But first, an “I told you so”…
Sept 2009: President Barack Obama says requiring people to get health insurance and fining them if they don’t would not amount to a backhanded tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,” the president said.”for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax” (CBS)
OBAMA (On ABC): My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
The U.S. Justice Department officially responded to a legal challenge against the federal health-care overhaul Wednesday and called on a federal judge to dismiss the case.
Twenty attorneys general, led by Republican Bill McCollum of Florida, filed suit against the federal government immediately after President Obama’s health-care overhaul became law in March. The attorneys generals are questioning the constitutionality of the law, claiming that Congress does not have the power to require that all Americans purchase health insurance.
The federal health-care law requires that all legal U.S. residents be insured or else pay a penalty — beginning in 2014 — that fines individuals $695 annually or up to 2.5% of their income.
In its defense of the law, the Justice Department invoked the Commerce Clause and claimed penalties for Americans without health-care coverage were consistent with the federal government’s powers to regulate interstate commerce and impose taxes.
The Justice Department filing describes the penalty as a tax, stating that the law “imposes a tax on the choice of a method to finance the future costs of one’s health care.”
McCollum responded to the Justice Department filings Thursday, claiming that the government’s response contradicted the comments that President Obama made during the health-care debate earlier this year.
“The Justice Department’s defenses clash directly with comments made by President Obama during the debate on the health care reform bill, including the President’s insistence on national television that the purchase mandate was absolutely not a tax. Yet in its motion to dismiss, the Obama administration defends the individual mandate under Congress’ ‘taxing and spending’ power,” said McCollum in a press statement.
“Nothing in the Justice Department’s motion filed last night changes the States’ view that we will prevail. Instead, the Justice Department’s defenses clash directly with comments made by President Obama during the debate on the health care reform bill, including the President’s insistence on national television that the purchase mandate was absolutely not a tax. Yet in its motion to dismiss, the Obama Administration defends the individual mandate under Congress’ ‘taxing and spending’ power.
“Not only does the U.S. Department of Justice contradict public statements made by the President and Congressional leadership, it demonstrates in its motion to dismiss that it seems to view this lawsuit by the 20 states and NFIB as a significant challenge, signaling this lawsuit may pose more of a threat in its chances for success.
“Our lawsuit challenges the individual mandate that violates the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, the federal government is threatening our state sovereignty with this unprecedented expansion of federal powers and commandeering of state resources. This is not acceptable, and we will pursue this litigation as far as necessary to obtain relief for our citizens and our states.”
The lawsuit was filed on March 23, 2010 with 13 original state plaintiffs and was amended on May 14, 2010 to add seven additional states and the National Federation of Independent Business, as well as two individual plaintiffs.
So the Tax that wasn’t a tax is now officially a Tax.
I wonder how the Mainstream Media/Ministry of Truth will ignore that. 🙂 (I already know BTW).
Sixteen crude-sucking barges are back in the Gulf of Mexico working to clean up oil, but the Coast Guard is defending its decision to ground the vessels because it couldn’t verify whether there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board.
“The Coast Guard is not going to compromise safety … that’s our No. 1 priority,” Coast Guard spokesman Robert Brassel told The Daily Caller.
The decision to ground the ships is under intense scrutiny after Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed his deep frustration with the decision Thursday.
“You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil,’” Jindal said to ABC News.
But don’t worry Obama is going to do everything he can to stop the Oil. 🙂
But the bureaucrats aren’t though.
Further, the government’s response is clumsy. “The Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the EPA all these different agencies aren’t talking to each other,” Florida’s Okaloosa County commissioner Wayne Harris said.
Anyone seeing National Health Care Administration (aka ObamaCare) in your future? 😦
So why is Obama so slow, it’s 60 days later.
Imagine Bush dithering 60 days after Katrina?
The meltdown would have been apocalyptic. (It already was according to the media back then, but they were “fair” and had no agenda…) 🙂
So why doesn’t he do it?
In a word: Unions.
The answer comes in the form of an obscure law called the Jones Act. A throwback to the days of American protectionism, the Jones Act is a piece of 1920s-era legislation that requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built here and crewed by Americans. This is why skimmers from the Persian Gulf, the heavy-duty ships that have proved themselves capable of cleaning up disasters like the one currently facing the Gulf, aren’t employed here doing the vital work for which they’re built. What’s more, it’s why they’re not on their way (which, considering the distance they’d have to cover, is in itself is no small feat).
The president, however, has the power to waive the Jones Act. His predecessor, the one so criticized for his failure to pull out all the stops in responding to Hurricane Katrina, did just that within days of that storm’s devastation. So why hasn’t President Obama taken the same measure?
Therein lies the rub. There is much talk about the political interests that have essentially prevented this administration from acting with common sense time and time again. It’s why many believe competitive market forces won’t be considered as options, even though competition, with little government involvement, would certainly contribute to cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Are suspicions that foregoing market fixes is directly tied to protection of union jobs and, by extension, political allies? Using foreign technologies manned by foreign crews will, after all, necessarily keep union bosses from cash they so desperately need going into a tough election season.
This is the political cronyism of the worst sort. It is bad enough the president’s economic recovery plan was convoluted and weighted towards payback of labor unions; worse still are the bailouts being directed toward private and public sector union pensions. Now we have an entire region’s ecological and economic existence being held hostage to the president’s pro-Union myopia.
This is inexcusable.
The president needs to facilitate clean-up. He needs to immediately start cutting red tape and getting the federal government out of the way. First and foremost, he needs to immediately waive the Jones Act and get those foreign crews to the Gulf.
Millions of Americans, not just those suffering in the Gulf, are depending on this. Their voices are far more important than the ever-weakening unions constantly nipping at the president’s heels. (Daily Caller)
He’s a prisoner yet again of a very rigid ideology.
And these are the people from the Government who are here to save you, protect you, keep you healthy and make you “green”.
Doesn’t it just fill you will confidence!
I believe it was Jean Giraudoux who first said, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
And if we all strive to be mediocre we can all be at our best!
Rejoice Comrade, The Government has your back (it’s reaching for your wallet!). 🙂