What Do We Get In Exchange, Governor?

Just two days remain until New Jersey’s deadline for Governor Christie to make a decision on the health care exchanges outlined in the Affordable Care Act.  The federal deadline was to be December 16.  Our State Legislature, in the interests of our State’s autonomy, told DC they couldn’t tell us what to do, and then proceeded to move the deadline ten days earlier.  I guess Trenton showed HHS who’s boss around here.

As in the case of the previous health insurance exchanges, Governor Christie has been very vague regarding what he intends to do.  There is the option of setting up a state exchange, a joint federal/state exchange or letting the federal government operate the exchange themselves.

On the one hand, as quoted in northjersey.com last month, he has said “if ObamaCare is going to be the law of the land,” he’s “going to comply.”  I wonder how many Governors in the North said that about the Fugitive Slave Act in the 1850s? And does this also mean you’re planning on backing off the push for sports betting?  Those were two federal acts masquerading as the law of the land.

On the other hand, he has said “[the White House] won’t answer our questions, so I can’t evaluate how much this will cost my State.”  How about our health care freedom, Governor?  Is that costly enough to say no to the exchanges?

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Tennessee: Just Say NO to the Obamacare Exchange Rally on Wednesday

There will be a “Just Say NO” rally at the Tennessee State Capitol on Wednesday, December 5th at 12 noon Central time.  The rally will be an effort to put Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly on notice that Tennesseans do not want the state to cooperate with the federal government by creating…

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Drone Makers Push Congress to Move Up Domestic Deployment Date

The day of deployment is drawing nearer. Soon, thousands of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unmanned aerial vehicle license holders will launch their drones into the skies over the United States.

Despite the delay of lawmakers to establish constitutionally sound guidelines for the use of these eyes in the sky, a handful of congressmen are pushing to move forward the date of deployment.

Why would legislators — typically not the most hurry-happy group — be interested in accelerating the drive to permit civilian drone use?

Money.

A collaboration between Hearst Newspapers and the Center for Responsive Politics paints the pecuniary picture:

The drone makers have sought congressional help to speed their entry into a domestic market valued in the billions. The 60-member House of Representatives’ “drone caucus” — officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus — has helped push that agenda. And over the last four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions….

And:

House members from California, Texas, Virginia and New York on the bipartisan “drone caucus” received the lion’s share of the funds channeled to lawmakers from dozens of firms that are members of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Hearst and CRP found.

Eleven drone caucus lawmakers from California, where many aviation firms are located, received more than $2.4 million from manufacturers’ political action committees and employees during the 2012 and 2010 election cycles, according to CRP tabulation of Federal Election Commission reports.

Eight Texas House members in the caucus received more than $746,000. And four caucus members from New York got more than $185,000 from companies connected to the business of unmanned vehicles.

The big winner of the drone manufacturer lobbying lotto was Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.). According to the investigation, McKeon — cochairman of the House Unmanned Systems Caucus — received $833,650 in contributions from the drone industry. 

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Government Spending is Sending us off the Cliff

by Ron Paul

As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another Congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as “saving” the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy. Congress should have just cut taxes. But instead, we have a crisis that is sure not to go to waste.

The hysteria surrounding the January 1 deadline for the Budget Control Act’s spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts seems all too familiar. Even the language is predictably hysterical: if government reduces planned spending increases by even a tiny amount, the economy will go over a “fiscal cliff.” This is nonsense.

This rhetoric is based on the belief that government spending sustains the economy, when in fact the opposite is true. Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken from consumers, businessmen, or investors. Reducing spending can only help the economy by putting money back in the hands of ordinary Americans. Politicians who claim to support the free market and the lower and middle-class should take this to heart.

The reality is, however, that neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about cutting spending. Even though U.S. military spending is exponentially larger than any other country and is notorious for its inefficiency and cost overruns, Republicans cannot seem to stomach even one penny of cuts to the Pentagon’s budget. This is unfortunate because this is the easiest, most obvious place to start getting spending under control. The military-industrial complex and unconstitutional overseas military interventions should be the first place we look for budget cuts.

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NDAA Detention Powers Remain: Blake Filippi Takes on the Talking Heads

Blake Filippi, legal analyst for the Tenth Amendment Center discusses passage of the “Feinstein Amendment” to the 2013 NDAA – and how indefinite detention is still a serious concern. Read his analysis HERE and HERE. “We don’t really know whether or not NDAA Indefinite Detention is being used. When asked by Judge Forrest, “are you…

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Nothing to Worry About on Indefinite Detention? Guess Again

As mentioned in Friday’s feature article about the Feinstein-Lee Amendment by Tenth Amendment Center Legal Analyst Blake Filippi, it did absolutely nothing to rectify the loss of rights Americans faced from the indefinite detention provisions in the 2012 NDAA that we are working to nullify throughout the country. However, Senator Mike Lee disagrees about the…

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The White House Does a Gary Bettman

If you’re a hockey fan, you’re probably pretty irritated that the National Hockey League’s owners and players still haven’t reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement, and thus the 2012-2013 season remains in limbo. You also probably know that negotiations got off to a rough start after the owners, who are presumed to have the upper hand, made a rather insulting initial offer to the players.

Well, the Obama administration must’ve stolen a page from the NHL owners’ negotiating playbook. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner—playing the role of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman—delivered to congressional Republicans the president’s opening proposal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The proposal’s reported contents were too extreme for the GOP, and they should insult anyone who gives a fig about the federal government’s unsustainable budgetary path.

Here are the details as reported by the Wall Street Journal:

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Taxation and Forced Labor: What’s the Difference?

I am thinking a lot about taxation in light of all this “fiscal cliff” talk. According to the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia, ”taking the earnings of n hours of labor” is not different from “forcing the person to work n hours for another’s purpose,” and therefore the taxation of earnings is “on a par with forced labor” and cannot be morally defended.

Get an overview of Nozick’s ideas in this article by Roderick Long.

I covered this a bit in this six-minute video last year:

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