Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
But political realities are clouding Mr. Obama's efforts. On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders unveiled a $75 billion job-creation package that doesn't include the two new ideas the president proposed last week: tax rebates for home energy-efficiency renovations -- dubbed "cash for caulkers" -- and tax credits for small businesses that hire new employees.
A presidential push to loosen lending to small business has been weakened by the big banks' repayment of federal bailout money to get out from under government control. And looming over all of Mr. Obama's efforts on the jobs front is an annual budget deficit running at a projected $1.4 trillion that White House aides promise to address in the fiscal 2011 budget release in February.”
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Members of Congressman Bill Shuster’s district staff will hold office hours in Cambria County this Wednesday, December 16th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.
These office hours are an opportunity for residents of Cambria County to meet with members of Congressman Shuster’s district staff to discuss issues related to the federal government like social security and veterans affairs.
WHO: Members of Congressman Shuster’s district staff
WHAT: Northern Cambria Office Hours
WHERE: Boro Building Conference Room located at 1202 Philadelphia Avenue in Northern Cambria, PA 15714.
WHEN: Wednesday December 16th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.
The Honorable Nancy PelosiSpeaker of the HouseU.S. CapitolWashington, D.C. 20515Dear Madam Speaker,We write today to express our strong opposition to reports that the Democrat Majority is considering attaching unrelated and extremely controversial proposals, such as an increase in the public debt limit, to the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill. We object to maneuvers to use our troops as leverage to enact proposals that the Majority either cannot pass on their own or for which they wish to avoid directly voting on and we will oppose a Defense Appropriations package that includes such provisions.Unfortunately, there seems to be pattern developing this year of using legislation that supports our men and women in uniform to pass other contentious proposals that are extraneous to our troops. We should supply those who risk their lives for our country with the resources they need without conditions and without using them to accomplish other legislative goals. House Republicans stand ready to help the Majority enact a defense bill that meets the needs of our troops, but we will not assist your effort to use the troops to enact an increase in our national debt limit so as to finance the irresponsible spending policies of your party.Sincerely,(174 House Republicans)
On Friday, Congressman Bill Shuster voted for a Republican motion to block any more funds from being spent through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Instead, the Republican motion would have used TARP funds to pay down the debt and lower our sky-high debt ceiling. The motion failed 190-232.
“Like so many government programs before it, TARP has begun to develop a life of its own and must be stopped. The American people do not want to see this program turn into another round of bailouts or a new political slush fund.
Instead of looking for more ways to ‘spread the wealth around’ with TARP money while raising the national debt ceiling by a massive $1.8 trillion, congressional Democrats should focus their attention at paying down the debt and getting our economy back on the right track.
The American people want an end to the bailouts and all of the reckless spending now taking place in Washington. Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues could have shown the nation that they are serious about governing responsibly. They failed the test.”
Friday, December 11, 2009
“Worse Than the Public Option” (The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board)
It's hard to imagine a better illustration of the panic and recklessness stringing ObamaCare along in the Senate than the putative deal that Harry Reid announced this week. The Majority Leader is claiming that a Medicare "buy-in" for people from ages 55 to 64 has overcome the liberal-moderate impasse over the "public option." But if anything, this gambit is an even faster road to government-run health care.
The public option—an insurance program open to everyone, financed by taxpayers and run like Medicare—is intended as a veiled substitute for "single-payer" Canada-style insurance. Under the cover of "choice" and "competition," the entitlement would quickly squeeze out private insurance as people gravitated to "free" coverage and the government held down costs via price controls the way Medicare does now.
Mr. Reid's buy-in simply cuts out the middle man. Why go to the trouble of creating a new plan like Medicare when Medicare itself is already handy? A buy-in is an old chestnut of single-payer advocate Pete Stark, and it's the political strategy liberals have tried since the Great Society: Ratchet down the enrollment age for Medicare, boost the income limits to qualify for Medicaid, and soon health care for the entire middle class becomes a taxpayer commitment.
In the case of Medicare, this means expanding a program that is already going broke. Medicare reimburses doctors and hospitals at rates 70% to 80% below those of private insurers, which means below the actual treatment costs in many cities and regions. Providers either eat these losses—about half of U.S. hospitals are running a deficit or close to it—or they raise prices for private payers. This cost-shifting isn't dollar for dollar, but all empirical research shows that it adds tens of billions of dollars to consumer health bills, and this will accelerate if several million new patients are added to Medicare. That means higher prices for health insurance.
Adverse selection will also be a big problem, as the people who choose to join will inevitably be higher risk or in poorer health. Mr. Reid hasn't released any details on his plan, if they even exist, but would the sub-65 uninsured who join Medicare be subsidized? If so, in what sense is this one-hand-subsidizes-the-other taxpayer self-dealing a "buy-in"? It sounds simply like a huge Medicare expansion, especially if employers decide to drop coverage for anyone older than 55.
As for costs, how does adding new beneficiaries square with Democratic promises that they will cut Medicare spending on paper by two percentage points a year for the next two decades—just as the baby boomers retire and health costs continue to climb?
This last-minute, back-room ploy shows again that Democrats are simply winging it as they rush to pass something—anything—that can get 60 votes by Christmas. President Obama praised the proposal as "a creative new framework," while Finance Chairman Max Baucus told the Washington Post, "If there's 60 Senators who can reach agreement, I'm for it." Now there's a model standard to use for reordering 17% of the U.S. economy.
The latest polls show public support for the Senate plan falling into the mid-30%-range. The remaining supporters must not be paying attention.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Declaring CO2 a Dangerous Pollutant First Step Paving the Way for Costly Cap and Trade
Congressman Bill Shuster released the following statement today after the EPA formally declared carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant:
“Today’s move by the EPA naming carbon dioxide and five other gasses dangerous pollutants is a purely political move by the Obama Administration to save face on the eve of the Copenhagen summit and to counteract failing support for cap and trade in Congress.
In reality, the EPA finding is nothing more than a Trojan Horse that will completely bypass the legislative process by enacting cap and trade through a change in federal regulation. This is a costly decision that could easily cost the American people over $2 million in economic activity and kill millions of jobs every year not to mention $3,100 for each Pennsylvania family $3,100 in higher electricity costs.
The American people are facing a 10 percent unemployment rate and they are asking the President and Congress “where are the jobs?” My constituents do not want to trade away our future economic freedom to placate leftist European politicians on the issue of global warming, which in the midst of the climategate controversy, may not even be occurring.
It’s time for the Obama Administration and Congress to stop enabling the politicization of science and return to the realm of the practical like creating jobs and getting our economy growing again.”