Celebrate Independence Day with a Rolling Rally!
Join Patriots 28560 as we caravan to Newport for the Crystal Coast Tea Party's Rally for America!
When: Saturday, July 3
Time: Gather from 11:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Where: Westbook Shopping Center (near CVS Pharmacy), Havelock, NC
Depart: 11:15 a.m.
Destination: Newport Flea Mall to join the Crystal Coast Tea Party's Rally for America celebration
Celebration Events: Reading of The Declaration of Independence, Special Speakers, Sign-Up for 912 March on DC, and join like-minded Patriots as we celebrate the birth of our Nation.
For more information visit Patriots28560.blogspot.com, email Patriots28560@gmail.com or call 252.259.0763.
HOW A ROLLING RALLY WORKS
Our caravan of vehicles from Havelock will roll into Newport together. Don't forget your signs. And you can also purchase window paint (or borrow ours!) and make sure your Independence Day celebration messages are visible as we travel from Havelock to Newport.
Our goal is to have each car display a small (or large, especially if you have a truck) American flag as well as signs and window paint identifying us as Patriots headed to an Independence Day celebration.
YOU'RE INVITED TO JOIN US
You do not have to be affiliated with any group or organization to join the celebration or to join Patriots 28560. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your zip code, area code or membership in other Patriots groups.
Located in Eastern North Carolina, Patriots 28560 is a group of non-partisan, concerned citizens who have joined together to resist excessive government spending and taxation. We are affiliated with the Tea Party Patriots as well as the 912 Project. We believe in Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Market Principles.
Governors of 35 states have already filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (� of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
An idea whose time has come;
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.
Have each person contact a minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."
President Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is supposed to represent American workers. What you need to know is that this longtime open-borders sympathizer has always had a rather radical definition of "American." At a Latino voter registration project conference in Los Angeles many years ago, Solis asserted to thunderous applause, "We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not."
That's right. The woman in charge of enforcing our employment laws doesn't give a hoot about our immigration laws -- or about the fundamental distinction between those who followed the rules in pursuit of the American dream and those who didn't.
While in Congress, she opposed strengthening the border fence, supported expansion of illegal alien benefits (including driver's licenses and in-state tuition discounts), embraced sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with federal homeland security officials to enforce immigration laws, and aggressively championed a mass amnesty. Solis was steeped in the pro-illegal alien worker organizing movement in Southern California and was buoyed by amnesty-supporting Big Labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union. She has now caused a Capitol Hill firestorm over her new taxpayer-funded advertising and outreach campaign to illegal aliens regarding fair wages:
"I'm here to tell you that your president, your secretary of labor and this department will not allow anyone to be denied his or her rightful pay -- especially when so many in our nation are working long, hard and often dangerous hours," Solis says in the video pitch. "We can help, and we will help. If you work in this country, you are protected by our laws. And you can count on the U.S. Department of Labor to see to it that those protections work for you."
To be sure, no one should be scammed out of "fair wages." Employers that hire and exploit illegal immigrant workers deserve full sanctions and punishment. But it's the timing, tone-deafness and underlying blanket amnesty agenda of Solis' illegal alien outreach that has so many American workers and their representatives on Capitol Hill rightly upset.
With double-digit unemployment and a growing nationwide revolt over Washington's border security failures, why has Solis chosen now to hire 250 new government field investigators to bolster her illegal alien workers' rights campaign? (Hint: Leftists unhappy with Obama's lack of progress on "comprehensive immigration reform" need appeasing. This is a quick bone to distract them.)
Unfortunately, the federal government is not alone in lavishing attention and resources on workers who shouldn't be here in the first place. As of 2008, California, Florida, Nevada, New York, Texas and Utah all expressly included illegal aliens in their state workers' compensation plans -- and more than a dozen other states implicitly cover them.
Solis' public service announcement comes on the heels of little-noticed but far more troubling comments encouraging illegal alien workers in the Gulf Coast. Earlier this month, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to Spanish language publication El Diario La Prensa, Solis signaled that her department was going out of its way to shield illegal immigrant laborers involved in cleanup efforts. "My purpose is to assist the workers with respect to safety and protection," she said. "We're protecting all workers regardless of migration status because that's the federal law." She told reporters that her department was in talks with local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials who had visited coastal worksites to try to verify that workers were legal.
No word yet on whether she gave ICE her "we are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not" lecture. But it's a safe bet.
This week, Congress is set to pass the "Dodd-Frank Act" -- the latest 2,000+ page government makeover/takeover of our society.
National Review notes that the bill is aptly named after two of the leading causes of the financial crisis that precipitated the legislation -- noting that Frank led the push to extend home ownership to (quoting Frank) "people who might not on their own in a market situation be able to afford it" and rejected warnings of a housing market collapse. Dodd called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "one of the great success stories of all time" -- a success that has cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
A citizen comment on a Wall Street Journal article on the Wall Street bill perhaps summed things up the best: "Another reason to throw the bums out."
The Dodd-Frank Act amounts to nothing less than a massive government takeover of the financial sector.
Here's how the Wall Street Journal describes the bill: "In the name of responding to a crisis, the bill greatly increases the power of politicians and regulators without addressing the real causes of that crisis."
Even worse - it took over 2,000 pages and more than a year of backroom dealings that the main architect of the bill doesn't really know what the bill will do!
After claiming the bill marks a "great moment," Dodd then said... "No one will know until this is actually in place how it works."
It is actually very clear how this works. The Statists are once again seizing control of the economy and the people are left with one recourse... FLIP THIS HOUSE!
Americans for Prosperity and Mayor Pat McCrory Team Up To Defeat Expansion Of Welfare For Politicians
Section of Ethics Bill that would raise taxes and fees to fund political campaigns removed from bill after massive grassroots uprising
Taxpayers will save millions of dollars that would have been spent on political campaigns after a grassroots uprising lead by Americans for Prosperity along with Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory caused state senate democratic leaders to pull the controversial “welfare for politicians” section out of the ethics bill.
North Carolina State Director of Americans for Prosperity, Dallas Woodhouse, today praised the grassroots effort of its members and taxpayers across North Carolina for burning up the phone lines at the General Assembly in a successful effort to stop the tax increases and taxpayer funding of political campaigns that was in the bill.
“I want to thank the thousands of people from across North Carolina that have contacted their state senators to oppose the expansion of taxpayer funding of elections and the tax increases that would have funded the scheme,” said Woodhouse. “This is clearly a victory for taxpayers all across North Carolina and it would not have happened without the efforts of our grassroots members and the leadership of Mayor Pat McCrory. Mr. McCrory recorded phone messages to tens of thousands of voters across North Carolina in an effort to educate taxpayers about this bill. We thank him for this successful call to action that has spared taxpayers additional tax increases.
North Carolina State Senate Majority leader Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncome) is quoted in the Raleigh News and Observer as saying the AFP phone project created a “firestorm” at the General Assembly.
State Senator John Snow (D-Murphy) told the Associated Press his office received over 70 phone calls on the issue as well as e-mails from Americans For Prosperity members.
"Public financing is very popular with hard leftists in Raleigh, but when people back home found out about this, they reacted very viscerally and negatively," Woodhouse said.
“We knew our grassroots effort was working because thousands of people are calling and e-mailing their state senator and asking them to not support the part of the ethics bill that would raise taxes to fund political campaigns. While I support efforts to clean up state government and believe we need a strong ethics bill, House Bill 961 would have raised fees and taxes on job creation at the worst possible time,” said McCrory. “It was also a mistake to add this provision at the last minute in the middle of the night to what should be a bi-partisan ethics bill.
Americans for Prosperity® (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 1,000,000 members, including members in all 50 states, and 30 state chapters and affiliates. More than 55,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial investment in AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
AFP: 4th Annual Defending the American Dream -- 2010 National Summit – NC Bus Trip, Friday August 27th to Saturday August 28 th AND RESTORING HONOR RALLY WITH GLENN BECK
4th Annual Defending the American Dream
2010 National Summit – NC Bus Trip
Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road NW
Washington , DC 20008
Friday August 27th to Saturday August 28 th
RESTORING HONOR RALLY WITH GLENN BECK
Friday, August 27th (early morning departure) – Saturday, August 28th (late night return)
All buses will leave Washington, DC Saturday late afternoon/ evening. Check website for updates on departure times for each city on Friday morning and exact Washington departure times on Saturday. Details are still unfolding.
REGISTER NOW and click on bus package. Or you may also register for the Summit only and take care of your own transportation and hotel accommodations.
Cities where chartered buses will depart (exact locations of departure will be updated on website, as soon as possible): Charlotte, Greensboro, Southern Pines, Sanford, Raleigh, North Raleigh, Town of Wake Forest, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Dunn
Each North Carolina special bus package below includes : Summit registration, transportation on chartered bus, one-night’s lodging at Omni Shoreham Hotel (3/10 miles from the Marriott Wardman) or equivalent hotel, two meals (Friday Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner and one other ) and bus or metro transportation to Restoring Honor Rally.
Double Occupancy Package Cost: $229.00 per person
Select your roommate when registering or AFP will assign a roommate of same gender.
Single Occupancy Package Cost: $299.00 per person
Student Package or Third/Fourth Person in Room: call 919.839.1011 for details
Space is limited so go online today to get information and to:
Since space is limited, registering online is the quickest way to secure a spot on the bus. If you wish to pay by check, please call 919.839.1011 ext. 1 or 4 OR email email@example.com and we will send a registration sheet. Don’t delay!
We look forward to having you with in Washington, DC!
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning last November's Presidential election:
•Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29
•Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000
•Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million
•Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.
Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
Why We Must Win and we MUST educate (Not seeing us doing this enough)
Here’s an update to other headlines that underscore why it is so important for you and your friends to vote against every liberal on the ballot in 151 days.
•Obama’s policies are going to cost us jobs.
•Obama took additional steps recently to undermine traditional marriage by extending spousal benefits to homosexual partners of federal employees. I’d like to know how the president justifies the continued discrimination against the heterosexual partners of unmarried federal employees.
•70% of likely voters want to crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens. Amazingly, the Obama Administration is trying to overturn state laws that do just that. So, what immigration laws will it enforce?
•While hardworking families of the Gulf Coast were worried about losing their jobs and homes due to the gushing oil spill, Obama was partying with Paul McCartney at the White House Wednesday night.
•With Obama’s support, the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives voted recently to repeal the ban on open homosexuality in the military. How did your representative vote?
•If banning military recruiters from campus and breaking the law in the process wasn’t bad enough, here’s more evidence that Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is a leftwing judicial activist.
Barach Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.
Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of '83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival ... and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.
-- Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?
-- Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama's biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama "spread the wealth around."
-- Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama's plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.
-- Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.
-- Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions -- including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.
-- Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.
With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.
Add it up and you've got the perfect Marxist scheme -- all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan.
Posted By Eve Zibel On June 22, 2010 @ 4:32 pm In "Don't Ask Don't Tell", Family Medical Leave
The Labor Department is poised to announce new regulations this week that order U.S. employers to give gay employees equal treatment under the law, allowing those workers unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Critics say the Obama administration is going too far. “They're trying to redefine marriage and family by these arbitrary policies with no debate by congress, no public discussion about it," says Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family.
Gay rights activists, who strongly supported President Obama’s campaign, wish the administration would go further. “It's not repealing the defense of marriage act, it's a small step but it's an important one," says Brian Moulton of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The announcement comes as the president declares June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender month, with an event Tuesday night at the White House to celebrate it. But even as some are ready to fete the occasion, the president is already creating a new firestorm, with his recent Mother’s Day and Father’s Day proclamations which referenced families that include “two mothers” and “two fathers,” respectively, a move conservatives criticized and called “divisive.” Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the president “was just trying to be inclusive of all sorts of families.”
But at an event celebrating Father’s Day on Monday, Obama talked, as he has before, about how he missed having both a father and a mother present while growing up. "He [Obama’s father] left my family when I was two years old. And while I was lucky to have a wonderful mother and loving grandparents who poured everything they had into me and my sister, I still felt the weight of that absence. It's something that leaves a hole in a child's life that no government can fill,” Obama said.
President Obama has said he does not support same-sex marriage, but Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family says the latest effort by the Labor Department is a unilateral move by the Obama White House designed to eventually bypass the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“This is just one more example of where the Obama administration is really bypassing the defense of marriage act that defines marriage as one man and one woman,” Earll told Fox News.
Moulton of HRC, a group working on behalf of the LGBT community, says the latest move by the administration is a step in the right direction, toward perhaps an eventual repeal of DOMA. “Certainly it's not medical leave to take care of a partner, it's not repealing the defense of marriage act, it's a small step but it's an important one.”
Meanwhile, it’s not just the Family Medical Leave Act the Obama administration is handling that pertains to the LGBT community. The White House is also focused on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – something the president said he would work on in his State of the Union address earlier this year.
“We would like to see it happen sooner, I think we keep moving along a pace and the Pentagon will finish its review and we are hopeful and confident president is going to move toward that certification as soon as possible,” says Moulton.
Critics feel that the military’s policy on gay service members will be one more step toward a further erosion of the Defense of Marriage Act. “The repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will set the stage for the federal government to have to recognize same sex relationships of identified gays and lesbians in the military," says Earll.
While candidate Obama was popular with the gay and lesbian community for saying he would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he began to run into trouble with gay and lesbian organizations once in office. In October of last year, the President had to once again affirm his pledge of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell at an annual dinner after months of what the community called stalling tactics.
"We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie, " Obama said at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Washington on October 10, 2009."So, I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy. I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That's my commitment to you." That statement, at the time, was met with applause from those in the room.
The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDREDMILLION or 20% of the world's population.
They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1988 - Najib Mahfooz
1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 - Elias James Corey
1994 - Yaser Arafat: ?????
1999 - Ahmed Zewai
1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad
TOTAL: 7 SEVEN
The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world's population.
They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Si nger
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World
1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin
1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Ben jamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Si dney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marc us
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger
1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Si mon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Si mon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Mark owitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel
1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herb ert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Si r Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Ben acerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis
1996- Lu Rose Iacovino
The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims. The Jews don't hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants.
There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew who protests by killing people.
The Jews don't traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.
Perhaps the world's Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.
Muslims must ask 'what can they do for humankind' before they demand that humankind respects them.
Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel 's part, the following two sentences really say it all:
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more
Israel’. Benjamin Netanyahu
General Eisenhower Warned Us
It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.
He did this because he said in words to this effect:
'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses -because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were 'murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated' while the German people looked the other way.
Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people.
Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States?
The sweeping health-care legislation enacted this spring is many things. It is a vast expansion of federal power. It is a budget-busting entitlement. It is a regulatory nightmare. But to a far greater degree than its advocates have acknowledged, it is also a massive expansion of Medicaid. This means that, under the new law, a hugely expensive program already deep in crisis would not only continue essentially unreformed: It would be put at the very center of America's health-care system.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program of health coverage for the poor. Its exact rules and practices vary from state to state; generally speaking, however, it is open to people with low incomes (below or just above the federal poverty level) and with some additional compelling condition of need — like being a parent, or having a serious disability. With these eligibility restrictions in place, Medicaid already covers 60 million Americans and accounts for 16 cents of every dollar spent on medical services in the United States.
Under Obamacare, though, people with household incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (about $14,400 for individuals, or $29,300 for a family of four) will be eligible for Medicaid regardless of whether they meet any of the other conditions of need. As a result of these loosened eligibility requirements, the bill's proponents expect some 16 million more Americans to sign up for Medicaid between 2014 (when the new rules go into effect) and 2019. This enormous increase in the Medicaid rolls represents about half of Obamacare's projected reduction in the number of uninsured Americans.
On paper, this Medicaid expansion also accounts for about half of the Congressional Budget Office's $940 billion cost projection over the new law's first 10 years. But the effects of expanding Medicaid — one of the most expensive, unwieldy, and perverse creations of American government — will almost certainly be much larger, more extensive, and more dramatic than the CBO's computations suggest.
It is likely, for instance, that far more than 16 million additional people will sign up for Medicaid. As a result of the new eligibility rules, many Americans who are now insured through their employers — but who nonetheless have incomes below the new threshold — will suddenly be eligible for essentially free health care from the government. Many of their employers, as small businesses, will be exempt from any penalties for dropping their employees' coverage. These workers will thus be "crowded out" of private coverage into Medicaid, vastly increasing public costs.
Although there are no hard estimates of the anticipated crowd-out effect of the new law, past experience with Medicaid expansions provides plenty of reasons to be concerned. For example, the National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that of every tax dollar spent on Medicaid expansions during the 1990s, at least half went to new enrollees who dropped their private health plans to join the program, rather than to previously uninsured people. For the related State Children's Health Insurance Program established in the late 1990s, the crowd-out effect averaged about 60%.
Obamacare will therefore put Medicaid increasingly at the heart of our health-care system. For reformers truly interested in "bending the cost curve," this is very bad news: The flaws of the existing Medicaid program — and the extraordinary strain they place on the nation's finances — are high among the reasons why health-care reform is needed in the first place. And Obamacare's exacerbation of those flaws is high among the reasons why the new law will need to be rolled back, and why any serious alternative proposal for improving our health-care system must include Medicaid reform.
THE BOTTOM LAYER
The slapdash way in which a huge and unwieldy expansion of Medicaid became the centerpiece of Obamacare is very much in line with the entitlement's pedigree. From the outset, the story of Medicaid has been one of carelessness, poor planning, and ill-conceived policy design.
The story begins in 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt appointed a commission to fashion sweeping social-welfare legislation that he intended to champion the following year. The commission's final report proposed the programs that would become Social Security and Aid to Families with Dependent Children, as well as a national health-insurance plan resembling programs that, by then, had already been adopted in several European countries.
But Roosevelt decided that the commission's policy ambitions exceeded his political appetite, and so he left the health-care component out of the 1935 Social Security Act. Still, advocates in and out of government kept pushing. In 1937, another Roosevelt-administration commission outlined a long-term strategy for enacting a "comprehensive National Health Program"; this initiative would have included federal health and disability insurance funded by payroll taxes, as well as federal support for hospitals and federal aid for state medical-assistance programs. Roosevelt did not act on those proposals, but each of them would, in one form or another, become federal law in the course of the following 30 years.
During the 1940s and '50s, a succession of liberal politicians championed national health-insurance legislation only to see their proposals wilt under the glare of unsympathetic voters (and the American Medical Association). So advocates adopted a more incremental strategy. In 1956, Congress and the Eisenhower administration added disability benefits to Social Security. And in 1960, two congressional Democrats — Arkansas representative Wilbur Mills and Oklahoma senator Robert Kerr — teamed up to pitch a federal bailout of failing state programs that provided relief to destitute seniors and people with severe physical or mental disabilities. Unlike calls for universal health care, the Kerr-Mills proposal built on what most lawmakers had long considered to be a legitimate role for government (albeit one that belonged at the state level): to secure housing, sustenance, and basic care for a small group of clearly infirm people whose needs far exceeded their families' resources (and who might otherwise populate street corners or prisons). Mills in particular saw the 1960 legislation as a way to head off any broader, more intrusive federal legislation on health care. He was, of course, mistaken: The program created a precedent for federal bailouts of state relief programs, but without actually appropriating much money for them. Emboldened, hospitals and state governments pushed for more.
In 1964, after resounding Democratic electoral victories, President Lyndon Johnson decided it was time to enact the health-care proposals that had been left out of the Social Security Act nearly 30 years earlier. As the debate began, there were three significant ideas on the table. The main Democratic bill, which reporters soon dubbed "Medi-care," proposed a universal, government-run health plan for senior citizens, to be funded by payroll taxes. A Republican bill that earned the less elegant nickname "Better-care" proposed a voluntary health plan for seniors that would have been funded by a combination of premiums and general tax revenues. A third, bipartisan bill was called "Elder-care" and, unlike previous legislative efforts, had the backing of the American Medical Association; it sought to strengthen the Kerr-Mills system of federal grants to state programs caring for the indigent, the disabled, and poor seniors in nursing homes.
By this time, Wilbur Mills had become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which made him central to the process of crafting the final bill. He decided to take that process behind closed doors and to fashion what came to be called the "three-layer cake" — an amalgam of the three bills. The Democratic bill became Medicare Part A, which provides hospitalization insurance. The Republican bill mutated into Medicare Part B, covering physician charges but retaining only a semblance of voluntary participation and patient premiums. Elder-care morphed into Medicaid — attracting the least legislative attention of the three proposals, and serving primarily to satisfy insistent demands for greater federal support for state health-care programs tending to the poorest of the poor. Compared to the other two components of the legislation, Medicaid was almost an afterthought.
This lack of planning and careful attention certainly revealed itself in the program's haphazard design. Unlike the two parts of Medicare, Medicaid is a joint federal-state undertaking: Each state administers its own Medicaid system, though it must follow broad federal guidelines for the program's design and operation. Funding responsibilities are shared by the federal government and the states in accordance with a formula based largely on the scope of poverty within each state; wealthier states, like Connecticut and Colorado, receive a 50% federal share, while poorer states receive significantly larger federal subsidies. (The largest share this year is Mississippi's, at 74.7%.)
Wilbur Mills and other early champions of the program denied that Medicaid was intended to be another large entitlement; they saw it merely as a safety net for the poorest and most helpless Americans. But it didn't take long for state politicians and lawyers to figure out how to maximize the participation of the able-bodied poor, and for financial advisors to juggle the assets of middle-class seniors so that Medicaid would pay for their nursing-home bills. The sloppiness of the legislation — including the many loopholes it opened up — made out-of-control costs inevitable.
A BALLOONING ENTITLEMENT
The sheer scope of the Medicaid program today would have shocked its designers. Politicians, analysts, and the media tend to focus their attention on the controversial management, rapid growth, and shaky finances of Medicare — and yet Medicaid enrolls more people than Medicare, spends almost as much on hospital and doctor payments, and presents the government and health providers with at least as many fiscal and managerial headaches.
Medicaid is also projected to grow more rapidly than Medicare — and was even before the passage of Obamacare. In fact, if it hadn't been for the Bush administration's Medicare expansion in 2003, Medicaid would probably already be the country's most expensive health-care entitlement. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare expenditures will be about $516 billion in 2010, while Medicaid (including the State Children's Health Insurance Program) will cost $436 billion (to be shared by states and the federal Treasury).
Many factors have contributed to Medicaid's astonishing growth rate. At its inception in 1965, the program cost state and federal taxpayers only $1.3 billion, or about $9 billion in today's dollars. Projected to increase only modestly, annual Medicaid spending (combined state and federal) in fact exploded — to $29 billion in 1970, $68 billion in 1980, $121 billion in 1990, and $250 billion in 2000 (all in 2010 dollars). Obviously, the growth in the cost of health care more generally has outpaced that of most other goods and services during the same period. But in most years since 1965, Medicaid spending has grown faster than either private health spending or Medicare spending.
One reason for this cost explosion has been Medicaid's repeated expansions of eligibility and benefits — expansions that are encouraged by the program's matching-funds design. Under the current system, federal policymakers establish general guidelines, while state policymakers set the specific provisions of their own Medicaid programs. Often, county-level officials are responsible for the actual implementation and enforcement of eligibility and benefit rules.
This shared funding and administration of Medicaid has created a host of perverse incentives, especially for policymakers at the state and local levels. They reap all the political benefits of more generous coverage or looser eligibility rules, but pay only a fraction of the financial cost of such largesse, since the federal government picks up most of the tab. And during downturns and times of lean budgets, state lawmakers will bear the entire political burden if they allow steep eligibility cuts — but will reap only a portion of the fiscal benefits, since most of the cost savings will accrue to the federal government. State and local officials are thus more inclined to spend lavishly on Medicaid than on programs funded entirely by the state.
Moreover, because of both historical accident and the program's design, Medicaid has ended up paying for a very large share of the most expensive of all medical services. From 1960 to 1990, the fastest-growing category of health-care spending was long-term care: stays in nursing homes and home-health visits for elderly and disabled patients. Since 1990, increases in nursing-home spending have moderated some, but the cost of home-based health care has skyrocketed.
Nearly all Americans over the age of 65 are enrolled in Medicare to cover routine doctor visits, hospitalizations, drugs, and other medical services. But Medicare does not cover long-term care or nursing-home stays. For seniors with low incomes, though, Medicaid does pay for such costs: Indeed, it is the single largest payer of nursing-home bills in America (covering 43% of all costs). It also pays one-third of all home-based health-care bills — a number that is projected to grow to one-half by the end of the decade. Thus, as America's population has aged, Medicaid has bloated.
Finally, because Medicaid is, in principle, a means-tested program of public assistance, its design makes it extremely difficult to introduce cost-saving incentives that motivate recipients to think and act like consumers. Federal laws and policies restrict how much cost-sharing states can impose on recipients. And while some states have conducted promising experiments with financial incentives — such as cash accounts managed by recipients — any state's room to maneuver is limited by federal law. Medicaid has also been plagued for years by fraudulent enrollments and claims; such abuse is exacerbated by the fact that the program involves a class of claimants who have little incentive to cooperate with efforts to streamline medical care or reduce long-term expenses.
In short, Medicaid's inherent flaws guarantee that the program's burgeoning costs will endanger America's fiscal health. Like Medicare and Social Security, Medicaid represents an implicit promise of expensive benefits, the costs of which will far exceed future revenues. But unlike the costs of Medicare and Social Security, future Medicaid expenses won't just show up on the books of a heavily indebted federal Treasury: They also represent one of the largest fiscal obligations of state governments, which, for the most part, are not allowed to issue debt for operating expenses. With the program already accounting for more than one-fifth of total state operating budgets, Medicaid growth will mean painful state tax increases, reductions in basic state services like public safety and education, or some combination of both.
Consider the case of California, one of the nation's hardest-hit states. Already facing a $20 billion budget hole in the current fiscal year, California will see its Medicaid caseload rise by nearly 25% after Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014, costing state taxpayers another $2 to $3 billion a year. "We face enormous challenges just sustaining our existing program," California's Medicaid administrator told Bloomberg News in March. "I just don't see states having the capacity to move forward on these changes in this environment."
It is also important to remember that Medicaid is not just a health-care program. It is the largest single component of America's welfare state, far outweighing the dollar value of cash assistance, food stamps, or housing aid. Like these other programs, Medicaid often provides implicit disincentives to work, since increases in income can mean the loss of eligibility for a very valuable benefit. Unless future policymakers introduce reforms to help break the generational cycle of dependency — fixes based on principles that have worked in other welfare overhauls, like time limits and work requirements — the prospect of losing thousands of dollars a year in essentially free health care will perpetuate strong incentives against moving up the economic ladder. Refusing work, or accepting off-the-books jobs with few long-term prospects, will become rational choices for families facing the steep effective tax rates created by the eligibility rules for Medicaid (and soon to be made worse by Obamacare).
In this sense, as in so many others, the new health-care law makes a longstanding problem all the more difficult to solve. But simply rolling back Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid will not be enough: Any genuine reform of our health-care system will need to address the structural flaws that have long been the basis of Medicaid's woes. Doing so will be enormously difficult — as the problem encompasses more than just issues of design, administration, or health economics.
THE MANY MEDICAIDS
While Medicaid does formally exist as a single health-care program administered and financed jointly by states and the federal government, it can also be thought of as an amalgam of four different programs — each with its own caseload, rules, and dynamics.
First, Medicaid is a program for healthy low-income children and some working-age adults. Prior to Obamacare, simply having an income near (or even below) the poverty line would not in itself make someone eligible for Medicaid. Generally speaking, children had to be involved — a rule left over from the era in which welfare was aimed at families lacking a breadwinner. Pregnant women, babies, grade-schoolers, and their mothers have thus made up the majority of enrollees in this category, with some states more willing than others to go beyond these mandatory populations. If Obamacare is fully implemented, this category will grow substantially in the coming years; even now, it represents the largest bloc of Medicaid recipients, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the program's caseload. But it is also the least costly per person: Children and young adults have low average medical claims. About a third of the Medicaid budget is spent on these enrollees.
Second, Medicaid covers individuals with severe physical disabilities. Usually qualifying as a result of their eligibility for the Supplemental Security Income program under Social Security, individuals with significant work-impairing disabilities have traditionally made up a small share of Medicaid recipients. They have, however, consumed by far the most expensive services — which include not just medical care, but often a variety of other benefits, including caregiver assistance with daily tasks as well as room and board.
Third, Medicaid covers individuals with severe mental illnesses or addictions. While technically the two groups of disabled recipients are in the same boat when it comes to eligibility rules — together making up about one-fifth of the Medicaid population, but consuming well over 40% of its budget — it is important to recognize that those suffering from mental illness or substance abuse pose special problems for eligibility determination, case management, and even public willingness to support long-term assistance.
Finally, as discussed above, Medicaid also covers seniors requiring long-term care, and therefore plays a significant role in the lives of many seniors when accidents, diseases, or the inevitable infirmities of age render them unable to perform basic tasks. Those who meet the income test, or can show that their resources will swiftly be spent down to the income threshold, can qualify for Medicaid assistance for institutional or home-based care.
This coverage is intended to ensure that truly poor and ill seniors will not be forced to suffer without the long-term care they need to survive, simply because they cannot pay. The unfortunate reality, however, is that there is now a large industry of lawyers, accountants, and financial planners skilled at arranging the assets of middle-class families so that, when the time comes, their parents or grandparents will qualify for Medicaid. By moving assets around, transferring money or property to children, and otherwise gaming the system, middle-class seniors can save their families the immense cost of long-term care (at the public's expense, of course). In total, seniors account for 10% of Medicaid enrollees — and one-quarter of Medicaid spending.
A great deal of the problem with Medicaid, then, is that unlike with Medicare — which, for all its manifest woes, is a relatively straightforward program — just reaching an agreement about what needs to be fixed (let alone how) is a serious challenge.
For example, recognizing that Medicaid services are the most valuable of the welfare benefits available to low-income Americans, a reform-minded policymaker might want to apply to Medicaid some of the time limits and work requirements that have proven successful in reducing cash-welfare rolls. Such an approach, however, would make little sense in the case of an institutionalized person with a permanent disability. Similarly, measures to encourage families to save, buy insurance, or otherwise prepare for the possibility that aging relatives will need long-term care may help moderate Medicaid's costs in the future. But they won't do much to reduce Medicaid rolls in the short run, given, for instance, the number of seniors already receiving long-term care on the public's dime.
So before we outline a coherent, realistic strategy for reforming Medicaid, we must think through how the various Medicaids we currently have match up with America's financial realities, constitutional principles, and public expectations. After all, what we choose to do about Medicaid depends on how we choose to define federalism, and how we conceive of the proper role of government in providing a medical safety net for a diverse group of citizens — including poor children, the mentally ill, addicts, the disabled, and chronically ill elderly people who have little support from their families or communities.
It is also crucial to think through the difficult political obstacles standing in the way of serious reform — obstacles that have been made all the more daunting by the passage of Obamacare this spring. If Republicans win control of one or even both chambers of Congress in November, they may well be able to revise or, through the appropriations process, slow the implementation of parts of the legislation over the following two years. But an outright repeal of the bill — including the forthcoming Medicaid expansion — would be unlikely to overcome a presidential veto; a complete rollback, therefore, would need to wait until after 2012.
A detailed and forceful case for a different approach, however, cannot wait that long. A clear explanation of Medicaid's problems, of the reasons why expanding the program and putting it at the center of our health-care system would be a disaster, and of the ways in which the program can be improved must be part of the larger case for undoing Obamacare (and for replacing it with genuine health-care reform).
Starting now, reformers need to outline a strategy for fixing Medicaid that conforms with political realities; offers a clear vision of what government should and should not do to subsidize medical assistance; and restores the important roles of individual thrift, family care, private charity, community action, and state policymaking — values that an increasingly federalized Medicaid system has weakened or supplanted.
A meaningful reform of the Medicaid system will need to reduce the program's size, scope, and cost to taxpayers; increase self-reliance among the middle class; eliminate disincentives for poor Americans to become middle-class Americans; return power and responsibility to states, localities, charities, and families; and ensure that our scarce public resources actually end up serving those most in need of public help. Policymakers can begin by dividing the work into four key reform elements.
First, they should work to convert Medicaid itself into a more specialized program of medical assistance to those with chronic physical or mental infirmities who are, for all practical purposes, wards of the state. This was, after all, the original idea behind the state-based relief programs that Medicaid was created to bail out nearly half a century ago. Both conceptually and practically, it makes sense to distinguish individuals with chronic medical conditions — those likely to produce long-term dependency on the state — from healthy individuals who, due to job loss or other short-term emergencies, find themselves without health insurance or savings. Medicaid ought to be focused on the needs of the former, not the latter; efforts to provide a temporary safety net to people who are, by and large, working and contributing members of society should take a different form. Congress should rewrite eligibility standards accordingly, creating a separate program to subsidize private health-insurance premiums for the able-bodied poor (as described below).
As for the management of the remaining long-term Medicaid caseload, states should receive more latitude to experiment with initiatives to coordinate care, both within the practice of medicine and between Medicaid and other state agencies. For example, state agencies need to work together to avoid creating massive costs for one another — such as when a Medicaid-eligible patient with severe mental illness or addiction goes off his medications, commits crimes or public disturbances, ends up in jail, and then gets transported to a psychiatric hospital or detox center. Tracking patients through the system can help limit these destructive cycles.
In experimenting with such initiatives, states should be careful to avoid the myth of prevention savings: the notion that spending more money on the front end can save much more money on the back end. Preventive medicine is often good medicine, as it helps avoid chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease; but, as decades of data have shown, it does not save money. Preventive medicine is itself quite expensive, and in most cases people who consume a preventive service would not have needed a more expensive intervention later on anyway (that is, they would not have developed diabetes or heart disease even without the preventive care). As a result, the costs to the system as a whole outweigh the financial benefits. Preventive care must therefore be counted as an expense — even if often a worthwhile one — not a savings.
There are, of course, other proven and effective ways to save — by using vouchers to encourage careful spending or by assigning case managers to help recipients use their benefits efficiently, for instance. And while there is no silver bullet, state policymakers should be encouraged to try those streamlining efforts that they think stand the best chance of reducing Medicaid waste in their states. Above all, states must have the right incentives to lower costs — for example, the ability to keep all of the potential savings from a politically difficult yet effective reform — as well as good reasons to strictly enforce eligibility rules, so that new costs do not overwhelm any savings their reforms might produce.
Second, policymakers should convert Medicaid coverage for low-income but healthy children and working-age adults into a system that subsidizes the payment of premiums for private health-insurance plans. For instance, a future Congress could convert Obamacare's bewildering array of cash payments and tax credits into a universal tax credit, conferring what amounts to an exemption from income and payroll taxes for a fixed amount of household spending on (or saving for) health care.
The tax credit could take the place of the existing unlimited exemption for employer-based plans (as proposed by John McCain in his 2008 presidential campaign, and by several Republican members of Congress since). Such a fixed-dollar credit would be worth most to individuals with children and low incomes, reversing the current dynamic in which unlimited tax deductibility confers the greatest benefit on upper-income Americans and those who work for large employers. Families would be free to apply their tax credits to the purchase of health plans and toward health savings accounts (into which states should be allowed to contribute additional funds now earmarked for Medicaid to help lower-income people).
The key to a successful system of direct premium supports for jobless or low-income Americans and their families, however, is ensuring that it is thought of more as a welfare program than as a health-care program. Recipients should be required to meet the same work or job-search rules currently required for cash welfare benefits. The intention should be to provide temporary, transitional assistance for those down on their luck, not a means of perpetuating dependency.
Third, policymakers should convert the current complex system of federal Medicaid funding into annual block grants to the states, adjusted annually to accommodate medical inflation. Today, Medicaid is an open-ended entitlement: The states set eligibility standards, spend money to cover services for people who meet those standards, and essentially bill the federal government for its share of the costs on a rolling basis. The levels of spending are therefore never fixed, and states do their best to extract more money from Washington by gaming the system's arcane rules.
A single annual block grant would instead allow state policymakers to know exactly how much federal money they will receive for the year and to budget accordingly; it would also allow federal policymakers to have more predictable levels of spending. An added benefit of a block-grant system is that it would give state governments more responsibility for their Medicaid funding: If states choose to expand eligibility or benefits in their programs, they should be required to raise the additional funds beyond their block grants (either by cutting spending elsewhere, or raising taxes). Because most states must balance their budgets every year, they won't be able to paper over Medicaid expansions with additional debt, as Washington can do. Forcing states to responsibly manage one lump sum of money will thus make it harder for government to deceive taxpayers about the real costs of the program. And on the other side of the ledger, states should be able to recoup most of the savings from any disease-management initiatives, asset-recovery programs, or benefit reductions they implement, rather than being forced to send most of the savings they may obtain (often at great effort and political risk) back to Washington to be redistributed to other, more profligate states.
As for Medicaid's current array of mandatory and optional services, federal policymakers should simplify the rules by setting the initial federal grant at the amount required to fund only mandatory services (like doctor visits and hospital stays). States would be allowed to provide additional coverage (for medical needs like dentures and eyeglasses), but only using their own dollars.
This would be a marked departure from the current system, under which state politicians have generally been able to expand Medicaid services and eligibility only to the extent that they could convince voters that the increases would be funded largely by the federal government. Some politicians have been more successful at selling this argument than others, which is why there are such enormous differences in Medicaid spending across the states. Moreover, while liberal states typically offer more generous programs and politically conservative states offer less generous ones, there does not seem to be much evidence that the states with more generous Medicaid programs have better health outcomes. So by getting the federal government out of the matching-grants business — and by letting states make and fund their own decisions about program expansions — policymakers will increase the likelihood that any additional tax dollars committed to Medicaid will make a real difference in the quality and availability of medical care.
Of course, one big political obstacle to block granting will be the debate over setting the initial grant baseline. Higher-spending states will want to freeze their current funding levels in place, which lower-spending states will see as unfair. Although a block-grant conversion would confer fiscal benefits on the country regardless of the starting point (by encouraging wiser spending decisions in the states), it would be preferable for Washington to set a baseline that, as much as possible, allocates a similar amount of federal funding per mandatory enrollee, adjusted for regional differences in medical prices. Under such a computation, New York would still receive substantially more federal dollars per low-income person than Mississippi; the difference in actual purchasing power, however, would be minimal.
Fourth, policymakers should encourage American families to save for long-term care. Beyond reversing Obamacare's attack on tax-free health savings accounts, this can be achieved by establishing generous tax relief for private long-term-care insurance, by dramatically tightening Medicaid eligibility rules, and by seriously stepping up eligibility enforcement.
While statistics show that most Americans entering retirement will not require lengthy and expensive nursing-home stays, some certainly will. Even more seniors face the prospect of other long-term expenses, such as home-based health care. Furthermore, the share of the population over the age of 85 is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 15 years (as older people are in better health than ever before), so we can expect a significant increase in the number of seniors needing long-term care.
As with other major life expenses — like sending a child to college, or losing a job — public policy should encourage families to plan for the possibility of long-term care through prudent saving and insurance coverage (rather than encouraging reliance on the government to pay the bills, using taxes collected from thriftier families). And one obvious way federal and state policymakers can encourage thrift is by changing tax policy — restoring, and expanding, the health savings accounts that Obamacare strictly limits, and creating the aforementioned universal tax credit for health care (including the purchase of long-term-care insurance).
Still, those who study and sell such insurance insist that tax incentives alone won't be enough to induce American families to take the necessary steps to protect their assets against future long-term health-care expenses. The Medicaid-fraud industry of lawyers, accountants, and benefits consultants has been too successful in marketing the message that, with creative planning, middle-income families can ensure that their elderly relatives will qualify for Medicaid.
The only realistic way to change this public perception is to change the law so that it becomes both difficult and unappealing for middle-class seniors to qualify for Medicaid. To begin with, it should be made more difficult for people with expensive homes to receive coverage. Today, an individual's home equity up to $500,000 (and in some states up to $750,000) is excluded from the calculation of assets when determining Medicaid eligibility. Congress should set a date — far enough into the future to reduce political blowback and to allow families to adjust their plans — for phasing out all exemptions of home equity from these calculations. In addition, the existing rules against seniors' transferring assets to family members in order to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements — which take into account transfers of wealth reaching back five years before a person applies for Medicaid, and then limit that person's eligibility based on the amount transferred — should be extended to reach back at least 10 years.
At the same time, states should be far more aggressive in enforcing these rules, keeping in mind that every dollar not spent subsidizing the inheritance of a middle-class family is a dollar that can be spent on a truly needy senior with no family to rely on. Americans should be made to understand that if they want to place a relative in long-term care through Medicaid, they will have to either spend down all of the relative's assets — including the value of a home — or transfer those assets to the state after the relative's death (as current law already requires when a senior turns out to have had more assets at the time of his death than when he applied for Medicaid coverage). Families must be made to recognize that if they want to avoid these unpleasant eventualities, they will need to buy private insurance — not try to game the state.
STEPPING BACK FROM THE ABYSS
Reforming Medicaid has never been an easy prospect — and the passage of Obamacare has only made it more difficult. Many of the most powerful lobbies in Washington and in state capitals will work against any effort to fix what ails this deeply flawed entitlement. Liberal politicians, too, will obstruct the reform process at every step, recognizing (correctly) that such a restructuring of Medicaid would move America as far away from their ultimate goal — single-payer, government-run health care — as Obamacare moved America toward it.
But the simple truth is that American taxpayers cannot afford the status quo. Even before Obamacare, the combined cost of Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security was projected to consume nearly 15% of gross domestic product by 2030 — up from less than 10% today. These entitlements are already falling into the red, and have an unfunded liability of nearly $100 trillion through the end of the century.
Obviously, all three programs are in need of serious change. But from the perspective of America's long-term fiscal health, Medicaid presents the most urgent challenge — because the program involves state governments that have far fewer options for contending with debt than Washington.
As much as Obamacare has complicated matters, it has also stirred up a great deal of public furor. This presents policymakers with an opportunity to roll back the law, and to implement meaningful reform of Medicaid in its place. Given what is at stake for the nation, it is an opportunity Americans cannot afford to let pass by.
John Hood is president of the John Locke Foundation, a state-policy think tank based in North Carolina, and the author of, among other books, Investor Politics.
Obama wants 15 Million Dollars for "Expert" Oil Commission
By Connie Hair, Human Events
The White House asked Congress late Wednesday for $15 million -- a whopping $2.5 million per month for six months -- to fund their expert commission of academics to study the Gulf oil-rig explosion and the disastrous spill that followed.
In a letter to Congress, which was obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag requested the money to fund the work of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.”
While tens of thousands are put out of work by Obama’s six-month Gulf deep water drilling moratorium -- and people lose generational legacies of work pulling their livelihoods out of the sea with their bare hands from fishing nets and crab traps -- the president is spending more money in a month on his academic commission to study the issue than any one of these hard working families will make in a lifetime of real work.
Reprinted from The Campaing for Liberty.The Campaign For Liberty promotes and defends the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a non-interventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity. Visit us on the Web at www.CampaignForLiberty.com
Usurpation: The Weapon By Which Free Governments Are Destroyed
By Derek Sheriff 06/17/2010
Derek Sheriff is the state chapter coordinator for the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center.
What is Usurpation?
If there is a term that I wish would become a household word to be used again by every American in their daily political discussions, it would be the word "usurpation". Yes, I would love it even more if average Americans would add to that list the words: "Nullification", "interposition" and the phrase, "the principles of ‘98". However, in order to understand the meaning of those words in their political context, you have to understand usurpation. Before you can discover an effective solution, you have to correctly identify and understand the problem.
Usurpation is the unauthorized, unlawful exercise of power. Whenever a person, department or branch of the government (federal, state, or local) usurps, they assume undelegated powers and are therefore acting outside the law.
Our Constitution (the supreme law of the land), created a federal government of strictly limited, enumerated powers when it was ratified by the people's delegates in their respective state conventions. These states were not created by the Constitution, beacuse they already existed.
As part of this new constitutional contract between the people of the several states, their respective state governments and the federal government, the people of each state (as opposed to one American people as a whole), delegated a few, carefully defined powers to the new federal government. They did so with the understanding that these powers could be revoked if necessary.
Furthermore, all the other powers which they did not loan to the federal government, they either retained for themselves or delegated back to their state governments. Each state's constitution differs slightly, but all of them guarantee their citizens a republican form of government.
Whenever the people who make up the federal government, either as individuals, as departments or as branches, exercise power not expressly delegated to them as specified in the Constitution, they are usurping the authority of either the states or the people. Why? Because as the 10th Amendment makes it clear:
"All powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The Bane of Free Governments
George Washington warned against the dangers of usurpation. He called it ‘the weapon by which free governments are destroyed". He urged Americans to guard against it and reject it for the evil that it is. In his farewell address, he wrote:
"If in the opinion of the People the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any articular wrong,let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."
As Obama likes to say, "Let me be clear". When the federal government steps beyond the boundaries that are specifically drawn around it by the Constitution and its amendments, it isn't abusing powers that it does have, it's usurping powers that it doesn't have.
Question: What should the people of the several states' reaction to federal usurpation be? Answer: Swift and resolute action in the form of nullification and/or interposition by, with and through our state governments and their county and local subordinates.
In such cases, we must not exercise patience and wait to "Vote the bums out" in 2012 or even as soon as 2010! We should do that when the time comes, yes. But in the meantime, to allow our state governments to wait until the usurpers are removed from office through elections would be to consent to a dangerous dereliction of their duty to protect our constitutional rights.
What is Nullification?
In 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, which was one of the federal government's earliest acts of usurpation. An early draft of it began:
"The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government" and "where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them"
Nullification is a state's decision to render a particular federal law that it deems unconstitutional void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state. It is a process which can unfold in a variety of ways. It may involve formal legislation, or it may not. I could include court battles, but not necessarily. Interposition by state and local officials, such as your state's Attorney General or elected county sheriff might be required, but not always. A few times in the past, state nullification conventions have even been convened, but this has been the exception, not the rule.
The process of nullification will look different in each state, according to the particular issue and the social and political culture of that state's people. But understand, although it's not a 'silver bullet", nullification does work! Don't let anyone feed you a bunch of phony historical narratives. Do your own study of the history of nullification and see for yourself.
Finally, as George Washington wrote, let there be no change by usurpation! Instead, let us work with our elected state officials to nullify acts of federal usurpation and reclaim the sovereignty that is every American's birthright.
ALERT--OPPOSE H.R. 5175: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act -- To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
PURPOSE TO MAKE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS DISCLOSE MEMBER AND DONOR LISTS! To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes. Sponsored by Rep. Christopher Van Hollen [D-MD8]. What this will really do – is force grassroots groups (like ours, Tea Party groups and others) to disclose and report member lists and donor lists.
What is happening to our country? When did we become so polarized and divided? When did it become acceptable to call each other names, and dismiss many of us as racists, tea partiers, bigots, obstructionists, violent terrorists, morons, and idiots?
I think many Americans voted for Barack Obama in the hopes that it would once and for all end the racist rhetoric that as long been a part of our culture. Many were tired of George Bush politics, backbiting and disparity. The idea of hope and change sounded so positive in a time of economic uncertainty, disappointment and worry. Transparency and honesty sounded like a welcome change to all the shenanigans that the public had seen coming out of Washington. What many of us craved was a “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” time. We got instead something entirely different.
Few of us see spending billions of taxpayer’s money to bail out failure as change we can believe in. The stimulus package that did not stimulate the economy, but put us at the mercy of our creditors, was not the kind of change we wanted. Massive debt that makes the great United States look like Europe was not what we had in mind.
Then came health care and along with it, more dishonesty. Even though the campaigning Obama promised transparency through C-SPAN, etc., what we actually saw was corruption at its peak. Deals were made behind closed doors, senators’ votes were bought with our money, principles were thrown out the window for promises, and lies and deception prevailed. A major bill passed that was completely nonpartisan; not one Republican voted for the 2,000-page monster that no one read. We have yet to learn how this bill will play out economically, as the numbers given to the CBO were false. Many do believe that it will cripple us financially, and not improve health care. Over 60 percent of Americans support repeal of the bill.
The latest debacle comes in the form of a law made in Arizona that would be completely unnecessary if the federal government would do its job of protecting our borders. After suffering murders, kidnappings, destruction of private property, a financial drain on social and public programs, trespassing, and closing of a local hospital due to bankruptcy, Arizona state government was compelled to do something to alleviate the suffering of its citizens. Over 60 percent of Americans support the Arizona law, even though Arizona has been ridiculed by people that openly admit they had not read the bill. Then we have to endure a diatribe by the president of Mexico telling us what an awful country we have as half the Congress applauds. Mexico has much more stringent immigration laws than we do, and is a hotbed of corruption, drugs and lawlessness. Their people suffer greatly to escape that misery.
Where is our president in this mess? Adding to the confusion and driving a wedge between the people of Arizona and the rest of the nation.
Lastly, a tragedy has occurred in Louisiana, and the president daily blames BP. I have not heard BP once deny their culpability, and they are spending millions of dollars trying to rectify the situation. It’s a business disaster for them, and the people on the Louisiana coast. As far as assessing blame, the president might want to look at the fact that his administration 10 days before the oil rig blew, gave BP an exemption from an environmental impact statement and the development of a full-blown comprehensive response plan should there be a catastrophic event. Neither the government or BP was equipped to handle this disaster, but the administration was quick to use fiery rhetoric (boots on the throats of BP) to flame the fires of discontent. I see that as a handy way to deflect attention away from their part in the mess.
In my whole life I have never seen a president act so “un-presidential.” He questions how much money we should make and our right to free speech. He labels those who disagree with him, and those that fail to bow to his incompetency. He follows his own leftist agenda regardless to what is constitutional or what the American people want. It doesn’t appear that Obama believes in American exceptionalism. He is quick to apologize for real or imagined wrongs. Of course this is not a perfect country and mistakes have happened, but the American people owe no other country an apology. Our men and women have died to prohibit oppression. There are cemeteries all over the world that attest to that fact. Billions of our taxpayer’s money has gone to help the underprivileged everywhere. No other country can hold a candle to us, our greatness and generosity. Perhaps Obama is not proud to be an American, but I most certainly am, and will work to reestablish a government that reflects that sentiment and deserves our respect. I hope other patriots will join in that goal.