How Not to Run a Nation – Tea Party Nation

How Not to Run a Nation – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

The political farce that ended 2012 and began 2013 has surely made the United States a laughingstock among the nations of the world. The sharp divisions between liberals and conservatives in Congress led to desperate last minute negotiations to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that faced the nation’s taxpayers and that still threatens default on our debts. The same battles will be fought again when it comes time to raise the nation’s debt ceiling limit in two months.

This is a Congress that has not passed a budget for three years.

This is no way to run a nation!

By a vote of 89-8 in the early hours of Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled Senate approved a plan to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000 and to postpone sequester cuts for two months. By mid-afternoon, however, Politico.com reported that “House Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the Senate’s bill to avert the fiscal cliff, making it nearly certain that Speaker John Boehner’s chamber will amend the legislation and send it back to the Senate – a potentially serious blow to a package that appeared well on its way to becoming law.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the No. 2 House Republican, told GOP lawmakers that he was opposed to the legislation in its current form. Republicans are chiefly concerned with the lack of spending cuts in the tax bill.” And that has been the problem since Obama took office, too much spending and too much borrowing to continue spending.

For the year or more the “fiscal cliff” existed Congress chose to do nothing. The frantic negotiations resulted in an agreement to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, something Democrats and the President campaigned against for years.

Having to fight these fiscal battles all over again in two months will only reaffirm that Congress is incapable to arriving at common sense solutions. For the 47% of Americans who pay no taxes, the discussion is a distraction from watching the bowl games and other diversions.

It is useful to review the Heritage Foundation analysis issued prior to the late night vote. Amy Payne spelled it out in a recent commentary, saying “Tax hikes are the centerpiece of the problem” warning that the largest tax increase in American history was scheduled to kick in on January 1.

While the Bush tax cuts remain, solutions are needed to resolve what to do with the payroll tax, the alternative minimum tax patch, and a host of other tax policies that were scheduled to expire at year’s end.

However, twenty tax increases built into Obamacare are scheduled to go into effect. They will generate a trillion dollar increase for the years 2013-2022. Curiously, a tax on medical instruments that covers everything from tongue depressors to MRI machines will make healthcare more expensive for everyone despite the claim that Obamacare would make healthcare more affordable.

As the Heritage Foundation and others have been shouting from the housetops, Obamacare raises the hospital insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax on wage income over $250,000 from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent. It then applies that 3.8 percent rate to investment income-capital gains and dividends—for anyone earning above $250,000.

Tax experts like Curtis Dubay, a senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, points out that “this is a massive policy change, since it represents the first time the payroll tax will apply to investment income.” He calls the investment income HI tax “a dangerous step down a slippery, tax-hiking slope”, predicting that “the economy will suffer, because incentives to work and invest will fall. Less work and investment will mean that businesses create fewer jobs and pay their existing workers less than they otherwise would have.”

Dubay refutes President Obama’s claim that his plan for taxing the rich would just be a return to the rates that existed under President Clinton. “That is flat out incorrect,” noting that Obama is ignoring the tax hikes hidden in Obamacare.

Stephen Moore, a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and a senior economics writer, a regular commentator on CNBC-TV and Fox News, has a new book out, “Who’s the Fairest of the Them All? The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.” ($21.50, Encounter Books). It blessedly brief, but it covers a lot of ground, especially as regards the lies coming out of the White House about the “rich.”

A lot of Americans are oblivious to the fact that the President is operating from an ideology that is the opposite of everything that built the greatest economy the world has ever seen. His views are those of a Socialist or to put it more bluntly, a Communist. He stops short of initiating programs by which the government would nationalize all industries, but Obamacare in effect does that for the health care industry; twenty percent of the nation’s economy.

In his book, Moore defends the free enterprise system as “the on-ramp to economic progress and rising incomes.” Under President Obama, “the ranks of the poor have risen and the progress of the middle class has stalled in the United States in recent years because we have moved so aggressively away from free markets and toward ham-handed government solutions.”

The lies the President told all through his 2008 campaign and the last four years of his first term have all been intended to create class warfare. Moore points out that “Mr. Obama says that in recent decades the middle class has suffered and shrunk. He is dead wrong on this count. In fact, the last thirty years (up until the 2008 recession) have been a boom period for the middle class.”

The proof of that, Moore notes, “By 2011, after Mr. Obama’s first three full years in office, and after nearly two years of radical spending and taxing policies, the median American family incomes declined by almost $4,500 for every household. The poverty rate increased, and so did the number of Americans losing their homes. Yes, Mr. Obama inherited an economic mess, but his policies have done little to stop the decline.”

Throughout 2012, according to Obama, if you earn more than $250,000 you are among the “rich” in America. This is surely a redefining of what we used to consider rich; usually those earning a million or more. As things stand now “Our government,” says Moore, “relies for more than 50 percent of its revenue on the richest three percent.”

The tax rate increase on “the rich” that Obama has been demanding would raise enough revenue to run the nation for about a week. Meanwhile, the U.S. must borrow $4.8 billion every day just to meet its expenses.

Obama’s goals since becoming President can be found in the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” and I recommend you get familiar with it as the nation hurtles toward financial collapse because that is exactly what the strategy is intended to bring about in order to impose a total socialist/communist system on the world’s greatest capitalistic economy.

Among the strategy’s proposals was a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls” and we have seen this in the expansion of the food stamp program and loosening of requirements for those on welfare to seek employment. The goal of the Cloward-Piven strategy is to ultimately “sabotage and destroy the welfare system in order to ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would ‘the rest of society’ accept their demands.”

That is Obama’s definition of “fairness” and it exists today as half of society, those with jobs or self-employed, are having their income taxed to pay for government programs for those who do not work or cannot find work; an estimated 26 million are unemployed or stopped looking for work. Another 47 million are using food stamps, a program that has greatly expanded during Obama’s first term and which uses television commercials to encourage more people to sign on.

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll noted that 73% of likely voters want government spending cut. They sense the danger of a government grown so large it threatens the economy and, indeed, enforcement of the Constitution’s limits on government.

It has become a cliché to say the problem is government spending, but the problem is government spending.

There are a variety of scenarios regarding the near future and among them is the collapse of the U.S. dollar. Should that occur there would be wide-spread panic and demands that the government “do something.” One massive form of control has already been imposed in the form of Obamacare. When the government can determine who lives or dies, or how much care they can receive, Americans have lost a precious freedom. Other freedoms would be lost.

Obama has found ways to worsen the financial crisis and it has been deliberate. He is not merely “transforming” America, he is destroying it.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Fear, Everywhere, Fear – Tea Party Nation

Fear, Everywhere, Fear – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

If my emails and the headlines I am reading indicate anything, there is widespread fear among Americans that something terrible has occurred with the reelection of President Obama. Not all Americans, though. Those who voted for Obama appear to remain oblivious despite the threat of a “fiscal cliff” or the new taxes in Obamacare that will kick in on January 2nd.

We have a Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy, Geithner, calling for an end to debt ceilings, apparently believing that America can continue to borrow money to pay for the interest on its escalating debt, now pegged at $16 trillion and growing daily. The U.S. borrows $4 billion a day. Anyone with a credit card knows that their payments increase as they struggle to deal with their personal debt. Eventually they either declare bankruptcy or turn to companies that negotiate a payment to release them.

If America was to default on its debt, the dollar, already in free fall, would be worth nothing. We would be bartering shiny beads and anything else to buy food and other necessaries. We would become Zimbabwe where you need a million of their dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

Writing recently on her Fox Business blog, Gerri Willis spelled out the huge rise in taxes Americans are facing. “All told, next year, total taxes will go to almost 50% for the middle class; the very group that the president says he wants to protect. That means 50 cents out of every dollar earned has to go to the government. Half of everything will go to an entity that didn’t earn that money, and shouldn’t be entitled to all that dough.”

What kind of madness is it that the Teamsters union would impose such senseless rules that it would weaken Hostess to the point of bankruptcy, preferring to let the company die rather than to protect the jobs of 18,500 bakers? Other unions are engaged in attacks on a weakened economy. What kind of nation is it that its government employees are lobbying Congress to not only increase their pay, but to exempt them from the impact of the spending cuts scheduled to kick in?

There is a full-scale attack on the privacy Americans have taken for granted, protected by the fourth Amendment that says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

On November 14th, the Heritage Foundation asked “Do you trust the government with your computer?” The government has had “13 breaches and failures of its own cybersecurity just in the last six months.” Even so, “the President and his allies in the Senate are pushing forward to regulate America’s cyber-doings, without any clues about how much this will cost or how it will work.”

“It has become the norm with this President—if Congress fails to accomplish his objectives, he goes around it with executive orders and federal regulations. He’s doing it again. Congress did not pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 before the election, so the President has issued a draft of an executive order to put much of that legislation in place without lawmakers voting.”

This is the very essence of tyranny and the President has had four years to perfect it. Are conservative think tanks the only ones paying any attention? It would appear so.

A new proposed law in the Senate would strip Americans of any privacy as they communicate with one another by email. A vote for the law would allow warrantless access to American’s email and is scheduled for a vote shortly. It would allow 22 federal agencies as well as state and local law enforcement to access one’s emails with nothing more than a subpoena. This is totally unconstitutional.

Already $16 trillion in debt, the government is looking for ways to take over the $3 trillion that is held in private retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and IRA’s. A recent hearing by the Treasury and Labor Departments addressed the nationalization of the nation’s pension system. The director of the National Senior’s Council, Robert Crone, warns “It is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.”

As we move closer to an Electoral College vote confirming Obama’s reelection, whistleblowers are coming forth in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere to reveal that significant voter fraud was a contributing factor, but it receives little or no media coverage. One must ask how 99% of votes in Philadelphia districts went to Obama and ask why nothing is being done to investigate this and other offenses such as the 141.1% of the vote recorded in Florida’s St. Lucie County. That is statistically impossible, but it robbed Rep. Allen West (R) of his seat in Congress.

This isn’t government. It is gangsterism. It is “the Chicago way.”

The monster Homeland Security Agency just graduated its first class of FEMA Corps, kids aged 18-24, recruited from the President’s Americorps volunteers, that will become a full time, paid standing army. Fears of FEMA camps abound and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, people seeking shelter and food were herded into one that resembled a concentration camp of the Nazi regime and told not to use various means of communication to contact the media or outside community. They went from hurricane victims to prisoners of the government.

In so many ways, the freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution are in danger of disappearing along with the separation of powers it requires.

Little wonder that citizen’s petitions from a growing number of states are called for secession. Or that governors are refusing to set up the Obamacare exchanges required by a law that has taken control of twenty percent of the nation’s economy; their budgets held hostage to Medicaid.

On an individual level, people who have jobs are fearful of losing them. College graduates are fearful of the huge debt they carry for the loans they received. People wonder if they can afford to get married. Married couples fear the cost of having another child. Homeowners fear not being able to pay their mortgages. Seniors fear that their savings won’t last as they live longer.

There is ample reason to fear not only the collapse of the nation’s economy, but the loss of liberty in America.is the most fearful prospect of all.

(c) Alan Caruba, 2012

 

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.

 

NUGENT: Trampled by the Regulatory Beast – Washington Times

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NUGENT: Trampled by the Regulatory Beast – Washington Times.

Rule-minding zombies are overwhelming rugged individuals

By Ted Nugent – The Washington Times

Common-sense crusader John Stossel wrote in an Op-Ed on March 21, “Every year, federal government bureaucrats work hard to come up with some 80,000 pages of new and proposed regulations. That’s a lot of pages – 23 feet high if you stack them in one pile.”

Just a few months ago, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report detailing the number of new regulations along with the cost of these regulations to American businesses. The results of the report should be the second “shot heard ‘round the world.”

The report said the Obama administration has “imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over 10 years.” The report also identified more than 200 more “economically significant regulations” on the drawing board that will cost businesses more than $20 billion over 10 years.

The Heritage Foundation released a report titled “Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark.” In an interview with Diane Katz, co-author of the Heritage Foundation report, said, “In calendar year 2011 alone, the Obama administration issued 32 new major regulations. Those are regulations with anticipated costs exceeding $100 million a year. Those 32 regulations will impose a minimum of $10 billion in new regulatory costs along with almost $7 billion more in what are one-time implementation costs.”

And “we the people” will pay more wasted tax dollars to accomplish nothing but more bureaucratic waste and abuse of power. Know that.

I want to know just what in the heck happened to my country.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

Job Killers – John Stossel – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Job Killers – John Stossel – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Job Killers - John Stossel - Townhall Conservative Columnists

Politicians say they “create jobs.” In fact, only the private sector generates the information needed to create real, productive jobs.

Since this current post-recession job recovery is the slowest in 80 years, you’d think that even know-it-all politicians would want to sweep away the labyrinth of government regulations that hinders job creation. Successful job creators like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Staples founder Tom Stemberg tell me there are so many new rules and taxes today that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to create the thousands of jobs they once made.

The feds now have 160,000 pages of rules. Does anyone read all that? I doubt it. (Members of Congress don’t read the bills they vote on.) Do the rules make life safer? No. A few new rules are useful, but most are not. Their sheer volume makes us less safe and less free.

In fact, the thick rulebooks help cheaters by giving them an indecipherable screen to hide behind. They also mislead consumers by giving them the illusion of protection. “I don’t need to worry because regulation protects me.” It’s why some sophisticated people gave all their savings to Bernie Madoff.

A false sense of security is worse than none at all.

And the waste! Americans will spend $46 billion a year to obey just the new regulations the Obama administration imposed. Think of the money diverted to lawyers, accountants and “compliance officers” — money that might have created jobs and financed products that could make our lives better.

Alison Fraser, who keeps track of these things for the Heritage Foundation, points out that George W. Bush’s administration was a big regulator, too. “President Bush … had 28 major new rules passed in the first three years alone,” said Fraser. “We’ve had a virtual explosion — almost a regulatory assault on our system of free enterprise and on our job creators.”

The mainstream media portray Bush as a deregulator and blame his nonexistent deregulation for the housing and financial debacle. But the opposite is true. Bush hired thousands of new regulators. He only looks good in comparison to Obama — which is not saying much.

Advocates of regulations don’t acknowledge the law of unintended consequences. The Department of Energy demands energy-efficient appliances. But the extra cost deters some consumers from buying new appliances, so they stick with the old, wasteful ones.

On top of doing little good, endless rules kill the freedom that made America the land of opportunity. We preach entrepreneurship, and try to teach children the value, satisfaction and excitement of starting their own businesses. Then we let entrepreneurial opportunity be crushed under the weight of the regulatory state. The byzantine rules send this message to Americans: Don’t try. Don’t build anything. Don’t innovate. Don’t create anything new.

Let’s not overlook the fact that big businesses often have no problem with this. They frequently benefit from complex regulation because it increases the chance that potential competition won’t even get off the ground. Big business’s hand has been behind the regulatory state at least back to the Progressive Era.

I could give you endless examples of small businesses crushed by big government. Here are two:

Shelly Goodman paid millions to buy a 13,000-square-foot mansion on 10 acres in Arizona in order to create a wedding reception center and bed-and-breakfast. Local bureaucrats forced her to spend thousands of dollars on studies to show that her business would not create burdensome traffic or noise. She did. The studies said it wouldn’t. Yet the big house sits empty because her local government refuses to let her operate a business, even on her own property.

In Virginia, Greg Garrett started farming oysters. His neighborhood is zoned for livestock. He could raise buffalo, but local bureaucrats decreed that he could not sell oysters. Why not? My staff talked to the zoning official, and we still have no clue. That’s the case with a lot of American law. It’s arbitrary power. Regulations are so numerous and complex that no one really understands them. This diminishes our ability to flourish.

Big government makes us all small.

Why Obama Will Lose in November – Tea Party Nation

Why Obama Will Lose in November – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

I received a campaign letter from Michelle Obama the other day. This is especially surprising because I am a registered Republican; hardly a likely prospect to contribute to her husband’s reelection efforts.

“Every day I learn about the challenges and the struggles—the doctor bills they can’t pay or the mortgage they can no longer afford,” said the text. The “fairness” theme, a socialist meme, was expressed. “American prospers when we are all in this together, when hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded, when everyone—from Main Street to Wall Street—does their fair share and plays by the same rules.”

The fact is, however, America has not been prospering for the last four years during which Barack Obama has been President. And everyone knows it. The U.S. sovereign debt rating was downgraded for the first time while he occupied the Oval Office. Federal spending (25% of GDP) is the highest since World War Two. Federal debt (67% of GDP) is the highest since just after the end of World War Two, and the nation has experienced, not only the longest recession, but the highest unemployment since the 1930s.

In the first nineteen months of his time in office, Obama added more federal debt than was amassed by all U.S. Presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.

I have two theories about the November 6 election. (1) That it will be an overwhelming defeat for Obama or (2) that it will be so close we could see a situation comparable to the Bush-Kerry election in 2004. Had Kerry won, the vice president would have been John Edwards who was carrying on an affair during that campaign and who currently faces jail for misuse of campaign funds.

Obama’s Achilles’ heel is, of course, Obamacare. As Robert Bluey of The Heritage Foundation notes, recent polls indicate that 53% of Americans favor repeal and more than half (57%) say that the Supreme Court should strike it down as unconstitutional. Fully 60% of physicians believe the law will have a negative impact on overall patient care.

The Congressional Budget Office revisited Obamacare this past week and concluded that 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits and 49 million more Americans could become dependent on government-sponsored health care. Projecting through 2022, Obamacare could cost as much as $2.134 billion and the employer-mandate penalties could hit $221 billion.

There’s another reason why Michelle Obama was writing to me last week. As Karl Rove noted in a Wall Street Journal March 14 commentary, “Many of Mr. Obama’s 2008 donors are reluctant to give again” to his campaign. “As the Obama campaign itself reported, fewer than 7% of 2008 donors renewed their support in the first quarter of his re-election campaign, well below the typical renewal rate.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee are burning through current donations so fast that the White House has told this year’s congressional candidates that they will not receive any funding support for their campaigns because Obama needs all the money.

While Obama’s 2012 campaign is already showing signs of stress, other issues will impose great pressure. Unemployment affects most American families either directly or because some member of the family or a friend is unemployed. Even the unemployed vote!

The price of gasoline continues to rise and there is nothing the White House can do to reduce it. Releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that exists for use only in an emergency will not do it and Americans are well aware that this administration has opposed or thwarted every effort to drill for more oil on federal lands. The failures of “green energy” companies that have cost Americans billions in loan guarantees are well known. A President who hypes “algae” as an energy solution will be seen as a fool and/or a complete charlatan.

Recent polls indicate how close the 2012 election may be. Obama has lost ground among female voters. In a head-to-head match-up with Mitt Romney, women voters back Obama 49%, but that is seven points lower than 2008. A Rasmussen poll found that 59% of likely voters asked whether Obama is more liberal or more conservative than they are answered that he was more liberal. Of these likely voters, 65% who are also union members thought Obama was more liberal than themselves.

Polling firms have been asking Americans to self identify themselves as conservative or liberal for decades. In February 2012, Gallup polling revealed “that in every single state with the exception of Massachusetts” conservatives outnumbered liberals. The Battleground Poll conducted by George Washington University in collaboration with Democrat and Republican polling organizations found that 58% of Americans described themselves as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative”, while only 37% described themselves as “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.”

A conservative campaign message will win in 2012 and this explains why the Republican primaries are all about candidates striving to describe themselves as a “true conservative.”

Even the mainstream media show indications of less Obama support. When even The Washington Post rejects Obama’s lies about U.S. oil reserves, as it did on March 15th, it suggests there may be a growing, wider level of disenchantment with the man they embraced in 2008.

Obama will lose in November. It may be a very close election or it may be an overwhelming rejection, but the polling numbers and the state of the economy will be the deciding factors.

Memo to Michelle Obama: The “fairness” message is not working. The appalling failures—“stimulus” anyone?—of Obama’s first term will ensure that there will be no second term.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Obama Administration Regulations Cost Over $16 Billion in 2011 – Heritage.org

BARACK OBAMA SHOWS HIS TRUE SELF MORE EACH AND...

BARACK OBAMA SHOWS HIS TRUE SELF MORE EACH AND EVERY DAY.............ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION AMERICA...... TO WHAT THIS MAN TRULY IS AND STANDS FOR AND WHAT HE'S DOING TO OUR COUNTRY? (Photo credit: SS&SS)

Obama Administration Regulations Cost Over $16 Billion in 2011 – Heritage.org.

Mike Brownfield

If you fly across the country, it’s easy to see signs of America’s ingenuity and productivity — skyscrapers in New York City, steel mills in Pennsylvania, factories in Chicago, farmland in the Great Plains, and the glittering technology of Silicon Valley. But what you can’t see, though it’s very real, is the invisible web of red tape crawling forth from Washington, crisscrossing the landscape, strangling job creators, tying down entrepreneurs, and tangling America’s engine of innovation in a mess of regulations. Under the Obama Administration, those endless miles of government-imposed directives has kept getting longer, as The Heritage Foundation reveals in a new study released today.

In our “Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three Year Mark” report, James Gattuso and Diane Katz detail how the Obama Administration has imposed new regulations costing $46 billion annually, with nearly $11 billion more in one-time implementation costs. That is about five times the cost of regulations imposed during all eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration, but the burden is even higher. The red tape of the past three years helps explain why the economic recovery has been so slow and job creation so anemic.

Don’t take our word for it, but those of President Obama himself. In January 2011, he said that “rules have gotten out of balance” and “have a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” And he’s right. Where the President breaks with reality is his pledge for a get-tough policy on overregulation and a comprehensive review of regulations imposed by Washington. In fact, to hear President Obama tell the story, you would think he’s a champion of slashing red tape and that his Administration has set its sights on slashing overregulation.

Just two months ago, in his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama claimed that “I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.” But looking at the sheer number of regulations doesn’t begin to tell the story. While it’s true that the Obama Administration approved 10,215 regulations in its first three years, just slightly less than Bush’s 10,674, it’s important to look at what those regulations are and their impact on the American people and industry — and how their costs have vastly overshadowed those of the prior administration.

Over just the last year, the Obama Administration has added 32 regulations that together impose more than $10 billion in annual costs and $6.6 billion in one-time implementation costs. Those regulations include mandates covering a broad range of activities and products, ranging from refrigerators and freezers to clothes driers to air conditioners, limits on automotive emissions, employer requirements for posting federal labor rules, product labeling, health plan eligibility under Obamacare, and higher minimum wages for foreign workers. The most expensive regulation came from the Environmental Protection Agency, which added five major rules at a cost of more than $4 billion annually.

Gattuso and Katz write that this tide of regulation isn’t going to end any time soon thanks to the new regulations expected under the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, Obamacare, and the EPA’s carbon-emissions-cutting crusade. Unnecessary regulations, they write, are a threat to America’s already-weak economy and much-needed job creation:

In much the same way that high taxes hamper investment and innovation, escalating regulatory costs undermine the American economy. Small businesses in particular are under siege. When surveyed in December 2011 about their single biggest problem, 19 percent of respondents cited regulations and red tape, up from 15 percent a year ago, and more than any other category except for “poor sales.”

But regulations are not just a problem for entrepreneurs. American workers and their families have been hit hard by the persistent lack of job creation that results, in part, from regulatory excess. Meanwhile, regulatory costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and limited product choices.

What’s to be done about the explosive growth of red tape? Gattuso and Katz call for additional congressional oversight, writing that it is necessary to protect Americans and the economy from overregulation. Congress should require congressional approval of new major rules promulgated by agencies, establish a congressional office of regulatory analysis in order to provide a non-partisan analysis of the cost and effectiveness of regulations, and establish a sunset date for federal regulations in order to ensure that substantive review of existing regulations continually occurs.

On top of the thousands of regulations the Obama Administration has already implemented — costing America billions of dollars — more are on the way, promising to continue to drag down the economy and hamper job growth. Congress can and should take action to get this regulatory burden under control so that Americans can be free to get the country’s economic engine moving at full throttle once again.

Big Lies on Big Oil – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative Columnists

English: Undiscovered technically recoverable ...

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Big Lies on Big Oil – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

How much truth is there in President Obama’s latest favorite mantra that we consume a disproportionate share of the world’s oil, especially considering how little of the world’s reserves we have?

Recently, Obama said: “But here’s the thing about oil. We have about 2, maybe 3, percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. We use 25 percent of the world’s oil. So think about it. Even if we doubled the amount of oil that we produce, we’d still be short by a factor of five.”

First, let’s look at the raw numbers and then examine Obama’s misleading framing of the issue. This is important because he uses these statistics to justify his reckless expenditure of federal funds to pursue alternative “green” energy sources, such as the disgraceful and scandalous Solyndra project.

The United States has some 20 billion barrels of oil in reserves. By “reserves” we’re talking “proven” reserves, meaning those that are certain to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. That is, we have 20 billion barrels of oil that is recoverable at current prices and under lands currently available for development.

That definition excludes many oil reserves that Obama has declared off-limits. According to the Institute for Energy Research, we have more than 1.4 trillion barrels of oil that is technically recoverable in the United States with existing technology. The largest deposits are located offshore, in portions of Alaska and in shale deposits in the Rocky Mountain states. So the United States has more recoverable oil than the rest of the non-North American world combined. The Heritage Foundation says this is enough to fuel every passenger car in the nation for 430 years. Therefore, “it is merely semantics — not a scientific assessment of what America has the capacity to produce — that allows critics to claim repeatedly that America is running out of energy.”

When you add in recoverable resources from Canada and Mexico, the total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. “To put this in context, Saudi Arabia has about 260 billion barrels of oil in proved reserves.”

Another critical point: Even using the restrictive definition of reserves Obama is using, the 20-billion barrel figure is misleading, because Obama is clearly implying it is a fixed, or static, number — as though with every barrel of oil we consume, we are pushing the oil energy doomsday clock another second toward the apocalypse. But in fact, that number is not static, but constantly in flux.

The institute tells us that in 1980, for example, the United States had 30 billion barrels of oil in reserves. But over the next 30 years — through 2010 — we produced 77 billion barrels. Now, how can it be that we produced almost 2 1/2 times more oil than we had available, consumed a great deal and still ended up with plenty left over?

Obama’s own Energy Information Administration is predicting a steady increase in reserves on land currently available for exploration. Heritage’s David Kreutzer says, “It projects that improvements in technology and the economics of extraction, production, and sales actually will lead to a 23.7 percent increase in U.S. reserves — even after extracting billions of barrels of oil in the interim.”

There’s more. Obama’s formulation conflates two different measures. True, we might have only between 2 and 3 percent of the world’s recoverable reserves — as narrowly and misleadingly defined — but we don’t consume 25 percent of the world’s oil reserves, which is what Obama wants you to believe. We consume closer to 22 percent — but it’s not of reserves; it’s of the world’s oil production. But, as Heritage notes, “we consume about 22 percent of the world’s production of everything,” not just oil. Consumption is determined by income, not by available resources — and for those who are always knocking the United States, we also produce about 22 percent of the world’s total output of all goods and services.

Admittedly, we don’t produce 22 percent of the world’s total oil output; it’s more like 6 to 10 percent. But experts say this number will increase even if we don’t access the other abundant sources that Obama has declared off-limits.

For overblown and in some cases completely fabricated environmental concerns, Obama is preventing us from greatly expanding the pie of our oil reserves, from offshore drilling to Alaska to Keystone to fracking, and at the same time throwing government money down the ratholes of projects that aren’t sound and economically prudent enough to warrant substantial private investment dollars.

He’s told us he wants to bankrupt the coal industry, get us out of gas-driven cars and into electrical clunkers and onto bike paths, and increase the price of gas.

Why don’t we believe him?

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, “Crimes Against Liberty,” was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks.

Women Speak Out: Obamacare Mandate Tramples on Religious Liberty

Women Speak Out: Obamacare Mandate Tramples on Religious Liberty.

Sarah Torre

Anyone who hasn’t heard the women’s voices speaking out against the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate over the past few weeks hasn’t been listening very well. Yesterday, to make sure they’re heard, women from diverse backgrounds gathered at Heritage to join their voices with countless others in dispelling the myths about mandate and denouncing the Administration’s most recent assault on liberty.

On Monday, The Heritage Foundation and the National Review Institute hosted “Women Speak Out: Obamacare Tramples Religious Liberty.” Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (R–NY) joined policy experts and faith leaders to discuss how religious liberty has become an early casualty in Obamacare’s collision course with freedom.

“This is not an issue of birth control or of contraception, or abortion, or sterilization,” Buerkle stated. “This is an issue of First Amendment rights.”

The anti-conscience mandate will force employers to provide coverage and pay for abortion-inducing drugs, such as Plan B and the “week-after” pill ella, in addition to contraception and sterilization. The mandate’s offensively narrow religious exemption fails to protect many religious employers such as schools, hospitals, and social service groups, some of whom hold deep religious and moral objections to providing for such services.

“There are no adequate conscience protections in this mandate for mercy in society given by the church,” explained Maggie Karner, director of Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod’s Life and Health Ministries. She continued:

For religious people, mercy is not confined to our houses of worship. It is not about caring for ourselves. It is about caring for others, those outside the walls of the sanctuary and in the most needful areas of our society.… But we can only do so if we are given the freedom to work within the framework of our beliefs. The anti-conscience mandate does not allow that. It does not allow for the free exercise of our First Amendment rights.

Backed into a corner, where the only routes of escape from the coercive mandate are violating deeply held beliefs or paying steep fines, some non-exempted religious employers will face the tragic third possibility of closure.

“For the very first time my conscience will cost me a federal fine. Whose ends does that serve?” asked Kate O’Beirne, president of the National Review Institute. “Not the employees who currently have health insurance they’re presumably happy with.… Fewer sick people cared for, fewer children educated, fewer hungry fed—that’s the effect of millions of dollars in federal fines.”

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing four religious organizations in lawsuits against the Obama Administration.

“We have a Constitution that protects the religious freedom of these organizations,” Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund, stated. “It protects the religious freedom of the women and the men in these organizations, and they’re just asking that they be able to continue enjoying that religious freedom. This mandate hurts religious organizations. It hurts the people they serve. It’s unconstitutional.”

As Pia de Solenni, ethicist and owner of Diotima Consulting, explained: “This goes much broader than most religious groups because it’s about freedom per se. It’s about whether or not individuals have the rights to make decisions for themselves.… Are we as human beings so incompetent that we cannot make decisions for ourselves about our own health care covering the needs that we want?”

Hadley Heath, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum—a group that has no religious stake in the debate but sees in the erosion of our first freedom an implicit attack on all our liberties—explained:

The new health law simply expands government’s role too far. This will be destructive for our constitutional design for government, for individual choice in the marketplace, and for the marketplace of ideas. In other words, at its core, Obamacare is anti-Constitution, anti-choice, and anti-competition.

It should surprise no one that a law that limits competition, restricts personal choice, and surrenders power over health care decisions to government bureaucrats would be used to run roughshod over religious liberty. As Buerkle explained:

The very essence of the health care law—the very essence of it—is that the government will tell you what your health care is going to be. So it is absolutely a logical sequence that we now have the government stepping in and saying, “Okay, we’re going to pick your conscience issues.”… This rule is nothing more than a continuation of what we’ve seen. It is just the government way overstepping its bounds.… You have the rights. You shouldn’t be going to them for permission.… We need to get government back to its proper role.

Obamacare tramples on the right to the free exercise of religion, specifically, and individual freedom, generally, and should be repealed. Until that happens, these and many other women will be in the same place they’ve been since the beginning of the anti-conscience mandate debate: standing up for religious liberty and fighting for individual freedom.

For more on this issue, watch our video: Religious Liberty: Obamacare’s First Casualty.

Whitewashing History, Obama Style – Heritage.com

Whitewashing History, Obama Style – Heritage.com.

If U.S. history is a painting on a giant canvas, President Barack Obama’s speech this week in Osawatomie, Kansas, is a thick coat of whitewash layered all over it, and the failure of the last three years lies underneath. The President’s pretense is that, no, it’s not Obamanomics that has caused persistent unemployment, stunted growth and record deficits–it’s supply side economics!

Talk about audacity.

The President’s speech was a naked portrayal of his vision of America–one where inequality runs rampant, where the American dream is nearly dead, where the rich oppress the poor, where education is undervalued. As Charles Krauthammer observes this morning in The Washington Post, “That’s the kind of damning observation the opposition brings up when you’ve been in office three years.”

Indeed, what was glaringly absent from the President’s portrait was the fact that his economic policies have failed to put Americans back to work and his absolute inability to lead Washington toward combating rampant government spending. His solution, moreover, was more of the same stuff that has failed spectacularly for him: government as the great savior.

But in President Obama’s mind, it is others who offer ideas that don’t work, not him. He points to “a certain crowd in Washington” that argues for tax cuts and reduced regulations, calling it “a simple theory” that “fits well on a bumper sticker” but “has never worked.”

Correction, Mr. President. It has worked–time and time again throughout history. The trouble is, Mr. Obama has never tried it, and the Keynesian economic policies he enacted fell flat on their face, just as they have throughout history.

It started with a massive $787 billion stimulus bill that White House economists predicted would create (not merely save) 3.3 million net jobs by 2010. It was Keynesian economics at its finest, based on the premise that government spending would spark demand and put Americans back to work.

It didn’t. Some 13.3 million Americans remain out of work, the unemployment rate has hovered between 8 and 10 percent throughout Obama’s presidency, and economic growth has been stuck on slow. In fact, today America is witnessing the longest stretch of such high unemployment in the postwar era. Meanwhile, job creation has hit a record low, as Heritage’s James Sherk explains:

Fewer existing businesses are expanding, while fewer entrepreneurs are starting new businesses. In the first quarter of 2011, the number of workers hired in new business establishments fell to just 660,000, 27 percent fewer than when the recession began. This is the lowest number of workers hired at new businesses that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded–lower even than the worst points of the recession.

Yet despite these numbers — and the fact that President Obama had near-free rein to enact the Keynesian economic policies he saw fit — the President is now demagoguing the one economic policy he hasn’t tried — supply-side economics — while calling for more government spending all as America’s debt is deepening. He would do better to study history and get a grasp of how cutting taxes and freeing the market has worked when employed by both Democrats and Republicans.

Lowering tax rates, thereby allowing people to keep and invest more of the money that is rightfully theirs, has proven good for the economy time and time again. In the 1920s, 1960s, and 1980s, tax rate reductions resulted in faster growth, rising incomes, and more job creation. And despite the President’s claim that cutting taxes only helps the rich, when tax rates were lowered in those decades, higher-income Americans paid an even greater share of the tax burden because they had fewer reasons to hide, shelter, and under-report income. But if taxes are increased — as President Obama continues to threaten — the price of working, saving, investing, and taking risks goes up, too.

History bears this out. Daniel Mitchell writes that in the 1920s, under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, the top tax rate was reduced from 73 percent to 25 percent. The result? The economy expanded, growing by 59 percent between 1921 and 1929, with annual economic growth averaging more than 6 percent. Under President Kennedy, the top rate dropped from 91 percent in 1963 to 70 percent by 1965. The result? Between 1961 and 1968, the economy expanded by more than 42 percent, with average annual growth of more than 5 percent. Under President Reagan, the top tax rate fell from 70 percent in 1980 to 28 percent by 1988, leading to incredible economic expansion and average growth of nearly 4 percent. Finally, in the six quarters following the 2003 tax cuts, the GDP’s growth rate shot up to 4.1 percent from 1.7 percent before.

But the President doesn’t have to take The Heritage Foundation’s word for it. He can heed the words of President Kennedy in his 1962 speech to the Economic Club of New York:

Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.

Unfortunately, President Obama does not appear open to advice, nor does he seem cognizant of history–be it that of 10, 20, 40, or 90 years ago, or even his experience of the last three years. Instead, he is damning the torpedoes and continuing to pursue a liberal, progressive agenda that has proven to be a failure. As they have for the past three years, Americans will pay the price.