I found this deficit chart over at WND on a related story about the Declaration Of Healthcare Independence penned by Michele Bachmann (R-MN). You may want to copy this chart from Congressional Quarterly Today, and send it near and far…
If you would like to sign the Declaration and add your voice to 100 congressmen and thousands of Americans, go here.
Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have signed a letter to Harry Reid asking for a public option to be brought before the full Senate under budget reconciliation rules because it will save BILLIONS according to CBO projections. How often has the government been right about their projections, and what is $25 Billion compared to the trillions of red ink we are now buried under?
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t his terminology suggest that a reconciliation package is already in the works even though the White House is doing the dog and pony, health care show on the 25th? These are Bennet’s words, not mine.
And if that doesn’t work, we will be looking at Obamacare through the signing of a presidential executive order, right?
CBO Projections Show Public Option Could Yield Savings of At Least $25 billion
February 16, 2010
Denver, CO – In his continued effort to pass health care reform that lowers costs and leads to higher quality care, Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, is leading the effort in the Senate to pass health insurance reform that includes a public health insurance option under budget reconciliation rules.
Bennet has written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and is circulating it for additional signatures. In the letter, Bennet highlights findings from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that said a public option could yield cost savings of at least $25 billion. Bennet also pointed to the fact that a public option would provide Americans with a low-cost alternative to private insurance and improve market competitiveness.
In addition, the letter noted that there is substantial Senate precedent for using reconciliation to enact important health care policies, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), COBRA, and Medicare Advantage.
“Too many people in Washington believe that just saying you are for health care reform is a substitute for actually getting something done,” said Bennet. “While some choose to stall progress under the pretext of principle, more and more Americans are losing the health care coverage they need. Coloradans deserve better than political leaders who care more about the special interests than the people we’re supposed to represent. They deserve a Washington that is more concerned about the thousands of dollars being lost by families struggling to pay for coverage than the millions being spent by special interests intent on stopping reform in its tracks.”
In the letter, Bennet also pointed to widespread public support for a public health insurance option as evidence that the American people see it as an essential component of health care reform that lowers costs and improves the quality of care.
Late last year, before voting in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Bennet criticized the backroom deals, delay tactics and political posturing that led to the removal of the public option in health care reform.
The full text of the letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid is included below:
The Honorable Harry Reid United States Senate Majority Leader Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leader Reid:
We respectfully ask that you bring for a vote before the full Senate a public health insurance option under budget reconciliation rules.
There are four fundamental reasons why we support this approach – its potential for billions of dollars in cost savings; the growing need to increase competition and lower costs for the consumer; the history of using reconciliation for significant pieces of health care legislation; and the continued public support for a public option.
A Public Option Is an Important Tool for Restoring Fiscal Discipline.
Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me? Fiscal Discipline and Congress in the same breath? Really?????
As Democrats, we pledged that the Senate health care reform package would address skyrocketing health care costs and relieve overburdened American families and small businesses from annual double-digit health care cost increases. And that it would do so without adding a dime to the national debt.
We know what your pledges are worth; ‘for it before you were against it’.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that the Senate health reform bill is actually better than deficit neutral. It would reduce the deficit by over $130 billion in the first ten years and up to $1 trillion in the first 20 years.
These cost savings are an important start. But a strong public option can be the centerpiece of an even better package of cost saving measures. CBO estimated that various public option proposals in the House save at least $25 billion. Even $1 billion in savings would qualify it for consideration under reconciliation.
Put simply, including a strong public option is one of the best, most fiscally responsible ways to reform our health insurance system.
A Public Option Would Provide Americans with a Low-Cost Alternative and Improve Market Competitiveness.
A strong public option would create better competition in our health insurance markets. Many Americans have no or little real choice of health insurance provider. Far too often, it’s “take it or leave it” for families and small businesses. This lack of competition drives up costs and leaves private health insurance companies with little incentive to provide quality customer service.
A recent Health Care for America Now report on private insurance companies found that the largest five for-profit health insurance providers made $12 billion in profits last year, yet they actually dropped 2.7 million people from coverage. Private insurance – by gouging the public even during a severe economic recession – has shown it cannot function in the public’s interest without a public alternative. Americans have nowhere to turn. That is not healthy market competition, and it is not good for the public.
If families or individuals like their current coverage through a private insurance company, then they can keep that coverage. And in some markets where consumers have many alternatives, a public option may be less necessary. But many local markets have broken down, with only one or two insurance providers available to consumers. Each and every health insurance market should have real choices for consumers.
There is a history of using reconciliation for significant pieces of health care legislation.
There is substantial Senate precedent for using reconciliation to enact important health care policies. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare Advantage, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), which actually contains the term ‘reconciliation’ in its title, were all enacted under reconciliation.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Norman Ornstein and Brookings’ Thomas Mann and Molly Reynolds jointly wrote, “Are Democrats making an egregious power grab by sidestepping the filibuster? Hardly.” They continued that the precedent for using reconciliation to enact major policy changes is “much more extensive . . . than Senate Republicans are willing to admit these days.”
There is strong public support for a public option, across party lines.
Once again, AYFKM? I trust Rasmussen more than the NY Times and the overwhelming opinion is that this bill in it’s entirety should be scrapped and Congress should start over. “…61% of U.S. voters say Congress should scrap that plan and start all over again.” (A little sidenote from Rasmussen, “It’s interesting to note that in a separate survey earlier this week 63% of voters said, generally speaking, it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated this November.”)
The overwhelming majority of Americans want a public option. The latest New York Times poll on this issue, in December, shows that despite the attacks of recent months Americans support the public option 59% to 29%. Support includes 80% of Democrats, 59% of Independents, and even 33% of Republicans.
Much of the public identifies a public option as the key component of health care reform – and as the best thing we can do to stand up for regular people against big insurance companies. In fact, overall support for health care reform declined steadily as the public option was removed from reform legislation.
Although we strongly support the important reforms made by the Senate-passed health reform package, including a strong public option would improve both its substance and the public’s perception of it. The Senate has an obligation to reform our unworkable health insurance market – both to reduce costs and to give consumers more choices. A strong public option is the best way to deliver on both of these goals, and we urge its consideration under reconciliation rules.
So there you have it kids. The future is looking like the progressives are going to shove Obamacare down our throats using reconciliation….just like we knew they would.
The US must fix its growing debt problems or risk a new financial crisis, Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, warned on Tuesday, adding a mounting deficit could spur inflation.
Mr Hoenig said that rising debt was infringing on the central bank’s ability to fulfil its goals of maintaining price stability and long-term economic growth. “Stunning” deficit projections were putting political pressure on the Fed to keep interest rates low, infringing on its independence at the risk of inflation, he said.
“Without pre-emptive action, the US risks its next crisis,” Mr Hoenig said in a speech at the Pew-Peterson Commission on Budget Reform.
On Tuesday he said that the worst option for the US was a scenario where the government “knocks on the central bank’s door” and asks it to print more money. Instead, the administration must find ways to cut spending and generate revenue. He called for a “reallocation of resources” and noted that the process would be painful and politically inconvenient.
The US budget deficit is projected to be $8,000bn (€5,800bn, £5,000bn) in the next decade. Barack Obama, US president, recently lifted the government’s borrowing authority to $14,300bn.
If the Fed succumbed to pressure to increase the money supply, Mr Hoenig said, inflation would lead to a loss of confidence in the dollar and in the economy. Meanwhile, a potential stalemate between the fiscal and monetary authorities that govern the economy could allow growing imbalances to go unchecked, thus raising the costs of borrowing and of capital for the US.
Billboard On I-75 In Florida: America’s Coming For You Liberals
Do your part in November – VOTE and encourage everyone you know to do the same!!
This photo is of a billboard recently established on I-75 just south of Lake City in Florida. The cost of 10 months rental of the billboard and doing the artwork was $6500. The folks responsible for the billboard say they feel it’s a reasonable cost to reach out to 1,000,000 vehicles per month to motivate participation in the electoral process to get our country on sound footing and VOTE OUT everyone in Washington.
I wonder how many more billboards like this one we are going to see sprouting up all over the country in the next few years?
(CNSNews.com) – The nation’s top conservative leaders will gather Wednesday at Collingwood in Alexandria, Va.—a property that was once the site of George Washington’s River Farm—to sign a document organizers are calling the Mount Vernon Statement. It is designed to signal that a united and resurgent conservative movement is declaring philosophical war against the big government and moral relativism advanced by the nation’s liberal cultural, academic and political establishments.
The statement emphatically says no to the type of “change” pushed by political leaders who ignore the Constitution’s limits on government power.
“In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics,” says an excerpt from the statement. “The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.
“Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new,” says the statement. “But where would this lead–forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?”
“The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles,” it says.
The statement was drafted under the auspices of the Conservative Action Project, a coalition led by Edwin Meese, who served as a top White House adviser and then attorney general to President Ronald Reagan. Other leaders of the coalition include L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center (the parent organization of CNSNews.com); Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner; Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist; Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, American Conservative Union President David Keene, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright; Coalition for a Conservative Majority Chairman Ken Blackwell; former Reagan Domestic Policy Adviser Ken Cribb; Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna, and Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator.
More than 80 prominent conservatives from around the country are expected at Collingwood for Wednesday’s signing ceremony. Among them will be people prominent for their efforts on behalf of the conservative cause in economics, social and cultural issues and national security.
The statement intentionally harkens back to the Sharon Statement of 1960, which was signed at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. in Sharon, Conn. That statement of conservative principles helped launch an era of conservative activism that first led to Sen. Barry Goldwater winning the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 and then to Ronald Reagan being elected president in 1980.
“The whole purpose of it is to give an updated version of what are the principles that draw conservatives together,” said Meese, who came with Reagan from California to the White House in January 1981. “And so it was felt both that it was appropriate to draw attention to the Sharon Statement but also to update that in terms of generally how conservatives think today, which is basically the same principles restated in what you might call modern language.”
“At this important time, we need a restatement of constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” says another excerpt of the statement released by the organizers.
After President Barack Obama’s election along with a Democratic majority Congress in 2008, some commentators argued that conservatism had perhaps permanently lost its hold on the American electorate and the American mind. Over the past year, however, the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement has risen up from the grass roots, and Republican candidates have won convincing victories in statewide elections in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts.
Meese told CNSNews.com that if the Republican Party wants to continue this winning trend it must heed conservative principles. “The Republican Party has been successfully when it subscribes to conservative principles,” said Meese. “You go back to 1980, go back to 1994, those were the guiding principles that provided for Republican successes.”
While a number of conservative commentators and organizations will be publishing policy prescriptions this year that they believe can help lead to conservative victories in 2010, the Mount Vernon Statement will not be a campaign document that focuses on individual issues or one election cycle. Rather, it will focus on broad principles, said Media Research President Brent Bozell.
“It’s a document that we hope is going to serve as a compass for the movement so that when we have a debate such as, for example, on socialized health care, there should not be a degree to which government participates in national health care but whether government has the authority, the right to interfere in this issue,” Bozell told CNSNews.com. “If it doesn’t have the specifically enumerated right and responsibility spelled out in the Constitution, then the federal government should not be involved period.”
“Rather than worrying about the size of the deficit and the debt, why don’t we start asking questions about the size of the government itself,” Bozell said. “We need to have that conversation again. Why do we have a Department of Education? Whatever happened to federalism? You’re not going to have that debate until you’re grounded in first principles again.”
Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century
We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding.Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.
Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.
Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?
The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.
The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.
A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.
* It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal. * It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life. * It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions. * It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end. * It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.
If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.
We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.
Glenn starts this program with the nasty financial and economic problems we are facing with a rough breakdown of the federal budget. He interviews Art Laffer about what needs to happen to pull us back from the edge. Glenn then moves onto the New York Times trying to rename the Tea Party Patriots as militia members and crazies.
These people are part of a significant undercurrent within the Tea Party movement that has less in common with the Republican Party than with the Patriot movement, a brand of politics historically associated with libertarians, militia groups, anti-immigration advocates and those who argue for the abolition of the Federal Reserve.
About time Michael Steele wakes up to the fact that the Tea Party patriots aren’t a fringe group consisting mainly of right-wing conservatives as he hasbeen lead to believe. I don’t think he quite understands yet exactly how effectively our movement is going to make or break the republican party depending on their actions.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele plans to sit down with about 50 Tea Party leaders Tuesday in the first such meeting of two wings of the conservative movement that could be either vital partners or bitter rivals.
The meeting is part of a broader effort by national Republicans to reach out to Tea Party activists rather than risk their hand-picked candidates being run over by the movement.
“The chairman believes it extremely important to listen to this significant grassroots movement and work to find common ground in order to elect officials that will protect these principles,” RNC spokeswoman Katie Wright said.
But one Tea Party activist who traveled hundreds of miles to attend the meeting at RNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., said sparks could fly.
“Steele wants to try to co-opt us, but we’re coming to tell him he doesn’t get it. We want to return the Republican Party to its roots. We’re expecting some fireworks,” the activist said.
Tea Party supporters identify far more with the Republican platform than the Democratic Party’s, but they have not been shy about voicing their discontent with elected Republicans and running against the party’s favored candidates. They threw an upstate New York congressional race into disarray last fall when they backed a third-party candidate over Republican Dede Scozzafava, forcing her out of the race. Democrat Bill Owens won the special election.
Tea Party activists have since targeted multiple Republicans they don’t feel are conservative enough, such as Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Utah Sen. Bob Bennett.
There is no single Tea Party group or individual in charge of the activists, but the movement has been trying to become more organized and focused. Tea Party organizers from across the country attended a national convention two weeks ago in Nashville, where they discussed strategy for this year’s midterm elections.
Some Republican figures, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, view the movement as a major force in the upcoming elections that Republicans in some districts will have to court if they want to win.