An alarming portion of the price that you pay for everyday products go directly to government coffers. Some of the worst taxes fall under the “sin tax” laws, as the IRS defines on its website:
A sin tax is used to discourage the use of products and services that could pose a risk to someone’s health, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Puritan colonists used the earliest sin taxes in this country.
So let’s begin with Cigarettes:
READ IT ON THE BLAZE: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/how-much-do-we-pay-in-taxes-for-these-everyday-items/
Although some of the “fiscal cliff” taxes can be avoided through a deal made in Congress, new ObamaCare taxes are guaranteed to kick in on January 1, amounting to $268 billion tax hike. From Americans for Tax Reform:
The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.
The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase: The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).
There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.
The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:
Senator-Elect Norman Sanderson and Representative-Elect Michael Speciale would like to cordially invite you to a special Oath of Office Ceremony on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. The oath of office will be administered by NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby. Newly elected NC Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has also been invited to attend along with a number of local dignitaries.
Legislators normally take an oath of office in late January at the NC Legislature in Raleigh, but newly elected legislators were given the opportunity to be sworn in locally. Many people are not able to travel to Raleigh, and Michael and Norman would like nothing more than to be surrounded by family and friends, faithful volunteers, and constituents as they take the oath of office in the districts they are honored to represent.
There will be a reception with cake and punch immediately following the ceremony in the same location at 201 Tourist Center Drive, Havelock (behind the Hampton Inn on US Highway 70). The public is invited to attend. For moreinformation, please contact (252) 876-7189.
I do not farm; neither does my family, but it just so happens that God has given me an incredible passion for farming families. You see, I live in Cove City, NC surrounded by cotton fields, tobacco crops, horse pastures and forestry. The beauty of it all is incredible, the peacefulness of watching what was sown, then grow and produce fruit, is so satisfying! To hear the knickers of the horses from my front porch, or the echo’s of cattle and donkey’s braying back and forth brings a smile to my face. To look out and see the red-tail hawks, the blue jays, cardinals and woodpeckers, to see an occasional deer, or even a bear reminds me that I am certainly not the center of the universe…… It is all of Creation, a blessing, to be able to live off of what we have been given.
I know these men and women who do work the land, I have seen the headlights from their tractors at wee hours in the middle of the night. I have seen as what they work on for months at a time come close to complete ruin in drought and extreme wet conditions and I have seen hurricanes completely decimate entire crops in a matter of hours.
Currently I see worry in the faces of these farmers, ones who have strived their entire lives to leave the farm for their children. As property taxes continue to increase on equipment and talk of the Present Use Value program changes heating up, we now have the inheritance tax issue’s that would destroy the family farm as we know it. All of this as continual regulation increases for products that can and can’t be used, places where farming is and isn't allowed due to zoning regulations and pricing of the commodities continually changing- sometimes not even allowing the farmer to recoup his cost of harvest! How can this way of living, one that each and every human being depends on, be in such turmoil?
Something most people do not realize is a reliance of military bases on agricultural land. Especially here in Eastern NC, we are surrounded by bases and used on flight paths for maneuvers, it is essential that farmland remain. In NC our #1 industry is Agriculture and our #2 is the MILITARY. These industries go hand in hand in support of one another. Yet, statistics tell us NC is the #1 state in LOSS of farmland.
This is happening due to several issues from what I have witnessed first hand
1) The median age of a farmer today is 58 years old. Family sizes are not what they used to be requiring farmers to hire additional help. If there is not a family member willing to take over the farm, it is more then likely sold.
2) The expense of starting a farming business is astronomical. If you were lucky enough to be born into a farming family you have a chance, but if not, the chances of you acquiring enough land, affording the extensive and expensive equipment, and having enough cash flow to begin are slim to none- and all this depending on surviving with good crops the first few years weather permitting!
3) Farming isn’t as attractive as the movies have made it out to be. It is a 365 day a year job, especially if you raise livestock. The hours are constant, and again the costs incredible…..not many people want to dedicate themselves to this way of life!
4) The expansion of residential areas and highways are continually encroaching on the family farm. While it seems good for whatever municipality to grow, the truth is the costs of services also increase tremendously to that particular area and it ends up in the form of taxation to all residents. While there was once a piece of land with crops that required no water/sewer/electrical hook ups, now new lines must be run for all utilities and manpower hired for additional housing management in the form of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, fire fighter’s, health and social workers and so on…..the bigger the population, the more services are needed. Not many realize that.
I do not have answers for these issues other then somehow our farms must be protected at all costs.
One last point that I would like to add…..I have heard out of people’s mouth’s that “farm subsidies and property taxation reductions on land are like farming welfare”.I beg to differ! When a farmer loses his entire crop to a disaster, we are all affected financially in the ability to purchase a necessity. They must have GOOD crop insurance to continue to be able to provide for the rest of our population. Please realize, farmers do not set the pricing for their products, the commodity market DOES. Many farmers today have seen their crops bring in less money then it costs to produce them. Again, without some form of subsidy many crops and farms would fall by the wayside costing us all more and eventually depleting the market. Also a farmer is not one who does not work, on the contrary! It is an extremely demanding and dangerous job that requires skill, knowledge and an incredible work ethic. The farmer knows they are responsible for feeding the masses, providing fibers for materials and forestry for everything from home building to diaper stuffing!
While the farm bill sits unattended to in Washington DC, all of this hangs in the balance!I do not agree with all that is in the bill, the Farm Bill and Food Stamps SHOULD NOT BE IN THE SAME BILL, Food stamps should be under HHS, (Health and Human Services), but that will have to be dealt with at a later date when our nation’s farms are not in such peril. If you care about food, I urge you to contact your US Senator and Representative personally.
God made Adam the first care-taker of the Garden of Eden. He was the first “farmer”. We have a responsibility to be good stewards with the land that has been provided. We should be helping our farmers provide to their full potential, we should be encouraging new farmers to get into the field, and we should be offering incentives that will benefit our entire population in the abundance of food, fiber and forestry. How terrible it would be to depend on other countries to grow OUR food. The import of oil surely hasn't worked out so good for us has it?!
The week before last, lame-duck Governor Bev Perdue found a way to throw North Carolinians under the bus one last time before leaving office.
As the deadline closed in for states to decide whether to help implement ObamaCare Exchanges or tell the Feds to take a hike, she buckled to pressure from the Left and decided to split the difference. She accepted $73.5 million in federal grant money to set up a hybrid state/federal-run ObamaCare Exchange in North Carolina.
While the U.S. Supreme Court found the individual mandate to purchase insurance Constitutional – albeit reclassified as a tax – they also found that the federal government cannot force states to comply with federal mandates on the threat of losing existing federal funding. The court said that, "the legitimacy of Congress's exercise of the spending power...rests on whether the State voluntarily and knowingly accepts the terms of the contract." (Emphasis added.) They went on to confirm that states have the right as independent sovereigns to refuse to act on federal mandates they do not like.
If a state simply refuses to accept federal mandates (and the associated “bribe” money) to implement ObamaCare Exchanges, as the court explicitly affirms is within its power, the entire law would collapse upon itself.
Republican governors such as Rick Perry of Texas, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Paul LePage of Maine, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina have refused to accept the federal bribe money and told the Feds to take a hike. In a letter to the Obama Administration, Governor LePage wrote:
“The [federal health reform law] is full of federal mandates; as such, even a state-based health insurance exchange is actually controlled by the federal government. In the end, a state exchange puts the burden onto the states and the expense onto our taxpayers, without giving the state the authority and flexibility we must have to best meet the needs of the people of Maine.”
Governor Perdue said that she chose a state-hybrid exchange for North Carolina so that Governor-elect Pat McCrory and the incoming Republican supermajority General Assembly can make changes to the exchange if they want to. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said that Governor Perdue should not have acted, but that he didn't mind her applying for federal Obamacare money, “as long as it does not frivolously spend the tax dollars until the new leaders determine the next steps.”
Even more disturbing, while Governor-elect Pat McCrory said he found many aspects of a state-run ObamaCare Exchange troubling, he's hedging his bets and refusing to say outright that he will give back the ObamaCare bribe money once he's sworn in and refuse to go along with the President's healthcare takeover. Instead, he said, “Governor Perdue’s decision leaves flexibility for North Carolina in the future when it comes to the delivery of health care...“I will be discussing this with more governors today, and will continue those discussions in the coming weeks to ensure the best results for North Carolina.”
I don't know about you, but I get nervous when politicians start talking about "flexibility."
Here's the problem: North Carolina and every other state that accepted ObamaCare bribe money are bound, under the law, to cooperate with the implementation of an ObamaCare Exchange so long as they keep the money. The only way to refuse to go along with ObamaCare is to refuse the bribe.
We need to hear from Pat McCrory, Thom Tillis, and Phil Berger TODAY a firm commitment that they will DEFINITELY return the $73.5 million bribe that Bev Perdue took and we need to know what date we can expect that to happen. Anything less firm than that is nothing but mealy-mouthed stalling for time.
House Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, and Governor-elect Pat McCrory need to hear from you immediately!Call right away and remind them not to “voluntarily and knowingly” succumb to the national takeover of your health care. Ask when they intend to give back the ObamaCare bribe money!House Speaker Thom Thillis: (919)733-3451 Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger: (919)733-5708 Governor-elect Pat McCrory: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Insist that they refuse to build an insurance exchange as called for in ObamaCare. We elected a Republican governor and a Republican supermajority to the General Assembly. They have the responsibility AND the numbers to flatly refuse to have any part in implementing ObamaCare in North Carolina. Step 1 in protecting us from Obama's takeover scheme is to give back his bribe money! Tell them you expect nothing less!
State Coordinator North Carolina Campaign for Liberty
P.S. Two weeks ago, Lame-duck Governor Bev Perdue accepted $73.5 million in federal bribe money to implement ObamaCare in NC. So far, Governor-elect Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger haven't said when they plan to give it back! Contact them today and demand to know when they plan to return the ObamaCare bribe money and say NO! to cooperating with ObamaCare in NC!
Contact them today at:
House Speaker Thom Tillis: (919)733-3451
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger: (919)733-5708
Governor-elect Pat McCrory: email@example.com
Because of Campaign For Liberty's tax-exempt status under IRC Sec. 501(C)(4) and its state and federal legislative activities, contributions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions (IRC § 170) or as business deductions (IRC § 162(e)(1)). www.CampaignForLiberty.org
November 25th Letter to the Editor Old MacDonald lost his farm…… Along with January, 2013 fast approaching, so are the current tax structure changes and how they are going to affect our local farms. Currently the death/inheritance tax is 35% on property over $5 million; this will increase to 55% on property over $1 million if nothing is done! According to Josh Rolph of the CFBF Federal Policy Division (California Farm Bureau Federation) "With our high land values in California, it's easy for a farmer to be hurt by the lower exemption thresholds and be forced to sell portions of the farm to pay the estate tax bill," Rolph said. "Keeping the family farm in the family is critical to sustaining agriculture, and reforming the estate tax is critical to sustaining family farms." But what about North Carolina? Consider this: For those family farms located next to large metropolitan areas such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington the property values are MUCH higher than ours, not even taking into account that 1 piece of machinery can cost anywhere from One hundred thousand to upwards of 1 million and several pieces are needed for the entire operations. Then if you look at the acreage these farms must possess to make a profit, one can easily lose their farm altogether! But how are we in Craven County affected by all this? What impact does this have to us locally? Here are the Agriculture Stats for Congressional Districts 1 and 3 in Craven County. In both Districts, 1 and 3, 19% of all jobs are in agriculture with a 6.0 Billion dollar impact (in each District) and representing 23% of District GDP making both Districts 3rd highest district GDP in the state and the 4th highest in Ag employment.
Craven County as a whole is tied for 5th place in Ag Economic Impact which is NC's #1 industry and 99% of NC farms are family owned!
Farmers do not set their own pricing, the commodity market does. If prices are down, they run risks of not making ends meet and this happens more often than we ever imagined.
All of this is not to mention that taxes were paid when the farms were purchased, taxes were paid when the equipment was purchased, each year property taxes are paid on the equipment and land, out buildings and grain bins, tobacco barns and lean-to's, year after year......then when they die it gets one giant tax again and then to be taxed to the next owner.......this is MORE THEN double taxation....! Families are already having a hard time of it with the way it stands now! Last years drought followed by hurricane Irene devastated Craven County’s farms. This years continuous rains and now the possibility of a massive inheritance tax……we will be saying good-bye to the smaller family owned farms once and for all and they will be forced to sell the equipment and land to pay the taxes.
Lastly, Only 210,000 Americans are responsible for Eighty Percent of the US Ag Production. By the year 2050 the projected population for the planet is 9 Billion. These 210,000 people are our only lifeline to feeding the generations to come!
They need our help NOW.Please contact our elected representatives and request that they support the Farm Bill by the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The small farmer is a true representative of initiative and self-determination; he helps feed our Nation. CCTA Member, Lou Call New Bern, NC
MOORE TEA CITIZENS: Let's Get Together for Christmas Cheer!
December 10th, 2012, 5:30 - 7:30 pm:MOORE TEA CITIZENS Monthly Supper and Meeting, Russell's Seafood & Southern Buffet, 1405 Central Drive,
Southern Pines, NC 28387.
Come join us at Russell's for a Christmas Celebration. We'll keep business to a minimum and focus on having a great time. We'll celebrate the birth of Christ with a joyous dinner party. There will be some reminiscing and some looking forward with real hope to the coming year.
We have four Empty Stocking families to buy for -- we can provide Christmas gifts for four needy families in Moore County! We're going for geographic coverage. More about the families we're going to be helping - plan to purchase needed clothing and 'things' - toys for kids of all ages! We'll let you know in a few days with another note like this - with more details!
We'll be singing your favorite Christmas carols - so bring your very best voices. All the better if you have a musical instrument and a little talent. We need you!
Sign up today to attend. Mark the date now! We're looking forward to seeing you there!
And, in case we don't see you in at the supper in December, mark your calendar now for Monday, January 14th. That's planning night, when we'll put our heads together and map out our strategy for 2013. 5:30 - 7:00 - supper and some humdinger planning's ahead. Sign up to come - just send a note to Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas Greetings And Best Wishes To You In 2013!
REMEMBER...PLEASE PLAN RIGHT NOW! COME ON OUT FOR SUPPER!
Monday, December 10th, 2012, 5:30 - 7:30pm
LINK HERE to send in your reservation. No need to do it again if you've signed up!
Let's meet for our next monthly supper on the 10th of December!
"We Ain't Goin' Away!"
We need you to help us develop our strategy for the coming months and years....budget, deficit, Benghazi investigation, sequestration, and of course support for election winners and for our losers too. We must all PULL TOGETHER.
In January, on the 14th, we'll gather together again and share our best ideas for moving Moore TEA Citizens ahead - we can and will do it!
RIGHT? RIGHT!!! Our Membership Grows Daily--We Have Over 1,700 Members! There is always room at the Moore TEA Table For YOU!! Moore TEA Citizens warmly welcomes all, and we're welcoming YOU. Our next monthly supper will be at Russells' Restaurant on Monday, December 10th, at 5:30pm. Just let us know that you're coming. The registration form is on our website - - LINK HERE!
Where: Russell's Seafood & Southern Buffet, 1405 Central Drive, Southern Pines, NC 28387 When: Monday, December 10th, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM EDT
Moore TEA Citizens, PO Box 4381, Pinehurst, NC 28374
For those of us who are not schooled in the ways of Washington, here is a glimpse into the duplicity of the “budget savings” as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.
House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas has raised hopes that Congress might still be able to produce a multi-year farm bill soon, possibly as part of a package to block impending tax increases and spending cuts. Lucas says Speaker John A. Boehner has indicated that the billions of savings over 10 years that a farm bill provides makes it an attractive option for legislation to avoid a combination of budget sequester and across-the-board spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The chairman had no details on timing, but people following the legislation say movement would have to occur by the first week of December.
Let’s do some rudimentary math. The last farm bill, which was enacted in 2008, authorized $604 billion in spending. The current House bill proposed by Lucas (HR 6083) authorizes $957 billion in spending extrapolated over 10 years. Yet, this 58% increase is considered a cut in ‘Washington speak’ because the phony CBO baseline, which locks in Obama’s food stamp spending, projects $992 billion in spending. Hence, passage of the farm bill, which locks in the record food stamp spending and creates new farm welfare programs, will be scored as a spending cut – to the extent that it can be used for the spending cut side of the ‘grand bargain.’
September 11, 2012, 8:30 PM: U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. All is quiet, Ambassador Chris Stevens has recently finished a meeting with the Turkish consul general.
9:40 – 9:42 PM: Alarms sound, indicating something is wrong. The compound is under attack. A senior State Department security officer at the consulate calls for assistance from the CIA base located less than 1 mile away.
9:59 PM: An unarmed drone is directed to fly over the consulate.
10:20 PM: First officers from CIA’s Global Response Staff arrive at the consulate to assist against attackers.
10:32 PM: National Command Center at the Pentagon notifies the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the attack. Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey are also informed of the situation.
11:00 PM: Panetta and Dempsey meet with President Obama for a previously scheduled meeting and discuss the attack.
I was once an elected Republican. There isn’t much that the Republican Party has to do with trash collection, but I was a Republican on the Macon, Georgia City Council and I supported trash collection privatization. It wasn’t the Republican thing to do. It was the conservative thing to do. It was the right thing to do. Multiple times it had been tried and multiple times it had saved taxpayer dollars.
There aren’t a lot of Republican positions at the local level. There aren’t a lot of Democrat positions at the local level. There are conservative and liberal positions. There are positions that believe the private sector can do better and positions that believe the public sector can do better.
In Congress, there used to be clear and distinct Republican and Democrat positions. But in the past decade, about the only thing separating the GOP from the Democrats is the rate of spending. Republicans spend less, but they still spend a lot. Oh, and they love babies in utero.
Republicans used to believe in free enterprise, the private sector, and low taxes. They believed in getting government the heck out of the way. They still talk like that, but they don’t seem to actually be operating like that. Senate and House Republicans seem to be in a bidding war to increase revenue in Washington. What’s worse, they are mendacious enough to call it “increasing revenue” instead of “tax increases,” when it amounts to the same thing. The Republican Party of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have taken a party that once believed in starving the beast and transforming it into a party that believes in feeding the leviathan lest the leviathan consume them. They operate out of fear — fear of losing their remaining power, fear of blame, and fear of the unknown.
I am absolutely in favor of simplifying the tax code. I am absolutely in favor of getting rid of loopholes. But I am absolutely opposed to engaging in machinations of the tax code designed to increase spending through closed loopholes and the like. Increased revenue should come through simplifying Washington to spur economic growth. Get Washington out of our lives.
While the Republican Party in Washington says that, it sure seems not to be living up to that. Consider this so called fiscal cliff.
The fiscal cliff is actually a bipartisan compromise that congress critters and their friends in the press have now given a spooky name to scare the American people lest Washington have to take the medicine it prescribed itself. The Republicans were complicit in this arrangement.
Republicans and Democrats punted and punted on the Bush tax cuts and they arranged a debt ceiling increase that would, should a committee designed to fail actually fail, force draconian cuts that both sides could scream about and demand be rejected. So Washington would get a debt ceiling increase, but would not actually have to suffer the pain of cuts. Republicans and Democrats collaborated to design a medicine so vile they could ask the public’s forgiveness if they chose not to take it and design a more sugary medicine instead.
But one way or the other, the medicine must now be taken.
Kansas has become the fourteenth state to join in support of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, agreeing that a person does not need to show why they want a permit to carry their firearm concealed.
In a case before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia Kansas has been added to the list of states which oppose requiring those who apply for concealed carry permits to provide a reason for carrying concealed. Attorney General Derek Schmidt confirmed the addition on November 15.
The court is reviewing a decision by a Maryland district court which struck down a Maryland requirement that a person had to provide a reason for needing to carry their firearm concealed before a permit would be issued.
I am incredibly steamed this
Thanksgiving Holiday over what the Democrats are doing to my country. Everybody
by now knows – or should know – how readily Democrats conduct election fraud,
and how determined they are to defend it. James O’Keefe and others have taken
videos of paid Democratic operatives encouraging citizens to vote twice.
O’Keefe was even able to claim Attorney General Eric Holder’s own ballot at a
district polling place by claiming to be him, and then to vote in his place.
Democrats have promoted Motor Voter laws and same day registration, and
month-long election days to help them mobilize the votes of people who are so
unconnected to the political process and so uninterested in the country’s
future, and perhaps so incompetent to understand what voting entails that they
require keepers to see that they get to the polls and then vote the “right”
way. In the election that put Al Franken in the Senate by a few hundred
votes, more than a thousand felons voted illegally because of the loose laws
that govern the polling booth – laws the Democrats want to make even looser. It
is in fact the number one civil rights issue of the NAACP this year to give
felons the right to vote. So we know that Democrats have little respect for the
election process, and we should assume they will attempt to pursue their
victories by any means necessary.
But even knowing this, I was not
prepared for a conversation I had at Thanksgiving dinner today with my
brother-in-law, Henry, who has lived most of his life in a home for the
mentally disabled, and though now in his forties has the intelligence level of
Obama will fire 20,000 Marines so he can give $6 billion U.S. taxpayer
dollars to Muslims for ‘green’ energy
(It’s all about Agenda 21, folks!)
are many things Obama hates, but only two things he really loves: Green energy
and Muslims. And finally he’s found a way to put both together at the same
time. And it will only cost U.S.
taxpayers $6 billion dollars.
Sure for that $6 billion, we might not have to
fire those 20,000 Marines that Barry Hussein has decided to get of, and we
wouldn’t have to cut their healthcare, the way his Center for American Progress
has pushed him to do… but Muslims with Green Energy count more.
Today is the day after black Friday. It is really the first day of
the American Christmas season. This should be a season of gladness and
Unfortunately, as we go into the end of the year and our holiday season,
what lurks on the horizon is not glad tidings but instead gloom and more
What is coming to America
and can we do anything about it?
For the next two years, we are going to see the death of the conservative
movement in Washington.
The American government, other than some members of the Supreme Court, is going
to be a conservative-free zone.
There will still be conservatives in Washington.
There will be conservatives in the Senate and House of
Representatives. However, there will be no conservatives in the
leadership and a conservative agenda will not be advanced. In fact, just
the opposite will happen. A massive liberal agenda will be in full swing,
all with the acquiescence of the Republican Party.
In January, we are going to see massive tax hikes. First, the
Obamacare tax hikes, originally passed in 2010, are going to kick
in. The Bush tax cuts are going to go away. Obama and
the Party of Treason say they want to increase taxes on the rich.
Unfortunately their definition of rich is anyone who is not on Obama’s food
Two years ago, when Obama signed the law extending the Bush tax cuts, he
pointed out that raising taxes in a soft economy would harm the
economy. That was when he was looking at reelection. Now that
he is a lame duck, he doesn’t care.
Actually, Obama understands tax hikes will push us further into the Great
Obama Depression. This is Obama’s goal. Remember, Obama is a
Marxist who believes America
is not the greatest nation in the world but the greatest oppressor nation.
Where are the Republicans?
John Boehner has been busy consolidating power in the House of
Representatives. He now has absolute control over the GOP
majority. Eric Cantor has gone along with Boehner and conservatives
who object to Boehner’s surrender first policy and big spending policies are
simply out of luck.
Where are the conservative Republicans in the House? You will find
them in the House. You won’t find them in the leadership of the House.
Harry Reid’s top priority coming out of this election is “filibuster
reform.” Anytime any idea comes from the Party of Treason with the word
reform attached to it, you do not need to read anything beyond the title to
know that it is a bad idea.
Reid wants to eliminate the filibuster, thus making it impossible for
Republicans to offer any meaningful resistance in the Senate. He has
already changed the rules in the Senate so that Republicans cannot offer any
amendments to bills unless Reid specifically wants the amendment.
In short, he is turning what is supposed to be a deliberative body into
little more than his own rubber stamp.
As we go into 2013, John Boehner is going to be raising his freshly
laundered white flag of surrender early and often. He will surrender on
taxes. They are going to go up. He is going to surrender on
the debt ceiling. He is going to surrender on spending. The only
spending cuts we will see will be in one of the few areas the Constitution specifically
mandates a role for the Federal Government. He will cut the defense
budget so that by the time Obama leaves office in 2016, China will be
the world’s top military superpower.
Our spending and borrowing will continue to push us on a trajectory towards
a Grecian outcome.
We have two choices.
We can surrender or we can fight.
Since I have never been a fan of John Boehner, I say we fight.
Saying we should fight is easy. Actually doing it is hard.
First Published: November 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Last Updated: November 20, 2012 at 06:03 PM
ems that may be considered under suspension of the rules
H.R. 6025 Mandatory Operational Control Reporting and Performance Measures Act of 2012, To provide for annual reports on the status of operational control of the international land and maritime borders of the United States and unlawful entries, and for other purposes.as amended [PDF]
H.R. 5913 DHS Accountability Act of 2012, as amended[PDF]
To create an independent advisory panel to comprehensively assess the management structure and capabilities related to the Department of Homeland Security and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the Department. Sponsor: Rep. Michael McCaul [R-TX10]
H.R. 5997 Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act [PDF] [XML]
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify authority under existing grant guidance authorizing use of Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program funding for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities.
H.R. 3563 Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2012[PDF]
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to modernize and implement the national integrated public alert and warning system to disseminate homeland security information and other information, and for other purposes.
H.R. 915 Jaime Zapata Border Enforcement Security Task Force Act[PDF] [XML]
To establish a Border Enforcement Security Task Force program to enhance border security by fostering coordinated efforts among Federal, State, and local border and law enforcement officials to protect United States border cities and communities from trans-national crime, including violence associated with drug trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal alien trafficking and smuggling, violence, and kidnapping along and across the international borders of the United States, and for other purposes.
H.R. 6328 Clothe a Homeless Hero Act[PDF] [XML]
To amend title 49, United States Code, to direct the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) to transfer unclaimed clothing recovered at airport security checkpoints to local veterans organizations and other local charitable organizations, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Kathleen Hochul [D-NY26]
H.R. __ To designate the federal building currently known as Federal Office Building 8, located at 200 C Street Southwest in the District of Columbia, as the "Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building" [PDF]
H.R. 6374 To designate the facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs located at 180 Martin Drive in Carrollton, Georgia, as the "Trinka Davis Veterans Village" [PDF] [XML]
H.R. 5788 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 103 Center Street West in Eatonville, Washington, as the "National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson Post Office" [PDF] [XML]
H.R. 5738 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 15285 Samohin Drive in Macomb, Michigan, as the "Lance Cpl. Anthony A. DiLisio Clinton-Macomb Carrier Annex" [PDF] [XML]
H.R. 3892 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 8771 Auburn Folsom Road in Roseville, California, as the "Private First Class Victor A. Dew Post Office" [PDF] H.R. 2338 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 600 Florida Avenue in Cocoa, Florida, as the "Harry T. and Harriette Moore Post Office" [PDF] [XML]
H.R. 3912 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 110 Mastic Road in Mastic Beach, New York, as the "Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull Post Office Building" [PDF] [XML]
H.R. 5954 To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 320 7th Street in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, as the "Sergeant Leslie H. Sabo, Jr. Post Office Building" [PDF] [XML]
Added 11/20/2012 at 06:03 PM
Waiting in the wings is the Farm Bill; I know, you don't own a farm so why should you be concerned?
Consider what follows: If the Farm Bill is not passed this session this is what will happen:
The current death/inheritance tax is 35% on property over $5 million. If nothing is done, it will increase to 55% on property over $1 million.
For those family farms located next to large metropolitan areas such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington the property values are MUCH higher then ours, not even taking into account that 1 piece of machinery can cost anywhere from One hundred thousand to upwards of 1 million and several pieces are needed for the entire operations. Then if you look at the acreage these farms must possess to make a profit, one can easily lose their farm altogether! IF something is not done in this lame duck session, all who have worked so hard, some working 365 days a year sun up to sun down planning to leave their way of life to their children, all will be lost. Families are already having a hard time of it with the way it stands now! We will be saying good-bye to the smaller family owned farms once and for all because they will sell the equipment and land to pay the taxes.
All of this is not to mention that taxes were paid when the farms were purchased, taxes were paid when the equipment was purchased, each year property taxes are paid on the equipment and land, out buildings and grain bins, tobacco barns and lean-to's, year after year......then when they die it gets one giant tax again and then to be taxed to the next owner.......this is MORE THEN double taxation....!
Farmers do not set their own pricing, the commodity market does. If prices are down, they run risks of not making ends meet and this happens more often then we ever imagined.
If you were to look at Craven County through Congressional Districts 1 and 3 here are the Agriculture Stats:
19% of all jobs
6.0 BILLION in impact
23% of District GDP
3rd highest district GDP in the state
4th highest in Ag employment
20% of jobs
16% of district GDP
6 BILLION in impact
4th highest district GDP in the state
3rd in Ag employment
Craven county as a whole is tied for 5th place in Ag Economic Impact which is NC's #1 industry and 99% of NC farms are family owned!
The "sale" of these lands turning them into residential areas will require water, sewer, electrical (utility hook-ups), more city and county personnel...(law enforcement etc.) to manage these areas as populations increase. As the government manpower and services increase, SO DOES OUR TAXATION!
Farmland is beneficial in so many ways, the obvious food, fiber and forestry it supplies, the lack of government needed to manage it, and the inclusion it provides for our military in practicing maneuvers & flyovers-(the military is NC's 2nd biggest industry!). Governments think more housing, more taxpayers, ....but the truth is, open spaces save taxpayers!
Finally, Food security is important to national security in many ways.....when we (or a portion of the country) is unable to grow food due to natural disasters, most recently droughts, we depend on other parts of the country supplying us and visa-versa. When no-one is able to meet the demand it puts or dependence once again on other countries, you see how well that is working with oil don't you?!
Lastly, Only 210,000 Americans are responsible for EIGHTY PERCENT of the US Ag Production. By the year 2050 the projected population for the planet is 9 BILLION. These 210,000 people are our only lifeline to feeding the generations to come!
Statistical information is available through the NC Farm Bureau
Source: USDA/NASS and Dr. Mike Walden, NCSU
YOU can make a difference by contacting:
Senator Richard Burr
Ph: 202-224-3154; Fax: Fax: (202) 228-2981
217 Russell Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Kay Hagan
Ph: 202-224-6342; Fax: 202-228-2563
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC District 3)
Ph: 202-225-3415; Fax: 202-225-3286
2333 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
G.K. Butterfield (NC District 1)
Ph: 202-225-3101; Fax: (202) 225-3354
2305 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Ask them to pass the FARM BILL!! Remember phone calls are good, written letters have even more impact!
The disintegration of an economy and a society can take two courses. One course is like rust. It is slow and barely perceptible. The other is a sudden collapse. The first course, if left untended, eventually turns into the second.
The US economy is now rusting away. Arguably it has been for decades. For anyone interested in looking, the signs are there. They will soon become unavoidable for even the most disinterested of our citizens.
Dan Amoss correctly described what is happening as a result of Washington’s overbearing involvement in the economy:
All government-directed economic activity grows at the expense of the private sector. And the election suggests that government coercion will drive even more U.S. economic activity in the future. This is a shame, because freely adjusting prices, competition, and innovation elevate living standards. Mandates, price controls, and subsidies — coercive actions — depress living standards. Quality falls. Shortages develop and persist.
Mr. Amoss is correct but does not forcefully convey the reality of a dying economy. These effects are beginning to appear.
Many businessmen hung on, hoping for a change in the madness that passes for economic leadership and policy. These hopes were dashed with the re-election of the ideologue driving the madness. Obama won the electoral college, but not the confidence of business. They are just beginning to cast their votes and it does not bode well for the future. Here is a partial list of the business reactions to the outcome of the election:
LAYOFFS ANNOUNCED SINCE ELECTION:
1.Abbott Labs 700
3.Adventist Health 48
4.Airlines SAS 6000
6.American Cotton Growers 110
8.American Independence Museum 4
10.American Airlines 4400 + 800 leaving voluntarily
11.American Coal 54
12.Atlantic Lottery Corporation 16
13.Assc Milk Producers 130
14.Aveo Oncology 45
17.Bechtel Power Corp 277
18.Bigpoint Games 47
19.Boston Scientific 1200
20.Brake Parts LLC 75
21.Brattleboro Retreat 31
22.Bristol Myers 500
23.Career Education 900 + Closing 23 Campuses
27.Consol Energy in W.V. 145
29.Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY 70
32.DEP in Tallahassee FL 15
33.DuPont, Co. 64
34.Eagle-Tribune, Andover 21
35.Emanuel Medical Cente 24
36.Energizer Holdings 1500
38.Exide Tech, Laureldale 150
39.City of Findlay, OH 39
40.First Energy 400
41.Gameforge Berlin 20
42.Gamesa Energy 92
43.GenOn Energy Inc 33
44.Glen Falls Hospital 29
46.GT Advanced Tech 165
47.Harris’ Broadcast 17
48.Hawker Beechcraft 400 + Facilities closing
49.Hill Rom 200
50.Hills Holdings 300
51.HMX Group 567
53.Iberia Airlines 4500
54.ICM of Colwich 25
56.Judson University 21
57.Juniper Networks 500
58.Kaiser Permanente 84
59.Kinetic Concepts 427
60.Kratos Defense Security 125
61.Lackawanna County PA 11
62.Lightyear Network Solutions 12+
64.Majestic Star Casino/hotel 80
65.Major Wind Company 3000
66.Martha Stewart Living 70
68.Mills Manufacturing NC 68
69.Momentive, Inc. 150
70.Monitor Group 235
71.Montco Behavioral Health/Dev 58
73.Nebraska Medical Center 38
74.Neovia Logistics Services 52
75.New Energy 40
79.Penn Refrigeration 40
80.Penske Logistics 50
82.Philips Electronics 218
83.Pierce Mfg 325
84.Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne 100
85.Research in Motion 200
86.Rheem Manufacturing 50
87.Sentry Foods 70
88.Shaw’s Supermarket 700
89.Shawano foundry WI 90
90.Smith & Nephew 770
91.Smithfield Packing Co. 125
92.Solel Solar Systems 140
93.Southeastern Container 15
95.SRA Intl Inc 222
96.St. Jude Medical 300
99.Sun Media 500
100.TE Connectivity 620
101.TECO Coal Corporation 90
102.Texas Instruments 1700
103.The Providence Journal Co 23
104.TMX Group Ltd. 100
106.Turkey Point Nuclear Plant 277
107.Oce North America, Inc. 135
108.Turbocare OCE 220
110.US Cellular 980
111.UtahAmerican Energy Inc 102
112.Volvo Trucks Pulaski County 300
113.Wake Forest Baptist Medical 950
114.Welch Allyn 275
115.West Ridge Mine 102
117.World Media Enterprises Inc 105
118.WPS Health Insurance 600
119.Wright Patterson AFB 115
120.Wyodak Coal Mine 11
122.Yakima Reg Med Ctr Washington 10+ ......and the list is growing!
ANNOUNCED BUSINESS CLOSURES SINCE ELECTION:
1.Bakers Footwear closing 150 stores nationwide, including 21 in California
2.The SCA plant in Barton – Plans Staff Reductions
3.Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse
4.Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.
5.Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro Maine
6.Zac’s Place in Hinsdale IL
7.Lone Star Steakhouse at 70th and O streets and Ruby Tuesday at 56th Street in
9.Career Education Corp – Closing 23 Campuses – 900 Jobs Lost
10.Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse
11.Shamrock Bar at Payne City’s Rose Avenue. in GA
12.Monitor Company Group LP
14.Homer City Funding LLC
15.Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.
16.Mount Pleasant’s Albrecht Sentry Foods
17.The Target store at Manassas Mall Va.
18.Millennium Academy in Wake Forest NC
19.Target Closing Kissimmee FL Location
20.Calgary’s iconic Rideau Music store ( International )
21.The Andover Gift Shop in Andover MA
22.Grand Union Family Markets Closing Storrs Location CT
23.Movie Scene Milford Location NH
24.Update: TE Connectivity Closing Greensboro Plant – 620 Layoffs Expected
25.Gomer’s Fried Chicken in South Kansas City
26.Kmart in Homer Glen
27.Fresh Market on Pine Street in Burlington
28.AGC Glass North America to permanently close its Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport Tenn.
29.The Target store at Platte and Academy in Colorado Springs
30.Island Colors – A Carolina Beach Clothing Store
31.The Roses store on Reynold Road in Winston-Salem NC
32.Meanders Kitchen losing its West Seattle location at 6032 California Ave
33.Bost Harley-Davidson at 46th Avenue North and Delaware Ave. in West Nashville TN
34.Townsend Booksellers in Oakland
35.The Kmart store in Parkway Plaza off University Drive in Durham NC – 79 Jobs Lost
36.Guarantee Shoe Store in Beaumont Texas
37.Associated Milk Producers Inc. Closing manufacturing facility in Dawson Minn. – 130
39.FacadeTek Inc Closes Whitestown Facility – 72 Jobs Lost
40.Comet Market in Punxsutawney Pa.
41.JC Penney store in Miracle City Mall Titusville FL
42.TurboCare Inc Closing Manchester CT Facility – 88
43.The United Colors of Benetton store on Armitage Avenue IL
44.Update: Bicycle shop Ten 27 Cycles 1027 Davis St. in Evanston IL
45.Two Sears Product Rebuild Centers in The Woodlands Texas
46.FesslerUSA Clothing Maker Closing in PA
47.Ralph Lauren’s plans to close its 14 stand-alone Rugby locations
48.Nashville Sash & Door Co. Inc Tenn.
49.First Portuguese church in North America in Bedford Mass Closing?
50.International Fashions in Carbondale’s University Mall IL
51.Harper’s Old Army Surplus Store in West Monroe La
52.Nova Financial Holdings
53.The Party Warehouse in West Springfield Mass.
54.TLC Wine and Liquor at 1205 W. Main St in Kent Ohio?
55.The HAPPY Place 1042 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA
56.Air Carrier Accessory Services – Chapter 7
57.SOW Inc. shelter on South Broad Street GA?
58.Systemax Inc., Closing Miami County Ohio Computer Plant – 120 Jobs Lost
59.Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Cos. Closing 2 Distribution Centers – 166 Layoffs
60.First Place Financial Corp
61.Nash Finch Closing Cedar Rapids Iowa Food Distribution Center
62.Johnnie’s Foodmaster MA Closing all 10 Locations
63.Rainbow Foods will be closing its Forest Lake location MN – 59 Layoffs
64.Berry’s Camera Shop Inc. in Downtown Lafayette
65.Schreiber Foods to close their food packaging plant in Ravenna – 70 Jobs Lost
66.Kmart store at 5300 Salem Ave. Trotwood Ohio
67.Mr.Christie plant in Toronto ( International ) 2013 – 550 Jobs Lost
68.Coffee with T cafe in Stevenson Village business MD
69.Minas Basin Pulp and Power are closing a mill in Hantsport ( International ) – 135
1.The Colonial Country Shoppe on Park Street in Adams MA
2.Vestas Wind Systems Closing R&D; Office in Louisville – 60 Jobs Lost
3.Dollar Castle in downtown Ferndale MI
4.Bistro One West in St Charles IL
5.Sun Dog Diner in Neptune Beach FL
6.Jim’s Builders Hardware in Wichita, Kansas
7.Madeleines Bakehouse in Fort Wayne Indiana
8.Barnes & Noble plans to close its doors in Union Station Dec. 31
9.The Semiahmoo Hotel in Blaine Washington
10.Highland Curves CA
11.The Salem Sport Shop in Salem Ohio
12.Navistar International Corp. to Close truck assembly plant in Garland, Texas – 900
14.Divine Mercy Catholic Books & Gifts Denton Texas
15.Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford IL
16.Garelick Farms Ends Production at Bangor Maine Facility
17.Fashion Tech Window Coverings in Portland?
18.Custom House Tavern Chicago IL.
19.Jim’s Builders Hardware in Delano
20.Lone Star Steakhouse at 1801 22nd St. in West Des Moines
21.Sears to Close Woodlands Product Rebuild Center – 117 Jobs Lost
22.Whitehead Inc Rockford Real Estate Company
23.Robert’s Mens Shop in Downtown New Philadelphia Ohio
24.Fort Tecumseh Olde Fashun Store in Ohio
25.Lakewood Beginnings Child Development Center in Lakewood Ohio
26.Green Fields Seed & Feed in Grand Junction Colo.
27.The Army and Navy Store in Melrose Mass.
28.Vitalistic Therapeutic charter school PA
29.Diamond Foods Inc Closing a plant in Fishers Indiana
30.Old Town Alehouse 5233 Ballard Ave in Seattle
31.Space Aliens restaurants in Minot and Grand Forks ND
32.DeWaay Financial Network LLC
33.Sears at Quail Springs Mall Oklahoma City OK.
34.Fashion Bug in O’Fallon MO is closing in January
35.Kmart Store in Oak Hill W. Va
36.Update: Jett & Hall men’s clothing store in Richmond KY
37.D.C. school List of Possible Schools Closing to Be released Later today
38.Dunkin’ Donuts in Holly Hill FL
39.Hostess Brands Inc Permanently Closing 3 Bakeries Following a Nationwide Strike
40.Philips Electronics subsidiary Lightolier will close its local fluorescent light
41.fixture manufacturing plant in Willington
42.Smithfield Packing Co. will close in 2013, laying off a total of 400 employees
43.SuperFresh outlets in Marlton and Westmont NJ
44.The Bagel Shoppe in Katonah NY
45.Ben Franklin and Homestead House Gifts in the Kimball Ridge Center in Waterloo IA
46.Several West Virginia Suzuki dealerships Being Forced to Close
47.Kowalski Cos Closing All 4 of its Metro Detroit Delis but to Continue Food
49.Three Memphis charter schools and one in Nashville Tenn. Could Close Due to Poor
51.The Custer School District SD – Closing 2 Rural Schools
52.The Dressing Room, on North Lincoln Avenue IL
53.The Utica office of IBOPE NY
1.AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc
2.Aletheia Research & Management Inc
4.Helmkampf Construction in Olivette
5.Clear Light Publishers
6.Monitor Company Group LP
8.Homer City Funding LLC
9.US Suzuki Distributor – Chapter 11
This list should frighten every thinking American. It is a huge warning regarding what lies ahead. These changes are coming to an economy that is already unable to provide jobs or sustain living standards.
Decline is a slow process, until it becomes fast. It is not easy to see at first. It should be obvious to most that our economy is approaching a critical stage. When you have destroyed the trust and confidence of business, there will be no job creation.
Some parting words are in order for those responsible for the decisions reflected above. Shutting down and giving up is anathema to the spirit that built this country and is now only found among our entrepreneurial class. It goes against the very fiber that drives success. It is a last resort for entrepreneurs.
The decision to quit is lonely, involves guilt, self-doubt and remorse. It is the last act for someone that has tried everything to avoid it. Giving up and withdrawing is not an act of retribution. People do not willingly choose to go to Galt’s figurative gulch. They are forced there.
While the masses exult in the continuation of their food stamps, cell phones and other booty, the real story of this election is yet to be told. The nation is about to find out that policies and elections have consequences more important than free stuff.
The war against private enterprise can no longer be denied. President Obama’s re-election ensures that it will continue and likely accelerate. The makers are beginning to give up. The takers don’t have a clue. Soon the country is going to get a real-life lesson in economics. TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) is about to be learned.
Last year, I began an "online red kettle" fund-raising effort for the Salvation Army, and just barely made my goal of $300.
This year I got cocky. I raised my goal to $500 and started the effort three weeks sooner than I did last year.
So far I have been overwhelmed by the response, and have already reached 80% of my goal with a month and a half left of the effort.
If you are so inclined to help me with my effort, please visit http://onlineredkettle.org/chriskling and make a donation of any size. While it seems likely that I will surpass my personal goal, I'm excited by the fact that I'll have to RAISE my goal again next year.
Every penny raised by me for the Salvation Army Online Red Kettle Fund goes directly to the Salvation Army. I do not receive a penny in compensation, there are no incentives or prizes being rewarded for MY effort of begging e-mailbox to e-mailbox.
Just the satisfaction that I was able to do something to help - and I did.
Thank you in advance for your generous and (so far) still tax-deductible gift.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is proposing to amend S. 3254, the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Before we get too excited about Senator Rand Paul’s amendment, due diligence must be given as to what it does and doesn’t do.
Senator Paul’s amendment is ineffectual for several reasons including, but not limited to:
1. It only applies to citizens, and ignores the rights of non-citizens, regardless of immigration status.
2. The use of the term “captured” implies full spectrum military operations against U.S. citizens within the United States, yet it is unclear what this authority is based upon. Does Senator Paul accept the pretense that America is part of the “battlefield,” and as such, is under the “law of war” and martial law?
3. Senator Paul’s amendment only references detention of U.S. citizens by the Armed Forces of the United States, but does not apply to
a. “any other foreign country,” or
b. b. “ any other foreign entity,” (See 2012 NDAA, Section 1021(c)(4))
4. By Senator Paul tying his amendment to the AUMF, the amendment only applies to that part of the 2012 NDAA targeting profile that reaffirmed the AUMF, but does not cover the second half of the 2012 NDAA targeting profile, which is the larger of the two.
Cybersecurity – Cloture - Vote Rejected (51-47, 2 Not Voting)
In contrast to the brisk movement toward passage of the Sportsmen's Act, cybersecurity legislation once again ran aground in the Senate after a failure to invoke cloture. Despite the entreaties of the bill's sponsors, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Ct. and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Me., Republicans (as well as five Democrats) refused to end debate on the bill. Concerns in the business community remain a major stumbling block. The Chamber of Commerce and its congressional allies are wary that security standards established by the bill could morph from voluntary to mandatory once they become law. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. declared that "cybersecurity is dead for this Congress." The House passed a much less ambitious bill earlier this year that focused on information sharing between the government and private sector entities. President Obama threatened to veto that measure, citing privacy concerns, while endorsing the Senate bill. With the Senate deadlocked, any action in the remainder of the year is likely to come from the White House, which has reportedly drafted an executive order to protect vital computer networks from attack. Sen. Richard Burr voted NO and Sen. Kay Hagan voted YES.
Sportsmen’s Access to Federal Land – Cloture - Vote Agreed to (84-12, 4 Not Voting)
The Senate moved one step closer last week to passing a bill with a smorgasbord of provisions designed to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, voting affirmatively on both a motion to proceed (Roll Call 201) and later invoking cloture on the bill. Sponsored by Democrat Jon Tester, D-Mont., the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 would exempt ammunition and fishing equipment from EPA regulation; ease a ban on importation of polar bear trophies from Canada; and allow the issuance of permits for individuals carrying bows and crossbows to cross national park land. The bill would reauthorize a number of wildlife conservation measures, as well as a law to facilitate the sale or exchange of federal land with non-federal landowners whose holdings lie within the boundaries of federal tracts. Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. raised a point of order last week regarding spending on duck stamps authorized in the bill. The point of order is expected to be overridden, with final passage coming after the Thanksgiving recess. President Obama supports the bill. Sen. Richard Burr voted YES and Sen. Kay Hagan voted YES.
Russia Trade Relations, Human Rights Oversight – Passage - Vote Passed (365-43, 25 Not Voting)
In its first week of legislative action since the November 6 elections, the House moved on a measure to establish Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the Russian Federation. By an overwhelming and bipartisan majority, the lower chamber endorsed a measure to essentially repeal 1970s-era restrictions on trade with Russia and Moldova that were originally implemented because the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations denied freedom of emigration to their Jewish citizens. The legislation was necessitated by Russia's recent accession to the World Trade Organization, which was finalized in late August. If U.S. trade restrictions are not lifted, American goods could become subject to retaliatory tariffs, closing off a potentially lucrative new market. The Russia trade title includes several requirements for oversight from the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure Russia is living up to its new WTO obligations. Legislators more skeptical of closer ties with Russia fought for the inclusion of human rights provisions in the legislation. These include a sense of Congress statement the U.S. should support democracy and human rights activists in Russia. The teeth of the provisions, however, center on the ordeal of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian attorney who died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody in 2009. The president will be required to compile a list of names of those responsible for Magnitsky's abuse and death. Those individuals will be denied entry to the U.S. and their assets will be frozen. The White House is officially supportive of the combined measure, though the Magnitsky provisions are already causing headaches with Moscow. The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Finance and Foreign Relations panels have already passed similar measures. Rep. Walter Jones voted NO and G.K. Butterfield voted YES.
The Fiscal Cliff: We've all been hearing about the "Fiscal Cliff", which refers to the combined effect a number of policies would have on our economy beginning in January 2013. These policies include the expiration of tax cuts, tax increases, spending cuts and deficit reductions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, lower deficits and debt over time improve long-term economic growth, but there's an increased risk of recession if the deficit is reduced suddenly. There are many pending policies that have been referred to as part of the "Fiscal Cliff", and POPVOX is highlighting a few that have been introduced in the past two years. Check it out on POPVOX: http://www.popvox.com/blog/2012/fiscal-cliff/
The Tax Hike Prevention Act (S 3413): to temporarily extend tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, to provide for temporary alternative minimum tax relief, to extend increased expensing limitations, and to provide instructions for tax reform. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s3413
The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act (HR 8): to extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and to provide for expedited consideration of a bill providing for comprehensive tax reform. (Passed the House; pending before the Senate.) - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr8
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Not Adjusted to Inflation
The Permanent Tax Relief Act (S 3420): to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, to provide for permanent alternative minimum tax relief, and to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s3420
2% Social Security Payroll Tax Cut Expiration--Expected to be introduced soon. Would extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans.
Sequestration: automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending to take effect on January 2, 2013 -- if Congress does not act on further deficit reduction. The Sequestration requires $109 billion annually in federal spending cuts, resulting in a 9.4% reduction in defense discretionary funding and an 8.2% reduction in nondefense discretionary funding. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/x41
Expiration of Emergency Unemployment Benefits--Unemployment insurance benefits expected to expire for two million people on Dec. 29. No bill introduced yet.
Medicare Payments to Doctors Reduced
The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (HR 5707): to reform Medicare payment for physicians’ services by eliminating the sustainable growth rate system and providing incentives for the adoption of innovative payment and delivery models to improve quality and efficiency. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr5707
The Access to Physicians in Medicare Act (S 3337): to provide for the elimination of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula to ensure access to physicians’ services for Medicare beneficiaries. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s3337
The Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act (S 17): to repeal the job-killing tax on medical devices to ensure continued access to life-saving medical devices for patients and maintain the standing of United States as the world leader in medical device innovation. - https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s17