Obamacare: Bureaucrats and Boards, Commissions and Czars

I’m John Raese – and I’d like to talk to you about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – better know as Obamacare.

I won’t hide from or change my position on Obamacare. I am against the implementation of this dangerous and damaging law and I would vote to repeal it if elected to the United States Senate.

Simply put – we cannot afford Obamacare and we can find a better solution. This isn’t simply about extending health insurance coverage – this is about fundamentally changing the relationship between the citizens of this great country and their government. Changing that relationship in a most profound way in which we, the people, give up choice and freedoms for outcomes and decisions made by faceless bureaucrats.

Does that sound like the America envisioned by our founding fathers? More importantly does it sound like the America you see for you and your family?

I believe that answer is a resounding no!

Opponents of Obamacare back in 2009 protested that the new law would cost far more than advertised by the President, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. In reality, the financial damage was under estimated by nearly 40-billion dollars by the critics.

Despite numerous attempts to explain the faulty scoring of the proposed legislation during the debate three years ago, very few heard – or wanted to hear – the cold, hard facts that the Obamacare numbers were rigged by implementing the tax increases associated with the law long before the outrageous spending was scheduled to kick in.

It’s like you getting a full salary for several years before you had any expenses – like a mortgage, food, education, a car payment or gas. It’s obvious that you would see savings in the short term, but the expenses would quickly catch up. This phony accounting is really at the heart of what makes Obamacare a financially unsustainable program.

If the cost of Obamacare inflates at 6 percent per year between 2014 and 2023 – a number suggested by the Congressional Budget Office or CBO – the cost of the program would be just over 2-trillion dollars for that period, and that’s in an America that is already generating trillion dollar annual debts under President Obama and his staunch supporters like Joe Manchin.

With the new information that is being released and analyzed nearly everyday on this government grab of nearly one-seventh of our economy it now appears that what was projected by the Obama Administration to be an 8-billion dollar “savings” between 2017 and 2019 is now thought to be at least a 453-billion dollar deficit.

We haven’t even started this takeover and estimates of the costs associated with Obamacare have already doubled – and that, once again, is according to the non-partisan CBO.

Once Obamacare is fully in place it will account for anywhere between 50 and 72-percent of the budget deficit, and corresponding increase in the national debt, in any given year. Our government, with Obamacare in full operation, would represent 50% of our economy. The United States as essentially a nation of free enterprise would be a distant memory.

And how many times back in 2009 did President Obama promise and reassure American’s that if they liked the insurance they had now they could keep it? It was his best and most used selling point to inch this massive legislation through Congress and to his desk.

That is clearly not the case.

President Obama and Joe Manchin, one of his strongest supporters and campaigners on the issue three years ago, knew better at the time but still sold this government program through classic deception. As Nancy Pelosi famously said, we’ll find out what’s in the bill after we pass it. What a preposterous way to make laws.

A recent survey indicates that as many as 52% of employers who offer their employees insurance now would drop that coverage if and when Obamacare is fully in force. They would elect the simplicity of a penalty instead of participating in the uncertain and rough waters of regulators, conflicting insurance plans and uncontained costs.

The solution to offering universal coverage was not to destroy the peace of mind and health coverage of the vast majority of Americans. It’s to allow more resources and decisions to flow back to the states – back to where services are needed and provided.

America can only be strengthened through economic recovery – by eliminating a hostile business environment – and by shifting our national spending priorities to rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and achieving energy independence. That means jobs, growth and prosperity for all who seek it.

Now is the precise time to begin unwinding this bloated and ineffective federal government. We must shift major issues like health care and education back to the states where it belongs – where we, as active participants, can shape these important programs locally and be responsible for our personal and collective outcomes.

There are some who think America’s finest hour is past us. There are some who laugh at the idea of American exceptionalism. I am not one of those people.

Senator Barack Obama ran on the theme Change We Can Believe In back in 2008 – and despite Hillary Clinton’s 40-point win in the West Virginia primary – Democratic “super delegate” Joe Manchin threw his support behind Barack Obama.

It’s 2012.

This year change we can really believe in is someone new in the White House, someone new at the EPA and a new Senator from the great state of West Virginia.

Joe Manchin: I’m Worried About Me!

It seems like every time I encounter a reporter they never fail to ask me if I’ll support the Republican nominee for President. That’s an easy question – I would support anyone with the qualifications to be President before I would cast a vote for Barack Obama.

Obama’s time in the White House has meant an avalanche of debt and too much government interference. We face a daunting task to climb out of the financial hole we’ve found ourselves in and we just cannot afford four more years.

I’m on the record – yes, I would support Mitt Romney for President.

The National Journal asked Joe Manchin last week if he would support President Obama in the November elections. Manchin hedged and said he was unsure and the he would look at options.

Unsure?

I guess Joe thinks that 8% plus unemployment and trillion dollar debts are the new norm.

Unsure is telling people you are for Obamacare, then telling them you are against it, and then voting for it.

A more precise definition of Joe’s comments would be untrue.

Obama and his administration have waged an assault on West Virginia’s coal industry. During the 2010 campaign for the Senate Manchin filed a phony lawsuit against the EPA. I call it phony for the simple fact that now Manchin says he’s unsure about his support for the President. Few people are “unsure” about how they feel when they sue someone. The lawsuit was window dressing and was meant to deflect our attention as the Environmental Protection Agency dismantles our coal industry and with it, West Virginia’s fragile economy.

We recently caught Manchin on tape saying that he is all for the new EPA regulations and goes on to threaten massive fines against energy producers if they won’t or can’t comply. He justifies his inconsistency on this subject by saying he just wants more time until the rules are fully implemented. That’s not fighting for us – that’s negotiating surrender.

It’s obvious a high misery index doesn’t faze Joe. He took office in January of 2005 when the unemployment rate in West Virginia was 4.9% and left the Governor’s Mansion when it was at 8.5%. So the economic misery the Obama Administration is planning for West Virginia is not a problem for the Senator – not when he tells us every day that he’s fighting for us and that he’s upset with the regulatory agencies – but in reality does nothing about it. Now he tells us he’s unsure whether he will vote for President Obama calling it a ballot box decision.

Make no mistake; Joe Manchin is not unsure about anything. West Virginian’s made a clear statement when Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama by over 40 points in the 2008 primary – yet Democratic “super-delegate” Joe Manchin cast his convention vote for Obama in clear defiance of his own state party voters. Manchin has been a vocal, staunch supporter of President Obama from the very beginning – and now, after three and a half years of our state being pummeled by the Obama Administration, he is hedging to give himself as much political cover as he can muster. Regardless of whether Obama’s reelection is derailed in West Virginia, a vote for Joe Manchin assures that the President’s harmful policies continue unabated.

The only answer is someone new in the White House, someone new at the EPA and a new Senator from West Virginia.

It’s all summed up in this one direct quote from Joe in last week’s National Journal: “I am just waiting for it to play out. I am not jumping in one way or another,” Manchin said. “I’m worried about me. I’ve said it’s not a team sport. You need to go out and work for yourself.”

It’s hard not to admit that Joe Manchin has done a great job working for Joe Manchin.

The Warning Signs are Crystal Clear on National Debt

On February 27th I reported to you that the Outstanding Public Debt in America stood at $15,450,391,220,613.11.  That number was $15,625,670,456,977.13 this morning.  That’s approaching 16-trillion dollars and our debt, as a nation, has increased 175-billion dollars just since we talked about it in February.  That divides out to roughly $49,870 share per citizen – every single man, woman and child.

You hear the word unsustainable a lot, especially in Washington.  Politicians toss it around, but do they know the real meaning?  Daniel Webster did.  Unsustainable: not sustainable; not to be supported, maintained, upheld or corroborated.  The facts are the United States Senate is corroborating this landslide-sized debt every day and the clock is running.  Under Barack Obama and ably assisted by Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin the upper house has not passed a budget for 1,072 days.  Almost three full years!

That is a disgrace – and we are now starting to see illustrations of what severe and undisputed consequences are on the way unless we take swift and positive action to arrest this freefall into a sea of red ink and misery.

Interest Payments Exceed Defense Budget

As you see on the chart above – prepared by the Senate Budget Committee Republican Staff and based on CBO estimates – our interest payments will exceed defense spending in fiscal year 2019.  Interest payments that are huge by today’s standards at 230-billion dollars will balloon to almost 750-billion dollars annually in the next ten years.  It’s also important to note that these projections are based on historically low interest rates.  If we hit a patch of inflation or hyperinflation all of these estimates will seem mild compared to what could happen to our economic health as a nation.

President Obama did put forth a budget for the consideration of Congress that is remarkable in the fact that it never balances the budget.  It suggests huge deficit spending indefinitely from our reckless leaders in Washington.

As a country we’ve always pulled together in dire times.  We’ve always been able to muster the resolve and strength to push back and defeat any foe that threatened our way of life.  It is not alarmist to say that this crippling debt is as dangerous as any enemy and must be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

As your United States Senator from West Virginia, fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget will always be at the very top of my priority list.

Joe’s Magical Mystery Tour

I have to admit I’m not much of a Beatles fan but I remember their song, and album by the same name, “Magical Mystery Tour” when I was just starting out at West Virginia University.  That tune is running through my head as I watch Joe Manchin travel the state talking about commonsense and how we need to take the fight for coal to the Environmental Protection Agency – the EPA – and to President Obama.

But you need to listen closely to what he is saying.

First, he readily admits that he is for all regulations being imposed by the EPA.  He is for them all – he just wants to push them back down the road – say to 2017 – and not put them in place immediately.  I guess he thinks that will help make some kind of difference.  While he never talks about it these days, Manchin did create, pass and sign a Cap and Trade bill here in West Virginia three years ago that lowers our use of coal by 10% in three years and by 25% in thirteen years.  That’s on top of the increased regulation that Manchin’s behind.

There’s still more confusion from Joe.

He goes on to say that coal will still represent nearly 40% of our national energy mix by 2035 – and yet while Governor he put exchanges and caps on our coal production with his signature legislation, House Bill 103.  Much like the language in a recent court decision – the EPA, and apparently Joe Manchin – are using “magical thinking”.

Manchin also says he hasn’t talked with the President since taking office in Washington – but claims he made his case with the White House when serving as Governor.  He wants to sit down and use commonsense to talk these things out – and now he is letting us know all he really wants from Lisa Jackson at the EPA and from the White House is a time extension for these virtually unobtainable mandates.  Good luck with that.

Nick Joe Rahall, Joe Manchin and Earl Ray Tomblin all say they are in disagreement with the President and are working to get this governmental overreach scaled back.

Here’s a wake up call – it’s not working.  No amount of rhetoric or saber rattling will stop this administration from plowing through private businesses, destroying jobs and wrecking this fragile recovery.  We have a leader in the White House who could care less about West Virginia, our coal based economy and about the complaints he’s getting from our local trio.  President Obama promised to bankrupt anyone who tries to build a new coal fired power plant and he’s delivering on his word.

Congressman Rahall’s district is incredibly dependant on coal and his response is that maybe the EPA has gone too far.  Governor Tomblin wants people to sign a petetition that doesn’t even name Lisa Jackson or Barack Obama.  Senator Manchin wants everyone to sit down, have a beer and get along.  It is an election year folks – and these are the times in our great democracy that we make decisions that benefit our lives, our families, our neighbors and our great state. We hear shock, disappointment and dismay in the public of our leaders every day – but absolutely no talk of a solution.

But there is a solution.

These elected officials should follow the desires of the vast majority of West Virginians – including me – who want to end the Presidency of Barack Obama by our vote in November and furthermore elect representatives that put our country and West Virginia first, not a political party.  We need a change of direction in America and that starts with a change in leadership – in the White House and in the Senate.

Add a few clowns and jugglers, Joe, and your Magical Mystery Tour is ready to hit the road.  Just stay away from the Rivesville Power Plant near your home in Marion County.  Those people are losing their jobs to mandates that you openly support – but it might make them take it better if they know you’re fighting to push their fate back, at least for a few more years.

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