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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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Saturday, September 08, 2012

ICYMI: Dick MorrisDiscusses Obama's Second Term Tax Plans

If Obama is reelected, the middle class is doomed. It the following video, Dick Morris shares how much re-electing Obama will cost YOU. Note, Morris shares the significant impact on income and payroll taxes in this video. However, there are also other major concerns not addressed in this video: higher costs of services and products, limited and restricted options services and products, and additional invasion of personal liberties and choices under an unleashed second term Obama administration. The President appoints the people who write the regulations and oversee the departments of the government including all the enforcement arms within those agencies. He has already imbedded his minions, and they are ready to implement everything they have already put in place. Please share with your friends.

Tags: Dick Morris, Barack Obama, second term, increased taxes, reduced deductions, state sales tax, Mortgage deduction, charity deduction, increased federal taxes, increased Social Security payroll tax, inheritance tax, new home sales tax To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sowing The Seeds Of Cronyism Via The Farm Bill

If there were ever a time when the government should and could get out of the business of subsidizing relatively wealthy tax farmers at the expense of less wealthy taxpayers, that time is now. The need for serious action to reduce the federal deficit makes the need to reduce farm subsidies urgent. ~ Vince Smtih

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute: Next week Congress comes back from the August recess--with two weeks of session before farm programs expire. The farm lobby will be pushing hard for the House of Representatives to take up the farm bill, which proposes to spend almost a trillion dollars over the next decade.

It's no exaggeration to say that this year's farm bill is an example of exactly what's wrong with Washington. It embodies the two biggest threats to American free enterprise today: the heavy-handed central planning of statism and competition-destroying beggar-thy-neighbor cronyism. From the $5.6 billion spent annually on crop insurance subsidies to the $1.3 billion we spend on milk subsidies, American agriculture policy is replete with cronyism and special-interest subsidies.

It's not fair, it's bad economics, and it's bad policy.

That's why AEI is building on our yearlong research project "American Boondoggle: Fixing the Farm Bill" by launching AmericanBoondoggle.com, a one-stop shop for AEI research on the farm bill. The site includes:
  • a new two-minute video that explains how the farm bill is a giveaway to cronyist special interests,
  • a quiz that lets you test your knowledge of the farm bill, and
  • an interactive map that lets you see what the farm bill means for taxpayers in your state.
We need your help to get the word out about what the farm bill means, so please share AmericanBoondoggle.com with friends, relatives, colleagues, and others who may be interested. Agriculture policy doesn't typically make headlines. That needs to change.
Educate Yourself

What is the 2012 Farm Bill?


Why Crop Insurance Costs Too Much?


The Case for Increased Agricultural R&D Spending

Tags: American Boondoggle, Fixing the Farm Bill, Farm Bill, Seeds, Cronyism, AEI, videos, American Enterprise Institute, Agriculture Welfare, government spending, big spending, videos To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Bill Clinton Can Still Handle a Whopper

From the archives: Bill Clinton Impeached
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: It's good to see Bill Clinton looking so healthy. He has given up meat after his heart operation, but his performance last night proves he can still handle a whopper.

It was vintage Bill Clinton--wonky, funny, overlong and drawn out, self-centered and fundamentally untrue. His biggest applause lines came when he "contrasted" job creation under Democratic and Republican administrations. He went all the way back to 1961. He told us the Democrats have held the White House 24 years since that date; Republicans were in the Oval Office 28 years. Then, he proceeded to his point-by-point comparison. All plausible--even applausible--if you forgot who ran Congress in those years.

Both Houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats for 32 of the 52 years Clinton chose to compare. They controlled at least one house for all of Reagan's eight years. They controlled at least one house for four of George W. Bush's eight years. So Bill Clinton's side-by-side comparison can only be believed if you forget about Congress.

The former president spoke for a record 49 minutes 32 seconds. Granted, he was interrupted repeatedly by rapturous applause. I thought he could have given us a briefer version of his speech by simply belting out the hit tune from Broadway's Annie.
The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
I was reminded of the dialog between Alice and the Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.
“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday-but never jam today" said the Queen
"It must come sometime to jam today," Alice objected
"No it can't," said the Queen "It's jam every other day. Today isn't any other day, you know”
Trim and silvered, he strode onstage to his own campaign song: Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow. For liberals, it's always tomorrow. For the left, generally, tomorrow is a lot more fun than today. Vperiod! Forward! That was Lenin's cry at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. They were always summoning their people to look beyond the suffering of today and think about the "shining heights" of socialism just ahead. Keep marching. No one ever dared to mention there is such a thing as marching toward a mirage.

Listening to Bill Clinton can make you forget four years of unemployment above 8 percent, a national debt increasing to $16 Trillion, and a future endangered by out-of-control federal spending. Take just this week: The Obama administration plans to "forgive" Egypt's new Islamist government $1 billion in debt, just write it off. So, now, we have to borrow that billion from the Chinese and put our children's future further at risk in order to try to appease Mohamed Morsi. He's coming to Washington later this month to press President Obama to release the blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman. The Sheikh is an Egyptian serving a life sentence for trying to blow up the World Trade Center during Bill Clinton's first months as president.

One of the problems of treating terrorism as a criminal justice issue is that the jailed terrorists tend not to stay jailed.

But to hear Bill Clinton's speech, you would think America is once again respected and loved throughout the world, thanks to Barack Obama's wisdom in choosing Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.

Everyone agreed that Hillary should be nowhere near the Charlotte Convention Center while Democrats were busy trying to renominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you think the delegates on the convention floor were restive and resentful being forced to swallow platform language that acknowledged God is still God and Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel, can anyone imagine what would have happened if Hillary had put in an appearance?

There might have been a stampede to put her on the ticket and dump Joe Biden.

Johnson's forces feared that a powerful speech by Bobby in tribute to his slain brother, JFK, might sweep the delegates to put him on the ticket instead of Minnesota's Humphrey.

Bill Clinton took us back to 1961 in his speech in order to make the numbers fit. But he might remember the 1964 Democratic National Convention. That year, Lyndon B. Johnson had tapped Hubert H. Humphrey to be his vice presidential candidate. LBJ's operatives had to go out of their way to put the much-anticipated speech by Robert F. Kennedy after the presidential and vice presidential nominations were wrapped up.

So, it's a good thing that Hillary was on the other side of the world. She could not be drafted for vice president. She was busy getting snubbed by China's vice president.

I love the way Bill Clinton bragged about the balanced budgets he produced. He vetoed every budget bill the majority Republican Congress sent him, even forcing the government to shut down, and blaming it all on Newt. Then, he finally "triangulated" on the budget. And he gets the credit.

Clinton Impeachment Stamps
He vetoed welfare reform twice until he was reminded that he had promised to "end welfare as we know it." So he signed the bill the Republicans arm-twisted him into signing. And now he claims the credit for it.

My favorite Bill Clinton whopper was his middle-of-the-night signing of the Defense of Marriage Act. He dissed it. His spokesman called it a lousy piece of legislation. Then, Bill Clinton took out ads on Christian radio stations bragging about signing--you guessed it--the Defense of Marriage Act.

Well, you gotta know marriage was in trouble if it took Bill Clinton to defend it!

Bill Clinton reminds us of Adlai Stevenson's jibe at Tricky Dick Nixon: "He's the kind of politician who would chop down a redwood and then mount the stump to give a speech on conservation."

But George Stephanopoulos may have said it best: "Bill Clinton has no shame--and that's a big advantage in politics."
---------------
Ken Blackwell is executive vice president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, and a contributing author to the  ARRA News Service.  He is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council in Washington,D.C and was vice chairman of the 2008 Republican Platform Committee.

Tags: Bill Clinton, Clinton's record, whopper, no shame To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Did Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Phil Kerpen
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: The Democratic convention took place in an alternative universe in which Mitt Romney wanted a very ominous “bankruptcy” for General Motors and Chrysler — a catastrophic event that would have put millions out of work. Alternatively, speaker after speaker kept telling us, President Barack Obama implemented a “rescue” that saved all those jobs and avoid that fateful “bankruptcy.” It’s as if, somehow, not a single Democrat remembers the historic bankruptcy filings by Chrysler on April 30, 2009 and General Motors on June 1, 2009. Which is pretty weird, because they were among the largest bankruptcies in history.

Granted it was more than three years ago, which is a while. But since the Obama administration couldn’t conjure up any more recent economic achievements to speak of, you might think they would at least remember the auto bankruptcies accurately enough to note that they were, in fact, bankruptcies.

Perhaps Democrats were desperate to manufacture a false contrast? If so it helped that they had an assist from the New York Times, which wrote the provocative headline “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” on a 2008 op-ed by Mitt Romney that advocate a managed bankruptcy process. A more accurate headline might have been: “Let GM and Chrysler Go through a Managed Bankruptcy.”

“A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs,” Romney wrote. “In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

President Bush disregarded this sensible advice, instead handing over bailout checks to General Motors, Chrysler, and their finance companies that totaled about $25 billion. When Obama took office he initially followed Bush’s example rather than Romney’s recommendation, forking over another $20 billion in bailout checks in a futile attempt to stave off bankruptcy.

Those bailouts failed, and ultimately Chrysler and General Motors both went through managed bankruptcies — what Romney recommended. Taxpayers were out $45 billion that was wasted bailing out the pre-bankruptcy companies.

The Romney plan? “The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.” So he was on board with putting in taxpayer dollars, as long as it was to finance reorganization in bankruptcy. We know that in the bankruptcies that actually happened, that financing totaled $30 billion for General Motors and $5 billion for Chrysler.

Going directly to a managed bankruptcy rather than attempting to nurse the pre-bankruptcy companies along could have then, for $35 billion, taken us to the same place that the Bush/Obama approach cost $80 billion to reach.

There were other differences of course — mostly the sweetheart treatment the United Auto Workers got, even at the expense of senior secured creditors. Pensions for salaried workers at Delphi, the former GM parts company, were gutted while union pensions were spared. Dealers had their franchises revoked arbitrarily.

Under Romney the bankruptcies wouldn’t have been politically rigged to benefit union bosses, and therefore could have more effectively restructured the companies.

Those differences aside, the simple fact is that the basic process Obama used after his failed bailout was precisely the managed bankruptcy Romney recommended. If it worked then Obama should thank Romney for the idea.
--------------
© 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, Barack Obama, Detroit, bankrupt, Democratic convention, DNC 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

BLS Report: Weak Employment Growth - Setback For Labor Market And The Economy

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is part of the Department of Labor (DOL), released the unemployment number for August. While the unemployment dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July, the number was very disappointing to say the least. Regardless of what President Obama and V.P. Biden said yesterday at DNC 2012, the job numbers / employment situations are NOT good. Here are a few of the e key phrases from news reports: "Employment Growth Remained Weak," "More People Left The Labor Force," "Definitely A Setback For The Labor Market And The Economy."

 As you read the following consider the fact that the DOL is not independent but is part of the Obama administration and headed by Obama appointees. It would be fair to assume the numbers have been reported in a more favorable light than the data indicates. My dad often reminded me, "Figures don’t lie, but liars figure." Since he was born and raised on the Mississippi River a few miles from where Mark Twain resided, he may have modified Twain's quote: “Figures can’t lie, but liars will figure.”  Regardless, the situation is most likely far worse than reported.

CNBC reports today, “Employment growth remained weak in August, with just 96,000 new positions created but the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, according to a report that raises the possibility of more Federal Reserve easing. The decline in the jobless rate, from 8.3 percent in July, came primarily because the labor force participation rate fell to 63.5 percent, its worst level in more than 30 years. The civilian labor force contracted by 368,000. . . . [J]ob reports for June and July were revised lower. The June count fell from 64,000 to 45,000, while July's number came in at 141,000 from an originally reported 163,000.”

According to ABC News, “Economists had expected an addition of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs in August, and the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 8.3 percent. The unemployment rate declined in August by two-tenths of a percent because more people left the labor force, suggesting the unemployed are discouraged in their efforts to find jobs. Peter Morici, economist and professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, said the jobs added were ‘not nearly enough to keep pace with population growth.’ In a newsletter, Morici said the jobs lost in manufacturing and temporary help raise ‘concerns that the recovery is sputtering and a recession is eminent.’”

Bloomberg News
adds, “‘This is definitely a setback for the labor market and the economy,’ said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York and former economist for the Fed. ‘This clearly validates Bernanke’s concern. We have Europe, the fiscal cliff, and it is a generally cautious business environment.’ . . . Employers may be reluctant to expand headcounts as they face a global economic slowdown and the so-called fiscal cliff, the $600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect automatically at the end of the year unless Congress acts. . . . Factory employment fell by the most in two years, temporary-help companies eliminated positions for the first time in five months and the share of the working-age population in the labor force slumped to the lowest since 1981.”

Importantly, Bloomberg notes, “The unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey of households, has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch in monthly records going back to 1948.”

According to the Associated Press as quoted by other sources: "The report was weak throughout.  In addition to those who’ve given up looking for work, many young Americans are avoiding the job market by remaining in school. All told, the proportion of the population that is either working or looking for work fell to 63.5 percent. That’s the lowest level in 31 years for the labor force participation rate."

The Wall Street Journal adds, “[The politically important] unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, fell to 8.1% from 8.3%, . . . because of more people dropping out of the work force.   Throughout this year, the unemployment rate has bounced between 8.1% and 8.3%. Meantime, the labor force participation rate, which is the share of the population that is working or looking for work, fell to its lowest level since 1981. ”  They add, "Searching for good news in the guts of the report, economists found little. The average workweek was flat and July's figures were revised downward. Average earnings slipped slightly. The weak payroll numbers, taken with other reports that indicate a manufacturing slowdown, suggest growth isn't picking up . . ."

So the unemployment rate fell because Americans gave up looking for work instead of falling because more Americans found jobs. Another month of lackluster jobs numbers and Americans giving up looking for work only serves as a reminder of how the U.S. economy continues to sputter and how President Obama’s policies only seem to be making things worse.

Below is the breakdown of the August employment numbers prepared by Bankrupting America:
  • The national unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1% in August (from 8.3% in July).
  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 96,000.
  • Revisions showed the economy gained 41,000 fewer jobs in June and July than originally thought.
  • The rise in payrolls didn’t meet expectations – economists expected a gain of 125,000 jobs.
  • One of the reasons the unemployment rate fell is that people are giving up looking for work—dropping out of the workforce.  The number of people not in the labor force climbed by 581,000.
  • The number of unemployed was little changed in August at 12.5 million.
  • Of the roughly 12.5 million Americans unemployed, 5 million have been looking for work for over six months.
  • In August, employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and manufacturing.
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today responded to the August unemployment report: "86,000 fewer Americans have a job today than when Obama took office in January 2009.  That is the indisputable fact that this Administration cannot deny in any media spin.  In August alone, another 580,000 people left the workforce entirely.  That's more than half a million people giving up hope of finding the American dream in Obama's economy last month alone. These are not just bad numbers; they are disastrous for our nation. While the top-line drop of the unemployment rate may seem like a positive.  It is entirely driven by people leaving the workforce.  In August alone, 119,000 fewer Americans have a job. Going forward with the failed Obama economic plan is a recipe for economic suicide, and August's jobs report, no matter the spin or manipulation, is just another proof point that this President's policies have damaged our nation's economy more than anyone since Jimmy Carter."

Today, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney responded to the report, "At the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton told America that his solution to joblessness and budget deficits was one word -- arithmetic. I couldn't agree more. Let's take a look at Barack Obama's record these last four years -- I think you'll agree the numbers just don't add up:
  • 23 million Americans are out of work, have stopped looking for work, or are underemployed
  • $16 trillion national debt (that's $50,000 for every American)
  • 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment
  • 4 straight trillion dollar budget deficits in a row -- more than any other president combined
Ultimately, it's simple arithmetic -- the policies of Barack Obama just don't add up to the kind of future America deserves. My economic plan creates 12 million new jobs. Jobs that will help middle class families move forward again. Jobs that will help restore the American Dream."

Tags: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, DOL, unemployment number, news, fact, the economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Times 24|7: DOJ sued Gallup After Axelrod Complained of Polls

David Axelrod
Times 24|7Matthew Boyle, The Daily Caller - Internal emails between senior officials at The Gallup Organization show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.

After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face. ...

Gallup has been a thorn in Obama’s re-election efforts since it began to publish polling numbers showing Romney leading the incumbent Democrat. The polling organization has also, according to the American Thinker blog, published employment data which, unlike numbers from Obama’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, does not set aside statistics which are not politically helpful to the president.

Related Articles
Justice Dept. sues Gallup over government billing
Justice Dept. tackles small fry as big fish get away

Tags: DOJ, Axelrod, Gallup Poll, DOJ To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

God Ekes Out A "Win" At Democrat Convention

OOPS: Put God Back In Or We Might Loose The Election
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: As we told you yesterday, the Democrats' platform is radical and hostile to Middle American values. The major media and Democrat politicians initially laughed at us for pointing out that God had been dumped from their platform. But by the end of the day, their hair was on fire as it became apparent that their moderate camouflage had been stripped away.

There is no way that FDR, with his D-Day prayer, or Harry Truman, who recognized the modern state of Israel, or John F. Kennedy, with his tax cuts and willingness to stare down our enemies, would have any place in today's Democrat Party.

Once it was clear the Democrats were on the verge of a major debacle, the left-wing media jumped into damage control mode. They rushed to assure us that Barack Obama had personally intervened to restore God and Jerusalem in the platform.

Really? Then why didn't he intervene before last night? The Democrat platform was drafted last month in Detroit!

So now we're supposed to believe that Obama really wanted Jerusalem recognized in his party's platform as the capital of Israel? Then why can't his State Department or his own White House press secretary answer the very simple question, "What is the capital of Israel?"

By the way, the Democrats still fail to condemn Hamas, and they still fail to reject the Palestinian demand to swamp Israel demographically with millions of so-called refugees.

We're also supposed to believe that Obama wants God back in his party's platform. But this is the same man who told Pastor Rick Warren that it was above his pay grade when Warren asked him at what point do babies deserve human rights. This is the same man who repeatedly voted to deny medical treatment to babies who survived abortions. This is the same man who twisted Scripture to justify men "marrying" other men.

But I don't doubt that Obama did personally intervene yesterday. He had a four-alarm fire on his hands. The phones were likely ringing off their proverbial hooks from furious Jewish voters and black pastors who were already on edge before the convention began. No doubt they were livid as they learned that Jerusalem and God had been ripped out of the platform.

So what did the Democrats do? What they do best -- they rigged a vote!

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, serving as the convention chairman, called for a two-thirds voice vote to amend the platform and reinsert the deleted language on Jerusalem and God. But it was clear God didn't have the votes. So Villaraigosa called for a second vote. Again, it was clear God didn't have the votes. So Villaraigosa called for a third vote. God still didn't have the votes, but this time the chairman overruled the delegates, many of whom booed and hissed.

Let's be clear about this: They weren't objecting to language that Republicans use all the time and which is found in our Declaration of Independence -- that our liberties come from God. No, they were booing a simple reference to our "God-given talents." And, by the way, the same convention that booed God last night cheered Bill Clinton, and tonight they will cheer Barney Frank!

My friends, I suspect God would have preferred to lose the vote. Why would He want to be in a platform of a party so committed to the destruction of His innocent, little unborn children?

The Bottom Line: The Democrats Are The Extremists!
Please don't miss the main point: At least half of the delegates pledged to Barack Obama do not believe Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. At least half of the delegates pledged to Barack Obama don't want to acknowledge God in their party's platform.

What more should anyone need to know to realize that today's Democrat Party is a radical secularist party that bears little resemblance to the party that existed in recent years?

Just consider the marriage issue. Their keynote speaker last night, Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act after it had passed the House of Representatives and the Senate by landslide, bi-partisan margins of 342-to-67 and 85-to-14. Just 16 years later, this president is refusing to enforce that law, wants it repealed and has embraced the radical notion of men "marrying" other men.

And it's not just the delegates gathered in Charlotte. These folks represent many radicals who are burrowed into virtually every federal agency, who run every major union and who spin the news every night on most networks. They don't want God in the public square. They want abortion-on-demand and same-sex "marriage." But the American people do not!

The Republican Party, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should make this assault on faith and values a constant theme, along with unemployment and deregulation.

In every swing state that is up for grabs -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia -- the people have voted to defend traditional marriage. Overwhelming majorities would be shocked that God lost three votes at the Democratic National Convention -- IF they know about it. And that is as much a failure of the GOP inside-the-Beltway establishment as it is media bias.
-------------
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: DNC 2012, God, Jerusalem, Israel, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Democrats, extremists To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democratic Platform - Obama Speaks Tonight

by William Warren:

Tags: Democratic Platform, Obama's record, Barack Obama, DNC 2012 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

DNC Buzzword BINGO (print and play)

TobyToons, Complements of RedState:
DOWNLOAD AND PRINT PDF HERE

Since everyone knows that the word “I” or “me” will be spoken most during this week’s DNC convention (at least during Obama’s speech), you get that one for free. Now, let’s see how many Bingo’s you can get. For starters, try these combos: any vertical, any horizontal, four corners, large frame, and of course coverall.
Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com

Tags: entertainment, TobyToons, RedState, DNC Buzzword Bingo, free, bingo card, educational, fun,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Marking One Year Since Solyndra's Bankruptcy

Update: Heritage Foundation reports that Major Obama Bundler Steve Westly Rewarded With Convention Speech - Venture corporatist Steve Westly benefitted personally and financially from President Obama’s push for green energy after supporting the president with major campaign contributions. Tonight he’ll take the stage in Charlotte, NC, for a high-profile speech. Westly heads up the California-based venture capital firm the Westly Group. He bundled more than $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, and another $200,000 to $500,000 for his reelection effort. Westly chaired the Obama...

It was a year ago that Americans learned that Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer in California that was awarded a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration, was going bankrupt. In light of this anniversary, it’s worth revisiting what some editorials said about the whole debacle.

The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Solyndra received federal help in 2009 and never turned a profit.Earlier [in 2011], DOE reworked the Solyndra loan guarantee as the company floundered and put private creditors ahead of taxpayers. This newspaper reported . . . that Treasury raised alarms about the legality of such a move, although it’s unclear when that happened.”

The WSJ concluded, “When government takes $535 million and invests in a loser, it not only wastes taxpayer money but it also denies that capital to some other project in the private economy that might have succeeded. The Solyndra emails show how ill-equipped government is to predict the industries of the present, much less the future.”

USA Today wrote, “[W]hen President Obama visited Solyndra’s plant in Fremont two months later, he gave a rousing pep talk and declared that ‘the future is here.’ Alas, it wasn’t. Solyndra continued to struggle, canceled a planned public stock offering and filed for bankruptcy [in September 2011] — leaving the U.S. government as its biggest creditor and raising new questions about whether Uncle Sam should be playing venture capitalist. Despite initial misgivings about the company’s viability, an Energy Department program aimed at boosting ‘clean energy’ projects had guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, which produced an innovative but expensive solar panel. Taxpayers are now on the hook for some or most of that money . . . . Even if Solyndra’s collapse is nothing more than good intentions gone awry — a big if — it is a cautionary tale about why government should be extremely wary about betting tax dollars on specific companies. If there’s one thing the marketplace virtually always does better than government, it’s picking individual successes in an uncertain and highly competitive business. In fact, government involvement can unfairly tilt the playing field toward one company and away from competitors.”

And the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Fast forward to the not-so-bright and prosperous present: Solyndra is bankrupt, its factory shut down and its workforce on the street. The FBI raided its headquarters [in September 2011], presumably suspecting fraud. . . . [S]taffers reviewing the deal were voicing concerns about not having sufficient time to conduct proper due diligence on the financial underpinnings of the loans. The evidence suggests taxpayer dollars were put at undue risk for the sake of an administration photo op. . . . At a minimum, this episode illustrates the perils of sinking taxpayer dollars into risky private ventures. A thorough review may turn up many other problems, but this much we know: Solyndra made a bad bet. . . . Public investments, however, must be based on due diligence. Not big money politics. Not stimulus rollout timetables. Not sun-struck ideology. The government gets on thin ice when it starts picking business winners and losers.

Tags: Barack Obam, I did that, Obama administration, Solyndra, loans, bailout, bankruptcy, taxpayers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

ReasonTV: America's public education system is failing. We're spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That's because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn't designed to produce better schools. It's designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers' unions have been among our nation's largest political donors. As Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle. As the country's largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine--a system that takes money out of taxpayers' wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

"The Machine" is 4:17 minutes. It is written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Tags: teachers, teachers unions, dues, big government, The Machine, video, documentary, truth behind the teachers unions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

How Paul Ryan Could Help End "The Little Dark Age"

Paul Ryan (Photo via Wikipedia)
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: A Saturday Evening Post reporter asked, in 1932, John Maynard Keynes if there had ever been anything like the Great Depression. Keynes replied, “Yes. It was called the Dark Ages and it lasted 400 years.” While the Great Recession is not so severe as was the Great Depression, it begins to appear that the world is enduring something that could be called “The Little Dark Age.”

It is odd that the long stagnation has not emerged as a focus of the presidential election — from either nominee or either party. That possibly is because both parties, embarrassingly enough, are at fault. America is entering its fifth decade of punk (less than 3% average annual GDP) growth and second decade of pure stagnancy — growth arguably averaging under 2%. Less than 3% is bad, but less than 2% is slower than population growth. That implies a severe absence of opportunity to flourish: a “Little Dark Age.”

Some among the privileged elite are settling for this, complacently, and dubbing it the “new normal.” Some, such as Obama, are responding to it with policies of redistribution — policies which supply sider Jude Wanniski argued are desired by the electorate for periods of economic contraction. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The classical supply siders taught more than tax rate cuts… although the political community has yet to really internalize this. British political economist Peter Bauer, in reviewing Wanniski’s The Way the World Works, summed up the essence of Wanniski’s primary argument, an argument that he won and was assimilated by the political culture. Tax rate cuts have come to define Republican doctrine:
According to Mr. Wanniski the task of political leadership is to find the rate of taxation which maximizes production, and is consistent with the distribution of income conductive to welfare. When the rulers understand this central issue and act on it, the society prospers and progresses; when they fail there is decline, conflict and chaos.
Wanniski’s work had a major impact on vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. He, in fact, did not advocate a single-variable model. His model included a second key variable, one that has not yet been assimilated by the political class: monetary policy. Wanniski’s inadequately appreciated essay A Gold Polaris recognizes the difficulty that politicians chronically have with monetary policy:
Monetary policy has always been most difficult for political leaders to understand, but never before has there been a greater need for it. “Economists can view inflation from several different time and space perspectives,” Mundell wrote 20 years ago, when the world was just entering the monetary problems that have haunted it since. “It is seldom, however, that contemporary observers fully understand its causes, or know how to correct it, at least efficiently.”
Wanniski then observes:
To the ’49ers who headed for California in the last century, the dream was not of precious metal, but of abundance and opportunity, fertility and freedom. In the same way, the pioneers who left the Old World for America a hundred years ago were told of “streets paved with gold,” but the image was understood to mean freedom and opportunity. The Golden Calf, we have been taught, was a false god, a physical idol. It was rather the concept of the Golden Rule that infused the spirit of this New World. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is this concept that has interested me in monetary issues this past quarter century — a Golden Rule in our everyday business of living. … This central idea is at the heart of human civilization, the very essence of almost all religious and civil codes. It is, of course, the meaning of the Gold Standard in the monetary realm. It relates not to golden specie in bulk, to bars of gold bullion piled high in the hoard of King Midas, but to the trust that connects strangers to each other in the marketplace.
Anticipating Occupy Wall Street Wanniski observed:
The greatest difficulty in returning to a gold Polaris is that those who benefit most, the mass of ordinary Americans, are not organized for that goal. And the elites who benefit from an unstable money still represent a powerful force for continuance of that instability. Just as there is an enormous industry in the United States devoted to grappling with the complexities of the federal and state tax codes, there is an industry devoted to the world of monetary instability. The entire financial services industry is geared in one way or another to earn its way by guiding the commercial world at home and abroad through the choppy waters of dollar fluctuations. With a gold dollar once again fixed in the galaxy, most of these costly functions would be unnecessary and would soon disappear.
There seems to be no recognition at all by the Obama administration, and little enthusiasm among Romney’s economists, for decisive presidential action that could lead to re-establishing the classical gold standard. But the GOP platform’s call for a new Gold Commission, like the Reagan Gold Commission on which Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman (whose Institute this writer professionally advises) served, gives the gold standard new visibility, legitimacy and momentum. Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan may be the crucial factor. Nick Carey of Reuters reports in Insight: Ryan’s Economic Thinking is More Reagan Than Tea Party:
When Cesar Conda was a Republican staff director on the U.S. Senate’s small business committee in 1991, he often was badgered with questions on economic theory by Paul Ryan, then a 21-year-old intern.

Ryan, now the Republican candidate for vice president, “worked in the mail room and would constantly pop his head into my office to ask questions about supply-side economics,” Conda said. “I had a lot of work to do, so I gave him a couple of books to keep him busy.”

Conda, now chief of staff for conservative Florida Senator Marco Rubio, lent Ryan Jude Wanniski’s “The Way the World Works” (1978), which Conda called “the Bible” for the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cut that lowered the top U.S. income tax rate to 50 percent from 70 percent….
Ryan is an inquisitive man and committed to big ideas. He is not one of the “slaves of some defunct economist” as Keynes so wittily put it in The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Yet his grasp of Wanniski makes him the ideal figure to share with President Romney the second, now more imperative, aspect of the supply side model: the central importance of good money. Romney and Ryan stand for counsels of rectitude. Wanniski, in A Gold Polaris, devotes an entire subsection to the subject of “Money and Morality”:
We speak not only of the collapse of financial institutions and enterprises in the absence of a fixed monetary standard, but also of the collapse of households and families by the tens, perhaps hundreds of millions. In the absence of a monetary standard to fix the value of contracts between people, the linkages between debtors and creditors were loosened and so were the linkages between effort and reward.
The gold standard has great appeal both on moral and utilitarian grounds. Its appeal lies both in its embodiment of American principles and its promise to restore world prosperity.

Paul Ryan, if elected, will have battles ahead of him. He has proved himself tenacious and will be well positioned to drive home the key importance, for job creation, of monetary reform. Ryan can be the indispensable figure to empower Romney to end, for the next generations, the Little Dark Age in which we now are mired.
------------
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author.

Tags: Ralph Benko, the economy, election 2012, Paul Ryan, candidate, Republican Vice President, monetary reform, spending reform, US Economy, deficit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Mr. Obama’s America: “Where Everything’s Free But Us”

By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) struck a nerve during his acceptance speech in Tampa, Florida last week. He put his finger on the Obama vision for America and in doing so, may have given Americans a jolt.

Yes, there can be a downside to ever greater government provision. Many things done in the name of compassion — even compassionate conservatism — can have undesirable side effects.  In the 1970s, for example, honorable people on both sides of the political divide tried to find ways with coping with persistent poverty.  Surely, those who seemed trapped in poverty were living lesser lives.  Was there not something government might do to alleviate this unhappy condition?

The massive transfers of wealth of the Lyndon B. Johnson era were sputtering out, having achieved little. And some people said then: “We declared war on poverty, and poverty won.”  The federal government intervened in many communities, hoping to create a liberal vision of a great society.

In all too many cases, however, such interventions produced devastating results. Family breakdown in America can be traced to these interventions of the 1960s. At the time of Pearl Harbor in 1941, for example, 89% of black children were born to married parents. By the mid-1960s, however, the number of out-of-wedlock births to black mothers had doubled.

This alarming fact led social scientist Daniel Patrick Moynihan to sound a note of alarm. His 1965 Report on the Negro Family warned of terrible consequences if more and more children, especially young boys, were raised without their fathers’ wisdom and guidance.

Moynihan was shouted down. Liberal though he was, he had offended the emerging liberal orthodoxy. That orthodoxy said that decrying out-of-wedlock births was only another way of “blaming the victim.” Liberals demanded more and more federal social programs. The problem, in their view, was that government simply had not spent enough.

Conservatives recoiled. They objected not only to the mounting costs and the ever increasing tax burden on intact families struggling to keep their own heads above water, but also from a growing sense that federal social programs were hurting, not helping, the poor.

Thus was born the welfare reform movement. It came from a desire not just to cut costs, but also to give the poor a hand up not just a handout. Conservatives quoted even such a liberal lion as Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR had warned that the dole — as necessary as he saw it in a nation stricken by Depression — should be temporary. He even likened it to a narcotic — necessary after surgery, but dangerously addictive if overdosed or indulged in too long.

Barack Obama was an early and outspoken opponent of welfare reform. Even as an Illinois state senator, he rejected the emerging bi-partisan consensus in the 1990s that the poor needed work, marriage, and dignity.

As President, Barack Obama has loosened the strict work requirements that state governors — including conservative Republicans like John Sununu of New Hampshire and moderate Democrats Bill Clinton of Arkansas—worked for a decade to put in place.

Today, President Obama bitterly denies that he has repealed welfare reform. Welfare reform is still up and running, he indignantly replies. All he has done is to loosen the laces in the running shoes. We will soon see the entire reform tripped up.

Welfare Reform — passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic President — was one of the greatest examples of bi-partisan cooperation since the Great Civil Rights Act of 1964. And yet this important national initiative is being quietly and effectively gutted.

In its place, President Obama wants us to model our lives on “Julia.” This fictional character was created by the Obama team to show their greater concern for women.

“Julia” has no last name. She seems to have no family. She makes her debut as a toddler in Head Start. Her entire education is subsidized and supervised under the mild gaze of Barack Obama. She goes to college with his help. Aided by him, she starts a business — although what this business does is never specified. She “decides to have a child.” No husband is mentioned. Not even a cohabiting male partner. And we don’t know if the child is a son or daughter. Perhaps, like that infamous Canadian couple, the child is to be raised without respect to male or female. In fact, Julia has no father, brother. Not even a male business associate. Her life has only one man in it: Barack Obama.

Paul Ryan was right to describe Barack Obama’s America: “Where everything is free but us.” That brief sentence is the best capsule summary of the timeless wisdom of French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville. In 1835, Tocqueville wrote "Democracy in America" and warned of the “soft despotism” that could threaten liberty:
"Above [all local and family attachments] an immense tutelary power is elevated, which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, far-seeing, and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood…It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that; it provides for their security, foresees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances; can it not take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of living?"
In such a world, Tocqueville warned us, government becomes all-embracing: “It does not destroy, it prevents things from being born.”

What a chilling phrase from our past. Mr. Obama’s vision is a nightmare to millions. Not only does it prevent things from being born — new enterprises, new services, new concepts, new social and commercial arrangements — but it literally prevents from being born millions of human beings through the vast extension of abortion — fully funded and legally protected.

Americans should appeal to President Obama to turn back from the path to soft despotism. We should remember that a government big enough to give us everything we want is strong enough to take all we have — including liberty.
---------------
J. 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, Obama's America, everything free, no freedom To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obamacare Bans New Physician-owned Hospitals

Editor Note: I missed the following "Obamanation" action - did you? Everyday, we learn something new about the Government takeover of private industry under the Obama Administration.

By John Vinci: In 2010, Obamacare limited the expansion of physician-owned hospitals (POHs) and banned the establishment of new ones. By the end of 2010, Obamacare forced up to 84 new POHs in various stages of development to be abandoned.[1]  These hospitals would have provided nearly 30,000 jobs.[2] 

Prior to Obamacare, POHs had been increasing rapidly.  Just between 2002 and 2004 the number of POHs nearly doubled, going from 46 in 2002 to 89 in 2004.[3]   Then, by the spring of 2010 the number of POHs reached 265, nearly tripling in number from 2004.[4] 

Physicians are restricted from referring Medicare patients to practices in which they have a financial interest.  But there is an exception where the doctor owns part of a whole hospital.

Section 6001 of Obamacare changes this by banning new POHs from accepting Medicare payments.  In addition, expansions of existing POHs must first seek approval from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if they expect to accept Medicare.  Even then, Obamacare restricts expansion to 200% of the capacity the hospital had in 2010.

Critics of POHs, such as the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, see POHs as a threat.  They argue that POHs, while taking only the more profitable medical procedures, don’t give as much uncompensated care as do non-profit hospitals.

It is true that POHs don’t give as much uncompensated care.  But unlike non-profit hospitals, POHs pay millions in taxes every year.  Physician Hospitals of America reports that on average each POH pays $3 million per year in local, state, and federal taxes.[5] 

A study conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concluded that POH uncompensated care, plus the taxes they contribute to the community, surpasses the uncompensated care of non-profit hospitals.[6] The CMS study further noted that: “Even expanding the definition of uncompensated care to exclude Medicare DSH payments and to include Medicaid revenue shortfalls, the physician-owned specialty hospitals in the sample, still exhibited higher levels of net community benefits…” [7]

Banning new POHs is not about good policy but about hospitals using the federal government to eliminate their competition.

This is particularly disturbing because competition lowers prices while improving quality.

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that, as doctors sell their practices to hospitals, their new hospital-set prices are skyrocketing compared to what they were formerly charging in private practice for the same services.[8] 

And POHs are known for their high-quality service.  While there are only 275 POHs spread across 33 states, in 20 of those states Consumer Reports ranked a POH first in quality of care.[9]  The high-quality of POHs is confirmed by the afore-mentioned CMS study which concluded that POHs “provide a high level of quality care.”[10 ] 

The restoration of better quality and lower costs through hospital competition is just another reason the “Affordable Care Act” should be repealed.
-------------------
John Vinci is a staff attorney with Americans for Limited Government and is the editor in chief for the ObamacareWatcher.org where this article first appeared.

[1]  Physician Hospitals of America v. Sebelius, No. 6:10-cv-00277-MHS, Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, (E.D.Tex. June 3, 2010) at 6-7.
[2]  Physician Hospitals of America, “Physician Hospital Impact of Implementation of Section 6001,” (Feb. 17, 2011) at 3-4.
[3]  Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, “Report to the Congress: Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals Revisited,” (August 2006) 3-4 available at http://www.medpac.gov/documents/Aug06_specialtyhospital_mandated_report.pdf.
[4]  Supra note 1 at 6.
[5]  Id. at 7.
[6]  RTC: CMS Study of Physician-owned Specialty Hospitals Required in Section 507 (c) (2) of the MMA (2005) at 64 available at https://www.cms.gov/reports/downloads/RTCPhysSpecHosp.pdf
[7]  Id. at 64.
[8]  Anna Wilde Mathews, The Wall Street Journal, “Same Doctor Visit, Double the Cost,” (August 27, 2012) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443713704577601113671007448.html.
[9]  Press Release, Physician Hospitals of America, “Physician-Owned Hospitals Will Continue to Push for Increased Patient Access to High-Quality Care,” (Feb. 17, 2012) available at http://www.physicianhospitals.org/resource/resmgr/Press_Releases/Exlusion_from_Bill_Press_Rel.pdf
[10]  Supra note 6 at 63.

Tags: Obamacare, bans, physician-owned hospitals, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

DNC Convention Topics

by A.F. Branco:

Tags: DNC Convention, Topics, Barack Oama, speakers, empty promises, political cartoon, A.F. Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

APF: ‘ARKids First’ Unfunded Liabilities Est.At $3.5 Billion

In 2006, the Arkansas Policy Foundation noted: “The long-term liabilities of the ARKids First program should be identified." Well, six years later the "chickens are coming home to roost."

The following program represents just one of many programs where government fails to identify or hides from the public unfunded liabilities that will plague, in this case Arkansas, for years to come. The same can be said for other states. While money does not grow on trees, the states and the Federal government, have learned how to fleece the earnings and the wealth of future generations to pay for programs that Government establishes without revealing the "True cost" to either the present or future generations.

Greg Kaza, Arkansas Policy Foundation: (August 2012) The unfunded liabilities of the state’s ‘ARKids First program,’ a major component of Arkansas Medicaid are conservatively estimated at $3.5 billion, according to enrollment, federal reimbursement and average annual cost data obtained by the Policy Foundation.

‘ARKids First’ was established under former Gov. Mike Huckabee with a waiver from the Clinton administration in 1997. ‘ARKids’ enrolled 356,010 last year.1 The liabilities are separate from Gov. Mike Beebe’s proposal to expand Arkansas’ Medicaid program by about 250,000 recipients.

History of Accounting Reforms
The Foundation calculated the unfunded liabilities of ‘ARKids’ after the state Department of Human Services termed it “a pay-as-you-go program for which budgets and appropriations are done each year” in a recent communication.2 The Foundation has sought the estimate since 2006.

“Calculations that we’ve done,” the DHS communication3 states, “comparing expected spending and the programs’ FY 2013 appropriation show a clear funding gap that will need to be addressed.”

The Foundation has a long-standing interest in reform, recommending uniform accounting for K-12 school districts and activities-based costing for state government in 1998. The state Supreme Court granted the Foundation permission to file amicus curiae briefs in 2002 and 2004 in the Lake View school finance case. The briefs advanced uniform accounting as a reform, and the state now provides standard K-12 categorical data.

Unfunded Liabilities Greatest in ‘ARKids A’
Unfunded liabilities represent the fiscal cost of future commitments. They are routinely reported by the trustees of federal programs, including Social Security and Medicare. Arkansas public retirement systems, to their credit, also calculate and report unfunded liabilities on an annual basis.

The true cost of ‘ARKids’ and other Medicaid programs is not the annual “pay-as-you-go” amount cited by DHS. It is the fiscal cost of future commitments to age 19 when ‘ARKids’ eligibility ends.

According to DHS, the program’s administrator, “ARKids First A is Medicaid for children,” and ARKids First B is for people who make too much money to get regular Medicaid, but still do not have health insurance for their children.”4

The ‘A’ program’s unfunded liabilities are $3.3 billion, with the highest costs incurred by age groups “2-3” ($396 million), “1-2” ($385 million), and “3-4” ($371 million). The lowest cost is incurred by age “18-19” ($10 million).

The ‘B’ program’s unfunded liabilities are $161 million, with the highest costs incurred by age groups “7-8” ($15 million), “8-9” ($14 million), and “6-7” ($13 million). The lowest cost is incurred by age “18-19” ($1 million).

Conservative Estimate
The Foundation’s estimate assumes no medical insurance inflation through 2031, federal reimbursement rates of 70% (‘A’ program) and 79.5% (‘B’ program), and average annual costs of $3,826 (‘A’) and $1,266 (‘B’).

Inflation and lower reimbursement rates would increase ‘ARKids’ unfunded liabilities. Deflation and higher reimbursement rates would decrease unfunded liabilities.
------------------
1 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 8, 2012
2 DHS communication to Policy Foundation, July 11, 2012.
3 “DHS has been very open about this funding gap and is engaged in a comprehensive effort to transform the program and significantly reduce the projected funding gap over the long term.”
4 www.arkidsfirst.com/home.htm

Tags: unfunded liabilities, government programs, example, Arkansas ARKids First, Arkansas Policy Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

$16,000,000,000,000.00 ($16 Trillion)

Matt Rhoades, Campaign Manager, Romney for President, Inc.: It’s happened. The National Debt just hit $16 trillion. By his own measurement, President Obama has failed. The runaway spending of this presidency has got to stop.

Remember the below email that Mitt Romney sent on August 26, 2011? In it, he warned that President Obama's runaway spending was about to saddle Americans with a $15 trillion debt.
Friend,

In 2008, when he was running for president, Barack Obama had some harsh words for the White House for running up the national debt, even calling President Bush "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic." Here's what he said in full:

"The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back - $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

After three years of Barack Obama in the White House, the national debt, thanks to a near-trillion-dollar "stimulus" that failed to stimulate, thanks to out-of-control spending on a liberal agenda, and thanks to a great deal of government waste, is now at almost $15 trillion or over $130 thousand per taxpayer.

Why was stimulus money used to repair tennis courts? Why was it used to study the learning patterns of honey bees? Why was it used to build an "eco-passage" to help turtles cross a highway? Those who made such decisions have definitely been irresponsible, even reckless with their out of control spending.

Americans deserve better, much better. That's why I'm running for president.

I hope I'll have your support.

Best,
Mitt Romney
And lo and behold, just over a year later, we've now surpassed a staggering $16 trillion in debt!

It's unacceptable, and frankly, it's scary. And now it's time to stop the bleeding. Watch this video to learn more.

Tags: National Debt, $16 Trillion, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Calls For Amending 1st Amendment To Limit Free Speech & Advance UN Tax On American Airlines

Government view of the economy could be summed
up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.
 If it keeps moving, regulate it.
 And if it stops moving, subsidize it. 
 - Ronald Reagan,  Aug 15, 1986
For those wondering about the "Today In Washington, D.C." postings -- Congress is still in recess, except for pro-forma meetings - until next week, Sept 10th. However, the radical agenda of the current administration and democrats in general continue.

Last week, The Daily Caller reported, “President Barack Obama used the online springboard provided by Reddit to . . . call for a constitutional amendment to curb the free-speech of wealthier people and corporations. ‘I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United. … Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change,’ Obama said . . . .”

And today, the recently approved Democratic Party Platform states, “We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary.”

In an interview with The Daily Caller on Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats’ desires to amend the First Amendment. “‘It’s an act of genuine radicalism,’ McConnell said when asked about his reaction to the president’s statement. ‘We haven’t amended the First Amendment in 235 years. The First Amendment is the core of not only freedom of religion, freedom to petition the government, and the rest, but most important, freedom of speech,’ McConnell said. ‘And when the founders were thinking of freedom of speech, they were thinking of political speech.’ ‘What the president’s really upset with is the fact that there are a lot of voices out there who’ve gotten organized and don’t like what he’s doing,’ McConnell continued. ‘And so what he wants to try to do is carve a niche out of the First Amendment to give the government, itself the power to determine who speaks and who doesn’t.’”

It’s amazing that Democrats, with President Obama taking the lead, are now running on the idea that the First Amendment needs to be changed. It appears that the First Amendment’s protection of political speech, which the Founders considered essential, is simply too broad in the eyes of today’s Democrat Party.

As Leader McConnell told The Daily Caller, “[I]t’s genuinely radical to think that you would actually amend the United States Constitution in order to give the government itself the power to determine who speaks and who doesn’t.”

Free speech is not the only issue being attacked by democrats. There are too many to list here and we have reported on many of them in other articles.  But as another example, in the past we addressed attacka on American industry.  We have reported on the deliberate efforts to restrict oil and natural gas production and availability within the United States.   Now consider the following report of NRDC actions by the current administration attacking American airline companies.

Big Government reported yesterday, "Jake Schmidt, a director at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), does not want you to look behind the curtain of the environmental lobby. In a recent article in the Huffington Post, the fringe group leader attempts to hide legitimate policy behind the cloak of a bailout. Mr. Schmidt takes exception to a Senate bill that would reinforce U.S. sovereign air control – calling it a 'bailout' for the airline industry.

"You see, by trying to frame it as a bailout, the NRDC hopes to confuse and – ultimately – provide political cover for the Obama administration to allow decades of international law to fall to the sidelines. The bill stems from a European regulation that runs against decades of international precedent, infringing on the way that countries control their own air space. European regulators – arguably, and this isn’t a complement, the best in the business – ignored that precedent in an effort to impose their judgment on trading partners. That’s not how trade and commerce works, and it is only right that Congress steps in to protect American business.

"But that’s not what fringe environmental groups would like to see. Instead, they subscribe to a 'by any means necessary' approach to passing burdensome regulations. Going through the proper channels – in this case, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a branch of the UN – would show just how flawed the plan is and how resistant the international community is to ceding control of their airspace to Europe.

"The House has passed its own bill that will prohibit the EU’s tax from taking effect.

"Meanwhile, the administration’s outspokenness with Europe’s tax on U.S. businesses is now silent. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has noted in the past that the EU’s proposal was 'lousy,' further warning the Europeans to not '“assume we're all just going to go along with it.' But, with pressure mounting from fringe environmental groups, not a peep has been heard from Secretary LaHood or any Obama official.

"In that absence, it’s time for the Senate to speak up and tell Europe it can’t tax domestic airlines in U.S. airspace."

Tags: Barack Obama, limit free speech, amend 1st amendment, democrat platform, UN, UN tax, American Air Carriers, American airlines, NRDC To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Roger's Rules: Obamanation of the Day

Roger Kimball, PJ Media: I admit it, when it comes to Barack Obama, I think pretty low. But not, apparently, quite low enough. This exchange, from an interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, took even my jaded breath away:
Falsani: Do you believe in sin?
Obama: Yes.

Falsani: What is sin?
Obama: Being out of alignment with my values.
Have you ever found a pithier summary of the narcissistic core of today’s “progressive” Left-liberal ideology?  I’m not sure I have.

h/t the great Ed Driscoll.

Tags: PJ Media, Roger's Rule, Obamanation, Barack Obama, sin, values To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day and Young Americans

by Paul T. Conway, Generation Opportunity: Labor Day is a day set aside specifically to honor the achievements of the American worker. But on this Labor Day, as Americans traditionally celebrate with family and friends, the sad reality is that millions of young Americans will not return to a full-time job tomorrow.

Through no fault of their own, over twelve percent of young Americans are unemployed and have been denied the opportunity to contribute their talents and to achieve success.

Due to failed leadership and failed policies over the last three and a half years, their lives and dreams have been delayed. It is no surprise that young adults, union and non-union alike, have little enthusiasm for leaders who defend the status quo while offering no ideas for more economic opportunity.

Young Americans deserve more from their leaders and want solutions that place a higher value on the growth of businesses and opportunity as opposed to government.
----------
Paul T. Conway is President Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor

Tags: Paul Conway, Generation Opportunity, unemployment, jobs, Labor Day To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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    Teenage Republicans
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    President George W. Bush (2001-2008)
    George W. Bush
    President 2001-2008

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    Christian Responsibility Ring
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    Creative Writing
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