OBAMA’S MESSAGE TO REPUBLICANS: “STOP JUST HATIN’ ALL THE TIME”

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by ZERO HEDGE | JULY 30, 2014

Two weeks ago the head of the “most transparent administration ever” (perhaps to the NSA?), president Obama, told the common American to “not be cynical” and have hope. Today, speaking appropriately in an ornate theater in Kansas City, he had a message for republicans: “Stop being mad all the time. Stop. Stop. Stop just hatin’ all the time.”

Reuters has more:

“They’re not happy that I’m president, but that’s OK. Come on!” he said, gesturing as if to welcome lawmakers to a table.

“I’ve only got a couple of years left, come on, let’s get some work done. Then you can be mad at the next president,” he said, chuckling.

This is taking place hours after it was reported that Obama, in a clear challenge to republicans, was preparing to announce a plan to deport fewer illegal immigrants, even as one of the biggest immigration scandals in recent years has emerged as the relentless influx of illegal immigrant of Central American children into southern states, something even Obama has acknowledged is becoming a problem.

So why the attempt to fire up a confrontation with the GOP?

Obama has been delivering variations of the fiery stump speech all summer as he tours the country trying to motivate Democrats – and wealthy donors – to get involved in November’s congressional elections.

His aim is to energize Democratic voters ahead of the elections in hopes of stopping Republicans from gaining control of the Senate, which would, when joined with a Republican hold on the House, could make it extremely difficult for him to pursue his agenda in his last two years in office.
One could almost accuse Obama – the most unpopular president since World War II – of taunting republicans to commence the impeachment proceedings that some of his adversaries have floated in recent weeks, in order to get democrats to “rally around the flag” ahead of the crucial mid-term elections.

What one certainly can’t accuse the president of, is taking responsibility. As AP reported earlier, in the endless feud over Obamacare, the latest scapegoat for the disastrous rollout of the website has been found.

And speaking of government, and thus capital misallocation and inefficiency, the GAO also reported that the administration has spent roughly $840 million on HealthCare.gov, including more than $150 million just in cost overruns for the version that failed so badly when it launched last year.

But as noted above, blame managers, not the president. From National Journal: “The Government Accountability Office says cost overruns went hand-in-hand with themanagement failures that led to the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov and the 36 state insurance exchanges it serves.

GAO’s report, prepared for a Thursday Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, details a long series of management, oversight and contracting problems that plagued the entire process, from risky contracting practices in 2011 through the botched launch last October…. the GAO says similar problems could arise again without structural changes in the way the government manages its contracts and spending.
Remember: whatever you do, don’t be cynical.

New IRS Form Proves Obama Lied About Individual Mandate Tax

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Posted by John Kartch and Ryan Ellis on Friday, July 25th, 2014, 10:59 AM

President Obama has repeatedly denied that the surtax is in fact actually a tax. The most prominent example was a heated exchange on ABC’s This Week in Sept. 2009, when George Stephanopoulos confronted Obama with a dictionary:

STEPHANOPOULOS: I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…

OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that.

Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion. [Transcript]

It was always obvious that the penalty for not complying with Obamacare’s individual mandate was just another surtax:

The surtax is collected by, and enforced by, the IRS.
As shown by the newly released draft Form 1040, the surtax is paid as part of normal income tax filing by taxpayers.
The individual mandate surtax was written into tax law itself by the Obamacare statute.
Revenues derived from the individual mandate surtax have always been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as tax revenue.

Famously, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the individual mandate surtax is in fact a tax. However, that does not compel conservatives to agree that Obamacare’s individual mandate is Constitutional. The same decision declared the individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Conservatives can accept that this surtax is a tax increase without accepting the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

The Obamacare individual mandate non-compliance surtax is one of at least seven Obamacare taxes that violate the President’s “firm pledge” not to raise any tax on any American making less than $250,000 per year. Thorough documentation of Obama’s promise can be found here.

Read more: http://www.atr.org/new-irs-form-proves-obama-lied-about-individual-mandate-tax#ixzz38X0RJdzp
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UH OH: Obamacare Architect Made The Same ‘Mistake’ More Than Once

Obamacare Architect Says AGAIN That Subsidies Were Only Supposed To Go To State Exchanges

Sarah Hurtubise

While Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has brushed aside a video of himself arguing that Obamacare subsidies are only allowable in state-run exchanges as a “speak-o” — or verbal typo — a second audio tape has now emerged of Gruber making the very same comments yet again.

“That is really the ultimate threat — will people understand that gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens,” Gruber says in the audio clip, resurfaced by Morgan Richmond and John Sexton. “So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to do to set it up.”

Gruber made the comments in a public appearance at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in January 2012. Gruber’s argument in the clip is even stronger that only state-run exchanges will be given premium tax credit subsidies.

At issue is a phrase written repeatedly in the Affordable Care Act that allows premium tax credit subsidies only for exchanges “established by the state.” Two appeals courts split earlier this week on whether the phrase makes subsidies in the 36 states that didn’t create their own exchanges illegal. Gruber, a chief author of the law, has repeatedly called the cases “nutty.”

But the audio recording is the second to emerge this week that shows that before the lawsuits were brought against the federal exchanges subsidies, Gruber appeared to believe that only states that ran their own exchanges would receive the payments.

In response, Gruber said his comments were a “just a speak-o — you know, like a typo.” (RELATED: Obamacare Architects Claims Comments Were Just A ‘Typo’)

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/25/obamacare-architect-says-again-that-subsidies-were-only-supposed-to-go-to-state-exchanges/#ixzz38W6Kilmb

BREAKING: House Committee Votes to Officially Approve Lawsuit Against Obama

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President Obama has blatantly and admittedly abused his Executive power. There has been a growing sense that he must be stopped, and the balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches restored.

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced last month that he intended to sue Obama over his “abuse of power”.

A House Committee has been working on the potential lawsuit, and has narrowed down the scope to just Obamacare, namely Obama’s numerous unilateral delays and changes to the law.

Obamacare Architect Argued Years Ago That States Without Exchanges Can’t Get Subsidies

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Sarah Hurtubise

One of Obamacare’s authors said in 2012 that states that don’t set up their own Obamacare exchanges can’t offer residents subsidies, throwing heavy weight behind the argument that the billions in subsidies to federally-run exchanges are illegal.

Earlier this week two appeals courts heard arguments that the Affordable Care Act’s language doesn’t allow for subsidies in federally-run exchanges but answered the question differently. While the D.C. District Court of Appeals first found that the subsidies are illegal for the 36 states that didn’t create their own exchanges, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said otherwise. (RELATED: Second Federal Court Rushes To Save Obamacare From Devastating Ruling)

But Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor at MIT who worked closely with the Obama administration to create and draft the health-care law, said as far back as 2012 that states that didn’t step up to make their own exchanges wouldn’t be able to offer premium subsidies.

“In the law, it says if the states don’t provide [exchanges], the federal backstop will,” Gruber said in a newly unearthed 2012 presentation. “The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop, I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it. I think what’s important to remember politically about this, is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

Gruber’s argument is important: the federal government wants to pressure states into building their exchanges, or they’ll be the ones responsible for keeping subsidies away from their constituents.

“But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges, and that they’ll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.”

Obamacare supporters have argued that providing subsidies through the federal exchange is what Congress intended to do, but admit that there was a “drafting error” that called it into question.

But Gruber’s two-year-old explanation appears to back the plaintiffs’ case. Gruber was hired by the Obama administration to craft the law — and even worked with congressional staff to draft the legislation itself. And he suggests not that the law’s exclusion of federal subsidies is a “drafting error,” but a fully-intended incentive structure in order to convince states to take up the burden of creating their own state exchanges.

That said, since the lawsuits cropped up, Gruber has argued extensively in favor of the Obama administration in both cases regarding federal subsidies and joined amicus briefs to support the federal government’s position. These days, Gruber says it’s “absurd” that Congress didn’t mean to apply the subsidies to federally-run exchange states as well.

The D.C. circuit’s conclusion relied on the wording of the law: subsidies go to “exchanges established by the State,” choosing not to try to assume what Congress intended. Meanwhile, the Fourth Circuit’s decision that federal subsidies are permissible rested on their understanding that the law’s language is “ambiguous” and that Congress’s intent to provide subsidies to the whole country is clear.

The plaintiffs who brought the case, the court wrote, may not “rely on our help to deny to millions of Americans desperately-needed health insurance through a tortured, nonsensical construction of a federal statute whose manifest purpose, as revealed by the wholeness and coherence of its text and structure, could not be more clear.”

But the law’s architect apparently stating that Congress intended to withhold the subsidies in 2012 — before any court cases had put the subsidies in danger — suggests that congressional intent in this case may be anything but clear.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/25/obamacare-architect-argued-years-ago-that-states-without-exchanges-cant-get-subsidies/#ixzz38V3r3H00

GAO Launched an Obamacare Sting Operation—and Almost All Fake Insurance Applications Were Approved

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The report suggests the health care law’s eligibility verification system isn’t working.

By Sophie Novack
Follow on TwitterJuly 23, 2014

An undercover operation found that the majority of fake Obamacare applications submitted were approved by the health law’s enrollment system.

Fake applicants were able to get subsidized insurance coverage in 11 of 18 attempts, according to a report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted the sting operation to test the strength of the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility-verification system.

The findings will be discussed at a House Ways and Means hearing Wednesday. They were revealed in an advance copy of the testimony from Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, provided to the Associated Press.

The undercover investigators created fake identities by inventing Social Security numbers, income, and citizenship, and by counterfeiting documents.

Eleven of 12 fake online or telephone applications were approved, according to Bagdoyan. Five of six phone applications were successful, with the exception of one caller who declined to give a Social Security number. Six online applications were initially blocked by the verification system, but the investigators were able to find a workaround by going through the call center.

“The total amount of these credits for the 11 approved applications is about $2,500 monthly or about $30,000 annually,” Bagdoyan said, according to a report from NBC. “We also obtained cost-sharing reduction subsidies, according to marketplace representatives, in at least nine of the 11 cases.”

The investigators did not have the same luck with in-person assistors: They were unable to get help in five of six cases, and the last was told by the assistor that the income reported was too high for subsidized coverage.

The accuracy of the health law’s eligibility verification system has been an ongoing concern among lawmakers and officials, and Republicans have repeatedly pointed to it as evidence that the law leaves the government vulnerable to fraud.

The GAO investigation was requested by several Republican senators and representatives before the insurance exchanges launched in the fall, according to The Washington Post.

The administration, meanwhile, maintains that it is working to improve the process.

“We are examining this report carefully and will work with GAO to identify additional strategies to strengthen our verification processes,” said administration spokesman Aaron Albright.

Poor baby: Rep. Kristi Noem sums up how the national debt affects you in one photo

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BY: Blake Seitz July 22, 2014 | 5:21 pm

Deficit hawks like to say that reckless government spending is mortgaging our children’s future. Rarely do they capture this as vividly as Republican Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

Noem sent a lighthearted tweet Tuesday about an unphotogenic moment shared between President Obama and a baby that was retweeted more than 100 times.

As the superimposed text explains, the individual share of the U.S.’s $17.6 trillion national debt is slightly less than $55,300, and both figures are expected to grow. The 2014 annual deficit is expected to clock in at $492 billion.
The good news: $492 billion is much smaller than the record $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009, a jaw-dropping amount that was the perfect storm of shrinking tax revenues combined with expensive wars and bailouts. In fact, a $492 billion deficit would be below average as a share of the economy than deficits over the period 1974 to 2013.

Now the bad news: The Congressional Budget Office projects that deficits will increase again starting in 2015, reaching the ominous $1 trillion-per-year mark in 2022 — and then staying there. The CBO blames an “aging population, rising health care costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance and growing interest payments on federal debt” for the rise.

Rep. Kristi Noem (Photo: AP)Even worse news: As others have noted, the $17 trillion figure does not adequately capture the extent of our penury. The government’s unfunded liabilities — that is, the amount it has promised to pay in the future, but will not have the revenue to cover — is in the tens of trillions.
And, as the Hudson Institute’s Chris DeMuth points out, most of this debt will be accrued to fund entitlement program transfers, not public-good projects, which means it will have a low economic return on investment.

In other words, things are grim. With apologies to the baby, we laugh so we don’t cry.

White House To Ignore Court Ruling, Keep Handing Out Obamacare Subsidies

ObamaMilitary

Sarah Hurtubise

The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court’s ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.

A D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday morning that customers in the 36 states that didn’t establish their own exchange and use HealthCare.gov instead cannot be given premium tax credits, according to the text of the Affordable Care Act itself. (RELATED: Federal Court Takes Down Obamacare: Subsidies In Federal Exchange Are Illegal)

But the White House said in response that it will continue handing out the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that while the case continues to be battled out in the courts, the administration will continue to dole out billions in tax credits to federally-run exchange customers.

“It’s important for people all across the country to understand that this ruling does not have any practical impact on their ability to continue to receive tax credits right now,” Earnest said in a press briefing Tuesday.

A three-judge panel issued the ruling Tuesday, concluding 2-1 that the federal subsidies are illegal. The Department of Justice is seeking an en banc ruling from the appeals court, which would require all judges in the court to rule on the case. Eleven judges on the court would hear the case: seven Democrats and four Republicans.

That decision will likely also be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/22/obama-administration-to-ignore-court-ruling-on-obamacare-subsidies/#ixzz38EZleCth