Obama Jobs Program – Help Illegal Immigrants Compete With Americans For American Jobs – Grasping At Straws By Bypassing US Congress And Changing Laws On His Own To Support His Doomed Re-Election Efforts

June 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Obama Administration, in an obvious attempt to boost the President’s flailing reelection campaign, announced that it would bypass Congress and rewrite the nation’s immigration laws.

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The second sentence of the Associated Press story addresses the true impetus for the policy change; election-year politics. Obama, and today’s Democrat party, see the electorate as a patchwork-quilt of interest groups. Sprinkle enough goodies on certain blocks of voters and they believe they can put together just enough support to win. It can work to a point. But, when the pandering to specific groups undercuts one’s overarching narrative it can erode support in the overall electorate.

Obama’s policy change sends a clear message to Hispanic voters. It also sends a clear message to non-hispanic voters. Namely, Obama has just added millions of workers to the legal labor force. Millions of illegal immigrants will now be able to legally compete with Americans for the very few jobs available. This message will not be lost on working-class voters.

The media loves to obsess over GOP divisions on the immigration issue. What they fail to note, however, is the Democrats are equally divided. (A Breitbart award to the first reporter who goes to a union hall to get reaction to today’s policy change.)

This is unsurprising because Americans are divided on the issue. We’re a nation of immigrants and pride ourselves in being a land of opportunity for those eager to seek the American Dream. We are also, though, a nation of laws and many Americans of all political leanings are uncomfortable with the idea that someone can be “rewarded” by breaking the law. Especially at a time that Americans across the economic spectrum feel acute economic anxiety.

Its a tough issue. Which is why we have a Congress, where the nation’s representatives can deliberate and try to find the right policy path. It isn’t pretty and it often fails. But, that’s how laws our made. We do not enact far-reaching rewrites of our laws by executive fiat. Political expediency doesn’t negate an entire branch of government.

The media will no doubt applaud Obama’s policy reverse on this issue. I’ve already seen a few commentators hail it as a brilliant move to shore up the Hispanic vote. But, the bigger question is, why does Obama need to shore up the Hispanic vote? He won their support overwhelmingly against McCain in 2008. Why does he need to bypass Congress and institute a policy that risks alienating working class voters?

Obama’s entire reelection campaign is based on pandering to specific blocks of voters. Its all he has left. In just three and a half years, he’s lost the ability to talk to the rest of us. He’s lost the ability to communicate with our collective aspirations.

Appeared Here

Advertisements

Lawmakers Taking United States Down The Road To Financial Ruin – Federal Debt To Double In 15 Years Unless Congress Changes Course On Spending And Taxes

June 5, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The federal government is staring at a disastrous fiscal picture with debt approaching 200 percent of GDP within two decades if Congress doesn’t change course on spending and taxes, according to the latest analysis by the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

The CBO said it’s the worst picture since a brief period during World War II when spending ballooned to fund the military campaign.

“In the past few years, the federal government has been recording the largest budget deficits since 1945, both in dollar terms and as a share of the economy. Consequently, the amount of federal debt held by the public has surged,” the CBO report said in a long-term budget outlook that paints a shockingly dark picture of government finances.

CBO analysts said the downturn and Congress’s response have been devastating for the government. Federal debt as a percentage of GDP — a standard measure of a government’s debt burden — stood at 40 percent at the end of 2008. But it will top 70 percent by the end of this year, and is only headed higher unless Congress changes course. The ratio could double by the middle of the next decade and will have topped 200 percent of GDP — twice the size of the projected U.S. economy — by 2037.

At that level, fiscal catastrophes are more likely, and the government’s ability to respond becomes far more constrained.

The increases in federal spending will come chiefly from higher interest payments and health care costs. Federal spending on health will nearly double from about 5.4 percent of GDP to 10.4 percent by 2037, according to Tuesday’s report.

Ironically, the nonpartisan budget agency said the deep deficits and debt are not inevitable. If Congress would step out of the way and allow the laws currently on the books — including ever-deeper spending cuts and potentially devastating tax increases — to go into effect, federal debt would begin to shrink almost immediately as a percentage of the economy, as measured by GDP.

But President Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been reluctant to let the law take its course. Instead, the GOP has fought to permanently extend lower tax rates due to expire, and Democrats have defended existing spending and in many instances called for new spending.

That’s left the country bumping along with deficits of $1 trillion or more each of the last three years. Yet with the economy still weak, lawmakers remain paralyzed as they try to figure out how to act over the long term without harming the economy now.

The budget agency said that may not be possible.

“On the one hand, cutting spending or increasing taxes slowly would lead to a greater accumulation of government debt and might raise doubts about whether longer-term deficit reduction would ultimately take effect,” the CBO report said. “On the other hand, abruptly implementing spending cuts or tax increases would give families, businesses, and state and local governments little time to plan and adjust, and would require more sacrifices sooner from current older workers and retirees for the benefit of younger workers and future generations.”

The report produced hand-wringing and finger-pointing on Capitol Hill.

“The president’s policies are not working,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican. “The sobering reality of our economic challenges require leadership and action. The president and his party’s leaders have failed on both counts.”

But House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said the primary hurdle is the GOP’s demand that spending cuts fuel any debt solution.

“CBO’s report is a warning that we must get our fiscal house in order by achieving big and balanced deficit reduction that includes both spending and revenues,” he said. “Cutting domestic spending alone won’t work, and it will require both parties working together.”

The CBO’s analysis is a look at long-term budget and economic factors, and gives some interesting snapshots about how both the budget and the economy will change.

Among the agency’s assumptions is that the U.S. population will reach 389 million in 2037 and top 500 million in 2087, with the population skewing ever older.

And older workers tend to work fewer hours, meaning that by 2087 the average number of hours worked per employee in the workforce will be about 2 percent less than in 2022.

The report also projected that the growth in the labor force will slow, keeping economic growth to an average of 2.2 percent over the long-term. But the interest rate on debt will be higher, at an average of 2.7 percent — a reversal from recent years, when economic growth and interest rates were about the same.

The non-partisan scorekeeping agency also put an exact price on the deficit when it comes to savings, saying that for each dollar the deficit rises, national savings is reduced by between 32 cents and 72 cents, and domestic investment is reduced by between 10 cents and 50 cents.

Appeared Here


More Federal Government Debt Racked Up In Last 15 MONTHS Under Obama Than In Previous 195 YEARS Under 43 Presidents

June 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which took office in January 2011, has enacted federal spending bills under which the national debt has increased more in less than one term of Congress than in the first 97 Congresses combined.

In the fifteen months that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives–led by Speaker John Boehner–has effectively enjoyed a constitutional veto over federal spending, the federal government’s debt has increased by about $1.59 trillion.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” A law appropriating money cannot be enacted unless it is approved by the House.

The approximately $1.59 trillion in new debt accumulated since the Republican-controlled House gained a veto over federal spending legislation is more than the total increase in the federal debt between 1789, when the first Congress convened, and October 1984, when the 98th Congress was nearing the end of its second session.

Rep. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania served as speaker in the first Congress. Rep. Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts served his third term as speaker in the 98th Congress.

When Boehner became speaker on Jan. 5, 2011, the federal government was operating under a continuing resolution that had been passed on Dec. 21, 2010 by a lame-duck Congress. That CR expired on March 4, 2011.

On March 1, 2011, Boehner agreed to a new short-term spending deal with President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders to keep the government running past the March 4, 2011 expiration of the old CR. Since March 4, 2011, federal expenditures have been carried out under a series of CRs approved by both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, the total federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. At the close of business on May 31, 2012, it was 15,770,685,085,364.14. That is an increase of $1,588,057,900,483.11—in just 15 months.

All of the debt accumulated by the federal government throughout the history of the country did not exceed $1.588 trillion until October 1984.

Under the Republican-controlled House, the federal debt has been increasing at an average pace of about $105.9 billion per month.

Frederick Muhlenberg served two non-consecutive terms as speaker–in the first and third Congresses. At the end of the first Congress, in 1791, the total debt of the federal government was about $75.5 million, according to the U.S. Treasury.

Tip O’Neill served as speaker in the 95th through 99th Congresses, from 1977 through 1986.

At the end of September 1984, during the 98th Congress, the total national debt was approximately $1,572,266,000,000.00, according to the Treasury Department’s Monthly Statement of the Public Debt for that month. At the end of October 1984, it was $1,611,537,000,000.00, according to the Monthly Statement of the Public Debt.

Appeared Here


Cost Of Failed Pentagon Study Studying Pentagon Studies Not Available For Study

May 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Pentagon was inundated with so many studies in 2010 that it commissioned a study to determined how much it cost to produce all those studies.

Now the Government Accountability Office has reviewed the Pentagon’s study and concluded in a report this week that it’s a flop.

The study of a study of studies began in 2010 when Defense Secretary Robert Gates complained that his department was “awash in taskings for reports and studies.” He wanted to know how much they cost.

Two years later, the Pentagon review is still continuing, which prompted Congress to ask the GAO to look over the Pentagon’s shoulder. What they found lacked military precision.

The GAO found only nine studies that had been scrutinized by the Pentagon review, but the military was unable to “readily retrieve documentation” for six of the reports.

The Department of Defense’s “approach is not fully consistent with relevant cost estimating best practices and cost accounting standards,” the GAO concluded. In fact, they often did not include items like manpower, the report found.

The Pentagon “partially concurs” with the GAO’s report.

The cost of the study of the study of the studies was not available from the GAO.

Appeared Here


Law To Prevent Insider Trading By Congress Members Will Cost Taxpayers $1.5 Million And $200K Per Year

March 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – This wasn’t supposed to happen. In Congress drive to clean up its act and pass the “Stock Act” to provide transparency to Wall Street holdings members have, taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer reveals that it will cost $1.5 million to develop software and programs to provide the easy-to-use electronic disclosure of lawmaker holdings required in the legislation.

Plus, he adds, when up and running, it will likely cost another $200,000 a year just to operate and maintain.

The act was passed after new controversies arose over the massive stock portfolios of congressional leaders who work on legislation impacting the very companies they’re invested in. Nobody has suggested–yet–that maybe some of their profits should fund the sunshine initiative, not taxpayers.

Appeared Here


Department Of Homeland Security Ignores Congressional Request For Information On Illegal Immigrants They Didn’t Bother To Arrest And Deport Before Imposed Deadline

November 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – House Republicans are moving to subpoena a list of all immigrants whom the Obama administration has flagged under its secure communities program but failed to arrest for deportation, after the Homeland Security Department missed a congressionally imposed deadline to produce the information this week.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said he wants the data so he can see who is among the 300,000 people the administration has deemed too low a priority to detain under new deportation guidelines. He has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday for the immigration subcommittee to vote to authorize the subpoena.

“Why would DHS want to keep this information from the committee?” Mr. Smith will say at the meeting, according to an advance copy of his statement. “If there is nothing to hide, why wouldn’t they provide Congress with these documents? Are administration officials concerned that the requested information will show that illegal and criminal immigrants intentionally released by ICE have gone on to commit more crimes?”

He first requested the information in August, and last week set an Oct. 31 deadline for turning it over. He said Homeland Security initially seemed prepared to cooperate, but the request became mired in recent weeks and this week he said the department told him some of the data belong to the FBI and can’t be turned over without that agency’s consent.

Late Tuesday, a spokesman for the department told The Washington Times, “DHS is fully cooperating with the committee and is in the process of gathering information responsive to the committee’s inquiry.” But he did not comment on what the holdup was.

Congressional subpoenas have been rare, even though Republicans took control of the House after the 2010 elections. This will be the first subpoena issued by the Judiciary Committee, and follows a subpoena that the Energy and Commerce Committee issued this year for documents related to Solyndra, the failed solar power company that received special attention from the Obama administration.

At root, the deportation dispute is about the way the Obama administration has been enforcing immigration laws.

While the Homeland Security Department has set records for total deportations, it has shifted its emphasis away from rank-and-file illegal immigrants and toward those with serious criminal records or repeat immigration-law violators. Of the nearly 400,000 people deported in fiscal year 2011, 216,000 had criminal records.

As a result of the shift, though, illegal immigrants who are working or going to school in the U.S. and not running afoul of other criminal laws are under less of a threat of deportation.

The Obama administration’s deportation policy relies heavily on Secure Communities, a program started under President George W. Bush but dramatically expanded by Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano. It takes names and fingerprints that federal, state and local jails send to the FBI and runs them through immigration databases to see who could be eligible for deportation.

A Congressional Research Service report issued late last month found that Secure Communities identified 318,308 foreigners potentially eligible for deportation in the first half of fiscal year 2011, and of those, 73,466 were arrested by immigration authorities.

That means Homeland Security declined to pursue immediate cases against more than 250,000 people who could have been eligible for deportation.

Mr. Smith wants to know who those people are, what crimes they were charged with and why they didn’t rise to the level of deportation.

Homeland Security officials have said that not all of the people who are flagged by Secure Communities are eligible for deportation, because some may have become naturalized citizens.

The Obama administration’s approach to deportation has roiled the national public debate, feeding on incidents like last year’s case in which a Catholic nun was killed in Prince William County by an illegal immigrant who was driving drunk. That driver had been charged with drunken driving twice before and had been put into deportation proceedings, though U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released him into the community and his attorneys said he had been authorized to work while he was going through the process.

Appeared Here