GOP Should Extract Major Concessions From Dems Before Raising Debt Ceiling

The U.S. Government will hit its Debt Ceiling of $14.3 trillion around March or April of this year. Given the Democrats’ reckless spending spree of $5 trillion over the past two years under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, it is clear that the Dems will want to raise the ceiling in the hopes of continuing their wasteful programs and passing the bill along to our grandchildren.

First, it is nonsense to think that one should pay off a credit card by using another credit card with a higher interest rate. Second, the “full faith and credit” of the United states government is in greater danger from ballooning deficits and higher national debts than it will ever be from a capped Debt Ceiling.

Thus, I have a proposal. The GOP should extract two concessions from the Dems before agreeing to raising the Ceiling.

1. Any legislation that raises the Debt Ceiling must include a Balanced Budget Amendment.

2. Any legislation that raises the Debt Ceiling must repeal and permanently defund Obamacare.

If the GOP was really listening last November, they will demand these consessions and not back down from them.

Video Trailer: I Want Your Money (2010)

Excellent video. I love the comparisons between Reagan and Obama. I also love the part where Nancy Pelosi is promising no legislation or spending that adds to the deficit.

“We could say they spend like drunken sailors. But that would be unfair to drunken sailors ’cause the sailors are spending their own money.” – Ronald Reagan.

Out Of Touch Hilda Solis: ‘There Are Jobs Out There’

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has written a propaganda puff-piece that Baghdad Bob and Joseph Goebbels would be proud of. Despite the fact that more jobs have been lost than created since Obama’s economic policies went into effect and despite the fact that jobless claims have consistently gone up during the same time period and despite the fact that economic growth is an anemic 1.6%, Solis wrote the following in USA Today:

I am not an economist. I believe that numbers only tell you part of the story. I deal with real people, and I know that the only true replacement for a job lost, is a new job that pays good wages. I’m committed to making that a reality for anyone who wants a job.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce http://www.myskillsmyfuture.org— a new online tool to connect workers with high quality training and local employment.

By visiting the site and adding information about your most recent work experience, you can see exactly what skills you need to qualify for a broad range of careers. You can also find local training and education providers and, yes — you can see local job postings.

In other words, what’s next … is up to you.

There are jobs out there. And, this Labor Day — and every day — I’m going to continue helping people find them and employers fill them. If you’re ready to embrace a 21st century career, I want you to know your Department of Labor is here to help you. And, if you’re an employer looking to fill positions, we’ve got a list of great candidates for you.

In other words, if you don’t have a good paying job, it’s your fault for not trying hard enough in your search.

Well, Solis did get one thing right: she is not an economist.

This is simply more evidence of how badly the Dems are out of touch with reality and why we need to send them packing come November.

You can access the complete essay on-line here:

Labor Secretary: ‘There Are Jobs Out There’
Hilda Solis
USA Today
September 3, 2010

Real Or Fake? Can You Spot The Bogus Government Programs Funded By The Stimulus Package?

Watch this video:

How much more evidence do we need to prove that the government has done nothing but squander our hard earned tax dollars for the past year and a half?

Remember in November.

Pigs Of Waste – The Nuge Weighs In

I think that Ted Nugent may be a better writer than Ann Coulter. He certainly has the wit and humor to match and his premises are valid and based in reality.

That’s what makes his latest column so funny, and so angering at the same time. He takes on Government waste a la the failed Stimuls package. From his article:

Fedzilla shoveled two million of our tax dollars into a fire pit so that the California Academy of Sciences could send photographers to the Southwest Indian Ocean and to East Africa to take pictures of ants. That’s right, ants.

Seventy-two thousand more of our hard-earned tax dollars was given to Wake Forest University so that they could set it on fire by studying how monkeys react when stoned on cocaine. Read the Kurt Cobain story. It’s been done.

If that isn’t insulting enough, Georgia State University received almost $700,000 to determine how monkeys and chimps respond to “distributional inequality” and “unfairness.” Rumor has it that Koko the gorilla responded “yes” by pressing a blue button when asked if she thought the study was discriminatory because gorillas were not included. King Kong could not be reached for comment. Jane Goodall, please report to your parole officer immediately.

Yes, this is funny. But it also highlights how asanine the pols in DC have become when it comes to spending our money. The Dem-controlled Congress has no idea that people are not able to send their high school graduates to college nor do they have any idea that people with young children need that money to feed and clothe them. No, Congress thinks that it can take your money and just give to whomever they please for whatever reason they please and your family that needs that money be damned.

November can’t come soon enough.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Pigs Of Waste
Ted Nugent
HumanEvents.com
August 26, 2010

Where Are The Jobs? Why Are So Few Hiring?

I’ve seen alot of squawking on the Internet about how corporations and businesses are sitting on $8 trillion in assets but won’t hire new workers. As the husband of a woman who owns a small business, I have yet to see any of that $8 trillion in my wife’s bookkeeping.

But, even if that $8 trillion really existed, the question of so few hirings would have nothing to do with that money and have everything to do with government constantly intervening in economic matters, usually at the expense of the economy in general.

John Stossel has this to say about why there are so few new hires right now:

The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone.

Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire.

President Obama’s vaunted legislative record not only left entrepreneurs with the burden of bigger government, it also makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate the new burden.

In at least three big areas — health insurance, financial regulation, and taxes — no one can know what will happen.

New intrusive rules for health insurance are yet to be written, and those rules will affect hiring, since most health insurance is provided by employers.

Thanks to the new 2,300 page Dodd-Frank finance regulatory act, The Wall Street Journal reports, there will be “no fewer than 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies.”

These as-yet unknown rules will govern lending to business and other key financial activity.

The George W. Bush tax cuts might be allowed to expire. But maybe not. Social Security and Medicare are dangerously shaky. Will Congress raise the payroll tax? A “distinguished” deficit commission is meeting. What will it do? Recommend a value-added tax?

Who knows? But few employers will commit to a big investment with those clouds hanging over our heads.

It wouldn’t matter if the assets totaled more than $8 quadrillion or $8 quintillion. With uncertainty like this coming out of the Obama White House and the Pelosi-Reid Congress, hiring on the scale we need to boost the economy is not going to happen anytime soon.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Big Government Policies Aren’t Creating New Jobs
John Stossel
NewsMax.com
August 24, 2010

The White House War On Jobs

If Joeseph Goebbels were re-incarnated and alive today, he would be somewhere in the Obama administration writing press releases about how jobs were being created or had been thus far saved. Those proclamations from the Obama White House are certainly strange, especially when the concurrent news stories are about how jobless claims are increasing on a monthly basis.

I don’t think that Baghdad Bob would approve of such efforts at misleading propaganda.

But, Obama still has trouble accepting responsibility for the failed stimulus package and preferes to continue assigning blame to George W. Bush, who has been out of office for over a year-and-a-half now. Joe Biden is loathe to go back to the “good old days” when people had stable jobs and steady paychecks.

Michelle Malkin has a great article regarding the jobs being lost, even as Obama and family enjoy an upper-class vacation at Martha’s Vineyard when most Americans can barely afford to take any kind of vacation at all.

From her column:

These are not the wealthy fat cats and Big Business titans Democrats love to demonize.

They’re employees of companies like Assurant Health, which announced last week that it would slash 130 jobs at its offices in Milwaukee and Plymouth, Minn., to prepare for costly Obamacare mandates.

They’re employees of medical device firms in Massachusetts, where officials say they’ll be forced to cut back on operational costs and jobs thanks to a little-noticed Obamacare tax on their products that goes into effect in 2013.

They’re employees of restaurants like White Castle and International House of Pancakes, whose executives say they will be forced into layoffs and premium hikes to cope with the federal law’s $3,000-per-employee penalty on companies whose workers pay more than 9.5 percent of household income in premiums for company-provided insurance.

They’re mom-and-pop enterprises across the country that must now deal with Obamacare’s onerous Section 9006 tax-filing mandate. It requires them to file 1099 forms with the IRS for every vendor from whom they purchase $600 or more in goods. Nebraska GOP Sen. Mike Johanns calls it one of many “job-crushing provisions” that will bury small business in paperwork and legal costs.

They’re the estimated 23,000 workers in the deepwater drilling industry whom the White House deliberately wrote off in pursuit of its junk science-based drilling moratorium.

They’re the estimated tens of thousands of workers employed by car dealers that were shut down by Obama’s auto czars at a time, as the TARP inspector general pointed out last month, “when the country was experiencing the worst economic downturn in generations and the government was asking its taxpayers to support a $787 billion stimulus package designed primarily to preserve jobs… — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions’ broader economic impact.”

They’re employees of Utah oil and gas companies whose leases have been pulled without cause by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The Interior Department’s own Inspector General rejected Salazar’s explanation that the Bush administration had rushed the leases through. The Deseret News reports that “rescinding these leases has likely cost the state millions already. Officials in Uintah county estimate the county lost 3,000 jobs in 2009, and Duchesne lost 1,000 jobs.”

They’re employees of commercial and recreational fishing businesses in New England, who have organized a flotilla on Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday to protest the Obama administration’s restrictive environmental policies and stealth regulatory ocean grab.

It’s no wonder that Democrats up for re-election this year are stampeding as fast as they can away from the White House and its current occupant.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

The White House War on Jobs
Michelle Malkin
TownHall.com
August 25, 2010

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration

Ever wonder what the Federal Government and the media were NOT telling you about illegal immigration? Well, we finally have a website that brings all the facts together in one spot for easy reference.

Herein you will learn facts that don’t make the front page of major newspapers nor the lead stories of television newscasts. Things like:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 2 million people each year. It is estimated that between 2002 and 2020, approximately 1,000,000,000 people will be newly infected, over 150 million people will get sick, and 36 million will die. TB is a highly contagious disease. Like the common cold, it spreads through the air. When infectious people cough, sneeze, talk or spit, they propel TB germs, known as bacilli, into the air. Each person with active TB will infect on average between 10 and 15 people every year.

    The United States currently has one of the lowest rates of TB in the world. Mexico has 10 times the rate of prevalence and many African countries along with Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia have rates that are 100 – 150 times higher. Making matters worse, a few years ago a Multi-Drug-Resistant (MDR) strain of TB has emerged that is resistant to all standard anti-TB drugs. Treating a single case of MDR TB costs over $250,000 and as much as $1,200,000 per person, and even with treatment about half of the patients with MDR-TB prematurely die.

  • The MSM report ad nauseam that illegal aliens are only “doing work that Americans won’t.” This mantra is mercilessly bandied about by illegal immigration supporters and echoes throughout the halls of Congress and the White House whenever the topic comes up. What is never mentioned, however, is that the illegal aliens are artificially depressing compensation and that illegal aliens are the only ones who will do the work at such low wages. In actual fact, illegal immigration distorts the law of supply and demand in a capitalistic society. Additionally it is grossly hypocritical to want to raise the minimum wage on one hand while the other hand winks at illegal aliens working at far below prevailing wages.
  • While some of the costs summarized above are subsets, e.g. cost of the murders as part of the cost of crime, as you can see the economic costs of tolerating illegal immigration is quite considerable. You are paying for it in terms of higher taxes, insurance premiums, et cetera. Some estimates place the net costs of each illegal alien in the country at $50,000 – $100,000. (FYI: 12,000,000 X $50,000 = $600,000,000,000) When the all the indirect costs are factored in, it is probably even higher. In any case, it is a cost that YOU are paying for.

You can access the website on-line here:

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
P.F. Wagner and Dan Amato

FACT CHECK: Obama Left Blanks In Oil Spill Speech

Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press looks into Obama’s speech from last night and how certain claims stacked up against reality:

OBAMA: “We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused and we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. … Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.”

THE FACTS: An independent arbiter is no more bound to the government’s wishes than an oil company’s. In that sense, there is no certainty BP will be forced to make the Gulf economy whole again or that taxpayers are off the hook for the myriad costs associated with the spill or cleanup. The government can certainly press for that, using legislative and legal tools. But there are no guarantees and the past is not reassuring.

It took 20 years to sort through liability after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and in the end, punitive damages were slashed by the courts to about $500 million from $2.5 billion. Many people who had lost their livelihoods in the spill died without ever seeing a check.

___

OBAMA: “In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well.”

THE FACTS: BP and the administration contend that if all goes as planned, they should be able to contain nearly 90 percent of the worst-case oil flow. But that’s a big “if.” So far, little has gone as planned in the various remedies attempted to shut off or contain the flow. Possibly as much as 60,000 barrels a day is escaping. BP would need to nearly triple its recovery rate to reach the target.

___

OBAMA: Temporary measures will capture leaking oil “until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely.”

THE FACTS: That’s the hope, but experts say the relief well runs the same risks that caused the original well to blow out. It potentially could create a worse spill if engineers were to accidentally damage the existing well or tear a hole in the undersea oil reservoir.

___

OBAMA: “From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history.”

THE FACTS: Early on, the government established a command center and put Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen in charge of coordinating the overall spill response. But officials also repeatedly have emphasized that BP was “responsible” and they have relied heavily on BP in making decisions from hiring cleanup workers to what oil dispersing chemicals to use. Local officials in the Gulf region have complained that often they don’t know who’s in charge _ the government or BP.

___

OBAMA: “We have approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore.”

THE FACTS: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and local officials pleaded for weeks with the Army Corps of Engineers and the spill response command for permission to build about 40 miles of sand berms along the barrier islands.

State officials applied for an emergency permit to build the berms May 11, but as days went by Jindal became increasingly angry at federal inaction. The White House finally agreed to a portion of the berm plan on June 2. BP then agreed to pay for the project.

The corps was worried that in some cases such a move would alter tides and drive oil into new areas and produce more harm than good.

___

OBAMA: “Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue.”

THE FACTS: Obama issued a six-month moratorium on new permits for deepwater drilling but production continues from existing deepwater wells.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

FACT CHECK: Obama Left Blanks In Oil Spill Speech
Calvin Woodward
AP via TownHall.com
June 16, 2010

Tax Hikes And The Coming 2011 Economic Collapse

Arthur Laffer is probably best known for the “Laffer Curve” which showed the relationship between tax rates versus government income from taxes. In essence, lower tax rates translate into more government revenues. This theory has been tested time and time again against empirical data and has been shown to be extrememly sound.

But today, he has penned a very prophetic essay for the Wall Street Journal in which he shows exactly how allowing the Bush Tax cuts to expire will hasten the collapse of the U.S. economy beginning in January of 2011.

From his article:

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the nine states without an income tax are growing far faster and attracting more people than are the nine states with the highest income tax rates. People and businesses change the location of income based on incentives.

… [I]t’s also simple enough for most people to understand that if the government taxes people who work and pays people not to work, fewer people will work. Incentives matter.

People do not like to go to work only to see their money confiscated by the government and given to someone who did not work to earn that money. Along the same line of logic, those who get money without having to work for it will never want to work.

More:

On or about Jan. 1, 2011, federal, state and local tax rates are scheduled to rise quite sharply. President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire on that date, meaning that the highest federal personal income tax rate will go 39.6% from 35%, the highest federal dividend tax rate pops up to 39.6% from 15%, the capital gains tax rate to 20% from 15%, and the estate tax rate to 55% from zero. Lots and lots of other changes will also occur as a result of the sunset provision in the Bush tax cuts.

Tax rates have been and will be raised on income earned from off-shore investments. Payroll taxes are already scheduled to rise in 2013 and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will be digging deeper and deeper into middle-income taxpayers. And there’s always the celebrated tax increase on Cadillac health care plans. State and local tax rates are also going up in 2011 as they did in 2010. Tax rate increases next year are everywhere.

The people who see this coming will do something this year to avoid the massive losses they will face next year when their taxes will dramatically go up.

They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.

Also, the prospect of rising prices, higher interest rates and more regulations next year will further entice demand and supply to be shifted from 2011 into 2010. In my view, this shift of income and demand is a major reason that the economy in 2010 has appeared as strong as it has. When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe “double dip” recession.

This is in contrast to the Reagan tax cuts, a fair bulk of which did not take effect until January 1, 1983, after which the economy took off like a bat out of hell. The coming tax cut expirations (which Barack Obama and the Democrats are more than happy to allow) will have the exact opposite effect of the Reagan tax cuts. When this happens, we really will have the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and only Barack Obama and the Democrats can be blamed. Of course, Obama and the Dems will try to assign blame everywhere else.

And if you have retirement accounts that will be affected:

In 2010, without any prepayment penalties, people can cash in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Keough deferred income accounts and 401(k) deferred income accounts. After paying their taxes, these deferred income accounts can be rolled into Roth IRAs that provide after-tax income to their owners into the future. Given what’s going to happen to tax rates, this conversion seems like a no-brainer.

Get ready. The Obama Depression is just around the corner and the President is travelling for photo-ops and parties instead of taking steps to effectively deal with it.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Tax Hikes And The 2011 Economic Collapse
Arthur Laffer
Wall Street Journal
June 7, 2010

Obama Appoints Health Care Rationing Czar

Wait a minute! What did that title read? “Rationing Czar?” But Obama and the Democrats promised us that there wouldn’t be any rationing and that anyone who made such a claim was guilty of “fear-mongering.”

Well, let’s meet Obama’s new Rationing Czar, Donald Berwick, and see whether we were “fear-mongering” or we simply called out the Democrats’ lie earlier than they expected:

From an article by Terry Jeffrey at TownHall:

“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care,” Berwick told Biotechnology Healthcare, “the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

President Obama has nominated Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal agency that runs these two massive proto-socialist health care programs. If confirmed, he will oversee the massive cuts that Obamacare mandated in Medicare.

“Fear-mongering?” That is the term the Dems use when they want to silence critics who have correctly identified a Democrat lie.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Obama Names Rationing Czar To Run Medicare
Terry Jeffrey
TownHall.com
May 25, 2010

Mothers Against Debt Video

This is the first of what will probably be multiple videos. The politicians in Washington D.C. clearly do not care what sort of hardships they are saddling on our children and grandchildren as a result of all this out of control government spending. Fortunately, the Mothers of America are stepping up and raising their voices. Which political party is going to listen first?

And check out the U.S. Debt Clock:

U.S. Debt Clock

Given that we are being forewarned about the economic catastrophe we are heading into, no one, especially the politicians who are currently in power, should be the least bit surprised by it nor should they make any attempt to assign blame to anyone else.

“I Do Think At A Certain Point, You’ve Made Enough Money”

On April 29th, 2010, Barack Obama made the following statement:

I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.

Well, what about Obama’s friends and donors? At what point did they make enough money? Glenn Beck asks that question without speaking a single word:

Note the final question at the end:

Mr. President, why don’t you ask your friends to set the example on how much is too much?

Democrats Admit Companies Were Right To Claim Obamacare Would Make Costs Higher Rather Than Lower

Now, before you start thinking this is some sort of right-wing Tea Party claim, look at the source:

Inquiry Says Health Care Charges Were Proper
Robert Pear
New York Times
April 26, 2010

Yes, you read that right. The New York Times. Hardly a bastion of right-wing thought.

Here is what Mr. Pear wrote:

When major companies declared that a provision of the new health care law would hurt earnings, Democrats were skeptical. But after investigating, House Democrats have concluded that the companies were right to tell investors and the government about the expected adverse effects of the law on their financial results.

Within days after President Obama signed the law on March 23, companies filed reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the tax change would have a material adverse effect on their earnings.

The White House suggested that companies were exaggerating the effects of the tax change. The commerce secretary, Gary F. Locke, said the companies were being “premature and irresponsible” in taking such write-downs.

“Irresonsible?” This from a hard-core leftist administration that is squandering our grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s futures as we speak?

Well, it turns out that the companies were right and the Dems were wrong:

In a memorandum summarizing its investigation, the Democratic staff of the committee said, “The companies acted properly and in accordance with accounting standards in submitting filings to the S.E.C. in March and April.”

Moreover, it said, “these one-time charges were required by applicable accounting rules.” The committee staff said this view was confirmed by independent experts at the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the American Academy of Actuaries.

Didn’t the Dems promise that Obamacare would make health care less expensive? This law is only going to make it more expensive and less accessible. Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak (both Democrats) were going to hold hearing on the claims these companies made until the two learned that the claims were well-founded. Those hearings have now been cancelled.

Fatal Flaws Of The Wall Street Bailout Bill

The Dems are at it again and this time they have to complicity of several Republicans. The current financial reform bill before the Senate (S. 3217) is supposed to make bailouts and financial crises a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it will do the exact opposite.

Writing for the Heritage Foundation, James L. Gattuso notes the following flaws:

  1. Creates a protected class of “too big to fail” firms. Section 113 of the bill establishes a “Financial Stability Oversight Council,” charged with identifying firms that would “pose a threat to the financial security of the United States if they encounter “material financial distress.” These firms would be subject to enhanced regulation. However, such a designation would also signal to the marketplace that these firms are too important to be allowed to fail and, perversely, allow them to take on undue risk. As American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison wrote, “Designating large non-bank financial companies as too big to fail will be like creating Fannies and Freddies in every area of the economy.”[1]
  2. Provides for seizure of private property without meaningful judicial review. The bill, in Section 203(b), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to order the seizure of any financial firm that he finds is “in danger of default” and whose failure would have “serious adverse effects on financial stability.” This determination is subject to review in the courts only on a “substantial evidence” standard of review, meaning that the seizure must be upheld if the government produces any evidence in favor of its action. This makes reversal extremely difficult.
  3. Creates permanent bailout authority. Section 204 of the bill authorizes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to “make available … funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Although no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders, the firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout. The situation is much like the scheme implemented for AIG in 2008, in which the largest beneficiaries were not stockholders but rather other creditors, such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs[2]—hardly a model to be emulated.
  4. Establishes a $50 billion fund to pay for bailouts. Funding for bailouts is to come from a $50 billion “Orderly Resolution Fund” created within the U.S. Treasury in Section 210(n)(1), funded by taxes on financial firms. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ultimate cost of bank taxes will fall on the customers, employees, and investors of each firm.[3]
  5. Opens a “line of credit” to the Treasury for additional government funding. Under Section 210(n)(9), the FDIC is effectively granted a line of credit to the Treasury Department that is secured by the value of failing firms in its control, providing another taxpayer financial support.
  6. Authorizes regulators to guarantee the debt of solvent banks. Bailout authority is not limited to debt of failing institutions. Under Section 1155, the FDIC is authorized to guarantee the debt of “solvent depository institutions” if regulators declare that a liquidity crisis (“event”) exists.
  7. Limits financial choices of American consumers. The bill contains a new “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection” with broad powers to limit what financial products and services can be offered to consumers. The intended purpose is to protect consumers from unfair practices. But the effect would be to reduce available choices, even in cases where a consumer fully understands and accepts the costs and risks. For many consumers, this will make credit more expensive and harder to get.[4]
  8. Undermines safety and soundness regulation. The proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection would nominally be part of the Federal Reserve System, but it would have substantial autonomy. Decisions of the new bureau would not be subject to approval by the Fed. New rules could be stopped only through a cumbersome, after-the-fact review process involving a council of all the major regulatory agencies. This could impede efforts of economic (or “safety and soundness”) regulators to ensure the financial stability of regulated firms, as the new, independent “consumer” regulator would establish rules that conflict with that goal.
  9. Enriches trial lawyers by authorizing consumer regulators to ban arbitration agreements. Section 1028 specifically authorizes the new consumer regulatory agency to ban arbitration agreements between consumers and financial firms. By reducing the use of streamlined dispute resolution procedures, more consumers and businesses would be forced to pay the costs of litigation—to the benefit of trial lawyers.
  10. Subjects firms to hundreds of varying state and local rules. Section 1044 limits pre-emption of state and local rules, subjecting banks and their customers to confusing, costly, and inconsistent red tape imposed by regulators in jurisdictions across the country.
  11. Subjects non-financial firms to financial regulation. Regulation under this legislation would extend far beyond banks. Many firms largely outside the financial industry would find themselves caught in the regulatory net. Section 102(B)(ii) of the bill defines a “nonbank financial company”” as a company “substantially engaged in activities … that are financial in nature.” The phrase “financial in nature” is defined in existing law quite broadly. According to former Treasury official Gregory Zerzan, it includes things such as “holding assets of others in trust, investing in securities … or even leasing real estate and offering certain consulting services.”[5] As a result, a broad swath of private industry may find itself ensnared in the financial regulatory net. As Zerzan explains: “An airplane manufacturer that holds customer down payments for future delivery, a large home improvement chain that invests its profits as part of a plan to increase revenues, and an energy firm that makes markets in derivatives are all engaged in ‘financial activities’ and potentially subject to systemic risk regulation.”
  12. Imposes one-size-fits-all reform in derivative markets. The bill would subject derivatives now traded over-the-counter by banks and other financial institutions to regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It would require most derivative contracts to be settled through a clearinghouse rather than directly between the parties. Yet derivatives are already increasingly being traded on clearinghouses thanks to private efforts coordinated by the New York Fed.[6] The Senate’s bill, however, would require virtually all derivatives to be so traded. Applying such ill-designed blanket regulation would make financial derivatives more costly, more difficult to customize, and, consequently, less widely used—which would increase overall risk in the economy.[7]
  13. Allows activist groups to use the corporate governance process for issues unrelated to the corporation or its shareholders. Section 972 of the bill authorizes the SEC to require firms to allow shareholders to nominate directors in proxy statement. Such proxy access turns corporate board elections from a process designed to ensure that each board has a good mix of skills and experience into a popularity contest where the long-term interests of the stockholders become secondary to political agendas or corporate raiders. The process can also be used by labor unions, politicians who manage public pension funds, and others to force corporations to respond to pet social or political causes.
  14. Does nothing to address problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two government-sponsored housing giants helped fuel the housing bubble. When it popped, taxpayers—because of an implicit guarantee by the U.S. Treasury—found themselves on the hook for some $125 billion in bailout money. Not only has little of this amount been paid back, but the Treasury Department recently eliminated the cap on how much more Fannie and Freddie can receive. Yet the bill does nothing to resolve the problem or reform these government-run enterprises.

Contact your Senators today and oppose what is turning out to be yet another piece of ignorant legislation that the idiots in Washington are imagining will somehow be good for us.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Senator Dodd’s Regulation Plan: 14 Fatal Flaws
James Gattuso
Heritage.org
April 22, 2010

20 Ways Obamacare Will Take Away Our Freedoms

So, Obama, Pelosi and Reid said that Congress needs to pass the Health Care Bill so that America can see what’s really in it? Well, let’s get started! Below are 20 items in HR3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill as displayed by the Rules Committee. You will also read how it affects us Americans.

From Investor’s Business Daily:

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))

8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).

9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).

10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).

11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))

13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a country where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).

14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).

16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).

The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).

17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).

19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).

That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).

Now, who are those idiots claiming that this isn’t socialized medicine?

There’s more in this bill that gives the government more power to regulate your lives and spending. But items #2 and #6 are particularly galling since they essentially amount to a welfare system for people who live unhealthy lifestyles. Items #12 and #13 will eventually lead to the same shortage of services that are being experienced in Canada and Great Britain.

And here’s a real kicker: Item 14# is designed only to put insurance companies out of business thereby giving the Socialists in the Democrat Party an excuse to go to the disastrous “single payer system.”

This bill needs to get tossed out by the courts or repealed by Congress after we toss the Socialist bums out in 2010 and elect a Constitutional Conservative in 2012.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

20 Ways Obamacare Will Take Away Our Freedoms
David Hogberg
Investor’s Business Daily
March 21, 2010

Obama To Break Pledge Of Not Increasing Taxes On Incomes Of Less Than $250,000/yr

Well, it’s good to be back among the ranks of the employed. Now that I have an income again, I can devote just a little more time to helping the world stay informed about key issues we are facing.

Many of us knew that Barack Obama had absolutely no intention of keeping many of his campaign promises. Instead of allowing the health care debate to be made public over C-SPAN, he and his Democrat followers instead chose to hold their own meetings behind closed doors and completely shut out the Republicans. He promised that he would veto any bill that contained earmarks but instead has signed legislation that overall contains over 9,000 earmarks.

So, it should come as no surprise whatsoever that Obama is now poised to break a campaign promise he made on September 8, 2008:

“And I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase—not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

It is becoming clear that Obama made this grandiose claim in an effort to get votes by painting himself as some sort of anti-tax candidate. Well, now that he got the votes, he’s singing a completely different tune:

According to Terrence Jeffrey at Cybercast News Service:

[T]he new health care plan released in summary form yesterday by the White House specifically calls for increasing the Medicare payroll tax on “households with incomes exceeding $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.”

Unless President Obama is prepared to say that the only type of “family” that qualifies as a “family” under his tax pledge is one that is formed around a “married couple filing jointly” than his new health care proposal violates his 2008 tax pledge on its face. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, makes clear that the “head of household” tax filing status is for “unmarried” taxpayers. A definition of the term “head of household” on the IRS Web site says: “Generally, you may claim head of household filing status on your tax return only if you are unmarried and pay more than 50% of the costs of keeping up a home for yourself and your dependent(s) or other qualifying individuals.”

That seems to be the mantra of the Democrats: Tax anything that can be taxed in order to pay for the irresponsible spending the Democrats have engaged in over the past year.

It’s true that Republicans went on a spending binge when they were in power, but the Democrats have far outstripped anything that Republicans have done since 1994. The republicans were bad, but the Democrats are infinitely worse.

More:

The White House posted the president’s tax increase proposal as part of the summary of the new health-care reform bill he is proposing.

“Under current law, workers who earn a salary pay a flat tax of 1.45 percent of their wages to support the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, but those who have substantial unearned income do not, raising issues of fairness,” says the summary of Title IX of the president’s proposal. “The Act will include an additional 0.9 percentage point Hospital Insurance tax for households with incomes exceeding $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. In addition, it would add a 2.9 percent tax for such high-income households to unearned income including interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents (excluding income from active participation in S corporations).”

There it is. Clear and concise. Obama had no intention of keeping his “no tax increases” on anyone under $250,000/yr pledge.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Breaking His Pledge? Obama Calls For Increasing Payroll Taxes On ‘Households’ Earning Less Than $250,000 Per Year
Terrence Jeffrey
Cybercast News Service
February 23, 2010

So, How Is The Glenn Beck Boycott Going?

Not too well it seems. Right about now, the executives at GEICO, Progressive and a whole bunch of other companies are lamenting the fact that they have now lost out on a market of a potential 3 million viewers.

From TV By The Numbers:

Though a little scandal might alienate advertisers, it’s pure ratings gold. Last night Glenn Beck had over 3 million viewers at 5pm, second only to O’Reilly for the night. But, Beck had more 25-54 viewers than O’Reilly (888K to 876K). I don’t watch or really even care about the cable news wars, but still…wow. Even though Beck airs before primetime, when there are fewer people watching TV, he had the most 25-54 viewers in the cable news world for the night.

5PM – P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
Glenn Beck– 3,040,000 viewers (888,000) (1,385,000)
Situation Room—688,000 viewers (141,000) (271,000)
Hardball w/ Chris Matthews—536,000 viewers (139,000) (217,000)
Fast Money—215,000 viewers (55,000) (80,000)
Prime News–267,000 viewers (97,000) (109,000)

Those companies might want to rethink the boycott before their competitors come in and take advantage of the mistake.

You can access the original article on-line here:

Big Beck: Goes Over 3 Million Viewers, Beats O’Reilly In Demo: Cable News Ratings For Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Robert Seidman
TV By The Numbers
August 27, 2009

Health Care Lies From The Obama White House

It’s no secret that Barack Obama is getting desperate to pass a nationalized health care bill. With many Blue-Dog Democrats lining up against the measure, time is clearly running out for Obama, Pelosi and Reid. But what time-frame are we talking about?

We are talking about the time-frame in which Congress and the President can pass this disastrous bill before too many more Americans read what is in it and discover what it is really all about.

Writing for Town Hall, David Limbaugh notes several inaccuracies and outright lies in the arguments made for this socialized medicine package:

–Despite White House-generated hysteria about the urgency of reform, the only urgency is in preventing this fiasco because it would destroy America’s economy and liberty. Doing nothing — even given the many problems that exist under the present system — is far preferable to adopting this monster.

–Proponents claim the present system leaves 47 million people without insurance and unable to get it. Bull. Almost half of these uninsured could afford coverage but choose not to obtain it; almost half only remain uninsured for four months; and millions are noncitizens. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 17 million would remain uninsured after the plan is implemented.

–Obama says his plan is not socialized medicine because he’s just providing a “public option” to make the private insurers more competitive. Well, he’s stacking the deck with mandated coverage — which, by definition, reduces competition — and subsidizing the public option. He would provide incentives to businesses to move employees to the public plan. Also, once you lose your insurance, your coverage choices would no longer be grandfathered, and you’d be forced to buy a plan that includes Big Brother’s mandates — meaning most would gravitate toward the government plan. A single-payer system is virtually inevitable.

–The plan is being sold as a necessary element of reviving the economy. No one, including the Congressional Budget Office, believes this bill would improve our economy, and most believe it would exacerbate our problems. The bill, with its taxes on successful small businesses and its Draconian regulations, would destroy job creation, as would increases to the deficit and debt the bill would cause.

–Health care costs would not be reduced, but increased — and shifted. Studies show that preventive care measures would not reduce costs. More importantly, the CBO says that even with the planned confiscatory taxes on higher-income earners (which no one can deny constitute real costs to them) and the penalties on employers who don’t provide coverage, the plan would fall $239 billion short of covering its initial cost estimates of $1 trillion. And that’s assuming everything goes well. But cost estimates for government programs are always understated. The actual costs for Medicare Part A were $67 billion, seven times higher than the government’s 1965 projections of $9 billion. Even worse, the Medicaid special hospitals subsidy was $11 billion, more than 100 times the government’s projection of $100 million in 1987, just years earlier. The only efforts at cost containment would come from artificial price controls, which would result in rationing — most likely for the elderly.

–The quality of socialized health care would not be improved as promised, but would necessarily deteriorate, as it has in all countries that have tried it and in our own government-run experiments of veterans care, Medicaid and Medicare. It’s inescapably true — as noted by Dr. Thomas Sowell — that price controls would reduce quality care because they would reduce the incentive to provide quality.

–Health care choices would not be expanded, but essentially eliminated, by government mandate. The White House isn’t even denying it would force taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

The longer it takes to get this abomination through Congress, the more time people have to study it and learn about the points Limbaugh made in the above excerpt.

Socialized health care has been a disaster in every single country it has ever been tried in. So much so that countries like Great Britain and Switzerland had to bring back privatized care in order to achieve the universal coverage that was so woefully missing from their nationalized systems.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

More Health Care Lies
David Limbaugh
TownHall.com
July 21, 2009

Geithner Travels Globe Essentially Begging For Money To Finance U.S. Debt

I know. The actual headline of the referenced article reads “pitching U.S. debt” but we all know what this really amounts to. It is a vindication of Margaret Thatcher when she said: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Unfortunately for Obama and his Democrat cronies, it happened much sooner than they expected. So now, Secretary Geithner must go abroad and seek new infusions of funds to support what amounts to a socialist agenda.

From the Associated Press:

Timothy Geithner, architect of bank, auto and economic rescue plans, has another high-stakes job these days: traveling bond salesman.

Geithner, who traveled last week to the Middle East and Europe, has to convince foreign investors to keep buying Treasury bills, notes and bonds; they hold nearly half of the government’s roughly $7 trillion in publicly traded debt.

But all of this comes with very grave dangers to the U.S. economy. Not just selling the debt but the deficit spending which drives the debt up even further.

Read on:

If foreign demand for U.S. debt sags, that could drive up interest rates and spell big trouble for an economy hobbled by 9.5 percent unemployment. Higher rates would make it more expensive for consumers to buy homes and cars, and for businesses to finance their operations.

In the worst case scenario, a rush by foreigners to sell their U.S. debt could send the dollar crashing and inflation soaring.

Although some analysts say that this would never happen, don’t pretend that the possibility isn’t there. After all, the analysts were convinced that the Japanese would never be able to attack Pearl Harbor.

But there are some very telling signs about how the rest of the world feels about our government’s current spending spree:

Last month, [Geithner] visited China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries. That trip was marked by an extra dose of drama. In March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said his country was concerned about the “safety” of the large amounts of money it had lent to the United States.

The deficit-cutting proposals the administration has so far revealed would fall far short of what is needed.

“If the Obama administration has a credible plan to bring the deficits down, they are keeping it a deep secret at the moment,” said Michael Mussa, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

With nearly three months left in the budget year, the Obama administration forecasts that this year’s deficit will total $1.84 trillion, more than four times the size of last year’s record tally.

When Geithner told a packed auditorium at Peking University that Chinese investments in the U.S. were safe, his comment was greeted by laughter.

That should have been a huge eye-opener to Geithner, Obama and the Democrats who continue to call for spending like drunken sailors.

It should be a huge eye-opener for the rest of us as well.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Geithner Travels Globe, Pitching U.S. Debt
Associated Press via MSNBC
July 19, 2009