Club for Growth, Heritage Action Blast Boehner Concessions
by Newsmax Wires
December 17, 2012
The conservative groups Club for Growth and Heritage Action expressed outrage with the concessions made in the budget proposal House Speaker John Boehner presented to President Barack Obama Friday.
The plan reportedly would allow the top tax rate to increase to 39.6 percent from 35 percent currently. The proposal includes $1 trillion of tax increases, up from $800 billion in Boehner’s prior proposal. There’s also a possibility for a one-year extension of the debt limit in exchange for spending cuts.
“The proposal, as reported, represents a clear path toward surrender on conservative principles,” Dan Holler, Heritage Action’s communications director, said in a statement, The Hill reports.
“Rather than fighting for real reforms that would actually solve the problem, GOP negotiators seem intent on negotiating with themselves in hopes of striking a grand bargain that will ultimately fail, as so many others have before,” said.
Chris Chocola, president of Club for Growth, didn’t mince any words either. “First Speaker Boehner offered to raise tax rates after promising not to, and now he’s offering to raise the debt ceiling,” Chocola said in a statement. “Raising tax rates is anti-growth, and raising the debt ceiling is pro-government growth – and this is the Republican position?”
Some analysts think that the concessions Boehner offered the president will enable an agreement to be reached to avoid the fiscal cliff of automatic spending increases and tax hikes set for Jan. 1.
"The political burden is now shifted back to the president, who must be willing to take on his party in order to get a deal Boehner can ultimately pass,” Sean West of Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm, told Reuters. “We do not think the president will overreach: Obama will work with Boehner to get to a deal."
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Get Ready For the Costs and Chaos of Obamacare
by Byron York
December 17, 2012
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was widely mocked when she said of Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” At the time, March 2010, Pelosi's words accurately described the Democrats' just-get-it-done approach to passing a national health care bill. But now it turns out Pelosi was wrong. In fact, we have to implement Obamacare so that you can find out what is in it.
Amid the other momentous events coming in 2013 -- bitter fights over federal spending, debt, entitlements and immigration -- the biggest story of the year, and of 2014 as well, will be the arrival of Obamacare in the lives of every American.
For millions of people, Obamacare will mean, alone or in some combination: higher insurance bills, unwanted changes in status at work, higher taxes, loss of employer-based health insurance and a bewildering bureaucracy that will make today's already complex insurance maze seem downright simple.
Whether Obamacare's benefits will outweigh the chaos it produces could decide the future of the program.
Start with higher insurance bills. “The big unwritten story is that for people who already have insurance through the individual market, or small companies that are buying products in the state-regulated small group market -- those current policies are going to see premium increases on the order of 25 percent to 30 percent come Jan. 1, 2014,” says James Capretta, a health care expert and close student of Obamacare at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. “They are going to have a rate shock like you wouldn't believe.”
The reason is that those people are generally younger and healthier and are able to get lower rates. Under Obamacare, they will be combined with older and less healthy people who cost more to insure. Capretta says about 30 million people will see a steep increase -- a population big enough to make a lot of political noise.
Then there is the change in work status. Under Obamacare, companies don't have to insure, or pay fines for not insuring, employees who work less than 30 hours a week. So it's no surprise that many companies are going to make sure their part-time workers, and some current full-time workers, stay below the 30-hour limit. That will mean less work and less pay for those employees.
Then there are the unexpected costs. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services revealed it will charge employer and individual plans a $63 “fee” for every person they cover. The Obama administration says the fee will be temporary, but it could touch about 190 million Americans at least for the next few years.
Read more: http://goo.gl/zbNE1
NAACP Voices 'Major Concerns' about Tim Scott's Appointment
by Vince Coglianese
December 17, 2012
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People isn’t too excited about the appointment of Rep. Tim Scott to South Carolina’s soon-to-be-vacated U.S. Senate seat.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her appointment of the black Republican during a noon press conference in Columbia, South Carolina. Scott will replace Sen. Jim DeMint, who is leaving to take the top position at the conservative Heritage Foundation. (RELATED VIDEO: DeMint going from 4th-poorest senator to Heritage millionaire)
That appointment will make Scott the only black U.S. senator, at least until 2014, when he runs for re-election. The last black senator was Illinois Democrat Roland Burris, who left office in November of 2010.
Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy and policy at the NAACP, told The Daily Caller Monday afternoon that the group welcomed diversity in the Senate, but expects the new senator to work against the NAACP’s agenda.
“It is important that we have more integration in the U.S. Senate,” said Shelton in a phone interview. “It’s good to see that diversity.”
“Mr. Scott certainly comes from a modest background, experience, and so forth, and should be sensitive to those issues,” he said, referring to Scott’s impoverished single-parent upbringing in Charleston, SC.
“Unfortunately, his voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives raises major concerns,” Shelton said.
Shelton explained that the NAACP platform is crafted through an annual voting process which engages grassroots-level delegates who vote on the group’s national agenda. That agenda calls for an expansive role for federal government spending in black communities.
Scott, Shelton said, would likely work against that agenda, favoring instead the “small government” posture of Ronald Reagan and that president’s Secretary of Education, William Bennett.
“Small government usually means, as it’s being described these days, the elimination of the role of government and support for initiatives and programs that are crucial for the African-American community,” Shelton said.
“When the discussions about small government were utilized by Ronald Reagan, he appointed Bill Bennett as the Secretary of Education. Bill Bennett had actually voted during his time in the House of Representatives to eliminate the Department of Education,” he continued, though Bennett never held elective office. “That’s not within the African-American community’s best interest.”
Smaller government also means less federal assistance for housing and signals an abandoning of civil rights regulations as enforced by the Justice Department, Shelton said, highlighting the Department’s crackdown on what he called “anti-immigration” laws across the country.
Scott “has demonstrated a record of opposition to civil rights protection and advancing those real issues of concern of the NAACP’s noted African-American community,” Shelton added.
Read more: http://goo.gl/wK0UQ