PoliticsLiberalism: Do You Agree We've Had Enough of It?

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To: TimF who wrote (128906)4/4/2012 11:40:02 AM
From: TideGlider
2 Recommendations   of 210322
Obama's Supreme Court comments off the mark President Obama was wrong on several counts when he said that it would be 'unprecedented' for the court to overturn the 2010 healthcare law. But Justice Kennedy's view is too narrow.

Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2012

Borrowing a line from conservative critics of the judiciary, President Obama declared that the Supreme Court would be engaging in "judicial activism" if it threw out the 2010 healthcare reform law. Responding to a question at a news conference Monday, Obama said it would be "an unprecedented, extraordinary step" if the court overturned "a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." He added that such a move would be a good example of the lack of judicial restraint that conservative commentators have bemoaned for years.

There are several things wrong with the president's remark. For one thing, it's simply not true that it would be "unprecedented" for the court to overturn such a law. Since Marbury vs. Madison in 1803, the court has seen "judicial review" of laws as part of its responsibility, and over the years it has ruled many unconstitutional. That's entirely appropriate.

Furthermore, the implication of the remark was that the number of votes in favor of a bill was somehow relevant to its constitutionality. It's not. Otherwise, whichever party or point of view is in the majority would be free to tyrannize the minority.

That doesn't mean that the court can do as it pleases. For much of the past century, it has deferred to Congress' judgment about how to regulate commerce. On Tuesday, Obama noted those precedents and said that "the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this." And that's correct: The justices start every review from the presumption that the law in question is constitutional.

During oral arguments last week, however, JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy suggested that another burden would apply when considering the healthcare law's requirement that all adult Americans carry insurance. If the court found that the mandate was an unprecedented use of federal power to force people into a market they hadn't chosen to participate in, Kennedy asked, wouldn't the government face a "heavy burden" to show it was constitutional?

The administration has argued — correctly, we believe — that Kennedy's view is too narrow. The law regulates the healthcare market, which virtually everyone participates in, and not just health insurance. But if a majority of the justices frame the issue Kennedy's way, they could find that lawmakers had gone beyond the boundaries the court had previously set for Congress' power to regulate commerce.

There's a natural tension between the Supreme Court's role as the ultimate arbiter of a law's constitutionality and Congress' power to set policy through statute. It's appropriate for the court to tread carefully and with restraint as it reviews this landmark change in healthcare policy. But again, just because Democrats in Congress rallied behind it doesn't mean the court shouldn't ensure that the law complies with the Constitution.

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

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To: TideGlider who wrote (128783)4/4/2012 11:42:31 AM
From: Ann Corrigan
4 Recommendations   of 210322
"Obama's gov-centered society" is downright unamerican. Mitt's thank you speech was great last night.

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To: Ann Corrigan who wrote (128907)4/4/2012 11:45:40 AM
From: TideGlider
2 Recommendations   of 210322
ROFLMAO!! Somehow he simply won't understand that. lol

That's silly Ken - granted it is necessary to suspend logic in order to support Obama's lame policies.

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To: Kenneth E. Phillipps who wrote (128881)4/4/2012 11:48:11 AM
From: TimF
3 Recommendations   of 210322
Obamacare raises spending, thus repealing it would lower the deficit.


The Net Costs of “ObamaCare”
Thursday March 15th, 2012 • Posted by Craig Eyermann at 9:44am PDT

How much will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ObamaCare”) really cost over a 10 year long period?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, far more than the Obama administration has previously been willing to acknowledge. The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein reports:

President Obama’s national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.

We thought it might be interesting to put those values into the context of the best possible scenario of the annual U.S. government budget deficit for the years from 2012 through 2022, as represented by the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent extended baseline budget scenario.

(Note: What makes the CBO’s extended baseline budget scenario so optimistic is that is assumes that today’s politicians will follow current law to the letter and not act to prevent a number of popular tax cuts and massive spending cuts from happening and that other likely spending increases will not occur.)

Our results are graphically presented below:

In our chart, what find is that under this most optimistic scenario for federal tax collections and spending, the dominant driver of the budget deficit will be President Obama’s health care law, which would grow beginning in 2013 to account for anywhere from 50 to 72% of the budget deficit, and the corresponding increase in the U.S. national debt, in any given year.

That’s the optimistic view. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s Kyle Wingfield explains why the critics of Obamacare were right to point out the President’s flawed estimates for the cost of the program:

The only way in which Obamacare critics were wrong in our protests that the law would cost far more than advertised was that we underestimated the damage, by about $40 billion from 2014-2023 if the cost figure continues to grow at the minimum 6 percent annually CBO is now using. That would make it $2.04 trillion during those 10 years.

This is in part because, as Obamacare opponents explained at length at the time, congressional Democrats had rigged the score by beginning the tax increases before the spending kicked in. That made the 10-year figures both for the gross cost and the deficit “savings” look better than they would have if we considered 10 years of Obamacare fully implemented.

But it’s also because, as I’ve explained here recently, the estimates were faulty. Take three years in which there’s an overlap between the two estimates: 2017-2019. The new estimate for the total costs during that time span is now $147 billion, or 30 percent, higher than the original estimate just two years ago. The new estimate for “savings” has fallen by $314 billion, or 63 percent.

The result is that the effect on the federal budget from 2017-2019 has gone from a projected “savings” of $8 billion to an increased deficit of $453 billion.

And it’s only going to get worse in future years, if the new projections hold. That’s because they see the revenue portions holding steady while the expenses keep going up, up, up.

Oh — and this fiscal worsening is taking place while the projected increase in the number of people who are insured by 2019 thanks to Obamacare has fallen by 1 million.

If you’ve had any illusions that the spending needed to support “ObamaCare” was sustainable, the direct role of that spending program will have in jacking up the national debt throughout its miserable existence will hopefully help dispel them.


CBO’s Estimates of Obamacare, Revisited
James Capretta

March 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm


Some apologists for Obamacare are trying to tout recent analyses from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as confirming once again that the health law will cut projected future budget deficits.

But CBO’s recent analyses—including updated projections of the costs of the new entitlement spending in the so-called exchanges and some simulations on employer dumping scenarios—basically say nothing that wasn’t already said when the agency issued its original cost estimates for the law in March 2010.

It is certainly true that CBO projected in 2010 and again this month that the new law would, at least on paper, reduce the federal government’s budget deficit modestly over its first two decades. But that assessment has always rested on a series of omissions, gimmicks, double-counting of savings, and implausible assumptions that also have not changed since the law was enacted in 2010. When the imaginary “savings” is stripped out of the accounting, Obamacare is exposed as the epic budget buster that it is. That, too, hasn’t changed since March 2010.

The problems start with some “pay-fors” that were doomed from the get-go. Just after enactment, the ridiculous paperwork provision that was going to require all employers to report even the smallest contractual transactions to the IRS caused such an uproar that it was repealed, with scores of Democrats joining in the fun of repeal just months after voting to impose the requirement on businesses. Then the Administration pulled the plug on the ill-begotten CLASS Act, the voluntary long-term care program that hitched a ride on Obamacare because CBO said it would reduce the deficit by $70 billion over a decade. Right there, more than $70 billion of the supposed 10-year deficit reduction of $123 billion from the original cost estimate is already gone.

Next up is double-counting. The law relied heavily on cuts to the Medicare program to pay for the massive entitlement expansions in the legislation. But a large part of the Medicare cuts (and payroll tax increases) is also supposed to pay for future benefits out of the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund. In other words, the savings from the cuts and taxes is spent twice—once on Obamacare’s entitlements and then again to fill a hole in the trust fund so that future Medicare claims can be met. The end result is not deficit reduction, as Obamacare’s apologists claim, but a massive increase in deficit spending over the long term.

Then there are the scores of implausible assumptions. The Medicare cuts that are double-counted may not survive long anyway, because they are so indiscriminate and blunt that the chief actuary of the Medicare program has warned multiple times that they cannot be relied on. If they are implemented as written, they will cause severe access problems for seniors, as declining payment rates from Medicare will drive hospitals and other providers to stop taking elderly patients.

Further, even CBO admits that there is great uncertainty surrounding employer and worker responses to the massive entitlement promises in the law. According to CBO’s recent simulations on employer responses, a family of four with income at 200 percent of the poverty line in 2016 would get $11,300 more in government assistance for health care inside the exchanges than from employer-paid health care. That’s a huge amount of money for a family with $50,000 in annual income. And yet CBO’s original cost estimate showed very few of those people migrating form employer plans into the exchanges. In one of the scenarios CBO released last week, it estimates that the cost of the legislation would go up by $36 billion if just 20 percent of low-wage workers migrated into the exchanges from employer plans. But what if 40 percent, 60 percent, or 80 percent migrate? The costs of the legislation will balloon.

Finally, there are the omitted costs. CBO admits that a lot of the costs for administering Obamacare aren’t counted in the original cost estimate. There’s at least $5 billion to $10 billion in Health and Human Services (HHS) spending, and another $5 billion to $10 billion for the IRS. Just this year, HHS asked for an additional $850 million to pay for setting up a federal backup exchange in 2013. None of these costs are counted in the original cost estimate. Further, there’s the $300 billion in physician fees. The Administration scooped up every Medicare cut it could find to pay for Obamacare and then said it wanted to add new physician fee spending to the deficit without any offsets. But just because they tried to keep two sets of books doesn’t mean the deficit won’t go up. It will, as the combined effect of the “doc fix” and Obamacare is unquestionably an increase in the deficit.

Obamacare is the largest entitlement expansion in a generation. It will add tens of millions of Americans to government support programs, with trillions in new spending in coming years. The idea that this will somehow improve the long-term budget outlook has always struck commonsense Americans as a combination of wishful thinking and typical Washington misdirection. They are right.

And it only increases the deficit as "little" as it does because it raises taxes, but raising taxes is not something that can be done indefinitely. Using up some of the possible tax increases would be fiscally irresponsible even if the program actually slightly decreased deficits (and no analysis ever showed it decreasing deficits by a lot, your "Repeal of Obama Care would explode the national debt" idea would be a fantasy even if the poor analysis that showed that it would slightly decrease the deficit was correct.

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To: MJ who wrote (128865)4/4/2012 11:48:42 AM
From: lorne
7 Recommendations   of 210322
MJ...I think I am losing the ability to speak in a civil manor to liberal/communist types that post on these threads, I think the racial hatred of liberal /socialist promoting hatred on this thread was the final straw.

To try and talk in a civil manor to these types is a waste of time and I think it is only necessary to point out what they are. How anyone can knowingly vote away their own freedoms and that of future generations for some dangerous dictatorship is not something I will ever understand.

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To: longnshort who wrote (128888)4/4/2012 11:48:46 AM
From: Ann Corrigan
1 Recommendation   of 210322
O was playing to his base with threats to SCOTUS, in order to buffer the blow when Odoesn'tCare is declared unconstitutional. If he loses his hard core sheep he'd have even less chance of re-election.

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To: TideGlider who wrote (128910)4/4/2012 11:53:15 AM
From: Ann Corrigan
5 Recommendations   of 210322
Ken downloads every scintilla of lefty spin then regurgitates it here. The No ObamaCare will cost more is one of those inscrutable talking points. They have to bend themselves into all sorts of mental contortions in order to believe all that liberal gibberish.

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To: Ann Corrigan who wrote (128914)4/4/2012 11:53:59 AM
From: TideGlider
2 Recommendations   of 210322
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
President Thomas Jefferson Obama

John Marshall

I’m sending Villanova a letter, requesting a refund of my law school tuition.

Apparently, the scholarly gentleman they hired to teach me constitutional law back in 1985 was a total fraud.

He actually taught me that the Supreme Court had the right to strike down legislation it deemed to violate the supreme law of the land, even though they were unelected to that office.

I totally believed him, and based the rest of my legal career on that principle. Now, I find out it’s a myth, just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Who knew?

President Obama, that’s who. Earlier this week, our Legal Scholar-In-Chief made the following statement in support of his health care bill, and it sure sounded like a veiled threat to some in the legal community:

I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

There’s a big difference between a ‘duly constituted’ law, and a ‘constitutional law.’ And the whole idea about judicial activism involves courts usurping the power of the Legislature and ‘creating’ laws or rights as they did in Roe v. Wade. It’s not activist to strike down a law that is fatally flawed, no matter how much John and Janie Q. Public might like it.

There are two ways of looking at Obama’s comment, and neither flatters him. The first is that he was pandering to the leftists in his midst, playing politics with the court just as he did in the Citizens United case .

The second, more ominous possibility, is that Obama truly believes he and he alone is the final arbiter of constitutionality. Thomas Jefferson had the same kind of delusion when he attacked his cousin John Marshall’s ability to review the constitutionality of legislation, and the greatest Chief Justice who ever presided over the court smacked him down in a genteel but definitive way.



And the principle of judicial review was born.

At least, that’s what lawyers used to think. Now, given that President Obama (who must be smart because everyone tells us he is) has disabused us of that flawed constitutional notion, I’m starting a Facebook page demanding reimbursement from Villanova.

They have some explaining to do.

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To: lorne who wrote (128912)4/4/2012 11:55:16 AM
From: Farmboy
2 Recommendations   of 210322
I'm with you there lorne ....

I find my tolerance for fools and liars has decreased in direct proportion to the increased number of candles on each of my birthday cakes!

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To: Farmboy who wrote (128916)4/4/2012 12:03:16 PM
From: TideGlider
3 Recommendations   of 210322
Global small arms treaty | April 4, 2012
Welcome to the party, Pat; Buchanan goes pro-gun v. the U.N

Dave Workman
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan may be a little late to the party with his Wednesday article about the United Nations threat to American gun owners – a battle that Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb has been fighting for some time, as this column noted – but it appears he brought something to the table.

In today’s piece, appearing in New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press, Buchanan notes:

According to Sen. Rand Paul, the U.N. “Small Arms Treaty” will almost surely mandate tougher licensing requirements to own a gun, require the confiscation and destruction of unauthorized civilian firearms, call for a ban on the trade, sale and private ownership of semi-automatic weapons, and create an international gun registry.

<!-- BEGIN JS TAG - Examiner- In Article 300x250

He also reports, quoting the website, that “tax revenues from the sale of firearms and ammunition have gone up 48 percent since 2008.” That means more Amereicans are buying guns and ammunition.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s weekly Bullet Points newsletter:

The March 2012 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,189,152 is an increase of 20.0 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 990,840 in March 2011. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2012 NICS figure of 1,715,125 reflects a 19.3 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,437,709 in March 2011.

This marks the 22nd straight month that NSSF-adjusted NICS figures have increased when compared to the same period the previous year.

The adjusted NICS data were derived by subtracting out NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Kentucky, Iowa and Michigan for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provide a more accurate picture of current market conditions. In addition to other purposes, NICS is used to check transactions of firearms sales and transfers on new and used handguns and long guns.

Buchanan notes that America is “an armed camp, with the South and Midwest the most heavily armed.” Evidently, Buchanan doesn’t visit much along the Rocky Mountains or the great high prairie country between the Rockies and Cascades, especially during hunting season. You want to talk about armed camps, we’ll show Buchanan more firepower than an ATF gun trafficking operation, and these guns stay right here in the United States.

Note to Washington Ceasefire: All these guns you don’t want us to have; we’ve already got them. The Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Second Amendment Foundation (both of which just kicked your butt on state preemption, as this column noted) will make sure we keep them.

The other day, a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported huge business for Alliant Tech Systems, which owns Federal Cartridge.

For the last few years, commercial ammunition has been Alliant's fastest-growing business, fueled in part by Americans' increased concern over their safety and fears that stricter gun control laws could be ahead, company officials say…

…FBI background checks on gun buyers -- a key barometer of civilian firearm and ammunition sales -- have grown dramatically since 2008. So have federal excise tax collections on guns and ammo, up 45 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the Treasury Department.

Background checks through the end of February rose 12 percent from last year, according to figures from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

At this point, it might be prudent to ask why American citizens are stockpiling guns and ammunition. Universally, there appears to be widespread concern that if Barack Obama is re-elected to another term, gun rights in this country are in serious jeopardy. Obama could appoint possibly two or three more Supreme Court justices, and if they are anything like the last two he named to the high court, those public fears might be recognized.

To those who sneer that Obama has really done nothing to threaten gun rights in this country, one merely has to point a finger at Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to end the conversation. The next time Obama opens up about an “unelected group of people who would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” he can be reminded that his two anti-gun appointees belong to that group and nobody elected them, either, and they seem inclined to overturn the Second Amendment.

And then one must look at the eyebrow-raising revelation the other day from ATK:

ATK announced that it is being awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS, ICE) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract features a base of 12 months, includes four option years, and will have a maximum volume of 450 million rounds.

ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet, which has proven itself in the field. The special hollow point effectively passes through a variety of barriers and holds its jacket in the toughest conditions. HST is engineered for 100-percent weight retention, limits collateral damage, and avoids over-penetration.

That’s one hell of a lot of ammunition, and the announcement certainly brought out some tinfoil hats. However, even more level heads looked at that ammo figure and wondered why DHS and ICE could possibly need that much ammunition.

Hey, maybe the ATF is sending some of it to Mexico.

Buchanan wraps up his column explaining that it is “our business” and not the United Nations’ business who owns guns, how many and what kind. This column would also suggest that it is none of our government’s business, either.

For many years, gun prohibitionists in this country have maintained otherwise; that it should be “the government’s business” how many guns there are in this country, and who owns them.

There’s an easy solution to this dilemma. If the Obama administration really wants to know how many gun owners there are in this country, go ahead and sign this global small arms treaty (which, of course, will never be ratified by the Senate if it comes anywhere near the Second Amendment), and come election day, you’ll see all of them

Continue reading on Welcome to the party, Pat; Buchanan goes pro-gun v. the U.N. - Seattle gun rights |

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