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Saturday, February 21, 2009

US Census: Constitutional Way or Obama Way?

The Constitutional Way, or Political Obama Way?

So how should the US government, based on the US Constitution, handle the 2010 US Census?   The right way to is follow the Constitution, the document that President Obama swore to uphold on January 20th during his swearing in as POTUS 44.    The left way, under the Obama White House is to run the US Census under the political direction of the President.   But even some Democrats in Congress (and most Republicans) are opposed to this partisan approach.

In early February, Republican House Minority Leaders John Boehner clearly stated the GOP opposition to the Obama plans.

WASHINGTON, DC Feb 6, 2009 – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement regarding reports that control of the U.S. Census Bureau will be stripped from the Department of Commerce and placed with the White House staff:

“I am disturbed by reports that control of the traditionally nonpartisan Census Bureau is being stripped from the Commerce Department and placed with the White House staff. This action appears to be motivated by politics, rather than the interests of our country, and the burden will be on the new administration to prove otherwise during Senator Gregg’s confirmation hearings. The United States Census should remain independent of politics; it should not be directed by political operatives working out of the White House.”

In Town Hall Michael Barone writes an excellent column on the Constitutional foundation of the US Census.

"Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers," reads Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

Like other federal statistical agencies, the Census Bureau has a proud culture, developed and nurtured over many years and in many administrations, of independence from political manipulation and dedication to statistical rigor. So it's dismaying that the Obama White House, in response to political pressure, would consider overseeing the 2010 census. A better approach, endorsed by seven former Census directors and embodied in a bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, would be to set the Census Bureau apart as an independent agency. That would preserve, protect and defend the census that the framers of the Constitution took pains to establish.

For the direct link to the Town article:

For more info, check out the US Census web site:  

Or go to Wikipedia:

Let your US Congressman and US Senator know that you are opposed to the White House politicizing the US Census, and that you support legislation to keep the US Census neutral, accurate and without political bias.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media  


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Helicopters for the Prez

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: $400M Helicopters

As former President George Bush left office, the order to upgrade the Presidential fleet of Marine Corps helicopters was already underway.    Not just one helicopter, known a Marine One when it is carrying the President of the United States, but a fleet of 28 helicopters.   Cost of the deal: $11.2 Billion, or a mere $400 Million per helicopter.    Enough of a manufacturing project (or is that a pork spending project) for Lockheed-Martin to build a special manufacturing plant in New York State.    And the price tag?   This of the total general fund for the state of Colorado!   

So, will POTUS 44 cancel the order(s)?     According to press reports, “The order has become mired in delays and budget overruns. It was originally supposed to cost $6.1bn, but now stands at $11.2bn (£7.8bn) – about $400m per aircraft. That means that each new helicopter would cost more than the customized jumbo jet that flies the president under the banner Air Force One.

Such a display of conspicuous spending would clearly be awkward for Obama at a time of economic crisis, particularly after he reprimanded US chief executives for their lavish ways. Citigroup, the stricken bank that has received $45bn of state support, recently cancelled an order for a new corporate jet costing $50m, after the White House objected that this was not the best use of money.”

So what has President Obama had to say about private sector CEO’s that have corporate jets and planes on order, such as US Banks that received government “bail out” money?

According to ABC News and the Huffington Post  member of the President’s staff and Mr. President himself were harshly critical of CitiGroup Bank and their corporate jet order.  

“The high-flying execs at Citigroup caved under pressure from President Obama and decided today to abandon plans for a luxurious new $50 million corporate jet from France... ABC News has learned that Monday officials of the Obama administration called Citigroup about the company's new $50 million corporate jet and told execs to "fix it."  ABC news quoted in the Huffington Post

In addition, the new $800 Billion “Pork-ulous” spending and tax break bill, we find a tax break for buyers of corporate aircraft.   According to AP news  

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just a few months after lawmakers scolded auto executives for flying to Washington in private jets, Congress approved a tax break in the stimulus package to help businesses buy their own planes.

The incentive -- first used to help plane makers recover from the 2001 terror attacks -- sharply reduces the upfront tax bill for companies who buy assets such as business planes.

The aviation industry, which is cutting jobs as it suffers from declining shipments and canceled orders, hopes the tax break in the economic-stimulus bill just signed by President Barack Obama will persuade more companies to buy planes and snap a slump in general aviation that began last year.

"This is exactly the type of financial incentive that should be included in a stimulus bill," said Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan. in an interview. His state lost at least 6,900 jobs at Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft, both based in Wichita.

Roughly 11,000 jobs have been cut in the last three months by the 65 or so member companies of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, an industry trade group.

So the complex and tricky world of populism is coming back to haunt the new president.  What he says is for those big shot bank execs to not buy or use corporate jets.   But what Obama does is sign a Federal stimulus bill for tax breaks for those same buyers and…. it is likely that he’ll take delivery on a fleet of 28 Marine helicopters, costing $400 Billion each. Don’t want to loose all those jobs up in New York (Democrat) State!

So it is do as I say, not as I do for POTUS 44.  

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Friday, February 13, 2009

No Member Actually Read the Bill

No Member Actually Read the Bill

By a vote of 246 (yeah) and 183 (no), the US House passed the historic (and pork laden) Federal stimulus bill. After the appropriators, big spenders and Democrat leadership made more changes in the bill, it ended up being 1,100 pages long.   It is doubtful, that except for lobbyists and Congressional staffers (who saw parts of the porkulus bill), no member of Congress actually read the whole thing.    

Here is the Republican Minority leader (John Boehner) on the floor of the house:

Or you can link through and click on "GOP: Not one person has read this bill"  floor speech by Congressman John Boehner.

(c) 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NM Dems Ready to Raise Taxes

NM Dems Ready to Raise Taxes

According to the Rio Grande Foundation  tax collections in New Mexico have increased even through the income tax rates are going down.   According to Paul Gessing, “New Mexico is collecting more money from its personal income tax than ever before despite having reduced rates by more than 40 percent. In fact, in FY 2003, the year in which the first rate cut – from 8.2 percent to 7.7 percent – took effect, New Mexico’s personal income tax generated approximately $923 million. In FY 2008, the tax is expected to generate $1.18 billion, an increase of 28 percent in just five years. Over the same time period, FY 2003 to FY 2008, New Mexico’s overall tax revenues rose from just under $3.9 billion to $5.9 billion, an increase of more than 51 percent. So, while rate cuts slowed the growth of personal income tax revenues, economic growth made up for a significant percentage of this “lost” tax revenue.”  

 Here are the income tax rate reductions in New Mexico: 

Calendar Year  2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008

Tax Rate         8.20% 7.70% 6.80% 5.70% 5.30% 5.30% 4.90%

But the Democrat legislators in Santa Fe are ready to raise taxes, despite the success of economic growth over the past 6 years in which state income tax revenues went up 28%, even though the NM income tax rate as cut from 8.2% to 4.9%.      


House Bill 346 is being proposed by Representative Mimi Sewart in response to the budget shortfall being experienced in New Mexico, primarily due the reduction in natural resource taxes (several taxes, oil/gas gross receipts, mining and coal production).     So if you are short on revenues, not it is time to raise NM income and gross receipts taxes?    

Here is the e-mail update from ACI (NM Chamber of Commerce):  HB-346 is being sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart and it will be heard by the House Tax & Revenue Committee on February 4, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. (or ½ hour after the floor adjourns) in Room 317.  This bill proposes the gross receipt tax rate be increased by .5%.  In addition the bill also proposes an increase in the personal income tax rate (PIT). The PIT would increase in tax year 2010 from 4.9 percent to 6 percent for married persons filing jointly with taxable income of at least $24,000 and for single persons with taxable income of at least $16,000.  The additional revenue would be earmarked for public education.  To track the bill:

This opposition by ACI is not only based on the increase in NM income and gross receipts taxes, but the lack of fiscal accountability for our NM public schools, as many schools do not have audits.  Beverlee McClure, CEO Association of Commerce & Industry 2.3.09

For current information on HB 346 (and all of the 2009 NM legislative session), log on to New Mexico Votes   

Let see.  Democrats sponsoring a bill to raise taxes (not cut spending) to help fund education, in which many NM schools do not have audited financial statements (lack of financial accountability).   After 6 years of positive revenue growth (partially due to the Governor supported and Roundhouse supported income tax cuts), suddenly we are going to reverse this progress and attempt to raise taxes at exactly the wrong time?

If you can, a call to your NM legislator is in order!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saving Money the Congressional Way

Saving Money the Congressional Way

As the US Senate wraps up work on their version of the “pork laden” Federal stimulus bill, a group of moderate (aka “big spending”) Republicans and conservative (aka “we spend less than liberals”) Democrats met to recommend cuts on the package.   So what does saving money look like in Congress?

US government proposed spending in Federal Stimulus that was partially cut:

• $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)

• $75 million from Smithsonian (original bill $150 million)

• $200 million from Environmental Protection Agency Superfund (original bill $800 million)

• $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)

• $100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)

• $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)

• $100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)

Source:   The Mighty Porkulus Oinks Along 2.09.09

For a complete PDF of the Nelson/Collins Stimulus recommendation (that still recommends spending more money than the US house version), go to the Senate Conservative Fund   and click on the Nelson-Collins Stimulus Summary.   The amounts of pork spending under the guise of creating jobs and jumpstarting the US economy will overwhelm the average common sense US taxpayer.    Or I forgot, less and less Americans actually will pay taxes under the Obama tax plans, so I guess government spending and the resulting taxes don’t impact the average American.   We save the tax increases for the rich!

Most Americans just don’t spend money at all, if they are trying to cut costs and save money.   As for jumpstarting the economy, a focus on tax cuts for small business, reductions in capital gains tax rates for investors and some actual infrastructure projects would go much farther that the “Porkulus Bill” in term of turning the US economy around.      Instead the Democrats in Congress and the new Democrat President are attempting to spend, then borrow, and then increase taxes on the “rich” to pay for their financial boondoggle.  

For more on a conservative free market approach and to see a financial reality check, click through the CATO Institute    While the legacy media, main stream Democrats, the left coast and east coast elite are pushing the financially irresponsible Federal Stimulus package, the rest of America is wondering what are these Congressional big spenders are thinking?      It is simple: The majority of the Congress and the President think that big government and massive spending is the answer.     However a majority of Americans do not support the Democrat Federal stimulus package.   Popular support is down at 37% approval, according the Rasmussen Reports      What will the US taxpayers say to their US Congressmen and US Senators when they get home to defend the Porkulus Package?      Time will tell.

© Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Friday, February 6, 2009

First Spend, Then Borrow, Then Tax

First Spend, Then Borrow, Then Tax

While the rest of the country is working hard to cut costs, reduce budgets and live within our means, the politicos in Washington are rushing to spend money they don’t have.   The “pork-ulus” (stimulus) Federal spending bill has risen by the billions by the day.  The Democrat majority in the House passed the so-call Federal economic stimulus bill without any support from Republican members.  Now the $819B Democrat bill has swelled to over $920B based on US Senate amendments to increase spending and tax cuts.

According to the Wall Street Journal  “Twenty moderate senators -- from both parties -- are pushing a plan to bring the total package's cost down to about $800 billion, and put more emphasis on tax cuts. Led by Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), the group has been combing over the bill for spending programs deemed unlikely to provide immediate benefit to the economy.”

The WSJ indicated that the House has issues with the Federal stimulus: “Separately, a caucus of fiscally conservative House Democrats, known as the Blue Dogs, urged party leaders to embrace a "redoubled effort to streamline the stimulus and recovery package." In the House, 11 Democrats voted against the $819 billion package, nine of them Blue Dogs. Several other Blue Dogs voted for the package, but with reservations.”

According to FOX news, the public opinion is mounting against the stimulus bill, and the US Senate is feeling the political heat.   "This idea that the public is not excited about this package ... is really having an effect on Capitol Hill," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told FOX News, adding that most of the Senate suffers from a "herd mentality" and is swayed by public opinion. "There's nothing inevitable about this," said Phil Kerpen, director of policy at Americans for Prosperity. "The American economy is enormously resilient and it's always recovered in the past."            

In an interview with Greta Van Susteren from Fox News Channel, Senator Lindsay Graham R-South Carolina was blunt in his criticism, “Senator Graham: Yes, I think the process (stinks) -- can you imagine trying to do -- can you imagine a group of people taking a trillion dollars from the next generation of Americans, borrowing money from children and grandchildren, and doing it in a week? If it looks like we're making it up, we are. There are 16 senators off in a corner trying to save $100 billion. God bless them, but that's not the way you get bipartisanship. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill set down and found a way to go forward with Social Security.           

On Fox News, Senator Graham continued, “I like President Obama. (But on this bill) He's been AWOL…he's writing op-ed pieces trying to scare people to vote for this bill. He's had lunch with us, he's had cocktails with us, he's talked to us on the phone, but he's never done the hard work of getting Republicans and Democrats in a room and telling the left: This is not going to be a free-spending bill. You're not going to be able to spend a trillion dollars that doesn't create jobs. And he needs to tell Republicans: You need to do more than just cut taxes. The president has not led. He has tried to campaign. The campaign is over. We've got to govern. Roll up your sleeves. There are at least 15 Republicans who want to do more than cut taxes, understand we need to stimulate the economy, but nobody is going to agree to this process. This is not the way to govern this nation and obligate future generations to trillions of dollars of spending.”   Interview with Greta Van Susteren, Thurs Feb 5, 2009

Americans for Prosperity has launched a petition on the Web site called to oppose what it calls the "big-government pork-barrel spending bill." The conservative Cato Institute also recently took out a group of ads with a statement, signed by 200 economists, saying they "do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance."

The total US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is approximately $14 Trillion dollars.   The proposed Federal stimulus bill plus interest (to borrow the money) is approaching 10% of the US GDP.    Or to put the spending and tax cut binge in perspective:  The US Senate package is about the size of the total GDP (economy) of Australia, and with the interest tacked on it will approach the total GDP of Canada.  In FY 2007, the cost of the US government was $2.7 Trillion dollars.   Clearly the amounts of money (from taxes, US Government borrowing or from the devaluation of US dollar due to inflation) that the US taxpayer is expected to come up with is staggering.  

Leadership on fiscal policy would be for the US Senate to vote down the pork filled “so called stimulus package” and start over with a more reasonable bill.   Or the President could veto the measure.   Unfortunately, the Democrat leadership in the US Senate is determined to pass the bloated bill, at the expense of the US taxpayer for decades to come. Maybe it is time for the US taxpayers to throw out the big spenders (Dems and GOP) in Washington, and vote for a return of limited government that lives within it’s means and respects the taxpayers hard earned monies.   

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

Monday, February 2, 2009

Obama Quietly Signs Death Warrant

Obama Quietly Signs Death Warrant

One day after the 36th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade US Supreme Court decision opening the legal avenue to abortions in America, the new President quietly signed the death warrant for additional victims yet unborn.   In the quiet of his office, away the glare and scrutiny of the press, President Obama signed executive orders that will allow for US funding and government support for “family planning”.   Literally a death warrant to babies yet to be born, and now denied life by the abortion lobby. Despite the thousands of protesters who were in Washington DC marching for life and the rights of the unborn, Obama ignored those voices, and instead paid back political favors with the blood of innocents.    Harsh and unfair words you say?   

            Here is how the candidates handled the abortion question during the October 17, 2008 presidential debate. Mr. Obama attempted to hedge on his intense abortion rights position, but his debate answer clearly communicates his firm position: “With respect to partial-birth abortion, I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life, and this did not contain that exception.”  Senator Obama, October 2008 presidential debate.   “An exception” for the health and life of the mother?  So if a fully alive child is partially delivered, and the abortionist kills the baby, this is okay with (then) Senator Obama when the mother’s health or life is threatened?  This barbaric practice is about the termination of the fully alive child’s life.  The mother’s health is not the substantive issue here, but rather the exception (excuse) to fully trample upon the baby’s human rights.

To this substantive issue, Senator McCain responded: “Here is it is “again, the example of the eloquence of (then) Senator Obama.  He's (for) “health” for the mother.  You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything.  That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, "health."  But, look; Cindy and I are adoptive parents.  We know what a treasure and joy it is to have an adopted child in our lives.  We'll do everything we can to improve adoption in this country. But that does not mean that we will cease to protect the rights of the unborn.”   John McCain stood alone for the rights of the unborn, and pointed out the despite his eloquence, Obama’s position is extreme on the substantive issue of abortion.

So exactly what did the new President do within his first week in office to support his extreme pro-death views?    A president can set public policy using executive orders. As POTUS 44, President Obama reversed pro-life executive orders by President Regan and President Bush (that President Clinton had also rescinded).   According to the Pro-Life Action League “President Reagan was the first president to institute the Mexico City Policy. This policy withheld funding from groups promoting abortion overseas. Because it is an executive order, the current president simply has to sign an order to overturn it—no legislature necessary. Naturally Clinton overturned the policy; George W. Bush reinstated it; now Obama has overturned it again.”

According to the Pro-Life web site, “Obama continues to look for more ways to use our tax dollars to promote abortion abroad under the euphemism "family planning." Next on his agenda, according to his speech last Saturday, is funding the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Bush revoked the funding several years ago after the Population Research Institute revealed that the UNFPA worked hand in hand with those who enforce China's coercive "One Child Policy," which forces abortion and sterilization upon women who have already had their one, legal child.”   Pro-Life Action League “hotline” posting

So with the stroke of a pen, many unborn children with be threatened with the end of their life, through the immoral guise of family planning and pro-choice (death) policies advocated by the Obama administration.  

© 2008, Jasper Welch,  Four Corners Media,