Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scott Brown: The health care fight is not over

Scott Brown has an Op-Ed in today's Boston Globe that's too good to do anything but quote in it's entirety:


By electing me to the US Senate, the people of Massachusetts sent a clear message: Washington needs to get its priorities straight. Voters believed I would be the best candidate to fight for jobs and a stronger economy, keep our country safe, and serve as the 41st vote against the health care reform legislation debated in the Senate.

After my election, Washington politicians began an aggressive push to bend the rules and force their unpopular health care bill on an unwilling nation. They went into secret negotiations to make up their own rules, and eventually found a way to circumvent the will of the people by using the reconciliation process to ram through their health care bill. For the last year, the American people have been shaking their heads at the closed-door meetings, sweetheart deals, and special carve-outs. It has been a very ugly process, and caused many Americans to lose faith in their elected officials in Washington.

This bill constitutes a massive increase in spending that our country can’t afford and will result in a huge expansion in the size and reach of the federal government. When this legislation is fully implemented, the real cost to taxpayers is $2.6 trillion over years. Instead of reforming the health care system and bending the cost curve down, we are doing the exact opposite.

Everywhere I go, people ask me what can be done about this now — after the president has signed it into law, and Nancy Pelosi and others are taking their victory laps.

For starters, we can work in a bipartisan manner to repeal the worst parts of this bill. Americans have been clear that they do not like its $2.6 trillion cost, the higher taxes on families and businesses, the runaway spending, the state mandates, the sweetheart deals, and overcharging students to pay for health care.

We should replace the worst parts of this legislation with solutions that would actually lower costs and improve the quality of care — such as allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines, measures that will prevent waste, fraud and abuse, support for increased prevention and wellness programs, and reforms to limit costly litigation and defensive medicine.

I am working on legislation that would allow states to opt out of this federal health care bill because states need flexibility, not a federal government takeover of health care. Instead, individual states should have the flexibility to solve the health care problems in a way that is best for their specific state, similar to the approach we took in Massachusetts that has resulted in a state-specific plan that covers 98 percent of our citizens without raising taxes.

I am also working to repeal the medical device tax. Massachusetts has more than 200 medical device manufacturers who employ tens of thousands of workers. The medical device tax will not only cost our state good-paying jobs when we can least afford it, but it will be passed along to consumers, who will pay more for necessary medical equipment.

At a time when unemployment in the Commonwealth is hovering at nearly 10 percent, the last thing we should be doing is slapping businesses and workers with higher taxes. I am leading a charge to take the billions of dollars sitting unused in the stimulus slush funds of federal bureaucracies and give immediate tax relief — as much as $100 a month — to every American worker so that they can support their families now and inject money into the economy rather than let it stagnate in Washington.

This disastrous detour of a health care bill has distracted the attention and energy of Congress for the past year. Now, it is time to listen to the people and focus on their top priority: jobs. It would be a mistake for the administration to try to ram through other items on the liberal agenda when so many Americas are struggling. Americans want their government to fully focus its attention on the economy and getting our citizens back to work.

Washington is broken. All across the country, people believe that their elected officials are working for themselves and not on behalf of their constituents. Only when we start heeding the will of the American people can we begin to restore faith in government, and it all starts with commonsense, practical solutions that will put Americans back to work and get our economy back on track.

Pants on Fire

National Review Online graciously calls it the Complete List of Obama Statement Expiration Dates. I'd prefer to invoke a little Rep. Joe Wilson and put it more simply as "President Obama, You Lie!":


HEALTH CARE MANDATES

STATEMENT: “We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it.” Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, February 21, 2008.

EXPIRATION DATE: On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the individual mandate into law.


HEALTH CARE NEGOTIATIONS ON C-SPAN

STATEMENT: “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the decisions that are being made.” January 20, 2008, and seven other times.

EXPIRATION DATE: Throughout the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and 2010; when John McCain asked about it during the health care summit February 26, Obama dismissed the issue by declaring, “the campaign is over, John.”


RAISING TAXES

STATEMENT: “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” (multiple times on the campaign trail)

EXPIRATION DATE: Broken multiple times, including the raised taxes on tobacco, a new tax on indoor tanning salons, but most prominently on February 11, 2010: “President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.”


RECESS APPOINTMENTS

STATEMENT: Then-Senator Obama declared that a recess appointment is “damaged goods” and has “less credibility” than a normal appointment. August 25, 2005.

EXPIRATION DATE: March 27, 2010: “If, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”


BORDER SECURITY

STATEMENT: “We need tougher border security, and a renewed focus on busting up gangs and traffickers crossing our border. . . . That begins at home, with comprehensive immigration reform. That means securing our border and passing tough employer enforcement laws.” then-candidate Obama, discussing the need for border security, speaking in Miami on May 23, 2008:

EXPIRATION DATE: March 17, 2010: The Obama administration halted new work on a "virtual fence" on the U.S.-Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday, diverting $50 million in planned economic stimulus funds for the project to other purposes.


GUANTANAMO BAY

STATEMENT: Executive Order stating, "The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order." January 22, 2009.

EXPIRATION DATE: November 19, 2009: "Guantánamo, we had a specific deadline that was missed."


MILITARY TRIBUNALS

STATEMENT: “Somebody like Khalid Sheik Mohammad is gonna get basically, a full military trial with all the bells and whistles.” September 27, 2006

EXPIRATION DATE: Ongoing. “President Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three administration officials said Thursday, signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash. Obama initially had asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to choose the site of the trial in an effort to maintain an independent Justice Department. But the White House has been taken aback by the intense criticism from political opponents and local officials of Holder's decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian courtroom in New York.”


RECOVERY.GOV

STATEMENT: “We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov.” – President Obama, January 28, 2009

EXPIRATION DATE: “More than two months after some of the funds were released, [Recovery.gov] offers little detail on where the money is going… The government [spent] $84 million on a website that doesn't have a search function, when its purpose is to ‘root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.’” April 2, 2009


Eighteen from his first 100 days:

1. "As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide."
2. "I will make sure that we renegotiate [NAFTA]."
3. Opposed a Colombian Free Trade Agreement because advocates ignore that "labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis."
4. "Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut."
5. "If we see money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it, and we will call it out and we will publicize it."
6. "Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off."
7. "I want to go line by line through every item in the Federal budget and eliminate programs that don't work, and make sure that those that do work work better and cheaper."
8. "[My plan] will not help speculators who took risky bets on a rising market and bought homes not to live in but to sell."
9. "Instead of allowing lobbyists to slip big corporate tax breaks into bills during the dead of night, we will make sure every single tax break and earmark is available to every American online."
10."We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress's seniority, rather than the merit of the project."
11. "If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime."
12. "Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe the United States has to be frank with the Chinese about such failings and will press them to respect human rights."
13. "We must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights."
14. "Lobbyists won’t work in my White House!"
15. "The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result."
16. "I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills."
17. "Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days." Obama is 1-for-11 on this promise so far.
18. A special one on the 100th day, "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do."



NRO goes on to also list "promises that expired during the campaign," but I'll leave off here.


Granted, if you've been reading this blog, none of this should come as a surprise. Reaching back to the height of the 2008 campaign:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

As Billy Beck has said many times (including last summer over the Healthcare Townhall Outrage):

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war...



Let me be clear: I believe violence and destruction of private property is reprehensible. But, is it any surprise that when you screw with people's liberty, people get upset?

Particularly if the Democrats keep up this "cram it down their throat" style of governance, to pass unpopular "lurch towards socialism" bills, I expect this type of behavior to accelerate. And not because some pundit is stirring up their passions (as liberals will undeniably charge). No, it's because: People. Want. To. Be. Free.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Save Us, States!

It is a shame the states have to be the ones to ensure the Constitution is followed, but may they succeed in doing so!


Virginia will file suit against the federal government charging that the health-care reform legislation is unconstitutional, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office confirmed last night.

Cuccinelli is expected to argue that the bill, with its mandate that requires nearly every American to be insured by 2014, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The attorney general’s office will file suit once President Barack Obama signs the bill into law, which could occur early this week.

“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,“ Cuccinelli said in a statement last night.


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After the U.S. House's historic vote Sunday night passing the health care reform bill, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster issued the following statement:

"The health care legislation Congress passed tonight is an assault against the Constitution of the United States. It contains various provisions and federal mandates that are clearly unconstitutional and must not be allowed to stand.


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Moments after Congress voted to approve President Obama's health care legislation, Florida's Attorney General announced he will file a lawsuit to declare the bill unconstitutional.

Bill McCollum will join Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota to file a lawsuit against the federal government.

"The health care reform legislation passed by the U. S. House of Representatives this evening clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state's sovereignty," McCollum said in a statement distributed late Sunday night.


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I'd advise New York, with our massive budget problems, and the additional budget stress ObamaCare will cause our state in unfunded expansions of Medicare and Medicaide, to join in, although I doubt NY AG Andrew Cuomo is any more concerned about our Constitutional rights than Obama or Pelosi. But in case he is, New Yorkers: here's the form to send him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Intolerable.

Dr. Feulner of Heritage lays it out as well as I possibly could:



Unconstitutional.
Against the clear will of the people.
Intolerable.


This must not stand.


Additionally:

Friday, March 19, 2010