John Kerry has just been approved as the new US Secretary of State. His approval will relieve Hillary Clinton of her position. The vote to approve was 94-3. John Kerry at 69 years old is a decorated Vietnam veteran, the 3rd wealthiest member of the US Congress, and 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee. US Senator Bob Corker, (R-TN), the top Republican on Foreign Relations, said of Kerry, “My sense is he will be open to listening”. In regards to the ever growing liberty movement Kerry has stated, “The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion-“
Update (1/24/25): The House voted to approve HB 325 with a vote of 285 to 144. Interestingly, 199 republicans voted to pass, 33 voted not to pass, and 86 democrats voted to pass, while 111 voted not to. The Senate vote is on January 31st.
The House GOP has opted to forego raising the debt ceiling to a set cap for a three month extension as previously reported. The new decision made by those who control the flow of legislation in the House is to now simply make the debt ceiling limitless until May 19th. Even though Republicans could have requested that at least some sort of spending cuts would be part of this new legislation not a single dime of cuts were requested.
This new legislation has multiple negative connotations.
- It essentially nullifies Article 1 of the US Constitution. Removing the ceiling all together gives the Federal Government the power to spend without House approval.
- It establishes precedent that the ceiling is purely arbitrary and could be abolished, as many in the Democratic party have suggested.
- It gives the Federal Government the potential to spend possibly trillions of dollars with no approved allocation within the next 5 months.
- It breaks the promise the GOP made when they took over the house. You now, the one where they said all legislation must remain within strict constitutional authority.
- The new legislation does not actually cease pay to Congress if they do not come up with a budget by the deadline. It only puts their paycheck into an account for them until they do (How will they ever survive…? Oh yea, special interests pays well we are told.)
Senate Democrats have said they will produce a budget resolution that will include increased revenues, and they have promised to consider the debt-limit boost to arrive from the House. Increased revenues is highlighted above due to the fact that it is again a constitutional violation of Article one, which delegates this power only to the House. Regardless of the Constitution, Senate Democrats no longer feel they need to abide. Just as they refused to do so with the Fiscal Cliff, and Obamacare when it came to them taking the power to raise revenue. The vote is set to occur Wednesday, January 23rd.
House Republicans have agreed to vote on legislation as early as next week to raise the debt ceiling for 3 months. However, they sent a warning to the
Senate that they must work with them to come up with a budget deal before they “agree to a long-term ceiling raise”. It seems that House Republicans have no serious intentions to cut spending since they have already indicated that they are willing to vote for long-term debt ceiling raises. However, the measure would make it to where Congress will not get a paycheck if a budget deal is not met before the 3 month deadline of April 15th. If we are to look at the fiscal-cliff ‘deal’ (resulting in a threat of national credit rating downgrade), can we be sure a budget passed by the Senate and Obama will be any better than what we had before? Obama recently held a news conference where he said he will not negotiate with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling. It seems that the President got his message across without having to sign an unconstitutional executive order as has been speculated. Will this tactic of allowing the President to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a budget for the first time in years actually work? Only time will tell. US Senator, Rand Paul (R-KY) says he will vote it down.
Democrats and Republicans alike have remained silent on a very major issue of the Fiscal Cliff deal that was voted on and passed at the beginning of the month. According to the US Constitution, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” –Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1 US Constitution. Here is the problem, The Fiscal Cliff bill, or the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 as it stands with revenue raised through taxation did not originate in the House of Representative, but in the Senate.
As happened with the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, the Senate shelled a House bill purposefully to pass this legislation, which raises revenue through taxation on the American people. Will there be a Supreme Court challenge on the constitutionality of the Fiscal Cliff bill as there was with Obamacare? With such strong support from both the Senate and the House you shouldn’t expect a challenge. Anyone who dares to speak out on the constitutionality of the legislation will be spearheaded as attempting to tailspin the Nation into another recession. However, research has shown that had we simply jumped off the Cliff, we would have most likely been far better off anyways. So, even though no one in the Senate even read the bill before they voted on it, and the Constitutionality is void- your paycheck has already gone down due to the social security tax increase and many other new taxes. Strangely, Obama didn’t actually sign the bill. He was on vacation in Hawaii and used an “Autopen” to do so. Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Reid have not yet commented about the Constitution in regards to the Fiscal Cliff deal.
The Fiscal Cliff. There has been much talk about it, but few Americans actually know what it is. In the most simple terms: On December 31st, 2012 a large series of tax cuts were set to expire. If a deal was not met to expand the tax cuts by January 1st, 2013
then automatic, across the board spending cuts and tax increases would occur. A sufficient deal by Congress should have included, at the very least-moderate cuts in spending and little to no increases on taxes. However, the ‘deal’ we got included:
- 80% of Americans that make over $40,000/ year will see a tax increase. Beginning immediately, the majority of Americans will see smaller paychecks.
- Hollywood elites get $430 Million.
- Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands get $220 Million for liquor manufacturing.
- NASCAR gets $70 Million.
- Algae growers get $59 Million.
- Obama also insisted that his campaign contributors got massive, record setting tax breaks: Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, GE, etc. All of them gave billions to his re-election efforts.
- $1 in Spending cuts for every $41 in raised taxes, a 1:41 ratio.
So, the majority of America will get their taxes raised and their paychecks will continue to shrink. Combine this with runaway inflation from the Federal Reserve pushing QE4, and the average American’s ability to purchase and survive is about to hit a major wall. Meanwhile, Obama bails out his corporate pals who make billions. In fact, the very friends that had enough money to give him billions to get re-elected. If they had the billions of dollars to give to him then why do they need tax breaks? According to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), no one in Congress even read the bill. Or is that really even shocking? The bill ‘hit the floor’ for the first time at 1:36 AM and was voted on and passed at 1:39 AM. In fact, most aren’t sure there was even a bill printed. Congress was told that the bill was available online at 1:36 AM, but no one actually saw it on paper. Therefore, no one who actually voted on it that morning even read it. Why do we allow our representatives to pass laws that affect us, which they are almost always exempt from, without even reading the legislation? Nevertheless the bill passed the Senate 89:8, and the House 257:167. Former VP Candidate, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan voted in favor of the bill.
Moody’s has already sent a warning to Congress that the Fiscal Cliff deal did absolutely nothing to solve the Nation’s crisis and is threatening to downgrade America’s credit rating yet again.
Knowing all of this as truth one must ask themselves, if taxes were going to be raised on the majority of Americans anyways, why didn’t we simply just go off the cliff? Had we jumped off the cliff yes taxes would have been raised, but spending would have been cut also. Instead, there are essentially no cuts in spending, massive tax hikes for the average American, and huge corporate tax cuts perpetuating the corporatism culture that the White House and Congress have become so accustomed to. As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can begin to rebuild. Should we not have just hit rock bottom? Americans have been told by the mass media that a ‘deal’ was struck and we have avoided some monstrosity of a disaster. However, when you actually read between the lines, the cliff seems like a much more suitable alternative to what we have been dealt.