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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
by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation: President Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Libya to succeed Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the terrorist attack in Benghazi last September 11. Six months after that attack—and two federal investigations later—we still have an alarmingly small amount of information about it.
The Obama Administration made quite a mess in the media with its conflicting accounts of the attack, originally blaming a controversial YouTube video for sparking protests abroad.
The latest incriminating information on the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya indicates that the State Department turned down a request for additional security from concerned U.S. embassy staff.
New evidence shows there were security threats in Libya in the months prior to the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Despite these threats, the State Department left its personnel there to fend for themselves.
And when the terrorist attack did take place, the Obama Administration peddled the ridiculous story that an offensive, amateurish, anti-Islam YouTube video was to blame in order to avoid characterizing the murders of four Americans as terrorism.
On October 2, a letter was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R–CA) and Jason Chaffetz (R–UT), Chairman of the National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. The letter detailed 13 known security threats against U.S. facilities in Libya in the six months prior to September 11.
September 25: On ABC’s “The View,” Obama says, “we don’t have all of the information yet so we are still gathering.”
September 25: To the U.N. assembly, Obama blames “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”
September 26: Libya’s Magarief on the “Today” show says, “It was a preplanned act of terrorism directed against American citizens.”
September 26: Published reports show U.S. Intel agencies and the Obama Administration knew within 24 hours that al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist were involved.
September 27: Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Mark Basseley Youseff (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) is arrested and denied bail on the charges of “probation violation.”
September 28: Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., issues a statement backing the Obama Administration’s changing story about the Libyan attack. Says facts are evolving.
October 2: Carney declines to comment on reported requests from diplomats in Libya for additional security, citing the State Department’s internal investigation. Tags:Barack Obama, embassies, Hillary Clinton, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jay Carney, Libya, middle east, National Counterterrorism Center, National Security, State Department, Susan Rice, terrorism, Video, violence, youtube, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Richard Manning, Americans for Limited Government: The timeless Washington, D.C. game of guess the Cabinet appointment has turned the town’s focus onto Thomas Perez, the current head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, as the likely replacement for former Secretary Hilda Solis.
But Perez’ path to Senate confirmation is anything but clear as a just released Justice Department Inspector General’s report sharply criticized both his leadership of the Civil Rights Division and his truthfulness in responding to allegations that political operatives were involved in the decision to not prosecute two New Black Panther Party leaders on voter intimidation charges leveled after the 2008 election.
Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government called on the Senate to reject Perez if he is nominated stating, “President Obama’s likely nominee for Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s attempted cover up of the involvement of Obama political appointees in the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case makes him unfit to serve in any further capacity in this or any other Administration.
“Perez knowingly lied to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission when he insisted under questioning that political appointees were not involved in overturning the decision to not to prosecute two New Black Panther Party leaders who were caught on camera threatening voters at a Philadelphia polling place.
“Even U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton found in Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice that documents in the case, ‘appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’ testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.’
“It is shocking that Obama would consider appointing someone who should be prosecuted for perjury rather than promoted to Labor Secretary.
“Sadly, that Perez is even being considered to be the nominee reveals a great deal about Obama’s arrogance and utter disregard for the constitutional advice and consent process that he would even consider, let alone offer up, someone as unfit as .
“If it is left to the Senate, they must do their constitutional duty and reject Perez. At a time when our nation is in a jobs crisis, the public has a right to demand better than a political hack who has proven that he is willing to do or say anything regardless of truth.”
The Labor Department itself faces a scandal in its Job Corps program, where the Department is under congressional fire for overspending by $61 million, causing the number of program openings to be cut in half.
“Any incoming Secretary of Labor will have to confront the gross mismanagement of public funds that was allowed to occur under Hilda Solis. To place someone, like Perez, into this position of trust who has already been excoriated by a federal court and the Justice Department Inspector General for choosing to lie to cover up potential political malfeasance hardly provides the public confidence that he could lead anything other than a typical administrative cover up,” Wilson concluded.
If Obama nominates Perez, it is expected that he will face a difficult confirmation process.
---------- Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. Tags:Labor Dept. Nominee, Sec. of Labor, Thomas Perez, Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, scandal, truth problem, Richard Manning, Americans For Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: The White House continues to inch closer to a carbon tax. In Obama's first post-election press conference, he dodged the question. The next day his spokesman Jay Carney said: "We would never propose a carbon tax, and have no intention of proposing one." Great, but they don't have to propose it. The proposals have now been made by Obama's key allies. Senator Barbara Boxer, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee introduced a carbon tax bill with Vermont's Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist. On the House side, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman, has introduced a carbon tax discussion draft. This week Obama indicated he's quietly preparing to back these proposals.
"If we move aggressively on an issue like climate change -- that's not an easy issue for a lot of folks," Obama said to the first meeting of the operatives of Organizing for Action — his supposedly non-partisan continuation of his presidential campaign. "I want to make sure that a congressman, senator feels as if they've got the information and the grassroots network that's going to support them in that effort."
So the bills have been introduced and Obama is readying his grassroots army. This is looking increasingly real, and the economic stakes are enormous.
Let's start with the pain at the pump. The Boxer-Sanders bill taxes carbon dioxide at $20 per metric ton, which works out to 17.8 cents a gallon of gasoline. So it basically would double the existing federal gas tax. (Which of course begs the question — don't we already tax carbon enough?) It gets much worse; Boxer-Sanders automatically raises the tax 5.6 percent per year for 10 years, enough to double the tax to 30 cents. And the tax would also hit your electric bill, of course, and industrial energy users would be hit hard.
A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that a carbon tax similar to Boxer-Sanders would knock an immediate half a percent off of GDP and threaten millions of jobs.
The Waxman discussion draft is potentially much worse. It proposes a range of starting prices and automatic increases up to $35 per metric ton and 8 percent. That would mean about 31 cents a gallon gas tax to start, automatically jumping to 67 cents by year 10 and $1.34 by year 20. Of course electricity generation, manufacturers, and every product grown, shipped, or manufactured would also be hit.
But perhaps the biggest danger is that despite the widespread economic damage, these proposals could become politically viable by incorporating large scale income redistribution. Even one supposedly conservative advocate of carbon taxes recently suggested 11 percent of the revenue should be used to increase social welfare spending to alleviate the impact of higher energy prices on the poor. We can safely assume the liberals will push for a much larger piece than that, perhaps issuing free gas cards much like existing food stamp cards so hardworking taxpayers can pick up the (fast-rising!) gas tab not just for themselves but for others, too.
Dr. Ben Carson to CPAC: Obama 'Trying to Destroy the Country' By Sandy Fitzgerald, NewsMax: Dr. Benjamin Carson, whose speech at the National Prayer Breakfast made headlines, said Saturday he is leaving medicine, and hinted at political aspirations that could even include the presidency.
The neurosurgeon, speaking at the Conservative Political Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., said he plans to end his medical career while he's still at the top of his game and focus more on his educational foundation, Carson's Scholars, reports CNN.
During his speech at CPAC, Carson further fueled talk of politics when he asked the audience hypothetically, “What if you magically put me in the White House?”
Carson's drew cheers at the National Prayer Breakfast when he criticized the Obama administration's tax policies and Obamacare as the president looked on.
And during Saturday's speech at CPAC, Carson said people often dismiss black Republicans, like himself even though President Barack Obama and his allies are “trying to destroy the country.”
Carson said if someone wanted to ruin the United States, they “would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now."
While the retiring physician does not give 100 percent of the blame to any one person — even Obama, his barbs were aimed at him. Tags:CPAC 2013, Dr. Ben Carson, Video, NewsWeek article about CarsonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Marco Rubio: "The idea is America; it still works."
"Look around the world, who are they copying."
"They may claim to hate us but they would like to be us." Tags:Senator, Marco Rubio, CPAC 2013, Florida, pro-lifeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Allen West: "I am not ready to give up on America. I'm not ready to abandon by my oath or my values. I am not ready this resign this land, this free people to self-inflicted collapse." Tags:Representative, Lt. Colonel, Allen West, CPAC, 2013, rally call to conservatives, FloridaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
How about something different than politics or articles threats to America? Okay! Here you go - an article about Skeumorphism!
by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Is it time to get rid of skeuomorphism? Before you could answer that question, you would probably like me to give you a definition for that word. A skeuomorph is a design on an object that resembles another object. If you are a car aficionado, think of the simulated wood grain on some of earlier model stations wagons. If you like pottery, think of the imitation rivets that make it look like a metal pot.
My focus in this column is not on cars or pots. I want to talk about the interface in computer applications. In order to introduce new computer users to an application, software designers used graphic images that mimicked the real world. You place documents and other articles in file folders. You take notes in notebooks. Your calendar displays days in an animated function that allows you to flip the calendar. Your eBook collection sits on a wooden shelf in your computer’s book section. You play cards on a felt poker table.
The argument in favor of skeuomorphism originally was compelling. People unfamiliar with computers would find it easy to use these computer applications because visually they were similar to what they were doing in the real world. They were taking notes in notebooks. They were putting books on a shelf. They were playing cards on a card table. All of this took place on a computer screen that looked like desktop. Using skeuomorphism made sense because it was easy for the user and intuitive.
The question today is whether they are necessary. Most people have been using computers for many years. Even children grow up learning computers at a young age and probably do not need these visual devices to know how to use a computer and its applications. In fact, in our computerized world they might not even understand some of these interfaces.
We may like the look of books on a wooden bookshelf or the look of taking notes on a leather-bound notebook. That is fine if we want to nostalgic. Let’s also acknowledge that we don’t need them. A simple, clean interface might be enough. Tags:Skeuomorphism, Kerby Anderson, Point of ViewTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
"Balanced budget requirements seem more likely to produce accounting ingenuity than genuinely balanced budgets." - Thomas Sowell
Read: Tale of Two Budgets
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 15, 2013
The Senate is in recess until next Monday. Yesterday the rejected (45-54) an amendment to pending H.R. 933 made by Sen. Tom Coburn, MD, (R-OK) to temporarily freeze the hiring of nonessential Federal employees. The democrats won't even "temporarily" stop even hiring "nonessential" Federal employees! One democrat, Sen. McCaskill (MO) joined her Republican colleague Sen. Roy Blunt (MO) voted for the amendment. However, neighboring democrat Senator Mark Pryor (AR) failed to do the same and voted lockstep with the democrats against the temporary freeze. Pryor is up for re-election in 2014 and continues to vote against the will of the majority of Arkansans as if he might not be running again for office.
The Senate also rejected (54-45) an Amendment by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) with votes 100% along party lines. Harkin's amendment would have rewritten the House bill in numerous areas. Note, Sen. Harkins age 73, a former U.S. Congressman, will not seek re-election in 2014.
The House met for a part of today and passed H.R. 803 (215-202) — The SKILLS Act - "To reform and strengthen the workforce investment system of the Nation to put Americans back to work and make the United States more competitive in the 21st century." Four Republican amendments to the bill were passed prior to the final vote, 1 Republican amendment was withdrawn and 1 Democrat amendment was defeated. The SKILLS Act replaces the former Workforce Investment Act. Speaker Boehner responded to the passage of this bill, "By upgrading the nation’s job-training system, the SKILLS Act stands to help millions of Americans in their efforts to find work in this tough economy. Having run a small business, I know how crucial it is to find the right candidates for the right positions, and this measure will go a long way towards making that connection easier. It eliminates and streamlines dozens of overlapping federal programs. And it ensures that reform goes hand in hand with transparency and accountability – something hard-working taxpayers deserve. . . . The Senate should follow our lead and give America’s job-seekers a vote on the SKILLS Act.”
This week we saw a movement on budgets with House Budget Committee released the Republican lead budget on Tuesday. Then in a major change of efforts, the Senate Senate Budget finally after four years released the Democrat lead budget. And, again we are still waiting for the overdue Presidential budget (thus the editorial cartoon above). The Patriot Post provides an excellent "Tail of Two Budgets" addressing the two budgets. Worth the read, even the Ryan Plan gets some red marks.
Known for being a straight talker, Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), doesn't have any kind words for Sen. Murray's budget plan. Phillips said, "The budget submitted by Senate Democrats calls for $1.5 trillion in higher taxes, trillions more in new spending, and does absolutely nothing to address the broken entitlement system our country is facing. Senator Murray has no plan to ever balance the budget, and instead does the exact opposite - increasing spending and adding an additional $7 trillion to the national debt.
"Overall, Murray’s plan is very dangerous for Americans and our economy as a whole. Continuing out-of-control spending means raising taxes on you, at a time when many Americans can’t afford more tax increases. To not cut spending is irresponsible, but to not even mention it is pure insanity." You can keep up with AFP's policy team's analysis at their Budget & Spending Issue Page.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council also had few good word for the Sen. Murray budget plan. Perkins' said, "Although Democrats insist Murray's proposal would reduce the deficit, it does so far less ambitiously than the House budget. Depending on whose math you use, the Murray budget would cut anywhere from $650 billion to $1.85 trillion from the deficit (mostly thorough accounting gimmicks as opposed to real cuts). But by 2023, Americans would still be dealing with a half-trillion budget shortfall -- whereas Ryan's measure could create as much as a $7 billion surplus in the same time period." Murray's budget "pushes for $162 billion more spending next year than this year--and for every page of spending cuts (11), she proposes three and a half pages (39) of new stimulus spending. 'Their budget never balances -- ever,' Ryan noted. 't simply takes more from hardworking families to spend more in Washington' That's just one of the differences between the two measures"
While the Murray plan should really be DOA, it will in the end force a conference between the House and Senate for a final budget deal. However, the Ryan plan is not without its negatives.
The previous fiscal cliff deal allowed taxes to rise by $620 billion dollars; Ryan leaves those higher revenues in his budget. AFP opposed the fiscal cliff deal because of the higher taxes; this budget cements them.
Tax Reform: Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp have committed to doing tax reform. Their goals include:
o Individual: Two Brackets, 10% and 25%o Individual: Repeal Alternative Minimum Taxo Eliminate Deductions and Credits: no list of what they’re targetingo Corporate: Top rate of 25%o Corporate: Move to territorial system
o Repeals the spending portion of the President’s law§ Repeals the $1.2 trillion in exchange subsidies§ Repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Boardo Does not explicitly repeal the taxes in the President’s lawo Medicaid: Block grants Medicaid & food stamps (SNAP)o Medicare: premium support that is the same as his plan last year
o Extends the BCA caps for two more yearso Increases federal employee contribution to their pension planso Provides some flexibility on defense spending, while keeping the caps in place
o Permits the Keystone Pipelineo Expanded oil and gas leasingo Stops the government from buying up land to lock off production
o Winds down Fannie and Freddie
Social Security: nothing. He punts to the President and asks him to come up with a plan
Death Tax: nothing.
Taxes: keeps the higher taxes from the fiscal cliff deal and doesn’t explicitly repeal the President’s health care.
Tags:budgets, House Budget, Senate budgetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Speaker Boehner: “A Balanced Budget Means a Healthier Economy, More Jobs, and a Brighter Future for Our Kids and Our Grandkids”
WASHINGTON, DC– At his weekly press briefing today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) highlighted House Republicans’ responsible, balanced budget that will help promote economic growth and job creation today, and preserve the American Dream for future generations. Speaker Boehner urged the president and Senate Democrats to work with Republicans on a plan that balances the budget – as American families do every day – and addresses the spending problem in Washington. Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks: On House Republicans’ Responsible, Balanced Budget: “House Republicans have a plan to balance the budget in 10 years. Our plan cuts wasteful spending, grows the economy, and will create new opportunities for millions of Americans. …
“There are those out there who criticize our plan. We repeal the president’s health care law, because it’s bad for Americans’ health care, and it’s bad for jobs. We don’t raise taxes, because the president got the tax hikes that he campaigned on back in January.
“I was glad to see that Senate Democrats offered their own plan this week for the first time in four years. Now, it’s the president’s turn.” On Democrats’ Failure to Put Forward a Plan that Balances the Budget:
“The Democrats who run Washington love to talk about a ‘balanced approach.’ But there’s nothing ‘balanced’ about a budget that never gets to balance. And they have no plan to balance the budget – ever. …
“President Obama says he doesn’t want to balance the budget, ‘just for the sake of balance.’ Well, neither do we. A balanced budget means a healthier economy, more jobs, and a brighter future for our kids and our grandkids. … It’s a means to an end, an end that ensures that our kids and grandkids have the same opportunities we did – having a shot at the American dream.”
On the Need for President Obama and Senate Democrats to Work with Republicans to Balance the Budget & Address the Nation’s Fiscal Crisis: “We won’t agree on everything, but we should be able to agree on some common goals. Number one: how about balancing the nation’s budget. Every family in America has to balance their budget. Washington should too.
“President Clinton worked with a Republican-led Congress, made balancing the budget a truly bipartisan objective. It’s now part of his legacy. I believe this president should do likewise. …
“Listen, I’m glad President Obama reached out yesterday and visited with our House Republican Conference. And I think we had an honest discussion. But this is going to take more than dinner dates and phone calls. It’s going to take the president and Senate Democrats rolling up their sleeves and making tough choices about how we solve our nation’s problems. No more tax hikes, no more gimmicks, and no more putting off what needs to be done today.
“And if we work together, we can succeed. We can balance the budget. We can protect the American Dream. And I hope the president and Senate Democrats will join us.”Tags:Speaker Boehner, John Boehner, press conference, March 14, 2013, Balanced Budget, Healthier Economy, More Jobs, Brighter Future, Our Kids, Our GrandkidsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats Love Affair With $1.5 Trillion In New Taxes
Bankrupting America: Debt Crisis
Obama told Good Morning America
that he doesn't believe we have
a debt crisis. With the national debt
approaching $17 trillion - on its way to
$20 trillion in the next 4 years - it's time
for Washington to wake up to reality.
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 14, 2013
The House today began consideration of taking up H.R. 803 which will reform and strengthen the workforce investment system of the Nation to put Americans back to work and make the United States more competitive in the 21st century.
Yesterday, the House passed (246-181), H.R. 890 which prohibits waivers relating to compliance with the work requirements for the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families, and for other purposes.
Today, the Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 933, the House-passed continuing resolution that funds the government through the end of September. At 11:15, the Senate began voting on two amendments to H.R. 933, one from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and one from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) which would freeze the hiring of non-essential federal employees for the rest of the fiscal year. More amendment votes are possible today.
Democrat Senators On Budget Committee Unanimously Opposed Balancing The Federal Budget:
The committee member votes on the following two amendments addressing this issue follow: Sen. Sessions Amendmentwould reduce revenues in the Chairman’s Mark to the level of revenues in CBO’s February baseline and reduce total outlays such that the Democrats’ budget would balance in FY 2023. YEAS (10): Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker NAYS (12): Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King Sen. R. Johnson Amendment would create a new 60-vote point of order against any budget resolution that does not produce a surplus in any year after FY 2022. YEAS (10): Sessions, Grassley, Enzi, Crapo, Graham, Portman, Toomey, R. Johnson, Ayotte, Wicker NAYS (12): Murray, Wyden, Nelson, Stabenow, Sanders, Whitehouse, Warner, Merkley, Coons, Baldwin, Kaine, King
Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the extreme, tax-hiking budget that Senate Democrats unveiled yesterday: “Instead of getting Washington spending under control, their proposed budget doubles down on the same wasteful ‘stimulus’ spending we already know doesn’t work. In fact, at a time when Americans believe about half of every dollar they send to Washington is wasted, the Democrat budget would increase spending by nearly 62 percent. Their budget will do more to harm the economy than to help it, and it will let Medicare and Social Security drift closer to bankruptcy. And then there’s the Democrats’ $1.5 trillion tax hike. Trillion with a T. Let me just repeat that: any Senator who votes for that budget is voting for a $1.5 trillion tax hike, the largest in the history of our country. So the Senate Democrat budget is more than just disappointing: it’s extreme. It’s really one of the most extreme, most left-wing budgets of the modern era. It says something, I think, about today’s Washington Democrats.”
Even mainstream media outlets have noted the irresponsible numbers in Democrats’ budget. The New York Times points out, “Under their budget, Senate Democrats would have the government running a deficit of nearly $600 billion in 10 years.” That’s still nowhere close to eliminating the deficit. And according to The Washington Post, “[W]ith annual deficits hovering around $500 billion for much of the decade, [under the Democrats’ budget] the debt would remain at historically high levels, rising from $16.7 trillion today to $24.3 trillion by 2023, or 94 percent of the nation’s economy.”
And, Senate Democrats seem to have even surpassed President Obama in their tax and spend ways in this budget.The Post notes, “On one side of the Capitol, President Obama sought to convince House Republicans on Wednesday that he is serious about reining in the rising cost of federal health and retirement programs. But on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Democrats rolled out a 10-year spending plan that sent a different message: Not so fast.” In fact, “Senate Democrats are resisting the reforms the president has laid on the table. Instead of $400 billion in Medicare savings, Murray’s blueprint offers $275 billion from both Medicare and Medicaid. And instead of $700 billion in new tax revenue, her blueprint seeks nearly $1 trillion.” Actually, it’s since been revealed that Democrats now want $1.5 trillion in tax hikes in their budget.
As Leader McConnell said, “There was a time when the Democrat Party cared about fiscal responsibility, when Democrats understood the need to be concerned about the impact their policies would have on hardworking taxpayers. A time when they would have rejected this budget as a joke. But those voices of reason have mostly been chased out of today’s D.C. Democrats. The few who remain have been sidelined and silenced throughout the budget process. Even the Chairman of the Finance Committee has been pushed aside so his fellow Democrats can quickly ram through their massive tax hike. So, it will be no surprise to hear that my caucus opposes this left-wing manifesto masquerading as a responsible budget. And when Americans get a chance to digest their budget and the one House Republicans put forward earlier this week, they will see some clear differences. . . . In short, they will see a bold, reformist Republican budget centered on their needs, and an extreme Democrat budget centered on the needs of Washington bureaucrats and politicians.”
Yesterday, in an op-ed in the Washington Post and provided to the ARRA News Service by the Speaker's office, Speaker Boehner recalled the president to the table asking, "Obama’s outreach is nice, but where’s the leadership?" Boehner wrote, "So it was a good meeting. House Republicans welcomed the chance for a frank exchange of ideas with President Obama on Wednesday. Outreach is always positive, and more Republicans in this town need the opportunity to have an open dialogue with our president. I hope these discussions continue.
. . . If we’re going to find bipartisan solutions, the president will have to move beyond the same proposals and Democratic dogma. For all of Washington’s focus on the president’s outreach to Republicans, it’s his engagement with members of his own party that will determine whether we succeed in dealing with the challenges facing our economy.
Take the budget. At a time when our economy continues to limp along and every American’s share of our national debt exceeds $52,000, Washington owes the people a responsible, balanced budget. The plan Republicans introduced this week balances the budget in 10 years. Instead of spending money we don’t have to expand government, our budget focuses on growing the economy and improving the lives of American families. Our balanced budget means more economic security for workers and parents, a more secure retirement for the elderly and more opportunities for younger workers.
Recognizing the reality of divided government, Republicans launched an effort in January to try to bring Senate Democrats to the table. Republicans’ “No Budget, No Pay” law requires Senate Democrats to pass a budget for the first time in four years or lose their salary. This has worked, and if both chambers pass their budgets next week, we’ll have another opportunity to reconcile two very different visions for the future.
I don’t underestimate the difficulty of this task, especially given that Senate Democrats have no interest in balancing the budget. The president also doesn’t share the goal of a balanced budget, despite frequent talk of a “balanced approach.” But we need to try, because doing so is vital to ensuring that our children and grandchildren have a chance to live the American dream.
The problem, in large part, is that Democrats refuse to make the tough choices necessary to solve our long-term debt crisis. Despite enacting $650 billion worth of tax hikes in January, they would rather raise taxes again and tinker around the edges on entitlements — if at all — while spending on these and many other federal programs continues on autopilot.
This is not how we’ll fix Washington’s spending problem. The president knows that. During our debt discussions in 2011, he supported such reforms as raising the Medicare eligibility age and achieving savings in Medicaid. He has since taken these reforms off the table. Instead of continuing to backpedal, the president could put these ideas back in the mix — and make it so that this budget process isn’t just a political exercise that goes nowhere.
To be sure, there are other parts of our budget the president can embrace, including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department released a report this month that makes clear there is no reason to further delay this project, which enjoys broad public support and will create tens of thousands of American jobs. Unfortunately, lawmakers and interests in the president’s party are standing in the way. This is another chance for the president to forge common ground and stand up for middle-class jobs.
All of these bipartisan discussions are encouraging, and Republicans hope they will lead to real solutions that help American families. But presidential leadership is really what’s needed. By shifting the focus from charm to courage, and eventually action, we can guarantee our children a future where everyone has the opportunity to find work and pursue their piece of the American dream. That would be the grandest bargain of all."Tags:Democrat Budget, $1.5 Trillion, tax increase, debt, National debt, Speaker Boehner, op-edTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today, the Nut-Left Democrats on the Senate Judiciary voted to report the Feinstein gun ban –which could ban between 50% and 80% of guns and magazines in circulation today. It may not even get a majority in the Senate – much less the 60 votes needed to pass. And it is being pushed primarily to allow anti-gun Democrats from pro-gun states to pretend to be pro-gun.
Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee passed, by a 10-to-8 vote, the universal gun registry bill. Chief sponsor Chuck Schumer has been unable to achieve Republican support from anyone other than the anti-gun Illinois Republican Mark Kirk. Therefore, unless another Republican sells out at the last minute, we believe we can successfully filibuster this ill in the full Senate.
Tuesday, by a vote of 14-to-4, the Judiciary Committee also reported a Boxer bill that would increase, by $10 million, the funding for an existing school safety program. The money could be used for armed guards, as the NRA proposes, or it could be used for an anti-gun study. It is therefore neither inherently “pro-gun” nor “anti-gun.” We have said we would oppose proceeding to Boxer if it is a vehicle for votes on other anti-gun measures – but that we would not object to its passage, without amendment, by “unanimous consent.”
This brings us to the central battlefield: Last week, the committee reported, by a vote of 11-to-7, the Veterans Gun Ban, S. 54. The lone GOP vote in favor came from Chuck Grassley, who indicated he would oppose the bill on the Senate floor unless it was improved from the committee-reported version.
As we see it, the chief strategic objective is now to keep gun control votes from coming to the Senate floor by opposing the “motion to proceed” to any bill which is going to be used as a vehicle for gun votes.
That would certainly mean that senators should oppose moving to proceed to universal gun registries or the Veterans Gun Ban. But it also means that we oppose moving to proceed to so-called non-controversial bills, such as Boxer, if those bills are being brought up as a vehicle for anti-gun amendments
ACTION ALERT: Click here to contact your senator. Ask him to oppose any motion to proceed – by filibuster if necessary – to the Feinstein gun ban, the universal gun registry bill, the Veterans Gun Ban (S. 54), or to any other piece of legislation being brought up as a vehicle for votes on these anti-gun proposals. Tags:Gun Owners of America, GOA, U.S. Senate, Obama, gun control proposals, 2nd Amendment, action alertTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Senate Dems’ Tax-And-Spend Plan Grows The Government - Not The Economy
After Four Years, Senate Democrats Stunningly Fail To Identify Reforms, Enriching The Bureaucracy At Workers’ Expense
A Budget That Never Balances—Ever
Senate Democrats had four years to come up with a plan to balance the budget and grow the economy. Four years to develop a proposal to make government less wasteful and more productive, and to reform failing government programs that have trapped millions in poverty and joblessness. But after four years and $6 trillion in debt since a budget was last passed, their vague proposal leaves America with a budget that never balances and a government that never stops growing.
$7.3 Trillion In New Debt
The Senate Democrat plan offers $7.3 trillion in new debt in the first 10 years, with interest payments climbing to $791 billion in the tenth year and total debt rising to $24.4 trillion. Debt remains permanently elevated above the danger zone of 90 percent of GDP, resulting in slower growth and lost wages. Excluding war spending gimmicks, net deficit reduction is only $279 billion. In the Senate Democrat plan, the deficit in 2023 is $566 billion; the House Republican plan, in contrast, produces a surplus in the tenth year.
$1.5 Trillion In New Taxes
Chairman Murray and Senate Democrats have proposed a $1.5 trillion tax hike on the American people in order to subsidize wasteful spending and shield failing government programs—in the process sabotaging the principles of bipartisan tax reform that lowers rates and creates growth. This consists of the $923 billion advertised in their tables, plus $480 billion to eliminate the sequester, and $100 billion to offset stimulus in 2013.
Net Spending Increase Of $645 Billion Above Projected Growth
Today’s budget is $3.6 trillion. Democrats propose raising that to $5.7 trillion by 2023—an increase of 62 percent. (As a reference point, the budget in 2007 was $2.7 trillion). Relative to CBO’s current-law baseline (minus phony war savings and inflated disaster spending), the Democrat budget increases spending $645 billion above projected spending levels.
Four Years Of Waiting And No Reforms
Amazingly, after four years, the Democrats were unable to identify any real reforms—no tax reform and no entitlement reform. The budget also contains no welfare reform, resulting in a roughly 80 percent increase in means-tested support and poverty programs, growing the government instead of the economy. The Democrat plan reveals its supporters’ apparent belief that our massive federal government—whose budget has increased 30 percent since 2007—is essentially perfect and, instead of reforms, simply needs ever-more taxpayer dollars.
Enriching The Bureaucracy At The Expense Of The People
The Democrat budget protects the stale federal bureaucracy while presenting millions of Americans with a future of poverty, dependency, and joblessness. Instead of empowering the individual spirit of human freedom, the majority plan empowers the bureaucracy. Instead of creating good-paying jobs for those who want them, the majority plan destroys those jobs and hires more people to staff the local welfare office. Republicans will fight for a more optimistic future—a future of strong families and thriving communities in which our society, and not our bureaucracy, is the center of American life.
Scalise, Barton Lead in Opposing Job-Killing Carbon Tax
Washington, D.C. – Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise and RSC Energy Task Force Chair Joe Barton today introduced a House Resolution opposing efforts by Washington liberals to install a nationwide carbon tax. “Liberals in Washington have an unquenchable thirst for more job-killing tax hikes on American families and businesses, and we’re here today to make it clear that Congress will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to pass a tax on carbon, which will hurt American families and increase the cost of every good manufactured in the US,” RSC Chairman Steve Scalise said. “A national carbon tax would devastate an already struggling American economy, force the cost of gas at the pump to jump even higher, and kill millions more jobs here at home. We need to return common-sense back to Washington, and put an end to the liberal tax, regulate, and spend agenda that is destroying our middle class economy. With more than 85 original cosponsors, I’m proud to introduce this important legislation.”
“A carbon tax is a bad idea whose time has still not – and will never - come. This is just another recycled liberal policy that raises taxes and kills jobs,” said RSC Energy Task Force Chair Joe Barton. “And the worst part is it targets Middle America hitting low income people, blue collar workers and the elderly the hardest. I fought to protect those people from this cap and tax scheme in 2009 and I will do it again. We need to promote the growth of the economy by cutting Washington’s red tape, not handcuffing job creators with more regulations. I am proud to join Chairman Scalise and my colleagues in this important effort.”
“By its very nature, a carbon tax would put an unnecessary burden on American families and businesses by raising energy costs,” said Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance. “This increase in costs would not only affect energy prices, such as electricity and gasoline, but will also increase the costs of food and manufactured items that we use in our everyday lives. Chairman Scalise recognizes these negative implications. He understands our need for policies that embrace America’s reliable energy sources and promote economic growth. For all of these reasons, I am proud to stand here today in support of Chairman Scalise’s carbon tax resolution.”
“The cost of energy consistently ranks among the top concerns of small businesses, and a strong majority of NFIB members are opposed to the very idea of a carbon tax,” said Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. “If Washington truly wants to help small businesses start to grow again and create jobs, a carbon tax would be one of the worst policy ideas to consider. The last thing small businesses need is Washington driving up their cost to do business by creating a tax that will impact them every time they hit the light switch. I applaud Congressman Scalise for introducing this resolution to get Congress on record in opposition to an ill-advised carbon tax.”
“As an industry that depends on affordable energy in the production and transport of its commodities, agriculture would be especially disadvantaged by a carbon tax,” said Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in a letter supporting the resolution. “One of the toughest challenges growers face is dealing with the obstacles and variability that Mother Nature often hands us. Our grassroots members, comprised of hard-working farmers and ranchers, have clearly stated in our policy that we are opposed to taxes on carbon uses or emissions.” Tags:Republican Study Committee, Steve Scalise, RSC Energy Task Force Chair, Joe Barton, U.S. House, resolution, opposing, carbon taxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, maximum, sequester pain, public, sequester, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
With Sen. Feinstein latest gun bill, and Sen Schumer'scall for gun registration (below), a reader dug up the following news report. It is by the Canada's Sun News posted in January, 2013. It warns U.S. gun owners what will result with gun registration. He provides real world examples of what has happened in Canada where gun registration has led to gun confiscation and making gun ownership illegal. He even points out an example of a lawful citizen using a weapon to defend his home from firebombs by criminals, has led to the gun owner being charged as a criminal for using his gun.
Sun News' Brian Lilley gives an important warning to his American friends: Registration of firearms will lead to the confiscation of firearms. Watch the following report while it is still available:
U.S. Chuck Schumer wants so-called "universal" background checks so that the federal government can REGISTER YOUR GUNS. Every gun owner across America needs to know the truth about Schumer's plan for "universal" gun registration. See for yourself.
On January 30, 2013, Sen. Chuck Schumer promised that universal background checks wouldn't create a gun registry. Yet just 13 days later, as Schumer was discussing gun control proposals, he stated, "the one which I've been pushing, which is universal registration." It couldn't be any clearer — when a politician says "universal background checks," what they actually mean is "universal registration."
Tags:United States, gun legislation, Registration leads to confiscation, Canada, gun laws, Sun News, Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator, gun registration, videos, NRATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Military Suspends Tuition Assistance for Military Members
Update March 20, 2013: The Senate passed an amendment to the Defense Continuing Resolution, H.R. 933, that reinstates the military Tuition Assistance (TA) under sequestration. The amendment, S. Amdt. 72, was introduced by Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Kay Hagan (D-NC). Inhofe said in a statement, "This is an earned benefit that not only assists in recruiting and retention efforts for our all-volunteer force, but it also improves the lives of our men and women as they seek leadership opportunities within the military."
--------------- Bill Smith, Editor: Active duty military are not paid enough or even a reasonable equivalent portion of what their civilian counterparts are paid both in and out of the service. In lieu of pay, the troops are offered other enticements. One of these promises by recruiters and by their superiors is as the opportunity becomes available to attend evening and weekend college courses either on their installations or at nearby colleges, they will have access to receiving tuition assistance. This is supposed to be one of their so called "benefits."
Now, we learn that this benefit is being reneged on under the guise of sequestration. As with past wars and conflicts that come to an end, what is really happening, regardless of what you read below, is that the military is moving into the "draw-down discourage them and squeeze them out Modus operandi. And to be honest, having served a career in the military and having seen our civilian leadership do this and other actions before, it makes me po'd. The following is being shared for educational purposes under the "Fair Use Doctrine" to evidence decisions being made with regard to sequestration.
by Richard Sisk and Michael Hoffman, Military.com: The Air Force announced the suspension of new enrollments for tuition assistance today, joining the Army, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard in cutting the popular programs for continuing education because of the budget cuts imposed by the Congressional sequestration process.
The Air Force suspension of new enrollments started at 5 p.m. Monday, but Air Force officials waited until Tuesday to announce the suspension. Those airmen enrolled in courses may complete them, "but they will be barred from tuition assistance for future courses" until the suspension ends, Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley said in the statement.
Tingley said that currently 104,000 airmen use tuition assistance at an annual cost of about $128 million.
The Air Force is the latest service to suspend tuition assistance. The Marine Corps was the first followed by the Army then the Coast Guard.
The Army currently has 201,000 personnel receiving tuition assistance at an annual cost of $373 million, and the Marines have 29,000 enrolled at an annual cost of $47 million.
The Navy is the only service not to suspend tuition assistance for their sailors although Navy officials are reviewing the program, said George Little, the Pentagon spokesman. Those inside the Pentagon expect the service to announce action soon that would suspend or limit new enrollments for tuition assistance.
Unlike the other services, Navy leaders have considered only limiting enrollments rather than suspending tuition assistance completely.
The suspensions for the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard will extend until the end of this fiscal year, which ends on Oct. 1. Pentagon leaders have made no decisions about whether the suspensions will continue into next fiscal year.
"We're still dealing with fiscal  and no decisions have been made with fiscal ," Little said. He explained that service leaders for each one of the services are reviewing the future of the program. The services decide the fate of the tuition assistance programs, not the Secretary of Defense, Little pointed out.
"None of us like to make tough choices with respect to tuition assistance. We're here because of sequestration. The tuition assistance program is important to our department and our service members," he said. "These are tough choices for the services."
He laid responsibility for the suspension of tuition assistance upon Congress. "Let me be clear, we are here because sequestration on tuition assistance," he said. "If sequestration were averted we might be facing a different set of choices."
When Little was asked if he could predict the future of the tuition assistance program, he said he couldn't. "I don't know, we are in a period of terrible budget uncertainty. This is one of many programs that we are going to have to look at," Little said.
Military officials have encouraged service members to use their GI Bill benefits to continue their educations while still on active duty. [Full Story] Reflection on the above article: The authors of the above article stated that "He [Gen. Little] laid the responsibility for the suspension of tuition assistance upon Congress." This statement appears editorially biased and is therefore questionable. The authors did not directly quote by the General.
Also, sequestration did not require any one program to absorb the full impact of sequestration and the General and others DOD leaders know this.
But most of all, "sequestration" was not the idea of Congress but was developed by President Obama and his White House staff. The leaders of the House of Representative Congress have offered options for relief for the military, however, President Obama and his staff have rejected this option and thus so has the leadership of the Senate. In-other-words, the President, as Commander-in-Chief, is responsible for this and other cuts to the military.
Former Chief of DoD Voluntary Education,Gary woods in an op-ed addresses the cut in tuition assistance and describes how in 2002, “The New Social Compact: a Reciprocal Partnership between the Department of Defense, Service members, and Their Families,” and then a follow-on version in 2004, known as the “Modernized Social Compact,” made it clear that DoD was committed to tuition assistance and other support programs. Woods also points out that the $600 million is a drop in the DoD bucket, yet provides far more return in readiness and morale, not to mention helping prepare service members for their inevitable transition back to the civilian work force. Tags:military, troops, airmen, sailors, military benefit, tuition assistance, education, college, trainingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Sen. Cruz Offers Amendment To Defund Obamacare & Its 20,000 New Pages Of Regulations
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 13, 2013
Today, the House today is considering H.R. 890 - to prohibit waivers relating to compliance with the work requirements for the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families, and for other purposes." Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 749 (by Voice Vote — Amending the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to provide an exception to the annual privacy notice requirement and H.R. 1035 (397-17) — Requiring a study of voluntary community-based flood insurance options and how such options could be incorporated into the national flood insurance program, and for other purposes.
When George Stephanopoulos pressed and asked if the president’s budget will be “balanced by any point,” President Obama responded: “No.”
The Senate today agreed by unanimous consent to proceed to H.R. 933, the House-passed continuing resolution that funds the government through the end of September. It then moved to consideration of the bill and the Shelby-Mikulski substitute amendment.
This afternoon, the Senate will be voting on an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the continuing resolution which would defund President Obama’s unpopular health care law.
The Washington Post reported yesterday, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) . . . will push for an amendment to Senate Democrats’ continuing budget resolution that would defund President Obama’s health-care bill. . . . ‘ the first amendment up on the Republican side will be an amendment by Sen. Cruz related to delaying the implementation of Obamacare until the economy gets back on track,’ . . . McConnell had signaled his support for the amendment, something the conservative wing of the party has pushed hard for.”
Speaking on the Senate floor with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) supporting the Cruz’ amendment, Leader McConnell said, “I … want to thank Sen. Cruz for offering this amendment. I offered it in the last Congress, myself. There is no way to fix this thing [Obamacare]—no way to fix it. It needs to be pulled out by its roots. . . . So far 20,000 new pages of regulations. A stack this high. Twenty thousand pages of regulations. Absolutely indecipherable. . . . And they’re just getting started. . . . Hopefully, someday, maybe even beginning with this amendment, we can begin to undo this massive mistake we made a few years ago.”
As the mammoth stack of regulations shows, the true scope of Obamacare is only now beginning to be seen. The AP wrote yesterday, “Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes. The government's draft application is now on the Internet. It runs 15 pages for a three-person family. The online version has 21 steps, some with added questions. At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application. That's just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help. You'd still have to pick a health plan. Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up.”
And today, the AP reports, “Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people. The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc., one of the nation's largest insurers, calls the price hikes ‘premium rate shock.’ ‘We've done all the math, we've shared it with all the regulators, we've shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it's a big concern,’ Bertolini said during the company's annual meeting with investors in December. . . . The price increases are a downside of President Barack Obama's health care law, which is expected to expand coverage to nearly 30 million uninsured people. The massive law calls for a number of changes that cause premiums for people who don't have coverage through a big employer to rise next year — a time when health care costs already are expected to grow by 5 percent or more . . . ”
As Leader McConnell said, “This bill will be too expensive, it won’t do what it promised. Every day we’re seeing further proof of that . . . I applaud Sen. Cruz for offering this amendment, I strongly support his efforts . . . . We need to get this bill off the books and straighten our country out and this [amendment] would be a big step in the direction of achieving that.”
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