This tag is associated with 13 posts

A tax for doing nothing

From a blurb on Taranto’s The Best of the Web Today, today:

After the court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius, the mandate, of course, is not an actual legal command, but, as Chief Justice John Roberts put it, merely the establishment of a “a condition–not owning health insurance–that triggers a tax–the required payment to the IRS.”

Every time I think of Justice John Robert’s declaration that the ObamaCare individual mandate is does not carry an individual penalty, but rather, a tax, I become angry. It makes as much sense as his messing up the Oath of Office on January 20, 2009 followed a day later with the “real” oath.

I still don’t get Robert’s logic. It’s a tax, because you only pay fines when you commit an act. Or is it a tax because you pay the IRS?   Whatever, in order to not pay, you have to sign up for the exchanges, which then “ping” the IRS to find out about your income.

Luckily, I have a bit of an attention deficit.*  So, then I start thinking about how much Congress should owe the rest of us because they do nothing – or at least not what we want. The motto ought to be, “It ain’t fine!”

* (: It’s not a disorder if it helps you get through the day.)


ObamaCare begins to “Ping” the IRS for information

What might have been missed in all the emotional media coverage about the troubles people are having with the ObamaCare exchanges and the news that the IRS official shared tax information with the WhiteHouse:

Hall Ingram said a key piece of the healthcare law’s new infrastructure — the federal “data hub” — is working well.

When consumers apply for insurance and tax subsidies through an exchange, the exchange uses the data hub to draw information from several state and federal agencies to confirm applicants’ identity and calculate the subsidies they can receive.

Exchanges have successfully pinged the IRS’s servers to request income information about applicants, and the IRS has been able to respond, she said.

“As far as we can tell, and we are looking on a daily basis, it\’s operating well,” Hall Ingram said.

via GOP grills IRS’s ObamaCare chief – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

Obama Stumbles Despite Friendly Press « Commentary Magazine

After explaining his “history,” of posturing and hiding unpopular legislation by attaching it to another Bill, President Obama truly stumbles:

“And you know, we don’t get to select which programs we implement or not.”

via Obama Stumbles Despite Friendly Press « Commentary Magazine.

Iguess it depends on the meaning of “select,” because as the article notes,

“Obama chooses which parts of which laws he wants to implement and enforce at will, as if Congress were a supercommittee brainstorming ideas rather than a coequal branch passing laws . . “

1996: Virgin Islands beach reopened

Judge orders Virgin Islands beach reopened

January 4, 1996

Web posted at: 12:45 a.m. EST

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (CNN) — A federal judge Wednesday ordered the National Park Service to reopen the Buck Island Reef National Monument despite the ongoing federal budget crisis.

Two Virgin Island residents sued in federal district court to have the park reopened, arguing they were being hurt by the closure of the beach at Buck Island. They said the shutdown had denied them the ability of “freely enjoying a cherished natural resource.” They further argued that the Park Service had violated the federal Open Shorelines Act by closing the beach.

The National Park Service argued it had no choice because the budget crisis had forced it to reduce the normal staff of “two to three employees” to one employee and one volunteer.

via CNN – Virgin Islands beach reopened – Jan. 4, 1995.

Feds “own” or “run” too much – Update

Tennessee Smokeys 2 2005It’s not just that this is the first time that US citizens have been barred from the Lincoln Memorial due to a government shutdown, the National Parks service is barring us from  scenic drives and overlooks on public and state highways, open beaches and the waters around them, and private businesses that are paying tenants of “government” lands and waters.

One former Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, flatly states that these decisions are political and most likely being made in the White House.

Perhaps, instead of blaming one Party or another (or increasing government involvement in something as vital and intimate as the delivery of medical care), it’s time to decide whether our government is responsible enough to own and control so much of our lands.

Update: more closings

1. The City Tavern in Philadelphia, because the Feds own the building, not the business.

2.Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge, which leases land in Cape Cod National Seashore.

3. All sorts of fishing, rafting and hiking. Search the news on any of these topics – there are too many to post.

4. Government sponsored travel, such as the President’s Asian trip. But it also will block scientific conferences. 

Edited Oct 4, 2013 at 2 PM to change the picture to one that I own.

The Government Shutdown Goes Caribbean

Here’s what’s happening on St. John, US Virgin Islands due to Obama’s temper tantrum. This in spite of the fact that there are few restrooms and lifeguards, normally. (I think 2 of the beaches have lifeguards.) Those mooring balls are spots for boats to tie up – they are self-serve and people put their money ($15 a night) in a drop box on the honor system.


JUST BEaching.

St John, USVI, hotbed of #shutdown protest?

So it would seem, however unlikely.

Our fair island is about 70% National Park land.  Our tourism industry depends largely on operations and concessions inside the park – everything from taxi tours to boat charters, from snorkeling trips to beach weddings.  Visitors come from near and far, both domestic and abroad, to sit on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Most of all, people visit for a chance to breathe, relax, and let the rest of the world fall away for a little while.

Yesterday, all of that changed.  When Congress allowed partisan politics to prevent them from reaching an agreement to fund the government, a long list of government programs and agencies were immediately shut down, including the National Park system within the Department of the Interior.  In the Virgin Islands this left some 65 employees furloughed until further…

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Shutdown 2013: Furloughed Workers Signing Up As Tourists Guides (Demonstrating in Union shirts)

With the help of AFSCME national and the AFL-CIO’s Washington D.C. Metro Council, the unions created the “Federal Worker’s Guide to Shutdown D.C.,” which gives the status of major points of interest.

The furloughed workers will be in green and blue union t-shirts on the Constitution Avenue side of the Natural History Museum from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday. If the shutdown is long and the effort is successful, they may add volunteers at other museums.

Furloughed workers will be carrying signs.

via Shutdown 2013: Furloughed Workers Signing Up As Tourists Guides, Sans Pay – Skift.

Padre Island National Seashore Closes (even the Gulf water!)

How do they justify the extra people to close the WATER around Padre Island?

“Technically, they can’t even fish in park waters, we’ll have rangers on patrol to make sure that people know the waters as well as the land that’s under are jurisdiction is closed,” he added.

via Padre Island National Seashore Closes After Government Shutdown | Corpus Christi, TX | |.

Conservative Advice For @MittRomney, @NewtGingrich2012, @RickSantorum

When Conservatives refuse to vote, we don’t just get fewer Republican voters. We end up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.

Conservatives are the foundation of the Republican Party, the remnant that has opposed “statists,” “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who the Reagan Democrats joined; the glue and pegs that held together his famous 3-legged stool. We know what the Left re-learns each election cycle but our own Party never seems to: Americans vote to the right of center.

To “Teach Them A Lesson” many Conservatives sat out the 2006 and 2008 elections and a others crossed over in the name of Chaos. The result of both strategies was the defeat of strong candidates in some Primaries, leaving Conservatives with a choice between a RINO, a Democrat or an under-vote. Many who appropriated the title of “conservatives” – those who had never been active (or even voted) in the Republican Party before and those who spent their “meet-up” time with the Libertarian Party – used any and all opportunities to infect the Party with their discontent in the name of “Re-love-ution.”

      The Democrats won a super majority in the House and Senate as well as the White House, allowing Nancy Pelosi to turn off the lights and kick reporters out of the Chamber and Harry Reid to pass “Obamacare” at midnight on Christmas Eve. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and John Conyers wielded Committee chairs when they should have been indicted. The media ignored our plainly stated opposition, under-reported our numbers and drowned out our voices as they proclaimed that we lost because the Left better represented the voters and the Country was ready for “Change!”

    The Democrat Senate refuses to pass a budget for the third year and the Obama told the Catholic Church she has a year to overturn 2000 years of doctrine on abortion.

     In spite of 2010 Tea Party victories and a Republican House, our Party had a hard time staying on task.  The “moderates” and some of our conservatives decided to woo independents. Last year’s CPAC invited gay GOProud  and Ann Coulter joined their Council. The Big Tent began to look more like a Circus Tent.

      The media and Democrats now claim the Tea Party is dead and that we’ll see a repeat of 2008 in November, 2012.

      Conservative voters deserve respect, if only for the power of our numbers. Even in 2006, where Conservative voters turned out to vote, Republicans gained offices. Show us you are listening, convince us that you have learned from the mistakes of your own and the Republican Party’s past.

      Republican candidates should search for common threads in our Republican Party Platform, Newt Gingrich’s Contract from America from 2010 and the videos and bloggers’ accounts of those early, nearly impromptu, Tea Party events in February through April, 2009. Send staff to CPAC this week, not to campaign but to listen and learn what Conservatives are concerned about, now.

What would I do to get the Tea Party and Conservatives to turn out to vote and support the Republican Party? Go Right, Candidates!

Geron Awarded Grants (under ObamaCare Stimulus)

Just one more failed “stimulus” project? This past week, Geron announced they are no longer pursuing their research in embryonic stem cells. They laid off 66 employees.

The US government should never have been in the business of picking and choosing business winners and losers. We certainly shouldn’t be giving money for destructive embryonic stem cell research.

Included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the QTDP program provided a tax credit to encourage investments in new therapies to prevent, diagnose, and treat acute and chronic diseases. Companies, such as Geron, that cannot currently use a tax credit were allowed to apply for a cash grant

in lieu of a tax credit.

To be eligible for the program, projects must show reasonable potential to result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need; prevent, detect, or treat chronic or acute disease and conditions; reduce long-term health care costs in the United States; or significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within a 30-year period.

In addition, preference was given to projects that showed the greatest potential to create and sustain (directly or indirectly) high quality, high-paying jobs in the United States, and advance United States competitiveness in the fields of life, biological, and medical sciences.

Projects were selected jointly by the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

via Geron Awarded Grants Under Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program.

Appeals court shoots down Va. challenge to healthcare law – The Hill’s Healthwatch

Federal judges see no need for Federalism or State sovereignty. Forget that inconvenient Bill of Rights!

But the 4th Circuit panel said Virginia does not have standing to sue over the mandate because it lacks a “personal stake” in the issue.

The judges seemed concerned during oral arguments that allowing his suit to proceed would essentially allow the states to exempt themselves from whatever federal laws they might choose.

via Appeals court shoots down Va. challenge to healthcare law – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

ObamaCare’s Most Frightening Consequence: Not Enough Doctors – HUMAN EVENTS

It’s more about the hassles and the regulatory burden than the money. We want to help people, but we end up bean counters and paper pushers.

According to Roe, only 4% of the nation’s students are getting into primary care fields.

This is significant. Family Practice residencies have been shut down because the program can claim to have enough “primary care” resident slots in the Internal Medicine department. However, if 96% of those IM docs go on to a subspecialty, they will not practice primary care. We lose both ways.

A survey by the Associations of American Medical Colleges found the nation’s doctor shortage likely will increase the project shortfall of 62,900 doctors in 2016 to 91,500 in 2020.

“When these older doctors who are used to working 70 or 80 hours quit, I don’t know what we are going to do for internists and primary care,” Roe said.

via ObamaCare’s Most Frightening Consequence: Not Enough Doctors – HUMAN EVENTS.

Opinion: Why let IPAB control health care? – Sen. John Cornyn –

Senator John Cornyn, my Senator from Texas, has introduced a Bill to repeal the power of the (Medicare) Independent Advisory Board. As the Senator says, the Board of 15 appointed, non-elected bureaucrats will determine what services are offered to Medicare-eligible patients. Those recommendations will be based on economics, not on actual patients or on their needs. (Did you know that the US Preventive Services says that the evidence for  Prostate Specific Antigen tests and prostate exams and annual mammograms or teaching breast self-exams is “insufficient?”)

From the Senator:

We should learn from Britain’s mistakes rather than repeat them — and we should also listen to voices of Texans in our state. The IPAB has created “immediate uncertainty at hand,” says Scott & White Healthcare in central Texas, for their 12 hospitals and more than 800 physicians. Many more organizations and associations have expressed similar concerns and urged me to do what I can to repeal this ill-conceived bureaucratic board.

That’s why I have introduced the Health Care Bureaucrats Elimination Act, and why I’m testifying Wednesday on the other side of the Capitol to build support in the House. This legislation seeks to repeal the IPAB completely and defuse this bureaucratic bomb before it explodes.

Opposition to the IPAB is already a bipartisan affair in the House. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), for one, is in favor of abolishing this panel. As Pallone put it, “I’m opposed to independent commissions or outside groups playing a role other than on a recommendatory basis.”

Repealing this unelected board of bureaucrats does not mean giving up on efforts to reduce costs in Medicare. A better model is Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, which has come in under budget by more than 40 percent. It has achieved this by introducing competition and choice into the system.

Several other initiatives at the state level and in the private sector have also cut costs without sacrificing quality or access to care. Congress should take a look at them as well.

Our seniors have paid their hard-earned money into Medicare for years. They deserve far better than to see their health care placed at the mercy of 15 unelected bureaucrats.

via Opinion: Why let IPAB control health care? – Sen. John Cornyn –

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