Obama won’t deal with Social Security

Sept. 24, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement responding to Obama strategist David Axelrod’s refusal to “have [a] discussion right now” about Social Security because “Social Security is a more distant problem”:

“It truly is pathetic that David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Team Obama, admits they have no plan to proactively work toward fixing any entitlement program like Social Security until the program reaches a crisis level. This is not the kind of leadership that America expects from their president, but is revealing about the central tenet of the Obama Administration. Bounce between crisis to crisis reacting with big government ‘solutions’ rather than anticipating problems and working to deal with them before we hit the brink of a government shutdown, default on our debts or even failing to meet obligations to seniors and pensioners.

“Adults don’t act this way, Obama’s term in office has proven that he neither has the vision or courage of an adult leading our nation, but rather Obama’s term is more like a petulant child who is always pointing his finger at others. Our nation faces a world of nearly unprecedented financial and international peril; it is time for the adults to take over.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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ALG’s Wilson responds to Romney video

Sept. 18, 2012, Fairfax, VA—In light of the release of a video of Mitt Romney at a May 17 fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida fundraiser, which has fueled a national debate over welfare state dependency, Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today released a commentary in response to the controversy, calling it a “discussion worth having.”

Excerpts:

“Romney is telling the truth about the state of dependency in the U.S., and is calling attention to the perverse incentives politically that are created when government assistance becomes a way of life for millions of Americans.”

“Romney is explaining a basic economic truth: that the more dependent an individual becomes on government welfare, the less likely he or she is to be able to advance in society and improve his or her standard of living. This is a very stark contrast, and it is worth expounding upon.”

“This video may, in the end, be a blessing in disguise for Romney. But only if he quickly takes advantage of the opportunity it has created for him to explain why government dependency is destroying America.”

Attachments:

“Romney’s opportunity,” by ALG President Bill Wilson, Sept. 18, 2012, at http://netrightdaily.com/2012/09/romneys-opportunity/

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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House readies for battle against Obama’s war on coal

Sept. 17, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson expressed the need today to pass current legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that throws a wrench in this administration’s war on coal.

The Stop the War on Coal Act (H.R. 3409) includes various provisions prohibiting the EPA and the Obama administration from continuing its war on coal.  Bipartisan support of the Energy Tax Prevention Act, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act will save countless jobs and keep energy prices down for American families and businesses.

“Just looking at the EPA’s mercury emission regulations alone—which require power plants to be retrofitted with new technologies—costs billions of dollars to implement,” says Bill Wilson, president of ALG.  “However due to the prohibitively high cost of this new technology, many older coal-fired plants are being shut down, ending countless Americans jobs for those who depend on coal for their livelihoods.

“Taking into account the great loss of Americans jobs as well as the source of nearly 50 percent of the country’s electric energy, the costs of cutting coal production far outweigh any alleged benefits,” Wilson continues.

“If our hope is to bring America out of this recession in one piece then affordable energy is a must.  The House must pass this legislation and begin the arduous task of reining in the out-of-control EPA.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Rep. Joe Walsh praised for voter integrity fight

Sept. 13, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement praising Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) for his voter integrity fight:

“Representative Joe Walsh’s effort to insure the integrity of the federal voting process is both a stroke of common sense, but also courageous.  Predictably, those intent upon corrupting the process will attack Walsh’s efforts to protect one of our citizen’s most sacred rights – the vote.  It is the virulence of these attacks that proves their maker’s intent, and Joe Walsh deserves an A-plus for staring them down through his re-introduction of the Federal Election Integrity Act, which simply requires a picture identification be shown as part of the federal election voting process.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Fed announces QE3, $40 billion of securities purchases monthly

Sept. 13, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement responding to the Federal Reserve’s action to increase its holdings of mortgage-backed securities by $40 billion a month, or at an annualized pace of $480 billion a year:

“The fact that the Fed is acting a few short weeks before the election is outrageous. At best, it indicates they are willing to risk attacks on the central bank’s independence due to the appearance of being political, revealing just how bad the Obama economy really is. At worst, they are desperately trying to juice markets to change the outcome in November. Neither is good.

“Bernanke has fired his last bullet. Since August 2007 when the crisis began, the Fed has increased its balance sheet from $897 billion to $2.865 trillion today, more than tripling it. The federal funds rate has been at near-zero percent since December 2008—all with little to no effect. It could not prevent the market downturn. It has not restored sustainable economic growth. Unemployment is still unacceptably high. If the last $2 trillion of monetary expansion and easy money did not cure markets or restore robust growth, what makes the Fed think another $480 billion will do the trick?

“Never has so much been done to so little effect. At least, not since Japan did precisely the same thing in the 1990s and 2000s. Just one more exclamation point that Obama’s economy is adrift with no wind in its sails.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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ALG urges Senate to reject Obama Ambassador to Burundi

Sept. 12, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to reject Dawn Liberi to be U.S. Ambassador to Burundi in a vote tomorrow, citing Inspector General reports of her record as mission director for USAID in Iraq from 2005 to 2006:

“Eight separate inspector general reports that cover the short time period that Liberi was running the USAID/Iraq Mission all cover problems with keeping track of property or making sure that contractors were doing their job. One is particularly embarrassing — $90 million for the development of local Iraqi governments was not properly monitored even after the inspector general had already complained about the way USAID was managing the contract.

“These reports on Liberi’s tenure in Iraq are rife with waste and mismanagement, and raise the legitimate question of her competency. She could not have done a worse job than if she were attempting to actively sabotage these programs. The Senate must vet this nominee, not rubberstamp her confirmation.”

Here are selections from each IG report:

“USAID/Iraq property valued at $23.5 million in its nonexpendable property database was not managed in accordance with USAID guidance…. We could not verify the existence of a projected $2.9 million in nonexpendable property included in the database. Furthermore, Mission vehicles valued at $2.3 million were not properly safeguarded.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy06rpts/e-267-06-002-p.pdf

“We could not determine if USAID/Iraq’s local governance activities achieved their intended outputs because USAID/Iraq did not require Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International to submit all reporting and monitoring documents specified in the contract.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy06rpts/e-267-06-003-p.pdf

“ADF’s [a USAID/Iraq contractor] Performance Monitoring Plan was neither complete nor achievable.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-001-p.pdf

“USAID/Iraq failed to enforce contract requirements…. The audit also found that USAID/Iraq failed to perform the required contractor performance evaluations….The current audit found that the Mission’s actions taken in response to the prior audit to enforce the contract requirements and to complete the contractor performance evaluation were ineffective.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-007-p.pdf

“It was not possible to determine if intended outputs were achieved for the remaining 22 activities [of 61 total activities] due to a lack of adequate supporting documentation…. During the audit, we also determined that OFDA [USAID Office of Foreign Disaster] did not properly designate cognizant technical officers [who oversee grants and cooperative agreements].”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-006-p.pdf

“The lack of sufficient documentation was due to USAID/Iraq’s and Bechtel’s management oversight.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-004-p.pdf

“the audit found that USAID/Iraq’s education activities achieved 7 out of 16 selected intended outputs…. It could not be determined if two of the selected outputs were achieved due to a lack of sufficient documentation….The remaining seven selected intended outputs were not achieved.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-003-p.pdf

“USAID/Iraq did not properly administer its contract with Development Alternatives, Inc.”

http://transition.usaid.gov/oig/public/fy07rpts/e-267-07-002-p.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Furthering the state of welfare dependency

Obama administration welfare-to-work waiver threatens future success.

Sept. 11, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on President Obama’s gutting of the welfare work requirements under the federal welfare law:

“Obama’s unilateral gutting of the welfare work requirements under the federal welfare law renews his attempt to create an entitlement society where individuals are dependent upon the largesse of government rather than on their own initiative to live and thrive.

“In looking closely at the specific changes that Congress will attempt to overturn in the weeks ahead, one ramification is that Obama’s changes would leave the door open for states to not only not require work, but could even go so far as to make college students eligible for government aid.

“This potential expansion of government dependency of students when they are supposed to be experiencing the growth that the independence of college provides is a disaster waiting to happen.

“Our young people are our next great hope in this nation.  To put them into the cocoon of government entitlement when they should be struggling through the growing pains of independence is disastrous for the individual students and our nation as a whole.  The struggle of college independence, making budgets, making mistakes and learning from them forges character and the confidence that a person can overcome adversity.

“This is the fundamental quality that defines success, and Obama’s changes open the doors for transforming our college students from strivers to dependents.  This is just one reason why Congress must overturn Obama’s attempt to waive the welfare work requirement under the law.”

ALG Note:

Morna Murray, Special Counsel to Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), suggests in the Huffington Post that states may use this waiver to expand what qualifies as a “work activity” to include post-secondary education. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morna-murray/welfare-work-the-facts_b_1855286.html)  HHS’s Guidance states as much where it says the Administration would consider “[p]rojects that improve collaboration with the workforce and/or post-secondary education systems to test multi-year career pathways models for TANF recipients that combine learning and work.” (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/policy/im-ofa/2012/im201203/im201203.html) This would be accomplished by—instead of waiving the mandatory work requirement section of the law (42 U.S.C. sec. 607), which is not allowed under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1115—waiving a state’s requirement to submit a written plan, under 42 U.S.C. sec 602, for how it will comply with the work requirement section.  This tenuous legal justification is merely a facade that masks the Departments attempt to disregard the law.

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Moody’s threatens downgrade if debt-to-GDP ratio not stabilized and reduced

Sept. 11, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today responded to the threatened credit downgrade by Moody’s should the U.S. not stabilize and then reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio over the medium term:

“AA will be Obama’s scarlet letter. Moody’s has set out very real metrics for lawmakers and Obama to avoid another credit downgrade. The debt-to-GDP ratio must be stabilized and then reduced over the medium term as a result of this year’s budget negotiations.

“Right now, although the budget deficit will be about $1.2 trillion this year, the nation’s full borrowing obligations will be more like $1.45 trillion once certain off-balance sheet items are taken into account. However, the economy is only growing at an annualized pace of about $570 billion.

“Therefore, just to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio this year alone would require a full $890 billion of deficit reduction. S&P has already taken the drastic measure of eliminating the triple-A status of U.S. treasuries. Since Obama and Congress will come nowhere near to cutting $890 billion from the budget or raising that much revenue, they will undoubtedly fail to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio, so everyone should begin pricing in the downgrade. It’s an inevitable national shame.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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ALG’s Wilson urges action due to Chicago Teachers Union strike

Sept. 10, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on the teachers union strike in Chicago:

“The Chicago Teachers Union is striking to protect the jobs of bad teachers.  This is all you need to know about the priorities of the teachers unions.  They are the problem in our education system and if we want our nation’s children to be competitive in the international economy, we have a responsibility to wrest control of the public schools from the AFL-CIO affiliated American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and their local cohorts.

“Parents need to be given real choices to opt their children out of the schools, and good teachers should be allowed to deny the mandatory collection of their dues money by local and state government.  We know when parents have choices, everyone benefits because public schools must compete to survive, and when teachers have the choice of whether to pay union dues, and they are empowered to say no to their union bosses.

“In the end, it is about the children and our nation’s future.  We can no longer sit idly by and allow teachers unions to put the security of terrible teachers ahead of the education of children.

“It is truly sad for the 350,000 children in Chicago who are being denied an education while the local teachers union throws a temper tantrum.  Hopefully, a national outcry will come from this example of the union’s bad priorities, and it puts one more nail in the teachers union coffins, so our nation can get back to teaching kids how to read, write and do arithmetic free of union coercion.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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Americans giving up on looking for work leads to unemployment rate drop

Sept. 7, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following analysis of today’s unemployment report:

“Since January 2009, the labor force participation rate has dropped from 65.7 percent to 63.5 percent, the lowest it has been in a generation. As a result, some 5.37 million people have given up looking for work since Obama took office or never even entered the labor force, with 368,000 leaving the workforce last month alone. That explains the drop in the unemployment rate. People are not finding work; they’re giving up. Hardly a measure of prosperity. This is a depression, and Obama has done nothing to make it better.

“If those 5.37 million people had been included in today’s unemployment report, the unemployed rate would be reported at 11.2 percent and the underemployed rate would be 17.5 percent. All together 28 million people cannot find full-time work in the Obama economy or have given up.

“Since January 2009, the working-age population has grown by 8.8 million, but the civilian labor force has only grown by 409,000. At full employment, the labor force should have grown by 5.8 million, but it has not. This in part represents younger Americans who are simply not entering the workforce — a lost generation—with more than half of recent college graduates unable to find work. If this trend continues, we are going to look like Spain or Greece in a matter of a few short years, where the youth cannot find work because there are no jobs in the economy.

“This sorry state of affairs will not be addressed by Obama’s tepid, fraudulent ‘green’ energy jobs program, as if millions of Americans are going to work on building windmills and harvesting algae.

“We need real jobs here in America, and we need them now, and that can only happen if we aggressively work to make the nation more competitive globally. That means eliminating the corporate income tax all together, which is currently the highest in the developed world, bringing an end to environmental and energy restrictions that make it impossible to access natural resources or to use land in a productive manner, repealing much of the labor laws that handcuff employers and restoring sound money. None of that will happen with Obama.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at rrast@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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