Rep. West Receives Guardian of Small Business Award

Congressman Allen West (R-FL) received the National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award Thursday.

The award is presented to members of Congress who NFIB considers “champions” of small business owners. West received a perfect score of ‘100’ for his votes on 13 key NFIB supported pieces of legislation concerning issues from healthcare, energy and Federal Government regulations.

Rep. West received a perfect score from the National Federation of Independent Businesses as did sixteen other members of the Florida delegation. Republican Senate Candidate Connie Mack received a 100 percent, with Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz garnering a zero. Senator Bill Nelson received a score of 36 and Senator Marco Rubio a score of 100.

Here is the list of the Florida delegation by district and their NFIB scores:

1      Miller, J. 100
2      Southerland 100
3      Brown, C. 0
4      Crenshaw 100
5      Nugent 100
6      Stearns 100
7      Mica 100
8      Webster 100
9      Bilirakis 100
10    Young, C.W. “Bill” 100
11    Castor 8
12    Ross, D. 100
13    Buchanan 100
14    Mack 100
15    Posey 100
16    Rooney 100
17    Wilson, F. 0
18    Ros-Lehtinen 9
19    Deutch 0
20    Wasserman Schultz 0
21    Diaz-Balart 92
22    West, A. 100
23    Hastings, A. 8
24    Adams 100
25    Rivera 100

For a complete look at how each Member of the 112th Congress voted, click here

“Our small businesses are at the heart of keeping this economy going and I am proud to receive this award,” West said. “As I travel Dixie Highway in Palm Beach County and visit small businesses in South Florida, I see firsthand the importance of expanding opportunities and reducing burdensome regulations on our independent employers. Our small businesses represent the best of the American spirit and I will continue to be their voice on Capitol Hill.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised West for his commitment to American business owners.

“In the 112th Congress, Representative West proved he is willing to stand up and do big things for small business,” Danner said. “Guardian-award winners are genuine small business champions, consistently voting to promote and protect the right of small business owners to own, operate and grow their businesses.”

Congressman Allen West is a member of the House Committee on Small Business and is a member of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce and the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.

The Guardian of Small Business Award is presented to lawmakers who vote with small businesses 70 percent or more of the time and demonstrate a commitment to protecting free enterprise.

National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB has 350,000 members and its mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.

Court Asked to Immediately Stop the HHS Mandate

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced it has filed an emergency motion asking that Federal District Judge Robert H. Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan stop the HHS Mandate which goes into effect on August 1, 2012. The motion was filed late yesterday afternoon.

The backdrop for the Law Center’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s greatest statements on our fundamental rights recognized by the Bill of Rights: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

Click here to read entire motion.

Thomas More Law Center attorney, Erin Mersino, is the lead counsel in the lawsuit. Joining as co-counsel is Charles LiMandri, the Law Center’s West Coast Regional Director.

Mersino stated, “We have asked Judge Cleland to set a court hearing on our motion for the earliest possible time to prevent immediate injury to our clients’ right of conscience. Without the Court’s intervention, the HHS mandate effectively penalizes their free exercise of religion.”

The Thomas More Law Center filed its federal lawsuit on May 6, 2012 against the Obama administration on behalf of Legatus, the Nation’s largest organization of top Catholic business leaders, and the Ann Arbor-based Weingartz Supply Company, and its president Daniel Weingartz, also a member of Legatus.

The purpose of the lawsuit is to permanently block the implementation of the HHS Mandate which requires employers and individuals to obtain insurance coverage for abortions and contraception on the grounds that it imposes clear violations of conscience on Americans who morally object to abortion and contraception.

The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the HHS Mandate under the First Amendment rights to the Free Exercise of Religion and Free Speech and the Establishment Clause. It also claims that the HHS Mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commented, “The Obama administration deliberately declared war on the Catholic Church by promulgating the HHS Mandate. And contrary to what they want you to believe, this case is not about contraception. It is about the religious freedom of Christians, in this case Catholics, to peaceably practice their faith free from government coercion. If the government succeeds in this case, the religious freedom of all Christians is in danger.”

The motion for a temporary restraining order focuses on violations of the Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Legatus” is the Latin word for “ambassador”, and its members are called upon to become “ambassadors for Christ” in living and sharing their Catholic Faith in their business, professional and personal lives. It currently has over 4,000 members in 73 chapters located in 31 states. It was founded in 1987 by Tom Monaghan, the former owner of Domino’s Pizza, to bring together the three key areas of a Catholic business leader’s life – Faith, Family and Business.

Named as Defendants in the lawsuit are Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the of the Department of Health and Human Services; Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor; Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Department of the Treasury; and their respective departments.

The Liar’s Tax

By Alan Caruba – The most singular aspect of Obamacare is the way Democrats, from the President on down, consistently lied about the fact that it was a tax. Interviewed by George Stephanopolos on ABC News, September 2009, Obama was asked if he rejected the criticism that it was a tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,” was his reply.

No need to quote the others. They all lied. It took the Supreme Court and, in particular, Chief Justice Roberts, to call Obamacare a tax in the process of eliminating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution as a justification for imposing this burden on Americans.

As CNBC’s Larry Kudlow was quick to note, “Twenty new or higher taxes across the board are bad for economic growth, bad for job hiring, bad for investors, and bad for families,” adding that when “you tax something more, you get less of it.”

Most Americans have been repeatedly told that Obamacare would ensure more care for more people, but the fact is, with or without health insurance, Americans receive health care, even if the hospital emergency room is their last resort, even if they are homeless, and even if they have no way to pay for it.

The multi-millionaire former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who told Americans that we would have to wait to know what was in Obamacare until after it was passed, reacted to the Supreme Court decision saying, “Call it what you will.” That is the equivalent of “Let them eat cake”, Marie Antoinette’s famed statement before the enraged citizens of France separated her head from her body.

Obamacare just became the single most important element of the November 6th national elections, followed by the economy. Both stink! Both are the direct result of Obama’s declared intention to “fundamentally transform America.” If he had even a schoolchild’s grasp of American history, he would know that Americans hate taxes. They declared their independence from England over the issue of taxation without representation.

What will emerge in the months between now and the elections is the fact that the Congressional Budget Office has projected that the implementation of Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, an increase of $820 billion over the initial estimate when it was first signed into law. A nation already $17 trillion in debt can hardly welcome such news, nor absorb such costs.

For most Americans, though, the realization that Obamacare contains twenty-one new taxes will likely tip the scales in November to the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, who has promised to begin the repeal of the law the first day he takes office. Yes, it is an irony that he introduced Romneycare in Massachusetts when he was Governor there, but that is not going to affect the outcome of the election.

Among the many new taxes buried in the 2000-plus pages of Obamacare, there’s a 2.3% excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that observers believe would prove to be a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs an estimated 400,000.

There’s a 3.6% surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends on those earning more than $250,000.

Obamacare imposes a $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs”, whatever they are.

There’s a $2.6 billion-a-year tax on drug companies. A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons. An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed.

Between now and November voters are going to be reminded that Obama promised to fix the economy and then spent the first two years getting Obamacare through Congress. No Republican voted for it and, in 2010, voters replaced some sixty representatives and senators with Republicans.

Obama promised to create jobs. Instead he gave us a multi-billion “stimulus” that utterly failed. He promised to cut the deficit in half. And he promised that Americans could keep their current health insurance plans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as twenty million will lose theirs.

Lies! Lies! Lies!

In a thoughtful analysis of Obamacare, two senior fellows at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution were joined by the dean of the Columbia Business School who concluded that “In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has allowed the President and Congress to put the country’s health policy on a path that will restrict individual choices, stifle innovation and sharply increase health-care costs.”

As that sinks in, the November elections will end the tyranny of Barack Obama and his minions in Congress. If you wonder what will replace it, just ask Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WIS) who has a plan in place to reform Medicare and Medicaid. If you haven’t heard much about it, you can thank the mainstream media and its slavish adoration of the President.

It is a liar’s tax. It is a liar’s penalty. It is a liar’s plan to further bankrupt the nation.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

FL WON’T IMPLEMENT OPTIONAL PORTIONS OF OBAMACARE

By Dr. Rich Swier – Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida will join other states in opting out of Medicaid expansion and state-run exchanges.

If  the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not repealed before January 1, 2014, Florida will implement and comply with the required sections of the act.

After reviewing the impact of the Supreme Court ruling that gave Florida the flexibility to legally opt out of implementing one of the costliest provisions of the ACA, commonly known as “ObamaCare,” Governor Rick Scott has decided two major provisions in the law are inconsistent with his mission to grow jobs for Floridians, make sure there is adequate funding for education, and to keep the cost of living as low as possible.

The Affordable Care Act does not require states to take any action before the 2012 general election, and the full law does not take effect until January 1, 2014, provided it is not repealed before that date. Governor Scott, like other state governors, has made it clear that even though Florida will opt out of implementing two major, yet optional, provisions, should there be any legal obligation to implement ObamaCare, the state will follow the law.

Florida will opt out of spending approximately $1.9 billion more taxpayer dollars required to implement a massive entitlement expansion of the Medicaid program. A second provision in ACA gives Governor Scott the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges.”

“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Governor Scott said. “Neither of these major provisions in ObamaCare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens.”

Florida already has health care safety net programs for those with the greatest need, including assistance for families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty line, and Florida KidCare to ensure no child goes without health care in Florida.

But even though the federal government has promised to initially pay 100% of the increase in Medicaid payments for the first three years of ObamaCare, the burden increasingly shifts to Florida taxpayers in future years. Medicaid, which has been growing for years at three-and-a-half times as fast as Florida’s general revenue, will soon grow even faster under ObamaCare, and education funding will be adversely impaired if we do not control the growth in Medicaid spending.

Another provision in ACA gives Governor Scott the flexibility to opt out of building insurance “exchanges” that will result in higher insurance premium costs – more money out of the pockets of Florida’s families and businesses. The Congressional Budget Office has said that insurance premiums available on state exchanges will rise another 10-13% under the rules of ObamaCare. In states already operating insurance exchanges set up under similar rules, health care premiums are substantially more expensive.

“The real problem with health care is that costs continue to rise. That’s why I believe we need more choice for patients, more free-market competition, increased accountability for providers, and incentives for personal responsibility,” said Governor Scott. “These are the things we can do that will hold down health care costs and make it affordable for more people. Unfortunately, ObamaCare doesn’t do any of those things. In Florida, we are focused on becoming the number one place for businesses so that Floridians have more jobs.”

The Liars Have Triumphed

By Alan Caruba – The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare confirmed that lies have triumphed over the Constitution.

It also is a reminder that the Supreme Court is a political entity and a human one. Only the Justices who dissented from the majority decision on Obamacare were willing to take the heat. The majority ruled that the individual mandate under the commerce clause was unconstitutional, but gave Obamacare life as a tax.

It was always a tax, but President Obama repeatedly told Americans that it was not until his administration’s lawyers went before the Supreme Court and admitted and argued that it was a tax. The lawyers on the Court agreed, the majority in effect saying that there is no limit to the ability of Congress to tax Americans.

As Politico.com reported: On the losing end of a 5-4 decision, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said that the entire health care reform law should have been struck down.

They wrote: “The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative.”

Obamacare is a blow to state’s rights as sovereign republics.

A fellow blogger, writing under the pseudonym of J.D. Longstreet, warned that “The lesson here is — don’t play around with socialism. You cannot win. It kills its host country every time.”

Not since the Civil War and the more recent 9/11 has America faced a darker day. That day killed nearly three thousand Americans. Today, the fate of more than three hundred million Americans has been sealed. This is particular true of older Americans who, if the law is not repealed, will learn to their dismay that they cannot have essential medical care if bureaucrats conclude it is too costly. Others will die waiting to be admitted to hospitals to mitigate cancers and other life threatening diseases.

It is a death sentence for them. It is a death sentence for America.

There is the prospect that Mitt Romney may secure election to office and that the Republican Party may secure control of the Senate as well as the House. Without question Obamacare along with the economy becomes the central issue of the months leading up to Election Day.

Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare 820 days ago.

The House will vote on a full repeal of Barack Obama’s health care law during the week of July 9, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday morning. The scheduling of another repeal vote came less than an hour after the Supreme Court upheld the health care mandate.

This is, however, purely symbolic. The bill will not be taken up in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It would be vetoed if sent to Obama.

Too many with whom I have talked believe that the same Americans who elected Obama in 2008 will reelect him in 2012. He lied his way into office then and it is entirely plausible he will do so again.

America will not survive him if he is reelected. He is truly the Manchurian candidate sent to destroy America.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

A Sad Day for America

By Congressman Allen West – The United States Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by extending the power of the United States Congress to tax Americans’ behavior. This is a sad day for Americans, as they will be taxed to pay for benefits they may not need or want as part of the insurance they are forced to buy. With this decision, Congress has been granted infinite taxation power, and there are no longer any limits on what the federal government can tax its citizens to do.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will hit the middle class especially hard, as hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as businesses try to avoid the penalties and costs created by the healthcare law. The healthcare law will cost trillions of dollars, raise costs for employers and create huge incentives for them to drop health insurance.

Benjamin Franklin did indeed state, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” However, Dr. Franklin never envisioned the federal government would use its power of taxation to punish people for not purchasing health care. Today, individual sovereignty in America has been defeated.

OBAMACARE RULING RESPONSES

LifeNews:

The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision essentially upholding the Obamacare law that pro-life groups regard as the biggest expansion of abortion and abortion funding since Roe v. Wade. The law also drew strong opposition from the pro-life community not only over abortion, but because the legislation also promotes rationing of medical care that could lead to involuntarily denying lifesaving treatment. The Supreme Court has incorrectly ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, pro-life groups are saying. They are pointing out that the need is greater now than ever to defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama and elect a pro-life Senate that will join the House in repealing the legislation.

National Organization for Women (NOW):

The Affordable Care Act specifically helps women gain access to quality, affordable health care by: requiring insurers to cover contraception and other preventive health care without co-pays; prohibiting sex-based discrimination in pricing insurance premiums; ending the odious practice of refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions (including pregnancy); expanding Medicaid eligibility to potentially include more than 14 million low-income earners; and providing insurance premium subsidies to over 35 million people, disproportionately women, who don’t qualify for Medicaid, don’t have employer-based coverage and can’t afford insurance on their own.

National Right to Life:

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the ObamaCare law is a call-to-action for the right-to-life electorate to work to elect a Congress and president this November committed to repealing ObamaCare in 2013, in order to prevent a future in which abortion insurance will be heavily subsidized by federal taxpayers and federal bureaucrats will be authorized to ration life-saving medical treatment.

Florida Governor Rick Scott 

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States is simply disappointing. The tax question was repeatedly refuted by members of Congress who helped pass this health care takeover. The Justices have declared that the central provision of ObamaCare is a judicially mandated tax. A new tax pure and simple. This is just another burden the federal government has put on American families and small businesses.

With the national economy struggling to recover, now is not the time to implement a massive social program that injects nothing but uncertainty and doubt into our economic system. By doing so, they have put up yet another major roadblock to efforts to get people back to work and forced the government into the important relationship between patients and their doctors.

“I stand with Justice Kennedy that the entire act should have been held invalid.”

Family Research Council:

Today’s Supreme Court decision will do serious harm to American families. Not only is the individual mandate a profound attack on our liberties, but it is only one section among hundreds of provisions in the law that will force taxpayers to fund abortions, violate their conscience rights, and impose a massive tax and debt burden on American families.

The Obama administration has created, for the first time in American history, new federal regulations that toss aside the constitutional right to religious freedom by forcing religious institutions and employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations.

Foundation for Government Accountability

Robert’s Rules of Order are clear—”Obey or Pay is the new Washington Way.” The Supreme Court has given President Obama a gift that he will soon regret: exploding deficits, higher taxes, skyrocketing health care costs, and a massive bureaucracy that will have to ration Americans’ health care. All this is the President’s problem…for now. What was once seen as a decision for the Supreme Court is now a decision for the voters to make in November.”

American Life League:

This is indeed a sad day for the people of this once great nation where liberty has always been equated with freedom of religion, freedom from oppression, and freedom of speech. The government’s draconian healthcare law denies so many rights that the true result is yet unknown, but surely liberty has been trounced in unbelievable fashion.

Eric Scheidler, national Religious Freedom rally leader:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a disappointment. But in the end it will only increase the urgency of our protests and inspire more people to join us out onto the streets. The fight to stop the HHS Mandate will go forward with zeal — in the courts, in Congress, on the streets and on election day.

Bound4Life:

Today the Supreme Court upheld all the major provisions of Obamacare, thereby allowing and further legalizing abortion by allowing the most massive expansion of abortion in our nation since the passage of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in 1973.

Heritage Action

America’s system of checks and balances ensures the Supreme Court’s misguided decision will not be the final word on President Obama’s government takeover of the healthcare system. Although the Court failed to provide a much-needed check on federal power, we have every bit of confidence the American people and their elected representatives will.

Indeed, since the debate began in August 2009, Americans have vocally opposed President Obama’s approach to health care, which remains unaffordable and irresponsible. As such, Congress must repeal the law in its entirety.

Students for Life:

It’s an outrage that they have chosen to endorse the government’s unconstitutional ability to force all Americans to not only purchase a product they may or may not want but to subsidize abortions as well.

Human Life International:

We remain very concerned about the many serious moral failings of the health care law, which have sparked a wave of opposition rallies across the nation. Under the Affordable Care Act, abortions are free of charge, but life saving medicine and treatments require a co-pay. All Americans who are on government subsidized healthcare plans (which would be almost all Americans) will be forced to pay for abortion through a hidden surcharge that insurance companies are not even allowed to tell their customers about, except in the initial sign up process. This is how radically pro-abortion the Obama administration really is, and its ‘health care reform’ policy reflects this radical stance.

And we know that this administration has stirred up unprecedented unified opposition from the Catholic Church and many other denominations over another of the Act’s mandates, one forcing religious employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception regardless of moral or religious objection. Here again we see the radical priorities of the Obama administration, and what it really thinks of those who disagree with those priorities.

Live Action

The Supreme Court has upheld nothing more than a Ponzi scheme to expand the abortion business. If this legislation is not overturned by the next administration, Obamacare’s socialist-style diktats will be used, not to provide better or more affordable health care, but to expand Planned Parenthood’s abortion empire across the backs of American taxpayers and people of conscience — and at the expense of our religious freedoms.

Operation Rescue:

We will not comply with this socialistic and oppressive law that forces us to not only purchase insurance we may not want, but more importantly, forces us to violate our consciences and fund abortion coverage

Catholic League:

ObamaCare may have survived, but it is by no means a lock that the HHS mandate will. It is one thing to levy a tax, quite another to level the First Amendment.

Planned Parenthood:

While protecting health care reform is a huge step forward for women’s health, there is still so much more work to be done. You can double your impact to protect and promote women’s health right now by making a gift to Planned Parenthood Federation of America — all gifts up to $250,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

RUBIO: WE HAVE NOW CREATED AN IRS PROBLEM FOR MILLIONS

Interview with CNBC
Senator Marco Rubio
June 28, 2012

Rubio: We Have Now Created An IRS Problem For Millions Of Americans

Senator Marco Rubio: “Well, first of all, let’s be clear. I think it is pretty telling that, for the Obama Administration, a victory is a middle class tax increase. And that’s what this is. Not me saying it, That is what the Supreme Court said today.”

“It is important to realize that what the Supreme Court decides is not whether something is a good idea or not. What they decide is whether it’s constitutional. And the reason why they say this is constitutional is because this is a tax increase. So, for folks watching back home, here’s what this means. This now means that if you don’t buy health insurance, you are not in lawful compliance with law and the IRS can come after you and will come after you.

“We have now created an IRS problem for millions of Americans. Anyone who thinks that is good for economic growth is out of their minds.”

Rubio: Economic Reaction To A Tax Hike Will Be Negative

Senator Rubio: “Here’s the bottom line now. It is constitutional according to the Supreme Court because it is a tax increase. We have to live with the consequences of this now. There are a lot of things that are constitutional that happen to be bad ideas and this just joins the list. Because now millions of Americans will have an IRS problem beginning in 2014.

“We just came out with numbers today, less than 2 percent growth, an anemic economic growth. And you watch today the numbers on the market, you watch the economic reaction to that and it will be negative. People do not think this is good news. Creating an IRS problem for millions of Americans is not good news.”

Rubio: Obama Broke His Promise; This Is A Tax Increase

Senator Rubio: “This is a broken promise. Barack Obama said he would not be raising taxes on the middle class. This is exactly what this is. When he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC a few years ago that this was not a tax increase, he obviously didn’t know what he was talking about because his lawyers before the Supreme Court argued that it was a tax increase. And today the Supreme Court affirmed that.”

Rubio: ObamaCare Is Not The Right Approach

Senator Rubio: “We all want Americans to have more choices when it comes to health insurance. We’ve never denied, I don’t think anyone does, that we have a health insurance problem in America. But I don’t think you solve that problem by growing the debt, by taking choices away from people, by trying to force states to deficit spend in order to put people on their Medicaid rolls, and by turning the IRS into an enforcement mechanism for health insurance. That’s just not the right approach.”