The EPA Changed the Way it Makes Scientific Decisions to "Sustainable"
In January 2012, the EPA announced it was "realigning its entire research enterprise around the concept of sustainability." The new initiative is titled, "The Path Forward." Agency scientists and managers agreed to base their process on "the widely used definition of sustainability as outlined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987..."
The 1987 Brundtland Commission report, also known as "Our Common Future," stated that the earth was in danger, there was too much poverty and industrialized nations like the US were the cause. According to Brundtland, the only way to protect earth was for powerful central authorites to control all of society, the economy and the environment in an initiative it coined as "sustainable development."
Union Founder's Words on Socialism
"Socialism has no place in the hearts of those who would secure the fight for freedom and secure democracy." Samuel Gompers 1918
Samuel Gompers was the founder and longest serving president of the American Federation of Labor. (AFL)
"Deja vu All Over Again?"
FDR won his first two terms by attacking the wealthy and pitting them against poor Americans. In 1932 he promised to "cut government operations by 25% and lower taxes", but did neither.
In 1936, he overwhelmingly won by raising taxes on the rich then redistributing the money to larger voting blocks in swing states using the WPA, Silver Purchase Act and the Agricultural Act.
By 1940, needing businesspeople to win the war, he called for unity among the same people he divided and won another decisive victory.
In 1944, FDR sidestepped laws prohibiting union money in elections by forming the nation's first Political Action Committee. This provided urban labor support. Fearing a backlash by Japanese prisoners if released from internment camps, he created an executive order to keep them imprisoned until 3 days after the elections. To gain the Polish American vote, FDR promised special treatment for Poland after the war. He won nearly 90% of their vote, and then betrayed the group by failing to offer the promised "self-determination" for Poland at the Yalta conference. Still, he won a fourth slim victory.
Upon his death, the NYT wrote, "Men will thank God on their knees 100 years from now FDR was in the White House."!
Between budget battles and elections, politicians and media supporters spin wildly to advance their own positions, leaving the public misinformed. In this column we will attempt to unravel some of the worst spins.
Worst Economy, I think!
In 2008, now Pres. Obama said "we are in the worst economy since the Great Depression."
During the Healthcare Summit and his 2010 State of the Union message, Pres. Obama declared the healthcare bill would cut the federal deficit.
2012 Medicare Actuary's Report Shows ObamaCare is Bankrupting Medicare
On April 23, 2012, the Medicare Trustees issued their annual report outlining the financial status of the program. The report described a program headed for bankruptcy and severely damaged by the Obama Administration’s budget gimmicks and failure to lead.
Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund continues to run annual cash flow deficits. Expenditures from the HI Trust Fund have exceeded annual income every year since 2008 – with a deficit of $27.7 billion last year. In 2012, total income flowing into the HI trust fund is $28.9 billion less than estimated payments.
The HI Trust Fund will be bankrupt in 2024, the same exhaustion date projected in last year’s report. Without congressional action, the Medicare program will no longer be able to pay full benefits to America’s seniors.
The non-partisan Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a stark warning: "The financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable)." He calculated an "alternative scenario" using more reasonable assumptions that would lead to even higher costs.
Assuming that current law remains unchanged, Medicare’s total unfunded obligation over the next 75 years is $5.3 trillion. Under the Chief Actuary’s alternative scenario, the Medicare HI Trust Fund’s unfunded obligations are estimated to total $9.7 trillion over the 75 year window.
Multiple Funding Warnings
For the seventh year in a row (2006 through 2012), the Trustees issued an "excess general revenue Medicare funding" warning. The Medicare program will rely on money from the Treasury’s general revenues to cover more than 45 percent of its expenses this year.
By law, when Medicare gets into that situation the President must submit, within 15 days of his next budget, a detailed legislative proposal to stem the crisis. Though this requirement has been in effect every year since he took office, President Obama has never complied with the statutory requirement and submitted a legislative plan to prevent the funding shortfall.
Medicare Double Counting and Budget Gimmicks
Rather than confronting the looming entitlement crisis, President Obama’s health care law raided more than $500 billion dollars from the Medicare program – not to save Medicare, but to start a brand new program. The President claims these Medicare cuts make the program more solvent. At the same time, the President also claims these Medicare cuts will pay for the cost of the new health insurance entitlement.
The fact is that these Medicare cuts cannot serve both functions without adding to the deficit. As the Medicare Actuary has pointed out, "In practice, the improved [HI] financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other Federal outlays (such as coverage expansions under the PPACA) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions."
Medicare is fundamental to the health care of America’s seniors. It is essential that Washington strengthen Medicare now to guarantee that it will still be there in the future when we need it. The policies of the Obama Administration have not only failed to protect and preserve Medicare, they have made it worse.
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