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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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, 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 or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Obama MIA On 9-11 | Hagel Nomination On Cruz Control

Gary Bauer
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama MIA On 9-11? Remember during the Democratic presidential campaign in 2008 when Hillary Clinton ran an ad asking the American people whom they trusted more to look out for America’s interests when the inevitable emergency phone call came in at 3 AM? It was an effective ad because it highlighted Obama’s lack of qualifications, especially on foreign policy.

It turns out that on the most important foreign policy challenge of his first term, Obama wasn’t even around to take such a call.

The Weekly Standard reported today on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s testimony this morning before Congress. Panetta said that Obama was absent on the evening of September 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi.

Panetta said that, other than his previously scheduled 5 PM meeting with the president, he did not hear at all from the White House on September 11th, and that the commander-in-chief left everything, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the besieged Americans, “up to us.”

This news, revealed under oath, doesn’t square with statements by the White House in the days after the Benghazi attack. David Axelrod, one of Obama’s closest advisors, told an interviewer at the time, “As I said, immediately when word of the attack came, the president was meeting with his top national security folks. He was talking to them well into the night. He was in touch with them during the day…[and] during the next day as well.”

According to Panetta’s testimony today, he told Obama about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi at the 5 pm meeting on September 11. But not only did Panetta not hear from Obama the rest of the night, he didn’t hear from anyone else in the upper tier of Obama's national security team. Not Secretary of State Clinton. Not Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

Where was Obama on the evening of September 11th as four Americans were being slaughtered in Libya? Perhaps he was busy preparing remarks for the fundraisers he headlined in Las Vegas the following day.

Hagel Nomination On Cruz Control?
We reported that former Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense is in trouble because he refused to provide information to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the foreign sources of money given to groups he worked for since he left the Senate in 2009.

Hagel’s questionable financial dealings mean that the Senate Armed Forces Committee did not hold a vote today on his confirmation, which it had previously been scheduled to do. A new date has not yet been set.

It is reasonable to ask the nominee to the most sensitive cabinet post to answer questions about whether and how foreign governments and entities may have been indirectly paying his salary over the last few years.

There are questions about Hagel’s work with the Atlantic Council, a think tank where he serves as chairman. The Atlantic Council has published at least one report “supported by a grant from the government of Kazakhstan.” The report portrays the Kazakhstan government favorably, which is a problem because it is not exactly a Jeffersonian democracy. In fact, Kazakhstan is rated as “not free” by Freedom House, an international human rights watchdog group.

There are also questions about Hagel’s service for Deutsche Bank, where he was a paid advisor. Deutsche Bank is under investigation for purportedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

What’s most interesting about the delay is that freshman Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) spearheaded efforts to postpone the vote. Cruz distributed a letter to his GOP colleagues calling for the Armed Forces Committee to delay the vote until Hagel answers questions about his finances. Every Republican on the Armed Services Committee signed the letter.

“Your refusal to respond to this reasonable request [for more information] suggests either a lack of respect for the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent or that you are for some reason unwilling to allow this financial disclosure to come to light,” Cruz wrote in the letter.

Freshman Senators are generally advised to keep their heads down, to take their time to get acclimated and to defer to their party’s leadership. But by taking the lead against Hagel, Cruz is proving he is a force to be reckoned with.

In other news, first-term Senator Marco Rubio has been chosen to deliver the Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address later this month.

Cruz and Rubio are both in their 40s. They’re both from big states. And they’re both fast becoming conservative Republican leaders in the Senate. Oh, and did I mention that they’re both Hispanic, a voting group that the GOP must do better with in future elections.
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Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families where his articles are also shared.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Barack Obama, Obama MIA, 9-11, Chuck Hagel Nomination To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Allergic To Spending Cuts, Dems Plot To Bring Back Their Favorite Gimmicky Tax Hikes

Washington Update - Feb 8, 2013
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday when it will resume consideration of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act. Votes are scheduled that evening on 6 amendments and final passage of the bill.  Yesterday, the Senate voted down a substitute amendment to S. 47 from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) 34-65.

The House was not in session yesterday and met for less than 5 minutes today. The next meeting of the House is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb 12th.

Multiple news reports this morning show that Democrats seem to be unable to part with so much as a dime of out-of-control Washington spending. They’ve reportedly spent the week trying to come up with ways to stave off the sequester, most of which, of course, involve tax hikes.

The Hill writes today, “Senate Democrats are struggling to come up with a replacement for the $85 billion spending-cut sequester set to begin on March 1. Key Democrats huddled Thursday in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office to discuss options for preventing the looming cuts after returning from a retreat in Annapolis where they discussed strategy with President Obama. . . . [Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max] Baucus said Finance is looking at specific tax provisions that would be used as part of a package to replace the sequester. The committee had an informal meeting on Thursday where no decisions were taken, members said. ‘Wait and see what’s introduced,’ Baucus [D-MT] advised. . . . Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for example, said Thursday he soon will offer legislation language to replace the sequester with savings from the tax code.

Politico reports, “Senate Democrats are digging in against Republican calls for deeper spending cuts by bringing out some of their favorite punching bags: corporate jets, Wall Street and Big Oil. With the automatic budget cuts in the sequester coming up next month, Democrats hope to vote on an alternative plan to raise taxes on some of their favorite boogeymen in hopes of shifting the blame . . . .”

Just how averse are Democrats to cutting spending? This quote from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Appropriations Committee is telling: “‘I’m not identifying replacement cuts — I’m working on a balanced solution,’ Mikulski told POLITICO on Thursday. ‘We’ve already taken those cuts. … I think there’s consensus that we need revenue and there’s also an understanding that we’ve already worked to substantially cut domestic spending.’” The federal government has spent around $3.5 trillion each year for the last three years and has run deficits exceeding $1 trillion for four years straight, and Sen. Mikulski thinks “we’ve already worked to substantially cut domestic spending.”

Meanwhile, Democrats’ appetite for tax increases remains insatiable. According to Politico, “Democrats are considering a proposal to raise taxes by nearly $14 billion on so-called carried interest, a tax break that benefits private-equity executives and venture capitalists. They want to raise taxes by about $4 billion on corporate jet owners, in addition to the new tax increases on oil and gas companies. And they are looking at raising taxes on wealthy individuals whose S corporations help shield them from higher payroll taxes. . . . At a closed-door retreat in Annapolis, Md., this week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) circulated a plan to increase taxes by $1 trillion, a proposal sources said was favorably received by the caucus. Whitehouse’s plan would set a minimum tax rate for millionaires, known as the Buffett rule; increase taxes on oil companies and end a provision in the Tax Code that allows multinational firms to avoid paying taxes on profits generated in other countries when they keep that cash offshore. Elements of that proposal are likely to end up in the Democratic plan, sources said.”


Tags: Allergic To Spending Cuts, Democrats, Gimmicky Tax Hikes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

FROZEN

Bob Morrison and Ken Blackwell
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors: President Obama’s senior thesis at Columbia University has been embargoed. It is said to be an endorsement of the Nuclear Freeze Movement that was so much the cause célèbre of the left here and throughout Western Europe in the Reagan years. We may have to wait for his presidential library to open to find out.

And we may have to wait until then, too, to learn whether young Barack Obama attended the massive, one million plus Nuclear Freeze rally in Central Park in June, 1982. It’s hard to imagine that the young student who, he tells us in his book Dreams from My Father, consciously sought out the Marxist professors on campus would have missed this huge anti-nuclear demonstration unfolding on his doorstep. It’s odd, too, that he seems never to have been asked about this during two campaigns for the White House or during any press conference.

Why is this important now? Because now is when President Obama’s promise to be “flexible” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin is being redeemed. Mr. Obama has just tapped as his Sec. of State John Kerry, the man who rode into the Senate as the most outspoken proponent of the Nuclear Freeze. Kerry was never held accountable for that full-throated embrace of the Soviet Union’s Number One foreign policy objective for almost the full decade of the 1980s.

Even when Kerry ran for president in 2004, opponents focused on his 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a youthful, long-haired anti-Vietnam War protester, and not on the fact that he helped to further the KGB’s goals as a U.S. Senator.

Of course, President Obama’s choice of former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska to be the next Sec. of Defense seems incomprehensible to many in Washington. He’s so obviously unfit. Even his defenders—like former Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh—concede that “[Hagel] didn’t bring his ‘A-game’ to his confirmation hearings.” Imagine that: a Sec. of Defense-designate whom even his backers say was unprepared.

The Hagel choice only makes sense if you realize that Obama and Kerry would not want a civilian leader in the Pentagon making waves as they seek to disarm and disable the United States of America. Hagel will be a loyal member of the “go along to get along gang,” if confirmed.

We now know that the Soviet KGB, the deadly secret police, was a leading pusher of the Nuclear Freeze and they had thousands of willing accomplices on the left. They wanted to be able to put Soviet missiles in Eastern Europe and have the West respond with a “Freeze” on their own deployment of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) — Cruise and Pershing rockets.

The best way to think of that policy goal is to think of the rabbit and the boa constrictor. The boa moves menacingly toward the rabbit and the rabbit freezes, hoping the boa won’t notice him. But to the boa, the rabbit is lunch.

Left-wing advocates of the Freeze, like Bill Hyland, argued publicly that our freezing would create a world outcry for the Soviets to withdraw their own IRBM’s from Eastern Europe.

Harvard’s Polish-born biographer of Stalin, the great Adam Ulam, punctured Hyland’s pretty bubble when he asked him in his heavily-accented English: “An’ wot will you doo iff they dun’t?

President Reagan wisely and courageously resisted calls for the Nuclear Freeze. He believed the United States’ strength should always be “second to none.” He advocated instead a Zero Option under which both sides would massively reduce their nuclear and conventional weapons. He was careful always to say: Trust but verify. Which was his polite way of saying: We aren’t going to trust you without proof.

Today, America’s foreign and defense policies are being crafted at the top by those who so obviously failed in the great Cold War struggle of the 1980s. The Freezeniks are in power now.

And their negotiating partner, Vladimir Putin, knows what he can get from them in the way of flexibility. No other world leader is a former KGB agent. It may well be that Putin rose through the ranks of that dreaded outfit by crafting the very policies that credulous Western “peace” politicians fell for.

We don’t know if young Barack Obama was on board for the Freeze, but Vladimir Putin knows. Russia’s spy network has never been dismantled. In 2010 the FBI caught ten Russian spies just before the famed “Hamburger Summit” between President Obama and Putin’s seat-warmer, Dmitri Medvedev, the spies were allowed to leave the U.S. without extensive questioning, without so much as a TSA pat-down.

When Russia briefly tasted freedom in the 1990s, happy throngs tore down the Moscow statue of Felix Dzerzhinksi, the founder of the Soviet secret police. “Iron Felix’s” bust was quietly returned to Russia’s police headquarters by Vladimir Putin, shortly after he resumed power in 2000.

It is to this man, this successor to creators of the Gulag where millions died, that President Obama gave his promise to be “flexible” after the election. Frozen in fear; flexible to our foes. That’s the best summary of U.S. foreign policy now.
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Ken Blackwell is an advisor to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and a conservative family values advocate. He is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, President Obama, senior thesis, Columbia University, endorsement, Nuclear Freeze Movement, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, John Kerry, Freezeniks, Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, IRBM To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Voter Fraud That ‘Never Happens’ Keeps Coming Back

John Fund
By John Fund, National Review Online: Critics of voter ID and other laws cracking down on voter fraud claim they’re unnecessary because fraud is nonexistent. For instance, Brennan Center attorneys Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt claimed last year: “A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.”

Well, lightning is suddenly all over Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.

Democrat Melowese Richardson has been an official poll worker for the last quarter century and registered thousands of people to vote last year. She candidly admitted to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 this week that she voted twice in the last election.

This is how Channel 9′s website summarized the case:According to county documents, Richardson’s absentee ballot was accepted on Nov. 1, 2012 along with her signature. On Nov. 11, she told an official she also voted at a precinct because she was afraid her absentee ballot would not be counted in time.

“There’s absolutely no intent on my part to commit voter fraud,” said Richardson. . . .

The board’s documents also state that Richardson was allegedly disruptive and hid things from other poll workers on Election Day after another female worker reported she was intimidated by Richardson. . . .

During the investigation it was also discovered that her granddaughter, India Richardson, who was a first time voter in the 2012 election, cast two ballots in November.
Richardson insists she has done nothing wrong and promises to contest the charges: “I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States.”
But, of course, as you know there is no voter fraud. Pay no attention to that lightning coming out of Ohio. ------------- John H. Fund is an American political journalist and conservative columnist. Currently a senior editor of The American Spectator, he was previously a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He writes for numerous organizations and blogs. He has also become a published expert and noted speaker on voter fraud.
Tags: John Fund, voter fraud, Ohio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Obama Moving the Sequester Goalposts

by A.F. "Tony" Branco:

Tags: Moving the goal posts, Sequester, President Obama, the Republicans, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Most Important Reason for the Fair Tax - Families and Small Businesses

by Ron Bartels, Op-Ed: The Most Important Reason for the Fair Tax - Families and Small Businesses.

First the scriptures that apply to the Fair Tax and the most important reason we must have the Fair Tax.

Proverbs 13:11a - "Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished"

- Stated another way, the more corrupt (dishonest) our tax system has become, the deeper in debt the pawn (nation) has become. When the pawn (nation) has to be sacrificed (like in the games of chess) the perpetual corporations survive to go on existing, as they have not signed away their rights, but the rights of we the people, our children and our grandchildren.

Proverbs 13:22a - "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children"

- Beginning January 1, 2013, the inheritance tax has been put back up to where Clinton had it. 55% after the first $ million. Small businesses are designed to create employment for the families of the founders and additional employees as needed, so they will not have to depend on the government or another family owned business for gainful employment.

The inheritance tax (death tax) destroys family businesses left and right. It does NOT apply to perpetual corporations. Therefore it is in the interests of the lobbyists who represent the perpetual corporations to tax someone else.

Lobbyists write and finance the laws. Lobbyists write laws that enable these perpetual corporations to extract money from the public treasuries of the people, be they Federal, State, County or City. Perpetual Corporations never die so they never pay the ill-gotten money back.

The Fact at Issue: Perpetual Corporations do NOT have children or grandchildren, they have stockholders and directors.

The Logical QuestionWhy should children and grandchildren be taxed to support big government so big perpetual corporations can extract the money and run the government deeper and deeper in debt to satisfy their stockholders and over-paid business executives?

Next Fact at Issue:  The Fair Tax gets rid of family destroying inheritance taxes. It also gets rid of prosperity taxes such as the income tax and payroll taxes. These taxes inhibit the prosperity of the family unit. The Fair Tax replaces taxes that destroy the family unit with simple a consumption tax on new products and services. It also provides a way to save our nation from being destroyed by eventually paying off our national debt.
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Ron Bartels is an conservative who supports the Fair Tax. You may follow him via his Facebook account..

Tags: Ron Bartels, op-ed, Fair Tax, Families, Small Businesses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Power Outage At The Super Bowl

by William Warren:"Give it a rest Obama."

Tags: lights out, super dome, New Orleans, Super Bowl, editorial cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Administration Should Stop Egyptian F-16 Deal

Four of 20 F-16 Were Delivered To Egypt in Jan 2013
Questions continued support for ‘anti-Semitic and anti-American’ Egyptian government
WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after leading more than 35 Members of Congress in sending a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging them to reevaluate the continued foreign military support provided to Egypt:
“On the day Egypt rolls out the red carpet for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I’m asking President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to stop the delivery of 16 new F-16 aircraft for Egypt. President Morsi’s recent and previous anti-Semitic and anti-American statements, as well as increased religious persecution and civil rights violations perpetrated by his government, are cause for great concern. It is critical that his newly-established government demonstrate its support for the U.S. and Israel – our key ally in the region – before we continue providing them with foreign military support.”The deal to provide these F-16s to Hosni Mubarak's Egyptian government originated in 2009, when the proposal was brought to Congress for purchase and delivery of 20 F-16s through the Foreign Military Financing Program (FMFP). In 2010, the U.S. government awarded a $213 million contract to Lockheed Martin for the production of 20 new F-16 aircraft for Egypt. Since then, Egypt has undergone a significant political shift, and after the fall of President Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was legalized and launched a new political party, the Freedom and Justice Party, which is now considered the most powerful political player in Egypt with their former leader, Mohamed Morsi, elected as the new president.

Although four of these aircraft have already been delivered to Egypt, Griffin is asking the White House to stop the transfer of additional aircraft and other military assistance until Egypt’s government demonstrates its alliance with the U.S. and respect for Israel and its people.
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U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) is a member of the House Committee on Ways. He is a Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve. He previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush.

Tags: F-16, Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, anti-American statements, Tim GriffinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Arkansas: Senate Passes Concealed Carry License Privacy Bill

AR State Sen. Bruce Holland
Little Rock - Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 131 on a bipartisan vote of 24-9. The bill was introduced by state Senator Bruce Holland (R-District 6) of Greenwood, Arkansas.  The bill would close the loophole that allows general public access to the names and zip codes of concealed carry handgun license (CHCL) holders.

Four years ago this month, in 2009, "Mad" Max Brantley, then editor of the Arkansas Times, capriciously used the Freedom of Information Act and then published the names on the Arkansas Times Blog all of the names and addresses of all the people in Arkansas who had concealed gun permits.  Why - because he could.  Because of "Mad" Max's actions, the  Arkansas legislature reacted quickly and amended its concealed handgun license law to remove the ability of media outlets to publish names and  addresses of license holders.

SB 131 seeks to enact more thorough restrictions. Under this legislation, personal information on license holders would be accessible only as part of an official criminal investigation. SB 131 was heard yesterday in the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, where a voice vote recommended the bill “Do Pass.”

This important protection of the privacy of law-abiding gun owners now goes to the House. Please contact your state Representative and urge her or him to support SB 131. For help identifying your state Representative and their contact information, please here.

Unfortunately, a spokesman for Governor Mike Beebe (D) stated that the Governor opposes this measure.  Contact Governor Beebe and urge him to reconsider his position. Politely remind him that thirty states have already enacted protections for gun owners by classifying personal permit information contained in firearm permits as confidential. Also, be sure to let him know that the public release of any personal information regarding CHCL holders serves no public interest and both exposes law-abiding citizens to potential criminal acts and aids in identifying other citizens who opted not to carry.  All Arkansas  citizens need to be protected (those who care and those who do not) and this bill helps to do that.

Tags: Arkansas, State Senate, Senator, Bruce Holland, Senate Bill 131, Concealed Carry, privacy, gun rights, Governor Mike Beebe, "Mad" Max, Brantley To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Turn In Those Weapons!

Cheeky buggers :) Why do many American citizens act like lemming, and ignore and even surrender their rights protected by the Constitution? Is global liberalism choking our country and our destiny?

Tags: gun rights, 2nd Amendment, big government, Indian wisdom, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Replace Sequester With Spending Cuts & Reforms

Speaker Boehner: “President’s ‘Sequester’ Should Be Replaced with Spending Cuts & Reforms that Put Us on a Path to Balance the Budget Over the Next 10 Years”
WASHINGTON, DC – At his weekly press briefing today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) underscored the need for President Obama and Senate Democrats to address the debt crisis and replace the ‘sequester’ the president proposed, without insisting on more tax hikes that will hurt the economy and make it harder to create jobs. As Speaker Boehner noted, the House has already passed budgets that cut spending and rein in the debt and twice voted to replace the ‘sequester.’ It is now up to the president and Senate Democrats to follow suit. Below are excerpts of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
On America’s Debt Holding Back Economic Growth & Job Creation:
“The number one priority for the American people is creating jobs and getting our spending under control.

“Even though we’re a minority party here in Washington, Republicans have made every effort to address the concerns of the American people.

“Less than two years ago, President Obama said, ‘Ultimately, all this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy.’ Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats have done almost nothing to address our long-term debt problems.”

On the President’s Failure to Outline a Plan for Replacing the ‘Sequester’ He Proposed:
“Yesterday the president warned of grave economic consequences if the ‘sequester’ were to go into effect, but he didn’t announce any specific plans for how he would address it. He didn’t bother to actually outline how he’d replace the ‘sequester’ that he suggested and insisted upon in August of 2011. He didn’t even tell us when we might see his budget, which is again late and how he would address the ‘sequester’ in his budget.

“All of this underscores the importance of Republican efforts to push measures like ‘no budget, no pay’ and the Require a PLAN Act to force the president and Senate Democrats to take our spending problem seriously.”

On Republicans Passing Budgets that Address Our Debt & Voting to Replace the President’s ‘Sequester’ with Responsible Reforms:
“Listen, Washington desperately needs some adult leadership. That’s why Republicans have twice voted to replace the president’s ‘sequester’ with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. That’s why Republicans have passed budgets in each of the last two years, and will pass another one here in the coming weeks.

“We believe there is a better way to lower the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. The president’s ‘sequester’ should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. …

“We passed a bill twice to replace the sequester. It is time for the President and Senate Democrats to do their job.”

On President Obama’s Call for More Tax Hikes to Fuel More Excessive Government Spending:
“Listen, the American people believe that the tax question has been settled. They know the president called for a ‘balanced’ approach to the debt – a combination of revenues and spending cuts. And they know he’s gotten his revenue.

“The American people do not believe the president will use further tax revenues to lower the debt. After having seen this president attempt to spend his way into prosperity over the last four years, they know he’ll spend it.”

On Government Spending Being the Wrong Prescription for a Struggling Economy:
“Listen, the president doesn’t believe we have a spending problem. He genuinely believes that government spending causes economic growth.

“If that were true, the economy today would be thriving. It isn’t thriving. The unemployment rate is still nearly eight percent, and rising. Small businesses, like the one I ran in Ohio, are struggling. Middle-class families – those that are lucky enough to actually have a job – are living paycheck to paycheck. And President Obama just insisted on raising their taxes.”

On Republicans Standing with the American People & Working to Cut Spending to Help the Economy Grow:
“Americans know that another tax hike isn’t going to help them. What they want is…the spending under control, so that the economy can grow and they have opportunities again.
“Democrats say we should replace the president’s ‘sequester’ with revenue increases, or delay it. Republicans say we should replace [it] with responsible reforms that will help put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years.

“Republicans may not be the majority party here in Washington, but the American people agree with us on this. And we’re going to continue to stand with the American people.”

Tags: Speaker John Boehner, sequester, spending cuts, reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Wrong Man for Defense Secretary

Phyllis Schlafly: Americans who are concerned about traditional freedoms and the Second Amendment have no difficulty understanding the message of the popular bumper strip: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” It should be just as easy to grasp the corollary: If nukes are outlawed, only terrorist countries will have nukes.

But somehow, Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel don’t get it. In a 2007 campaign speech, Obama promised: “Here’s what I’ll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons.”

Chuck Hagel is listed as one of six directors of a dangerous group called “Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission.” This mischievous outfit’s goal is “to move toward a world without nuclear weapons,” and its publications boast Obama’s enthusiastic endorsement: “Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration.”

Here are a few of Global Zero’s specific recommendations: replace our offensive nuclear missiles with what they call “soft” instruments of power such as multilateral cooperation, reduce the number of our nuclear missiles further than what Obama agreed to when the Senate ratified the New START Treaty in 2011, eliminate “all tactical nuclear weapons” and our “Minuteman land-based ICBM force,” and announce “reciprocal presidential directives” (Obama is a specialist at issuing unilateral directives).

Here are a couple of the really silly statements in Global Zero’s report: “security is mainly a state of mind, not a physical condition,” and “nuclear weapons have increasingly become liabilities, not assets.” The Global Zero report includes a lame endorsement of anti-missile defense, but it’s clear that modernizing our missile defense system is not a priority, maybe not even wanted by the group.

Global Zero isn’t Hagel’s only dalliance in the search for a nuclear-free world. He also serves on the board of the Ploughshares Fund, a George Soros-funded group that advocates getting rid of our nuclear weapons.

The Ploughshares Fund is downright serious about getting rid of U.S. nuclear weapons. It urges massive decreases in our defense capabilities and slashing the U.S. nuclear force to only 292 deployed missiles. It promotes global governance — no surprise there — and also opposes U.S. development of a missile-defense system.

Ploughshares contributes to many anti-war and anti-nuclear groups that criticize U.S. foreign policy and military. It is a big backer of the Connect U.S. Fund (CUSF), which promotes global governance and tries to direct global policy by “grant-making on human rights, non-proliferation, and climate change.”

CUSF calls for massive slashes in our military budget so that U.S. money can be spent on “sustainable energy,” financing a “green stimulus,” and combating “climate change as a security threat.” Other CUSF projects include urging U.S. troops overseas to wear the UN’s blue helmets, using the U.S. Armed Forces to take on the task of fighting “global warming” and “global poverty,” and stationing U.S. “peacekeeping” forces worldwide.

Chuck Hagel sits on the board of a fund that is the main financial backer of a globalist group urging the United States to join the U.N.’s International Criminal Court. There are many reasons why this is a dangerous idea, but one of the most obnoxious is that this UN Court could prosecute American citizens and soldiers for alleged “war crimes” and other anti-American accusations.

Hagel also showed his globalist philosophy by supporting the UN Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). Fortunately, the U.S. has never ratified LOST; in December it proved its threat to national sovereignty by overruling the high court of Ghana with a decision that is domestically enforceable in that country and not subject to any appeal.

It’s no wonder that the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jim Inhofe (R-OK), announced he could not vote to confirm Hagel as Defense Secretary because Hagel is philosophically opposed to vital issues affecting our national security. These issues concern our spending, our international engagement, and particularly our nuclear modernization.

Senator Inhofe added: “At a time when North Korea is threatening our allies with nuclear capabilities, and Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it, the security of our own nation and of our allies requires us to be vigilant with our own nuclear weapons and defense systems.” Senator Inhofe is exactly right: America needs a Secretary of Defense who values and upholds U.S. sovereignty and military superiority.
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Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Chuck Hagel, Global Zero, U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission, nominee, DOD, Department of Defense To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Republicans: Time To Fight For Meaningful Spending Cuts

Today In Washington, D.C. - Feb. 6, 2012:
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Thursday to resume consideration of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act.

The House was in session today. It passed (253 - 167) shortly after noon, H.R. 444, a bill requiring the President to submit balanced budget. It would require that, if the President's fiscal year 2014 budget does not achieve balance in a fiscal year covered by such budget, the President shall submit a supplemental unified budget by April 1, 2013, which identifies a fiscal year in which balance is achieved, and for other purposes. The House has adjourned until Friday, Feb 8th.

Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed President Obama and Senate Democrats’ failure to offer a serious budget or plan to replace the president’s sequester, and highlighted the action House Republicans are taking to hold them accountable. Following is the text of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

“You know, every month under President Obama kind of feels the same: high unemployment, rising prices, and more debt for our kids and our grandkids. And if government spending were what the president believes creates economic growth, we shouldn’t be having any of these problems at all.

“Solving America’s problem starts with what every family does every month: they’ve got to do a budget. But the president’s budget is late again. Senate Democrats haven’t done a budget in nearly four years. And none of them have a plan to replace the ‘sequester.’

“That’s why Republicans passed the No Budget, No Pay Act to force Senate Democrats to finally take action. And it’s why we’re going to pass Tom Price’s bill that would require the president to submit a plan that would actually balance the budget. And the sooner we solve our spending problem, the sooner our jobs problem will go away as well.”
Yesterday, Ginger Gibson on Politico quoted a source from a private meeting of Republicans. “Nobody said cutting spending would be easy, we need to fight,” McConnell told Republicans on Tuesday, according to a source with knowledge of the statement. She said, "The rallying cry from McConnell came on the same day President Barack Obama laid out his plan to delay the sequester, which would involve new tax revenue coupled with spending cuts. The Republican leader is urging fellow Republicans to put up more of a fight on upcoming spending battles, including on sequestration."

It’s clear getting any serious spending cuts out of President Obama and Democrats who run the Senate will be difficult, given that they act as if every dime of government spending is sacred and are already trying to curtail spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect soon. Consider the state of denial Democrats appear to be in over the nature of our spending problem. Last year, the president actually told House Speaker John Boehner that “[w]e don’t have a spending problem.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has complained that “there is more to making our economy recover than just continually harping on what is going on with spending.” And when asked in January by CBS News’ Bob Scheiffer, “Do you then agree with the Republican leader in the Senate, Mr. McConnell, who says we're done now with the taxing side of it; now we have to concentrate on spending? Is that done now?” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi simply replied, “No.”

And of course yesterday President Obama already started trying to avoid the spending cuts that his White House came up with. The New York Times writes today, “Trying to gain the upper hand in the latest fiscal clash, Mr. Obama said Congress should delay the reductions for at least a few months to give lawmakers a chance to negotiate a full deficit reduction package that permanently resolves the threat of a so-called sequester. . . . Mr. Obama, who missed a deadline this week to submit his annual budget to Congress, acknowledged on Tuesday that a broader deficit agreement is unlikely to be reached by the March deadline.” But of course, the president’s ideas boiled down to yet more tax hikes.

notes, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had a different view. ‘If Democrats have ideas for smarter cuts, they should bring them up for debate . . ." He Noted  that the GOP-controlled House already has produced an alternative. ‘But the American people will not support more tax hikes in place of the meaningful spending reductions both parties already agreed to and the president signed into law,’ McConnell said, a reference to legislation earlier this year that raised taxes at upper incomes by $600 billion.

McConnell's office noted that the Senate's top Republican leader proposed ‘more than $100 billion in bipartisan spending reductions’ in last winter's talks, some related to Medicare. All were rejected by the administration, the statement added, including a $30 billion item that tracked a proposal Obama had advanced requiring wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for their care.”

As McConnell wrote in an Reuters this week, “President Barack Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. But because he focused on political gimmicks, rather than real reform, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits and nearly $6 trillion added to the debt instead. Based on what we heard from the president at a news conference Tuesday, his unserious attitude is likely to continue. . . . No one ever said tackling these challenges would be easy. It won’t be. But so far Democrats have been almost totally unwilling to engage meaningfully in the process. They’ve scheduled no hearings on the sequester or the debt ceiling, and have announced no plans for real solutions. . . . So, instead of reflexively calling for higher tax increases (even if the president got virtually every tax hike he asked for in his last budget, we still wouldn’t come close to solving our long-term challenges), it’s time for Democrats to finally work with us to shine a light into every corner of the budget so that we can root out waste. Rather than continually turning to gimmicks, we could get more done if the president would engage seriously with both parties to develop real reforms.”

Tags: Washington, D.C. Spending cuts, time to fight, HR 444, President, submit balanced budget, sequestration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Yes Virginia, There Is A Constitutional Monetary Unit

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Last week, the Virginia House of Delegates Rules Committee passed, by an 11 – 1 bipartisan majority, a bill to establish “a joint subcommittee to study the feasibility of a United States monetary unit based on a metallic standard, in keeping with the constitutional precepts and our nation’s founding principles….” Such a study could prove to be a very big deal indeed.

It would bring a sleeper issue, one crucial to economic growth, to the fore of the national debate. (Full disclosure, this columnist provided, by invitation, a letter in support of this legislation before the subcommittee vote. This respectfully was reported in a wonderful, whimsy-inflected, article by The Washington Post’s Tom Jackman.)

The legislation authorizing this study widely is expected to sail through the House of Delegates. It may well also be embraced by the Virginia Senate and signed by the governor. There’s reason for optimism since it is good policy and good (even bipartisan) politics.

First, this is an excellent piece of legislation. As reported Friday, unemployment remains stuck at 7.9%. This is a national tragedy. Job creation has been punk for over a decade, over three administrations under presidents of both parties. Official Washington leadership — with some important, exceptional, bright lights such as Joint Economic Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, former Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Jordan, House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling, and, in the Senate, Sens. Lee, Cornyn and Rubio — has seemed clueless that the Prime Suspect in punk job creation is lousy monetary policy. Washington will benefit from a nudge from America. And Virginia is quintessential America.

Second, it is a good sign for the Republic that elected officials are listening to the people, a very good thing. This bill has constituencies both Republican and Democratic.

It follows the directive of what may well prove to have been the most vital and innovative plank in the 2012 national Republican Platform: the monetary commission plank. This plank was championed, primarily, by the esteemed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), co-chair of the platform committee. Winning this plank was an impressive, savvy, achievement by Blackburn. The call for a monetary commission became the subject of respectful worldwide attention and, obviously, continues to resonate. It can become an important part of Blackburn’s effort to redirect and rebrand the GOP. Blackburn: “What you will see when the platform is opened this afternoon — you’ll see in the preamble how we lay out how we are the ‘Great Opportunity Party….’”

Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell (widely considered presidential timber), co-chaired the platform committee. He celebrated the platform as “a conservative vision of governance.” Enactment of this legislation would be seen, nationally, as important evidence that the governor walks the walk as well as he talks the talk. Should the Senate polarize along party lines one expects that McDonnell’s lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling — who also serves in the governor’s cabinet as Chief Jobs Creation Officer — would cast the historic tie-breaking vote in favor.

But the quality of money is not inherently a partisan, nor Republican, issue. A hearty three of the 11 Rules Committee members who voted in favor, Delegates Johnny Joannou, Joe Johnson, and Algie T. Howell, Jr., are Democrats. This is government like it’s supposed to be, “deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.” This is just as Jefferson declared.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen determined, in polling 1,000+ voters in late 2011, that the two cohorts most enthusiastic for the gold standard are part of the Democratic base: Blacks and members of labor unions. So there is real hope that Virginia’s elected officials from the Democratic Party, whether Blue Dog or Progressive, will honor the founder of their party — that great Virginian Thomas Jefferson —whose legacy included an implacable opposition to bad money.

Jefferson:“Paper money is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted.” … (To J.W. Eppes, 1813)

“Shall we build an altar to the old money of the Revolution, which ruined individuals but saved the Republic, and burn on that all the bank charters, present and future, and their notes with them? For these are to ruin both Republic and individuals. “ (To John Adams, 1814)

“… instead of funding issues of paper on the hypothecation of specific redeeming taxes … we are trusting to the tricks of jugglers on the cards, to the illusions of banking schemes for the resources of the war, and for the cure of colic to inflations of more wind.” (To M. Correa, 1814)
One sourpuss Democratic Virginia Delegate publicly criticized this legislation. The Washington Post’s canny Ben Pershing was able to get, on record, this statement by “Del. Mark Sickles (Fairfax), the Democratic Caucus chairman. ‘It can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Are we seriously going to spend taxpayer resources studying a replacement to the world’s backbone currency? Are we descending into la la land?” Sickles asked.’”

It, of course, is ludicrous to begrudge the spending of “tens(!) of thousands(!) of dollars” to help bring our multitrillion dollar economy back to vibrant economic growth. And it is hoped that Del. Sickles will recognize that Americans are really, really, sick of seeing every intelligent effort to restore vibrant job creation get turned into a partisan football. And that Mr. Sickles will rethink the wisdom of spitting in the face of his own party’s founder, Jefferson.

Good money isn’t a Republican or a Democratic issue. It is an issue of integrity, and of the day. Del. Sickles is right about the dollar being the “world’s backbone currency.” He, perforce, is on untenable ground in characterizing a study of the U.S. monetary unit as “descending into la la land.” Rather the opposite, such a joint subcommittee may just prove a ladder out of la la land.

Constitutional monetary policy is no fringe issue. Much of the elite financial and political media recently has called the gold standard “mainstream.” The London FT, August 23, 2102: The gold standard has returned to mainstream U.S. politics for the first time in 30 years….”; New York Sun editor Seth Lipsky in The Wall Street Journal : The Gold Standard Goes Mainstream; The New York Times: A Gold Standard is Unthinkable No More; The National Interest: The Gold Standard Goes Mainstream ; Forbes.com: The Republican Platform and the Mainstreaming of the Gold Standard. [The last two authored Ralph Benko.]

It’s not just media. The immensely sober-sided Bank of England issued, just over a year ago, a severe critique of contemporary monetary policy, Financial Stability Report No. 13 , scoring it as far worse performing, empirically, than the gold standard. And it’s not just for conservatives. As Ernest Hemingway noted, in Esquire, September 1935, “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

Virginia need not reach to London, to New York, to dignified yet bygone American figures like Ernest Hemingway, or even deep into its past for the wisdom of such great Virginians as Jefferson (and, for that matter, George Washington, James Madison, and John Marshall, also on record in this matter). The gold standard is a fully contemporary prescription, celebrated by scores of public intellectuals. Prominent among these, of course, is a good Virginia citizen, Dr. Judy Shelton, of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. A commission will create access to many learned scholars, such as Dr. Shelton, to create a dignified venue in which to address what seems to be emerging as the issue of the day.

The Virginia legislature, members of both houses, and parties, have an historic opportunity to enact and conduct a joint subcommittee to study the feasibility of a United States monetary unit based on a metallic standard. That would put the Commonwealth, whose flag depicts the Goddess of Virtue, in extremely virtuous national company. Gov. McDonnell’s signature would distinguish his office … and add to his national stature.

Yes Virginia, there is a Constitutional monetary unit. Your House of Delegates, with special credit to prime original sponsor Del. Bob Marshall, is greatly to be commended for offering to create a venue for America to rediscover that unit. And a venue to help America recall the vibrant, equitable, prosperity that unit brought and promises, upon its rediscovery, to bring again.
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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: yes Virginia, Virginia, Constitutional Monetary Unit, gold, gold standard, Ralph Benko To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reminder: Sequester ‘Originated In The White House’

White House Operatives Are Hoping You’ll Forget That They Were Actually For The Sequester Before They Were Against It
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise -- not turn off the pressure.” (President Obama, Remarks, 11/21/11)

‘Idea For The Draconian Spending Cuts Originated In The White House’
“The book ‘The Price of Politics,’ by Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward, makes it clear the idea for the draconian spending cuts originated in the White House – and not in Congress … Woodward describes the behind-the-scenes haggling last year that laid the groundwork for sequestration.” (“Bob Woodward Book Could Bolster Republican Attack On W.H.,” Politico, 9/7/12)
  • WOODWARD: “Lew, Nabors, Sperling and Bruce Reed, Biden’s chief of staff, had finally decided to propose using language from the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law as the model for the trigger.” (Bob Woodward, “The Price Of Politics,” Pgs. 339-340, 2012)
  • WOODWARD: “At 2:30 p.m. [on July 27] Lew and Nabors went to the Senate to meet with Reid and his chief of staff, David Krone. ‘We have an idea for the trigger,’ Lew said. ‘What’s the idea?’ Reid asked skeptically. ‘Sequestration.’ … Well, it could work, Lew and Nabors explained.” (Bob Woodward, “The Price Of Politics," Pg. 326, 2012)
WH Plan: Cut Half From The Defense Department
WOODWARD: “Well, it could work, Lew and Nabors explained. What would the impact be? They would design it so that half the threatened cuts would be from the Defense Department. ‘I like that,’ Reid said. ‘That’s good.’” (Bob Woodward, “The Price Of Politics,” Pg. 326, 2012)

“Big cuts would hit the military.” (“White House Report Details Effects Of Automatic Budget Cuts,” The New York Times, 9/14/12)

“Top defense officials have warned that further cuts to defense could hurt national security. And defense contractors have been saying for months that the cuts could result in significant layoffs in their industry.” (“White House Details Fiscal Cliff Spending Cuts,” CNN Money, 9/14/12)

Tags: Washington, D.C. Sequester, Originated In The White House, The White House, President Obama, Bob Woodward To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sequester | The Economy | Gasoline Prices | President & Dems: Tax Hikes & Regulations

Sequester better than no cuts at all
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 5, 2013
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Thursday to resume consideration of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act. Yesterday, the Senate voted 85-8 to proceed to S. 47. Today, Senate Republicans are holding their annual issues conference on Capitol Hill, and Senate Democrats are in Annapolis for their two-day retreat.

At noon, Mo Cowan will be sworn in as Senator from Massachusetts, after being appointed to fill the remainder of the term of former Senator John Kerry who is now Secretary of State.

The House is in session and will proceed today with consideration of H.Res. 52 — Electing Members to a certain standing committee of the House of Representatives. They may take up proposed H.R. 444 a bill requiring the President to submit balanced budget. It would require that, if the President's fiscal year 2014 budget does not achieve balance in a fiscal year covered by such budget, the President shall submit a supplemental unified budget by April 1, 2013, which identifies a fiscal year in which balance is achieved, and for other purposes.

Yesterday, the House passed:
H.R. 225 (375 - 27) — National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013 which amends title IV of the Public Health Service Act to provide for a National Pediatric Research Network, including with respect to pediatric rare diseases or conditions.
H.R. 297 (352 - 5) — Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013 which amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize support for graduate medical education programs in children's hospitals.

However, HR 235 — Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013 was not considered.

The President’s Sequester
This morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to the upcoming sequestration cuts:  “President Obama first proposed the sequester and insisted it become law. Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) responded: “Now that Congress has acted on the tax issue, the President needs to lay out significant spending reforms—the other side of the ‘balance’ as he defines it. But every day spent talking about ‘corporate jets’ is a day wasted, and given that the President again missed the deadline to submit a budget this year, there’s not much time to spare. The clock is ticking. It’s time to get serious.”

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson took issue with a fraudulent article in Sunday's New York Times claiming that the $50.5 billion of "aid just approved for victims of Hurricane Sandy will fall under the sequester's ax." The Times claimed Congress had subjected the entire $50.5 billion of hurricane disaster relief that just passed Congress to sequestration. Thus, this relief spending was paid for with offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget. Wilson identified that ALG thoroughly analyzed the legislation, section after section, and the Sandy Relief "appropriations were specifically exempted from sequestration under the Budget Control Act." Wilson concluded, "This just confirms what others have said, such as Investor's Business Daily, that the mainstream media has become little more than mouthpieces for the political left, the establishment in Washington, D.C., and the Obama Administration. Using hurricane victims as props to achieve an unrelated policy objective is just the newest low in a long line of demagoguery by the media, with Republicans in Congress set up as useful scapegoats. This is simply shameless.

"The fact is, amendments were offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney in the House and Sen. Mike Lee in the Senate that would have paid for hurricane disaster relief, and they were both soundly defeated in Congress. These amendments should have been passed to help pay for the disaster relief — not to cut the disaster relief funding itself — which was simply another distortion by the Times editorial. The fact is, these amendments were not passed, and the spending not paid for. The Times needs to correct the record."

The Economy
Considering the following statistics, we would expect a responsible president to stop his rhetoric and campaigning and to submit a budget and look for ways to cut government spending: Current Deficit: $292 billion
Current National Debt: $16.43 trillion
Debt Per Household: $143,188
Debt Per Individual: $52,125
Unemployment Rate: 7.9%

Though the economy continues to sputter along and many families are struggling, the Obama administration and Senate Democrat leaders are once again pushing policies to make energy even more expensive for Americans.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Gasoline prices took a big bite out of Americans' pocketbooks in 2012. The average U.S. household paid an estimated $2,912 for gasoline last year, sucking up nearly 4% of the average household income before taxes according to government data out Monday. That is the highest percentage in three decades, with the exception of 2008, when the rate was nearly identical.”

And yet, Senate Democrats are again apparently looking towards the same oil and gas tax hike that has been defeated with bipartisan opposition multiple times. President Obama has also called for this tax hike in the past.

In addition, the Obama administration continues to delay construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which could help lower energy prices and create jobs, after blocking it for over a year. Politico reported last month that “White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration will not be pushed into making a hasty decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. More than half the Senate -- 53 senators -- signed a letter to President Obama on Wednesday urging quick approval.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time, “The President rejected Keystone last year because he didn’t want to offend his environmentalist base in a political year, but the election is over. With [the latest] hurdle now cleared, the President should give the green light to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create thousands of good jobs as well as help make our nation more energy independent. The President says he’s for an all of the above approach to energy and now it’s time for him to live up to it.”

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed writes, “During his inaugural address last month, President Barack Obama vowed firmly and explicitly to make tackling climate change a top priority in his second term.” But opposition in Congress means “Obama will have to act unilaterally via executive orders and the Environmental Protection Agency — circumventing the legislative process entirely.” Reuters adds, “Energy industry experts expect Obama will sidestep Congress and use executive power to enact his second-term environmental agenda. By April, they say, the EPA could issue carbon emission standards for new plants that would effectively prevent new coal-fired generators from being built. Next would come a more controversial effort, setting standards for existing plants, a measure sure to provoke industry lawsuits.”

Indeed, the Obama administration has made it more and more expensive to generate electricity using coal. “A Reuters survey found that almost 100 coal-fired power plants have closed since 2010. Some 150 others have announced plans to close before the decade ends.

Coal generated 50 percent of the United States' electricity in 2005, a figure that fell to 38 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” Reuters reports. In the same story, “Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp, said he fears for the end of coal, prodded by a U.S. president who has promoted wind and solar power while cracking down on emissions from coal-fired power plants. ‘There are no coal-fired plants being built. Mr. Obama took care of that. I think we're totally eliminated by 2035,’ said Murray . . . .”

In our present economy, the last thing Americans need is policies that make it more expensive to fill up their car or heat their home, and yet that’s all they seems to get from the Obama administration and and the leadership of the Democrat-controlled Senate. Unfortunately, it is doubtful the Senate Democrats are seriously considering the economy and the American people during their current two-day retreat in Annapolis.

Tags: President’s Sequester, sequester, presidential budget, Democrats retreat, The Economy, economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, February 04, 2013

True North: Declaration of Independence

by Glenn Gallas, Op-Ed: If you have ever experienced the feelings that come with being lost you know just how strange being lost makes you feel. A whole gamut of emotions swirl around you, fear, doubt, apprehension, as you try to find your way, and nothing feels better than the moment you recognize a familiar place or landmark. It is at the point when you no longer feel lost that you can begin the process of finding your way back home.

We have become lost as a nation. We have lost our way and many Americans right now are feeling the same emotions that come with being lost in the forest and they are looking for a way to get back home. Finding our way back home is not difficult if we follow some of the simple principles of land navigation. A principle of land navigation is that you must have at least one known point in order to find a destination. The known point can be either where you are, where you are going or direction. In land navigation there is one certainty that never changes and that is direction. Finding direction on the ground requires finding True North. True North is north as it actually exists on earth. It never changes and knowing it guarantees we will find our way home. Once you find True North you then need to have a map so you can orient it to True North. We used to do this all the time when maps were used instead of GPS Systems to find our way. I can still remember when drivers would unfold their maps and turn it every which way until it was properly oriented then they could followed the map to get to their destination.

So the first step in finding our way as a nation is to recapture our True North. True North for the American is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is the True North our founders charted for our country, it doesn’t change. Once they chose our nations direction they then created the map called the US Constitution, so we could never get lost as so many other civilizations have done over the course of history. If we are ever to find our way again as a nation we must first find and follow our True North.
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Glenn Gallas is a former Republican candidate for US Congress. Gallas is noted for inspiring excellence in leadership. As a conservative he has become active in many venues including being on the Dave Elswick Show KARN 102.9 FM and his On The Right Road Radio Show.

Tags: Glenn Gallas, On The Right Road, True North, Declaration of Independence, map, US Constitution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas: House Passes Church Carry By Overwhelming Majority

AR State Sen, Bryan King
Today, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 71, the Church Protection Act, by an overwhelming bipartisan 85-8 vote.

It now returns to the state Senate for a procedural vote. The Arkansas Senate previously passed the bill 28-4 on Jan 28, 2003. It will then be sent to Governor Mike Beebe (D) for his expected signature. Governor Beebe has publicly stated he has no objection to the legislation.

SB 71, introduced by state Senator Bryan King (R-5), would remove the absolute prohibition on concealed carry permit holders from being able to defend themselves in any church or other place of worship. It includes an Emergency Clause, so it will go into effect immediately upon the anticipated approval by Governor Beebe.

Thank YOU  to all who supporters of this important reform to the Right-to-Carry reform measure in Arkansas, especially to Senator King, who began promoting this effort in 2011 while serving as a state Representative.
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Related article: Arkansas: State Senate Passes Church Carry

Tags: Arkansas, State House, Passed, Church Carry bill, gun rights, Bryan King, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Misfire: Obama PR Stunt

AF "Tony" Branco:

Tags: President Obama. PR stunt, misfire, skeet shooting, Barry Fudd, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Misses Budget Deadline | Democrats Still Stuck On Tax Hikes | We Must Cut Spending

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 4, 2012
President Obama missed the legally-mandated deadline to submit his budget to Congress for the fourth time in five years. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires the president to submit his budget request for the upcoming fiscal year by the first Monday of February – that’s today! In his first term, President Obama missed the budget deadline more than any other president. Today marks the fourth time in five years that the Obama administration will not adhere to this legal deadline. See how the President stacks up against past administrations, here, courtesy of the House Budget Committee.

Why are we paying his staff responsible for developing this budget? House Speaker John Boehner responded to President Obama's latest failure, "For the fourth time in five years this White House has proven it does not take trillion-dollar deficits seriously enough to submit a budget on time. In contrast, Republicans will meet our obligations and pass another budget in the coming weeks that addresses our spending problem, promotes robust job creation, and expands opportunity for all Americans. The president’s Senate now must pass a budget this year for the first time in nearly four years, or lose its pay. It’s long past time for the president to do his job. This week, the House will act on a measure requiring the president to submit a balanced budget, and we hope he uses this opportunity to offer the American people his plan to do that."

House Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise commented, "For the fourth time in five years, President Obama has shirked his responsibility and failed to file his budget request on time.  One step towards getting our economy back on track is ensuring that government does its job and meets its own deadlines." [Since the Republicans gained control] "The House has passed a budget each of the last two years and will continue to do our job on time again this year. Later this week, the House will take up legislation requiring the president to produce a plan to balance the federal budget. It’s time for liberals in the White House and Senate to do their jobs and propose a budget so we can have a serious conversation about the economic recovery of our country.”

According to Pew, 53% of adults say the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms; 43% say it does not. Of those who said yes, 31% believe the federal government is a major threat to their rights and 22% believe it is just a minor threat.  Congress' average approval for early- to late January was 15.4% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 78.6%

The Senate reconvened this afternoon and began consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act. At 5:30 PM, the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to S. 47.

The House reconvened and is scheduled to consider the following bills:
HR 297 — Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013
HR 235 — Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013
HR 225 — National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013

This afternoon, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor, “As I’ve said repeatedly in recent weeks, we need to find a way to control runaway federal spending and debt, and we need to do it quickly. This is absolutely essential if we’re to avoid a European-style catastrophe of our own, and it’s what we need to do if we’re serious about removing government obstacles that stand in the way of a robust recovery and new jobs. Reducing the debt will throw off a wet blanket that has been weighing our economy down for too long. This is a serious challenge, and it demands serious spending reforms from both parties in Washington. Yet if you were to listen to the Democrats, you’d think all of our ills could be solved by raising taxes on private jets or energy companies. These aren’t real solutions, Mr. President. They’re poll-tested gimmicks.”

But Democrats apparently spent the weekend continuing to talk about how they want even more tax increases. Reuters notes, “President Barack Obama said on Sunday more tax revenue would be needed to reduce the U.S. deficit and signaled he would push hard to get rid of loopholes such as the ‘carried interest’ tax break enjoyed by private equity and hedge fund managers.” And ABC’s George Stephanopoulos wrote, “Asserting that ‘the American people’ are on his side, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told me during an exclusive interview for ‘This Week’ that any that deal reached between Republicans and Democrats to avoid the looming sequester must – ‘without any question’ - include revenue. . . . Reid confirmed his position on revenue would apply to any deal put into place to avert a government shutdown or lift the debt ceiling as well. This puts him directly at odds with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who said earlier this month on ‘This Week’ that the ‘tax issue is finished.’ . . .”

The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, “The man who runs the U.S. Senate gave a rare interview on Sunday, but his message was familiar: Before they reduce spending, Democrats want still another tax increase. Majority Leader Harry Reid told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that a tax increase is also his price for adjusting the terms of the automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. . . . Federal revenues have been at low levels since 2009 because of the historically slow recovery, but they should come back to 18%-19% of GDP with any kind of normal growth. It'd be nice if Harry and the Democrats waited to see, but their tax appetite is voracious.”

Normal economic growth would do this country a world of good, instead of an economy that’s limping along and even contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012. Of course, tax hikes are not the way to bring about growth. McConnell was adamant when he said at the beginning of the year, “The tax issue is over. We resolved that a few days ago. . . .”

McConnell explained today, “[T]he larger point is this: the challenge we face right now is the fact that government spending is completely out of control. So to focus on a tax of any kind is to miss the point entirely.”

Tags: President Obama, missed deadline, democrats, tax hikes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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  • 12/29/13 - 1/5/14
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