The $160 billion Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for… well… giving thanks.  It is one of the truly American holidays, emphasizing gratefulness for the things we have, our way of life, and the prosperity of America.  While it has been turned into a preparation day for Black Friday (I think of it like the feasting of Mardis Gras before Lent), the core of the holiday’s meaning is thankfulness for what we have.

Unfortunately, what we have has been dwindling over the last few years.  Tax hikes, hidden consumer costs, and an ever increasing cost of living have been eroding away the financial stability of our great Nation.  Now, with 2015 on the horizon, we can look forward to an exponential increase in the outgoing cash flow of both the citizen and American businesses.

The holidays are a spectacular time for the government to sneak something by the Masses.  People are concerned with family time, cooking, parades, sports… everything BUT politics.  This Thanksgiving season was especially advantageous.  With the Michael Brown drama, immigration reform, and the upcoming long weekend for turkey-day, White House press officers saw a prime opportunity for a potentially upsetting announcement to get lost on the news cycle.

On Friday, November 21, 2014, the “Unified Agenda” was released.  Governed by the “Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – [sub] Office of Management and Budget” this plan sets in place 3,400 new regulatory actions.  Most people have never even heard of this government agency.  It answers directly to the President – and as part of the Executive Branch – it wields a lot of power.

 

Comparison of Bush 42 and Obama costly regulations

Comparison of Bush 42 and Obama costly regulations

So what is this “Unified Agenda” and what does it mean for the American people?  In short, the UA is a master plan for the administration’s intent to implement new federal regulations.  These regulations could involve the population, environment, commerce, or any number of other areas.  At the core, these regulations are what “We the People” refer to as the “red tape” of bureaucracy.

In and of itself, the Unified Agenda is nothing especially nefarious.  Every administration since 1978 has been required to publish a UA.  It is a vital tool for tracking the large number of regulations and deregulations that are issued each year.  Sam Batkins, the director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, stated in an interview with the Daily Signal, “[UA] is typically a normal, boring list of regulations” released each fall and spring.  Administrations do not typically wait until the holidays to release the UA.  However, Batkins believes that the White House’s choice to hold announcement of the UA until Thanksgiving 2014 signifies that it sees it “as a politically charged document.”  Why is it politically charged?

The Fall 2014 Unified Agenda has over 3400 new regulatory or deregulatory rules.  That is a large number.  In the first five years of the Obama administration, it only released a total of 157 major regulations (at a cost of $73 billion annually).  In contrast, a study[i] by public policy experts James Gattuso and Diane Katz illustrated that the same period of the Bush 42 presidency saw only 62 new regulations implemented.

 

Of the 3,400 new regulations in the Unified Agenda, 23 of them are known as “big ticket” items.  These 23 regulations stand to cause an immediate economic impact of $16 billion on an annual average.  That impact is strictly made of outgoing costs, not economic stimulus.  Additionally, that impact is accounts for the general maintenance of new regulation burdens, as well as the costs of compliance updates to the various industries affected.  Those numbers add up to what would equal a $160 billion tax hike over the next decade (approximately equivalent to a 1% increase in payroll tax).

If the American people were told that their income taxes were to be raised this amount it would galvanize the population.  However, with this financial impact hidden amongst regulations in the Unified Agenda, it has slipped past the Citizen with hardly a notice.

 

The trend of all administrations to sneak new costs and red tape by the American people through vague legislation is a disturbing trend.  It has been seen in the fine print of Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Law, Bush 42’s Patriot Act, and an assortment of other legislative examples over the last three decades.  The failure does not rest solely on the Obama White House or the Democratic Congress.  The Republican party also has to share in this blame due to its inability to inform their constituents or to effectively combat these new costs.  The blame must also be placed at the feet of the American people.  The Citizen.  As a Nation, “We the People” are more captivated by reality TV, and shortsighted enough that we only see the 24 hour news cycle.  There are pertinent happenings every day that will affect the lives and well-being of Americans for generations to come.  It is our responsibility to take notice, use our combined voice, and to reform this great United States.

 

Enjoy your turkey dinner, America.

 

-J-

418/1775/III

 

[i] http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/03/red-tape-rising-five-years-of-regulatory-expansion

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[theFederalist.com ARTICLE] Obama puts the Republic out of its misery

Here is an outstanding article from David Harsanyi (thefederalist.com).  Check it out!

-J-

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http://thefederalist.com/2014/11/21/obama-puts-the-republic-out-of-its-misery/

[VIDEO] Jon Stewart makes a good point

You’ve got to give it to Mr. Stewart.  He will definitely pull no punches if he thinks he can rouse a response from his viewers.  Here is a short video of his recent response to President Obama’s immigration orders.  (Article courtesy of IJReview.com)

-J-

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[IJReview Article]  Jon Stewart Calls Out Not-Emperor Obama’s Powerlust By Pointing Out Something He’s Overlooked

[VIDEO]  

[VIDEO] GruberGate in 2 minutes

In case you have missed all of the details of #GruberGate, here you go.  Thanks go out to YouTuber “AmericanCommitment” for compiling this short video.

-J-
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Are we now a monarchy?

President Obama Hosts Digital Pledge Event With Educators At White House

Our founding fathers were adamant that this Nation be established as a government “of the people, by the people [and] for the people.”  American government was formed as a democratic republic constructed around the principle that the citizen should have a voice.  That voice is exercised through both elected representation (assuming the elected upholds the wishes of their constituents) and through the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech / press.  Elected officials operate within a system that maintains various checks and balances; counterweights that can prevent one branch of government from striking off on its own and usurping the will of the people.  The Executive Branch (President), Legislative Branch (Congress) and the Judicial Branch (Court system, most especially the Supreme Court) each have a piece of the political pie in regards to governance.  A vision for direction is given by the President.  The members of Congress evaluate that direction or submit their own to be evaluated.  They can impeach a President or strike down an act that they deem as harmful to the Nation or against the wishes of the people.  The courts establish laws which form parameters for the other branches to operate within.  They also determine the legality of actions that the Executive and Legislative branches choose to take.  Finally, the circle is completed with a return to the Executive Branch.  The President can make a final decision on vetoing a bill that Congress submits.  Each part of the government is dependent upon the others to operate.  Each branch is also accountable to the people of the Nation.

Unfortunately, President Obama must have missed that class during American Government 101.  He has a history of decisions that cause friction.  In a strife filled second presidential term marked with gridlock and debate, the President has repeatedly decided to stretch the bounds of his privilege as our Nation’s chief executive.  A majority of Americans were already discouraged by the failing economy and high taxes that they face.  They were already offended by the invasion of privacy at the hands of the NSA.  They were insulted by the “health care reform” that was shoved down their throats.  However, calm was maintained and a faith in the system prevailed.  In the 2014 mid term elections, a paradigm shift of voter choice brought about a drastic change of political landscape in the incoming Congress.  However, the repercussions of these situations were ignored by the White House.  He continued to make caustic decisions and take the Nation in his own direction while gingerly walking in the gray area of Executive Privilege.   At least, he was in the gray area until now.

revolucion

The President has announced his intentions to go around the US Congress as well as established Federal and State laws by granting full amnesty to nearly 6 million illegal immigrants.  The President’s Executive Order is expected to be officially announced in a prime time speech [Nov. 20th, 2014 @ 8pm EST] from the East Room of the White House.  Incidentally, President Obama’s speech coincides with Mexico’s national “Revolution Day” – the Mexican equivalent to the USA’s “Independence Day.”  Many opponents of this Executive Order chafe at the symbolism that many in the Hispanic community may see in the announcement happening on Revolution Day.

Additionally, there is a great deal of concern from opponents of this legislation due to the decision not to broadcast the speech on national network television.  The “Big Four” (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) will forgo the POTUS’ 15 minute speech in lieu of regularly scheduled programming.  Opponents believe that this is a strategic decision on the part of the White House to mitigate how many citizens learn about this announcement until after it is on the books.  During the President’s speech, most of America will be tuned in to much anticipated season finales or top rated prime time listings (Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, The Biggest Loser and Bones).  Interestingly enough, Univision and Telemundo – both of which are Hispanic media powerhouses – will be airing the speech live, accompanied by commentary and analysis.  Univision is even delaying the “Hispanic Grammys” in order to broadcast President Obama’s announcement.  American viewers won’t have to speak Spanish in order to see the speech, though.  Early on November 20th, Fox News and MSNBC announced they would be airing the speech.

Why has this issue galvanized the politically active members of the Nation so much?  Many Executive Orders are in place.  It is a way for a President to handle certain issues that he deems worthy of a higher priority.  An Executive Order cannot nullify Federal Law.  Additionally, the office of the President is charged with faithfully executing and enforcing the law of the land.  Other Presidents have granted forms of immigration amnesty.  Ronald Reagan approved 200,000 Nicaraguan refugees to come to the US during that country’s internal crisis.  G. H. W. Bush allowed 1.5 million immigrants to stay in the US without fear of deportation.  However, his Executive Order was repairing a contradiction in an existing Federal Law.  It was not an act of a President who was disregarding Congress’ existing choice to maintain current immigration laws.

During George W. Bush’s term of office, he attempted a sweeping change to immigration law.  After the changes were denied by Congress, Bush assigned a legal team to investigate the viability of an Executive Order to force the change.  The team returned to President Bush with answer that an Executive Order to force immigration reform was not Constitutionally legal.

Several opponents of this legislation are also citing President Obama’s own words from years past.  POTUS stated in 2011 “This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is not true.  The fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.”  Even his own words seem to speak against the legality of the President’s actions.

"The Demise of America" by Jon McNaughton

“The Demise of America” by Jon McNaughton

The United States of America was set up to be that government for, of and by the people.  It was established as a safe harbor from monarchy and dictatorship.  Our founding fathers were born under the rule of a sovereign dictator that could decide action on a whim with no checks or balances.  It seems that the former Constitutional Law professor who now inhabits the Oval Office has forgotten the material he once taught.  Our Constitution was masterfully crafted to give the people protection from this very sort of situation.  As a spokesperson from House Speaker John Boehner’s office stated, though: “Emperor Obama ignores the American people.”

-J-
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