From the American Thinker’s Graph of the Day feature.
Posts Tagged ‘Democrat-Congress’
Shocker! Per a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Obamacare will actually increase the cost of healthcare over time. From Foxnews.com:
President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will increase the nation’s health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation. A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama’s aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.
But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, however, since the report also warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, forcing lawmakers to roll them back.
The mixed verdict for Obama’s signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts. In particular, the warnings about Medicare could become a major political liability for Democratic lawmakers in the midterm elections. The report projected that Medicare cuts could drive about 15 percent of hospitals and other institutional providers into the red, “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman spoke at the National Press Club earlier this week and told the crowd that for those individuals who don’t pay for Obamacare, their payments will be taken from their tax refunds. From the Daily Caller via Gateway Pundit:
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told reporters yesterday at the National Press Club that the government plans on punishing those who don’t purchase government health care by confiscating their tax refunds.
The Daily Caller reported:
Individuals who don’t purchase health insurance may lose their tax refunds according to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. After acknowledging the recently passed health-care bill limits the agency’s options for enforcing the individual mandate, Shulman told reporters that the most likely way to penalize individuals that don’t comply is by reducing or confiscating their tax refunds.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Monday, Shulman downplayed the IRS’s role in enforcing the recent overhaul of the health insurance industry by claiming the agency would not aggressively target individuals who don’t purchase coverage. He noted that the health-care bill expressly forbids the agency from freezing bank accounts, seizing assets or pursuing criminal charges, but when pressed said the IRS would most likely use tax refund offsets to penalize those that don’t comply with the mandate. The IRS uses refund offsets to collect from individuals that owe the federal government a delinquent debt.
Love it. When Libs heckle a Republican the media applauds the actions or try to get to the root of “why” people are upset. Not so when a Democrat is on the receiving end.
Yet another Democrat being investigated. From Gateway Pundit:
A federal grand jury is investigating Democrat Gregory Meeks for his involvement with a charity that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received a dime. Meeks is also being investigated for a shady house deal.
The National Legal and Policy Center reported:
According to the New York Daily News today, a federal grand jury is investigating some of Queens’ most prominent politicians, including Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). NLPC first exposed Meeks’ involvement with a charity called New Direction that raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received it. NLPC also first exposed Meeks’ purchase of a home for far less than it is worth.
In a Complaint to the House Ethics Committee filed on March 19, NLPC asked for an investigation of Meeks’ purchase of the house. The Complaint detailed how a contractor named Robert Gaskin not only built the home for Meeks, but also did work for several other Queens politicians and nonprofits they control. At the same time, Gaskin received numerous contracts on taxpayer-funded projects.
This is classic. Jason refuses to back down, which is not surprising based on his Fox News appearances. Props to Rep. Moran’s aides though, who handled the situation well. The same can’t be said of Rep. Moran.
You never know.
From John McLaughlin in the American Thinker:
From the New Ledger blog comes news reported by Ben Domenech of an interesting item in the newly passed ObamaCare legislation now being scrutinized in detail:One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans.Sweet, huh? Domenech explains that, during passage of the legislation, controversy arose as to whether Congress would commit to placing themselves under the same health care exchanges being mandated for average citizens. To that end, the words were added to the legislation mandating that each Member of Congress and the Member’s congressional staff would have health plans created under the Healthcare Act.
Sounds great until you dig into those pesky details — such as the definition of “congressional staff” (emphasis added):(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term ‘Member of Congress’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF- The term ‘congressional staff’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.Thus, by this definition, the legislation applies only to a Member of Congress and the member’s personal office staff. It does not apply to the Democrat staffers employed by the various Congressional committees or the Congressional leadership. Domenech confirms:According to the Congressional Research Service, this definition of staff will only apply to those staffers employed within a member’s “personal office” – meaning that it will absolutely not apply to committee staff members, and may not apply to leadership staff.
At least he’s honest.
Another Democrat embroiled in a scandal. How novel. Welcome to Hope and Change.
Facing “allegations of misconduct” that reportedly involve sexual harassment against a male staffer, freshman Rep. Eric Massa is resigning Monday.
“I own his reality,” the New York Democrat said in a statement, admitting to using language that “might make a chief petty officer feel uncomfortable.”
Massa went on to call Washington an “incredibly toxic atmosphere” and said the ethics committee probe “would tear my family and my staff apart.”
“In that investigators would be free to ask anything about me going back to my birth, I simply cannot rise to that level of perfection,” he said. “God knows that I am a deeply flawed and imperfect person.”
The House ethics panel is reviewing a complaint by a male staffer who reportedly felt uncomfortable in a situation with Massa that had sexual overtones.
Massa said he is resigning with a “profound sense of failure and a deep apology to all those whom, for the past year, I tried to represent as our nation struggles with problems far greater than anyone can possibly imagine.”
Massa announced Wednesday he would retire at the end of his term because of a recurrence of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, first diagnosed in 1996. He also addressed head-on the harassment allegations.
“The allegations are totally false. I am a salty old sailor,” Massa, a former Navy officer, said at a news conference. “These are blogs that are saying that I am leaving because of charges of harassing my staff. Do and have I used salty language? Yes, and I have tried to do better.”
Salty language? Don’t think so. View the full article here.
To quote Rosslyn Smith in the American Thinker, “Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to let Amy Bishop kill her brother without prosecution.” Yet another shady Democrat leaving office w/o seeking reelection. See ya.
Congressman William Delahunt announced that he will not seek reelection. According to the veteran Massachusetts lawmaker, recently returned from an extended trip to the Middle East, it’s because he wants to spend more time with his infant granddaughter.“It’s got nothing to do with politics,” the Quincy Democrat said today. “Life is about change. I think it’s healthy. It’s time.”A few days ago it was noted that Delahunt appeared to be spending down his war chest so this announcement was not unexpected. While his seat has generally been considered a safe retention for Democrats in November two recent factors have put that conventional political wisdom into some doubt. Not only did Delahunt’s district break strongly for Scott Brown in the special Senate election but in recent weeks Delahunt found himself at the center of a surprising controversy. In 1986 when Delahunt was a District Attorney his office decided not to prosecute accused University of Alabama Huntsville shooter Amy Bishop for the shooting of her brother. Bishop had killed him with a pump action shotgun and was apprehended at gunpoint some distance away from the scene by Braintree police after she had pointed the shotgun at workers at a dealership in an attempt to obtain a getaway car. That information somehow never made it into the Massachusetts state police file when the case was handed over to them. The current District Attorney is conducting an investigation into how the 1986 case was mishandled. Jason Tuohy in the Boston Globe:Delahunt’s retirement is the 17th among House Democrats, and the third among lawmakers with close ties to Kennedy. Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and a close Kennedy friend, announced his retirement in January; Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy, the late senator’s son, followed suit last month.In addition, when questioned about running should Delahunt retire, Joseph P. Kennedy III recently announced that he wasn’t interested in running for office at this time.
Rep. Charlie Rangel was recently admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean. And while he’s always been known as a crook, he can now add “coward” to his resume. He’s set to blame his staff for the ethics violations and predictably, the Washington Post writer agrees with him.
It’s unseemly when members of Congress throw their staffs under the bus when they get into trouble. That Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the latest offender is no surprise. But the embattled chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee might be justified — in this instance.
Carib News Foundation hosted Rangel and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus at seminars in Antigua, Barbuda and St. Maarten in 2007 and 2008. The trips were cleared by the House Ethics Committee. But now the committee says it was given misleading information by the foundation about the corporate sponsorship of the trips, which would have put the kibosh on congressional participation. Yet Rangel was the only one of the five members to be admonished by the ethics committee. Even though it found no proof that he knew, Rangel is being held responsible because two of his staffers knew about the corporate sponsorships.
View the full article here.
What is considered the wrong direction?
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.
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.
Judging by Obama’s actions, or lack thereof, Healthcare is a priority for him and his administration. Congress has spent many an hour on this topic, on legislation, on garnering votes, etc. Obama even made an appearance on Capitol Hill on Saturday to rally the troops prior to that night’s vote.
But Healthcare isn’t at the top of the issues list with American citizens these days. What is atop their list is a struggling economy and a skyrocketing unemployment rate. The more Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress neglects these issues, the more the Democrats will suffer in 2010. Last Tuesday’s Governor elections in NJ and VA will hopefully be just the tip of the iceberg.
From Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:
Americans are angry with Washington as much for what it isn’t doing as what it is.
What it isn’t doing the most is paying attention to the still-raging economic disaster.
Last week’s job numbers show unemployment nationally bumping past 10 percent and surpassing 15 percent in Michigan. Unemployment keeps climbing, even though President Barack Obama and Congress nine months ago committed $787 billion to creating jobs.
Since then, neither the White House nor Congress has spent a minute honestly analyzing whether the stimulus program is accomplishing its goal, and if not, what other approaches might work.
Instead, the administration is spinning dismal economic reports into positive news, allowing both it and Congress to ignore the economy while they pursue their ideological ends.
It ought to infuriate anyone who’s lost a job, can’t find a job, is worried about his job or lives in a community ravaged by a lack of jobs that Congress devotes nearly all of its energy to arguing about health care.
The promise of health care reform was not what got Democrats elected. Voters tossed Republicans on their fannies for ruining the economy, not because they didn’t enact wildly expensive social programs.
But while the economy tops every list of public concerns, job creation is not the hot topic in Washington.
In fact, Democratic leaders, obsessed with reworking America, have proved more than willing to sacrifice precious jobs during the worst economic climate in a half-century.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., rammed an energy-rationing bill through her Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week without a single Republican member in the room.
The bill would greatly limit America’s ability to produce the energy it needs to fuel an economic rebound. In other words, it’s a job killer.
Democrats are revealing that putting the country back to work is a lesser priority than passing their social agenda.
If that weren’t true, they wouldn’t even consider any measure that would raise taxes on job creators.
Higher taxes, particularly on business, always result in fewer jobs. Both the health care and climate change bills will trigger huge tax hikes for every taxpayer.
Democrats have learned nothing from history. During the Great Depression, each time the economy showed a spark, President Franklin Roosevelt snuffed it out with another tax increase or regulatory burden.
Obama is making the same mistake and justifying it by claiming health care and climate change are so urgent they can’t be delayed until the economy recovers, and perhaps we can afford the costs.
But one in 10 American workers are unemployed — one in seven in Michigan. Surely, that’s the most urgent priority.
If it doesn’t become so soon in Washington, the tea bags being hurled at the Capitol will turn into pitchforks.