If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.
If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.
If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.
If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward
National Debt Clock-Click Here-Real Time
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20100309
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." -- George E. Woodberry
Combine authenticity with your empathy for others and you have found the genius of being humble. -- Vince Poscente
"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with." -- Robert Frost
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give Him sacrifices. (Proverbs 21:3)
God does not struggle with right and wrong. His laws reflect His own righteous nature and the moral perfection of His character. Cultural bias, a lack of knowledge, or any other factor does not alter His rulings.
God's spiritual laws are every bit as absolute as His physical laws. If we break God's natural laws, we pay the consequences. For example, if you jump off of the Empire State Building in New York City, the law of gravity will guarantee your death. Likewise, if you lock yourself in a garage and breathe carbon monoxide instead of the oxygen that your body needs, you will die.
God's spiritual laws are no less binding. As the perfect Judge and Lawgiver, God is also the law enforcer. His laws lay out the responsibilities for which God holds us accountable. They are a yardstick by which God measures our righteousness. When His laws are broken, He must punish anyone who defies His righteous laws. You may wonder why God is so exacting about His spiritual laws. He did not make rules just for the "fun of it." His righteous laws focus on standards for acting rightly toward one another.
Consequently, God's spiritual laws are the pillars for justice and morality within any nation. The laws of a nation are just only to the degree that they conform to the laws of God. When national leaders reject and disobey God, they lose their moral compass and doom their society to injustice, dishonesty, and depravity.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Check the accuracy of your moral compass as you make decisions today. Is it based on your own personal feelings and experiences, or on God's righteous unchanging character?
"The Patriot Post"
"Amplification is the vice of modern oratory." --Thomas Jefferson
It's "Joe Biden Week" at the White HouseThe BIG Lie: "[Taxpayers have] gotten their money's worth [out of the $787 billion stimulus]." --Vice President Joe Biden
Which administration? "I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration." --Joe Biden
"Greatest achievement" equals mistake? "I don't think the [Iraq] war was worth it, in the sense that we paid a horrible price, not only in loss of life, the way the war was mishandled from the outset, but we took our eye off the ball, putting us in a much different and more dangerous position in Afghanistan." --Joe Biden
Breaking news from 2002: "The president of the United States said in the State of the Union, 'We're at war with al-Qa'ida.' He stated this -- and by the way, we're pursuing that war with a vigor like it's never been seen before." --Joe Biden, who is just now tuning in
Biden in 2002: "We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. [Saddam Hussein] is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world."
Nanny state: "I don't know if anybody noticed that, for the first time this year, you saw more people getting health care from government than you did from the private sector; not because of anything we did, but because more and more people are losing their health care from their employers. It's becoming unaffordable." --Barack Obama
He's catching on: "[Obama] said, you know, I'm for clean coal, then he says it in speeches, but he doesn't say it in here, and he doesn't say it in the minds of my own people, and he's beginning to be not believable to me." --Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
No Meal Left Behind: "There are kids who are obese in this state who are going to school hungry." --Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado
On the climate change front, check out this montage of video of Democrats blaming the lack of snow on global warming. Where are they now?
Virtue is harder to be got than a knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered." --English philosopher and political theorist John Locke (1632-1704)
"Politics is the best show in America. I love animals and I love politicians, and I like to watch both of 'em play, either back home in their native state or after they've been captured and sent to a zoo -- or Washington." --American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)
"Those unversed in the arcana of Congressional procedure should familiarize themselves with 'reconciliation.' It's just another word for nothing left to lose -- that is, it's the tactic Democrats seem increasingly likely to use to bypass the ordinary legislative rules and railroad ObamaCare into law with a bare partisan majority of 50 Senators, plus Vice President Joe Biden. Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced ... that Democrats 'have set the stage' for reconciliation. 'It's up to us to make sure the public knows that this is not extraordinary,' she said. 'It would be a reflection on us if we could not convince people that this is not an unusual place to go.' Yet the reconciliation gambit really would be unprecedented for social legislation of this cost and scale. And as a matter of procedure, it would also be unusual, to say the least. As Mrs. Pelosi's senior health adviser, Wendell Primus, explained ... House Democrats would pass a series of 'fixes' to the Senate bill. The Senate would then pass the House reconciliation bill, sending amendments to President Obama to a bill that -- strictly speaking -- didn't exist, because it hadn't yet emerged from the House. The House would then retroactively pass the Senate bill as is. Democrats say this will all be kosher as long as Mr. Obama signs the Senate bill before he signs the reconciliation bill. 'There's a certain skill, there's a trick,' Mr. Primus conceded, 'but I think we'll get it done.' So even as Democrats themselves acknowledge that one reason the public hates ObamaCare so much is the corrupt tactics they have used to advance it through Congress, they still plan to try to land this Pelosian triple-handspring-quadruple pole vault to passage." --The Wall Street Journal
"Obamacare flunks the first test of any potential federal law: It is not constitutional." --National Review's Deroy Murdock
"It's not a good idea for Republicans to accept President Barack Obama's invitation to a 'bipartisan' health care summit, because it would not advance acceptable health care reform. The only thing it likely would advance would be Obama's propaganda message -- and, thus, his socialist agenda." --columnist David Limbaugh
"It isn't to evil dictators with a lust for power that Americans have been slowly surrendering their autonomy. It is to well-intentioned authorities who believe sincerely that our freedoms must be circumscribed for our own good. .... First Lady Michelle Obama announced what The New York Times called 'a sweeping initiative ... aimed at revamping the way American children eat and play -- reshaping school lunches, playgrounds, and even medical checkups -- with the goal of eliminating childhood obesity.' Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to take charge of 'revamping the way American children eat and play.' It is only our passivity that makes such an encroachment possible. This used to be the land of the free. Is it still?" --columnist Jeff Jacoby
"Only two things are infinite -- the expanding universe and Democrats' hostility to the District of Columbia's school choice program. Killing this small program, which currently benefits 1,300 mostly poor and minority children, is odious and indicative. It is a small piece of something large -- the Democrats' dependency agenda, which aims to multiply the ways Americans are dependent on government. ... The dependency agenda is progressive education for children of all ages, meaning all ages treated as children." --columnist George Will
"In the Obama world view, KSM did not perpetrate an act of war but simply pulled off the equivalent of a liquor-store holdup with a somewhat higher body count: it's not a war, it's a law enforcement matter.." --columnist Mark Steyn
Online version easier to read? Go to www.LC.org
Are You Ready For The Awakening?
The many voices of a new movement will gather for “The Awakening 2010” on the campus of Liberty University on April 15-16. The Awakening 2010 is sponsored by organizations that comprise the Freedom Federation. The Freedom Federation is a federation of some of the Nation’s largest multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational faith-based and policy organizations, representing over 30 million Americans united by core values expressed in the Declaration of American Values.
The Awakening is a celebration of a new movement composed of many voices echoing across racial, ethnic and generational lines. The Awakening begins on Thursday night at 5:00 pm and concludes on Friday night with a Liberty & Justice Rally. Over 10,000 attendees will hear motivational and informative messages by many national leaders. There will be a wide variety of breakout sessions, covering topics such as social, economic, and domestic issues, national security, and foreign affairs. The Freedom Federation’s advanced technological platform will be debuted at the event. This platform allows independent organizations and individuals to network, blog, create events, find events, and mobilize people who share similar core values.
There will be tracks for pastors, public office seekers, nonprofit leaders, technology, community organizers, messaging, public policy and much more. Inspiring musical artists will bring a variety of entertainment. A partial listing of speakers is available at www.FreedomFederation.org where you can register online.
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, remarked: “Something new is happening in America. A spirit of revolution and renewal is awakening people and uniting communities across racial, ethnic and generational lines. People are uniting around shared values because of the onslaught of threats to their faith and freedom. The movement we see building today is broader and deeper than anything we have witnessed in our lifetime. It is not built around a personality or a charismatic leader. It is a movement made up of many voices and leaders. The Awakening 2010, sponsored by the many organizations that comprise the Freedom Federation, is a time to unite around our shared values and a time to build upon the strength of the many.”
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Indepence.
Read our News Release for more details.
Follow the Freedom Federation on and
Forward this Liberty Alert to your entire e-mail list of family and friends, and encourage them to subscribe.
Liberty Counsel does not charge clients for representation, so we depend on individuals, groups and churches that care about advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family. Liberty Counsel is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that accepts tax-deductible donations. Donate or order resources from the Liberty Counsel online store.
Mathew D. Staver - Founder and Chairman
Anita L. Staver - President
Liberty Counsel - 1-800-671-1776
PO Box 540774 - Orlando, FL 32854
Senator Coburn (R-OK): 'No is a Worderful Word'
Oh, yes, Obama prays all right:
WITH THE MUSLIMS!!
This is OUR President at a MOSQUE prayer session LAST WEEK AT THE WHITE HOUSE, on the site where the INAUGURATION is held every 4 years!
He canceled OUR CHRISTIAN "NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER"...Now...THIS.
For Obama to continue as our president is an INSULT TO OUR FOUNDING FATHERS!
If you question the impact of the above picture, get a copy of the book The Sword of the Prophet by Serge Trifkovic. It is well researched, documented and highly trustworthy.
Anyone who believes that 'Islam is NOT a major threat to our freedom and country' has their head in the sand. This includes Obama himself.
Excerpt from the book: "the broad sweep of the global military, political, moral, and — yes — spiritual struggle that faces us; and what we must do if we wish to survive. Above all, we must avoid the twin perils of complacency and despair, and for that a sober, factual, and contextual presentation like that found in Trifkovic's work is essential. Every American owes it to himself to know the real score of the post-9/11 world — and this slim but invaluable volume is the place to start
Enter Serge Trifkovic, a man of extraordinary intellectual courage. His book, THE SWORD OF THE PROPHET" departs from the moral “neutrality” of academia and, in six lucid and well-documented chapters, provides a “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.” Citing the Kuran and the voluminous Hadiths - the Traditions of what Muhammad said and did - Dr. Trifkovic exposes Islam's prophet as cruel, ignorant, and lascivious. He examines Islam's fatalistic theology; reviews this religion's devastation of other civilizations; warns of the Muslims' insidious penetration of America and Europe; criticizes U.S. appeasement of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic regimes; and goes to the heart of what must be done to prevent Islam's global ascendancy.
Exclusive: Pentagon Lawyers Push Back Against Holder’s GITMO Attorneys
by Capitol Confidential
Some Defense Department lawyers are worried. Actually, quite a few of them are. They see a train wreck coming with the Obama administration’s evolving Guantanamo Bay detainee policies. Since it is DOD lawyers tasked with much of the footwork for administration decisions, they see firsthand how disorganized, inept, and ideologically extreme the handling of the issue has been. The DOJ, now thoroughly politicized and partisan under Eric Holder, is lock step with Obama’s White House on the issue, and is thoroughly at odds with its legal counterparts in the DOD. At a time when former Guantanamo Bay detainees are battling US forces in Afghanistan, and Jihadists are resurgent worldwide, the country can ill afford the administration’s criminalizing of admitted terrorists or of enemy combatants captured in battle against US forces.
What DOD lawyers are worried about are second-order effects. Namely, the unanticipated consequences of decisions made without due consideration or examination of facts. They are deeply concerned that the administration’s political appointees making decisions on the issue are as likely to be chosen for ideological purity as they are for their acumen on applicable laws. The political appointees are perceived by many in the DOD as caring more for their political ideological creed than for the safety of US citizens, or for the responsible stewardship of tax dollars. It is Leftist canon that Guantanamo Bay be closed, the risks and consequences be damned. Every policy decision pursuing that goal equates to thousands of man hours for DOD lawyers and millions of dollars.
DOD attorneys, including prosecutors and defense attorneys of all political stripes, are of the opinion that closing Guantanamo Bay is an illogical and irresponsible political move made without the facts, and one that will cost billions. No stateside facility has the resources Guantanamo Bay does. As for which stateside facility should replace Guantanamo, the administration cannot make up its mind. As Obama’s minions position for optimum political influence, they have flitted from military sites in Leavenworth, Kansas and Charleston AFB, South Carolina, to civilian facilities in Standish, Michigan and Thomson, Illinois.
The MSM has been telling Americans less that the truth on the detainee issue. Americans have not been told how well thought out was the construction of Guantanamo Bay. Its courtroom was designed by the William and Mary Law School – it is state of the art, capable of handling testimony involving top secret evidence. It has a media center. As for the detainees, forget the horror stories that represent the disinformation tactics of terrorist sympathizers who aim to sway public opinion. Detainees receive the best in medical and dental care. They have daily access to soccer fields. They have exercise areas that overlook the Caribbean, books and movies, as well as a menu where they can choose from several entrée’s cooked to Islamic Halal standards.
They are not tortured and they never were.
Lawyers, sympathic to the detainees, want you to forget that the murderers, terrorists and assassins held in Guantanamo Bay are dedicated to destroying the US. They want you to forget that they have no moral compunction against slaughtering innocents. They want you to think they were all peaceful farmers caught up in an overzealous imperialist military action. Even the Uyghur’s, members of the oppressed Chinese ethnic minority, were training to be terrorists – albeit terrorists against the Chinese, not the US. Their lawyers want them released in the US. The US has so far advocated sending them to other countries willing to accept them. They may well end up here.
Obama and Eric Holder will make a final decision only when forced to, draining time and money when justice would be served at Guantanamo Bay without endangering US citizens or allowing terrorists to exploit the US justice system. And exploit it they are, and will. Lawyers for detainees have been busily petitioning the Supreme Court and searching for sympathetic federal judges. Should trials be held in the US it is a distinct possibility that procedural tactics will allow some of the terrorists held at Guantanamo to go free. And that is exactly what many of the leftist lawyers that flocked to Guantanamo from the very beginning hope for.
What DOD lawyers understand is that the defense of the nation must be decisive, just as must the justice meted out to its enemies. They take their oath to defend the nation seriously. Their very real fear is that justice will not be served by those whose sympathies lay in part with the terrorists, believing their own country responsible for all the miseries delivered on it on 9-11-2001, and after. They perceive that the proposal to transfer detainees to the US is not about justice, but about exploiting a crisis and engaging in political manipulation. All in the quest for the opiate of power.
Obama Draws Fire for Appointing SEIU's Stern to Deficit Panel
By Ed Barnes - FOXNews.com
President Obama's decision to appoint his close political ally, union leader Andrew Stern, to the newly created National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has set off a firestorm of criticism from business and conservative groups who charge he is a political radical who should be investigated for failure to register as a lobbyist.
SEIU President Andy Stern speaks with the Associated Press during an interview in his Washington office Oct. 9, 2009. (AP Photo)
President Obama's decision to appoint his close political ally, union leader Andrew Stern, to the newly created National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has set off a firestorm of criticism from business and conservative groups who charge he is a political radical who should be investigated for failure to register as a lobbyist.
The prestigious 18-member commission will study and recommend ways to whittle down the $12 trillion debt the federal government has amassed. Stern is one of six panelists Obama has named; the House of Representatives and the Senate will each appoint six others.
Stern, the 59-year-old president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union, has angered business groups and political conservatives because of his support for health care reform and controversial "Card Check" legislation, which would make it easier for unions to organize in workplaces.
Called "the most important labor boss in America today" and once considered for secretary of labor, Stern has become a political lightning rod. His appointment to the commission, wrote Investor's Business Daily, "is like having a serial arsonist organize Fire Prevention Week." Katie Packer, executive director of Workforce Fairness, a group backed by the Chamber of Commerce, said his appointment to the commission "doesn't pass the laugh test."
Brian Johnson, executive director of the Alliance for Worker Freedom, which opposes Card Check, called the appointment a White House scheme to skirt lobbying laws. Three months ago, Johnson's organization and Americans for Tax Reform, headed by Grover Norquist, sent a joint letter to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington demanding a criminal investigation of Stern for failing to register as a lobbyist.
That request stemmed from an investigation the groups conducted of Stern's dealings with government officials. Using public records, press reports, White House logs, Twitter messages and disclosures in union reports filed with the labor department, their investigation found that Stern spent more than 20 percent of his time in contact with policymakers and elected officials.
Under the 2008 federal lobbying law, anyone who spends that amount of time trying to influence government must register as a lobbyist; failure to register is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Stern, whose union funneled $60 million to the Obama election campaign, has been a regular visitor to the White House since Obama's inauguration. White House logs released last October showed he visited the presidential mansion 22 times since Obama took office, including seven meetings with the president. But most of the visits were for group events, and it is an open question whether his attendance would count as lobbying activity.
Earlier this week Johnson pressed for action on his lobbying complaint in letters to the Senate and to the U.S. Attorney's office. In an interview he complained that no charges had been brought against Stern, saying, "It is hard to believe political pressure wasn't involved."
Keith Morgan, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, blamed the delay on the unique way the complaint came to his office, which handles thousands of lobbyist complaints every year.
"Most of the referrals we get come directly from the House or the Senate," Morgan said. " This one is rather unique," he said, referring to the conservative groups' involvement, "and we are still taking a look at it." He said there is no time frame for a decision to be made.
When the accusations were first made in November, the SEIU issued a written statement calling them meritless, adding that it was their "final" comment on the matter. Kawana Lloyd, spokeswoman for Stern, did not return calls seeking additional comment this week.
Kenneth Gross, an expert on lobbying laws with the law firm Skadden, Arps, says it is unlikely that the U.S. attorney's delay was due to political reasons. "The United States Attorney's office in Washington has other things on its plate, like murders and rapes, and not Andy Stern's lobbyist filings.
"The office literally gets thousands of referrals a year on lobbying violations from the House and Senate and has been very tepid about acting on them. They are about as welcome as ants at a picnic," he said.
Referring to the letters submitted by the conservative groups, he said the law was still filled with gaps and that Stern probably has a number of ways to explain away the time he spent at the White House. In the letter to the U.S. attorney, the conservative groups count a visit to the White House as one day of lobbying, but "usually lobbying time is counted in hours," Gross said.
Poll: By 2-to-1 Margin, Americans Say U.S. Debt Owed to China Now Greater Threat than Terrorism
By Christopher Neefus
(CNSNews.com) – By a two-to-one margin, American adults believe the amount of money the U.S. owes China to cover the U.S. national debt is now a greater threat than radical Islam.
According to a Zogby International poll, 58 percent said the debt was a greater concern, versus just 27 percent who chose terrorism perpetrated by “radical Islamists.”
The polling firm asked respondents: “When you think about the long-term security and well-being of the U.S., which of these do you believe is a more serious threat?”
Political ideology did not change the results significantly, the pollster pointed out.
“Interestingly, there was little variation by party identification with a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agreeing that the debt owed by the United States to China poses the greater threat,” the Zogby report said. “Opinion was consistent across all other major demographic and politics sub-groups.”
Democrats barely strayed from the overall 58 percent-27 percent spread, with 57 percent of Democrats choosing the debt owed to China and 24 percent more concerned with Islamic terrorism. Likewise, independents broke 59 percent for the debt and 28 percent for terrorist attacks. The GOP followed suit, at 61-32.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans were more apt to choose one or the other as a serious threat, with just 2 percent (within the margin of error) choosing “Neither.” Conversely, 12 percent of Democrats said neither.
The GOP has made the skyrocketing debt a prime issue of late. After President Obama introduced his record $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2011, which carried a record trillion-plus-dollar deficit, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the new debt incurred was “astonishing.”
“This budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks,” he said on the floor of the Senate.
“In fact, in just four years the administration predicts the government will have to spend more just to pay interest on the federal debt than it spends on the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, HUD (Housing and Urban Development), Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Treasury, and the Corps of Engineers, Environment Protection Agency, GSA (General Services Administration), NASA, National Science Foundation, Small Business Administration and the Social Security Administration -- combined.”
After Democrats voted to increase the debt ceiling to more than $14 trillion to accommodate new spending, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee said on the floor that the House had “bequeathed the next generation an inferior standard of living.”
“I didn’t come here to make sure that my three kids are going to have a life that’s worse off than ours.”
Democrats, on the other hand, often say that deficit spending is the best way to spur new economic growth, and that the red ink of okay for the short term.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to defend the budget in the first week of February and told members there was a “very strong economic case” for elevated government spending.
“Our basic test should be what’s going to add jobs, what’s going to add spark to investment, what’s going to provide good leverage for the taxpayers’ money, and we need to make sure we’re doing that in a way that’s fiscally responsible over the medium term,” Geithner said.
Peter Orszag: These Aren’t the Budget Gimmicks You’re Looking For
by Morgen Richmond
Here’s budget director Peter Orszag writing on his White House blog yesterday:
Recently, a lot of attention has been paid to a claim that this deficit reduction is achieved only through a business-as-usual Washington budget gimmick: paying for just a few years of costs with many more years of savings.
This charge is simply false—and let’s get the facts straight.
First, it’s true that loading savings up front and costs in later years is a time-honored budget gimmick. It has a single purpose—to hide the ball and make programs look paid for in the near term that will in fact substantially add to the deficit over the long-term.
Second, it’s also true that some of savings under the health plan start sooner than the major costs in the legislation. We can move quickly to begin identifying waste and improving quality in the current health care system, as well as make certain reforms to rebalance the tax code. But, the major coverage expansion does not occur until 2014, in part because we need to take time to establish a system of state-based exchanges through which private insurance companies will provide quality insurance to those not getting it through their employer. Still, it is important to note that the vast majority of the savings in the next ten years occur in 2014 and thereafter.
Third, this is not a budget gimmick. The purpose the tried-and-true gimmick described above is to make a proposal that adds to long-term deficits appear fiscally responsible. But if that were the course we were taking, we would expect to see a large fiscal hole at the end of the first decade and larger and larger deficits in the second decade. Instead, over the long-term, the savings under the President’s plan are expected to grow faster than the costs. So, when the
Congressional Budget Office is done with its scoring, we expect it will find that the President’s plan reduces deficits by roughly $100 billion in the first 10 years and roughly $1 trillion in the decade after that. In other words, health reform should reduce the deficit by growing amounts over the long-term.
Put simply: Health reform will reduce the deficit in this decade, and it will reduce the deficit by even more thereafter. There’s no gimmick in that.
Orszag’s attempted sleight-of-hand here is almost laughable. His argument boils down to this:
It’s true that front-loading revenues and back-loading spending is a common tactic to misrepresent the true cost of a bill, and can be fairly labeled as a “gimmick”.
As it happens, our healthcare bill does indeed use this tactic, by front-loading revenues and back-loading spending over the first 10 years.
But this is most assuredly not a gimmick in our case, because even though we are using this (ahem) gimmick to understate the deficit over the first 10 years, we expect the CBO to say that this bill will somehow generate a surplus in years 11-20 (when we are long gone).
To borrow an increasingly loathsome expression, Mr. Orszag, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own set of facts.
Let’s look at the initial 10-year budget window first, since this is the only time period for which the CBO or anyone else can generate a reasonably accurate forecast. It is simply undeniable that the only reason the CBO has scored healthcare reform as generating a surplus over 10 years is because of the budget gimmicks in the bill. And not just the back-loading of spending, which Orszag readily admits.
Even with this tactic, the only reason the bill shows any surplus at all is the inclusion of incremental revenues for social security ($50+ billion) and a brand new assisted-living entitlement program (CLASS – $70+ billion). In both of these cases, these excess revenues represent payment of premiums for deferred benefits, and are a future liability for the government. Adjusting for these two provisions alone, the $100 billion surplus touted by Orszag turns into a $20 billion deficit. If the overall revenues and outlays were also more evenly distributed, we would likely be looking at a 10-year deficit well in excess of $100 billion.
Even granting Orszag his arbitrary re-definition of what a “gimmick” is, there is another bit of chicanery being used to further obscure the real short and long term costs of the bill. The surplus figures cited by Orszag, and all of the forecasts put out by the CBO, have been calculated using Medicare physician reimbursement rates which are substantially lower (20%+) than anyone, including Orszag, expect to ever occur. Democrats actually included the so-called “doctor’s fix” to address this in earlier drafts of the legislation, but removed it once they realized that it would be impossible to achieve budget neutrality if it were included. As noted by this CBO memo to Congressman Paul Ryan, factoring in the planned fix for doctor reimbursements would result in a long term increase, not reduction, in the deficit. In fact, this factor alone is enough to flip the longer-term projection from a $1 trillion surplus to a $500 billion deficit.
Notably, the CBO has also repeatedly emphasized the uncertainties surrounding these calculations, even within the initial 10-year window, but especially with the longer term projections. As a former director of the CBO himself, Orszag is well aware of the imprecision of these sorts of calculations. He is also aware that historically these estimates have grossly underestimated the long term fiscal impact to the federal government (e.g with Medicare).
Orszag is also well aware that future Congresses are highly unlikely to sustain all of the planned tax increases and Medicare cuts. Especially since Republicans in Congress and a substantial majority of the American public are unified in their opposition to this bill. It would take a broad coalition of Democrat and Republican leadership for there to be any hope of enacting or sustaining meaningful entitlement reform. Unfortunately, the White House precluded any possibility of this right from the start, by reserving the right to force a bill through using budget reconciliation, and by crafting the legislation and cutting unseemly deals behind closed doors.
The entire process has been a gimmick, and Orszag is most likely the chief architect of many of the budget tricks which have been used to confuse the American people and misrepresent the true cost of reform.
Put simply, he’s a liar.
White House Calls Suggestion of Swapping Health Care Vote for Judgeship ‘Silly’
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
Washington (CNSNews.com) – The White House shunned as a “silly argument” the notion that President Barack Obama had sought to woo the vote of a Democratic congressman on health care by nominating his brother to a federal judgeship.
On Wednesday, 10 Democratic House members who voted against the health care overhaul bill in November met with President Obama at the White House. One of those members was Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah.
That same day, the White House issued a press release announcing the president had nominated Matheson’s brother – Scott Matheson – to be a federal judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
The Weekly Standard was the first to report the curious timing, running a headline of “Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pointed out that Scott Matheson has the support of Utah’s senior Republican senator and a high ranking with the American Bar Association.
“I think based on Mr. Matheson's ABA rating, based on Mr. Matheson's long legal resume, and based on the support he has from somebody important like Orrin Hatch, who has agreed to help shepherd his nomination through the Senate, I think it's a pretty silly argument,” Gibbs said Thursday in response to a reporter’s question.
Nonetheless, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Sara Sendek told The Desert News, of Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, “Anyone can see that President Obama’s White House soiree tonight with Jim Matheson is a blatant attempt to flip his vote on this government health care takeover.”
Sendek added, “The question on everyone's mind tonight is, ‘What sweetener or special deal will it take to get Matheson’s much-sought-after yes vote? Any deal Matheson accepts this evening will not save him at the polls in November.”
Asked about the RNC assertion, Gibbs said, “I think that's also a very silly argument.”
The questions about the Matheson judicial nomination come as the White House has yet to give a definitive answer to claims made by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who has said three times on TV that he was offered an administration job if he would not challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary.
While an unnamed White House source told the Philadelphia Inquirer there was no job offer to Sestak, Gibbs has told several reporters who asked the question that he would check and get back to them.
CNSNews.com attempted to reach Rep. Matheson’s spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend Thursday, but was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Rep. Matheson told the KSL, the NBC News affiliate in Salt Lake City, that this was not an attempt to buy his vote.
“He had such support throughout the Utah legal community, quite frankly from Democrats and Republicans who recognize that he has a unique skills set,” Rep. Matheson told the station about his brother.
On Nov. 6, Rep. Matheson issued a statement stating all of the reasons he did not believe the health care bill before Congress would be effective.
“Putting millions of additional people into a broken system will not work,” Matheson said. “After meeting directly with the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, I do not believe that this bill makes the system reforms needed to ensure financial stability for our families, our businesses and our federal treasury.”
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