Posts tagged Pelosi
Politicians Serving Wall Street, Not Main Street (The bipartisan fleecing)
Washington made a decision 5 years ago to abandon most Americans and to cozy up with the crony capitalists on Wall Street. They rejected the voice of the American people in the Fall of 2008 when they began the bailout bonanza.
It is worth remembering that Goldman Sachs was within a hair of going out of business that Fall, but after being infused with taxpayer money, posted the most profitable quarter in its history in the Spring of 2009. Much of that money was distributed in bonuses and the Masters of the Universe were masters once again, thanks to you and me.
As reported by Scott Rasmussen Nancy Pelosi recently waxed about how brilliant the bailouts were. They were indeed brilliant for Wall Street and the political class. Their power was consolidated. The American people however learned once and for all that they weren’t full partners in the American experiment.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
(NaturalNews) Do you remember, at the height of the debate over the Affordable Care Act – the monstrosity that became known not so affectionately as “Obamacare” – when then-House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., took to the dais at the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties with this outrageous statement: “…[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
She was talking about a piece of legislation that numbered some 2,700 pages – a massive bill that most members of Congress admitted they had not read and would never read (though trust us when we tell you these same lawmakers already knew exactly what was in it).
Well, Pelosi must be feeling very relieved these days because now, at long last, Americans are finally getting to find out exactly what’s in the bill that she and others refused to discuss in detail prior to its passage.
‘So many new taxes and fees during a time of economic uncertainty’
What Americans will learn first and foremost is that Obamacare will be infinitely more expensive than they were told – costs all of us will be forced to bear, even if we vehemently opposed this blatant expansion of government power over an industry that amounts to about one-seventh of the U.S. economy.
Whether they are called “taxes” or “fees” or “regulatory costs,” Americans will be hit up six ways from Sunday for costs related to the law that President Obama, Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and everyone else who voted for it said would never pass to us.
One such fee-tax-regulatory cost is a $63-per-person stipend almost no one knew about that will help cover people who have preexisting conditions – a cost that, most likely, will be passed onto each insured person.
Again, you can thank President Obama’s healthcare “overhaul.”
The charge was, of course, buried in the recent regulation. It will work out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say.
In an interview with the Washington Times, employee benefits attorney Chantel Sheaks called it a “sleeper issue” that will have significant consequences, especially for the nation’s largest employers – all at a time when unemployment remains at historic highs.
“Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary, told the paper.
Based on figures contained within the regulation, some 190 million Americans on health plans for employers and individuals could wind up owing the per-person fee.
Obama administration officials say the previously undisclosed fee is only temporary, levied for three years beginning in 2014 and designed to raise $25 billion. The fee begins at $63 then falls.
Most of that money is expected to go into a fund that will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials say it will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering previously uninsured people who have preexisting medical problems. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, insurers will be forbidden from turning away already-sick patients under Obamacare statutes.
Just the beginning
The initiative “is intended to help millions of Americans purchase affordable health insurance, reduce reimbursed usage of hospital and other medical facilities by the uninsured and thereby lower medical expenses and premiums for all,” the administration says in the regulation (Note: Insurance companies that are actually in the business of insuring people say rates are going to go up, not down – and could, in fact, double in the short term).
But here’s the kicker. The initial $25 billion hike is just the beginning, “part of a bigger package of taxes and fees to finance Mr. Obama’s expansion of coverage to the uninsured,” the Times said. Over the course of the next decade, the total tab is closer to $700 billion, though no one in the administration is talking about what this additional burden will do to a still-struggling economy.
What else is included? Higher Medicare taxes, beginning Jan. 1, on people who make more than $200,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000 (Obama, always the class warrior, once pledged not to raise any taxes on folks earning less than $250,000).
The thing that Americans need to know is that these initial Obamacare taxes and “fees” are just the beginning. Needless to say, we’ll be covering this issue closely.
You reap what you sow! She obviously sounds like she has a guilty conscience.
You cannot read the description of the personal stock trading allegedly conducted by Rep. Spencer Bachus and other members of Congress during the financial crisis and conclude anything other than the following:
Our government is completely corrupt.
Yes, this behavior may be technically legal, because of an absurd loophole that makes insider-trading rules not apply to Congress.
Yes, this behavior may be widespread on Capitol Hill.
But there is no universe in which a reasonable person would consider this behavior ethical or okay. And for the 300+ million Americans who aren’t members of Congress, it would be just plain illegal
Many members of Congress seem guilty here, including John Kerry, Dick Durbin, and Jim Moran. But Spencer Bachus takes the cake.
According to a new book called Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer, as relayed by Dave Weigel at Slate, Rep. Bachus made more than 40 trades in his personal account in the summer and fall of 2008, in the early months of the financial crisis.
The fact that Bachus personally traded on private information he received as a result of his job is bad enough. The fact that he was the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee at the time is simply outrageous.
In one case, the day after getting a private briefing on the collapsing economy and financial system from Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, Rep. Bachus effectively shorted the market (by buying options that would rise if the market tanked.)
A few days later, after the market tanked, Bachus sold his position and nearly doubled his money.
If a corporate executive or Wall Street trader did this–cashed in personally after getting private, non-public information from his work–Rep. Bachus and every other member of Congress would be screaming from the rooftops about how the financial system is deeply corrupt and how the executive should be charged with insider trading.
And they would be right.
Rep. Bachus should return whatever money he made by betting on the direction of the markets (or anything else) in the fall of 2008. He should apologize for his behavior and jaw-dropping lack of judgement. He should urge his fellow members of Congress to immediately enact legislation that defends the fairness of the markets by holding Congress to the same insider trading laws as everyone else. He should then resign in disgrace.
Yippee — just what we want, more federal government intrusion into our lives. Nancy Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House, but she’s confident she will be again soon. Since she’s been “out of power,” she’s hit the fundraisers like the average 21-year-old hits the bars, attending 311 nationwide, drawing in $26 million for Democrats. Her short-term goal: To take back the 25 House seats necessary to regain her place as a part of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi axis of power.
Just to think we might again have to call Princess Pelosi “Madame Speaker” is unpleasant enough. But contemplate her long-term goal and the short-term goal looks even more sour. Pelosi told The Washington Post that at the top of her to-do list as the reinstated Speaker would be “doing for childcare what we did for healthcare reform.” She explained further:
“I could never get a babysitter — have five kids in six years and no one wants to come to your house. … And everywhere I go, women say the same thing” about how hard it is to find the kind of reliable care that would make their family lives calmer and work lives more productive. When it comes to “unleashing women” in a way that would boost the economy, she says, “this is a missing link.”
First, let’s talk about this as a follow-up to Obamacare. Has Pelosi paid no attention to the polls that show people are anything but pleased with a fourth entitlement program that offers them less control over their own health care? Just this week, Gallup released a poll that showed a plurality of Americans want the law completely repealed. Of late, even Democrats have soured on the law. Just 34 percent of Americans actually approve of the law, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Why, at a time when Americans react to government overreach with bitter disapproval, would Pelosi baldly bid for still more control? If I were a prog, I’d be hoping Pelosi would hush up. She’s giving it away too clearly: Progressives really do want a nanny state — literally.
Secondly, let’s talk about childcare for a minute. While I pity Pelosi’s plight to be burdened with so many children (not), I pity the plight of her children more. No, not because they were born to her (how mean would that be to say?!), but because they had to have a babysitter in the first place. Obviously, in many circumstances, that’s unavoidable, and I’m not criticizing parents who find themselves in a bind and do what it takes to make it work. But, in general, I’d argue couples should consider carefully whether one or the other of them would be able — and willing — to provide at-home child care before they have a kid in the first place. Why? Simple: Studies show that children who spend longer hours (30 hours/week) in daycare are more likely to exhibit problematic social behaviors including aggression, conflict, poorer work habits and risk-taking behaviors.
Anecdotally, the most common argument I’ve heard against stay-at-home parenthood is, quite simply, a lack of money. But I’d humbly submit that, beyond the three basics (food, shelter and clothing), children will benefit far more from the presence of a parent at home than from a few more material goodies. Also, consider the costs of daycare itself: The loss of a second income is at least partially offset by what a couple will save by not having to pay for childcare. The average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year or $972 a month. That’s nothing to sneeze at. At the risk of trivializing the financial trials parents face (especially as I’m not a parent myself), I kinda can’t help but think, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Most likely, parents just simply don’t want to give up the careers they’ve cultivated for the sake of their children. But staying home with kids doesn’t mean giving up all meaningful contributions to the outside world. My friend Chad Kent, for example, stays at home with his twin sons while his wife, a doctor, works outside the home — but he’s also a public speaker and blogger who breaks open the Constitution for his listeners and readers in a fun and memorable way. Again, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Just takes a little creativity!
Creativity and flexibility that — you can bet — wouldn’t be baked into any federal childcare program. Beyond the manifold federalist arguments against a federal takeover of daycare, a federal program to provide childcare sends exactly the wrong message: That the childcare-center model makes sense and should be incentivized, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Kinda like welfare programs incentivize single parenthood, when, in fact, the single simplest step a single mother can take to raise her children out of poverty is to marry their father.
I wish I could breathe easy thinking this is just a pipe dream — but I’d have never guessed Obama-Reid-Pelosi would manage to ramrod Obamcare through Congress, either. Never too early to be on guard.
[CIM Comment: AP photo added to original story. "They" have long wanted to split and control the family unit. The old saying goes that a government big enough to give you all you want can also take away all you need and have. Now this is ramped up into forcing you to accept government assistance and intervention. Why do I smell Agenda 21 hiding around the corner?]
“There are many opponents of Obamacare who are voicing outrage that some of the same organizations that carried “Obama’s water” and vocally endorsed his health care “reform” law are the ones who are scrambling for waivers.”
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders continue to press the Obama Administration to explain how it granted more than 1,400 waivers exempting groups from President Barack Obama’s health care law.
They also questioned how more than 20 percent of the waivers issued in April went to the home district of House Minority Leader Nancy (“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”) Pelosi (D-CA).
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) called on President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius to provide to the Committee detailed information about the waiver process and factors involved in deciding which organizations did—and did not—receive waivers.
“The Obama Administration has implemented a policy that picks winners and losers—all without disclosing how and why these selections were made. The public has a right to know what justification they used to exempt businesses, unions and other organizations from compliance with Obamacare,” Chairman Issa said.
“At a time when many businesses are struggling to create jobs and grow the economy, this has the potential to create an unfair advantage for some politically-connected businesses, while others are left to suffer the consequences of onerous government regulations,” Issa added.
“Through an amorphous process shrouded in ambiguity and understood by few, the Administration has granted exemptions from Obamacare’s onerous requirements to hundreds of organizations. The American people deserve to know what standard of review Secretary Sebelius utilized and why the geographic distribution of granted waivers appears to be so distorted. I look forward to working with Chairman Issa as we continue to ensure political favoritism does not trump fundamental fairness,” Gowdy said.
The Committee has requested that HHS deliver by August 17 documents and information including a copy of every waiver application and supporting materials. In addition, the committee asked for information about the internal evaluation of each waiver application. Thus far, HHS has delivered only applications denied as of March 10.
Because HHS has since decided to eliminate the entire waiver process effective September 22, Issa and Gowdy also raised concerns about the fairness of this process. They asked that HHS provide a full explanation of the shutdown process as well as documents and questions about stakeholder surveys and communications to assess a possible shutdown.
“If the Department continues to demonstrate an unwillingness to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation, we will be forced to consider compulsory process,” Issa and Gowdy wrote.
There are many opponents of Obamacare who are voicing outrage that some of the same organizations that carried “Obama’s water” and vocally endorsed his health care “reform” law are the ones who are scrambling for waivers.
“The fact that people who pushed this law down the throats of a majority of Americans who opposed [Obamacare] are now obtaining waivers that free them from the law’s stipulations smacks of political corruption. It’s the Chicago Way, multiplied by thousands,” said attorney and political consultant Mike Baker.