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There comes a point when time is measured in political terms. Americans become more reflective and begin to wonder, “what if.” Unfortunately, we currently live in a land where elected officials are rightfully of the least trusted people in America. Government scandals have revealed the American people to be the enemy of the state. Government sponsored programs have taken American lives while the Department of Justice sought to protect the program over the dignity of the American lives their program took. The highest levels of government refused to aid Americans overrun by terrorists in Libya and relentlessly tried to keep its betrayal of innocent Americans from the public. One scandal, closely followed by another redefined the Obama Administration, appropriately with Nixonian comparisons to corruption. The Obama Administration arguably has more scandals of significance to date than it does constitutionally acquired accomplishments. As Americans reflect on five years under Obama: “what if,” the votes of many Americans simply did not count?

“What if,” a state posted election results where 10 of its counties showed more registered voters than people eligible to vote? “What if,” a large urban city forcibly blocked GOP voting inspectors and in their absence showed a 90% voter turnout with 99% of the vote going to Obama? “What if,” a Chicago voting inspector reported voting machines not recording votes for Romney, but was obfuscated into silence? How much faith would the American people have in the Obama led federal government?

"What if," the hypothetical were fact?

Ten Colorado counties showed election results where there were more registered voters than there were residents actually eligible to cast votes. In fact, Colorado’s voter bloat inflation reveals registration ranging from 104 to 140 percent of ten specific counties of the respective populations. (Gardner, 2012) Topping Colorado’s voter bloat were the counties of San Miguel and Ouray where 140 and 119 percent of the population registered to vote. Consequently, not only did these counties far exceeded the national voting average, San Miguel County saw more than 70% of the votes going to Obama which aided in Obama winning the State’s electoral votes. (Politico, 2012) Pueblo County, Colorado, reported voting machine malfunctions at each of its voting locations. The devices changed votes from Romney – Ryan to Obama - Biden. (Heinrich, 2012) Vera Ortegon, Chairman of the Pueblo County Romney/Ryan Campaign stated, "The problem is that it is only happening in swing states and more specifically in swing counties within swing states and it's very coincidental. Pueblo County is a crucial swing county so it's going to boil down to just a few votes." Obama went on to win the county by more than 9600 votes.

In contrast, Philadelphia enacted a completely different type and far more aggressive form of voter fraud. The City of Brotherly Love forcibly removed and blocked GOP poll inspectors. (Hill, 2012) Philadelphia saw a 60% voter turnout. However, in all 13 of the Wards where GOP inspectors were prevented from monitoring the voting process, turnout was reported in ranges from 90 to in excess of 99 percent. In the 4th Ward, 9,955 votes went to Obama while 55 went to Romney. Beyond this, it is expected that it is to be believable that 59 of Philadelphia’s precincts went without a single Obama opposing vote in the absence of corrupt influences.

In Chicago, Steve Pickrum, a worker for the election supervisor, reported inaccurate vote recording by voting machines. (Cronn, 2012) "On early voting, when I did work on the floor when voters needed help using the equipment, I was able to see the preference of the voter, and every time that I saw a voter voted for Romney, a ‘voter save failure’ message came up on the screen,” he reported. He also ran into the same issue when he voted. He reported the error message to a poll worker who told him to assume his vote was counted. When he demanded his vote be checked, it was determined that his vote had not been recorded. Pickrum noted that he did not observe the error when a vote was placed for Obama.

In the battleground state of Ohio, it has been documented that machines would default to Obama 5 to 10 percent of the time. Ohio also reported the statically impossible: Obama won 99% of the vote in 100 separate districts.

Despite singling out specific and the more decisive battleground areas where the vote was more thoroughly scrutinized, social media outlets were riddled with incidents of voter fraud that demonstrate the problem was far more pervasive of an issue than many will acknowledge. Many who showed up to vote were told they had already voted for Obama, while droves of others boasted about being able to vote multiple times for Obama. In addition, specific demographics of people were duped into casting their ballots separately. In Florida, elderly voters were directed to place their ballots in a box while other voters utilized the voting mechanisms set up for the site. (Twitchy Staff, 2012)

“What if,” the scandal riddled Obama presidency is itself the largest scandal the media outlets refuse to report on?

Works Cited

Cronn, T. (2012, 11 12). Allen West, Mitt Romney and the Massive Voter Fraud Machine. Retrieved 08 30, 2013, from Politicaloutcast.com: http://politicaloutcast.com/2012/11/allen-west-mitt-romney-and-the-massi...

Gardner, A. (2012, 09 04). Colorado Counties Have More Voters Than People. Retrieved 08 29, 2013, from Mediatrackers.org: http://mediatrackers.org/colorado/2012/09/04/colorado-counties-have-more...

Heinrich, J. (2012, 11 02). Voting machines changed their vote, some say. Retrieved 08 30, 2013, from Koaa.com: http://www.koaa.com/news/voting-machines-changed-their-vote-some-say/#_

Hill, M. L. (2012, 11 09). Vote was astronomical for Obama in some Philadelphia wards. Retrieved 08 30, 2013, from Philly.com: http://articles.philly.com/2012-11-09/news/34995157_1_voter-turnout-pres...

Politico. (2012, 11 29). 2012 Presidential Election. Retrieved 08 29, 2013, from Politico.com: http://www.politico.com/2012-election/map/#/President/2012/CO

Twitchy Staff. (2012, 11 06). Voter fraud: People go to vote, ballots already cast in their names; Others vote more than once. Retrieved 08 30, 2013, from Twitchy.com: http://twitchy.com/2012/11/06/voter-fraud-people-go-to-vote-ballots-alre...

Published on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/article/what-if-your-vote-did-not-count

 
 
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Obama/Bush by SmallIslander
The debt ceiling debate has renewed the vitriol of rhetoric dividing a nation as the political elite seek to further the economic destruction of America.

Let’s just face it, President Bush tripled the deficit for FY2009, not President Obama . (1) Obama is been blamed for it, but he did not do it. Blamed is President Bush for single handedly causing the Great Recession, but that is not a fair accusation now is it? (2) As the United State’s government enters the final chapter of the FY2011 debt ceiling debate, perhaps some true and objective, good old-fashioned honesty is order. If you are blindly partial and solely partisan to the Right or Left, you have come to the point in the article that indicates it time for you to hit the back button on your browser and return from which you have come. The intent is to discern the rhetoric and lies to expose the truth in how the both Republicans and Democrats are culpable for America's economic downfall.

Blame through denial

The tool of politically blaming the other has provided a path to absolution the political supporters of both the Right and the Left to hide behind as they continue their blind championing of a given side. (3) , (4) The debt ceiling debate has renewed the rhetoric of blame as opposing views seek to overlook their Party’s culpability in America’s egregious fiscal mismanagement in a veiled attempt to make the other appear both incompetent and solely responsible.

This all started in 2009 when the Obama administration went on a Bush blaming campaign stating America’s financial condition was President Bush’s fault. The fact of the matter is they were in part correct. While President Bush cannot be blamed for the entire financial crisis, he, and his administration, both Republican and Democrat alike, can rightfully be faulted for the significant increase in the deficit that President Obama largely took heat for. The federal deficit jumped from roughly 450 Billion in FY2008 to over 1.4 Trillion in FY2009. (1) Fiscal Year 2009 was funded in October of 2008 under the Bush administration. (5) Truly, this was inherited by President Obama and not of his doing. The Right immediately went on the assault blaming President Obama for “tripling the deficit” while turning a blind eye to the fact the FY2009 deficit spending was of President Bush’s doing, not President Obama’s. (6) Fox News claimed President Obama shattered the spending record for first year presidents. A better comparison would be a forth-right assessment of last year presidential spending as an evaluation of President Bush’s final year fiscal performance. (7) However, this is not to say President Obama is completely innocent when it comes to America’s profligate spending and government’s irresponsible fiscal practices.

As we can clearly cite President Bush’s culpability in tripling the deficit in FY2009, we must acknowledge that the FY2010 deficit spending practically mirrored that of FY2009. (8) This means President Obama picked up where President Bush left off, earning him full credit for his role in government’s failed fiscal practices. To blame President Bush for his role is one thing, but to blame him and then directly continue the fiscal practices that were intensely criticized represents a reprehensible act of dichotomy. The Left is correct in its criticisms of the Right’s contributions to America’s ongoing deficit struggles, but the Left is at equal fault for continuing them.

Rhetoric of misrepresentation

The Obama administration has pushed the blame Bush campaign so hard many Obama supports only see Bush as the problem. One recent article of a poll published and conducted by Quinnipiac University stated, “That’s more than half the country that has not given in to the myth that Obama is responsible for creating the downturn in the economy.” (9) The obviously slanted article and poll is quick to “confirm” the ideology of President Obama’s innocence in America’s economic crisis, while it makes no mention of FY2010 Obama spending that was completely autonomous of any Bush fiscal policy. The rhetoric filled article goes forth with no data backing its claims to blame Republicans for blocking job creation, spinning the economic “catastrophe” against Obama and uses the slanted poll as proof Americans will blame the Republican Congress and not President Obama for the economy. Articles like Desmond’s and that of Fox News serve to only fuel the gross misinformation being deliberately passed by opposing sides whom refuse to acknowledge their Party’s mishandling of the economy. Bush was guilty and Obama is guilty, it should not take an objective opinion from the outside to bring the facts forth, the facts should be embraced by the whole in order to improve America. Clearly, the problem is a Bush – Obama failure in that both are culpable in their own individual right for leading America into economic failure. (1)

In defending President Obama through misinformation, we hinder the nation. We must ask of ourselves, what is it about President Obama’s economic policy we wish to defend? Often, supporters are defending the president solely because they voted him, using his “defense” as a tool to belittle the Right while the entire time not identifying how the president has only perpetuated the very concepts his supporters now actively condemn Bush for. Collectively, we should assess what the president’s economic goals actually are. In viewing President Obama’s own budget, we can gain a clearer and more objective perspective.

President Obama has stated that 80% of Americans are “sold” on tax increases as part of the current budget resolution. (10) Again, a gross misrepresentation. The ideology presented in the quote is the tax increases in question are reserved for individuals other than those being polled. Be that as it may, tax increases are ever present in the Obama deficit dialog. His budget proposal contained some 43 separate tax increases and was anything but balanced. His budget ideology was so bad that it failed in a 97 – 0 vote. (11) Continually we hear Obama referring to his tax cuts and the taxation of the rich, but it has become obvious his interest in a balanced budget is minimal at best. Why all of the emphasis on tax increases?

Spending cuts to increase spending

Deficits are the perceived problem and to overcome deficits the political class will seek to increase tax revenue over exercising spending restraint. Increasing the tax burden only replaces debt-financed spending with tax-financed spending leaving spending as the common denominator, which then remains as the underlying culprit of America’s fiscal woes. (12) As the political class seeks to protect spending by all means necessary, they create a façade of “spending cuts” that actually translate to spending increases. (13)

For the political elite, a “spending cut” is not increasing spending at the rate once planned. To them, a ten-year spending plan of 10 Trillion dollars that is reeled back to 8 Trillion dollars equals a 2 Trillion dollar “spending cut.” The traditional American will view a spending cut as an actual and tangible true savings in the forth-coming fiscal year. Sadly, this not how our elected Republicans or Democrats define spending cuts. What’s worse, European states having learned from the failure of this approach to fiscal policy and are now moving away from Obama-style class warfare that seeks to tax and attack the rich to fund reckless spending. This is due fiscal crises in Greece and Portugal that will likely spread to Spain, Italy, and Belgium where politicians utilized “Obamanomic-styled” approaches to governance and Bush – Obama style increases in deficit spending. European nations have spent themselves into deep economic peril, while America marches forward rationalizing irrational spending practices in blatant denial of the collapse it will eventually lead to. The European Commission Report details how European nations are now moving in the opposite direction of the Obama administration as they seek to recover from policies Obama now seeks to implement. To put it simply and bluntly, the Obama administration wishes to create the welfare state from which Europe countries are now desperately trying to recover.

Forced fiscal restraint through collapse

As we fall deeper into the vitriol of the debt ceiling debate it is important remember that in 2006, then Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling stating a sentiment that is currently reflected by Republicans and Democrats whom today oppose the raising of the debt ceiling. “The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means 'The buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.” (14) Today, this statement is defended by the attempt to justify the difference in perspective of a President to do what is right as opposed to a Senator or Representative to insist upon what is best. The then Senator Obama was correct, debt ceiling increases are the result of failures in leadership, but one could add the inability to pass a budget in more than 800 days while simultaneously pushing for more deficit spending is the result governmental incompetence under no apparent leadership.

America’s deficit problem is not a matter of blaming Bush, or blaming Obama. It is an addiction to spending that has perpetuated from administration to administration over more than a generation that Bush and Obama has exacerbated. The responsibility for this rests collectively on the shoulders of Republican and Democrats alike. To defend themselves, the political elite has set forth on a campaign of rhetoric based upon half truths to turn Americans against each other to enable political agendas that will ultimately unfold against Americans as a whole. In our division, and blinded by rhetoric we become defensive to objective criticism. As a nation, either we can curtail the irrational runaway spending through a series of tough choices today, or we can allow our poor choices of today to force the needed economic restraint upon our children and grandchildren as the European nations have.

References

1. Mitchell, Dan. Don’t Blame Obama for Bush’s FY2009 Deficit. International Liberty. [Online] 11 19, 2009. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

2. Williams, Phillip. How President Bush RUINED Our Nation’s Economy. US Money Talk. [Online] 01 27, 2010. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

3. Kornacki, Steve. Why blaming Bush is a dead end for Democrats. War Room. [Online] 08 03, 2010. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

4. Chait, Jonathan. The Stigmatization Of Bush-Blaming. The New Republic. [Online] 05 23, 2010. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

5. N.A. Budget of the United States Government: Browse Fiscal Year 2009. GPO Access. [Online] N.D. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

6. Gearghty, Jim. Obama, Spending Three Times as Fast as Bush, Blames Bush. national Review Online. [Online] 04 12, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.

7. N.A. Obama Shatters Spending Record for First-Year Presidents. Fox News. [Online] 11 24, 2009. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

8. N.A. Budget of the United States Government: Browse Fiscal Year 2010. GPO Access. [Online] N.D. [Cited: 07 16, 2010.]

9. Desmond, Matthew. Twice As Many Americans Still Blame Bush Over Obama For The Economy. Addicting Info. [Online] 07 14, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

10. Youngman, Sam, Cohn, Alicia. Obama: Public is 'sold' on tax increases in a debt-ceiling deal. The Hill. [Online] 07 15, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

11. Darling, Brian . President Obama Is Against A Balanced Budget. The Foundry. [Online] 07 15, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

12. Mitchell, Dan. New Study from Swedish Economists Allows Us to Quantify the Cost of the Bush-Obama Spending Binge. International Liberty. [Online] 07 14, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

13. Mitchell, Dan. Washington’s Never-Ending Scam of Fake Spending Cuts. International Liberty. [Online] 07 07, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

14. Jackson, David. Obama once opposed lifting debt ceiling. USA Today. [Online] 01 06, 2011. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

Copyright Paul Johnson. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

Read more at Suite101: The Reprehensible Dichotomy of the Debt Ceiling Debate | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/the-reprehensible-dichotomy-of-the-debt-ceiling-debate-a380188#ixzz1SWHyxXky

 
 
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There are such things as journalistic integrity and ethics.  They provide credibility to the rhetorical argument by establishing a sense of trust the reader can subscribe to and more importantly, in which the reader can connect.  In the realm of politics where the subject matter becomes increasingly contentious, the rhetorical argument is frequently delivered with the over utilization of pathos in hopes that appealing to the emotive response of the reader in a manner that incites strong visceral reaction will overcome the lack of the ethical appeal contained in balancing a rhetorical argument with ethos.  The ethics of the argument IS the argument when comes to political issues of high contention.  This week we have directly witnessed the delivery of misinformation that will directly affect the residents of Arizona.

ICE embraces Obama Administration contempt of law

Multitudes of sources have reported that President Obama had signed an Executive Order granting amnesty to specific sub-demographics of illegal immigrants.  This 100% inaccurate!  President Obama has not signed an Executive Order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.  While the objective of these articles is subjective and subject to individual interpretation, they come with the consequence of lost credibility, as Leftist Progressives will undoubtedly disclose the fabrications to advance the agenda of amnesty while further and rightfully discrediting the Right.


Read more: http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-phoenix/ice-seeks-to-exapnd-illegal-amnesty-the-right-fabricates-an-executive-order

 
 
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America's sharpest recession recovery came at the hands of decreased spending, deregulation, and reduced government. Concepts President Obama refuses.

Economic insult to injury was delivered to the American people in a series of numerical misrepresentations and deliberately skewed data in order to perpetuate the illusion of promising economic news. (1) Those opposed to runaway government spending will describe these assertions as lies. The Toledo Chrysler Plant served as a recent backdrop for the Obama Administration’s plea for more spending time while it sought to overlook the gloom of economic realities. A message of economic delusion delivered in the typical, nonchalant President Obama fashion. (2) The American forefront however, is an economy riddled by a reality in stark contrast to the Obama led backdrop.

The nation has suffered its worst recession recovery since World War II in terms of both the depth and persistence of job loss. (3) According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a mere 54,000 jobs were added in May while 13.9 million Americans remain unemployed. (4) Not only have home prices fallen to a new two year low, the housing market has suffered a “double dip” and is now in worse crisis than the housing collapse of the Great Depression. (5), (6) The forefront for Americans is a reality is not of the laughing, or joking matter the president continually makes light of. In spite of such a displaced approach in addressing America’s economic plight, the economy is a very serious matter.

Read more at Suite101: Economic Growth: Why Obama has Failed | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/economic-growth-why-obama-has-failed-a375791#ixzz1PO4IhUnt


 
 
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Taxes and tax policies have always been points of political contention.  In today’s age of record deficits and unsustainable governmental spending even further separation exists when it comes to tax issues.  Some believe that the rich should be taxed to alleviate deficits; while other believe a collective, uniform effort is required on the behalf of all taxpayers.  All however, agree the first step is for government to stop the runaway spending as it promised to do in January of 2009.  It is obvious that government’s addiction to spending will continue to go unabated and as it does the taxpayer will increasingly be put upon to offset damages as both state and federal governments struggle to maintain their abilities to continue operations.  One such strategy is the flat tax.

In Arizona, a flat tax legislation proposal moved forward on Thursday in the Senate Finance Committee chamber in a 4-2 vote, completely along party lines.

The Flat tax made simple

The Arizona flat tax is exactly what the name implies.  Currently, tax rates range from 2.59% to 4.45% as it increases for higher incomes.  The flat tax will change the tax rate to 2.13% for all income levels.  On the surface it would appear that all are winners, but accompanying the flat tax is the loss of critical exemptions and deductions.  While all will fall into a lower tax rate, far more will be required to “pay” taxes without the exemptions and deductions that fuel their returns.  In short, 88% will pay more in taxes and 12% will pay less.

Sponsors of legislation claim that those paying higher taxes would not pay more than $200 while those with higher income earnings will save an average of $918. 

The dispute around this legislation stems around the opinion of what citizens are required to be held financially responsible for the state’s poor solvency.  Some groups feel that placing a greater portion of this responsibility on middle and lower income families is unfair as it is felt that the $200 now owed to the state is needed for life’s necessities.  It is further felt by opponents that the tax burden is the responsibility of the higher income earners.  Proponents feel that is the best way of imposing income tax because everyone pays the same rate.

The bill, HB 2636 retains most tax credits, but eliminates several deductions and exemptions such as mortgage interest, dependent children, and personal exemptions. 

How it breaks down.

The higher income earners pay less and that aspect alone has caused outrage in many groups as it is viewed as a tax break to the rich.  The problem is that the design of the system actually taxes by the percentage of the population's income earning levels, not income alone which tax rates are currently based upon.  In doing this, the "average" person bears the bulk of responsibility, not the elite earners. This is shift in paradigm for taxpayers who are not conditioned to think in terms of equal shares, but think in terms of relative proportions.  For the legislation, this will likely be toughest hurdle to overcome. 

Assuredly, the legislation will be attacked because the gap between the rich and poor is ever widening.  This has led to resentment against the rich driven by political rhetoric.  It is felt that those with less should pay less; not a fair share proportional to their income.  Welcomed is the concept of a lower tax rate; until it requires more to be paid.  The reality is a simple one.  Until spending is brought under control, the taxpayers will be required to pick up the tab.  Less governmental spending falling under control, legislation such as this is just the beginning.

Published March 25th, on Examiner

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Earth's Magnetic Field Courtesy of NASA.gov
One thing we are being taught today is that man’s impact on the Earth is detrimental. It is the fault of man that the climate changes, winter storms worsen, summer seasons become warmer, and hurricanes become stronger. Anything perceived as being “bad” that stems from the Earth is classified as a perverse, anthropomorphic reaction of the Earth to a parasitic human kind that has sought only to destroy its host. It is so often that we blame naturally occurring phenomena on ourselves, that which is explainable through commonly known scientific evidence becomes confusing and dismissed due to the fact its reality insists man’s impact is inconsequential in Earth’s bigger, evolutionary picture. We cannot control it and therefore we dismiss it, deny it, and refuse to accept it because it is in fact, bigger than man himself.

In recent weeks and months, we have found ourselves baffled by flocks of birds that seemingly dropped dead in mid flight. Explanation after explanation was provided in order to rationalize these events into terms that created a perception that “normal” events were at play; that man was still in control of his host. However, another and more sensible theory exists. A theory that suggests man is a mere evolutionary adaption of a much bigger ever-evolving planet serving only as a temporary harborer of life as we currently know it.  (Read more).


Published February 21, 2011 on Suite101: Shifting Magnetic North Awakens New Realities http://www.suite101.com/content/shifting-magnetic-north-awakens-new-realities-a351146#ixzz1EfIVfWT0

 
 
Arizona’s immigration enforcement law is again setting the standard.  This time it is California which wishes to not only adopt similar legislation, but feels the Arizona law should become the national immigration law enforcement norm.

Arizona’s SB 1070 drew national and international criticism for provisions backing the federal requirement to ensure appropriate identification was carried by legal aliens.  A provision that the federal government later sued Arizona over and in turn placed into the DREAM Act where it went largely unchallenged by those including the federal government that once opposed it.  Another highly contested provision of SB 1070 was the extension of law enforcement measures that enabled local law enforcement personnel to directly inquire about citizenship status.  California is currently seeking to extend this ability to state law enforcement.  The challenges for California are clear.  (Read more.)

Published February 4th, 2010 on Examiner.

 
 
Constitutional eligibility is again the focus of voters and lawmakers alike and as with all controversial issues of a political nature, eyes turn towards Arizona.  It was last year that the Arizona House passed the “Birther Bill” that was later shelves in the Senate.(1)  A measure that would force presidential and vice presidential candidates to prove their constitutional eligibility in order to be placed on the state’s election ballot.  A simple request to ensure the constitution is being upheld in our most senior elected officials driven by a controversy that could have long ago been silenced by the release of a single long form birth certificate.

Currently 10 states are seeking to ensure constitutional eligibility.(2)  New Hampshire now requires an affidavit from the candidates.  Georgia requires the original birth certificate and also allows the citizens to challenge the documentation under HB 37. 

The controversy

Many feel the issue should be dropped due to the fact the certificate of live birth, which the Obama administration has provided holds the same legal merit as the long form birth certificate.  Others object to this due to the fact that in 1961 the Hawaii Department of Health was procedurally allowed to issue a certificate of live birth when a family member would report a birth of child born overseas if the request was made in person.  No long form would be issued in this case, but the birth was logged, reported to local newspapers and documented in all means less than the long form birth certificate.

 The release of the long form birth certificate is claimed to be a moot issue because the “conspiracy theorist birthers” are said to never be satisfied with information provided to them.  What is not taken into consideration is the fact that 6 out of 10 Americans are uncertain of whether their own president meets the constitutional eligibility to hold his office.(3)  Release of the long form birth certificate would have a profound impact on almost a quarter of Americans placing the true birthers clearly in the minority of Americans who do not believe the eligibility requirement has been met.

AZ renewed efforts leading a nation

Representative Judy Burges is now revitalizing the Arizona legislation that stalled last year with greater support in both the House and Senate.(4)  Pennsylvania is now seeking to introduce legislation similar to the Arizona measure.  Representative Daryl Metcalfe insists the bill has gained much needed support with the Republican takeover of the state House.  He expressed the following ambition, “hope we would be able to pass this legislation and put it into law before the next session.”(5)

Georgia State Representative Mark Hatfield expresses concerns beyond that of the birther issue.  “The President himself could release the records to show and document where he was born, he could release the records to show where he went to college and what he did in college, and he can release his passport. These are things that are completely within his control and he has chosen not to show those to the American people.” 

As the momentum swings towards the “birther,” defending the president’s position is doing more damage than good.  Governor Neil Abercrombie went public immediately after being sworn into office in Hawaii to take the steps to “put the issue to rest once and for all.”  He not only has gotten no support from the Obama administration, thus far he has come up empty handed and “misspoke” in saying it could not be found.  He has been a lightning rod for the issue armed with good intentions.  Gov. Abercrombie claims that documentation exists in the archives though he cannot produce the vital document.(6)

The atmosphere is conducive for Rep. Burges to advance the legislation in Arizona to ensure presidential and vice presidential candidates are constitutionally eligible to hold office.  As the debate wages one can only ask; what harm is there in such legislation?  Many have made this a personal issue, but it is in fact an issue of constitutional eligibility that more than half of Americans either question or do not believe the president meets.



References

1. Johnson, Paul. AZ Sets the Stage for Obama Birther Bill. Examiner. [Online] 04 21, 2010. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-phoenix/az-sets-the-stage-for-oba....

2. Unruh, Bob. 10 states now developing eligibility-proof demands. WorldNetDaily. [Online] 01 26, 2011. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=255965.

3. Bueler, Tim. CNN poll on Obama: 6 of 10 doubt U.S. birth story. KTLV News. [Online] 08 05, 2010. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.kltv.com/global/story.asp?s=12932570.

4. Sheridan, Michael. 'Birther Bill' back in Arizona; Rep. Judy Burges pitches birth certificate legislation again. NY Daily News. [Online] 01 26, 2011. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/26/2011-01-26_birther_b....

5. Blog, Brian's. Renewed Push for Birther Bills Following GOP’s Midterm Gains. Right Wing Watch. [Online] 11 19, 2010. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/renewed-push-birther-bills-followi....

6. The Daily Mail. Hawaii governor claims record of Obama's birth 'exists in archives' but can't produce the vital document. Daily Mail. [Online] 01 20, 2011. [Cited: 01 26, 2011.] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1348916/Hawaii-governor-says-Oba....



 
 
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Across the nation, both Medicaid funding and Medicaid enrollment has plummeted following 2010 decreases in federal support to state Medicaid programs. (1)  Medicaid programs have crippled state economies across the nation causing states seek protection against a Medicaid the Obama administration wishes to greatly expand. (2)

Arizona’s Medicaid struggle

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, signed legislation formally seeking to remove 280,000 from the state’s Medicaid program. (3), (4)  Dozens of governors have asked the federal government to repeal the   maintenance-of-effort provision, but the measure signed by Gov. Brewer on January 21st makes Arizona the first state to seek a waiver against the federally mandated health care reform requirement to maintain current Medicare levels. 

Under the measure, Arizona will save $541 million over the fiscal year.  Opponents of the measure are quick to point out that the state will lose $300 million in federal support and in turn have sought a proposition to impose a 1% tax against the rich as a form of health tax.  The new health tax will be levied against individuals making $150,000 and couples making $300,000 a year. (3)  Unfortunately, such struggles with budget and government sponsored health care are not unique to Arizona.

Though Arizona has taken the forefront in certain aspects of the Medicaid conundrum, other states are seeking protections against Medicaid differently.  Following after California, 22 states are seeking the legal right to reduce Medicaid payment rates payable to health care providers who accept Medicaid patients. (6), (7)  This has spawned the obvious concern. 

National Medicaid struggle

In the wake of decreasing Medicaid pay rates, fewer health care providers will accept Medicaid as a payor source creating even further access issues that exist in state sponsored health care.  Health care providers echo the same concern and claim that cuts in Medicaid rates would drive them away from Medicaid patients citing they would not be able to afford to provide care to them. (3), (8)  Despite the concern, the states feel that without cutting Medicaid, they have nowhere within their state budgets to cut without causing grave economic harm to their citizenry. (9), (10)

Further complicating the matter for the individual states is the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare.  States cannot maintain their current Medicaid programs and fear that the forced expansion of the program will cause irreversible fiscal damage to economically stricken states. (11)  This has forced 27 states to file law suits against a federal government that has already had health care reform deemed unconstitutional by the federal court. (12)

For many Arizonans and Americans it is clear the future of Medicaid rests on the ability of the state and Obama administration to resolve the shortcomings that lie within health care reform.  While repeal of ObamaCare continues to gather support, a myriad of problems exist that need corrective action that only a united government can provide.

Published January 25th, 2010 on Examiner.

Refereces

1. data, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured using CMS and KCMU. Change In Total Medicaid Spending And Enrollment, 1998-2011 . s.l. : Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 2010.

2. Johnson, Paul. The Repeal of Health Care Reform. Suite 101. [Online] 01 19, 2011. [Cited: 01 24, 2011.] http://www.suite101.com/content/the-repeal-of-health-care-reform-a334774.

3. Rough, Ginger and Reinhart, Mary K. Brewer signs law seeking Medicaid waiver. AZ Central. [Online] 01 21, 2011. [Cited: 01 23, 2011.] http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/01/21/2....

4. Davenport, Paul. Brewer proposes cut in Medicaid enrollment. AZ Central. [Online] 01 12, 2011. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/01/14/2....

5. Reinhart, Mary K. Arizona hospitals now support tax on revenue. The Arizona Republic. [Online] 01 25, 2011. [Cited: 01 23, 2011.] http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/01/25/20110....

6. Doyle, Micheal. Supreme Court takes on states' plans to cut Medicaid payments. The Kansas City Star. [Online] 01 18, 2011. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://www.kansascity.com/2011/01/18/2593190/supreme-court-takes-on-stat....

7. Ramshaw, Emily. High Court To Decide If States Can Cut Medicaid Rates. The Texas Tribune. [Online] 01 20, 2011. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://www.texastribune.org/texas-taxes/budget/high-court-to-decide-if-s....

8. Galewitz, Phil. States Cutting Medicaid Benefits As They Stagger Under Economic Downturn . Senior Journal. [Online] 10 04, 2010. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Medicaid/2010/20101004-StatesCuttingMedica....

9. Blase, Brian. States Cry to Washington: Remove Obamacare’s Medicaid Handcuffs. The Foundry. [Online] 01 11, 2011. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://blog.heritage.org/2011/01/11/states-cry-to-washington-remove-obam....

10. Nix, kathryn. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/04/ObamaCare-Impact-on-the.... The Heritage Foundation. [Online] 04 20, 2010. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/04/ObamaCare-Impact-on-the....

11. Smith, Dennis. Medicaid Expansion Ignores States’ Fiscal Crises. The Heritage Foundation. [Online] 01 05, 20101. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/Medicaid-Expansion-Igno....

12. Rago, Joe. ObamaCare Loses in Court . The Wall Street Journal. [Online] 12 14, 2010. [Cited: 01 21, 2011.] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870372780457601767249562383....


Continue reading on Examiner.com: Arizona's and America's Medicaid Conundrum - Phoenix Libertarian | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-phoenix/arizona-s-and-america-s-medicaid-conundrum#ixzz1CxW6niMs

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In all likelihood, the House will conduct their first vote on the repeal of the patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare on Wednesday. The attempt to repeal ObamaCare comes on the heels of a newly elected 112th Congress set forth to embrace the constitutional limits of government.

Authority and constitutionalism
Much of the debate surrounding ObamaCare and its repeal stem around the question of whether or not the Obama administration possesses the constitutional right to impose a mandate to purchase health insurance products on the people. On September 9th, 2009, President Obama stated the following before Congress; “[U]nder my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance...” This came as a shock to many who stood by the President and his prior claims nationalized health care would not be implemented with a mandate. However, the lesser discussed aspect of the mandate is in “authority.”(1)

"By what authority is the government enacting this law?" Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court, rhetorically asked Matthew Clemete of FreedomWorks when discussing the constitutionality of health care reform.(1) This is a concept of constitutionalism that coincides with not only the direction of the newly elected Republican House, but epitomizes why the new House was elected. The 112th Congress started with a ceremonial reading of the U.S. Constitution, an event which was criticized as “ritualistic” and meaningless.(2) Jumping to conclusions and judging Congress’ first ever opening session with a constitutional reading forced the overlooking of what was to follow. It is the intent of the new Congress to restore constitutional limits on government. This led to a new House rule (Rule XII) requiring each new piece of legislation to clearly state its constitutional authority. Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), then read the constitutional authority of the poorly named H.R.2, “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Law Act.”(3),(1)

Failing Medicaid burdens the state
While the constitutional authority of health care reform's mandate is a point of contention, the impact of ObamaCare on Medicaid is driving both states and individual voters to support the demise of the program. ObamaCare seeks to extend Medicaid benefits to those under 133 percent of the federal poverty level.(4) This financial burden, though through federal law, has been forced upon the individual states. The Medicaid expansion comes at a time when states are being forced to make cuts to Medicaid in order to allow for budget shortfalls.(5),(6),(7) On January 14th, Arizona has proposed to drop Medicaid coverage for some 280,000 residents in an attempt to save $540 million.(8) It was this expansion of Medicaid that the Obama administration boasted as being able to provide coverage for all uninsured Americans. Obamacare actually falls far short of its highly touted goal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 23 million, including illegal residents will remain uncovered when Obamacare is to be fully implemented in 2019.(4)

As Medicaid expands while receiving budget cuts, fewer and fewer physicians will accept Medicaid coverage resulting in an even great backlog in the system already plague by high Medicaid Emergency Room visit rates. The coupling of these effects has resulted in 27 states suing the federal government to block ObamaCare.(9),(10)

Health care reform's losing battle
Virginia has won the first of its suits against ObamaCare as a federal judge ruled the program was indeed unconstitutional.(11) This will most assuredly land before the Supreme Court of the United States and have a line of more than 50% of the states in the nation waiting in the balance for their cases to be heard. As the debate of the constitutionalism associated with Obamacare unfolds, much is left to be desired about elements of the program that are far more directly impacting on Americans without coverage who are being forced into Medicaid through states who may not have the solvency in which to adequately provide it. In 2010, 28 states were forced to cut Medicaid.(12) Despite the full knowledge of the failing program, forced growth of Medicare is being insisted upon under the new health care law.

Further complicating ObamaCare is the likely increase of premiums for young adults whose premiums could surge some 17 percent. An analysis of the plan conducted for the Associated Press revealed the program will burden young adults in their 20’s and early 30’s struggling to start and advance their careers in times with the highest unemployment rates in the last 26 years. This is due to the law’s design to rely on the risk pool of young adults who inevitably foot the bill for larger pools of higher risk beneficiaries.(13)

When we look at why most Americans support the repeal of the health care law it makes sense as to why they would.(14) It also goes to reason why states would go to such extent to protect both their citizenry and solvency from ObamaCare. As the repeal of health care reform begins to unfold, it will lead to spirited debate. The Obama administration has stated that the President will simply veto a repeal of health care reform should it reach his desk, while many Democrats claim a full repeal will never make it through the Senate.

Civility and humanity
Whether a supporter of health care reform or not, what is most important with the 112th Congress is that the American people hold them to task when it comes to maintaining the U.S. Constitution.(15) The constitution grants voice unto We the People and using that voice should always be tempered with civility and a sense of humanity.

References

1. Clemente, Matthew. The Constitutionality of Obama's mandate: Reading the Constitution (2 of 8). Freedom Works. [Online] 01 13, 2011. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/mclemente/the-constitutionality-of-obamas-mandate-reading-th.

2. Rice, Suzi. 112th CONGRESS OPENS BY READING U.S. CONSTITUTION AND THE LEFT FREAKS-OUT AGAIN. Suzi Rice. [Online] 01 11, 2011. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://suzyrice.com/2011/01/112th-congress-opens-by-reading-u-s-constitution-and-the-left-freaks-out-again/.

3. Cantor, Eric Rep (R-VA). To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions. H.R.2, 112th Congress, 1st Session. [Online] 01 05, 2011. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr2ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr2ih.pdf.

4. Nix, Katheryn. Obamacare: Impact on the Uninsured. Heritage Foundation. [Online] 04 20, 2010. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/04/ObamaCare-Impact-on-the-Uninsured.

5. Smith, Dennis. Medicaid Expansion Ignores States’ Fiscal Crises. Heritage Foundation. [Online] 01 05, 2010. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/Medicaid-Expansion-Ignores-States-Fiscal-Crises.

6. Blase, Brian. States Cry to Washington: Remove Obamacare’s Medicaid Handcuffs. The Foundry. [Online] 01 11, 2011. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] States Cry to Washington: Remove Obamacare’s Medicaid Handcuffs.

7. Sack Kevin and Pear, Robert. States Consider Medicaid Cuts as Use Grows. New York Times. [Online] 02 18, 2010. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/us/politics/19medicaid.html.

8. Davenport, Dan. Brewer proposes cut in Medicaid enrollment. AZ Central. [Online] 01 14, 2011. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/01/14/20110114arizona-budget-brewer-cuts-to-medicaid.html.

9. Stephen R. Pitts, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.E.P., et al. National Health Statistics Reports. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. [Online] 08 06, 2008. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr007.pdf.

10. The Foundry. List of 27 States Suing Over Obamacare. The Foundry. [Online] 01 17, 2011. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://blog.heritage.org/2011/01/17/list-of-states-suing-over-obamacare/.

11. Rago, Joe. ObamaCare Loses in Court, A victory for liberty and the Constitution in Virginia. The Wall Street Juournal. [Online] 12 14, 2010. [Cited: 01 06, 2010.] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703727804576017672495623838.html.

12. Smith, Dennis. Medicaid Expansion Ignores States’ Fiscal Crises. Heritage Foundation. [Online] 01 05, 2010. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/Medicaid-Expansion-Ignores-States-Fiscal-Crises.

13. Johnson, Carla. Health Premiums Could Rise 17 Pct for Young Adults. ABC News. [Online] 03 29, 2010. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=10233582.

14. Rasmussen Reports. Most Still Favor Repeal of Health Care Law, Say It Will Increase Deficit. Rasmussen Reports. [Online] 01 17, 2011. [Cited: 01 17, 2011.] http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law.

15. Johnson, Paul. Rhetoric Versus Virtue and Values;112th's Repeal Attempt. Conservative Voice. [Online] 01 05, 2011. [Cited: 01 16, 2011.] http://conservativevoice.weebly.com/1/post/2011/01/rhetoric-versus-virtue-and-values112ths-repeal-attempt.html.


Published 18 January 2011 on Suite101: The Repeal of Health Care Reform http://www.suite101.com/content/the-repeal-of-health-care-reform-a334774#ixzz1BWf7v7aQ