There is a new movement afoot in California: The New California Movement. It seeks to see the rural counties of California secede from the spendthrift-giveaway coastal counties of that state. But the proposed split is a temporary solution to a cultural problem.
Citing a "tyrannical form of government," the New California Movement seeks to band together rural California into a separate economy separate from the coast. The founders of the movement, Robert Paul Preston and Tom Reed, unveiled a "Declaration of Independence" earlier this week and are following a path outlined in Article IV Section 3 of the US Constitution.
Make no mistake, California is in dire straits. The Progressives of the coast have "prude shamed" (for lack of a more effective term) and gerrymandered the voters in the rest of the state for so long that they have delivered the whole of the state's legislature to the Left. The fact of the matter is that California's state legislature doesn't represent the majority of the state any longer. This is not unlike the state legislatures in Illinois or New York.
But the truth of the matter is this. We get the governments that we elect, especially when the majority of people both maintain ignorance of daily politics or go-along-to-get-along. To that end, any new "state" will no doubt, eventually fall prey to the same issues no left not addressed.
Is the answer the splitting of a state? In California's case, the coastal areas would necessarily collapse financially without the revenues generated by the rural areas, causing more of a financial drain on the Federal government come the inevitable "bailout."
Perhaps an intellectual revolution is necessary, where individual responsibility and an embracing of opportunity overtake the victimhood "I-am-owed-something" mentality installed into the American psyche by the Progressive Left.
Remember, they want you dependent on government. It's how they control culture.
SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Americans are the most benevolent people in the world. Myriad studies have proven this to be a fact, not to mention that in every global conflict our nation has stood-up to rebuild the vanquished aggressors. But in this new era of fiscal irresponsibility, the "something for nothing" train is barreling down the track.
Despite pleading with the Federal government for $94 billion in recovery aid after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello Nevares has authorized the issuance of approximately $100 million in government employee bonuses, this after it was exposed that the chief reason why relief aid sat stagnant on the port docks was because of government ineptitude.
Incredibly, these bonuses were written into the budget thus codified into law. The bonuses are a "tradition," don't you know.
The idea that government employees are automatically deserving of pay bonuses simply because the end of the year arrives is insane! Bonuses are for exemplary performance, not simply because of existence. After the Puerto Rican government's outing as a dysfunctional entity, it is hard to understand how American taxpayers have been hoodwinked into providing "bonuses" to those who created the dysfunction!
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), was given enough rope to hang himself, and he did. His statement at a Rotary Club meeting in Kentucky proved him to be a chief culprit in what every single American - Republican, Democrat and Independent - hates about Washington, DC.
McConnell, laboring through his speech style, which for the leader of the greatest debate floor on the planet is embarrassing, suggested that President Trump was too inexperienced in politics to understand how slow the Legislative Branch works. He went on to say Trump suffers from “excessive expectations” about what both chambers of Congress can get done.
This is the most pathetic excuse for sustaining political bureaucracy that has ever been muttered, and that's what McConnell does, mutter. His excuse justifies the inefficient processes of government; processes that today exist to the immediate financial detriment to the taxpayers of the United States.
Trump is correct on this point beyond any argument. After 7 years of pontificating about immediate repeal and replacement of Obamacare, Republicans, under McConnell's leadership in the Senate, have not only failed miserably, they have proven that they expected the law to remain in effect long after the 2016 General Election. How else can they explain not having a replacement bill crafted and agreed upon in advance for this very moment?
This failure is either the biggest legislative delinquency in the history of the United States, or it was the biggest con ever perpetrated against the American people, and that's saying a lot when you consider how Obamacare was brought to law.
Now this political reptile insists the fault of expectation lays exclusively with Donald Trump (forgetting the American people expect swift action on this an other issue as well), even as he prepares to ignore the repeal of Obamacare by "moving on" to other things.
The last time we heard "move on" was when Bill Clinton was caught violating Monica Lewinski with a cigar in the oval office. That, too, was meant to cover-up a deficiency.
Note to Mitch McConnell...get Obamacare repealed or preside over the end of Republican majorities in Congress for decades to come. That will be your legacy and it will be solely your making.
The biggest lie being told about Obamacare is that it provides healthcare to people. It does not. It mandates health insurance coverage for all, but it doesn't have anything to do with healthcare. In fact, Obamacare makes it harder to even see a physician.
So, because this is the case, what opposition to the repeal of Obamacare really achieves is protection for the health insurance companies; companies that made significant profits because of Obamacare.
Not only is everyone in the country mandated to purchase health insurance in one form or another, the federal government is subsidizing the insurance companies' costs as well. You really would have to be employing a spendthrift business model not to glean profits from such a model.
Additionally, with more people having health insurance -- and no influx of new doctors -- the wait to see a physician because of the influx of patients to the doctor to patient ratio increases dramatically. In some instances, people are waiting up to 24 days to see a doctor after making an appointment.
So, while health insurance costs go up for everyone who actually pays for his or her own insurance, and the "newly insured" get their premiums paid by the Federal government, access to healthcare has diminished. The only winner in all of this is the health insurance companies, who are seeing massive profits from the citizenry being forces -- under penalty of law -- to purchase a private sector product.
There is a reason Democrats and Progressives like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Chuckie Schumer held the creation of Obamacare so close to the vest. They were colluding with their big donor health insurance companies to create windfall profits for their corporations.
Now how do you feel about your Senator or Representative opposing the repeal of Obamacare?
The idea that Democrats and Progressives will ever cooperate to rectify the mess they created in Obamacare is laughable. Truth is, they have no reason to do anything as long as Republicans remain impotent on coalescing to affect a change. That doesn't seem likely at this point.
The only way to force Democrats to the negotiating table on healthcare -- and on any other matter -- is by abandoning the "omnibus" approach and doing first things first. Republicans in the House and the Senate have to repeal Obamacare as a piece of stand-alone legislation with the political promise that they will negotiate a parachute for those adversely affected.
With Obamacare repealed - and the promise to negotiate a no-hurt parachute for those affected on the table -- inaction by the Democrats and Progressives becomes a death-knell come the mid-terms.
If Republicans keep their original promise to repeal Obamacare, then there is a track record of keeping promises that will allow the politically spineless in the Republican Party and the Democrats to believe their will be a negotiated parachute out of the Obamacare wasteland for those who already face a crushing exit, one way or another.
Congressional Republicans must act on a stand-alone repeal of Obamacare immediately. Any Republican -- from any state -- who does not go along with this is in two-faced defiance to what they ran for election on, and in defiance of the primary GOP platform plank in the 2016 General Election. They should be recalled immediately!
Contact your Reps and Senators now and demand they repeal Obamacare as a stand alone piece of legislation. If you live in Maine or West Virginia this contact is vital!
The Republican Party begged for the chance to take power so that they could "repeal Obamacare." They asked for both houses of Congress and the Oval Office and the American voters delivered each. Now they are failing the American people by reneging on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the chief promise that brought them to power.
Let's all remember that the campaign promises, made by each and every Republican, were to "repeal" Obamacare. Only when it became politically opportune did those promises morph into "repeal and replace," rhetoric meant to cater to the wobbly middle during a General Election cycle.
And just like that, Republicans, as they always do, fell into the Democrat/Progressive trap of a behemoth legislation. They fall into it all the time, be it legislation about immigration (the marriage of border security and immigration reform) or taxes (the marriage of tax reform to entitlement spending). They have created the illusion that the repeal of Obamacare must be in tandem with a replacement to the government entitlement program, and chicken sh*t Republicans -- like Susan Collins (R-ME), and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) -- are buying it.
Democrats will never -- never -- come to the negotiating table on the issue of healthcare if they don't have a reason. They will allow Republicans to spin their wheels with a replacement bill only to watch them end in failure.
The only way to force Democrats to the table is to repeal Obamacare as a stand alone measure. That done, Republicans must win the messaging war to force the narrative that it is Democrats who refuse to come to the table to help those disenfranchised by the failed Obamacare experience. Then -- and only then -- will Democrats enjoin in ingenuous negotiations and debate.
Make no mistake. The only avenue here is to repeal Obamacare as a stand alone move. Then the issue of what to do can be addressed sand the political bullsh*t. If Republicans -- are you hearing me Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan -- do not simply repeal this law, the GOP is going to get crushed in the mid-terms and the American people will be stuck with socialized medicine for all time.
On the subject of the repeal of Obamacare, no one on the Right side of the aisle defends it better than Sen. John McCain (Ri-AZ). That said, it is time for him to be honest with the people of Arizona, call for a special election in that State, and switch parties before doing so.
Republicans of all stripes -- even the Democrat in sheep's clothing McCain -- initially called for the repeal of Obamacare at all cost. Everyone with an "R" behind his or her name ran on it. Then, in an attempt to attract more moderate voters in the General Election, the mantra morphed to "repeal and replace."
Make no mistake, Republicans and the majority of American people simply want the law repealed. In fact, many of us believe the solution to high insurance premiums is to reverse more of the government encroachment into the private sector health insurance industry.
But the socially liberal McCain says, "I fear we may fall under the trap of repealing and not replacing and that would be bad for America."
McCain, as all big government oligarchs do, believes government has a role to play in the private sector where the free choice of health care and health insurance is concerned.
Obamacare should not be replaced. It is a failed law that needs to be repealed for the good of the country. If government wants to assist the private sector they should provide tax-cut incentives to the insurance companies to create non-profit entities to relieve the burdens associated with people with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, they should outlaw the compartmentalization of health insurance, allowing for portability over state lines.
But in no way shape or form is a "replacement" of Obamacare necessary or good for the country. In insisting that it is, John McCain proves himself -- yet again -- to be a Democrat, not a Republican, and certainly not a conservative.
Last night on one of the FOX News talking heads shows, former Bush Administration speech-writer Marc Thiessen said it would be a disaster to simply repeal Obamacare now and work on another health insurance scheme later. This is why politicians can't execute good government: Because they put politics over good government.
Republicans have abandoned a vote to repeal and replace Obamacare before the Independence Day holiday. They were forced to do so because there are several fiscal hawks who hate what the replace component entails. The one thing they all agree on is the repeal part. So why not just repeal the thing?
There are several reasons why simply repealing Obamacare would change the dynamic in Washington, DC. First, it would eliminate the option of "obstruction at all cost to protect Obamacare" from the Democrat play book. Thiessen says this would be a political liability, but that's because he is of the Republican cloth that absolutely sucks at messaging Democrats into a corner.
Democrats would be put on the spot to negotiate something -- anything -- to validate their claim to being champion of the less fortunate. With Obamacare repealed they would necessarily have to negotiate something on healthcare or be seen as doing nothing for those who lost coverage with the repeal, and strictly for political purposes.
Anyone with a keyboard and an Internet connection could fashion a narrative that states Democrats are doing nothing because power is more important to them than the people they claim to care for. So, why not Republicans?
Repealing Obamacare and then worrying about another piece of government-encroaching legislation into the private sector insurance trade forces Democrats to the negotiating table lest they be branded as heartless political hacks.
Personally -- and I have stated this before, the removal of government limitations in the health insurance industry is all important. Insurance companies should not be allowed to compartmentalize access, and tort reform goes a long way to reducing costs and extending coverage, not to mention opening more physicians to the process.
As to the pre-existing conditions issue, the answer is easy. Congress should create a tax incentive for the many health insurance and pharmaceutical companies to create non-profit groups (much like what Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be) to their for-profit entities that specifically cater to the pre-existing conditions demographic. Those tax incentives coupled with affordable premiums, would more than cover the cost of the policies.
So, how about a little common sense, "get-the-government-out-of-the-way" legislation that actually moves the process along and that actually serves the American people for a freaking change?!
Repeal Obamacare now! Force the Democrats and Progressives to the table!
The big wind storm coming from the Progressives and Democrats is that the GOP replacement bill for Obamacare cuts funding for Medicaid. Only in Progressive Washington, DC, can a perpetual increase in taxpayer dollars to an entitlement program be seen a a cut.
The Congressional Budget Office - a suspect group of increasingly inept number crunchers - has determined that Medicaid spending would rise from $393 billion in 2017 to $464 billion in 2026 - that’s a $71 billion, or 18 percent, increase. But it is less than what would be spent on Medicaid under the current Democrat-crafted spendthrift law.
How do these spendthrift reprobates get away with saying we are cutting funding when more of our hard-earned tax dollars are being taken from us to fund these programs? It's because Washington bureaucrats us "baseline budgeting" when figuring the budget.
In a nutshell, "Baseline Budgeting" is an accounting method the United States Federal Government uses to develop a budget for future years. Baseline budgeting uses current spending levels as the 'baseline' for establishing future funding requirements and assumes future budgets will equal the current budget times the inflation rate times the population growth rate."
So, you see, budget increases are already built into the budget. That means that every time these tax-and-spend charlatans say we need tax increases to fund these giveaway programs they are dipping deeper into our pockets.
Why is this necessary? It is necessary because these "do-anything-to-keep-our-jobs" career politicians need to pretend they are doing something to justify their existences and their salaries. So, the have to create laws, and that requires money from us to enact and execute those laws.
Remember Nancy Pelosi's multi-million dollar turtle tunnel project, or the many million dollar studies into subjects so simple Kindergarten students could provide the answer?
If we had to craft budgets from scratch - in a line-item style - in each Congress we would not only have a more efficient expenditure process, we would reduce the tax burden by tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars annually and prevent stupid spending by career politicians trying to justify their existences.
Let's start shedding the light on this scam called "baseline budgeting."
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the senior senator from the bankrupt state of Illinois - a state with some of the highest taxes in the United States, took to FOX News Sunday to lecture the nation on why Obamacare and it's tax hikes are better for the nation than new plan for repealing and replacing Obamacare going through the Senate.
We can debate the merits of the newly proposed bill. Personally, I believe it necessary to simply repeal Obamacare in total and then remove all of the industry interference from the Federal government in total, less regulatory authority for safety.
By making health insurance portable over state lines we open up the markets to competition which - by the very nature of Capitalism - forces the lowering of prices across the country.
Further, by eliminating unnecessary Federal bureaucracy in the industry, more revenue is available to the industry for creating non-profit groups (not unlike what Blue Cross and Blue Shield were at their inceptions) that can cater to the pre-existing condition demographic.
But I digress.
As Durbin pontificated about how the new healthcare bill would raise rates, he conveniently dismissed the fact that health insurance premiums under Obamacare have skyrocketed to a significant amount of a household's income, even as access to healthcare has diminished.
This blatant disregard for fiscal truth could only come from someone who helped to destroy Illinois' state economy. With a powerhouse economic engine like Chicago, and a fertile agricultural downstate, Illinois should be thriving. Instead, because of Democrat and Progressive policies of continual tax increases and social spending, the state is literally at the lowest bond rating a state can have, their pensions exist unfunded and the state's economy is dead.
Why, in the name of all that is good in the world, should we even entertain listening the Durbin on anything related to economics? His is the mentality that has led us to a national debt of $19.956 trillion and - more importantly - an unfunded mandate of $106.584 trillion.
I don't care how much you want to do good by others, racking up this kind of debt in the name of a social safety net is insane. It is burning down the house.
The Democrat controlled Illinois Senate passed a series of tax hikes May 23 that will raise taxes by more than $5.4 billion. The tax hikes are part of a record $37 billion budget, and will cost the average Illinois family an additional $1,125 annually in State taxes.
Illinois is one of the most oppressive States where State taxes are concerned. It is one of the chief reasons why corporations - as well as people - are leaving that State in mass exodus. It has become near impossible for a family of median income to survive in Illinois without going into debt and having to rely on government (perhaps the Progressive strategy all along).
Meanwhile, Chicago's spendthrift mayor, former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, took to the podium to brag about the largess of the taxpayer funded social services programs the city is making available to both refugees and illegal immigrants.
Van Jones was fond of explaining, the Progressive Movement is all about affecting transformative pressure "top-down, bottom-up" to achieve "inside-out." It seems Chicago has arrived, where non-producers are secure and cared for and producers are bled to death until they become non-producers.
Viva the teat of government, comrades!
The Trump administration was forced to defend itself Tuesday regarding the controversial $1 trillion+ budget deal, after Democrats claimed victory and conservatives claimed GOP leaders caved.
It is true that there area appropriations for Planned Parenthood, and the continuing resolution again funds so-called sanctuary cities while appearing to fail in funding the construction of a border wall, but most all of these budget items were already negotiated last year. This reality spotlights why the appropriations system is damaged beyond repair.
Since 2009 - at least, the Federal Government has been operating on "continuing resolutions." These resolutions build upon the previous budget, applying funding increases allegedly titrated to inflation and the economy. What they are is a political cop-out that provides cover for special interest spending and excuses for spineless fake fiscal conservatives.
There is no good reason why Congress has to execute a comprehensive budget. They could, if they chose to, address budgeting by each individual agency and department, passing and approving one budget at a time. This would remove the special interest leverage usually wielded by Democrats.
To take it a step further, we should all be promoting a constitutional amendment that mandates stand-alone legislation. This way, each and every elected official would be on-record with their vote on each individual measure passed. No longer would they have the excuse, "I had to vote for funding Planned Parenthood because we got an increase in defense spending", or something of the sort.
Stand-alone legislation would eliminate - completely - pork in the budget because no politician in their right mind would vote to appropriate funds for idiotic special interest spending like $150 million for turtle tunnels in Nancy Pelosi's district or $250,000 to find out if fish kiss.
The Trump Administration outlined its tax reform plan Wednesday, with White House economic adviser Gary Cohn saying, “Tax reform is long overdue.”
Among the reforms proposed - and which will be vehemently opposed by elected Democrats and Progressives, and more than likely violently opposed by their street henchmen - is a slash to the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, which will undoubtedly spur economic growth.
The plan also collapses the personal income tax system into three brackets: 10%, 25% and 35%. The current top rate is 39.6 percent, as well as doubles the standard deduction. The current standard deduction would rise from $6,300 to $12,600 for individuals under the proposal. For married couples filing jointly, it would rise from $12,600 to roughly $24,000.
The plan also eliminates all tax deductions but for mortgage write-offs and write-offs for charitable giving. It eliminates the death tax.
Make no mistake. Congressional and Senate Democrats will fight this tooth and nail. Tax cuts translate to the inability to "spend" for the Federal Government. Spending is all Democrats know how to do. They bleed taxpayers to create giveaway programs and funding for special interest initiatives. Tax cuts hobble their ability to fund those fiscally irresponsible avenues.
Viva Tax Reform!!
A group of Progressive executives who want to fight "global warming" - which the astute eco-zealot now refers to as "climate change" - is calling for countries to spend up to $600 billion a year over the next two decades to boost green energy deployment and energy efficiency equipment. The Energy Transitions Commission is made up of green energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former Vice Pres. Al Gore, all of whom would no doubt get a piece of the action.
It would seem that the opportunistic chameleon, Al Gore, has morphed from politician to climate expert to investment banker. Of course, when you follow the trail of greed this hypocrite leaves in his wake, that just makes sense, now doesn't it.
Gore's home in Tennessee has a gargantuan carbon foot print. He flies around the world on private jets. He drags an entourage around with him who gobble up power wherever he goes and he has the audacity to lecture people on energy austerity.
The truth about the "climate change" movement leaders is that they are copulating with the cash cow. Everything they do and propose ends up putting money in their pockets, including the creation of the "carbon credits" commodities exchange; a lucrative guilt market that allows Liberal hypocrites to continue to use energy the way they always have but pay a "fee" for "borrowing" energy against their quotas. Who profits? The commodities traders and the investment bankers.
You want to help the environment? Condemn these greed merchants and clean-up after yourselves (something eco-protesters never do) and stop wasting energy. That's all you have to do.
Have you ever noticed that whenever the subject is a possible government shutdown, even the talking heads on the Right side define it as caused by Congressional Republican? It's inevitable even though it takes both political sides to create that impasse. Such is the importance of defining the narrative.
The truth of the matter is this. Democrats routinely say that Republicans are going to "shutdown government" because Republicans won't sign on to irresponsibly spending money the federal treasury doesn't have, and in fact, most likely won't have in our grand-children's lifetime.
So, why don't the Republicans use the power of defining the narrative to paint any threat of a government shutdown as the failure of the Democrat Party to reign in frivolous and special interest spending and government waste spending?
Why not frame the narrative as Republicans preventing Democrats from causing tax increases; tax increases that would be necessary id Democrats got their way each time they talk about governm,ent shutdowns?
Each and every voter in the United States abhors wasteful government spending and tax increases. Hanging that albatross around the congressional Democrats' neck would shift the blame for government shutdowns from obstructionist Republicans to spendthrift Democrats.
So why not frame it as a Democrat refusal to not tax and spend? Because Republicans suck at messaging and capturing the narrative...they just suck at it!
You've heard it on just about every talking head show whether on radio or television. It's the debate about Obamacare and the Liberal argument about so many million losing their health insurance. They portray it as barbaric and black-hearted. But it was their champion who blew-up the health insurance market. That said, there is a fix.
The costs for individually purchased healthcare would decrease dramatically if we got back to the idea of hospitalization insurance, i.e. insurance meant solely to cover bill in the event of a person's hospitalization. Some call it catastrophic insurance.
If Democrats under Obama would have been smart - and the jury is back with the verdict that they were not - they would have limited Obamacare to hospitalization. The cost of the "marketplace plans" would have been dramatically less because it would have covered dramatically less. It was their insistence that Obamacare cover everything from catastrophic hospitalization to unnecessary wellness visits that made the idea untenable. It is also the reason it must die.
Not too long ago - within my lifetime, most families had hospitalization insurance and covered the cost of routine doctor visits out of pocket. When the math is all said and done the cost of an average families medical expenses is much less than the cost of maintaining a "comprehensive" plan that is seldom used.
Couple that with meaningful tort reform so that frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are dramatically minimized or eliminated and we just may be able to see healthcare costs return to manageable levels.
Democrat and Progressive lawmakers, and their toady activists, rang in Tax Day with nationwide protests meant to pressure Pres. Trump to release his tax returns. Organizers were hoping for the biggest anti-Trump showing since January's Women's March.
To say that the onus of this activism is asinine would be an insult to asinine things. The issue of Donald Trump's personal tax returns is a false-flag narrative meant to harass. What his tax returns would show means nothing. If illegal activity were to have taken place via his income the IRS would have been all over it during the campaign seeing how the Obama Administration was using government agencies to spy and attack opponents.
So, while these blithering idiots march in the streets to protest an irrelevancy, they fail at all times to protest the real demon in government and that is the incremental increase in taxes by politicians who are robbing the productive to grease the wheels of income redistribution so that they can get re-elected; so that they can use taxpayer monies to retain power. Where are the protests about that?
This is why it is increasingly impossible to take the "street marchers" as serious, intellectually. They are basically knee-jerk, emotion driven narrative consumers who fail - constantly - to examine the issues and the consequences of their actions.
I'd use the word "dolts" to describe them but dolts can't help their stupidity...
The White House has ordered a reduction and streamlining of the federal government, replacing the hiring freeze Pres. Trump implemented upon taking office. The Wednesday directive was ordered along with a 14-page plan to federal agencies detailing the objective to hire in areas of high priority and cut back in others.
Much to the chagrin of Trump-haters, this is yet another promise kept from the campaign trail: the downsizing of a bloated, redundant and ineffective bureaucratic government machine.
In many ways, modern day elections have done little to bring relief to the people. The bureaucratic machine is so expansive and filled with careerist ideologues that continue their preferred agendas instead of the empowered administration's that true change almost never takes place. A perfect example was the Lois Lerner/IRS scandal. To this day many small conservative non-profits haven't achieved status and many more lost theirs. No one has been held legally accountable to date, either.
Government is not supposed to be the largest employer in the United States. It is supposed to be held to a bare minimum; refraining from over-reach and performing only constitutionally mandated services. It has grown far from what it was supposed to be...and We the People are suffering for it.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said the passenger seen in a viral video who was dragged, bloodied off his company’s plane had “defied” security officers and had become “disruptive and belligerent.” This has cause some lawmakers to call for an investigation into the incident.
Munoz defended the airline’s heavy-handed actions in forcibly removing a passenger from a Chicago flight bound for Louisville because they had over-booked and needed to move employees from one airport to another. Their policy is to boot paying customers to shuttle employees.
It goes without saying that the airline industry in the United States leaves a lot to be desired. From insane ticket costs to extra charges for just about everything that used to be complimentary just a decade ago, to travel date restrictions requiring people to stay longer at their destinations than they need to constant delays and refusal of disembarkation during prolonged delays, there is no question that the industry needs desperately to be retooled.
Add to this the fact that in many cases it costs more to fly 250 miles than it does coast-to-coast and/or overseas and the airlines themselves are making it harder for Americans to travel - to freely travel - then just a few years ago.
As for the cost of air travel, one can safely say that the over-regulation of the industry contributes. An examination of government fees from local to federal shows how the airline passenger is gouged by the government for the "privilege" of air travel. And now they want to "investigate" the United incident, which promises another round of government mandates on the airlines.
The private sector can handle the incredibly bone-headed move by United. As of today, I don't know of anyone who will choose to fly United willingly until something is done to rectify what happened to that paying passenger. The government should butt out unless it is called upon to act in a judicial capacity via a lawsuit.
The Washington Post, an ever increasing source for rumors transformed into news, is reporting that The White House is looking at the possibilities of creating a carbon tax and a value-added tax as part of tax reform. This as Pres. Trump and congressional Republicans work toward passing tax-reform legislation this year.
If true the news is both concerning and partial welcome. A carbon tax would be antithetical to Trump's pro-business agenda and, therefore, contrary to everything he ran on. This would be viewed as a betrayal of one of his premier campaign promises: to get the government off businesses' backs.
But the consideration of a Value Added Tax (VAT) - a move despised by the likes of Grover Norquist, on whom his Saudi wife has an influence - indicates the forces behind the FAIR Tax are being heard in the White House.
The only caution in implementing the FAIR Tax is this. The whole of the income tax structure for individuals would have to be scrapped, otherwise the implementation of the FAIR Tax would be nothing more than a gigantic tax increase; elected officials would necessarily not be trusted not to raise a decreased income tax in the future.
On January 20, 2017, otherwise known as "day one" of the Trump Administration, Pres. Trump issued an Executive Order regarding Obamacare that was met with a great sigh of relief by the American public. After all, the order lifted the weight of Obamacare from our shoulders, right? Well, not so much.
The words sounded incredible to hear after 7 years of draconian interference into the private sector by an overreaching Federal Government. In Section 2 of his first Executive Order, it states:
"To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications."
The key words here are these: "To the maximum extent permitted by law." This means what sounded so grand; what allowed people to breathe that sigh of relief, was something that for the individual is hollow. The law is solid on the mandate and that means that people must continue to carry Obamacare approved health insurance of face huge fines come this April 15, 2017. It's still the law and HHS Sec. Tom Price has stated to Congress that he will uphold that law.
Unless Pres. Trump issues an order defying Obamacare - like Mr. Obama did with border enforcement and prosecution of illegal immigrants, nothing has changed. We have delivered Republicans everything they said they need to repeal this absurd law, and they have done nothing to provide us relief.
Republicans need to advance a bill with a singular purpose: repealing Obamacare in total. Then they will have kept their promise to the people - a 7 year promise. The repeal will certainly motivate Democrats to abandon obstruction because their asses will be on the political line then, too.
Frankly, I wonder why we need to replace anything. Repeal all the laws that prevent health insurance from being prtable over state lines and execute tort reform and watch health insurance prices plummet.
The failure of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), to move the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to a successful vote in the House is embarrassing. Whether or not there were overreaches and flaws in the legislation is almost irrelevant. With seven years to craft an acceptable piece of legislation that would have everyone sign on, there is no excuse - no excuse - for what the nation just witnessed.
First, unless you do your own taxes there are new forms that have to be filed to satisfy proof of health insurance coverage. If you go to Jackson-Hewitt or H&R Block, these extra forms are going to cost you, and not just a little bit.
Second, the requirement to have health insurance is still on the books and that means the fines are still on the books. Little has been done to quell the uneasiness of the people in the vague language of Donald Trump's executive order to the IRS not to exact penalties for non-compliance. So, may who do not have health insurance will necessarily pay the fines to stay on the right side of the law.
Congress needs to repeal Obamacare directly and make it retroactive to 2015, so that the American people are covered - legally - against this unconstitutional law. Argue about fixing things later, but the American people need relief from it now!
President Trump needs to have a prime time presidential address to the nation from the Oval Office telling the people that he is directing the Treasury Department (read: the IRS) to completely cease enforcement of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) under penalties that would hold each employee accountable should they violate the order.
He then needs to tell the American people - directly - that they will not be penalized for not complying with the ACA, and that they will not be in violation of the law. If former Pres. Obama can selectively enforce laws - as he did incessantly during his tenure - then what id good for the goose...
These actions must - must - be taken otherwise the Middle Class will get rocked next month. After everything we delivered to the GOP they owe us at least this much.
Time to write your elected officials. Click here.
As the vote to repeal and replace Obamacare comes down to the wire, there is a good possibility that the effort - almost 8 years n the making - will fail. Pres. Trump says if it does he will move on to another agenda item.
This failure would be unconscionable and it would be attributed, in part, to one major point: Republicans, like Democrats and Progressives, are not listening to their constituents and, instead, navigating their votes by way of their person political ideology.
An overwhelming majority of Americans, in almost every congressional district and in every state, has protested Obamacare - and especially the mandate to purchase health insurance. Yet, for political reasons, Republicans have sought to replace this wholly unconstitutional law with another form of government intervention instead of simply repealing the law like constituents have demanded.
This, in part, stems from the inside-the-beltway mentality that there has to be a "comprehensive" effort to every issue. There does not. The goal of this election, in part, was to repeal Obamacare. That needs to be done if everything else about the Trump healthcare insurance initiative fails.
But Republicans are screwing the pooch on this moment in time; the opportunity, because they have lost their laser focus on the one thing We the People have demanded our elected representatives do: repeal Obamacare.
If the current effort fails, Republicans most immediately - immediately - repeal Obamacare in total. Then they can eliminate laws and regulations that prohibit the purchase of health insurance over state lines, which would create competition and reduce costs. Then they can then work on safety-net, politically-based, social programs in an effort to improve their electability, although I see no constitutional authority for government intervention into the private sector.
To wit, it was government intervention in laws and regulations that prohibited purchasing health insurance over state lines that caused this problem in the first place.
It was announced late Thursday that the vote to repeal Obamacare and move the American Health Care Act forward had to be delayed because Republicans couldn't get their sh*t together. Any way you look at it, this is bad...very bad.
Put aside, for a moment, that Republicans had seven years to have this disagreement settled. That, in and of itself is worth a bitch slap to every one of their faces.
The failure of Republicans to act as a cohesive unit has made Republicans - a majority in both legislative chambers, and who own the White House - vulnerable to Progressive pressure tactics that are played out from outside the legitimate governmental process. Now, the narrative rules and process and procedure need to accommodate that fact.
Stupid is as stupid does.
I align, ideologically, with the sentiment of the House Freedom Caucus. I don't think government should be injected in the free market where health insurance (and that is what we are talking about) is concerned. If you want to figure something out for those who fall through the cracks then bring that issue through regular order and see where it goes, but slipping entitlements into the repeal of a wholly unconstitutional piece of legislation is bullsh*t.
Where I differ with the Freedom Caucus is in it's process. Progressives have taught us - by virtue of success - that incremental victory combined with relentless attention and dedication gets you to where you want to go. Republicans should have learned that lesson and held other Trump Administration initiatives hostage to get the full measure of what they wanted in repeal/replace rather than causing this exploitable fissure in the GOP.
That said, Pres. Trump and Speaker Ryan need to be able to provide assurances to the Freedom Caucus and Senate Conservatives that their concerns will be incorporated in the final measure. So far, the fissure is all about trust that "Phase II" and "Phase III" will actually be achieved.
Republicans have to transcend their immovable positions to do what is right for the country. If that means understanding that incremental victory can lead to total victory than so be it. If it means trusting in your fellow Republicans, so be it. But failure is not an option...and the American people are watching.
Failure on the part of the Republicans to deliver relief from Obamacare will be the death of the party...guaranteed.
Pres. Trump took to twisting the arms of House Republicans in a high-stakes bid to get an Obamacare replacement bill passed this week. With the push back one would think the House and the Senate were controlled by Democrats. The chaotic reality of the GOP effort prompted Trump to infer that primary challenges would be supported if legislators didn't get their sh*t together.
Such is the bully pulpit as administered by Donald Trump. If you're not going to do what you promised to do - and understand that it may have to be done through a process is that "omnibus" in style - you are going to be run-over.
That said, one of the big stumbling blocks to fiscal hawks supporting the current bill - a bill that is fluid and still subject to dramatic change, is the employment of tax credits for those who purchase health insurance and who satisfy the means testing. Some complain this is nothing more than a government subsidy.
Now, how in the hell is me keeping more of my hard-earned money; not sending my wages to Washington for them to spend it on turtle tunnels and dysfunctional regulatory agency efforts, seen as a "subsidy"? It is me getting to keep more of my money - my money, not the government's due, my money!
When fiscal hawks start talking about our money as if it is owed them we have a really big problem in Washington.