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Angry constituents speaking out during the Independence Day congressional recess helped put the brakes on Cap and Trade legislation in the Senate.

We can do the same for  Health Care “reform” legislation by taking advantage of town hall meetings, parades, forums, and district office hours with our Representatives during their August break.

Saturday, August 22nd at noon will mark a nationwide “Recess Rally” at every local congressional office in the country.  Visit the Recess Rally website here for more info.

Government-controlled health care is not better for America.

And, as this soldier bravely articulated, completely outside of the realm of congressional powers granted by the Constitution.

And Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R) on MSNBC,

Your Daily Dose

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Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 12:53 am  Leave a Comment  

“Obama Hiding Budget Numbers”

Sure to torpedo his cap-and-tax and health care legislation, Obama has delayed the release of a presumably bad report until after Congress leave for summer break.  How convenient…

Here’s more from Hot Air.com,

Barack Obama has insisted on getting a health-care bill passed before the August recess, despite the complex issues involved and the massive amounts of spending it will require.  Why the rush?  Polling numbers explain part of it, of course, but the AP’s report on a delay in announcing budget numbers may hold the key:

The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today’s bleak landscape.

The administration’s annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama’s budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

Obama cannot afford to have another report hit the street showing that he has miscalculated — again — the extent of the deficit, just as he proposes a deficit-busting program.  The White House has instead iced the report to keep people from seeing just how badly Democratic spending has dented the budget, and how revenues have not recovered despite their predictions of growth by Q2.  They want to hold off those numbers until Obama has a bill he can sign on his desk, by which time it will be too late.

Consider this: if those budget numbers looked good, would the White House postpone revealing them?  Obama could use all the good news he can get at the moment, especially with two big-spending bills stalling in Congress.  If the deficit looked better than their May predictions, or even if it looked the same, those numbers would have already hit the front pages of newspapers across America and every network news broadcast, with the message that the worst has passed.

This is a shell game, a 3-card Monty being played by the Obama administration.  They are withholding data that rightfully belongs in the public square, so that the electorate can inform themselves of the nation’s fiscal standing before Congress votes to spend more of our grandchildren’s money.  Perhaps the news media might remind Obama of this during his prime-time presser on Wednesday.

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m Reading the Bill. Are They?

The House Health Care Bill dropped Tuesday and I dove right in.

Why?  I want to know what’s actually in the 1081 (for now) pages of legislation.  If it’s passed, this will- no matter what Obama says- fundamentally change American life.

It will drive private insurance companies out of business.

It will cause businesses to lay off and/or hire fewer employees.  At a time when unemployment is at a 25 year high.

It will cause individuals and companies to earn less money, make fewer investments, and take less risk.

It will cost more than projected.

It will rob Americans of choice in health care.

It will create long lines, life-threatening waits for care, and doctor shortages.

Here’s what I find as I read the bill, which you can find and read for yourself here.

Ok, I’ve found dental and vision coverage for all “children” under 21 years old.

Ah, and a Private-Public medical advisory board that will have 18 members (conveniently) appointed by the President, plus a few others indirectly appointed, to determine covered benefits. To be named within 60 days of the passage of the legislation (even though I believe it’s not supposed to fully kick in until 2015…interesting). Ah…limited to 3 year terms, EXCEPT this initial board, whose terms “shall be adjusted” in order to provide staggered terms. Again, certainly just a technicality.

HA! It only requires ONE of these people to be a physician OR “health professional or expert on child’s health”!!!!!

The creation of a “Health Choices Commissioner.” This is layer upon layer of new bureaucracy. That’s sure to improve health care.

Some regulations starting Jan 1, 2011…

“Entity shall provide for culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services.” p.91

p.116 starts “Public Insurance Option” if you’re looking for it.

p.120 “In order to provide for the establishment of the public insurance option there is hereby appropriated to the Secretary, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $2 billion, …plus any other funds not otherwise appropriated to cover the first 90 days of program claims.” WHY DO WE HAVE UNAPPROPRIATED FUNDS (AKA, OUR MONEY!!) SITTING IN THE TREASURY???

Oh, it’ll be paid BACK to the Treasury over 10 years…right.

p. 124 for all you providers out there!
“There shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology.”

p. 167 begins the amendments to the tax code required by this legislation. snooze…

Ok, if you don’t comply with the requirements the penalty is an extra 2.5% tax on your adjusted gross income for the year.

Hmmm…there are religious exemptions.

Employers who fail to comply in providing coverage for their employees will be fined $100 A DAY.

Ah, NOW we know what the Democrats consider to be “rich.”
p.190, “Credit not allowed with respect to certain highly compensated employees…$80,000” No lie.

p.195-196 Your federal income tax return information and number of dependents can be disclosed to “officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration, or to a state-based health insurance exchange.”

p.197 Now it gets good. “Surcharge on High Income Individuals”

1% of AGI on $350k, up to $500k which moves you to 1.5%, up to $1 million, which moves you to 5.4%. UNTIL, Dec. 31, 2012, when p.199 substitutes the figures 2% instead of 1%, and 3% instead of 1.5%.

That’s up to page 215.  More to follow.

p. 234 Doesn’t require a report from HHS to evaluate effectiveness of legislation until 2016!

p. 236 The bill defines an adequate reduction in the uninsured as “exceeding 8%” between 2012 to 2014. EIGHT PERCENT?  That’s success, for more than a TRILLION DOLLARS!!

p. 238 starts Physician Services.

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  

ObamaCare Not Dead

Details of the House Democrat’s “health care” legislation were finally revealed Tuesday.

President Obama can now no longer dodge questions about how it’ll work or who’ll pay for it.

Michelle Malkin has a link to the bill here“Read it and weep.”

The lowlights:

“The healthcare overhaul proposal offered Tuesday by U.S. House of Representatives’ Democrats will include an extra 5.4% tax on those earning more than $1 million.

One congressional aide said that would bring the top tax rate for the wealthy to 45%. (note: we’re just talking FEDERAL income tax rate here!)

An additional tax of 1% would be levied on those couples earning more than $350,000. Those with $500,000 incomes would pay an extra 1.5%, according to the legislative documents. Increases could be triggered in 2013 to 2.0% and 3.0%, respectively. The millionaires’ tax would remain at 5.4%, according to legislative documents.”

And FYI, this move “pays” for just over half the total price of the program.  This is before everyone making $350,000 “goes Galt” and just quits working so hard to drop under that magical punishment number.  These revenues will not be collected!  People WILL quit working so hard, they WILL quit investing, they WILL quit building their businesses and hiring new employees in order to avoid seeing more and more of it be ripped-off by the government!

Is this health care or class warfare?

(and an aside for readers: the Patriot Burr household makes nowhere near this $350,000, lest you think I am just whining about paying more taxes.  I whine for OTHERS paying more taxes, too! : ) )

Steven Crowder from PJTV produced this documentary on the realities of the Canadian health care system.  Send it to your friends.  And remind them to call their Representatives to say NO to this health care scheme!

Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm  Comments (3)  

“Eat the Rich”

I enjoy checking in with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, my old hometown newspaper.  It’s usually awash in juicy libertartianism and is the only paper I ever really looked forward to seeing on my doorstep.

This editorial is no exeption.  Enjoy.

“In a message accompanying his fiscal year 2010 budget, Barack Obama said: “For the better part of three decades, a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy. Yet, instead of using the tax code to lessen these increasing wage disparities, changes in the tax code over the past eight years exacerbated them.”

In fact, IRS figures show that the top 5 percent of wage earners pay 60 percent of total income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent of income earners pay virtually zero.

Never mind. Mr. Obama and his congressional Democrats still believe the pie should be cut in equal pieces. So whether or not their proposals will really generate enough to “pay for” their ambitious plans to socialize medicine and ban fossil fuels, “equalization” takes on a life of its own.

According to figures compiled by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on May 8, Mr. Obama proposes to:

1) Reinstate the 36 percent and 39.6 percent personal income tax rates for taxpayers earning more than $250,000 (married) and $200,000 (single).

2) Reinstate the personal exemption phase-out and limitation on itemized deductions for those taxpayers earning more than $250,000 or $200,000, respectively.

3) Increase the top rate on capital gains and dividends from 15 percent to 20 percent for those taxpayers earning more than $250,000 or $200,000, respectively.

Also being bandied about is the elimination of the Social Security “cap” — the level beyond which additional wages are no longer subject to Social Security taxes, under the sensible rationale that there’s also a cap on how high benefits can rise under the program. Eliminating the cap will complete the process of turning the program into an outright wealth transfer scheme, since wealthy conscripts will never be able to get all their “contributions” back.

Democrats including Mr. Obama also seek a jacked-up death tax. And — if you haven’t heard enough — “House Democrats at work on health legislation are narrowing in on an income tax surcharge on the highest-paid wage earners to help pay the cost of subsidizing insurance for the 50 million who lack it,” The Associated Press reported last week.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the proposed surtax on high-income taxpayers appealed to her and others as a way to avoid a “nickel-and-dime” approach involving numerous smaller tax increases.

Yes, holding off the crying brats while breaking into the individual little piggy banks can become tedious, can’t it?

It seems frighteningly clear where this administration stands on the moral question of whether all of a “wealthy” person’s earnings really belong to folks such as Barack Obama and Shelley Berkley, who hold power so they may arbitrarily decide how much we deserve to retain and how much shall be seized and “spread around.”

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama’s New Science Czar: Sterilants in the Water, Forced Abortions

Don’t drink the water…

Hot Air.com reports on President Obama’s new Science Czar and his extreme eugenicist writings.

It turns out that John Holdren, Obama’s new “science czar,” has expressed some unusually radical ideas about stemming population growth. Or to put it more simply, he’s a totalitarian eugenicist:

Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens.

The tyrannical fantasies of a madman? Or merely the opinions of the person now in control of science policy in the United States? Or both?

These ideas (among many other equally horrifying recommendations) were put forth by John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology — informally known as the United States’ Science Czar. In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

Please read the whole thing for the details, along with photographic proof that Holdren’s book, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, exists. Holdren really did say all that stuff, and he even lists the book in his cirriculum vitae. If he’s changed his mind about these things in the last 30 years, now might be a good time to say so.

These days, Holdren’s focus is on global warming (or climate change, or whichever euphemism they’ve come up with this week). Which seems odd: If you’re worried about overpopulation, wouldn’t you want to encourage global warming? A nice flood would sure clear out all those undesirables.

Maybe Holdren should start building an ark. Sounds like he’s already got his passenger list.

More on the story from Michelle Malkin here.

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Statist Health Care, By the Numbers”

Found an excellent summation of the health scare situation from our friends at Hot Air.

MUST READ info for anyone who thinks Obama’s health care “reform” is a good idea.

Now is the time to call your Representatives in D.C. on this (and while you’re on the phone with your Senators, NO to Cap-and-“Trade” legislation as well!). Congressional switchboard is  (202)224-3121.

Congress is planning to move quickly on this, so- once again- Americans can’t find out what is actually in the bill.  And tell them to vote it DOWN, not water it down. We cannot afford for Republicans to simply make compromises to “make this bill better.”

FLAT OUT- NO!

Perhaps if people knew that it could cause them to be laid off from their jobs, they’d rethink the whole idea.

From DIRECTORBLUE at Hot Air,

0: The number of unrehearsed, unscripted questions asked of President Obama during his “Town Hall” on health care reform.

13: The number of teeth that British veteran Ian Boynton pulled out himself with pliers “because he couldn’t find an NHS (National Health Service) dentist… [he] could not afford to go private for treatment so instead took the drastic action to remove 13 of his teeth that were giving him severe pain.”

14: The percentage of all patients in Britain who wait more than one (1) year to receive treatment after a referral by a general practitioner. Half of all National Health Care patients in Britain wait between 18 and 52 weeks for treatment.

37: The “health care ranking” assigned to the U.S. by the World Health Organization among the world’s countries. This oft-quoted number is used to justify an overhaul of the U.S. health care system and lists countries like Italy (2), Andorra (4), Malta (5), Singapore (6), Oman (8), Portugal (12), Greece (14), the United Kingdom (18), Ireland (19), Columbia (22), Cyprus (24), Saudi Arabia (26), the UAE (27), Morocco (29), Canada (30), Chile (33), the Dominican Republic (35) and Costa Rica (36) ahead of the U.S. Considering that no U.S. citizens travel to these countries when experiencing a life-threatening situation, it’s worth questioning the methods by which the WHO arrived at these rankings. Their criteria included subjective and political assessments such as “Fairness in financial contribution. Suffice it to say that the WHO’s rankings are clearly fraudulent and are designed to influence U.S. policy.

60: Average cancer survival rate (all types) for patients in the United States. Canada’s survival rate is significantly lower at 55%, while Europe’s is a dismal 48%.

81: Average percentage of those who survive a diagnosis of prostate cancer in the United States versus 43% in Britain under their National Health Service.

90: Number of days, on average, each Canadian patient must wait for an MRI under the Canadian government-run health care system.

750: The estimated number of people waiting in line (in the pouring rain) at Britain’s Bury Office attempting to register for dental care.

2050: By this year, “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (health care for the poor) will consume nearly the entire federal budget.” And by 2082, Medicare spending alone will consume the entire federal budget. This trajectory is, quite obviously, unsustainable for our children and our grandchildren. Congress is bequeathing our descendents a bankrupt health care system — for just the third of the medical system that the government already runs!

10,000: Number of Canadian breast cancer patients to file a class action lawsuit against Quebec’s hospitals because, on average, they were forced to wait 60 days to begin post-operative radiation treatments.

280,392: The number of jobs that employers would shed if government levied an employer mandate, requiring them to insure all employees. A 2007 study by Katherine Baicker of Harvard University and Helen Levy of the University of Michigan (“Employer Health Insurance Mandates and the Risk of Unemployment“) found that “0.2 percent of all full-time workers and 1.4 percent of uninsured full-time workers would lose their jobs if a health insurance mandate were written into law. Workers who would lose their jobs are disproportionately likely to be high school dropouts, minority, and female.”

443,849: The number of British patients of the National Healthcare Service (NHS) who waited four or more weeks for inpatient admittance into a hospital (Excel file) in May of 2009 (more than 75% of all patients).

1,500,000: The number of Canadians who do not have — and cannot find — a general practitioner/primary care physician due to shortages in medical staff: “In Norwood, Ontario, 20/20 videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor… Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery ‘elective.’ …’The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live,’ she said.”

12,000,000: number of illegal immigrants who would qualify for free health care and — in all likelihood — additional health care rights for relatives under the Democrats’ universal health care plan, according to a reported statement by the office of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and spokespeople for the racial separatist group La Raza.

$311,000,000 ($311 million): The amount of additional funding requested last month by the Obama administration simply to combat Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud is estimated at $60 billion annually.

$3,600,000,000 ($3.6 billion): The amount of added malpractice insurance costs to the current health care system instigated by an out-of-control trial lawyer lobby that donates heavily to Democrat causes.

$10,000,000,000 ($10 billion): The estimated amount of Medicaid fraud, based upon FBI estimates. Criminal practices include billing for nonexistent, overstated, or unnecessary services, kickbacks to patients, inflated costs, etc.

$60,000,000,000 ($60 billion): The estimated annual amount of Medicare fraud, due to widespread criminal operations that victimize taxpayers and specialize in dead doctors, fake patients, non-existent treatments and the like.

$107,000,000,000,000 ($107 trillion): The estimated shortfall of the Medicare and Social Security programs, which are utterly and completely bankrupt; they can be legitimately called an “enormous version of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme”.

Canada and England don’t pay as high a price for their health care because they freeload on American innovation. If we utilized their systems, Americans might worry less about paying for health care, but we’d get 2009-level care and long lines. Those are the immutable laws of supply and demand. Government monopolies don’t innovate. Only the free market innovates.

Furthermore, government bureaucrats already raped the Social Security Trust Fund — there is no trust fund. They raped the Medicare Trust Fund — there’s nothing left. They raped the Highway Trust Fund — it’s empty. I could go down a long list of things the government said it would do, but hasn’t done. Because the big government statists are liars. They even moved these massive expenditures “off the books” to conceal the damage they’ve done.

And now the Democrat Party, the union bosses and the trial lawyers are launching the most massive attack on the American people in the history of government.

They promise health care for everyone, but they will not — and they can’t possibly — deliver it. The numbers don’t lie.

References: Sick in America: ‘Free’ Is Good? (ABC News), There’s no such thing as free health care (Reason Magazine), Social Security and Medicare Projections: 2009 (National Center for Policy Analysis), Who is Debby Smith?, E.R. P.R., Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 2009.

“Forget Michael Jackson. Meet Pvt. Justin Casillas”

As the media continues their wall-to-wall memorial over an entertainer, let’s not forget that actual heroes died this week.

From Michelle Malkin,

Over the weekend, I blogged about Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn, one of two American soldiers killed in in eastern Afghanistan by a jihadi suicide bomber.

The other American soldier killed in the attack has been identified.

His name is Pvt. Justin Casillas. The Woodland Daily Democrat reports:

A local soldier was killed Saturday in Afghanistan after a truck loaded with bombs approached his checkpoint and blew up, the soldier’s family said.

Justin Casillas, 19, of Dunnigan, graduated from Pierce High School last year, according to American Legion member Larry Schapiro. He was a paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 509th Airborne out of Alaska. His grandfather, Joe Casillas Sr., served in the Pacific theater in World War II, and his father, Joe Jr., served in the Air Force in the Vietnam War.

Justin’s mother, Donna, left for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to collect his remains. Joe Jr. said they would be back Sunday.

“I don’t know how to explain this … but I’m proud of him, and I want to celebrate him,” Joe Jr. said. “We talked a little bit about this, before he went over … he wanted to do his part.”

Joe Jr. said Casillas had been in Afghanistan for four months. Casillas’ unit, Joe Jr. said, is the same one from which Taliban insurgents kidnapped a soldier on Tuesday.

The death comes amid heavier fighting in eastern Paktika province, according to the Associated Press. A battle on Saturday killed at least 10 militants, according to a statement from the the NATO-led force. Troops detained one militant, it said. The discrepancy in the militant death tolls could not immediately be reconciled.

During the battle, an insurgent drove a truck filled with explosives and gravel toward the gates of the U.S. base, Zawak said. When the driver did not heed warnings to stop, troops opened fire on the truck, which exploded, he said.

R.I.P.

Many Americans won’t forget your service and sacrifice.

Thank you, Justin.

***
Related: The aunt of an American soldier killed the same day Michael Jackson died skewers misplaced MSM priorities.

Published in: on July 7, 2009 at 7:07 pm  Comments (2)  

A Nazi? Nein!

Al Gore came out with a good one today.  If you question man-made global warming, you’re as good as a Heil Hitler-ing Nazi.

Gore went on to commit political sacrilege when he invoked the name of Winston Churchill to support his lunatic ideas.

More, via Michele Malkin, from the Times of London,

Al Gore today compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis.

The former US Vice President said the world lacked the political will to act and invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill by encouraging leaders to unite their nations to fight climate change. He also accused politicians around the world of exploiting ignorance about the dangers of global warming to avoid difficult decisions. Speaking in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by The Times, Mr Gore said: “Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilisation in World War II.”

He added: “We have everything we need except political will but political will is a renewable resource.”

Mr Gore admitted that it was difficult to persuade the public that the threat from climate change was as urgent as the threat from Nazi Germany.

“The level of awareness and concern among populations has not crossed the threshold where political leaders feel that they must change.

“The only way politicians will act is if awareness raises to a level to make them feel that it’s a necessity.

As if the entire world community hasn’t been oversaturated with the “awareness” of the global warming scaremongers.

But Gore is strangely silent on:

Recent government cover ups of science that invalidate his theories. Here.

One of the coldest June’s on record. Here.

Mounting evidence we’re in an actual global cooling period. Here.

How cap-and-tax legislation hits poor people hardest. Here.

And it’s B-A-C-K-L-A-S-H.  Here. and Here.

How he has personally profited from his “green” efforts.

Published in: on July 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm  Comments (1)