Tuesday, August 31, 2010

President Obama Still Doesn't Get It, Says Small Business Advocate

/PRNewswire/ -- A national small business advocate agrees with President Barack Obama when he said a "magic bullet" doesn't exist for solving our current economic woes. However, she is urging the president to understand why businesses are not hiring and holding back on investments. According to Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan, perhaps if the President and his economic team get a true grasp of what's holding businesses back, the Administration would depart from its enthusiastic support of legislative and regulatory measures that are working to restrain our free enterprise system and prolong the recession.

"Small business owners feel they are under siege from Washington, and at a moment in time when they are facing the most difficult period in the history of their businesses," said Kerrigan. "Unfortunately, the small business lending bill is not an ample policy solution to leverage the potential of America's small business sector. The concerns and needs of most business owners go much deeper, and this legislation does not address broader issues related to taxes, regulations and excessive spending which threaten to aggravate currently poor economic conditions. At the end of the day, proposed tax hikes along with legislation and regulatory initiatives in the pipeline will drive business costs higher and drain more private capital from our economy. Anti-growth policies have led to low confidence among our nation's entrepreneurs, and it will not get better unless Washington backs off the never-ending stream of proposed tax hikes and intrusive policies that threaten all industries and all businesses," Kerrigan added.

According to Kerrigan, every industry and most businesses are under siege from Washington. Whether its new regulatory initiatives from the Department of Labor that threaten to tie America's workplaces in knots, to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that will drive energy and business costs higher, to the expanded 1099-MISC reporting requirement from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) included in the new health care law and more, there is no business or workplace activity that the federal government has left untouched from burdensome and costly regulation. And then there is the new health care law, which by now most businesses realize is driving their health insurance costs higher and eventually will snatch away the health plans they currently provide despite promises to the contrary by President Obama.

New and proposed regulations in the telecommunications, energy, health care, and financial services sector only add to the uncertainty and anti-business thrust. To the casual observer and average American, it's quite easy to understand why businesses are not hiring and investment is weak. Yet, according to Kerrigan, our elite and well-educated political leaders simply don't get it.

"At this point, it appears that our economy will stay weak and business activity and hiring will remain anemic until business owners see a massive shift in the political environment," observed Kerrigan. "It seems most business owners are done with this Congress, and they are at least hoping that a divided government next year will bring practical, pro-growth governing policies to Washington," she concluded.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Support for Universal Healthcare Dropping Among all American Adults According to LightSource Poll

/PRNewswire/ -- When asked how much additional money they are willing to pay each year to achieve truly universal healthcare coverage for all United States citizens, Americans are becoming less willing to provide their own personal funds. According to LightSource Poll, conducted by KJT Group, the average amount that an adult is willing to spend has decreased dramatically over the past year.

The average adult was willing to spend $201 additionally per year as of February 2010. This dropped to $123 per year as of July/August. These figures are broken down in greater detail in Table 1.

Incremental Additional Amount Adults are Willing to Pay
               Yearly to Achieve Universal Healthcare

                                   February '10       July/August '10
                                         ------------       ---------------
                   $0                   73%                  68%
               $1-$50                    8%                  11%
             $51-$100                    6%                   8%
            $101-$150                    1%                   1%
            $151-$200                    2%                   2%
            $201-$250                    0%                   1%
       Over $250                        10%                  10%
       ---------                             ---                  ---
            Mean                        $201                 $123
                ----                        ----                 ----

  Table 1: How much additional adults are willing to pay annually in
          order to achieve truly universal healthcare coverage

Only 32% of all adults are willing to pay any additional amount of money on a yearly basis as of July/August 2010.

For each wave, there were no statistical differences between Democrats, Republicans and Independents in the average amount they are willing to spend on a yearly basis. Democrats and Independents are more likely than Republicans to contribute any amount toward achieving universal healthcare coverage.

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans or Independents to agree with the statement that "Health care is a right, and should be provided to all citizens regardless of ability to pay or their behavior." These results are shown in Table 2.

Democrats       Republicans       Independents

                                    ---------       -----------       ------------

  Completely agree/

    somewhat agree               69%               26%                54%

             -----------------             ---               ---                ---

  Neither agree nor

       disagree                  13%               20%                16%

             -----------------             ---               ---                ---




       disagree                  17%               54%                30%

              ----------                ---               ---                ---

Table 2: Percentage of adults who completely agree or somewhat
   agree that "Health care is a right, and should
  be provided to all citizens regardless of ability to pay or their
   behavior." July/August '10

While Democrats and Independents have remained relatively consistent with their agreement over the past year, Republicans have grown more antagonistic with this notion. 33% of Republicans completely disagree with the above statement.

This wave of the LightSource poll was conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults (18 years or older) between July 29 and August 6, 2010. This was a non-probability, stratified sample, collected via web-based interviews. As such, margin of error cannot be accurately estimated. In addition to the results shown here, an oversample of 600 New York State residents was collected and is published separately. For more information such as a detailed methodology, or additional results from this wave of the LightSource, go to www.lightsourcepoll.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Likelihood to Vote for Tea Party-Supported Candidates Edges Past 50%

/PRNewswire/ -- PJTV's Tea Party TV today released its fourth iteration of their weekly Tea Party poll, which revealed that 52 percent of likely voters are likely to vote for a Tea Party-supported congressional candidate. Furthermore, the survey revealed that over half of likely voters (54%) support the Tea Party and one in three (30%) respondents strongly support the movement.

"This week's Tea Party tracking poll numbers and election results both suggest the growing strength of the Tea Party movement," said Vik Rubenfeld, PJTV's Polling Director. "The Tea Party's strength was demonstrated during this week's elections, as many of the movement's candidates prevailed over those who were more traditional Republicans. Additionally, our polling data suggests that Independents, who have historically been the 'swing voters,' share the Tea Party's concerns regarding public expenditures, as more than eight in 10 worry the consequences of spending and debt will jeopardize the American dream."

The weekly PJTV/Pulse Opinion Research nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters tracks Tea Party support as well as provides a snapshot of public opinion regarding the week's top issues. In addition to the findings above, 51 percent of self-identified Independents and 75 percent of self-identified Republicans noted they were more likely to vote for a Tea Party-supported congressional candidate.

The nationwide support for Tea Party candidates likely stems from the increased concern over the debt and spending. The poll goes on to reveal that 79 percent of likely voters feel concerned that the American dream could be destroyed for current workers by national spending and debt. This theme was also pervasive during last week's survey, as 88 percent of likely voters and even 81 percent of self-identified Democrats believed there was a possibility of another financial crisis in the next five years.

Poll Highlights

-- 52 percent of likely voters are more likely vote for a Tea
Party-supported congressional candidate. For self-identified
Republicans, 75 percent are more likely to vote for a Tea
Party-supported candidate, as are 51 percent of self-identified
-- 54 percent of likely voters support the Tea Party movement.
-- 79 percent of likely voters believe the American dream could be
destroyed for current workers by the U.S. federal debt and U.S.
federal spending, as do 83 percent of self-identified Independents.
-- 75 percent of likely voters believe the American dream could be
destroyed for current college and high school students by the nation's
federal debt and federal spending.


The Tea Party Tracking Study is a PJTV survey. The telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on August 22, 2010. Pulse Opinion Research, LLC is an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports, LLC. Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Religious Leaders to Congress: 'Don't Tamper with our Rights'

/PRNewswire/ -- Leaders from more than 100 religious organizations are urging Congress against tampering with the freedom of religion, contending that pending legislation would deny religious charities receiving federal grants their fundamental right to hire people who share their faith.

In a letter delivered today to every member of the House and Senate, the leaders of World Vision, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and others argue that, "such actions would be catastrophic to our efforts to serve those in need, and to all who value the protection for religious liberty."

Richard Stearns, the president and CEO of World Vision, U.S., says the letter and other efforts are targeting not just pending legislation, but also calls for Congress to ban religious hiring exemptions in an expected continuing budget resolution later this fall.

"Too much is at stake - especially among the tens of millions who receive help, care and support from faith-based charities," says Stearns. "Our nation needs religious charities. For decades, we have relied on and benefited from religious charities receiving federal grants. There is no good reason - nor a compelling legal justification - to jeopardize those organizations and, more importantly, the people they serve."

Interestingly, most of those signing the letter represent organizations and educational institutions that do not accept federal grants.

Contrary to a common misconception, the right of religious organizations to compete for federal grants while retaining the opportunity to hire people of like-minded faith is not a policy holdover from the administration of George W. Bush. Rather, it rests on legislation passed under two Democratic administrations:

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that allows religious employers to prefer staff who share their religious conviction and mission.

President Bill Clinton, in 1993 signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), based on which, the Justice Department recently concluded faith-based organizations are entitled to continue their religious hiring policy while also receiving federal grants. That legislation 17 years ago was championed by then-Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), as well as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and then Representative Charles Schumer (R-N.Y.).

The religious leaders also included a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. from constitutional scholar Douglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Michigan law school. Laycock explains why RFRA protects the religious hiring rights of some faith-based grantees and urges Holder to enforce such rights.

"Does government substantially burden the exercise of religion, within the meaning of RFRA, when it offers monetary grants on condition that a religious organization abandon one of its religious practices?" Laycock wrote. "Yes it does."

Moreover, in 1987, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the law guaranteeing this right does not violate the separation of church and state.

"The law is clear and has been for nearly 50 years," says Nathan Diament, Director of Public Policy for the UOJCA and a signatory to the letter. "Faith is foundational to faith-based agencies. It is the motivation for our work, and it is what drives us to engage in service to others."

Faith-based organizations recognize that if they receive federal grants they cannot discriminate in selecting recipients of services funded by those grants. Moreover, they are prohibited from proselytizing. Anyone needing assistance must be served equally, regardless of their interest - or lack thereof - in religion or religious activities or messages, according to the law.

"The law has long protected the religious freedom of both the people who receive government-funded services, and the groups that provide the services - long before President Obama, and long before President Bush," said Anthony R. Picarello Jr., General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Stripping away the religious hiring rights of religious service providers violates the principle of religious freedom, and represents bad practice in the delivery of social services."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Republicans Most Skeptical of Obama's Christianity after Viewing Graham's Comments

/PRNewswire/ -- Results of a new national study among 1,003 self-reported Democrats, Republicans and Independents revealed that Republicans reported being the most skeptical of President Obama's religious affiliation after viewing a video of Franklin Graham's comments regarding his religious practices.

The study was conducted during August 23 -24 by HCD Research using its MediaCurves.com® website to obtain Americans' perceptions of President Obama's religion and the influence that his religious beliefs may have on his decision-making. To view detailed results go to: www.mediacurves.com.

Among political parties, 43% of Republicans reported that Obama was of Muslim faith compared to 13% of Democrats and 22% of Independents.

Among the findings:

Which religion do you think Barack Obama practices?

Democrats Republicans Independent
                     Pre   Post Pre    Post Pre    Post
  Islam               13% 13%  45%    43% 24%     22%
  Christianity        76% 81%  32%    34% 58%     62%
  Judaism               1% 1%   2%     1%  0%      2%
  Buddhism              1% 1%   3%     1%  2%      0%
  Hinduism              2% 1%   1%     1%  3%      0%
  Other                 7% 4%  18%    12% 13%     16%

While viewing the video, participants indicated their perceived levels of agreement by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. The participants were also asked to respond to post-viewing questions.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Obama Administration Facing Critical Decision on Cuba Travel Policy

/PRNewswire/ -- "Time Magazine poses the right question, 'Will the White House Fight to End the Cuba Travel Ban?'" said John McAuliff, founder and executive director of a twenty-five-year-old non-governmental organization, the Fund for Reconciliation and Development.

"The Obama Administration must choose quickly how much to enable travel to Cuba for non-tourist people-to-people purposes. It has obligated itself to respond to Cuba's ongoing release of 'Black Spring' prisoners. Half of those who were still imprisoned since 2004 have already been freed," McAuliff observed.

McAuliff added, "the White House could take a minimalist approach and simply reinstate President Clinton's policy, which required time consuming and costly case-by-case applications to the bureaucratic and politicized judgment of the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the Treasury Department. Or it could implement its pro-dialogue values and grant general licenses to the remaining eleven categories of non-tourist travel, just as it did for the category of Cuban American family visits more than a year ago."

"Under general licenses, travel could be freely organized by schools, cultural institutions, Chambers of Commerce, religious bodies, World Affairs Councils, humanitarian organizations, advocacy groups and other not-for-profit organizations. Tens of thousands of seriously interested Americans can meet their Cuban counterparts and create mutual understanding and trust, needed in both countries," McAuliff argued.

McAuliff urged the Administration to resist pressure from the exile mind-set of five Cuban Americans in the House and Senate. "Polls demonstrate that they no longer represent their own community, much less the two-thirds of Americans who support freedom of travel to Cuba. On Saturday they wrote to the President distorting the clear intent of the law, which gives him complete authority to allow non-tourist travel."

"They opposed even family travel and will denounce any and all reforms, so there is no reason for the White House to be constrained by their misleading statement that they, 'are deeply troubled that such changes would result in economic benefits to the Cuban regime.' At peak in 2003 only 80,000 people-to-people visitors went to Cuba, a drop in the bucket compared to the 2.4 million foreigners in Cuba last year, including 300,000 Cuban Americans."

McAuliff said, "What really troubles the old guard is that personal contact between diverse Cubans and Americans will puncture their isolationist balloon and contribute to reform in both countries, including the end of all U.S. and Cuban travel and trade restrictions."

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2012476,00.html?xid=rss-topstor ies#ixzz0xQrh1qvI

The Main Event! The People Versus Congress

None of us at the Georgia Front Page have read the following book (yet), but it sounded interesting so we thought we'd pass the info along to our readers. Let us know if you've read it or intend to read it. - GFP

Americans are disgusted with their Congress. Instead of being the agent of the people, it's become the setting for endless and vicious political warfare between the Democratic and Republican parties. Buoyed by an equally corrupted electoral system, many members of Congress have turned their attention from their constituents to their own desire to stay in office. In doing so, they’ve allowed campaign money to drown out the voice of the people. While the two parties slug it out, the nation hurtles toward disaster. Recent elections and the grass-roots emergence of the Tea Party movement prove that Americans seek fundamental change in government. Americans employ four Constitutional mechanisms to exert their sovereignty over Congress. But speech, assembly, petition and elections are all failing the people. Congress isn't seeing or hearing their constituents. And with only a few exceptions, elections only replace one failed party with the other, over and over again. The American people desperately seek a more effective tool to make Congressional reform happen.

The Next American Revolution: How to Demand Congressional Reform NOW is an extraordinary book that reveals what that tool is and how it can save our country. The Founding Fathers left their descendants with a never used, yet very real and effective fifth constitutional “people power.” Americans need to lay aside their differences and focus their combined strength toward one common cause---a revolution calling for a convention of the states specifically and solely for the purpose of restoring a people’s legislature. The author explains why this is our best (and last) hope of seriously reforming the legislative branch of government.

Each step of the process is summarized and three proposed amendment ideas are suggested: term limits; campaign finance reform; and increased electoral competition. Bridging modern Americans' love for liberty and their Constitution with that of their ancestors', the book is interspersed with quotes and images of leading figures from America’s rich, revolutionary history.

Charles R. Hooper empowers the citizens of America with the information they need to force congressional reform. Each individual American has the right and the power to legally, safely, and effectively take back their Congress. The book includes a complete copy of the U.S. Constitution.

The author, a masters-level social worker with a background education in Sociology and Political Science, has worked over two decades as an advocate for people in numerous settings. He has applied this background to develop a manual the people can use to repair their broken national legislature.

The Next American Revolution: How to Demand Congressional Reform Now is available for $14.95 through online retailers and by ordering toll-free at 800-266-5564. For more information, visit the author's web site at www.itsmycongress.com. First Edition. 6X9, 144 pages, eleven illustrations. ISBN 978-0-9843876-8-7.

Early Reviews

"Charles Hooper begins this important book by quoting Thomas Paine, whose famous line,'These are the times that try men's souls,' was used by George Washington to inspire his troops and whip the British. According to Hooper, we're again living in very trying times, due to the paralysis in Congress caused by partisanship and greed. He spends the rest of the book arguing for a new American Revolution -- a call for congressional reform and a return to our Founding values -- that will throw out self-serving bureaucrats and replace them with "servants of the people" envisioned by our Constitution. The book ends with a warning from 20th president James Garfield: 'If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.' As Hooper says, we owe it to past and future generations to fight for a better America."
- Jim Barnes, Editor, Independent Publisher Online

“The book is meant to be read by everyone...well written...well worth the read. It goes some way to allaying the fears of those fearful of even contemplating a Constitutional Convention. This is a valuable addition to the debate about how to rectify the current Washington vs. people disconnect.”

Andrew Ian Dodge

The Washington Examiner 7/13/10

“This is a book every American should read. It lays out the basic facts about an Article V convention in clear and precise terms.”
Bill Walker, co-founder
Friends of the Article V Convention

Friday, August 20, 2010

AJC Welcomes Secretary of State Clinton Announcement of New Direct Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

/PRNewswire/ -- AJC (American Jewish Committee) welcomed today's announcement by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will resume in early September.

Clinton said the U.S. believes "the direct talks to resolve all final-status issues" can be completed in one year. "These talks should take place without preconditions," she said.

"This is encouraging news and instills a ray of hope for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Secretary Clinton and Special Envoy George Mitchell have done a yeoman's job in achieving this breakthrough, securing agreement from the Palestinians to return to direct talks with Israel, which provide the likeliest path for moving the process forward."

Clinton announced that President Obama has invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian President Abbas, Egyptian President Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah to a dinner on September 1. The following day, Clinton will meet with Netanyahu and Abbas at the State Department to officially announce the resumption of direct peace negotiations.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Outrage over Public Pay and Benefits Reaches Fever Pitch

/PRNewswire/ -- A growing movement against outrageous government spending is sweeping the nation. Millions of new activists are joining tea party movements and grassroots organizations to advocate for tighter reins on out-of-control spending. One advocacy group, The Free Enterprise Nation (FEN) is gaining influence and membership as it raises a voice in the economic debate.

FEN launched nearly a year ago to educate the public on the hidden dangers of government pay and benefits and now has thousands of corporate and individual members. As the group celebrates its first anniversary, it is taking advantage of the growing public unrest. FEN's founder and CEO James MacDougald's book, "UNSUSTAINABLE: How Big Government, Taxes and Debt are Wrecking America," has climbed several best-seller lists.

"UNSUSTAINABLE" exposes how governments at every level hide the exorbitant pay and benefits they provide to themselves. Over the summer, the book reached #7 on Amazon's "Hot New Releases" for the Kindle version and #11 for print. The book also ranks in the top 50 of the economics category. The book has become the rallying cry for citizens outraged over lavish government salaries.

For example, the city of Bell, Calif., recently made news headlines because the city manager makes $787,637 a year. However, FEN collects examples like this in every state and the trend is truly disturbing. At TheFreeEnterpriseNation.org, there are thousands of examples of pay, benefits and pension abuse for every state in the Union. The database is searchable by topic, state or keyword and has become the most popular feature on the organization's website.

"Stories of outrageous government spending should not be limited to local news," said MacDougald. "We have found that the problem is systemic of government at every level."

The new attention to country's economic woes has enabled MacDougald to take the organization's message to the airwaves. He regularly appears on national cable news channels such as FOX News, MSNBC and CNBC. MacDougald also brings economic sensibility to the talk radio circuit and contributes to opinion columns.

"Regardless of political affiliation, everyone must be aware of the cresting economic crisis looming over our nation," said MacDougald. "We can and must preserve American businesses and the people they employ. We have to rein in spending and unleash free enterprise."

New Pew Research Center Survey Reveals Growing Number of Americans Who Say Barack Obama is a Muslim

/PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that a substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined. More than a year and a half into his presidency, a plurality of the public says they do not know what religion Obama follows.

According to the survey, nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) now say Obama is a Muslim -- an increase from 11% in March 2009. Only about one-third of adults (34%) say Obama is a Christian, a sharp decrease from 48% in 2009. Fully 43% say they do not know what Obama's religion is. The survey was completed in early August, before Obama's recent comments about the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center.

The belief that Obama is a Muslim has increased most sharply among Republicans (up 14 points since 2009), especially conservative Republicans (up 16 points). But the number of independents who say Obama is a Muslim has also increased significantly (up eight points). There has been little change in the number of Democrats who say Obama is a Muslim, but fewer Democrats today say he is a Christian (down nine points since 2009).

The new poll, conducted between July 21 and Aug. 5 among 3,003 respondents, also examines the link between Americans' perception of Obama's religion and their opinion of his job performance, and covers views on the President's approach to religion, including the influence of his religious beliefs on policy decisions. In addition, the survey explores Americans' attitudes toward churches' involvement in politics and religion's influence on American life and government, and looks at religion's impact on voting preferences for the upcoming 2010 congressional races.

The report, including a summary and topline questionnaire, will be accessible on the Forum's new Web feature, "Religion & Politics 2010," which provides a variety of election resources, including:

-- Poll analyses and survey reports on topics related to the midterm
-- Links to news stories about religion-related issues impacting 2010
congressional and gubernatorial races around the country
-- "Election news briefs" highlighting interesting articles and common
themes making news headlines

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. As part of the Washington-based Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy organization, the Pew Forum does not take positions on any of the issues it covers or on policy debates.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bauer Says That Obama's Support for Ground Zero Mosque Leads to the 'Final and Irrevocable Divorce' of the People From the President

/PRNewswire/ -- Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer on Saturday said that President Obama's comments at a White House dinner in support of a mosque at Ground Zero was "proof positive" that he has lost touch with his fellow citizens and that his break from them can no longer be repaired.

The president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families made the following statement:

"Last night at a White House Iftar dinner in celebration of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, President Obama chose to endorse the building of a mosque on the hallowed soil of Ground Zero. In doing so, he sided with radical Islamic advocacy groups over 9-11 families and the overwhelming majority of the American people. This latest decision is proof positive that the President does not understand the values and sentiments of the American people, especially while we are still at war around the world with jihadists. I believe history will reveal that the President's actions last night will directly result in his final and irrevocable divorce from the American people."

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Friday, August 13, 2010

FRC: FDA Approves New Abortion Drug, but Deceivingly Labels Ella as 'Emergency Contraceptive'

/PRNewswire/ -- Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ella, a drug that can cause abortions but is misleadingly labeled as a more effective "Emergency Contraceptive."

Jeanne Monahan, Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, had the following to say:

"The FDA opted against including the critical fact that Ella can cause an abortion on a baby already implanted in its mother's womb in the drug labeling information. This decision flies in the face of the Obama Administration's promise to transparency and a commitment to science. The difference between preventing and destroying life is enormous, and women have the right to know how this drug will act on their bodies and on their babies.

"Since Ella is chemically similar to RU-486 (which has been the cause of at least six deaths reported to the FDA in less than six years) it is likely that the serious health concerns for women will be similar. The FDA has very little knowledge about how this drug will impact women's health and for that reason alone should do more research before approval.

"In approving Ella, the FDA also ignored concerns raised in early August by ninety-one members of Congress, including fourteen Democrats. In a letter to the FDA Commissioner, these members requested that the FDA postpone approval of Ella until they could prove it did not cause abortions, among other conditions. Additionally, approval of Ella raises concerns about taxpayer funding of abortions, since currently the U.S. Government will pay for emergency contraception, but not abortion pills.

"The FDA advisory panel largely ignored important questions, including impacts on women's health and the abortifacient capacity of Ella. The FDA and the Obama Administration now follow suit. By approving this drug quietly on a Friday afternoon when most of Washington was on vacation, the Obama Administration and the FDA once again placed politics above science, women's health and informed consent.

"FRC and other pro-life leaders promise to do everything possible to educate the public about the truth of Ella."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Opinion: Outside Help for Social Security

Rarely do you see two of our country's most intractable problems - illegal immigration and the solvency of Social Security - lumped together in the same sentence.

I would like to propose an imperfect idea that could address both problems at once. The plan wouldn't have to work that well to be an improvement on the current immigration system, and we know the financing problems of Social Security are dire.

So here goes: We allow immigrant workers to come to the United States to work for up to three years. The cost of a work permit would be that immigrant workers and/or their employers would have to pay Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Workers would not be able to get benefits from either system even though they paid taxes, thereby lessening the impact of the looming Baby Boomer retirement on both programs.
Some illegal immigrants pay such taxes now and cannot benefit, but routinizing this arrangement would maximize taxes paid and reduce identity theft. Employers would get employees, and workers would get a job that enabled them to return money to their home nation. At the end of three years, they would return home.

I start out with two basic assumptions - that the benefits of illegal immigration accrue mostly to the immigrants and their employers, and that these same benefits outweigh the costs to society as a whole.
If it were the other way around, we would have found a more effective means of stopping illegal immigration. The benefits include the contribution of illegal workers to the economy, perhaps doing jobs that citizens don't want. Costs include health care and other social services, notably schooling that is provided to workers and their children.
The intangible benefits and costs of the cultural diversity inherent with illegal immigration are difficult to estimate, and I doubt if any analysis on such a subjective question would change the views of many people, so I assume they are a wash.

I acknowledge there are many problems with my idea. First, one reason illegal labor is attractive to employers is because they can presumably pay such workers lower wages. Such employers are unlikely to want any change.
Second, lack of health insurance and the related issues of a person receiving care in an emergency room will remain. We would need to develop a catastrophic insurance scheme that could be financed primarily or fully by immigrant workers. (most workers are likely to be young and healthy).
Third, what if they have kids while in the U.S.? Currently, that child is an American citizen, with all the afforded rights. There have been suggestions of changing the Constitution so that children so born would not be citizens. What about children born to parents of mixed status (one parent a citizen, the other not)? This is a tangled issue with many dimensions, and some sort of compromise solution would have to be worked out.
Fourth, this doesn't address the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. I view the deportation of 12 million people as unrealistic, so some form of amnesty is inevitable.
And, finally, how do we make sure the workers leave the country when their three years are up? The best hope of doing so is transforming a now-illegal labor market into a workable guest worker program that can be monitored.
These problems notwithstanding, the biggest benefit of my idea is that it acknowledges that some employers now see fit to hire illegal immigrants. If they didn't, there wouldn't be an illegal immigration problem. The goal should be to maintain this source of labor if it is truly important to our economy, but to do so in a way that broadens the benefits of now-illegal labor by helping to address the financing problems of Social Security and Medicare.
And if it turned out that persons no longer wanted to come to work under this arrangement, or that employers no longer wanted to hire them because they would be forced to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, then we would have developed a market-based solution to illegal immigration where an interdiction approach has not worked, and seems unrealistic.

By Donald H. Taylor Jr.  

Donald H. Taylor Jr. is an associate professor of public policy at Duke who blogs at www.donaldhtaylorjr.blogspot.com


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mainstream Media Hijacking Tea Party Movement

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Inflation Association today released the following article to its http://inflation.us/ members:

Today is a sad day for America. Last night, Peter Schiff lost the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in the State of Connecticut. Linda McMahon was the winner of the primary with 49% of the vote compared to Rob Simmons at 28% and Peter Schiff at 23%. Peter Schiff received 53% more votes than what the latest Quinnipiac poll had indicated, which showed his support at only 15%.

NIA believes that Peter Schiff understands the upcoming hyperinflationary crisis better than any other candidate who was running for office this year nationwide. He was perhaps our nation's last and only hope to prevent U.S. hyperinflation. It won't take long for the true nature of our country's dollar bubble to become apparent to all and when this time comes, Americans will sadly regret not electing Peter Schiff to the U.S. Senate.

America's tea party movement started out as a libertarian movement but it has recently been hijacked by FOX News and others in the mainstream media. On June 21st, thousands of NIA members wrote to FOX News asking for Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly to feature Peter Schiff on their respective shows. All three of them decided to completely ignore Peter Schiff's senate campaign, despite the fact that Peter Schiff's credentials are stronger than any of the tea party candidates they are supporting.

Glenn Beck previously had Peter Schiff as a guest on his show on several occasions and obviously knew he was running for senate. It appears as though Glenn Beck wants to have Peter Schiff on only when it is supporting his agenda. Glenn Beck doesn't care about helping the public become educated about a true libertarian candidate who would actually make a difference in Washington.

Glenn Beck is not our friend. This is not the first time he has showed his true colors. Back when Ron Paul was running for President, Ron Paul raised a record $4.3 million in a single day "money bomb" all from grassroots supporters. Rather than praising Ron Paul and his supporters for their tremendous accomplishment, Glenn Beck questioned the use of the word "bomb" in "money bomb" and said that Americans who were supporting the "Ron Paul Revolution" were taking the word "revolution" way too seriously. Glenn Beck even said that he feared the U.S. military would one day need to be used domestically against Ron Paul donors.

On one occasion, Glenn Beck had Ron Paul on as a guest during his Presidential campaign. Instead of highlighting how Ron Paul was the only candidate running for President who has a perfect voting record for protecting the U.S. constitution and reducing government spending, Glenn Beck did everything he possibly could to sabotage Ron Paul's campaign. Glenn Beck asked Ron Paul bizarre questions on the air including "No plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th instead it was a missile fired by elements from inside the American state apparatus, yes or no?" and "Were the planes that hit the World Trade Towers remotely controlled, yes or no?". Glenn Beck unfairly smeared Ron Paul and his supporters as terrorist sympathizers.

NIA believes that both Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible for the debt crisis the U.S. has today. In the last Presidential election, Americans had a choice between two candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, both who supported our country's destructive bailouts of Wall Street. At the same time that Ron Paul raised a record $4.3 million in his money bomb, John McCain's campaign was completely broke. The only reason John McCain came back to win the Republican nomination was because the mainstream media did everything possible to marginalize Ron Paul and support a candidate who was exactly the same as Obama on every important issue.

Glenn Beck is working tirelessly to set Sarah Palin up as the leader of the tea party movement. FOX News clearly wants Sarah Palin to take on Obama in the 2012 Presidential election. NIA considers Sarah Palin to be a neocon who doesn't support libertarian principles. If tea partiers embrace Sarah Palin as the leader of the tea party movement, NIA will have no choice but to officially write the tea party movement off as being useless.

The U.S. is in such bad financial shape that we currently have a budget deficit from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone. If Americans were taxed 100% of their income it still wouldn't be enough to balance the budget. With the phony economic recovery beginning to lose steam and the Federal Reserve getting ready to unleash the mother of all quantitative easing, Americans will soon experience a major decline in the purchasing power of their savings and income.

When Linda McMahon was asked on the campaign trail about entitlement spending, her response was, "I can certainly tell you I'm not adverse to talking in the right time or forum about what we need to do relative to our entitlements. I mean, Social Security is going to go bankrupt. Clearly, we have to strengthen that." Linda McMahon chose to avoid the topic of entitlement spending completely, saying she would only talk about it in the right "forum." The right forum would obviously be a debate, yet she outright refused to attend all of the Republican primary debates leading up to yesterday's vote and the mainstream media did nothing to call her out on this.

By saying that we clearly have to "strengthen" Social Security, Linda McMahon is outright deceiving and misleading the American public. There is no way to strengthen a program that has $14.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities. The only choice the U.S. has is to either default on its Social Security obligations or print the money to pay for them and create hyperinflation. Either way, millions of babyboomers who are getting ready to retire and planning to live off of their Social Security benefits will soon find out that they don't have the financial means to support themselves.

NIA's movies 'Meltup', 'The Dollar Bubble', 'Hyperinflation Nation', 'Japan: America's Lost Decade', 'Empty Store Shelves Coming to America', and 'Debt Slave' have now received a total of over 2.4 million views. This represents only a small percentage of the U.S. that NIA has been able to reach with the facts and truth about the U.S. economy. The mainstream media has chosen to completely ignore our documentaries. The only time the mainstream media covered our work extensively is when we wrote an article about the effects inflation will have on Lebron James' new contract.

NIA has proven through a countless number of facts and statistics how hyperinflation in the U.S. is inevitable. It's a shame that the majority of America is too distracted by 'American Idol' and the 'Jersey Shore' to take an interest in the U.S. economy and politics. Education is the most important key to America's survival. The only way our country will have the resources to rebuild after hyperinflation is if enough Americans become educated to the truth by watching documentaries like ours.

It is important for NIA members not to be discouraged by Peter Schiff's failed senate run. In NIA's latest documentary 'Meltup', Gerald Celente spoke about the "20% solution." According to Gerald Celente, if we can get just 20% of America to understand the truth and think for themselves, and if this 20% of the population moves in a focused direction, we can one day have an America far greater than we ever imagined. With 23% of the Republican primary voters in Connecticut voting for Peter Schiff, we at least have some reason to believe that our message is getting out there and resonating with people.

Please spread the word about NIA and have your friends and family subscribe for free at: http://inflation.us/

Federal Defense of Marriage Act Ruled Unconstitutional

/24-7/ -- In a recent landmark decision, Judge Joseph L. Tauro (of the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts), declared that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (commonly known as DOMA) violates the United States Constitution. Judge Tauro's legal opinion centers around equal protection as well as the concept of states' rights. This lawsuit arose in the year 2009, when the Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) challenged the law on behalf of seven same-sex couples (who were legally married under Massachusetts law). GLAD argued that the DOMA violated same-sex couples' right to equal protection under the law, discriminating against them on the basis of their sexual orientation. A subsequent, nearly identical suit was brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, arguing that the states themselves should possess the ultimate right to define the legality or illegality of a marriage. Historically states have enjoyed - since the country was founded - the right to establish their own rules about marriage.

What Does This Mean?

In spite of this recent Massachusetts decision, North Carolina (and 40 other states around the nation) continue to support the sanctity of heterosexual marriage and have passed legislation similar to the federal DOMA. Of those, 30 even have Constitutional amendments specifically barring same-sex marriages. North Carolina has repeatedly proposed such an amendment, but a bill favoring it has yet to make it past the North Carolina House Rules Committee.

It is unlikely that this decision, though widely heralded by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups as a huge victory, will have any effect on marital-status laws enforced by North Carolina or any other state. While it may have persuasive value, courts ultimately must follow and respect the concept of state's rights.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and around the country (as well as representatives of states that currently have a state-level version of the DOMA) claim the contemptuous verdict is a case of judicial law making. Some have even gone so far as to opine that the United States Justice Department - who defended the DOMA on behalf of the federal government - failed to mount a case because of President Obama's open desire to have the DOMA repealed. They also doubt that the DOJ will bring an effective appeal, even though the federal government obviously has a duty to stand behind its laws.

Article provided by Breeden Law

Public Notice Launches New Radio Ads Targeting Government Overspending

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Public Notice, a non-partisan, non-profit, will launch this week a ten-state radio ad campaign to draw attention to the crisis of government overspending and the staggering fiscal problems it has created.

“Overspending isn’t helping the economy and it isn’t creating jobs. In reality, we’ve been burying the American people under a mountain of debt for the last decade.”

This week, Congress will interrupt its “August Recess” to rush back to Washington to...you guessed it: add tens of billions more onto the deficit with another round of spending the nation clearly can't afford.

Despite overspending by $1.5 trillion (projected fiscal year 2010 deficit) this year alone--and despite endless pledges to get its spending under control--Congress returned to Washington today to vote on a $26-billion spending package to pay for state workers the states themselves cannot afford.

This will be the latest in a string of bailouts to add to our already-record deficit, and prevent state and local governments from scaling back their own bloated budgets. It will also be another example of Washington paying lip service to fiscal discipline, but continuing to overspend at historic levels.

Public Notice's new ad campaign highlights this problem in hopes of enlisting Americans to push for change.

Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice said the following:

“Overspending isn’t helping the economy and it isn’t creating jobs. In reality, we’ve been burying the American people under a mountain of debt for the last decade.

“The good news for the U.S. is that we still have time to cut spending to avert disaster. However, this requires an amount of political courage currently lacking in Washington. A fiscal crisis could happen here; thinking it won’t has been the mentality of far too many nations…just before they tumble off the brink.”

Ads airing include:

“Stop Digging” – We’re $13 trillion in debt but Washington just keeps spending more. This ad questions the wisdom of Washington politicians continuing to dig our nation into a fiscal hole ever deeper.

“European Crisis” – Think it couldn’t happen here in America? It’s happening now. This ad highlights how Washington’s out-of-control spending and unfunded mandates are actually hurting the economy.

The 60-second radio ads are set to target the metropolitan areas of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and will run for the next month.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Judicial Watch Files Lawsuit to Obtain Records of Phoenix Police Chief's Involvement in Obama Administration Lawsuit Challenging SB 1070

/PRNewswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a lawsuit on August 4, 2010, against the City of Phoenix pursuant to Arizona Public Records Law to obtain records related to Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris' sworn declaration in the Obama administration's lawsuit challenging Arizona immigration law SB 1070 (Judicial Watch v. City of Phoenix, Case No. CV 2010 052443 (Superior Court of AZ Maricopa County)).

Judicial Watch is seeking the following records: "Any and all records concerning or relating to the preparation or submission of the Declaration of Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, dated June 25, 2010, in the matter captioned United States of America v. State of Arizona, Case No. 2:10-cv-01413-SRB (D. District of Arizona)..." Judicial Watch is also seeking documents regarding communications between Harris and the Obama administration, including the Department of Justice. The Phoenix Police Department received Judicial Watch's request on July 13, 2010, but has failed to produce any documents or indicate when documents will be forthcoming.

On or before June 25, 2010, Chief Harris prepared and/or signed a declaration to be submitted on behalf of the U.S. government in its lawsuit challenging SB 1070. On July 6, 2010, the U.S. government attached Chief Harris' declaration to its motion in support of a preliminary injunction.

The Phoenix City Council, however, made the decision in May 2010 to stay neutral in the legal battle between the State of Arizona and the federal government over SB 1070. According to the Arizona Daily Star, in response to a threat by Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon to challenge the new illegal immigration law, "Phoenix City Attorney Gary Verburg said only the City Council has the power to authorize lawsuits." The City of Phoenix Administrative Regulation (AR) 2.16 specifically states: "It is the public policy of the City, reflected in this AR, that...Employees not engage in activities that are inconsistent, incompatible, in conflict with, or are harmful to their duties as City employees."

"Chief Harris had no business sticking his nose in the middle of the federal government's lawsuit against the State of Arizona. The City of Phoenix adopted a position of neutrality regarding the litigation. And as a City employee, Police Chief Harris was required to stay out of it. The City of Phoenix has an obligation to shed light on Chief Harris' declaration and it can start by releasing these records," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

In October 2009, Judicial Watch filed a taxpayer lawsuit against the Phoenix Police Pension Board, its five members, and City of Phoenix Chief of Police Harris to stop the illegal payment of pension benefits to Chief Harris valued at approximately $90,000 per year.

Judicial Watch's Arizona counsel is Todd Feltus of the firm Kercsmar & Feltus PLLC.

Monday, August 9, 2010

FRC Praises House Resolution Condemning Judge Walker's Proposition 8 Decision on Same-Sex 'Marriage'

/PRNewswire/ -- Family Research Council today praised House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for his resolution condemning Judge Vaughn Walker's decision that declares the U.S. Constitution includes a right to same-sex "marriage."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following statement regarding the resolution:

"I applaud Rep. Smith for introducing a resolution that condemns Judge Walker's flawed decision and urges its appeal. As the resolution points out, Judge Walker is a single judge who thinks he knows better than seven million Californians and voters in more than 30 states who have approved marriage amendments.

"This is an activist decision by a district-level court judge. Judge Walker is forcing his view on not only the millions of Americans who have voted on this issue, but the history of marriage itself.

"Judge Walker showed disregard for both the Constitution and the will of the significant majority of the American people. What happened last week in California only fuels America's disillusionment with government by the judiciary, not their elected representatives or their own direct votes.

"The judge's opinion ignored the social science, which shows that policies such as no-fault divorce have devalued marriage and truly impacted children.

"I thank Congressman Lamar Smith and his colleagues for introducing this resolution that counters Judge Walker's notion that a child doesn't deserve a mother and a father. This case is far from over, and we hope that common sense will reign when the case makes its way to the United States Supreme Court," concluded Perkins.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Prop 8 Ruling Represents Significant Legal, Social Developments

The ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, striking down California's ban on same-sex marriage, represents the intersection of significant legal and social developments, says Emory University's Robert Schapiro, professor of constitutional law, in an analysis of the federal court decision Aug. 4.

"With regard to constitutional law doctrine, the decision demonstrates the importance of the federal courts' new, higher level of scrutiny of laws resting on traditional moral assumptions," Schapiro says.  "For most of the 20th century, the court divided equal protection claims into two boxes.  If the claim fit into the narrow category of 'strict scrutiny,' generally limited to issues of race and gender, then unequal treatment was presumptively unconstitutional.

"Otherwise, the federal courts generally allowed all kinds of differential treatment, on the theory that the legislature might possibly have some basis for distinguishing between the young and the old, or opticians and optometrists, or all kinds of other groups.  Basically, the courts did not require any justification for unequal treatment, outside of matters of race and gender," Schapiro says.

However, the federal courts have shown signs of dissatisfaction with the rigid, two-box doctrine in recent cases, especially when it comes to issues relating to sexual orientation, he says.

"Recent legal developments have required more than traditional moral disapproval to justify laws that deny equality. Judge Walker concluded that social experimentation and psychological reseach have not offered scientific support for bans on same-sex marriage," he says, noting that the judgecited psychological research that had conclusively established that children ‘raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted.'

 "Law and society came together in Judge Vaughn Walker's courtroom to invalidate California's ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling marks the beginning of the federal stage of this debate," Schapiro says.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

FRC Statement on Elena Kagan's Approval by the U.S. Senate

/PRNewswire/ -- Today the U.S. Senate voted 63-37 to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan as a Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had this to say on the vote.

"Elena Kagan will bring a radical judicial philosophy and a history of sharp-edged political maneuvering to the nation's highest legal bench. Her confirmation is another body-blow against genuine constitutional governance.

"Her confirmation is especially troubling in light of yesterday's ruling by a San Francisco federal judge striking down the historical definition of marriage. She has shown repeatedly that she will do exactly what she says a judge should not - creatively reinterpret the written text of the Constitution according to her own convictions.

"Her record is that of a hard-line political activist, one willing to trim the law to fit the contours of personal beliefs.

"As I pointed out in my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she denied military recruiters access to Harvard's Law School campus, in direct violation of federal law, because of her admitted disdain for the Armed Forces' ban on homosexuality in the ranks.

"She re-wrote a technical medical document, produced by the American Medical Association, in order to justify the brutal 'partial birth abortion' procedure the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called 'too close to infanticide.'

"She is open to the application of foreign law to the United States and believes that the commerce clause is not limited, but authorizes federal regulation of nearly any human activity.

"The 36 Republicans and the sole Democrat who stood up for the United States Constitution today deserve the thanks of all citizens who care about the future of our nation. The others who voted for Ms. Kagan voted, by extension, for liberal activism on the nation's highest court. This should not be lost on voters in November and I encourage them to send a strong message to President Obama about appointing federal judges who disregard our founding document."

FRC Praises Senator Coburn's Senate Companion Bill to Remove Abortion from Obama Health Care Law

/PRNewswire/ -- Family Research Council praised legislation introduced today by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would apply the Hyde amendment abortion funding restriction to the new health care law which currently can fund and subsidize abortion.

The new health care law sends tax credits to pay for plans with abortion, thereby bypassing the annual Hyde amendment, and directly spends federal dollars on programs without any abortion funding restrictions. The "Excluding Abortion Coverage from Health Reform Act of 2010" would, like U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts's measure in the House of Representatives, restore the historic ban on federal funding of abortion in health care.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"President Obama's new health care law destroys the traditional provision against federal funding for abortion. I applaud Sen. Coburn for introducing legislation that would put in place an abortion funding ban within the President's new health care plan. The American people, regardless of their view of the underlying issue, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. Sen. Coburn's bill would protect the American taxpayer and restore the longtime prohibition against government funding of elective abortion.

"On Tuesday, Missouri voters stated emphatically their opposition to the individual mandate within the health care law. The outrage of voters spread even further after the Health and Human Services Department recently agreed to fund abortion in several state high risk insurance pool programs. HHS reversed course only after its approval of abortion funding was exposed, demonstrating that current law does not prevent abortion funding.

"Passing Sen. Coburn's bill is the only way to restore the status quo on abortion funding in health care. If the Obama Administration is honest when it says it will not fund abortion, then the Coburn/Pitts measures should be passed with resounding support," concluded Perkins.

Bipartisan Senate Bill Gives States Option to Raise Interstate Weight Limits

/PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of more than 160 shippers and allied associations dedicated to responsibly increasing federal weight limits on interstate highways, today applauded Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for introducing the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, S. 3705, in the U.S. Senate. To read the joint statement from Sens. Crapo, Collins and Kohl, visit http://crapo.senate.gov/.

Like identical companion legislation now pending in the House of Representatives, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would permit state DOTs to raise interstate weight limits within their states to 97,000 pounds for trucks equipped with six axles instead of five. Without making the truck any larger, the additional axle maintains safety specifications, including stopping capability and current weight per tire. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would safely make the shipment of heavier cargo more efficient, as many trucks meet the current 80,000-pound federal weight limit with significant space in their rigs. Under the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, shippers could safely utilize extra cargo space and reduce truck loads, fuel, emissions and vehicle miles traveled for each ton of freight shipped.

"With freight increases in the forecast, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would make roads safer, greener and more efficient -- both now and in the future," said CTP Executive Director John Runyan. "The American Trucking Associations estimates that the trucking industry will haul 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today. If current weight restrictions remain the same, that means our economy will require 18 percent more trucks on the road driving 27 percent more miles than they do now. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would ease the burden on our roads by adjusting weight limits to safely reduce the number of trucks required to ship a given amount of goods."

"The truck weight reform outlined in the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act is not a new concept," Runyan added. "The UK raised its gross vehicle weight limit to 97,000 pounds for six-axle vehicles in 2001 and has experienced exactly what we need in the U.S. More freight has been shipped, yet vehicle miles traveled have leveled off and fatal truck-related accident rates have declined by 35 percent. Additionally, the Wisconsin DOT found that a law like the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would have prevented 90 truck-related accidents on Wisconsin roads during 2006."

The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, H.R. 1799, was originally introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Michael Michaud (D-ME) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH). It currently has 54 cosponsors.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Geithner is Wrong: The Obama-Pelosi-Reid Tax Hike is Not a 'Return to the 1990s'

/PRNewswire/ -- In advance of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's major economic address today Americans for Tax Reform released the following:

In a speech today at the Center for American Progress, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will say that the largest tax hike in American history (coming this January) is a return to the "pro-growth" fiscal policies of the 1990s. This is patently absurd. Here is why:

1. The tax rates scheduled under current law and the Obama budget are higher than those of the Clinton years. Everyone forgets that Obamacare imposes a new 3.8 percent surtax on investment income and raises the top Medicare payroll tax rate to 3.8 percent in 2013. That means that the top tax rates on the table are higher than they were in the 1990s:

Obama     Current
               Clinton/     Budget       Law
   Gains              20%      23.8%       23.8%
  Dividends         39.6%      23.8%       43.4%
   of Small
   Profits          42.5%      43.4%       43.4%

2. We can't afford to raise tax rates while other countries have been cutting them. The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world (39 percent when states are factored in). The average in the developed world is 26 percent. Back in 1995, the developed world's average was nearly 37 percent, and the U.S. level was the same as today. So the corporate tax rate around the world has been slashed, and the United States has stayed the same. We can't afford to raise taxes at the same time as other countries have been cutting them.

3. The capital gains tax rate in the 1990s was going down, but the Obama budget calls for the rate to go up. The GOP Congress and President Clinton signed a capital gains tax cut in 1997, lowering the top rate from 28 to 20 percent. However, the combination of the January 2011 tax hike and Obamacare means that today's capital gains tax rate will rise from 15 to nearly 24 percent.

4. Spending was going down in the 1990s, but it is at record-high levels today. That's why the 1990s had surpluses, and this decade has record deficits. Between 1990 and 2000, federal spending fell from 22 percent of the economy to 18 percent of the economy. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office projects that federal spending this decade will hover around 23 percent of the economy--each and every year, and far above the historical average of 21 percent. Record-high spending is causing deficits this decade, just as spending restraint caused surpluses in the 1990s. Taxes should not be hiked to pay for massive, deficit-causing spending.