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Rep. Hanna’s 2013 report card – a more realistic review

At the end of 2013 my opponent for the NY 22nd Congressional district, the incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna, released a summary of his efforts in Congress as a show of his dedication to the concerns of constituents. It’s a great gesture, but if looked at in context it is just a gesture.

Let me explain.

In the middle of page 3, right after the table of contents, a “snapshot of 2013 by-the-numbers” is presented. In the very first item, my point is made explicitly clear –

174 public Vote Explanations posted on Facebook, Twitter and Hanna.House.Gov

This is a lie, and I dare Rep. Hanna to sue me because I’m right. The total is 175. Because Rep. Hanna removed one of his public statements. Specifically How I voted on HR 2397 – which now comes up with a 404 error if you search for it.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22)

Why is it missing and unaccounted for? Because in that article, published at 8:30 AM on July 25th, Rep. Hanna stated that he voted to protect the public from the abuses of the NSA. That statement flies in the face of his actual vote on July 24th – against the Amash Amendment which would have protected the public from NSA abuses.

Thus, since the full unedited original article has yet to be placed back into the record, I am led to believe Rep. Hanna is actively hiding his record from the public on an issue constituents are very concerned about. A record that isn’t always in the interest, or even good faith, of what the people he was elected to represent wanted and believe, I am led to conclude.

I say this directly, Rep. Hanna, if a word of what I have just said is untrue – sue me and I will exit the race for Congress.

You can decide for yourself what you make of this shell-game with the facts. But moving on.

On page 3, and elsewhere in the document, Rep. Hanna takes great pains to highlight the 9 Bills and resolutions he sponsored, as well as the 216 he co-sponsored. What my opponent fails to note, and hopes voters won’t notice, is what he does not include in the snapshot or the document… the number of Bills and/or Resolutions he had pass in the House of Representatives, let alone become law. An omission based on the failure to actually succeed since being elected in 2010.

My opponent paints a happy picture of the status on HR 2310 – a Bill that would provide headstones for Reservists that have died in combat for this nation. A Bill that is frozen in Congress and will likely never become law. Even though the cost is negligible, it is a bi-partisan issue, it is supported by veterans and the public, and there are 89 current members of Congress that are former military that would never dare vote against this Bill. Oh, and only 5 members of Congress, that are former military, support this Bill.

Which brings up the question of why? Has my opponent presented this to them? If not he is being inefficient, if he has then he is ineffective for the reasons why this Bill has universal appeal already stated.

There are other such examples, like H Res 134 (condemning North Korea) and H Res 190 (condemning the Boston Marathon bombing), each of which failed to garner support though there is universal bipartisan support for the issues addressed. Again, were these resolutions with less than 10% support framed a successes because the question of effectiveness and efficiency would be asked – and a shrewd politician obfuscates any question that might cause them to lose votes, no matter how true?

On page 4 of the report card, my opponent then makes this statement

“It is clear that in many ways Washington is broken as 2013 draws to a close. I am pleased to report that your office is not.”

Inefficiency, ineffectiveness, lack of representation of the voters and public in the 22nd District are not examples of a broken elected “office”, I agree. But it is a clear indicator, in my opinion, of one that is perhaps inept. It is an example of something that needs to be corrected, as Government is broken because too many in Congress are very good politicians just like Rep. Hanna seems to be.

You may disagree, but I will press on yet again.

The report card on my opponent then goes through several pages of his biography, the mission his elected office has in Congress (working for the people – not representing them, which is not the same thing by far), a nice picture of the NY 22nd District, and the multiple Committees that my opponent sat on in one of the least trusted and approved Congresses in the history of Congress. In fact 2013 was one of the least functional Congresses ever. Which calls to question how much value sitting on multiple sub-Committees matters when the entire Congress is failing to get anything substantial done.

But I digress. Thus, eventually, the report card gets back to the point of what was actually done.

The first thing it highlights is transparency and accountability. To this it restates the factually incorrect 174 disclosures. It is amazing how in a single figure my opponent, calls into question the transparency he presents to the public and simultaneously fails to be accountable to that same public – all at the same time.

My opponent then takes pride in being ranked as one of the most Liberal Republicans in Congress in 2013. That can be also stated as one of the most Conservative Democrats, or the most Moderate, or as he states “most independent Republican” – they are all equivalent terms I believe. But independent sounds far better than what some might call an elected official that actively tries to grow the opposition Party (as Rep. Hanna did when he told women voters to join the Democrat Party).

He then pats himself on the back for job creation awards (while there are over 20 million Americans still underemployed and the participation rate is at a low of 63%), lauds himself for his NRA rating (though he failed to show up at Remington Arms when President Obama was placing gun manufacturers under siege at the beginning of 2013, though he did months after the gun restriction debate had died down), and then hypes himself on his work with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] jobs.

Let me pause there. My opponent, the incumbent Congressman, wants to be praised for trying to pass HR 2131 – the SKILLS Visa Act – that would give 160,000 STEM jobs to foreign immigrants instead of American workers. I’ve talked to a lot of people in the NY-22, and I don’t know any who have said they support that.

Rep Hanna then moves on to talking about how many people he responded to in 2013. The numbers sound impressive, until compared to the number of people in the NY-22 (over 700,000). Plus the number seems a bit vague. How many people sent letters and request to Rep. Hanna? What is the percentage of responses? It’s not quibbling when you consider that I have talked to dozens of people who state that Rep. Hanna never responded to a single letter or request they made. Even more important to me considering that I still have not gotten any form of response from a single letter that I wrote to Rep. Hanna since 2012 – even to this day his office has not responded to me or my media company, ever. How may others received the same disregard – 100? 10,000? 100,000? My opponent avoids saying.

Finally, on page 12, my opponent notes what he actually did in Congress in 2013. He presents just 1 Bill passed, for baseball coins. But he gives equal billing, in great wording, to HR 2310, H Res 134, and H Res 190. He makes it seem like getting less than 10% support on universal, bipartisan, unopposed items is success – and perhaps in a Congress with an approval rating of 8% it is. But I tend to think the public expects more. From Congress, their Representative, and Government in general.

On page 14 my opponent starts to name all the great causes he supports. He leaves out the fact that he doesn’t mind making “symbolic votes”, as he has admitted and is available to be seen on a Youtube video of an interview he did. He leaves out his apparent rejection of Republican women. He avoids his flip-flop on late-term abortions. He all but forgets his inability to take a side about Syria. He completely disregards his multiple flip-flops on immigration, and his apparent preference (finally) to support reforms on immigration that 9 out of 10 residents of the NY 22nd Congressional District that I have spoken to do not support. He even glosses over the fact that his sudden defense of truck drivers comes more than a year after the rules were changed and several months after the rules went into effect (even though the trucking industry has been fighting this issue since 2012 amid my opponents silence on the issue).

By page 21, my opponent resorts to taking a bow for the pork-spending that endears Congress to some, and has guaranteed re-election to more than a few politicians that have been in office so long they seem to believe themselves to be a nobility (I offer the examples of Sen. Harry Reid, and Sen. Schumer, but there are dozens of others).

Of course the numbers are spread out so as to hide the very apparent bias to the northern end of the NY-22. The Southern Tier received $5 million in funds (Broome and Tioga Counties), Central NY – the middle of the District – received $6 million (Cortland and Chenango), with the north (Oswego, Herkimer, Oneida, and Madison) getting $9 million. If you take out flood relief for Central NY and the Southern Tier, which had little to do with the Congressman, the difference in actions becomes vastly apparent (almost 2-1 bias toward the northern end of the district).

My opponent of course makes room to note the obligatory shaking hands and kissing babies that is part and parcel of all politicians. 2 pages for that. My opponent then goes on to highlight 2 pages of highly selective quotes from cherry-picked news items to finish the report card.

I imagine every student in any educational institution envies the ability of Rep. Richard Hanna, like President Obama, to create their own report card and grading system.

With all honesty I cannot say that my opponent was a complete failure in 2013. He did accomplish some goals that constituents wanted. There were some issues that he could do nothing about (though he could have said far more in my opinion – like Syria, abuse of Executive Orders, overreach of the NSA and IRS, ect). But that does not excuse or even equal the things that he did have control over and failed on.

If we were to be fair, and I am trying my best to be objective though he is my opponent, a true grade of the overall performance in 2013 would be a D+. Transparency and Accountability would be an F-. Effectiveness would be a D+. Efficiency would be a D+. Consistency would be a F-. Leadership would be a D. Responsiveness (to the political ramifications) would be a shining star with a C. Deficit spending would be a B-. Flip-flopping would be an A+.

At the end of the day what will this all mean? That is for voters to decide. But I believe, if voters look at the whole picture – at what is being omitted and hidden, what was done and what was calculated for political gain, what has been done in the name of the NY-22 that fails to reflect the views of the people of the NY-22 – then I believe 2014 will see my opponent, Rep. Hanna, fail to graduate.

Sincerely

Michael Vasquez

Obamacare isn’t racist, but Melissa Harris Perry may be

This is my personal opinion, you may or may not agree, but thankfully we are in America and it’s still ok to share what you think (unless you are Conservative, and then you are apparently just racist). Read at your own peril.

I have just seen a video of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry, expounding on the racist connotations of Obamacare. The word, not the Affordable Care Act itself. It has to be seen to be believed.

Now I must admit that I am no fan of MSNBC. I rarely watch that cable news network, mostly for its visibly biased and inaccurate information. Thus I am unaware of Ms. Harris status as a journalist or if she is just a commentator. I will give the benefit of doubt and assume the latter.

In just 4 minutes 29 seconds, Ms. Perry succeeded in embarrassing a swath of America, inflamed racial tensions, was blatantly cheerleading an Administration, and lowered the bar on whatever credibility MSNBC might presume to have.

The embarrassment is not for Republicans and Conservatives. It’s for those of us that believe the “sista-gurl” stereotype is a caricature of Black women. Those of us that believe sophistication, education, and eloquence are 3 vital things missing from the youth and our modern culture of lowest-common denominator.

Perhaps Ms. Perry was playing to the cheap seats. Those with the least expectations of standards in presenting opinions on the news. Perhaps she was hoping to elicit an emotional reaction. Whatever the reason, this was abysmal.

To call the signature legislative accomplishment of a President by that President’s name is no more racist than Reaganomics. For those not shackled by the constraints of Common Core, a brief look at history will denote several President’s linked (good and bad) to their legislative agenda and political manifestos. Without another word, the premise for what Ms. Harris has to say ends there. But let’s go further – she sure did.

Obamacare, or ACA, or Health Care Reform, whatever the name is without racial content. Healthcare is not defined nor confined to race – until now. To inject race in something that has no racial context is to be racist. This is especially true if the only purpose of such action is to inflame emotions and reap a political reward for such emotion-based action.

Ms. Harris seeks to confuse and obfuscate valid, logical, and important debate on ACA (Obamacare) and the record of President Obama in a haze of racial prejudice. The theme appears to be that any retort must be in support of racial prejudice since Ms. Harris has now attached race to the subject. In fact she is trying to attack the 1st Amendment Rights of viewers, and eliminate political opposition at the expense of the very same group of people this is aimed at.

Ms. Perry assumes that

“The unwritten rule is that African Americans must be Liberal and/or Democrats. That they as a whole and as individuals must vote and speak in support of Democrats and President Obama in particular. That to do anything else is a betrayal of race, and akin to an atrocity.”

I’m not sorry Ms. Perry, I have a mind. I can read the facts, can remember the promises made, and can assign blame without the help of a biased MSNBC commentator or an imaginary rule that denies me the Rights far too many died and bled to ensure I can exercise.

The facts that Ms. Harris omitted. The Obamacare website is still not 100% operational; not for those signing up, and certainly not for the insurance companies on the back end. Obamcare does not address a primary factor affecting healthcare cost – frivolous malpractice lawsuits. Obamacare is not deficit neutral. Obamacare does not allow for true (interstate) competition. Obamacare is not healthcare, but catastrophic care. Most importantly of all, Obamacare places the right of Government over the Rights of the governed.

To negate these real and important facts is to delude the public. Worse, to do so under a pretense of race is to actively incite part of the public for no reason other than to prop up a President who is rightly being blamed for the failures of his Administration, and his own words – “You can keep your doctor. Period.”

What Ms. Harris has done, in her professional ebonics mash-up insult was the intelligence of all Americans, add yet another layer of complication to any discussion to remedy the failures of Obamacare, and reinforce maybe half a dozen stereotypes that millions of parents, professionals, and children are fighting against daily.

President Obama is visibly Black (heritage aside for the moment). That does NOT mean that by default a well-reasoned, fact based, logical argument against his policies devolves to an oversimplification of racial-bias. Being Black did not cause President Obama to violate the War Powers Act in attacking Libya, nor was it a factor in trying to initiate hostilities unilaterally against Syria. Being Black was not a factor in the fastest growth in debt the nation has ever seen. Being Black had no ramification in being absentee while the Justice Department, NSA, and IRS (to name just a few) abused their powers. Being Black was not a factor in lying to the public, or failing to hold accountable anyone involved in the Benghazi attack.

These are all, and I am just skipping through a quick list, actions made by a man who was elected President. The color of his skin neither improved nor forgave any of these things. To try to say otherwise, just because Ms. Perry desperately wants pres. Obama to have a positive legacy, does not make it so. Neither does mentioning these realities make anyone else racist.

Ms. Perry owes America an apology. So does MSNBC. But what is far more likely is that defenders of President Obama and Ms. Perry will likely call me a racist. But I will not cower in the face of a label without justification, empowering a deceit that does more to harm America than actually highlight a real problem that does exist in America.

Some will cry wolf, others racist. In the end all it does is enable true racism, and obfuscate the failure of a Presidency that is all too apparent.

Why won’t the latest Obamacare “fix” won’t work

As just about every editorial page in America has stated by now, President Obama’s quick “fix” for the over 4 million Americans that wanted to keep their doctors and healthcare plans is perhaps the one way to take the failure of the Obamacare rollout and make it worse.

There are any number of issues with what has been proposed by the President. The fact that retroactively reinstating the millions of policies at the last minute is an administrative nightmare for insurance companies. That insurance premiums will be driven higher, as the very people essential for Obamacare to work will no longer be paying the higher premiums in new policies needed. That confusion among customers will be maddening as they try to determine if their old policy, or the new one, is what is in force.

But there is a very simple reason why the quick “fix” is going to fail – and it won’t be the fault of insurance companies. Presidents don’t make law.

What President Obama has asked insurance companies to do is violate federal law. Just because he said so. He has promised that he won’t press any legal requirements that they forgo on this issue. But he does NOT have the power to enforce such action. State insurance commissioners know that, as do the insurance companies (or at least their lawyers).

President Obama has requested that insurance companies willfully commit a crime, and if they do they are liable for all the risk and lawsuits that stem from breaking the law – as well as fines from the States that do not take the word of Obama as gold. If this is enacted, the power of the Presidency will have swell to proportions akin to a king.

Considering these facts, I agree with the Wall Street Journal editors

“Democrats jammed the law through Congress on a partisan vote and against public opinion. At every step since, Mr. Obama has refused to compromise or change the law. And even with this tactical retreat, he is merely trying to find a way to relieve the political pressure long enough to avoid having to work with Republicans in Congress on a larger improvement.”

America is suffering from quick “fixes” from our Government, and each one is only making the situation worse on each issue they are trying to politically look good on. Even more terrifying is the thought of the ramifications, long-term, if the public allows these feel-good solutions to go through unchecked. Accountability is the only solution here.

America might be able to withstand Obamacare, but it is proving obvious that we can’t survive the quick fix mentality of our politicians and political leaders.

Obamacare: 2010 vs 2013

Way back in May 2010, while I was working as a political commentator, I presented the views of America – as stated in polls at that time – about Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act if you prefer). Then, as now, the majority of Americans opposed Obamacare. So, with important news out today, I wanted to review that.

On May 18, 2010, I wrote (and a Youtube video as well):

“56% of those surveyed have said that they believe Obamacare will increase the federal deficit…54% believe the cost of healthcare will increase. 50% expect the quality of care to fall. 63% of seniors, the group most directly affected by and likely to use the Obamacare, are in favor of repealing the Reform.”

As of 2013 we know that Obamacare is NOT deficit neutral. In fact it will add to the deficit according to the CBO. Further, as millions of Americans have realized since October 1st, healthcare costs are increasing. Personally, in a company sponsored healthcare plan, the increase is more than 14% higher. Were I to have gone through the Obamacare exchange the increase would have been in excess of 200%.

As for quality of care, and the impact on seniors (besides cost), is still to be seen. Given the proposed increase in patient levels without a commensurate increase in doctors, common sense says that reductions are likely.

But I did mention breaking news.

In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 President Obama repeatedly brushed off polls and opposition to Obamacare with the comment, “We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.” (June 15, 2009)

Well that isn’t exactly true. In fact for 40% – 67% of Americans with individual plans, some 7 million people, that isn’t even close to sort-of true. Like Democrat pundit Kirsten Powers, millions are getting letters in the mail that they getting new plans, often at higher costs – whether they like it or not. Because Obamacare requires it.

More importantly, the White House knew that this would happen… in 2010. As stated via NBC News,

“Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.”

So, the polls in 2010 were right. Opponents of Obamacare were right. President Obama knew they were right, and kept up the stageshow anyway.

I have to wonder, if so much that critics were pointing out over the past 3 years is right, and we are learning that the White House knew it to be true, how much more is going to be right? What consequences are going to come from the partisan ramrod to pass Obamacare?

Healthcare reform is needed in this nation, but Obamacare isn’t the answer. The time to stop it before there is irreparable harm is short, but I believe it should be pursued. That’s what constituents want, still. That’s what their elected Representative should be talking about right now.

What do you think?

What do they say about first impressions?

Like millions of Americans on Oct. 1, 2013, I took to the internet in the early morning hours to check out the truth about what Obamacare might mean to me. Not because of a need for health insurance which I already have, but out of a morbid curiosity akin to watching a racing car wreck at full speed live. It’s gruesome and horrifying but you won’t stop watching til its all done.

After 3 years of discussion, planning, and political battles Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act by its official and generally unused name – came to life in health care exchanges, at the cost of a Government shutdown. The result, for residents of New York State at least, can be summed up in the word underwhelming.

Since 2:00 AM through 11:25 PM the result – that cost $1 trillion dollars, is arguably creating a trend of part-time work, and is rife with whispers of corporations big and small abandoning employees to the cumbersome indelicate micromanagement of the Government in an all to quickly approaching future – was nothing. The system, just less than a month earlier, that was rumored to fail and likely to expose the critical private data of average Americans to cybercriminals like bees to honey lived up to a single expectation… it collapsed immediately.

No quotes for individuals and families. No miraculous savings on monthly premiums (with a penalty of extreme deductibles and out-of-pocket costs out of the range of the very people it was intended to help). Not even a flicker of the internal design of the pages that would lead to the fruition of the grand plan that was executed behind closed doors, with political deals just short of bribes for members of a supermajority that acted against the will of the public in the most partisan action to ever be ignored by the very people damning Republicans efforts to disembowel this Frankenstein’s monster as partisan.

In business and life it is often said that the first impression is critical. It leaves a near indelible mark on the memory, and colors all future interaction with its residue. All to often, the first impression is the most clear observation of what is to come, and the ultimate expression of what will develop over time.

Obamacare, in one fell swoop, has clearly stated what it is…a mess that cannot function even with billions of dollars and years of effort.

Some will say, just as President Obama did before the on switch was flipped, that such a massive undertaking will have hiccups and errors at the start. That the initial steps of so massive a reform must stutter-step before taking grand strides forward. Then again, Dr. Frankenstein felt his monster was wonderous. An impression felt by him alone.

Still, the unwritten rule of thumb may be wrong. The law of averages implies that eventually the Government must achieve success in micromanaging something. Yes, maybe even Billy Crystal’s Fernando might be proven wrong and something that looks bad and feels bad might actually wind up being really good. Then again, what entitlement programs has lived up to the long-term expectations it was created under?

Maybe on day 2, or 3, or at some point in the not too distant future Healthcare.gov will work (at least for those in New York State). Possibly those that hang in there will find the pot of gold they were promised. We can only hope so, because the cost in debt, freedom, and growth in Government will NEVER be fully undone.

Obamacare is hope, the final plague left in Pandora’s Box. At least that is the first impression it has given me.

Government shutdown over Obamacare – is it worth it?

The Government of the United States has officially shutdown as of 12:01 AM on Oct 1,2013. Well the discretionary spending portion of the Government anyway. Now come the blame game and dire finger pointing by the media and pundits alike. But was this shutdown over Obamacare worth it?

The answer to the question depends entirely on why politicians sought the OK Corral showdown in the first place. But before I go there let’s get some perspective.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was presented as a non-tax that would provide everyone in America with health insurance if they wanted or needed it. For those that did not want to take part in the Government healthcare exchanges, they were told they could keep their existing plan and doctors. The best part, as the public was told, was that the cost of healthcare would go down, and it would save money from being added to the deficit. This was the promise of Obamacare.

Since June 2009 the majority of Americans (that’s Democrats, Independents, and Republicans) has not bought into the above pitch. According to every poll, by anyone you want to select as far as I am aware, there has not been less that 51% opposition to Obamacare in over 3 years.

In the meantime, the public has learned that Obamacare is a tax, which is why the Supreme Court did not strike it down. Chief Justice Roberts also made clear that the quality and repercussions of laws are not the responsibility of the Supreme Court, just the constitutionality.

We have learned that the cost of healthcare has increased, and there is no cost savings. In fact Obamacare increases the deficit. Almost everyone in America is expected to be covered – just a pesky 10-15 million won’t be involved for reasons ranging from lack of knowledge, lack of income, dislike of the law, and in some cases the perceived lack of need.

It gets better. As years have passed America has learned of hordes of flaws in the law, most unintentional and likely due to the fact that the law was passed without being read by the supermajority of Democrats that passed it (which oddly enough is not considered a partisan action by the media). We have learned that boat-loads of corporations from the smallest to international giants have chosen to bail on healthcare – eliminating the option of workers from keeping their plans and doctors.

We have also learned that implementation of this law has been about as flawed as its creation, with serious questions on the safety of the data input by Americans that chose to explore the exchanges (whether they want to or now need to). At the same time one of the biggest parts of the law, and several smaller parts, have been pushed back at least a year due to complications – but not the mandate on the public.

But the promise of cheaper monthly premiums for healthcare has been all the rage leading up to Oct. 1st. Still, in all that hoopla the math presented left out the costs of out-of-pocket expenses – like copay, deductibles, and what is or is not covered by the plans. The real world cost is not just a monthly premium, but you’d never know that from what has been presented so far.

Thus, public opinion has remained negative. Even in the face of uncounted speeches by the spectacular orator President Obama. Even with the aid of multiple Hollywood supporters, members of the NFL and NBA, and a host of other marketing gimmicks meant to spur a positive response.

So back to the question at the start. Is this partisan attempt to wipe out Obamacare worth shutting down the Government?

If, as some on the far left have told me, it is an attempt to attack the Black President then no. But there is nothing in the language used by anyone over the past 3 years when discussing Obamacare to imply anything racial. That doesn’t stop some from suggesting it, but it’s an issue that doesn’t exist.

If it is simply an attempt by the political party out of favor at the moment to confound the other side of the aisle, then no. But the pubic opinion and the problems above explicitly describe more than a political tug-of-war.

If it is just an attempt by Republicans to preserve their ability to get re-elected by constituents who want to see a more principled and conservative representation, then no. While there is no doubt that more than a few Republicans, either with dreams of elections to higher office or looking to shore up a very moderate if not Democrat voting record, have voted to repeal or defund Obamacare just for the political gain that is not enough of a reason to shutdown the Government. Again, the public and the litany of problems, plus revelations on what Obamacare really is and does clearly states that this is more than mere political math.

If this is an honest (or at least as honest as some politicians get) attempt to represent the views of the majority of Americans for more than 3 years, then it is worth it. It would mean that this has been an attempt to correct the initial partisan passage of the law, the failures of the law to address serious concerns (like malpractice insurance – a key factor in healthcare increases, and interstate competition for health insurance plans, ect), and the consistent refusal of Democrats to repeal a law the nation has not wanted (which in itself is a partisan reaction without the slightest concern for public opinion or representation).

For me, I believe that a shutdown of the Government as an attempt to repeal or defund Obamacare as it is written is essential for a reason I believe is more important than everything else mentioned so far. Because it is a law that gives power to the Government over the public in a manner never seen before.

Nothing is more terrifying than a Government that can tell its populace they must do whatever. Not that they can choose this or that, or if they elect to invoke this privilege they must comply with regulations and laws. Obamacare is the Pandora’s Box that leads to a far less free nation than has ever existed before. It is only a question of time before a new law – for the good of the public – is passed (possibly with great enthusiasm) the restricts and limits freedom in ways that generations 2 or 3 decades ago would have rioted over. This is the path that leads to Governments like Syria, Iran, the old USSR, and China to name just a few examples.

IF, and only if, Republicans have taken this hard stance to represent the public and protect the freedoms they swore an oath to defend, then the Government shutdown is worth it. Anything less is just political grandstanding, and an attempt to ward off election challenges from the Right and the Left.

Which reason, for each Representative, will be very clear is short order. Hopefully the public at large will notice.

While President Obama urges more of the same, a real solution stays on the backburner

President Obama is poised to launch a new round of “focus on the economy and jobs.” On Wednesday July 24th, the President will talk about “Shovel ready jobs”, wait its called an “investment in America’s infrastructure.” Then again its been called “Fix it now” as well; plus a couple of other catchy phrases. But the point is it’s the same ideas that haven’t worked before, and no one truly believes will work now.

Yet, that’s not what should upset the public. By now even the most ardent are inured to the droning promise that “jobs are priority 1″, only to watch as healthcare, illegal immigration, gun restriction, cyber security, even rounds of golf have filled the President’s time.

What should upset people are the things that are being unspoken, even by political opponents of the President and his agenda. Like real solutions to unemployment. Let me explain that.

The Obama Stimulus was promised to not only stabilize the economy, but improve the economy. Those shovel ready jobs were going to turn things around. Except they didn’t. In fact, if you look at all the charts and data, things didn’t start to improve until the impact of the Government intrusion (Stimulus) waned. As it reduced, the economy has improved. Slow as it has been.

Perhaps one of the key things helping has been the fact that every attempt to double down on letting Government muddle things up has been blocked – with the big exception of Obamacare. Which has lead to job growth no one wants – part-time jobs without benefits because Obamacare is too expensive to run a business with.

The burden of taxes, on people can companies is hindering the recovery

The burden of taxes, on people can companies is hindering the recovery


But a vital component of real sustainable economic growth, and full-time jobs, has been lost. In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned by the President, Congress, or essentially anyone since the day after the 2012 elections. The corporate tax rate.

President Obama hasn’t mentioned the subject since virtually February 2012. Mitt Romney kept the issue flickering up til October 2012. The Representative of the New York 22nd Congressional District – Richard Hanna – gave up that ghost in November 2012 (other than his vote June 2013 for H.R. 9 – a bill NOT created by the Committee on Small Business, and that he did NOT co-sponsor). I have no doubt that a quick Google search of members of Congress – from either Party – will reveal a similar trend.

I find the bi-partisan silence to be both deafening and disastrous.

In 2012, every politician up for re-election, or challenging to be elected, agreed that corporate tax rates need to be cut. The U.S. leads the world in corporate taxes, a plan so anti-business one might believe that it was conceived in New York State (currently ranked 50th of all States in business friendliness). The only real question was how much to cut rates – Republicans wanted more, Democrats not as much.

The reason that every politician made advances on this issue was because the benefit to companies and the American people was as blatantly obvious as the national deficit is large. Cut tax rates and companies can afford to be created, grow, and hire workers. Cut it enough and some companies might even entertain paying for Obamacare and not switch to part-time employees.

It was a message of prosperity that opened up the pockets of big business, garnered the support of small business, and fed the aspirations of those dreaming of creating the next Microsoft or Facebook. But once the votes were made, the tallies done, and the politicians secure in holding onto their career positions, the concept of a corporate tax cut evaporated in a New York minute.

On Wednesday President Obama should be held to his fleeting campaign promise. Representatives in Congress should have their feet held to the flame of public opinion. Americans deserve to hear the reason why corporate tax rates, the one solution everyone thought was the answer to this recession, have not been on the table. If the answer is just more political polispeak then we need to hold these politicians accountable and vote them out of office.

America needs politicians bold enough to live up to campaign promises, strong enough to speak the will of constituents, and determined enough to blaze a trail down a path the nation hasn’t even seen in 4 years plus.

At least that’s what I think. What about you?

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