As Democrats Block The Effort To Repeal ObamaCare, Job Creators Struggle With The Law’s Consequences
‘Excessive Costs And Regulatory Burdens That Threaten Their Very Business’
For Virginia restaurateur “cost of the penalty could put him out of business.” “John Motta, who owns 10 Dunkin’ Donuts in New Hampshire and 10 in Virginia, said he offers workers a choice of two insurance plans and pays half the premiums. He is weighing whether to drop coverage but said the cost of the penalty could put him out of business in Virginia, where his stores are struggling.” (“Small Firms See Pain In Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)
National Restaurant Association: “Restaurant owners are looking for solutions that will allow them to provide better health care coverage options for their team members, but they cannot be saddled with excessive costs and regulatory burdens that threaten their very business.” (National Restaurant Association, Press Release, 6/28/12)
Small Businesswoman: ‘ObamaCare Is Making Me Think About Cutting Jobs’
“Randall Tabor, who owns two Quiznos sandwich restaurants in Virginia Beach, Va., once aspired to triple the number of outlets he owns. But after the federal health-care overhaul passed in 2010, Mr. Tabor says, he shelved those plans. The law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance to employees by 2014 or pay a penalty. Mr. Tabor, who employs 36 people at his two Quiznos shops and another restaurant, wants to stay small so he doesn’t trigger the requirement. … ‘I don’t have the profit margin to pay for it,’ says Mr. Tabor…” (“Small Firms See Pain In Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)
“A Texas pizza restaurant owner has shelved her plans to open a new location because she does not yet know how ObamaCare will impact her business. ‘I want to grow and hire more people, but ObamaCare is making me think about cutting jobs instead,’ Judy Nichols, a Papa John’s pizza restaurant owner said.” (“Texas Pizza Restaurant Owner Not Expanding Or Hiring Because Of Obamacare,” Examiner.Com, 7/30/12)
‘Law Will Add Between $10,000 And $30,000 In Added Annual Costs’ To Restaurant Franchises
“McDonald’s Corp. Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen told analysts last week that the law will add between $10,000 and $30,000 in added annual costs to each of the 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., 89% of which are franchisee-owned.” (“Small Firms See Pain in Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)
WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. House of Representatives advanced another pro-growth solution by passing The Pathway to Job Creation Through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act. Following yesterday’s decisive vote to stop the President’s looming tax increases, today’s legislation provides for expedited consideration of tax reform legislation in 2013.
After the vote, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan issued the following statement:
“Yesterday, the House took action to prevent a massive tax increase from hitting every family and small business in the county. Today, we took another step closer toward enacting common-sense tax reform, a critical component of reforms needed to get our economy growing again.
“Our tax code has become an antiquated and complex maze that stifles economic growth and job creation. The tax code is littered with special-interest loopholes that prioritize the politically connected at the expense of hardworking American taxpayers. These special interest carve outs not only disproportionately benefit the well off, but they also narrow the tax base and lead to higher marginal tax rates to make up the lost revenue.
“The President’s demands for greater complexity and higher tax rates are at odds with a growing bipartisan consensus for reform that lowers rates and broadens the tax base. The House Republican budget included a framework for tax reform and I applaud Chairman Dave Camp of the Ways and Means Committee for his leadership on this front. With the right leadership in the White House, I have no doubt we will reform the tax code to make it fair, simple, and geared toward creating jobs and increasing economic growth.”
Efforts to protect the environment in America have ignored the most powerful force for improving the environment: free people. The results of these misguided policies have been higher energy prices, lower incomes, less access to resources, and technological stagnation—often failing to produce tangible environmental benefits.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with fellow experts on the environment, has published a new benchmark for progress: the American Conservation Ethic.
The Ethic reflects every American’s aspiration to make the environment cleaner, healthier, and safer for future generations. It is based on eight basic principles that were first published in 1996 and provides a roadmap to environmentally sound prosperity.
Much of the policy that has come to guide American actions on the environment is not based on scientific integrity. Heritage’s Dr. David Kreutzer and Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist formerly with NASA who is a research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, examine this in a chapter on carbon dioxide:
Any discussion of carbon dioxide regulation must begin by noting two facts: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 emissions have likely contributed to the observed warming of the past 50 years. The calls for CO2 regulation, however, are not based on these facts; rather, the current regulatory hysteria is the result of misinformation regarding the projected future levels of warming, as well as exaggerations over how much any future warming could be attributed to anthropogenic CO2. In addition, extreme weather events are increasingly attributed to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, despite a lack of evidence for any long-term change in these events.
Each chapter analyzes the effectiveness of the policies the U.S. has been pursuing and makes recommendations for moving forward with smart solutions that fix the problems of years past, protect and bolster individual property rights, and provide real benefits. The American Conservation Ethic addresses these major issues:
- Expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current EPA is on an unprecedented regulatory spree that jeopardizes electric reliability, jobs, U.S. competitiveness, and state economies. How can we reform it?
- Regulating carbon dioxide. Though it is colorless, odorless, non-toxic, and critical to photosynthesis, carbon dioxide (CO2) has been rebranded as a pollutant harmful to human health. This transformation—based on exaggeration and misinformation—is now fueling misguided calls for CO2 regulation.
- Property ownership and land management. The federal government owns nearly one-third of the United States, and it continues to take more through regulatory takings of private property. There is no way the government can manage that amount of land with good stewardship. Recent Supreme Court decisions have undermined individual property rights, pointing to a need for Congress to act to protect what the Framers of the Constitution called “the guardian of every other right.”
- Effectiveness of environmental legislation. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Endangered Species Act have been governing much of environmental policy for the last few decades. This has given experts time to assess the consequences—both intended and unintended—of these laws. The authors address ways that these laws are now out of sync with the environmental, political, social, and economic realities of today, and what should be done about it.
- Thinking globally, acting locally. How does the United Nations affect environmental policy here in America? The authors address the need for local and regional management of environmental issues so that those closest to the resources are responsible for managing them.
What is the point of environmental policy? The Ethic states that:
Environmental policies should inspire people to be good stewards. Through human creativity, we develop new sources of needed materials, more efficient means of collecting them, or substitutes for them—as well as the technology necessary to do so.
Economic growth is positively correlated with life expectancy, which is one of the most critical measurements of environmental policies—are people better off? There is a direct and positive relationship between free-market economies and a clean, healthy, and safe environment. Ownership inspires stewardship. To put this to work for our Earth and our people, we must work to decouple conservation policies from government regulation.
Two Years After Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Crowed That America Is ‘On The Road To Recovery,’ The Economy Continues To Sputter
SEC. TIM GEITHNER: “Welcome to the recovery … a review of recent data on the American economy shows that we are on a path back to growth … on the road to recovery” (Sec. Geithner, “Welcome To The Recovery,” The New York Times, 8/3/10)
RECENT DATA: ‘Economy Weak’
BEA: “Real gross domestic product … increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012…” (“Table 8. Real Gross Domestic Product: Percent Change From Quarter One Year Ago,” Bureau Of Economic Analysis, 7/27/12)
· “Economy weak in second quarter … The U.S. economy has never been so sluggish this long into a recovery.” (USA Today, 7/27/12)
· “The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling…” (AP, 7/27/12)
Recent Months: Job Creation ‘Paltry,’ ‘Americans Joining Disability Now Outpacing Americans Finding Jobs,’ ‘Factory Sector Shrank,’ ‘Exports Dropped’
Current Unemployment Rate 8.2%. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/6/12)
· “Employers added a paltry 80,000 jobs last month…” (“U.S. Added 80,000 Jobs In June As Economy Struggles,” The Washington Post, 7/6/12)
· “The downbeat report is likely to put pressure on the Federal Reserve, Congress and the White House to do more to stimulate economic growth and new jobs.” (“U.S. Added 80,000 Jobs In June As Economy Struggles,” The Washington Post, 7/6/12)
“Americans joining disability now outpacing Americans finding jobs.” (“Americans Joining Disability Now Outpacing Americans Finding Jobs,” The Weekly Standard, 7/17/12)
· “Disabled worker beneficiary statistics… Awards Number: 2012 Jul … 83,061.” (“Selected Data from Social Security’s Disability Program,” Social Security Administration, Accessed 8/2/12)
· “Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June (+80,000)…” (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/6/12)
“The U.S. factory sector shrank in July for the second straight month, and gauges of future activity suggest weakness will continue into the fall.” (“Factories Lose Steam As Global Fears Rise,” Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)
“Exports dropped for a second consecutive month, while a gauge of factory employment—until now a bright spot—fell sharply to 52 from 56.6. That shows that while firms are still hiring, they are worried about whether they will actually need workers.” (“Factories Lose Steam As Global Fears Rise,” Wall Street Journal, 8/1/12)
‘More Young Adults Living With Parents’
“More of today’s twenty-and-thirty-somethings are living with their parents than in generations before them. … About 17 percent of the adults between the ages of 20 to 34 lived with their parents in 1980, compared with 24 percent during the Great Recession period…” (“STUDY: More Young Adults Living With Parents,” National Journal, 8/1/12)
· “The rise was sharpest among those under 25 — a new high of 43% vs. 32% in 1980.” (“Adult Kids Living At Home On The Rise Across The Board,” USA Today, 8/1/12)
Berkley Suddenly Claims She Opposes Panel Of Bureaucrats to Ration Medicare After Voting for It Over and Over and Over again
(Las Vegas, NV) – If Congresswoman Berkley had reservations about creating a panel of fifteen Washington bureaucrats and handing them power to deny Medicare benefits for seniors, she certainly did nothing to stop it. That’s why it was news to Nevadans that today she claimed to be against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), even after she voted for it over and over again.
Berkley’s Words: “Like Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley believes that Congress is better equipped to address patient care than an independent board.” – Shelley Berkley spokeswoman (Anjeanette Damon, “Attacks aside, Heller and Berkley actually agree philosophically on Medicare,” Las Vegas Sun, August 2, 2012)
(Editor’s Note: Dean Heller does not believe Congress is equipped to address patient care. He believes doctors are.)
Berkley’s Action: Shelley Berkley sat in the Majority Party on the very committee that wrote the health care bill. And still, she did nothing to stop or change it. She offered no amendments, no objections, nothing. If she didn’t like the Independent Payment Advisory Board, she did nothing to keep it from becoming the law of the land.
Berkley’s Action: Shelley Berkley voted for final for passage of ObamaCare, which created the panel in the first place. (House Vote 165 – HR 3590, HR3590, March 21, 2010)
Berkley’s Action: Shelley Berkley doubled-down on her support for IPAB and voted against repealing ObamaCare. (House Vote 14 – HR 2, HR2, January 19, 2011)
Berkley’s Action: Shelley Berkley had the opportunity to leave the health care law mostly intact, and vote specifically to repeal IPAB. Still, she voted to the party-line, and voted to keep the panel in place. (House Vote – HR 5 Roll Call Vote 126, March 22, 2012)
By Reid’s Logic, Shelley Berkley Used Her Office To Enrich Herself, Until She Proves Otherwise
WASHINGTON — After calling the President of the United States a loser and the Federal Reserve Chairman a political hack, yesterday Harry Reid sunk to a new low when he hurled the baseless claim that Governor Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years.
Reid’s undignified statement is remarkable, given that he’s claimed that his liberal protégé, embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is innocent, despite the fact that 5 of her Democrat colleagues believe that it’s very possible the Congresswoman used her office to enrich herself.
“Once again Democrat Leader Harry Reid has embarrassed himself, the State of Nevada and his Democrat colleagues in the U.S. Senate by hurling a wild accusation that he cannot verify,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Jahan Wilcox. “Given Reid’s belief that one is guilty until proven innocent, then according to his logic he must believe Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is guilty of using her office to enrich herself.”
As NV Leads Nation in Unemployment, Berkley Votes to Kill 6,000 NV Jobs
(Las Vegas, NV) – Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley made yet another election-year flip-flop, this time deciding it was better to side with President Obama and Nancy Pelosi rather than protecting 6,000 Nevada jobs. Congresswoman Berkley voted against extending tax cuts for small businesses, less than two years after voting to keep the current tax rates in place.
“Congresswoman Berkley, you agreed it was important to extend tax cuts on small businesses less than two years ago, but now you think we should raise taxes? During a recession? Today’s vote was a flip-flop during an election year, plain and simple.
“Siding with Nancy Pelosi and voting for a bill that would could cost more than 6,000 jobs in Nevada and shrink the state’s economy by $1.7 billion will not help Nevadans get back to work. Nevada’s small businesses cannot afford this tax increase, especially when they are trying to create jobs for the 11.6 percent of Nevadans that are unemployed,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
In 2010, Shelley Berkley voted to extend all tax cuts, including for those who earned above $250,000 (H.R. 4853, December 16, 2010 House Roll Call Vote #647)
Today, Shelley Berkley voted against H.R. 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012, which would extend tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003 and reaffirmed in 2010. (H.R. 8, House Roll Call Vote #545)
The Democrats tax hike plan could destroy 710,000 jobs. (Robert Carroll and Gerald Prante, “Long-Run Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing Tax Rates on High-Income Taxpayers in 2013,” Ernst & Young, July 2012, Appendix C)
And according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 940,000 small businesses would get hit by Democrats’ latest tax hike. “So the 2013 tax cliff is a big enough economic problem that President Obama now wants to postpone it for some taxpayers. But it isn’t so big that he’s willing to curb his desire to raise taxes on tens of thousands of job-creating businesses.” (Editorial, “Off the Tax Cliff He Goes,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/12/2012)