106 Budget Cuts Congress Could Make Right Now

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This is from The Daily Signal.


It is budget season in Washington and the debate is focused on who wants to increase spending and by how much.

But the debate should be focused on how to reduce the size and scope of government. Across the country, Americans remain deeply concerned about growing deficits and debt. Washington’s obsession with increasing the size and scope of government shows just how out of touch this city can be.

Within mere days of the Congressional Budget Office’s warnings that spending is going up by three-quarters—from $3.5 trillion to $6 trillion—before the end of the decade, the president’s budget laid out an agenda for more spending on programs that fall far outside the federal government’s constitutional scope.



The Budget Book, released by The Heritage Foundation today, stands in direct contrast to President Obama’s agenda of bigger government.


We believe that no spending cut and no attempt to right-size government is too small. When lawmakers stand up against entrenched special interests and eliminate bad government programs, even less expensive ones, this sends a powerful message to the people in this country that lawmakers are working for them in the best interests of the nation.

The Budget Book offers members of Congress who pledged to get government spending under control 106 ways to put that promise into action.

It’s time for Congress to prove to the American people it is serious about fixing the Washington spending and debt crisis. Congress can make that case by cutting federal programs that benefit the few well-connected at the cost of the many families struggling to pay their bills. And by doing so, it can earn the moral authority to tackle the massive spending challenges posed by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

106 Ways to Cut the Budget

(All savings are for 2016.)

National Defense

1. Reduce Civilian Overhead in Department of Defense: $1.2 billion

2. Cut Funding for Non-Combat Related Research $135 million

3. Cut Commissary Subsidies: $500 million

4. Close Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS): $583 million

5. Reform Military Compensation: $2.1 billion

6. Increase Use of Performance-Based Logistics: $9 billion

7. Focus the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Spending on Weapons Programs: $529 million

International Affairs

8. End Funding for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP): $81 million

9. End Funding for the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): $10 million

10. Eliminate the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA): $56 million

11. Reform Food Aid Programs: $168 million

12. Eliminate the Export-Import Bank: $200 million

13. Eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC): –$213 million

14. Eliminate Funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): $36 million

General Science, Space and Technology

15. Return Funding for the Office of Nuclear Physics to Fiscal Year 2008 Levels: $95 million

16. Return Advanced Scientific Computing Research to Fiscal Year 2008 Levels: $85 million

17. Eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E): $284 million

18. Eliminate the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program: $619 million

19. Reduce Basic Energy Sciences (BES) Funding: $301 million

20. Eliminate Energy Information Hubs: $24 million

21. Reduce Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) Spending to Fiscal Year 2008 Levels: $178 million

22. Reduce High-Energy Physics (HEP) Program Funding: $10 million


23. Eliminate the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership: $183 million

24 & 25. Eliminate Department of Energy Loans and Loan Guarantees

26. Eliminate the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability (OE): $150 million

27. Eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE): $1.93 billion

28. Reduce Office of Fossil Energy (FE) Funding: $341 million

29. Reduce Funding for the Office of Nuclear Energy: $293 million

30. Eliminate Subsidies for Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs): $86 million

31 & 32. Eliminate SBIR and STTR Programs: $2.746 billion

33. Auction of Assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): -$5 million ($500 million savings in 2025)

Natural Resources and Environment

34. Eliminate Funding for Development and Implementation of New Ozone Standards

35. Eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): $5 million

36. Eliminate Environmental Protection Agency Grant Programs and Information Exchange/ Outreach: $131 million

37 – 45. Eliminate Nine Climate Programs: $106 million

46. Eliminate Regional EPA Programs: $422 million

47. Lease or Sell Underused EPA Space: $22 million

48. Eliminate the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC): $20 million

49. Eliminate Environmental Justice Programs: $7 million


50. Eliminate the Market Access Program (MAP): $186 million

51. Repeal the USDA Catfish Inspection Program: $14 million

52. Eliminate the Conservation Reserve Program: $2.005 billion

53. Eliminate the Conservation Technical Assistance Program:$725 million

54. Eliminate the Rural Business- Cooperative Service (RBCS):$258 million

55 & 56. Eliminate the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs: $4.748 billion

Commerce and Housing Credit

57. Let the Postal Service (USPS) Eliminate Saturday Mail Delivery: $1.285 billion

58. Cut Universal Service Subsidies

59 – 63: Eliminate Five Corporate Welfare Programs in Commerce Department: $892 million

64. Repeal the Corporation for Travel Promotion: – $38 million

65. Reform the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):$321 million


66. Limit Highway Trust Fund (HTF) Spending to Revenues:$17 billion

67. Phase Out the Federal Transit Administration (FTA): $2.33 billion

68. Eliminate Grants to the National Rail Passenger Service Corporation (Amtrak): $608 million

69. Close Down the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and Repeal the Jones Act: $150 million

70. Eliminate the New Starts Transit Program: $1.972 billion

71. Privatize the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC): $32 million

72. Eliminate the TIGER Grant Program: $609 million

Community and Regional Development

73. Eliminate Fire Grants: $591 million

74. Eliminate the Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Program (DLP): $33 million

Education, Training, Employment and Social Services

75. Sunset Head Start to Make Way for Better State and Local Alternative: $887 million

76 & 77. Eliminate Competitive/Project Grant Programs & Reduce Spending on Formula Grants: $3.702 billion

78- 80. Eliminate Titles II, VI, VIII of the Higher Education Act (HEA): $2.374 billion

81. Decouple Federal Financing from Accreditation

82. Expand the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP)

83. Eliminate the PLUS Loan Program: -$3 million

84. Privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB):$445 million

85 & 86. Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): $296 million

87. Eliminate Job Corps: $1.721 billion

88. Eliminate Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Job-Training Programs: $3.366 billion

Income Security

89. Let Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Expire: $823 million

90. Cap Total Means-Tested Welfare Spending: $100 billion

91. Set a Work Requirement for Able-Bodied Adult Food Stamp Recipients: $5.4 billion

92. Return Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to Serve Its Originally Intended Population: $12 billion

93. Reduce fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): $8 billion

94. Reduce Anti-Marriage Penalties in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): $6 billion

Administration of Justice

95. Eliminate the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): $248 million

96. Eliminate Grants within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP): $1.358 billion

97. Eliminate Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grants:$428 million

98– 102. Reduce Finding for Five Programs in the Department of Justice: $787 million

General Government

103. Eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund: $2 million


104. Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act: $8.112 billion

105. Open Access to Drilling and Conduct Lease Sales

106. Empower States to Control Energy Production on Federal Lands

>>> Read the full Budget Book


TRUTH TIME: Dispelling the ‘Rich-Don’t-Pay-Taxes’ Myth

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This is from Clash Daily.

Mr  Pauwels says in the article that a truly honest president  would thank the upper quintiles of taxpayers for their dedication.

We all know Obama is not or ever has been truly honest.

President Obama keeps saying that every citizen – particularly the wealthy  – must pay their fair share of the government’s deficit/spending needs. The strong inference is that the highest earning Americans are not paying their fair share.

Yet, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the top fifth of income recipients in the U.S.A. are paying 92.9% of all federal tax revenues. The top 5% pay 63.6%.  The top 1% pay 39.0% of federal tax revenues.  The 4th quintile pay 13.3%.  The middle quintile pay 2.9%.  The lower two quintiles pay no taxes and in fact receive -2.9% and -6.2%, respectively.

Obama’s plea for more revenue from the rich is one more example of his ongoing deceptions – and is a disgusting effort to divide and conquer the American people for political purposes.  A truly honest president would thank the upper quintiles of taxpayers for their dedication and support of the federal bureaucracy.  But no – that wouldn’t attract or appealed to his constituency – or support his handout-happy, tax-and-spend, Democratic Party.

One of the things that bothers me is the public perception that wealthy people have money sitting around in buckets for their personal use.  In fact, most wealthy folks have their wealth invested in businesses and enterprises that meet the needs, wants, and expectations of their customers, their employees and their communities.

In other words their money is not free for the taking.  It is invested in businesses and enterprises engaged in the service of others.  And if they don’t do a good job of it – they go out of business. Unlike government enterprises, which never close despite their poor performance – or insolvency – free enterprises must perform as measured by their return on invested capital– their so-called profit.  They must pay their own way.

Even in the case of so-called nonprofit businesses, they must generate a surplus – really, tax-free income – or draw money from government coffers, charities, and customers. (Imagine that – customers must actually support nonprofit businesses!)
The American people are being misled by a deceptive and even corrupt federal bureaucracy and White House.  And the constitutionally protected media are failing to do their job
. . . of exposing these deceptions and . . . of educating the public on the workings of our free-enterprise economic system.

History has clearly demonstrated that the keys to a flourishing economy; plentiful, good-paying jobs; and individual prosperity for the greatest number ― is a competitive, free-market, free-enterprise, entrepreneurial, innovative, personal-initiative, profit/surplus-motivated, law-and-order economy ― where companies and enterprises exist, and people work to meet the needs, wants and expectations of their stakeholders, i.e., their customers, employees, suppliers, communities, creditors and investors ― in that order of priority.

And this must be accomplished at a profit or surplus sufficient to support the ongoing and balanced needs of the enterprise ― sufficient to provide investors and creditors with an attractive return on their investment in the economy ― and adequate to offset the implicit risks of supporting the financial needs of the business.

Free market, competitive, constitutional Capitalism is a time-tested, proven, economic discovery that works ― based on freedom, natural law, and the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods and services ― characterized by free competitive markets, motivation by profit or surplus, and safety nets for those who cannot care for themselves.

In a Socialistically oriented economy as favored by Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Clinton and liberal-leftist Progressives, many of these functions and forces are taken over by self-serving government bureaucrats and complacent job-fillers, who can’t possibly provide the collective wisdom, experience and motivation of liberated businesspersons, entrepreneurs, innovators and workers ― operating in a competitive, free-enterprise, entrepreneurial, profit/surplus-motivated, sky’s-the-limit, economy.

American’s need to understand this ― what made America the greatest nation, for the greatest number, in world history.  We must speak out against the leftist factions that are trying to transform our nation into a handout-society.   Taxing people who work, produce and invest . . . while paying people for not working, producing and investing . . . only gives us more non-workers, non-producers and non-investors.

The prosperity of a nation depends on its collective productivity, innovation, entrepreneurialism and investments ― not on government handouts and citizen takers.

In God we must trust . . . but we must always do our part ― to secure and promote the truth and a better way ― to protect our freedom and interests ― and to defend th


Obamacare Penalty to Hit One Million Low-Income Americans

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The Washington Free Beacon.

How many of this one million voted for Obama?

How many of that million are that voted for Obama is now  suffering from buyers remorse?


200,000 earning less than 100 percent of the poverty level to pay fine

Roughly one million low-income Americans will pay a fine under Obamacare, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The CBO estimated that four million people would pay the individual mandate penalty for not having health insurance by 2016 as a result of the president’s health care law, according to a report released last week,

“All told, CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] JCT estimate that about four million people will pay a penalty because they are uninsured in 2016 (a figure that includes uninsured dependents who have the penalty paid on their behalf),” the report said. “An estimated $4 billion will be collected from those who are uninsured in 2016, and, on average, an estimated $5 billion will be collected per year over the 2017–2024 period.”

A chart accompanying the report revealed that 200,000 of those paying the penalty earn less than 100 percent of the poverty line. An additional 800,000 are considered low-income, earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level.

President Barack Obama was once critical of an individual mandate precisely because of its effect on low-income Americans. During a primary debate against Hillary Clinton, then-candidate Obama criticized the idea of a mandate for imposing fines on people who could not afford health insurance.

“You can have a situation, which we are seeing right now in the state of Massachusetts, where people are being fined for not having purchased health care, but choose to accept the fine because they still can’t afford it even with the subsidies,” he said. “They are then worse off, they then have no health care and are paying a fine above and beyond that.”

This year, Americans opting to not purchase health insurance will pay a $95 fine or 1 percent of their household’s adjusted gross income—whichever amount is greater. By 2016, the minimum fine will be $695 or 2.5 percent of the household income.

In addition, the report estimated that under Obamacare 30 million Americans will still be uninsured by 2016.

“The central promise of the new health care law was that by bringing down the cost of insurance and making it more affordable, virtually all Americans would have good health insurance at reasonable rates,” said Daniel Garza, executive director of the LIBRE Initiative, a nonprofit organization devoted to economic freedom for Hispanic Americans.

“Instead, 30 million Americans will be uninsured,” he said. “And four million will pay tax penalties for not complying with the law.

“Moreover, this administration has hit a new low by penalizing 200,000 of America’s most needy,” Garza said.

The CBO report noted that many uninsured Americans would be exempt from the penalty in 2016. The government will exempt unauthorized immigrants, incarcerated individuals, members of Indian tribes, people with earnings so low they are not required to file an income tax return, and individuals whose premium exceeds 8 percent of their income.


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This is from The Hill.

Look what your free health care is going to cost.

If you do not get exempted you will be penalized.

Becareful what you wish for you just might get it.

The Obama administration took new steps Wednesday toward implementing the individual mandate in its signature healthcare law, downplaying the scope of the unpopular provision by stressing rules that allow exemptions from the requirement to purchase insurance.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Health and Human Services Department emphasized exceptions to the mandate, which were detailed in new regulations that also laid out the process by which the IRS will calculate penalties for going uninsured.

The mandate requires most taxpayers to either buy insurance or pay a fine to the IRS. It’s one of the most politically unpopular provisions of the healthcare law, and was at the core of last year’s historic Supreme Court case over the healthcare law.

HHS referred to the politically charged provision as a system of “shared responsibility” payments.

The mandate penalty “applies only to the limited group of taxpayers who choose to spend a substantial period of time without coverage despite having ready access to affordable coverage,” HHS said in a fact sheet on the new rules.

The same fact sheet also noted findings from the Congressional Budget Office that less than 2 percent of the American public will have to make a payment under the mandate.

In 2014, people who choose not to buy insurance and don’t quality for an exemption from the mandate will have to pay a fine of $95. The penalty increases to $695 by 2016, and then rises annually based on a pre-determined formula.

Although conservatives have railed against the mandate since Obama adopted it in 2009, some policy experts are concerned that it’s too weak to work — that it won’t be an effective incentive for young, healthy people to buy insurance.

Still, HHS and the IRS chose to focus on exceptions as they implemented the mandate Wednesday.

The Affordable Care Act includes exceptions for people with religious objections to traditional healthcare services, as well as a slew of income-related carve-outs.

“A principle in implementing the individual shared responsibility provision is that the shared responsibility payment should not apply to any taxpayer for whom coverage is unaffordable, who has other good cause for going without coverage, or who goes without coverage for only a short time,” HHS said.

People who do not make enough money to pay federal income taxes aren’t subject to the mandate, and neither are people for whom coverage would be unaffordable, as defined by the healthcare law. For employer-based coverage to meet the law’s definition of affordability, it can’t cost more than 9 percent of an employee’s salary.

Undocumented immigrants aren’t subject to the mandate, since they’re ineligible for government assistance to help buy healthcare coverage.

HHS also clarified in the new rules that short gaps in coverage won’t trigger the coverage requirement — meaning people who are temporarily unemployed won’t have to pay a fine for losing their health coverage between jobs.

Anyone who had insurance for one day of a month will count as having coverage for the whole month, HHS said.

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The Food Stamp Economy

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This is by Larry Elder in Town Hall.

 Barack Mihous Capone Kardashian is the food stamp president.

Food Stamp recipients has increased 210%.

When George W.Bush was president the food stamp spending was $37 Billion Dollars. 

Food Stamp spending in 2012 grew to over $78 Billion Dollars under Obama.


The New York Post headline read: “Could You Spend $500 on Food at This Bodega? A Welfare Recipient Claimed To!” A few days later, another headline: “Welfare Recipients Take Out Cash at Strip Clubs, Liquor Stores and X-Rated Shops.” “They’re on the dole — and watching the pole,” wrote the Post. “Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs — where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers.”


Here’s how it works.

Welfare recipients receive Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, preloaded with specified dollar amounts for food and for cash assistance. The EBT card can be used to purchase eligible food products at stores pre-approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Swipe the card, enter a PIN, and the amount of the food purchase is deducted from the welfare recipient’s food allowance and is credited to the retailer. Some “welfare-ready” ATMs accept the EBT cards just like ATM or debit cards, dispensing cash.

But the Post exposed welfare recipients using the ATMs located inside businesses with names like Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; an East Village porn shop called Blue Door Video; The Anchor, a SoHo lounge; TriBeCa’s Patriot Saloon; a Bronx liquor distributor called Drinks Galore; and Club Eleven and Club Heat, both Bronx strip clubs.

In case welfare recipients want to know where they can find “welfare-ready” ATMs, the New York state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance lists some of these EBT-ready ATMs on its website.

The Post also disclosed a federal sting that found food stamp “purchases” of several hundred dollars per transaction made at low-end bodegas (aka mini-marts, corner stores, mom-and-pop stores), usually involving little or no foodstuffs actually changing hands.

Whenever there is a government program, there will be more waste, fraud and abuse than you find in the private sector. What a shock.

The real scandal is our tepid 2 percent growth in this fourth year of recovery. At 2 percent, the economy produces too few jobs to make a dent in the nearly 8 percent unemployment rate. Spending just on food stamps (now called SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) has gone from $37 billion in President George W. Bush’s last year to over $78 billion for 2012, an increase of 210 percent.

Compare this recovery to any recovery since World War II. Based on past performances, the economy should be generating twice the number of jobs and the gross domestic product should be growing much, much faster.

Not only is unemployment still a high 8 percent, but the labor force participation rate is near a 30-year low. This means many able-bodied and able-minded work-age adults simply dropped out of the job market.

Look at the record number of Americans applying for and receiving disability benefits. The Congressional Budget Office blames this on the economy: “When jobs are plentiful, some people who could qualify for the DI program may choose instead to work. … CBO projects that as a result of the most recent recession and slow recovery, the number of disabled worker beneficiaries will continue to rise over the next few years (although growth will slow as the economy improves).”

The EBT scandal also raises another issue: Is government welfare — as opposed non-government charity — the best way to help the needy and to encourage self-sufficiency?

When President Lyndon Johnson implemented the so-called “war on poverty,” poverty in America in 1965 stood at about 15 percent — nearly identical to today’s rate. It had been trending downward for decades. From an estimated 70 percent at the turn of the century, the poverty rate was 22.5 percent in 1959, 19 percent when Johnson announced his “war” in January 1964 and 17.3 percent by the time Congress enacted the Economic Opportunity Act in August 1964. It pretty much flat-lined from 1965 onward — hitting a one-time low of 11.1 in the early ’70s, but bouncing back to 15 percent or slightly higher several times.

Welfare spending — after adjusting for inflation — nearly tripled from 1965 to 1975. But the poverty rate barely budged. The number of long-term welfare recipients increased.

How do we know that government welfare took away incentive from able workers?

President Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform act. It allowed “family caps” so that a welfare recipient received no additional money for having another child while on welfare. It also placed time limits on recipients. Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, called the bill “the biggest betrayal of children and the poor since the CDF began.”

But welfare rolls decreased by almost half — a much steeper decline than even the most enthusiastic supporters of reform ever expected. “The latest government statistics reveal that welfare caseloads have dropped an astonishing 46 percent since 1993,” wrote Cato economist Stephen Moore in 2000. “The explanation for this progress is that welfare reforms in Washington and in the states have had a profound impact in reversing the perverse incentives of the Great Society welfare state.”

The question is not whether we help, but how to do so without incapacitating the needy.


Medical Malpractice Deaths Nine Times Higher Than Gun Homicides – Let’s End the AMA

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This is from Freedom Outpost.

The amount malpractice deaths is unacceptable. 

I am calling on Congress to do the right thing and ban the AMA.

Roughly 98,000 people die each year at a cost of about $29 Billion Dollars.

Malpractice Deaths are nine times higher the gun deaths.

My idea is a wacked as the gun grabbers wanting to ban guns.

But sadly the gun grabbers have the poser in chief in their corner.


I admit that I’m worked up over the advance by the liberals in our country who are out to repeal the Second Amendment, calling for weapons bans, the murder of the National Rifle Association’s president and its members. As a result, I want to turn the table on them a bit. Because medical malpractice causes far more deaths each year than guns do, I’d like to demand that we shut down the American Medical Association (AMA.)

Understand, I am merely making this argument tongue in cheek, but listen to the facts. reports,

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal study of preventable medical errors estimated as many as 98,000 people die every year at a cost of $29 billion. If the Centers for Disease Control were to include preventable medical errors as a category, these conclusions would make it the sixth leading cause of death in America.

Further research has confirmed the extent of medical errors. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that there were 181,000 severe injuries attributable to medical negligence in 2003. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates there are 15 million incidents of medical harm each year. HealthGrades, the nation’s leading healthcare rating organization, found that Medicare patients who experienced a patient-safety incident had a one-in-five chance of dying as a result.

In the decade since the IOM first shined a light on the dismal state of patient safety in American hospitals, many proposals for improvement have been discussed and implemented. But recent research indicates that there is still much that needs to be done. Researchers at the Harvard School of Medicine have found that even today, about 18 percent of patients in hospitals are injured during the course of their care and that many of those injuries are life-threatening, or even fatal. The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that one in seven Medicare patients are injured during hospital stays and that adverse events during the course of care contribute to the deaths of 180,000 patients every year.

This is an outrage! I can’t believe the liberals are not calling for a complete end to the practice of medicine completely with 98,000 people dying each year from basically medical malpractice. Why is something not being advanced by the federal government? Oh wait, there is. It’s called Obamacare, or we know it as “more government.” Inevitably this will not lead to less malpractice or deaths. I’m betting long term it will lead to greater numbers of both.

Now, compare the numbers of medical malpractice and the deaths associated with it to those of guns used in homicides.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention in a 2009 report it was discovered that 11,493 people died in the United States as a result of being shot with a firearm.

There’s almost nine times the number of people dying in this country from medical malpractice and the answer we have to that is to put big, ineffective, inefficient government behind more legislation, more control and more funding, but when it comes to guns, well, we can’t have people with scary looking weapons in their possession. We have to create more laws to control them by. In the meantime the liberals never tell anyone that the laws will stop the lawbreakers from obtaining those firearms that they ban. Nor will they tell people that laws do not stop the bullets that comes from the firearms that lawbreakers obtain. People just think that a law is signed and it magically stops bad guys, but it doesn’t quite work that way.

So with these simply statistics, perhaps we should begin petitioning the White House to shut down the AMA since they seem to be responsible for far more deaths than anyone with a gun has been.

By the way, yes you can also call for the closing down of auto manufacturers since people are killed in cars many times over each year. Of course, the scary thing is that if we were to do such a thing in a sarcastic way, the liberals would only get a light bulb to come on in their heads on how they could accomplish it.

Read more:


Senate Democrats: Um, Let’s “Postpone” Obamacare’s Medical Device Tax

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This is from Town Hall.

Now is not the time to put GOP fingerprints on the monster.

It is time for the GOP to say screw you broke it you fix it.

The GOP should not try to help fix this monster.


What a pity.  If only someone had demonstrated the foresight to warn against the destructive consequences of Obamacare‘s medical device tax, they might have helped turn public sentiment sharply against the law prior to passage.  Oh, that’s right, conservatives did — and the American people rose up in opposition.  Now, the very actors who are most responsible for ignoring public demands and jamming through Obamacare are trying to “delay” or repeal a major element of their law, warning that it could stifle medical innovation and kill jobs.  Welcome to the party, guys.  You’re about two years too late:

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and 16 other Senate Democrats want the medical device tax – included in the 2010 healthcare reform law that they supported – postponed. The 2.3 percent excise tax that devicemakers must pay on their gross sales goes into effect on Jan. 1. It’s one of the new revenues used to offset the cost of the healthcare law. The Internal Revenue Service issued Wednesday its final rules on the tax, which will impact profits on items such as high-tech burn treatments, catheters, back braces and in-home HIV tests. Casey signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week asking that he support delaying implementation of the tax.Casey supports fully repealing it. “With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax—causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” the senators wrote.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that both of Minnesota’s Democrat Senators are scrambling to mitigate the damage caused by the law…for which they both cast decisive votes — a small detail that didn’t make it into the story:

Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken pointed to thousands of high-paying jobs that device companies support in Minnesota, headquarters to such giant devicemakers as Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. The industry has painted the tax as a job killer that would hurt innovation. “The delay would give us the opportunity to repeal or reduce that tax,” said Klobuchar, co-author of a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seeking the delay. Repeal is the ultimate goal of the letter’s 18 signers, including Klobuchar, Franken and all the heavy hitters in the Senate Democratic leadership. But politically that would be virtually impossible before Jan. 1, said Norman Ornstein, a congressional expert with the American Enterprise Institute.

Here’s a minor fact that did manage to sneak into the article’s 14th paragraph: “The House has already voted to kill the tax, approving a bill offered by Minnesota Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen.”  Low information voters may ask themselves why anyone would have gone along with such a dreadful idea in the first place.  The answer is simple.  Fake math.  Democrats needed to inject as much “revenue” — real and phony — into the bill in order to manufacture a bogus CBO score on the legislation’s final price tag.  The more revenues were stuffed into the law, the less it would technically “cost,” providing just enough fleeting political cover to cobble together the requisite number of votes. Every liberal on television in the days preceding the final House vote highlighted the bill’s absurd price tag of $941 Billion, citing “the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office” as gospel. They failed to mention that Congress had deliberately employed insane gimmicks and costly tax increases to gerry-jig that score, and that the real figures would be much, much higher.  This cynical ploy has led cary-carrying Obamacare supporters in Congress and the White House to repeal and dismantle several pieces of the law, even before the bulk of implementation.  The medical device tax is merely the latest installment ina series of “nevermind” moments — and it almost certainly won’t be the last, as brand new disastersare brewing.  And while we’re on the subject of Obamacare, Mary Katharine Ham mines a nasty little nugget embedded in the avalanche of newly-released regulations pertaining to the law (via theAssociated Press):

Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers. Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers. “Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” said Mr. Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary. Based on figures provided in the regulation, employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans could owe the per-person fee.

Not to worry, we’re told, this tax is only “temporary,” and will be reduced over time.  MKH snarks:

The fee starts at $63 in 2014 and it gets lower every year until it’s phased out in 2017 because, obviously, people with pre-existing conditions will stop costing more money after that.

Premiums are going up, and $63 is going to look like a walk in the park before all is said and done.  This is a flagrant violation of Obama’s magical “premiums will go down by $2,500!” pledge, but apparently nothing that the man says actually matters once those words become inconvenient to his latest government expansion project.  And guess who’s going to get slammed the hardest by the premium hikes?  Young people, the demographic that is most supportive of the law.  Way to go, guys.


The Fiscal Cliff Is a Good Thing


This is from American Thinker.

Except for the damage to the military the fiscal cliff is not bad.

I seriously think we need to go over the cliff.

The entire discussion of the “fiscal cliff” has things a bit backward.  People talk of “going off” the fiscal cliff — and the natural image is of the disaster that awaits one who tumbles from the edge of a precipice.  Instead, perhaps we should say “running into” the fiscal cliff — the cliff being a force that stops a tumble.

The term “fiscal cliff” refers to the combination of two major policy changes due to go into effect in January 2013:

  1. The sequester. Because the (not-so-)Super Committee succumbed to partisan paralysis and couldn’t come up with anything better, the sequester will begin making automatic spending cuts across domestic discretionary (50 billion per year) and defense (50 billion per year) programs.
  2. The Bush and Obama tax cuts expire. The Bush tax cuts increased the deduction for children, cut marginal tax rates, and cut dividend and capital gains tax rates.  The Obama tax cut reduced the amount workers pay for Social Security without reducing benefits.  In addition, a Medicare “doc fix,” which increased reimbursements for hospitals, is due to expire.

Running into a cliff isn’t fun.  It would raise nearly everyone’s taxes.  It would cut spending on most of the programs everyone uses.  It would temporarily raise unemployment rates.  But the fiscal cliff would back us away from a true disaster scenario, and it would slow the growth of the government debt.

Moreover, the fiscal cliff is an enormous opportunity for House Republicans.  If they simply allow it to occur, they win big politically in the negotiations.  They will get credit for fiscal responsibility, while the Obama administration will get the blame for the tax increases and will lose the leeway to offer new giveaways to its constituencies

Unemployment Rate and the Fiscal Cliff

The news media are currently trumpeting the first paragraph of a November 8 report (Economic Effects of Policies Contributing to Fiscal Tightening in 2013) from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which claims that the fiscal cliff will raise the unemployment rate to 9.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.  That paragraph states:

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s projections, if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by 0.5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013)-reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year. That contraction of the economy will cause employment to decline and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

However, our own economic analysis suggests that the CBO is exaggerating the unemployment danger.  When we did a statistical analysis of unemployment rates over recent years in all of the economies with GDPs of $100 billion or larger, we found that budget deficits don’t much affect unemployment rates in trade-deficit countries.  That’s because when budget deficits go up, the stimulus leaks out as higher trade deficits, and when budget deficits go down, they are accompanied by reduced trade deficits.

The CBO was unable to predict the unemployment rate that resulted from President Obama’s $800-billion February 2009 recovery act.  In March 2009, it predicted that the Recovery Act would produce an unemployment rate of between 6.0% and 6.3% by the fourth quarter of 2012.  But the actual rate in October 2012 was 7.9%.  The CBO’s models appear to overestimate the effect of budget surpluses and deficits upon unemployment rates.  It is using an inappropriate model of the economy.

The Precipice and the Fiscal Cliff

U.S. national debt is already reaching levels associated with slower growth, and current levels of borrowing pose a threat to long-term prosperity.  The media has been relatively quiet about the second paragraph of the CBO report — that without fiscal responsibility, the U.S. economy faces imminent disaster.  The CBO wrote:

If the fiscal tightening was removed and the policies that are currently in effect were kept in place indefinitely, a continued surge in federal debt during the rest of this decade and beyond would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates) and would eventually reduce the nation’s output and income below what would occur if the fiscal tightening was allowed to take place as currently set by law.

The actual scenario is even worse than the CBO makes out.  If the U.S. national debt continues to explode, then, eventually, when the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to prevent inflation, the rising interest rates will greatly increase the interest component of the federal budget.

From then on, either alternative would be a disaster: (1) the federal government could default, or (2) the Federal Reserve could take the brakes off inflation.  In either case, the dollar would collapse in the currency exchange markets, interest rates and import prices would go sky-high, and the U.S. standard of living would hit the bottom with a splat.

Don’t Kick the Can Down the Road Again!

The federal election results are in, and the status quo won.  Republicans retained their House majority, Democrats the Senate and the presidency.  Markets quickly recognized that this status quo win is unfortunate, as evidenced by the large drops in worldwide stock markets immediately after the election.  This is the cast of characters that kicked the can down the road last time they negotiated, which has already produced one downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

The election settled some things, including some of the ways the U.S. might have dealt with the fiscal cliff.  Clearly, there are not going to be Romney-Ryan-type spending cuts without tax increases.  That solution would be the best option, but it is no longer on the table.  Three categories of options remain.

  1. Run into the fiscal cliff.  Allow all of the tax cuts to expire.  Allow all of the spending cuts to go into effect.
  2. Balanced deal.  Republicans and Democrats hammer out a compromise which insures that total U.S. government debt would be no worse in 10 years than it would be if the country ran into the cliff.
  3. Kick the can down the road.  Bypass the sequester and renew the expiring tax cuts in the hope that the budget deficits will go away if ignored.

The best outcome is clearly a balanced deal, especially one that improves the tax system in a way that helps to balance trade.  Balancing the huge U.S. trade deficit would provide a stimulus that would give and keep giving.  There are at least three alternatives that would raise revenue and move trade toward balance at the same time:

  1. Scaled Tariff.  Our invention, the WTO-legal scaled tariff (a single-country variable tariff whose rate rises as the trade deficit increases and falls as trade becomes balanced), would increase U.S. exports and stimulate U.S. business investment.  It would also raise about $280 billion of revenue (half of the U.S. trade deficit).
  2. Tax Interest Earned by Private Foreigners.  In 1984, Congress eliminated the 30% withholding tax on interest earned by non-resident private foreigners.  Doing so caused the U.S. trade deficit to take off.  In our 2008 book, we estimated that restoring that tax would raise about $60 billion in revenue.
  3. Tax Interest and Dividends Earned by Foreign Governments.  When foreign governments buy American stocks and bonds as a byproduct of their currency manipulations, they are exempted from paying U.S. tax on interest and dividends earned.  In our 2008 book, we estimated that a 30% withholding tax would generate about $45 billion in tax revenue.

If the House Republicans kick the can down the road in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, they will be helping Obama keep his voters off the income tax rolls.  They will be continuing the era of spending without taxing.  They will be moving the U.S. economy toward financial difficulty and even disaster.  Moreover, they will prove, yet again, that they have no intention of practicing the fiscal responsibility that they allege they are seeking.

Read more:

Obama May Levy Carbon Tax to Cut U.S. Deficit, HSBC Says

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This is from

How many jobs will this tax destroy?

The Obama tax increases will just keep coming.

 Personally I say screw Europe and their dumb ass tax schemes. 


Barack Obama may consider introducing a tax on carbon emissions to help cut the U.S. budget deficit after winning a second term as president, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

A tax starting at $20 a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent and rising at about 6 percent a year could raise $154 billion by 2021, Nick Robins, an analyst at the bank in London, said today in an e-mailed research note, citing Congressional Research Service estimates. “Applied to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 baseline, this would halve the fiscal deficit by 2022,” Robins said.

Hurricane Sandy sparked discussion on climate protection in the election after presidential candidates focused on other debates, HSBC said. A continued Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives means Obama’s scope for action will be limited, Robins said. Cap-and-trade legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate after narrowly passing the house in 2009.

North American discharges fell 1.3 percent last year amid slowing economic growth. In China, the world’s biggest emitter, greenhouse gases from fuel use rose more than 9 percent in 2011, according to BP Plc (BP/) statistics published on June 13.

“Cap-and-trade has been demonized” and Obama probably won’t seek to install such a program in his second term, Richard Sandor, founder of the world’s biggest carbon trading exchange in Europe, said today at the presentation in London of his book titled Good Derivatives.

New carbon trading programs in California, China and Brazil may encourage U.S. lawmakers to introduce greenhouse gas trading by about 2020, Sandor said.

‘Moral Authority’

“We’ve lost our moral authority in the U.S.,” he said. “You haven’t here in Europe.”

Prices in the European Union carbon market, the world’s biggest by traded volume, dropped to a four-year low in April on surging supply and flagging demand.

Obama and the U.S. Congress should consider a carbon tax to help meet the government’s looming need for revenue, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in Arlington, Virginia.

The tax would not necessarily add to the economy’s total tax burden, according to Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of the research group. Such a tax may free up space for reductions in company taxes that dissuade employment, for example, Diringer said in an interview from Arlington.

“We have lots of need for new revenue to address our challenges,” which include priorities for conservatives such as extending tax cuts, avoiding deep defense cuts, reducing the corporatetax rate, reforming tax territoriality, and deficit reduction, the group said today in an e-mailed statement.

“While Sandy’s lessons are still fresh, the president should be clear about the urgency of cuttingcarbon emissions and strengthening critical infrastructure to protect Americans against the rising costs of climate change,” the group said yesterday in a separate statement.



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