Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
We've known it was coming. The very idea came from the White House. He approved it a year and a half ago, and in November 2011, insisted it be done. What is it? Why the Sequester, of course.
What is a sequester? Automatic spending cuts triggered to go off in 2013, after the 2012 presidential campaign. Sequester was a gimme the money now, I'll economize later deal.
And here is a graph of that Sequestration deal. Nothing cut from present levels of spending, just $85 billion cut from
2 years of* FUTURE spending! Take a look here. (Put your reading glasses on or you might not notice the change.) *Correction: About $44 billion cut from this year, remaining cuts spread out over the next 7 years.
Now our Spender in Chief doesn't want to go through with Sequester cuts and threatens the sky will fall if we don't increase the increase in government spending on Friday. So much for his famous last words from November of 2011 regarding welching on the deal: “Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts – domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one.”
But then our President seems to enjoy running our government in sky-is-falling-crisis mode, or as Peggy Noonan just wrote, "Government by Freakout". And to make sure you freakout, Obama's Federal Immigration officials just approved 100s of illegal convicted criminal detainees released from prison for emphasis on how these budget increase cuts will affect us. Now the President could easily find $85 billion savings by eliminating redundant programs, fraud, and wasteful pork spending but instead chose this avenue to make his point.
Refreshingly, for once Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is not negotiating this one in advance but is challenging the Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]' to propose other cuts if those in the Sequester deal are unacceptable. Reason being, the House has come up with 2 proposals thus far with no response from the President or Senate. Hope the Republicans stand firm on this.
One reason the president might be balking is that he again is talking about increasing revenues in any substitute sequester deal: "So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts."
Increasing revenues could be the real reason for Obama's flip-flop. Incidentally, $85 billion in sequester cuts funds the government for about a week and a half--hardly worth freaking out about.
And here is another heads-up: The debt ceiling/government shut down could come at the end of March, so I would avoid planning any extensive vacations touring our National Historic Sites and Parks until later in the spring. Like a school district facing a budget cut with the threat the cut will eliminate the music program, government threatens to close the Washington Monument*or Grand Canyon, etc. (We had an extensive National Park trip tour planned for the last debt ceiling crisis in April 2011! Rangers told us they put up barricades to block park entrances the eve of the debt ceiling agreement--just in case. That agreement was reached at the 11th hour, 11pm our time.) *Washington Monument is presently closed for repairs.
Bob Woodward: Obama's sequester deal-changer
President Obama in 2011: 'No Easy Off-Ramps' on Sequester
Noonan: Government by Freakout
Federal Spending Without and With Sequester Cuts
Boehner tells Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]
Immigrants Released Ahead of Automatic Budget Cuts
Senator Marco Rubio delivered one of the most inspiring State of the Union Responses I can ever recall. In his 14 minute address, he clearly pointed out the differences between Liberals and Conservatives: more taxes and more government vs.protecting liberty and the American Dream
President Obama, the champion of class warfare rhetoric*, has been chanting the mantra: tax the rich, as a solution to our deficit, poverty, and social class disparity for as long as I can remember. Obama also throws around the phrase fair share to justify tax rates that take more than half their income. And we really should call his attack what it is: tax the successful. Republicans and economists counter with how taxing the successful (rich ) will harm small businesses, who are the majority of job creators in America. Being a Conservative, I side with the Republicans, I view fairness as taxing all income at the same rate.
But one consequence of taxing the rich I have yet to hear anyone mention: who will be the consumers if they have less income once their taxes are paid? Who will be building a new home or hiring the local remodeler? Who will be purchasing that new car or new furniture? Who will be dining out every weekend? Or having their hair and nails done, stopping for a latte, or hiring the yard and cleaning help? Who will be able to afford vacationing in Wisconsin or at popular tourist attractions across America?
American tourism already seems down in the U.S., at least from what I have observed. Hearing a foreign language or accent at Yellowstone or Grand Canyon National Parks is the norm. Last fall, my sister and I observed that Disney World would really be hurting if it weren't for the Brazilians spending their dollars at the Kingdom of the Mouse. An American accent was in the minority at all locations.
But it isn't just the business owners' ledger that takes the hit when tourists cut back, its all the employees at these businesses that feel it too. If Disney, the largest employer in the U.S., the National Parks or even Wisconsin Dells, for that matter, experience a downturn, then area hotels don't need as many housekeepers. Restaurants cut hours or move employees to part time. Peripheral tourist attractions such as raft rides or water parks lose business.
If consumers cut back, because they don't have as much disposable income as they used to, the carpet, furniture, clothing, and tech. stores suffer a loss. That loss is passed on to the employees; the management cuts hours, sometimes pay, sometimes benefits, and often terminates employees.
Of course the truly wealthy will still do and buy these things or just move out of the country, but the $200,000 - $250,000 earners, who file their business taxes on their personal tax returns, will be hurting.
And if you think you aren't one of those upper 2% earners, so your paycheck will be untouched, think again: ObamaCare taxes are coming our way in 2013. More than likely the Payroll Tax Cut will expire, resulting in less take home pay.
So if all of us have less money in our pockets, who will be the purchasers? How will that effect your job?
Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
House Speaker Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400
In the wake of Tuesday's election results, the grim realization that we are not going to be able to escape ObamaCare started to sink in. But Vicki McKenna floated the idea last week that there was a backdoor way to prevent ObamaCare from taking root in Wisconsin--don't set up the state-run exchange.
Also last week, National Review posted an article by the CATO Institute informing us that Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable. The Obama "administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare's health-insurance 'exchanges.' States also have to decide whether to implement the law's massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no." (My emphasis)
In last week's Romney/Obama debate, President Obama proudly referred to AARP* as supportive to his ObamaCare plan. After the debate, AARP promptly said, 'don't mention us again': "“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign,” the group posted in a statement. “AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party.”"
Now that statement is pretty remarkable, since AARP sold out its members by supporting ObamaCare in the first place! But now that the bloom is clearly off the ObamaCare rose and Obama presidency, AARP is requesting Obama not to refer to them again. Thanks a lot, AARP. You pushed for the legislation, got the equivalent of a waiver for yourself, and now you don't want to be associated with Obama and ObamaCare?
In that same debate, when talking about how to deal with Obama's unbridled spending, adding a trillion+ dollars to the debt a year, Romney gave the example of cutting unnecessary spending. Since PBS's Jim Lehrer was the moderator, Mitt Romney mentioned discontinuing taxpayer subsidies to PBS, as one example of wasteful spending.
Romney said, "I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to — I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That's number one."
Well, after that debate, President Obama jumped on Romney's nixing Big Bird as a campaign issue. He talked about it on the stump. His campaign quickly cooked up an absurd campaign ad featuring Big Bird! Trouble is, like AARP, "Big Bird, it seems, isn't thrilled about his cameo in the presidential race."
In fact, "The folks at Sesame Street are asking the Obama campaign to pull down a TV ad released Tuesday that mocks Mitt Romney for vowing to yank the subsidy to PBS." the "Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization that produces and owns the show, issued a statement Tuesday saying [like AARP], “we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”
The CEO of Sesame Workshop, Sherrie Westin, stated on CNN that "the Sesame Workshop receives very little funding from PBS". Apparently, they are able to fund their programing through selling licensed products, donors, and corporate underwriting/sponsorship. Westin does not like Big Bird being the poster
child bird for public funding.
The bigger picture here is why is President Obama and his campaign fixating on Big Bird and not the real issues crippling our economy and threatening our nation?
Romney summed it up nicely yesterday, ""You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird," he said. "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs.""
Maybe Obama is hoping you will be thinking about Big Bird instead of why the White House's Benghazi narrative differs so from the under oath State Department testimony. (You mean the attack wasn't a spontaneous response to that anti-Muslim video?)
*Many people, in the past, joined AARP so they could enjoy the travel-related discounts, however, today, there are many other organizations that provide the same benefits. I am a AAA member; others have joined organizations such as AMAC, a conservative alternative to AARP
1st Debate Transcript
1st Debate: Romney Presidential, capable, Obama? ...clearly 'a drag'
AARP to Obama: Don't mention us again
How AARP's support for ObamaCare was bought and paid for
After AARP gets 'waiver' from Obamacare, conservative groups fight for information, answers "“It’s payoff time to the AARP (some call it bribery) for selling out seniors and endorsing Obamacare, an awful proposal which makes no sense to seniors who know it’s bad medicine for them,” Martin said in a statement."
Last September, I had the privilege of visiting the Reagan Library in California. At the time I snapped this picture, I answered his question with a resounding, NO. Little did I know how much worse off our country and the world would be in the span of just one year.
Most think of this question in terms of the economy. After all, Reagan was running against President Jimmy Carter. But there was also the Iran hostage crisis hanging over our country like a national pall. So Foreign Policy was also a concern.
If we go back to 2008, our country would be about $10.6 trillion in debt, instead of the $16+ trillion we're at now. Obama increased it by 50% in less than 4 years! That works out to $111,414 per taxpayer and counting. And Obama was the one, who in Feb. 2009, pledged he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term!
As Obama inferred in his 2009 pledge, the interest on the debt would increasingly become unmanageable. How unmanageable? Take a look at this: Brother, Can You Spare a Trillion?
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donavan, along with the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity are holding a rally against Milwaukee's latest huge waste of money project, the Milwaukee Streetcar. I often refer to it as Barrett's Folly Trolley. Most know it as A Streetcar Named Disaster. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a very expensive, unnecessary project.
The purpose of the rally is to pressure the Milwaukee to put the 2 mile long downtown streetcar project on a binding referendum, so voters can have a say as to whether or not we want to pay for this.
There is also an online petition for you to sign. Because all of us in the southeast Wisconsin will be paying higher WE Energies bills to cover the $55+ million to relocate the utility lines, you DO NOT need to be a Milwaukee County resident to sign. AT&T customers will be paying more too. Sign here.
Attend the rally if you can. A strong showing is needed to send Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council an unmistakable message: WE DON"T WANT THIS BOONDOGGLE.
The rally will be held at Serb Hall from 5pm to 7pm, though Alderman Bob Donovan* said the doors would be open at 4pm and probably go past 7pm. Alderman Donovan will be addressing other issues besides the streetcar, but stopping the streetcar is the main focus.
Estimates are that the very short streetcar line will cost $64 million plus the utility relocation costs of at least $55 million. I have heard a figure of about $120 million in all. $3 million of that is just to operate the thing for one year. And remember all this money is just to build a 2 mile line!
Some of this money is Federal Money, some is local. Regardless of where it comes from, we cannot afford this. And to top it all off, I think we can be sure if this 2 mile leg is built, more will follow, just like the Milwaukee to Madison train project that Gov. Walker stopped was just the 1st installment. So speak up!
Serb Hall is located at 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53219
*I believe I heard him on Vicki McKenna's radio show last week.
More Reading: The Streetcar Scam: A report by the MacIver Institute
Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby
Stop the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train .
What a great first week Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had.* In fact, I would say, adding Paul Ryan to the ticket has reset the Romney campaign: Picking Paul Ryan as VP has removed all doubts about Mitt Romney's resolve to scale back big government and cut our out of control debt.
It is clear Romney and Ryan don't want to get into the gutter of negative campaigning, rather, they just want to talk about the real issues threatening America's future: jobs, the economy, entitlements, etc.
It is exciting to see Americans responding to their message in such a positive way. I saw this excitement for myself at the Romney / Ryan rally at the Waukesha Expo last Sunday. True, this was in the heart of Republican Waukesha County, but not everyone of the 12,000+ was from Waukesha. I heard some in line talking about how they came from Wausau, Racine, and West Bend.
The place was packed. I was close enough to catch a glimpse of the candidates, and it was plain to see Mitt Romney truly admires Paul Ryan. I can only compare it to maybe a father proudly looking at his son.
The Ryan pick has boosted a cautiously hopeful Romney campaign to one that Republicans and Independents can be energized about. I saw a little bit of that energy even on election eve 4 years ago. Excerpts from It made me feel better: Palin 2012 Ryan, a past post will explain:
"On election eve, I quickly made this campaign button to illustrate my hopes for the 2012 ticket. I wore it to the Waukesha Republican Victory Party.
"Barely there 2 minutes, a few women from the Waukesha Republican Party and I started talking. ...Then they spotted my button, and their eyes lit up. Where did you get that? I said I made it. They definitely liked the idea. These ladies were not alone. In the course of the evening, my humble button received enthusiastic support.
"I know many blame Governor Sarah Palin for McCain's loss on Tuesday. But that sentiment shows how little those naysayers understand conservatives. It was very clear to me that fellow volunteers at the phone bank were there only because of Sarah, not McCain. Same with rally attendees.
"As Senator John McCain gave his concession speech that night, he took the full blame for his failure to win. Amongst the Waukesha Republican faithful watching on the big screen, there was no murmur in the audience to the contrary. When McCain thanked Governor Palin, the audience cheered. You would think BBC reporter Ali Reed was there in the room with us. ...he reported the same reaction:
'The sombre air at Senator John McCain's concession speech was momentarily pierced by cheer as Mr McCain spoke about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.'
Americans for Prosperity is once again sponsoring a Tax Day rally at our state capitol in Madison on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 11:30am to 1pm--so even working folks can participate. Their invitation reads,
We are told that the U.S. Government will come to a screeching halt when it hits the $14.3 Trillion Debt Ceiling on Tuesday, Aug. 2nd*. In my mind's eye, I envisioned the U.S. Government as a Monster Truck rumbling down the highway on bloated tires, coming up to a bridge with too low of a clearance for a truck of that height.
To keep our government (and economy) rolling, either the bridge clearance (Debt Ceiling) has to be raised, or the size of the tires (deficit spending) could be reduced.
President Obama is threatening those balking at raising the Debt Ceiling in the House and Senate, that a delay could trigger a U.S. Credit rating downgrade to AA. But I have heard for months now that our AAA credit rating is already at risk: our present $14.3 Trillion in debt is viewed as unsustainable.
Reuters confirmed this in Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis, "Even if a deal is reached to lift the debt ceiling, a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating is likely unless a big dent is made in the deficit. A downgrade would raise borrowing costs, hurt an already weak economy and rattle global markets." (My emphasis)
Right now, the House is stalling on the latest Boehner Debt Ceiling bill. Though the spending cuts are laughable--$900 billion over 10 years, which is nothing--at least it doesn't include tax increases. The bill's strength is that the debt ceiling increase is split into 2 parts: $1T now and the remainder 6 months from now--well into 2012 campaign season territory. Too bad it wasn't in smaller increments.
I realize even this generous Debt Ceiling increase is very unlikely to pass the Senate, but at least is better than anything Senator Reid is suggesting. Possibly, Boehner adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the House Bill would be enough to get it through the House.
It is becoming crystal clear that President Obama and the liberals in Congress do not understand that government spending MUST be reduced--not just the level of future growth in spending, but actual cuts here and now if our AAA credit rating is to continue. We must elect more fiscally conservative leaders in November 2012. Until then, we have to work with what we have in Washington.
Obama just urged Americans to contact their Senators and Representatives to resolve the debt crisis. Of course, his concept of resolution would be raising the Debt Ceiling with enough spending cushion to carry him through November of 2012! And he certainly doesn't want a Balanced Budget Amendment to pass. But, I can agree with the President that contacting our representatives is imperative. Here are their numbers:
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
House Speaker John Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400
Past Post: Tell Congress to tell Mr. Obama, No new taxes! Cut, Cap & Balance!
More Reading: Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis
What's Wrong With Government Spending?
WSJ The Road to a Downgrade
Many newly elected Republican Congressmen ran on a pledge to defund ObamaCare; reelected Republican Congressmen voted against ObamaCare over a year ago. On January 19th of this year, all of the House Republicans (plus 3 Democrats) voted to overturn ObamaCare.* However, unless these Republican Congressmen sign a pledge to vote NO on the Continuing Resolution up for a vote next Wed., March 17th, ObamaCare's implementation will be funded and next to impossible to repeal or defund in the future.
You see, $105 Billion was stuck here and there within the bill to fund ObamaCare's implementation WITHOUT Congressional Appropriation! In other words, this money ensured ObamaCare would proceed regardless of who won the November elections.
This is why it is essential that we call Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Chair Rogers and tell them to VOTE NO on the Continuing Resolution vote that includes this ObamaCare funding. Tell your Congressman to sign the pledge to VOTE NO on the Continuing Resolution if it contains ObamaCare funding. If enough Republicans sign that pledge, Boehner will have to take that ObamaCare funding out. (Congressional contact numbers below)
Last month, Congressman Michele Bachmann blew the whistle on the $105 Billion dollars to fund implementation tucked in the ObamaCare bill, which passed in early 2010. (No wonder Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we have to pass to bill to find out what is in it!)
Last "[Wednesday] former Congressman Ernest Istook testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee about the $105 billion slush fund in advance appropriations liberals tucked inside Obamacare. The $105 billion bypasses the traditional yearly budgeting process and is spread throughout the 2,700 page legislation. It took the Congressional Research Service (CRS) seven months to identify all the disparate funds and it was not until February (11 months after the bill passed) that all of the funds could be totaled up."
Republicans have the position of strength here--the upper hand. The Continuing Resolution must be passed if we are to keep funding the Federal Government and avoid a shut down on March 18th. Instead of always negotiating weakly from a position of strength, like they did with extending the Bush Tax cuts, urge them to stand strong here? Ask them to honor their pledge to repeal and defund ObamaCare. Tell them to sign the pledge.
House Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Speaker John Boehner (202) 225-0600
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (202) 225-4000
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101
Find your Congressman
H/T Conservative Mark Levin spoke with Congressmen Michele Bachmann and Steven King last night from about 19 minutes to 30 minutes into the broadcast. Listen.
Mark Levin surge: Call Congress, Vote NO on Continuing Resolution
Last December, the Senate put coal in most American's Christmas stockings by voting for ObamaCare on Christmas Eve. At least the specter of the "Death Panel" seemed to be out of the picture and removed from that legislation.
If you have been paying attention to our Lame Duck Congress these past weeks, you know that thankfully, Cap and Trade, the carbon capping global warming legislation didn't pass in the Senate.
Yet starting on January 1, 2011, End of Life planning (the politically correct term for death panel) will go into effect, and on January 2, 2010, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions (which include water vapor) will be capped--limited.
Neither of these actions were approved of through legislation by our elected representatives in Congress, so how is this possible?
Regulation via Obama's Cabinet and Czar bureaucracy, "...regarding Obama's czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It's fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making." (My emphasis)
Beyond Congressional reach is the key to Obama's regulation without recourse, and it needs to stop.
As the New York Times reported on Christmas Day (the ultimate news dump day), "When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1. "
From 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life: "Yes, the "death panels" charge is somewhat crude, but combine cost-based rationing with end-of-life counseling and, well, here we are."
End of life decisions are important to think about, after all, the death rate is 100%--1 per person. Death is something we all have to consider.
Having gone through this process with both my parents and just this week witnessed with a close relative, these discussions should take place, and they do between the doctor, patient, and family--period. What I object to is the financial incentive--payment--for doctors who advise their Medicare patients about end-of-life care and forgoing "aggressive life-sustaining treatment". The government shouldn't be in the mix.
Since hospitals usually give out a power of attorney for health care form before surgery, the patient can decide what procedures should take place should things go wrong, and doctors already discuss different avenues of treatment and their outcomes, why do we need this change?
As for limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (which includes water vapor), this is being enacted without legislation on January 2, 2010! "This move represents an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs—unless Congress steps in."
President Obama has taken advantage of a Supreme Court decision in 2007 that ruled the EPA was in effect the highest authority in the land. The Clean Air Act becomes the avenue for this regulation and trumps the legislative process.
If Obama can't legislate, he will just mandate, "...President Obama was asked about the voters' repudiation of cap and trade. He responded: 'Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end.' " So Obama will achieve his goal without the consent of the governed.
One of the things on the new Congress' to do list would be to "overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright". Wouldn't that be refreshing? Another would be to repeal ObamaCare.
Undoing the damage that has been done via mandates and unconstitutional legislation is a huge job in itself. They certainly have their work cut out for them. I wish them well.
More Reading: Obama's Czar Fetish
Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
Wall Street Journal: 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life
WSJ: How Congress Can Stop the EPA's Power Grab.
Most people know there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free puppy. Someone always has to pay for the free lunch (which often has some strings attached for the diner), and the free puppy has all sorts of long term costs. But these two freebies pale in comparison to the entanglements involved in getting a free pony.
When my other half was a teen, he loved horses. (We both still do.) He rode any chance he got and helped at an area stable for riding privileges. Seeing this interest, his great uncle offered to buy him a horse of his own. Wow, that was quite a gift: a free horse!
But like the free lunch and free puppy, there isn't such a thing as a free horse either. Yes, the free horse would have been fun. It would have been nice to have. The son really wanted it. Yet his parents had to be the grownups and tell the generous uncle, no.
Why? Because they couldn't afford to board the free horse. The maintenance cost of a free horse for boarding and vet bills was just more than a family of seven's budget could support. Before you are too hard on the parents, in today's dollars, could your family afford a $500-$600 per month boarding fee? And what about the vet bills?
Sure, the boy could have worked off some of those costs by working at the stable, but that still has a cost associated with that work, since he wouldn't have the time to do chores at home or work for his spending money. The only fiscally responsible decision the parents could make was to give the free horse back.
And that was the only rational decision Wisconsin could make. Like the free horse, free high speed rail was not needed, it would benefit only a small percentage of the people, and it cost too much to maintain. Governor Elect Scott Walker had to be the grownup and say, no, to the uncle. However, unlike my husband's uncle, our Uncle Sam can't afford it.
Wisconsin isn't the only state with a grownup governor, Ohio's Governor Elect John Kasich also opposed high speed rail. So between Wisconsin and Ohio, $1.2 billion of free money was taken back by the Obama administration. The money should go back to pay down the US debt; instead it is going to 12 other states for their rail projects. And maybe that is why this take back occurred now, before legislation requiring the monies go back to the Federal Treasury could be passed next session.
"In a joint statement, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan wrote: 'We support Governor-elect Walker's effort to put the brakes on the high-speed rail budget boondoggle, which is why we introduced legislation, today, that would give states the ability to return federal funds obligated to high-speed rail projects, and instead use this money to reduce our nation's $1.6 trillion deficit and $13.8 trillion debt. This high-speed rail project is a bad investment for taxpayers and our state simply cannot afford it.' "
And how is the Milwaukee to Madison rail line in effect an anchor baby? Because it was the foot in the door. Like illegal alien anchor babies, the short Milwaukee/Madison run would do the same. (Babies born in the US to illegal aliens often are rationale to bring in the whole family.) Take a look.
We dodged a big budget deficit bullet here in Wisconsin by giving back the free pony (anchor baby) high-speed rail. The short Milwaukee to Madison line was just the beginning when you consider the size and scope of the whole proposed rail projects in the works for Wisconsin. (Map from Vicki McKenna 11-30-2010 post.)
See how additional rail lines to Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire/Minneapolis are outlined on the map?
If we are in doubt as to how we could afford the short 70 mile Milw./Madison run, how would we ever afford these?
We aren't out of the woods yet, the pro-trainers are not going to give up easily. Plus, Wisconsin's commuter line between Milwaukee and Chicago is still to get $2 million, but for now, at least we have one less thing to worry about.
More reading: Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes elsewhere
Use rail funds for deficit?
Past Posts: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train.
Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park
Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Jim Doyle visited Watertown, WI. They gleefully signed the papers in order to release $46.7 million out of the total $810 million dollar budget. That's Obama appointed stimulus money to build the rail line from Milwaukee to Madison.
For now, I will bypass the ridiculousness of spending that much money on a train that the majority of Wisconsinites don't want or need. What struck me was that LaHood sounded so giddy about making us create that rail line. LaHood said,"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin. There is no stopping it."
The Journal Sentinel's opening line of LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line ended by stating the duo "portrayed" the "...rail line as an unstoppable train that Republican gubernatorial candidates can't derail."
Candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann disagree. Both said that they would shut down construction if elected. That is a relief.
I caught a bit of Scott Walker on Jay Weber this morning. He reminded listeners of the supposedly unstoppable "Blue Shirt" at the airport! People said we couldn't stop that too, he said. Estimated operation costs are $10 million a year that Wisconsin taxpayers will have to fund. Walker said something to this effect, Bottom line, the Federal government cannot obligate Wisconsin to spend $10 million a year to support / run the train.
Mayor Tom Barrett supports the train. After all, he also wants his Folly Trolley in Milwaukee --another expensive form of transportation that no one will use. Walker also brought up the fact that This isn't just Jim Doyle's train, it's Tom Barrett's train too. He was there since the beginning.
So one thing Wisconsinites can do to STOP the Drain on the Taxpayer Obama & Doyle Express is VOTE REPUBLICAN!
But you don't need to wait until November. You can also speak up on Aug. 3rd.
My Alderman Lisa Mellone sent a notice that the City of Brookfield is holding "A city-wide public workshop regarding this proposal is scheduled on August 3rd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookfield Elementary School, 2530 N. Brookfield Rd. We encourage you to attend and express your opinion on this issue.The Council will deliberate the placement of a train stop in Brookfield on August 17th."
She adds, "If you can’t attend the workshop, please give your alderman your questions and stance on the issue of High Speed Rail stopping in Brookfield before the 8/17 meeting."
All Wisconsinites should voice their opposition to their Aldermen, Mayors, State Representatives and State Senators. The operational funds come out of the transportation fund for the whole state, even though the train operates just from Milwaukee to Madison.
So, Taxpayers in Distress, speak up!
Listen to Vicki McKenna's Friday Show Hour 1 Part 1 She details the cost to ride, subsidies, and other horrors.
Hate the idea of a high-speed rail station in Brookfield? Blogger Cindy Kilkenny found a this nugget in the Brookfield Common Council packet: "1993 - Governor Thompson commits $50 million to build passenger rail between Milwaukee and Madison."
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner along with State Representatives Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer will hold a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, July 18th, at 7 pm at the Safety Building in Brookfield.
Congressman Sensenbrenner will probably explain how bad the newly passed Finance Reform Bill is. As Sensenbrenner remarked once about ObamaCare, no doubt, "We can only wonder what other secrets are lurking in the dark" with this new piece of legislation too. For one, the bill creates "more than 20 'offices of minority and women inclusion' " at various government agencies and will favor them for employment, grants and contracts. (What does that have to do with preventing a financial crisis?) See Finance Bill Favors Interests of Unions, Activists (such as ACORN!) for more information.
Leah Vukmir is running for State Senate against Democrat Jim Sullivan. If you are interested in helping her campaign, call 414-759-1100 or visit LeahVukmir.com.
Rich Zipperer is also running for State Senate to fill Ted Kanavas' seat. RichZipperer.com
By the way, Congressman Sensenbrenner was dubbed the "Town Hall King" by CQ and Roll Call for having 72 Face to Face Town Hall meetings this year. The most of any other member of the House. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, with 69 meetings so far, is Town Hall King of the Senate.
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan finished her Senate committee questioning yesterday. She answered question after question and was able to regurgitate names and statutes regarding past cases.
But it was the very simple questions that were most revealing. They stumped her. She really didn't have an answer to them and they were not difficult questions. Anyone who believes the Constitution, as it was written, is our guiding document, could have answered in a heartbeat. But she could not.
Here is a sampling of Kagan stumpers and vague answers. Some are video clips so you can see for yourself:
- Sen. Tom Coburn asked something like this: If I sponsored a bill that made Americans eat 3 fruits and 3 veggies a day, and it passed, does that law violate the Commerce Clause? Kagan replies something like this: "It sounds like a dumb law..." um, but I think the question of whether its a dumb law is different from if it is Constitutional. I think the courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are, er, ah, senseless just because they are senseless. Coburn says, Do we have the power to tell people what to eat every day? What is the extent of the Commerce Clause? We have this wide embrace of it, but [Founders didn't] ... She really doesn't have an answer because she knows the real question is about ObamaCare and if she is confirmed, she knows she will have to rule on that decision.
- Sen. Orin Hatch asks her about a memo on partial birth abortion that evidently led to the conclusion that the procedure was medically necessary to save the life of the mother.
UPDATE: Act 1 of the Opera? "U.S Ex-Im Bank Reconsiders India Coal Project." See below for details.
No reasonable person believes the President is solely responsible for the BP oil explosion. Nor do they think he should don deep-sea gear and go down and cork the hole himself. The well itself is some 12,000 feet under water, with the burst pipe at around 5,000 feet. Obviously, these are not friendly working conditions.
What people do want is their President to act like a leader and make the containment and clean up process as efficient and effective as possible, while BP works on capping the well. Unfortunately, our government, under the President's authority, seemingly has done everything but make the containment/clean up process as easy as possible.
W. Wansley at American Thinker wrote a great piece comparing Katrina and BP, "In the Gulf, a group of people have been trying to get in -- to apply American ingenuity to clean up the oil spill or prevent it from reaching the shore." Unfortunately, they "have been held up -- by government."
We are now hearing more about these rejected possible solutions to bar, contain and clean up the oily water before it reaches the shores. One of the pleas came from Governor Bobby Jindal. "...Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has begged for approval to put up temporary sand bars as a barrier to the oil. The EPA, worse than saying no, delayed and studied and pondered and then said no." Tired of waiting for BP, Jindal gave the order to build them on Monday.
From Am. Thinker: "We have seen countless stories in the news of innovation and ingenuity by Americans attempting to bring proven applications, equipment and tactics to bear on the oil. Each attempt is met with the same federal dithering, inaction and impedance. ... In the Gulf oil spill,...After they show their process to the media, the inevitable question is asked, 'Have you shown this to BP or the EPA?'" They answer, "yes, ...they are considering it" or "they would get back to us".
But at long last, enter actor Kevin Costner. An actor? Yes, but also a partner in Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company that has developed a machine that separates oil from water. Last week he testified at the House Science and Technology Committee meeting.
Even Costner, ever so diplomatically, said, "'We’re coming to this fight very late, I think everybody would recognize that. And so we’re going to do the things that we can do but this company is poised to mobilize in order to step this up and to create an environment where people can go back to work. There is a single moment that exists right at this moment and that is there are people out of work. There’s a moratorium and there’s no way to lift that unless I believe the government feels that people can operate in a safe way. This represents that pivot point.' "
"'If we want to discuss the ‘what ifs’ looking back, I think you could fill in the blanks of understanding if these machines were already deployed, what we would be looking at,' said Costner. 'I could scale this out for you and we would be chasing this oil out at the derrick itself. We couldn’t do anything about the size of the leak but we would be chasing that and we would be keeping that offshore.'"
Well, better late than never. BP recently placed an order for 32 of these clean up machines. With an efficiency rate of 99+%, it should help. Some are not so optimistic.
For everyone's sake, I hope between Costner's centrifuge machines, sand bars, siphon tankers, and other clean up measures, they will help clean up the water and prevent further damage. Time will tell.
Read the complete article: Heritage Foundation: Crisis of Competence
Pres. Obama's oil spill action plan: Ignore, delay, blame, demand, overreach and Cap & Tax (nothing on containment/clean up)
Last night Obama declared from the Oval Office, "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes." But it doesn't seem like many Americans are buying that sales pitch. Even Democrats and Liberals are shaking their heads over his inaction so far and hum-drum Oval Office spiel. How will he make sure this never happens again? By talking it to death? We are now at day 57.
Never one to let a crisis go to waste to implement more government control, regulation, taxes, and now even overreaching to dictate how a foreign owned company should spend its money and use its stock dividends, President Obama is using the BP oil spill to push his Cap & Trade tax agenda. He says we need "...to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil."
Amidst his floundering in the Gulf he is touting alternative energy like wind and solar as a way to end oil spills--as if America can thrive without oil? Since Cap and Trade deals mainly with electricity generation, how will wind and solar end oil spills? America only uses oil to generate about 2% of our electricity. Maybe he would like to lead the way by converting Air Force 1 to solar panels?
In an email he sent out yesterday, the President wrote, "Many businesses support this agenda because shifting to clean energy creates opportunities for entrepreneurship." I am betting those businesses are involved in writing the Cap and Trade legislation or will benefit from the Carbon Credit exchange or an increase in wind and solar use? Companies such as BP--Beyond Petroleum or GE?
I think it is clear that the President squandered his Oval Office clout to peddle his Cap & Trade Tax bill. Most aren't buying it. No matter, his EPA can do what the Senate won't.
As for the spill, from what I have seen, Obama's first action on the spill was to ignore the event. The 11 workers who died as a result of the explosion on April 22nd were barely noted. At last, Obama went to the gulf on May 2nd. "The visit, which White House officials said on Saturday would be within the next 48 hours, signaled Obama was anxious to be seen to be paying close attention to the cleanup and containment of one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history." "Anxious to be seen" seems to be the key phrase there.
The President has visited several times since then but does not have much to show for it. Obama did authorize the deployment of 17,500 National Guardsmen; so far, only 1,600 have been deployed. Gov. Jindal just announced he will be using Guardsmen to build a barrier.
The Jones Act still has not been lifted (as it was after Hurricane Katrina) which would have allowed the Dutch and others with their offers of containment booms and salvage tankers into the area to at least contain and suck up some of the oil. Our own government had their own disaster plan that included the use of containment booms. Trouble was, the U.S. never purchased those emergency booms! In other oil spills, booms are put in place and then tankers come in to suck the oil/water mixture into their holds. They then then separate it later. But you need to contain the oil to do this. There are some booms in place but not nearly enough.
There are some things that just are not adding up with the BP accident. I am sure there is plenty of blame to go around. Let's face it, a blow out a mile under the sea is a problem that won't correct itself. Where was the discussion by the President on how to clean up or keep the oil from the shores? The one thing that is clear, Obama will use the spill to push for green energy, regardless of its negative impact on the U.S. economy!
More reading: BP Accused of Repeated Shortcuts
Sen. McConnell: Obama 'Holding the Gulf Hostage"
Gov. Bobby Jindal Orders National Guard to Build Barrier Wall Off Louisiana Shore
Cap and Trade: A New Disaster Waiting to Happen in 2009
The Spill, The Scandal and the President, How Obama failed to crack down on corruption of Bush years and let world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder.
Obama's Uncertain 'Battle Plan'
UPDATE: Ron Johnson confirmed today he will run for US Senate against Russ Feingold! This is indeed great news for Conservatives in Wisconsin. I reminded Feingold of this fact when I called today asking him to vote NO on Cap and Trade. (See bottom of post.)
What a great Earth Day; I got my wish and more: NO GLOBAL WARMING Bill, NO VOTER FRAUD PROTECTION Act, and NO RTA. I almost can't believe it.
And why did I receive such a great gift? Because of all the calls, emails, letters and visits to our State Legislators. You know, the calls that don't work.
Bottom line? We were spared these bills thanks to those of you who did waste your time calling and going to Madison. So THANK YOU.
Another thank you goes to Talk Radio* for getting the word out.
Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald mentioned yesterday** that it was the calls that made the difference. For example, in Democrat Jim Sullivan's office, the call record was running 10 to 1 AGAINST the Voter (Fraud) Protection Act.
The same was true in the Assembly. Representative Leah Vukmir stated, "Thanks to your calls and emails, we managed to stop some of the worst legislation of the session. ...The calls and email from constituents sent a very clear message through the halls of the State Capitol and legislators became very wary of taking bad votes on these bills."
I have to think the other sobering moment for our more liberal legislators was the size of the TEA Party crowd last Thursday (April 15) and the number of attendees who stopped into their representatives offices to leave their vote NO sentiments. (Photo: Tea Party attendees look up their reps. office number inside Capitol.)
Of course the Liberal Legislative Phoenix could always rise from the ashes to call an extra session and try and revive these top 3 bills (and others), but at least for now they are dead.
Some bad bills did make it through Madison. Maybe the worst being the Ethanol Mandate 408 / SB 279, which I think requires increasing the total % consumed for ethanol to 50% by 2015 and for bio-diesel to 25% by 2015. Nobody likes the stuff and since it is harmful to most engines and yields abysmal mileage, I don't see how this will work.
Increasing those covered under BadgerCare via BadgerCare Basic Plus also passed. (FYI, Medical Marijuana and the Green Cleaning Product mandate failed, but so did AR-21 to have Wisconsin challenge Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Raw Milk passed.)
So we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay involved. Work for conservative candidates so we can Remove the liberals, Repeal the bad legislation, and Restore good LIMITED government!
Imagine the kind of government we would have today, if people were always this engaged at the State and Federal level?
Representative Leah Vukmir and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the Elm Grove Village Hall on May 1st at 9AM
Past Posts: Wisconsin Legislature's last stand - Global Warming, Voter Fraud, RTA - Call now!
News from Rally against Vote Fraud at Milwaukee City Hall
Follow the money: Why are Potawatomis pushing Clean Energy Jobs Act?
Call Now! We cannot afford Gov. Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act
*I often listen to Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna. When legislation is pending, Mark Belling** is also helpful.
There is still time to register and attend the Americans for Prosperity 3rd Annual Defending the American Dream Summit this weekend, March 12th and 13th. The event runs 2 days at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The event begins on Friday with registration and a reception. The speakers and seminars begin at 9:30am on Saturday and continue until 7pm, and then there is an After the Tea Party Party in the evening.
Some of the speakers include: Lord Christopher Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher (he gave that compelling speech warning of the US ceding our rights if we entered into the Copenhagen treaty last Oct.) , Grover Norquist - Americans for Tax Reform, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Representatives Leah Vukmir and Jim Ott, Niger Innnis-Congress of Racial Equality, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Vicki McKenna, Michael Reagan, and Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range - land use rights.
Issues include Global Warming-Climate Change-Economic Suicide, Net Neutrality, Hands Off My Health Care, Voter Fraud, and Property Rights and Coordination, and more.
I attended this event last year and found it very worthwhile. In looking at the speaker lineup, I see some of last year's speakers will be there again. Of particular interest is Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range. Last year he told how a community stopped the NAFTA highway at the very local level by using land rights law. This process might apply to High Speed Train right of way too. I don't know if it would be of any help with the recent 10 million acre land and ocean/lake waters grab, via Executive Order, from the Obama Administration, but you could ask Fred.
If you are interested in the Conservative perspective on local and national issues, I urge you to attend. The cost is $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for students. Register here
While driving home yesterday, I heard the Potawatomi's latest ad supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but it came to me, why are they pushing this so? In other words, if we follow the money--what is in it for them? Would they maybe be leasing land for windmills?
I emailed radio talk show hosts Vicki McKenna and Jay Weber when I came home to see if they knew. (Didn't hear back.) Later on, I Googled for some info and found this surprise:
Unfortunately, ObamaCare health care reform has become a matter of being the best bill money can bribe. It seems the only way the Democrats can cram it down our throats is to offer big buck incentives to hold-out Senators to reach the magical 60 vote majority and then vote in the dead of night.
Senator and Doctor Tom Coburn said it best, "This process is not legislation. This process is corruption, and it's a shame that that's the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes."
If bribes weren't bad enough, Senate Leader Harry Reid scheduled the final vote on the eve of Christendom's most significant holiday: Christmas Eve. The timing of his vote is a slap in the face to Christians.
All I can say is that our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves at the dirty tricks some legislators have sunk to.
What can we do? Really nothing, except pray that just one of those 60 Democrats would change their vote? Something in the spirit of A Christmas Carol, where the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visited Ebenezer Scrooge prompting his change of heart, that 1 or 2 Democrats would be convicted or have troubling dreams of what America will look like in the future under the tyranny of ObamaCare.
Or, we need something to keep a Senator or 2 from voting on the Senate floor Christmas Eve. Not anything serious, just a well timed emergency appendectomy or something?
Unless we get a reprieve, we probably will have a signed Senate bill on Christmas Eve. Talk about coal in our stockings!
The only shred of hope we have of defeating ObamaCare after that is to hammer our legislators while they are home in their districts over Christmas break. The House and Senate versions still must go through conference committee to come up with the final version. My hope would be some Congressmen would reconsider, seeing that over 60% of Americans DON'T WANT OBAMACARE.
God help us, everyone.
Nearly 2 weeks ago, hackers broke into the computers at Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. This was important because the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, IPCC, uses the CRU as their source for data.
The hackers then posted over 1,000 emails and 72 documents on the internet revealing how the CRU was suppressing data that showed there was no warming of the planet:
"Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims."
The British press is up in arms over this. Brits are, after all, ahead of us on the Carbon Tax parade. In the U.S., there has not been much coverage.
In fact, as far as President Obama is concerned, it seems it is global warming business as usual.
Despite this huge nail in the global warming coffin hitting the press 2 weeks ago, President Obama still met with Indian and Chinese leaders last week, to coax them "one step closer" to climate deal:
"US President Barack Obama said Tuesday [Nov. 24, 2009] the world has moved 'one step closer' to a 'strong operational agreement' on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."
And Obama is still planning on attending the beginning of that U.N. climate meeting in Copenhagen on Dec. 9th.
Why? Global Warming is big business, can be used to implement new taxes and will control people's behaviors.
"Obama has made climate change a top priority of his administration..." The President still wants Cap and Trade to pass early next year.
In light of this new information, that the planet isn't warming, one would hope the push for taxing and controlling carbon emissions would be halted.
American scientist John Christy was was criticized in the hacked emails for asking that IPCC reports include dissenting points of view. He wrote, "It's disconcerting to realize that legislative actions [Cap and Trade] this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested."
Disconcerting indeed. Granted, there hasn't been much about this from the mainstream media in the U.S. If only our President would check the Drudge Report once in a while!
More Reading: Climate Emails Stoke Debate, Scientists' Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud Over Global Warming
Hiding evidence of global cooling, Junk science exposed among climate-change believers
Global Warming with the Lid Off, The emails that reveal an effort to hide the truth about climate science
The Day Global Warming Stood Still
How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie (The Hockey Stick exposed)
Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner will be discussing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ObamaCare Health Care Reform bill today and tomorrow, all 1,990 pages of it!
Paul Ryan will be at the Franklin Library* today, Friday, Oct. 30th, at 11am, for a press conference.
Jim Sensenbrenner, along with State Representative Leah Vukmir, will be at the Elm Grove Library** at 12:30pm on Saturday, Oct. 31st. This was a regularly scheduled Town Hall meeting, but somehow, I think the discussion will be primarily about the Pelosi bill. Since Vukmir was a nurse, she will be able to add some insights into this so-called health care reform bill.
Not that Nancy Pelosi is rushing the 1,990 pages of regulation and spending, but the plan is that the House will vote on this toward the end of next week. (Can anyone even read and understand those 1,990 pages by then?)
I heard Paul Ryan on Mark Belling's show yesterday, hour 2. Give it a listen. It is a very straight forward discussion which begins at the beginning of the hour. Here are a few highlights:
- Pelosi's bill cuts $526 billion from Medicare, WITHOUT affecting services! (Why don't they do that now?)
- About 64% of Seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage private plans option.
- Pelosi's bill includes $572 billion in INCOME TAX INCREASES. This would put top earners and small businesses, who file on their personal returns, into a 54% tax rate. "Capitalism can't work" at this tax rate.
- Employers will be able to ditch their approx.15% of salary designated for providing health care and just pay the 8% penalty. This will dump private insurance company group coverage, provided by employers, to the government plan. (Which underpay doctors and hospitals, like Medicare/Medicaid.) So much for you being able to keep your plan. You can't keep a plan your employer is no longer offering!
- Pelosi's plan covers illegal aliens and abortion. Without any amendments to prohibit this coverage, all will be covered at taxpayer expense.
- The bill CLAIMS to be budget neutral, in fact, they promise it will REDUCE the deficit by $104 billion.(If you believe that, I would like to talk to you about The Great Pumpkin.)
Today's post is part 2 of yesterday's Pre-existing conditions: Could any insurance company stay solvent this way?
Early on in the health care debate, President Obama promised that his health care reform would not exclude anyone because of a pre-existing health condition. (The House and Senate versions of the bill all prohibit private insurance companies from excluding pre-existing conditions.)
If you didn't know better, you might assume that no one with a pre-existing medical condition could ever get health insurance, thus making Obama's healthcare reform a necessity.
Since most people, by the time they are 40 years old, have some sort of pre-existing health issue, does that mean they are unable to get health insurance?
Well, yes and no. It was my understanding that if a person (or their spouse) had an employer who offered group health insurance, the answer was NO, they were not banned from obtaining group health insurance.
Just to be sure of my position, I called my insurance carrier, Humana. Here is what I found out:
- If you (or your family if you have a family plan) were previously insured with another company, you are covered under the new insurance carrier, regardless of treatment in the past--your pre-existing conditions.
- You are still considered previously insured even if there was a lapse of up to 60 days* of insurance coverage. This would be important if you moved or changed jobs.
- If you were unemployed, thus uninsured, for longer than 60 days, purchasing a COBRA insurance policy would guarantee future coverage. Wisconsin's BadgerCare and Medicaid also count as maintaining health insurance coverage.
- IF you let all health insurance coverage lapse during your unemployment (or never had health insurance), and then get a job from a company offering group insurance, you may still enroll in their group policy plan. All dependent children will be fully covered immediately on family plans. You will be covered immediately for everything EXCEPT the conditions you were previously treated for. Coverage for those pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered until a 6 to 12 month waiting period has passed.
I don't often have reason to say, Thank you, to our Wisconsin Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. But after yesterday's Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 1776 failed, I do! Both Kohl and Feingold voted against the Cloture Motion.
In all, 12 Democrats joined all the Senate Republicans in rejecting this ram through tactic. (Check for other naysayers. Of interest to me was now Democrat Arlan Specter voted Yea, Rino Republican Olympia Snowe voted Nay.)
The Heritage Foundation's, A Whole New Health Care Ball Game explains why that failed vote was important. You see, it was the first floor vote test on Obamacare. Up until this point, the votes were just committee votes: (My emphasis throughout)
"You have to read all the way to page A-25 in today’s New York Times to learn about it, but the Senate took its first floor vote on Obamacare yesterday and the White House lost. Big. The NYT reports: 'Democrats lost a big test vote on health care legislation on Wednesday as the Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, needed 60 votes to proceed. He won only 47. And he could not blame Republicans. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with Republicans on the 53 to 47 roll call.'”
The failure to move forward with S. 1776 (the "Doc Fix"), as presently written, does not mean that the Senators are necessarily against increasing payments to doctors treating Medicare patients. It just means that they did not approve of the tactics of shifting $247 billion from Obamacare Health Care Reform to S. 1776 without any means of paying for it:
"The Obama administration is trying to add $247 billion in deficit health care spending one week, and then turn around and claim their health care plan is deficit neutral the next. The trickery has come in for some heavy bi-partisan criticism. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he thought the tactic is a “mistake”, and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told Politico: “I am for the fix, but I don’t think we should blow the roof off the deficit — not at a time when we are already running record deficits.”
Last night I had to take my car to the shop and only caught portions of the President's Joint Session of Congress speech. I did catch the now infamous, "You lie" section and must confess I said, "That's not true!" at the same moment.
I certainly understand Congressman Wilson's frustration with a president who likes to make promises regardless of the facts, but he was out of line. (Remember, I am the one who wanted to maintain a sense of decorum on blog comments.) Of course the media is focusing on this political faux pas instead of what the bill allows. We wouldn't want to draw any attention to the facts, right?
So what does the bill, or bills (there are many versions) say about insuring illegals? Is the President correct when he promises that "the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
Obamacare won't cover illegal immigrants? Yes it will, says Congressional Research Service: (For clarity, I made the CRS quote bold.) Just recently, the president stated, "Illegal immigrants would not be covered. That idea has not even been on the table."
"Well, Mr. President, [Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner writes] that idea must have been tucked under a stack of background briefing papers over there in the corner of the table because the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says this about H.R. 3200, the Obamacare bill approved just before the recess by the House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA:
While studying the WW2 era in our homeschool history class, I was surprised to learn how many Americans living on the east and west coasts were instructed to keep their eyes open for any enemy activity. In fact, South Carolina's Coast Guard Beach Patrol trained for possible German landings. The threat was real.
Since September 11th, Americans are called upon to be observant and report suspicious behavior or abandoned parcels/backpacks. These examples of vigilance are understandable.
But I cannot remember any president in my lifetime ever asking that people's emails or web postings* be reported if they are against their agenda. In this case, against Obama's ideal of Health Care reform. That seems awfully Big Brother-ish.
From the White House website via Redstate: (Their emphasis)
"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org."
President Obama's request to turn in citizens' "fishy" information seems eerily reminiscent of Germany's 1930s and WW2 years to me. Remember how Hitler encouraged the Hitler Youth to turn in anyone, including their parents, who did not support Hitler's agenda? From Military History Online:(My emphasis)
"An ominous new development within the HJ [Hitlerjugend or Hitler Youth] was the appearance of HJ-Streifendienst (Patrol Force) units functioning as internal political police, maintaining order at meetings, ferreting out disloyal members, and denouncing anyone who criticized Hitler or Nazism including, in a few cases, their own parents."
"Many of these same HJ became so infatuated by their Nazi education and work ethic, that they became hostile towards anyone who did not share the Nazi view of the world. Often, this included members of their own families. ...In one of the great ironies of history, parents suddenly became afraid of their own children, especially if their sons were HJ members. The adults found themselves living in fear that their son or daughter could report anti-Nazi talk or behavior to the Gestapo, whereby they would end up in a re-education or concentration camp."
As for President Obama's unprecedented request to turn in those who don't share his vision, most of us wondered, is this reporting legal? Doesn't this violate the Constitution's 1st amendment? Redstate thinks so:
"Given the near certainty that no one will be stripping from emails the names of the people forwarding on the information, the White House is most likely engaged in unlawful activity."
To us the President says, "You can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
But check out this video piece I found on Drudge today: UNCOVERED VIDEO: OBAMA EXPLANAINS HOW HIS HEALTH CARE PLAN WILL 'ELIMINATE' PRIVATE INSURANCE I only just got my sound back on my computer so I could watch it. But in case you don't want to watch the clip, here are the quotes (as close as I could transcribe) from the video clips:
It opens with President Obama to the AMA in June of 2009: "The public option is not your enemy, it is your friend, I believe."
"Let me also address a illegitimate concern that is being put forward, by those who are claiming that a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single payer system."
Followed by Obama to the SEIU Health Care Forum in March of 2007: "My commitment is to make sure we got universal health care for all Americans by the end of my first term as president."
"I would hope that we set up a system that allows those who can't go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort."
"But I don't think we are going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately, there's going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out."
Then it shows Obama addressing the AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women's Rights Conference in 2003: "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan. A
single payer, health care plan, Universal health care plan, that is what I would like to see."
July 27, 2009: Democrat Representative Barney Frank then expresses his support for single payer systems: "I think if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer."
May of 2009: Democrat Representative Jan Schakowsky then talks about how an insurance guy sitting next to her argued against the public insurance option, saying that it would put private insurance out of business because it wouldn't allow private insurance to compete. She then says to the crowd she was addressing, "He was right, the man was right!"*
Lastly, a clip of the President saying, "Nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care."
More reading and viewing:
The YouTube piece on Breibart came from NakedEmperorNews.com
*Hear the whole clip, which adds "I am so confident in the superiority of a public health care option that I think he has every reason to be frightened." Gateway Pundit: Rep. Jan Schakowski Lies to FOX Business Channel About Destroying the Private Insurance Industy
The Heritage Foundation: Barney Frank: Public Option is Best Way to Single Payer
HotAirPundit has an intersting set of video clips at the bottom of his post showing Pres. Obama claiming "I don't believe Government can or should run Health Care."
Correction: I posted this piece earlier today before rushing out the door for a lunch date, an appointment, some errands, and family dinner. Finally I have some time to repost as promised.
Are you particular about which doctor or dentist you see? I am. I believe in a Holistic, natural approach to medicine. A doctor needs to treat the whole person, not just prescribe medication for an isolated symptom. The goal is health, not just making an unpleasant symptom go away.
Some people don't care; any M.D. or D.D.S. will do. But I will pay a higher deductible, co-pay, and/or coinsurance fees just so I can be treated by who I want to see. I pay extra, because it is very important to me. Fortunately my insurance plan allows me to choose.
So when President Obama promises over and over again, "You'll be able to keep your health care plan, period," and "...you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
Yet he was forced to clarify his promise, "It seems he wasn’t saying 'no one' will take away any American’s health insurance – he was saying the government wouldn’t. Which is not to say that the government wouldn’t create a situation where such a thing would happen."
He also admitted that he hadn't actually read the House bill, which spelled out that in effect, we would lose our doctor and health care plans under his reforms.
Since Obamacare is really just an expansion of Medicaid/Medicare-like plans, I asked my doctor if she took Medicaid/Medicare patients. She said no, unless they paid her directly.
Reason? Medicaid/Medicare insurance requires too much paper work and often doesn't pay enough to cover the services. My doctor is not alone; same is true of my holistic dentist, my former chiropractor, and another holistic doctor I know of. Patients can pay out of pocket, of course, but their government insurance plan is not accepted. My doctor did say she would discount her fees by 25% if the patient paid cash. Other doctors may make similar arrangements.
So how can the President promise that we can keep our doctors under his plan? The language of the House bill states that any change in your current private plan will bump you into the government plan. Since private plans are likely to change somewhat every year, we won't be able to keep them for long.
"What health care legislation on Capitol Hill says": (My emphasis)
- "If you get your health insurance from a large employer, you will not be able to keep your current health insurance. After 5 years, large employers will be required to offer only government approved plans. Government approved plans will not offer treatments that the government refuses to approve because they cost too much relative to the government's determination of value.
- "If you buy your own health insurance from a private insurer, you will lose your insurance if either you or your insurer changes your plan. Need a higher or lower deductible or to add or subtract a family member? Too bad. After the law passes, private insurers will not be allowed to issue any new individual plans.
In the story, The Wizard of Oz, there comes a time when Dorothy and the troubled trio return to the Great Oz, "a disembodied and imposing head with a booming voice," to reap their promised rewards.
While talking to the Great Oz, Toto pulls back the control room curtain to reveal an old man, a mere mortal, at the controls of the projection booth. Dorothy realizes that the Great OZ is nothing more than an artificial projected image created to impress the residents of the Emerald City. That is when Oz says that famous line, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
That is the fanciful story called The Wizard of Oz. The man behind the curtain is the reality; the projected imposing head isn't.
America's fantasy story is that the government can provide health care for everyone, including 12 million illegal aliens, and do it better than the private insurance industry can.* Oh, did I mention it wasn't supposed to bankrupt us?
The Emerald City had Oz; he made promises he couldn't keep. We have our our own wizard, The Wizard of Obmamacare, a.k.a. President Obama. Our Wizard is promoting and promising health care reform miracles.
There was no real Oz in the story. He was just an image controlled by a mere mortal, bound by the constraints of the real world.
There isn't any reality to The Wizard of Obamacare either. He may promise anything he wants, but his promises are still bound by the constraints of the health care bill H.R. 3200 as it is written. The bill is the man behind the curtain.
When asked a specific question regarding the outlawing of private insurance in section 102 of the bill, President Obama admitted, "You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about." He had not read all of the bill--not even that very imortant section.
It was after that stunning admission that he in effect inferred, Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain--the written bill. I say that because he later promised again, “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”
Of course, our President has a tendency to say anything. Remember he also said that health care reform would reduce costs. He also promised not to implement health care reform if it would result in higher deficits.
I am encouraged that some Representatives are balking at rushing into approving this devastating bill. I am concerned when I start hearing about compromise measures added to get the thing passed. Legislation of this magnitude needs to be carefully considered, not blindly approved. It needs to be scrapped, not amended.
In case you didn't realize, Toto in my Wizard of Obamacare story is anyone taking the time to read and find out what HR 3200 actually says. Totos would include the legislators who take time to read the actual bill, talk radio hosts and conservative bloggers who delve into the details, and now even some media is pulling back the curtain.
Dorothy could be the American public and Congress who are losing confidence in the Wizard of Obamacare and the Wizard of Obamaeconomics. I hope the Dorothys wake up before it is too late.
Contact your Representative!
*Does health care need reform? YES. But it is not an all or nothing proposition needing to be approved by Aug. 8th or anytime soon!
More reading: Does the House Plan Outlaw Private Insurance?
Obamacare: You Will Lose Your Current Insurance. Period. End of Story.
MayoClinic's reaction to House Tri-Committee bill
Obama health-care claims disputed
Last night, while searching through the 100s of articles I've saved, I came across this Presidential promise from February of 2009: Obama vows to cut huge deficit in half:
"President Obama will announce Monday that he plans to cut the nation’s projected annual deficit in half by the end of his first term, a senior administration official said Saturday."
..."Under White House projections, this year’s inherited budget deficit of $1.3 trillion will be cut to $533 billion by fiscal year 2013, the end of the first term. 'So we’ll cut it at least in half,' the official said."
Where would the savings come from? "Winding down the war in Iraq," taxing the rich, and "other cuts" to be announced. These savings were to have allowed "an ambitious overhaul of the nation's health-care system." The president also said that his budget blueprint would be 'honest in its accounting.'”
Well, since that time, we have not cut or saved much of anything. In fact, our deficit just hit $1 trillion and is projected to reach "$1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion" by budget year end. Some predict $2 trillion.
Today we learn that the White House is delaying the usual mid July budget update until mid August. Why would that be?
They say it is because it is a transition year between administrations and the president only just released his his full budget in early May instead of early February. Maybe. If so, shouldn't the vote on Health Care reform and Cap and Trade be delayed until it is released?
But could it be that President Obama doesn't want the Congress to see the budget shortfall numbers BEFORE we add the estimated $1 Trillion cost of expanding Medicaid a.k.a. Health Care reform? (Let's not forget Cap and Trade hasn't passed the Senate yet either.)
President Obama promised just last week that, "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."
Obama also said that his health care reform will save money, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn't agree. Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the CBO warned it would "significantly expand" federal costs. "The main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs - as Obama has insisted - but 'significantly expand' the federal financial responsibility for health care."
The CBO office just reported that, "Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path—meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds longterm fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the U.S. population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law."
I am all for cutting the deficit in half by 2012, but just saying so doesn't make it so! Outside of national defense or other real necessities, we cannot afford to do anything new that adds to our deficit. But our president still wants his Health Care bill to be passed in early August before Congress recesses for the summer and BEFORE the Budget Update is released. Is that being "honest in its accounting?"
Things to do:
Call our Senators. US Senate Members
Senator Herb Kohl: (202) 224-5653, Senator Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323
Sign the Freeourhealthcarenow.com petition
More reading: Obama's Health Plan Needs Spending Controls, CBO Says: "President Obama's plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured is likely to dig the nation deeper into debt unless policymakers adopt politically painful controls on spending, such as sharp reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers, congressional budget analysts said yesterday."
One of the first lessons we learned while studying Economics in our home school was "Tanstaafl, the Romans and Us." It was chapter 2 in Richard Maybury's book, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? The book is simply written but contains invaluable information on the principles of economics and how the world works. Too bad it isn't required reading for every President, Legislator, Judge, Cabinet Member and Czar.
So, what is TANSTAAFL? Tanstaafl stands for: "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." It was a very popular saying during the Great Depression.
Tanstaafl is a law of economics--a fact of life--yet our government and president, in particular, seem to have never learned about it. It says that everything of value carries a cost, or put another way, nothing of value is free. "Someone must pay for it, if not with money, then with time and hard work."
The author, Richard Maybury, then cites the example of the air we breathe--even clean air isn't free because "people work hard and spend lots of money to keep it clean enough to breathe." (Just ask the folks at WE Energies or any manufacturer.)
Chapter 2 opens by discussing the double-digit inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s--the Carter years, something our nation had not really experienced before. (Exception being the Confederate dollar during the Civil War era.) Maybury then compares what went on in ancient Rome with our economic woes. Imagine if this book was written today? The US Deficit just hit $1 TRILLION dollars, a new all time high, and could reach $1.8 or so Trillion by year's end.
Ancient Rome was famous for its road system and wars to conquer other nations. Both of those things require money. Lots of money. Public works projects and a large standing army require funding. How do you do that?
Tax the people, right? Rome was also famous for its taxes. (Remember the Christmas story? Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to be taxed and counted in the census?)
Well, to pay taxes, you have to have some sort of job. Hence, another thing we have in common with the Roman Empire; they had a large welfare program.
So Rome had public works projects, a large standing army, and welfare to fund, but very little actual manufacturing or productivity in their country. You can only tax so much--even if you are Rome!
The Emperors knew that too high a tax rate might result in revolt, not polite Tea Parties, but actual revolt. Today, we would just inflate the money supply by printing more money. They used silver coins so they solved the problem by clipping off the edge of each coin collected in taxes and then melting the clipped parts to mint more coins. Of course the money was not worth a full Denarius anymore, but the Roman government did it anyway. They wanted to fund their wish list of public works, army, and welfare programs to keep the unemployed masses happy. They hoped nobody would notice.
But the merchants did notice. After a few close shaves, the coins were noticeably smaller and lighter. Merchants started to refuse clipped money or required 2 clipped coins for one real one. The currency was DEBASED.
DEBASING currencies and INFLATION go hand in hand. Not just in Rome but in the USA. At its extreme, this is what happened in pre WW2 Germany, where a wheelbarrow of German Marks was needed to purchase a loaf of bread.
Today, Europe and China are concerned about how much we have inflated our money supply. Our Secretary of the Treasury was laughed at in China when he told them the dollar was secure. Savvy Americans are concerned too. That is why you hear so much talk of investing in gold.
The only ones that don't really believe in TANSTAAFL are the politicians proposing one costly measure after another without the ability to pay for it: TARP under President Bush, and now President Obama's BAIL-OUTS, STIMULUS 1, CAP and TRADE, NATIONAL HEALTH CARE, and now talk of STIMULUS 2.
Keep TANSTAAFL in mind. It applies to all aspects of life. Everything has a cost, whether it is money, time, effort, loss of quality of life. Nothing is free; someone always pays for it.
Just like the laws of Physics that state you cannot create energy out of nothing, you cannot create money out of nothing either, not even to fund unprecedented government spending. It's because TANSTAAFL.
If you have not called your Senators, do so. (I heard that Kohl was showing signs of weakening on Cap and Trade on Marl Levin last night?) A polite call is the most effective and I make sure they take my name. I urged them both to oppose Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform and threw in opposing Sotomayor too.
US Senate Members
Senator Herb Kohl: (202) 224-5653, Senator Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323
545 people I wish would read "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy" Rounding the 'net: The 545 people responsible for all of America's woes
Vice President Biden should read it too: "We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt"
Past Post: I'm going into the wheelbarrow biz, or the "Peso-fication of the US$
While evidence mounts that the planet is NOT warming, the US House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade (Tax) Bill anyway, by just 5 votes. The Cap-and-Trade Tax bill then went to the US Senate.
It's Independence Day! A day set aside to celebrate the birthday of our nation.
Remember when we used to joke that CNN stood for the Clinton News Network?
Well, ABC is certainly following suit and dialing it up a few notches to boot. ABC news will be broadcasting from the White House with a primetime special, "Prescription for America." Do we dub ABC as the All Barack Channel? How about Adoring Barack Cheerleaders? You can probably come up with your own nicknames.
Anyway, here is ABC's newest joint venture with President Obama:
"On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!"
Unlike real prescription advertising, that must also include a long list of possible detrimental side effects, Charlie Gibson's Govt. Health Care "Prescription" promo will NOT include any opposing voices or side effects.
The Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay wrote a complaint letter to ABC. Here are some excerpts:
"As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC's astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming.
...In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers...Respectfully, Ken McKay"
Now, keep in mind, the Democrats are the ones pushing for the "Fairness Doctrine" type media reforms to ensure equal time for both points of view on your radio and possibly the internet, yet for TV network news coverage, this doesn't seem to be a problem.
The Drudge Report posted this as a banner developing story, so that is all for right now. Stay tuned!
We have all heard about the Jim Doyle recall effort by now, but there is another Recall Jim effort afoot: The Recall of State Senator Jim Sullivan! I am wondering if this attempt to recall Jim will have any affect on Sullivan voting for the $62.2 billion dollar budget that just went to the Senate?
The Democrat controlled Assembly passed Wisconsin's budget, with a 50 - 48 vote (big sigh), at 5:20 AM on Saturday. Voting pretty much ran along party lines, with the exception of 2 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in voting NO.
My State Assembly Representative Leah Vukmir sent me the following report on the budget session and vote. (Contact Rep. Vukmir if you wish to be added to her email alert list.) Republicans were able to make a few changes, but most of the bloated budget passed and is now heading to the State Senate. She urges, as do I, that you contact your State Senator and the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker, "and let them know how you feel." (Contact info at bottom of post.)
Here is the "Good News" according to Rep. Vukmir's report: (My emphasis throughout)
- They agreed to drop the Joint and Several liability provisions from the budget.
- The Milwaukee County sales tax proposal was dropped from the original 6.6% to 6.25%.
- Assembly Democrats, at the request of the U.W. System, removed a $28 million budget earmark for building a U.W. Madison School of Nursing.
- They also agreed to eliminate various other earmarks from the Joint Finance version of the budget.
Last week, President Obama sent a letter touting his government health care plan to 2 Senate Democrats stating, "This [his public health care option] will give (people) a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."
Has government interference given Wisconsin residents more choices and made insurance carriers more competitive? In my opinion, no. Wisconsin mandates that certain benefits be included in all insurance policies sold in the state. Things like treatment for alcoholism and autism are mandated for all policies, I believe. But why should a tea-totaling person be required to purchase treatment for alcoholism? Why should a childless adult or parent of grown children be required to purchase insurance to cover Autism? Why can't we purchase health insurance policies from other states without these mandates?
I am not saying that those services shouldn't be offered as a choice. Just that if you want them, they should be an extra.
We don't purchase car insurance that way. If a driver has had an accident or violation, their rates usually go up. We have the choice to purchase collision insurance or not. Why can't we get more choices available for health insurance too?
Just thinking about other private businesses that compete with the government, is it the competition with the government that drives prices down or competition with each other?
Did DHL offer cheaper shipping prices than the post office because they were competing with the USPS or because they were competing with UPS and FedEx?
What about schools. As a rule, which is more expensive, public schools or private schools? Which one provides a better product? Does competition with public schools drive the cost down or "keep them honest" for the private? Does competition restrain the price for the public schools? Do you ever hear of a school board discussing that they need to keep costs down to remain competitive with say a school like, Heritage Christian School. (Their tuition is under $4,000 a year last time I checked.)
No, I believe private schools--parochial in particular--provide a cheaper, better alternative to government schools. Just ask the 1,000's of students cut from the School Choice program in our state, who enjoyed a superior education at a lower cost to taxpayers.
What happens when the national health care plan obtains subsidies and underwriting by the government that aren't available to the private sector? How is that type of competition fair and honest? Once the private sector insurers are out of business, do you really think the product offered will be superior to the private sector product? (If you are in doubt, just think of a private retirement annuity/investment plan vs. Social Security, where you pay a lot in but get little out.)
The President would like government-run health care to hit the Congress by August. What is the rush? Thankfully, Republican House Leader John Boehner is adamantly opposed.
President Obama was correct that competition keeps the cost down--it does in the private sector. However, that principle doesn't really work when the government provides the only choice.
Must reads: Heritage Foundation: Obama Rhetoric vs Health Care Reality
Wall Street Journal: How to Stop Socialized Health Care, Five arguments Republicans must make
Investor's Business Daily: Doctors Fight Back
New York Times: A.M.A Opposes Government-Sponsored Health Plan
While most of the American media ignores the dramatic shift toward Marxism in America under President Obama's administration, there is one news source that has the guts to report what has been going on since Jan. 20, 2009 straight up: Russia's PRAVDA!
No cheer leading here, just the unvarnished truth: America is the new "land of the Red": American capitalism gone with a whimper.
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.
It was nice of the US Postal Service to wait until after Mother's Day to raise their rates by 2 cents for First Class mail... ;-)
Curiosity won out last night, and so I went to Brookfield East's library for Sen. Jim Sullivan's Town Hall meeting. I didn't know what to expect; I have never been to one of his meetings. Would I be the lone conservative amongst liberals?
Great news! Wisconsin State Representative Jim Ott has put all of his Hot Air Reports on the subject of global warming / climate change online. You may also subscribe to his weekly reports just by emailing him at Rep.Ottj@legis.wi.gov and requesting that he send you the reports via email. (I did need to include my home address in the email.)
NOTICE: Brookfieldnow bloggers recently switched to a new software. Until I learn how to navigate, no new posts on Brookfieldnow. I will be posting on brookfield7 however.
If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.
http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#all/1205e1ef555f02fd Jim Ott's latest hot air on cap and trade
Obama signed into law another restriction on mining and drilling.
Bill of Attainder, a bill intended to punish a certain group of individuals.
By now you have heard of Wisconsin's new slogan: Live like you mean it. Besides the point that what in the world does that mean?, I have to ask, what did the committee do to earn their $50,000 to create that profundity?
ABC's John Stossel is having a new special on government waste Friday night, on their weekly news show 20/20. It is entitled, Bailouts and Bull. I heard John talk a little about it today, and one of the subjects he will address is 4K or universal pre-school. It sounds like it will be interesting.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123716798764436701.html Everyone hates ethanol. blends over 10% harm engines, etc. good
MoveOn is urging their membership to contact Congress about health care. They are hoping to improve their petiton signers from 200,000 to 250,000.
Louisianna has gained jobs, it is the only state that has! 3,700 LAWorks.net contradicts what Biden said
What ever happened to No means No?
If you have ever studied early American history, you know the painstaking care our founding fathers took in crafting every document. The Declaration, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights were not just something a few guys threw together without thought.
President Obama was out and about promoting his "stimulus" package earlier this week. The audio clips I heard of the Town Hall meeting Obama held on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Florida, however, seemed bizarre to me. It certainly was not very presidential.
We already do this to a certain extent with Medicare. The rule of thumb is that if Medicare does not cover it, a retirees supplemental plan won't cover it either. The government health insurance provider decides. They also decide the dollar amount they will pay for a procedure. This is why some doctors or dentists don't want to take Medicare/Medicaid patients; their costs are not covered. If they do take these type patients, the extra costs are passed onto those with health insurance. That is one reason health insurance rates are so high.
UPDATE: Yes, the House Republicans did say NO. Every one of them, plus 11 Blue-Dog Democrats! Send them a BIG thank you. Next question: Will the Senate Republicans and Senate Blue-Dogs say NO next week too? (I'm praying they will vote NO.) If enough Americans squawk, loudly, they just might. (Yes, that is a longshot.)
Ultimate Ponzi scheme OK, Madoff's not OK
It appears Al Franken has truly turned Minnesota election law into a Franken-stein of a monster recount--something the election laws were never intended to do: enable stealing an election.
Dear Mrs. Prast:
I've heard from many people with different viewpoints
about the proposed auto industry rescue plan, but we can all agree
that the American economy is struggling. I supported the rescue
plan because of the 46,000 jobs in Wisconsin tied to the auto
industry. In the current economic climate, we cannot afford to put
more Americans out of work. The House of Representatives
passed their version of the auto rescue plan, H.R. 7321, on
December 10, 2008. Unfortunately, a motion to proceed to
consideration of the bill failed to garner the necessary 60 votes,
stalling the bill in the Senate.
The Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act
included $15 billion in short-term loans for GM, Ford, and
Chrysler, to be paid back with interest. To avoid bankruptcy and
emerge as stronger businesses, the Big Three would have been
required to submit long-term restructuring plans no later than
March 31, 2009, or have their loans revoked. Additionally, a
government appointed "car czar" would have overseen the
automaker's loan disbursement and restructuring.
As a businessman, I questioned whether a government
bureaucrat would do a better job than the automakers have done.
However, the automakers were willing to submit to intrusive
government oversight, surrender their executive perks, and give the
American taxpayer a stake in any future profits, so I was willing to
support a rescue plan and give the automakers an opportunity to
I am hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be reached, or
that the Treasury will act, before it is too late for the auto industry.
Again, thank you for contacting me.
Please do not reply to this message; to make further comments or to find additional information, please
visit my web site at http://kohl.senate.gov/.
Call this another soft tyranny!
Our state capitol in Madison has a Christmas tree (I am using last year's term), a menorah for Hanukkah, and I think something for Kwanza too. I am fine with that. They are holidays celebrated in December by people of various religions and cultures in our state.
Last year, the State Assembly had to fight to get the Capitol Christmas tree called just that, a CHRISTMAS tree. In our culture, if it were not for Christmas, whether you celebrate it as religious holiday or secular, why else would you cut down a tree and bring it indoors?
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=333108 Fed to buy $600 billion in mortgage-related assets. nov 25
Funny thing about Socialists and Marxists. They say everyone should spread the wealth around. quote from Marx each according to his ability but they believe they themselves are exempt from that mandate.
http://www.eclecticwill.com/2008/10/open-letter-to-sen-obama-from-corey-miller-the-well-driller/ Open Letter to Sen. Obama from Corey Miller the Well Driller
Obama's Global Poverty Act not only would cost Americans nearly $860 billion??? but more importantly it would compromise America's sovereignty. Is it any wonder those at the U.N. are rooting for Barack Obama?
Hawaii had to drop their free coverage for children. Parents who were paying for their children's coverage dropped it in favor of the freebie plan?//Look for link
http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2008/10/24/frank-calls-for-25-percent-cut-in-defense-spending-eventual-tax-hikes/ Frank Calls for Major Devense Cuts, 'Eventual' Tax Hike
Congress has the lowest approval rating of all time.
We've invested $81 billion into 401Ks because those investments are made from pre taxed dollars! they consider those to be theirs!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/04/AR2007090401623_pf.html Importing Poverty
Do you know how much you contribute to Social Security every month? What if you had that money to invest yourself? Would you have done a better job?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122455099434052597.html?mod=djemEditorialPage Get Ready for the New New Deal Obama is much more dangerous to economic freedom than FDR
Presidential candidate Barack Obama has used his skin color to his advantage in this election. Anytime anyone brings up his past associations with Rev. Wright, terrorist William Ayers, Father Flager, or FannieMae's Franklin Raines, etc., Obama's campaign squawks, that's racist. (Go figure, 2 of those men are white.) Referencing Obama as a community activist/organizer was deemed a code word for black too.
One of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotes is, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122343823408914411.html Obama and Health-Care Equity, Barack defends tax subsidies for the rich
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=802759 Surge in Asian carp could lead to expanded range Oct. 5, 2008
Early in his campaign, Obama said he would get money from Iraq war? Now he is sending troops to Afghanistan. look up http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20159
I heard both Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner interviewed on Jay Weber's radio show this morning. (Hour 4 Part 2).
Since I trust the opinion of both of these men, I was curious as to why
Ryan voted YES and Sensenbrenner NO on the latest bailout bill.
I just heard this announcement on the news: Bush to Lift Executive Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling. (This would be the moratorium his father enacted.) He will be talking about this decision from the Rose Garden at 12:30pm today.
Over the July 4th holiday weekend, the AP broke the news that 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium--" the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment"-- was shipped from Iraq to Canada. Considering how many times we heard, Bush lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, you would think that would be BIG news.
Oh, this is a new low (H/T Drudge): Congressional Approval Falls to Single Digits for First Time Ever today:
Sunday we returned from a few days in Dearborn Michigan touring the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and The Rouge Ford Factory. The Rouge Factory Tour was new to us. There was Bill Ford, the great grandson of Henry, up on the BIG screen telling us how Ford created this new Rouge factory to be friendly to the environment.
Last night I heard Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on the Mark Levin Show. They were discussing S. 2191, the Senate "Lieberman/Warner Global Warming Bill and the disastrous effect this would have not on just the country as a whole, but the individual." (My emphasis throughout post.)
If you've ever planned a road trip, mapping your route ahead of time makes a big difference: which way will allow you to travel with the least amount of traffic, major city rush hours, or road construction? Often a little planning ahead can save hours being stuck in a traffic jam. Certainly there is no sense to chart a course leading to a bridge closed for repairs. No reasonable person would say, the only bridge ahead is closed, but we'll make such good time before the bridge, we'll pick that route anyway.
Yet this is what our government is doing by ignoring the coming Social Security/Medicare crisis. Politicians don't want to deal with that reality. They know it is going bankrupt, but their attitude is, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. "There is a growing, bipartisan consensus about the greatest threat to our nation's long-term economic prosperity: the explosion of entitlement spending." (Ryan)
The Assembly narrowly approved the state budget bill fix, 51 - 46. So now what?
I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.
Just a reminder that U.S. Postage for 1st class mail went up 1 cent today from 41 cents to 42 cents for 1 ounce. You you must add an extra 1 cent stamp to your existing 41 cent stamped mail.
Just heard this on Mark Belling, Sensenbrenner co-sponsored a bill to end ethanol mandates:
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to listen to part of the President's Press Conference on Rush Limbaugh. (I had a lot of ironing to do!) He began by stating it was "a tough time for our economy." Then he listed a few areas that affect our wallets, "from gas and food prices to mortgage and tuition bills." Those concerns mentioned don't affect every American, but the first two do--and they are related. I am going to focus on gas prices today.
Congressman Sensenbrenner brought up Senate bill S. 2191, the Lieberman/Warner "America's Climate Security Act of 2007" at his Town Hall meeting Sunday. He described it as a "disaster for Wisconsin."
You may have thought this post was going to be about the rapidly spreading religion of Islam, but it is not.