Great speech by Arizona State Representative David Livingston (R) on the priority of the state budget. This comes as Governor Jan Brewer vetoes five bills as retribution for not taking up the Obamacare Medicaid expansion bill.
AFPF-Arizona’s Local Government Scorecard for the 2013 fiscal year (its 6th annual local scorecard) covers 106 Arizona cities, counties and special-purpose taxing districts, and 670 local officials. The Scorecard grades local officials on overall budgets, property tax levies and sales tax changes, and includes yearly scores for current officials going back to the 2008 fiscal year, as well as cumulative averages. AFPF-Arizona’s Local Government Scorecard for the 2013 fiscal year comes out at a time when many local governments in Arizona are finalizing tax and budget plans for the 2014 fiscal year. View the scorecard at this link: http://americansforprosperityfoundation.com/arizona/legislativealerts/1000-2/
The public relations campaign to support Medicaid expansion frequently uses testimony by patients with serious medical conditions who have lost their private insurance. It is assumed that once they qualify for Medicaid, they will easily get their chemotherapy, hepatitis c treatment, or defibrillator battery replacement.
“The messages talk only about coverage, not care,” states Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). “But the real question is whether Medicaid provides access to care.”
An internet survey of AAPS members shows that about 47% of respondents think that it is more difficult for a Medicaid patient, compared with an uninsured patient, to get an appointment with a primary-care physician. Only 26% thought that the uninsured had more difficulty. For specialist appointments, 44% thought uninsured patients were better off, and 32% thought Medicaid patients were better off. Only 2% thought that Medicaid patients had “no problem” getting an appointment with a specialist.
When asked, “How easy is it for a Medicaid beneficiary to obtain drugs, medical equipment, or diagnostic tests?”, 48% said it could be “extremely difficult,” 27% said “moderately difficult at times,” and only 13% said it was “no problem.”
Of 166 respondents, 96 were physician specialists, 63 primary physicians, and 7 emergency physicians.
Open-ended comments were overwhelmingly negative about Medicaid. Rural patients who are unable to drive or travel may have no access to care at all except through charity. Some areas have no hand surgeons, endocrinologists, dentists, or rheumatologists who will accept Medicaid. Many cardiology tests, even echocardiograms on inpatients, are questioned or denied. Many drugs, even common generics, are unavailable without jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Treatment for chronic pain is especially difficult. It may be very challenging to get non-emergency surgery approved, no matter how necessary.
“Medicaid ends up as a jobs program for administrators and quasi-medical professionals,” writes one physician. “Very little of Medicaid money actually goes to the ‘health care’ part of the equation.” Another said that “poor customer service is the norm” and “excessive paperwork is routine.”
Because it may cost more to file a claim than a physician can hope to collect, physicians may lose on every Medicaid patient, and lose less if they just see the patients for free.
Stating that “denials were much more common than approvals for appropriate treatment options and diagnostic studies,” one physician concluded that “to expand such a horrendous program is insane.”
AAPS, which was founded in 1943, is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties.
Liberals on the Supreme Court and in Congress refused to heed warnings as they brazenly imposed President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the American people. Example:
“Our doctors have told us to be prepared for the worst because right now we can hardly find a doctor.”
Under a cloud of controversy, Obamacare has now entered its third year.
In its 2012 decision on Obamacare, the U.S. Supreme Court based its ruling on a convoluted interpretation of law. In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts voted alongside liberal justices to clear the way for the implementation of Obamacare. Roberts’ overriding concern was if the individual mandate to force Americans to buy medical insurance should be labeled a tax or a fine. Human loss and suffering were inconsequential. The human toll could not be factored in based on legal constricts placed on the court. Decisions are to be based on law and not emotion. Regardless and predictably, the leftist jurists’ ideology of applying social justice, a primary tenet of socialism, infused their decisions. Conservatives on the bench voted against the individual mandate, which would force Americans to purchase medical insurance under coercion whether by a tax or fine, as unconstitutional.
Soon after its passage, Obamacare began claiming casualties. Front-line victims became early warnings of the pain and suffering — the desperation — to come. Few in seats of power took heed. Obama and Congress had, after all, exempted themselves from the medical nightmare they created along with a swath of their political cronies and supporters. Supreme Court justices remain exempt as well. Question: Why exempt themselves? What is it that they are afraid of?
Mid-2010, Americans were beginning to experience the creeping effects of socialized medicine. During a radio interview, a caller who identified himself as a life-long Democrat told me of the particular form of hell that he and his young paraplegic wife were going through due to Obamacare. The caller wanted to warn fellow Americans. His wife was already being abandoned by her doctors who feared cuts in reimbursements. Doctors pointed to mandated cuts in Medicare monies being shifted to fund Obamacare. What follows in a limited transcript of my on-air interview with the caller about his wife’s ordeal.
Our doctors have told us to be prepared for the worst because right now we can hardly find a doctor. We’re not in a small town, and when we go to find a new doctor for a new problem, a podiatrist or specialty doctor of any kind, we go through many, many, many, many names before one finally decides to take us. They tell us upfront that you are going to probably end-up being billed the 20% because we [the doctors] know that we don’t get reimbursed for that and they’ve changed their paperwork. You used to be able to pick up the phone and call any doctor and they say come on in, we take Medicare, we take QMB – now I spend two and three days trying to find one doctor with other doctors helping me to find a doctor that would accept the program. Through the Bush time, we thought GW was the worst thing that had ever happened to America. But, we were able to keep everything we had. Nothing was affected, our health plan was not affected, the doctors were not affected, nothing happened to us badly. Well, now since Obama has taken over we can no longer . . . (Voice cracks.)
The caller explained further, that in desperation, he took his wife to a clinic. Clinic doctors informed him that they were not qualified to treat his wife, nor could they admit patients to a hospital. Frantic, he recruited the help of others in his continued search to find a qualified doctor who would accept their Medicare/Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program. Eventually, he said, a 74-year-old doctor, in semi-retirement, finally agreed to treat his wife.
As a result of that call, I have investigated first-hand accounts and concerns of those who provide medical care to our mentally and physically disabled and to our seniors. Medical care providers expect the human toll, from warehousing patients to loss of life, to be extensive. Obamacare results in fewer doctors available to middle and lower income patients. Corruption is embedded in Obama’s Affordable Care Act as it fosters breeding grounds for less skilled and less ethical doctors and clinics to run Obamacare mills based on quantity of patients and not quality of care.
A recent interview I did with an emergency room doctor disclosed traumatizing choices that doctors are already being forced to make. An experienced emergency room doctor found himself trapped between admitting two critically ill patients or adhering to newly applied government regulations. His hospital’s funding was under new government-imposed financial guidelines. Costs were to be lowered by turning away short-term, repeat Medicare patients. The doctor explains that he is now caught in a regulatory vice:
As more and more are added to the Obamacare rolls, there will be less and less access. People will get sicker and yes, people will die because of it. I had a sick and sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach today after both of these incidents.
Facing the prospects of turning away dying patients or facing a hospital reprimand for admitting them, this doctor chose patient care over job security. The doctor expects to retire in a few years.
Former top aide to Obama, Jeffrey Crowley, helped design how Obamacare is being implemented. Crowley openly admits that there are serious flaws saying, “We know it’s going to be messy.” “Messy?” Is that what President Obama, liberal Democrats and socialists on the Supreme Court call the heartache, suffering and sorrow that is already being faced by Americans and their families? Chief Justice Roberts and his liberal jurists on the high court have torpedoed the American economy along with the American health care system making the pain not just medical, but financial? Workers nationwide complain that their paychecks have been hit with the first-round of Obamacare taxes resulting in less take-home pay. It is just the beginning.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey reveals that a 54% majority of Americans expect the U.S. healthcare system to get worse over the next four years. Benjamin Domenech of Health Care News reports that the latest Kaiser/Harvard survey found, “Obamacare’s Unpopularity Grows in New Poll.” The survey reports that the disapproval of Obamacare “was mostly driven by an increase in opposition from the politically significant independent voters — the survey found 57% of independents opposed the law, up from 41 percent last month.” The House of Representatives currently has the authority to defund the administrative arm of the Affordable Care Act and effectively nullify Obamacare. Having been given that authority by the American people, the latest polls indicate that they should use it – and then expand sales of personal medical insurance into the free-market to be sold at competitive rates across state lines.
Sharon Sebastian (www.DarwinsRacists.com) is a columnist, commentator, author, and contributor to various forms of media including cultural and political broadcasts, print, and online websites. In addition to the heated global debate on creation vs. evolution, her second book, “Darwin’s Racists: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” highlights the impact of Social Darwinism’s Marxist/Socialist underpinnings on the culture, the faith and current policy out of Washington. Critics are calling Darwin’s Racists, “Incredibly Timely” and “A Book for our Times.” Sebastian is a featured guest on broadcasts nationwide on topics ranging from politics, the economy, healthcare, culture, religion and evolution to Agenda 21′s global green movement. Sebastian’s political and cultural analyses on a wide range of national and global events are published nationally and internationally. Website: www.DarwinsRacists.com. “Darwin’s Racists – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” may be purchased at: www.DarwinsRacists.com, www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com and at bookstores online and worldwide. Listen to Sharon Sebastian’s analysis on YouTube: Click here.
Reposted from Cafe Con Leche Republicans with permission – original link.
2013 is off to a very good start!
We have a balanced budget, $2 billion in our operating account and another $450+ million in a savings account earning interest. Arizona is on firm financial footing and the Legislature is back to debating the merits of individual proposals and whether they deserve taxpayer support.
Yet, we’re still not out of the danger zone. If our revenue projections are slightly off or go on another spending spree, we could find ourselves into the same hole we’ve just crawled out of. I’m confident that the Governor and Legislature don’t want to head down that path.
I will continue to advocate for economic growth and financially responsible ideas within our state government. Two areas of particular concern for the long-term health of our finances are our public pension systems and our state debt – both of which are completely solvable situations.
In December 2012 the Defined Contribution & Retirement Study Committee completed a 2-year review of Arizona’s four retirement systems, which currently covers more than 581,000 employees, retirees, or former employees that have yet to retire.
The Pew Center for the States and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation produced a report for the Study Committee titled Arizona’s Pension Challenges in November 2012 highlighting a $13 billion shortfall between what should have been set aside to pay future pension benefits and what the state’s pension plans have on hand. In addition to a growing unfunded liability, the number of retired members in each of the four systems is growing faster than the number of new workers entering.
Much of the discussion surrounding any pension system revolves around complicated financial formulas. There is an equally important human element that must always be in the forefront; these pensions are for those who teach our children, police our streets, put out the fires, respond to medical emergencies, and keep the basic functions of government running.
We are fortunate that our pensions are in far better shape than many other states. That said, there are issues that require attention. Several reform options were explored by the Study Committee for policy makers to consider so Arizona can continue to strengthen and enhance those plans in order to protect the benefits to current retirees and employees that have earned them, as well taxpayers now and in the future.
The final report, as well as all the meeting minutes, presentations and research materials can be accessed here.
Equally as important is our state debt. In January the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) delivered their annual report of Arizona’s State Debt and the status of other financial obligations to the Appropriation Committees in both the House and Senate. Although the Legislature has gone to great lengths to deliver balanced budgets and begin to save money in the “Rainy Day Fund” the past two years, there are several areas on the state’s balance sheet that still need to be addressed.
Arizona’s total outstanding state debt exceeds $8.71 billion; increasing significantly from $4.89 billion in FY 2007. We continue to defer $1.2 billion of payments annually and our General Fund Debt Service costs will rise from $302 million in FY 2012 to $373 million in FY 2014.
Our state debt is too high. Today it is manageable. For tomorrow, we need to address our debt and pay for the money we’ve borrowed and already spent before we continue to commit to new spending. The entire report, which includes debt retirement options and a listing of all lease-purchase/bonding issuances from FY 2003, can be accessed online here.
We need to keep up the momentum that our state government has generated in showing that we can live within our means and demonstrate financial responsibility. Together, as taxpayers and citizens, we can hold elected leaders accountable for the future costs of today’s decisions.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Download the Q1 2013 edition of Inside the Vault.
Recently, I couldn’t help but notice a shared post on Facebook by Arizona Corporation Commissioner; Gary Pierce. Commissioner Pierce publicly gave kudos to one of Sonoran Alliance’s contributing writers, Richard Brinkley, over a column in which Brinkley took Barber to task over Barber’s criticism of the ACC.
Sonoran Alliance oftentimes provides commentary shedding light on the various intersections within the Republican Party. We react and we forecast. And we connect dots to inform.
In this post I’d like to expound on Brinkley’s column but also offer some clarity on what free market Republicans should do to remain politically and intellectually honest.
Republican Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce is a good man. But lately behind the scenes, he appears to be doing the bidding not of ratepayers, but of APS.
Last Thursday’s “atta boy” on Facebook to an online criticism of Congressman Barber’s own critique that the Corporation Commission has moved and is continuing to move to kill the solar industry in Arizona, needs some ideological clarification and even correction.
While I am not in the habit of indirectly applauding messages by Democrats like Ron Barber, Republicans, especially Gary Pierce need to think long and hard about entering corporate cronyism arrangements with monopolistic utility providers like Arizona Public Service.
APS essentially wants to erect barriers to entry and even kill competing solar providers because a flourishing solar industry threatens their position in the market resulting in less control and business for them.
So how can Republicans like Commissioner Pierce argue that the public education monopoly deserves competition via charter schools and school choice but monopolistic utilities like APS should face no competition?
The hypocrisy is Republican policymakers wax eloquently about the evils of subsidizing solar energy but shrink from criticism when confronted about massively subsidizing corporate monopolies like APS. It’s time for Republicans to be intellectually consistent and reject corporate welfare policies altogether.
This brings me to my free market point of clarity. All indications are that over the next year, APS will be working behind the scenes with the Corporation Commission to kill net metering.
What is net metering?
In brief, net metering is the policy of 43 states to allow residential solar customers to sell excess power back to the grid. It is a sound policy requiring APS to buy this power just as we consumers are limited when we buy power from the government-sanctioned utility companies.
Eliminating net metering would kill the flourishing residential solar market here in Arizona thereby eliminating consumer choice for Arizona energy consumers. Does Commissioner Gary Pierce really want to take credit for this – eliminating consumer choices – especially in Arizona where sunshine is as much a commodity as oil is in the Middle East?
Over the next year hopefully Commissioner Pierce will realize this is not just bad public policy, it rejects free market core principles that are inherent to the Republican Party. Competition is good for schools, health care and energy. Solar energy is an important part of that. Those businesses are getting off incentives while utilities are not.
We can hope that our GOP returns to taxpayer-friendly, competition-based public policy as we re-engage the citizenry with consistent messaging that will resonate more powerfully in the future. Let’s face it, hugging the 800 pound utility gorilla is bad public policy and bad politics.
Shane Wikfors is the creator and editor of Sonoran Alliance and a longtime Arizona conservative Republican activist. He has been a consultant for and is an advocate of non-subsidized, consumer-based, taxpayer-friendly energy diversity and sustainability.
The precinct committeemen and women of Legislative District 15 joined a growing number of LD’s throughout the state and issued a resolution opposing OBrewercare. The resolution strongly states a thoughtful, line by line, sometimes emotional rebuttal to the Governors proposal written by volunteers throughout the state. Imagine their surprise to have a Republican, working with the Republican Governor call them a bunch of liars!
Heather Carter is the LD15 representative who has agreed to introduce the Obrewercare bill, making her the top Brewercrat. Carter did attend the LD meeting to rally support for Obrewercare but to her dismay found support lacking from her own precinct committeemen. They passed the resolution with her in attendance.
Governor Brewer and Heather Carter then made a conscious decision to turn on their constituents by pulling in a well know conservative Republican, Mike Broomhead, entitling him “honorary chairman” of Restoring Arizona (the guys with the money running the OBrewercare campaign) and had him issue a counter.
The counter includes the following insults:
The hard-working precinct committeemen are ideologes, “Resolutions like these come from those who have the luxury of living in their ideological worlds without having to understand the real-life implications of their theories.”
PC’s do not seem to understand their place:
“As the leader of the Republican Party, the one whom Republican precinct committeemen have been elected to support”
And the unalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is no longer the responsibility of AZ individuals because
“Governor Brewer has proven she understands that her primary responsibility is to improve the lives of the citizens of Arizona; it is unfortunate that the Pima County GOP does not hold itself to the same standard.” (I guess they forgot to tell someone they were rebutting the LD15 opposition).
Arizona Conservative Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings
Legislative Actions as of 3/15/2013
Last Updated 3/15/2013
We continue working with Republican legislators to refine the bill weights. There have been a few additions and some changes.
One change that has been suggested by a Republican legislator is to change the name of the classification Bipartisan Republican to Progressive Republican. We have not received any ideas we thought are better, so we made that change.
The number of bills being tracked is still 251 plus 3 Strike All amended bills.
Bills introduced in one body of the legislature are now being considered in the other body. This means there will be a lot of votes in committee and floor votes. Typically, the scores of Senators and Representatives start to get closer at this time because they are now voting on bills that the legislators in the other body already voted on. Scores are starting to stabilize, but there are still a lot of votes that can change the scores. We have seen some changes – especially in the Senate – this past week.
These are NOT final scores for the session until our final report after the session ends! We encourage conservative activists to use these weekly evaluations as a way to work with legislators to achieve more conservative results in the legislative session.
The legislation causing the most lowering of scores is HB2047 which switches Arizona from the AIMS standard to the Common Core standard. Our concern is that Common Core surrenders state autonomy on education to the federal government and promotes nationalization of education well beyond the proper scope of the federal government. In addition, the curriculum associated with Common Core relies on an international perspective instead of traditional study of American and World history.
Another bill causing low scores HB2045 which allows state bureaucrats to change Medicaid reimbursements without legislative oversight. This will probably evolve into a bed tax. Bureaucrats should enforce the laws passed by the legislature rather than make law. The legislature should NOT delegate its law making power to the executive branch. This bill bypasses voter passed limits on enacting taxes by pushing the process into bureaucratic regulation instead of explicit legislation.
Other bills having a significant impact remove significant limitations on school district spending or increase government regulation of businesses. Many Republican legislators have argued that good business regulations that “make people do the right thing” are good. This, unfortunately, is almost a perfect definition of fascism which Republicans traditionally oppose. There are always situations where we might wish others would deal with us on terms of our choosing when they are not willing to do so. Using government to force people to deal with us on our terms rather than mutually agreed upon terms is tyranny even if it is dressed up as consumer protection or professional responsibility or trying to improve market efficiency. Of course, in a free economy, people can decide for themselves what is good and make decisions on that basis as both consumers and businesses. Also, government regulations usually have unintended consequences that are usually bad. These consequences are then used to justify still more regulation when less regulation is the best solution.
To look at the legislator scores, click on scores.
A RESOLUTION OF THE EXECUTIVE GUIDANCE COMMITTEE (EGC) OF THE MARICOPA COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE (MCRC) MARICOPA COUNTY, STATE OF ARIZONA
IN OPPOSITION TO
THE ARIZONA GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED EXPANSION OF MEDICAID (AHCCCS) IN SUPPORT OF OBAMACARE
WHEREAS, Arizona voters clearly expressed their will to reject implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the individual mandate by amending the Arizona Constitution in 2010 via the Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, Proposition 106; and
WHEREAS, the “circuit breaker” clause is insufficient to prevent out of control escalation of enrollment and the long term costs will cause severe financial hardship on Arizona’s budget; and
WHEREAS, the “assessment” on hospitals is actually a tax and a disingenuous attempt to subvert Arizona’s Constitution and legislative process requiring tax increases receive supermajority approval in the legislature; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruled that each State may reject the expansion of Medicaid and Insurance Exchanges, the two cornerstones of Obamacare, without which it collapses; and
WHEREAS, the best method to honor Arizona voters’ wishes to reject Obamacare is for each State to refuse implementation and allow Obamacare to fail; and
WHEREAS, supporting a government takeover of Arizona’s health care system, even to secure large amounts of federal funds, does not reflect the values of the Republican Party or the interests of the taxpayers of Arizona.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, does affirm and declare our opposition to the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, demands that the Arizona State Legislators uphold the rule of law set forth by Proposition 108 requiring a supermajority vote in this matter; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, demands that the Arizona State Legislators stand with the people of Arizona in opposition to the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid by defeating any bill to such ends.
Author: Eric Morgan, Chairman, LD22 Republican Committee
PASSED & APPROVED this 7th day of March 2013, by a vote of 26 (ayes) to 2 (nays) to 0 (abstentions) of the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona.
MARICOPA COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE
MARICOPA COUNTY, STATE OF ARIZONA:
A. J. LaFaro
by: A. J. LaFaro, Chairman
Maricopa County Republican Committee
Tim Stellar Arizona Daily Star, March 6, 2013
Highlights from the story:
A galvanizing opponent is finally bringing Southern Arizona’s fractious Republican Party groups together into a nearly united front.
Not the Democratic president – the Republican governor.
The Pima County GOP approved a resolution last month opposing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Chairman Carolyn Cox argues the proposal would cost Arizona taxpayers and unwisely expand a social program that will be hard to cut back in the future.
“We’re saying, ‘Please, Governor Brewer, don’t make this mistake,’ ” Cox told me Tuesday. “We honestly believe that it will not be a service to the people.”
Most of the party’s persistent factions – conservatives, libertarians and even some moderates – seem to agree. On Feb. 12, the executive committee passed the resolution unanimously – and the police weren’t called.
That’s not always been the case with the local Republican Party groups, here or in Pinal County. …..
Police were called to the Pinal County Republican Committee’s annual meeting a week before that, and a similar united front against the governor’s plan is forming there now, too. The Pinal party apparatus passed a resolution Feb. 16 opposing the proposed Medicaid expansion, with just one dissent and no call to police………
Seraphim Larsen was elected Pinal County Republican chairman that day, and he’s opposing Brewer’s Medicaid proposal now. The opposition began building in January, when Brewer presented her ideas on Medicaid at a meeting of party chairs from the state’s counties and legislative districts, Larsen said in an email.
“I suppose the main message is that there is very widespread opposition among Republican leadership and activists to the governor’s position,” he said.
The governor argues we should take advantage of federal government obligations under the Affordable Care Act by using it to restore health care that Arizona voters have promised the state’s poor in ballot initiatives.
Under Obamacare, the federal government will cover the cost of restoring Medicaid coverage to approximately 300,000 childless adults – many of them mentally ill – who lost coverage due to recent budget cuts. The catch: To get that federal money, Arizona must raise the eligibility cutoff for the state’s Medicaid program from 100 percent of the federal poverty line to 133 percent.
If federal subsidies drop in the future, the governor would pay for the lost federal payments by putting assessments on hospitals.
The governor’s spokesman, Matt Benson, insisted to me Tuesday that there is significant Republican support, including among business interests.
“I think what you have is a number of individuals who are opposed on the principle that they oppose the Affordable Care Act and the president,” Benson said. “Trust me – the governor understands that sentiment. But she needs to govern.”
State Rep. Ethan Orr, a Catalina Foothills Republican, said he’s helping to write the bill that will be introduced, but he has not committed to the governor’s proposal.
“Until there’s a bill, it’s difficult to weigh the specific merits,” he said Tuesday. “I’m making a deliberate decision to have an open mind.”
That makes him a member of a dwindling minority among Arizona Republicans. For most, the GOP governor has them happily united – in opposition to her.
The similarities between Governor Brewer and President Obama have become too glaring to ignore. Beginning with Brewer stealing quotes like “elections have consequences,” to setting up events with doctors in white coats, to running a full-fledged million dollar campaign, she appears to be following his lead of wasting taxpayer money campaigning instead of governing. The Governor does not have the majority support of the Republican Legislators to expand Welfare, a.k.a. Medicaid Expansion. That should be the end of the story. But our Governor seems to forget that the Representatives and Senators are also elected and they go home to their towns and legislative districts every weekend and hear their constituents. They are our conduit to her. Brewer has chosen to not only ignore but to undermine her own legislators. This is outrageous!
So what does she do? She has a “special” meeting with the Republican County Chairmen. Special? The most oft-used word to describe the Governor’s mannerism was “heavy-handed”. That failure didn’t stop her because she continued her Chicago flavored strategy by issuing a call to the Republican LD Chairmen. “Demanding” was her tactic at that failed attempt to brow-beat her own party into submission.
But our Governor is undeterred and so now begins a full-fledged assault to try to indoctrinate us. Remember the multi-million dollar campaign that got us the 1% sales tax? Yep, the same consultants are working on this. This is so upside down. The Governor is suppose to represent us not tell us what to do or think. Is she now the Queen or an Empress?
So who wants to expand Welfare, a.k.a. Medicaid Expansion, in Arizona, in this time of ridiculous fiscal uncertainty?
The majority of the Republican Representatives say NO.
The majority of the Republican Senators say NO.
The majority of Republican County Chairman say NO.
The majority of the Republican Legislative Districts say NO.
The majority of the people of Arizona say NO.
Corporate healthcare says yes.
The Arizona Chamber say yes.
Progressive Socialists say yes.
The Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, Prop 106, was passed in 2010 and it is her duty to follow through on the will of the people and not try to force an unwanted burden down our throats. The Governor took an oath to uphold the Constitution of Arizona. We need to hold her accountable.
Open letter from Nick Dranias, Compact for America Balanced Budget Amendment, Goldwater Institute 2/2/13 I
I have an eight year old and a six year old. With the latest news of an economy possibly sliding back into recession and projections of the federal debt going to 200% of GDP, I am increasingly fearful of what lies in store for them in ten or twelve years. We have to throttle back the in-creasingly exponential use of debt before we run out of time. 49 states have recognized that the power to borrow must be limited to some extent. It is simply stunning that the federal government stands nearly alone in maintaining unlimited power to “borrow” resources from voiceless future generations. More than that, the federal government’s lack of constitutional constraint on borrowing presents a looming disaster.
Our national approach to debt reminds me of those movies from Science or Discovery Channel of those beautiful seemingly indestructible suspension bridges that start gyrating because of a minor tremor or breeze and then because of some failed calculation or screwed up angle in construction, the gyrations build into massive waves, and eventually bring the whole bridge down. The Founders did a great job in most respects in designing our Constitution–mixing elements of democracy, aristocracy and monarchy to draw on the strengths of each and counterbalance the flaws of each so that our system could handle a heavy load of misguided majorities or minorities–but they forgot about protecting future generations from current generations’ potential for greed when it comes to easy credit. And they forgot about the unique power debt has to create unsustainable bubbles, not just in the economy, but also in government, because of the natural human incentive to live for the “now” at the expense of the future.
We don’t have much time to correct this tragic system design flaw.
There was a time when principled Americans could unite on common ground to solve common problems. Take for example the Arizona Constitution. Over one hundred years ago it imposed a debt limit, banned subsidies, prohibited the private use of public credit, and barred special privileges and immunities. These reforms represented a historic consensus of the Left, the Right and the Middle of its day. It represented lessons learned after a quarter century of Robber Barons abusing the system to subsidize their risky ventures with taxpayer dollars and credit.
It was good public policy whose time had come. Anyone could see it. Good people united to fix a problem. This story was repeated throughout the American West.
The Compact for America, which has already been introduced in state legislatures across the Nation, presents us with the same opportunity to fix a problem that is many orders of magnitude greater than that faced by Arizona’s founders. With our national debt now in excess of 100% of Gross Domestic Product, and projected to hit 200% soon, itis time to stop pointing fingers at who is responsible. We owe it to the next generation not to win a debate or an election, but to stop mortgaging their future. The Compact for America provides a way to fix the debt without requiring anyone to compromise their principles on matters of substantive public policy.
You only have to agree that it is wrong to burden nonvoting future generations with our policy choices.
You only have to agree that, if we have to raise more revenue to pay down the debt we’ve run up, and then we should do so with a flatter, fairer, less invasive, and more voluntary tax code.
The Compact for America is designed to find common ground to fix a problem that is almost out of hand. It is a unique non-partisan effort to organize the states quickly and efficiently around advancing a powerful Balanced Budget Amendment idea. This Amendment would require Washington to secure approval from a majority of state legislatures for any increase in the federal debt. It would regulate the use of debt to prevent its abuse by decentralizing Washington’s power to incur debt. By inviting state legislatures into the role of a national board of directors, the Compact for America would finally give thestates a seat at the table in Washington. At the same time, it would ensure national debt policymakers are more accessible to the people and that any increase in the federal debt reflects a broad national consensus.
Equally important, the Compact for America uses anagreement among the states to generate a ”turn key” approach to originating this powerful Balanced BudgetAmendment. The Compact organizes its member states toapply to Congress for a convention to propose the BBAunder Article V of the U.S. Constitution; it designates and instructs member state delegates to advance solely the BBA; it specifies the convention location, agenda, committee structure, and rules; it limits the convention to a single 24 hour session devoted to an up or down vote on the BBA; it prohibits any other agenda and bars every member state from ratifying anything that might be proposed by the convention other than the BBA; and it pre-ratifies the BBA if it is approved by the convention and referred for ratification by Congress. The Compact for America also ensures the convention will be organized only if 38 states join the compact and only if Congress calls the convention in accordance with the Compact. This ensures that nothing happens until both ratification can be achieved without further legislative action and the convention logistics set out in the Compact obtain the status of both state and federal law and are guaranteed under the Contracts Clause of the United States Constitution under current U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
In short, with the Compact for America, we finally have a practical, efficient, targeted and undeniably safe vehicle for originating a BBA.
If you have ten minutes to learn more, please watch the overview video at www.compactforamerica.org.
If you have the time or the financial wherewithal to helpsupport this effort, please let me know.
Robert Graham, candidate for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, addresses why preserving the Constitution of the United States of America is important. In simple terms, Robert shares a story of a family visit to Pearl Harbor and the impact this visit had on him and his family. This story, like many others addresses the relevancy, importance and strength bestowed upon this nation because of the miracle we call the Constitution of the United States of America. Robert Graham will fight to defend the Constitution and the principles which made this nation great.
The story of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving is widely taught in all our schools. What is seldom taught, however, is what those Pilgrims learned, at great pain, about Free Enterprise versus Socialism. That story stands as perhaps the clearest and starkest-ever comparison between those two rival systems for human interaction.
We all know how the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in November, 1620, and how they lost half their population to starvation, sickness, and exposure that first winter. We all know how a Native American named Squanto taught the survivors to fish, plant corn, use fertilizer, and hunt deer. And we know that following their first harvest, Governor William Bradford (above) declared a day of Thanksgiving that we celebrate to this day.
What most of us never learned was that the original contract the Pilgrims brokered with their London sponsors required that everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store, and every member was to be allotted one equal share. Further, all the land they cleared and all the buildings they constructed were to belong the whole community.
It must have sounded like the ideal society. Free of outside evil influences, greed and personal property were to be banished. Everyone was to work for the common good, and altruism was to be its own reward.
How did it work out? Horribly. In the three winters of 1621-1623, many died from starvation, pneumonia, or both. Here is Governor Bradford’s own summary of the community’s results with what we now call Socialism:
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.
In other words, said the Governor, it simply didn’t work.
Wisely, in April, 1623, Bradford abruptly abandoned the idealistic practice of collectivism. Instead, he assigned a plot of land to each family, permitting them to keep everything they grew or made and to market anything they didn’t consume themselves. He actually harnessed all that awful ”greed” and put it to work in a Free Enterprise system. Bradford had discovered that even these most idealistic of peoples had no reason to put in any extra effort without the motivation of personal incentives to do so.
So how did Free Enterprise work out for the same people in the same place under the same circumstances? Boffo!
The Pilgrims soon had more food than they could eat or trade amongst themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Native Americans. They paid off their debts to their London sponsors and soon attracted a great European migration.
As Bradford summarized the new approach:
This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content.
This was an essential and timeless lesson, learned the hard way. So why isn’t this lesson featured up front, in neon lights, in American history classes? Why isn’t it the lead story of the Pilgrim experience? Perhaps it’s because the people who write our history textbooks still don’t want to believe it. Perhaps those authors still cling to the hope that some form of Socialism will one day triumph over Free Enterprise. Unfortunately for those authors, the historical record couldn’t be clearer, and the Pilgrims’ experience is Exhibit One: when it comes to bettering the life of the common man, Free Enterprise works — and Socialism fails.
For more than 3000 years at Passover, Jews around the world have been re-telling the story of their deliverance from slavery, and for over 2000 years at Easter, Christians have been re-telling the story of their redemption. Now that it’s been nearly 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in America, perhaps we could begin re-telling the real story of Thanksgiving every year, headlining those life-and-death lessons the Pilgrims learned about the differences between Socialism and Free Enterprise.
[Originally posted at WesternFreePress.com, January 26, 2011]