Friday, November 27, 2009

Dems Yet Another “Stimulus” Package – Billions for “Job Packages” – Flashback: Carters Failed Job Stimulus: 31.8 Billion to Create 1.5 Million Jobs

Democrats in the Congressare putting together a job stimulus package – legislators expect to get that to Obama’s desk by January 2010. It is unknown at this time, how much of the stimulus would fall under deficit spending. According to the Los Angeles Times, it is a matter of urgency to get this stimulus passed:

Having been preoccupied with passing a health care bill, the White House is eager to demonstrate it is sensitive to the economic hardship Americans face. To that end, the White House will host a jobs summit Thursday. And the next day, Obama will travel to Allentown, Pa. -- the first stop in a kind of economic "listening tour."
Polling shows that the health care overhaul is not as important to Americans as an economic recovery that yields jobs. With a midterm election next year, Democrats in control of the White House and Congress can't afford to look out of touch.

A Senate Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "Democrats have to address the No. 1 concern of their constituents -- and that is, by a long shot, jobs.

"We want to show we get it -- that we're responsible and in tune."

The key points in this particular article: “The White House is eager to demonstrate it is sensitive to the economic hardships Americans face.”, and Polling shows that the health care overall is not as important to Americans as an economic recovery that yields jobs”.

Polling data has not been overly kind to the administration and Congress with the President’s approval currently at 46% and Congressional Democrats at a 7 point deficit behind their Republican counterparts.
The logic, therefore, is to throw more money onto the deficit, in an effort to create a second “stimulus” – while the first “stimulus” has failed – jobs under the first stimulus, were, for all intents and purposes, jobs “saved”, not created.

Additionally, reports of costs per job created or saved are astronomical: A recent headline from the Star-Telegram Speaks to the Problem: “Cost of stimulus jobs in Texas so far: $545,000 per job”. Although figures were taken from the official, flawed, job reporting website:, the Telegram went further in finding data that showed the cost of creating jobs in Texas was, in a word, astronomical.

Granted, the members of Congress and the administration, are political animals, not economist, however, one would think that someone, somewhere would be smart enough to figure out this whole stimulus won’t work. It didn’t work in 1976, when then President Jimmy Carter, worked out a 31.8 Billion dollar job package that was estimated to produce 1.5 Million jobs. It failed within six months. Most of the money disbursed was used to re-hire layed off government employees, and the private sector jobs continued to decline.

It is apparent that the administration and members of Congress have no sense of history either, or are so wedded to their slogan “tax cuts for the rich”, that they are willing to further endanger the nation’s economic stability. What is perhaps, most mind-boggling is that, in an effort to produce polling that may help their efforts in 2010, and they are, once again, embarking on the idiocy of “job stimulus” through deficit spending – which, in the end, will produce higher unemployment, the dollar, already in the latrine, will be further damaged, causing the loss of more private sector jobs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick Cuts Funding for Veterans Before Jetting off to White House Dinner

Yesterday, Massachusetts Governor, Democrat Deval Patrick, cut funds for veterans, which had previously been approved by the legislature. The reason given was that these medical services are covered “elsewhere” either through Medicare or private insurance carriers. However, most of those policies offer partial coverage, leaving those veterans using the services, liable for the balance - in many cases, balances that they are unable to afford.

Apparently, the Govenor has more concern with providing tuition assistance for those who have entered the country illegally, than providing basic health services for those who have served our country.

The Govenor made this decision prior to heading off to the White House First State Dinner

“Let them eat cake”

Patrick is up for reelection in 2010 – Tim Cahill is running as an Independent. The Republican’s, Charlie Baker, who recently announced Mass. State Senate Republican Richard Tisei as his running mate will face Christy Mihos, a populist candidate, in the Republican primary. Patrick’s approval ratings remain dismal and it is far too early in the race (given that primaries must be held) to project an outcome. Historically, Massachusetts independents receive approximately 6 to 8 percent of the vote, therefore, depending upon which Republican becomes the candidate (and it should be one that most indentifies with those outside of Beacon Hill), Patrick is facing an uphill battle and will become a mere “footnote”.

The Video below from Springfield, MA CBS Channel 3

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mass. Senate Candidates - Coakley and Capuano Defend Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) in Schism with R.I. Bishop - Politician’s and The Catholic Church

Controvery over Abortion: Bishop Tobin and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) image: CNA

FromThe Boston Globe: A recent forum on Boston’s Public Television WBGH between Democrat Senate Candidates; touched on the subject of the rift between Rhode Island Congressional Representative, Patrick Kennedy, and the Bishop of Rhode Island Thomas Tobin. Tobin had asked Kennedy to refrain from participating in the Sacrament of Communion, a decision made over Kennedy’s support for federally funded abortions in the Health Care Reform Bill passed by the Congress, as well as Kennedy’s public rebuke of the Church. Kennedy chose to make this a political issue, going directly to the press with a complaint against the “Church”.

Now, Senate Candidate Coakley and Capuano are siding with Kennedy in their quest to win the Democrat primary on December 8th. The two supporting Kennedy also stated they would not support the Health Care Reform without public funded abortions, while Pagliuca and Khazei, the other contenders for the seat, stated that their support for the Senate Bill does not rest on the abortion issue.

The Catholic Church has become publicly vocal to its opposition to abortion, more so now than in the past election cycles where John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi were chastised by their Bishops for abortion support. The question remains, however, if public officials openly espouse support for legislation that runs contrary to their religion (regardless of denomination), and are then chastised by the church, is it a public or private issue? In the instance between Kennedy and Tobin, Kennedy chose to make the issue public – creating a political debate where none should exist. It is a question of having two “masters” so to speak, one spiritual and one secular, and the individual, whether politician or layperson, who has a full understanding of their chosen “Church”, should be well aware of the Church Doctrine. Church membership is not a right, rather a privilege, and a personal commitment to follow a specific set of teachings. When one deviates from the Church’s teachings for political expedience, then should one be surprised when admonishment follows? The logical answer is no – an individual educated in any given Church doctrine, is well aware of consequences, and therefore, must make the choice between being a Catholic and or looking for a religion that suits their political bent.

The fact that Coakley and Capuano both voiced support for Kennedy over the Church, as Catholics, gives them the opportunity for further headlines, should their Bishop decide to chastise them over a public rebuff of Church teachings. Although Catholics make up the majority of the Democrat electorate in Massachusetts, it is doubtful that a candidate’s support for abortion would factor into their vote. Catholics overwhelming supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election, with full knowledge that he was a pro-abortion candidate. In instances of Party loyalty, and the separation of Church and State, the Catholic voter most often (or in the past) has forgone the Church for the Party at the polls.

As to Kennedy, who is up for re-election in 2010 used the opportunity to publicly cry “foul” and it worked. When one “Googles” Patrick Kennedy, the articles regarding his “issue of faith”, total well over 1,400. Coakley and Capuano decision has also resulted in a good deal of press, all tied to the Kennedy query. It is all about the press, and political posturing - nothing more and nothing less. The Catholic Church, is then chastised for its involvement in “public affairs”, the scandal that struck the church in the in the 1990’s, is the first issue brought to bear – as if the Church Doctrine and those members of the Church who were decidedly criminal – are one in the same.

Of course, the debate over the abortion issue may not be the one issue that sways a voter, regardless of party, in 2010 and 2012. Health Care Reform is rife with fiscal issues, from deficits to an expensive public option, and these will weigh a great deal more than the social issue. Fairly or unfairly, depending upon ones point of view, it is time for those politicians’ who belong to a Church that upholds the right to life, to either step aside from their Church or their party. There are myriad Churches available in the United States, given freedom of religion, and certainly one would be more than willing to embrace a Kennedy with open arms.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Health Care Reform Framed by Politics - Without Consideration of the General Public

Although the Health Care Reform bill currently before the Senate will be modified several times prior to a final vote; the current version does not deliver adequate coverage and or cost savings for consumers according to an AP report released today. The rush to push the bill through the Senate lately, has less to do with the populace, rather it is being eyes as a political tool, by both major parties. Some Democrats are pushing the bill through for “Obama”, making sure the President is not seen as being unable to control members of his own party, while the DNC is casting Republican’s as the “Party of No”.

On the flip side, Republican’s are framing the debate as a government takeover of the health care system, adding the “liberal” tag to frame the debate:(From the Los Angeles Times):

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele also foreshadowed next year's election season in his response to Saturday's Senate vote, in which all the Republicans but the absent Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio voted against taking the healthcare bill to debate -- just as all the House's Republicans, except for Rep. Joseph Cao of New Orleans, voted against the House health bill.

"Make no mistake: this was not a free vote," Steele said. "A vote in favor of this procedural motion paves the way for the bill's final adoption, which would impose a government-run healthcare experiment on America that increases premiums, increases taxes, cuts Medicare and allows for taxpayer-funded abortions.

"President Obama, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and their liberal Senate allies will surely gloat and pat themselves on the back for winning tonight's vote in the dark of night during a rare Saturday session, while Americans were home with their families," Steele said. "But as they do, those moderate Democrats who voted for Harry Reid's bill will have to answer to their constituents."

Support for health care reform by the public based on Rasmussen Polls, remains under 50%, and the topic has generally been portrayed in all media as a Republican versus Democrat issue, as relates to the ability to win or lose in 2010, pushing the debate away from actual solutions to problems that currently exist, towards slogans for election or re-election.

Rushing a major change to American’s health care system through legislation in order not to embarrass the President is ridiculous. If concern for the American people were at such a feverous pitch, Democrats would take the time to actually work with the Republican’s in both Houses, taking time to debate, and craft legislation that would address the needs of the people, rather than the needs of the President and or either political party. Regardless of where the blame lays for the current state of health care in the United States, one certain fact remains; health care is big business, regardless of which side of an aisle on sits upon.

Using Massachusetts as a model, the current form of “coverage for everyone” has resulted in huge deficits for the Commonwealth, and high increases in private pay insurance (11% in most cases). A 10 to 11% increase in debt owed, (as is the case of premium costs projected in current national legislation and realized is Massachusetts) at a time when American’s are struggling to pay for essentials, is ludicrous. The co-pays and high deductibles still exist, leaving those currently holding coverage, in additional debt.

The American people deserve better – improvements to the current system that will work, without adding additional debt to either the government or to the general public – requires cooperation on all levels, from both political parties. Unfortunately, attaching labels for political purposes appears to be more important than taking the time to craft legislation that would include concessions from both sides of the aisle.

What is missing: the Republican’s have crafted a plan, calling for competition across state lines (which would drive down costs to those currently holding private insurance), the Democrats are seeking to cover those who have pre-existing conditions with any carrier (currently the bill has a six (6) month gap in coverage). Would that the two actually talk to one another, the ability to purchase health insurance, across state lines, driving down the costs, would compensate for the additional risk of covering those with pre-existing conditions as the pool would be spread nationally, instead of confining it to less than a half dozen carriers allowed to provide coverage in some states. Tort reform is also necessary, as the rising costs of mal-practice insurance (which extends beyond doctors, to almost anyone in a health care provider setting), is being tacked onto the consumers bill, and finally raising premiums across the board.

What will happen in 2010 remains to be seen, but the party that is seen as being in a rush to push through anything in partisan fashion, will merely provide ammunition to the other side. It is in debates of such grave nature as this, that the founders were right to abhor the notion of major political parties, rather than the citizen legislature they so proudly envisioned – party loyalty, trumping the needs of constituents and the greater good of the nation as a whole, is driving today’s health care debate. It is detestable that a "party" would take credit for providing "healthcare for everyone" (see AP Article opening paragraph) without regards to honest debate, regardless of length of time to pass well-crafted, bi-partisan legislation, in order to gain a "win" of some sorts, for the party, not the public. It goes without saying, that should the otter party consider "defeat" of such a bill, a win for the "party" not the public, it would be more of the same.

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