Archive for June, 2011

Gingrich signs Cut, Cap and Balance pledge

June 29, 2011

 Gingrich signs Cut, Cap and Balance pledge

By C.J. Ciaramella

Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
The pledge urges Congress to oppose raising the debt ceiling limit unless three conditions are met: cuts to federal spending to reduce the debt, caps on federal spending and passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich signed onto the Cut, Cap and Balance pledge today, joining other presidential candidates Herman Cain, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

“Balanced budgets are achieved by those who are committed,” Gingrich said in a press release. “Fiscal discipline requires lawmakers to be smart not cheap and requires a different type of thinking than we see in Washington. I am proposing bold solutions because we have big problems. I pledge to be a President who will rein in deficits, the debt and out of control spending. It can be done, I know because we’ve done it before.”

Gingrich was Speaker of the House when Congress balanced the budget during the Clinton administration.

The GOP presidential candidates who have not signed so far are: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

Thirty members of the House of Representatives and 12 Senators have also signed the pledge.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/28/gingrich-signs-cut-cap-and-balance-pledge/#ixzz1Qfq06mmC

Beck – The Texas model

June 27, 2011

Beck: Meet Rick Santorum

June 24, 2011

Who Got The Money? Newt Gingrich on the Federal Reserve

June 22, 2011

Medicaid for the middle class?

June 22, 2011

Medicaid for the middle class?

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP)

President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday it would look for a fix.

Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster says the situation keeps him up at night.

“I don’t generally comment on the pros or cons of policy, but that just doesn’t make sense,” Foster said during a question-and-answer session at a recent professional society meeting.

“This is a situation that got no attention at all,” added Foster. “And even now, as I raise the issue with various policymakers, people are not rushing to say … we need to do something about this.”

Administration officials said Tuesday they now see the problem. “We are concerned that, as a matter of law, some middle-income Americans may be receiving coverage through Medicaid, which is meant to serve only the neediest Americans,” said Health and Human Services spokesman Richard Sorian. “We are exploring options to address this issue.”

Administration officials and senior Democratic lawmakers initially defended the change, saying it wasn’t a loophole but the result of a well-meaning effort to simplify the rules for deciding who would get help under the new health care law. Instead of a hodgepodge, there would be one national policy.

But Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, called the situation “unacceptable” and said he intended to look into it.

Governors have been clamoring for relief from Medicaid costs, complaining that federal rules drive up spending and limit state options. The program is now one of the top issues in budget negotiations between the White House and Congress. Republicans want to roll back federal requirements that block states from limiting eligibility.

Medicaid is a safety net program that serves more than 50 million vulnerable Americans, from low-income children and pregnant women to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes. It’s designed as a federal-state partnership, with Washington paying close to 60 percent of the total cost.

Early retirees would be a new group for Medicaid. While retirees can now start collecting Social Security at age 62, they must wait another three years to get Medicare, unless they’re disabled.

Some early retirees who worked all their lives may not want to join a program for the poor, but others might see it as a relatively painless way to satisfy the new law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance starting in 2014. It would help tide them over until they qualify for Medicare.

The actuary’s office said the early retirees eligible for Medicaid would be on top of an estimated 16 million to 20 million new people that Obama’s law already brings into the program, by opening it to childless adults with incomes near the poverty level.

It’s unclear how much it would cost to cover the retirees. Federal taxpayers will cover the entire initial cost of the expansion.

Republicans already see a problem.

Former Utah governor Mike Leavitt said bringing early retirees in will “just add fuel to the fire,” bolstering the argument from Republican governors that some of Washington’s rules don’t make sense.

“The fact that this is being discovered now tells you, what else is baked into this law?” said Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George H.W. Bush. “It clearly begins to reveal that the nature of the law was to put more and more people under eligibility for government insurance.”

The Medicare actuary’s office roughed out some examples to illustrate how the provision would work. A married couple retiring at 62 in 2014 and receiving the maximum Social Security benefit of $23,500 apiece could get $17,000 from other sources and still qualify for Medicaid with a total income of $64,000.

That $64,000 would put them at about four times the federal poverty level, which for a two-person household is $14,710 this year. The Medicaid expansion in the health care law was supposed to benefit childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level. A fudge factor built into the law bumps that up to 138 percent.

The actuary’s office acknowledged its $64,000 example would represent an unusual case, but nonetheless the hypothetical couple would still qualify for Medicaid.

Herman Cain – Its time to alter and abolish!

June 20, 2011

McCain rips Republican candidates for “isolationism”

June 20, 2011

 McCain rips Republican candidates for “isolationism”

 By Thomas Ferraro and Dave Clark 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator John McCain, his party’s 2008 presidential nominee,  ripped into the current crop of Republican White House contenders, accusing them of breaking party  tradition by preaching “isolationism.”

McCain said if former President Ronald Reagan were still alive he would have been disappointed in last week’s Republican presidential debate in which candidates voiced impatience with U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya.

“He would be saying: That’s not the Republican Party of the 20th century, and now the 21st century. That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for all over the world,” McCain said.

McCain made the comments in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” program that was broadcast on Sunday.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who was one of McCain’s top advisers in the 2008 campaign, echoed McCain’s concerns.

 

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he’s fearful “that there is an isolationist streak now running now through the Republican Party, Graham said, “Yes.”

“If you think the pathway to the GOP (Republican) nomination in 2012 is to get to Barack Obama’s left on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, you are going to meet a lot of headwinds,” Graham said.

At their first major debate last Monday, Republican White House hopefuls questioned the wisdom of U.S. fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya.

Their performances marked a stark difference from just a few years ago.

In 2004, then Republican President George W. Bush successfully won a second term by embracing his war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the 2008 campaign, McCain and other Republicans also supported Bush’s surge of troops in Iraq.

But at last week’s debate in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates made it clear that times have changed.

“A WAR OF INDEPENDENCE”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, seen as the early front-runner for the Republican nomination, reflected the sentiment of many of those hoping to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama in next year’s election.

“Our troops should not go off and fight a war of independence for another country.” Romney said. “Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan’s independence from the Taliban.”

McCain said he was not ready to endorse any candidate for his party’s 2012 presidential nomination, but is concerned about what he heard from them in the debate.

“This is isolationism. There’s always been an isolation strain in the Republican Party,” McCain said. “But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak.”

McCain said that some of the opposition from Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail to current military efforts is the result of partisan politics.

House of Representatives Republican leaders have warned they could move legislation to cut off funds for operations in Libya.

“I would say to my Republican friends: If this were a Republican president, would you be trying to impose these same conditions?” McCain said.

Newt Gingrich New Hampshire Debate Highlights

June 16, 2011

Democratas y Republicanos en PR en favor de Concepcion for US congress 2012

June 13, 2011

In Fantasyland, DNC Chair Says We Turned This Economy Around

June 12, 2011