A Second Chance for Republicans

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare

Now that the entire country sees the ten-alarm fire that has set our healthcare system ablaze, Democrats feel compelled to do something.  Their Mr. Fix It plans are akin to an arsonist posing for a photo op with a 2-liter pitcher of water to put out the wildfire.  Will Republicans continue to pose with them in the photo op or will they kick them aside and smother the fire?

There are two clear observations about Obamacare at this point: it cannot be fixed and it will not collapse on its own.  As we are now seeing from the cancelled insurance plans, the industry has been working on revamping the insurance market for three years.  Obamacare has already collapsed the healthcare system.  It can only be rebuilt by completely repealing the law.

Similarly, the law won’t go away by itself.  They will fix the website one day, and the mandates and regulations on insurance will continue to force people into dependency on subsidies and  Medicaid expansion.  Worse, on the actual healthcare side of the equation, scores of doctors will leave the field of medicine due to the onerous burdens that go well beyond the insurance regulations.  Yes, in some sense you can refer to this as a collapse of the system, but that is exactly what Obamacare was designed to do with its inexorable path towards single-payer.

As we’ve said many times, we cannot afford to wait until the website is fixed and the dependency takes root.  It’s tempting for Republicans to just sit back and enjoy the polling data, but polling data will not get rid of the law.  Polls are not elections.  And even 2014 will not save us.  In the best case scenario, we will have 51 seats in the Senate with a unified filibuster-strong Democrat minority that, when coupled with the wayward Republicans, will give Senator Harry Reid a defacto majority.  Moreover, President Obama will still be president.  Waiting until 2017 is simply unacceptable.

In a sane world, Republicans would utilize this time to force the issue on Obamacare using our leverage points, not just to talk about it or help Democrats fix it. One challenge conservatives had with making Obamacare the centerpiece of the October budget showdown (aside for Senate Republicans sabotaging the effort) was that Republicans failed to prep the ground for the fight over the past few years.  In fact, thanks to Mitt Romney, Obamacare was not part of the political discourse for an entire two years.

That has all changed over the past month.  While we were stymied by fellow Republicans during the actual showdown, we did succeed at restarting the national discussion on Obamacare. The ensuing breakdown of the private insurance market has given us tailwinds like never before.  For the first time in Obama’s presidency, even some of the low-information voters have finally realized the failure of Obama and his signature legislation.   Moreover, we know now that the shutdown polling was off base and superficial.

Accordingly, it makes no sense why Obamacare should not be a part of the budget discussions.  Most people have forgotten or don’t know that the budget impasse was not solved last month.  The new budget deadline is January 15 and the new debt ceiling is February 7.  The deadline for reaching a budget conference deal is just two weeks after Thanksgiving.

But, alas, we have no leverage.  Senator Mitch McConnell has made it clear to Senate Democrats that he would never fight any budget or debt ceiling.  They have completely echoed the scandalous Democrat talking points about default.  In fact, they have publicly declared that they will lash out at conservatives who try to fight Obamacare and prevent endless increases or “suspensions” of the debt ceiling.

Consequently, even with Obama’s approval rating sinking into the 30s, and Obamacare as toxic as ever, Democrats have no reason to fear the budget deadlines next year.  The only points of contention are locking in the sequester cuts that were already locked in and extending super-long-term unemployment benefits for yet another year.  When it comes to fighting Obamacare, it’s all hat and no cattle.

At the very minimum, conservatives need to push for two concessions:

  • Even if they already surrendered the budget battle, they must secure an agreement from Democrats to pass all of next year’s 12 appropriations bills in regular order and go to conference on each bill individually.  This will lay the groundwork for fighting Obamacare in one or two bills without having the rest of the government as collateral damage in a shutdown.  That would give us the opportunity, at the very latest, to fight Obamacare right before the mid-term elections without the specter of a full government shutdown.
  • Republicans always said they wouldn’t mind fighting just the debt ceiling because there is no direct government shutdown.  Well, now is the time to start debunking the myth of default and committing to ending this practice of suspending the debt ceiling law.  The debt ceiling fight will coincide with the period of time when American workers begin to receive their first paychecks for 2014.  Most people will incur a large bite out of their pay due to the increased withholdings for higher premiums. This will augment the public disquiet that is already brewing from the destruction of private insurance.

Any Republican who blithely ignores Obamacare when it really counts and when we really have leverage does not deserve your vote.  Obamacare will not collapse on its own.  We must force the fight once and for all – without the full-scale sabotage campaign from the GOP establishment.

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Release: McConnell-Reid Deal Raises Debt and Funds Obamacare Without Any Reforms

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy, News, Obamacare, Press

For Immediate Release:

October 16, 2013

Contact: press@madisonproject.com

 

McConnell-Reid Deal Raises Debt and Funds Obamacare Without Any Reforms

“…Senate Leadership, led by Mitch McConnell, knows nothing but capitulation.”

 Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement today regarding news that the Senate reached a deal to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling without cutting one penny from Obamacare or offering a single reform to its failing structure:

“Today’s deal shows once again that the Senate Leadership, led by Mitch McConnell, knows nothing but capitulation,” said Drew Ryun of Madison Project.  “Rather than working to dismantle the monstrosity that is Obamacare, Senate Republicans chose to hand Harry Reid and the Democrat party a victory at the expense of hard-working Americans. This is unacceptable. Our nations’ true conservative leaders, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and others – took a stand for freedom and did everything possible in their power to prevent an outcome like this. For that, we applaud them. While some may be discouraged by this outcome, we are encouraged by the thought of adding more Senators like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to the GOP caucus in 2014.  We will also continue the battle against Obamacare until the American people are given the same relief as Obama’s special interests.”

“What has become apparent from this battle is that we cannot fight Obamacare and other deleterious political ploys with only a handful of committed conservatives,” said Daniel Horowitz of Madison Project.  “Democrats will never have any incentive to change their ways when a sizable portion of Republican senators are cheering them on.  This effort was sabotaged from day one, with a brave few left fighting with a knife in their backs.  We are committed to sending them reinforcements, and based on the reaction we are receiving from the heart and soul of the Republican grassroots, the career politicians are in for a surprise.”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
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Sabotage, and Where We go From Here

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, News

Throughout the past few weeks, we witnessed the train wreck of the stupid party colliding with the evil party.  The stupid party made sure to tell the evil party that they just need to reject their offer and there will be a new watered-down iteration in a flash.  Finally, it got so bad that they couldn’t even draw a line in the sand on delaying just the individual mandate, even at a time when most individuals can’t comply with it if they tried.  The irony is that the President will undoubtedly delay it (illegally) himself after the battle is over, making fools of the Republicans.

But amidst all the focus on Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans, we cannot lose focus on Mitch McConnell and the GOP Conference in the Senate.  McConnell and his henchmen sabotaged House Republicans at the two most critical points.

Headed into October 1, the House was the only body that had the ability to pass a funding bill.  Republicans had enough votes to block Harry Reid from reinserting funding for Obamacare.  Instead, McConnell and the gang acted in solidarity with fellow Senate Democrats instead of House Republicans.  That dynamic was only accentuated as the showdown dragged on.

Aside for Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, nobody else paid more than lip service to fighting Obamacare.  Worse, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in the Senate sabotaged the effort.  One after another, they would go on TV and trash House Republicans and echo Harry Reid’s talking points.  Reid and Obama just sat back and let Senate Republicans blow up their colleagues.  Then in the eleventh hour, instead of at least demanding delay of the individual mandate (which McConnell touted months ago as the alternative to defund), McConnell gave Harry Reid everything he wanted.

House GOP leadership was never going to change, but there was a sense that we got as much unity out of the House conference as we will ever get for battles like this.  Some House Republicans might be spineless, but the Senate Republicans are rotten to the core.  We will never change the status quo in Washington unless we completely shake up the Senate Republicans.  Anyone who thinks that by merely seeking 51 GOP senators next year we will suddenly obtain more leverage is mistaken.  Harry Reid will still be the defacto leader unless we get rid of Mitch McConnell and as many of his backbenchers as possible.

It’s time to support Matt Bevin or go home.  It’s time to continue plugging for all of the other challengers.  In some states there are already multiple candidates.  There are also some more impressive challengers that are set to announce soon.

We must also never give up the fight against Obamacare.  This is not the farm bill or flood insurance.  This will permanently crush the dignity and self-sufficiency of the middle class, destroy the entire healthcare system, and degrade the broader job market in every other field.  This cannot stand.  We must continue to fight the law at every turn and use every leverage point possible.

But ultimately, this is not just about Washington.  The Constitution references three branches of “government.”  I’m not referring to the executive, legislature, and judiciary.  They have all become incorrigibly malignant.  At this juncture, they are beyond repair.  I am referring to the federal government, state government, and the individual.  We must continue to fight this out in the states and with individuals.

Sadly, some states are completely hopeless until they collapse under their own failed policies.  But there are a number of states where we can still protect from the relentless federal tyranny.  Yet, in so many of these states, we are underutilizing our potential.  We need to elect men and women with courage to state legislatures (a much easier goal than congressional elections) – people who are willing to reassert state powers as prescribed by the Tenth Amendment.  We need to start in states like Texas and Oklahoma, and elect governing majorities who will just say no to Obamacare at every possible turn.

Moreover, state legislative elections are the front lines in the battle to restore our Republic through state-directed constitutional amendments, as recommended by Mark Levin.  I know some people are skeptical of Article V conventions, but we have no choice.  We have hit rock bottom.  If the Obamacare tragedy doesn’t expose the failure of our current strategy nothing will change the inevitable march to full tyranny.  There is no better long-term solution.

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Halloween Mitch: Only Tricks, No Treats

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News

He is invisible.  He vanishes from the scene.  He lurks in the shadows to sabotage conservatives at the most crucial points.  Then he swoops down and picks up the carcasses he helped create.

He is Mitch McConnell.

Here are the latest tricks in the invisible man’s grab bag:

  • Pass a Continuing Resolution to fund all of government, including every aspect of Obamacare, until January 15.  This date coincides with the activation of the 2014 sequester and is designed to set up a new fiscal cliff.
  • The January budget bill will be worked out by an oligarchy in a conference committee by mid-December.
  • Pass a debt ceiling increase into February with no strings attached.  And with extraordinary measures, Jack Lew will once again extend the disaster date until some politically advantageous time.
  • So what do Republicans get for the surrender?  They will verify that recipients are eligible for Obamacare before dolling out the subsidies.  The only problem is that verification is already the law on the books, yet Obama won’t follow it.  I’m sure he’s given his promise that he will follow this new iteration.

There you have it.  After holding almost the entire GOP conference in line for the past few weeks in order to ignore Obamacare and sabotage House Republicans, McConnell is now feasting on the carcasses.

Senate Republicans have worked to buttress the Democrats and undermine Republicans throughout this showdown.  This is Speaker Boehner’s time to shine.  He must tell McConnell to shove it.

The only way Republicans should sign onto this deal is if we have a budget conference on each of the twelve appropriations bills independently.  That way HHS and the IRS can be isolated.  Let’s discuss funding for Obamacare without Democrats holding everything else hostage.  Enough of this CR nonsense.  If we are going to pass a four-month budget in order to work out a deal, let’s do it properly – each bill independently. If we can make that demand as a precondition, then we could fight on the HHS and Financial Services bills, only shutting down HHS and IRS if Democrats continue to throw people of their health insurance.

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Fighting Obamacare: The Difference Between Cutting Spending and Limiting Harmful Government

Monday, October 14th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, News, Obamacare

As Mitch McConnell puts the finishing touches on his terms of surrender, here are some thoughts to ponder.

Republicans and conservatives have spent the past few years messaging their platform to the American people built upon budget-speak.  It’s all about the debt and cutting spending.

In reality, we don’t have a spending problem per se, we have a big and harmful government problem.  The two are not always the same.

All of us who follow policy issues very closely understand that debt in itself is not just a problem for the federal balance sheet, it will have to be paid back by our children and grandchildren.  However, most people don’t see it that way, at least not in a meaningful way.  What people care about is loss of employment, lower/stagnant wages, the rising cost of living, and personal liberty.  It is our job to prioritize an agenda both in substance and messaging that directly addresses the harmful effects of government on jobs, standard of living, and personal liberty.  The federal budget is secondary, and will take care of itself once we restore government to its proper role.

For example, we spend roughly $8 billion in discretionary spending funding the EPA each year.  Now, is that $8 billion in wasted spending contributing to our debt?  You betcha.  But the more serious problem with the EPA is not the $8 billion in discretionary spending, but the hundreds of billions that are removed from the private economy in the form of lost jobs and higher cost of living (not to mention personal liberty), as a result of the regulatory regime.

Hence, when we cut the operating budget of the EPA from $8.4 billion to $8 billion via the sequester, are we really limiting government?  Not really.  We are cutting spending, which slows the debt crisis ever so slightly, but we are not really providing relief to the American people in a way most people understand or feel in any tangible way.

Which brings me to the current showdown and Obamacare.  Mitch McConnell is getting ready to completely surrender on Obamacare so long as the sequester is preserved.

Let’s lay some facts out on the table:

1)      There is nothing that will destroy more jobs, lower wages, raise the cost of living, and disrupt personal liberty than Obamacare.  Not to mention the fact that it’s costly to the federal budget.

2)      Due to the new coverage of Obamacare over the past few years, the importance of healthcare, and the immediate deleterious effects of the law, this is something that is easily understood and vividly felt by the broad populace.

3)      If we are resigned to letting go of the Obamacare fight in the budget, there is no way it will ever be repealed, even partially repealed.  By 2017, the first possible opportunity for full GOP control of government, there will be over 30 million people either willingly or unwillingly dependent on Obamacare.  Even if it is barely workable, it would be the only care they have.  We cannot repeal it.

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Mitch McConnell Working to Surrender on Obamacare

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare, Press

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2013

Contact: press@madisonproject.com

 

Mitch McConnell Working to Surrender on Obamacare

Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement regarding Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) quiet maneuvering to fund Obamacare in the budget bill:

“After remaining largely silent when conservatives were fighting Obamacare, Senator Mitch McConnell is, once again, re-emerging from the shadows to sell out conservatives in the eleventh hour,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “He has made it clear from day one that he had no intention of fighting Obamacare in the budget, and has even suggested that parts of the law are ‘okay.’ Well, now it appears that by parts, he means the entire thing.”

According to Politico and The Hill, Senator McConnell is preparing to pass both a debt ceiling increase AND a long-term budget bill that completely funds every aspect of Obamacare.   The only concession he is pushing for in return is repeal of the medical device tax.  This approach will not bring any relief to families languishing from loss of coverage and skyrocketing premiums. It also won’t fundamentally alter or delay the law.

“It is extremely dishonest for Mitch McConnell to tell Kentucky voters he is in favor of defunding Obamacare while refusing to fight for a mere delay of the law or even significant parts of the law,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “If McConnell is going to undermine the work of conservatives he at least needs to level with Republican primary voters and divulge his alternative plan to get rid of Obamacare.”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
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Republicans Must Keep Focus on Obamacare

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Here is our the latest Madison Project op-ed posted at Investors’ Business Daily. 

Conservatives across the country have risen up to make Washington, D.C., listen to their grievances about ObamaCare. And after pressure, cajoling and infighting, House Republicans are indeed listening.

They have united behind a strategy to fund all of government sans those agencies responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Despite almost 20 years of incorrigible fear of a government shutdown, many Republicans now realize that the dire predictions were greatly exaggerated.

According to some estimates, only 17% of the federal government has stopped operating. With the cessation affecting only the most nonessential functions, few outside metropolitan Washington are feeling the effects.

Consequently, the Obama administration has engaged in puerile political stunts to ensure more pain is felt. It has ordered barricades to close outdoor parks and monuments that need not be shut down. It has also closed more than 1,000 private parks and even forced private landowners out of their homes.

Presumably, it would take too much manpower to drop a cloth over Mount Rushmore, so the park police have blocked off a scenic overlook.

Meanwhile, the administration uses the shutdown to selectively promote its priorities.

While the National Mall has been closed to visitors, for example, illegal immigrants were granted a permit to hold a rally there promoting amnesty. Armed Forces Radio was also plagued by the selective shutdown. While broadcasts of football games were suspended, NPR was still going strong.

Read more at Investors’ Business Daily

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The Debt Ceiling is the Law of the Land

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Obamacare

Over the past few weeks, Democrats have indicated that they have no intention of negotiating over Obamacare, opting instead to shut down the government.  They are justifying their obstinacy by asserting that Obamacare is the law of the land.  Well, if that is the game they want to play, we should return the favor with the debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling, pursuant to the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, is the law of the land.  And it has been so for far longer than Obamacare.

Throughout this debate over funding Obamacare in the budget bill, House GOP leaders have stressed how the debt ceiling was the more appropriate means of fighting Obamacare.  After all, it was “the next fight.”  But as if on cue, some Republicans are already using the same Democrat talking points about the risk of default.

We are going to hear this erroneous talking point propagated by both parties over the next few weeks, so let’s put the myth to rest.  The only way we default on the debt is if we fail to pay the interest on the public debt.  According to the updated budget projection from the CBO, interest on the debt will be roughly $237 billion for 2014.  Thanks to the short-term revenue benefits of the fiscal cliff and Obamacare tax hikes, the federal government is expected to rake in a record $3.042 trillion from the private economy this year.

Let’s engage in a simple math exercise.  $3.042 trillion – $237 billion = $2.805 trillion.  As long as the Treasury pays the first $237 billion in revenue to the shareholders of our debt, there will be no default, and we will have $2.805 trillion left to spend.  Again, default is taken off the table.  Discussion over.

What do you do with the remaining funds?  You start funding core functions of government and those programs that people are already dependent on.

Social Security (retirement and disability) – $848 billion

Medicare – $505 billion

Medicaid – $298 billion

Defense – $582 billion

Veterans – $83 billion

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Democrats and their Budget Hypocrisy Leading to #DemocratShutdown

Monday, October 7th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News

Throughout the past week, Democrats leaders have justified their refusal to negotiate with Republicans as a natural response to hostage taking.  They claim that the fight over Obamacare is extraneous to the budget, and as such, they should not have to talk to Republicans until they agree to pass a “clean” CR.  There are two points they are obfuscating in the context of the budget battle.

1)      Obamacare was passed through budget reconciliation.  So when they felt it was convenient for them to inject Obamacare into the budget process; namely, for the purpose of avoiding the 60-vote threshold, they were more than happy to do so.  Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Now that we have approached the implementation date, which coincides with the budget deadline, it’s time to use that same process to uproot a law that is unworkable and unpopular.

2)      Democrats say they are refusing to pass individual funding bills for vital services because Republicans are manipulating the process to cherry pick what they want to fund.  Instead they are demanding that Republicans just pass a catch-all CR.  In reality, they are the ones who have the process backwards.  Regular order means passing individual appropriations bills one at a time.  This business of funding the government with endless continuing resolutions is nonsense.  Granted that we are past the deadline, but whose fault is that?  Senate Democrats have refused to go through regular order and send the 12 individual bills to conference.

Now that Democrats have refused to follow regular order, it’s time we focus on each funding bill one at a time.  Republicans have already passed bills to fund the DC government, NIH, national parks, military, and veterans.  Today they will pass many more funding bills, including some aspects that conservatives would like to reform or eliminate:

  • H.R. 3223 – Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (Rep. Moran, D-VA)
  • H.J. Res. 75 – Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (Rep. Aderholt, R-AL)
  • H.J. Res. 76 – Nuclear Weapon Security & Non-Proliferation Act (Rep. Frelinghuysen, R-NJ)
  • H.J. Res. 77 – Food and Drug Safety Act (Rep. Aderholt, R-AL)
  • H.J. Res. 78 – Preserving Our Intelligence Capabilities Act (Rep. Young, R-FL)
  • H.J. Res. 79 – Border Safety & Security Act (Rep. Carter, R-TX)
  • H.J. Res. 80 – American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety (Rep. Simpson, R-ID)
  • H.J. Res. 82 – National Weather Monitoring Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 83 – Impact Aid for Local Schools Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 84 – Head Start for Low-Income Children Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 85 – National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (Rep. Carter, R-TX)

Why are the Democrats so scared to fund these vital services, national security interests, and some of their own pet projects – all for the purpose of protecting Obamacare?  Let’s pass each bill one by one and restore the full function of government until we reach the funding for HHS, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the IRS.  If Democrats are so confident that Obamacare is working and resonating with the public, why not have a focused debate directly on funding for Obamacare without holding the rest of government hostage?

Why do they suddenly fear the budget process they so eagerly embraced in 2010?

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Fox News Op-Ed: In Obamacare Battle GOP Falls Victim to Lack of Commitment

Friday, October 4th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Below is our latest op-ed for Fox News Opinion:

As the fight over ObamaCare reaches its apex, conservatives are looking for elected leadership to give voice to their concerns about the future of our country.

Unfortunately, many Republican lawmakers are giving voice to the other side.

While Democrats remain united in their intransigence, these Republicans are busy scoring points for the other team instead of fighting with a united front.

When Democrats proposed the federal takeover of the healthcare sector in 2009, they all remained united behind an uncompromising position and aggressive tactics.

Every Senate Democrat, even those from red states, voted to ram ObamaCare through the Senate using extraordinary parliamentary procedures. They were all willing to walk the plank for the broader goal of creating dependency; even though they knew the majority of their constituents vociferously opposed their proposal.

Read more at Fox News:

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