A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human…
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HHS’ Burwell Caught Low-Balling Congress on Cost of Healthcare.gov

A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave a potentially misleading answer when she told Congress that Healthcare.gov – the federal government’s ObamaCare portal – cost taxpayers $834 million to build.

Nicole Kaeding at the CATO Institute teases out some of the unstated, but related, costs that balloon the overall price tag to $2.14 billion, far north of Burwell’s testimony.

I’ve summarized them here as bullet points: $300 million contract to process paper applications to serve as backups to electronic files $387 million for real-time interfacing between the IRS and Healthcare.gov to verify income and family size for insurance subsidy calculations $400 million in accounting tricks…[more]

September 30, 2014 • 07:25 pm

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Poll: By 2-to-1, Americans Fear Second Obama Term Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 12 2012
By more than a two-to-one margin, respondents stated that their greatest fear is four more years of Obama versus the alternative.

If the Obama Administration already behaves as lawlessly as we are witnessing despite the tempering prospect of an electoral performance review this November, what degree of unbound malevolence might a second term bring? 

As 2012 begins, three events this week brought that question into particular relief. 

First, the United States fell another spot in the latest worldwide Index of Economic Freedom.  That marks the fourth consecutive year of decline, which cannot be dismissed as coincidental.  During the past four years, the U.S. has also suffered the ignominious downgrade from a “Free” designation to “Mostly Free.” 

Welcome to the Age of Obama. 

The chief culprit, according to the Index, is the sheer growth of spending and government regulation: 

“Rapid expansion of government, more than any market factor, appears to be responsible for flagging economic dynamism.  Government spending has not only failed to arrest the economic crisis, but also – in many countries – seems to be prolonging it.  The big-government approach has led to bloated public debt, turning an economic slowdown into a fiscal crisis with economic stagnation fueling long-term unemployment.” 

Ominously, the Index notes that spending and regulatory growth have cultivated an even more destructive byproduct – corruption: 

“The U.S. score on the Index’s Freedom from Corruption indicator has dropped to 71.0 in 2012 from 76.0 in 2007.  That’s not surprising, given the administration’s excessive regulatory zeal.  Each new edict means a new government bureaucracy that individuals and businesses must navigate.  Each new law opens the door for political graft and cronyism.” 

In the Asia-Pacific region, by contrast, economic freedom has continued to rise and it now claims the four freest economies (Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand).  How will America respond? 

A second notable event this week was the Supreme Court’s harsh – and unanimous – rejection of Obama Administration policy.  The First Amendment issue presented by the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC was whether the federal government can, in the Court’s words, “interfere with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs.”  Eager to lasso yet another realm of American life into its regulatory ambit, the Obama Justice Department sought to erode the distinction between churches and regular businesses.  It argued that the government could dictate how churches designated “ministers” and micromanage how religious groups determined who would carry out their missions. 

The Wall Street Journal labeled this decision “among the most important religious liberty cases in half a century.”  The fact that even the Court’s reliable liberals rebuked the Obama Administration vividly illustrates its flagrant Constitutional disregard. 

A third event of particular note this week came in the form of a public opinion survey.  By more than a two-to-one margin, respondents stated that their greatest fear is four more years of Obama versus the alternative.  Trailing close behind an Obama reelection, respondents listed increased taxes as their greatest fear.  Americans over age 65, who tend to vote in higher proportions than younger counterparts, expressed pronounced fear of a second Obama term, so expect more dishonest “granny shoved over the cliff” commercials to frighten them into line this election season. 

Three years ago, Obama told NBC that, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then it’s going to be a one-term proposition.”  Since then, unemployment has risen, inflation has risen, poverty has risen, spending has risen, the deficit has risen and gasoline prices have risen.  Meanwhile, economic freedom has deteriorated while federal regulations have been heaped upon America’s employers. 

All that occurred while Obama faced the prospect of electoral rejection at the end of his first term.  Now Americans are shifting their thoughts to how his administration would conduct itself in the absence of such restraint, and they apparently don’t relish the possibility. 

Question of the Week   
What percentage of the American people cannot name even one branch of the federal government?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The United States military and intelligence community have learned a lot over the past decade of conflict. Our commander in chief, unfortunately, has not. Since the start of his administration, President Barack Obama has ignored his generals and the intelligence community. Over the past few weeks, he has half-heartedly pursued a strategy that destines us to fail in our mission, and over the past…[more]
 
 
—Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Liberty Poll   

In selecting a nominee to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, will President Obama choose someone who is less ideological and less divisive to serve as the country’s chief law enforcement officer?