Archive for January, 2010

Janet Napolitano Asleep at the State of the Union Address

January 30, 2010

Not that I blame her.

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The Top 12 Scams from Obama (to date)

January 30, 2010

This is quite a list.  Nice read from Jim Guirara in the American Thinker.

SCAM #1 — He loudly asserts complete “transparency,” but there is little or none — e.g., his birthplace records, his Marxist parentage and upbringing, his school records from grammar to graduate, his passport records, his radical-left personal and professional associations, his deep association with the ACORN conspiracy, his Harvard Law Review and book-writing records, and his multiple far-left, non-vetted, unconfirmed, and largely unaccountable regulatory “czars.”

SCAM #2 — He continues to assure “bipartisanship” and “accountability,” but there is little of either, with most of his “economic stimulus” legislation and “TARP” funding — and now the health care proposals — crafted behind closed doors and with all of the Republicans (and all centrist and conservative Democrats, as well) actually locked out.

NOTE: Massachusetts voters seem to have decided that “BUYpartisanship” might be a better spelling for the blatant vote-buying of several Senate Democrats (and probably as many House Democrats, as well) who are so servile as to be for sale.

SCAM #3 — He promises not to sign any health care bill which “adds a single dime to the deficit” — but he deceitfully front-loads taxes and back-loads benefits to make it seem so, and he contrives multiple “scoring” schemes which grossly underestimate hidden costs by trillions of such “single dimes.”

SCAM #4 — He pledges not to raise the taxes of anyone who earns less than such-and-such amount — a number which keeps getting smaller and smaller — and cynically labels $250-“stimulus” handouts as “tax cuts for 95 percent of all taxpayers.”

SCAM #5 — He has assured that there would no role (or positions of substantial influence) for “lobbyists” in his administration, but he has made so many exceptions and end-runs as to render the original pledge a prima facie lie. (Surely, SEIU President Andy Stern, who virtually lives in the White House, would never “lobby” the president on anything.)

SCAM #6 — He pretends to have left the Liberation Theology church when he has merely distanced himself from a particularly radical minister — while then appointing that minister’s hand-picked and equally radical successor, Rev. Cecil Morris, to his Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Initiatives. Further, he has appointed a Cuban expatriate Liberation Theology theologian, Professor Miguel Diaz, as his ambassador to the Vatican.

SCAM #7 — He claims not to be a socialist, but a “progressive” instead — when the latter has long been the radical left’s codeword for the former, and even when such “Death to America” socialists and communists as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, and Daniel Ortega proudly claim the “progressive” label as well.

SCAM #8 — He talks of “energy independence” but proposes multilayered policies of Less Energy at Higher Prices (LEAHP) — all of which are devoted to a ruinously low “carbon footprint” belief system which is itself a pseudo-religious scam, correctly being called by many the Branch Carbonian Cult.

SCAM #9 — He embraces as “scientific consensus” the junk science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and shamelessly rejects virtually all scientific evidence (re: solar cycles, cosmic winds, ocean currents, volcanic activity, etc.) to the contrary, just as the pseudo-scientific Branch Carbonians do.

SCAM #10 — He promises “jobs, jobs, jobs” while he relentlessly proposes — in an apparent state of cognitive dissonance — both the proactive outforcing of jobs and capital investment and the determined downforcing of most major domestic energy supplies.  

SCAM #11 — He repeatedly blames the ever-exploding budget deficits and the unending loss of jobs on “the Bush economy we inherited” — when it was clearly the Pelosi-Reid Congressional Economy of 2007-08 (with its promises of higher taxes and of radical “carbon-footprint” crackdowns) that he inherited, which had already ended the de facto Bush Boom of the preceding three years, 2004-06.

SCAM #12 — He cynically relabels global terrorism a “man-caused disaster” and redefines al-Qaeda-inspired and trained enemy combatants as mere Miranda-protected “criminals” — and thereby tries to insulate himself and his legacy from ever having “lost a war,” which, after all, was never a war in the first place.

Impeach Eric Holder

January 30, 2010

Thankfully the KSM trial is being moved away from NYC.  But the fact it was even considered is ludicrous and who knows where it will end up now.  The KSM trial, the 50-minute interrogation of the underwear bomber.  What will be his next misstep? 

Holder’s become a burden to an administration that has long been a burden to the American people.

SEIU Funds Anti-Tea Party Website

January 30, 2010

From Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:

The progressives are not just trying to split the tea party movement from the Republican Party, they’re also trying to legitimize and destroy the tea party movement itself.

This website recently popped up on the internet:
The Tea Party Is Over
Our Mission: To prevent the Tea Party’s dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction.

Lee Doren did his research and found out who is behind this anti-freedom website:

I just came across a new website titled: http://www.TheTeaPartyIsOver.org

It is paid for by the American Public Policy Committee. Well, according to opensecrets.org, the two donors for American Public Policy Committee this year are Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority West.

However, according to opensecrets.org, the 2nd largest contributor in 2008 to Patriot Majority was SEIU and other top Unions around America.

It figures. When the SEIU is not out cracking heads and stomping on tea party vendors they’re working on other ways to destroy the tea party movement. They will do anything to force their radical agenda on America.

Never Saw It Coming: Air America Files for Bankruptcy

January 23, 2010

From Foxnews.com:

Air America Radio, a progressive radio network that once aired commentary from Al Franken and Rachel Maddow, said Thursday it is shutting down immediately.

The company founded in April 2004 said it ceased airing new programs Thursday afternoon and will soon file to be liquidated under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It began broadcasting reruns of programs and would end those as well Monday night.

Air America said 10 consecutive quarters of declining ad revenue and the difficulty of making money on the Internet contributed to its financial woes.

“The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America’s business. This past year has seen a `perfect storm’ in the media industry generally,” the company said in a statement on its Web site.

The network had some 100 radio outlets nationwide.

Franken, a Democrat, hosted his own show from 2004 to 2007 before going on to become a U.S. senator from Minnesota last year after a close election. Maddow went on to host her own TV show on MSNBC.

California: Another Casualty of Liberalism

January 18, 2010

Excellent piece in the American Thinker from Claude Sandroff, a California resident, on the depressing status of the Golden State.

Only raw and unrestrained liberalism could have destroyed the world’s 8th-largest economy. Boasting unparalleled assets in agriculture, high technology, entertainment, and tourism, and blessed with ample energy resources, deep-water ports and ideal weather, California has nonetheless managed to turn itself into a perfect dystopia.

California’s governor offered this in his last State of the State message: “We need to work with the feds so that we can fix the flawed formula that demands that states spend money they do not have.” Certainly that’s a good start from Schwarzenegger, who only recently, as part of a degrading suck-up routine, graded Obama’s performance as president with an A. But pointing to the federal government’s brazen overreach doesn’t address California’s true malady: a self-inflicted, endless orgy of failed leftist policies and programs enacted under one-party legislative rule.

The litany of problems is well-known and oft-cited. We Californians are overtaxed, our state workers are too numerous and coddled, our businesses are overregulated, and our environmentalists are too radical and powerful.

And the list goes on. We tolerate nearly three million illegal residents draining us of $10 billion annually — enough to pay down half of our deficit through this and the next fiscal year. The educational system is dysfunctional and expensive, while our infrastructure is adequate for the third world — not 40 million modern consumers growing to 50 million by mid-century. Our energies are diluted by frequent and incomprehensible voter propositions that often focus on divisive social agendas (gay marriage) or are driven by well-funded special interests (stem-cell research).

California is in an exciting race to the bottom with other liberal bastions like New York and New Jersey to see who can best tax its citizens and businesses into oblivion. But California’s stunning fall to mediocrity is alarming because it had to do so much wrong for so long to neuter so much of its enormous potential.

Continued…

California, on the brink of a violent demise, must choose among three fates: rescue, restructure, or failure. Of these, a rescue by the rest of the country would be the most disastrous. If U.S. taxpayers from the other 49 states were forced to save California — using the same broken logic that “saved” Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and AIG, because they too were too big to fail — the very notion of a republic with sovereign states would dissolve before our eyes. California would suffer few painful consequences from its liberal mismanagement, while every other state would calculate how large its own rewards could be for mismanaging its own economy. And the fifty states would devolve into nothing but geographical boundaries, like counties within a state.

The kinds of policies that could save California are easy to formulate: Reduce the state government by 30% by permanently eliminating (not furloughing) state workers; eliminate the personal income tax; provide any new business that stays in the state for ten years with a corporate tax moratorium; abandon threats of a carbon tax and open the state to aggressive (not unregulated) offshore and onshore drilling; cut welfare rolls to reflect the 16% share of the U.S. population residing in the state; establish a constitutional amendment limiting increases in state spending to population growth plus inflation; eliminate all benefits to illegals.

But if we Californians refuse to establish a rational economic order, then let us fail, whatever that might mean for our bond rating or reputation. And learn from our mistakes by not following our irresponsible descent into fiscal hell.

Obama Speaks at Coakley Rally but Can’t Fill Up the Venue

January 17, 2010

How times have changed.  Even the presence of The One couldn’t stir enough Bostonians to fill up the hall at Northeastern University. Only 2000-2500 were in attendance at a 3000 capacity auditorium.

Joe Lieberman to Endorse Scott Brown?

January 17, 2010

From Gateway Pundit:

The word on the street is that the good independent senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman, may endorse Scott Brown.

Before It’s News reported, via Red Mass Group:

Hartford, CT- Joe Lieberman may be close to announcing his suppport for Massachusetts Senate Candidate Scott Brown. Citing the historical Healthcare Reform Bill as the main issue attracting Lieberman to endorse Brown’s Campaign. Scott Brown is vehemently opposed to the proposed Healthcare Legislation.

Joe Lieberman has run against many of his Democratic Counterparts in the Senate over the so called Obamacare Health Care Reform Bill. Back in December, with the public option dead, Democrats revived an old proposal to expand Medicare, but Lieberman voted no. That plan was considered by a small percentage of liberals as a decent alternative to the public option leaving Lieberman at odds with Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid.

Speculation is such that if Lieberman were to endorse Scott Brown over the coming weekend that would most likely seal the defeat of Martha Coakley for Senate.

Latest Polling has Brown leading Coakley by a margin of 1 to 4 points.

Joe Lieberman has always been a staunch supporter of the war against radical Islam so this makes sense considering Coakley is so lost on national defense.

Massachusetts Miracle

January 16, 2010

View the amazing ad video below from the Scott Brown Camp titled “Massachusetts Miracle”.  Tuesday’s special election (1/19/2010) in Massachusetts will pit Scott Brown (R) v. Martha Coakley (D) to fill the US Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy until his death last year.

Another One Bites The Dust: Denver Post Owner to File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

January 16, 2010

The owner of the Denver Post, another liberal newspaper with dwindling circulation and advertising revenue, plans to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

From Yahoo! Finance:

DENVER (AP) — The holding company for MediaNews Group Inc. newspapers, including The Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, says it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Affiliated Media Inc. said Friday it would file a “prepackaged” plan already approved by lenders, which should allow it to emerge from bankruptcy more quickly.

It would be at least the 13th bankruptcy filing by a U.S. newspaper publisher in the past 13 months. The owners of dozens of newspapers have been pushed into bankruptcy protection as the recession and competition from the Internet have sapped advertising revenue.

View the entire article here.

Danny Glover Blames Haiti Earthquake on Global Warming

January 16, 2010

Danny Glover, actor and friend of Hugo Chavez, knows what caused the earthquake in Haiti this past week.  Apparently he dabbles in geology in his spare time.

From Ethel Fenig in the American Thinker:

Most geologists, geographers and other earth scientists have explained how the movement of tectonic plates caused the tragic earthquake in Haiti.
Most. But not all.
The most authoritative, the most knowledgeable scientist disagrees. This respected scientist, who also moonlights as actor Danny Glover, knows what really, really is responsible for the earthquake’s horror. Graciously sharing his advanced scientific and technical insight with the rest of the world so it won’t occur again, he clearly explains

 

“What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming.”

“When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m saying? We have to act now!”

Democrats Allow Unions to Escape “Cadillac Tax” on Health Benefits

January 16, 2010

Democrats are once again caving to Unions by allowing their members to be exempted from the “Cadillac Tax” on health benefits.  Under the plan, Union members won’t have to pay the tax until 2018 but you just know that come 2017 more back-room dealings will occur and they’ll again be exempted. 

From Foxnews.com:

In pushing a giant step closer to a health care reform deal, Democratic leaders are once again drawing fire from their critics for extending special treatment to an interest group in exchange for its support of the bill. 

The latest deal was struck Thursday among the White House, Congress and union leaders over the proposed tax on high-value “Cadillac” health insurance plans.” 

Unions had objected strongly to the proposed tax on high-value insurance policies, fearing it would hurt their members, and they won several concessions from the administration. Under the deal, if it becomes law, union workers will be shielded from the 40 percent tax for five years — until 2018. The threshold for the tax also was raised so that it will kick in for plans worth $24,000 instead of $23,000. And dental and vision coverage will not count toward that threshold. 

But what about everybody else? 

The unions, traditional supporters of the Democratic Party and a major factor in Obama’s political infrastructure, got a deal, but Republicans said that non-union workers will still have to pay the tax from the get-go starting in 2013. 

Obama on Reid: “He’s always been on the right side of history”. Reid on Iraq: “This war is lost”.

January 12, 2010

Good clip of Obama defending Reid’s recent comments where he states Reid has “…always been on the right side of history”.  Obama obviously forgets Reid’s comment on the Iraq war where he states “This war is lost”.

Sarah Palin Joins Fox News as Political Contributor

January 11, 2010

From Foxnews.com:

2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is joining Fox News as a contributor, the news channel announced Monday.

The former Alaska governor, whose book, Going Rogue: An American Life, became a bestseller weeks before it was released and remains No. 2 on the New York Times bestseller list, has signed a multi-year deal to offer her political commentary and analysis across all Fox News platforms, including Fox Business Channel, FoxNews.com and Fox News Radio. 

She will also participate in special event political programming for Fox Broadcasting. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News. It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news,” Palin said in a written release.

Palin will also host periodic episodes of Fox News Channel’s “Real American Stories,” a series exploring inspirational real-life tales of overcoming adversity throughout the American landscape that will debut in 2010.

“Governor Palin has captivated everyone on both sides of the political spectrum and we are excited to add her dynamic voice to the FOX News lineup,” said Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming. 

Prior to joining Sen. John McCain on the 2008 presidential ticket, Palin was the first woman to serve as governor of Alaska, taking the oath in 2006. As governor, she worked on improving resource development, education, health and transportation and infrastructure development. 

Prior to holding the office of governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council in Alaska as well as two terms as the mayor and manager of Wasilla, and worked as an oil and gas industry regulator.

Owned by News Corp, Fox News Channel is a 24-hour general news service covering breaking news as well as political, entertainment and business news, and has been the most-watched cable news channel in the country for eight years running. It features the top 13 programs in cable news and can be seen in more than 90 million homes.

Misery Index at Highest Level Since 1991

January 10, 2010

The Misery Index, a combination of unemployment and inflation rates, is at its highest level since 1991 and stands at 12.8%.  Hope  and Change.  And Misery.

From Ed Lasky in the American Thinker:

The Misery Index is the sum of a nation’s unemployment, interest rates, and inflation figures. Given the Fed’s printing presses are running red hot and the Democrats show a propensity to profligacy, inflation looks to rise in the year ahead. Commodity prices are heading steadily higher, fueled by too much cash, and too much deficit spending. The Democrats have put policies in place that crimp the development of our vast mineral and energy reserves,. These trends are like the pig in the python – eventually the rise in these input prices will be reflected in higher prices for all consumers. A further source of anxiety should be the ever-weakening dollar that makes import prices higher in dollar terms.The misery index now stands at 12.8%, the highest since 1991 and 3 points above its average since then.

As Business Week reported this past week:

Whichever methodology you use, the misery metric will likely have political implications near-term… U.S. President Barack Obama faces his first midterm congressional elections in November. Their opposition will surely seek to capitalize on voter discomfort with the economy.

That’s what happened in 1976 when Jimmy Carter exploited a misery index of around 13% to help defeat Gerald Ford for the Presidency—only to see it rise to more than 20% four years later, costing him the same job. So unless they can cut their current indices, lawmakers could suffer their own form of misery this year: lost elections.

100 Hours Video from Keep America Safe

January 10, 2010

Great video from Keep America Safe  via Founding Bloggers titled “100 Hours”, which is nearly how long it took Obama to realize the system failed regarding the Detroit Terror Incident. 

Harry Reid on Obama in 2008: Light-skinned with no negro dialect

January 10, 2010

From apnews.myway.com in reference to Game Change, the new book from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin on the 2008 election in which Harry Reid referred to Obama as light-skinned with no negro dialect. 

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 presidential bid.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.

“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments,” Reid said in a statement released after the excerpts were reported on the Web site of The Atlantic.

“I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama’s legislative agenda.”

Reid remained neutral during the bitter Democratic primary that became a marathon contest between Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom Obama tapped as the United States’ top diplomat after the election.

Reid’s comments are included in a book set to be published on Monday. “Game Change” was written by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann; the pair describe the book in interviews during Sunday’s “60 Minutes” on CBS.

The Democrat Party is truly the Party of Hypocrisy.

Bill Clinton on Obama in 2008: A few years ago this guy would have been getting us coffee

January 10, 2010

From Hotair.com on Game Change, the new book from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin on the 2008 election.

Another hot excerpt from the same book that’s got Dingy Harry groveling. What a treat to hear how the Lords of Tolerance talk to each other behind closed doors.

This is turning into some day.

[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.

As politically tempting as it is to demagogue this, and duly aware that the left would never give the benefit of the doubt to a conservative in an argument over racial subtext, I can’t believe Billy Jeff meant it “that way.” Comparing a guy running to become the first black president to some sort of servant is astoundingly tone-deaf, but that was par for the course for Clinton throughout that campaign. Remember when he idly compared The One to Jesse Jackson in the run-up to the South Carolina primary, at a moment when the media was paranoid that Hillary would try to “racialize” the campaign? All he meant by the coffee remark, I assume, was that The One was too young and green to be president, not far removed in age and experience from, say, a Senate aide. Which is also plenty insulting given how long Obama spent as a state senator, but certainly not racially untoward. The great mystery here is why Teddy was so offended by the remark. Did he perceive some racial subtext in it? Hard to believe he’d flip out simply because Clinton belittled Obama’s resume.

Ambinder’s got a new list up of juicy quotes from the book, including reports of our eventual secretary of state cheering on attempts to push the cokehead meme against Obama, so go check that out. A parting thought that scarcely needs articulating: Had a Republican said what BJ said, he’d be finished, finished, finished.

The Democrat Party is truly the Party of Hypocrisy.

Sarah Palin to Keynote National Tea Party Convention

January 9, 2010

Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker at the first ever National Tea Party Convention, sponsored by Tea Party Nation.  The convention will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN from February 4-6, 2010. 

View the National Tea Party Convention site for details by clicking here.

Obama Says 10% Unemployment Rate Heading in Right Direction

January 8, 2010

What is considered the wrong direction?

Hope and Change: Unemployment Remains at 10%

January 8, 2010

Hope and Change huh?  More like Change, for the worse, but no Hope.  Unemployment remains at 10%.  The One is taking a toll on our economy.

From Hotair.com.

Last month’s surprisingly sunny report on losses did not hold, and the US remains in double-digit unemployment:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. …

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down in December (-85,000). Job losses continued in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs. During 2009, monthly job losses moderated substantially. Employment losses in the first quarter of 2009 averaged 691,000 per month, compared with an average loss of 69,000 per month in the fourth quarter.

The number of jobs lost rose significantly between November and December, although the unemployment rate held steady.  In fact, the last paragraph shows a potential problem rolling into 2010.  The average job losses in the fourth quarter were skewed by the unexpectedly small decline in November, leading people to think that the end was near for job loss and that net job growth may be close.  Instead, December outpaced the entire quarter — in a season where retail usually adds positions.

The losses in construction and manufacturing give the greatest worry.  Those industries have been in free fall for over a year, and the economic stimulus package supposedly addressed those specifically.  There has been no jobs “saved or created” in those industries in numbers large enough to matter.

Janet Napolitano “Surprised” by Al Qaeda’s Determination

January 7, 2010

Ignorance defined.  Where has she been for the last 8 years?  What’s truly surprising is that she’s running the Dept of Homeland Security. 

 

Big Journalism

January 6, 2010

Finally!  Andrew Breitbart, creator of both Big Government and Big Hollywood, just launched Big Journalism, a site devoted to calling-out the mainstream media for their pathetic reporting.  Andrew’s going to have his hands full.

Give it a look-see by clicking here.

Government Jobs Top Goods-Producing Jobs

January 6, 2010

A sad sign of the times.  For the 1st time ever, Government jobs top goods-producing jobs in the US.  From Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:

There are now more people working in governement than in goods-producing jobs.

For the first time in history there are now more profit-eating government jobs than goods-producing jobs in the United States.
Clusterstock reported:

In the just-so story of the evolution of our economy, our old manufacturing based economy has been replaced by an innovative knowledge economy. That’s not quite true.

In fact, the decline of the jobs in goods producing sectors of the economy–construction, manufacturing, mining and agriculture–has largely been met with an increase in jobs on the government payroll. We’ve gone from providing jobs in profit-making private industry to providing jobs in profit-eating government work. Toward the end of 2007, the total number of government jobs exceeded the total number of goods producing jobs. Welcome to the government payroll economy.

The average government worker enjoys a $71,000 per year annual salary compared to the average individual working in the private sector who makes just $40,000 per year.

Obamacare: Senate Bill Takes Aim at Middle Class

January 5, 2010

From Foxnews.com:

The Senate health care bill could end up hitting middle-class workers hard, through a new tax on insurance plans that could ultimately cut through to their wages. 

Both the House and Senate packages will have to be aligned and passed again in both chambers of Congress before a final bill makes its way to President Obama’s desk. Both bills raise money for the sweeping overhaul of America’s health insurance system by cutting about a half-trillion dollars from Medicare and raising lots of new revenue. 

The House bill raises it by imposing a 5.4 percent surtax on people making $500,000 a year or more — a strictly money-raising move with no impact on health care itself. But the Senate bill raises the biggest chunk of its new revenue through a 40 percent tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans — plans that cost more than $23,000 per family. 

And that tax, critics say, will trigger a series of changes that will result in billions of dollars in new taxes on the middle class over the next decade. 

First, the tax will hit plans widely used by middle-class employees. The majority of workers with the high-value plans are union members and state government employees who are not considered wealthy, even though Obama advisers like to say the tax is aimed at benefits enjoyed by the likes of Wall Street bankers. 

“A lot of those folks that have Cadillac plans have Chevy wages. And that’s what makes it, has made it, somewhat controversial and a real issue of contention,” said Jim Kessler, vice president for policy with the non-profit think tank Third Way. 

Second, some say the tax will make many of the high-value plans too expensive and slowly cause them to disappear — since employers could wind up cutting back on benefits they offer to avoid any passed-on price increase. 

Third, as those union members and other workers lose their health benefits, which are not taxable, the Senate assumes the lost benefits will be replaced by wages, which are taxable. 

Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, referred to this scenario during a speech in October, saying workers could end up with more “take-home wages” that are taxed. 

“A smaller fraction of your compensation takes the form of health insurance — you actually see it in your pocket in terms of wages. Of course when you get things in your pocket in terms of wages, you pay taxes on them,” Romer said. 

In fact, the Senate is counting on raising $120 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, the majority of which will come from the middle class. Another $30 billion is expected to roll in from the actual tax on insurance plans, but far more comes from wages.

“This is a big tax on the middle class,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, noting that 95 percent of people with the so-called Cadillac plans make under $250,000. 

Stewart Acuff, with the Utility Workers Union of America, said the House financing plan is actually “much fairer” since it taps money from the wealthy. 

“They got a $2.5 trillion tax cut from President Bush, and asking them to give a little of that back to provide one of the most necessary things in a democracy, which is health care for our people … is the fairer way to go,” he said. 

Acuff noted that Obama campaigned against the idea of a tax on insurance plans when Sen. John McCain, his  Republican rival, talked about it during the presidential campaign in 2008. 

But Obama has since embraced a tax on the insurance plans themselves, and unions are urging Congress and the White House to reconsider.