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News Blog 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. 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 "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Barack Obama Prevaricates about Jobs

by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: The spectacular loss of American jobs is devastating to more Americans than the oil spill in the Gulf, but Barack Obama still doesn't get it. This month he bragged to an audience of truckers in Hyattsville, Maryland, that our economy is "getting stronger by the day."

The U.S. Labor Department reports a very different picture. The number of long-term unemployed, defined as Americans out of work for 27 or more weeks, is at its highest level since the Labor Department began collecting such data in the 1940s.

More bad news comes from the Labor Department. In May, 431,000 jobs were added, but nine-tenths of them were government jobs.  Unemployment of young men is the highest in 61 years of record-keeping, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. The numbers for minority teenagers are tragic.

Obama's $787 billion federal stimulus program was packaged in mental images of construction workers in hard hats. However, most of those hired with Stimulus dollars were government employees.  More than half of stimulus jobs were in education, mostly women, which was part of his payoff to the feminists. Many states expanded staff for teaching and education administration at the same time that they had a declining enrollment of students.

The rest of America may be suffering from a recession, but it's boom time for federal employees. On average, federal employees are paid $71,206 per year compared to $40,331 for private sector workers. Those figures are just the start of the comfort of being a federal employee. When you include benefits such as health care and retirement, federal employees make almost double what private sector employees receive: $119,982 versus $59,909.

Stay tuned: federal employees receive raises practically every year. From December 2007 through June 2009, average federal government salaries increased 6.6 percent while private sector salaries increased 3.9 percent. Most federal workers also get periodic pay hikes, called steps, which average 1.5 percent per year.

Federal employees don't spend much time worrying about being laid off, or about their jobs being transferred to China or Mexico, the worry that hangs over private sector workers. Under Obama, federal jobs keep increasing in number, not diminishing.  And there's more. Nineteen percent of federal employees make more than $100,000 a year. That's before benefits, overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

One of the reasons why government employees are so well paid is that they enjoy the advocacy of the richest and most powerful unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Last year was the turning point when government employee unions were able to boast more members than private sector unions.

According to an article in The Hill, the SEIU expects to spend $44 million to influence the 2010 elections, and AFSCME will spend $50 million. Most will be spent to help Democrats keep control of Congress and to implement Obama's agenda.

The best way Obama could create jobs is to cut taxes on those who create jobs (corporations and investors), but that's absolutely not his game plan. He wants redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to non-taxpayers and a larger percent of our population economically and attitudinally dependent on government.

The second best way to create jobs would be to stop importing foreign workers. Has Obama no regard for the 15 million unemployed Americans and the additional 10 million who have given up looking or are able to get only part-time jobs?  Each year, a million and a half foreigners are brought into our country and given work permits. That's a million and a half jobs a year that do not go to Americans.  At least 8 million illegal aliens also have jobs in the United States. The enforcement of E-Verify would make those jobs available to our own unemployed.

Don't let the liberals get by with the lie that Americans won't do those jobs. Illegal aliens work less than half of the jobs in every one of the categories where they cluster. It's not only low-paid jobs that aliens take from Americans. The Census Bureau found that 34 percent of all software engineers are immigrants, despite the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers reporting that 48,000 U.S. software engineers are unemployed.

This is the 20th year of the H-1B program, which was supposed to admit only foreigners who can work jobs that require special expertise for which no U.S. employee can be found. From the start, this program has been a racket to allow big corporations to bring in cheap workers with limited skills to work ordinary jobs. 
The Times Square would-be bomber, who was only a "B" student, once entered the United States on an H-1B visa. We haven't heard about any bureaucrat being fired for that mistake or even admonished.

Tags: jobs, employment, illegals, H-1B program, prevaricates, Barack Obama, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Majority of Workers "Will Be Forced" To Change Health Plans

The Centerpiece Of The Obama Health Care Sales Job Is Proven False After Months Of Promises That “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan”

RHETORIC: “Obama, Reid & Pelosi Are Not Talking About You Being Forced To Have To Change Your Plans”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan. (President Obama, Remarks On Health Care, 3/3/10)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I Have Been As Clear As I Can Be. Under The Reform I've Proposed, If You Like Your Doctor, You Keep Your Doctor. If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Keep Your Health Care Plan. These Folks Need To Stop Scaring Everybody. You Know? … Nobody -- Nobody Is Talking About You Forcing To Have To Change Your Plans. … And If You've Got Health Insurance, We're Not Going To Ask You To Change It.” (President Obama, Town Hall Meeting, Raleigh, NC, 7/29/09)

REALITY: “Majority Of Workers … Will Be Forced To Make Changes To Their Health Plans Under The New Law”

AP: “Over And Over In The Health Care Debate, President Barack Obama Said People Who Like Their Current Coverage Would Be Able To Keep It. But An Early Draft Of An Administration Regulation Estimates That Many Employers Will Be Forced To Make Changes To Their Health Plans Under The New Law. In Just Three Years, A Majority Of Workers — 51% — Will Be In Plans Subject To New Federal Requirements, According To The Draft.” (“Health Overhaul To Force Changes In Employer Plans,” AP, 6/11/10)

Tags: workers, employees, forced, health plans, ObamaCare Obama, Reid Pelosi, government health care To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 11, 2010 - Another Broken Health Care Promise: Some VT Seniors Won't Get Medicare Rebates

Except for committees, Congress is in recess until Monday. When the Senate reconvenes, it will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”.

Yesterday, 53 Senate Democrats voted, over bipartisan opposition, to allow the EPA’s job-killing carbon regulations. The Murkowski resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res. 26, was defeated 47-53. For more info read 53 Democrat Senators Take Responsibility for Obama EPA’s Power Grab However, this vote shows that Democrats aren’t close to having the votes to pass a full cap-and-tax bill.

It wouldn’t feel right to end this week without yet another press report of yet another broken promise about the Democrats’ costly, unpopular, and ill-conceived health care law.

And sure enough, Politico reports today, “No sooner than the administration dropped the first batch of $250 Medicare rebate checks in the mail, they have already run into their first snafu: a state government demanding that some seniors turn over the money. Vermont has asked 2,800 low-income seniors, for whom they had already covered prescription drug costs, to return the new rebate checks to state government. Vermont officials say that these seniors are ‘not entitled’ to the rebate checks.”

Abut at an event on Tuesday promoting the Medicare checks as a benefit of the health care bill, President Obama said, “Beginning this week, tens of thousands of seniors who fall into the doughnut hole . . . will receive a $250 rebate check to help you cover the cost of your prescriptions.  That will happen immediately -- that’s starting now.” Except, apparently, if you live in Vermont.

Politico explains, “The dust-up over rebate checks and who should receive them underscores the challenges of the federal-state partnership in health reform’s implementation. While rules and regulations are written within the Beltway, most of the heavy-lifting, in terms of implementation, rests with state governments. . . . The federal health reform law provides a $250 rebate check to Medicare patients who fall into the program’s prescription coverage gap, or donut hole, anytime this year. . . . VPharm, a state-run program assistance program for low-income seniors, was already covering the prescription-gap costs for Vermonters in the donut hole before the federal health reform law took effect. Since those seniors have already had their coverage gap costs paid for, Vermont has decided that the $250 checks should be contributed to the state’s Medicaid fund.”

Of course, that’s not the only health care promise shown to be faulty recently, just today’s. In an editorial today, The Wall Street Journal goes after the Obama administration for its Tuesday Medicare event and explains how none of its promises about the health care bill’s effect on Medicare hold up to even rudimentary scrutiny: “‘First and foremost,’ President Obama told seniors on Tuesday in Wheaton, Maryland, ‘what you need to know is that the guaranteed Medicare benefits that you've earned will not change, regardless of whether you receive them through Medicare or Medicare Advantage.’ First and foremost, nothing about that sentence is true. Advantage gives almost one of four seniors private insurance options, and Democrats are about to cut its funding by some $136 billion over the next decade even as health costs rise. The Congressional Budget Office says these cuts will cause enrollment to drop by 35%, the Administration's own Medicare actuaries predict 50%, and both outfits take for granted that benefits will also decline.”

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said in response to Obama’s Medicare promotion Tuesday, “[S]eniors are right to be skeptical. They were told this law would strengthen Medicare, when in fact it takes a half trillion dollars out of Medicare to fund a new government program.  They were also told that if they liked their plan they could keep it. Yet now we hear that millions of seniors will lose the Medicare Advantage benefits they have and like as a result of the Democrat health care bill. . . . That’s been the story all along about this bill — a lot of promises that couldn’t be kept. And that’s why the story now isn’t the bill itself, but the administration’s broken promises.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, EPA, carbon dioxide, air, cap-and trade, health care, broken promises To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dems “Use Funds” From The “Oil Spill Cleanup Fund” To Support Their Binge Spending Habit

Democrats Searching For Cash In The Oil Cleanup Fund

CONGRESS DAILY: “Senate Democrats Tuesday Indicated Plans To Use Funds Generated By Increasing Fees Oil Firms Pay Into A Oil Spill Cleanup Fund As A Pay-For For A Portion Of An Extenders Bill Of Tax Breaks And Social Spending. Republicans argued that move amounts to ‘double-counting’ and seeks to exploit widespread desire to increase the fee to fund unrelated provisions.” (“Democrats Pursuing Multiple Ways To Throw Oil On GOP,” Congress Daily, 6/9/10)

CQ: “Democrats Are Double-Counting The Money, Because They Are Both Putting It Into The Dedicated Trust Fund For Spill Cleanups And Claiming It As An Offset For The Tax Breaks And Spending In The Bill. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., called it an ‘act of fraud,’ and Republicans claimed that Democrats were raiding the trust fund, even though the bill does not remove money from the fund.” (“Senators Drag Their Feet On ‘Extenders’ Bill; Action Slides To Next Week,” CQ, 6/9/10)

DOW JONES: “[O]ther Republican Leaders Were Also Critical Of The Fact That Democrats Plan To Dramatically Increase A Levy Charged On Oil Companies That Is Supposed To Be Used To Cover Spill Clean- Up Costs, And Instead Use It To Pay For Part Of The Legislation.” (“Tax Bill Could Face More Changes To Get Needed Senate Votes,” Dow Jones Newswire, 6/10/10)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Of Kentucky Said Tuesday That Democrats Were Raiding The Fund To Pay For Programs Not Related To Oil-Spill Cleanup. New Revenue Raised By The Levy ‘Ought To Be Used To Clean Up Spills,’ He Said.” (“As Missteps Mount, So Does the Backlash,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/10/10)

MCCLATCHY: “Senate Democratic Leaders Want To Impose A 41 Cent Per Barrel Tax On Oil Companies To Help Clean Up Future Spills — More Than Five Times What The Companies Pay Now — But Republicans Say The Effort Is Deceptive Because There's No Guarantee That The Money Would Be Used For That Purpose. … Republican senators said that the fee hike, which would raise an estimated $15 billion over 10 years, would help pay for a host of programs that Democrats are championing.” (“Democrats Propose New Oil Tax, But What Would It Pay For?” McClatchy, 6/9/10)

POLITICO: “Republicans Have Complained That The Money Generated By The Tax Hike—$15 Billion Over 10 Years—Actually Would Be Used … To Offset Increased Spending On Things Like Medicaid.” “Specifically, GOP senators objected to a proposed fivefold hike in the tax oil companies now pay into a spill liability fund. The proposal, part of a larger tax extenders bill being debated by the Senate, increased the tax on offshore oil to 41 cents per barrel from 8 cents. Republicans have complained that the money generated by the tax hike—$15 billion over 10 years—actually would be used to ease a House-backed tax on investment fund managers and to offset increased spending on things like Medicaid.” (“GOP Attacks Oil Tax Plan,” Politico, 6/9/10)

ABC NEWS: “So Why Are Republicans Accusing Democrats Of Trying To ‘Raid’ The Trust Fund To Expand The Size Of Government? Democrats Have Placed The Proposal Into A Larger Bill That Would Help Extend Unemployment Insurance, Stop A Pay Cut To Medicare Doctors, Extend Expiring Tax Credits For Businesses And Much More.” (“Legit Oil Tax Hike Or Political Accounting Fraud?” ABC News, 6/9/10)

MARKET NEWS INTERNATIONAL: “McConnell Said This Provision Is Being Used To Pay For The Broader Tax And Benefit Package Rather Than For Oil Spill Liability.” (“US Senate Resumes Consideration Of $140 Billion Extenders Bill,” Market News International, 6/9/10)

REUTERS: “Republicans Cried Foul. They Accused Democrats Of Raising The Tax To Offset Some Of The $126 Billion Cost Of The Bill. Democrats Are “Stealing The Money” And Using It For Other Purposes, Said Republican Senator David Vitter.” (“Lockbox May Be Making A Political Comeback,” Reuters, 6/9/10)

BLOOMBERG: “The Senate Measure Was Criticized By Republicans, Who Said Democrats Were Proposing To Use Proceeds >From The Oil-Tax Increase To Pay For Jobless Benefits And Other Expenditures Rather Than Shoring Up The Trust Fund To Pay To Clean Up Oil Spills Such As The Ongoing One In The Gulf Coast.” (“Senate To Consider Amendments To Jobs Plan With Buyout Fund Tax,” Bloomberg, 6/9/10)

Tags: Democrats, oil spill fund, expanded spending, raiding the fund, spending habits, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Constitution of No - Obama Is No Constitutionalist

by Senator Jim Demint (R-SC): When a reporter asked House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) during a press conference last year where the Constitution granted Congress the authority to enact an individual health-insurance mandate, she answered, "Are you serious? Are you serious?" Speaker Pelosi then dismissed the question and moved on to the next reporter.

This exchange illustrates the way “yes we can” liberals treat the Constitution: They simply ignore it when it gets in the way of their big-government bailouts and takeovers. Democrats have always been the “party of go,” bent on transforming America with their “living Constitution,” which changes to suit the political whims of the day. That’s why Republicans shouldn’t flinch when they are criticized as being the “party of no.” Saying no is necessary to uphold the freedoms on which our nation was founded. The Constitution is full of no’s. It is by telling the government what it cannot do that the Constitution protects our freedoms. The Founders loathed tyranny and sought to erect a government ruled by law, not people. As Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense, “in America the law is king.”

The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” or abridging freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or the right to assemble and petition government. Americans are allowed to keep and bear arms because the Bill of Rights says that this right “shall not be infringed.” It also says no to unreasonable search and seizure, and to cruel and unusual punishment. The Fifth Amendment says that the government cannot deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process, and that private property cannot be taken without just compensation. The Eighth Amendment says no to excessive bail and fines, and the Tenth Amendment says powers not explicitly given to the federal government in the Constitution go to the states or the people. The Bill of Rights says no to the federal government over and over again.

Using the Constitution’s amendment-making process, Americans have added even more no’s over the years: The 13th Amendment says no to slavery; the 15th and 19th Amendments say no one can be denied the right to vote based on race or sex. Every clause of Article 1, Section 9, which is all about the limits on Congress, contains the words “no” or “shall not.”

There’s one “no” in particular that Congress should have paid attention to in the fall of 2008, when the banking crisis reared its ugly head: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” That means only Congress can appropriate money to be spent.  But Washington didn’t say no when President Bush’s Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, came asking the Democratic Congress to give Treasury a $700 billion blank check. Paulson said the money would be used to buy up toxic assets under a Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. In the end, only a portion of the money was used to do that.

The rest of the money became a slush fund for the president, greatly inflating the power of the executive office. TARP funds were used to bail out GM, Chrysler, and auto suppliers without a single vote from Congress. Because too many elected members of Congress didn’t abide by the Constitution, one bad bailout led to another at the discretion of the executive branch. 

This isn’t the only way the Obama White House has grabbed power in defiance of the Constitution. Very early in his presidency, Obama began stuffing his executive office with czars to manage major areas of national policy, including health care, global warming, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, “green jobs,” Mideast peace, energy, CEO pay, technology, and the border. Although the czars wield a tremendous amount of influence, they can’t be subjected to congressional oversight, defeating the constitutionally established process of “advise and consent.”

Bureaucracy in the executive branch has exploded tremendously over the years. At this point, Congress can barely keep up with its oversight duties of executive departments, agencies, offices, and regulatory commissions. As a result, these institutions often make rules on their own, or are given broad power by the Congress to do so. For example, President Obama’s health-care law gives the secretary of health and human services, part of the executive branch, broad rulemaking powers: The HHS bureaucracy has been empowered to determine what health insurance should cost and what it should cover for every American, and HHS can change those policies each year, depending on the political struggles of the day, without any vote by Congress.

That’s not all. Thanks to President Obama, every American will soon be required to buy Washington-approved health insurance. This is the first time Congress has used its power to make an individual person purchase something from a private company for no other reason than that the citizen is alive. This flies in the face of the Constitution.

Progressives like Obama believe government has limitless ability and power. Remember what Obama said the night he secured the Democratic presidential nomination: “This [is] the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Only a liberal would believe that tinkering with the levers of government could ever accomplish such planetary change. 

If President Obama’s motto is “Yes, we can,” the Constitution’s is “No, you can’t.” Obama may have once been a constitutional scholar, but he’s no constitutionalist.

Although the Constitution does give some defined powers to the federal government, it is overwhelmingly a document of limits, and those limits must be respected. That’s why it’s more important than ever for Republicans to say no. We are standing against a long progressive effort to transform the country. Its roots are in the New Deal and the Great Society; today, President Obama’s spending, bailouts, and takeovers are testing the Constitution in new and unprecedented ways.

An American awakening is taking place, however, and citizens are demanding that the government once again affirm its allegiance to our country’s constitutional principles. If Republicans want to protect the Constitution and ensure our nation’s survival as the beacon of liberty, “No” is an answer we are obligated to give and to proudly defend.  In the era of unlimited government, saying no is an act of patriotism, and being a member of the “party of no” should be a badge of honor.

Tags: Jim Demint, South Carolina, Constitution, US Senate, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Voters: Beware Of Blanche’s Political Two-Step

Michael Steele, Contributing Author: What did the Democrat Senate primary teach voters in Arkansas? You can’t trust Blanche Lincoln. Senator Lincoln lost any kind of credibility with Arkansans when she proudly embraced the agenda of the liberal left in her primary run-off. Now facing a strong conservative opponent in the general election, Rep. John Boozman, Senator Lincoln is trying to do an about face while hoping that Arkansas voters don’t see through her acts of political desperation.

Throughout the contentious intra-party civil war that played out in the primary, Senator Lincoln was forced to show her true colors; she has served as a loyal foot soldier for the big-government policies of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda, and she has a voting record to prove it. Blanche Lincoln has voted with President Obama 95% of the time. On the campaign trail, she proudly championed her votes in support of the government takeover of health care and the big-spending failed stimulus. Her critical votes that cemented these legislative proposals into law did nothing but vastly expand our federal government, launch the national debt past $13 trillion, and maintain the national unemployment rate at nearly 10 percent. And now Lincoln wants Arkansas taxpayers to foot the bill.

ARKANSAS VOTERS BEWARE: Now that Senator Lincoln has made it past her primary, she is frantically trying to backtrack from her far-left voting history. Don’t be fooled by the carefully crafted rhetoric that is spoken on the campaign trail. The facts speak for themselves, and Senator Lincoln’s loyalties lie first and foremost with President Obama and Harry Reid, not the people of Arkansas.

Arkansas deserves a better Senator, someone who will consistently fight for the people of Arkansas and will defend their interests in Washington. Congressman Boozman is the right man for the job. Arkansas voters can trust him to stand up to the Obama Agenda. His opposition to ObamaCare and the stimulus demonstrates his commitment to limited government, fiscal restraint, and low taxes. With a positive, conservative message that puts him in line with the majority of people in the state, Rep. Boozman is the best candidate to represent Arkansas in the United States Senate.
Michael Steele is Chairman, National Republican Committee. He was previously a Fox News political commentator and former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland.

Tags: Arkansas, US Senate, Blanche Lincoln, John Boozman, Michael Steele, RNC, politics, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

53 Democrat Senators Take Responsibility for Obama EPA’s Power Grab

Senate Democrats Vote to "Turn Out the Lights on America"

The Senate today defeated by a vote of 47 to 53 the Murkowski Resolution of Disapproval that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  Six Democrats and all 41 Republican Senators voted for the resolution.  Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) offered S. J. Res. 26 under the special procedures of the Congressional Review Act, so that the resolution needed only 51 votes for passage.

Supporters of EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions had to resort to high-pressure tactics to defeat the Murkowski Resolution.  The White House issued a sternly-worded veto threat.  Environmental pressure groups spent millions of dollars on advertising.  Even that was not enough.  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had to promise to hold a vote on a bill that would delay EPA regulations for two years in order to peel several Democratic votes away

“During today’s debate, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, said that he was voting for the Murkowski Resolution because he didn’t want EPA turning out the lights on America. Unfortunately, 53 of his fellow Democrats disagreed with Senator Rockefeller and voted to allow EPA to proceed with their regulations to turn out the lights on America,” Myron Ebell, Director of Freedom Action.

“Every one of the 53 Democratic Senators who voted against the Murkowski Resolution has now taken full responsibility for the economic consequences of the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations,” Ebell continued. “These 53 Democratic Senators are responsible for the higher energy prices that will make American families poorer. They are responsible for every factory that won’t be built and for every job that will be lost.”

Today’s vote is not the end of efforts to stop EPA from regulating the American economy into permanent stagnation. One hundred seventy House Members have already co-sponsored identical resolutions to block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
See also:
bSen. Boxer’s Demagoguery Knows No Bounds
No, Sen. Durbin, Choice Not Between Real Science and Political Science
No, It’s Not About Oil; Besides, Oil Is Good!
Senate to vote on Obama’s power grab
The EPA's Reckless Endangerment

Tags: EPA, US Senate, Cap-and-trade, vote, S.J. Res. 26, Lisa Murkowski To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Organized Labor Flushed Members' Cash Down The Toilet

By Adam Bitely, Contributing Author: A senior White House official told Ben Smith of that “Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise.” This comment was made in reference to Obama-backed Blanche Lincoln defeating Big Labor candidate Bill Halter in the Arkansas Senate Primary.

The comment from the White House is spot on. The labor unions, in a fit of anger at Senator Lincoln who has not always towed their party line, frivolously spent cash that their members could have benefited from on a campaign that ultimately failed. There is no way for the unions to recoup their losses. The money is gone and the membership of the labor unions involved should be outraged.

Taxpayers should be outraged as well.  At the same time Big Labor was spending money like drunken sailors in Arkansas, their lobbyists stand with their hands out demanding that taxpayers bail out their dramatically underfunded pension systems to the tune of a possible $165 billion.

These same Big Labor lobbyists are slipping their hands into taxpayer wallets by convincing the Obama Administration and state governments like the state of Maryland to impose laws that require that union wages be paid for construction projects at an increased cost of between 15-20 percent.

Notorious for wasting the money of the members, Big Labor has even convinced the Obama Labor Department to roll back regulations that would require them to show their members how they spend their money. Unions are bad with money — and worse at defending the interests of the members they supposedly protect.

But the comment from the White House official is more troubling. Simply reading the first half would mislead a reader into believing that the official agreed with me, but that would be unwise. The White House official continued by suggesting that “if even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.” There you have it.

Standing with the Union leadership in their financial malpractice is the White House. Instead of considering that the small sum of $10 million when compared to the $165 billion in unfunded labor union liabilities could have been used to offset the unions’ budget deficits, the White House has political interests instead.

No wonder labor unions campaign for Democrats. It’s in their interest to get tax-and-spend Democrats elected that will bail them out. They see an investment of $10 million of their members’ dollars as a way to get a potential $165 billion bailout from the taxpayer. Sick.

It’s no surprise that AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale came out and said that “labor isn’t an arm of the Democratic Party.” He is right. The Democratic Party is an arm of Big Labor.
Adam Bitely is a guest contributor to the ARRA News Service and is the Editor-in-Chief of where the article was first posted.

Tags: Adam Bitely, Labor Unions, union dues, flushing money, toilet, Arkansas, Senate race, Bill Halter, Blanche Lincoln, union bailout, Democratic Party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

America’s CEO

William Warren

Tags: William Warren, political cartoon, BP Oil Spill, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Blanche Lincoln Flip Flops on Health Care

Little Rock – Today, Senator Blanche Lincoln told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette she was not the deciding vote on health care. However, this statement directly contradicts a television ad released last month where Lincoln touted she was the deciding vote to pass health care reform.

Chase Dugger, Executive Director, Arkansas Republican Party, responded to this contradiction today: “This demonstrates another failed attempt to mislead Arkansas voters,” says Arkansas GOP Executive Director Chase Dugger. “Lincoln made it very clear on the campaign trail that she will say or do anything to get elected. Lincoln’s attempt to distance herself from Barack Obama after embracing him during the runoff proves that Lincoln puts her political aspirations above the people of Arkansas.

"In contrast, Republican nominee Congressman John Boozman has always fought first and foremost for the people in Arkansas and we are fully confident he will be the next U.S. Senator.”

Sees prior article: Sen. Blanche Lincoln's Healthcare Flip-flop "Fig Leaf Cover-up"

Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Flip-Flop, government health care, Chase Dugger, RPA, John Boozman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 10, 2010 - Senate Vote Today Will Determine If the EPA Has The Right to Regulate and Thus Tax Breathing

Today, the Senate will be voting on a resolution being offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to block the EPA’s recent decision that it can regulate greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide - CO2 - what people and animals exhale) as a pollutant.  The EPA must believe that God (if they even believe there is a God) made a mistake and they are going to fix it.  It is thinking like this that has lead in the past to eugenics thinking and the killing of humans. No, the EPA is not addressing killing anyone,  but their actions devalue life which leads to actions that threaten humanity as well as other living animals. Of course, the focus is not on the morality of the issue but the economics created by excessive government expansion, taxation and the killing of jobs.

S.J. Res. 26 if passed could block the EPA’s action. There will be up to 6 hours of debate on the motion to proceed to the resolution. Upon use or yielding back of the time (likely around 3:45 PM), the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed. If the motion is agreed to, there will be another hour of debate and then a vote on passage of the resolution. The resolution cannot be filibustered and requires a simple majority to pass.

Following the final vote on the Murkowski resolution, the Senate will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”. Yesterday, the Senate rejected several amendments to the extenders bill. Among those were: an amendment from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) to allow adult children up to age 26 to stay on the health plans of federal employees, an amendment from Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) to exempt pediatric medical devices from a new tax on them imposed by the Democrats’ health care bill, and an amendment from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to impose discretionary spending caps for the next 3 fiscal years. Later, senators approved two amendments concerning reporting of foreign debt holdings.

In an op-ed for The Hill, former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin explains the resolution: “The move essentially vetoes the endangerment finding by the EPA — a determination that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare, and therefore must be regulated through the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, the Clean Air Act was designed to take on stationary air pollution sources, not something as complex and as far-reaching as carbon dioxide.”

Writing in the Cape Cod Times today, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) adds, “While many of my colleagues have argued that giving the EPA the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is the answer to our energy problems, I disagree. This action would give an unelected and unaccountable government agency the power to impose restrictive and damaging carbon dioxide regulations that will drive up energy prices and hurt job-creating small businesses in our country. . . .The bottom line is that we cannot have every restaurant owner or small farmer worried about the costs of complying with new carbon dioxide emissions restrictions. This is why I am supporting Sen. Lisa Murkowski's resolution to oppose these costly new EPA regulations.”

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed to the importance of this vote. “This vote is needed because of the administration’s insistence on advancing its goals by any means possible, in this case, by going around the legislative branch and imposing this massive job-killing tax on Americans through an unaccountable federal agency. . . . That’s why groups representing farmers, builders, manufacturers, small business owners, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are so strongly opposed to these EPA regulations, and so supportive of the Murkowski resolution to stop them. These groups know that this backdoor move by the EPA would deal a devastating blow to an economy that’s already in rough shape. . . . At a time of nearly 10% unemployment, these new regulations would kill U.S. jobs.”

And as Holtz-Eakin points out, this is a bipartisan resolution. He cites the objections to the EPA regulation from Democrat Reps. Ike Skelton of Missouri and Charlie Wilson of Ohio. Even Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) spoke out in favor of the Murkowski resolution on the floor today, saying, “EPA regulation of greenhouse gases does not move us any closer to a clean energy future or to reducing our dependency on foreign oil. And, furthermore, it simply is the wrong tool for addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Congress, the elected representatives of the people of this nation, not unelected bureaucrats, should be making the complicated multifaceted decisions on energy and climate policy.”

It’s worth noting that this resolution only requires a simple majority of 51 votes to pass the Senate. But if it is defeated by any fewer than 60 votes, it should be clear to Democrat leaders that not only do senators on both sides of the aisle reject the EPA’s actions, but there is clearly bipartisan opposition to any carbon cap-and-trade bill. Regardless of whether the Murkowski resolution passes, a clear bipartisan rejection of the EPA’s overreach should demonstrate that there are not 60 votes for the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade scheme.

That said, the Senate should support the bipartisan Murkowski resolution to block the EPA’s overreach in regulating human's and animal breathing, and protect Americans from new regulations that will kill jobs and raise the cost of energy.

Additional items to consider:
- Kevin Mooney's article: EPA’s Proposed “Tailoring” of Clean Air Act Violates Separation of Powers
- Senators Speaking on the EPA Carbon Regulations Would Eliminate Jobs, Tax Businesses [video]

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, EPA, carbon dioxide, air, cap-and trade To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's Best Friend a BP Advisor - Free Apartment Rent & More

I call anyone who gives you free rent for 5 years in Washington D.C a friend or a potential briber, unless the giver was the victim of you, an extortionist. Or, maybe this is just the normal Chicago style quid pro quo. You give me something; I give you something back from someone else's money; but first you show my boss respect with a gift -- money. Oh yea, we will let you off the hook if you do something wrong but be sure to support our green program.

Andrew Malcolm reports in the Los Angeles Times:
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago.

We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign.

Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.

Shortly after Obama's happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg. . . . Remember this was all before the letters BP stood for Huge Mess. Even before the Obama administration gave BP a safety award.

Now follow these standard Washington links if you can:

Greenberg's consulting firm was a prime architect of BP's recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan "Beyond Petroleum."

Greenberg's company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit -- GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager. According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Probably just a crazy coincidence. But you'll never guess who was the chairman of that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensing those huge polling contracts to his kindly rent-free landlord. [Yes, Rahm Emanuel]
It is time for Rahm Emanuel as a minimum to be moved out of the White House and over to to DNC headquarters with no taxpayer money supporting his operations. Or, he needs to be removed and sent packing back to Chicago.

Tags: Rahm Emanuel, free rent, Rosa DeLauro, Stanley Greenberg, BP, British Petroleum, executive, Obama Administration, political contributions, Democratic Campaign Committee, funds, GCS, James Carville, Bob Shrum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

So Sorry, Mr. Gore

by William Warren::

Tags: William Warren, political cartoonist, Al Gore, global warming, satire, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 9, 2010 - Deceptive Dems' Plan: Raise Taxes & Raid Oil Spill Trust Fund For State Bailouts; Not Oil Cleanup

The Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”. Votes on amendments are possible today.  Tomorrow, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution of disapproval (S. J. Res. 26) of the EPA’s actions to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, being offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). If passed, the resolution could block the EPA’s action.

The cynicism of Democrats and the Obama administration grows ever more audacious with each new proposal they take advantage of a crisis to push. It’s well known that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel subscribes to a philosophy of what he once described as, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” To that end, the White House is using the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to push their job-killing carbon cap-and-trade legislation. But Senate Democrats have their own cynical legislative proposal this week, which uses the oil spill as an excuses to raise taxes to expand the oil spill clean-up trust fund, but then raids the fund to instead pay for other spending, like state Medicaid bailouts.

According to the AP, “Senate Democrats yesterday brought up a measure that would couple a fivefold increase in the tax oil companies pay into a spill fund with help for the jobless, doctors, and cash-starved states.” The Wall Street Journal explains, “The industry - or consumers - could also pay in the form of higher taxes. Legislation pending in the Senate would increase a per-barrel tax paid by oil companies to 41 cents, up from 8 cents, raising $14 billion over 10 years. The tax is supposed to support a government fund created in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez spill to help fund cleanup projects.”

However, Democrats are planning raid the money collected for this trust fund to pay for their other spending priorities, like $24 billion to bail out irresponsible state governments. Bloomberg News notes, “Democrats unveiled a revised plan yesterday that calls for trimming a House-passed tax increase on so-called carried interest, quintupling a levy on oil companies and sending an additional $24 billion to state governments to help fill holes in their budgets. Other provisions would extend unemployment benefits, restore a series of tax cuts, increase municipal bond subsidies and increase Medicare payments to doctors.” But, the Bloomberg story adds, “The Senate measure was criticized by Republicans, who said Democrats were proposing to use proceeds from the oil-tax increase to pay for jobless benefits and other expenditures rather than shoring up the trust fund to pay to clean up oil spills such as the ongoing one in the Gulf Coast.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained in his remarks this morning, “Democrats are using this bill as another opportunity to extend government’s reach. Desperate for funds to bail out government programs, they’re raiding a trust fund that was created — get this — to pay for just the kind of cleanup we now need in the Gulf. . . . In other words, they’re using the crisis in the Gulf not only as cover for even more government spending, but as a major source of funding for it. This is an outrage. And it should give every American a window into the Democrat approach to spending as well as their lack of seriousness about the debt; they just can’t restrain themselves. That’s the only possible excuse for raiding this trust fund for unrelated government spending.”

Raising taxes under the guise of paying into a fund to clean up oil spills only to siphon those funds off to pay for ever more but unrelated government spending, is galling, cynical, but sadly entirely typical of how Democrats in Congress and the Obama White House have chosen to govern.

On the House side, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the nation’s spiraling debt and President Obama’s lack of leadership on this critical issue: “Look, we’re broke.  We’re $13 trillion in debt, and 43 cents of every dollar the federal government spends this year we’re going to have to borrow and pass the bill on to our kids and grandkids. Last month, only 41,000 private-sector jobs were created in our country. As bad as things are, Democrats aren’t even going to move a budget. Now, every family knows that in difficult times it’s even more important to do a budget. And yet, Peter Orszag yesterday said, ‘well, we’re not going to send any budget cuts up to the Hill because nothing would happen to them.’ Well, I think it’s time for Democrats here on Capitol Hill to start listening to the American people. They want spending cut and they want it cut now. And I’m wondering, why isn’t the President looking for someone’s ‘a-- to kick’ on this subject?”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Oil Spill Trust Fund, increased taxes, taxes, State Bailouts, tax extenders bill, EPA, carbon dioxide, Cap-and-trade, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

White House Press Corps Dean & Leading Media Anti-Semite Helen Thomas Resigns

Update 6/9/2010 - There have been numerous public comments made in regard to Helen Thomas' resignation / firing.  Far to many to print.  She seems to have been like cancerous growth that once removed now everyone want to express an opinion. If she had dropped over in the press corps with a heart attack, the right would have been somewhat less outspoken out of common decency and the left, instead of treating  her like the plague, would be writing reams of laudatory comments.  And, her White House Press Room chair might have been retired to a Smithsonian  museum.

Below are a few comments for posterity complements of The Patriot Post. Regardless, we now redirect our attention to the main players of liberal socialistic elitism: Barack Obama, his staff and appointees, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and their accomplices :
"[Helen Thomas's] tone was nasty, and her 'questions' usually meant more as insults than as requests for information. Still, presidents and journalists alike bowed and scraped before her, as if she were the Queen of All Media. Her reign ended with an implosion." -- Media Research Center president Brent Bozell

"A generous person might forgive a one-off 'slip of the tongue,' but Helen Thomas has a long history of questioning and opposing anything Israel does in its own defense. While not all criticism of Israel should be translated as anti-Semitism, Thomas' rhetoric over the years seems to betray a deep-seated hatred of Jews." -- columnist Cal Thomas

"The effort to destroy the Jewish state has many fronts. One front is in Iran, where the maniacal regime that has repeatedly promised to 'wipe Israel off the map' marches inexorably toward a nuclear bomb. Another is in Gaza, from which Hamas has lobbed 10,000 missiles into Israeli cities. Yet another front, the most insidious, is comprised of the propaganda arm of the Palestinian movement. And this front thrives for only one reason -- the complicity of the world press and the so-called 'international community.' It was the propaganda arm that staged the 'Freedom Flotilla.'" -- columnist Mona Charen

"In modern America, everything is so complicated that we can't get simple things done. When you look at government -- the criminal justice system, the courts, the federal budget -- engines that used to work smoothly now are sputtering. They're all cog, no machine. That's why so many Americans are angry at the system -- it's all check, no balance." -- columnist Debra Saunders

"In Chicago politics, there's an old term for the publicly subsidized pay-offs and positions meted out to the corruptocrats' friends and special interests: boodle. In the age of Obama, Hope and Change is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And the financial reform bill. And the blossoming job-trading scandals engulfing the White House. There's always been an ageless, interdependent relationship between Windy City politicos and 'goo-goos' (the cynical Chicago term for good government reformers). Chicago-style 'reform' has always entailed the redistribution of wealth and power under the guise of public service." -- columnist Michelle Malkin
[6/7/2010] Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Liberal Hearst reporter Helen Thomas has been a fixture of the White House press corps for decades. Literally decades – she’s covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower. An outspoken liberal, Thomas has used her perch in the front row of the White House briefing room to hound presidents and press secretaries with leftwing diatribes, frequently aimed at Israel.

For example, in 2006 Thomas objected to the Bush Administration’s support of Israel during Hezbollah’s rocket attacks from Lebanon. During one press briefing, Thomas accused the U.S. of supporting the “collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine.” Press Secretary Tony Snow responded, “Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view…”

Last month, Thomas did it again. While prowling the White House grounds for a story during the May 27th Jewish Heritage Celebration, Thomas became the story. Rabbi David F. Nesenoff asked Thomas if she had any comments on Israel. Thomas responded, “Tell them to get the h--- out of Palestine.” Thomas’ anti-Israel comments were captured on video and released late last week.

She went on to tell Rabbi Nesenoff that the land was occupied by the Israelis and that the Jews should “go home” to Poland and Germany. As Rabbi Nesenoff noted in a YouTube posting of Thomas’ remarks, “Six million Jews were killed ‘at home’ in Germany and Poland.”

It has been reported that when the Israeli Navy attempted to contact the Free Gaza flotilla to warn the ships that they were approaching a naval blockade, one response they got was, “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.” It sounds like Helen Thomas would have felt right at home on the Free Gaza flotilla.

If you think a leftwing anti-Semite like Thomas is capable of reporting the news in an unbiased way, consider her question last week to White Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the flotilla: “Our initial reaction to this flotilla massacre, deliberate massacre, an international crime, was pitiful. What do you mean you ‘regret’ when something should be so strongly condemned?” So in Helen Thomas’ mind, Israeli Seals acting in self-defense amounts to a “deliberate massacre.”

The agency that books speaking engagements for Thomas dropped her, and her scheduled graduation speech to a Maryland high school in the Washington, D.C., suburbs was cancelled. Craig Crawford, who co-authored a book a Thomas last year, released a statement saying he would no longer work with her. The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) denounced Thomas’ comments as “outrageous and offensive.”

On the Bauer and Rose radio show yesterday, we devoted a significant portion of our time to Thomas’ outburst and her history of anti-Israel remarks. We called for the Hearst Corporation to fire her and for the White House to revoke her press pass. This morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks, “offensive and reprehensible.” I’m pleased to write that shortly after noon today, Hearst announced Helen Thomas’ resignation “effectively immediately.”
Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.  He submitted the above in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Helen Thomas, Anti-Semite, anti-Israel, resigns, White House Press Corps To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

TARP III — Barney Frank's Greek Incarnation For America

On May 13, 2010, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced H.R. 5297, TARP III. The bill is being promoted as necessary to increase the availability of credit for small businesses. TARP III would create a $30 billion lending fund and authorize the Treasury Secretary to make capital investments in banks with less than $10 billion in assets. Those banks would be charged dividends or interest of 5 percent yearly. Those rates would be reduced based on the bank's level of small business lending. TARP III would also authorize the appropriation of $2 billion to assist states with funding their small business lending and guarantee programs. However, the bill would deepen the nation's debt problems and duplicate the goal of the original $700 billion TARP program. With nearly 10 percent unemployment, the economic leadership of congressional Democrats has proven to be a failure. TARP III and its $32 billion price tag would not be any different.

Rather than proposing sound economic policies like lowering taxes and reducing regulatory burdens, the Democrats continue to advocate misguided policies that expand the government's control and increases the nation's debt. For example, despite the Democrats stated goal, TARP III does not require the $30 billion bailout fund go to financially stable banks.Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke recently warned Congress that, without significant spending restraints, the U.S. would soon have a debt crisis like Greece.

ISSUES OF CONCERN: Taxpayers Can't Afford Another Bailout: The original bailout bill, TARP I, was $700 billion. In 2009, the Democrats enacted a $1.138 trillion "stimulus" plan, including the cost of interest, a $410 billion FY09 omnibus appropriations bill and a $3.6 trillion FY2010 budget. The Democrats increased the debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion, and the national debt now stands above $13 trillion. The taxpayers lost $145 billion by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, and the CBO expects the cost to approach $400 billion. Recently, the EU and the IMF pledged $145 billion to bail out the bankrupt nation of Greece. America's taxpayers are on the hook for $6.8 billion in loan guarantees from the IMF. The EU and IMF also announced a $1 trillion bailout plan that could put America's taxpayers on the hook for $50 billion in additional loan guarantees to bail out other financially irresponsible members of the EU. Yet, the Democrats continue to spend the nation into a financial abyss.

Creates Unnecessary Programs: Under the original TARP, Treasury created several programs to generate lending to small businesses. In addition, the federal government instituted federal guarantee programs through the FDIC and the Small Business Administration. The creation of a $32 billion TARP III program to do what the $700 billion TARP and other federal programs were intended to do is simply unnecessary. In fact, according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, 8 percent of the small businesses surveyed cited a lack of credit as an immediate problem, but more than 50 percent cited a lack of sales as an immediate problem. In other words, small businesses are suffering due to a lack of jobs for consumers.

Lacks Proper Oversight: The TARP III program would not be subject to the effective oversight of the Special Inspector General for TARP. SIGTARP's Neil Barofsky, on February 19, 2010, sent a letter to Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, Herb Allison. In the letter, Barofsky, expressed concern regarding Treasury's decision to remove TARP III from SIGTARP's oversight and warned that such a move would be "terribly wasteful" and "could lead to significant exposure to waste, fraud and abuse."

Creates More Uncertainty: Like the original TARP program, the federal government will once again, at it discretion, be able to reach into the boardrooms and pocket-books of private sector firms and employees. The use of the original TARP by some banks begot the use of the Obama administration's pay czar and auto task force (which closed thousands of dealerships). Also, the use of the original TARP inspired the Democrats to pursue a "responsibility fee," another tax on financial firms. Through TARP III, many small and mid-size banks may soon find the federal government as their new senior partner.

TARP III is Barney Frank's Greek Incarnation For America. Frank's bill reeks of "Greece." To quote Milton Friedman, "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem." Under this Democrat lead Congress, the Democrats have proven to be America's problem. To Quote a recent heartland democrat, "These sure aren't my Grandmother's Democrats. Vote them Out!" But for now, let's stop another destructive bill by Franks, Pelosi and their fellow socialists.

Tags: Barney Frank, TARP III, bailout, states, Greece, socialism, expanding the national debt, growth of government, another federal program, H/T GOP Policy News. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 8, 2010 - Reports Show ObamaCare Won't Keep Obama's Promises - Consider EPA's Cap-and-Tax Agenda

Senate began consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “extenders bill”. Yesterday the Senate confirmed Audrey Fleissig to be US District Judge for Eastern Missouri and Lucy Koh to be US District Judge for Northern California, both by votes of 90-0.

On Thursday, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s actions to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, being offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). If passed, the resolution could block the EPA’s action. As the ARRA News Service reported yesterday, "This is an very important vote; if the EPA is allowed to regulate humans and animals who breath out carbon dioxide then our government will have reached the state of lunacy! Hard to believe, but that only leaves regulating and controlling all plants which provide oxygen. Wait a minute, the government is already regulating water, energy, crops, etc. Are America's elected officials about to sell out their constituents?" Please Contact your senators! and urge them to adopt this critical resolution. Tell your Senators to vote "Yes" on the Murkowski resolution to disapprove and hopefully stop the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide (a natural product exhaled by YOU, and all other humans and animals)."

The AP writes today, “President Barack Obama is turning his attention back to his signature health care bill and trying to win over the most skeptical constituency: seniors. Obama was set to pitch the bill at a senior center in Wheaton, Md., on Tuesday. . . . The timing coincides with the release later this week of the first batch of $250 checks to seniors who fall into Medicare's prescription drug coverage gap, known as the ‘doughnut hole.’ The checks will be the first tangible benefits most of them will be seeing from the law Obama signed in March.”

It’s a good bet, though, that the president won’t be reminding seniors about one of the central features of his health care bill: the half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare that are used to finance a new government. Nor is he likely to note that "a report from his own Health and Human Services Department “projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors,” according to the AP.

Just two weeks ago, HHS was circulating a mailer to Medicare beneficiaries proclaiming the supposed benefits of the unpopular health care law that Obama is going to be selling today. It’s unlikely the president will explain to seniors why a report from the actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services contradicted almost all the key claims in the mailer. The mailer says the new law “will keep Medicare strong and solvent,” but the CMS actuary says “the longer-term viability” of the Medicare Changes “is doubtful”; the mailer says the new law makes “improvements to Medicare Advantage” but the CMS actuary says it will “result in less generous benefit packages” for Medicare Advantage customers; and the mailer says the new law provides “greater savings” while the CMS actuary says health care costs will actually increase. Will President Obama be making any of these same claims to his audience today?

Not even one of the president’s most-repeated promises about his health care law holds up based on recent reporting. Throughout the health care debate, Obama pledged, “If you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. Let me repeat that: if you like your plan, you'll be able to keep it.” But we’ve already learned that many companies are now considering dumping their health care coverage as it would be cheaper to pay the fine than for the new coverage mandates. And today, Politico reports, “Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.” The story explains, “Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.” In fact, Politico, points out, “Depending on how strictly the administration implements the provision, the ban could in effect outlaw the plans [commonly offered by retail or restaurant companies to low-wage workers] or make them so restrictive that insurance companies would raise rates to the point they become unaffordable.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said this morning, “That’s been the story all along about this bill — a lot of promises that couldn’t be kept. And that’s why the story now isn’t the bill itself, but the administration’s broken promises. Americans never wanted this bill, and they’re reminded every day why they opposed it in the first place.”

House GOP Leader John Boehner ridiculed an online town hall the president will hold today. Boehner said: "Out-of-touch Washington Democrats’ problem isn’t the sales pitch for ObamaCare – the problem is ObamaCare itself. The American people don’t want the higher taxes, higher costs, Medicare cuts, and payoffs to Washington special interests. No glitzy PR campaigns are going to change that.”

Bohner also said: "President Obama is re-launching his health care plan for the umpteenth time today by promoting Medicare rebate checks that more than nine in 10 Medicare beneficiaries will never receive. It’s another in a long line of false starts and mishaps for the Obama Administration’s attempt to sell its government takeover of health care. By now, this monstrosity has been rebooted, recast, renewed, refreshed, retooled, revamped, repackaged, rehabilitated, revived, and recharged. Despite all this communications ‘stimulus,’ the American people’s strong opposition to this government takeover of health care, with its Medicare cuts and job-killing tax hikes, hasn’t changed.

"President Obama remains singularly possessed with talking up this health care law in the false hope that this is all merely a marketing problem, not a policy problem. But with evidence that the new law is already crushing small businesses continuing to mount, the last thing we need is another tired, unconvincing PR blitz to mask the fact that it will increase costs, destroy jobs, and add to the deficit. It’s time for President Obama to face facts and start listening to the American people so we can repeal this job-killing health care law and replace it with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect American jobs."

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, EPA, carbon dioxide, health care bill, ObamaCare, broken promises, EPA, carbon dioxide, Cap-and-trade, cap-and Tax, unemployment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Seniors Need To Know The Truth About Obamacare

As soon as 2011, America's 77 million Baby Boomers will begin to retire. All of them will require health care. Many will turn to Medicare. And many will approve of President Obama's new health care law, which contains superficially appealing provisions such as more taxpayer subsidies for the Medicare drug benefit.

But there's a catch, Heritage Foundation health policy analyst Bob Moffit explains:
Much of the financing over the initial 10 years is siphoned off from an estimated $575 billion in projected savings to the Medicare program. Unless Medicare savings are captured and plowed right back into the Medicare program, however, the solvency of the Medicare program will continue to weaken. The law does not provide for that.
So what does this mean for seniors and those soon to retire?
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Cut in Half. Currently, about one out of every four seniors chooses the popular Medicare Advantage plan, which incorporates some market principles. But Obamacare takes Medicare Advantage funding to pay for other health benefits, forcing more seniors onto traditional Medicare. This means less choice for seniors and additional long-run costs tacked on to Medicare's current unfunded liability of $38 trillion.
  • Limited Access to Doctors. For the soon-to-retire Baby Boomers, finding a doctor will be more difficult and waiting lists to see them are likely to be longer. "The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 124,000 doctors by 2025," Moffit writes. Instead of addressing this problem, Obamacare shaves doctors' reimbursements and provides them with less incentive to treat Medicare patients.
  • Medicare Payment Cuts. "Creating a real problem for seniors," Moffit explains, "the CMS Actuary estimates that roughly 15 percent of Medicare Part A providers—the part of the Medicare program that pays hospital costs—would become unprofitable within 10 years" due to reductions in hospital payment updates under the new law.
  • More Taxes. Obamacare's "higher taxes on drugs (effective in 2011) and medical devices (effective in 2013) will affect seniors especially, as they are more heavily dependent on those very products." High-income older persons will be more heavily impacted by the new 3.8 percent Medicare tax imposed on unearned or investment income (effective 2013). And there's more: Obamacare will continue to phase in new taxes over the next decade.
To learn more about the impact of health care "reform" on seniors, read the full report.

Obamacare will impact everyone, but seniors will be among the hardest hit. The new law places far too much dependency on Medicare and Medicaid, programs that are already structurally and financially struggling. "If Congress is going to reduce Medicare and impose a hard cap on Medicare payment to restrain per capita cost growth, at the very least it ought to channel those savings right back into the program to enhance Medicare's solvency and lay the fiscal foundation for real reform," argues Moffit.

Our seniors deserve better than Obamacare.

Tags: The heritage Foundation, ObamaCare, seniors, Medicare Advantage, limited access, doctors, Medicare, More Taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 7, 2010 - Will Obama & Dems Use Oil Spill Crisis To Jam Through Cap-And-Tax?

Congress is back in session. The Senate reconvene at 2 PM today. At 4:30 PM, the Senate will begin consideration of three district judge nominations. Votes are scheduled on the nominations beginning at 5:30. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is then expected to move to consideration of the extenders bill (H.R. 4213), which would extend unemployment insurance and expired tax breaks, but adds billions to the debt, because it is not paid for.

On Thursday, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s actions to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, being offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). If passed, the resolution could block the EPA’s action. This is an very important vote; if the EPA is allowed to regulate humans and animals who breath out carbon dioxide then our government will have reached the state of lunacy! Hard to believe, but that only leaves regulating and controlling all plants which provide oxygen. Wait a minute, the government is already regulating water, energy, crops, etc. Are America's elected officials about to sell out their constituents? Tell your Senators to vote "Yes" on the Murkowski resolution to disapprove and hopefully stop the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide (a natural product exhaled by YOU, and all other humans and animals).

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said after the 2008 election, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And the Obama administration certainly seems to have governed with that philosophy in mind since then. They’ve used a series of crisis to expand government and spend more and more money. At the beginning of 2009, the deepening recession was used as a reason to spend nearly a trillion dollars on a stimulus bill that was little more than a wish list of Democrats’ pork projects. The bailout of the auto companies was used to reward the United Auto Workers union. And most recently, the financial crisis was used to push a financial regulation bill that will expand government regulations to reach many small businesses not involved in the finance industry.

Well, The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “Not too many weeks ago it looked as if President Obama's cap-and-tax program for energy was dead for this year. But with the political and media left whacking the President for his handling of the worst spill in U.S. history, Democrats have suddenly decided that this is one more crisis that shouldn't go to waste.”

Indeed, the WSJ editors note, “Consult Mr. Obama's remarks last Wednesday about "the future we must seize" at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon. ‘The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future,’ he said. ‘I want you to know, the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months.’”

And Politico reported last week, “Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is calling on the Senate's key committee leaders to come up with a comprehensive energy strategy by July 4, accelerating the push for legislation in wake of the worst oil spill in American history.”

The WSJ explains, “Nancy Pelosi forced House Democrats to walk the cap-and-tax plank last July, and the White House now plans a summer push in the Senate, where Midwest and coal-state Democrats are still leery of imposing huge new energy costs on their constituents. But Democrats won't stop merely because cap and tax is unpopular and destructive. ObamaCare was too. As with health care, the strategy is to ram the thing through by any means necessary.”

In a speech last week, President Obama declared, “[O]ur continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security.  It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk. . . . The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future. . . . But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future -- if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.”

Of course, as the WSJ editors point out, “As policy, this is a non sequitor. Cap and trade will do little or nothing to end U.S. oil dependence. It will merely make a globally traded commodity more expensive domestically.”

They also write, “As for the idea that cap and tax is the best way to punish BP and Big Oil, it'd be more convincing if [Democrats’ energy/climate bill] hadn't been written in concert with ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and—bad-timing department—BP. ‘Ironically, we've been working very closely with some of these oil companies in the last months,’ [Sen. John] Kerry said in early May.”

So apparently the crisis in the Gulf requires imposing a national energy tax and killing countless numbers of jobs across the country while unemployment hover stubbornly at 9.7%. And as a kicker, this is a policy prescription supported by BP. Cap-and-trade for carbon emissions was a bad idea before the oil spill and it’s a bad idea now. Never mind the fact that it has very little, if anything, to do with the current environmental and economic disaster unfolding along our Gulf Coast. Hopefully more reasonable Democrats will decide it’s more important to clean up the oil and find out what went wrong than to use this crisis as an excuse to jam through another damaging, unpopular policy.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, EPA, carbon dioxide, BP, oil spill, crisis management, Cap-and-trade, unemployment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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