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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Listening To A Liar
Thomas Sowell – Syndicated Columnist – 9/8/2009

The most important thing about what anyone says are not the words themselves but the credibility of the person Columnist-Thomas Sowellwho says them.

The words of convicted swindler Bernie Madoff were apparently quite convincing to many people who were regarded as knowledgeable and sophisticated.  If you go by words, you can be led into anything.

No doubt millions of people will be listening to the words of President Barack Obama Wednesday night when he makes a televised address to a joint session of Congress on his medical care plans.  But, if they think that the words he says are what matters, they can be led into something much worse than being swindled out of their money.

One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation’s medical care before the August recess – for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid.  If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years – more specifically, until the year after the next presidential election?

If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect?  And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next presidential election?

If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don’t we have time to go through the normal process of holding congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions?  What sense does it make to “hurry up and wait” on something that is literally a matter of life and death?

If we do not believe that the president is stupid, then what do we believe?  The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it.  Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be.

Unfortunately, this way of doing things is all too typical of the way this administration has acted on a wide range of issues.

Consider the “stimulus” legislation. Here the administration was successful in rushing a massive spending bill through Congress in just two days – after which it sat on the president’s desk for three days, while he was away on vacation.  But, like the medical care legislation, the “stimulus” legislation takes effect slowly.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will be September 2010 before even three-quarters of the money will be spent.  Some economists expect that it will not all be spent by the end of 2010.

What was the rush to pass it, then?  It was not to get that money out into the economy as fast as possible.  It was to get that money – and the power that goes with it – into the hands of the government.  Power is what politics is all about.

The worst thing that could happen, from the standpoint of those seeking more government power over the economy, would be for the economy to begin recovering on its own while months were being spent debating the need for a “stimulus” bill.  As the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, you can’t let a crisis “go to waste” when “it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”

There are lots of people in the Obama administration who want to do things that have not been done before – and to do them before the public realizes what is happening.

The proliferation of White House “czars” in charge of everything from financial issues to media issues is more of the same circumvention of the public and of the Constitution.  Czars don’t have to be confirmed by the Senate, the way Cabinet members must be, even though czars may wield more power, so you may never know what these people are like, until it is too late.

What Barak Obama says Wednesday night is not nearly as important as what he has been doing – and how he has been doing it.

Ron Bloom, the former United Steelworkers (USW) union bigwig appointed by President Barack Obama as “car czar” earlier this year is now poised to oversee ALL American manufacturing.

That’s right, a union boss whose forced unionism dogma destroys jobs, crushes employee free choice, and cripples the country’s competitiveness will soon be in charge of America’s entire industrial policy.

Also in a recent Washington Examiner, Kevin Mooney discusses new analysis of the “Obamacare” health care overhaul legislation from National Right to Work experts who have unearthed several disturbing provisions in the proposed bills that secretly intended to grant sweeping new forced unionism powers to union bosses.

Coupled with bailouts of $10 billion dollars and exclusive union access to lucrative federal grants, the union brass will now be placed in a policymaking and implementation role with respect to a statute intended to facilitate the forced unionization of nearly every health care employee.

History shows the future of union bosses who will abuse their newfound power to shut down medical facilities with sick-outs and strikes; force doctors, nurses, and in-home care providers to abandon their patients, so as to dictate terms and conditions of employment; and impose a failed, Detroit-style management model on the entire health care field.


Posted by straight shooter on September 7, 2009 under Economy, General, Health Care, Political, Social Concerns

To Congress:

  • The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 – you have had 234 years to get it right; it is still broke losing more every year.

  • Social Security was established in 1935 – you have had 74 years to get it right; it is still broke with many people on it who never paid into it.

  • Fannie Mae was established in 1938 – you have had 71 years to get it right; it is still broke.

  • The “War on Poverty” started in 1964 – you have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor”; it hasn’t worked and our entire country is broke.

  • Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 – you’ve had 44 years to get it right; they are still broke.

  • Freddie Mac was established in 1970 – you have had 39 years to get it right; it is broke.

  • Trillions of dollars were spent in the massive political payoffs called TARP, the “Stimulus”, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009… none show any signs of working, although ACORN appears to have found a new source of income: the American taxpayer.

And finally, to set a new record:

“Cash for Clunkers” was established in 2009! It took good dependable cars (that were the best some people could afford) and replaced them with high-priced and less-affordable cars, mostly Japanese. A good percentage of the profits went out of the country. And the American taxpayers take the hit for Congress’ generosity in burning three billion more of our dollars on failed experiments.

So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that “services” government provides fail, you want Americans to believe you can be trusted with a government-run health care system … 20% of our entire economy?

With all due respect,

Are you … crazy?


F o r m e r   C o m m u n i s t

Dear Fellow American,

Barack Obama and the socialist leadership in Congress are working furiously to change America!  They want to transform our nation and they’re spending trillions of tax dollars to do it.

I am not talking about the type of misery Jimmy Carter inflicted on our nation.  Conservatives were able to reverse the course Carter had put us on.  But what we’re seeing today isn’t like anything you and I have ever seen!  I’m talking about a whole scale, radical transformation of our nation.  From our national defense to our foreign policy to our free market economic system.  Obama and company have implemented and have plans to further implement massive government control over each of us.

Americans – your friends and neighbors – do not fully realize the radical changes Barack Obama and the socialists in Congress are foisting upon our way of life!

But you do. And I do as well. Today the Obamaites, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid – the small but powerful group of left-wing radicals who are at the controls of this transformation are all disciples of the 1960s radical Saul Alinsky. Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, was the Little Red Book for the college radicals of the 1960s. I know, I was one of them.

I understand better than most Alinsky’s deep, deep hatred of America. A hate that ran so deep he wrote a blueprint for tearing our nation down. And while I outgrew and repented my anti-Americanism and came to see how great and generous our country is, many agents of the radical left never grew up.  In fact, today many of them are leaders in Congress and in our White House, all embracing Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – the road map for turning our nation upside down.

With every passing day we see what lays behind the Administration’s piecemeal efforts to take over the car makers, the banks and the health care system: creating a new America that will bear little resemblance to the country in which we grew up.  You and I must counter this. The Freedom Center willingly takes on the Paul Revere role.  We have a massive media blitz planned detailing precisely the radical transformation we’re undergoing.

I am writing a new booklet that I must blanket on college campuses as the new school year starts.  This booklet – “Alinsky’s Rules for Obama’s Radicalism” – paints a clear picture of Barack Obama’s agenda for our nation.  And we have prepared an advertisement to run in papers around the country calling on Americans to derail this train before it’s too late.


David Horowitz

President & Founder of the Freedom Center

P.S. The idea that the disciples of Saul Alinsky – a man who so hated America he detailed a plan to tear it apart – are running our nation is hard to swallow. But the facts bear it out. Stand with me and the Freedom Center as we ride like Paul Revere across the nation and sound the alarm!

President Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, but he said something that still resonates today. Reagan said: “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”

Boy does that resonate! It sounds like President Reagan had the foresight to see the dangers of Obamacare.

Even more amazing is that Ronald Reagan spoke those words in 1961, before he ever ran for office. But Reagan’s comments are not surprising if you understand liberalism.

Creating a national health care system has been a major priority for the left wing for over 50 years! Time and again the Congress and the American people have rejected socialized medicine. Now Obama is pushing for a radical takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. But Obama is perhaps the most clever liberal ever. He knows the American people would never go for a national system like they have in Britain or Canada. So his plan calls for several steps prior to the Obamacare push to become a reality.

First, Obama lies and tells people “you keep your doctor, you keep your insurer.” At the same time he creates a “public option” – allowing any business to move its employees into the public system. He knows this will create a mass exodus from private insurers to the cheaper, taxpayer heavily subsidized public system. Meanwhile, he plans to add 40-50 million new patients – including illegal aliens – to the system.

Reagan understood that schemes like Obama’s are not about providing quality health care. It is about statism. It is about government control and dependence. It is a threat to your freedom.

There is a major assault being planned at this coming called full session of Congress. Obama is not calling this session to offer compromise. He plans on using his national address to Congress as a giant pep rally to ram his radical program through Congress. He wants the hoopla of a Congressional speech to overshadow his plummeting poll numbers, the mass protests we saw this summer at town halls across the nation and the growing anger toward his plan by Seniors. Nancy Pelosi stated unequivocally Congress will pass the Obamacare plan with the “public option” or whatever name it may be changed to by then but still the same animal. Any report of a compromise is just a stall maneuver by the Democrat’s far left agenda.

The American Voters can’t go on vacation. We can’t compromise with Obama and the radical Democrats. We need to fight back. Strike a blow for freedom, to stand with the principles of Ronald Reagan. We must hit the ground running after Labor Day.


Posted by straight shooter on September 7, 2009 under Economy, General, Patriotism, Political, Social Concerns

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, especially after all these non-elected czars being appointed. Then after watching this deal with Van Jones go down the concluding question is WHO in government actually cares about America, the people and the Constitution?

While the Van Jones controversy has been transpiring, where was the outrage from Congress, irrelevant of the party stripe, about a self avowed communist having the President’s ear. In addition to the communism thing, all of his other idiotic statements were out there, some for a long time, and still, nothing from Congress! Only after public outrage got vehement and was blasted all over Fox News (who themselves were way behind the curve on this), did some republican Congressmen voice their opposition to Jones being in any position of authority.

There should have been intense outrage at the lack of opposition from Congress. This makes me believe there are no patriots in Congress who took their roles and responsibilities, that We the People have charged them with – as in, upholding and defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic! Seriously, where were the brave men and women in the Congress who would rise up and put their collective foot down on this administration’s active erosion of civil rights and Constitutionality!? There was NOTHING on their sites about it. Nothing on the news (even Fox) from them about it. They were sitting back and being as quiet as the mainstream news, meanwhile Facebook, Blogs, Twitter and others were lit up and going insane crying out begging for someone, ANYONE to listen …

So as the democrats are actively looking to take this country into the realm of socialism/communism, the republicans are content to sit back and watch silently as the democrats drive the bus off the cliff! ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILLING TO LET THIS HAPPEN?

This should be an emphatic NO!!!!

Democrats, get out the hard left, this Marxist left you are in and surrounded by! Republicans, clean up your party and get your voice and feet to action, your silence is inept!

Maybe it’s time for another party … that is actually for the people?!

The “remaking” of America continues at breakneck speed. The man who occupies the Oval Office has made an appeal to the American people that the time for discussion is over and that socialized medicine in the form of so-called healthcare reform must be passed now. He said, “This is a problem we can no longer wait to fix. Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo – and those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is they’re defending.” Of course, there have been several news stories that the 1,018 page healthcare legislation has not even been read by the Congressmen who will vote on it.

If people would read the healthcare bills before Congress they would be astonished. The legislation mandates the use of taxpayer money to fund abortions. The legislation calls for a government tribunal of political appointees – not even elected officials – to determine who receives healthcare and under what conditions. This healthcare reform is tantamount to euthanasia for senior citizens. Obama told ABC News on June 24th that older people who didn’t have much longer to live were maybe “better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” Meaning that if you are no longer productive to society – translated, paying taxes – the government will decide you cannot receive life-prolonging treatment.

However that’s not all the government will control with this brand of healthcare reform. Page 16 of the healthcare bill specifically outlaws individual private coverage. In other words, you will not be able to buy insurance apart from a government-approved plan. Indeed, if you do not want to participate in socialized medicine, you have no choice … no matter what Obama and others say with their mouths! The IRS will have authority to fine you thousands of dollars a year if you cannot prove you are insured by a government approved plan. Small businesses will be required to provide the government health insurance at a tremendous cost, resulting in price increases on goods or closing the doors at unprecedented job losses.

Killing the pre-born; euthanizing the elderly; government appointed tribunals determining healthcare (referred to as the death panels); forcing government healthcare upon reluctant citizens; destroying jobs and causing inflation – these are just a few of the results of HR 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choice Act of 2009. Ironically the American people, and those in health care professions, will have no choice … the American people in their health choices, and the health care providers in their moral and ethical choices.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” This healthcare bill is immoral and Christians have a directive to stand for righteousness and morality. Let us speak boldly to all who will lend an ear, and after having done that … stand!

I have read extensively and have personal experience with universal health care. The real fact is that Obamacare … in its present 1,000-plus-page H.R. 3200 form … cannot and will not provide the remedy required for health care reform.

We know this Obamacare House bill grants government the authority to come into homes and usurp parental rights over child care and development. But did you know that the underlying source that is spearheading this initiative behind the scenes, as “adviser” to the Obama administration, is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist and breast oncologist and brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. And that his bible for health care reform is his book Healthcare, Guaranteed.

Dr. Emanuel has served as special adviser to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for health policy as far back as February, when he confessed to the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times that he was “working on (the) health care reform effort.” Was this the first draft of Obamacare?

If you want to know the future of America’s universal health care, then you must understand the health care principles and plans of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. It is far more than a coincidence how much Emanuel’s book parallels Obamacare’s philosophy, strategy and proposed legislation.

First, Emanuel rejects any attempts at incremental change or reform to our health care system (Page 185). What is needed, he concludes in his book (Page 171), is an immediate and totally comprehensive reconstruction of health care as we know it. That, of course, describes the vision of Obamacare to a T.

Second, in the chapter “Opening the Door to Comprehensive Change,” starting on Page 171 (which reads more like a political and mass-manipulating strategy than a health care manual), Emanuel drives home “a key political lesson: the need to rush the legislation through.” (Seen this methodology being used lately?!)

Third, as Obama crusades around the country pitching Obamacare, he continues to avoid giving virtually any specific details of the program. That, too, is a strategy of Emanuel’s: “Americans need to avoid the policy weeds. Focusing on details will only distract and create tangles and traps (Page 183).” So “details” of health care reform are “weeds”? That is why we continue to hear only warm and fuzzy generalities from Obama, such as, “If you’ve already got health care, the only thing we’re going to do for you is we’re going to reform the insurance companies so that they can’t cheat you.”

Fourth, Emanuel describes a comprehensive government health care program that is run completely by a national health board and 12 regional health boards (“modeled on the Federal Reserve System” — Page 83). Critics would say, “But that is not the national board as described in Obamacare or H.R. 3200.” Not yet, anyway. D oes anyone doubt that the duties and power of the national “Health Benefits Advisory Committee” will morph and grow over time? And what power will it wield when it is like the Federal Reserve?

Fifth, Emanuel believes in the “phasing out of Medicare (and) Medicaid (pages 88-89 and 94-95).” Could their eventual termination be the reason Obama’s administration won’t merely reform those programs to accommodate its universal health care desires?

Sixth, Emanuel believes in ending employer-based health care (pages 109-112). As any businessman knows, why would a company pay the exorbitant costs for employees’ private health insurance when it can benefit big-time from a free ticket for government health care coverage? Some have even proposed that provisions in the House’s health care legislation, under the titles “Limitation on new enrollment” and “Limitation on changes in terms or conditions” (Page 16 of H.R. 3200), could essentially make individual private medical insurance illegal.

Seventh, Emanuel believes a universal health care program could be paid for by phasing out Medicare and Medicaid, adopting a value-added tax of at least 10%, etc., and then allowing Americans themselves to “pay extra with after-tax dollars” (Page 100) for additional medical benefits (beyond the government program). The truth is that whether the money comes from higher corporate taxes, taxing employer-provided health insurance, eliminating health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts, limiting the deductibility of medical expenses, increasing taxes on selective consumptives or the middle class, etc., or all the above, trust me; sooner or later, we all will pay.

Eighth, enough has been written lately about Emanuel’s end-of-life counsel and consultation, including withholding his advice from The Hastings Center Report (in 1996) that medical care should be withheld from those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens. … An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

I find it striking that Obama’s ethics similarly have allowed him already to pass more laws increasing the terminations of life in the womb than any administration since Roe v. Wade. To add insult to injury, Congress repeatedly has rejected amendments to this universal health care bill that would prevent federal funds from being used for abortions.

In short, whether in title or not, Emanuel is Obama’s health care czar. Obamacare is a junior version of Emanuelcare. Or should I say the beginning stage of Emanuelcare? What’s almost eerie is how they both could be juxtaposed to intersect in full bloom sometime in America’s future.

One last thing: Someone once said, “If two people think so much alike, you can bet that one person is not thinking.”

Think about it!

Healthcare Rationing: Real Scary

By Newt Gingrich

Concerns about government bureaucracies gaining oversight of your treatment are not misplaced. We need reforms, but the answer is not central planning.

When Sarah Palin said that the emerging healthcare reform legislation would lead to “death panels” and government rationing of care, her language was explosive, but her premise about rationing was not.

The most critical test of any reform proposal is whether it will empower individuals or impose on them. It is a fact that the leading bills in Congress would increase the power of government and decrease individual freedom. You cannot spend an additional $1 trillion of taxpayer money and reduce the role of government. You will get new bureaucracies, more regulation, more complexity. That means you will have less control of your healthcare.

Disagree? Just read the versions of healthcare legislation:H.R.3200 in the House. One key proposal is to mandate an “essential benefit package” for every private insurance policy sold in the United States. Currently, individuals and employers usually make these coverage decisions. This legislation creates a new federal Health Benefits Advisory Committee that would decide instead. For example, if you are a single male with no children, the legislation still requires you to have maternity benefits and well-baby and well-child care coverage. You don’t want or don’t need that coverage? Sorry, you have to pay for it anyway.

Other planned agencies would give the federal government unprecedented and unaccountable control over your healthcare. The so-called Health Choices Administration and the National Health Insurance Exchange would set various standards for all health insurance policies. The president is also pushing for another new agency called the Independent Medicare Advisory Council. Described as a cost-control initiative, it would be made up of five government appointees who would, by determining Medicare reimbursement amounts, in essence decide what would be covered and what would not. The fear of government rationing is based on the premise that once government has such power, especially the ability to control what is covered by your private insurance policy, it also has the power to deny and restrict.

Those defending the House legislation claim rationing is not in any of its versions, and though that is technically true – no one wants rationing – the unprecedented power this legislation would grant to virtually unaccountable government agencies is all but certain to lead to rationing.

Consider Medicare, which is projected to go broke within the decade. As the baby-boom generation ages, it will put only more stress on the system. With more than 25% of all Medicare costs generated in the last two months of life, government already has the motive to ration care to the elderly. If the House legislation were to become law, these new government bureaucracies would then also potentially have the power. Are we supposed to trust that they won’t use it?

If such rationing occurs, rules will be needed to determine whether to spend federal healthcare dollars on a given individual. What might those rules look like? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a key healthcare advisor to President Obama and the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He co-wrote an academic article 09)60137- in January exploring the ethical challenges of valuing an individual’s life in the context of allocating medical resources that are very scarce, such as organs or vaccines.

As an example, he and his coauthors proposed a system of valuation that could take into account that “[a] young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses.”

In a 1996 article in another journal, Dr. Emanuel similarly hypothesized that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

Dr. Emanuel contends that he was exploring what rules might be used to ration care, not specifically prescribing policy. But isn’t that the point? What we see at town hall meetings are Americans who legitimately believe it would be fundamentally unjust for government panels to make these kind of ethical decisions instead of individuals, loved ones and doctors.

To be clear, the healthcare system is in need of reform, particularly health insurance. But the answer is not central planning. The answer is more market competition – giving consumers more choices, more information and more control.

Here is one example. There are more than 1,300 health insurance companies in this country, but currently, consumers can buy only a product licensed in each individual state. Creating a nationwide health insurance market where any individual or group can shop for less expensive coverage from another state would provide more choices, forcing private plans to create better products, improve services and lower prices.

We must also equip individuals with information on healthcare cost and quality. Releasing the Medicare-claims history of doctors and hospitals (with patients’ personal information removed) would give Americans more knowledge to choose the most efficient institutions, practitioners and the most effective treatments. Inexplicably, this taxpayer-funded data remain locked away.

Of course, some Americans also need financial resources to pay for their healthcare choices. Tax credits are one way to help consumers purchase private healthcare coverage, or we could allow individuals to deduct the cost of insurance they purchase, just as employers do now. These are just some solutions to create competition to drive down costs while increasing quality.

There is no doubt that we badly need to improve our healthcare system. I welcome the comprehensive debate now taking place across the country on how to accomplish this goal. But reform must empower individuals, not government.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is founder of the Center for Health Transformation.


Posted by straight shooter on August 17, 2009 under Abortion, Economy, Health Care, Political, Social Concerns

Abortion Is Included

The number of proofs that abortion is included in the health care overhaul officially was affirmed once again at a townhall meeting in San Jose, California where House Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) did a fine job of that confirmation after a member of the audience specifically asked about the abortion mandate. The text of the exchange is as follows.

QUESTION: “[This is a] health care plan that is covering abortion, which we know that over 90% of abortions are purely elective, not medically necessary. Why is this being covered when abortion is clearly not health care?” (Applause).

REP. LOFGREN: “[This is a] basic benefit plan developed by, um, health professionals … Abortion will be covered as a benefit by one or more of the health care plans available to Americans, and I think it should be.”