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Compromise on Principle Destroys Exceptionalism

edbell | 26 January, 2012 15:13

Guest blogger: Mark Etterling
Whenever two parties are in a dispute there are only three possible outcomes.  The first outcome is that they continually negotiate until common ground is reached as a compromise.  Typically I’m not a big fan of this method because whatever the correct answer should be often ends up getting diluted as a matter of convenience.  The second outcome is that one of the two parties surrenders their position either directly or by force (as in a judicial ruling).
When I heard Obama say in his speech the other night that he wants Congress to start working together it caused me to cringe.  The reason is that if common ground is truly attainable then both sides need to continue doing what they are already doing in order to reach it.  If not, then what he is really saying is that he expects the Republicans to relinquish their positions since he obviously never offered to relinquish any of the Democratic positions.  The same holds true when a bias media tries to paint Republicans as being the obstructionist.  Logic holds that the Democrats have equal opportunity to acquiesce, therefore they should be held just as accountable.
As for me, I don’t like surrender.  I have no desire to see correct answers being relinquished simply so that one party can look like they are playing nice with the other, nor do I want a diluted answer.  Call me an extremist if you want, but Congress isn’t meant to be a social club where everybody gets along.  It’s meant to be a leadership body that works hard to find the correct answers to issues.  That brings me to the third possible outcome.  If Congress were to spend more time focusing on its Constitutional mandates instead of involving itself in matters it shouldn’t even be addressing then the third, and most often the appropriate outcome would be to simply get out of the way and leave the answer to the appropriate forces, whether those forces are the states or the free markets.

Big Government in a Feeding Frenzy

edbell | 19 December, 2011 11:30

Big government has enjoyed steady growth through good times and bad as the U.S. national debt grew from  $5.6 trillion in September 2000 to the current $15.13 trillion. The  Keynesians are still selling borrowed stimulus; about 36 cents of every dollar, according to the Annenberg Center (the left can't argue if I use their numbers), to keep the bottom from falling out of our 'recovery'.  But the things that matter to most Americans have not improved; jobs, incomes, housing and quality of life all continue to endure downward pressure, so a slowly expanding economy is not producing an offsetting number of new jobs, only demanding more of fewer workers.  Government does few things well, but they did a stellar job of hiding the penalties of massive debt from a comfortable public...for a while.  The Case/Shiller index shows home prices have declined by 31 percent from a peak in July of 2006.  No coincidence that 2008 was the beginning of the Reid/Pelosi/Bush spending express that accelerated after November 2008, giving America a harsh primer on unchecked growth and spending.  A scant three years later America is paying attention.  A Gallup Poll released on December 13, 2011 claims that 64 percent of Americans consider big government the biggest threat to the nation. The more interesting part of the poll is that a majority of Democrats also believe big government is a bigger threat than big business -- it's about time!  Big government enslaves the taxpayer while protecting the well-connected titans on Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) from downside risk and choosing corporate winners, (paging GE and GM).  Business owners who actually create jobs (businesses with less than 20 employees) are left unprotected from the blizzard of new rules and regulations.  Readers are collectively wondering, how many new rules?  According to Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Geoff Davis in a Roll Call commentary from December 7, 2011, " Federal administrative agencies issued 3,271 new regulations in 2010, or roughly nine regulations per day.  Small businesses spend an estimated $10,500 per employee to comply with federal regulations."   Rules, regulations, special deals and selective prosecution are all the trappings of modern bureaucratic tyranny.  A shrinking middle class is left to wonder how the game became so corrupt.

American workers, aka the taxpaying 53% have watched their collective net worth shrink by 25 percent since the recession began, while the latest U.S. census shows that one-half of Americans fall into the poor or low-income category.  By contrast, the Washington D.C. metro counties enjoy soaring employment, rising homes values and a tremendous increase in wealth, all admirable when fueled by entrepreneurs instead of tax dollars.  One week before President Obama was inaugurated, Reason Magazine published an article titled Washington's Wealth Boom,  highlighting the distortions caused by siphoning America's wealth into the federal leviathan, "In 2000, 14 of the 100 richest counties were in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2007, it was nine of the richest 20."  Only three years later, the D.C. metro area (Va. and MD.) represent four of the top five and seven of the top ten wealthiest counties.  This accumulation of wealth is an anomaly that can only exist where the visible hand of government is pulling wealth from the pockets of the many to reward the few.

The political/media machine is finding it difficult to maintain the illusion that anyone in the White House or Congress is representing the people, although polls still place the vast majority of the blame on Republicans in Congress.  The overarching lesson may be that principled policy decisions will not succeed in a corrupt environment.  In politics, perception is everything -- eventually, long after the damage has been done, history begins to recount events with a degree of accuracy.  Future generations may look back and wonder how American citizens showed such restraint as they witnessed the simultaneous demise of their freedom and prosperity. 

The Super Committee is Failure By Design

edbell | 22 November, 2011 14:42

It's official – the not-so-super committee has announced failure to arrive at any cuts to our federal leviathan.  This is no surprise to many grassroots conservatives.  The Congress loves when cuts occur without their names attached to a vote.  Presto, $1.2 trillion in cuts divided among Defense spending and Medicare reimbursements to providers.   This will ensure a robust debate on the budget right through November 6, 2012 and provide the POTUS with new campaign fodder.  Keep in mind that these cuts won't go into effect until 2013, after the Presidential election.  That dented can is still bouncing down the road.  The Republicans on the committee, including Ohio's own Rob Portman would have probably signed on to a few hundred billion in new revenue, but the Dems wanted a much larger pile of steaming debt.  Committee member Jeb Hensarling argued that, "it's not about assigning blame, but we are unaware of any Democratic offer that didn't include at least a $1 trillion tax increase."  Some Washington pundits opine that borrowed money is so cheap that it's wise to take on more debt to keep our "fragile" economy afloat next year. 

Assuming the sequestration penalty is implemented, roughly 600 billion in cuts to defense will be layered on top of $450 billion in cuts the DOD is currently absorbing.  Congress has imposed austerity on military spending with the deft skills of a brain surgeon performing surgery with a chainsaw.  The Dems are ambivalent about cutting the military budget and they are not terribly concerned about additional Medicaid cuts as long as they can shift the blame to Republicans, corporate America, Tea Partiers, doctors, big insurance, Grover Norquist, and that devious one-percent.  By the way, any cuts to Medicare will come on the heels of scheduled reductions in payments for procedures of up to 27.5 percent in January 2012.  Political posturing means all or none of these cuts will occur; the President is already adding more distance between himself and the Congress which may descend below the current 9 percent approval rating.  The White House spinmeisters have literally kept the President a world away, in Australia and Bali during these final days.  The Obama team relishes this opportunity to do nothing and feign statesmanship for the next twelve months.  Passive and uninvolved seems to be a workable strategy.

Tomorrow, each side will point fingers and leave for Thanksgiving.  Shrinking this massive government must come from the bottom up.  Grassroots activists across America must take the reins and the Tea Party Debt Commission budget would be a great place to start. Call, write, or visit your Congressman and tell them to take a serious stand for a better future.

It's Time to Get Serious About Social Security

edbell | 04 October, 2011 09:25

As the Tea Party Debt Commission travels the country seeking the federal budget priorities of tea party leaders and informed citizens, Social Security remains the immovable 800 pound gorilla.  Our current government embellished recession has only hastened the day of reckoning for the world's most famous Ponzi/Madoff scheme.  Ask anyone under age 50 about Social Security and they will begrudgingly admit that it probably won't be there for them.  What those folks don't wish to consider is that they may be contributing substantially more to a system that may fold before their retirement or at best provide a meager subsistance. 

In fiscal year 2012, the three programs that constitute Social Security (OASI, DI, and SSI) will cost payroll tax contributors $805 billion.  Now, to be specific, the retirement portion of Social Security OASI accounts for 700 billion dollars and the SSI portion is paid from the general revenues of the treasury, but the fact is all funding is currently a direct transfer from taxpayers through payroll or income taxes.  The dire financial situation has been exacerbated by the early retirement of many folks who would have preferred to continue working for at least several more years, but economic conditions have left them suddenly unable to find employment (paying more than their Social Security checks) to carry them to full retirement age.  Everyone has an opinion about which government program or agency is causing the most distress to Americans freedom or finances.  If deciding how to spend your own money is a guage of freedom, then Social Security which increased payouts by 8.5% since 2010, is guaranteed to do both and must be tackled first.  Down the road just a short distance, Medicare and Medicaid will stride into the lead for speed of growth.

The Debt Commission is looking to cut $9 trillion dollars over 10 years.  Social Security alone will consume well in excess of that amount from a "trust fund" that will begin disbursing more this year than is paid in.  As most informed Americans now realize, the special bonds in the fund are a commitment that will need to be repaid by younger workers to cover the great boomer retirement wave of 10,000 people per day, starting now and continuing for twenty years.

There are three tools to fund the current structure of Social Security:  1) raising the retirement age 2)adjusting benefit amounts  3) raising payroll taxes

We can combine those tools in many ways, as Congress' "Super Committee" is probably doing at this moment, but the Debt Commission is about fiscal responsibility, limited government and more freedom. So,
the tools available are out of sync with those key principles.  Workers must have the option to contribute to a system that's more closely resembles either a defined benefit annuity plan with investment options or a 401K- style plan with a balanced set of options for investment.  The 401K plan turned 30 years old in January 2011 and now has 2.5 trillion dollars invested, while all retirement funds combined, not counting government pensions have a balance of 13.7 trillion dollars.  In contrast, Social Security has the money coming in from current payroll taxes being paid by three workers for every retired beneficiary.  Honestly, we have an obligation to our fellow citizens to attempt a major reformation of the retirement system for everyone not just the folks who are still working.

Social Security is still the third rail in politics, but it's far better to risk electrocution on that rail than allow future retirees to descend into a third world-style subsistance or turn young workers into wage slaves to support older Americans.

Tea Party Freshmen Are Changing the Conversation

edbell | 29 July, 2011 19:54

We should applaud the debt ceiling debate as a sign that the taxpayer has finally decided to take an active role in checking the growth of government.  They emailed and phoned their House members reminding them daily that the November 2010 elections were about cutting the spending.  Grassroots conservatives pummeled House office phones during this heated negotiation period as Speaker Boehner bribed, threatened and pleaded until a bare minimum 218 Republicans signed on to Boehner 3.0. Still, a small band of Tea Party Conservatives, 22, voted against the Republican leadership. Many will say their idealism leaves no room for political strategy and that criticism is warranted. Some of the conservatives held out until the balanced budget amendment returned in Boehner 3.0, others held fast for a return to Cut, Cap and Balance or the intriguing "Penny Plan."  In either case we cannot condemn any of these conservative House members for their final vote.  They are responsible for a sea change in the D.C. spending mindset. 

To be clear, these fiscal conservatives are still pilloried mercilessly by the left, this blog simply aims to cheer a refreshing show of backbone and an adult attitude about our crippling debt.  All fiscal realists are vilified by official D.C. for one reason - they force mainstream politicians in both parties to  seriously gaze upon our grotesque debt monster.  Like a spoiled child lashes out at long-delayed discipline, elite Washington, party leaders, and the President marginalize, and demonize legislators who fight for limits on government.  The debt ceiling will increase again, as delusional power brokers forestall our day of reckoning, but the titanic seems to be turning. Legislators speak of cuts and caps - words never seriously uttered in the beltway.  What's happening here?  Why is this time different?  John Boehner faces a reality that previous Speaker's never encountered - members with character and resolve to cut spending in the face of grueling pressure.   Securing votes previously involved offers of campaign funds, earmarks, or desirable committee positions.  This strange breed of freshmen eschew the trinkets of power, insisting that serious cuts and a balanced budget amendment are the only valid currency.  Unlike 1994, networks of grassroots activists follow every vote, every deal and speak to their Representatives frequently.  If we're lucky, millions more citizens will see that they too have a powerful and necessary voice.  We may not win all the spending battles before or after 2012,  but people who previously were unaware on unconcerned are now engaged in the conversation. These Tea Party Conservatives are the Winter Warriors and they will incur the wrath of spoiled politicians as well as recipients of government largess, fending off enemies of both parties.  As voters, let us swell their ranks with reinforcements, so that just maybe, America has a chance to survive as a sovereign nation.  We must show the American public that these valiant House members are the lifeline to their children's future.  Ironically, should this group succeed in changing the course of America's current socialist narrative,  today's obstructionist freshman in the House will one day be lionized as heroes of the Republic and everyone will claim to have been fighting by their side from the beginning. 

Debt Ceiling Resolution Depends on Grassroots America

edbell | 20 July, 2011 20:49

 We've heard more about the approach of financial "Armageddon" than any sane person can tolerate.  The taxpayers of America and all those  countries and individuals who have financed trillions of our debt, are wondering how this Republic stays solvent and survives.   Senator Jim DeMint  in comments to the Heritage Foundation Bloggers Conference on July 19 said of Moody's rating agency, "If we raise the debt limit without credible and  significant deficit reduction plans they will downgrade our debt to negative."  He claims this is significantly different than portrayed in the media - they  simply say we must raise the debt ceiling.

 The House passed the Cut, Cap, Balance (CCB) bill on Tuesday July 19, 2011.  Now, it moves to the Senate for consideration and of course  "compromise."  Keep in mind, this legislation is a compromise.  Senator DeMint says this legislation is not dead on arrival as major media claim.  He  notes, twenty Democrats are on record in the Senate as supporters of a balanced budget amendment.  There is only one piece of legislation on the table, and Cut, Cap, and Balance is it.  The Senator summarized the issue,  "this is make or break time, not only for our country, but also for the Tea Party movement." He hopes the movement still has the energy to move some votes in the Senate to bring this to a conclusion.

Senator Mike Lee has spent the last several weeks engaged in heated public media conversations defending the Cut, Cap and Balance bill that has just arrived in the Senate. Thirty-nine Senators have already signed on to offer their support.  He says, this bill has a very real chance of passing the Senate and is amazed by the naysayers.  He makes a strong case for a balanced budget amendment in his book, The Freedom Agenda.  As this article in the Wall Street Journal argues,  "Tea party Republicans, to their credit, want to pass a BBA that would include the supermajority tax limitation. But it has no chance of passing, and absent that rule, political pressure could turn the amendment into a driver for the entitlement state as successive Democratic governments raised taxes, most likely with a European-style value-added tax to balance spending commitments."  American grassroots pressure can ensure that the two-thirds supermajority for tax increases remain in the bill which every Conservative considers essential to its purpose.

One great civics lesson in this battle, and there are many, is that House members show a clear accountability to the citizens who make their wishes known by phone and email every day, while reminding them that their job performance is reviewed every two years. 

"We the People" hold the real power and the Republican leadership knows it.
  That's the reason House members are being kept in Washington D.C. during this debt debate.  They don't want Congressmen and women back in their districts hearing the voice of taxpayers at Town Hall meetings.  The Senate, as we learned in school, is the "deliberative body," protected via a six-year term from the heated passions of the voters.  Apparently, they're also protected from the anger of those who hold our debt.  This is why the latest "Gang of Six" grand deal trumpets a trillion dollars in additional revenue (or tax money, as we still call it in "fly-over country").  If your resolve needs a bit of fortification, the good folks at Redstate can provide thirty solid reasons to slam the door on the "Gang of Six."  Our voices are not penetrating their collegial bubble of elitism.  One small group of Tea Party Senators "get it," but Senators Paul, Lee, Rubio, and DeMint are sadly outnumbered and the cavalry is over a year away.  Let's hope this is not their fiscal Alamo.  It almost goes without saying, the call to action requires each of us to contact our Senators early and often and plan ahead for those August Town hall meetings with your Senator and House members.  We can judge the character of those who avoid facing the taxpayers when they aren't seeking our vote. 

Will statesmanship return to our political discourse?  If grassroots citizens boldly engage their legislators and let them see that people are ready to do what's needed to stop the spending and face hardship now, just maybe, we can break the cycle of class envy and pandering.  

Senate Bill 679: Valid Problem, but Wrong Solution

edbell | 08 July, 2011 17:50

Update July 8, 2011.   The U.S. Constitution took another body blow last week as the U.S. Senate passed S. 679 the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011.  The Senate is abdicating a key consent role for nominees  to numerous federal posts across the spectrum of agencies.  Ohio's Rob Portman was among the Republican Senators who voted affirmative.  A couple hundred nominees will now be vetted by an Executive Branch working group that will streamline the paperwork and fill vacancies. Previously, nominees would languish due to the time consuming process of gathering reams of paperwork on each nominee and obtaining Senate approval.  Most of the "tea party" faction of the Senate were among the 20 Senators who voted no on this bill.  As we mentioned in previous blogs, reform of the process is needed to speed confirmations, but not shifting authority to the President or fellow travelers who share his mindset.  History will recall this era for the vast expansion of Executive Power and misuse of Executive Orders.  Sane citizens cannot condone handing more authority to the President (of either party), much less an individual with a blatant disregard for the separation of powers.

Update June 29, 2011.   The Senate is expected to vote today on S. 679 which will allow direct executive branch appointment of about 200 administrative positions out of 1400 that require Senatorial advise and consent.  The Senate made this deal previously with Democrats to preserve the filibuster.  This legislation was proposed by Senator Chuck Schumer - that inspires confidence.   Senator McConnell and other leaders are banking on this bill meeting it's demise in the House.  They are playing fast and loose with expansion of Presidential power.  Every day conservatives watch the President's bureaucratic tyrants issue new mandates that destroy business and kill jobs.  More details on S. 679 are available in this article in the Washington Examiner.   Our elected officials need to learn the responsibilities proscribed by the founders were not to be abandoned for the sake of convenience.  We do agree that making nominees wait a year or more for confirmation is dysfunctional and a more efficient process is needed in the Senate to expedite the advise and consent role.

May 14, 2011.   There are days when I wonder if the U.S. Senate pays any attention whatsoever to the valid concerns and fears of the average American citiizen, much less their sworn duties.  We are 2.5 years into a presidency that has shown complete disregard for limits on executive branch powers. His appointments to top positions have really not been any better.   Sen. Charles Schumer of New York has proposed S. 679: Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act, with 12 co-sponsors including GOP leader McConnell.  Another benign sounding bill that looks to simplify the administrative duties of the Senate - all very harmless.

This bill allows the Senate to abdicate to the President the advise and consent function of the Senate for about 200 agency and department appointments.  This summary from the Heritage Foundation clarifies the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Appointments Clause is “among the significant structural safeguards of the constitutional scheme”[3] and “is a bulwark against one branch aggrandizing its power at the expense of another branch.”[4] . 

These are predominantly second tier administrative positions with the exception of Secretary of the Treasury, but they handle billions of dollars of tax money and they administer government policy.   Almost every problem facing us at the moment involves big government bureaucrats imposing unworkable restrictions on business and citizens trying to survive this administration. 
 Did Senator McConnell miss the parade of unelected czars deconstructing our Constitution and placing our economy in permanent recession? 

The Senate says there are long delays vetting and approving numerous government positions.  No one doubts the problem exists, but the answer is definitely not to hand off a crucial responsibility entrusted by our country's founding fathers to the President.  Having two branches of government involved in confirming nominees is no guarantee that competent or decent people will fill the vacancies, but the answer is not to forego the responsibility altogether. 

Let your Senator know that S. 679 is not the answer to this problem and let Senator McConnell know that we have placed our faith in them as our representatives to act as gatekeepers to the administrators of this federal government and the appointment duties the founders entrusted to them. 

REINS Act and UMRA Driving Toward Same Destination

edbell | 16 June, 2011 11:42

Readers of OurTP blogs have noticed that overbearing regulation from federal agencies dominate the conversation.  In Congress, action is underway to reign in the cost and force accountability for rules issued by government agencies.  

In January, Congressman Geoff Davis proposed the REINS (Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act. This bill (HR 10), which had also been proposed in a previous Congressional session would require Congress to approve by a full up-or-down vote, any proposed regulation that carries an economic impact of more than $100 million annually. Accountability for any new red tape would fall squarely on elected representatives and end the threat of unelected bureaucrats circumventing the legislature. The bill has already garnered 142 co-sponsors in the House and is gaining in popularity as legislators hear from businesses throughout their districts about the devastating effects of onerous and expensive regulation. 

Members of Congress have been reluctant to take responsibility for voting on the rules that come out of our acronym laden bureaucracy.  The EPA, HHS, USDA, FDA and numerous other agencies issue rules that destroy business and drive up unemployment and send jobs out of the United States.  The REINS act will put a legislator's vote on record and allow voters to hold their feet to the fire.  This article in the Washington Times delivers testimony from the job creators and the burdens and uncertainty that they are experiencing.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman has co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that will tackle unfunded mandates. The aptly named Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is a new and stronger version of legislation first proposed in 1995 by then Congressman Portman.  The 2011 model is co-sponsored by Senators Portman, Toomey, Hatch, Risch, Cornyn, Enzi, and Crapo.  It would require agencies to specifically assess the potential effects of new regulation on job creation or job loss.  The law would require that market-based and non-government alternatives to regulation be considered and agencies would also be required to choose the least burdensome regulatory option that achieves the policy goal set out by Congress.  More importantly, this law would extend UMRA to independent agencies and permit courts to review an agency's economic impact analysis.  This is a dramatic change.  Previously, the courts did not consider how a rule from an agency affected the target of the legislation or mandate.

UMRA is focused on reducing the regulatory burden to job creators, while the REINS Act is seeking more accountability for the cost of mandates. Together the bills will improve the outlook for employers and take some of the uncertainty out of expanding and hiring new workers.  Note that both of these bills are a reintroduction of legislation not passed in previous sessions of Congress.   

If passed, these bills will no longer allow legislators to pass vague legislation that enables unelected bureaucrats to craft expensive mandates that place American business at a competitive disadvantage.     


Shouldn't Debt Ceiling Mean What it Says?

edbell | 23 April, 2011 09:04

Annual deficits and the growing debt is a crisis and taxpayers are more willing to confront the impending disaster than either our elected representatives or the President. 

A recent Heritage Foundation 
summary (April 18, 2011) clarified the debt ceiling debate and cuts through much of the reckless intimidation and fear mongering we hear from D.C.  One key point is that refusing to raise the debt limit would not, in and of itself, cause the United States to default on its public debt.  We have over 2 trillion dollars in revenue.  We would continue to pay net interest as it comes due. 

We borrow 40 cents of every dollar of new spending which will add $9 trillion dollars to the debt over the next ten years.  The vast majority of voters know this is insane and want immediate action to balance the budget. Pollster Frank Luntz conducted a survey for Freedomworks of 1000 likely voters.  Please take a moment to view the summary of this interesting survey:

This is the moment to draw that proverbial line in the sand.  If words still have any meaning, then “debt ceiling” should finally be observed with serious cuts by statesmen, not attacked by demagogues.

A Better Plan of Attack?

edbell | 25 March, 2011 13:43

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Representative Geoff Davis just may have found, actually resubmitted a workable plan to stop the barrage of Bureaucratic rules that have hog-tied our economy and sent millions of jobs to other countries.  They have re-introduced a slightly modified version of what Sen. Jim DeMint called the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny). That long acronym simply means that dozens of unaccountable agencies stacked with Presidential appointees who have been hammering our fragile economy with costly regulations must pass rules through an up or down vote.  This law will specifically affect major rules, meaning any rule having an impact in excess of 100 million dollars.  This act, if passed can play a huge role in choking the bureaucratic life out of Obamacare and the back door cap and trade rules of the EPA.  Take a moment to read this fine summary released on March 24 by the Heritage Foundation.  Congress has always held the power to examine and allow or reject the endless rules that have humbled our mighty economy.  Elected officials must be accountable for the damage and cost of laws they pass.  

Unfortunately, Americans sometimes have a knee jerk response to perceived wrongs and a bias toward regulation, as long as those regulations affect others.  Education is still the key.  People must learn regulation and freedom are a trade off and there are about 680,000 managerial level bureaucrats in our federal government.  How much room does that leave for freedom?

Slaying the Health Care Monster

edbell | 24 March, 2011 22:25

As a grassroots movement, Tea Party activists around the country tackle the issues they consider urgent or those that incite the most passion within their groups. But the rapid and continued growth of the movement was driven by one issue above all - Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Americans correctly realize this one piece of fetid legislation is transforming the landscape of our lives, leaving her people enslaved forever to a harsh and uncaring bureaucracy. That may be an understatement.

The first paragraph is prelude to the fact that this bill includes funding that will fuel the construction of this nationalized health care infrastructure.  All our political leaders knew this 105 billion dollars was appropriated, thereby avoiding the will of a future Congress and of the people. To be fair, some of the money will be a transfer of funding from existing health related programs that will expire to be replaced by new agencies created in the health care legislation with new money phasing in over the next few years. Obviously, many existing programs need to be reviewed to determine effectiveness and eliminate duplication.

Our movement has already fought and won many battles of varied consequence, but rest assured, our previous battles will seem insignificant if the new health care bill gets a foothold.  We must demand that the funding be stripped from Obamacare, starting with the funding included in the bill. Speaker Boehner claims this Congress and Speaker must not result to the strong arm tactics employed by the previous leader in changing the rules of the House. Note that many conservative members of the House don't agree with the Speaker on the way defunding is being handled thus far.  The Speaker's staff claim that their will be massive cuts in the 2012 budget which will be on the table shortly.

America's leftist political leaders realize their previous success was guaranteed by the civil and congenial nature of their opposition, the hardworking, taxpaying American people.  To our detriment, even our destruction, many are reluctant to battle an enemy who seeks nothing less than a subservient nation, in mind, body and soul.  Make no mistake, Obamacare is the vehicle to bring socialist dreams to fruition and the money appropriated in this bill is the fuel.  This bill contains 18 separate tax increases over the next 8 years that will destroy family budgets and the mandates contained will destroy the private health insurance industry.  This is a one way journey if not stopped immediately.

Please call, write, and email our House members and leaders, and ask the tough questions about our budget deficit and the debt ceiling.  Exactly how and when will Obamacare be defunded?  Why are the tea party freshman finished with continuing resolutions, yet the Republican House leadership keeps chipping away a couple billion at a time?  The interest we are paying on the debt is billions of dollars per week, so, can we assume the amount being trimmed with each CR is simply a political victory geared to change the momentum in D.C.?   The new freshman in Congress have just arrived from the real world where the answer to excess spending requires swift and dramatic cuts, the grizzled leaders play a chess game where the debt is secondary to the acquiring political leverage.  We can only gauge the future from past experience and usually the common sense of the average taxpayer trumps the enlightened wisdom of politicians.  We have an obligation to be involved in the discussion and these times demand our full participation.  If we do not act boldly at this moment, history will show us no sympathy and we will deserve none.

Cap and Trade Battle Heats Up this Week

dougdragoo | 23 March, 2011 17:36


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Congressional Recess Call to Action: FreedomWorks Launches NEW Cap and Trade War Room

This week Congress is on recess and that means your legislators should be back home in their districts and focused on their constituents' top concerns. This is a great opportunity to communicate what is important to you and ensure that it is on your elected officials' minds when they return to Washington, D.C.


In particular, it is key that we continue to build the case for stripping the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ability to regulate greenhouse gases and effectively stop Obama's backdoor cap and trade strategy dead in its tracks.

A couple weeks ago, FreedomWorks issued a "call to action" in support of The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (S.482 in the Senate & H.R. 910 in the House) -- bold legislation introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R, OK) and Representative Fred Upton (R, MI-6) that would permanently stop EPA from implementin g its backdoor cap and trade scheme. Thanks to hard-working conservative activists like you, the response was overwhelming and we hit Congress with over 63,000 emails and letters in just a matter of days. Last week, a sudden scramble occurred that could have put this bill before a vote in the Senate. FreedomWorks worked quickly in select states to drive calls into targeted Senate offices and within 24-hours had pounded select Senators with nearly 1,000 grassroots phone calls.

This overwhelming pressure forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) to delay the Senate vote for fear of it passing. Moreover, it has helped to create serious momentum for the Inhofe-Upton legislation in both the House and Senate…but it is not enough.

This week it is going to be critical that Members of Congress hear first-hand from their voters that passing this legislation is of the utmost importance.

FreedomWorks has set-up a special online "war room" to help you make an impact on behalf of the Inhofe-Upton bill -- download our March Recess Action Kit and visit your Senators' and Representative's district offices; email and call your legislators' offices; and stay up-to-date on the latest news on Capitol Hill. You can access the war room by clicking here.

Again, this is a very important week in the battle to stop cap and trade. Don't sit on the sidelines! Visit FreedomWorks Cap and Trade War Room now and encourage your fellow activists to do likewise.


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Dick Armey
Chairman, FreedomWorks

P.S. Help support our ongoing efforts to stop Obama's backdoor cap and trade scheme! CLICK HERE to ensure emails, l etters, phone calls, and visits continue to target key Members of Congress, urging them to stop EPA's attempts to regulate greenhouse gases.

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