Regulations are treated as laws and enforced as such, but they are never voted on by the people’s representatives. Â They are imposed by the “fourth branch” of government: bureaucrats from hundreds of agencies and departments (many of which are unconstitutional or abuse unconstitutional powers).
Now, it’s not that we don’t get to vote on them. Â We don’t even get to KNOW about them. Â Does that sound like the system of representative government our founders intended:
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 35 percent of major federal regulations â€“ those with at least $100 billion in annual economic impact â€“ were issued without a public notice from 2003 to 2010.
The GAO also said that 44 percent of non-major regulations were issued without a public notice, which is referred to as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
â€œDuring calendar years 2003 through 2010, agencies published 568 major rules and about 30,000 nonmajor rules,â€ theÂ GAO saidÂ in a December report to Congress. â€œ[Federal] agencies published about 35 percent of major rules and about 44 percent of nonmajor rules without an NPRM during those years.â€
The GAO found a large spike in this practice under President Barack Obama, with the percentage of major rules issued without public notice jumping from 26 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2009. The number of major rules issued this way also hit a high point in both 2009 and 2010. (Obamaâ€™s first year in office as president began in January 2009.)
â€œIn particular, from 2008 to 2009, the percentage of major rules without an NPRM increased from 26 percent to 40 percent,â€Â reported the GAO.
The FDA is notoriously prejudiced against raw dairy products, and if they personally are opposed to consuming them, fine! Â But what constitutional authority do they have to tell American citizens what they can and cannot eat and drink? Â Answer: NONE. Â With the government takeover of health care, however, you can rest assured that tyrannical attempts to control your diet will increase, not decrease.
The FDA, like so many other federal bureaucracies, has become a tyrannical, unelected, unaccountable apparatus for the Nanny State to rule over Americans instead of representing and serving them. Â Their goal is not to protect citizens from harming one another, but to protect us from our own choices by restricting them and making them for us. Â But this abuse of government power is not a victimless crime.
This small, family-armed dairy is the latest casualty in a long line of victims of government abuse and over-regulation. Â Will your business be next?
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. — After a two and a half year legal battle, 15 tons of cheese made and aged near Mountain View was hauled to a dump.Â To fans of natural foods, it is monumental waste and over-regulation.Â ToÂ Missouri’s Milk Board, it’s merely protecting public health.
“I see the destruction of what my wife and I and family have worked to build,” said Joseph Dixon, owner ofMorningland Dairy.
Dixon and his family aren’t the only ones outraged by the trashing of about 30,000 pounds of cheese produced on the farm in Howell County.
[…] Â Â “They really haven’t found anything, no sicknesses, no illnesses in 30 years. But it’s what-if.Â And in the United States of America, if what-if now wins, we have no country left,” Dixon said.
Both Howell County Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with the milk board’s decision to destroy all the cheese.
“We asked for trial by jury; we were denied because it was a regulation, not a law.Â It wasn’t passed by congress,” said Dixon.
A couple of years ago, the Dixons still had hope of someday making cheese again and were milking daily, but now, the milking barn is empty because the dairy herd is gone.
“If I tried to start back up, it would cost so much to get it in the cooler, and then, if they find, quote, one thing they can complain about, one thing, I’m shut down again, and every bit of that has to be destroyed,” said Dixon.
The Milk Board shut down Morninglandâ€™s manufacturing operation and ordered all cheese at the facility embargoed on August 26, 2010 after receiving a report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture that Morningland cheese seized in a raid of the Rawesome food club in Venice, California in June 2010 had tested positive forÂ Listeria monocytogenesÂ andStaphyloccocus aureus. Not a single block of cheese in the warehouse had the same batch number as the cheese seized in the Rawesome raid. A Milk Board inspector initially told Joe Dixon that he would only be shut down for a few daysâ€”but that changed when FDA stepped up their involvement in the case a short time later and pressured the Milk Board not to let Morningland resume their operations.
On October 1, 2010 the Milk Board sent the Dixons a letter requesting that they destroy the entire inventory of cheese at the facility; when the Dixons refused, the Milk Board filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Howell County to obtain an order for the destruction of the Morningland cheese.
After a two-day trial before Judge David Dunlop, the judge issued a decision onÂ February 23, 2011Â ordering the destruction of the cheese. Morningland appealed the decision but onÂ September 27, 2012Â the Court of Appeals sided with the Milk Board. A petition to the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case was rejected onDecember 18, paving the way for the destruction of the cheese to take place.
Neither the Milk Board nor FDA ever tested any of the cheese stored at Morningland. FDA did take 100 environmental swabs at the facility, all of which tested negative for listeria. There was no accusation that any cheese Morningland produced had made anyone sick; there had never been any reported illness from the consumption of Morningland products in the thirty years the farmstead cheese operation had been in business.
The Morningland case was about FDAâ€™s agenda to restrict access to raw dairy products with the eventual goal of banning them. The agency doesnâ€™t hesitate in sacrificing a business like the Dixonsâ€™ in order to move its agenda along.
What message does this send toÂ entrepreneursÂ who are considering starting their own business and creating jobs? Â Who wants to take the risk of running afoul of busybody bureaucrats with an ax to grind?
According to Bloomberg’s rankingsÂ (based on wealth disparity, average unemployment benefits, and overall unemployment pool), and somewhat confirming theÂ food-divide discussion we had last night, the following states are the worst to live in if you are unemployed.Â Connecticut tops the listÂ with its massive wealth disparity – more than one $200,000 household for every household earning less than $10,000. New York, California, and D.C. are close behind with Oregon and Alabama in 19th and 20th ‘worst’ place to be unemployed.Â Welcome to the bifurcated un-recovery.
Pregnant women in one southwestern Pennsylvania town will soon need to look elsewhere to deliver their babies, after a local hospital announced it will end the practice in March — blaming ObamaCare in part for the decision.
The Windber Medical Center will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can’t afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.
So these doctors busted their butts through years of medical school and racked up thousands of dollars in student debt in order to acquire the skills and expertise they have, and the Obama administration wants to underpay them to “save costs” for their utopian health care scheme.
Haven’t we learned ANYTHING from doctor shortages and two-year waiting lists in every country with established socialized medicine?
The Obama administration issued $236 billion worth of new regulations last year, according to a report from a conservative think tank.
The analysis from the American Action Forum, led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, found that the administration added $216 billion in rules and more than $20 billion in regulatory proposals in 2012. Complying with those rules will require an additional 87 million hours of paperwork, the report said.
The group put the total price tag from regulations during Obamaâ€™s first term at more than $518 billion.
With President Obama back in office and his life-saving â€œfiscal cliffâ€ bill jammed throughÂ Congress, theÂ new yearÂ has brought a surprising turn of events for his sycophantic supporters.
â€œWhat happened that my Social Security withholdingâ€™s in my paycheck just went up?â€ a poster wrote on the liberal site DemocraticUnderground.com. â€œMy paycheck just went down by an amount that I donâ€™t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonnaâ€™ hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?â€
Shocker. Democrats who supported the presidentâ€™s re-election just had NO idea that his steadfast pledge to raise taxes meant that he was really going to raise taxes. They thought he planned to just hit those filthy â€œ1 percenters,â€ you know, the ones who earned fortunes through their inventiveness and hard work. They thought the free ride would continue forever.
So this week, as taxes went up for millions of Americans â€” which Republicans predicted throughout the campaign would happen â€” it was fun to watch the agoggery of the left.
â€œI know to expect between $93 and $94 less in my paycheck on the 15th,â€ wrote the ironically named â€œRomneyLies.â€
â€œMy boyfriend has had a lot of expenses and is feeling squeezed right now, and having his paycheck shrink really didnâ€™t help,â€ wrote â€œDemocratToTheEnd.â€ […]
The Twittersphere was even funnier.
â€œReally, how am I ever supposed to pay off my student loans if my already small paycheck keeps getting smaller? Help a sister out, Obama,â€ wrote â€œMeet Virginia.â€ â€œNancy Thongkhamâ€ was much more furious. […]
â€œ_Alexâ„¢â€ sounded bummed. â€œObama I did not vote for you so you can take away alot of money from my checks.â€ Christian Dixon seemed crestfallen. â€œIâ€™m starting to regret voting for Obama.â€ […]
I’d like to be able to smirk, “we told you so,” but there’s no joy in knowing that millions of innocent people are suffering because of an ignorant electorate that was suckered by a lying administration and their accomplices in the deceitful media.
With the fiscal cliff deal signed into law, the nationâ€™s attention now turns to the debt ceiling debate, scheduled to hit in the next two months. As America reaches the debt ceiling yet again â€“ an unbelievable $16.4 trillion debt ceiling needs another increase in order to allow us to borrow more cash to pay our bills â€“ Republicans insist that we finally begin dealing with our spending problem. That, of course, was the purpose of the fiscal cliff deal in the first place: to preserve as many of the Bush tax rates as possible, consider tax rates a finished issue, and move on to spending cuts. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on ABCâ€™sÂ This Week, â€œThe tax issue is finished, over, completed. Thatâ€™s behind us. Now the question is: what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future? And thatâ€™s our spending addiction.â€
Not so fast.
The bullies in the Democratic Party have no intention of cutting a single dollar. Instead, they want to tighten their stranglehold on the windpipes of job producers and entrepreneurs. This morning, virtually every Democrat on virtually every Sunday show said the same thing: no cuts, more taxes. So much for the Republican attempt to take the tax discussion off the table.
Obama used his weekly address to declare that he “will not compromise” with the co-equal branch of government that constitutionally holds the power of the purse:
In his weekly address, Obama lashed out at Republicans for even suggesting that the debt ceiling issue be used as leverage to cut spending:
As I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill theyâ€™ve already racked up.Â If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic.Â The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.Â Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.
This is nonsense. Weâ€™ve racked up bills, and we will not have to default to pay them â€“ we just have to cut. Even if we hit the debt ceiling, we will not need to default on our debts â€“ we will simply stop providing non-essential government services (which, for the most part, we should do anyway) and then use that money to pay our debts.
But Obama is aÂ bully, and so he thinks he can unilaterally dictate Americaâ€™s debt policy. He demonizes anyone who disagrees. He ignores the Constitution, and instead plays the class warfare card…
The threat of fines totaling $2,000 a year for not providing health care to full-time workers will be a great subsidy for companies that supply part-time workers. They will be in greater demand.
Workers who already work less than 30 hours a week will find lots of new competition. They are likely to be locked into their positions permanently.
Any firm with 50 employees comes under the law. So, the smart move for businesses with 50 to 60 workers is to fire them.
Economics teaches that decisions are made at the margin. What does one more unit of this or that cost? That is the key price for all of the units.
Businesses can take two approaches. First, they can cut workers who work 30 hours a week to 29 hours. Or, just to be safe, 25 hours. Second, they can fire workers who work 30 hours a week and refuse to hire replacements. Both approaches are legal. Both make economic sense.
We are in a tight job market. We have been ever since 2008. The recovery is slow. This will make it slower.
Taxes for most Americans will still go up this year despite declarations from President Obama and others touting Tuesday night’s fiscal crisis deal as a victory for middle-class workers.
At the same time, tax relief that was included in the package comes at a cost — contributing, along with new spending, nearly $4 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, adding to the nation’s more than $16 trillion debt.
But there will be federal tax hikes in 2013. That’s because the legislation pushed through the Senate and House on Jan. 1 does nothing to prevent a temporary cut in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. That means, under the agreement brokered by the White House and Senate Republicans, 77 percent of American households will be forced to fork over higher federal taxes in 2013.
Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.
For most families, the increase will end there. But for top earners, taxes will get considerably higher this year.
Speaking Jan. 1 at the White House at 11:20 p.m., less than an hour after the House voted 257 to 167 to approve new tax hikes, President Barack Obama announced that he will assert the authority to raise the debt ceiling for spending approved by Congress.
â€œOne last point I want to make,â€ said the president flanked by Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose Capitol Hill summitry closed the deal on a â€œfiscal cliffâ€ compromise. â€œI will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills, they have already racked up through the laws they have passed.
It reads:Â The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questionedâ€¦
This is the second time the administration has wielded the debt ceiling as a hammer against the Republicans in Congress.
[…] Â The president was direct. Either Congress raises the debt ceiling or he will go ahead and borrow the money to pay the bills on his own in order to avoid damage to the U.S. and world economies.
Last I checked, the co-equal branches of government are not required to obey one another’s commands. Â In fact, they are there to hold one another in check. Â Congress is under NO obligation to give the president the money he demands. Â But they are too spineless to hold him accountable for his unconstitutional power grabs and blatant disregard for the separation of powers.
An honorable congress would impeach him and throw him out the door for his flagrant assault on the constitution and grabs for dictatorial powers. Â Sadly, we don’t have an honorable congress.
Obama has succeeded in his ultimate goal of getting Republicans to break their “no tax hike” pledge. Â And for what purpose? Â So the Democrats can continue their uncontrollable spending binge, while Republicans take the blame.
First day of the year, and we’ve already been royally screwed over by the so-called “conservatives” in congress. More debt on my kids’ backs, more money stolen from our paychecks, and for what? So they can flush more money down the toilet on shrimp treadmills, rum subsidies and blatant assaults on our constitutional rights. America, if THESE are the clowns you want running your lives, you deserve what you get.
The House of Representatives late Tuesday night voted 257 to 167 to approve a “fiscal cliff” deal that had been negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden and approved by the Senate in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The majority of House RepublicansÂ voted against the bill, with 151 opposing it, 85 supporting it, and 5 not voting. House Speaker John Boehner voted for the bill. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted against it.
The deal phases out exemptions and deductions for individuals earning more than 250,000 per year and for couples earning more than $300,000, according to a summary published by the New York Times. It also increases the income tax rate for individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000 per year.
The deal also suspends for two months the $110 billion future spending cuts, set to take place in 2013, that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama agreed to when they made a deal in August 2011 to increase the federal government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion.
The federal government exhausted that $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority on Monday. So, the government has thus far been able to borrow all of the additional $2.4 trillion that Boehner and Obama agreed to in seventeen months ago without actually carrying out any of the spending cuts they agreed to at that time.
The bill also spends $30 billion–with no offsetting spending cut–to provide extended unemployment benefits to people who have not worked for more than half a year.
The bill, according to the Republican Study Committee, would also permanently reinstate the federal death tax, requiring a family to pay 40 percent of the value of all assets above $5 million when the senior member of the family dies.
While taxing family-owned businesses through the death tax, the bill would also pay out $134 billion in “refundable” tax credits to low-income people who did not, in the first place, pay the “tax” they are being refunded by the federal government.
It also, as the Republican Study Committee points out, will reimpose the “marriage penalty” by starting the top federal income tax rate at $400,000 for individuals but at $450,000 for married couples.
To add insult to injury, Obama’s favorite cheerleaders in Hollywood got the kickbacks they wanted. So much for “the rich” paying their “fair share.” Obama’s pets get special perks while everyone else gets slammed. Welcome to the new Banana Republic of Amerika, where corrupt politicians pick the winners and losers.
While you were sleepingâ€”or ringing in 2013â€”the Senate voted to raise taxes.
After missing the midnight deadline, Congress and the President have technically sent the nation over theÂ fiscal cliff, meaning higher tax rates are already in effect for all income tax brackets. But the Senateâ€™s deal, brokered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Vice President Joe Biden, would target the tax increases on those making more than $250,000.
The Senate voted 89-8 to limit deductions for taxpayers making more than $250,000, which would raise their taxes, and to hike tax rates for those making more than $400,000.
Never mind that ObamaÂ already raised taxes on upper-income taxpayersÂ through the 3.8 percent Medicare surtax imposed under Obamacare. Never mind that tax rate hikes would weaken an economy stumbling so badly the Federal Reserve doubled itsÂ risky efforts to keep the economy from recession. Never mind Obamaâ€™s approach would likely put the kibosh on any hopes for tax reform. Never mind the resulting revenues would beÂ a small drop in a very big bucketÂ compared to projected budget deficits. Never mind that the only justification for higher taxes is spite and envy to be exercised through the extortive power of the federal government.
Some of theÂ key pointsÂ in the Senate deal, which could go to the House as early as today:
Raises taxes on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households
Raises taxes on investment income for those taxpayers as well
Limits tax deductions for incomes over $250,000â€”raising their taxes, too
Increases the death tax rate for estates over $5 million
Extends long-term unemployment benefits for one year
Postpones sequestrationâ€™s automatic spending cuts (including those to defense) by two months
According toÂ the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billionâ€”a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cutsâ€”cuts that never ultimately cameâ€”they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
Last night, without any legislative language, the Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to raise taxes. They did not just vote to raise income taxes. They voted to raise the payroll tax on all Americans.
This will hurt small businesses.
Ironically, this plan generates less revenue than even John Boehnerâ€™s Plan B option. But both options, as I have long maintained, were only about breaking the will of the GOP and getting the GOP to violate its tax pledge.
Well, today the White House is telling Fox Newâ€™s Ed Henry that this was the game all along. According to Ed Henry,Â the White House staff is saying that getting the GOP to break their tax pledge is, â€œOne of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple of decades.â€Â The plan cuts $1.00 in spending for every $41.00 in tax increases. Contrary to what Senator Pat Toomey is claiming today, everyoneâ€™s taxes will also go up â€“ the 99% and the 1%.
That will be the headline if the House Republicans vote for this plan.
Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul were defiant. They know what is at stake.
Now, many of you think this is the best deal we can get. I understand that. But consider this â€” the White House has designed this solely for purposes of getting the GOP to break their tax pledge. Any way we play the game we lose.
The only way to even think of winning is to not play this game.
Senators spent the weekend trying to craft a new proposal that they originally claimed could be ready as early as Sunday. But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid reported late in the day that there was significant distance between the two sides, following a tense afternoon during which Vice President Biden was brought in to referee.
Talks now push on, likely into Monday — but President Obama has already made clear he will press Reid to call a vote on a separate White House plan if nothing is produced by then.
The stumbling block Sunday initially appeared to be a provision in the Republican proposal that would change the way Social Security benefits are calculated — effectively reducing benefits over time.
But while that drew the ire of Democrats, some Republicans indicated they were willing to drop the provision. Instead, they voiced serious concern about a Democratic push to use new tax revenue for new spending.
â€œThe biggest obstacle we face is that President Obama and Majority Leader Reid continue to insist on new taxes that will be used to fund more new spending, not for meaningful deficit reduction,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
Despite the fact that his unreasonable demands are to blame, Obama isn’t afraid of taking the fall for this impasse. Â He knows the media will cover his hide and pin the blame on the Republicans no matter what.
On this weekendâ€™s broadcast of â€œFox News Sunday,â€ South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded a political victory to President Barack Obama on the pending fiscal cliff negotiations.
â€œWhat have we accomplished? Political victory for the president,â€ Graham said. â€œHats off to the president â€” he stood his ground. Heâ€™s going to getÂ taxÂ rate increases, maybe not at [$250,000], but on upper-income Americans. And the sad news for the country is weâ€™ve accomplished very little in not becoming Greece or getting out of debt. This deal wonâ€™t affect the debt situation. And it will be a political victory for the president, and I hope we have courage of our convictions, when it comes to raise the debt ceiling to fight what we believe as Republicans. Hats off to the president, he won.â€
This is exactly why I donâ€™t like Lindsey Graham. Itâ€™s like having a minute left at the end of a football game where his team is a touchdown behind with the season on the line and heâ€™s on the sidelines congratulating the other coach for playing a great game. Ugh! He even admits later that this deal does nothing for the country, yet heâ€™s gonna vote for a tax increase because of politics, saying on national TV that Obama won and even congratulated him.
Lindsey Graham is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. A bunch of dang smushes.
After taking criticism for missing an October deadline, the Obama administration Friday released its list of proposed government-wide regulations that it plans to consider in the next year.
The administration put out its notice, called the unified regulatory agenda, online around 3 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, after most lawmakers had left town. The proposed rules cover everything from power plant pollution to health-care standards to workplace safety. Critics who accuse President Obama of being an overzealous regulator said the timing of the announcement was no accident.
â€œPresident Obama has earned a permanent spot on the disclosure naughty list as his administration dumped their entire regulatory agenda out to the public when everyone else was celebrating the holidays,â€ said Rick Manning, communications director for Americans for Limited Government. â€œThe late Friday dump cannot be good news for those concerned about the regulatory overreach that this administration has become renowned for.â€
For months now,Â lawmakers have been complainingÂ about the Obama administrationâ€™s glib dismissal of their explicitly promised commitment to transparency and their blithe failure to publish either a spring or a fall regulatory agenda â€” which is even worse when you consider the fact that his administration has been rolling out new regulations at anÂ economically soul-crushing pace. Wouldnâ€™t want to start circulating anything that might damper the presidentâ€™s chances ahead of the election, especially with all the mega-rules of Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare still unwritten, now would we?
But, lo and behold, the Obama administration finally released their regulatory agenda,Â on Friday afternoonÂ â€” just as everybody was leaving town for the four-day Christmas holiday. A convenient accident of timing, or one of the most news-dumpy Friday news dump, ever?
A defection of conservative Republicans forced House Speaker John Boehner to abandon his final-hour plan to block automatic tax increases, leaving taxpayers hanging on the edge of the fiscal cliff that is scheduled to crumble on Jan. 1.
â€œThe House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,â€ Boehner said in statement Thursday night after cancelling the vote and sending members home for the Christmas holiday.
â€œNow it is up to the president to work with Sen. (Harry) Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,â€ Boehner said.
The collapse was announced shortly after an emergency GOP conference was called at 7:45 p.m. to count votes and twist arms, just moments before the legislation wasÂ to be debated on the House floor.
The bill is referred to as â€œPlan Bâ€ and would have averted an automatic tax increase for families making less than $1 million a year but raised tax rates for those making more than $1 million.
A second bill to block military and domestic spending cuts that are part of sequestration narrowly passed Thursday on a vote of 215 to 209 with no Democratic support and 21 Republicans voting no.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the â€œPlan Bâ€ bill would have been dead on arrival in the upper chamber. The plan was offered by Boehner (R-Ohio) after failed negotiations with President Barack Obama to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts.
Without a deal, taxes are on autopilot to increase $4.6 trillion over the next decade along with $1.2 trillion in cuts across the board.