Archive for Freedomworks

A Case You Should Know About From Each Circuit Court: Part 1

No matter which circuit boundary you live in, the activism in the courts throughout the country affect you and your rights. Take a gander at the cases below to see the precedents being established that are threatening your civil liberties.

1st Circuit: United States v. Jose Baez

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives placed a GPS monitoring device on Baez’s car – without a warrant – and tracked him for nearly a full year. A previous court decision established that this warrantless tracking is excusable if it’s only for 11 days under a “good-faith” exception. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that GPS tracking of this nature does constitute a 4th Amendment search, in which a warrant is necessary. Ignoring both of these precedents, the 1st Circuit ruled that the GPS monitoring of Baez’ vehicle didn’t violate any of his rights and thus dismissed Baez’s appeal and complaints. Read the full decision here.

2nd Circuit: C.L. v. Scarsdale Union Free School District

According to federal law, states are required to develop an Individual Education Plan for each disabled student that works in conjunction with the child’s right to Free Appropriate Public Education. C.L.’s public school declined to create an education plan for him so his parents enrolled him to attend a private school and looked to the State for reimbursement for the education costs. The 2nd Circuit Court, reversing the decision of the lower courts, ruled in favor of C.L. and his parents, granting them money for tuition costs since the public school did not adequately uphold its federally mandated responsibilities of being an adequate education provider. Read the full decision here.

3rd Circuit: Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v. Aichele

In order to be on the ballot in Pennsylvania without being a registered Democrat or Republican, a candidate must submit extra paperwork, which can impose additional administrative and litigation costs. A group of independent, politically natured organizations filed suit against the Attorney General in order to challenge the validity and fairness of these practices. The 3rd Circuit Court ruled in favor of the organizations, affirming that the groups have adequate grounds to their case. The case was remanded for further proceedings. Read the full decision here.

4th Circuit: PPL EnergyPlus, LLC v. Nazarian

In an attempt to affect electricity rates within its borders, Maryland subsidized the construction of a new power plant. EnergyPlus, an established electricity company who would be a competitor against this new plant, filed suit against the State claiming that the effects on the electricity rates would have interstate repercussions and thus need to be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), not the state of Maryland. The 4th Circuit Court ruled against the State, establishing that Maryland is not allowed to subsidize the power plant or have control over its electricity rates in this way because it infringes upon the power of the federal powers at play – the FERC. Read the full decision here.

5th Circuit: The Arkansas Project v. Bryan Shaw

The Arkansas Project, asserting power under the Endangered Species Act, filed suit against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its work on withdrawing water from certain interstate rivers. The Arkansas Project moved to establish an injunction on these rivers because whooping cranes are known to nest there in the winter. The District Court granted the injunction, prohibiting the Commission’s work. The 5th Circuit reversed this decision, ruling that by granting an injunction, the lower court had approved a government taking without compensation. In addition, the Court found that the wellbeing of the whooping cranes in relation to the water withdrawal could not be proven as a cause and effect relationship. Read the full decision here.

Check out the Judicial Reform Page

Powered by WPeMatico

Let the ObamaCare Architect Speak

Defenders of ObamaCare are finding themselves in an odd place. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the law’s mandates and subsidies can only apply to citizens through a state-established health exchange, based on Section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act. Only 16 states actually have these exchanges and only these 16 states can enforce the mandates and subsidies, the core of the Affordable Care Act.

This means that the subsidies granted and the mandates enforced in the 34 states with federally-established exchanges could be illegal. However, an identical case (King v. Burwell) in the 4th Circuit Court upheld the legality of the subsidies and an appeal against the Halbig case is likely. Regardless, there is momentum going forward against the law.

Of course, those who want greater government control over health care are not content with the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling. Though the actual text of the law requires subsidies to be delivered via “an exchange established by the State,” many on the left attacked the decision as a misinterpretation of the original intent of the law. After all, the groundswell of anger against ObamaCare in many conservative states would render the law nearly useless in those states and would halt the federal assault on health care.

So, how does one find the original intent of the law? Through the architect!

But at least one of these architects, “Mr. Mandate”, apparently agrees with his critics. Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and comic book author who helped write the Affordable Care Act and claims to be more knowledgeable about the law than any other in his field, has repeatedly (at least here and here) asserted that citizens can only obtain the subsidies in states that have set up health exchanges. He says that “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

In fact, he says that the possibility that many states will opt out of creating their own exchanges is the “ultimate threat” facing the implementation of ObamaCare. If this is such a threat, why are other advocates of the law writing off Halbig v. Burwell as “shamefully dishonest”? Now that most states have refused to set up exchanges, the law is in trouble and progressives are on the defensive.

To force the entire country into this quagmire, regulators would have to extend their reach beyond the original scope of the law. Gruber’s comments should give freedom-loving people hope that the argument of Halbig v. Burwell, combined with continued grassroots opposition, may be strong enough to end this disastrous and unconstitutional law once and for all.

Powered by WPeMatico

Ten Reasons the IRS Shouldn't Be in Charge of ObamaCare

Who's sticking their nose into your health care?

The IRS has been in the news a lot lately, but with all the hubbub of corruption and scandal, it’s easy to forget that they are also the agency in charge of enforcing and implementing the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as ObamaCare. Here are the top ten reasons why the IRS should keep its hands off your healthcare choices.

1. The IRS is prone to political corruption
Ever since the news broke that the IRS has been selectively targeting conservative organizations, the fiction of the organization’s non-partisanship has been exposed to the harsh light of day. We now know that the IRS can be, and is being, used as a political tool to advance a particular agenda and penalize those who dare dissent. It is troubling enough that this happened in the midst of a major presidential election, but in the case of health care, when lives are literally at stake, the potential for abuse is so great as to be positively chilling.
**
2. The IRS either can’t or won’t keep track of its own records**
During the investigation of Lois Lerner, the IRS claimed to have lost emails belonging first to her, then to six of her colleagues and now to an unspecified number of people “less than 20.” This is in violation of laws that require the IRS to keep records of all official emails. Either the agency is incapable of maintaining records, or they have deliberately destroyed them in violation of the law. Either way, these are not the people you want handling your health care data.

3. The IRS lacks the resources to handle the task
Politico has reported that the IRS lacked the manpower to handle even the ordinary workload of tax returns. The tax code is a bloated monstrosity of over 73,000 pages, to which changes are being made at a rate of more than one every day. The Affordable Care Act adds an additional 47 new duties and enforcement powers to an already overburdened agency with no clear guidelines for how the additional work is to be handled.

4. The IRS lacks accountability and is not interested in upholding the law
White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer, when asked about legality of the IRS targeting conservative groups on ABC’s “This Week” said: “The law is irrelevant….Whether it’s legal or illegal doesn’t matter.” How can we expect an agency that doesn’t respect or show interest in the law to properly enforce it?

5. The IRS is only interested in its own budget, not your freedoms
At a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller offered the following excuse for the agency’s discriminatory practices: “it would be good to have a little budget that would allow us to get more than the number of people we have” How a small budget leads necessarily towards political profiling, however, remains obscure.

6. ObamaCare is outside the scope of the IRS’ intended purpose
The purpose of the IRS is, and always has been, to collect and administer the federal income tax. In most cases, other taxes such as property taxes, payroll taxes and sales taxes are relegated to other agencies that have the expertise and specialization needed to properly administer them. The Affordable Care Act is dramatically expanding the role of the IRS into areas for which it is not prepared, and which are wholly inappropriate regarding its historical function.

7. IRS officials are either inept, dishonest or both
In the Congressional Hearings regarding the IRS’ misconduct, former Commissioner Miller responded to an alarming number of questions by alleging that he didn’t know, couldn’t remember, or wasn’t sure. He was unable to name his employees, had no opinion on the appropriateness of certain actions, and generally claimed ignorance of much of the operations for the agency of which he was nominally in charge. If he is to be believed, then the least that can be said is that the IRS is wracked with incompetence, and should by no means be allowed to have any fraction of the power the Affordable Care Act would grant it. On the other hand, if Miller is not to be believed, that simply raises a whole different, though equally serious, problem.

8. The IRS takes every opportunity to pry into your personal life
One of the many troubling facts to emerge from the recent scandal was the incredibly personal nature of some of the questions asked to groups applying for non-profit status. On some occasions, the IRS demanded resumes from all employees, the nature of personal relationships between individuals and even the contents of employees’ prayers. If this level of detail is required for a simple business matter, one can only imagine how the sorts of intimate medical records we will be expected to fork over when the IRS is granted supervision over our health care.

9. The IRS does not respect the confidentiality of private records
And speaking of medical records, a class action lawsuit has been filed in California alleging that the IRS has illegally seized the medical records of ten million Americans. The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS is now building “the largest personal information database the government has ever attempted.” With the IRS being given the power to grant subsidies and impose penalties relating to health insurance, expect privacy to become a thing of the past.

10. The Internal Revenue Code is too complex as it is
The Internal Revenue Code comprises tens of thousands of pages of dense legalese, updated, altered and revised hundreds of times every year. While the IRS is theoretically an independent agency, it is still affected by the decisions made in Congress. Public Choice Theory in economics teaches us that the incentives faced by legislators lead inexorably to greater and greater complexities in an already hopelessly Byzantine code, as special interest groups continually push for exceptions, deductions and subsidies. For a law to be effective, the least that should be demanded is that the citizens be able to understand the regulations they are expected to follow. The IRS has a proven track record of failing in this requirement.

In short, the IRS has proven at every turn that it cannot be trusted with power. The Affordable Care Act results in the grossly irresponsible move of giving it to them in spades. The ability to control a citizen’s health care options through the administration of subsidies and taxes at will is a responsibility far too great to be handled by so few individuals, especially when said individuals have revealed themselves to be so easily swayed by the fickle winds of partisan politics.

Get the IRS out of Your Health Care

Powered by WPeMatico

ObamaCare Is Bailing Out Insurance Companies – On Your Dime

A basic concept of health insurance is that payments to patients come from a common pool of money – meaning that every customer pays in. When too many people in the pool need payouts, everyone’s premium goes up to compensate. While crafting their health care takeover, the ObamaCare team realized that if insurers were to go along with being forced to cover millions of new, less-healthy patients, their response would be to increase premiums across the board to compensate. Thus, they built several components into the law which are intended to keep insurers from taking “undue losses”: reinsurance, risk adjustment, and risk corridors.

In particular, the “risk corridors” program in ObamaCare (section 1342 of the law) protects insurers from severe losses by taking money from providers who pay out less than a set target amount and distributing that money to providers whose plans pay out more than that target amount. That way, if the people who are more expensive to cover disproportionately choose certain insurers, those companies are not placed at a disadvantage.

The risk corridors were supposed to be mostly self-funding – in theory it was mostly insurers bailing each other out, not the taxpayers. In reality, the disastrous rollout of the health insurance exchanges in October of 2013 caused great difficulties getting enough healthy (and therefore cheap to cover) individuals to enroll in health insurance plans. Even once the administration managed to coax enough people into the exchanges, many of those enrolled failed to actually fully sign up or to pay their initial premiums. Faced with this uncertainty, insurers in several states began to propose significant premium increases – on top of the huge price increases ObamaCare caused in 2014.

For the Obama administration, having insurance premiums significantly rise for the second year in a row would be a political nightmare – especially since most states require the next year’s premiums to be released in the early Fall – weeks before election day. Vulnerable Senate Democrats, already having difficulty defending their support for a law that had caused millions to lose their existing insurance, would have to try to explain why that law they had voted for – the “Affordable Care Act” – had made insurance less affordable.

Enter the insurance bailout.

The administration issued a rule which stated that if insurance companies’ losses exceeded the amount provided by the risk corridors under the law, the government would pay the rest – a direct federal bailout of the insurers. Since Congress would not authorize any new spending to cover the cost, the government declared that they would collect “user fees” instead.
Regardless of whether these “fees” are legal (and that’s debatable), it is outrageous that the administration is directly using taxpayer dollars to essentially bribe the insurers into hiding the true cost of ObamaCare to consumers. And these user fees, of course, will be passed on to consumers – if you have insurance, you will pay for this bailout.

The cost to taxpayers for this little political maneuver? A billion dollars, at least, according to a House Oversight subcommittee, and it could very well cost more.

The bailout won’t just be a one-year deal. ObamaCare’s very design incentivizes the least healthy among the uninsured to sign up, and the young healthy population to find a way around it. In order to keep insurers in the game, the administration may well be forced to keep the risk corridors, their supposedly temporary automatic bailout, in force indefinitely.

The solution is to replace ObamaCare with policies that actually increase access to health care by lowering costs, not to just give money away to Big Insurance. Congress can put a stop to this, but lawmakers are too afraid of the insurance companies’ wrath. Call your senators HERE and tell them to stop the ObamaCare bailouts, now and in the future.

Send A Message!

Powered by WPeMatico

New Version of USA FREEDOM Act Would Curb NSA Spying

Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) has introduced a new version of the USA FREEDOM Act that would limit the NSA’s power to spy on innocent Americans. This bill is a good step in the right direction to restore our 4th amendment rights and it’s an improved version from the weakened bill passed by the House.

You may remember the House debate over the USA FREEDOM Act a few weeks ago. A number of pro civil liberties groups, including FreedomWorks, endorsed the original version of the USA FREEDOM Act. We felt that it was the best bill introduced to increase government transparency and limit the bulk collection of records on Americans.

Unfortunately, the USA FREEDOM Act was significantly watered down in last minute negotiations before its passage. After deliberations with our staff and other civil liberties groups, we decided to withdraw our support because the original intent of the bill was undermined. The strict definitions in the original bill were replaced with open ended definitions that would likely still allow the bulk collection of metadata on Americans to continue. We could not in good conscience support a mild NSA reform bill that would do practically nothing to stop domestic spying.

Thankfully, the Senate version introduced by Senator Leahy corrects many of the problems with the weak House passed bill. Unlike the House bill, the Senate version makes major reforms to section 215 of the Patriot Act—a controversial section that allows government agencies to spy on people without probable cause or letting them know that they are being monitored.

It’s important to ensure that privacy bills contain strong and clear definitions. The Senate USA FREEDOM Act gets rid of some ambiguous language and loopholes that the government may have used to justify collecting Americans’ private records in bulk in the House version. For example, it would ban bulk collection by making it clear that government cannot collect all information relating to a particular service provider or a specific geographic region.

A big difference is that only the Senate version would require the government to report on the number of people whose information was collected using Section 215 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Compare this to the House bill that only requires the government to report on the “orders issued” and “targets affected.” Although this may sound like a minor difference, in actuality, the House version would enable the government to understate the extent of unconstitutional spying.

Another alteration is that the Senate bill would expand government and company reporting to the public. Under current law, the government can demand that private companies hand over personal information about their consumers—and these companies are not allowed to inform anyone that their privacy has been breached. The new USA FREEDOM Act grants companies a few options for reporting information about the number of FISA orders that they receive.

It’s worth noting that the bill is not perfect. Unfortunately, it does not guarantee that the public will have access to the decisions made by FISA courts and does not require the FBI to report on the number of “back door searches” for Americans’ information. We hope that the bill can be amended so that no agencies are exempt from reporting requirements.

FreedomWorks understands that there are powerful interests doing whatever they can to stop a true NSA reform bill from seeing the light of day. House members, unfortunately, gave in to the Obama administration and weakened the limitations on spying in the original USA FREEDOM Act. Let’s not let that happen again.

The American people deserve a vote on the USA FREEDOM Act in its current (or even stronger) form. There are more of us than there are of them. Polls continue to show that the vast majority of Americans support reforms to the NSA that would restrict domestic spying. We can make our voices be heard.

Support the USA Freedom Act

Powered by WPeMatico

Landrieu and the Chamber: Will They or Won’t They?

Mary and the Chamber sitting in a tree...

There have been recent rumblings around Capitol Hill that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning to throw its support behind Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, with a representative saying that she supports pro-business legislation more often than Sen. Ted Cruz.

If there was any doubt about the true political allegiance of the Chamber, this move, provided they follow through with it, should dispel them all. The Chamber has a long history of supporting establishment candidates who will play ball with lobbyists and special interests, protecting the monopolistic interests of big companies while crushing the opportunities for small business and entrepreneurship. With its opposition to tea party candidates who favor loosening regulations and expanding opportunity, the Chamber has signaled that the only businesses it cares about are the ones with political power.

The idea of the Chamber backing Landrieu is particularly rich, on account of the Louisiana lawmaker’s part in passing the Affordable Care Act legislation. Landrieu provided one of the swing votes that allowed the bill no one had read to become law.

It would be hard to imagine a law more overtly hostile to business than ObamaCare. With its onerous employer mandates, requiring businesses to incur great expense or else cut back their workforce or reduce employee hours, ObamaCare puts an enormous burden on small employers. At the same time, the law as written forced companies to violate their religious convictions with the contraception mandate, that was only recently overturned in a narrow Supreme Court decision.

The law also imposes unreasonable costs on insurance companies by setting up incentives where only the very sick will apply for coverage, thereby causing the cost of insurance to skyrocket. In an attempt to counterbalance this cost, the government has promised massive bailouts to the insurance companies at the taxpayers’ expense, a bailout that is estimated to cost about $1 billion.

If the Chamber decides to support of Mary Landrieu, it will be a de facto endorsement of ObamaCare, the law her vote helped pass. If this is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s idea of “pro-business,” it’s clear that they don’t care about the interests of the American people or individual entrepreneurs.

The jig is up; the Chamber can no longer maintain the illusion of being a business friendly organization. Instead, they spend millions to support more regulations and more government – all of which harms the people they claim to represent.

Powered by WPeMatico

What Would You Do with a Billion Dollars?

qOaBrRm
ObamaCare is a veritable storm of corporate welfare.

One of the most egregious features of ObamaCare are its so-called risk corridors, a fancy name for a large scale bailout of big insurance companies expected to cost taxpayers at least $1 billion.

When dealing with government spending figures, it’s sometimes easy to lose perspective. For example, here is what a billion dollars actually looks like:

One Billion Dollars

That’s a lot of dough! But even that is not enough to show what a billion dollars actually gets you.

For example, with a billion dollars you could:

Buy a major league sports team, like the Chicago Cubs.

Chicago Cubs

Build an awesome skyscraper.

Skyscraper

Buy your very own private island.

Island

Buy a fleet of 2,000 Rolls Royce Phantoms.

Rolls Royce

Treat every man, woman and child in America to a tasty cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger

Buy the publishing rights to the entire Beatles catalogue.

Beatles 45

Build a private spaceship, or two. You know you’ve always wanted to.

Spaceship! Whoosh!

Buy an entire country.

Seeland

Buy the largest rough gem diamond ever found. Ain’t she a beauty?

Diamond

Or, if you’re like Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, you could always bail out private insurance companies as part of your government health care takeover.

Corporate Crony

Stop the ObamaCare Bailout

Powered by WPeMatico

Capitol Hill Update, 28 July, 2014

House & Senate/Schedule: The House and Senate are both in session through Thursday. Their August recess begins on Friday and continues until September 8th.

Legislative Highlight of the Week: The Senate is likely to take up the House-passed bill to bail out the structurally insolvent Highway Trust Fund, H.R. 5021. The plan would raise about $10 billion to fund the Trust Fund through May 2015, relying mostly upon budget gimmicks to pretend to pay for the new spending. An agreement was reached last week to vote on several amendments to this bill, including Senator Mike Lee’s amendment to gradually return highway spending directly to the states. FreedomWorks has issued a Key Vote in favor of Lee’s amendment and against the overall bill if the amendment does not pass.

Senate/Taxation: The Senate will likely vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act, S. 2569. Sponsored by Senator John Walsh (D-MT), this bill would give a tax credit to businesses which bring assets back to the U.S. from overseas, while penalizing businesses for any assets they move out of the country. This bill completely ignores the root cause of the supposed problem it is meant to solve – the reason businesses continue to send more of their money, factories, and employment overseas is because the United States continues to impose the largest corporate tax burden of any industrialized nation, while most countries overseas are reducing theirs.

House/Environment: The House will vote later in the week on a bill regarding endangered species, H.R. 4315. Sponsored by Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA), the bill would reform the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) so that scientific justifications for the status of endangered species would be made public. It would also cap attorney’s fees for lawsuits made under the ESA. Currently, the ESA is used by environmentalist and animal rights groups to tie development projects in knots all over the country, often just because of the possibility that an endangered species may live in the affected area.

House & Senate/Veterans’ Affairs: Both chambers may take up a compromise Veterans’ Affairs bill that would spend $17 billion over three years on the beleaguered veterans’ health system. Only $5 billion of that amount is offset. In the end, the inept VA health care system is the inevitable result of a fully government-run health care system – throwing more money at it will not solve its underlying problems.

Powered by WPeMatico

The Battle Against Common Core Hits Movie Theaters

Last week, Glenn Beck assembled a group of education experts and grassroots activists in Dallas for a two hour show designed to highlight the flaws of Common Core–and suggest ways activists can fight its implementation. The live show was simulcasted in over seven hundred movie theaters nationwide. A replay of the event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29th. I had the opportunity to interview four people connected with We Will Not Conform. We discussed the show, Common Core and the fight to stop it. I sat down with:

Joseph Kerry; Chief of Staff, The Glenn Beck Program

Matt Kibbe; President and CEO of FreedomWorks

Dana Loesch; Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host

Michelle Malkin; Blogger, nationally syndicated columnist and bestselling author

MALLOY: Why put a simulcast like this together?

KERRY: You have heard of the phrase soccer mom? When it comes to Common Core there is the equivalent of a warrior mom. And what we found is when Glenn would talk about Common Core, we would get emails, calls, people coming by the studio to talk about it, and these people, predominantly women, are passionate about the education their kids are not getting in public schools.

So there wasn’t an auditorium or stadium big enough to house all these warrior moms. So we put this event together so no matter where you are, you can learn which strategies are working and which ones aren’t. You can compare notes and say “how we can take education back from government and put it back into the home?”

**MALLOY: Why should parents be concerned about Common Core? **

LOESCH: Do they like having control of their kids and what goes into their minds? Because that’s what’s at stake here. I’ve heard so often “why should parents be so concerned about common core?”

Common Core creates new federal standards that are designed to dumb down education. It’s designed to dumb down academic expectations. And it also removes that locality from school districts. You have locally elected school boards, you have locally appointed administration members. This is removing that locality away and it is also reducing parental sovereignty.

If parents aren’t going to get a say in what their school’s curriculum is, they aren’t going to get a say in how their children are being educated. Everything is going to be moved all the way to Washington DC.

MALKIN: Common Core and Fed Ed drive wedges between students and those who know them best: their parents, their teachers & local school districts.

Everything about Common Core’s development stinks: The secretive process behind it, the violation of constitutional principles, the shoddy quality, and the exorbitant bribes and costs to taxpayers. Big Business and Big Government profit most from Common Core, not children.

KIBBE: Parents should also worry about the day after their state legislature actually repeals it, because the other side is already in a rebranding phase. We have made the phrase Common Core politically poison. But they are going to come back and rebrand. So the lesson here is you can’t just fight a one-time fight. I know it’s extraordinary for parents to make these kind of commitments. But, protecting our education system, protecting our freedom to raise our kids the way we see fit is part of our responsibility as parents.

LOESCH: And it’s not just democrats that are for it. We can find common ground here because republicans are just as dirty on this as democrats are. For example, in Indiana, Mike Pence, who acted like he had this tremendous victory defeating Common Core, then he turns around and rebrands it. Of course he was booed after it. That made the news, that he was booed, not his rebranding of Common Core in a new package. A lot of activists engaged in the show tonight did not know that Mike Pence is bad on Common Core.

It’s not just democrats, it’s the republicans too and we will lose if we don’t realize that.

MALLOY: What has been the most troubling aspect of the implementation of Common Core?

KIBBE: I think it’s the way that the feds use doling out money to buy the compliance of state legislatures. It’s always sort of a bait and switch kind of a situation because they use temporary stimulus funds to build it into state budgets and now they’re all locked into this. But it’s the way that state legislators are afraid to push back against something that they now know is bad politics, they probably know that it is bad policy and they are afraid to do anything about it.

MALLOY: Is it fair to compare the tactics the feds are using in the implementation of Common Core with those of Medicaid expansion?

KIBBE: Yeah, it’s the short term satisfaction of getting the money to plug your state deficit–because all of the states have to balance their budgets — and not really caring about the details of what they are signing on for. They all know that there is a train wreck around the corner but they aren’t willing to confront it.

MALLOY: Common Core is complicated and not a sexy topic, do you see it as something that will become a campaign issue in both the 2014 and 2016 elections?

LOESCH: It could be. It depends on messaging and it depends on the ability of grassroots activists, which are mainly parents, if they are going to be able to build these coalitions and inform other parents.

Let me give you an example. I didn’t think Common Core applied to me because I am a homeschooler. I have home-schooled both my kids from the get-go. And I thought I was safe because I wasn’t in a public school. I thought I didn’t have to deal with Common Core. I have friends who send their children to private school. They thought they were safe because they are in a private school.

But it does affect us all because of standardized testing — and college, the ACTs, all of that is going to be built around Common Core. You can’t hide from it.

Just because you take yourself out of the arena doesn’t mean the arena isn’t going to come to you. Even if you don’t have children this affects you. I personally, don’t want to think of myself as an old person with a person educated by Common Core wiping my butt and being responsible for my medicine. Have you seen the math that they’ve taught? It’s terrifying and it affects everybody.

MALKIN: Parents need to be armed with information. First: Read the standards, then follow the money. Join Twitter. Search out local #stopcommoncore leaders. Hold your public officials at every level accountable.

MALLOY: Can this We Will Not Conform simulcast be used as a blueprint for other issues based shows to get grassroots activists motivated?

KERRY: We have simulcasted a lot of entertainment events before, Glenn is all about the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment. There have been shows that he has taken on the road before that we have simulcast — but this is the first one that is policy driven. And I think just that judging by the passion and the the attendance, this is something we will absolutely consider doing in the future.

KIBBE: It’s really the convergence of media technology and grassroots boots on the ground. We were talking to potentially tens-of-thousands of people tonight. And I always thought that the most important aspect of a tea-party rally was nothing that was said on stage, it was all about connecting people and having them discover that they aren’t alone — getting them connected on Facebook and starting to do things together. That just happened in over 700 cities across America, and I think the proponents of Common Core have no idea what is coming next.

For more information on the encore presentation scheduled for July 29th, go to WeWillNot Conform.com.

Fingers Malloy hosts The Snark Factor radio program on FTR Radio.

Get your Ticket for the 7/29 showing HERE

Powered by WPeMatico

Community Essential to Help Neighbors

Personal Freedom and Prosperity 109: Subsidiarity

This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization, which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.
—David A. Bosnich, Acton Institute

Community Essential to Help Neighbors

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed combining many of our Federal welfare programs and allowing States to administer these programs on a local level. Importantly, Ryan encourages private companies, non-government organizations and local governments to be actively involved in administrating these programs. Ryan’s “Opportunity Grant” gives communities the opportunity to holistically assist our unfortunate neighbors, and he is proposing an enormous policy shift from Federal control to the State overseeing them…and potentially local control.

The Klamath Falls, Oregon example:

After observing an increase in anti-social behavior happening in many of our public places – schools, grocery stores, churches, parks restaurants and more – a voluntary group of twelve people from different occupations, faiths and interests began meeting to understand the causes of why so many people were in need of help. We held numerous meetings with public and private officials of government, schools, churches and charities. We became aware of the serious societal problems of Klamath County – teenage births, children living in single parent households, absent fathers, alcohol and drug abuse, inadequate job skills, poor work ethic, and more. Tragically, single parenting was the biggest issue we found in Klamath County and is also destroying America’s children on a national scale. In fact, one-third of American children are not living in a two-parent home.

Our Federal government is sending welfare checks, food stamp cards and the other government benefits to ease financial scarcity for these families. Unfortunately, our Federal government and thousands of bureaucrats lack knowledge, discernment and compassion for the individuals and the families. Giving money without discernment and compassion harmfully allows people to merely survive and not prosper. It fosters a slothful existence of alcohol and drug abuse as well as sporadic employment. Tragically, this has contributed to the decline of a nuclear family, which also brings devastating repercussions to children living in these circumstances.

Community: Comprehensive Citizen Involvement Is Essential

Communities care. Members of the community know their neighbors. Family, churches, neighbors, charities and local government have more flexibility and diverse resources to discern the needs and methods of caring for people in their area. Community-focused programs respect and appreciate a person’s unique personality, interests, talents and needs. Some people need loving care while others may need a kick in the pants. In time, involved citizens will begin to reverse the destruction caused by the Federal government and comprehensive community involvement will begin to restore and repair families and neglected children.

To help people to excel, all churches, all foundations, all educational institutions, all medical facilities, all merchants, all restaurants, all trades, all financial institutions and all citizens must be aware and involved. By helping our neighbors, we will make our communities vibrant and livable.

This Is Subsidiarity.

“This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization, which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In 1991, Pope John II foresaw the human wreckage resulting from the welfare state. The Pontiff wrote that the “social assistance state” contradicted the principle of subsidiarity by intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility. This “leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.”

Or as Rep. Ryan said, “Listen to local leaders who are changing the status quo.”

Powered by WPeMatico