Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Economy & Government Spending Concerns Trump Health Care & Climate Change

For voters, the economy outpaces all other issues by a wide margin, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll.

As the nation struggles to climb out of a recession, 45 percent rated the economy as the most important issue in deciding their vote if the congressional election were held today, followed by 21 percent who said government spending, 20 percent who chose health care reform and 9 percent who said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just 4 percent ranked climate change as the top issue.

Economic worries also led a majority of Americans to place jump-starting the economy ahead of concerns about the environment.

Even as the Obama administration is pushing for climate protection legislation, 62 percent of those polled agreed that “economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.”

...Less than half, 45 percent, said regulation of corporations should be increased, while 29 percent preferred that regulation be kept “about the same as it is now” and 26 percent wanted to see regulation of corporations decreased.

...A wide majority, 62 percent, said business will play a larger role in helping the economy recover than the government will, while 38 percent sided with the government. While the majority remains strongly in favor of business, it has actually dropped some since July, when 68 percent chose business and 32 percent said government.

From Politico

Friday, October 16, 2009

$526,610 Per Job - And We Thought a $600 Hammer Was Bad!

Obama’s billions-of-stimulus-dollars-spending-of-your-money created or saved only 30,383 jobs

by Dan Spencer

October 15, 2009

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the government watchdog which oversees how the stimulus monies are spent reports contractors who received money from President Obama’s failed $787 billion stimulus program created or saved 30,383 jobs by the beginning of October.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this report covers only spending on infrastructure and social programs being carried out by private companies, which were awarded about $16 billion in stimulus funds. That amounts to $526,610 per job created or saved.

Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers claims the stimulus and “other policy actions caused employment in August to be slightly more than one million jobs higher than it otherwise would have been.”

I can’t wait to hear the CEA’s Obama-speak explanation as to how the contractors’ measly 30,383 jobs supports the council’s million plus estimate.

Baucus Health Care - Bad for America:

The Senate Finance Committee voted out the “Baucus Plan” for universal health care on October 13, and the Democratic Leadership in the Senate is now writing a bill which combines the Baucus Plan and a bill reported by the HELP Committee, which they plan to bring to the Senate floor as soon as they can overcome procedural hurdles that will surely be raised by Republicans. There is much to dislike in the Baucus Plan, some of which has been widely discussed.

ACTION: We urge you to contact your Senators and tell them that the Baucus plan is not an acceptable way of reforming healthcare for the reasons outlined below, and to join any of the public rallies & bus tours in your area.

ISSUE-IN-BRIEF: There is much more to dislike in the Baucus Plan than the most obvious. Here are a few:

1. No Bill and no Transparency. The Baucus “Bill” is no bill at all but a 300 page outline and summary of what a bill would look like. The actual bill will contain over 1000 pages and is yet to be written. Democrats have voted down an amendment to make it available for 72 hours before a vote, so when it is brought to the Senate Floor for a vote, no Senator will have read it.

2. Higher spending. The Baucus “summary” is a big spending bill rather than health care legislation. The cost has been estimated at $829 billion over ten years (and will surely go much higher), and the legislation would raise taxes on everybody, including the middle class. Plus the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also says that the takeover would still leave 25 million people uninsured.

3. Higher Taxes. The Baucus summary includes at least $327 billion in new taxes -- a tax on high-cost insurance plans ($210 billion), penalties for not having insurance ($27 billion), and "indirect offsets" (whatever they are -- $83 billion). In addition, state taxes will surely rise as costs are fobbed off on state governments in the form of more Medicaid spending.

4. Higher Health Insurance Premiums. According to an independent study done by an actuary and the Council for Affordable Health Insurance: Health insurance rates will almost double for most American families who buy their own policies if Congress passes universal coverage, guaranteed issue and modified community rating! These are all main features in both versions of the Senate bill. On top of this families will be fined $759--$1500 if they do not buy insurance, even if they cannot afford it.

5. Hidden Employer Mandate. The Baucus summary includes an employer mandate -- watered-down, but still there. There is no specific requirement for employers to provide insurance, but any employer who fails to do so would have to pay the cost of all subsidies that the government provides his or her workers to help them pay for insurance on their own, up to $400 per worker. Since it will ultimately be the employee who pays the cost of the mandate, through reduced compensation or reduced employment, the government will be giving the worker a subsidy with one hand and taking it back with the other.

6. Tax Dollars for Abortion. Current federal law protects American taxpayers from paying for abortions as part of the health benefits given to federal employees—not one of the insurance plans offered includes abortion coverage. To maintain the “status quo” on abortion any health-care bill would have to explicitly prevent federal dollars from being used for elective abortions. Provisions that would have done that were defeated by all five committees that have handled health-care reform bills this year.
7. Big Cuts in Medicare Advantage. The Baucus summary cuts payments to the Medicare Advantage program. In response, many insurers may stop participating in the program while others could increase the premiums they charge seniors. Millions of seniors (the bulk will be lower income elderly and minorities) will be forced off their current plan and back into traditional Medicare.

8. No More Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The bills that each committee has approved in the Senate and House would eliminate HSAs as an affordable health insurance option for Americans. The government would determine what each health insurance plan looks like, and after all the requirements, mandates, and regulations, the high deductible health plans that accompany tax-free HSAs would not qualify as an acceptable health insurance product.

9. Invades Patients’ Privacy. The Baucus summary would eliminate patients’ rights to health privacy and a patient’s right to control sensitive health information in electronic systems. Every American would be required to have an electronic health record by 2014 and all electronic health records will be data mined without legal and ethical informed consent.

10. Ignores Tort Reform. Despite the fact that medical malpractice litigation adds billions of dollars to healthcare bills and results in billions (some estimate as much as $100 billion) being spent on defensive medicine, the Baucus summary makes no attempt to fix this curse on our system.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Constitution is on Life Support

By Mark AlexanderPublisher, PatriotPost.US,

"Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." --Benjamin Franklin

That wise old sage, Ben Franklin, was prescient back in 1748, when he issued his simple Rx for success. Unfortunately, the wealth and wisdom of generations of Americans have been progressively supplanted by our central government's exercise of unconstitutional authority.

In regard to wealth, I refer most directly to our government's colossal spending and debt accumulation, and unlawful taxation.

As to wisdom, well, there's not much of that emerging from government-run school systems.

Having already depleted the wealth and wisdom of our great nation, the Obama juggernaut is determined to do likewise to health, that third prong of Franklin's trident. If successful, then we may rightly fear it as a deathblow to the greatest experiment in human history.

Where is Doctor Franklin when we really need him?

Simpletons across the United States and, indeed, the world, are beguiled by the Democrat health scare cacophony. While so much has been said, so too has so little. And, as we approach the seemingly inevitable passage of some such diabolical legislation, almost to a citizen everyone is screaming, "Stop the world, I want to get off!" Indeed, only elitist Democrats are charging full-steam ahead, constituents be damned.

Intentionally lost in all this noise is the Leftist tactic of drowning its opposition in waves of excessive and ever-changing health care minutia. With the devil being so well hidden in the details, this ensures that we remain distracted while Rule of Law is further usurped by the rule of man.

As Patriots, we are summoned to slice through this diversionary blather. And, to obtain proper analysis of this overarching objective, we must seek guidance from our founding documents, the Constitution of the United States of America and its superordinate document, the Declaration of Independence.

In a search of the Constitution, we find that the words "health," "medicine" or "medical" are mentioned -- drum roll please -- not even once: not within the original text, nor within 220 years of amendments. (A search of the Articles of Confederation yields similar results.)

To some, this exclusion indicates that the Founding Fathers were unconcerned about the health of their countrymen. But, supporters of this argument expose their condescension, and it is here mentioned to disabuse them of their disdain. For our Founding Fathers sacrificed so greatly for the birth of our nation -- in both blood and treasure -- that to posit such indifference does a great and grotesque disservice to their honor and their memory.

To others, this exclusion indicates that health care was mercifully omitted since medical care of the 1700s was so "primitive" that the cure often caused more harm than the ailment. They further argue that, given the foresight of modern medicine, our Founders would have surely incorporated universal health care within the Constitution. But, supporters of this argument expose their arrogance, and it is here mentioned to disabuse them of their haughtiness. For the medicine of our Founding Fathers was actually advanced in its day, just as the U.S. medicine of today is advanced, and just as tomorrow it will be thought primitive. This, of course, assumes that we successfully restore Rule of Law.

Alas, we discern seemingly little counsel from the Constitution.

And, as we turn to the Declaration, a search for the words "health," "medicine" or "medical" once more yields exactly zero results.

Furthermore, the itemized grievances therein make nary a hint concerning health, even considering the "primitive" conditions discussed above.

Alas, we also discern seemingly little counsel from the Declaration.

However, neither do the Constitution nor the Declaration counsel us with direct verbiage concerning agriculture, textiles, construction and the whole raft of goods and services upon which those everyday necessities of food, clothing and shelter are stationed.

But, the Declaration does aver that all men are created equal, not of outcome but of opportunity; that they are endowed with the right to Life, not a guaranteed good life, not a guaranteed healthy life, but life with all of its miraculous potential; that they are endowed with a right to Liberty, the fusion of freedom and personal responsibility; and that they are endowed with a right to the pursuit of Happiness, the eclectic amalgamation of hopes and dreams and desires and necessities as defined by each individual -- not by faceless, nameless bureaucrats.

Furthermore, the Constitution's Preamble declares that its purpose is to establish Justice, the even-handed application of law to all citizens; to insure domestic Tranquility, the exclusion of class warfare; to promote (not provide) the general Welfare; and to secure the blessings of Liberty, there again, the fusion of freedom with personal responsibility.

So, our founding documents do guide us to proper health care legislation: for it is that which encompasses equality and liberty for consumers and providers alike; that which promotes life above death panels; that which encourages the medical hopes and dreams as defined by each individual; that which constrains, not magnifies, class warfare; and that which secures "the blessings of Liberty, to ourselves and our Posterity."

Anything more than this is an affront to constitutional order and Rule of Law. As Thomas Jefferson so keenly observed: "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." And, it takes little thought, or even imagination, to extend his estimation to the current health care debate.

The bottom line is that Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, which addresses powers of the legislature, never endowed Congress with authority to regulate or collect taxes for banking, mortgage or automaker bailouts. Neither does it present authority for them to subsidize production or service sectors such as health care. Indeed, James Madison wrote, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..."

Sadly, not one Democrat bill addresses "health care" so much as it seeks omnipotent centralized government power and control, the currency of the Left. However, the proposals certainly betray the Left's condescension and contempt for Rule of Law, along with their frontal assault upon our Essential Liberty.

Patriot Readers, the U.S. Constitution is on life support. To prevent it from flat-lining, we must exude high dudgeon, we must slice through the Left's onslaught of minutia, and we must surgically endeavor with our every thought and deed to restore a healthy Rule of Law.

Friday, October 9, 2009

For What?

By Gary Bauer

Eyes rolled across America today as the sunrise brought news that our apprentice president had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama’s name is now added to an esteemed list that includes such note-worthies as Jimmy Carter (2002), Kofi Annan (2001) and Yasser Arafat (1994). (Somehow the Nobel Committee never got around to recognizing the achievements of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul II, who brought down Soviet Communism and peacefully liberated tens of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain.)

All the commentators are suggesting the prize is premature because President Obama hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet to bring about peace. That view fails to understand the mindset of leftwing elites who run international organizations like the Nobel Committee. To them, America is the real threat to peace, particularly when we are led by men like Reagan and Bush, confident leaders who believed in American exceptionalism and willing to confront tyranny.

It also sends a message of just how much disdain the European elites have for the rest of us who dare to oppose the president’s appeasement and his socialism. George Bush’s efforts to keep America and the world safe from radical Islamic terrorism – the biggest threat to world peace today – were never deserving of recognition. But by electing Barack Obama, America got it “right,” and the liberal elites want to make sure you understand that fact, so they have bestowed Barack with one of the highest honors the international community can offer.

Today America is led by the “anti-Reagan.” In his eight-and-a-half months in office, Obama has made apologizing for America a top priority. He couldn’t find his voice when the Iranian regime crushed skulls. He tells the United Nations that no country or group of countries can be above anyone else. He has turned U.S. policy in the Middle East on its head – reaching out to Syria, Iran and Libya while regularly suggesting too many Jews in Jerusalem are the roadblock to peace. He has dissed our allies, cancelled a defensive missile system and has been silent on human rights abuses in Cuba, Venezuela and around the world.

Just so you know, there were other nominees, including folks like Greg Mortenson, a decorated Army veteran, son of a Lutheran missionary and best-selling author. Mortenson has dedicated more than a decade of his life working in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan building schools and helping to educate tens of thousands of children, especially young girls. You can read more about Greg Mortenson here.

That Mortenson’s incredible record of accomplishment lost out to Obama’s rhetoric is not surprising. If you are a left-wing internationalist who thinks the key to peace is a weaker America willing to take orders from the U.N., who in the world would you give the Nobel Peace Prize to other than Barack Hussein Obama?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keeping You Blindfolded With Your Hands Tied Behind Your Back

As the American people become more vigilant at watching Congress, they apparently feel the need to restructure and manipulate the legislative process by any means necessary.

And as opposition to Obamacare grows they continue to advance their dirty work in aggressive but stealth ways, all the while neutralizing their constituents in what can only be described as blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs.

They want Obamacare, and they are willing to exclude you and anyone else who would stand in their way.

Fix Health Care Policy is an organization on the job for the people, and you need to plug into this resource right away. They released an alarming report today that you need to read "Congress's Secret Plan to Pass Obamacare". As the plot thickens so must our vigilance.

"The San Francisco Examiner published an editorial today that exposed the fact that the American people can't see the bill.

"When then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama promised not to sign major legislation until it had been posted on the Internet for public reading at least five days, trusting voters took him at his word. Now they know better.

Not only is the actual language of what is likely to become the main legislative vehicle for Obama's signature health care reform not available on the Internet, it hasn't been given to members of the key Senate committees or the Congressional Budget Office."

The procedure being used, in addition to the exclusion of the American people from the process, should be of grave concern to all who want to participate in democracy and have a say in Congress' health care debate that will touch one-sixth of the U.S. economy."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What is Vat? Pelosi's Massive Tax Hike

**Information From The Heritage Foundation

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined the growing liberal chorus calling for a massive tax hike through the implementation of a value added tax (VAT).

A VAT is similar to a national sales tax. Businesses would pay it at each stage of the production process and consumers at the cash register. European countries have suffered with VATs for years.

As we pointed out earlier this year, Congress should not pass a VAT to pay for a government takeover of the health care system or expand the size of government. If it does, it will mean a massive tax hike for YOU!

Some suggest the VAT rate should be set as high as 20 percent. At that rate, a VAT that covers all goods and services in our economy – including food, clothing, housing, and health care – would collect an additional $1,260 billion a year and cost every U.S. household $10,680 annually.

Right now the rate being considered is 15%, but know that if Congress passes a VAT at any rate it WILL be pushed higher in the future.

Evidence from other countries that already have VATs prove that once it is implamented it is easy to raise.

The American people would be better off if Congress would stop spending other people's money.

Adding a new entitlement will only make the country’s fiscal situation worse and painful tax hikes more likely. Unfortunately, that might have been the plan all along.

Send Congress Their Pink Slips!

After all the Tea Parties, Townhalls, and the massive demonstration in Washington DC it seems Congress STILL hasn't gotten the message the people are sending.

So it's time to SHOW them just how serious we are, and SEND right to their door a tangible message aimed directly at what they care most about - getting re-elected.

Let's put Congress on notice - all 535 of them - by sending each of them a pink slip. Remind them just WHO it is they work for - WE THE PEOPLE - and WHAT you're willing to do about it - REPLACE THEM!

In the first 10 days alone this campaign to send "pink slips" to Congress has resulted in an unprecedented and historic effort generating 2.25 million individually addressed notices to all members of the House and Senate – and proving, once again, that Americans are mobilized to take action to stop Washington's plans for bigger, more expensive and more intrusive government.

The "pink slips" specifically warn that we will oppose in the next election any member of Congress who votes for more spending, intrusive legislation that restricts personal freedom and more big government programs.

The cost of each message translates to six cents per message – $29.95 - for 535 "pink slips" individually addressed for both the recipient and the sender and shipped by Fed Ex.

Last week, suppliers of paper to the campaign reported the campaign had completely tapped the nation's supply of 8.5 x 11 inch pink paper. As the last full pallet of pink paper was delivered to the printer, new supplies had to be ordered and manufactured.

Click on the link below and join this historic opportunity to SHOUT our message to Congress "If you vote for big government, anti-family legislation your REAL pink slip will be issued in the next election. COUNT ON IT!"


ACTION: They're Voting on the Draft!

Within 48 hours, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on its draft of ObamaCare--complete with the Individual Mandate, the Corporate Mandate and its version of the Public option.

It is a "draft" because the Finance Committee has not published actual legislative text but instead (as is the tradition of this committee) is working off what is called the "Chairman's Mark" of the bill.

Our Senator serves on the Finance Committee, and she needs to hear from Washington State voter right now regarding her upcoming healthcare vote.

We know that Senator Cantwell is preparing to cast a vote that could radically change the face of our nation, and it's critical that you weigh-in before that important vote is cast!

Let Sen. Cantwell know you oppose healthcare reform
and any form of an individual mandate.

Your phone call is critical--especially at this late hour.
What a coup it would be if your phone call motivated your
Senator to cast a NO vote!

Sen. Cantwell 202-224-3441

Please also call Senator Murray and express similar sentiment about ObamaCare. Calls to other key members of the Senate Finance Committee are critical - URGE THEM TO VOTE NO!

Sen. Murray 202-224-2621

Sen. Baucus (Chair): 202-224-2651

Finance Committee: 202-224-4515

**info from Grassfire.org**

Obama's Doctors

Yesterday, President Obama held a press conference at the White House with a backdrop of doctors supportive of his government-run health care plan.

After about 5 minutes of research, we found that Doctors for America, the group to which the doctors belong, was formerly known as the campaign group Doctors for Obama (note how this site instructs you to visit drsforamerica.org), a group that falls under the umbrella of Obama's ongoing community organizing and legislative agenda campaign group, "Organizing for America."

Obama's hosting of this activist group at the White House is a testament to the true lack of support for his health care proposal within the medical profession--Obama had to rely on his community organizing group to supply his health care press conference participants!

An interesting side note - The invited physicians were told to be camera ready in their white lab coats to make the most of this photo op for Obama. However, some apparently forgot and showed up in businesswear. White House staffers quickly rustled up white coats handing them to the suited physicians already seated on the White House lawn. Too funny!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Losing Private Insurance Trumps Public Option

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters nationwide say guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance coverage is a higher priority than giving people the choice of a public option.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 29% take the opposite view. They say it’s more important to give people the choice between private insurance and a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option.

Most liberal voters say giving people the choice of a public option is more important. But, most moderates take the opposite view and Republicans overwhelmingly agree with them.