PORKER OF THE MONTH

It’s been awhile since I have announced CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE’s PORKER OF THE MONTH. I am going to try to keep a closer eye out each month and post it to try to get the word out about Washington’s waste of our hard earned tax dollars.


The honor for July 2009 goes to REPRESENTATIVE RUSS CARNAHAN, D-Missouri. Here’s the article:

Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

porker logo big

Rep. Russ CarnahanRep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)
Phone: 202-225-2671
Fax: 202-225-7452

Rep. Russ Carnahan is CAGW’s July Porker of the Month

Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) its July Porker of the Month. Rep. Carnahan, who was caught on videotape by a vigilant citizen blogger at a town hall meeting held at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, who posted the remarks on hiswebsite and on YouTube, grossly misrepresented the costs associated with the controversial healthcare reforms bills currently under consideration in Congress. His statements were so patently false that when members of the audience reacted with disbelief and loud guffaws, he instantly became the public face of those in Washington, D.C. who are willing to blurt out anything they think will mask the reality of this heinous reform plan to try to slip it by taxpayers.

Rep. Carnahan first stated that “The overall cost of the package has been estimated at about $1 trillion over ten years. About half of that comes from savings and efficiencies in the system,” a statement which drew derisive chuckles from a skeptical audience. He then compounded his verbal misery by asserting that “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) most recently came out and analyzed the current plan and said that it was not only debt neutral, which has been one of the important factors of the President and congressional leaders, but also that over 10 years it would create a $6 billion surplus,” a statement which was both demonstrably false and elicited loud guffaws. In fact, on June 15, a month before these remarks, CBO estimated that the Kennedy-Dodd bill would increase the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years. On July 16, four days before Rep. Carnahan’s comments, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee that every healthcare reform bill would increase costs, not reduce them.

Rep. Carnahan’s behavior seems to be part of a pattern. Democrats in the House seem to be willing to say anything to misdirect taxpayers. For example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the legislation’s head cheerleader, said during the week of July 10 that “all of the cost of the healthcare reform bill can come from squeezing more savings out of the system;” soon thereafter she came out in favor of a $544 billion tax increase to finance healthcare reform. The President has said that he would only support a bill that is deficit neutral, and that reforms should mirror “what members of Congress are getting through the federal employee plan.” Yet he seems to be pushing for a bill that would not meet any of those criteria.

For his memorable walk-on cameo appearance in this political Comedy of Errors and his significant contribution to the unbridled bloviation emanating from Washington, most of which has been long on spin and short on facts, Rep. Russ Carnahan is CAGW’s July Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

Advertisements

AMERICA’S AWAKENING UPDATE

Here are Obama’s current ratings according to the major polls. The names of the polls are clickable links.


ZOGBY: Approval rating, 45%, with 51% of likely voters saying they disapprove of Obama’s job performance.
Zogby Special FeatureBarack Obama – Job Performance Rating

Overall, how would you rate President Obama’s performance on the job?
Excellent
Good
Fair
Poor
Not Sure
Methodology
8/21/2009
16
27
11
45
.3
Interactive
8/5/2009
20
30
22
26
2
Telephone
7/24/2009
22
25
10
43
1
Interactive
6/4/2009
30
20
13
36
1
Interactive
4/16/2009
31
22
14
33
1
Interactive
3/6/2009
30
23
12
34
2
Interactive

PEW: Approval rating at 51%


NBC NEWS/WALL STREET JOURNAL: Approval rating at 53%

RASMUSSEN: 31% of voters Strongly Approve, 39% Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index of -8. 50% of voters disapprove of the job Obama is doing.

GALLUP (as reported on NPR) and GALLUP: Approval rating of 51%

4mqi1zq650qtwf1bvakelw

3rbl8a90rk2dtv_yqwcpcw

It seems Obama’s approval rating just keeps on dropping. Much to this administration’s and the liberal left’s chagrin, Americans are continuing to inform themselves about what the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress are doing.

And speaking of Congress . . . wanna guess what THEIR approval rating is? No where near Obama’s . . . it’s still about 31%.

IT AIN’T JUST REPUBLICANS PROTESTING OBAMACARE!

This is an article posted on MLIVE.COM today. Interestingly enough, this man has received threats from parties unknown after this that have been reported to the local police there. I don’t think it was evil caniving conservatives making these threats. Click HERE for an article on the DETROIT FREE PRESS’s website.

Meet Mike Sola, the man who wheeled his son up to John Dingell and shouted him down

by Jonathan Oosting MLive.com
Tuesday August 11, 2009, 7:35 AM

If you watched any video of Thursday’s town hall meeting turned shout-fest in Romulus, you probably remember Mike Sola.

He’s that big guy who wheeled his son up to U.S. Rep. John Dingell and refused to back down.

“I have a question for this young man,” Sola thundered after Dingell asked him to sit down, referring to his 36-year-old son who suffers from cerebral palsy. “This young man has the right to be represented. I’m his father and I wanna talk to you face to face.”

Well, Bill McGraw of the Detroit Free Press dropped by Sola’s Washtenaw County home. Turns out, Sola wasn’t part of an organized or manufactured mob, but just a big guy who get’s riled up.

Highlights from McGraw’s piece:

• Sola said he’s sorry he went to the town hall meeting and had no intention of confronting Dingell, who he described as a “pretty decent guy.”

• Sola said the tipping point was when he saw a young woman, who appeared to be disabled, supporting Dingell. He felt she was being used.

• Sola said he attended the meeting after reading an article by Betsy McCaughey of the New York Post. McCaughey got caught up in a firestorm last month after making exaggerated claims that the proposed House health care bill contained a provision that would institute mandatory end-of-life counseling sessions telling seniors how “to do what’s in society’s best interest … and cut your life short.”

• Sola said he was mad about Democrats referring to protesters as “thugs” and said This was Americans saying, “What the hell are you doing?”

• Sola is a believer in the current health care system, having undergone back surgery, lung-cancer surgery and a battle with prostate cancer.

• Sola says his health insurance is “crappy,” but “I’ll keep it over government insurance any day. I’ll gladly pay what I pay and not take Obama’s insurance — even if it was zero.”

And Dingell’s response to Mr. Sola? “Go sit down.” Enough said.

WE’RE GETTING THEIR ATTENTION


Here is the text of a post by Macon Phillips on the White House blog dated August 4th, 2009:


THE BLOG

TUESDAY, AUGUST 4TH, 2009 AT 6:55 AM

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Posted by Macon Phillips

Opponents of health insurance reform may find the truth a little inconvenient, but as our second president famously said, “facts are stubborn things.”


Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to “uncover” the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.

In this video, Linda Douglass, the communications director for theWhite House’s Health Reform Office, addresses one example that makes it look like the President intends to “eliminate” private coverage, when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

For the record, the President has consistently said that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them. He has even proposed eight consumer protections relating specifically to the health insurance industry.

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

As I said in a previous post, the Obama administration is now in damage control mode. All the polls out there, scientific or informal, show there is very little support this health care fiasco. Now they’re wanting citizens to turn in their neighbors. There is absolutely no logical reason to put out such a plea other than they want to know specifically who opposes them on this issue. Well, if there are very many who cooperate and rat out their friends, neighbors, and fellow American citizens, they’re going to have a very, very long list that will amount to the majority of Americans. Earlier the Department of Homeland Security classified conservatives as “right-wing extremists” who are threats to domestic security. Now this. It seems I’m making a very elite list of American patriots. I figure they are probably already watching my blog, so that’s OK. Watch on, Washington. I’ll keep on helping you with that troublesome transparency thing.

Now, take the time to visit Ralph Petersen’s blog by clicking HERE. He writes WELL MEANING GENTLEMEN WITH DIFFERENT IDEAS and is a real stand-up American. He wrote a letter to President Obama voluntarily reporting himself as being opposed to Obamacare which included his blog address! I’d like to see the face of whichever of Obama’s aides read this one! Mr. Petersen, my hat’s off to you!









OBAMA’S HOUSE OF CARDS COLLAPSING

The following article must have the Obama administration in “Oh You-Know-What” mode. I’m sure he and his staff are scrambling to try to do damage control. One of the things they and the rest of the liberal left are doing is demonizing the protests against the health care legislation being considered in Congress. The article was written by Scott Rasmussen and posted today on the RASMUSSEN REPORTS. There are some interesting poll numbers in this article that must have Obama and the rest of the leftist Democrats sweating like the proverbial pig.

“Seventy-one percent (71%) of U. S. voters say President Obama’s policies have have increased the size of the Federal deficit.”

“Only five percent (5%) say the president’s policies have cut the deficit, and 10% say they have had no impact. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.”

Wow! Almost three-quarters of U.S. voters! Obama being responsible for increasing the size of the Federal deficit has always been a no-brainer, but it seems people are now paying attention. This is really bad news for Obama. Can’t blame Bush anymore when you consider that the Obama administration and the Democrat dominated Congress have run up the deficit more in six months than the Bush administration did in eight years.

“Not surprisingly, 88% of Republicans blame the president’s policies, compared to 52% of Democrats. But 79% of voters not affiliated with either party agree.”

Over half of the Democrats agree that Obama has driven up the Federal deficit. Really bad news for the Obama administration and the liberal Democrats in Congress.

An interesting statistic is that even though 54% blame the recession that began under the Bush administration for our current economic problems, but get this: 39% say our economic troubles are Obama’s fault. More bad news for Obama.

Let’s keep going: 37% cutting the Federal deficit in half over the next four years is number one among four of Obama’s priorities, but 66% view it as a goal he is unlikely to achieve.

Nearly have think cuts in government spending helps the economy. Even more bad news for Obama considering his excessive deficit spending policies.

And the last one I’ll cover here: “54% of U.S. voters say TAX CUTS (emphasis mine) are more important than new spending for health care reform.” People may be starting to realize that tax cuts increase Federal revenue and boost the economy. I think this is also an indicator people are fed up with the tax burden, and the threat of INCREASING TAXES to pay for Obamacare should it pass. So much for 95% of middle class Americans getting a tax cut as Obama insisted during his campaign.

The 2010 elections are coming . . . and so are we the voters. We’re not forgetting, and as I have said before, we are NOT going away. Congress better start listening to us now. The thunder of dissent is growing . . .

OBAMACARE – HEALTH CARE DISASTER IN THE MAKING

Well, I’m doing it again! I’m doing something that the (Democratic) majority in Congress does not do. I’m actually reading pending legislation!! Wow! An ordinary American citizen, who does not have the opportunity to vote on pending legislation, is reading it! That means I’ll likely know more about it than those supposedly representing us.
I’ve just started reading this 1,017 page monstrosity, and I’ve already found a some things that I think will virtually destroy the health insurance industry. If this passes, I think most employers will drop their health insurance benefits plan entirely and just tell employees Obamacare is their health insurance plan – just like many company’s total retirement plan is a 401K.
Section 102 – erroneously called “Protecting the choice to keep current coverage”. This one’s very simple – it will be straight up illegal for an insurance company to write a health insurance policy after this bill goes into effect. If your employer drops their plan, then it will be against Federal law for an insurance company to write you a healthcare policy.
Section 111prohibition of pre-existing conditons exclusions. I’ll quote it directly: “A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion (as defined in section 2701(b)(1)(A) of the Public Health Service Act) or otherwise impose any limit or condition on the coverage under the plan with respect to an individual or dependent based on any health status-related factors (as defined in section 2791(d)(9) of the Public Health Service Act) in relation to the individual or dependent.” Here we go the the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac housing crisis again. The government told banks and lenders they had to lower their standards. They did so and we all know what happened. Here, the government is telling health insurance carriers to lower their standards. Catch the pattern yet?
Forcing insurance companies to insure those who they might not normally choose to insure will lead to the companies to overextend themselves – that is, assuming they continue to write the policies in the first place. I think many smaller companies would just choose to not write policies and would probably be forced out of business anyway. There’s also nothing in this legislation preventing the premiums for pre-existing conditions applicants from being through the roof. And this legislation is supposed to LOWER health care costs for us? Wrong!
Section 113 – entitled “Insurance Rating Rules”. Get this: “Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner shall submit to Congress and the applicable agencies a report on the study conducted under paragraph (1). Such report shall include any recommendations the Commissioner deems appropriate to ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure . . . ” And where does this “report” come from? A mandated audit of employers who choose to self-insure, that’s where. Within the first year and a half of the effective date of this bill.
Section 123Health Benefits Advisory Committee. Here’s where a government bureaucracy decides what treatments and benefits you will get. Don’t believe it? Just look at who makes up the committee:
“(A) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President.

(B) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States in a manner similar to the manner in which the Comptroller General appoints members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission under section 1805(c) of the Social Security Act.

(C) Such even number of members (not to exceed 8) who are Federal employees and officers, as the President may appoint.

The board members will be made up of representatives of “providers, consumer representatives, employers, labor, health insurance issuers, experts in health care financing, experts in racial and ethnic disparities, experts in care for those with disabilities, representatives of relevant government agencies, and at least one practicing physician, OR other health professional and an expert on children’s health . . . ”

The obvious loophole here is that doctors can be totally excluded. “Other health professional” covers a wide-range of people who are not doctors. Do you REALLY want this group of people deciding what treatment and benefits you get or don’t get?

Section 141 – “Health Choices Administration; Health Choices Commissioner” this establishes still yet another huge government bureaucracy – that’s just what we need, Another government agency.

Section 142 – “Duties and Authority of Commissioner” the Commissioner of the Health Choices Administration makes the choices of your benefits for you. In other words, the government makes the “choices” for you. Not you. This section also authorized the termination of private health insurance plans for not meeting the government’s standards. If this happens to your plan, which it could very easily as vague as the language is in a lot of this bill, then you would be kicked right out of your plan, and right into the Government Insurance Plan, that I otherwise refer to as G.I.P., as in we’re getting “gipped” on this whole deal.

Section 152 – “Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care” ” . . . all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.As vaguely worded as this is, it’s obvious that health insurance will be provided, at taxpayers expense, to all including illegal immigrants or non-U.S. citizens. This is what happened in Tennessee with the implementation of TENNCARE. People who lived out of state were renting an apartment or house just long enough to establish legal residence, then getting the medical treatment they wanted (at Tennessee taxpayer expense) and then going back to their home state. Think this won’t happen on a national scale if this legislation passes?

Section 163 – “Administrative Simplification” – Another section is inserted here, Section 1173 A, Standardize Electronic Administrative Transactions – I’ll just quote subsection D here: “Enable the real time ( or near real time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to the service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilitization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card.” Simply put, the government will have direct access to your personal finances and you will have a national ID card. Still not convinced? I’ll let the Government clear this up with a direct quote from page 59, section (C): “enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automatic reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice.” The Government will be able to go into your bank account and take the money right out of your account.

Section 201 – “Establishment of the Health Insurance Exchange” – this will be under the Health Choices Administration. In short, this brings private health insurance plans under government control.

Section 203 – “Benefits Package Levels” – I’ll quote this one too: “In General. — The Commissioner shall specify the benefits to be made available under Exchange-participating health benefits plans during each plan year . . . ” Again, YOU have no choice. The Government does it for you – like it or not.

Section 225 – “Provider Participation” – The government establishes what a doctor will be paid for treatment services that participate in the public health plan.

I’m going to stop here because this thing is so long, and I figure I’ve bored you enough! You get the idea. To summarize: 1) the government will decide what benefits you get on your private health plan; 2) the government will determine how much doctors will get paid for their services; 3) the government will have direct access to your bank account (and what do the identity theft experts say about giving your bank account number out to ANYONE?); 4) after this bill takes effect, it will be illegal for a private health insurance plan to be offered. If you change jobs, you will not be able to enroll in anything but Obamacare; if your employer drops your private health insurance plan (which is very likely many will do), then you will have no choice but to enroll in Obamacare; 5) the government will ration health care.

This is only a partial summary, but I think you can see where this is going. Obamacare is not about building on a system that already works as Obama said. Just what I’ve posted here makes it clear that private health insurance would eventually phase out. Which means that this is not about access to health care as everyone under current Federal law has access, but this is about a complete government takeover of the healthcare system of the United States. It will be disastrous for the economy, jobs will be lost, costs will rise dramatically, and the quality of your healthcare will become substandard.

One last point – there is very little support for this legislation. Every poll out there, including informal polls such as the one on OPEN CONGRESS show overwhelming opposition. Passage of this bill could start a shift in Congress next year with the coming elections. Incumbents who support this Communistic plan stand a good chance of being fired by their constituents when their terms are up.

Flood the e-mail inboxes, and jam the telephone switchboards. Tell them you are against this and plan to vote against anyone who votes for it. This must be stopped, or there will be grave consequences.