Monday, November 23, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell

MONDAY, NOV 23, 2009

The Impending Obama Borrow and Spend Disaster

Speaking at Georgetown University on April 14th, President Barack Obama promised: “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity — a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest.” Nice words. But the Obama administration actions have produced all sand and no rock. From the Wall Street Bailout, to Cash for Clunkers, to Obama’s failed stimulus, this administration has been all about borrowing and spending. And as the New York Times reports today, it will not be long before we begin paying a real price for these policies:

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

$700 billion a year in interest payments alone. That is more money than our entire defense budget for next year including the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And that is a low end estimate. As Heritage fellow J.D. Foster has previously noted, governments around the world are also furiously borrowing, feeding a global debt bubble that will eventually force the U.S. Treasury to pay much higher interest rates. And much of the debt we took on this past year is coming due soon. The NYT reports that to take advantage of low rates today, the Treasury issued a huge amount of short-term debt. Treasury officials estimate that about 36 percent of the government’s marketable debt — about $1.6 trillion — is coming due in the months ahead. The Concord Coalition’s Robert Bixby comments: “The government is on teaser rates. We’re taking out a huge mortgage right now, but we won’t feel the pain until later.”

The American people are rightly concerned about this impending disaster. According to Rasmussen Reports, deficit reduction has remained the number one issue for voters ever since President Obama listed his four top budget priorities in a speech to Congress in February. Forty-two percent (42%) say cutting the deficit in half by the end of the president’s first term is most important, while only 24% say health care reform should be the top priority. Despite the clear wishes of the American people, the Senate voted Saturday night to move forward on a $4.9 trillion in new health care spending. The leftist majorities in Congress say that they will follow with the promised spending cuts and tax hikes to make their bill deficit neutral, but nobody believes them. According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll only 19% of Americans believe President Obama’s promise that health insurance reform will not add to our federal budget deficit over the next decade. 72% of Americans tell Quinnipiac they right understand that Obamacare will only add to our nation’s record breaking $12 trillion national debt.

There are a number of highly credible conservative plans for reducing our national debt. But Congress should take a tip from the medical profession on health reform and “first do no harm.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Radical Plan Of Action

 reasonsjester's post at
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Forum for fans of Mark Levin
by reasonsjester » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:08 pm

The statist assault upon the republic has been relentless since the founding. The constitutional order has been threatened from the right by national statists like Hamilton and Lincoln, and from the left by progressives like Wilson and FDR. But despite the vicissitudes of fortune that have tested the mettle of the American people, under no other government in the history of the republic has the fate of a people been more in doubt.

The Constitution is tattered, the justice system is co-opted, the economy is largely nationalized, private property is obsolete, the currency is debauched, the debt is skyrocketing, the schools are indoctrination centers, the universities are propaganda mills, the news media are absent, national security is compromised, our wars overseas are stalling, the election system is fraudulent, the government is unrepentantly corrupt, the party system is broken, and the free speech necessary to alert our fellow citizens is being stifled by political correctness.

How did we arrive to the precipice of national ruin, and what is the ultimate solution to the challenges that confront those who prize liberty?

No political or economic system is ideal, the American system of government included. But at least in years past the American republic was designed to succeed. The political, economic, and educational systems now appear intended to demoralize those who prize liberty and freedom, those values that nurtured the United States in its historic rise over two centuries from fledgling alliance of former British colonies to powerful leader of the free world.

Some on the left would make it out that conservatives are rubes who pine for the halcyon days of slavery and more restricted suffrage, but these relics of the past are anathema to the views of those who respect the founding. Conservatives recognize that the kernel of political and true economic emancipation could always be found at the heart of America's constitutional order. Thus the developments over the course of two centuries that progressives claim are the fruits of their "struggle" against the unjust American system are actually the natural and logical consequences of The Declaration of Independence and the ratification and enshrinement of The United States Constitution.

The reversals of the founders' vision of a political system of organized liberty mounted nearly from the start. The Alien and Sedition Acts, the chartering of a central bank in direct contravention of the ruling of the Constitutional convention, and the suppression of rebellions all posed threats to the furtherance of a government founded on freedom. The War Between the States, counter-intuitive as it may be for some to grasp, may have freed the slaves, but it crushed State's Rights and cleared the path to oppressive centralized government. The Tenth Amendment is now such a foreign notion that when used as an objection to the encroachment of state power, one might be brandished a radical extremist by the "federal" government.

The turn of the twentieth century reversed the trend of national power statism to progressive statism. From the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to the progressive income tax authorized by the Sixteenth Amendment, two planks of the Communist Manifesto, it was a smooth transition to the proto-fascism of the FDR-era through the Johnson administration. When Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, and authorized fiat currency, the ability of the government to manipulate the economy for political ends became virtually unbounded. Within two generations' time, the national debt mounted to the point of overwhelming the economy, all underwritten by the socialist mandate for the government to right the supposed injustice of requiring that people actually work for a living.

The political economy of the United States is now structurally distorted beyond recognition through the malinvestment that comes with the Fed's easy credit policies and the flooding of the market with money during economic downturns. Over the last thirty years, industries have been pushed overseas due to the highest corporate taxes in the world; this has exacerbated the inflation that comes through monetary expansion, which can be demonstrated by rising commodity prices like gold. The economy, between the bloated civil service and the government (which are net consumers and not producers) and the increase of the debt load for each family above $100,000 on average, is now cited at about 70% consumption. It doesn't take a Harvard economics degree to see that the fundamental political economy of the United States is literally unsustainable. This is irrefutably by design.

It is time for the American conservative to face a few hard truths. It is irrelevant whether the progressive believes himself to be a friend of the working class or a liberator of men or an erector of utopias or the usherer in of a new world order of perpetual peace and universal "social justice." The effect of progressive policies are exactly like those that would be designed by the worst enemy of freedom, liberty, prosperity, and success of the United States imaginable. If a general one hundred years ago was faced with the task of destroying the United States, the crown jewel of the Enlightenment and the nemesis of tyranny and oppression around the world, he could literally do no better (or worse) than the progressive Fabian socialist has done incrementally from within. Again, the damage to the country has been wrought by design, as can be clearly and unmistakably gleaned from the leftist tracts of a Marx, a Gramsci, a Horkheimer, or an Alinsky.

It is now beyond the point of arguing with indoctrinated neomarxists, who are literally unequipped to fathom the conservative's warning that the country is headed toward ruin and not toward millenarian rapture and on into a socialist paradise. Their consciences are carefully conditioned to react to all rational judgment as necessarily discriminatory or unjust. The progressive's views revolve around empathy and compassion, which are resistant to any rational arguments, which require a recognition of reality. The insertion of facts, evidence, and history into an argument with a leftist is like throwing a stone into a raging river; it will only appear from the perspective of the leftist as a barrier to progress, and in any event the fluidity of his mind will find a way to circumvent it.

The conservative must face the fact that he has now become the radical, the same kind of radical as our founding fathers were. The left has proceeded from the assumption of "the ends justify the means," and has approached the coercive apparatus of government with an instrumental rationality in order to effect its utopian vision. The legal system is a tool to the left; the education system is a tool to the left; the media is a tool to the left; and so forth; all institutions are seen as potential power for them to be seized for the cause. Conservatives believe in honoring institutions and thus refrain from utilizing their potential power to accomplish the vision of liberty, freedom, and individual rights.

This must change. We must see institutions in this country as more than sacred traditions to be preserved. We must see institutions as a means to power, with the battle cry of going on the offensive in the name of liberty. All manifestations of injustice and unfreedom must be attacked and swept away.

It is time to go to war with the left in a way that it can understand. There is no more time for civility and free discourse with the left, the way the left has gotten used to; the value that will be propagated will be liberty and freedom. There is no more "agree to disagree." It is the way of freedom or the highway. No longer should the university be permitted to capitalize on freedom to teach unfreedom; no longer should the lawyer be able to seize property in the interest of violating property; no longer will the left be permitted to take liberty with violating our liberties. This is not dogmatism, this is taking a principled stand in defense of freedom.

No, now is time for the leftists to be criminalized and exposed as parasites upon the system that has nurtured them. The leftists must be seen as the ultimate of hypocrites, infiltrators who tells pretty lies and who manipulate the institutions of society in order to achieve their grandiose and narcissistic goal of perfecting the world.

We must ourselves found, support, and co-opt institutions to propagate and inculcate the values of liberty and freedom in our culture. We must go on the offensive and attack the left intellectually. We must no longer tolerate the left's misuse of freedom to institute unfreedom. We must be relentless and we must be bold. Our founding fathers, the nation's first radicals, would do no less.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

November 20, 2009

By Amanda Reinecker

The Senate health care bill: no improvement

Congress has outdone itself. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled a health care bill weighing in at 2,074 pages, a new record. A vote on the bill is expected Saturday.

Heritage Foundation experts are still working through the specifics of the massive, $849 billion health care bill, as it is estimated to take up to 34 hours to read the entire thing. But they already know that "the major outlines of the bill are no different than the policy train wreck the House passed earlier this month," reports Heritage's Conn Carroll.

Both the House and Senate health care "reform" bills include:

A government "option." Both the House and Senate proposals would create a one-size-fits-all public plan to "compete" with private insurers. But the government will retain its role as regulator and thus stifle any competition and causing millions to lose their private coverage.

More people in failed programs. Both bills would place millions of Americans under the failing government-run Medicaid program, reducing subsidized benefits from those who truly need them and increasing the financial burden on the states.

Employer mandates. All employers of 50 people or more will be required to provide coverage that meets new federal standards or else face a hefty penalty. This mandate will disproportionately impact low-income workers.

Individual mandates. For the first time in history, all Americans will be forced to purchase federally approved coverage minimums. Those who fail to comply are subject to new tax penalties and, in some cases, jail time.

The bill's supporters may be congratulating each other for producing a health care bill that meets the President's $900 billion cap. But its $849 price tag is a preliminary estimate only, and it really only has one place to go -- up. "As history has proven, government health care programs end up costing much more than first promised," writes Carroll.

Both the House and Senate health care reform bills require individuals to purchase federally-approved health insurance, and those who fail to do so could face criminal prosecution. "Using [criminal law] to enforce one particular notion of appropriate insurance coverage is nothing less than a tyrannical assertion of raw government power over the private lives and economic rights of individual Americans," write Heritage legal scholars Brian Walsh and Hans von Spakovsky. This abuse of governmental power does not bode well for freedom, as it specifically targets those who choose to make their own decisions regarding their health insurance.

Visit Heritage's to read the entire Senate health care bill and to find more in-depth analyses as our analysts continue to dissect this massive legislation.

Protecting America's interests in Copenhagen

In December, members of the United Nations Framework Convention will meet in Copenhagen to discuss climate change and draft a new global warming treaty. "This is the most important international conference on global warming since the 1997 Kyoto conference that produced Kyoto Protocol," writes Heritage expert Ben Lieberman.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international environmental treaty which the United States never ratified because of the overwhelming financial and regulatory burdens it would impose on the country. Set to expire in 2012, however, the Kyoto Protocol is now the prototype for a new, even more stringent global warming treaty that would pose an even greater threat to American prosperity than its predecessor.

Lieberman explains how a new global warming treaty would hurt America:

Inflicting economic harm. The contemplated global warming treaty -- like the highly controversial cap-and-trade legislation under consideration in Congress -- would act as a large energy tax that would drive up energy costs for individuals and consumers. This would result in massive job losses.

Achieving little environmental gain. Leaving aside all scientific questions about global warming, the treaty's targeted emissions reductions will have a nominal, if any, impact on the earth's temperature. This is especially true if developing nations, whose emissions are growing fastest, remain exempt, as they are under Kyoto.

Undermining U.S. sovereignty. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, a new global warming treaty would impose binding international enforcement mechanisms. An international authority will be established to ensure that all signatories are in compliance with the international provisions, as well as to determine penalties for non-complying entities.

Countless studies from both sides of the political aisle reveal the devastating effects of global warming controls. This is why cap-and-trade legislation has been stalled in the U.S. Senate.

President Obama has repeatedly promised to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions and he is under immense pressure from radical environmentalist groups to keep this pledge. But surrendering American prosperity and sovereignty is no bargain.

"The American people need to know that, in addition to harming the U.S. economically and environmentally, a new global warming treaty would threaten U.S. sovereignty," explains Lieberman. The United States' decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol was a prudent one that served America's best interests. In Copenhagen this December, American negotiators should again keep our best interests in mind.

> Other Heritage work of note
"It is a tragic mistake to now bring the detained war combatants into the United States and to employ civilian criminal procedures which were never intended for this type of situation," former Attorney General and Heritage scholar Edwin Meese said this week. Last Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other terrorists would be tried in a civilian court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal. This decision blurs the distinction between crimes and acts of war, which are handled in military tribunals, not civilian court.

» Read Meese's full statement online
To prevent a "rerun of the Great Crash of 2008" and stave off the need for bailouts, Heritage Vice President Stuart Butler suggests reforming bankruptcy policy. "Without a realistic bankruptcy option, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had to make it up on the fly, often stopping up the breaking dam with taxpayers' money." To prevent further bailouts, we should enact serious reforms that "give the bankruptcy courts the tools they need to take care of failing giants."

In less than a year, the Pelosi-Reid Congress has introduced four nation-altering proposals: the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, the massive 2010 budget plan, cap-and-trade legislation, and health care reform. Heritage Vice President Michael Franc points out that "House Republicans have been virtually unanimous in their opposition to this agenda, but House Democrats have been divided in important ways." The Left has kept this ambitious schedule despite the split between moderate liberals and radical progressives, Franc argues, because of "the San Francisco speaker's ability to persuade her troops to line up behind a breathtakingly liberal legislative agenda."

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell

FRIDAY, NOV 20, 2009
A Health Bill Nobody Believes In

Last Saturday night Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) forced through a vote on her 2,032 page health care bill only a few days after releasing it to the public. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is poised for another Saturday night cram down, forcing a Senate cloture vote mere days before his 2,074 page bill was given to Senators. Yet again, Congress will be forced to vote on a bill that none of them have actually read. More importantly, as we pour through the details, it becomes obvious that none of them even believe the plan will do what the bill says.

Kills Jobs: All told, the Reid Bill raises taxes by $370.2 billion over the next ten years with many of those taxes starting to be collected this year while unemployment is at 10.2% and rising. Worse, the bill includes a job killing employer mandate which taxes companies for hiring people. Specifically, companies with more than 50 employees that do not offer a health plan approved by federal bureaucrats will be forced to pay a $750 per employee job tax.

Hurts Small Businesses: The Reid Bill acknowledges it is terrible public policy for small businesses and tries to address this problem by including a “small business tax credit” to minimize the impact of the job killing employer mandates and regulation-caused rises in private health insurance premiums. But the tax credit only lasts two years and largely excludes small business owners, small businesses with high-average payrolls, and firms with 25 or more workers. After all exclusions, essentially the only eligible firms are those firms with 10 or fewer workers as well as those with low-income workers—the least likely to offer coverage even with a significant price reduction.

Hurts Families: The Reid Bill includes an individual mandate that forces any American who does not have a federal bureaucrat approved health plan to pay an annual tax penalty of $750 per adult family member and $375 per child, with a maximum penalty of $2,250 per family. These penalties are indexed for inflation, which means they are likely to increase nearly every year. These taxes are fixed amounts based on family size, not income. A family of at least two adults and two children is actually worse off under the Senate bill if they make less than $99,350 a year. The only nod to affordability is a “hardship exemption” if the lowest available premium for a bare-bones plan is more than 8 percent of your income. But that saves you money only if your income is less than $28,125 a year.

Hurts Poor: The Reid Bill’s employer mandate is especially punitive on poor families. Firms that hire an employee from a low-income family who qualify for an insurance subsidy are charged a tax penalty of $3,000. So a company could save $3,000 by hiring, say, someone with a working spouse or a teenager with working parents, rather than a single mother with three children. Worse, companies only have to pay $750 an employee instead of $3,000 if one quarter of employees are low-income. This creates a situation where, if a company has a lot of low-income workers, they can actually save money by dropping their health plan and just dumping all their employees into the federal exchange at their own expense.

Hurts States: The Reid bill expands Medicaid eligibility for people below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Even with a provision aimed at Senator Landrieu’s Louisiana that picks up some state costs, the CBO estimates that state spending under the Medicaid provisions will still increase by $25 billion. The Democratic Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen told a state budget meeting this Wednesday: “I wish every member of Congress would have to come sit in this room and listen to the real world of what’s going on in Medicaid today. I mean how can you listen to this stuff and the stuff you are talking about eliminating just to get through this and then talk about adding a whole bunch of new expenses onto the states.”

Funds Abortion: Unlike the House-passed Stupak-Pitts amendment which treats abortion funding the same way the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan does (the same health insurance all members of Congress have), the Reid Bill fosters taxpayer funding of elective abortion by authorizing the HHS Secretary to create a funding scheme that will permit inclusion of abortion coverage in the bill’s public option and mandates the inclusion of at least one plan with elective abortion coverage in each state’s health insurance exchange.

Hides True Costs: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Reid Bill as written would spend less than $900 billion over the next ten years. But the CBO is only allowed to score what Congress says it will do, not what everybody knows it actually will do. So the CBO warns: “These longer-term calculations assume that the provisions are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades which is often not the case for major legislation … The long-term budgetary impact could be quite different if key provisions of the bill were ultimately changed or not fully implemented.” The Senate bill depends on using cuts to Medicare to pay for its $1.2 Trillion coverage expansion. These dramatic savings, of course, assume that these spending cuts stay intact. Nobody believes they will. And the Massachusetts experience proves just that. Harvard Medical School Dean Dr. Jeffrey Flier explains:

There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending.

Selling an uncertain and potentially unwelcome outcome such as this to the public would be a challenging task. It is easier to assert, confidently but disingenuously, that decreased costs and enhanced quality would result from the current legislation.

That is exactly what the Reid health care bill is: a completely disingenuous plan to increase coverage while reducing cost. Nobody believes Congress can or will follow through with spending cuts required to keep this scheme from bankrupting our country. That is why the AMA can support Obamacare despite the fact that both the House and Senate bills call for at least a 21% cut in doctor pay starting in 2011. Nobody believes those cuts are going to happen. Nobody believes in this bill

Republican Leader Press Office

The Republican Alternative

By Peter Ferrara on 11.18.09 @ 6:08AM

Democrats have been telling us all year that the Republicans have no health reform alternative. They are just the party of no! So we must have all been hallucinating when, lo and behold, just before the recent House vote on the Pelosi/Obama government health care takeover bill, there was a vote on…the Republican alternative.

Exactly the opposite of the House Democrat health plan, the Republican alternative would actually reduce the cost of health insurance and care. It would also expand coverage and provide a safety net ensuring that no one would be excluded from essential health coverage or care. It would also expand consumer choice and control over health care.

At the same time, the Republican plan involves no tax increases, no Medicare cuts, no rationing, and no increased deficits now or in the future. Exactly how all this is accomplished is fully explained below.

Lower Costs

The Republican plan allows insurers to sell health insurance across state lines. This would greatly expand competition, enabling the more than 1,000 private insurance companies to each compete nationally. That vastly increased competition would reduce health insurance premiums and costs. It would also greatly expand consumer freedom of choice.

We hear liberal complaints about areas within some states that only have a couple of insurance companies competing. That is entirely due to government regulation. We see ads for car insurance, and every other type of insurance, competing nationally all the time. There is no reason why we can't enjoy the same for health insurance.

The Republican plan, of course, includes medical liability tort reform modeled after successful reforms in California and Texas. This would sharply reduce costly junk lawsuits and the resulting costly defensive medicine pursued just to protect against frivolous claims. Democrats crassly oppose this because of the enormous contributions they receive from Plaintiffs' attorneys, which has been openly admitted.

The Republican plan would further reduce costs by enhancing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which are themselves a Republican reform fundamentally changing health care by introducing market incentives to reduce costs. Individuals with HSAs keep most of their money for health care in a savings account, earning tax-free interest, with the rest going to purchase a high-deductible, catastrophic insurance policy. The premium cost for such catastrophic coverage, with deductibles generally ranging from $2,000 to $6,000 a year, is much lower than for standard, low-deductible health insurance, allowing the savings in the account to grow quickly to cover the entire deductible. Patients with HSAs are free to use the money in their accounts for any health care, including preventive care, check-ups, prescriptions, dental care, eye care, and the full range of alternative medicine. Nothing could do more to increase consumer freedom of choice and to put patients in control of their own health care.

Money kept in HSAs can be used for health care in later years, or for anything in retirement. So patients are effectively using their own money for non-catastrophic care. That provides powerful incentives to avoid overly costly or unnecessary care and to look for doctors and hospitals that can provide quality care at lower cost, creating real market competition to reduce costs.

The Republican House alternative would allow consumers to use funds saved in HSAs to pay for the catastrophic insurance covering costs above the deductible. Broadly expanding HSAs across the entire health system, including Medicare and Medicaid, would essentially solve the health cost problem.

CBO confirms that this Republican alternative plan would reduce health insurance costs, exactly the opposite of the Pelosi/Obama plan that CBO confirms would increase health insurance costs. The CBO analysis shows that for millions of families health insurance premiums would be almost $5,000 per year less under this GOP plan than the cheapest health insurance under the Pelosi bill.

Expanded Coverage and a Safety Net

The GOP alternative also includes several provisions to expand health insurance coverage. Most important are the Universal Access Programs that would expand uninsurable risk pools to ensure that all Americans would be able to obtain coverage for any pre-existing condition. The uninsured who become too sick to buy private health insurance covering their condition can turn to their state's risk pool for coverage. They are charged premiums for such coverage based on their ability to pay. Each state then subsidizes its uninsurable risk pool to ensure that it could cover all costs.

Few people become truly uninsurable because of their health condition, so the risk pools are a low cost solution. But trying to force these people into the same market risk pools as everyone else through such policies as guaranteed issue (requiring insurers to accept all applicants for coverage regardless of health condition) and community rating (requiring insurers to charge everyone the same regardless of health condition) just ruins health insurance for the general public, making it too expensive and sharply increasing the uninsured as a result. Providing for the uninsurable separately through their own pool is consequently a much better policy.

The GOP plan would also enable small businesses to pool together to offer health insurance at lower prices, like big corporations and labor unions, which would further increase coverage. The proposal would also allow and encourage coverage for young adults on their parents' insurance through age 25. And though this has already been the law for many years, the Republican plan would also expressly prohibit insurers from canceling health insurance policies as long as payments continue, unless the insured commits fraud or conceals a material fact about a health condition.

The lower costs from the provisions above would also expand health coverage, as lower insurance costs reduce the number of uninsured. Wider availability of low cost HSA insurance would also expand coverage.

Blue Dog Fraud

Again, exactly the opposite of the House Democrat health care scheme, this Republican plan includes no tax increases, no Medicare cuts, and no health care rationing. In sharp contrast, the latest numbers from CBO show the costs of the Pelosi plan already exploding. Once that plan is fully phased in, over the first 10 years (2014-2023) total government spending would increase by over $3 trillion, not the $1 trillion that has been so widely reported. Total Medicare cuts over those 10 years would be over $1 trillion, and total tax increases would run over $1 trillion as well.

Yet, not one of the supposedly fiscal conservative Blue Dog Democrats voted for this Republican plan. Every single Democrat in the House voted against it. The so-called Blue Dog Democrat phenomenon is a scam. These Democrats were elected to the House in conservative districts on the promise that they were, honest to God, real conservatives. But once elected, they play a game with the left-wing House Democrat leadership providing just enough votes to pass Pelosi/Obama socialism every time, with the rest free to vote against it to keep the scam going back home. Whenever the leadership needs their vote, however, they are there.

It is these Blue Dog Democrats that keep the ultraleft House Democrat leadership in power, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, to Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank from Boston, to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman from Hollywood, to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charley Rangel from Harlem, to Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers from Detroit. If this is not the kind of leadership you want for America, then the so-called Blue Dog Democrats all need to be replaced.

The Democrats' Death Panel for Grandma

Whether they vote for any of the Obamacare bills or not, the so-called Blue Dogs in both the House and the Senate are enabling the ultraleft Democrat Congressional leadership in the passage of legislation that imposes government health care rationing on seniors under Medicare, which will deny them essential health care, and begins the implementation of such rationing for everyone else.

Included in these Democrat health bills is a new, unelected, Medicare "Commission" which would implement a new "global budget" for Medicare each year. That global budget would set an arbitrary limit on how much would be spent on health care for seniors every year. The Commission is to enforce that budget by deciding what health care treatments, procedures, surgeries, drugs, etc. would be covered under Medicare and paid for, and which would not. If the Commission decides that the expensive surgery or treatment that Grandma needs to stay alive is just not worth the cost, then the doctors will just come to tell you they are sorry, but there is nothing they can do.

The Wall Street Journal explained the result on Monday by quoting prominent health economist Alain Enthoven, who "has likened a global budget to ‘bombing from 35,000 feet, where you don't see the faces of the people you kill.'" The Journal explained further:

"The hard budget cap means there is only so much money to be divvied up for care, with no account for demographic changes, such as longer life spans, or for the increasing incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Worse, it makes little room for medical innovations. The commission is mandated to go after "sources of excessive cost growth" meaning treatments that are too expensive or whose coverage will boost spending. If researchers find a pricey treatment for Alzheimer's in 2020, that might be banned because it would add new costs and bust the global budget. Or it might decide that "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the pain-killer," as President Obama put it in June."

No true liberal would support allowing the government to play God in this way, deciding who will live and who will die. But today's so-called liberals are so fiercely partisan now that they have become mentally disengaged. They refuse to even consider any conservative or Republican arguments on any issue, from global warming, to tax policy, to economic policy, to the budget. As a result, they have become dangerous people. What they are supporting is an outright assault on the health care of America's seniors. But they don't have a clue.

The House Republican health bill alternative not only includes no such rationing or Medicare cuts. It actually tries to roll back rationing provisions that have already been adopted. The Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness is a new bureaucracy created in the so-called stimulus bill. President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors explained the role of "comparative effectiveness" in controlling health costs in a report it issued in June, "The Economic Case for Health Reform." The government bureaucracy in Washington would decide what health care works and what doesn't for everybody. It would then enforce its decisions through the payment system for doctors and hospitals. Those doctors and hospitals that don't follow the received wisdom of the wise and all-knowing federal bureaucrats would be penalized in their payments for your care, if they get paid at all.

The Journal again further explained this policy on Monday, saying:

"The reason that physician discretion -- not Washington's cost minded judgments -- is at the core of medicine is that usually there are no "right" answers. The data from large clinical trials produce generic conclusions that rarely apply to individual patients, who have vastly different biologies, response rates to treatments, and often multiple conditions. A breakthrough drug like Herceptin, which is designed for a certain genetic subset of breast cancer patients, might well be ruled out under such a standardized approach."

You might think that your doctor who knows you and your illness would know what will work for you and what won't far better than faraway government bureaucrats that don't know you at all. But don't tell that to today's Washington Democrats, who know everything about everything, and don't need to hear anything from anybody.

This health care rationing involves a radical decline in America's standard of living. Today, Americans enjoy the best, most advanced, high tech, patient-centered health care in the world, devoted to improving and saving their lives. But after the Democrats get through imposing their throwback socialized medicine philosophy, this will all be gone, and we will suffer with the same third rate health care as in other socialized medicine systems around the world. This suits President Obama, whose "moral" vision is that America is just another country, and that it is embarrassingly immoral for America to have more prosperity or power than anyone else. That is why all of his policies are leading to this same dead end for America.

Peter Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation, and general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the first President Bush. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Levin Surge

Fellow Conservatives we do not believe in destruction we believe in reform. Mark Levin has called for a surge tonight against the People who will vote for Obamacare. Please click on the link below. Also read the Federalist Paper #51

The Mark Levin Show

Federalist No. 51
The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments

From the New York Packet.

Friday, February 8, 1788.

Author: Alexander Hamilton or James Madison

To the People of the State of New York:

TO WHAT expedient, then, shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the Constitution? The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, the defect must be supplied, by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places. Without presuming to undertake a full development of this important idea, I will hazard a few general observations, which may perhaps place it in a clearer light, and enable us to form a more correct judgment of the principles and structure of the government planned by the convention. In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others. Were this principle rigorously adhered to, it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority, the people, through channels having no communication whatever with one another. Perhaps such a plan of constructing the several departments would be less difficult in practice than it may in contemplation appear. Some difficulties, however, and some additional expense would attend the execution of it. Some deviations, therefore, from the principle must be admitted. In the constitution of the judiciary department in particular, it might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle: first, because peculiar qualifications being essential in the members, the primary consideration ought to be to select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifications; secondly, because the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department, must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them. It is equally evident, that the members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others, for the emoluments annexed to their offices. Were the executive magistrate, or the judges, not independent of the legislature in this particular, their independence in every other would be merely nominal. But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public. We see it particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. These inventions of prudence cannot be less requisite in the distribution of the supreme powers of the State. But it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit. It may even be necessary to guard against dangerous encroachments by still further precautions. As the weight of the legislative authority requires that it should be thus divided, the weakness of the executive may require, on the other hand, that it should be fortified. An absolute negative on the legislature appears, at first view, to be the natural defense with which the executive magistrate should be armed. But perhaps it would be neither altogether safe nor alone sufficient. On ordinary occasions it might not be exerted with the requisite firmness, and on extraordinary occasions it might be perfidiously abused. May not this defect of an absolute negative be supplied by some qualified connection between this weaker department and the weaker branch of the stronger department, by which the latter may be led to support the constitutional rights of the former, without being too much detached from the rights of its own department? If the principles on which these observations are founded be just, as I persuade myself they are, and they be applied as a criterion to the several State constitutions, and to the federal Constitution it will be found that if the latter does not perfectly correspond with them, the former are infinitely less able to bear such a test. There are, moreover, two considerations particularly applicable to the federal system of America, which place that system in a very interesting point of view. First. In a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. Second. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority. In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. This view of the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere and considerate friends of republican government, since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the Union may be formed into more circumscribed Confederacies, or States oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated: the best security, under the republican forms, for the rights of every class of citizens, will be diminished: and consequently the stability and independence of some member of the government, the only other security, must be proportionately increased. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradnally induced, by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful. It can be little doubted that if the State of Rhode Island was separated from the Confederacy and left to itself, the insecurity of rights under the popular form of government within such narrow limits would be displayed by such reiterated oppressions of factious majorities that some power altogether independent of the people would soon be called for by the voice of the very factions whose misrule had proved the necessity of it. In the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties, and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good; whilst there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of a major party, there must be less pretext, also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter, or, in other words, a will independent of the society itself. It is no less certain than it is important, notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained, that the larger the society, provided it lie within a practical sphere, the more duly capable it will be of self-government. And happily for the REPUBLICAN CAUSE, the practicable sphere may be carried to a very great extent, by a judicious modification and mixture of the FEDERAL PRINCIPLE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell


Keeping Up Our End of the Bargain With Those Who Serve
Today, we at The Heritage Foundation will honor Veterans Day by pausing to remember those who sacrifice in defense of freedom for our country. Heritage honors all who serve past and present in the United States Armed Forces, their families, and all military retirees and veterans. We solemnly remember those fallen men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion and will also not forget those who have yet to come home and remain missing in action.

This national holiday warrants a diversion from discussing domestic priorities to take a closer look at what Congress and the White House are doing about many pressing defense issues.

Some policymakers seem want to keep defense and military issues out of the headlines, choosing instead to continue cutting the defense budget to fund domestic programs. This observation is based on actual outcomes from this year’s defense budget debate.

During the past few months, Congress and the President effectively shut down the purchase of next-generation equipment for the military. That includes: the Air Force’s F-22 fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the most sophisticated in the world; the Army’s ground vehicles designed to replace a combat fleet built in the 1970s and 80s; two types of helicopters-one which fulfills the unique duty of rescuing military personnel held behind enemy lines; and large cuts to the missile defense program designed to thwart the threat of long-range ballistic missiles from hitting U.S. shores and cities.

What’s likely next year? Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently opined that the Department of Defense should buckle up for some (more) “painful adjustments”-as if any more could be borne by those in uniform-and get ready to do the following:

sacrifice defense dollars to pay for TARP, the stimulus bill, domestic programs and the federal debt;

hand over another chunk of the defense budget to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for civilian aid or “soft power” programs; and

delay or cut weapons programs that are not “absolutely essential.”

Unfortunately, Congress set a horrible precedent, having given the President so many of his defense cuts during a time of war. That just makes more devastating cancellations likely in the coming years.

The problem is that, since they have no new weapons systems to slash, politicians will need to start eliminating equipment that today’s troops are using everyday. This includes replacements for tanks, trucks, ships and planes that are already worn out after nine years of consecutive warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In short, finding further “savings” in the defense budget would require cutting to the bone and hurting those in uniform. Having a world-class military and truly honoring those who serve requires policymakers to provide the same technologically-advanced equipment to defeat any enemy when necessary and protect those in harm’s way.

Providing the military just enough to barely get by is dangerous, and an outright dereliction of duty by federal policymakers whose first job is found in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution: to provide for the common defense of the American people.

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell

TUESDAY, NOV. 10, 2009
Reagan, Obama and the Berlin Wall

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin and said: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

On November 9, 1989, just two years after Reagan made his Brandenburg Gate speech, the people of Germany did tear down “this wall” and in so doing they freed hundreds of millions of people from the tyranny of communism. Reagan by no means single-handily brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall, but his leadership against despotism was widely recognized by the victims of communism. When he visited Poland in 1990, a dissident leader presented Reagan with a sword explaining: “I am giving you this saber for helping us to chop off the head of communism.”

But the leftists in America do not want us to remember Reagan’s role in history. That is why President Barack Obama (the same man who found time to jet to Copenhagen at the drop of a rumor that his presence could win the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago) could not be bothered to attend the 20th anniversary of the wall’s fall last night. Instead, President Obama taped a video message that completely failed to mention Reagan or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

More than petty partisan slights are at stake here. President Obama’s refusal to recognize the role President Reagan’s and Prime Minister Thatcher’s leadership played in defeating despotism goes to the core of Obama’s foreign policy priorities. Heritage scholar Nile Gardiner explains:

Barack Obama simply does not view the world as Reagan did, in terms of good versus evil, as a world divided between the forces of freedom on one side and totalitarianism on the other. For the Obama administration the advancement of human rights and individual liberty on the world stage is a distinctly low priority, as we have seen with its engagement strategy towards the likes of Iran, Burma, Sudan, Venezuela and Russia.

We commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall to celebrate the collapse of communism, to honor those who died resisting communism, and to resolve that never again will peoples and nations allow so evil a tyranny to terrorize the world.

Yet, at a time when the United States currently faces challenges as complicated as those confronted by Reagan (war in Afghanistan, the global fight against Islamist terrorism, the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran) Obama is bent on apologizing for our nation’s actions, betraying Cold War allies, and dithering on troop deployments.

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell

MONDAY, NOV 9, 2009

Who is the President Calling “Extremist?”

Following last Tuesday’s election, the last thing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wanted to do was allow Members of Congress to go home and talk to their constituents about the $2.6 trillion health care bill she was marshaling through Congress. The centerpiece of Pelosi’s trap and pressure campaign was a Saturday address by President Barack Obama in the Cannon Office Building, where Obama warned Democrats: “Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit [Democratic voters] and it will encourage the extremists.”

State Department to Mr. Zelaya: A Deal is a Deal!
The extremists. That is how the President of the Unites States describes Americans who do not want to see the federal government control over half of all health care spending. And just who are some of these extremists? Looking over just today’s papers we find:

Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria: “Obama’s message to the country appears to be, “We have a dysfunctional health-care system with out-of-control costs, and let’s add 45 million people to it.” Americans see a health-care bill that has been produced by the old Democratic machine rather than the new Democratic technocrats — more Lyndon Johnson than Larry Summers. It might be the only way to get a law passed, and it might please the party’s base, but it will dismay independents.”

The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt: “Health-care reform should not add to the deficit. It should control health-care costs. And, once reform is passed, the government will get serious about deficit reduction. Unfortunately, the House bill fails his first test.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT): “If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote.”

Everybody listed above acknowledges we desperately need to fix health care policy. They just do not believe that the House plan is the best way to go about doing so. Conservatives have our own, patient centered, vision for health care reform. There has even been some legislation introduced, some better than others, that reflect this vision. Supporting health care policy that empowers patients, and not a new Health Czar, is common sense, not extremism.

There is a reason the leaders on the left are desperate to keep Members of Congress in Washington and away from their constituents. If they had to face real Americans, defenders of the House health care bill would have to defend the facts that their bill:

Has a true ten year cost of $2.6 trillion while our country already faces record deficits.

Raises taxes by $700 billion while our country already faces 10.2% unemployment.

Massively expands a Medicaid program that already provides substandard reimbursement rates, is bankrupting states, and is bankrupt itself.

And that does not even include the possibility that Obama’s Health Czar would use the authority granted in the bill to use the public option to destroy private health care entirely. Perhaps most striking about the President’s performance on Saturday is that he opened his 20 minute health care pep rally with some remarks about the tragic shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. That, Mr. President, is extremism. Opposing policies through democratic means is not.

Cap And Trade Calamities

If Cap and Trade Doesn't Work, Obama Will Make It Work

Cap and Trade proposes a new national tax of historic proportions

All the talk in Washington is surrounding a government health insurance plan, but there’s a little discussed insurance plan in the Boxer-Kerry cap and trade bill that’s worth some attention. The Senate version of the cap and trade bill includes a section that grants the President the authority to “direct relevant federal agencies” to impose additional greenhouse gas regulations. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) have been working assiduously to uncover the true costs of cap and trade legislation.

Greenhouse gas concentrations are measured in parts per million (ppm). Many global warming alarmists believe that upper limit on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent catastrophic harm is 450 parts per million (ppm). Once we reach that threshold, water will rise to the torch of the Statue of Liberty, California will be an island, the polar ice caps will cease to exist and island nations will no longer be nations but submerged pieces of land. To put the numbers in some perspective, Sharon Begley notes in her Newsweek column that the carbon dioxide concentration is currently at 386 ppm; we were at 280ppm before the Industrial Revolution. If you include the carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases, we’ve arguably reached the 450 ppm threshold. The Boxer-Kerry legislation says that if global greenhouse gas concentrations exceed 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalent:

Sec. 707 Not later than July 1, 2015, and every 4 years thereafter--
`(1) the President shall direct relevant Federal agencies to use existing statutory authority to take appropriate actions identified in the reports submitted under sections 705 and 706 and to address any shortfalls identified in such reports.

The passed House version, Waxman-Markey, also contains language that grant the administration similar authority. So, for those who thought cap and trade legislation would preempt costly regulations, think again. This is more or less an insurance policy that would allow EPA officials regulate just about every aspect of the market and guarantees there will be economic pain. Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said, “We get further faster without top-down regulation.” Added regulations on top of cap and trade would be a bureaucratic nightmare that could delay economic projects and tie them up in litigation and result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in compliance costs.

If we’ve learned anything from the health care debate, it’s that companies shouldn’t trust government promises that their bottom lines will not be affected. Proponents of a government-run option made repeated claims that private businesses would remain competitive but Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, recently sent a letter to the White House and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saying the plan “would bankrupt hospitals, dismantle employer coverage.

The same can be said for cap and trade. In order to garner business support, Members promised generous allowance revenue handouts for various industries and special interests. President Obama originally called for an auction of the emission allowances, forcing companies to bid on the right to emit. Businesses, knowing very well this would impose a severe cost on their bottom line, sent their lobbyists to Washington to protect them. And it worked – at least they thought it did. Sections 705-707 of the Boxer-Kerry cap and trade bill would pile costly regulations on these allegedly protected companies. And these costs would be passed onto the consumer, making the bill all that more painful.

Even if we are only at 386 ppm, the way China and other developing countries are growing and refusing to cap greenhouse gas emissions, global greenhouse gas concentrations could reach 450 ppm in no time. George Will writes, “On Oct. 21, China, the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases, and India, which ranks fourth -- together they account for 26 percent of emissions -- jointly agreed: They, with their combined one-third of the world's population, will not play in what increasingly resembles a global game of climate-change charades. Neither nation is interested in jeopardizing its economic growth with emissions caps of a sort that never impeded the growth of the developed nations that now praise them.”

With the rate of growth of global greenhouse gas emissions, cap and trade paired with top down regulation assures economic pain for every part of the economy, especially the American energy consumer, with nothing to show for it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Let it be known on the 7th day of November in the year 2009 the Democratic Congress of The United States committed HIGH TREASON against the American People.
The Congress dominated by Leftists voted for a Health Care Bill that will destroy the liberty of the people of this great nation. The Bill will impose new tax and fines or even prison time if Americans do not want this Goverment Run Health Care.
Call write email your Senators!!!!
March on Washington in demonstration against this Government take over of your lives and your freedom.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell

FRIDAY, NOV 6, 2009

10% Unemployment Shows Objective Failure of Obama Stimulus

Last week the Obama administration issued a report purporting to show that the President’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan had saved or created exactly 640,329 jobs. Such a precise number for such a fuzzy concept as jobs “saved or created” immediately raised doubts about the veracity of the report in any honest American’s mind.

And since that report was issued, a once compliant press has filed story after story tearing the credibility of the Obama administration’s job creation claims to shreds. Just enter the words “stimulus”, “jobs”, and “report” in a Google News search and these are just some of the headlines you will receive:

Stimulus Job Report Filled With Errors

Stimulus Watch: Salary raises counted as saved jobs

White House Tally Appears to Overstate Stimulus Jobs

Reports Show Conflicting Number of Jobs Attributed to Stimulus Money

Stimulus Watchdog: job counters confused, need guidance

Why stimulus jobs aren’t here to stay

Many California jobs ’saved’ by stimulus funds weren’t in jeopardy

Luckily the American people do not need to count on phony new jobs studies to provide the objective data necessary to hold President Barack Obama accountable for his economic policies. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has been collecting accepted and standardized data employment data since the 1940s. When President Obama was selling his $787 billion stimulus to the American people he promised unemployment would never rise above 7.8% and that by 2010 the U.S. economy would employ 138.6 million jobs.

Today, BLS released its monthly jobs report and the numbers speak for themselves. The economy shed another 190,000 jobs in October, bringing the number of jobs lost since Obama was sworn in to 3.8 million. Worse still, the unemployment rate rose from 9.8% to 10.2% percent. With only 130.8 million jobs in the U.S. economy, President Obama is now 7.8 million jobs short of what he promised the American people. That makes President Obama’s stimulus an objective failure.

The Obama stimulus failed because it was based on faulty Keynesian beliefs. Heritage fellow J.D. Foster explains:

The Keynesian stimulus theory fails for the simple reason that it is only half a theory. It correctly describes how deficit spending can raise the level of demand in part of the economy, and ignores how government borrowing to finance deficit spending automatically reduces demand elsewhere.

Fortunately, the economy’s natural recuperative powers may be ending the recession. Last week the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at 3.5%. But if this recovery is going to include job growth along with GDP growth, then job killing initiatives like Obamacare and cap and trade will have to be abandoned.

Republican Leader Press Office

From The Cininnati Enquirer

Republicans offer health care Americans want

By House Republican Leader John Boehner

Cincinnati Enquirer

November 7, 2009

Republicans are offering a step-by-step, common-sense approach to health care reform - an altogether better solution than the 2,032-page government takeover of health care being pushed through Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

We’ve introduced a bill to lower costs, and increased access to high-quality care - a bill the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed will lower premiums by up to 10 percent, without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses.

As Ohio and other states across the nation continue to struggle with joblessness, rising costs of living and skyrocketing health care costs, our plan offers real relief.

In fact, the House Ways and Means Committee has determined that under the Republican plan, premiums for families will be nearly $5,000 lower than the cheapest plan in the Democrats’ government-run proposal.

Not only does the Republican plan lower health care costs, but it also expands access to quality care at a price our country can afford, and tackles the problems in our health care system that have contributed to the crisis we face today.

Specifically, our bill includes common-sense solutions to:

• Guarantee that all Americans - regardless of pre-existing conditions and past illnesses - have access to the care they need at affordable prices by creating Universal Access Programs that expand and reform high-risk pools and reinsurance programs.

• Encourage competition - which is key to lowering prices and increasing quality of care - by allowing Americans to shop for coverage from coast to coast and permitting Americans living in one state to purchase insurance in another.

• Empower small businesses to pool together and offer health care at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do.

• Reward innovation by providing incentive payments to states that reduce premiums and the number of uninsured.

• Help end costly junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order, not because they think it is good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

These are just a few highlights of our bill. To learn more about the responsible, common-sense solutions in the Republican plan and read the entire bill, visit

Clearly, our bill offers a stark contrast to Pelosi’s health care plan. Pelosi’s bill represents bureaucracy designed to centralize health care decision-making in Washington at the expense of patients and doctors.

It will create dozens of boards, bureaus and commissions in charge of coming up with new regulations and red tape that will inevitably make health care in this country more expensive.

And despite costing $1.3 trillion, it will push billions more in costs over to already cash-strapped states like Ohio, where our governor is already struggling to fill an estimated $850 million state budget hole.

Enough is enough. Americans are fed up. The trillion-dollar “stimulus” isn't working. Unemployment is rising. The debt to be paid by our kids and grandkids is exploding.

As members of the House of Representatives prepare to take a vote on a health care bill as early as today, they must make a decision:

They can vote for Pelosi’s bill that will raise premiums, increase taxes and cut Medicare benefits for seniors, or they can support the Republican plan that makes health care more affordable and accessible for our families.

The American people have made it clear where they stand. It is time for members of Congress to show they are listening

Republican Leader Press Office

From AOL
Opinion: Democrats’ Health Care Bill Will Destroy Millions of Jobs

by John Boehner


The federal government reported today that thousands of Americans lost their jobs last month. Earlier this year, President Obama presented the trillion dollar “stimulus” to the American people as a plan that would put people back to work immediately, but since it became law, our economy has lost more than three million jobs.

Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats are getting ready to pass a 2,032-page, $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care that would destroy millions more.

Having been a small businessman before I came to Congress, I know that skyrocketing health care costs present a significant hurdle to meeting a bottom line and having the ability to add payroll, in both good times and lean times.

Washington Democrats have ignored these concerns and instead propose funding their government takeover of health care with more than $750 billion in new taxes that will fall heavily on entrepreneurs who run small businesses, and harsh mandates that require employers to either provide “government-approved” coverage or pay another steep tax.

According to a model developed by senior White House economists, these sorts of tax increases would result in as many as 5.5 million more American jobs lost over the next 10 years.

The effects of Speaker Pelosi’s bill will be felt not only in these job losses, but in higher premiums, drastic Medicare cuts, dozens of new Washington bureaucracies, and new debt to be paid by our kids and grandkids. Is it any wonder that the more the public learns about this plan, the less they like it?

There’s a better way. Republicans unveiled a plan in June to make health care more affordable and accessible at a price our nation can afford.

Our plan achieves this goal by implementing several smart, fiscally responsible reforms, including allowing small businesses to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do.

Our plan would also:

- Establish Universal Access Programs to guarantee all Americans – including individuals with pre-existing conditions – access to quality, affordable coverage;

- Let individuals and families purchase health insurance across state lines;

- Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs;

- End junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it’s good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

As a result of these common-sense solutions, families’ premiums under our plan would be nearly $5,000 lower than under Speaker Pelosi’s bill, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). What's more, the CBO estimates that small business owners and their employees would see their premiums decrease by as much as 10%.

Just as important, the CBO estimates our plan would reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years, without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses or cutting seniors’ Medicare benefits.

At this pivotal moment, when out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet are asking ‘where are the jobs,’ small businesses are sitting on their hands because Washington Democrats continue to pursue big-government programs that lead to more spending and higher taxes. We saw it with the cap-and-trade national energy tax that passed the House in June, and we’re seeing it now with this government takeover of one-sixth of our nation's economy. This is not a recipe for fostering job creation and lasting prosperity.

A vote for Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill is a vote to keep more people out of work longer. It’s that simple.
The American people deserve a better solution, and Republicans’ smart, fiscally responsible plan delivers exactly what they want.

Republican Leader Press Office

From The Detroit News

GOP offers cheaper approach to health reform
November 6, 2009

Republicans are offering an alternative health reform plan that should at least be debated before Congress rushes to turn the nation's health care system inside out.

But that likely won't happen. The House is poised to vote today or tomorrow on a health care package that, despite fierce objections from moderates and conservatives who fear it will result in higher taxes, bigger deficits and lesser coverage for most Americans, still contains most of the egregious elements of the initial proposal.

Republicans recognize that they have to do more than say "no" to the Democratic ideas. So they've put together a bill, with the help of Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, containing less costly and disruptive reforms.

The ideas are solid. Unfortunately, they come too late to have much influence on a bill that almost certainly will be passed in the House with few or no GOP votes. But perhaps Republicans can use the plan to force a more responsible compromise in the Senate.

The GOP bill is less ambitious than the plan being rammed through by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, taking an incremental approach to restructuring the system.

It uses market-based principles and does not include government subsidies or a public option.

But it would trim costs through strict limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, expanding health savings accounts, allowing consumers to buy insurance from out-of-state companies, providing tax breaks for insurance purchases, making it easier for small businesses to offer their employees insurance and breaking down barriers to coverage for the most hard-to-insure Americans.

While the proposal should increase the number of insured, it does not provide coverage for everyone. Tax deductions and health savings accounts aren't much use to those with no or very low income.

But it is far cheaper than the Democratic proposal, whose cost has soared to $1.3 trillion during the next decade; it won't add to the federal budget deficit and it does not require a massive new government bureaucracy to administer.

It fulfills many of the promises made by President Barack Obama -- it aggressively controls costs, it guarantees Americans can keep their existing plans, and it increases competition in the insurance industry -- far better than the Pelosi bill. The GOP plan deals strictly with cost and access and avoids the distractive intrusions into personal health care choices contained in the Democratic package.

The idea of enacting reform on a smaller scale and at a more deliberate pace ought to have some appeal to a Congress that has been inundated by concerns from constituents worried that the Democratic proposal will radically change the system, and not for the better.

Republicans are doing what a responsible opposition party should do -- offering an alternative that reflects their values and is a practical solution to an issue that has grown far too divisive.


Mega-Bureaucracy: J.E.C. Chart Shows Speaker Pelosi’s New Bill Will Create Unprecedented Health Care Labyrinth

Posted by GOP Leader Press Office on November 7th, 2009

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The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) House Republican staff, which earlier this year created a chart mapping the bureaucratic complexity of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s original health care proposal (H.R. 3200), has combined similar analysis by the House Republican Conference with the earlier chart. The analysis details new additions to the health care bureaucracy contained in the new version of the Speaker’s bill (H.R. 3962) that were not previously listed. Let’s just say the Speaker’s vision for government-run health care hasn’t gotten any simpler.

“This is the blueprint for a taxpayer-funded mega-bureaucracy,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH). “The new chart is an astonishing and unsettling glimpse of the future that awaits American health care, should H.R. 3962 be passed by the House and signed into law.”

The chart, completed at the direction of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the committee’s ranking House Republican Member, shows that the Pelosi plan has grown even more complex in the months since it was originally unveiled by congressional Democrats. The new bill - expected to be brought to a vote in the House as early as Saturday - contains all of the bureaucracy of the original plan, plus a whole lot more, the chart illustrates. The full chart can be seen here:

“The American people have spoken. They don’t want their health care replaced by massive government bureaucracy. This chart shows the Democratic leadership hasn’t listened,” Boehner said. “Instead of starting over on a common-sense plan to improve our health care system, Speaker Pelosi and her allies have created a bureaucratic beast that will end the American health care system as we know it. I commend Ranking House Republican Brady and his team for illustrating what’s at stake.”

In addition to establishing the Mother of All Bureaucracies, House Republicans note, the Pelosi health care bill will kill millions of small business jobs at a time when our nation’s unemployment rate has exceeded 10 percent. It will also cut Medicare, pile massive debt on future generations, increase Americans’ health care costs, and use federal funds to pay for abortion.

Republicans have offered a better solution: a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform, which can be seen in full legislative text at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

The Morning Bell


Cap And Trade’s Mandates And Subsidies Are Wrong

Following major defeats at the ballot box on Tuesday, the left’s legislative agenda suffered another huge setback yesterday when once wavering Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Susan Collins (R-ME) all signed a letter supporting Sen. George Voinovich’s (R-OH) demand that the Environmental Protection Agency provide a thorough analysis of how the Kerry-Boxer cap and trade legislation will impact the U.S. economy. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had been pressing for swift passage of her cap and tax legislation, but conservatives on the Environment and Public Works Committee thwarted her efforts by boycotting a vote on the legislation Tuesday.

An EPA analysis on the economic costs of cap and trade is no small issue. If Tuesday’s elections proved anything, it is that jobs and economic growth are the top concern on Americans’ minds. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis has found that cap and tax legislation would cost the average family-of-four almost $3,000 per year, cause 2.5 million net job losses by 2035, and a produce a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) loss of $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035. The EPA has issued preliminary reports reaching different conclusions; including an October 23 report on Kerry-Boxer that found it would only cost the average American family $80 to $111 dollars per year.

There are many fundamental problems with that EPA report, none more glaring than their fanciful assumption that nuclear power generation will nearly double in the next 25 years. This is the equivalent of about 100 additional nuclear power plants. The reality is that in the past 30 years, not one new nuclear power plant has been licensed. More importantly, the Kerry-Boxer approach to reviving the nuclear energy relies on the same failed policies that have crippled the U.S. nuclear energy for the past 30 years. Heritage fellows Jack Spencer and Nick Loris explain:

Washington has a role to play in reducing financial barriers, but not by funding projects with taxpayer dollars. The regulatory costs and uncertainty posed by the federal bureaucracy represent significant risk to the success of the nuclear industry, just as regulatory uncertainty significantly affected the timing and budget of past nuclear plant construction. Indeed, this risk and uncertainty results in the higher prices that are most often used to justify government subsidies for nuclear projects. Efforts to reduce that risk by reforming the most obvious areas, such as the regulatory process and waste management, are nowhere to be found in the bill.

Instead, the bill attempts to reduce the financial risk caused by regulatory delays and technological development by expanding the federal government’s responsibility — and authority — on the technical side. It promotes government intervention into areas that are either unnecessary or that should reside solely in the private sector. For example, the Boxer-Kerry bill creates a research and development program to assess plant aging, improve plant performance, engineer safer fuels, and lower overall costs. These are all areas currently being addressed by the private sector and already supported by public institutions and funds.

Instead of handing out more government subsidies to compensate for increased government regulation, Congress should be heading in the exact opposite direction. What the nuclear industry really needs is an end to market distorting loan guarantees, a streamlined permit process for new plants and reactor designs, market reforms for nuclear waste management, and the ability to recycle spent fuel. America can create thousands of new jobs through an expansion of the energy sector. But just as with oil, coal, and natural gas, the less government intervention in the market, the better.

Republican Leader Press Office

From The Washington Examiner

CBO: Republican health plan would reduce premiums, cut deficit


The Congressional Budget Office Wednesday night released its cost analysis of the Republican health care plan and found that it would reduce health care premiums and cut the deficit by $68 billion over ten years.

The Republican plan does not call for a government insurance plan but rather attempts to reform the system by creating high-risk insurance pools, allowing people to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and instituting medical malpractice reforms.

“Not only does the GOP plan lower health care costs, but it also increases access to quality care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, at a price our country can afford,” House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

According to CBO, the GOP bill would indeed lower costs, particularly for small businesses that have trouble finding affordable health care policies for their employees. The report found rates would drop by seven to 10 percent for this group, and by five to eight percent for the individual market, where it can also be difficult to find affordable policies.

The GOP plan would have the smallest economic impact on the large group market that serves people working for large businesses that have access to the cheapest coverage. Those premiums would decline by zero to 3 percent, the CBO said.

The analysis shows the Republican plan would do little to expand coverage, which Democrats were quick to point out in a late night missive to reporters.

“Here’s the Bottom line - Americans lose and Insurance companies win under the Republican plan,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said.

The CBO found that under the Republican plan, insurance coverage would increase by about 3 million and that the percentage of insured non-elderly adults would remain at about 83 percent after ten years. The House bill would increase coverage to an additional 36 million people, raising the number of insured to 96 percent.

The CBO put the price tag for the GOP plan at $61 billion, a fraction of the $1.05 trillion cost estimate it gave to the House bill that lawmakers are set to vote on this weekend. And the CBO found that the Republican provision to reform medical malpractice liability would result in $41 billion in savings and increase revenues by $13 billion by reducing the cost of private health insurance plans.

Republican Leader Press Office

From The Los Angeles Times

House Republicans Offer Alternative Healthcare Proposal

Their modest, incremental approach focuses on controlling costs through market-oriented measures. But its larger purpose is to show that they’re not just the ‘party of no.’

By Janet Hook

November 5, 2009

After months of criticizing Democratic healthcare proposals from the sidelines, House Republicans this week began presenting their plan, an effort intended to undercut the portrayal of the GOP as the “party of no.”

Unlike the Democrats’ strategy of trying to provide near-universal coverage and force other major changes to the insurance system, the Republican approach is an incremental one with a different goal -- controlling healthcare costs.

GOP lawmakers propose to do so through market-oriented measures that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, expand the use of tax-sheltered medical savings accounts, let people shop for insurance outside of their own states and make it easier for small businesses and hard-to-insure people to get coverage. The ideas reflect conservatives’ suspicion of sweeping new programs, federal spending and additional regulation.

The GOP plan is, by design, a less costly bill with more modest ambitions. Its price tag, which is still to be determined, surely will be far less than the House Democratic bill. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the cost of that plan would exceed $1 trillion over 10 years.

Unlike the Democratic plan, it does not include subsidies or other provisions that would make coverage more affordable to people of modest means.

“What we’ve learned over many, many years is that the reason people don’t have insurance is that they can’t afford it,” said Drew Altman, president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, an nonpartisan health policy research group. “You can’t make much progress toward helping the uninsured unless you help them buy it.”

The Republicans’ proposals long have been on their wish list, yet they were not enacted even when the party controlled Congress and the White House. And they are being resurrected at a time when some Republicans warn that the party is in danger of being seen as guardians of an unpopular status quo in healthcare.

“Come campaign time, voters need to know what healthcare reforms Republicans have supported,” said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster.

House Democratic leaders on Wednesday laid the groundwork for a Saturday vote on their massive healthcare legislation, after settling on a compromise to diffuse disagreement in their own ranks over how to restrict federal funding for abortions.

The proposal does not differ substantially from one in the original bill that required consumers to pay for any abortion benefit with their own money, rather than with federal insurance subsidies. Senior Democrats hope that by tightening that restriction further, they will be able to satisfy enough socially conservative Democrats to get a majority.

President Obama is going to Capitol Hill on Friday to meet with House Democrats ahead of the expected vote, according to a senior Democratic aide who requested anonymity when discussing the volatile healthcare issue.

Republicans, who harbor no hopes of passing their alternative plan during Saturday’s scheduled debate, have spent months criticizing the Democrats’ plan as an intrusive, expensive government program -- an argument with strong appeal for the party’s conservative base.

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said that in his solidly conservative district, he has staged all of his healthcare speeches in front of signs that read “16 Reasons to Oppose Obamacare.” But this week, House Republican Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) shifted the emphasis by unveiling the GOP alternative and launching a campaign to raise his party’s public profile on the issue.

“This is an intentional strategic shift toward not being just the opposition party, but trying to be the alternative party,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster close to the congressional leadership.

The Republican bill lacks many major elements of the Democratic proposal: There is no expansion of Medicaid, no requirement that individuals buy insurance, no penalties for employers that do not offer coverage, and no subsidies to help the needy pay premiums.

In addition, the GOP proposal does not include one of the most popular elements of the Democrats’ plan -- a ban on denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions.

But the Republican plan has adopted some of the more modest Democratic provisions. It too would make it easier for young adults to remain on their parents’ health policies. It also would end the controversial insurance practices of imposing annual or lifetime limits on benefits and of canceling coverage after a policyholder becomes sick.

And rather than give more power to the federal government to address the nation’s healthcare problems, the Republican plan looks to states, market forces and individuals.

Their bill would provide aid to the states to form “high-risk” insurance pools that would cover people -- including those with preexisting conditions -- who cannot get coverage through their jobs or in the individual market. The GOP bill also would provide incentive grants for states that reduce premiums and the ranks of the uninsured.

Small businesses would be encouraged, but not required, to cover their employees under provisions that would make it easier to band together to get group rates.

To curb costs through increased competition, the GOP plan would make it easier for insurance companies to sell policies across state lines. And it would impose new curbs on medical malpractice lawsuits -- on the theory that healthcare inflation is fueled by defensive medicine and the rising cost of malpractice insurance.

To increase incentives for individuals to control their own health spending, the bill would expand the use of tax-favored health savings accounts. And it would allow employers to provide steeper discounts in insurance premiums to employees who adopt healthy lifestyles.