Whistleblower charges jobs data manipulated, investigation needed

Nov. 19, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Health, Education and Workforce Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to investigate allegations by an anonymous whistleblower that unemployment jobs data in the current population survey conducted by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is manipulated to political ends:

“The Oct. 5, 2012 jobs report may have been too good to be true after all — it showed a 0.3 percent drop in the unemployment rate just in time for the election, getting it down below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months, an Obama administration ‘stimulus’ pledge. To get there, the survey found a miraculous 873,000 new jobs in the household survey, even though the establishment survey of employers only showed a total of 114,000 jobs created. At the time Americans for Limited Government warned the data was wrong, or worse manipulated.

“With the whistleblower disclosure in the New York Post in a story by John Crudele, now it has been alleged that this report, and others, have been manipulated all along to help President Obama to get reelected — and worse, that the practice continues to date. To get to the bottom of this, the whistleblower identified in the Crudele story must be allowed to testify in front of the appropriate House committees. If true, major reforms will be needed.

“Financial markets and economic policy makers all over the world depend on the integrity of jobs data to make informed decisions. This is extremely serious. If it cannot be collected without a propaganda motive in mind, then perhaps the government should cease collecting it altogether. This is a case where distorted data will result in distorted policies that harm the well being of the global economy.”

Attachments:

“Unemployment rate contradicted by job growth report,” Oct. 5, 2012, Americans for Limited Government statement, at http://getliberty.org/unemployment-rate-contradicted-by-job-growth-report/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG praises Representative Jim Bridenstine for Repeal Income Tax amendment

 Nov. 18, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising Rep. Jim Bridentstine (R-Okla.) for a proposal to repeal the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that created the national income tax:

“The income tax constitutional amendment has been a one hundred year disaster for constitutionally limited government and Representative Jim Bridenstine deserves praise for beginning the process of repealing it.

“The income tax has become little more than a Christmas tree of breaks, deductions and special interest subsidies which the powerful with lobbyists manipulate for their own interests and to damage those of their competitors.  It is time for Congress to repeal the failed 16th Amendment experiment.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Obama declares that people can now keep their existing health insurance

Nov. 14, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government president Nathan Mehrens reacts to Obama declaring that now people can keep their existing health insurance:

“Congress needs to dismantle the entire Obamacare debacle.  This concept that the letter of the law is nothing more than a pretext for governing is ruinous to the basic Constitutional principles that guide our nation.  Obama can begin the process of rescinding his regulations that have effectively disqualified many health plans, but even that requires a legal process.

President Obama’s disregard for the rule of law is legendary, but this attempt to by-pass Congress takes the cake.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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House Republicans fumble Obamacare politics, give ‘keep your health plan’ issue to Mary Landrieu

Nov. 13, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging the House to scrap its plans to vote Friday on legislation dealing with keeping existing, opting instead for legislation that would suspend the health care law in full:

“House Republicans are letting vulnerable Democrats off the hook on the issue of millions of Americans losing their health plans, by offering legislation that merely shifts blame from those who supported Obamacare to insurers that are merely trying to follow the law.

“Senate Democrats led by Mary Landrieu, seeing an opportunity to save their electoral chances in 2014, are upping the ante by offering a bill that will force insurers to reinstate coverage that they had originally legislated out of existence. This will be a political winner for Democrats, because the House bill has no such requirement on insurers.

“Not accepting the Senate bill would leave Republicans in the unenviable position of defending health insurance cancellations on the grounds that businesses cannot be compelled to offer a product that may be no longer financially viable. And so, Fred Upton who authored the Republican plan has already come out to praise the Senate Democrat approach.

“But the reason these plans are being cancelled is because of new, burdensome requirements under the law. The solution is to eliminate those new requirements. Forcing insurers to provide plans that are no longer viable without eliminating the new costs being imposed on them is suicidal. Next thing you know, House Republicans will be supporting increasing insurer subsidies to offset the cost.

“Americans for Limited Government strongly urges House Republicans to cease and desist from pursuing the Upton bill, allowing the Senate to act first, and then responding with either a full-year delay or an indefinite suspension of the entire law. This is the perfect opportunity to make the case for stopping implementation of the law itself before it does any more damage to the America’s health care system.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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False Healthcare.gov enrollees will not lower premiums

Nov. 12, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to a Washington Post report that the Obama administration is padding its Obamacare enrollment figures with those “who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid”:

“The amount of people actually signing up via Healthcare.gov must really be terrible if the Obama administration is already resorting to accounting gimmicks to boost its so-called ‘enrollment’ figures. Seven million people are supposed to sign up by March via the exchanges for 2014, 13 million by 2014, and 22 million by 2016 according to the Congressional Budget Office. If only 50,000 have signed up in the first month, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the administration will be lucky if it gets a million in the next year, far short of its target.

“The implications of this failure cannot be overstated. To the extent that the administration fails to enroll millions of uninsured in the exchanges, everyone’s models of how large the insurance pool ought to be will undoubtedly prove to be wrong. Which, because the minimum coverage requirements have increased so substantially under the law for existing plans, when the non-enrolled millions are not paying premiums into the system to offset the cost, it will mean everyone else will have to pay more.

“No amount of padding its numbers with false enrollees by the Obama administration will change the reality of higher premiums for everyone else. This really is going to be the unaffordable care act.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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932,000 disappear from labor force in a single month

Nov. 8, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement

“I hope that the jobs data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is wrong, because if it is not, almost one million people abandoned the labor force in October.  This is not due to any short-term government shutdown, but a wholesale loss of hope that Americans have a future in the U.S. economic system.  To put this into perspective, there has not been this small of a percentage of people participating in the labor force since 1978. It is hard to imagine a more devastating report on the state of the current economy.

“Almost one million Americans gave up on the American dream.  The implications of this simple fact are unfathomably bad.  Let’s hope this report is an aberration, because if it is not, our nation is in even deeper trouble than anyone had imagined.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Upton’s ‘Keep Your Own Health Plan Act’ is just cynical fluff

Nov. 7, 2013, Fairfax, Va.— Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement on the announcement that the House of Representatives will vote on Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s “Keep Your Own Health Plan Act”:

“The House of Representatives plan to vote on legislation by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton that would allow health insurance companies to have the option to continue to offer health care policies for another year is both bad policy and bad politics.

“The proposal is bad policy because it does not reflect the reality of shifting insurance pools due to the imposition of Obamacare and provides a false expectation among customers.  Congress waiving a magic wand and declaring that insurers can now offer existing insurance plans for another year that may or may not have the necessary customer base to support it does not solve the underlying problem caused by Obamacare.

“Worse, it allows those very Members of Congress who are responsible for the Obamacare disaster to blame the health insurers for cancellations while offering false hope that Congress has taken a meaningful action.

“In the ‘brave new world’ of the politics of the possible, it is likely that shifting blame while not taking real action to stop the Obamacare train wreck, will be a popular solution.

“Those who vote for this political dodge should be ashamed of themselves for opting for political gamesmanship rather than re-opening the push for the real solution of repealing, defunding or delaying of the entire law.

“Americans for Limited Government urges a no vote on the Upton “Don’t Blame Us” legislation.  It doesn’t solve the problem of Obamacare caused health insurance cancellations, while crassly allowing Congress to point their fingers at the private health insurance industry for cancellations caused by the President’s health care law.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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102 million insured with employer coverage could lose existing plans, Labor Dept. estimated in 2010

Nov. 1, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement bringing attention to 2010 Labor Department estimates that as many as 69 percent of those with employer coverage would be forced onto new plans:

“In 2010, when the Labor Department issued its interim final rule on employer-based health insurance, it was estimated that as many as 69 percent of the 149 million employer-covered market — some 102 million people — would not be grandfathered in under Obamacare. They are being forced to switch plans right now, because of the burdensome regulations imposed by the health care law, yet again putting the lie to Obama’s pledge that if we liked our plans, we could keep them.

“The Obama administration knew this was always a lie, and kept saying it anyway.

“This is not news. In August of 2010, Americans for Limited Government commented to the Department of Labor on its regulation that forced employers to switch plans, and alerted the national news media to what was happening. While some elected officials in D.C. chose to keep their heads in the sand, this knowledge of the certain destruction of employer health plans is one of the many reasons why Americans for Limited Government fought to defund or delay the implementation of this disastrous law.

“We welcome those politicians who have suddenly discovered this three-year-old regulation to the grim reality of the full impact of Obamacare, and urge them to stop its implementation by any legislative means necessary.”

Attachments:

Labor Department estimate on grandfathering employer insurance plans under Obamacare, June 17, 2010 at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-06-17/pdf/2010-14488.pdf#page=17

Comments of Americans for Limited Government on RIN 1210-AB42 Interim Final Rules for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Related to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Aug. 16, 2010 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/ALG%20Comment%20on%20the%20Grandfathering%20Interim%20Final%20Rule%2008%2016%2010.pdf

“Labor Department health care regulation will force employees to switch health care providers,” Aug. 16, 2010 at http://getliberty.org/labor-department-health-care-regulation-will-force-employees-to-switch-health-care-providers-2/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG praises Senate Republicans for filibustering Mel Watt to head Fannie, Freddie

Oct. 31, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising Senate Republicans for blocking Obama nominee Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, highlighting his past support of mortgage principal reductions for as many as 9.7 million borrowers who are $580 billion underwater on their mortgages, owing more on their homes than they are worth:

“More bailouts are the wrong answer for the American economy, and Mel Watt is the wrong choice to head Fannie and Freddie. Senate Republicans are to be praised for blocking him. Now they need to hold firm and insist on real reform. Instead of heading the agency with somebody dedicated to give away other people’s money, Congress should be working to bring an end to government-directed housing finance — the cause of the financial crisis — by bringing an end to Fannie and Freddie once and for all.

“Mel Watt’s past support of mortgage principal reduction raises major questions of fairness, as well as significant taxpayer concerns over reducing mortgage debt by as much as $580 billion for 9.7 million borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth. If they did it for everyone, it would put Fannie and Freddie back in the red, requiring a huge infusion of hundreds of billions of tax dollars to compensate.

“In the meantime, the program actually supported by congressional Democrats, the Making Home Affordable-Principal Reduction Alternative, would only ‘help as many as half a million homeowners,’ according to Watt. That is just 5 percent of the 9.7 million borrowers who are currently underwater on their mortgages, and yet would still cost taxpayers billions. It would just be a specialized bailout, likely tailored to prop up administration-favored favored constituencies. We don’t need it anymore than we need the government running housing finance.”

Attachments:

“Obama Taps Mel Watt for Fannie, Freddie to Push Mortgage Principal Reductions,” By ALG senior editor Robert Romano, May 2, 2013 at http://netrightdaily.com/2013/05/obama-taps-mel-watt-for-fannie-freddie-to-push-mortgage-principal-reductions/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Obama administration won’t rule out delaying individual mandate

Oct. 23, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney saying that if people remain unable to access health insurance under Obamacare through Healthcare.gov they “will not be penalized” under the individual mandate:

“With the White House actively considering waiving the individual mandate for those unable to access health insurance at Healthcare.gov, congressional Republicans that fought to defund and delay implementation of the law for a year have been vindicated. This law was not ready for prime time.

“With the increasing likelihood that uninsured Americans will remain unable to sign up for Obamacare under the new regime, and up to 43 percent of them completely unaware they are required to carry health insurance under the law according to Gallup, a delay of the law was always the eminently reasonable fallback position.

“It is unconscionable that the administration would fine people for not being able to access a website it did not properly build. Moreover, nobody should be fined for refusing to purchase a product they never asked for. This was always going to be a problem under the individual mandate. Now, a delay of the entire law at a minimum is the only way to navigate the Obama administration’s incompetence.”

Attachments:

Oct. 21, 2013 Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/21/press-briefing-press-secretary-10212013

Q    I don’t understand the answer, though.  If the website is not fixed, will people still have to pay the fine?

MR. CARNEY:  First of all, we’re way still early in the process.  So you’re talking about a February 15th and a March 31st deadline; it is October 21st today.  So let’s be clear about that.  We’re three weeks into this.  And that’s number one.

Number two, as written, the law makes clear that people who do not have access to affordable care due to a state not expanding Medicaid or other factors will not be penalized.

Q    So other factors can be this website having the same problems?

MR. CARNEY:  Again, that’s how the law is written.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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