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Friday, July 24, 2009

Caveat Emptor: Rethink Obama's Health-Care Bill

Are you sold on the Obama Health-Care bill? If so, think about a serious issue that hasn't been completely explained to Congress or the American public.

In 2006 the Democrats took over control of Congress and immediately they restored the pay-go as a rule for both houses. (In basic jargon, this meant that if a new entitlement program were enacted, in order to pay for it some other program had to be cut....somewhere). This year, Obama begged the legislature to make it a law, envisioning that he would have more power to enforce it. What is not reported to the public is the fact that it could do the opposite. This bill states that if Congress has spent more on new entitlements (or has given more tax cuts) than it has saved, the Prez. can roll back or hide the excess.

So why is that such a bad idea? The Congressional Budget Office sent out an alarming memo that said that the bill as introduced might allow spending to increase by an alarming amount ( let's call it an astronomical amount). The memo further stated, "that rule would allow Congress to enact legislation that would increase deficits by an amount in the vicinity of $3 trillion over the 2010-2019 period with a sequestration."

Still confused? The bill would exempt from pay-go all of the spending in Medicare physician payments and all of the revenue dependent on estate and gift taxes, the alternative minimum tax for individuals and the administration's plan to continue the middle-income tax cuts of 2001-2003.

This pay-go program doesn't have a multi-year cap on discretionary spending and could result in a budget with a 40% loophole of staggering proportions that doesn't have to be paid for.

Mr. Obama promised transparency, he promised a "revenue neutral" budget, he promised accountability. What many are seeing is a devil in the details that might just up and bite us on the butt. Caveat emptor.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Growing Weary of the Obama Bull

I know that it is not great PC to inveigh against the Prez.. After all he's only been in office a short 6 months. I submit the latest poll which shows the approval rating of 57% of Obama is down a whopping 11% since April. Of course I know that polls don't mean much, save for the fact that such a sinking in popularity, suggests the public is slowly developing a collective hum of disapproval. Perhaps the 80% figure in the latest Washington Post-ABC poll says it all: that Americans are truly worried about huge costs showing up in the new health-costs reform bill.

The nonpartisan Director of the Congressional Budget Office gives them a concern for such a worry when he warned that the proposal "significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs." It's bad enough that the health-care industry just keeps slapping on more and more increases and greater denials in medical care, but now we can expect the feds to tack on even more.

Let's add to the mix a few other issues: Obama repudiated the Bush policies while on the campaign trail, but has managed to stay the course of indefinite detention of alleged terrorists, gays in the military, and huge corporate bailouts to the Wall Street elite. He pledged to bring about "net spending cuts" by budgeting wasteful spending, then went on to rubber-stamp more than 9,000 earmarks and asked the federal agencies to trim a tiny 0.003 percent from the federal budget.

Inveighing further, one could point to the fact that he didn't want a federal take-over of General Motors on the day he took it over. He promised transparency in government when, in fact, very few of the bills he promised to post on the Internet for five days before he signed them ever showed up on our screens.

The fresh air stemming from his melodic voice has turned to hot, and growing hotter, air.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Bull From the U.S. Senate Re: Confirmation Process

Don't you just love the condescension coming out of the hearings for the supreme court nominee, Sonia Sotomayer?
Think about it for a minute, and it does take a minute, and let me ask you the following:

What white man or woman during these same type of hearings has been asked whether being Caucasian makes h/her unable to apply the law without bias in cases involving people who are not white?

What male Supreme Court nominee has been asked whether he can apply the law without prejudice/bias to cases involving women? Remember that more than 1/2 of the U.S. population is female.

Those two questions alone automatically suggests that Sotomayer is being held to a totally different standard.

Let's throw in the issue of life experience that keeps creeping into the process. Could the lofty, yet unsettling voices from the Senate chamber have one believe that such experiences are not part of the rule of law. Did they miss something in the history of this land? Experiences should not have been taken into consideration in the Dred Scott Case? Brown v. Board of Ed.? Gideon v. Wainwright? or Hamda v. U.S.? Are they kidding?

The humans that sit on the high bench do not live prosaic lives. Anyone who has been lectured by the Supremes during oral arguments know full well that they can dish out a tongue lashing over life experiences to any counsel that is stupid enough to think they are vapid about circumstances surrounding a legal issue.
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