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Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

What an amazing package is the Congressman from Wisconsin’s 1st District. Paul Ryan not only is a master of detail, he gets the Big Picture, too. Although he’s one of the sharpest minds on the Hill, he explains things so clearly that even those of us who don’t know the difference between a 401k and a 401(c)3 can understand. He’s as serious as death about the economic trainwreck we’re heading toward — yet radiates the optimism of the little engine that could.

Paul Ryan, unlike so many in Washington, is a grown-up. What’s more, he has enough respect for his fellow citizens to treat us as grown-ups, too: of course we’ll be wanting all the facts, however unpleasant they may be; of course we want to face our problems and deal with them intelligently.

Here he is in action. It would be a brilliant performance from anybody else — but for Paul Ryan, it’s just a brief interlude in another day’s work.

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Many conservatives have been deeply disappointed by House Speaker John Boehner’s spending compromise late in the night of April 8 with Sen. Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. But, as Michael Barone points out in his piece for the Washington Examiner, the deal ain’t all bad:

Speaker John Boehner was criticized by some on the right for not pressing for deeper and more permanent cuts in spending than the $38 billion he claimed. But the deal nonetheless passed both houses by wide margins, and it contains some details that threaten to undermine the policies of the Obama Democrats in the future.

Most important, it requires the General Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the waivers from the Democrats’ health care bill that are being issued in large numbers by the secretary of Health and Human Services Department.

This will raise an uncomfortable question. If Obamacare is so great, why are so many trying to get out from under it? And, more specifically, why are so many Democratic groups trying to get out from under it?

The fact is that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted more than 1,000 waivers from Obamacare. Many have been granted to labor unions. Some have been granted to giant corporations like McDonald’s. One was granted to the entire state of Maine.

By what criteria is this relief being granted? That’s unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to call the Obama regime "gangster government" -- and has led the way in exposing and fighting against Obamacare.

If so, what we’re looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.

The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to.

And there will be an audit of the comparative effectiveness bureaucracy established in the 2009 stimulus package. Comparative effectiveness is supposedly an objective study of which medical techniques are most effective. But anyone who looks closely finds that the experts are constantly changing their minds, which suggests that this is more alchemy than science — and maybe political favoritism as well.

Not to mention that those “experts” — unelected Obama/Sebelius appointees unconfirmed by Congress and unaccountable to us citizens — will be tasked with cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare expenditures. Meaning: Bye-bye, grandma, take two Tylenols and shove off.

The audits that are mandated in the Boehner compromise could prove to be a very powerful weapon for us in the battle to take down Obamacare.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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It’s getting hard to keep count of how many times Barack Obama has violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

From Weasel Zippers: [emphasis added]

Let me get this straight, he strikes a deal, then turns around and issues a signing statement that he won’t abide by the section defunding his czars? Shame on you Boehner for trying to come to agreement with this thug.

President Obama signed into law on Friday the hard-fought legislation to fund government and keep it running through the end of September.

The president signed the legislation based on the deal he negotiated last week with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that cuts nearly $40 billion from the government through the end of this fiscal years and advances several policy goals.

But Obama took the key step of issuing a signing statement, a declaration of constitutional interpretation by a president of legislation he or she might sign into law. It essentially notified lawmakers that he would not abide by the section of the law defunding the establishment of so-called “czars.”

Obama has employed a good number of these informal policy advisers who aren’t subject to Senate confirmation, drawing the ire of congressional Republicans and prompting them to include in their spending bill a provision barring the use of federal funds for czars.

Once again, when something doesn’t go the way Obama likes, he simply does an end run around it. He’s above the law, don’t you see?

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…and death panels are ghoulish. I have always said Barack Obama is a monster. If you can think of a more charitable term, go ahead and post it in the comments. For me, “monster” is cutting him a lot of slack.

From Erick Erickson at RedState:

While everyone else was focused on Barack Obama bashing Paul Ryan, I noticed that he took full ownership of death panels yesterday [in his speech on the budget]. Naturally, Obama did not call them death panels. He called them “an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers.” But his description hits dead on with what his death panels will do.

According to Barack Obama yesterday, the death panels “will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”

We already know what they’ll recommend as “the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending”. Barack Obama’s own advisers have told us. They will prioritize giving health care to healthier people and let sicker people die. At end of life, they will deny people life sustaining treatment because, after all, they’re going to die anyway. Note his phrasing: “protecting access to the services seniors need.” Dying people, according to Obama’s advisers, need hospice not hope. They certainly do not need expensive treatments that may buy them time to see the birth of a new grandchild or other reasons.

“We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. . . . If we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare,” Obama said. At a time Democrats are saying Republicans want to starve old people to death, Democrats are intent on embracing a cost savings model for Medicare that incentivizes doctors to encourage people to die and, when all else fails, gives a death panel “the authority to make additional savings by” ensuring the dying elderly die quickly.

“Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself,” Obama said. Really? The only way that will happen is by rationing. You may not like the use of the phrase “death panel,” but make no mistake about it — at the end of your life, in Barack Obama’s America, his death panel will throw you under the bus in a way much closer to reality than metaphor.

Can anyone say they’re surprised? Obama is, after all, a man who eagerly throws newborn babies under the bus. The man is pitiless. But unbelievably — even for him — he had the damn gall to accuse Republicans of leaving Down syndrome children out in the cold! Barack Obama prefers to leave them in hospital dirty-linen closets to die of exposure, suffocation and dehydration. Obama’s “Science Czar,” John Holdren, would have every one of those babies killed, if he had his way, along with millions of other “surplus” babies who are cluttering up the planet — even if the government has to force women to have abortions against their will, as in China.

But again, who’s surprised? Obama and his closest buddies — Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Anita Dunn — are all admirers of Mao Tse-Tung, who killed 40,000,000 human beings. Life is cheap with this crowd.

Resist, resist, resist.

In the words of the Manhattan Declaration of Christian Conscience (which I have signed, and I hope you have, too), “Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good,… We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”

Obamao, you’ve been put on notice.

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From Michael A. Walsh, at the New York Post:

Lost in the reaction to Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” budget resolution — which seeks to reform “entitlements,” abolish ObamaCare, retire the national debt and put the country again on a sound financial footing — is the plan’s moral underpinning. Simply put, Ryan is asking Americans to grow up, stop whining and take back control of their destinies from the nanny state.

Finally, somebody has started an adult conversation in Washington.

“Our debt problem is not just a fiscal challenge involving dollars and cents,” the Wisconsin congressman said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, as he was formulating his plan. “It’s a moral challenge involving questions of principle and purpose . . . A government that would solve problems without limit must necessarily have power without limit to do it.”

Democrats have been quick to grasp the moral — and mortal — challenge Ryan’s “roadmap” poses to their New Deal/Great Society conception of government. On cue came a circus parade of sound-bite donkeys, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, each braying that Ryan’s proposals are “extreme” and the cuts “draconian” and that, naturally, the GOP wants to kill the elderly, children, women and minorities.

Restructuring the tax code, fixing Medicare and Medicaid to ensure their solvency, cutting corporate welfare, jettisoning the “green jobs” bedtime story — all these reforms strike at the heart of the cozy Washington establishment protected for decades by a national media obsessed with the chimera of “bipartisanship.”

This largely imaginary concept, which posits that no differences between the political parties are too big to be papered over, has fueled much of our national discontent over the last two decades. It has resulted in one half-measure (minuscule cuts in “discretionary spending”) or half-baked notion (Bush’s No Child Left Behind act, prescription drugs for seniors) after another being forced upon the body politic. And it has put us where we are today.

Some commentators on the left have gotten the message.

“If the GOP gets behind his proposals in a serious way, it will become for the first time in modern memory an intellectually serious party — one with a coherent vision to match its rhetoric of limited government,” wrote Jacob Weisberg in Slate. “Democrats are within their rights to point out the negative effects of Ryan’s proposed cuts on future retirees, working families and the poor . . . but the ball is now in their court.”

Which brings us back to the moral issues. What, if anything, do we owe “future retirees” that those retirees ought not to have provided for themselves? What, if anything, does society owe “working families” in a functioning capitalist system? What, if anything, does society owe “the poor” that charity cannot provide and that, in any case, ought to be voluntarily offered instead of coerced?

And what does any of this have to do with a federal government of limited enumerated powers?

These things can and should be vigorously debated; they aren’t issues that were permanently settled in 1936 or 1965. If we can no longer afford a vast welfare state (and the evidence is that we can’t), then what is the “moral” response — not to real or imagined needs but to lack of means?

The answer won’t be pleasant for some. “Morality” doesn’t simply dictate that the nation’s productive taxpayers allow themselves to be bled dry in the name of some vague notion of “fairness” or, worse, “economic justice.”

Rather, morality must apply universally, not just to so-called protected classes. Indeed, the notion of “protected classes” is something that should be seen for what it is — fundamentally un-American — and dispensed with. Either we are all in this together or we really have become “two Americas” — the givers and the takers.

President Obama’s infinite budgetary horizon of trillion-dollar deficits needs to be called what it is — electoral bribery — and stopped. There’s nothing humane about a system whose unspoken purpose is to keep people dependent, resentful and impoverished.

Is Ryan’s plan perfect? Of course not. But the perfect should never be the enemy of the good, especially when the system is failing the country so signally. Ryan’s plan is groundbreaking not for its number-crunching but for changing the subject from process to principles, which is where the next election needs to be fought.

If the Republicans are to have any chance against the billion-dollar Obama campaign gearing up to crush them next year, they’d better wise up — fast.

Paul Ryan and Allen West have had very different careers — but it sure sounds to me like they’re on the same wavelength. Both of them are all about restoring limited, Constitutional government; and both of them are genuine, principled leaders who believe in being honest with the American people about the challenges we face.

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Good golly, Miss Molly, some days I wake up and I still can’t believe my fellow Americans elected this creep to the White House:

President Obama said Tuesday he would not sign a budget agreement to keep the government running that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There can be some negotiation about composition,” Obama told reporters…. “What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion, to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties.”

Well, Barry, I heartily agree that the government shouldn’t be shut down over disagreements about Planned Parenthood and the EPA.  So get the hell out of the way and quit obstructing the budget cuts that the majority of the American people want!

Riders included in the House budget bill would, among other things, defund Planned Parenthood and remove the EPA’s authority to regulate “greenhouse gases” blamed for climate change.

Let’s be clear, Barry. The plain fact is you’d rather shut down the government than allow We the People and our Congress to defund an organization that was founded by a eugenics fanatic, targets black babies for destruction, breaks the law, and aids and abets child molesters. And you’d rather shut down the U.S. government than lose your ability to use the EPA to destroy what’s left of the U.S. economy all for the sake of some mythical theory whose top proponents were caught red-handed committing gross scientific fraud.

“What we can’t do is have a my-way-or-the-highway approach to this problem,” Obama said.

Well, look who’s talking! That’s rich. Just rich.

“If you’re a small business right now and you’re counting on a small business loan, it may make a difference in whether or not you can keep that business going. And you find out you can’t process it for three or four weeks, or five weeks or six weeks, because of some bickering in Washington? What does that say about our priorities? It doesn’t make sense.”

Damn right it doesn’t make sense…  that our president is willing to hold every small business, every family, in America hostage — for the sake of his beloved baby-killers at Planned Parenthood and his beloved economy-killers at the EPA.

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Readers, I feel like just having fun today — and invite you to come along for the ride! Nothing is better than just letting Allen West speak for himself, so here is his latest weekly update, which I’m posting it in its entirety, with comments and links by me in brackets, and anything boldface is mine, not Rep. West’s.  Enjoy!

Dear Patriot,

Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans who shall read this missive. Another week has flown by and what an eventful one!

Before I begin, let me say one simple thing. The most important civil liberty of an American is their life. As a matter of fact, it is the first inalienable right addressed in the Declaration of Independence.

This week, we had a vote to extend three provisions within the PATRIOT Act; Library Provision, Roving Wiretap, and Lone Wolf. I voted YES for these extensions and many of you called me a traitor and felt that I had turned my back on your 1st and 4th Constitutional rights.

A law abiding United States citizen has nothing to fear from me and my vote. However, I shall NOT ALLOW the enemies of our State to find gaps in which they will exploit our misplaced benevolence. There is a simple reason why radical Islamic terrorists and their supporters are successful in infiltrating Western nations. They take our founding premise of liberty and turn it against us. I say, NOT ON MY WATCH.
[If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you already know that the most important report thing for every American to read is the Center for Security Policy’s report Shariah: The Threat to America, which shows how the infiltrators do it, and names names.]

I can assure you that I will not allow this enemy any quarter, and shall uphold my commitment to our Constitution and all of you.

Now, onto one of the most eventful weeks in my life.

The week began with meetings with several local political and business leaders and impact players. The best part of the day was being invited to the Pinecrest School in Ft. Lauderdale and addressing the 5th grade class. When you stand before these young boys and girls, it energizes you and steels your resolve to fight for their future.

To those who are going to whine and complain about the $100B in federal spending we want to cut….go speak to a 5th grade class. I shall not burden them with the debt we have amassed. One 5th grader, Madison Hawthorne wrote me the most lovely note!

I also had the chance to address the Seniors at the school and their questions centered on the events in Egypt and the economic situation. They get it and recognize the seriousness of the domestic and foreign policy positions in which we find ourselves. These are our future leaders. I am committed to visit as many High School Senior classes in our district as possible.
[For those of you who don’t know, after West retired from the Army, he was a high-school history teacher, because he wanted to serve the next generation. During his active-duty years, he was also a college ROTC instructor for a time, and received awards for his excellence in teaching.]

Monday was also a big event in my life, as I turned 50 years of age. And no, there is no mid-life crisis! I did have a surprise birthday party that evening!

I flew back to DC early Tuesday, with many South Florida constituents, including local Mayors, on the plane. First on my agenda once I got back in the office, was a meeting with the incredible Brigitte Gabriel, President and CEO of ACT! for America. This woman is fully charged and focused and determined to secure the safety of her country. [Find out more at http://www.actforamerica.org/]

I had the chance to spend time with constituents at the showing of the film “Iranium” and was able to see one of my foreign policy heroes, Mr. Michael Ledeen. [You can watch “Iranium” online or purchase the DVD by clicking on the “Iranium” widget in this blog’s right-hand sidebar.] I then went to the Florida League of Cities reception and met the local Mayors before we had our Wednesday meeting. Another fantastic meeting was with former Presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, who is President of American Values.  [More info at http://www.ouramericanvalues.org/]

Our Congressional office was honored to host the Head Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Ms. Karen Mills. She and I had a great discussion about reducing the regulatory burden on our small businesses and setting the conditions for their growth. I also was successful in having her agree to come down to CD-22 and visit our local economic engine, the South Florida business community.

We wrapped up Tuesday evening at the National Press Club where we participated in a Tea Party town hall meeting. It was an incredible, interactive event which reached over 2.5M people online. Watch it here. I was honored to share the stage with several US Senators and my House colleagues Steve King and Michele Bachmann. It is always great to have the chance to share perspectives and thoughts with the people whom we are elected to serve.

Due to the lateness of the hour, my Chief of Staff and I decided to hit our favorite Chinese food joint and while I was there in line, he received an incredible call. It was from the organizers at CPAC who asked me to be their keynote speaker. What an honor!

Wednesday got off to a great Army start when the Army Liaison hosted an Army Day in the lower Rayburn Building parking lot. The best part was the range being open and I got to fire two clips of 9mm, after my opening warning shot, we were dead center tight shot group.  [Allen West has got our back!] It was there that young Army SGT Jason Aubin asked me if he could attend CPAC, and I said absolutely.

I decided to introduce that young hero to the gathering later in the week, which is no violation of the Hatch Act because it was not a political campaign event. How dare any liberals attack an American Soldier who has fought to guarantee their freedoms. It was my honor to have that young man walk on stage with me.

We had our GOP Conference meeting and as you know this past week we made the decision to honor the pledge of cutting spending by $100B. The pundits and the liberals are already decrying this and seeking means to make this effort unnecessary and accuse the GOP of promoting a government shutdown.

Let’s have an honest conversation, should we do nothing? Should we allow former Speaker Nancy Pelosi back in charge and again see a $5T increase in the debt, which occurred over her four years as Speaker? When will anyone look the House and Senate Democrats in the eye, as well as the President, and let them know we have to enact this massive undertaking because of their FAILURES!

We have a spending problem in Washington D.C. and the typical liberal tactic of fear mongering and class warfare diatribe, no longer holds any credibility in America. America was never intended to be a bureaucratic nanny-state and we are going to begin turning this ship around. As for this Conservative Congressman, the message is clear. The liberals had their shot and they threw dirt on the car that was run into the ditch.

We are going to build a new car!

[Touché!  Way to take Obama’s car-in-the-ditch metaphor and turn it against him! LOL!]

Wednesday is always the heavy day with committee and subcommittee meetings and even with all that was going on we were able to make all required meetings.

Wednesday evening, I was invited to the annual Weyrich Awards dinner and it was a Who’s Who in the conservative movement. I had the distinct privilege of giving one of three five minute speeches from new freshmen. My message was simple and titled , ‘What Makes a Winner in America.’

Thursday was the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and you could feel an energy in Washington DC. Hat tip to all those who came over and visited our Congressional office.

The morning started with a House GOP Freshman class meeting where we made it clear that the pledge stated $100B and that was what we supported.

I gave my first one minute speech on the House floor that day in support of H.R. 72 which seeks to reduce the regulatory burden coming from the federal government agencies. [This small-business owner thanks you, Rep. West!] It was also the day that our House GOP leadership committed to the $100B in spending cuts. Yes, there is pain involved, but the longer we will go along deceiving ourselves, the pain will only increase.

It was later that day when we had two meetings, one with Speaker John Boehner, and the other with Armed Services Commiteee members, that set our clear path for confronting the Continuing Resolution. My position is that across the board would not suffice, we have to make the hard decisions and go into each specific program and create a line by line justification. I am quite sure at our next series of town hall meetings we will make this a topic of discussion.

Thursday evening, I attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation reception at PepsiCo. I was excited to meet the President of the Foundation and other prominent individuals.

Friday morning kicked off with an Awards breakfast where I and several other Freshmen Iraq veterans were honored for our past, present, and future service by the CEO of American Defense Systems, Inc. Afterwards, I proceeded to another of the many Armed Services classified briefings, focusing on the Middle East. After the meeting, I had a chance to drop by the U.S. Special Operations Command display where I thanked our most highly trained warriors for their service. I also got to see some of the new tactics techniques and deployment platforms being used by our SpecOps.

I then went back for an Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the cyber threat and the Department of Defense’s role. This was a highly informative meeting and we had best get our act together in this critical aspect of the 21st century battlefield. My afternoon was spent with more meetings but they were good ones with a local flair.

I had an energized meeting with the new Co-Chair of the Republican Party, Sharon Day, who is also a constituent.  [How cool is that?!] We talked about messaging, focus, and political strategy as we move forward in 2011.

I wrapped up Friday by developing my first draft of the CPAC speech and sent it to my two closest confidants, my Chief of Staff Jonathan Blyth and Joyce Kaufman….based upon their review and insights, I knew we would have a winner.

Saturday morning, I arose at 7:00 am and had a nice 8 mile run through DC and around the entire Washington Mall. [8 miles, woohoo! You’re an inspiration, Rep. West!] Running along the symbols of America’s national character just gives you a certain sense of what it means to be a citizen of this great Country. It also provides me the clear opportunity to visualize the coming event, the CPAC keynote speech. I got back to the “Batcave”, made some written notes for the speech, washed clothes, showered, dressed, and headed to the office.

I made my final changes to the speech, did three read throughs, and at 2:00 pm we departed for CPAC. I attended my first CPAC in 2008 and walked through the conference trying to get anyone to recognize me and our Congressional race . In 2009, I did not attend CPAC and in 2010, I was given the final 15 minute speech slot before the keynote which was Glenn Beck. Now, here I was, a brand new United States Representative about to deliver the closing speech to the largest gathering of Conservatives in America.
[That 15-minute speech in 2010 was one of his best — but that was also the weekend he gave the incredible 20-minute speech at Pam Geller’s “Jihad: The Political Third Rail” conference. Click on the links if you haven’t seen them yet!]

The response to my walking the halls was completely different from 2008 and 2010. The Palm Beach Post followed me around along with the Washington bureau of the Sun-Sentinel. We did several interviews, to include Geraldo Riviera, and we hit ABC News, Fox, PJTV, Newsmax, and Bloggers row (now that was a blast, an impromptu press session). [You can watch that session on yesterday’s blog post here.] At 5:00 pm, we headed to the “green room” and sat awaiting our turn, kind of like the Gladiator awaiting to enter the arena, as you hear the cheers and roar of the crowd. Then came the moment, Congressman West, we are ready. You say that final prayer, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee o Lord my God.” You stand there at the end of the stairs and listen to outgoing American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene introduce you……and then he says your name and looks over. The first step is always the hardest, then you look upon a crowd of 3,000…game on.

And the rest is history and recorded on You Tube. Click CPAC

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen

God has been so merciful to us, to give us this man, at this time, in this country. Godspeed, Allen West!

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