Washington concluded. Then things got worse with Shay’s Rebellion, and change came.
George Washington intuitively understood that major change in a democratic system must be driven by the people. We will not reform entitlements and balance the budget until they become kitchen-table issues for ordinary citizens, which takes time and visibility. Democrats simply pretend there is no problem. Now Republicans can make these points so central to national discourse that they become unavoidable and undeniable.
This election now turns on whether a critical mass of American voters have arrived at the undeniable conclusion that if we do not fundamentally transform the three major entitlements for younger Americans then it will not be there for them at all (or even for those who will soon rely upon them), and that if we do not balance the federal budget it will cause an economic catastrophe.
We will see one of three outcomes over the next four years. First, Romney-Ryan wins in November, with sufficient numbers and political will in the House and Senate to enact fundamental entitlement reform and a balanced budget. If so, that by itself could give Mitt Romney a lasting legacy as a transformational president.
Second, Romney-Ryans prevails, but without persuading a majority of Americans of the urgency of this issue, and so either Republicans do not hold both houses of Congress with stable majorities or those majorities lack the political courage to steadfastly resist intimidation and reject demagoguery to pass legislation to reinvent the entitlements and balance the budget.
Third, President Obama wins a second term, and claims it as a mandate not to curb spending or entitlements. We continue with trillion-dollar deficits, reaching $20 trillion in national debt 2017.
Under the first scenario, although current and imminent beneficiaries will retain their benefits, younger Americans will experience the discomfort that such foundational change entails, but will later be profoundly grateful. Under the second, Republicans may be at the helm when everything unravels, and conservatism could be blamed and suffer a devastating setback with voters. Under the third, by November 2016 voters should have no doubt what must be done, and realize that liberals offer only blame and denial, while conservatives offer solutions.
Regardless of whether Messrs. Romney and Ryan win this battle, conservatives can now win this war.
--------------- Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate; a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission; senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. He is executive vice president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies board member.
Kenneth Klukowski is a fellow at the Family Research Council and at Liberty University School of Law, and a columnist for the Washington Examiner. They are the coauthors of “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America,” and contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Fiscal Doom, election 2012, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, economics, history, politics, Ken Blackwell, Ken KlukowskiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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