Congressional Leaders React to Obama’s Jobs Plan



  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I have serious questions about the level of spending.”
  • Presidential Contender/Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA): “All the ideas that didn’t work with 850 billion dollars he now wants to try to get it to work with 450 billion. He has zero pay-fors. He’s got to quit being a candidate, and actually be president for awhile.”
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): “He didn’t tell us where the money is coming from.  Many of these proposals just won’t work.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “This isn’t a jobs plan. It’s a re-election plan. That’s why Republicans will continue to press for policies to empower job creators, not DC. Obama’s economic policies don’t work. His jobs plan is to try these same policies again, and then accuse anyone who doesn’t support them of being political or overly partisan.”
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX): co-chairman of the “supercommittee” on deficit reduction: “The President wants us to find additional budget savings to pay for his $447 billion jobs plan. By asking the Joint Select Committee to increase the $1.5 trillion target to cover the full cost of his plan, the president is essentially tasking a committee designed to reduce the deficit to pay for yet another round of stimulus.”
  • Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI): Chairman, Ways and Means Committee: “We already have a difficult job trying to reduce the deficit with very little cooperation from the Democrats. Now he has given us a plan that won’t reduce the deficit by one penny. He wants us to spend more money on the same programs which have produced so few jobs.”
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Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Libyan Questions that MUST be answered before we continue with Operation Odyssey Dawn.


A multi phased mission, deceivingly named Operation Odyssey Dawn, involves several nations with the lead position being held by the US, the French and the British military forces against Muammar Qaddafi forces in Libya, after the nations became convinced that the Libyan leader was not adhering to a United Nations mandated cease fire.

The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan have also agreed to provide humanitarian or logistical support.

Together- US & Britain launched 128 Tomahawk missiles on areas of deemed “threat” by Pro Qaddafi forces.

With the UN’s help- Libyan opposition forces claimed victory Saturday over Muammar Qaddafi’s forces in a strategically located in the Eastern city but the battle in the West raged as loyalists tanks resumed shelling Misrata, the city next to Tripoli (Libyas capital) and are setting up camp, after a recent victory for the opposition, in Ajdabiya.

With the importance of Ajdabiya and its strategic location that sits on the path to Tripoli, this could be seen as a turning point favoring Anti-Qaddafi protesters with the Western gate falling on Thursday and the Western  Gate falling on Friday

However, at this point it still is yet to be determined WHO the Anti-Qaddafi protesters actually are?

A number of on the ground contacts state that the leadership falls under Al Qaeda with Hezbollah and Hamas thrown in for extra volatility.

At this point, Britain & France have stated that a no fly zone has been established with Italy pushing for all the nations involved to fall under NATO command.

A NATO structure is still being finalized at this point, however it is said that the US would report to Canadian Lt. General  Bouchard who will be assigned as the joint task force commander (which pleases me greatly as I am French-Canadian) and one thing that I can tell you about Canadians is that they have a great appreciation for the US as their Southern neighbor. I feel that we would be in “safe” hands.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in a news conference that “NATO is in the beginning stages of operation.”

However, it is at THIS point that the United States should retreat and get our bearings together. To continue this fight without huddling back in the US would be a GRAVE mistake.

Before we even continue doing ANYTHING with Libya, Obama MUST get congressional approval and explain to the American People , where much disapproval abounds, a long term plan AND budget, how much this war is going to cost, and an exit strategy.

Let’s learn from our war in Afghanistan and not fight a fuzzy battle of “hope and change”. We need clear cut definition and directive not to mention a declaration of war, as required in the US Constitution, if Congress approves this costly action.

We need to gather our bearings as Obama has said one thing about the war but does the exact opposite. This is not news to us who have been following Obama since the 2010 election. This is a pattern of his; however, now its serious because our US military service men & women lives are stake.

There are several questions that need to be answered before we continue with military operations in Libya. For example;

1. The name Operation Odyssey Dawn.  Is Obama not aware of Homer’s Ilaid and Odyssey where Odysessus travels almost 10 years to get back home to Ithaca? But if you ask Obama, he sees our involvement will be quick. There’s a disconnect. What is the timeline for our involvement in Libya? Obama said it will be “short” but there are serious long term implications if we wage war with Libya as we are all interconnected.

2.  Obama did not consult with Congress before going into this war. He did not set forth a long term plan, budget or exit strategy. It is unclear as to how much this war will cost us. What we do know is that it costs approximately $575, 000 for each cruise missile fired.

At this point, there were 112 confirmed missiles fired and then 16 missiles were said to be fired in a second round (AFTER Obama said he would not send any more missiles because of the exorbitant cause and massive amount of innocent Libyan lives).

That comes to 128 Tomahawk Cruise missiles being fired which results in a WHOPPING $73.6 MILLION.  That price does not include the overhead and maintenance costs of our Airforce & Navy.

3. Obama states that his goal is to get rid of Qaddafi’s power but not Qaddafi. Oh; so we are just going to make Qaddafi angry enough to ban oil exports to the US?  Is Obama planning on having a divided Libya where Qaddafi controls the West side and the unknown rebels control the East? How is this supposed to work in our benefit again?

4. Where is the Arab League? Qater has flown fighter jets overhead but that is the only member who has stepped up to the plate. They asked for our help, as most of you know, I have stated since the beginning that we SHOULD NOT TAKE A ROLE LEAD IN LIBYA. Yet, that is EXACTLY what we are doing. This is not OUR fight. We need to step back and let Libya decide the history of Libya.

5. Where does  Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey and Italy stand in this fight?  Can we count on their support? Would they be willing to be a lead player in this human rights correction?

6. If we are going to war with Libya because of a human rights violation- do we set the same standard for the other middle east countries doing the same thing? At present count, I have noted 11 areas of disrest. 1. Afghanistan 2. Iraq 3. Tunisia 4. Egypt 5. Libya 6. Bahrain 7. Jordan 8. Yemen 9. Algeria  10. Iran and now 11. Syria.

7. What is the operational budget and how much it is going to cost us taxpayers? I know its  a hard concept for Obama to grasp but money does not grow on trees.

8. What is the exit strategy? How can we avoid another Afghanistan or Vietnam?

9. Who are these Anti-Qaddafi forces really? What do we know about them? From I understand they are a mixture of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas.

If that is the case, why are we going to support them? Their way of life is VERY different from ours- do you really think they will cater to the US like Libya has?? Really? Im sure their definition of freedom is VERY different than our definition.

We need to do a serious background check on these people before we commit time, money, arms and military.

10. If we get into this war, is there a possibility of WW3?  As it looks to me, I see two very distinct sides of this equation.

On one side, stands the US, Israel, Jordan, Yemen, France, Britain, Europe, Canada, South Korea (hopefully Saudi Arabia), Italy, Japan and the Arab League

Against Group B-of  Libya, Old Egypt, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Iran, North Korea, Russia (and more than likely, China).

Read more about the WW3 implications by visiting: https://theheartofamerica.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/is-wwwiii-in-the-near-future-qaddafis-latin-american-allies-blast-military-attacks/

Does anybody else see this potential line up?  If this happens, what are the repercussions and cost of that?! How can WW3 be avoided if we do decide (which I advise AGAINST) to get involved in Libya.

11. Are we prepared to lose Libya’s oil supply? What steps can we do to lessen our foreign dependence on oil?  I can hear the drill baby drill crowd chanting and I am supportive of drilling in preapproved areas as long as we dont add any NEW drilling in the Gulf.  So what other means are available? Plenty and the majority of them can be implemented simulatenously.

So many, in fact, I created a radio show especially to showcase how we can lower our gas cost. Listen here by visiting: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/heart-of-america-radio/2011/03/10/hoas-gus-guzzler-special-edition-03102011

There are many questions that need to be answered and Obama needs to be honest about his stance and his vision of the US involvement in Libya.

So what can WE do about it? For starters, you can contact:

Obama’s staff directly at 1-202-456-1111. Try it, you get to talk to a live person. I  have memorized this number, I call it so much.

Tell them that we need to regroup and figure out the long term plan and exit strategy as well as the cost and the increase in taxes (its either an increase in taxing or cutting more programs to balance!) and how us going into Libya in an attempt to get cheaper oil is a risky investment and not one that you are willing to take, not with a $14.3 trillion dollar debt haunting our children and grandchildren and no clear definition, direction, exit strategy or budget.

Also, make it a point to contact your Senators and Representatives to put more pressure on them and encourage them to stand up against President Obama (we elected them to be our voice!)

Representative Search: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Senate Search: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

Finally, dont be afraid to contact your local news media and speak up! The Truth needs to be heard and it is up to US to deliver it. You can do it, I believe in you. If you need help getting started, email me at Theheartofamerica@wordpress.com and Ill help point you in the right direction.

Obama may have preached about hope and change and while change is certainly occurring. I have found many people to have lost their hope and that is a dangerous slippery slope that must be avoided at all costs.

Stay hopeful, stay faithful- Together we will solve this problem and work towards bettering our children’s future. That I promise you.

Copyright (c) March 26, 2011. All rights reserved.

Social Security will run deficits this year. We need a long term plan.


Senate Democrats led by Sens. Charles Schumer and Bernie Sanders are gearing up for a battle with House Republicans over Social Security benefits.

Senate Democrats have unified over the issue after President Obama stayed away from proposing a cut in Social Security benefits at Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Democratic pollsters warned that if Obama called for raising the retirement age, it would create a schism in the party.

House Republicans have discussed advancing a proposal to privatize Medicare in the budget plan they expect to unveil in the next few weeks.

House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling  said Wednesday that many Republicans would support a proposal floated by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan  to convert Medicare into a voucher system in which beneficiaries would receive $11,000 on average to buy certified plans.

Ryan has also called for letting workers under the age of 55 invest a third of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts.

Mike Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner,  has pointed out that Obama has also signaled support for Social Security reform.

“President Obama and Republicans agree on the need to reform Social Security to protect benefits for future generations,” he said. “It seems like some of the President’s Democratic allies on Capitol Hill haven’t gotten the memo from the White House.”

The president said Thursday the solution should not slash benefits for future generations or subject benefits “to the whims of the stock market.”

Schumer, Sanders and several other Democrats have formed the Senate Social Security Caucus, which held its first meeting Thursday.

The meeting came a day after the Congressional Budget Office reported that Social Security would begin running deficits this year. The trust fund is projected to take in $130 billion less in payroll taxes than it will pay out in benefits.

Most of that deficit is due to a one-year payroll tax break that President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last year, which knocked the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011.

It is also generally acknowledged that the trust fund will no longer be able to pay out 100 percent of benefits beginning in 2039.

Influential Republican senators have proposed raising the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 69, using a formula that Congress agreed to in the 1980s.

“We know what to do on Social Security. I put a proposal on the table adjusting the age from 67 to 69,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday. “I don’t know how in the heck we save this country from bankruptcy if we don’t reform entitlements.

Although based on reports, raising the retirement age is not going to add a large enough chunk to the social security deficit. Additionally, I have yet to hear how this would be implemented and what the age bracket cut off would be.

The other members of the Social Security Caucus are Sens. Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Daniel Akaka, Barbara Boxer and Debbie Stabenow.

A fourth Republican senator, Jerry Moran, joined the caucus, which also includes Sens. Jim DeMint, Rand Paul and Mike Lee.  A fifth GOP senator, Pat Toomey, sat in on the meeting.

“The fact that five senators are for privatizing Social Security shows we’re not crying wolf here,” Schumer said. “This is a serious movement to undo the most successful government program of the 20th century.”

Brown said: “If they have five senators already in the first month of January, it’s likely going to be a major thrust of the Republican effort.”

We all know that Social Security is in serious trouble and reform must be made in order for it to keep producing enough money to take care of the Baby Boom Generation.

I truly dont think raising the retirement age a couple of years is going to produce the results needed to make a difference.

I have reservations about the social security waver idea being proposed and will have to research into that more.  What are YOUR thoughts? Is that a good way to tackle the lack of funding issue? Please comment below.

I have always been a supporter of privatizing Social Security but I realize that they still need money from the younger generation to help fund the program.

I have accepted and have come to terms with that so I was thrilled when Representative Ryan suggested that we allow 1/3 of our social security taxes to be privatized while reducing the benefits the younger generation received. That’s the best of both worlds.

Either way, I am thrilled that Congress is noting my concern about Social Security. Now if we can only stop the infighting and get to working on a real proposal before its too late.

Copyright (c) February 3, 2011. All rights reserved.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Read my lips, no new taxes”


Amongst numerous other reasons to oppose the new healthcare reform law, a sharp tax increase can be added to the list.

Yet, I thought Obama stated time and time again, that there would be no new taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year? Perhaps he never read the 2000+ health care bill, wouldn’t surprise me- a majority of our Representatives who supported it did not read it either.

Let’s take a closer look into the bill and see what type of new taxes or elimination of current taxes (which, by default, would raise our taxes) which will households that fall well under the $250,00 mark.

1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax ranging from $95-1390 or 2.5% AGI.

2. Employer Mandate Tax

If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.

If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

3. Surtax on Investment Income

This increase involves the creation of a new 3.8% surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).

3. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).  CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

4. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax

1.45% raised to 2.35% and for self employed-  the tax increases from 2.9% to 3.8%.

5. Medicine Cabinet Tax.

Americans will be no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

6. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike

Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

7. Flexible Spending Account Cap (aka Speak Needs Kids Tax)

Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

8. Tax on Medical Device Manufactuers

Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.

9. Raise Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI.

Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

9. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services.

10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons.

10. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage.

11. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals.

$50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS.

12. Corporate 1099 Information Reporting.

Requires businesses to send 1099 forms to IRS any work you that exceed $600 which will result in a multitude of paperwork hurting small businesses.

13. “Black liquor” tax hike.

This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

14. Real Estate Tax

3.8% tax on the sale of real estate  starting in 2013.

14. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”.

This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

The Good news is, according to the Tax Payer Protection Pledge, we should be able to count on at least 41 Senators voting to repeal this health care law. That is, if Senatory Harry Reid doesnt buck the voice of the American people and prohibit the repeal from being discussed on the Senate  floor.

Copyright (c) January 20, 2011. All rights reserved.