Category Archives: Federal Government

Gaming The Government Shut Down

obama
President Hard At Work

We all enjoy a good story, although I prefer the charms of reality to fantasy (what the Left apotheosizes). As the debt continues to stack up the Left squawks with ass-cracking pitch in redirecting blame for the shutdown away from Harry Reid and the Obama administration's jump ball routine onto Ted Cruz, the Tea Party and the rest of the impotent backwater Republicans. Details being what they are, I suggest we prepare a brief timeline for our convenience, shall we...

Sept 20th: The GOP-led House votes to keep government funded through Dec 15th, but only if the president agrees to defund Obamacare.

Sept 24/25: Ted Cruz makes his 21 hour long filibuster, railing against ObamaCae and advocating a shutdown unless the Democrates make the outlined compromises on the health care law.

Sept 27th: The Democratic-led Senate rejects and removes the House-passed defunding of ObamaCare, sends bill back to the House.

Sept 29th: GOP-led House changes its demands from defunding ObamaCare to delaying the implementation of the law for one year and repealing its tax on medical devices.

Sept 30th: The Senate says NO to the reworked House proposal. Bill returned to the House, who once again rework their demands. This time, instead of the Sept 29th provision, the House GOP ask that the president delay for one year ObamaCares 'individual mandate' to buy insurance; and that the president require Congress and its staff to pay unsubsidized health insurance costs. The Senate rejects those provisions, and so…

Oct 1st: The partial shutdown begins and 800,000 government workers furloughed.

Oct 2-9th: The GOP-led House begins approving bills to restart popular government programs, including the national parks and museums, National Institute of Health medical research, FEMA, the FDA, and Head Start. The Democratic-led Senate ignores or reject these actions as 'piecemeal' governance and incentivizing the GOP to keep the shutdown going on longer.

Oct 10th: Boehner proposes a six-week debt limit extension with the compromise that Obama discuss spending cuts. The House leaders meet the president and no agreement.

Oct 11-14th: A bipartisan group of senators work on a bill to reopen government and avoid defat. Harry Reid and McConnell begin their talks to extend the debt limit and reopen the federal government.

Oct 15th: After much talk the House votes on a new bill to end the shutdown and extend the debt limit, that ultimately collapsed when Boehner asserted he did not have the votes. The deal required Congress to pay more for its own health insurance. Democrats said no, and the 'tea portion' of the GOP rejected the proposal because it didn't go far enough to fight ObamaCare.

Oct 16th: The Senate comes to a deal to temporarily halt the shutdown and extend the debt limit. It passes both the House and Senate shortly before midnight.

Oct 17th: The president signs the deal into law, shortly after midnight.

What was the ultimate result for the GOP? Seemingly nothing but further suspicion and distrust from the majority of citizens who don't follow every hiccup in the hoochie coochie sideshow that passes for political activity in this country these days. It is always good to remember that the House is charged with originating all spending bills. If you check the Congressional Record you will find that the GOP-controlled House voted all the money required to keep all government activities going—except for Obamacare. That is the salient point in finding fault for this terrible waste of time and taxpayer money.

—Adapted from online comment by Lynda Groom

Andrew Jackson Abolishes The Central Bank

One hundred and fourscore years ago this month, President Andrew Jackson gave the following speech stipulating why he was closing the United States Bank.

President Andrew Jackson
President Andrew Jackson
A BANK OF THE UNITED STATES is in many respects convenient for the Government and useful to the people. Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the belief that some of the powers and privileges possessed by the existing Bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive of the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people, I felt it my duty, at an early period of my administration, to call the attention of Congress to the practicability of organizing an institution combining all its advantages, and obviating these objections. I sincerely regret that, in the act before me, I can perceive none of those modifications of the Bank charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country.

Every monopoly, and all exclusive privileges, are granted at the expense of the public, which ought to receive a fair equivalent. The many millions which this act proposes to bestow on the stockholders of the existing Bank must come directly or indirectly out of the earnings of the American people. It is due to them, therefore, if their Government sell monopolies and exclusive privileges, that they should at least exact for them as much as they are worth in open market. The value of the monopoly in this case may be correctly ascertained. The twenty-eight millions of stock would probably be at an advance of fifty per cent, and command in market at least forty-two millions of dollars, subject to the payment of the present bonus. The present value of the monopoly, therefore, is seventeen millions of dollars, and this the act proposes to sell for three millions, payable in fifteen annual installments of two hundred thousand dollars each.

It is not conceivable how the present stockholders can have any claim to the special favor of the Government. The present corporation has enjoyed its monopoly during the period stipulated in the original contract. If we must have such a corporation, why should not the Government sell out the whole stock, and thus secure to the people the full market value of the privileges granted? Why should not Congress create and sell twenty-eight millions of stock, incorporating the purchasers with all the powers and privileges secured in this act, and putting the premium upon the sales into the Treasury.

It has been urged as an argument in favor of rechartering the present Bank, that the calling in its loans will produce great embarrassment and distress. The time allowed to close its concerns is ample; and if it has been well managed, its pressure will be light, and heavy only in case its management has been bad. If, therefore, it shall produce distress, the fault will be its own: and it would furnish a reason against renewing a power which has been so obviously abused. But will there ever be a time when this reason will be less powerful? To acknowledge its force is to admit that the Bank ought to be perpetual; and, as a consequence, the present stockholders, and those inheriting their rights as successors, be established a privileged order, clothed both with great political power and enjoying immense pecuniary advantages from their connection with the Government. The modifications of the existing charter, proposed by this act, are not such, in my views, as make it consistent with the rights of the States or the liberties of the people.

Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a Bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country. The president of the Bank has told us that most of the State banks exist by its forbearance. Should its influence become concentered, as it may under the operation of such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory, whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace, and for the independence of our country in war. Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it; but if this monopoly were regularly renewed every fifteen or twenty years, on terms proposed by themselves, they might seldom in peace put forth their strength to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation. But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers, or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.

Should the stock of the Bank principally pass into the hands of the subjects of a foreign country, and we should unfortunately become involved in a war with that country, what would be our condition? Of the course which would be pursued by a bank almost wholly owned by the subjects of a foreign power, and managed by those whose interests, if not affections, would run in the same direction, there can be no doubt. All its operations within would be in aid of the hostile fleets and armies without. Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than the naval and military power of the enemy…

It is maintained by the advocates of the Bank, that its constitutionality, in all its features, ought to be considered as settled by precedent, and by the decision of the Supreme Court. To this conclusion I cannot assent. Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power, except where the acquiescence of the people and the States can be considered as well settled. So far from this being the case on this subject, an argument against the Bank might be based on precedent. One Congress, in 1791, decided in favor of a bank; another, in 1811, decided against it. One Congress, in 1815, decided against a bank; another, in 1816, decided in its favor. Prior to the present Congress, therefore, the precedents drawn from that source were equal. If we resort to the States, the expressions of legislative, judicial, and executive opinions against the Bank have been probably to those in its favor as four to one. There is nothing in precedent, therefore, which, if its authority were admitted, ought to weigh in favor of the act before me.

If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of this Government. The Congress, the Executive, and the Court, must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer, who takes an oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision…

It cannot be necessary to the character of the Bank as a fiscal agent of the Government that its private business should be exempted from that taxation to which all the State banks are liable; nor can I conceive it proper that the substantive and most essential powers reserved by the States shall be thus attacked and annihilated as a means of executing the powers delegated to the general government. It may be safely assumed that none of those sages who had an agency in forming or adopting our Constitution, ever imagined that any portion of the taxing power of the States, not prohibited to them nor delegated to Congress, was to be swept away and annihilated as a means of executing certain powers delegated to Congress…

Suspicions are entertained, and charges are made, of gross abuse and violation of its charter. An investigation unwillingly conceded, and so restricted in time as necessarily to make it incomplete and unsatisfactory, disclosed enough to excite suspicion and alarm. In the practices of the principal bank partially unveiled, in the absence of important witnesses, and in numerous charges confidently made, and as yet wholly uninvestigated, there was enough to induce a majority of the committee of investigation, a committee which was selected from the most able and honorable members of the House of Representatives, to recommend a suspension of further action upon the bill, and a prosecution of the inquiry. As the charter had yet four years to run, and as a renewal now was not necessary to the successful prosecution of its business, it was to have been expected that the Bank itself, conscious of its purity, and proud of its character, would have withdrawn its application for the present, and demanded the severest scrutiny into all its transactions. In their declining to do so, there seems to be an additional reason why the functionaries of the Government should proceed with less haste and more caution in the renewal of their monopoly…

I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained by my fellow citizens, I shall be grateful and happy; if not, I shall find in the motives which impel me ample grounds for contentment and peace. In the difficulties which surround us and the dangers which threaten our institutions there is cause for neither dismay nor alarm. For relief and deliverance let us firmly rely on that kind Providence which, I am sure, watches with peculiar care over the destinies of our republic, and on the intelligence and wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant goodness, and their patriotic devotion, our liberty and Union will be preserved.

President Andrew Jackson
Speech to Congress
July 10, 1832

The Supreme Court Speaks on Health Care Law

Obama's Ditch
Obama's Drive Into The Ditch
ALMOST FULLY GROUNDED AGAIN AFTER ALL the zetetic excitement yesterday, I say we take a more serious and sober look at what transpired yesterday, and then again, this morning as Chief Justice John Roberts read for the majority, and we boomeranged all around the Internet seeking solace in our hour of disenchantment. Of all that I have read and seen in video, TV, and slapshot Internet reporting, here is a most convincing snippet from commentator Jay Cost of The Weekly Standard. Cost seems to put the onus on the current administration to act quickly in this snatch and grab of power and policy if they want to salvage the so-called Affordable Health Care Act because a not so shabby portion of it is unconstitutional, and a greater part is vigorously disliked by the citizenry, despite its many wonderful features that heal the sick and raise the dead, or so you would be led to believe by its proponents:

[I]f you were more concerned about the qualitative expansion in the power of the government that the bill represented, it was definitely a win.

First, the Roberts Court put real limits on what the government can and cannot do. For starters, it restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause, which does not give the government the power to create activity for the purpose of regulating it. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe that the Constitution is a document which offers a limited grant of power.

Second, the Roberts Court also threw out a portion of the Medicaid expansion. States have the option of withdrawing from the program without risk of losing their funds. This is another major victory for conservatives who cherish our system of dual sovereignty. This was also a big policy win for conservatives; the Medicaid expansion was a major way the Democrats hid the true cost of the bill, by shifting costs to the states, but they no longer can do this.

Politically, Obama will probably get a short-term boost from this, as the media will not be able to read between the lines and will declare him the winner. But the victory will be short-lived. The Democrats were at pains not to call this a tax because it is inherently regressive: the wealthy overwhelmingly have health insurance so have no fear of the mandate. But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that.

Conservatives have a shot at getting the best of both worlds: having the Supreme Court use Obamacare as a way to limit federal power while also using the democratic process to overturn the law. I didn't think we could have one without the other, but now maybe we can.
If Obama loses in November, that is...

We have gotten into a bit of editorial trouble on Facebook this morning by reposting what turned out to be one of those overwrought but probably closer to the mark than the original bill's hidden intent has tried to hide, so we will just have to watch for the fall out over the next several months, but chances are Obama and his buddies in Congress are too busy running for re-election to spend too much time on an old toxic bill like this one, but will quietly work behind the scenes implementing all the necessary changes to the health care industry it deems choice and tasty while leaving the iffy parts of the bill to gather dust and excuses. Fundraising and speechifying, yep, he'll be there. And let this health bill interfere with his golf outings? God forbid. We have an absentee president, although I am sure I'm not the first one to notice this.

This Pernicious Affordable Health Care Act

Uncle Sam In Tears
Uncle Sam In Tears
Dear Citizen, and I include ALL my Leftist friends who I saw celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday. Have you even READ the damn thing? Shame on each and every one of you, and if you did, and are still supporting this pernicious bill to stand as the Law of the Land, I guess I have just inherited have a full-blown “enemies list” already built into my own Internet empire, so to speak. I have checked with Scopes on a few on these items, and yes, there is some right wing extrapolation to meet the challenge of left wing sneakiness. All sides will cry foul, but it's worth a perusal. This health bill is just plain awful, if not thoroughly evil, and surprise, surprise, my little darlings, explain to me (AS IF I DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW) why sharia-spirited Muslims and Congress are exempt...

If you have read all 2700 pages of THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT (for reasons of subversion I shall no longer refer to this document as Obamacare), I would not be jumping the shark to surmise that each of you are aware of the following conditions, and now a willing slave in chains and in spirit to Federal government in all its myriad of forms:

Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process).
Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None
Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN).
Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans).
Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens.
Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll.
• Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll.
• Page 167: Any individual who doesn't have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."

PLUS: OBAMA'S DARING MARK OF THE BEAST
There's a jarring, startling thing in the Obamacare Bill that 95% of Americans won't like.

The Obama Health care bill under Class II (Paragraph 1, Section B) specifically includes ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable." Then on page 1004 it describes what the term "data" means in paragraph 1, section B:

14 ‘‘(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to in
15 formation respecting a device described in paragraph (1),
16 including claims data, patient survey data, standardized
17 analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of
18 data from disparate data environments, electronic health
19 records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the
20 Secretary."

What exactly is a class II device that is implantable? Lets see...

Approved by the FDA, a class II implantable device is a "implantable radio frequency transponder system for patient identification and health information." The purpose of a class II device is to collect data in medical patients such as "claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary."

This sort of device would be implanted in the majority of people who opt to become covered by the public health care option. With the reform of the private insurance companies, who charge outrageous rates, many people will switch their coverage to a more affordable insurance plan. This means the number of people who choose the public option will increase. This also means the number of people chipped will be plentiful as well. The adults who choose to have a chip implanted are the lucky (yes, lucky) ones in this case.

CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM = CHIP

Children who are "born in the United States who at the time of birth are not otherwise covered under acceptable coverage" will be qualified and placed into the CHIP or Children's Health Insurance Program (what a convenient name). Children conceived by parents who are already covered under the public option will more than likely be implanted with a chip by the consent of the parent. Eventually everyone will be implanted with a chip. And with the price and coverage of the public option being so competitive with the private companies, the private company may not survive.

Florida AG Pam Bondi: How We'll Defeat Obamacare

Pam Bondi
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’s healthcare initiative is the biggest attempt at a government overreach in U.S. history, Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, who is leading the fight against the program, tells Newsmax.TV.

And that is why Bondi is confident the Supreme Court will vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act after three days of hearings next week.

“We’re optimistic that they will rule in our favor because this is so much bigger than healthcare,” said Bondi in an exclusive interview. “It’s the biggest attempt at an overreach in our history. So we have to fight it and we have to stop it.

“That’s why 26 states, along with the National Federation of Independent Business, are challenging this and that’s why we have been given an unprecedented amount of time, six hours, in front of the court.”

The hearing will start on Monday and go through Wednesday. Attorney Paul Clement will argue the states’ case before the nine justices, while solicitor general Donald Verrilli will defend the law.

“The bottom line is this: the Constitution’s limits on the federal power are real and they must be respected, even if they are inconvenient for the Obama administration’s goal to take over one-sixth of our economy,” said Bondi, a Republican.

The states’ main case is that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to insist that citizens buy anything, including health insurance. “If they can force us to do this, they can force us to do anything,” said Bondi.

Part of Bondi’s optimism is that there has already been a bipartisan decision in favor of striking down the law in the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. “People were playing the numbers game … saying we were going to lose because they had two Clinton appointees and a Bush appointee and look at the opinion we got out of it.”

She is confident that all Supreme Court justices will follow the law and not be guided by their own political views. “I believe when they hear our argument that they will know that this is such an overreach by the federal government,” she said.

Bondi said the Supreme Court case will be split into four distinct parts:

Read it all.

Forgive Us Our Debts

Ostrich
The Ostrich Revolution
FATHOM A FEW FACTS about our flipping national debt. LBJ's Great Society and a few other distractions—like the Vietnam war—stormed into 1969 and the Nixon era with buckets of deficit spending. Since then, the national debt has grown dramatically each decade, as shown below:

• In the 1970’s, the national debt more than doubled, from $366 billion to $829 billion.
• In the 1980’s, the national debt more than tripled, from $829 billion to $2.9 trillion.
• In the 1990’s, the national debt almost doubled again, from $2.9 trillion to $5.6 trillion.
• In the 2000’s, the national debt is projected to more than double again, from $5.6 trillion to $12.9 trillion (projected national debt at the end of fiscal year 2009).

Just for giggles and lollipops, let's analyze who was in charge of the Spending and Budget Authority—The House of Representatives:

In the 1970's the Democrats held the House all 10 years.
In the 1980's the Democrats held the House all 10 years.
In the 1990's the Democrats held the House for 4 and The Republicans for 6 years.
In the 2000's the Democrats held the House for 10 years.

The only time we ever balanced the budget was when the Republicans held the house in the 1990's during the Gingrich Revolution.

The anti-Constitutional Progressives give the credit to Bill Clinton—who was forced to accept the budgets from the Republican-dominated House. In addition—Clinton only got to a balanced budget by gutting the military and called it the "Peace Dividend" that rather quickly led to a tragic series of missteps that opened the door for 911.

Anyone who blames people who want to balance the budget and make excuses for fools who want to spend money we don't have and then raise taxes—is historically ILL-INFORMED and most often always DEMOCRAT to the core.

However, over time even the Republicans began to pitched gobs of cash wherever they could, just to make a good impression on the debtor nation the Democrats were grooming. Gotta keep them national defense and compassionate conservative votes coming, ya know.

National Debt Made Simple

Budget In Toilet
US Budget is in the Toilet...
THE US CONGRESS SETS a federal budget every year (Before Obama*) in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

* US income: $2,170,000,000,000
* Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to, so let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family:

* Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
* Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
* Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Amount cut from the budget: $385

So in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending? It's a start, although hardly an easy solution.

Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt). One would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state. To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders.

It will be brutally hard, but not impossible, to reverse course and to insist the government stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now. In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country. The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab…

—Marco Nolo

* Neither Congress nor POTUS have offered up a budget these past two fiscal years, contrary to constitutional and traditional mores.