Sunday, November 25, 2012

The two opposing political philosophies being debated in 2012 can be traced back to George Washington’s presidency.  Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury and a Federalist,  offered an economic plan that created a centralized bank (First Bank of the United States), imposed trade tariffs and exise taxes, and had the federal government assume all of the states’ debt. He justified government expansion by referring to implied powers implicit in the Constitution.

Former Federalist Thomas Jefferson opposed the expansion of government,  supported states rights, and followed a more explicit interpretation of the Constitution with strict limitations on federal government. Eventually, Jefferson’s side formed a party referred to by historians and people of the time as Republicans, but known today as Democratic-Republicans. Hamilton and Jefferson are the patrons of the two opposing American political philosophies of big government vs. small government.

President Washington didn’t openly join either side, but he supported Hamilton’s policies as his Treasurer.

Both the House and Senate were pro-administration (Federalist) throughout Washington’s presidency and remained Federalist through John Adam’s (also a Federalist) presidency. During this period, there was a financial crisis in 1792 when Hamilton bailed out the Bank of New York, the bank he started, through providing securities that brought the price of securities down by 24%. There was also a land speculation bubble that burst in 1796.

From 1800 to 1825, the Democratic-Republicans dominated Congress. The charter of the First Bank of The United States expired in 1811 and wasn’t renewed. After the Nepoleanic wars ended, there was an ”Era of Good Feelings”, where there was a general feeling of Unity between all politicians as the Federalist party faded into history. There was basically a diluted, moderate Democratic-Republican party. The Second Bank of  The United States was chartered in 1817 as a reaction to the difficulties in financing the War of 1812.

After the panic of 1819, however, politicians split into Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian factions again over the existence of a centralized bank.

The Democrats emerged as the Jeffersonian Party; and the National Republicans, who later became Whigs, favored Hamiltonian policy. The Jeffersonian Democrats dominated the presidency and both houses until 1860.  After the charter for the Second Bank of The United States was allowed to expire by Jackson’s administration in 1837, there was a contraction and a five-year long depression. Despite this economic downturn (and a brief surge in Whig popularity),  there was no central bank again until 1913.  There was another panic that spread from Great Britain’s central bank in 1857, but the economy quickly recovered after President Buchanan (Jeffersonian Democrat)  lowered tariffs and withdrew government usage of bank notes. The panic leveled out and was over by 1859.

In 1854, a new Republican Party formed from the remnants of the Whigs (as did other abolitionist third parties to fight slavery.) The Republicans dominated Congress and the presidency until 1885. After the war, they became  the representatives of Hamilton’s philosophies.  In order to fund the Civil War, the US government left the gold standard and created greenbacks, or legal tender fiat currency that was not readily redeemable in gold. As a result of the war,  the transition back to the gold standard, and Republican protectionist tariffs, the growth of the American industrial revolution was slowed in what is known as the long depression between 1873 and 1896.

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both took Hamiltonian policy to a new level in the early 1900s.

Much like our last two presidents, their party affiliation was nominal.
They introduced progressivism and government activism throughout their presidency, pushing antitrust laws and new departments like the ICC, as well as reinstating a central bank and introducing the income tax. Party members from both sides opposed certain aspects of the activism and supported others. Pure Jeffersonian policies were abandoned. There was a panic in 1907 that was in recovery by 1908 during Roosevelt’s presidency. During Wilson’s presidency, we entered WWI and imposed a  top income tax rate of  73%, when just seven years before there was no income tax at all. This led to a crash in 1920.

After the heavy government expansion of the progressive era and the crash that resulted, there was a backlash and a redefining of the parties once again. After Wilson’s administration, politicians who favored Hamiltonian policy aligned themselves with the Democrats, while Jeffersonian policies were revived by the Republicans. The next two presidents, Harding and Coolidge, were Jeffersonian Republicans backed by Republican Congresses throughout their terms. They cut taxes and reduced government. This policy led to the roaring twenties. The roaring twenties ended with a crash in 1929.

A month after the stock market crash, the market bottomed out and began to make a recovery. After unemployment went from 9% in November of 1929 to 6% in June of 1930, without any government interference, Hoover decided to compromise with Hamiltonian principle and urge wage controls and protectionist tariffs. The Republican Congress went along. The market quickly turned south again; and the more Hoover did to help, the worse it got.

After Hoover and the Republicans’ failures with the recovery, the Democrats took over both houses of Congress and the Presidency with Franklin Roosevelt.  Roosevelt began what he called modern liberalism based on the new Keynesian economic model. Modern liberalism was and is Hamiltonian progressivism on steroids. Massive government regulation, price controls, and protective trade tariffs led to a depression that only ended after those policies were scrapped for the WWII war effort over ten years later.

After the Great Depression and World War II, Americans in general had had enough of big government.

There was no proper plan to handle the switch to a peacetime economy. The removal of some price controls  resulted in inflation and some of the biggest public sector union strikes in history, while remaining agricultural price controls led to farmers refusing to sell grain in 1945 and 1946. The chaos resulted in Congress being lost to the Republicans in 1946 for the first time since 1930.  Anti-union legislation as well as tax cuts were passed by this Congress by overriding Truman’s vetoes.  Truman was in trouble in the 1948 election, so he convinced fellow Democrats at the convention to support more civil rights policies to muster support for Hamiltonian policy, despite Southern Democrat objections. He won the Presidency, and the Democrats won back Congressional control. During Truman’s second term, he began integration in the military and made discrimination against public service employees illegal. Beyond that, Truman’s second term was rife with corruption and cronyism in the IRB (the predecessor to the IRS) and court appointees, Union Strikes, and unrest from continued price controls, as well as a war in Korea that was not declared by Congress.  Truman lost the nomination to run again in 1952. There was a recession in 1949, shortly after Truman’s Fair Deal was enacted and the Federal Reserve tightened the money supply. After The Korean War, more inflation was expected, so the Federal Reserve implemented a more restrictive monetary policy than necessary, leading to a recession in 1953.

Republican Dwight Eisenhower won the presidency, and the Republicans won the majority in both houses of Congress in 1952.  Eisenhower returned to a financially responsible, progressive Hamiltonian Republican policy and blamed the Old Guard of the Republican party for being too inflexible. He lost both houses of Congress to the Democrats in 1954. Democrats maintained their majority in both houses until 1980.

Although he removed wage and price controls and cut back remaining New Deal legislation, ended the Korean War, and balanced the budget,  he also expanded Social Security and proposed the Interstate Highway System.  It was the Eisenhower administration that effectively began the marginalization of Jeffersonian Republicanism for responsible Hamiltonianism. There were two short, minor recessions in 1958 and 1960 that resulted from the Federal Reserve’s attempts to avoid economic difficulties.

John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson enjoyed a Democrat-controlled Congress throughout both of their presidencies. Kennedy returned to Keynsianism, loosening monetary policy and increasing government spending to create our first non-war, non-recession deficit. Kennedy’s policies resulted in the fastest growth in American history up until that point.  Johnson continued and expanded Kennedy’s policies by creating The Great Society. The Great Society was a dramatic expansion of government control. Everything from Medicare and Medicaid to current education policy to arts endowments, welfare, urban renewal, and even heavy environmental  policies was all born during Johnson’s administration. The bubble created by Keynsian policies led to an economic slump that started in 1966 and led to the worst inflation in a century. johnson didn’t seek re-election.

Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968, but both Houses of Congress remained Democrat throughout his administration. Nixon was a Hamiltonian Republican who created a “new Federalism”. He reduced the power of states, lifted the gold standard, and put wage and price controls in place. His policies were a temporary fix, and high inflation returned with a vengeance accompanied by rising unemployment at the end of his presidency.

Gerald Ford assumed the presidency in 1974 after Nixon resigned. He was another Hamiltonian Republican who saw a short presidency with a Democrat-controlled Congress. Ford continued the tradition of government spending, which increased the deficit and had no discernible effect on inflation or unemployment.
Jimmy Carter was a Hamiltonian Democrat elected in 1976.  Carter also had a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. He tried following Ford’s policies, then reversing them, leading to a new economic phenomenon called stagflation (or high inflation and high unemployment at the same time resulting from the erratic policies.) The economy progressively got worse, leading to a  shift from Democrat to Republican control in the Senate and the Presidency, for the first time since 1952, in 1980.

The first Jeffersonian Republican President since Calvin Coolidge was elected in 1980. Ronald Reagan enjoyed the only three Republican majority houses of Congress elected between 1954 and 1994.  All three were Senates. He cut funding of government programs and lowered taxes. The freeing up of the economy led to a deep recession that lasted until 1982, followed by a robust recovery that didn’t see another recession until 1990, even with greatly increased defense spending  to push the Soviet Union to bankruptcy.
George Bush Sr. was a Hamiltonian Republican elected in 1988. He gave into the demands of the Democrat majority in Congress during his presidency; this led to a prolonged recession and made Bush a one term President.

In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton was elected with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. Clinton claimed to be a Centrist who followed responsible Hamiltonian policy over the Keynesian policies of the FDR Democrats. He went too far with a push for more strict gun control laws and universal healthcare, however, and lost The House of Representatives for the first time in forty years and the Senate for the fist time in eight. Congress remained Republican until 2006. Huge advancements in technology and deregulation  led to Clinton being President during the biggest technological boom in history. It was blown up into a bubble through The Federal Reserve keeping interest rates artificially low, leading to over-investment. The bubble burst during his last year as president in 2000 after the Federal Reserve brought interest rates back up.

George W. Bush became President in 2000. He was a Hamiltonian Republican with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress for the first 3/4 of his term. Together, they increased  spending  more than any administration since Lyndon Johnson. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to counter the recession of 2000 while legislation was passed for the government to insure risky mortgages to help more people own homes. This rebirth of Keynesianism led to a housing bubble that burst in 2007. The recession lasted until the end of Bush’s presidency, despite  bailouts in 2008.

Barack Obama was elected in 2008, along with a Democrat majority in both houses. Barack Obama is a Hamiltonian Democrat who, along with his Democrat Congress, also followed the Keynesian policies of Bush. The economy continued to get worse until 2010. In 2010, The House of Representatives as well as many state legislatures were taken over by a new Jeffersonian Republican movement referred to as the Tea Party. (Of course, we all know what happened in the couple of years that followed.)

I hope you see how important it is to return to the small government Jeffersonian policies that have proven to have more beneficial effects on the economy and the quality of life for all Americans.

Unsinking the Titanic: Repairing the Hole that is America’s Debt Dilemma – Part 1 (+Video)

By Providence Crowder, Senior Editor / The Conservative Nexus

The Problem
There is a war of ideologies being waged on the American political scene.  Those on the left and right sides of the political spectrum are simply unable to come to a viable compromise concerning prominent socioeconomic issues of today.  In the meantime, while the politicians in Washington fight, the director of the Congressional Budget Office—Douglas W. Elmendorf—warned in his 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook that the United States is headed towards the biggest economic downfall since World War II.  He testified:
“Policymakers will need to increase revenues substantially as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), decrease spending significantly from projected levels, or adopt some combination of those two approaches to keep deficits and debts from climbing to unsustainable levels.”  
The CBO reports that for 2011, the federal government faced a 1.3 trillion dollar budget shortfall—the third largest to date—continuing its trend since 1969 of spending more than it takes in.  Only in the years 2009 and 2010 were the deficits greater—those years produced the largest budget deficits in modern history.  Elmendorf recommended early action and more sacrifices “for the benefit of younger workers and future generations.”  Simply put, the U.S. economy is in BIG trouble!

America, the most prosperous nation in the world, is currently the biggest debt owner in the world.  This colossal debt is reprehensible and represents instability and insolvency to our lenders.  Our looming liabilities threaten to eliminate the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and the loss of this status would be catastrophic.  It would bring an instant devaluing of our investments, drastically drive up the cost of goods and services—hyperinflation—and create a radical change in American life as we know it.  All Americans would experience a significantly lower quality of life.  The idea of the American dollar collapsing should cause all Americans to take pause. 

This is NOT the “hope and change” American’s bargained for. 

Jay Richards explained that “Money has value only if trading partners believe it has value.  This is why currency quickly becomes stove fuel when people stop trusting it.”  Our colossal debt is not the result of insufficient tax revenues because we are taxed at a level sufficient enough to pay for the necessary functions of government.  America’s problem is excessive and wasteful spending.  Any average American who has lived beyond his or her means could warn the federal government of the end result of its imprudence—reduce spending or risk losing everything.  At a whopping $13,561,623,030,891 of debt—according to the 2010 U.S. Treasury report—multiple years of deficit spending by the federal government has left our children to bear the burden of our irresponsibility and profligacy.  The interest alone on our nearly $14 trillion dollar debt make our meager attempts at debt solvency unrealistic.      

The Cause
Many on the left, namely Democrats, choose to blame President George W. Bush for the economies troubles.  On the right, Republicans give President Obama the brunt of the blame.  Yet the administrations of both of these presidents, with their big spending and bailouts, and massive expansions of government have exacerbated the debt problem.  We also owe a huge debt of thanks to Democrat President, Bill Clinton, for our more recent recession and debt fiasco. 

Back in 1995, the regulatory revisions made to the 1977 “Community Reinvestment Act” under the Clinton administration greatly weakened the housing market.  Initially the law was enacted to ensure that banks were fairly addressing the lending and banking needs of those people in low and moderate-income neighborhoods that they accepted deposits from.  Yet the Clinton administration’s 1995 revisions forced banks to lend hundreds of billions of dollars to people with little or no credit, and even people with bad credit—lending to these high risk borrowers under the guise of “the convenience and needs of the communities.”

In other words, “if banks wanted to continue to indulge from the hand of government-created money and insurance (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), then they had to prove to government agencies that they were lending these indulgences to even the un-creditworthy in their community.”  The revisions to the Community Investment Act became a powerful mandate that reshaped lending practices.  This act was a recipe for economic disaster that the banks initially opposed because they didn’t want to be “forced” into bad lending. 

Regardless, congress passed the initiative, alluring banks into lending big money to people with little or no credit.  To his credit, in 2003 President Bush attempted greater oversight of the two major government-sponsored lenders of the sub prime, or risky loans—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—yet Democratic opposition shut his measure down, accusing Bush and the Republicans of all things, racism.  Shocking!  We know the end of this sad story—the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis led to the collapsing of a housing bubble that brought the banking and real estate industry to their knees. 

To add insult to injury, the Federal Reserve Board’s response to the mortgage crisis was grossly irresponsible and unethical.  Wayne Grudem noted that:

“The Federal Reserve decided to pump reserves into the financial system by purchasing $1.2 trillion in assets, including $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities from companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . . . leading to increased inflation and thereby robbing everyone in society of the value of their dollars and their contract.”  Simply put, the government rewarded reckless and irresponsible behavior by loaning hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to bailout the big banks and the mortgage agencies, with more than half of the money going to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Economist Thomas DiLorenzo described that the current financial debacles are simply the “chickens coming home to roost after more than 30 years of progressive government interference and artificially deformed markets.”  The current crisis is not a sudden or surprising occurrence, but the eventual result of salvation politics.

No one is innocent in this scandal of magnificent proportions, not even the voters.  The recent political protest movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWL), self-righteously protest the “Wall Street” bankers and the “1 percent” of the rich.  Yet these crooks are the ones who knowingly elect politicians who extort money from others to subsidize irresponsibility and greed—they vote for big government.  OWL’s voted for crony capitalists who afforded political favors and preferential treatment for their friends at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Many of them voted for our current president, Obama.  He handed over a trillion dollars in taxpayer funds to bailout Fannie and Freddie, and the auto-industry and banks they now protest! 

These OWL’s are the same who continue to vote for increased government spending on federally funded entitlements—the biggest debt busters of all.  Currently, the federal government is scrambling to fund its existing entitlements in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, retirement pensions, and welfare.  The funding of future entitlements is an even greater concern.  

If the Federal Reserve continues the practice of pumping dollars into the system to keep up with government expenditures, Wayne Grudem asserts that “we can soon expect to see record high interest rates and/or inflation, coupled with the collapse of many entitlements.” According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, entitlement spending as a percentage of GDP has now doubled that of U.S. spending on national defense.  An increase in entitlement spending and a decrease in spending on national defense, a core constitutional function of government, indicates clearly—our government’s priorities are misguided.

Click below to see the video: 

Stay tuned for Unsinking the Titanic-Part 2, Ethical Implications.  Excerpt: “Spending of this sort is immoral; it is sure to hurt the poor and others who are dependent upon the government for their livelihood.  America’s reckless entitlement spending has baited many American’s into dependency and has promised future payments that won’t be worth the paper they are printed on.”

Update: 30,000 letters sent in less than a few days!  Top Republican senator ditching Norquist anti-tax pledge.  We have to send a message to 'The Establishment' that we will not stand for this! How many can we get to before the weekend is over?  Between this petition and the Benghazi petition let's flood our congressman's mail boxes!!
Dear Patriot,
Taxed Enough Already.jpgPresident Obama is doubling down on his class warfare rhetoric by vowing to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 as part of his economic plan. He continuously states that the “Bush tax cuts” must go. These are not the “Bush tax cuts”. These are the CURRENT tax rates that have been in effect for 12 years! We must not let him get away with this spin.
Obama is playing a dangerous game of pitting Americans against each other with the dividing line in his “us” vs. “them” game being $250,000. Those making over $250K per year will see their federal tax rate increase between 3% and 4.6% with the top tax rate going up to 39.6%, effectively increasing the amount of taxes they pay by 13%. But, Obama doesn't think this is enough and believes that these individuals need to pay more in order to pay their “their fair share”.

In addition, if Obama is not successful in strong arming Republicans to give in to his class warfare demands, then those individuals making less than $8700 per year will see their tax rates increase from 10% to 15%. That’s an increase of 50%! In this terrible economy filled with rising costs, decreased jobs, and massive economic uncertainty, both of these scenarios are a lose/lose situation.
When is enough, enough??? Speaker John Boehner has already shown us that he is not willing to stand up to Obama in his second term by saying that ObamaCare, another taxation nightmare, is the law of the land. He has also indicated that he is willing to “compromise” on raising more tax revenue, which is just cover for saying ‘raise taxes’. If our leaders in D.C. won’t stand up for us, then we must stand up for ourselves.
Sign this petition to send a message to President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and all the bureaucrats in D.C. that enough is enough. No higher taxes! No new taxes!
In liberty,
Todd Cefaratti
Freedom Organizer

Delusional...totally and completely delusional

Ahmadinejad: "Zionists have reached the dead point and have no other alternative but officially recognizing and bowing to the absolute right of the Palestinian nation"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

The leading spokesman for genocide of the Jews in the world today is thrilled with the outcome of the recent conflict. Thanks once again are due to Barack Obama. "Gaza conflict shows Israel must 'bow' to Palestinian rights: Iran," from Reuters, November 24:
(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the head of the Hamas government in Gaza on Saturday that eight days of cross-border fighting showed that Israel had no choice but to "bow" to Palestinian rights, according to Iran's IRNA news agency. 
The Iranian-backed Hamas has basked in what it called a victory against Israel after an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Thursday ended the conflict in which 163 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed.
IRNA said Ahmadinejad, in the rare telephone call with Ismail Haniyeh, praised the Palestinian "resistance and perseverance".
"Zionists have reached the dead point and have no other alternative but officially recognizing and bowing to the absolute right of the Palestinian nation," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying, referring to Israel.
The agency's English website did not elaborate but Ahmadinejad has previously said that Israel was an alien body in the Middle East.
Israel's arch-foe Iran, which has an alliance with Hamas, had referred to Israeli strikes as "organized terrorism". The exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, on Wednesday thanked Shi'ite Iran for what he described as arms and funding.
In September, Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly in New York that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be "eliminated", ignoring a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary comments.
Hamas's founding charter also calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Why ‘Obamacare’s Critics Refuse to Give Up’ 

By: Michael F. Cannon  / Townhall Columnist

Jonathan Adler and I have a paper titled, “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits Under the PPACA.” Our central claims are:
  1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act explicitly restricts its “premium-assistance tax credits” (and thus the “cost-sharing subsidies” and employer- and individual-mandate penalties those tax credits trigger) to health insurance “exchanges” established by states;
  2. The IRS has no authority to offer those entitlements or impose those taxes in states that opt not to create Exchanges; and
  3. The IRS’s ongoing attempt to impose those taxes and issue those entitlements through Exchanges established by the federal government is contrary to congressional intent and the clear language of the Act.
Over at The New Republic’s blog The Plank, my friend Jonathan Cohn says this is “preposterous“:
No sentient being following the health care debate could argue, in good faith, that Obamacare’s architects intended for the federal government to set up exchanges without subsidies. It would completely subvert the law’s intent.
It appears my friend does not know the statute, the legislative history, or what Congress’ intent was.

Cohn writes that the statute is “a little fuzzy” on this issue. Quite the contrary: the statute is crystal clear. It explicitly and laboriously restricts tax credits to those who buy health insurance in Exchanges “established by the State under section 1311.” There is no parallel language – none whatsoever – granting eligibility through Exchanges established by the federal government (section 1321). The tax-credit eligibility rules are so tightly worded, they seem designed to prevent precisely what the IRS is trying to do.

ObamaCare supporters just know that can’t be right. It must have been an oversight. Congress could not have written the law that way. It doesn’t make any sense. Those provisions must take effect in federal Exchanges for the law to work. Why would Congress give states the power to blow the whole thing up??

The answer is that Congress didn’t have any choice. Congress intended for ObamaCare to work this way because this was the only way that ObamaCare could become law.
  • The Senate bill had to have state-run Exchanges in order to win the essential votes of moderate Democrats. Without state-run Exchanges, it would not have passed.
  • In order to have state-run Exchanges, the bill needed some way to encourage states to create them without “commandeering” the states. In early 2009, well before House and Senate Democrats introduced their bills, an influential law professor named Timothy Jost advised congressional Democrats of one way to get around the commandeering problem: “Congress could invite state participation…by offering tax subsidies for insurance only in states that complied with federal requirements…”. Both the Finance bill and the HELP bill made premium assistance conditional on state compliance. Senate Democrats settled on the Finance language, which passed without a vote to spare. (Emphasis added.)
  • The Finance Committee had even more reason to condition tax credits on state compliance: it doesn’t have direct jurisdiction over health insurance. Conditioning the tax credits on state compliance was the only way the Committee could even consider legislation directing states to establish Exchanges. Committee chairman Max Baucus admitted this during mark-up.
  • Then something funny happened. Massachusetts voters sent Republican Scott Brown to the Senate, partly due to his pledge to prevent any compromise between the House and Senate bills from passing the Senate. With no other options, House Democrats swallowed hard and passed Senate bill. (They made limited amendments through the reconciliation process. These amendments did not touch the tax-credit eligibility rules, and indeed strengthen the case against the IRS.)
A law limiting tax credits to state-created Exchanges, therefore, is exactly what Congress intended, because Congress had no other choice. On the day Scott Brown took office, any and all other approaches to Exchanges ceased to embody congressional intent. If Congress had intended for some other approach to become law, there would be no law. What made it all palatable was that it never occurred to ObamaCare supporters that states would refuse to comply. The New York Times reports, “Mr. Obama and lawmakers assumed that every state would set up its own exchange.”


The only preposterous parts of this debate are the legal theories that the IRS and its defenders have offered to support the Obama administration’s unlawful attempt to create entitlements and impose taxes that Congress clearly and intentionally did not authorize. (But don’t take my word for it. Read the statute. Read our paper. Read this, and this. Watch this video and our debate with Jost. Click on our links to all the stuff the IRS and Treasury and Jost have written.) I wonder if Cohn would tolerate such lawlessness from a Republican administration.

Cohn further claims the many states that are refusing to create Exchanges are “totally sticking it to their own citizens” and people who encourage them “are essentially calling upon states to block their citizens from receiving federal tax breaks, worth as much as several thousand dollars per person. Aren’t conservatives and libertarians supposed to be the party that likes giving tax money back to the people?” Seriously?
  • Fourteen states have enacted statutes or constitutional amendments — often by referendum, often by huge margins — that prohibit state employees from directly or indirectly participating in an essential Exchange function: implementing employer or individual mandates. In those instances, the voters have spoken.
  • Only 22 percent of the budgetary impact of these credits and subsidies is actual tax reduction, and the employer- and individual-mandate penalties triggered by those tax “credits” wipe out most of that. The other 78 percent is new deficit spending. So what we’re really talking about here is $700 billion of new deficit spending.
  • When states refuse to establish Exchanges, they block that new spending, which reduces the deficit and the overall burden of government.
  • In addition, those states exempt their employers from the employer mandate (a tax of $2,000 per worker) and exempt millions of taxpayers from the individual mandate (a tax of $2,085 on families of four earning as little as $24,000).
Who’s for tax cuts now?

Here’s what I think is really bothering Cohn and other ObamaCare supporters. The purpose of those credits and subsidies is to shift the cost of ObamaCare’s community-rating price controls and individual mandate to taxpayers, so that consumers don’t notice them. When states prevent such cost-shifting, they’re not increasing the cost of ObamaCare — they’re revealing it.

And that’s what worries Cohn. If the full cost of ObamaCare appears in people’s health insurance premiums, people will rise up and demand that Congress get rid of it. Cohn isn’t worried about states “sticking it to their citizens.” He’s worried about states sticking it to ObamaCare.

The title of Cohn’s blog post is, “Obamacare’s Critics Refuse to Give Up.” At least we can agree on that much.

This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Failure: Unions in America Today 

By: Derek Hunter  / Townhall Columnist

Unions played an important role in American history. At the turn of the last century, a lot of workers encountered awful and dangerous conditions on the job. The workers banded together, demanded changes and got them. After that, Americans joined unions and the dues began to roll in. Riding that wave of compulsory money, union bosses rose. With that much money flowing, corruption wasn’t far behind.

Times have changed. The economy, country and world have changed. But unions haven’t. Union membership among non-government employees has fallen off a cliff. But although membership is down, their power remains large.

Why? Because a lot of Democrats, including probably President Obama himself, couldn’t get elected without the armies of “volunteers” and votes they provide. No group has contributed more in time, sweat and money to left-wing politicians. That generosity, which comes largely from donations generated by involuntary dues collected from workers, too often goes to politicians who work tirelessly to cripple industries flush with union workers. Coal industry, anyone?

That’s not because union bosses are idiots; it’s because they’re ardent leftists who put their ideology ahead of the actual human beings in their ranks without regard to whether those human beings can pay their bills. AFL-CIO chief goon Richard Trumka isn’t stupid. He’s made millions from workers whose demise he’s overseen. How many rank and file members of the AFL-CIO do you think have pocketed almost $2.4 million over the last 10 years? Sure, he runs the organization, but he also makes his living complaining about pay discrepancy between labor and management. And that’s just his AFL-CIO compensation. Who knows what kind of side gigs, such as consultant jobs and advisory positions, he has that help fill his personal Brinks truck?


What positive things have unions given us in the last, say, 40 years? That’s not a rhetorical question; I truly have no idea. Sure, SEIU goons attack and beat black conservatives such as Kenneth Gladney, which is like porn to leftists, and pay for-hire hit-groups such as Media Matters $50,000 per [YEAR/MONTH/ONE TIME] to “urge” the media to ignore the story, but what else have they done?

They killed the Twinkie, so maybe they’re now morphing into an anti-obesity group? But if that’s the case, and you’ve ever seen these bosses in person, you know it’s not a fight they’re willing to lead by example.
They’re trying to kill Walmart. Think what you will of Walmart, but it’s an awesome company. No company in the country employs more people or does more to help the poor and near-poor afford the necessities in life. That’s why it’s so strange to see leftists and unions, both self-declared champions of the poor, seek so desperately to harm the company.

But below the surface, it’s obvious. Unions want to harm Walmart because they employ 1.3 million non-union workers, and unions, specifically the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, see an un-tapped pile of dues. Leftists see an un-tapped pile of union dues too, but only see the union as the colon through which those dues pass on their way to becoming political donations.

Neither actually gives a damn about the workers themselves or what workers want.

Every attempt to unionize Walmart employees has failed. Simply but, the majority of Walmart employees have no interest in throwing a portion of their pay on to the altar of progressive politics. But progressive politics has no interest in leaving those workers alone. The machine wants money.

That’s how a group like OUR Walmart was birthed.

OUR Wal-Mart is a UFCW front group that appointed itself the arbiter of what is “fair” for Walmart employees who want nothing to do with them. Under the guise of caring, OUR Walmart called for nationwide protests against Walmart for the crime of having employees work for double-time on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Think what you will of Walmart’s schedule, no one is forced to work there. Walmart employees can quit any time they wish. Unlike conscribed union dues, membership in the Walmart workforce is optional.

OUR Walmart, with only the “best interest of workers” in mind (that’s sarcasm, by the way), encouraged Walmart employees to call in sick or walk out on their job on the busiest shopping day of the year and protest against the company whose logo appears on their checks.

The failure of past unionization votes proves Walmart employees aren’t stupid, but unions won’t take no for an answer. They see money earned by workers the way junkies see someone else’s heroin. They gotta have it.

But their call for protest was a dud. How big of a dud? The Washington Post, the print version of a progressive megaphone, stuck to reporting how many protests OUR Walmart said it had “planned,” rather than how many actually occurred. Walmart, which controls more than a fifth of the U.S. grocery industry and is the nation’s largest private employer, said just 26 such protests occurred nationwide. Can that number be believed? Of course. If it were not accurate, you’d have heard by now … from The Post and OUR Walmart and any number of other leftist “information” outlets.

A few such protests did occur, including one in Landover Hills, Md., in which Cynthia Murray, a 13-year employee, called in sick to protest her salary and working conditions. If it takes you 13 years to decide you’re underpaid and underappreciated, and your job can be performed by anyone with a finger, you probably don’t have the ambition or marketable skills to do much else in President Obama’s failed economy. In which case, you should be thankful for the job you have, not lie to your employer about your need for a day off, then complain about your employer to the media.

Cynthia Murray should be fired. She probably won’t be, but she should be.

The protests were such duds, with 99 percent of participants union rent-a-mob members made up of unemployable rabble and true believer union members disconnected from Walmart, even The Post couldn’t sugar coat them beyond the joke stage.

Today’s labor movement is a political fundraising machine with a reverse Robin Hood business model designed to advance a progressive agenda no matter how many forced-dues-paying members have to be ground into grease to keep the wheels spinning. It’s no surprise most workers don’t see any value in conscripted dues given to politicians whose agenda puts them out of work. What is surprising is that anyone outside of overpaid union leadership does.

The best way to get ahead and avoid this wallet-rape is the same it always has been – pay attention in school, work harder than you thought you could, and don’t trust anyone claiming to look out for your interests as long as you pay them in perpetuity to do so. Then again, if these goons get their way, the best way to get ahead in their world would be to become one of them – a bloated parasite living off the labor of people who work for a living. But how could you live with yourself?
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TPNN: Obama supporters take to Twitter to thank him for food stamps  Grover Norquist slams latest Tax Pledge defector, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Liberal Nonsense of the Day: Martyred for a Coyote Edition

TheBlaze: Black Friday Walmart protest fizzle out


Benghazi White HouseDemand Justice for Benghazi BetrayalAlmost 140,000 Letters and Emails Sent So Far

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Sign our Petition demanding a full investigation on Benghazi today!

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Phil and Evelyn C. from Broomfield, CO writes: "We are outraged that our congress is so weak minded they don't stand up for what is right."

Taxed Enough Already.jpgNo New TaxesNo time to fall off of the 'fiscal cliff'

Update: Almost 50,000 letters sent this week alone!  With news of a top Republican senator ditching the taxpayer protection pledge, we have to send a message to 'The Establishment' that we will not stand for any more taxation! How many letters can we flood Washington D.C. with before the weekend is over?  Between this petition and the Benghazi petition let's flood our congressman's mail boxes!!

Send your declaration to Congress right now -- We don't have much time to act!

Jeffrey M. from Covington, GA writes: "ObamaCare is way more than enough new taxes for me. In fact, I'm hoping it will be repealed."

Memory M. from Paxico, KS writes: "If you give an inch, the current administration will take a mile. It is time to stand firm on NO NEW TAXES and NO HIGHER TAXES. Actions speak louder than words. Show the American people some backbone and keep your word."

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Jeb Bush...not the right candidate for 2016
By: Diane Sori

Let me start by saying that I like Jeb Bush. He was a fantastic governor here in Florida and he would make a terrific president...however that will NOT be nor should it be.

Why...because Jeb is smart enough to know that it's time for the next generation of leaders to take over.

The recent presidential election proved just that as the demographics of America has changed. While blacks propelled Obama to the White House in 2008, Hispanics did so this time mainly because of the amnesty issue. But make no mistake about it, while Jeb could pull in large numbers of Hispanics because his wife is Mexican, because he speaks fluent Spanish, and because he supports both immigration reform in regards to ILLEGALS and educational reform in our nation's public schools (including support for school choice and stricter performance standards), even with these stances that are attractive to Hispanics, he does have one major obstacle in his way that might be insurmountable to overcome...the Bush name.

So as the Hispanic vote picks up momentum and gains in importance the youth vote does as well, and both these demographics must be seriously addressed by the Republican Party in order to win back the White House in 2016. But it needs to be addressed by a new breed of politician more in tune to that age group and demographic. And Jeb does have two sons that meet both those needs and both have future political ambitions on the larger scale. One son, Jeb Bush Jr, runs a PAC that recruits and supports conservative Hispanic politicians, and his other son, George P. Bush, will be running for land commissioner in his home state of Texas. So if Jeb were to seriously consider a run for the presidency the chances are the future political aspirations of his sons would come to an end, and as a devoted father this should weigh heavy in his decision NOT to run.

But Jeb Bush must remain a driving force in the Republican Party leading up to 2016, but he really does need to step aside for the next generation of leaders. Jeb is part of the so-called establishment, the 'Old Guard' if you will, but would serve this country greatly by helping the up-and-comers through his sharing of his vast knowledge of economics, government, and leadership...he really is a treasure trove of information being the brother of one president, the son of another, and an ex-governor of the Sunshine state.

So where does that leave the Republican Party in the absence of a Jeb leaves us with some very good younger conservatives like Florida Senator Marco Rubio (my first choice) who considers Jeb his mentor and holds many of his beliefs...former VP candidate Paul Ryan...Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell...South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley...Indiana Rep. Mike Pence...and never count out Sarah Palin (with Allen West as her VP choice perhaps, what a 'fun' ticket that would be)...a run by any of the 'New Guard' would rightly give the Democrats more cause to worry than a run by Jeb Bush. Remember, after Obama the Democrats will NOT give up control easily, and will probably forgo their own 'Old Guard' knowing the baggage carried by their top dog, Hillary Clinton, just might be more headache than they're willing to take.

So who will the Democrats turn to...also their next generation. And who's in that ballpark...Joaquin Castro of Texas, the keynote speaker at this year DNC comes to mind...young, Hispanic, and far to the left, just the Democrats cup of tea. Who else is a possibility...New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who between his efforts on Hurricane Sandy relief and his former cabinet position as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton Administration, may have the leverage and name recognition needed to form a strong and viable candidacy. Also, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was the chairman of the DNC this past September could very well become the first Latino president because lets be honest here...these past two elections prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that blacks will vote for a black candidate simple because he's black, and a Hispanic will vote against a wealthy white man and for a fellow Hispanic because they've been indoctrinated by the left to buy into the made-up class warfare/anti-immigration scenario that the Democrats have so successfully played out against the Republicans.

But even with core fundamental differences what all these people in both parties have in common is that they're the next generation of leaders, and Jeb would do America well by turning the reigns of power over to them for if he doesn't it will be November 6, 2012 all over again.