Category Archives: War’s
A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”) is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution:
– Complete change from one constitution to another
– Modification of an existing constitution.
Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.
October 15, 2013 at 6:30 am by Amy Payne
Timing is everything. And just as Congress’s focus seems to be drifting from Obamacare’s ravages on the economy, Americans are learning the reason this law’s implementation was postponed until after the presidential election.
That reason is becoming clear as person after person opens the mail. Insurance costs are going up. For many, not just going up—skyrocketing.
Ross, a married father of three small boys in Florida, tells us his insurance will be going up $525 per month. “I feel completely helpless,” he says.
Kevin, who also has three small boys, just found out his wife’s individual health insurance premium will be jumping from $79 per month to $311.82 per month.
“For whom exactly is the Affordable Care Act making care affordable?” asked Kevin, who lives in Alabama.
But this isn’t all. While people are receiving notices that their premiums are going up or perhaps their health plans are being discontinued, there’s a secret in Obamacare’s exchanges, too.
One of the reasons the Obamacare website has been so slow and glitchy? It requires people to enter personal information before they’re able to see insurance plan options. Health and Human Services does this so that if you’re eligible for a subsidy, you won’t see the true cost of your health plan.
Obamacare is laden with mandates that are driving up the cost of health insurance. And it didn’t stop with the original law. Federal bureaucrats are continuing to write more Obamacare regulations. One estimate is that these paper pushers have added 30 words of regulations for every word in the original law.
No small tweak to Obamacare can fix this. No small tweak can give relief to these hard-working dads who are supporting their families and getting the wind knocked out of them by hundreds of dollars in insurance hikes.
If Congress does anything less than defund Obamacare, it is turning its back on all of these suffering Americans.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
- How close is Congress to a shutdown-ending deal?
- Meet the new face of Google advertising: You.
- Another big technology company is banning working from home.
- “Black Friday” sales keep starting earlier and earlier… on Thanksgiving Day.
- This reporter has been trying for two weeks—unsuccessfully—to log on to the Obamacare website.
Some time between the middle and the end of October, the federal government will reach a hard limit on the amount of debt it can issue, and its ability to finance governmental operations will be affected. Confusion about the debt limit abounds, and this Issue Brief will address some common questions.
What Is the Debt Limit?
The United States debt limit, or debt ceiling, is the statutorily defined amount of debt the U.S. Treasury can issue, either by borrowing from the public or issuing an intragovernmental receipt to special accounts, such as the Social Security or Medicare trust funds.
The Treasury Department has to have liquidity, or cash on hand, to disburse the funds necessary to meet its contractual obligations. The federal government maintains this liquidity by managing governmental receipts (such as income tax payments) and selling debt (such as Treasury bonds).
Will a Government Shutdown Occur If the Debt Limit Is Not Raised?
The debt limit is often confused with the expiration of appropriations bills. Reaching the debt limit is distinct from a government shutdown. A government shutdown occurs when appropriations authorization expires: Unless there is a law saying that money may be spent on a project, money may not be spent on that project. A debate over an appropriations bill is a debate over whether to fund a specific government function. When the government shutdown began, only certain statutorily defined “essential” government functions have continued to operate.
The debate over the debt limit, however, is a debate over how to finance governmental operations—reaching the debt limit would not force a government shutdown. Currently, the debt limit is $16.699 trillion. The federal government reached this limit on May 19, 2013, and Treasury has since used statutorily allowed “extraordinary measures” to avoid issuing additional debt and still have the cash on hand to finance day-to-day operations. When the Treasury exhausts these extraordinary measures, the federal government will continue operating. However, the President might decide that federal employees, for example, will not necessarily be issued checks available to cash immediately.
Even without the ability to issue additional debt, the government will continue to accrue legal obligations; it will simply not be able to immediately liquidate (pay cash for) those obligations.
What Happens to the U.S. Debt If We Reach the Debt Limit?
It is impossible to tell what would happen if the debt limit is not raised. If Congress and the President are unable to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, markets and credit rating agencies might interpret this negatively as unwillingness of the U.S. government to honor its obligation. If the President chooses to default on all obligations rather than a few (discussed below), this could exacerbate the problem. Market perception of U.S. sovereign debt directly affects bond yields (interest rate paid) on U.S. debt, so decisions the President makes can actually save or cost the government money in the long term.
The Prompt Payment Act provides that the “temporary unavailability of funds to make a timely payment” does not excuse delayed payment and that the government is responsible for paying interest charges on such delayed payments. Over time, these interest penalties capitalize, so the federal government ends up paying compound interest. Depending on how the President manages payments, statutory interest payments may be greater or smaller.
What Would the President Prioritize?
While there have been proposals to cabin the authority of the executive to prioritize payments, as it stands there is no statute governing how to manage government finances past the debt limit. Since governmental obligations would exceed receipts, exceeding the debt limit logically implies that at least some obligations would be delayed. These obligations would thus, by definition, be in default. There is no general “governmental default” past the debt limit; default would occur with respect to specific obligations that the President chooses not to prioritize.
There are constitutional backstops on the President’s otherwise plenary authority to prioritize payments. Of these, the most important is that the President may not prioritize payment in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifteenth Amendment. He may not, for example, choose to pay the salaries of federal employees of one race before paying the salaries of federal employees of another race. Subject to this limitation, the President’s prioritization choices are essentially unbounded.
The President could, of course, play a game of political brinksmanship and fail to pay any obligations until the debt ceiling is raised. He could argue that all obligations are on an equal footing and that prioritizing payments violates some principle of fairness. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made statements about the political unworkability of prioritization in the past, but to date, Treasury has not disavowed its legal authority in this area. Failing to prioritize debt obligations would have far-reaching consequences, however, including potentially increasing the cost of servicing the debt long after the debt limit crisis ends.
Further, to the extent that this situation would involve having cash on hand and failing to pay some receipts, this option implicates the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, which prevents the President from deferring any “budget authority.” This phrase is defined to include “borrowing authority, which means authority granted to a federal entity to borrow and obligate and expend the borrowed funds.” Holding cash until such time that the Treasury can meet all of its payments necessarily includes deferring expenditures of borrowed funds until such time as the debt ceiling is raised, which would implicate these statutory limitations.
The President could also choose to continue payments for “essential” services analogous to those defined in the appropriations context. There is no statutory requirement for this decision, but the idea that there are “core” functions of the federal government that ought to remain liquid is easily understandable. Meeting debt obligations and paying military personnel might be prioritized at the expense of other obligations, such as issuing certain grants and loans to private-sector firms and to state and local governments, for example. So-called mandatory spending, such as Social Security payments, do continue during a government shutdown, but they need not be prioritized at the debt limit.
The President could also pick and choose among programs he likes and those he does not like. He might direct Treasury to pay Department of Defense employees before Department of Education employees, or vice versa. Whatever decision he makes would be essentially unchallengable in court.
Ultimately, however the President chooses to manage payments, delays will accumulate and worsen until either spending is cut or the debt ceiling is raised.
In brief, the President has broad authority to manage government payments to avoid defaulting on federal obligations. He can choose which payments to make and in which order, and these choices will impact the effects on the average U.S. taxpayer and the economy.
—Andrew Kloster is a Legal Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Posted in Cultural Revolution "FORWARD", Economic collapse, Economic planning, Economic policy, Financial repression, Medicare, Obamanomics, Pay to play, Political economy, Progressive Agenda, Social Security, Tax Payer's Dime, UnAmerican, United States
Tags: Barack Obama, Congress, debt ceiling, debt limit, Government shutdown, Social Security, United States, United States Department of the Treasury, United States public debt, United States Treasury security
At the U.N., leaders hope for a return of American greatness.
By PEGGY NOONAN
The world misses the old America, the one before the crash—the crashes—of the past dozen years.
That is the takeaway from conversations the past week in New York, where world leaders gathered for the annual U.N. General Assembly session. Our friends, and we have many, speak almost poignantly of the dynamism, excellence, exuberance and leadership of the nation they had, for so many years, judged themselves against, been inspired by, attempted to emulate, resented.
As for those who are not America’s friends, some seem still confused, even concussed, by the new power shift. What is their exact place in it? Will it last? Will America come roaring back? Can she? Does she have the political will, the human capital, the old capability?
It is a world in a new kind of flux, one that doesn’t know what to make of America anymore. In part because of our president.
“We want American leadership,” said a member of a diplomatic delegation of a major U.S. ally. He said it softly, as if confiding he missed an old friend.
“In the past we have seen some America overreach,” said the prime minister of a Western democracy, in a conversation. “Now I think we are seeing America underreach.” He was referring not only to foreign policy but to economic policies, to the limits America has imposed on itself. He missed its old economic dynamism, its crazy, pioneering spirit toward wealth creation—the old belief that every American could invent something, get it to market, make a bundle, rise.
The prime minister spoke of a great anxiety and his particular hope. The anxiety: “The biggest risk is not political but social. Wealthy societies with people who think wealth is a given, a birthright—they do not understand that we are in the fight of our lives with countries and nations set on displacing us. Wealth is earned. It is far from being a given. It cannot be taken for granted. The recession reminded us how quickly circumstances can change.” His hope? That the things that made America a giant—”so much entrepreneurialism and vision”—will, in time, fully re-emerge and jolt the country from the doldrums.
The second takeaway of the week has to do with a continued decline in admiration for the American president. Barack Obama‘s reputation among his fellow international players has deflated, his stature almost collapsed. In diplomatic circles, attitudes toward his leadership have been declining for some time, but this week you could hear the disappointment, and something more dangerous: the sense that he is no longer, perhaps, all that relevant. Part of this is due, obviously, to his handling of the Syria crisis. If you draw a line and it is crossed and then you dodge, deflect, disappear and call it diplomacy, the world will notice, and not think better of you. Some of it is connected to the historical moment America is in.
But some of it, surely, is just five years of Mr. Obama. World leaders do not understand what his higher strategic aims are, have doubts about his seriousness and judgment, and read him as unsure and covering up his unsureness with ringing words.
A scorching assessment of the president as foreign-policy actor came from a former senior U.S. diplomat, a low-key and sophisticated man who spent the week at many U.N.-related functions. “World leaders are very negative about Obama,” he said. They are “disappointed, feeling he’s not really in charge. . . . The Western Europeans don’t pay that much attention to him anymore.”
The diplomat was one of more than a dozen U.S. foreign-policy hands who met this week with the new president of Iran, Hasan Rouhani. What did he think of the American president? “He didn’t mention Obama, not once,” said the former envoy, who added: “We have to accept the fact that the president is rather insignificant at the moment, and rely on our diplomats.” John Kerry, he said, is doing a good job.
Had he ever seen an American president treated as if he were so insignificant? “I really never have. It’s unusual.” What does he make of the president’s strategy: “He doesn’t know what to do so he stays out of it [and] hopes for the best.” The diplomat added: “Slim hope.”
This reminded me of a talk a few weeks ago, with another veteran diplomat who often confers with leaders with whom Mr. Obama meets. I had asked: When Obama enters a room with other leaders, is there a sense that America has entered the room? I mentioned de Gaulle—when he was there, France was there. When Reagan came into a room, people stood: America just walked in. Does Mr. Obama bring that kind of mystique?
“No,” he said. “It’s not like that.”
When the president spoke to the General Assembly, his speech was dignified and had, at certain points, a certain sternness of tone. But after a while, as he spoke, it took on the flavor of re-enactment. He had impressed these men and women once. In the cutaways on C-Span, some delegates in attendance seemed distracted, not alert, not sitting as if they were witnessing something important. One delegate seemed to be scrolling down on a BlackBerry, one rifled through notes. Two officials seated behind the president as he spoke seemed engaged in humorous banter. At the end, the applause was polite, appropriate and brief.
The president spoke of Iran and nuclear weapons—”we should be able to achieve a resolution” of the question. “We are encouraged” by signs of a more moderate course. “I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort.”
But his spokesmen had suggested the possibility of a brief meeting or handshake between Messrs. Obama and Rouhani. When that didn’t happen there was a sense the American president had been snubbed. For all the world to see.
Which, if you are an American, is embarrassing.
While Mr. Rouhani could not meet with the American president, he did make time for journalists, diplomats and businessmen brought together by the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. Early Thursday evening in a hotel ballroom, Mr. Rouhani spoke about U.S.-Iranian relations.
He appears to be intelligent, smooth, and he said all the right things—”moderation and wisdom” will guide his government, “global challenges require collective responses.” He will likely prove a tough negotiator, perhaps a particularly wily one. He is eloquent when speaking of the “haunted” nature of some of his countrymen’s memories when they consider the past 60 years of U.S.-Iranian relations.
Well, we have that in common.
He seemed to use his eloquence to bring a certain freshness, and therefore force, to perceived grievances. That’s one negotiating tactic. He added that we must “rise above petty politics,” and focus on our nations’ common interests and concerns. He called it “counterproductive” to view Iran as a threat; this charge is whipped up by “alarmists.” He vowed again that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb, saying this would be “contrary to Islamic norms.”
I wondered, as he spoke, how he sized up our president. In roughly 90 minutes of a speech followed by questions, he didn’t say, and nobody thought to ask him.
Posted in Drone, Eco-socialism, Economic collapse, Economic interventionism, Economic planning, Economic policy, Energy, Energy Economic Zone, Fiat Currency, Fiscal Cliff, Foreign Policy, Fossil Fuels, Fraud & Corruption, GEOPOLITICS, Graphic of the Day, Indefinite Surveillance, Martial Law, Medicare, Modern Monetary Theory, Money Game, National Security, NDAA, NSA, Obamanomics, One and Done, Pay to play, Political economy, Poor, Pork, Progressive "nudge", Progressive Agenda, Robin Hood Tax, Shadow Government, Side Effects, Social Security, Special Reports, Targeting, Tax Payer's Dime, Terrorism, Tyranny, UnAmerican, United States, War's
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 By PAUL BEDARD
A subsidiary of Visa, a key Obama campaign donor, that specializes in credit card transactions has abruptly stopped servicing the nation’s largest gun store after four years because the store sells guns, a fact the owners never hid.
Hyatt Gun Shop of Charlotte, N.C., told Secrets that the subsidiary, Authorize.net/CyberSource, simply sent an email to owner Larry Hyatt to announce that it was suddenly breaking off the business relationship. The reason: “The sale of firearms or any similar product.”
The company email said that gun sales violated a section of the service agreement the two signed over four years ago and after Hyatt went into detail about its sales and products — and name.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Justin Anderson, Hyatt’s marketing director. He said it took a week and thousands of dollars to line up a “gun friendly” credit card processor for online sales.
The brushoff of Hyatt’s business has sparked a national boycott effort against Authorize.net and parent company CyberSource organized by the website Grass Roots North Carolina. “It looks like the small but noisy anti-gun crowd has gotten to what must be a jelly-spined PR department at CyberSource and Authorize.Net. Either that, or leadership at these companies have simply become anti-gun all on their own,” said the website in announcing the boycott.
Anderson suspects that the company, purchased by Visa in 2010, got cold feet dealing with a leading gun seller and he said that he’s heard of other gun stores being dropped. The company had no immediate comment.
The sudden move comes just two weeks after the Washington Navy Yard shootings which were followed by a plea for more gun control from President Obama.
Several Visa executives contributed to the president’s re-election campaign. Their total was $21,780, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Below is the short email notice from Authorize.net:
Dear Hyatt Gun Shop Inc,
Authorize.Net LLC (“Authorize.Net”) has determined that the nature of your business constitutes a violation of Section 2.xiv of the Authorize.Net Acceptable Use Guidelines and Sections 3.3 and 11.3 of the Authorize.Net Service Agreement (the “Agreement”). These sections include, but are not limited to, the sale of firearms or any similar product. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4 of the Acceptable Use Guidelines, your ability to access and use the Authorize.Net Services will be terminated on September 30, 2013.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Asylum Watch
Barack Obama is not about to be a “Lame Duck” President if he can help it. He promised to bring about the fundamental transformation of America and to force American energy costs to skyrocket. He has done a pretty good job of meeting his goals so far, but he is not done with us yet.
AZ Leader at Inform the Pundits has an excellent post up on how President Obama and his EPA storm troopers plan to force electricity costs in America to skyrocket. In that post, he provides a link to the President’s “Climate Action Plan“ and a link to new EPA regulations proposed on Friday. Let’s take a look.
President Obama’s Climate Action Plan
The preamble is taken from President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Address (Emphasis added):
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our croplands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
– President Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 2013
Claims of increased “extreme weather” events are being disproved by scientists. Not only are U.S. hurricanes in decline, but so are tornadoes, droughts, and floods.
That article is full true information backed up by good sources. But the truth never stopped Barack Obama before and it won’t stop him now. So, let’s see what he and his EPA storm troopers have in store for us. Oh, and that “sustainable energy sources” sounds a lot like Agenda 21, doesn’t it?
- While Congress Is Fighting Over ObamaCare, Obama is Planning His Next Attack On America (conservativesonfire.wordpress.com)
- Opponents ramp up fight against Obama climate plan (boston.com)
- Opponents ramp up fight against Obama climate plan (wfaa.com)