Weekly Musing 10-6-13
“This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”
James Madison, in Federalist No. 58
Obama Lied…FORCED to buy Obamacare approve insurance
I just received a letter yesterday from Blue Cross/Blue Shield notifying our family that our plan “does not meet all of the requirements” of Obamacare and will be “discontinued” December 31, 2013.
Obama and the Democrats lied, hell, most of them never even read most of the bill…let alone understood the damage it would do to 85% of Americans who already had health insurance.
This family of 6, who bought their own “high deductible” Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy are being FORCED to buy a different plan…one that our Central Government controlled by Obamacare bureaucrats who are going to determine what is in my family’s best interest???
Obama lied…I am being FORCED to give up my insurance of choice and buy a plan the Democrats forced down my throat.
I hope MORE and MORE Americans get a letter like this and wake up!
We Have An Obligation: We, those who are paying attention and understand the Constitution and the role of government, have an obligation to help our friends and neighbors understand what is happening. The games President Obama and the Democrats are playing are “sick and wrong” and too many in the mainstream media are helping them deliver their message.
We have an obligation to share the “rest of the story”. The next article and several others enclosed will help you do that. PLEASE share these articles, talk to your friends, express your outrage…and expose Obama’s hypocrisy.
Who Shut Down the Government? A MUST Read.
Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.
There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.
This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.
As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either.
You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.
Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.
Who shut down Yellowstone? Shutdown & the Hubris of Obamacare
President Obama indignantly insists that GOP attempts to abolish or amend Obamacare are unseemly because it is “settled” law, having passed both houses of Congress, obtained his signature and passed muster with the Supreme Court.
Yes, settledness makes for a strong argument — except from a president whose administration has unilaterally changed Obamacare five times after its passage, including, most brazenly, a year-long suspension of the employer mandate.
Article I of the Constitution grants the legislative power entirely to Congress. Under what constitutional principle has Obama unilaterally amended the law? Yet when the House of Representatives undertakes a constitutionally correct, i.e., legislative, procedure for suspending the other mandate — the individual mandate — this is portrayed as some extra-constitutional sabotage of the rule of law. Why is tying that amendment to a generalized spending bill an outrage, while unilateral amendment by the executive (with a Valerie Jarrett blog item for spin) is perfectly fine?
Obama Confused on the Constitution: This Shutdown Is Just Democracy At Work
The Constitution grants the House of Representatives the power of the purse, and Congress has chosen to impose a statutory debt ceiling on itself. If these are extreme or irresponsible ideas then they should be altered, not simply ignored.
The President lectures Congress that “you don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job.” This misunderstands our government on every level. Congress’s job is, indeed, to fund the operations of government. But it’s a mistake to view the appropriations process as a rubber stamp on government. Rather, it is a vital part of our nation’s separation of powers.
Shutdowns have been frequent tools of policy. Just ask Reagan.
One party controls the White House and the Senate by less than the margin needed to end a filibuster, and the other party controls the House by a wide margin. A fundamental conflict over government spending is at the heart of an impasse that leads to a shutdown of the federal government.
The year is not 2013 but 1981 . . . and 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1987. That’s right, the Reagan years, when President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill would work things out and avoid having to close the Washington Monument. With all due respect to Chris Matthews and other purveyors of this narrative popular in today’s Washington, the reality was quite different.
Newt Gingrich: Founding Fathers Liked Shutdowns
House Republicans have to be prepared to compromise but so must President Obama and his Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Faced with a president who refuses to negotiate, the House Republicans have to stand firm. A collapse of the House Republicans would teach President Obama that he can get away with virtually anything he wants. It would lead to a frightening three years and ultimately an even bigger crisis.
There is a path to a negotiated agreement but it requires both sides to negotiate. In 1995-96, both sides knew they were subordinate to the Constitution and they had to reach an agreement. It is not clear that this is true today.
Obama’s gamesmanship: A monumental mistake
Into the last category goes the decision to close the nation’s monuments to make sure that the government shutdown strikes the hearts of all The American People, whose constant invocation by pandering politicians fills one with self-loathing. (Who wants to be an “American People,” given the quality of our spokesfolksen?)
Then again, ridiculous is perhaps too generous a word. Closing the monuments, especially the World War II Memorial, can be reduced, fittingly, to a single syllable: Dumb. It is fitting because the seated patron of the Mall, Abraham Lincoln, was famously monosyllabic. In trivia you can use, more than 70 percent of the words in the Gettysburg Address are of one syllable.
In more recent history, when a group of World War II veterans recently faced barriers blocking entry to the memorial — an open space requiring not so much as an attendant — these elderly warriors took a page from their Normandy playbook and stormed the barricades.
Can there be an image more inspiring than members of this venerable club, whose living roll declines each day by about 640, pushing their way through flimsy, useless, pointless barriers to roam among pillars erected to their heroism? What was Washington thinking?
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
8 Charts That Explain the Explosive Growth of U.S. Health Care Costs
Today marks the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care law. Beginning on October 1, individuals will be eligible to sign up for new health plans administered by the health care exchanges created by Obamacare. In theory, that is. Many state health exchanges are not even close to being operational.
In honor of the current administration’s complete inability to implement the law despite having more than three years to prepare for it, here are 8 charts that help explain why health care costs in have America exploded over the past several decades, and why Obamacare will do nothing to address the problem.
Was Ted Kennedy a Terrorist? Obama, Nixon and the debt threat.
Actually the “terrorism” metaphor has been a staple of left-liberal rhetoric for at least two years, as we noted in August 2011. What’s new is that the White House is now using it openly. Back then, after a Democratic congressman claimed Joe Biden had employed the term in a closed-door meeting, a spokesman denied it: “The word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it’s an appropriate term in political discourse.”
But, as we noted, “plenty of prominent elite liberals have sounded the theme. It’s become commonplace on the opinion pages of the New York Times.” And that hasn’t changed. A Times editorial today likens the GOP’s demands to a “ransom note” and urges the president to remain intransigent:
IRS scandal means bad news for Obama
So a majority of Americans think that government officials who exercise an important trust broke the law, but only a very small number think anything will be done to punish them.
There are a couple of lessons to draw from this. One is bad for the country in general, but the other is bad for congressional Democrats.
The lesson for the country is that trust in the government is very low. (In another Rasmussen poll, 70% think that government and big business often work together against consumers and investors. According to Gallup, trust in government is lower than during Watergate.) But it’s worse than that.
Happy birthday income tax, you’re 100 years old (ouch!)
It’s doubtful most people will notice, let alone celebrate, Friday’s 100th anniversary of the U.S. income tax code. But, yes taxpayers, Oct. 4, 2013, is the centennial.
So, happy birthday income tax?
“Obviously, it depends on your perspective,” said Ajay Mehrotra, a history professor at Indiana University.
“But there’s one thing we can take from the period of time when the tax law passed,” he said. “And that is lawmakers got together and realized some permanent form of taxation was needed instead of having a political stalemate that got nowhere.”
One expert sees the 100 years as a system run amok.
“In 1913, the tax code consisted of 400 pages,” said Timothy Nash, a professor of free market economics at Northwood University.
“By 2012, the tax code was 73,608 pages,” he said. “We have gone from a simple tax system to a complex, unfriendly system
Six decades in Detroit: How abandonment, racial tensions and financial missteps bankrupted the city
8-page special report in today’s Detroit News on Detroit — everything you ever wanted to know about the city and why it collapsed.
Next budget fight – debt ceiling – dates to Founding Fathers
Wondering who to thank for the bizarre rules that allow Congress to approve spending, then later slam the door on new borrowing to pay the bills? Thank the Founding Fathers.
Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the exclusive powers to legislate and the power of the purse. In fact, Section 8 of the first article deals specifically with paying debts.
But the Constitution’s Article 2 empowers the president to carry out the laws passed by Congress and run the government at the levels authorized and appropriated by Congress.
In that simple civics lesson is the root of the problem. Congress passes legislation to spend, but it’s the president who must ensure those bills get paid. Those two objectives don’t neatly line up. President Barack Obama complains that past presidents haven’t been subjected to the types of conditions being asked of him in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling, but it just isn’t true. To the contrary, there’s plenty of precedent.
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