Category Archives: Constitution In Focus
March 24, 2010
It’s more grist for David Neiwert’s mill. “Authorities in Wichita and some other cities across the country are investigating vandalism against Democratic offices, apparently in response to health care reform,” reports The Kansas City Star. “And on Monday, a former Alabama militia leader took credit for instigating the actions.”
|This photo of a “three precent” rock appears on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. Three precent is a reference to the percentage of Americans who actively patricipated in the Revolutionary War.|
“As David Neiwert’s been pointing out for a while, right-wing extremist fury is only growing now that we have a black Democrat in the White House. Now that the health-care bill has actually passed, and the right wing has bought the hysteria that this is an “assault on liberty,” expect this — and worse,” writes Susie Madrak for the lib blog, Crooks and Liars.
Neiwert is the poster child for the Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups that work with the Department of Homeland Security to demonize folks who think it is a good idea to follow the Constitution. He writes for the corporate media, including the CIA’s favorite newspaper, The Washington Post, and has made a cottage industry out demonizing patriots. For his diligence, Neiwert received a National Press Club award, a prized trophy for faithful members of the corporate media.
“Mike Vanderboegh, of Pinson, Ala., former head of the Alabama Constitutional Militia, put out a call on Friday for modern ‘Sons of Liberty’ to break the windows of Democratic Party offices nationwide in opposition to health care reform. Since then, vandals have struck several offices, including the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita,” The Kansas City Star continues. The brick had had “some anti-Obama rhetoric” written on it, according to a Dem party functionary.
“We can break their windows,” Vanderboegh declared, according to Gather. “Break them NOW. And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democrat party headquarters across this country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary.”
The call for vandalism appeared on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog on Friday, March 19. The Sipsey Street Irregulars blog appears to be operated by Mike Vanderboegh.
“These windows are not far away from where you are reading this right now,” the blog explains. “In virtually every city and county in this land, there is a local headquarters of Pelosi’s party — the Democrat party. These headquarters invariably have windows. When the Sons of Liberty wanted to express their opposition to the actions of the King’s ministers, they would gather in front of the homes and offices of his tax-collectors and government officials in Boston or New York and break their windows. Glass was expensive. The King’s minions were often the most well-to-do. The Sons of Liberty hit them in their pocketbooks.
The original Sons of Liberty was a secret organization of American patriots prior to the Revolutionary War. British authorities and the Loyalists considered the Sons of Liberty seditious rebels. Patriots attacked the apparatus and symbols of British authority and power such as property of the gentry, customs officers, East India Company tea, and as the war approached, vocal supporters of the Crown.
Vanderboegh’s act will not inspire a modern three percent to take action against the federal government. It will, however, provide plenty of ammo for the likes of David Neiwert, Chris Matthews, nearly the entire line-up at MSNBC, Bill O’Reilly (who specializes in demonizing the Oath Keepers), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and hundreds of Borg hive Democrats who have hysterically warned now for months that “militias” (as defined by the SPLC) and rightwing racist extremists (as defined by the DHS and the MIAC report) who hate Obama because of his skin color are about to start burning down government buildings and killing bureaucrats.
Mike Vanderboegh’s comments are a gift to the Department of Homeland Security and the SPLC. His call for vandalism feeds right into the propaganda cycle and follows on the heels of supposed Tea Party activists — as likely agents provocateurs — who hurled racist epithets at African American members of Congress last weekend.
As should be expected the Southern Poverty Law Center was all over the incident in short order. The fear-mongering organization posted the news of their “Hatewatch” page.
Not surprisingly, Democrats have attempted to link this bad behavior to Republicans who stood in opposition to Obamacare. “The Republican Party needs to distance themselves from this kind of behavior,” Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, said in a video produced by a Latino Facebook group. “I am calling upon Mr. Speaker that the Republicans who have supported this movement come out and condemn this Tea Party. It is unacceptable.”
Breaking windows will not put an end to Obamacare. It will provide plenty of ammo for statist propagandists who are now gearing up to shout down and intimidate the opposition.
March 24, 2010
|The decision by Congress to socialize medicine in the US ranks among the most draconian, most egregious, most horrific actions ever taken by the central government in Washington, D.C.|
Passage of the so-called “health care reform” bill in the House of Representatives this past Sunday, March 21 (I won’t even address the inferred unconstitutionality of Congress doing business on the Lord’s Day. See Article. I. Section. 7. Paragraph. 2.) drove yet another stake into the heart of America. For all intents and purposes, it is the health of the United States that is in dire need of healing. In fact, the US has been on extended life-support for decades. With its condition being rendered critical, and absent major surgery, its days are numbered. The passage of this bill only serves to further weaken an already frail Constitution. In
fact, this one may prove to be the fatal blow. Lady Liberty may never recover.
The decision by Congress to socialize medicine in the US ranks among the most draconian, most egregious, most horrific actions ever taken by the central government in Washington, D.C. This bill rocks the principles of liberty and constitutional government to the core. It changes fundamental foundations; it repudiates historical principle. Oh! The same flag may fly on our flagpoles, the same monuments may grace our landscape, and the same National Anthem may be sung during our public ceremonies, but it is not the same America. The Congress of the United States has now officially turned America into a socialist state.
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the health care bill into law, and as such, this date–along with March 21–joins a list of dates that have each inflicted unconstitutional, socialistic, and sometimes even tyrannical action against the States United and have, therefore, contributed to the destruction of a free America.
April 9, 1865
This is the date when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Regardless of where one comes down on the subject of the Civil War, one fact is undeniable: Abraham Lincoln forever destroyed the Jeffersonian model of federalism in America. Ever since, virtually every battle that free men have fought for the principles of limited government, State sovereignty, etc., have all stemmed directly from Lincoln’s usurpation of power, which resulted in the subjugation and forced union of what used to be “Free and Independent States” (the Declaration of Independence). In fact, the philosophical battles being waged today regarding the recent health care debacle (and every other encroachment upon liberty and State power by the central government) have their roots in Lincoln’s tyranny.
March 23, 2010
Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration told Congress on Tuesday he wants U.S. airport security to more closely resemble security at Israeli airports, according to CNN. “We should move even closer to an Israeli model where there’s more engagement with passengers,” Robert Harding told members of the Senate Commerce Committee.
The Israelis are notorious for racial profiling Arabs at their airports. Is that what Harding is suggesting we do in the United States?
Arab Labor MK, Nadia Hilou, and countless others have accused the Israelis of employing humiliation techniques against Arabs. After prominent Israeli Arabs complained about abusive treatment at airports, Shin Bet announced that the procedures would change.
Of course, here in America, where Arabs are few and far between and Arab terrorism is not really an issue, individuals likely to be singled out will be supporters of “rightwing extremists” like Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin. In fact, this has already happened.
TSA notorious for Gestapo interrogation
In 2009, Steve Bierfeldt, director of development for Campaign for Liberty, was detained by the TSA and subjected to the sort of “additional screening” the Israelis put Arabs through. Bierfeldt was carrying Campaign for Liberty bumper stickers and other campaign literature. He was interrogated by TSA screeners and airport police at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for nearly a half-hour before being allowed on his flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
The Department of Homeland Security has characterized constitutionalists and patriots as potential terrorists. The Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report specifically described supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructed the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.
Mr. Bierfeldt recorded the interrogation on his iPhone. On the recording, Bierfeldt is repeatedly asked where he works, where he obtained $4,700 he was carrying, and why he was in St. Louis.
Bierfeldt asked whether he was required by law to answer the questions. “You want to play smartass, and I’m not going to play your f–ing game,” a TSA official told him.
On June 18, 2009, the ACLU filed a complaint on behalf of Bierfeldt, charging that TSA is subjecting innocent Americans to unreasonable searches and detentions in violation of the Constitution.
“Eight days before the government’s response was due in our case, TSA issued a new policy directive making clear that its safety screening procedures would be strictly limited to passenger searches for the purpose of safeguarding flight safety,” Bierfeldt wrote on November 10, 2009. “In combination with other directives issued in the wake of our lawsuit, TSA’s policy now makes clear that passengers should not experience the kind of suspicionless detention and questioning I had been subjected to.”
TSA nominee former Pentagon spook
As reported by Infowars earlier this month, Obama’s choice to head up the TSA is a former Army general who was responsible for the planning and execution of the Army’s intelligence programs.
From 1997 to until 2000, as the Director of Operations at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Robert Harding acted as the Department of Defense’s senior Human Intelligence officer.
Prior to working at the DIA, Harding served as the J2, Intelligence Directorate, United States Southern Command, under generals Barry McCaffrey and Wes Clark as their intelligence chief.
He also directed intelligence with the Joint Interagency Task Force in the so-called War on Drugs.
Between 2003 and 2009, Harding was a government consultant on human intelligence and counterintelligence issues.
Pentagon engaged in surveillance of Americans for decades
In 2005, Walter Pincus, writing for the Washington Post, reported that the Defense Department had expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities since 9/11.
“The Pentagon has pushed legislation on Capitol Hill that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence,” Pincus wrote.
“We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview.
Of course, this pervasive snooping is nothing new. In fact, the Pentagon has been in the business of spying on Americans for decades. Cable Splicer and Operation Garden Plot were designed specifically to spy on Americans.
In 1971, Senator Sam Ervin (D-North Carolina), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, held hearings about allegations of Army spying on U.S. civilians. The hearings revealed that the Army had kept records on hundreds of thousands of American citizens connected with the antiwar movement and that such activities were part of Operation Garden Plot. The Subcommittee also found that the Army had trained civilian law enforcement workers in simulated battles against rioters and large groups of protesters. It also found that Army units went on alert in May 1970 for possible response to campus demonstrations in the wake of the Kent State shootings. (See my CIFA: Pentagon’s COINTELPRO.)
Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon established the Northern Command, or Northcom, in Colorado Springs, ostensibly to provide military forces to help in reacting to “terrorist threats in the continental United States” (as noted above, the supposed terrorists are primarily American citizens exercising their right to petition the government under the First Amendment).
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity was “increasingly required to perform domestic missions,” and this resulted in “increased instances whereby Marine intelligence activities [expected to] come across information regarding U.S. persons.”
CIFA and TALON
The Pentagon, with the blessing of the neocon controlled Bush administration, created an outfit dubbed Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA. CIFA was empowered to investigate crimes such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage and economic espionage.
In short order, the CIFA director formed a Counterintelligence and Law Enforcement Center “to provide continuous situational awareness of ongoing DoD counterintelligence and law enforcement activities throughout the world.”
CIFA relied on private contractors, including QinetiQ, a British-owned defense and intelligence firm based in McClean, Virginia.
In addition, the Pentagon created TALON, or Threat and Local Observation Notice, a sprawling database that contained “raw, non-validated” reports of “anomalous activities” within the United States, according to Brian McWilliams.
CIFA was “created by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld after the September 11 attacks [and] illegally conducted broad domestic operations that targeted antiwar and other dissident domestic groups,” writes Tom Burghardt.
In 2008, after a spate of bad press, it was announced that CIFA would be shuttered. “The Pentagon is expected to shut a controversial intelligence office that has drawn fire from lawmakers and civil liberties groups who charge that it was part of an effort by the Defense Department to expand into domestic spying,” the New York Times reported.
CIFA, however, was too valuable to disappear. “The Pentagon’s senior intelligence official, James R. Clapper, has recommended to Mr. Gates that the counterintelligence field office be dismantled and that some of its operations be placed under the authority of the Defense Intelligence Agency,” Mark Mazzetti wrote on April 2, 2008. “It is unclear whether Mr. Clapper is also recommending tighter restrictions on Pentagon counterterrorism and counterespionage operations in the United States.”
As Burghardt notes, CIFA and the TALON database were likely outsourced to a number of private contractors associated with the operation. The “Pentagon ‘outsourcing’ of intelligence operations to corporations provide yet another layer of ‘plausible deniability’ to the DoD as it wages the administration’s odious ‘war on terror’ against the American people.”
Transforming TSA into a military intelligence operation
The Pentagon’s long track record of spying on the American people for their political beliefs should figure in Robert Harding’s confirmation process. He was, after all, a major player in military intelligence. Of course, his relationship with the Pentagon and its covert war against political enemies is not a consideration and is certainly not something the corporate media covers (in fact, corporate media coverage of Harding’s confirmation is light at best).
It should be obvious why Obama (or rather his handlers) want a military spook to run the TSA — the government plans to expand its Gestapo tactics at America’s airports under the guise of combating the manufactured war on largely non-existent terrorism.
The TSA is no longer confined to airports. It now routinely “spot checks” bus terminals for supposed terrorists. “The checks involved bomb-sniffing dogs, an explosive trace detection machine and behavior detection officers. In addition, luggage was checked with portable X-ray machines,” an Orlando television news station reported in February.
In the above video, General Harding tells Congress the TSA needs to perform intelligence operations in bus and train stations.
If Harding is confirmed — and there is no reason to believe he will not — future TSA operations will likely take on the character of military intelligence operations in addition to making passengers take off their shoes, go through naked body scanners, and endure mindless interrogations about campaign literature and political bumper stickers.
Critics of Obama, especially displaced neocons, like to portray him as a weak-kneed liberal who is soft on terrorism. It is painfully obvious, however, that there was a near seamless transition between the Bush and Obama administrations. Obama has embraced and taken to heart Dick Cheney’s declaration that the “war on terror is a lengthy enterprise.”
Matrch 24, 2010
On the run up to President Obama’s presidency, Barack Hussein Obama ran his campaign on the slogan, “Change We Can Believe In.” His promise to the people was that of change, to make dreams come true. One of those dreams was healthcare for all. Now one year into his presidency, President Obama has delivered the first rainbow in that basket of American dreams. On Tuesday, March 23rd, Barack Obama signed into law the most behemoth legislation to come out of Congress in over 50 years. And for the past three days the marbled halls throughout Washington have been ringing with song and jubilation, “Ding dong the witch is dead! The wicked old witch, the witch is dead! Ding dong the wicked old witch is dead!”
|Did the White House fall out of the sky and kill the Wicked Witch of the West? That evil witch — accountability.|
Finally America has joined the likes of Canada and England in offering Free-dom to her citizens. Free-dom in the form of free healthcare for all… apparently even including 30 million illegal aliens. But there’s another song here in America that most of us have heard from time to time. A song sung by Janis Joplin. In that song Janis sings these words:
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
And that makes me wonder. Has our nation moved into a new era? A new time when “feeling good” is good enough? As long as everything is free? Are we now a nation that enacts legislation based on what makes us feel good? Is the idea of free this, and free that, and free everything else for every Tom, Dick, and Harry an idea that we should embrace? Have we become the American Idol generation that sings the feel-good songs of rock-n-roll without concern for who’s going to pay for the ride?
American heritage is filled with rock-n-roll’s feelin’ good and Hollywood’s images of Oz, but it’s the hard work of frontier men and women who faced the daily battle of accountability that made this country a great nation. A nation of accountability. I wonder if that’s gone now. When President Obama signed the healthcare bill yesterday, was our nation transformed into a wonderful fantasy land? Did the White House fall out of the sky and kill the Wicked Witch of the West? That evil witch– accountability. That evil idea that kept everything from being free, and happy. Is America now a land of munchkins who have been set free by Obama’s White House? Set free to come out and play? To sing and dance on the yellow brick road to prosperity for all?
I think that’s exactly what tens of millions of Americans believe. That President Obama and his White House Cabinet have killed the wicked witch that has kept us from being free all these years. And now our country is free. Free from accountability. And Obama’s change has brought us a new nation. Where everything is free for all. A nation of carefree, dancing munchkins. “Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road…. weeeee!”
Is Obama the wizard who will give us the answers and show us the way? Or is he just an image on the screen? An image created for the public masses? An image created by the banking and insurance industries operating behind the curtain. These corporate interests will make endless billions from Obama’s healthcare legislation. Could it be these corporate raiders have an agenda to enslave the American munchkins?
This new healthcare bill will generate a massive increase in the affairs of the IRS and its intrusion into the daily lives of Americans. An intrusion that will be facilitated by a new army of 20,000 enforcement agents. That’s 20,000 more flying monkeys to serve their master. For the IRS has been chosen to become the enforcer over national healthcare, which equates to one fifth of the nation’s economy. It was the Wicked Witch of the West who barked her commands to a horde of flying monkeys, “Bring them to me.” But here in America it is the IRS that is the feared master who commands,“Bring them to me.” These 20,000 new enforcers will serve their master and extract from the American populace endless billions in taxation. And the IRS will deliver much of these funds to the Federal Reserve, a consortium of international private banks. The world’s money masters.
But the question remains. “Who’s going to pay for this ride of free healthcare?” And this is just the beginning. President Obama has three more years of change to implement. Who’s going to pay for that? According to BusinessInsider.com President Obama and his White House team have a plan for raising government revenues during the 2011-2020 decade. That plan includes a minimum of 16 new revenue streams. All total, producing a projected $1.9 trillion. And most of those funds are to come from that feared master, the IRS. The master of squeeze. The first squeeze on the list may be sitting in your garage. A used motorcycle for sale. Or that riding mower you just bought from your neighbor. Or that check you wrote your brother to fix the back fence. The first of Barack’s 16 revenue streams is to have the IRS tighten controls on all of your spending… both personal and business. Every transaction of $600 or more must be reported to the IRS for taxation. Yes, my little munchkin. You are going to pay for that “free” ride you like so much. But like Joplin said, “Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free.” And there ain’t nothin’ free.
Here is a synopsis of the initial 16 tax increases that you will be paying to generate Barack’s $1.9 trillion for change:
1.$9.154 Billion Acquired by tightening IRS rules for reporting all transactions over $600 for businesses and individuals.
2.$14.196 Billion Acquired by increasing the employers’ unemployment insurance tax by 0.2%.
3.$14.413 Billion Acquired by closing tax loopholes insurance companies use when selling life insurance policies.
4.$18.925 Billion Acquired by taxing hazardous chemicals for an environmental damage fund.
5.$23.729 Billion Acquired by closing loopholes in estate tax rules.
6.$23.977 Billion Acquired by converting employee investment fund profits into personal rather than business profit.
7.$23.987 Billion Acquired by eliminating industries not actually involved in bio-fuel production from participating in bio-fuel tax incentives.
8.$38.819 Billion Acquired by eliminating government subsidies on fossil fuels.
9.$59.085 Billion Acquired by eliminating LIFO accounting practices used for product inventories.
10.$90 Billion Acquired by assessing a new fee on banks that participated in TARP.
11.$105.364 Billion Acquired by increasing tax on capital gains and dividends to a max level of 20%.
12.$122.189 Billion Acquired by closing tax loopholes regarding offshore banking practices.
13.$155.322 Billion Acquired by reinstating limits on itemized deductions that were expanded in the Bush tax cuts.
14.$291.175 Billion Acquired by limiting some individuals’ itemized deductions to 28% of their total tax paid.
15.$327.368 Billion Acquired by increasing the income tax rate from 36% to 39.6% for high income earners whose rate was reduced under the Bush tax cuts.
16.$42.815 Billion Acquired by reinstating 36% tax rate for some earners, eliminating some rental property deductions, and regular income taxing on some commodities and futures profits.
Once again our question, “Who’s going to pay for all this new free-dom?” The answer as always is “the munchkins,” The American people. For it is always the munchkins who pay the money masters. And as this money is siphoned off of the economy in taxes there will be an ultimate effect produced. And that effect will be an increased stagnation of the economy. In an economy where there already exists a state of magnified taxation, the act of increasing taxes always produces a reduction in economic activity, which means less need for workers and fewer jobs. Fewer people working means fewer tax dollars flowing to the government. Obama’s new taxes are very likely not going to increase government revenues. It is far more likely they are going to reduce government revenues. Many people will ask how that can be. How can increased taxes produce less revenues? The answer lies in an understanding of the Laffer Curve.
The Laffer Curve, named after Arthur Laffer, an economics professor, is a bell curve drawn on a graph where the vertical axis represents tax revenues or money, and the horizontal axis represents the rate of taxation from 0% to 100%. Here is an example:
The blue curve in the graph shows us how tax revenues begin to rise as tax rates are initially instituted at just above 0% . You can see this in the bottom left corner of the graph. As tax rates are increased the blue line rises, indicating that tax revenues going into government coffers are rising. But after reaching the top of the curve we notice that the blue line begins to curve downward as tax rates continue to increase from left to right across the graph. If the government were to increase income taxes to 100%, the revenues that the government actually collects would quickly drop to zero. This is evidenced in the graph as we see the blue line on the right side of the graph drops off sharply to zero when the tax rate is increased to 100%.
Why does this happen? Well, quite simply because people quit working when they are over taxed. Consider yourself. If the government came in and confiscated your entire paycheck at the end of your first week working at a new job, would you go back to work the next week? Not likely. And when you don’t go to work there is nothing for the government to tax. So the government’s tax revenues would drop to zero. The reality is that most people would quit working long before the tax rate got to 100%. By the time the tax rate reaches 40% people are already becoming less motivated to work and will work fewer hours.
It’s all a matter of motivation based on reward. The greater the reward, the greater the motivation to perform a given action. Whether that action be work, or something else. Here’s an example. Many states now conduct lotteries where people can purchase tickets in an attempt to win a cash payout. In some cases lottery numbers are drawn day after day with no winning ticket. When this happens for several successive weeks the total payout fund increases dramatically because no one has collected the payout. In some cases the fund will increase to over one hundred million dollars. When this happens lottery ticket sales skyrocket. Many more people are motivated to purchase a lottery ticket because the winning ticket will generate a prize of over $100,000,000. In this case the reward has risen phenomenally. This higher reward produces a higher motivation to purchase a ticket.
The psychological relationship of motivation-to-reward is directly involved in the workforce economy. When the government steps in and siphons off some of your paycheck, then the reward produced by your labor has been reduced. And since that reward has been reduced, as a psychological response your motivation to work will also be reduced. Reduced reward generates reduced motivation. When taxes are increased and one’s reward for labor is thereby decreased, the resultant effect on society will be a reduced motivation to work. Fewer people will be motivated to continue employment or to look for new jobs. Fewer people will be motivated to take on a second job. Fewer people will be motivated to start a small business. All as a consequence of reduced motivation. And fewer people motivated to work means fewer and smaller paychecks to tax. Which means less tax revenues for the government. Hence we see that when tax rates are already high, as indicated on the right side of our graph, increasing the overall tax rate further by adding more taxes will actually produce the effect of driving down tax revenues rather than increasing them.
The ultimate effect of Obama’s planned tax increases to produce $1.9 trillion dollars will be economic stagnation. These tax increases will reduce motivation in the workforce, resulting in a national reduction in household income and purchasing power. This reduction in purchasing power will result in declining product sales nationwide, thereby reducing manufacturing output, thereby reducing the need for labor. All of which translates into a rise in unemployment and a consequential reduction in tax revenues.
That wicked witch of accountability is not dead. If you raise your hand to your ear, you can hear her shrill voice as she points her crooked finger, “I’ll get you my pretty. And your little dog too.” Payday is coming because free-dom ain’t free. Obama’s White House in the sky will soon come crashing down on all of the happy munchkins foolishly celebrating their new free-dom.
There’s a big storm coming. And we’re not in Kansas anymore.
March 24, 2010
A new national telephone poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corp. for Fox News concludes:
Most American voters believe it’s possible the nation’s economy could collapse, and majorities don’t think elected officials in Washington have ideas for fixing it.
The latest Fox News poll finds that 79 percent of voters think it’s possible the economy could collapse, including large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (80 percent).
One more time, from the top …
Consumer spending accounts for the lion’s share of the economic activity. The economy cannot recover until trust is restored. Trust won’t be restored until the fraud actually stops, the criminals are prosecuted, and the fox is fired from his role as chicken coop guard.
Shannon Pettypiece and Alex Nussbaum
March 24, 2010
Indoor tanning salons will charge customers a 10 percent tax beginning today in just one of the changes Americans will see as a result of the U.S. health-care overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Insurers will be required by September to begin providing health coverage to kids with pre-existing illnesses and allow parents to keep children younger than 26 on their plans as the clock has begun ticking on many of the law’s provisions. Medicare recipients will receive a $250 rebate for prescription drugs when they reach a coverage gap called the donut hole if the Senate passes and the president signs companion legislation approved March 21 by the U.S. House.
The $940 billion overhaul subsidizes coverage for uninsured Americans, financed by Medicare cuts to hospitals and fees or taxes on insurers, drugmakers, medical-device companies and Americans earning more than $200,000 a year. Many of the changes in the bill of more than 2,400 pages, such as requiring most people to have health insurance and employers to provide coverage, will take at least two years to go into effect.
Steve Watson and Paul Watson
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to give it its full title, is rammed full of tax increases which will further economically cripple Americans already laboring under the worst financial crisis since the great depression.
The partnering Reconciliation Act, currently in the Senate, also contains a raft of pork barrel and tax hikes, there to fund the trillion dollar cost of nationalizing medicine.
As reported by Bloomberg News today, analysis by the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reveals that the bill will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes by 2019.
In addition, the Congressional Budget Office states that the bill also levies almost $69 billion more in penalties for those who fail to meet mandates to buy insurance.
The Journal of Accountancy boils down some of the tax hikes and penalty fees in H.R. 3590 and the Reconciliation Act – the highlights include:
Excise Tax on Uninsured Individuals – Individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage will be subject to a penalty equal to $750. The fee for an uninsured individual under age 18 is one-half of the adult fee.
Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer Plans – The federal government would impose a 40% tax on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage exceeding certain thresholds. Those levels are projected to be $8,500 for self only and $23,000 for any other level by the year 2013. This excise was announced with fanfare by the White House and labor unions in January and remains in the final bill.
Increase in additional tax on distributions from Health Savings Accounts and Archer Medical Savings Accounts not used for qualified medical expenses – An increase from 10% to 20% on taxes of money in a health savings account not used for qualified medical expenses. For Archer medical savings accounts, an increase from 15% to 20%.
Additional Hospital Insurance Tax on High-Income Taxpayers – High income tax payers, making on a joint return over $250,000 and a standard return over $200,000, are required to pay an additional 0.5% of wages. This applies to both self-employed, and regularly employed individuals.
Fees on Health Plans – A fee applied to all health insurance providers based upon net premiums and any third party fees associated with the administration of those programs. The fees will total $6.7 billion annually. This figure begins at $8 billion in the Reconciliation Act and rises to $14.3 billion by 2018.
Tax on Indoor Tanning Services – The act imposes a 10% tax on amounts paid for indoor tanning services. Like a sales tax, the tax will be collected from the person tanning when payment for the tanning services is made.
Business Insider boils down 15 more tax hikes here – highlights include:
Tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage – A 2.5% income tax on individuals who do not have health care coverage, limited to a cost less than the average national health care premium.
Excise tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures – A tax of 5% is levied upon the am mount paid for any cosmetic surgery. This does not include the need for such surgeries created by trauma or a disfiguring disease. If the tax is not collected by that professional completing the procedure, their business is still liable for the requirement.
The Reconciliation Act also legislates for the following surcharges: 1% surcharge on individuals making more than $350,000, 1.5% surcharge on individuals making more than $500,000, 5.4% surcharge on individuals making more than $1 million.
Yet more tax provisions in the bill are highlighted by INvestors Business Daily in their piece titled 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms – highlights include:
Taxes On Employers – If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes) (Section 1513).
Taxes on Pharmaceutical Companies – The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry (Section 9008 (b)).
Taxes on medical device manufacturers – The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers (Section 1405).
As a candidate and President, Barack Obama has had one core message for middle class Americans: I won’t raise your taxes.
By putting his name to the health care reform bill today he has swiftly put to bed any pretence that he would uphold that pledge (multi-trillion dollar bailouts aside).
While the new taxes on individuals are bad enough, the penalties imposed on pharmaceutical corporations, health insurers and employers are will inevitably serve as a double whammy as the hikes will undoubtedly be passed on to the general public in the form of higher costs.
“Simply, you have nationalized healthcare by proxy.” writes Jonah Goldberg of the LA Times.
“Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors. Way to get big business out of Washington! They will clear a small, government-approved profit on top of their government-approved fees. Then, when healthcare costs rise — and they will — Democrats will insist, yet again, that the profit motive is to blame and out from this Obamacare Trojan horse will pour another army of liberals demanding a more honest version of single-payer.”
“The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.” Goldberg concludes.
A swift dose of propaganda is sure to silence some critics. However, if the softly softly approach fails, the myriad of new taxes and regulations contained in the Obamacare bill will be aggressively enforced by no less than 16,500 new “combat trained” IRS agents armed to the teeth with shotguns, who will also closely scrutinize Americans’ income tax returns and be waiting to pounce should they find evidence of anyone trying to avoid paying for mandatory government health care.
Even if you agree with socialized health care in principle, the fact is that this will only benefit the insurance companies who wrote it. Meanwhile millions of Americans will be subjected to more taxation, harassment, and oppression at the hands of a federal government run amok. An out of control leviathan, hell-bent on an agenda to control every aspect of your life, as they lay in wait to exploit the momentum achieved through the passage of Obamacare by ramming through nightmare cap and tax levies to further financially castrate already beleaguered Americans.
Find out who your enemies are and why Obamacare is merely the next step in the new world order agenda to regulate every aspect of your existence.
March 23, 2010
As Democrats went all soft and squishy over the prospect of a leviathan and authoritarian government grabbing more power under Obamacare, the Senate Banking Committee under the direction of Democrat Christopher Dodd put finishing touches on a “financial regulatory reform bill.” Dodd’s committee passed a 1,300-page bill in a 21-minute “partisan” markup, according to WebCPA.
A 13-10 vote will now send the bill to the Senate floor where it will be debated by members of the Bankster Party.
Dodd was under strict orders by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner not to “weaken” the bill by adding amendments proposed by Republicans on the committee. Geithner made the comments over at the American Enterprise Institute, the insider cabal responsible for such things as a million dead Iraqis. “This is important to get right, but be careful whose voice you listen to,” said Geithner.
If passed the bill will create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Federal Reserve, rather than the standalone Consumer Financial Protection Agency that is in the version of the bill that was approved by the House last December.
During an interview with Atlantic magazine earlier this month, Ron Paul clarified things about the bill and the prospect of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau run out of the Fed.
“I think that’s the main thing where they’re getting a lot more power. It’s interesting that, of course, it’ll be funded by the Fed,” Paul told Daniel Indiviglio. “So they’re going to do all this mischief and have all these bureaucrats. It won’t even be on the budget. And there will really be no oversight by the Congress. It’s government totally out of control. It’s just absolutely bizarre that you could create a Consumer Protection Bureau within the Fed, and they do all their own funding. And Congress probably won’t do anything about it.”
Of course Congress will not do anything about it. Congress by and large takes orders from the banksters. Members of Congress with a few small exceptions are members of the Bankster party. Democrat and Republican designations are nothing but fashion statements.
It is simply outrageous that a bankster organization that has made off with trillions in off-balance sheet transactions and has thumbed its nose at Congress and the American people who demand accountability will now be allowed to dictate consumer protection.
Dodd’s bill is nothing short of an effort to allow the Federal Reserve to seize control of the financial services industry under the guise of protecting ordinary Americans. It will be a blank check for bankster bailouts into perpetuity.
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The cost of defying Obamacare by withholding compliance on your income tax return will not be for the faint hearted – families will be forced to cough up $2,250 a month while being closely scrutinized by an army of new IRS agents with fresh “combat training,” armed to the teeth with 12 gauge pump action shotguns.
“The Internal Revenue Service will function as the government’s chief enforcer for health care reform, should President Obama sign the bill into law as expected, monitoring both businesses and individuals to certify whether they have the insurance coverage the government requires,” writes Matt Cover of CNS News.
The penalties associated with defying mandatory health care are staggering. From 2014 onwards, for every month that individuals or businesses with over 50 employees fail to carry a minimum level of health insurance, they will be hit with fines of up to $750 a month for individuals and $750 per uncovered employee for businesses. For a family of four, this could amount to a whopping $27,000 a year ($2250 a month for each household).
“Because these new mandates and taxes are under the purview of the IRS, taxpayers and businesses could incur additional penalties normally reserved for normal income tax cheats, paying fees over and above those for not complying with Congress’ new mandates,” writes Cover.
The health care bill requires the IRS to monitor individuals and businesses via mandatory reporting on income tax returns. If you don’t pay up, the IRS will let loose one of their estimated 16,500 new agents, armed with shotguns and fresh “combat training,” to convince you otherwise.
The increasing transformation of tax collectors into heavily armed SWAT-like goons coincides with the passage of Obamacare, legislation which will rest entirely on its aggressive enforcement by thousands of new IRS agents sent out to harass individuals and small businesses.
Many people raised an eyebrow or two last month when the Drudge Report posted a request for quotes from suppliers for 12 gauge pump action shotguns to be submitted to the IRS. The request also mentioned the fact that IRS agents now receive “combat training”.
It seems that the increasing militarization of IRS agents isn’t simply to prepare for fleecing the many Americans who would undoubtedly stop paying their taxes should draconian austerity measures be imposed to deal with a deepening economic decline, but also to physically enforce the reality behind Obamacare – the fact that if you don’t comply with it then you’ll be treated as a tax cheat and a criminal.
When Obama’s own policy czars, people like Ron Bloom, say things like, “We kinda agree with Mao (Tse Tung) that political power comes largely from a gun,” as the federal government – even the Department of Education – arms itself to the teeth in order to enforce blatantly unconstitutional policies – is it any wonder that American citizens are purchasing firearms at record levels to defend their families from a government gone wild?
Not only will the IRS be tasked with enforcing penalties against Obamacare resistors, but they’ll also be kept busy monitoring over a dozen new taxes that will be created by the bill.
“The bill is littered with tax increases in order to fund the expansion of health coverage for Americans,” points out Business Insider, who identified 15 such increases, things like an excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage, tax surcharges on people making over $350,000 a year, as well as control freak measures like a 10% tax on payments for indoor tanning treatments.
March 23, 2010
With ObamaCARE now passed, containing the Cornhusker Kickback, Gator-Aid, the Lousiana Purchase, and other shady deals, Investors Business Daily gives up 20 ways that ObamaCARE will take away our freedoms. IBD’s sections described below are taken from HR 3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill which takes out the Cornhusker Kickback and Gator-Aid as displayed by the Rules Committee.
|An autographed copy of the bill after the House passed Obamacare in Washington, Sunday, March 21, 2010.|
1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)
2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).
3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).
4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))
8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).
9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).
10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).
11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))
12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))
13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a country where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).
14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)
15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).
16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).
17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)
18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).
19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).
20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).