ObamaCare imposes a new tax on health insurers of $8.1 billion annually beginning in 2014 and rising to $14.3 billion by 2018. The Congressional Budget Office affirms the general consensus of economists that the new tax “would be largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage.” Results from a Ken Kies study suggest that the insurance tax could cost the typical family of four with employment-based coverage as much as $1,000 a year in higher health premiums.
Friday, April 30, 2010
April 30 (Bloomberg) — Spain is lancing an 18 billion-euro ($24 billion) investment bubble in solar energy that has boosted public liabilities, choking off new projects as it works to cut power prices and insulate itself from Greece’s debt crisis.
Given that poorer citizens always outnumber the rich, the classic political philosophers held that government based on majority rule would lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. Thus Aristotle warned, for example: "If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city."
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Data compiled by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee's benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer's benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said he refuses to rule out measures that would fight "exploding deficits," signalling that members of a panel he tasked with reducing federal deficits are considering tax increases.
Washington must urgently confront unpleasant truths about deficits, Obama said, telling reporters in the White House's Rose Garden yesterday that neither he nor his commission members would say what options remain viable.
"We're not playing that game. I'm not going to say what's in. I'm not going to say what's out. I want this commission to be free to do its work," said the President.
News of the probe exploded across the capital four weeks ago. That's when the FBI, federal prosecutors and officials with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation met with legislative leaders to inform them that they had uncovered evidence of corruption surrounding the effort to pass an electronic bingo bill.
That meeting took place just two days after the state Senate passed the bill, which eventually died in the House last week. The plan would have let voters decide Nov. 2 whether to clearly legalize electronic bingo and create a State Gaming Commission to regulate it and license operators.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
By setting himself up against specific opponents, he provides a point of contrast that’s useful in invigorating a base hungry for bare knuckles and bravado — and forces those in the middle to choose between him and his villain du jour.
“He lost some of his spunk and fight. He lost what he had in the campaign. When you campaign, you campaign against people,” said Paul Stob, a Vanderbilt professor who co-operates the website www.presidentialrhetoric.com. “I think there have been very conscious decisions to get back to that.”
Even though health reform is now the law of the land, the White House and Dems continue to use the insurance industry as their pummeling dummy, hammering away at lingering industry practices, even though they will ultimately be changed by the new law.
Here’s the latest: A set of powerful House Dems has just fired off a letter to the CEOs of some of the top insurance companies, demanding that they institute a system of independent third-party review to prevent the practice of “rescissions,” or the dropping of people’s insurance coverage. Rescissions will ultimately be illegal under the new law, but Dems are demanding the industry take these steps immediately.
The father, David Hall, is running for the U.S. House of
Not to be outdone, the three younger Hall children — who aren't old enough to run for office, or even vote yet — run their own political action committee called Do Hard Things 2010, which encourages teenagers to get politically involved.
Monday, April 26, 2010
AMERICA THE STORY OF US -- 9-11PM HH Rating: 4.0 Total Viewers: 5.7 million A18-49: 2.6 million A25-54: 2.7 million M18-49: 1.6 million M25-54: 1.6 million
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke’’ was booming, the crowd was cheering, and Governor Deval Patrick was still in full campaign mode, urging his supporters to help make one of his promises a reality.
“You want property tax relief? Come and get it! Come and get it,’’ he declared during the March 2007 rally at Boston Latin School. “You want it? Come and get it!’’
But they never got it.
But even among sisters, there are divisions, which is why we have a photograph of three nuns waving their "Don't Tread on Me" flag at a recent tea party "Taxed Enough Already" rally in Palatine.
"We find today's government and society to have sunk in a morass of atheism, filth and greed, and that is why we are on the streets, backing the people who have strong faith and family values," e-mails Mother Mary Patrick, a founder of the fledgling Daughters of Immaculata community in Libertyville, a group of four nuns with a median age of 55. She says she prefers e-mail because "we take a vow of poverty and find 'gabbing' on the phone not something in line with that."
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
On April 28, the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University is hosting a conference on the rise of right-wing radicalism.
The event, which features speakers from a variety of universities and institutions, focuses on developments in Europe, including the rise of neo-Nazi and anti-semitic groups. It also includes discussion of a wide range of movements and activities in the United States, from the extreme and violent to the Tea Party, as a point of comparison.
The logo created for the conference showed a swastika inside the international symbol of negation, reflecting the legitimate concern people feel over the activities, often violent, of neo-Nazi extremists.
Unfortunately, this logo created an impression that Brandeis and the conference organizers equated a range of organizations, including the Tea Party in the United States, with extremist groups on both continents.
That was not the intention of the faculty, staff or students of the University who were involved in creating the conference, and Brandeis regrets the unintended association and pain this caused. The logo has been removed from the event page promoting the conference.
Here is a report from Fox on the controversy.
The real problem is that R&D on really new and innovative energy solutions is being stifled because so much time and energy and capital is being wasted on the phantom green energy market.
The most recent example of just how ridiculous the situation has become:
In Spain, it is now profitable for "green energy" producers to use diesel powered lights to shine on solar panels.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Accomplishing this sea change in economic thinking will be difficult. The current system of states and cities battling for companies, often outbidding each other with ever-higher tax breaks, is pretty ingrained. President Obama’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, was one of the best practitioners; Virginia topped Forbes magazine’s “best states for business” every year of his term.
But the administration believes that economic recovery will be led by a collection of regions around the U.S., not necessarily individual states. America’s regions will battle those in other countries for supremacy in the global economy.
To use one example, northern Ohio and southern Michigan have been walloped by the decline in the U.S. auto industry. So Obama wants the governors of those states and local officials in those regions to forget they are Buckeyes and Wolverines and work together to reinvent a common regional economy straddling state lines. The federal government will reward regions with financial incentives if they team up; the president recently gave $25 million to a plant in Elyria, Ohio, west of Cleveland, that is producing batteries for electric vehicles built in Michigan. Federal officials say that the northern Ohio-southern Michigan region is poised to repackage itself as a clean-energy center.
Obama's "pledge" was always a lie, and the media repeated his promise incessantly, and uncritically, to sell Obama as a different kind of Democrat. They never inquired how it was he could spend so much more without bankrupting the country if he also did not raise taxes on the middle class -- a bit of easy math would have shown this as an impossibility, but, alas, the media was apparently told there would be no math in this election.
Obama originally planned -- and stated as much -- to tax the middle class by levying huge carbon taxes which would of course hit the middle class (and poor, for that matter). He confessed -- or rather proudly declared -- that his planned carbon taxes would "necessarily" cause electricity rates to "skyrocket" -- and again, the media simply ignored this, and again, simply insisted to the public that Obama's word was bond about not raising taxes. Even though he just announced that taxes would be raised in the form of "skyrocketing" electricity costs.
That was Obama's Plan A for raising taxes on the middle class -- taxing the living hell out of the motive force of our economy, energy, which every single human being and business uses in varying quantities.
His Plan B was the VAT.
During the address, Lewis praised the group's members for calling themselves socialists, and warned that undefined forces are plotting their doom.
"Any group that says, 'I'm young, I'm Democratic, and I'm a socialist,' is all right with me. You know that's no light thing to do -- to actually say, I'm a socialist -- because you guys know right now we are living in a time which is going to dwarf the McCarthy era. It is going to dwarf the internment during World War II. We are right now in a time that is going to dwarf the era of Jim Crow and segregation," Lewis said.
Lewis went on to explain that she wasn't exaggerating -- just look at the Tea Parties, she reasoned.
"This is not rhetoric or hyperbole -- this is real," Lewis said. "This rise of this Tea Party so-called movement -- bowel movement in my estimation -- and this blatant uncovering and ripping off the mask of racism."
Friends, once more we need your help. Bail out Bob is still on the fence. Corker is the vote the Democrats could peel away to break a filibuster and allow "financial reform" to make it to the Senate floor and be voted on. We must convince Corker to show some backbone.
1. Please keep the calls to his office coming: 615-279-8125
2. There will be an event in front of his office, in Nashville, at 5 PM (on April 22). We need your help. Tell your friends about it and show up, if only for a little while. With "Healthcare" they took over 1/6 of the economy. This is the measure that will give them the other 5/6. We must stop it now!
Corker's office is at 3322 West End Ave. Please come by, bring signs and flags and let's send Bail out Bob a message.
Thankfully, there are a few government officials who will still raise their voices against this crony capitalism. Frank Nicely is one of those people. Thank YOU Frank.
Our taxpayer group, TN Tax Revolt, very often finds Chambers of Commerce as the loudest cheerleader for local tax hikes.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Individuals would pay 5 percent income tax on earnings over $200,000 a year and 9 percent on earnings over $500,000. For couples, those tax rates would kick in at $400,000 and $1 million, respectively.
Backers say the income tax also would raise $1 billion a year for education and health care. "It will cut taxes for the vast majority of Washington citizens," said the initiative's most prominent supporter, Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. He was the first person to sign an I-1077 petition at a news conference at Soho Coffee in Seattle's Central Area.
“This is a chance for anyone in the district to probe those asking for the opportunity to represent them in Washington,” said Rutherford County 9.12 Project Tennessee member and forum organizer Mishelle Perkins. “This forum is for the people, not the politicians. This is not a fund raiser and there will be no political speeches. The candidates will be there for one purpose and one purpose only—to answer questions directly from those they propose to represent.”
According to Perkins, all conservative candidates who have qualified to be on the ballot in the August 5th primary have been invited to be present at the event. “Project 9.12 is an organization of ordinary citizens with the extraordinary goal of helping identify and elect a true citizen legislature versus the current career politicians. We think it is time to return the power to where it belongs—with the people.”
The school is located at 150 Soccer Way in Smyrna and seating begins at 3:30 pm. For directions, log onto www.lancasterchristianacademy.com. Candidates will be available to meet and greet visitors prior to the event. Concessions and ample parking are available.
More information about Project 9.12 Tennessee, this event and others scheduled by the group can be found at www. 912ProjectTennessee.com or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Health insurers are starting to sell policies that largely bar consumers from receiving medical care at popular but expensive hospitals such as Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s — a once radical idea that is gaining traction as a way to control soaring health care costs.
Governor Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray have included such restricted provider networks in their recent legislative proposals to control rising insurance rates. And the state this month began offering limited-network plans to 300,000 state employees, retirees, and their families, promising 20 percent discounts on premiums if they are willing to give up access to some of the Boston area’s most renowned hospitals.
Buoyed by an electorate that is exceptionally sour on national Democrats, Republican Tim Burns has a 44-41 lead over Democrat Mark Critz in the special election to replace John Murtha in the House.
It's a rare election these days where both candidates are viewed pretty favorably in the district. 45% of voters have a favorable opinion of Burns to 26% who view him unfavorably and Critz is in positive territory as well with 41% of voters saying they like him to 34% who do not.
Tipping the balance in a race where each candidate is pretty well liked may be the way voters in the district feel about a number of key Democrats- Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Arlen Specter, and Ed Rendell are all exceptionally unpopular. Obama's approval rating is just 33% to 57% disapproving, only 24% have a favorable opinion of Pelosi to 64% with an unfavorable one, 28% of voters approve of Specter to 60% who don't, and 24% give Rendell good marks to 63% unhappy with him. Those aren't the sorts of reviews that bode well for the district electing another Democratic politician.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The nation's fastest-growing political party is "none of the above," which could be bad news for Democrats and Republicans.
As the 2010 midterm elections and the anti-tax "Tea Party" movement take shape, more Americans are registering "unaffiliated" rather than signing up with one of the two major parties.
The number of independent voters has grown faster in the past two years than Democrats and Republicans in at least 14 of the 28 states and the District of Columbia that register voters by party, according to a USA TODAY review.
Monday, April 19, 2010
How public employees became members of the elite class in a declining California offers a cautionary tale to the rest of the country, where the same process is happening in slower motion. The story starts half a century ago, when California public workers won bargaining rights and quickly learned how to elect their own bosses—that is, sympathetic politicians who would grant them outsize pay and benefits in exchange for their support. Over time, the unions have turned the state’s politics completely in their favor. The result: unaffordable benefits for civil servants; fiscal chaos in Sacramento and in cities and towns across the state; and angry taxpayers finally confronting the unionized masters of California’s unsustainable government.
Even if anyone knew how to fix the Postal Service - an independent agency written into the Constitution - Congress, regulators and postal management are at loggerheads over what to do next.
Its main customers are not waiting to find out. Businesses of all kinds foresee a death spiral of shrinking service and rising prices and are getting out as fast as they can, encouraging their patrons to use digital alternatives such as electronic bill payment, e-mail document delivery and Web catalog shopping.
Since its peak delivery of 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006, volume has dropped 17 percent, to 177 billion pieces this year. Average deliveries have fallen from five pieces of mail to four, and Potter said that's headed fast to just three.
Also, Is the Postal Service Obsolete?
The Tea Party movement, which has a small but fervent anti-government constituency, could be a wild card in this election. On one hand, its sympathizers are highly energized and inclined to vote Republican this fall. On the other, many Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the Tea Party represents their point of view better than does the GOP.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Tea Parties may end up helping Democrats, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine told 200 Organizing For America activists at an Ethiopian restaurant on Chicago’s North Side Wednesday night.
The Tea Party is built on “Anger politics - and the anger movements peter out,” said Kaine, a finalist for Obama’s vice-president.
“It’s going to be tough for Democrats in mid-term elections,” Kaine said. “The president in the first mid-term loses 28 House seats and four senate seats and that’s the average and we’re not living in average times. We’re living in times of anxiety and economic uncertainty. We have to assume going into this mid-term cycle that we are running into a headwind and we are running uphill.”
But Tea Party activists helped conservatives beat moderates in Illinois’ Republican primary: Bill Brady for governor; Bob Dold and Joe Walsh for Congress, he said.