Obamacare is All About Death and Taxes – Tea Party Nation

Obamacare is All About Death and Taxes – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

Prior to the November elections, I received an email that was chilling. It was about the new Obamacare rules. Before I discuss the Obamacare taxes that are kicking in this year and next, I want to share excerpts from it.

The email was from an individual whose son-in-law has a brother who is a surgeon at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. It is ranked high among American hospitals. This is what he related:

“A group of non-doctors, from ‘our’ country’s Department of Health arrived last week at Emory for a two day session and is on their rounds around the country to make sure every hospital fully understands the new rules (which start in December (after the elections) concerning treating all patients over 70 years of age.”

“This group informed the staff Emory and all the doctors present that they will very soon not be allowed to operate on anyone over 70 (no matter how urgent or life threatening the situation is), without first having it approved by a board of eight doctors. Failure to comply will result in a huge financial burden to the hospital and more than likely the doctor will lose his/her ability to practice medicine anywhere in the country.”

“This board is to be established at every hospital in the country and the board members will only work eight hours a day…the DOH group almost got lynched at this point by the doctors who were present. The point that got the Emory doctors so upset originally was that the “Death Board” will be available only 8 hours during the day. And once their 8 hour shift is up, they may have to wait 16 hours to get in touch with them and another hour or two or three to get a decision and permission to operate.”

This is, however, anecdotal. Despite efforts to confirm whether this is a new, official policy, no confirmation could be found and, it should be noted that there have been numerous efforts to debunk what former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin dubbed “death panels.”

If the report of the visit to Emory Hospital is accurate, fears of death panels are true. If you or a member of your family is over age 70, Obamacare could lead to denied service and even death. According to an article in a December issue of U.S. News and World Report, this process, is also likely to include women seeking mammograms to detect breast cancer and even premature babies and infants in need of preventative treatment for a virus. So every American is now at risk if they have life-threatening health care needs.

If this seems fanciful, consider reports out of the United Kingdom where they have had socialized medicine for decades. There, both the elderly and sick babies are at risk of being abandoned by National Health Service hospitals.

Officially called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare will surely migrate into a bureaucratic death sentence for an American healthcare system once deemed the best in the world.

In the course of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations Congress actually repealed a section of the ACA, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports affecting people who need long-term care. It is likely that as the 2,000-plus pages of ACA are examined in greater detail by Congress, further dismantling will occur. It needs to be entirely repealed, something the House voted for, but which was deep-sixed in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and Obama would surely veto any effort to do so.

Obamacare’s taxes have arrived and they include another investment tax increase for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles). There is also another payroll tax increase of 0.9 percent in the hospital insurance portion of the payroll tax. There is a new tax on medical devices of 2.3 percent affecting manufacturers and importers on all their sales. This increase will be passed along to consumers.

There is a reduction in the income tax deduction for individual’s medical expenses and the elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy and a limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.

These ACA tax increases are in addition to a variety of other deductions that taxpayers have previously been allowed to take; in addition to a death tax increase there was the elimination of full expensing of capital purchases.

The news about Obamacare just keeps getting worse. Actuaries at the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman are predicting that the law’s age rating restrictions could mean a 42 percent hike in premium costs for people aged 21 to 29 when buying individual coverage.

After the Supreme Court ruled that ACA is a tax, the Congressional Budget Office did an update of its scoring of the law and concluded that Obamacare will spend $1.7 trillion over ten years on its coverage expansion provisions alone, including a massive expansion of Medicaid and federal subsidies for the new health insurance exchanges. This translates to federal health spending by 15 percent.

Infants, the young, middle aged and older, all will find their costs for medical care increase or even be denied. There is nothing “affordable” about Obamacare. It is a draconian threat to every American.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

WOLF: Obamacare taxes mean Obamacare layoffs – Washington Times

WOLF: Obamacare taxes mean Obamacare layoffs – Washington Times.

800,000 jobs at risk

By Dr. Milton R. Wolf – The Washington Times

America’s race toward the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic, massive tax increases is only part of the problem. This Thelma has her Louise — the Obamacare taxes — and hand-in-hand, these two terrors are racing toward Jan. 1.

The only thing worse than President Obama’s broken Obamacare promises are the promises he intends to keep: the tax hikes. Remember when Mr. Obama promised he’d never raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 a year? He’d prefer you didn’t, but when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the Supreme Court put its stamp of approval on Obamacare, Mr. Obama became a court-certified tax-raiser.

Most of the president’s health care takeover won’t begin until 2014, but Democrats just couldn’t wait that long to start taxing you. The “Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013,” compiled by Americans for Tax Reform, is worth reviewing.

Obamacare Medical Device Tax. From pacemakers to MRI machines, if your health depends on a medical device, you will pay more. Manufacturers will face difficult decisions to compensate for the 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales — levied even if a firm is not profitable. Will these firms charge you more, lay off workers or sacrifice research and development? Answer: Yes, yes and yes.

Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax.” The newly imposed $2,500 cap on flexible spending accounts is “particularly cruel and onerous” to families of special needs kids whose expenses can be many times that amount.

Obamacare Investment Income Surtax. What do your investments have to do with health care? It doesn’t matter. If it moves, the Democrats will tax it. Capital gains taxes will increase by more than half and dividend taxes will nearly double. A hostile investment climate will starve business of capital and is a recipe for a double-dip recession.

Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions. Limiting the amount of medical expense deductions will impact families with sizable medical expenses — chief among them, near-retirees.

Obamacare Medicare Payroll-Tax Hike. An increase in the payroll tax by nearly a third just made you more expensive for your employer to keep around.

Of course, this is just the start. The labyrinth of new Obamacare regulations will kill businesses. The 2,700-page law has already generated tens of thousands of pages of regulations, and it’s growing. Here’s one example: The president’s crackerjack bureaucrats required an impressive 18 pages just to define what a full-time employee is. Businesses will need to hire their own in-house bureaucracies to stay in compliance with the Washington bureaucracies.

It gets worse — much worse. Obamacare imposes a $40,000 fine for daring to hire a 50th employee without providing government-sanctioned health insurance. Small businesses will start to resemble the television show “Survivor” as anyone above the magic number is voted off the island. Think this won’t have an impact? There are already 2.4 times as many businesses in America with 49 employees as those with 50. Good luck.

800,000 Jobs. That’s what Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf estimated in 2011 that Obamacare will destroy, and the day of reckoning has begun. In the wake of Mr. Obama’s re-election, companies large and small have already begun announcing layoffs, 45 so far, including (but certainly not limited to): Boeing, Hawker Beechcraft, U.S. Cellular, Husqvarna, Caterpillar, Bristol-Myers and on and on. Expect more — lots more.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable, particularly without the resources for throngs of lobbyists and lawyers. A recurring theme is unfolding: “Elections have consequences,” said one Las Vegas business owner as he explained that the survival of his company demands that he lay off 22 of his 114 employees. The Twitter aggregator website Twitchy.com has compiled distraught business owners facing the new normal. One user tweeted: “I own a small business … as of today. I will be laying off 10 of my 60 employees … Thanks Obamacare.”

These tragic stories are accumulating, and the human toll is devastating despite the administration’s assertions of a recovery. “The private sector is doing fine,” claimed the president earlier this year. This is fine? Mr. Obama came into office promising us change, and now he’s delivering it: 800,000 layoffs and lost jobs during a “recovery” would indeed be some kind of change.

Be sure to thank a Democrat.

Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

EDITORIAL: Obama’s truth deficit – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Obama’s truth deficit – Washington Times.

President thrown off-balance when his falsehoods are challenged

It’s bad enough when the universal consensus is that you lost the first presidential debate. What’s worse for President Obama is that his own team concedes he did so without telling the truth.

Stephanie Cutter, Mr. Obama’s deputy campaign manager essentially called her boss a liar on Thursday. During the previous night’s contest, Mitt Romney refused to allow the president to get away with saying the GOP tax plan would result in a $5 trillion cut that is not paid for. “My No. 1 principle is there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit,” the former Massachusetts governor explained to the former Illinois senator. “So any language to the contrary is simply not accurate.” When CNN informed Ms. Cutter that its own analysis confirmed that the Romney plan closes loopholes and deductions to bring in more revenue, she was forced to admit, “Well, OK, stipulated, it won’t be near $5 trillion.”

The facts didn’t get in the way of Mr. Obama repeating more debate falsehoods on Friday. He told an audience at George Mason University in Virginia that the GOP candidate “said there’s no way that he’d close the loophole that gives big oil companies billions each year in corporate welfare.” Actually, Mr. Romney said Wednesday that the hundred-year-old tax credit that amounts to less than $3 billion a year is “probably not going to survive” if he is successful in reducing the corporate tax rate from a worldwide high of 35 percent to 25 percent.

Mr. Obama continues to claim his Republican challenger would raise taxes on middle-class families by $2,000 a year. He said in the debate that the GOP candidate’s plan could never be revenue neutral without closing deductions and loopholes for average Americans, insisting, “It’s math. It’s arithmetic.” If so, it’s some kind of new math. Mr. Romney vows to do the opposite, lowering taxes on middle-income families through a 20 percent reduction in rates. He also pointed out that the one study upon which Mr. Obama based his accusations has been debunked by neutral economists and fact checkers.

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute shows Mr. Obama is the one who will oppress the middle class because the massive debt incurred under the current administration will result in higher taxes. The economists estimated the real annual cost for households to service the debt — the current $16.2 trillion plus the $7.6 trillion increase projected under Mr. Obama’s policies — would be a $4,000 a year tax hike on middle-income families. The Romney campaign released a new TV ad Friday on this point. “Obama’s four deficits are the four largest in U.S. history,” the announcer intones over slides showing the facts. “He’s adding almost as much debt as all 43 previous presidents combined, and over 30 cents of every dollar Obama spends is borrowed.” By the Congressional Budget Office’s reckoning, the year-end fiscal 2012 books reflected another $1.1 trillion deficit, the fourth highest since World War II.

It’s as if Mr. Obama is acting under the illusion that no one will call him out on his falsehoods. With four weeks until Election Day, it’s looking more likely that voters will realize a second term would mean larger deficits for the budget and the truth.

OBAMACARE: THE KISS OF DEATH – Tea Party Nation

 

OBAMACARE: THE KISS OF DEATH – Tea Party Nation.

By J.T. Hatter

 

 Published Originally at American Thinker

October 1, 2012

 

 Obama Speech to Congress September 9, 2009

Obama Lied: Health Care Died

 In 2009, Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to lay out his program for health care. He unflinchingly told the assembled elected officials one whopper after another, amid a rising chorus of boos and loud grumbling. It got to be too much for Congressman Joe Wilson, of South Carolina, who shouted, “You lie!” to the President as he was speaking. Both political parties roundly condemned Wilson for his outburst. He was called a racist, of course, among other things, and he later apologized for his indiscretion. But Joe Wilson was right on the money.

 Obama lied to the American people when he said that under ObamaCare the cost for health care would not go up, that the middle class would not spend “a single dime” in increased taxes to pay for it, that ObamaCare would actually reduce the federal deficit by the cost savings it would create, that you could keep your current doctor, and that 30 million more people would have health care coverage. None of this was true. And Obama knew it when he said it.

 The facts are that Obama and his Democratic Party comrades fudged the numbers, engaged in enormously fraudulent accounting tricks, double-counted Medicare funds, dissembled about what ObamaCare would really entail (“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”), and completely misinformed Congress and the public about the scope and impact of these new laws and entitlement programs.

 But now, the facts are beginning to roll in and the Democrats’ health care chickens are coming home to roost. When Obama campaigned in 2008 he said he would reduce health care premiums for families by $2,500 in his first term. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that annual average family insurance premiums have gone up by $2,730 in Obama’s first term—not down. Kaiser currently reports that health premium costs increased 4% this year alone.

 Obama told the American people that his health care program would cost “only” 940 billion dollars over ten years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now has rescored ObamaCare and says that the program’s gross cost is $1.762 trillion dollars from now to FY 2022. This estimate does not include administrative and other costs, which will add hundreds of billions of dollars more.

 The CBO estimate suggests an offsetting cost reduction of about 0.51 trillion dollars would be realized from receipts from “penalty payments”, fees, and increased taxes. According to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, these “penalty payments” are actually taxes. There are twenty new taxes in ObamaCare. Yes, Obama lied about our taxes going up. ObamaCare may be the biggest and most expensive lie told in American history.

 

 

Seniors Hurt the Worst

 The Romney camp is getting a lot of mileage about the damage ObamaCare does to health care for seniors. Look for Florida to get a blitz campaign on this message. The fact is that senior citizens stand to lose the most from ObamaCare. Obama and the Democrats robbed 716 billion dollars from Medicare to pay part of the cost of ObamaCare. This severely damaged the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, among others. The MA program allows seniors to receive medical coverage through private insurance plans of their choosing. One of the main thrusts of ObamaCare is to debilitate and eventually eliminate the private health insurance industry. The Democrat’s first prize of battle is the MA program, which the Heritage Foundation says will lose an average of $3,714 worth of annual benefits. They expect that ObamaCare will cut MA program enrollment by 50% by 2017. Let me repeat that: ObamaCare will cut MA enrollment by half and reduce benefits for those who can remain in MA. I can’t see seniors standing for this.

 ObamaCare cuts payments to health care providers and will cause an estimated 15% of Medicare Part A providers to become unprofitable in the next decade. The Heritage Foundation cites the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on this subject as follows,

 

Over time, a sustained reduction in payment updates, based on productivity expectations that are difficult to attain, would cause Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers’ cost of furnishing services to beneficiaries.

 ObamaCare is designed to run not only private insurance companies, but also doctors and hospitals out of business.

 But the ObamaCare assault on seniors doesn’t stop there. ObamaCare places a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices and a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned investment income. Older folks use more medical devices and have more investment income, so these new taxes hurt them directly.

 ObamaCare imposes a tax, disguised as a “fee”, on brand name drugs in Medicare and other government programs. Obama has also imposed a new federal excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans the Democrats don’t like. The 40% tax is designed to make the premium plans unaffordable to those willing to pay for them, and to punish the wealthy who want them at any cost. ObamaCare beats down seniors in many other ways and yes, there are death panels—which will result in health care rationing and worse.

 Senior citizens will suffer the most from ObamaCare. However, seniors made up 16% of the electorate in 2008 and went for McCain by 53 to 47%. The Democratic Party regards seniors as “underperformers” in 2008 and is desperately wooing them this year. Seniors currently represent 21% of the vote and they’re not happy with Obama—for good reason. Wait ‘til the Democrats get a peek at the senior vote in 2012.

 

Your New Health Care System

Chart Prepared by the Senate Joint Economic Committee

Health Care Battlegrounds

 ObamaCare expands Medicaid, which is a poorly performing, bankrupt federal program that is in severe need of reform and cutting. The Democrats targeted the poor for roughly half of the thirty million uninsured people they said would receive health care coverage under their plan. Medicaid currently provides for sixty million “poor” people. Obama wants to add 15+ million more. But states are balking at the budget busting expense for their share of the expanded Medicaid program. And the Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal government couldn’t use financial penalties to force the states to comply with Medicaid Expansion requirements. This is a devastating blow to the entire ObamaCare scheme.

 At least 13 states have said that they may opt out of the Medicaid program for new patients and about 20 states are inclined against Medicaid expansion. HealthDay offers this observation,

 

“I look at the states as the next critical battleground,” said Robert Doherty, the American College of Physicians’ senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy. If some states decline to extend Medicaid, the nation will end up with coverage like “Swiss cheese” with holes for “the poorest of the poor,” he said.

 Obama has created more than just a Medicaid health care battleground in the USA. When Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote upholding most of ObamaCare, it meant that states were supposed to immediately set up the American Benefits Health Exchanges. These health care exchanges are the principle implementing conduit of the law, and provide the means through which the American people and small businesses will be forced to purchase their federally subsidized and managed health care plans. But what if states refuse to set up these insurance exchanges?

 About a dozen states have said they’re not going to set up the American Benefits Health Exchanges required under ObamaCare. The federal government has responded by saying that it will come into the states and set up the exchanges if the state governments won’t set them up. The Kaiser Family Foundation blithely describes it this way,

 

If a state fails to set up an Exchange by January 1, 2014, the DHHS Secretary will establish and operate an Exchange in the state, either directly or through an agreement with a nonprofit entity.

 Over half the states sued the federal government to stop ObamaCare, saying it was unconstitutional. We lost. And now we have states suing the federal government over implementation requirements, including the insurance exchanges. About half the states are pursuing the requirements for setting up the exchanges. Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS Administrator, has admitted that there isn’t enough money to set up the exchanges, and has gone back to Congress with a request for another billion dollars to get the exchanges rolling. But the House of Representatives isn’t coughing up the money. Michael Cannon at the CATO blog says the ObamaCare exchanges just aren’t happening.

 The battle continues. What an unbelievable mess Obama has made of the American health care system. ObamaCare has created legal battlegrounds all over the country. Several states have passed laws providing that their citizens cannot be required to purchase federal health insurance. Some states are suing over implementation provisions.

 Once states start to opt out of the Medicaid Expansion, and refuse to set up or participate in the exchanges, then the federal government’s only option is to sue the states to force compliance or set up offices in the states and run the programs from Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder and Administrator Kathleen Sebelius will be glad to do this. But will they be around in 2013?

 

Image by Newsbusters

 

ObamaCare: The Kiss of Death

 Obama has failed miserably. He has created a gargantuan abomination of a new federal entitlement program that we can’t afford and won’t work. The only certain outcome of ObamaCare is that it will destroy the best health care system in the world.

 ObamaCare Summed Up In One Sentence is a video of Dr. Barbara Bellar brilliantly dissecting what is wrong with ObamaCare. This video has gone viral across the nation because it resonates with the 65% of Americans who don’t want anything to do with ObamaCare.

 ObamaCare is blatantly unconstitutional, no matter what John Roberts thinks, and the American people instinctively know this. After the passage of ObamaCare our government can force us to do anything. The Constitution, Bill of Rights and the concept of sovereign states rights have been thrown out the window. We no longer have constitutional government nor are we ruled by the consent of the governed. We have an elite ruling class that can legally make us do anything. Thanks to Obama and Justice Roberts.

 It isn’t merely the cost of the outrageous government takeover of one fifth of the American economy that rankles. It isn’t just the fact that ObamaCare is going to take the best health care system in the world and run it into the ground that angers Americans. Obama has engineered a law that gives our government the absolute right to rule every aspect of our lives. Just like they do in communist nations.

 Socialist revolutionaries understand that a universal health care system run by the central government is the essential key to transforming the United States into a socialist nation. This has been Obama’s true objective all along.

 ObamaCare is the kiss of death to democracy, liberty and freedom, and the high quality health care we have enjoyed in the USA. The main issue in this presidential election campaign isn’t about healthcare or jobs: it’s about freedom vs. socialism.

 A vote against Obama, and for Romney, is a vote to save health care in America. But more importantly, it is also a vote to save America.

 

Destroying Our Military from Within – Tea Party Nation

 

Destroying Our Military from Within – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

“Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.” — Ronald Reagan

If you want to know how President Obama feels about the U.S. military, consider that in all the years since D-Day 1945 there have been three occasions when a President failed to go to the D-Day Monument that honors the soldiers killed during the Invasion.

The occasions were:
1. Barack Obama 2010
2. Barack Obama 2011
3. Barack Obama 2012

For the past 68 years, all Presidents, except Obama, have paid tribute to the fallen soldiers killed on D-Day. This year, instead of honoring the soldiers, he made a campaign trip on Air Force 1 to California to raise funds for his reelection.

The U.S. military has been systematically weakened from within by a combination of idiotic and duplicitous decisions that suggest how far the nation has come from the fundamental understanding that an enemy must be destroyed with sufficient devastation as to never contemplate attacking us or our allies again.

World War Two was a success because both Germany and Japan were required to sign instruments of unconditional surrender. Both nations are now our allies. Even Vietnam where the U.S. blundered into a civil war and was ultimately forced to withdraw now has normalized diplomatic relations and welcomes U.S. investment.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remain inconclusive due to a combination of timid rules of engagement and the transformation of our military’s mission into “nation-building” that have yielded unsatisfactory results.

The military force that distinguished America as a super power at the mid-point of the last century now is facing draconian funding reductions from a Congress unwilling to make hard decisions about our historic debt.

A July Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Coming Defense Crack-Up”, warned the automatic sequestration, “If implemented, the Pentagon budget would be cut by another 9% (or $492 billion) over the next decade, on top of the $487 billion in cuts that are already planned. Defense accounts for the largest share of total sequestration, or 42.6%m according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

“The sequestration cuts would leave the defense budget some 30% smaller in 10 years.” Does anyone believe that the world will be any safer in two years or ten years? Or that weakening our defense will make us safer in a world bristling with nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction?

If the sequestration cuts are pure folly, then the use of our defense forces as a means to avoid “global warming” is sheer insanity. There is no global warming insofar as the Earth entered a natural cooling cycle in 1998 and the claim that carbon dioxide is “causing” global warming is completely baseless. A tiny element of the Earth’s atmosphere—0.038%–carbon dioxide (CO2) has been the excuse environmentalists have used to attack our manufacturing and energy sectors. Now it is being used to render our military weaker through a requirement to use biofuels.

On October 8, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13514, ordering the Defense Department and other agencies to reduce CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gas emissions. He set a goal of having the ships that defend our nuclear carriers powered by biofuels.

How stupid is this? First of all, America sits atop enough oil reserves to make us energy independent if the Obama administration would permit exploration and extraction domestically and offshore. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the U.S. possesses 26% of the world’s oil supply. The Obama administration assertion that the U.S. has only 2% of the world’s supply is a lie.

There is zero need for biofuels. By 2020, the Navy has been instructed to use alternative fuel for half of its consumption. A recent naval exercise cost the Navy $27 per gallon of biofuel, versus $3.50 to $4.00 for standard petroleum fuel. As this is being written, Americans are required to use ethanol, a biofuel, in every gallon of gas they put in their cars, needlessly increasing the cost with no benefit in mileage and at the risk of damaging their car engines.

The Air Force is also subject to these mandates for biofuels that cost more than $26 per gallon, compared with standard jet fuel at $4 per gallon. Both the Navy and Air Force face the prospect of having to refuel ships and planes in potential battle zones where every gallon of biofuel would have to be transported from the U.S. for lack of biofuel refineries in Asian, Mideast or Mediterranean ports. Can you spell d-e-f-e-a-t?

These biofuel mandates are part of the Obama administration’s crony capitalism that has seen “alternative energy” lose billions in loan guarantees to solar companies and the government mandates that maintain the wind power industry that, like ethanol, would not exist without federal government support.

Phil Dunmire, the national president of the Navy League of the United States, on July 18, warned that “The defense and maritime industries are being jeopardized from within” noting that “programs related to our nation’s defense will absorb half of the sequestration costs despite being just 19% of the national spending budget.” These cuts go into effect in January!

The sequestration and other budget cuts, and the global warming biofuel mandates will leave the U.S. more vulnerable to attack and defeat since the end of World War Two. Our Navy has shrunk. Our combat air fleet is old. The manpower of military forces has been reduced and subjected to restrictions that leave every soldier and marine subject to investigation for every enemy they kill.

The exception to the long engagement in the Middle East was the successful killing of Osama bin Laden, but even that was tarnished by a President who took full credit for it and released information about it that runs contrary to the safety of all comparable future missions. Within days, the White House provided a briefing on it to a Hollywood producer and writer in order to facilitate a film lauding the mission.

The greatest force for the defense of the nation and for freedom in the world is being reduced by a Congress and a White House who refuse to recognize the threats that exist in a dangerous world.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

 

Punting against America. – Tea Party Nation

Punting against America. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Just in case you missed it, America is a nation that was designed by geniuses and is now run by idiots.   We can also add that our nation is run by gutless, self-centered cowards too.

 What is going on that requires stating the obvious?

 The gutless cowards we call the Senate and Congress are now working a plan to punt the so-called sequestration for another year. 

 First, the sequestration was a horrible idea.  John Boehner, instead of standing and fighting, he raised his freshly laundered white flag of surrender and gave us sequestration. 

 Sequestration is the process of automatic budget cuts if the Congress could not agree on a specified amount of budget cuts.  

 Barack Obama and the Party of Treason loved sequestration because half the cuts if sequestration were invoked would come from the Department of Defense and one of Obama’s long standing goals has to destroy America as a military superpower.

 The budget is out of control.  While members of Congress are now seriously looking at ways to avoid the catastrophic defense budget cuts, they are not serious about cutting spending.

 We have hundreds of billions of dollars in waste in the Federal Budget.  When is the government going to cut the waste?  We have hundreds of billions of dollars in spending that exists only to help get politicians reelected.  When is that going to be cut?

 Oh wait, according to the politicians in Washington think that is more important than minor details such as defending the nation.

 Now the pressure is building in congress, including among Republicans for new “revenues” for the government.

 So here is the thirty-five cent question.  Are the politicians in Washington going to listen before or after we have an economic collapse?   My money is on after the collapse because so many of these politicians do not even have a room temperature IQ.  Most of them don’t have an IQ that could thaw ice. 

 John McCain and Lindsay Graham are leading the charge on punting sequestration. 

 One thing is certain.  You know when Graham and McCain get together on something, anything, you can oppose it just on general principles and probably be right.

 Graham and McCain are believers in the P.T. Barnum School of politics, believing there is a sucker born every minute and they are all voters.   The so-called “offsets” or cuts are going to be non-existent.  They are going to be numbers made up by the Congressional Budget Office.    The CBO is the Indianapolis Colts of politics, except the Colts have a better chance of winning than the CBO has of getting anything right. 

 The numbers will exist on paper.   It will be the equivalent of me taking my bank statement and adding a couple of zeros to my account balance.   It might make me think I am rich, but the reality will be I am just as broke as I was before I took my pen to the bank statement.

 The real danger is the pressure in Republican circles to raise taxes.

 The Taxpayer Protection Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform is the standard by which Republican anti-tax beliefs are measured.  Most Republicans have signed the pledge. 

 Yet within Congress, a number of Republicans have turned their backs on the pledge not to raise taxes.  Even more Republicans are threatening to go squishy and raise taxes.

 The problem is not revenue.   It is spending.

 In a hearing in 2011, the GAO could not even identify the number of welfare programs the government had, how much money was being spent or even whether the programs were effective.

 Instead of gutting defense spending, which is something the Constitution mandates, why don’t we cut wasteful government spending? 

 With hundreds of billions of dollars of identified government waste, why aren’t McCain and Graham out making those cuts?  The answer is, they are clueless Washington politicians. 

 Killing, not punting sequestration is a good idea.  Even Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense says the cuts in defense spending would be devastating.  

 We need real budget cuts.  We need to eliminate the programs that are wasteful or that have just completely failed. 

 Unfortunately with McCain and Graham leading the charge what we are going to end up with are phantom budget cuts along with real tax and fee increases. 

 In short, America is sinking faster than an Italian cruise ship and Graham and McCain simply want to order more lasagna.

BOEHNER: Congressional Republicans resolved to repeal Obamacare – Washington Times

BOEHNER: Congressional Republicans resolved to repeal Obamacare – Washington Times.

House Republicans pitching repeal to the Senate

By Rep. John Boehner

There’s no doubt that the president’s health care law is hurting our economy. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Obamacare, the president’s law was driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. The court’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety, which House Republicans stand ready to do.

After enacting his massive “stimulus” spending bill in 2009, President Obama spent more than a year trying to push the health care law through Congress over the objections of the American people, who wanted the president to focus instead on policies that would remove obstacles to private-sector job creation. During that time, the president angrily denied that the penalty the health law would impose on Americans who fail to comply with the mandate was a tax, dismissing the charge as politically-driven rhetoric from his critics.

On June 28, the Supreme Court confirmed that the centerpiece of the president’s health care law does not violate the Constitution because … it is a tax. The president and his allies celebrated the ruling. But when you look at the impact the law is having on our economy, there is nothing to celebrate.

A recent report by Bloomberg News noted that the president’s health care law will impose an estimated $813 billion in new taxes on job creators and middle-class families, based on data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed that 74 percent of small businesses contend that this law will make job creation at their companies even more difficult. In my home state of Ohio, private-sector job creators are speaking out on the harmful effects of the law. Jamie Richardson, vice president of government and shareholder relations for White Castle, warned in a recent article in the ColumbusDispatchthat the law “will be a cost burden for employers and [will] negatively impact job creation.”

There’s a lot of resolve among my House colleagues, and among the American people, to stop a law that’s hurting our economy, driving up the cost of health care and stunting job growth. Public opinion research consistently shows most Americans not only oppose Obamacare, but support fully repealing it.

At my direction and that of our majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 11 will vote on legislation that would fully repeal the president’s health care law to stop it from inflicting further harm on our economy. The House passed a similar bill last year, but it died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. By passing our repeal bill in July, we will give the Senate and Mr. Obama a second opportunity to follow the will of the American people.

What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctors they choose, at a lower cost. House Republicans want families to be able to make their own choices in health care, visit the doctors of their choosing, and receive the health care they and their doctors feel is best.

House Republicans understand that Obamacare is bad for our economy and we will act, on behalf of the American people, to repeal it in its entirety. We are ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country this harmful law.

Obama’s Ludicrous Self- Portrait as a Budget Hawk – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Deficit and debt increases 2001–2009. Gross de...

Deficit and debt increases 2001–2009. Gross debt has increased over $500 billion each year since FY2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obama’s Ludicrous Self- Portrait as a Budget Hawk – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

I saw it with my own eyes on a video clip that Sean Hannity played. At a speech in Baltimore, President Obama laughingly dismissed the notion that he is responsible for our nation’s current spending orgy. Seriously.

Sporting a wide grin, Obama said, “I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and deficits.” He must think this subject is a real knee-slapper. He continued: “I inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. We had a surplus; they turned it into a deficit, built in a structural deficit that extends for decades. … We signed $2 trillion in spending cuts into law. I laid out a detailed plan for a total of $4 trillion in deficit reduction. … But even when you account for the steps we took to prevent a depression and jump-start the economy … spending under my administration has grown more slowly than under any president in 60 years.”

A fascinating question is whether Obama actually believes this fantasy or he and his disciples are laughing at us, as well.

Yes, he’s had some delusional enablers who have argued that he has been fiscally frugal, having actually slowed the rate of government spending. Yes, you read that correctly.

But how do these enablers make such a claim — in print, no less? Well, the best I can figure is that they say that the deficit for Bush’s final fiscal year was above $1 trillion and that hence Obama’s $1 trillion deficits thereafter constitute continuing the status quo; he’s not increasing the level of the deficits.

Wow. That’s creative, but it’s completely disingenuous. We must first understand that presidential term years don’t coincide with budget years. There is overlap, and the final Bush year was partially Obama’s.

Also, the final Bush budget year was extraordinary because the housing crisis had unfolded and there were TARP expenditures, many of which were later repaid. It’s also worth remembering that the primary cause of the housing crisis was the affordable housing policies that were mostly pushed by liberal lawmakers. President Bush might have been on board for some of this early on, but he strongly appealed to Democrats in Congress to curtail this program well before it had reached crisis levels, and scoffers such as Rep. Barney Frank dismissed him out of hand and assured the nation there was nothing to fear from these reckless policies.

In addition, in running for re-election, President Bush promised to cut the budget deficit in half, and he did so. By 2007, his budget deficit was $161 billion, a mere fraction of every one of Obama’s trillion-dollar-plus deficits. In that year, by the way, we were still at war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and the tax cuts had been fully implemented years before, conclusively putting the lie to Obama’s claim that Bush handed him astronomical deficits as a result of his tax cuts and two wars. Utter nonsense. Shameless propaganda.

President Bush did spend too much, though Obama’s deficits have dwarfed his. But for the sake of argument, let’s take Obama at his word that he inherited enormous deficits from President Bush. Wouldn’t the reaction of a responsible presidential successor have been to say, “We have racked up bankrupting spending, so we must reverse course and get our spending under control; we owe it to our kids not to squander their future and saddle them with mountains of debt”?

Instead, Obama cynically used the extraordinary deficit in that final year as a license to re-establish the base line for future deficits so that he could embark on his extravagant spending spree while pretending he was not increasing the deficit. He has piled on deficits of more than $1 trillion during each of his four years. Unintentionally, you say?

Nice try, but the Congressional Budget Office says that his most recent 10-year budget also gives us annual deficits averaging almost $1 trillion per year. He does not even aspire to bring the budget into balance. Add to this that he is steadfastly obstructing entitlement reform — so that our $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities will continue to grow apace — and we will soon be out of time to avoid going the way of Greece.

Obama has not cut trillions in spending. At most, he has been forced to agree to reductions in the level of spending increases. But even here, he has gone back on his word and broken his agreements. He offers us nothing but more spending proposals — claiming it’s the only way to stimulate the economy and pretending we are too stupid to realize we’ve already been there and done that.

Obama’s claim that he is not a big spender is preposterous, but if he insists on insulting the intelligence of the American people in sticking to his story, that’s fine with me because it will make our task of defeating him in November that much easier.

The facts about the growth of spending under Obama – The Washington Post

The facts about the growth of spending under Obama – The Washington Post.


(Carolyn Kaster/AP)
“I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney, remarks to the press gaggle, May 23, 2012

 

The spokesman’s words caught our attention because here at The Fact Checker we try to root out “BS” wherever it occurs.

 Carney made his comments while berating reporters for not realizing that “the rate of spending — federal spending — increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors.” He cited as his source an article by Rex Nutting, of MarketWatch, titled, “Obama spending binge never happened,” which has been the subject of lots of buzz in the liberal blogosphere.

 But we are talking about the federal budget here. That means lots of numbers — numbers that are easily manipulated. Let’s take a look.

 

The Facts

First of all, there are a few methodological problems with Nutting’s analysis — especially the beginning and the end point.

Nutting basically takes much of 2009 out of Obama’s column, saying it was the “the last [year] of George W. Bush’s presidency.” Of course, with the recession crashing down, that’s when federal spending ramped up. The federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, so the 2009 fiscal year accounts for about four months of Bush’s presidency and eight of Obama’s.

 In theory, one could claim that the budget was already locked in when Obama took office, but that’s not really the case. Most of the appropriations bills had not been passed, and certainly the stimulus bill was only signed into law after Obama took office.

Bush had rescued Fannie and Freddie Mac and launched the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which depending on how you do the math, was a one-time expense of $250 billion to $400 billion in the final months of his presidency. (The federal government ultimately recouped most of the TARP money.) So if you really want to be fair, perhaps $250 billion of that money should be taken out of the equation — on the theory that it would have been spent no matter who was president.

 Nutting acknowledges that Obama is responsible for some 2009 spending but only assigns $140 billion for reasons he does not fully explain. (Update: in an email Nutting says he attributed $120 billion to stimulus spending in 2009, $5 billion for an expansion of children’s health care and $16 billion to an increase in appropriations bills over 2008 levels.)

 On the other end of his calculations, Nutting says that Obama plans to spend $3.58 trillion in 2013, citing the Congressional Budget Office budget outlook. But this figure is CBO’s baseline budget, which assumes no laws are changed, so this figure gives Obama credit for automatic spending cuts that he wants to halt.

 The correct figure to use is the CBO’s analysis of the president’s 2013 budget, which clocks in at $3.72 trillion.

 So this is what we end up with:

2008:  $2.98 trillion

2009:  $3.27 trillion

2010:  $3.46 trillion

2011: $3.60 trillion

2012: $3.65 trillion

2013:  $3.72 trillion

 Under these figures, and using this calculator, with 2008 as the base year and ending with 2012, the compound annual growth rate for Obama’s spending starting in 2009 is 5.2 percent.  Starting in 2010 — Nutting’s first year — and ending with 2013, the annual growth rate is 3.3 percent. (Nutting had calculated the result as 1.4 percent.)

Of course, it takes two to tangle — a president and a Congress. Obama’s numbers get even higher if you look at what he proposed to spend, using CBO’s estimates of his budgets:

2012: $3.71 trillion (versus $3.65 trillion enacted)

2011: $3.80 trillion (versus $3.60 trillion enacted)

2010: $3.67 trillion (versus $3.46 trillion enacted)

 So in every case, the president wanted to spend more money than he ended up getting. Nutting suggests that federal spending flattened under Obama, but another way to look at it is that it flattened at a much higher, post-emergency level — thanks in part to the efforts of lawmakers, not Obama.

 Another problem with Nutting’s analysis is that the figures are viewed in isolation. Even 5.5 percent growth would put Obama between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in terms of spending growth, but that does not take into account either inflation or the relative size of the U.S. economy. At 5.2 percent growth, Obama’s increase in spending would be nearly three times the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, Nutting pegs Ronald Reagan with 8.7 percent growth in his first term — we get 12.5 percent CAGR — but inflation then was running at 6.5 percent.

 One common way to measure federal spending is to compare it to the size of the overall U.S. economy. That at least puts the level into context, helping account for population growth, inflation and other factors that affect spending. Here’s what the White House’s own budget documents show about spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy (gross domestic product):  

2008: 20.8 percent

2009: 25.2 percent

2010: 24.1 percent

2011: 24.1 percent

2012: 24.3 percent

2013: 23.3 percent

 In the post-war era, federal spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy has hovered around 20 percent, give or take a couple of percentage points. Under Obama, it has hit highs not seen since the end of World War II — completely the opposite of the point asserted by Carney. Part of this, of course, is a consequence of the recession, but it is also the result of a sustained higher level of spending.

 We sent our analysis to Carney but did not get a response. (For another take, Daniel Mitchell of the Cato Institute has an interesting tour through the numbers, isolating various spending categories. For instance, he says debt payments should be excluded from the analysis because that is the result of earlier spending decisions by other presidents.)

 

The Pinocchio Test

 Carney suggested the media were guilty of “sloth and laziness,” but he might do better next time than cite an article he plucked off the Web, no matter how much it might advance his political interests. The data in the article are flawed, and the analysis lacks context — context that could easily could be found in the budget documents released by the White House.

The White House might have a case that some of the rhetoric concerning Obama’s spending patterns has been overblown, but the spokesman should do a better job of checking his facts before accusing reporters of failing to do so. The picture is not as rosy as he portrayed it when accurate numbers, taken in context, are used.

 Three Pinocchios

 

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BLAHOUS: Health care law cripples U.S. finances – Washington Times

OBAMA: THE SOCIALIST/MARXIST/COMMUNIST -- UNMA...

OBAMA: THE SOCIALIST/MARXIST/COMMUNIST -- UNMASKED FOR ALL TO SEE (Photo credit: SS&SS)

BLAHOUS: Health care law cripples U.S. finances – Washington Times.

Most affordable outcome would be total repeal

By Chuck Blahous

One of the motivating principles underlying the passage of comprehensive health care reform was that it would substantially improve the federal fiscal outlook. But many are skeptical of claims that the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, will simultaneously extend the solvency of Medicare, provide subsidized health coverage to more than 30 million new people and yet somehow reduce federal deficits. They are right to be skeptical.

The legislation greatly exacerbates projected federal deficits and increases an already unsustainable federal commitment to health care spending. Many do not understand these harsh realities because traditional government accounting methods – while useful in many respects – often obscure significant costs. Comparing the health care law to prior law, rather than the “alternate baseline” used by government scorekeepers, gives a complete estimate of the legislation’s fiscal effects.

Based on analyses published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Medicare actuary, I project that relative to prior law, the legislation will add at least $1.15 trillion to net federal spending and more than $340 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years, and far more thereafter. This sobering outcome arises even if all goes relatively well – that is, if the law’s cost-saving provisions are all successfully implemented. If, instead, future Congresses act roughly consistent with historical precedent, the law will add more than $500 billion to federal deficits in the next 10 years – growing to $600 billion by 2021.

One of the key issues in understanding the law’s fiscal effects pertains to its use of Medicare savings. The law contains several provisions to slow the growth of Medicare costs, and under law, Medicare can spend the full proceeds of these savings. Government scorekeeping conventions, however, ignore this effect. Meanwhile, the law also establishes an expensive new health care benefits program to be financed with these same savings. Together, these provisions spend far more than the law saves and will substantially increase federal debt.

There also is significant risk that the law’s new programs will cost more than originally estimated. Take, for example, its new subsidized health exchanges. As currently designed, the subsidy levels would require low-income people to shoulder a rising share of their health care costs over time. The exchanges also are designed so that one low-income person will get a substantial direct federal subsidy when he buys insurance through the exchanges, but his equally low-income neighbor with employer-sponsored insurance will not. This could create substantial pressure on Congress to expand the subsidies later to address perceived inequities.

Similarly, many of the law’s cost-saving provisions may not produce all of the savings now projected. Already highly controversial is the law’s establishment of a new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to produce Medicare savings. These might be legislatively overridden, or IPAB itself eliminated. Furthermore, many of the law’s tax provisions are designed, like the current alternative minimum tax (AMT), to capture rising numbers of taxpayers over time. If Congress acts to forestall these tax increases, as it has with the AMT, revenues from these provisions will be far less than currently assumed.

None of this is to assert that these cost-saving provisions are necessarily the wrong policy choices, only that their proceeds cannot safely be spent until we are certain these savings have accrued.

Many have wondered how possible Supreme Court rulings on the law’s constitutionality might affect its finances. As the above analysis shows, the worst-case fiscal scenario would be to uphold the law in its entirety. Similarly, the best-case realistic scenario would be to strike down the law in its entirety. An even better hypothetical outcome from a financial perspective would be to uphold the law’s cost-saving provisions while striking down its coverage expansion, but no one expects this.

A more complicated situation would arise if the court strikes down the law’s insurance-purchase mandate but leaves its other provisions intact. CBO has estimated this would improve the federal fiscal impact by $282 billion over 10 years. This would ameliorate its fiscal damage but not by enough to turn the law into a net improvement. Such an outcome also would have severe adverse effects for consumers and insurers, increasing insurance premiums by 15 percent to 20 percent (according to CBO) if the law is not otherwise modified.

That comprehensive health care reform has made our untenable fiscal situation still worse represents a substantial failure of governance. To fulfill its original promise of bending down the federal health care cost curve, the vast majority of its subsidized coverage expansions would need to be repealed. Alternatively, aiming for a weaker standard in which the law is allowed to add to federal costs but not to deficits, roughly two-thirds of the law’s health exchange subsidies would need to be scaled back or other budgetary offsets found.

Whichever fiscal goal is pursued, it is imperative that corrections be enacted before the law is fully effective in 2014. History shows clearly that it is very difficult to contain the rising cost of a federal entitlement once individuals have grown dependent on it. Only by scaling back the new spending commitments made under the law will health care reform make the positive contribution to the federal fiscal outlook that experts across the ideological spectrum agree is required.

Chuck Blahous is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security. He is author of the center’s new study, “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act.”

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