THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

COMING SOON, ARMAGEDDON! (And it’s no laughing matter)


“I’m not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party called the passage of this bill Armageddon. Armageddon! End of freedom as we know it.”

“So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling, some cracks opening up in the earth? Turned out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall.” –President Obama, March 25, 2010, Iowa

It was so uplifting to hear the POTUS using opposition to the new Healthcare Law as the punch-line for a joke.  He is just so cool!  Of course, the very next day, Mr. Obama and his cronies seemed to have lost some of their comedic ebullience when, among others, 3M, Deere, AT&T and Caterpillar all announced substantial non-cash charges in the first quarter as a result of provisions in the new Healthcare Law.

Oops!  Armageddon seems to have a sneaky sense of humor, although Henry Waxman, (D-CA), doesn’t seem to be laughing.  A grumpy Mr. Waxman has ordered these evil companies to Congress to be questioned.  He demands that they document how any negative impact from the beneficent new Healthcare Law could have possibly been calculated.  How dare they!

But the real kill-joys last Friday were the Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee.  They released a “Timeline of Major Provisions in the Democrats’ Health Care Package.”

Here are some of the “pre-Armageddon” bits.  The entire timeline is here.

2010-
States and Federal officials review premium increases
Impose 10% tax on indoor UV tanning (7/1/10)
Medicare cuts to inpatient psychiatric hospitals (7/1/10)
Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10)

2011-
Medicare Advantage cuts begin
No longer allowed to use FSA, HSA, HRA, Archer MSA distributions for over-the-counter medicines
Medicare cuts to home health begin
Wealthier seniors ($85K/$170K) begin paying higher Part D premiums (not indexed for inflation in Parts B/D)
Medicare reimbursement cuts when seniors use diagnostic imaging like MRIs, CT scans, etc.
Medicare cuts begin to ambulance services, ASCs, diagnostic labs, and durable medical equipment
Impose new annual tax on brand name pharmaceutical companies
Americans begin paying premiums for federal long-term care insurance (CLASS Act)
Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims.
Prohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals
Penalties for non-qualified HAS and Archer MSA distribution double (to 20%)
Seniors prohibited from purchasing power wheelchairs unless they first rent for 13 months
Employers required to report value of health benefits on W-2
New Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals begin (7/1/11)
Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals and cuts to nursing homes and inpatient rehab facilities begin (FY12)
New tax on all private health insurance policies to pay for Comparative Effectiveness Research (plan years beginning FY12)

2012
Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begins
New Medicare cuts to inpatient psychiatric hospitals
Hospital pay-for-quality program begins (FY13)
Medicare cuts to hospitals with high re-admission rates begin (FY13)
Medicare cuts to hospice being (FY13)

By 2013, the provisions of the “Democrats’ Health Care Package” is looking very “Armageddonish”.  Despite this, Mr. Obama repeated a shortened form of his Armageddon joke to Matt Lauer on the Today Show on Monday.  Look around, Mr. President, no one is laughing.

Filed under: congress, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , ,

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS FORWARD

It was just announced that the Healthcare Reconciliation Bill has passed the Senate and is being sent back to the House for its vote.  The Republicans offered 40 consecutive amendments during the reconciliation “vote-a-rama” process.  All of them were defeated by the Democrats.  In total, 13 hours of voting occurred in the Senate.

We who remain adamantly opposed to Obamacare, owe the Republican Senators our gratitude.  Far from the way it was depicted in the mainstream media, the Republican amendments were neither futile nor simple obstructionism.  The votes forced by the Senate Republicans have put the Senate Democrats on the record as not only authoring these unpopular measures, but also continuing to support them.  Following is a partial list of the Republican amendments, from “The Corner” blog at NRO, that were defeated:

—Senator Gregg: Protect Medicare Savings

—Senator McCain: Remove Sweetheart Deals

—Senator Crapo: No Tax Hikes for Families Earning Under $250,000

—Senator Enzi: Strike the Employer Mandate

—Senator Barrasso: Requires Legislation Not Increase Premiums

—Senator Grassley: Requires President, Congress Enroll in Exchange

—Senator Alexander: Reduce Student Loan Interest Rate

—Senator LeMieux: Members On Medicaid

—Senator Coburn: Bars Sex Offenders from Receiving E.D. Drugs

—Senator Hutchison: State Opt Out

—Senator Hatch: Block Medicare Advantage Cuts

—Senator Collins: Waive Employer Mandate Tax

—Senator Thune: Strike CLASS Act

—Senator Cornyn: Remove New Taxes on Investments

—Senator Hatch: Protect Wounded Soldiers from Medical Device Tax

—Senator Inhofe: Protect Pediatrics and Disabled from Medical Device Tax

—Senator Crapo: Protect Cancer Patients from Medical Device Tax

—Senators Roberts, Inhofe, Brown, Crapo: Strike Medical Device Tax

—Senator Burr: Tricare and Veterans Health Programs

—Senator Roberts: Rationing

—Senator Roberts: Critical Access Hospitals

—Senator Vitter: Repeals Democrats’ Health Care Bill

It seems to me that the Republican Senators have laid a strong foundation for building successful campaigns in November by exposing some of the most egregious parts of the new Healthcare Law.  For their part, the Democrats, by opposing each and every one of these “fixes” have also helped our cause—so kudos to them too.  Give all these folks a hand for a job well done!

As for the POTUS’ grand PR tour—he continues to preach to his choir.  The rest of us sit safely outside  the real world where there are no walls to contain our voices.

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Filed under: U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , , ,

GREAT BREAKING NEWS: Massa Fights Back: Implicates Obama/Rahm Emmanuel in bribery scandal, may rescind resignation

This item just came through one of my 9.12 listmates.  If it proves true, it gives further insight into the strong-arm tactics and corruption of the present administration-a microcosm of the way the entire country is being treated by Mr. Obama and his cronies.

Massa Hints He Could Rescind Resignation
March 8, 2010, 7:14 A.M.
By Jennifer Yachnin
Roll Call Staff

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) suggested on a New York radio station Sunday that he could rescind his resignation — scheduled to take effect at 5 p.m. Monday — after asserting that an ethics investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed one of his aides may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.

Responding to a caller to his weekly radio show on WKPQ Power 105 FM, a recording of which was made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, Massa said: “I’m not going to be a Congressman as of 5 o’clock [Monday] afternoon. The only way to stop that is for me to rescind my resignation. That’s the only way to stop it. And the only way that’s going to happen is if this becomes a national story.”

During the hour-and-a-half show, Massa said that Democratic leaders are using the House ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.

“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, ‘they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass.’ You connect the dots,” Massa said Several times during the broadcast Massa raised the prospect of rescinding his resignation if national news media picked up on his story of being railroaded out of office by Democratic leaders.

In response to a caller’s suggestion that Massa disseminate his allegations by contacting Fox News, Massa stated: “I can’t call Fox News. You guys gotta call Fox News. I can’t do it. … Here’s why. I’m in the center of this storm, so obviously I’m not objective.”

But Massa also repeatedly pointed out that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly referred to as the ethics panel, would continue its investigation if he remains in office.

“That’s very kind of you, but understand what that means for me,” Massa said in a response to a caller who suggested he not resign. “It means that a group of lawyers are going to try to rip me and my family limb from limb. And you’ve already seen it in the newspapers. … It’s a piranha feeding frenzy.”

Massa said on the show that the ethics investigation focused on sexually charged comments he made to an aide at a New Year’s Eve celebration, but charged he was unaware of an ethics committee investigation into the incident until after he had announced his retirement last week.

The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Massa.

Massa surprised political observers when he announced on Wednesday that he would not run for re-election in November. He cited a recurrence of cancer as the reason for his decision, but after the ethics investigation was confirmed, Massa announced he would step down immediately.

Here’s the next story:

March 8, 2010 9:06 AM
By Reid Wilson

Embattled Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) lashed out in an emotional radio appearance Sunday, accusing Dem leaders of what he suggested was an orchestrated campaign to force his resignation.

“There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”

Massa addressed rumors circulating on blogs about his personal behavior, including incidents during an informal Navy ceremony in ’83 on the USS New Jersey and one that occurred in a state room later during his Navy career. He insisted he had done nothing uncommon, insisting his sin was foul language.

A complaint before the House ethics committee, he said, stemmed from a wedding Massa attended over New Years, when he made an inappropriate comment to an aide, according toRoll Call, which first reported the radio program.

Massa maintained his comments were inappropriate, but he blamed “political correctness” and accused Dems of a setup. Massa voted against health care legislation in Nov., and he has not been a reliable vote for Dem leadership. That, he said, has put a target on his back.

“When I voted against the cap and trade bill, the phone rang and it was the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America, Rahm Emanuel, and he started swearing at me in terms and words that I hadn’t heard since that crossing the line ceremony on the USS New Jersey in 1983,” Massa said. “And I gave it right back to him, in terms and words that I know are physically impossible.”

“If Rahm Emanuel wants to come after me, maybe he ought to hold himself to the same standards I’m holding myself to and he should resign,” Massa said.

Massa slammed House Maj. Leader Steny Hoyer for discussing a House ethics committee inquiry, accusing Hoyer of lying in an effort to eliminate an opponent of health care. Hoyer said last week he heard in early Feb. about allegations against Massa, and that he told Massa’s office to report the allegations to the ethics committee.

“Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, never, not once,” Massa said. “Never before in the history of the House of Representatives has a sitting leader of the Democratic Party discussed allegations of House investigations publicly, before findings of fact. Ever.”

“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning,” he added. “The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.”

Massa bemoaned the state of the nation’s politics, which he said is perpetuated by the constant need for money to run for re-election. And, he said, he has been made an example by Dem leadership.

“There is not a single member of the Democratic freshman class whi is going to vote against this health care bill now that they’ve got me,” he said. “Eric Massa’s probably not going to go back to Congress, because the only way I would go back there would be as an independent. A pox on both parties.”

Massa has held the radio program, in which he took calls from constituents, during his 14 months in office. He said yesterday’s episode would be his last as an incumbent.

Filed under: U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , ,

VOTE-A-RAMA: LET THE GAMES BEGIN

I know that President Obama says that “the time for talk is over”, but I just can’t help myself.  So here goes.

Last night on Fox News, former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) explained how Republicans could impede the Healthcare Bill reconciliation process in the Senate.  He stated that even though a reconciliation bill requires only a simple majority to pass, there is a way to delay the final vote.  The given time for debate of a reconciliation bill is 20 hours.  However, unlimited amendments can be offered to a reconciliation bill at any time during the debate time, or after the “20 hour clock” has expired.  Time spent in offering amendments during the debate itself are not deducted from this “20 hour clock”.  Hence, offering amendments during debate will actually stop the “20 hour clock”.  After each amendment is voted on, the debate clock would restart.  Amendments can continue to be offered after the “20 hour clock” of debate has ended.  These need to be “germane” amendments.  (The Senate Parliamentarian rules on the relevance of the offered amendment).  To dispense with each amendment, according to Senator Santorum, takes approximately 20 minutes.  As long as amendments are being offered and must be voted on, the final vote cannot be taken.  This is called a “vote-a-rama”.  It can be thought of as a “filibuster by vote-a-rama”.

Jeff Davis, legislative expert, has a thorough discussion of this process at, of all places, The New Republic site.  It is worth reading to better understand the process.  Below is an excerpt of the article from The Patriot Room blog:

Interesting lesson on what the GOP could do if Democrats try reconciliation. Here’s a portion:

Some critics of the modern filibuster process have expressed a “bring it on” mentality towards the prospect of filibuster-by-vote-a-rama, since it would require Republicans to be physically present during their dilatory tactics, like in an old-school Mister Smith Goes to Washington filibuster. But it would also require most Senate Democrats to be present at all times, to prevent any Republican amendments from actually passing and torpedoing the deal. So under the current precedents, the vote-a-rama will last until the opponents of the bill are physically unable to continue standing up and offering amendments.

What a mess – almost sure to widen Americans’ “trust deficit” with government.

President Obama is expected to ask for an “up or down” vote on Healthcare Reform, thus initiating the reconciliation process.  The potential fallout from using the “nuclear option” has been discussed in various places by various authors.  They all agree that the outcome will be grim for the Democrats.  I agree.
In the days to come, however, what is most important is the degree of opposition that the Senate Republicans will offer.  If they can continue to delay the ultimate vote until the Congressional Easter break, we the people will at least have the opportunity for one more shot to make our voices heard by our elected representatives.  Indeed, if that opportunity is given to us, we must take complete advantage of it.

The actions of the House, of course, are still in question.  Should Speaker Pelosi be unable to convince her members that the problems with the Senate Healthcare bill will be fixed, but only after the present version is passed by the House, then the “filibuster by vote-a-rama” may be unnecessary.  We can hope that the original close vote in the House to pass their version of healthcare reform cannot be repeated under the present circumstances.

This is not the time to surrender, Sparrows.  As this process unfolds, stay engaged.  Encourage or shame your elected representatives, as the case may be.  If we are to go down, at least we can go down fighting.

Filed under: congress, LEGISLATION, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , ,

ARE WE TO BE “RECONCILED” TO THE OBAMA HEALTHCARE BILL?

There has been much discussion, especially following the “Healthcare Summit”, about using “reconciliation” to pass Obamacare in the Senate.  The justifications for using the measure, even over the objections of its author, Senator Robert Byrd, (D-WV), are variations on the theme, “We won.  You lost.”  Reconciliation is “fair”; it is “majority rule”.  Besides, the GOP used it more times than the Democrats ever did.

It is informative to read about how “reconciliation” has actually been used in the Senate since its inception.  “Reconciliation” was designed for budgetary items, i.e., spending measures, taxation issues and extraneous items.  Historically, “reconciliation” has been used for relatively small details within a bill.  In fact, when the GOP, during the presidency of George W. Bush, considered using “reconciliation” to confirm judges to Federal benches, thereby circumventing the filibuster which takes a two-thirds majority to overcome, Democrats howled about how ruinous such a move would be.  The GOP demurred in the face of Democrat criticism, and as a result, many judges failed to be confirmed, leaving a paucity of judges within the Federal system under President Bush.  Interestingly enough, as is noted below, only a simple majority is required to confirm a judicial nominee under the “advice and consent” article of the Constitution.  (My emphasis in bold italics).

The Process
Nominations of Supreme Court justices and courts of appeal judges are now driven by staff working in the White House.  (Nominations of federal district judges, on the other hand, are more likely to start with a member of Congress serving the district where the vacancy occurred, especially if the congressperson belongs to the President’s party.)  There are no objective criteria for whom a President might nominate; nothing in the Constitution even requires that a nominee have any legal training.   The staff evaluates a candidate based on prior opinions (if the nominee has judicial experience), writings and speeches, and background to determine ideological compatibility with the President’s goals, as well as the likelihood that the candidate could be confirmed by the Senate.

Judicial nominations are forwarded to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducts its own review (using its staff and those of its members) of the merits of the nominee.  Hearings are held in which the nominee, as well as other persons knowledgeable about the nominee’s qualifications, offer statements and answer questions posed by Committee members.  After the hearing, the Judiciary Committee votes on whether to recommend confirmation of the nominee by the full Senate.  A nominee who fails to win a majority of Committee votes usually sees his prospects die, unless the Committee chooses to forward the nomination to the full Senate without recommendation. The full Senate, once a nomination is sent to it, will debate the merits of the nominee and schedule a final vote on confirmation.  On rare occasions, as happened when charges of sexual harrassment surfaced at the last minute against Clarence Thomas, a nomination might be sent back to the Judiciary Committee for further hearings. A simple majority is required for confirmation. The average time in recent decades between a presidential nomination of a Supreme Court justice and a final vote by the Senate has been a bit over two months.

It remains to be seen whether the Senate will employ “reconciliation” in order to pass Obamacare, or whether it will risk the House approving the bill already passed in the Senate.  If the Senate does eventually use “reconciliation” to pass a bill that will impact around 1/6th of the U.S. economy, it is unimaginable that any justification they offer will satisfy an, understandably, furious electorate.

Filed under: congress, LEGISLATION, , , , , ,

WAITING FOR GODOT: THE OBAMA AGENDA


In the play, “Waiting for Godot”, a couple of characters perpetually await the appearance of a “God-like” figure who never arrives.  Is life presently imitating art?  We should be so fortunate.

Tomorrow, the much-advertised “Healthcare Summit” will occur, weather permitting.  (Aside: Have you noticed how many recent meetings and announcements have been either canceled or postponed due to unusual winter snows in Washington, D. C. lately?  It’s enough to make one wonder if God is judging these goings-on and finding them wanting).  So what will result from this latest “summit”?  What will the Republicans do?  The Democrats?  The President?  We are waiting…

In climate change news, the Senate had a hearing on the budget for the EPA today.  During the hearing, Bernie Sanders, Independent Socialist from Vermont, compared climate change skeptics to Nazi appeasers.   Shouldn’t all this climate change nonsense be dead by now?  Is a Cap and Trade bill and/or extensive regulation by the EPA still possible?  We are waiting…

Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke testified in Congress today on the economy.  On the one hand, after being pushed by Barney Frank, he stated that the stimulus worked—sort of.  On the other hand, he opined that it is necessary to address the ballooning deficit, sooner rather than later.  Monty Pelerin at American Thinker believes that Mr. Bernanke will need to decide quickly whether to allow spending to continue, or to shut off the spigot.  James Srodes at the American Spectator simply thinks we should all be ready to begin the “Great Recession of  2011-2012”.  We are waiting…

The waiting  for jobs is increasingly trying the patience of all. But the $35 billion “Jobs Bill” (read son-of-stimulus) that passed the Senate this week does no more to create private-sector jobs than did its useless “mother of all stimuli”.  After all, if $862 billion of spending had little affect on job creation, how could spending 4% of that amount help now?  And, why is it that we need this extra spending bill at all, when the balance of the first stimulus has not been spent yet?

The curtain has indeed risen on a play that seems to have too many acts to count.  We keep waiting… but not for much longer.

Filed under: POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , ,

RIP VAN WINKLE & SOAP OPERAS

Rip Van Winkle is a great story, isn’t it?  Guy lies down, falls asleep and when he awakes everything has—changed!  If only that happened in real life.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been out of commission, first with the stomach flu, followed by dealing with snow, snow, snow.  In that time I have really not been following the news.  Yesterday, I began listening to it again and realized that nothing has really changed at all.  In fact, I think that catching up with the news is very like catching up with a soap opera; no matter how many “episodes” are missed, the story line is always a variation on the same old themes.

Here is what I mean:
-Healthcare reform legislation has not really died.  It is simply tied up in Nancy Pelosi’s office awaiting re-introduction into the story in a piecemeal sort of way.

-The Iranian people are again protesting in the streets against their oppressive, and now allegedly nuclear, regime and are once more receiving no support from the “leader” of the free world.  When will they learn that they will never be more than bit players in this plot?

-The banks and Wall Street are still evil, except when they are friends of our “leader”, and will pay the price for following the orders mandated by Congress.  Everyone likes a good villain, but I’m just not feelin’ this one.  (Note to “leader” villain part needs to be recast.)

-Stimulus is back, although thinly disguised as a “Jobs Bill”.  I think they could have camouflaged this character better.  It was easily recognizable from its unemployment extensions, payoffs and money for “infrastructure”.  Wonder how long it will take for it to be unmasked?

-Our old friend global warming/climate change has returned in the guise of three feet of snow.  I have to admit that I didn’t see that one coming!

-Bush bashing is still the favorite sport, but with a twist.  (I just love twists, they keep things interesting).  Everything that is bad is still Bush’s fault. Anything that has worked out well is not due to him, but to our “Dear Leader”.  Got it?

I did notice the development of a plot hole.  “Dear Leader” stated that he is “agnostic” concerning taxes that will affect the middle class.  It may be entertaining to see how he weaves that one into the narrative.  Stay tuned, Sparrows.

Filed under: POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , , , , , ,

PEOPLE IN CLASS HOUSES OUGHT NOT TO THROW STONES

Yesterday the POTUS showed rare genuine emotion when speaking.  So, what motivated his heartfelt expression of feeling?  Terrorist attacks?  The Haitian earthquake?  No, it was his plan to tax the banks who took TARP money.  The new bank “fee” is expected to generated $90 billion over the next ten years, although Mr. Obama stated that the “fee” would be enforced, “until they [the American people] are fully compensated”.  Oh, really?  Raise your hand if you believe that any of we commoners will be “compensated” even one dollar from this scheme.  Where will all this money go instead?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Duh, campaigns, lobbyists, pay-offs to special interests, buy-offs of Legislators, etc., etc.

Mr. Obama went on to say that this measure was being taken, “not to punish” the banks, (who, by the way, have paid back the TARP loans with interest, so what would there be to punish?), but “to prevent the abuse and excess” that led to the present economic difficulties.  The POTUS ended by telling the banks not to “fight” his proposed “fee”, but to simply pay it.  Wow!  The King speaks.  We obey.

It is interesting to note that Mr. Obama has not passionately spoken against the “abuse and excess” of Government in general, nor his Administration in particular.  What I would like is for all the Democrats to “compensate” the American people for the recent excessive spending.  They could start by reimbursing us for the party that they all enjoyed in Copenhagen last month.  However, hypocrites never follow their own standards.

Class warfare is a tried and true tactic of the hard Left.  Whether this type of strategy will be successful in dividing us, distracting us and furthering a socialist-fascist agenda is questionable.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.  The American people are smarter than they give us credit for being.

P.S.  On a matter somewhat related to those residing in class, (or glass), houses, please take the time to read about what Florida Rep. Buchanan (R) is attempting to do with his discharge petition in the House of Representatives.  It is good to know that some of our elected representatives believe in glass houses that are actually transparent!

Filed under: LEGISLATION, POTUS, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , , , , ,

GOVERNING WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED

These days I often feel just plum tuckered out.  Keeping up with the dreadful tactics of the Washington machine is like chasing after a rather committed arsonist.  There is always a fire to manage and, hopefully, extinguish.  But, what is downright exhausting is that these pyromaniacs continue to ignore the screaming of us firefighters to STOP SETTING FIRES!!  The “consent of the governed” that is supposed to supply the power to our Government is simply being ignored.

The Rasmussen tracking polls for yesterday, January 12, 2010, reports 55% opposition to the Congressional Health Care Plan.  Presidential approval ratings are also taking a hit, now standing at –14, or stated in a different way, a 46% approval rating. Yet, President Obama and his cohorts carry on playing with fire.

And, it is not that we are not screaming loudly enough.  The machine apparatchiks seem to either, a) not believe the poll numbers, or b)  not believe that people really are against having their country torched.  Consider the video below from the recent Town Hall that Senator Feingold held in Wisconsin, where 95% of the audience opposed the Congressional Health Care Plan.

And, if we are silly enough to think that we would be safe should the current legislation, through a benevolent act of God, be defeated, Big Brother has yet another box of matches up his sleeve.  SusanAnne Hiller at Big Government.com published a report exposing two other bills, S.B. 1110 and H.B. 2718, (also known as “MedPAC reform”), that backstop the Congressional Health Care Bill should it fail.  Basically, these bills amend the Social Security Act to take control of Medicare guideline and rule-setting processes from the Legislative branch and place it in the hands of the Executive branch.  The article is definitely worth a slow, careful read.

No wonder we are exhausted!  Some days it appears that there is surely not enough water in our wells to keep fighting all these fires.  Some days it even seems preferable to simply let everything “burn baby, burn”.  These are indeed, in George Washington’s words, “the times that try men’s souls”.  However, even as gold is purified by fire in the crucible, I must continue to believe that these fires will produce more than ashes.  Remember, too, that the word “fire” has more than one meaning–enough said.   Soldier on, Sparrows.  God willing, we will prevail.

Filed under: LEGISLATION, liberal activism, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , ,

SOCIAL (IN)SECURITY

A good friend of mine passed along the following to me.  I thought that it was worth sharing with all you sparrows, oldsters and youngsters alike.  Take a bit of time to digest each tidbit, then think about the promises that have been made concerning the current “Healthcare Reform” by Mr. Obama and the Congressional Democrats.  How well do we think that the Democrats will fulfill these promises as compared to the ones they made about Social Security back in the day?  My guess?  In exactly the same way, which is to say, not at all.

In my experience, the real outcome of  Democrat plans are always the opposite of what they say.  Obviously, Social Security really does not “secure” future generations.  Likewise, the War on Poverty did not eliminate impoverishment .  Neither does Welfare produce people who “fare well”.  Therefore, I expect that should “Healthcare Reform” be passed by Congressional Democrats, we will soon be able to refer to it as “sick disregard”.

Here is what my friend sent–read on…

Your Social Security

Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this. It’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it.

Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what’s what and it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts!!!

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social
Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be
Completely voluntary.

(It is no longer voluntary.)

2.) That the participants would only have to pay
1% of the first $1,400 of their annual
Incomes into the Program.

(It is now 7.65% , on the first what?  $60,000?)**

3.) That the money the participants elected to put
into the Program would be deductible from
their income for tax purposes each year.

( It is no longer tax deductible.)

4.) That the participants would put money into an
independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the
general operating fund, and therefore,  it would
only be used to fund the Social Security
Retirement Program, and no other
Government program.

(Under  Johnson the money was moved to
the General Fund and spent
.)

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

(Under Clinton & Gore  up to 85% of your Social Security can be taxed.)

**(NOTE: for 2010 FICA is 7.65% up to $106,800 and 1.45% thereafter.)

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are
now receiving a Social Security check every month —
and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of
the money we paid to the Federal government to ‘put
away’ — you may be interested in the following:

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —-

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the
independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it into the
general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically
controlled House and Senate.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax
deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —–

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social
Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the
‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the
Senate, while he was Vice President of the  U.S.

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –
AND MY FAVORITE:
Q: Which Political Party decided to start
giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A:  That’s right!
Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65,
began to receive Social Security payments! The
Democratic Party gave these payments to them,
even though they never paid a dime into it!

———— — ———— ——— —– ———— ——— ———

Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is that uninformed citizens believe it!

If enough people read this, maybe a seed of
awareness will be planted and maybe changes will
evolve. Maybe not;  some Democrats are awfully
sure of what isn’t so.

AND CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES 100% RETIREMENT FOR ONLY SERVING ONE TERM!!!

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Filed under: congress, LEGISLATION, U.S. GOVERNMENT, , , , ,

"His eye is on the sparrow, and He surely watches me." --Mrs. Doolittle, 1905

Archives