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Tea Party exerts its new found power with new Congress

The country’s Tea Party movement proved to stalwarts in Washington D.C. they had the will of the people and the capability to send a strong message to all lawmakers. The grassroots organization engineered historic midterm election results while daring their dissenters to heed ordinary citizens or face the consequences.

The 2010 midterm election cycle focused on cleaning house of Republicans who acted like Democrats – check. Step two of Nancy Pelosi’s so-called Astro-turf movement was to dethrone the Speaker herself- checkmate. The Tea Party kept its word and focus – Democrats and Republicans beware.

More than 200 Tea Party leaders met in Washington D.C. this weekend to share their “action plan” with the nation’s newest freshman and are optimistic the new members will vote in line with the Tea Party wave that got them elected.

The weekend meeting was the largest collaboration of Tea Party representatives, many of whom are new to politics. The Tea Party gained steam after Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange Rick Santelli’s now famous call for a tea party during the country’s biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Fox’s Glen Beck also played a big role in encouraging Americans to step up and fight back after his 9-12 rally bent on recapturing the compassion all citizens felt for one another after the devastating attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Now it’s “love her, hate her” Sarah Palin who empowered to the Tea Party challenge and became the GOP’s biggest fundraiser as well as a mythical figurehead for the grassroots movement.

That being said Tea Party leaders contend there is no one leader and it’s up to individual chapters scattered across America to influence local, state and national lawmakers to listen to the people.

Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest and original grassroots group, has been working with more than 3,000 local tea party coordinators to meet with incoming Congressional members for a “Tea Party orientation meeting.”

In addition to the “Freshmen Orientation,” tea party leaders spent the day sharing ideas, brainstorming new agendas and voting on items that will be included in their “action plan.”

The “of the people, by the people movement” all voted to decide what will be in the final document that would be given to lawmakers.

“We heard from excellent speakers and found ourselves in the company of some of the cleverest people in the movement. It was a pleasure to spend the weekend with such a high caliber of tea party activists. The tea party movement is in very good hands,” said Andrew Ian Dodge, Tea Party Patriots Maine Coordinator.

Members from a wide range of states all agreed the movement is strong and continues to grow even though many on the left think the movement will fizzle out once the economy turns around.

“The information we’ve received here has been absolutely stunning, this gathering has surpassed my best expectations. It really shows that we are a permanent force to be reckoned with,” explained Shelby Blakely, Director/Host – TPP Radio, National Leadership Council/WA State Coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

While the Tea Party may be riding the wave of America’s discontent it remains foggy as to the long-term sustainability the movement yearns. However, if establishment political leaders think the grassroots movement is a passing fancy, Tea Party leaders from groups large and small seem willing to prove insiders wrong.

“It’s a wonderful experience. We were able to let the new Congress know what we want them to do to restore America,” said John Stahl of the Berks Tea in PA. “We have our work cut out for us. But they (Washington D.C.) now know who we are and what we can do.”

Florida’s Tea Party group has also been a big influence in the midterm election cycle and leaders were ready and willing to be a part of this weekend’s historic Tea Party get together.

“I am excited about the ideas that came out of the meeting,” says Everett Wilkinson, Florida state coordinator and chairman of the South Florida Tea Party. “We met with several freshmen and let them know that we will be there for them.”

Perhaps the most successful Tea Party-endorsed candidate is Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio. First, the popular GOP candidate took out popular Republican Governor Charlie Crist in the primary and went on to handily beat the Democratic candidate as well as Crist who turned his back to the GOP and ran as an Independent.

Rubio is a well-liked, well-spoken Cuban immigrant already being eyed by some as a future presidential contender.

While time will tell if the Tea Party has the staying power of the two main political arms in Washington D.C., the feeling now rings with excitement that “we the people” were part of the process.

“I also feel very confident that the Tea Party is going to be here four years and 40 years from now,” Wilkinson concluded.

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Pelosi tells Democrats it’s time to take one for the team and vote for health care

Speaker Pelosi asked fellow Democrats to fall on the sword, take one for the team or vote against their values to force a 2,700-page health care legislation bill onto the American citizens that simply doesn’t believe a faltering economy can handle another trillion-dollar entitlement program.

President Obama claimed he heard the voters in his State of the Union speech in January. He promised his administration would pivot to jobs and the economy. In fact, not only has the President failed to live up to his speech, but also his administration plans to focus on the health care topic for the next two to three months.

The recent economic indicators show the country in fact is headed for a double-dip recession. The housing market posted lower than expected sales, the recent positive bounce in unemployment didn’t last, more jobs have disappeared and consumer-spending confidence has dipped again.

Skyrocketing deficits and continued government spending increases have voters on edge. Most understand that they have to live within a budget and cut back when they do not have the money.

The credit card era is over and it’s time to pay the piper. If America doesn’t want to falter to China than it’s time to start thinking about the hard decisions that need to be made in Washington D.C. and belt up for a bumpy ride.

The changes Americans need to make are not easy and there will be a lot of painful cuts that need to be made to ensure our world dominance, but most are ready. If that means pensions need to be trimmed, federal employees salaries need to be more in line with the national average or Social Security needs to be – so be it.

America’s children and grandchildren shouldn’t be saddled with years of reckless spending in the form of unsustainable deficits.

This isn’t the time to trade in values or simply take one for the team, it’s time is for Ms. Pelosi to step aside and let true leaders take the podium and keep the country from the cliff that is on the fast-approaching horizon.

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Democrats propose tax increase to fund new jobs

If you are in the stock market you may see increased taxes soon to fund a new job program Congress is trying to pass before the end of the year. The legislation is currently being drafted in the House by Democrats and they are seeking to place a tax on stock market investors in order to create badly needed jobs.

Now that the $787 billion stimulus package has failed to ease the unemployment numbers facing the country, Democrats will now reach into their playbook and raise stock market taxes. The .25 percent tax is part of the “Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act of 2009,” and will give Congress the new power to create jobs.

The bill doesn’t come without skeptics and Americans aren’t convinced the federal government is able to take on this noble challenge. The bill is deceiving from the get go as it hopes to raise $150 billion, half of which will pay down the deficit and then create a new jobs reserve. This sounds vaguely similar to another bureaucratic entity which requires money and produces little results.

The White House is facing declining poll numbers and insiders point to the rising unemployment numbers as the main reason lawmakers are so unpopular. However, House leader Nancy Pelosi raised some concerns about the tax hike on Wall Street and said the only way this new program will work is if other countries pursue similar tactics.

According to the sponsors of the bill Rep. Peter DeFazio-D OR and Rep. Ed Perlmutter-D CO, the program would need to create jobs that pay at least the median wage in the U.S. Also the proposed legislation would prevent recipients of stimulus money from returning to the cookie jar.

Legislator’s claim the new tax wouldn’t hurt Wall Street and said it was about time they ponied up to the table and supported Main Street. Among the leading groups who support the new tax are the Service Union Employees International (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO union.

It looks like all those White House visits by Andy Stern, SEIU’s front man, are about to pay off in the form of more wealth redistribution.

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Pelosi’s health care bonanza includes jail time for those who don’t buy in

If the House health care bill squeaks through the Senate and is signed into law by the President, those failing to buy into the health insurance business will face steep fines and even jail time.

According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, the House version of this trillion dollar health-care boondoggle will pay a fine of 2.5 percent of their yearly salary or face up to five years in prison.

Pelosi’s massive health legislation describes the penalties in section 7203; it is a misdemeanor to willfully fail to pay for health insurance and it is punishable by a fine of up to $25, 000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

In section 7201 it will be a felony to willfully evade purchasing health insurance and it is punishable by five years in prison and/or $250,000 fine.

If American’s would like to pass on jail time, they will need to pony up some serious Benjamin’s by 2016. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that a family of four would have to pay $15,000 per year.

The Obama vision of health care will cost low-income families, who make $45,000, approximately 8 percent of their salary. While those making upwards of $65,000 will have to pitch in approximately 12 percent of their earnings in order to pay their insurance tab.

To be fair, The Joint Committee on Taxation reported the Senate Finance Committee bill doesn’t include the same prison time provisions. It also points to the fact that it will be a tough road for both bills to reconcile in order to present unified health care legislation for the President’s to sign.

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Pelosi care is more of the same, 2,000 pages of government takeover

The House leadership has put forth their massive 2,000 page health care bill, while there may have been minor tweaking; much of the bill remains the same.

“The plan unveiled today by House Democrats represents more of the same,” said Congressman Duncan Hunter-R CA. “Despite the need for responsible health care reform, this proposal once again amounts to nothing more than a massive government takeover of our health care system.”

There is no question that health care reform is needed and most Americans would like to see some changes, but this package is just too large for the taxpayers to understand.

“The status quo is insufficient, but what has been proposed today comprises a partisan overreach that will destroy the basic foundation of our health care system, eliminate jobs and drive up already record debt levels,” Hunter explained.

Hunter also expressed his disappointment that his amendment to protect small businesses, despite being accepted by the House Education and Labor Committee, was substantially weakened by Democratic leadership.

The legislation also contains the same loopholes in the prior House bill that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits.

“It is disappointing that despite assurances by President Obama and promises by Senate Democrats, the latest version of the House healthcare bill contains the same loopholes in previous legislation,” says Lamar Smith-D TX. “When will House Democrats listen to the American people? Taxpayers do not want to subsidize people who are here illegally.”

The House Democratic leadership hasn’t even included the verification mechanisms in their bill that the Senate Democrats added in order to curb illegal immigrant’s participation in taxpayer-funded health care.

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Pelosi claims health care will pay for itself, defies CBO

Washington D.C. – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi-D Calif. claims the new health care bill drafted in the House won’t require any money because the reform savings will pay the tab.

This comes as news from the Congressional Budget Office. Today the CBO Director, Douglas Elmendorf says the House and the Senate health care bills as written do not contain “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”

The CBO says the health care being offered up will do the exact opposite. “This legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs.”

Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad D-N.D. put the question bluntly; “Will these health care bills begin to bend the long-term cost curve?”

“No,” Elmendorf said.

Raising the question, can we afford this new health care?

Former presidential candidate John McCain R-AZ said this bill is “like fish in the sun, it stinks.” It will add between $1 and $2 trillion to the deficit, which now sits at $1.1 trillion, he said.

Also, as the legislation is being thoroughly read, pork is being discovered. Senator Ted Kennedy D-MA has added $80 billion to build or revamp playgrounds and build bike/walking trails, McCain said.

Health care we can believe in?

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