Obama’s little more than 2 years in office as President has revealed a multitude of noxious traits, actions and ideologies, a high proportion of which serve to abet his agenda to the detriment of the American public. Many even openly flout the Constitution and other legalities.
Probably the most vile and dangerous of these to the American public are his concerted attempts to consolidate power and control while concurrently thwarting the opposition. Obama acts much like a dictator though an inept one at that. He also has sought to implement ideologies which abrogate many of our rights and freedoms through the use of myriad regulations and Presidential edicts rather than through democratic channels like Congress. This even includes attacks on the right to free speech – including political speech and contributions.
Through Presidential edict, Obama is now seeking to legislate away the rights of supporters of his opponents while at the same time, allowing groups supportive of him and the Democratic machine (such as unions) to keep making their massive political contributions unscathed.
Obama's Executive Order coming to cut off funding to his political opponents?
Ed Lasky April 20, 2011
From the man who said he would bring a gun to a knife fight, the latest ploy to cut his opponents off at their knees. This one is not based on arguments or facts, but on sheer abuse of the powers he has as President.
Kenneth Vogel writes in Politico that President Obama is "considering a number of measures to compel disclosure of the kind of anonymous campaign contributions that helped finance millions of dollars of attack ads against Democrats during the 2010 elections."
These measures appear broad in scope:
The White House last week began circulating a draft executive order that would require companies seeking government contracts to disclose contributions -- including those that otherwise would have been secret -- to groups that air political ads attacking or supporting candidates.
The proposed order follows several actions by regulatory agencies that have a similar intent of making corporate and individual donations more transparent.
Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a decree that could result in shareholders having more say in corporate election spending. Democratic appointees to the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission are pushing measures that could make public currently anonymous contributions to outside groups.
Administration critics, including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are seizing on the White House's draft executive order, in particular, as evidence of an attempt to use executive power to punish or silence political adversaries, while rewarding supporters.
Calling the draft executive order "an affront to the separation of powers ... (and) to free speech," chamber spokeswoman Blair Latoff said it "lays the groundwork for a political litmus test for companies that wish to do business with the federal government" and is "less about disclosure than intimidation."
One White House ally, Craig Holman, applauds these plans since the 2010 election brought too many Republicans into Congress to hold out hope that these "reforms" could happen through legislation. So President Obama intends to use brute force to take these measures that would chill free speech and the campaign efforts of his critics. Apparently, a great deal can be achieved administratively through a regulatory approach and by executive order. A draft of the executive order requires disclosures of contributions made by companies' executives and board members to support candidates and third-party groups (such as the very effective American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity groups).
Tellingly, the draft order would not apply to Democratic-allied groups that receive grants from the federal government (such as Planned Parenthood) or to unions, which bankroll so many Democratic campaigns and which have trumpeted that their spending power helped elect Barack Obama and makes them the king of the (Capitol) hill. Unions are among the biggest campaign spenders in America and they give their money to Democrats. "We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).
Similar efforts to compel disclosure are being made through the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FCC and through the Federal Election Commission.
While the nation reels from a faltering economy with the lowest labor force participation rate in decades, with a deficit and debt crisis that may merit a S & P downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, with a geopolitical earthquake in the Middle East, Barack Obama finds time to figure out ways to hurt his political opponents (or his "enemies" as he would characterize them).
Public disclosure of campaign contributions can lead to boycotts of companies whose executives give to political campaigns (as happened when Target came under fire for its campaign contributions, when boycotts targeted campaign contributors to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; similar efforts to punish people for their political views litter the political landscape).
Barack Obama wants to chill political speech to further his chances to win reelection. He made clear his views towards the law as decided by the Supreme Court when he crassly lambasted them last year during the State of the Union address for supporting the First Amendment in their Citizens United decision (a law he basically wants to undercut by using the powers of the Presidency in a particularly underhanded way).
Barack Obama , when he ran his campaign for state senator, had his opponents thrown off the ballots by challenging the signatures on their petitions to run. He cleared the ballot of all opponents.
He does not play fair -- and never has. That is his modus operandi. He learned everything he needed to know about politics in Cook County and he has brought its mores to Washington.
Change, yes, change; but in a wrong direction and in a way that the media would scorn had a Republican tried to derail opposition by these tactics.
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Through previously secret clauses in Obamacare, Obama and the Democrats are corruptly buying votes with billions of our taxpayer dollars. It’s an outrage that should not be tolerated by the American public.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), buried deep within the leviathan legislation, provides $5 billion to private companies, states and labor unions that is to be used for the payment of health insurance for those who are retiring and are under age 65. Not surprisingly, a significantly disproportionate amount of the money is going to unions, and companies and states that are strong supporters of the Democrats. Some is even going to the "mainstream" media (the Left) which, of course, doesn't hurt with regard to even more positive, gushing press coverage of Obama and the Democrats.
Such a slush fund is corrupt, intolerable and a massive waste of taxpayer dollars. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with the need for healthcare reform and everything to do with influence peddling.
This is yet more evidence of the depravity and duplicity of too many of our politicians (largely Democrats), the inherent problems of a large government and why it needs to be radically downsized, and the wasteful spending of the government. It adds another reason why Obamacare must be vaporized.
Washington Post and CBS receiving money from Obamacare slush fund
Matthew Boyle The Daily Caller 04/06/2011
Two mainstream news organizations are receiving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from Obamacare’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) — a $5 billion grant program that’s doling out cash to companies, states and labor unions in what the Obama administration considers an effort to pay for health insurance for early retirees. The Washington Post Company raked in $573,217 in taxpayer subsidies and CBS Corporation secured $722,388 worth of Americans’ money.
“It is fine with me if they continue covering the ObamaCare debate,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “When NBC used to cover energy issues, they identified themselves as a subsidiary of General Electric. CBS and Washington Post just have to disclose that they are subsidiaries of the Obama Administration.”
The ERRP, which Republicans call a slush fund, provides taxpayer money to Obama administration-selected states, companies and labor unions with already-in-place early retiree health insurance programs, and aims to make certain that their employees who retire early still have health insurance coverage before they reach Medicare eligibility age. Almost $2 billion of the $5 billion fund, which was supposed to last until 2014, has already been distributed to corporations. New projections expect the funding to run out before the end of 2012, if not sooner.
At a Friday morning hearing, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican, asked Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIO) official Steven Larsen for how the administration decides who gets a slice of the $5 billion pie – and how the application process works. In his response, Stearns referred to the fact that corporations like General Electric, Verizon and AT&T in addition to several labor unions were getting taxpayer funding.
Stearns was not impressed. “This program is providing ‘free’ money to corporations, states, unions, and pension plans,” the Congressman said in an e-mail to TheDC. “In addition, the Washington Post and CBS received funding under this program. How can the Washington Post and CBS be impartial on the issue of health care when they received funding under the health care law?”
CBS Corporation spokesman Gil Schwartz told TheDC that newsroom employees, like any other CBS employees, are indeed allowed to take the taxpayer subsidies.
“Yes they are,” Schwartz said. “Why wouldn’t newsroom employees be allowed access to that money like all other CBS employees?”
CBS gets the money from the government, then provides early retirees with health insurance.
Though no current newsroom employees can benefit from the ERRP funds, they could retire early and still benefit from the money – or any newsroom employee who has retired since Obamacare became law could benefit from it too.
The Washington Post declined to comment. “We have no additional information to provide you other than what you have,” Post spokeswoman Rima Calderon told TheDC.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told TheDC she couldn’t disclose information about applications or disbursements for specific companies.
In addition to CBS Corporation and the Washington Post Company, recipients of ERRP funding include the United Auto Workers union, which secured $206,798,086 in taxpayer money, AT&T, which took in $140,022,949, and General Electric (GE), which raked in $36,607,818. GE has made headlines recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year. IBM got $12,989,690 in taxpayer money.
Verizon pulled $91,702,538 in taxpayer cash, too, and General Motors received $19,002,669. More than $6 million went to different Teamsters groups nationwide, and millions more went to the United Mine Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
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Included in the House’s proposed 2012 budget is a complete defunding of Obamacare by the Republicans and the providing effective alternatives with far greater flexibility and immensely less cost. This offers the long needed fiscal responsibility by the federal government as well as options that the voters want.
Plain. Simple. Transparent.
GOP Budget Proposal: 'Not a Penny' for Obamacare
Terence P. Jeffrey April 05, 2011
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R.-Wis. (AP photo)
(CNSNews.com) - The fiscal 2012 budget proposal unveiled today by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) offers sweeping reforms in federal spending, including defunding and repealing the health-care law signed last year by President Barack Obama and converting the federal share of the Medicaid program into block grants to state governments.
The Republican proposal says one of its aims is “making sure that not a penny goes toward implementing the new [health care] law” enacted last year.
This includes repealing about $800 billion in new taxes that were built into the law.
The proposed Republican budget resolution lists as one of its “key objectives” that it “Repeals and defunds the President’s health care law, advancing instead common-sense solutions focused on lowering costs, expanding access and protecting the doctor-patient relationship.”
“There is no way for ‘experts’ in Washington to know more about the health care needs of individual Americans than those individuals and their doctors know,” says the proposal. “The new health-care law, rammed through Congress last year on a partisan vote, has taken the nation one step closer to this fully government-run system.
“The problems with this approach are already popping up all over the country,” says the proposal. “Health care costs continue to escalate relentlessly. The new law has aggravated the worst aspects of the U.S. health care system, without fixing what was broken. The country needs to move away from this centralized system, not towards it.
“This budget starts by repealing the costly new government-run health care law, saving roughly $725 billion over ten years by repealing the new exchange subsidies and making sure that not a penny goes toward implementing the new law,” says the resolution.
“Then, this budget goes further with reforms that make government health-care programs more responsive to consumer choice.”
On the health-care tax front, the resolution says: “The health-care law enacted last year contained roughly $800 billion in new taxes and tax increases--the result of dozens of changes to tax law that added complexity and unfairness to the code.” The proposal calls for repealing all of these new taxes and tax increases as part of repealing the entirety of the Obamacare law.
One of the new health-care reforms proposed by the GOP budget is converting the federal share of Medicaid—the federal-state program that provides health insurance to low-income people—into block grants to state governments.
The proposal says the GOP budget aims to: “Secure the Medicaid benefit by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant tailored to meet each state’s needs, indexed for inflation and population growth. This reform ends the misguided one-size-fits-all approach that has tied the hands of so many state governments. States will no longer be shackled by federally determined program requirements and enrollment criteria. Instead, they will have the freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations.”
The GOP budget proposal notes that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, federal Medicaid spending would increase by $627 billion over the next decade under Obamacare, which increases the number of people eligible for the program.
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For the 2 years that the Democrats had complete control of the House, Senate as well as the Presidency, they have held the American public hostage. They attempted and in a few cases, such as in Obamacare, succeeded in passing legislation that was vehemently opposed by the majority of voters. Their reaction: dismissive and contemptuous.
The arrogance of Democratic politicians for the will of the voter has become a contagion in the state legislatures now, as first evidenced by their absconding from their legislative responsibilities in Wisconsin, going over the border to Illinois to avoid a vote being able to be taken on an issue that they opposed but was supported by the majority of the state’s voters. The Democrats in Indiana have now followed this same modus operandi.
These puerile, irresponsible and haughty actions, which have become part of the Democrat Party DNA, are now, in effect, robbing the voters of their rights and in many way, indirectly disenfranchising the voters. Such actions MUST stop.
Democrats' Tyranny of the Minority
Peter Heck March 24, 2011
Talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh has repeated for years his belief that as a political party, the Democrats feel entitled to power. When they are denied it by the results of an election, they react as though they are the victims of a grave injustice, thereby at liberty to engage in whatever tactic is necessary to retrieve what is rightfully theirs. Beginning with the Wisconsin walkout and now embodied in the temper tantrum of Indiana Democrats, the self-professed Doctor of Democracy has once again been proven right.
Statehouse walkouts are not without precedent. In fact, they are a reasonably common occurrence. But they are largely symbolic gestures -- an attempt to demonstrate the minority's outraged disapproval of the majority's agenda. Seldom do they go on for days, and until now, never have they been legitimate attempts to undermine the entire democratic process by grinding the operation of government to a halt.
Yet that is exactly what the Wisconsin Democrats attempted, and what their Indiana counterparts are still shamefully perpetrating. What is taking place in the Indiana Statehouse is far from a mere regional or petty statewide issue; it is a direct assault on the democratic process that deserves national attention and collective, bipartisan scorn. For while the Wisconsin constitution allowed the Republicans a procedural recourse to rectify the stalemate (something they employed when it became apparent the Democrats could not be lured back by compromise), Indiana Republicans have no such option.
For those who may be unaware, Indiana Statehouse Democrats staged a walkout a month ago to deny the large Republican majority the ability to enact legislation opposed by public and private union bosses - specifically right-to-work and public education reform laws. The Democrat caucus fled across state lines to Illinois (where else?), and have been holed up in a hotel demanding concession after concession to earn their return. But even after capitulating to their juvenile fit and pulling the right-to-work law off the table, Republican leaders have been unsuccessful in luring the Democrats back to work.
Indiana House Speaker, Republican Brian Bosma, acknowledged as much when he lamented, "We can't do the Madison shuffle that Wisconsin legislators were able to accomplish." The consequence of that reality? Given that Indiana has a part-time legislature, the stalemate will most likely cease only when the session adjourns and Governor Mitch Daniels calls the Assembly back into special session to pass a budget and new redistricting maps - the only items the legislature is required by law to pass. This special session may give Republicans some wiggle room, but the likelihood is that the Democrat temper-tantrum will have killed the passage of virtually every bill introduced this year.
There's a phrase for what is occurring in Indiana; it's called the "tyranny of the minority." In Federalist #10, James Madison warned against the tyranny of the majority by proposing that a republican form of representative democracy would best protect the rights of the minority. What he apparently didn't count on was that in an effort to appease their union masters, the minority would one day use those protections to obliterate the democratic process. And that is precisely what is unfolding.
It's telling that the phrase "tyranny of the minority" has been employed in recent years by Democrat apologists angry at the Republican Party's use of the filibuster to stall Democrat-sponsored legislation. Watching Republicans require a supermajority of 60 Senators to pass some of Barack Obama's most controversial policies (thereby slowing his left-wing revolution of government), Democrat consultant Peter Fenn thundered, "This is the tyranny of the minority...This acceptance of a supermajority to get anything done in America has gotten way out of hand...There is a place for a supermajority: impeachment, eviction of members, veto overrides, votes on treaties and constitutional amendments. But we should not have such requirements for the regular conduct of legislative business, especially at times like these, when action is required to move the country forward."
One must wonder where Mr. Fenn and his counterparts are now. After all, while both parties' overuse of the filibuster to obstruct legislation is a fair topic of conversation, it pales in comparison to the unseemly tactic of a group of lawmakers who hold representative democracy itself hostage by refusing to show up for work. Because while a filibuster is levied to obtain critical changes and adjustments to pending legislation, these walkouts are a brazen attempt to thwart the will of the people expressed in an election.
As Bosma explained, "We've offered a number of concessions on substitutive matters on issues of concern to the Democrats. What we have not agreed to do is to meet their demand to remove issues for the remainder of the legislative session in both chambers, which is their continued demand, that these issues just go away, really nullifying the election results of November 2."
And that's why reasonable and fair minded individuals from around the country and from both sides of the aisle should be outraged at this stunt. The dangerous precedent being set here is that whatever party loses the election should just flee the state to prevent the winners from passing any laws. This un-statesmanlike chicanery annihilates the very republican form of government our Constitution guarantees.
In his article, Fenn complained, "We have seen the rapid evolution of a nation that covets the concept of majority rule to one where the tyranny of the minority threatens to paralyze the country." Indeed it does. Nothing less than the democratic process is at stake. And ironically, it's the group of folks who euphemistically and now wholly inappropriately refer to themselves as the Democratic Party who have the gun to its head.
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The following editorial provides the stark facts regarding America’s impending financial Apocalypse. There has been massive, unrestrained, irresponsible government spending that has spiraled out of control. The debt increase under Obama has been an astounding six times faster than that occurring under previous administrations. We are also borrowing around 45 cents for every dollar that is spent.
Obama and Congressional Democrats don’t want to cut spending despite the fact that the fiscal 2012 budget will chalk up another record deficit of $1.65 trillion. To them, even their compromise $4.7 billion dollar cut which represents 0.1% of the total budget of $3.73 trillion ($3730 billion) is too much. That represents just 25 hours of federal spending out of the entire year (8760 total hours). Clearly, any way you look at this, it is miniscule.
The Republicans who claimed that they would responsibly address the problem appear to have gotten cold feet. Their $61 billion dollar cut, though substantially more, still represents pocket change. They need to resolutely call for and support reductions of far greater magnitude or national bankruptcy will not be averted. Fortunately, there are Tea Party members and younger conservatives who are fervently pursuing this more aggressive tack.
America Slouching Towards Fiscal Armageddon
Chris Banescu March 18, 2011
America is in grave danger. Our government's out-of-control spending and our politicians' refusal to implement meaningful budget reforms are leading us towards a fiscal crisis that can undermine our very way of life. We are spending ourselves into oblivion. With each passing day, we are $5 billion in deficit spending closer to the edge of an abyss that can cripple our economy, destroy America's wealth, and lead to catastrophic social consequences for all current and future generations. Yet our leaders in Washington refuse to face reality and continue to play political games while the country's budget crisis deepens and the threat grows exponentially.
In February of this year the US federal budget deficit grew by a record $224 billion; the biggest one-month increase in history. Worse still, the 2011 US budget deficit is forecast to reach $1.5 Trillion. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this annual deficit represents the largest budget gap in our country's history, equivalent to approximately 10% of America's total economic output. This follows the enormous $1.3 Trillion deficit racked up for 2010 and will be superseded by an equally disturbing $1.65 Trillion deficit forecast for 2012.
In just three short years, Obama and the Democrats have racked up a whopping $4.5 Trillion in debt. That is more than double the $2.1 Trillion in debt added during the entire eight years of the Bush administration. It's an astronomical increase in deficit spending of roughly 571%; that's nearly six (6) times faster than previous administrations.
With Congress unwilling to address the runaway spending, roughly half the money the federal government now spends it has to borrow. Approximately 40 cents out of every dollar in spending is financed by mortgaging our future to foreign investors, primarily China. For 2012, the deficit spending will increase to 45 cents per dollar. Each day America will add another $4.5 billion to the $14.3 Trillion total National Debt. Sometime between now and 2012 the US debt will equal the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total market value of all the goods and services in our economy for an entire year.
This year the US will spend $200 billion in interest payments on the debt. Thanks to historically low interest rates this figure is lower than normal. Once interest rates start to rise -- and rise they will as inflation is quickly spreading throughout our economy and the world -- we will face an extra $100 billion in interest payments per year for every one (1) percent increase in interest rates. The Wall Street Journal predicts that without any changes, the interest on the nation's debt will reach $900 billion annually in another 10 years. According to their forecast, those yearly interest payments will be 17% greater than our annual Medicare costs and 82% larger than "the cost of all non-security discretionary spending programs combined."
The $1.65 Trillion deficit for 2012 will make the debt grow to 105% of the nation's GDP, a perilous milestone. If the structural budget gaps are not effectively dealt with, the CBO predicts that an additional $7.1 Trillion in debt will be racked up in the next 10 years, increasing our total National Debt to $21.4 Trillion by 2021. But it gets worse. The current unfunded liabilities total (social programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security which the US government has promised to pay to its citizens) is rapidly approaching $113 Trillion, about $1 million per taxpayer. That will grow to a disastrous $144 Trillionby 2015 if nothing changes.
Last month, members of the National Association for Business Economics provided yet another ominous warning. These economists identified the US budget deficit as the "gravest threat facing the economy, topping high unemployment and the risk of inflation or deflation."
We are on an unsustainable path of uncontrolled and wasteful spending that can devastate the United States. And what is Congress actually doing to effectively deal with this looming catastrophe?
The delusional Democrats have proposed a microscopic $4.7 billion cut for the 2012 budget. That's a ridiculous 0.1% of the total budget for 2012. It represents exactly 25 hours of spending by the government. Multiply that by 100 and it still falls short of the proverbial drop in the bucket. Clearly Democrats are not interested in helping this country avoid fiscal calamity. They're more concerned with demonizing conservatives and maintaining power, instead of governing responsibility and rationally for the welfare and safety of all Americans.
President Obama's phony budget, submitted last month, insanely claims about $1.1 Trillion in "cuts" over the next decade. These fictional cuts happen courtesy of an additional $2 Trillion in new taxes proposed by his administration over that same period. Even taking Obama's fraudulent budget proposal seriously, the US debt will still grow from $7.2 Trillion to as high $9 Trillion over 10 years. This is worse than doing nothing.
The supposedly fiscally conservative Republicans in the House originally proposed a small $100 billion cut in spending. That amount was subsequently reduced during House negotiations to a measly $61 billion, representing just 1.6% of the $3.73 Trillion budget for 2012. Even that minor reduction was mischaracterized as "draconian" and soundly rejected by the Democrats in control of the Senate. Obama has twice threatened to veto the measure if it passed the Senate by some miracle. There is little hope for mature engagement and sane debates with the current majority of leftists in power. They are not interested in cutting spending or negotiating reasonably to implement authentic budget reductions.
A devastating debt crisis is coming; simple mathematics predict it. It is no longer a matter of if, but when. The time for hysterics, hyperbole, and finger-pointing is over. The time for political games, grand-standing, and partisan shenanigans is long past. This is no longer about Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, or progressive issues. This affects all of us. The looming danger crosses all party and ideological lines and jeopardizes all Americans, present and future generations. We're staring down a massive debt tsunami that threatens the US with a fiscal Armageddon the likes of which we've never seen.
Since Democrats and the White House are obviously unwilling to face reality and completely AWOL on this crisis, here's a call to action to the conservatives and the Tea Party lawmakers in Washington, our only remaining hope.
Republicans, it's all hands on deck. Convince weak-kneed and waffling colleagues to find their backbone and stand firm. Since you're going to be demonized and vilified anyway, regardless of what you do, make a stand and demand meaningful reductions in government spending. Ask for at least $500 billion in budget cuts, slowly negotiate down to a more comprehensive $400 billion number, and only settle for a final compromise of $370 billion in cuts (still just 10% of the 2012 budget, but better than the original 1.6%). Stop worrying about "bi-partisanship", "reaching across the aisle", and all that other nonsense. It's evident that most Democrats and Obama are not interested in any of it. To them it's all about consolidating and maintaining their own power at all costs, damn the consequences. They would rather shove the country into bankruptcy and fiscal collapse than act responsibly and sensibly. Didn't the ObamaCare battles and the last few decades of disastrous compromises with liberals and progressives teach you anything?
Conservatives, act like leaders and worthy stewards of this great nation. Trust that God will be with you if you remain faithful to Him, speak truthfully, and act honorably. Be true public servants and courageous representatives of the people who elected you. Demand real action and sweeping reforms. Do not back down and compromise just to get along. It doesn't work! Be ready to shut down the government if you have to. Force Congress to do its job to protect the lives, freedoms, and interests of all American citizens, not just the unions, the lobbyists, and other political operatives and supporters. Show the rest of country that you're willing to do the heavy lifting and take the hits. Make the hard choices and stand behind your principles. That is real leadership!
Republicans, in November 2010 we elected you to represent our voices and bring the right kind of hope and change America desperately needs. We're counting on you now to act decisively! Don't disappoint us, the clock is quickly counting down to the fiscal catastrophe awaiting all of us. We're almost out of time.
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Just as predictable that the sun rises from the east, it should come as no surprise to virtually anyone with a few functioning brain cells that the federal government is highly wasteful, profligate and disorganized. A newly completed study by the GAO quantifies and enumerates many of these inefficiencies which in its report totals approximately $200 billion.
This report pertains only to duplication of services and not government functions or agencies that shouldn’t be in existence. This amount probably totals hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
The nation’s financial situation is dire and in order to reverse course and reinstitute some semblance of fiscal responsibility and reduce oppressive taxation and fees, all these issues must be addressed seriously and expeditiously.
Hoping The Democrats Change
Investor’s Business Daily 03/01/2011
Government Waste: While the Democrats grouse about a mere $61 billion spending cut, duplicative services at the federal level may account for $200 billion in needless spending. Here's a chance for bipartisan lawmaking.
A probe by the Government Accountability Office found, hopefully to no one's surprise, that the federal government is a massive web of absurdly entangled and overlapping programs.
Released Tuesday, the 345-page GAO report reveals that 15 federal agencies "collectively administer at least 30 food-related laws," while Washington relies on 80 separate programs across four agencies for economic development.
The probe also learned:
• There are five Transportation Department agencies using 6,000 employees to "administer over 100 separate programs."
• The government has "more than 2,000" data centers, many of which "often house similar types of equipment and provide similar processing and storage capabilities."
• There are 47 separate job-training programs.
• "The federal government spent more than $62.5 billion on 18 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs in fiscal year 2008."
• "In 2009 federal agencies spent about $2.9 billion on over 20 programs targeted to address the various needs of persons experiencing homelessness."
Moneynews.com did the math and reports that the pile of money "could simply have bought 145,000 homes" at $200,000 each.
• In 2003, there were eight federal departments running 62 programs that provide transportation services to the "transportation disadvantaged" public, which includes the elderly, the disabled and the poor.
• There are 10 federal agencies administering 82 distinct programs that are designed to help improve teacher quality.
Washington even has "more than 20 different federal agencies providing about 56 programs related to financial literacy"; sent out $1.1 billion in farm program payments "to more than 170,000 deceased individuals" a few years ago; and last year lost roughly $125.4 billion from improper payments by more than 70 programs.
The GAO didn't place a dollar figure on the amount of waste through duplication. But Sen. Tom Coburn, whose amendment to a debt-limit bill last year required the GAO to compile the report, believes the cost is at least $100 billion and could be as high as twice that.
"It makes us all look like jackasses," the Oklahoma Republican said, comparing the entire Congress to the symbol of the Democratic Party, which apparently isn't interested in cutting even a nickel from federal spending.
Perhaps we're guilty of hyperbole and there are a few nickels, and maybe even dimes, that the Democrats would cut. How they treat the GAO report and its damning catalog of waste will tell voters a lot about their plans for the future.
Are the Democrats determined to dig a bottomless pit of debt that they think will enable them to hike taxes in perpetuity? Or will they make a serious attempt to help Republicans rein in spending?
We can only hope that congressional Democrats will take a cue from their party's leader, who noted in his State of the Union address that "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in freshwater, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater," and humorously lamented "that it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."
If not, the country's long-term prospects are bleak, even if Republicans take the Senate and White House in 2012 while keeping the House.
The damage caused by having to wait two more years for real change won't be easy to reverse.
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In the following commentary, the author notes that Obama has arrogated the power from the judiciary or at least ignored their rulings and has taken actions and issued regulations that should have been in the sole dominion of the Congress. This is a consolidation of power.
This is why the Founding Fathers so brilliantly and presciently created a government with 3 branches and separation of powers. They did warn us that it was our duty to maintain this arrangement because they were wll aware of the nature of man: that power is addicting and corrupting.
Tens of millions of Americans view Obama as more than a radical ideologue and more than a threat to our rights, freedoms and liberties. He has unequivocally demonstrated that he is what Richard Weltz terms a “megalomaniacal narcissist”. We strongly concur with this description.
In simpler terms, Obama is a tyrant who presents an existential threat to our country and our way of life. His calculated as well as incompetent actions and inactions in foreign endeavors have engendered evolving anarchy and destruction of apocalyptic proportions that will not only affect the rest of the world but also us as well.
Can we wait until the end of 2012 for Obama to be voted out of office?
We don’t think so!
And what if he is re-elected? Then what?
Given the extent of evil and weapons of mass destruction, we don’t think that time is a whole lot of time left.
The clock is ticking … and it’s a few minutes before midnight.
Obama Completes His Trifecta
Richard N. Weltz February 24, 2011
With a bold political announcement, President Barack Obama has completed the trifecta -- de facto coups which bring into his White House the powers and functions of the other two branches, as outlined in our Constitution.
That document assigns the legislative function to Congress, but the Executive Branch blithely and routinely co-opts that power by run-arounds and choosing to enforce or not enforce duly passed laws of the Legislature. Notable examples in the scant couple of years The One has been in office include: refusal to enforce voting laws against intimidation at the polls in Chicago, efforts to use the regulatory functions of the EPA to circumvent the specific legislation of Congress to ban cap-and-trade, refusal to enforce immigration laws, and attempts by the FCC to regulate matters banned from its jurisdiction by law.
We need not even mention the undemocratic parliamentary tactics and outright bribery used by Obama and his allies to ram through the unpopular and clearly unconstitutional ObamaCare bill -- without it even having been read by most Congress members.
On the judiciary side, we witness the executive ignoring a Federal Court ruling on ObamaCare's unconstitutionality, the refusal -- to the point where an order of compliance had to be issued from the bench -- to refrain from imposing an illegal moratorium on oil drilling; and, now the clearest and most blatant power grab of all. Obama has arrogated to himself, in the matter of DOMA, the power to declare that law unconstitutional and order his Justice Department not to contest lawsuits challenging it.
In the meantime, while usurping and/or undercutting the legitimate powers and functions of the other two branches, in the three areas for which the Executive does have power and responsibility -- faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign policy, and commanding the armed forces -- this megalomaniacal narcissist has proven a spectacular failure.
What have we allowed to happen to the American concept of separation of powers? Are we abandoning this unique and hallowed concept for a tinpot dictatorship dressed up in a fancy suit and fancy oratory? Where and how do we stop this train to ruination?
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We may just be in the midst of “bloodless” revolution of epic proportions that is not far behind that of the Civil War or even the original American Revolution. With the far reaching and noxious tentacles of our ever burgeoning and increasingly tyrannical federal government that is sucking out our life’s work in oppressive taxes and restricting our rights and freedoms with infinite and costly regulations, this pronouncement is not hyperbole.
“Give me Liberty or Give me (Death)” is not an anachronistic chant as tens of millions of Americans have become thoroughly disgusted with our contemptuous, profligate, over-taxing, somewhat omnipotent federal government that has become too corrupted in the Progressive/Liberal design.
We need to ratchet up the decibel level of our disgust against the elitism and disdain of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi et al Progressives, neutralize and reverse their actions. Concurrently, we must relentlessly support those Conservatives and Republicans championing our causes, whether they are local, in our State Houses or in Congress.
We have an awful lot riding on this.
The Real Revolution Has Begun
J. Robert Smith February 21, 2011
How delicious is irony, how fickle fate?
Just a little more than two years ago, liberals were ecstatic about Barack Obama's election and Democrats' control of Congress. Liberal pundits were all atwitter about the brand new Democratic Era that voters had ushered in. America would finally become what America should have been years ago: a European-style social democracy.
Boy, did Democrats misread their mandate! With very little hindsight needed, it's apparent to all but ideologically-blinkered liberals that the Democrats' gross overreach isn't what voters wanted or expected. Voters wanted a redo of the Clinton years. Instead, in the person of Barack Obama, voters got an amalgam of FDR and LBJ with a dash of Neville Chamberlin thrown in.
But here's the real kicker. Two years of Obama-Reid-Pelosi overreach and excesses may have been the table-setter for the real revolution now unfolding. Voters and taxpayers first needed to see the irresponsibility and recklessness of unalloyed liberalism to appreciate that conservative government is far superior. Thank you, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.
Of course, the real revolution began last year with the 2010 midterm elections. Yes, the GOP made the largest gains in U.S. House seats since 1948. But the underappreciated story is that the GOP racked up huge gains in state legislative contests, and further down ballot, Republicans swept plenty of local offices. State legislatures control congressional redistricting. Republicans now dominate enough key statehouses to lock-in GOP congressional electoral advantages for a decade.
Had voters limited their ballots to throwing out the rascals in Congress, a fair argument could be made that 2010 was just a protest vote -- an attempt by voters to shake up the Democrats. But when voters drill down to change party control of legislatures, city halls, and county commissions, you can bet that they're thoroughly repudiating the party in power. The 2010 repudiation of Democrats was a clear expression of what voters did and didn't want from government.
Move now to the present time. Republicans are on the march in Congress. Late last week, House Republicans passed a budget bill containing $61 billion in cuts. It's not the $100 billion that conservatives aimed for, but it's substantial and can be considered a down payment. The House Republican proposal now goes to the Senate. The budget process wrangling is just in its first phase. Moving forward, the GOP will have multiple opportunities to push more cuts.
And look what else House Republicans are doing. They're using the budget process to hamstring Obamacare by denying it funding. Shutting down and then nixing ObamaCare would be an historic victory in the fight to end liberalism's nearly hundred-year dominance; it would be one of those critical turning points in history -- like Vicksburg and Gettysburg -- a momentum shifter that leads to other key victories, such as entitlements reform.
Also, Indiana Republican Mike Pence offered and passed an amendment cutting funding for the odious abortion mill called Planned Parenthood. Another amendment, offered by Oregon Republican Greg Walden, that passed, chokes off funds for the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality gambit. Net -neutrality would concentrate more power in the FCC's hands and stymie free speech across the internet. Net-neutrality could well have been made in China.
Of course, the revolution just beginning isn't confined to the Halls of Congress. Chris Christie, New Jersey's intrepid Republican governor, fired the first shots last year in the burgeoning struggle to bring sanity back to state affairs. Christie's efforts aren't limited to balancing state budgets and reining in taxes, important as those things are. Christie is working to limit government and expand the playing field for the private sector. As we're seeing, government without proper limits is a ruinous beast. California is a prime example.
Now newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is making headlines because he dares to say that his state is broke and that the public employees' gravy train needs to end. Governor Walker wants to end collective bargaining for public employees, excepting police and firefighters, on the simple, common sense premise that employees shouldn't be negotiating the hours they work, among other things.
In Ohio, Governor John Kasich is gearing up to slash budgets, rollback taxes, cut regulations, and confront the Buckeye State's public employee unions. There'll be fireworks aplenty in Columbus.
Thomas Jefferson is being proven right again. The states are the laboratories of democracy. Christie, Kasich, and Walker are seeking to demonstrate that limited, financially responsible government is best for economic and societal health. If successful -- and we should all have high confidence that these governors will succeed -- the lessons will not be lost on voters and politicians in other states. Revolutions are like that; it takes just a few courageous leaders to embolden others and for revolutions to spread.
A marvelous, if unintended, consequence of this burgeoning conservative revolution is what it's doing to liberalism. The budding conservative revolution is starting to place strains on liberalism; beginning to make liberals and their allies fight defensive battles in multiple -- and multiplying -- places. Call this a modified Cloward-Piven -- or Cloward-Piven turned on its masters.
Challenging liberal governance, and pressing limited government reforms, will help bring down liberalism across the nation. And that should be an indisputable aim of the new conservative revolution. Liberalism became a pox on the nation years ago. Marginalizing liberalism would be an incomparable service to generations to come -- and to those kids being lied to now by too many Wisconsin teachers.
"Change We Can Believe In." Mr. Obama's slogan always had a nice ring to it, but it was misapplied and a little ahead of its time. With the conservative revolution, change we can really believe in has arrived. How's that for rich irony?
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By various means and schemes, Obama is co-opting increasing power - and some of it by bypassing the Congress.
This is not a good thing!
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