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  • Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

    Just three days after President Barack Obama’s health plan was signed into law, AT&T announced that due to an obscure tax change in the bill, the nation’s largest telephone company would take a $1 billion hit to its bottom line this quarter. According to health benefits analysts this tax law modification would shave as much as $14 billion from U.S. corporate profits. While it would have been better had these tax losses been made more public before Congress voted, at least these tax charges are transparent and easily quantifiable enough to get noticed by the American people. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the hundreds of new regulations that the federal government will enforce as it tries to implement Obama’s redistributionist health agenda.

    In addition to the federal government’s explicit taxes and spending, Americans are also burdened with a slew of hidden taxes imposed by an ever-increasing number of regulations. More than 50 agencies have a hand in federal regulatory policy, enforcing more than 150,000 pages of rules. Many of these regulations provide needed benefits. Most Americans would agree on the need for security regulations to protect citizens from terrorist attacks, although the extent and scope of those rules may be subject to debate. But each regulation comes at a cost–a “regulatory tax” imposed on all Americans. According to a 2005 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration, the cost of all regulations then on the books was some $1.1 trillion per year.

    Worse than the existing size of our country’s regulatory burden, is the pace at which it has been growing. Contrary to what most liberals and media elites would have you believe, President George Bush had a decidedly mixed record on regulation. While he should be praised for strengthening the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in screening new regulations, by every objectively measurable metric the size and scope of the regulatory state grew significantly under his tenure. And President Bush’s last years in office were his worst. In 2008 36 major regulations were enacted by the Bush administration, and in 2009 some $15 billion in new regulatory costs were imposed on the American people.

    President Bush doesn’t deserve all the blame for that $15 billion in new costs for 2009. About $4.4 billion is attributable to regulations approved by the Obama administration. While that may seem like a significant decrease, it is actually an ominous sign when put in context. Regulatory activity always increases near the end of a presidency and is slower at the beginning. So in President Bush’s first year, he enacted only one major rule and he was in his third year in office before the new regulatory costs he inflicted on the American people hit President Obama’s one-year $4 billion mark. And that $4 billion does not yet include all the regulations for Obamacare. Or all of the regulations Obama’s EPA wants to pass under the Clean Air Act. Or any of the new financial regulations that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) want to inflict on the American people.

    There are some things Congress can do now to help better manage the onslaught of federal regulations. First the authority and scope of OIRA should be protected. Establishing a sunset date for all new regulations would also help. But ultimately things will not change for the better until policymakers exercise the will and resolve to guard against the deluge. As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked last week: “If Congress can’t control what a few mortgage finance bureaucrats do with your dollars, why would anyone trust Congress to control what tens of thousands of bureaucrats will do with your health? … Should unchecked centralized government be allowed to grow and grow in power … or should its powers be limited and returned to the people?”

    Quick Hits:

    • According to economists, our nation’s 9.7% unemployment rate is likely to be driven higher as more people look for work as the economy finally recovers.
    • After spending $700 billion bailing out Wall Street, the Obama administration plans to start a $21 million pilot program to help small businesses.
    • After one week of the White House campaign to sell Obamacare, support for the bill has decreased in the CBS News poll from 48% – 37% against to 53% – 32% against.
    • Speaking about the Obama administration’s signature education policy initiative, Race to the Top, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) said: “It was like the Olympic Games, and we were an American skater with a Soviet judge from the 1980s.”
    • According to a new Gallup poll of self-proclaimed Tea Party supporters, the age, educational background, employment status, and race of the Tea Party movement is “quite representative of the public at large.”
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    38 Responses to Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

    1. MJF, CT says:

      Nothing that the government has decided to run has ever worked, from social security to the War on Poverty – it has all failed and cost the taxpayers billions. When is it enough? When will we realize that the government is NOT the answer to everything? Yes, it is time to de-power the government.

    2. Turner, Massachusett says:

      THe Cost of Pride:

      President Obama certainly has enormous pressure to perform as the first black president and leader of the most oppressive group of white people the world has ever assembled, or the most generous, it depends on your worldview. With all the name calling and finger pointing, the shear grandiosity of the bill lunged on him by his cult of worshippers led principally by Pelosi and Read, if not Obama himself, Mr. Obama might be like the guy that married that high maintenance beauty queen that doesn't like it when her hair to gets messed up or when her fragile self esteem comes under attack by a simple statement that reveals her vulnerabilities. Her skin deep veneer is in no way a true reflection of the ugliness of the interior or her weakness. Obama now has a life long commitment to a strikingly awesome, albeit worthless millstone he will wear around his neck for the remainder of his life without a puddle to jump in. This is not the bling he sought. Anyway, he is wishing he could still convince people for a little longer this is a good idea as the make-up comes off and the true costs of this matrimony start arriving. He says to himself, "Why did I ever do this?". "They MADE me", he will exclaim after he literally exhausts himself in efforts to keep lipstick on this pig. The "political tactics", which, may I insist we go ahead and simply identify this as "lying", "bribery" and "fraud" in favor of simply saying "being political", of gaming the CBO into a number is just that. In keeping with my similes on life, Mr. Obama is living a life of glory set up like the kid who cheats in a game of golf or on a test, or the man that has corrupt business dealings like Madoff or the leadership at Enron or MCI or Tyco but Mr. Obama does his fraud, lying and bribery right in front of everyone and he has the nerve to go up to the stage and take the trophy, the credit and acclaim and write a book about the audacity of hope while ripping hope out of the hands of the unborn and the living alike. We all see his behavior, but it is said, "Go ahead and let him, he deserves it." You can take that comment two ways, your choice, I worry about the ones getting harmed. An idea springs to his mind, "New bills to distract from old bills (I call this "lipstick", ponzi schemers call it "cash flow".), but this time on my terms, more power. But that has been the plan all along.", meanwhile he says, "For now, I'll give the GOP a little favor and make the left squeal. They will think I am moderating." He will proceed to right, I mean left, all the wrongs as he strives to improve "the world" as you see it, that is the new metaphor for Obama, "the world". He says, "Watch me, watch me." Rising ever farther up the podium of falsely manufactured pride and success. Like all ponzi schemes, he will come crashing down one day and he will take Congress with him if not for him. Everything he has done he has done with a "political" genius never imagined. Let me warn him and you, nothing false ever bears up to it's own tests, in the end it is all but vapor. Ask the Enron retirees and shareholders and Madoff investors, and like them, we are nearly $100 trillion in debt and we are past the point of being able to pay that in full. Who will be the losers as we race to the end of this madness being perform before our very eyes? Everyone! As an old friend of mine said to me about a corrupt boss, "If I don't see you on the way up, we'll all see you on your way down." The only way out of this mess it not revolt, reload or reform. The ONLY way forward is through REVIVAL! IF not, we will become more divided and doom is certain.

    3. Donna Hyder says:

      As great of information as this is and many other emails and publications,

      radio talk shows are, we as "WORKING" Americans do not know what

      more we can do. I campaigned, voted, went and will go to tea parties,

      I spread information and give. I pray, but I feel as Americans we are

      like sheep being lead to the slaughter. I do not understand how so

      many Americans can be so "opposed" to legislation and yet it continues

      and gets worse. I would love to know anything more I can do. I wonder

      how men would have reacted to this even hundred years ago?

      Thanks,

      Donna Hyder

    4. Laurie, Albany NY says:

      Power should be returned to the people! This nation was formed to keep big government from taking control of our lives. It's happening right before our eyes. We have congressional leaders that don't even realize the difference between our Declaration of Independence or our Constitution, and openly admit they don't care which is which or their oath to uphold the laws of our Constitution. We need to get Our Country back!

    5. loves Dogs/Colorado says:

      We seem to be going TO HELL IN A HANDBAG and NO ONE wants to stop it NO MATTER WHAT .

      I never knew we had so many GUTTLESS Politicians that were suppose to be in D.C. FOR US—-THE PEOPLE THAT WORK OUR A—- OFF TO HELP BUILD THIS COUNTRY. It's all very clear now———the REAL PEOPLE mean NOTHING to this country.

    6. James Campbell Richm says:

      You just pass off the charge to earnings in a cavalier sort of way. Perhaps you need to also focus on the fact that charges to earnings like this are reflected in the firms' capital structures at the end of the accounting periond in which the charge occurs. And that impariment of capital is permanent! The only way it can be cured is by going into the market place to raise more capital. Only soundly capitalized firms survive. Congress needs to understand all of the effects of their actions, and kicking corporate entities in their 'capital shins' is just one of them.

    7. Patricia, Seattle says:

      I find the information and news good on this site regarding Obama's Redistribution Health plan, but there needs to be information available as to how the average person reading this can take specific actions to help in exposing and addressing the issues.

    8. Gary Nevada/Alaska says:

      I've been called a "racist" for supporting the values of the Tea Party uprising. How deluded and wrong can they be? Very un-American and anti freedom. Very sad for this nation.

    9. MyDogOreo, Chappaqua says:

      A lot of this could be much better handled at the state level.

      A Congress and President with narrow responsibilities is healthier for all. The states need to check the power of the Federal government. It starts at the grass roots – the Tea Party.

      Can anyone tell me why Congress has to meet so frequently in DC? With the internet in full-swing, a lot of meetings and caucuses could be handled remotely.

      This would save a lot of money for taxpayers!

      If Congress meets four times a year for, say, a week or two, does all the legislation at that time, it would be much more streamlined. It would also keep the congressmen on their home turf, the real world, where their constituents are. This would put a damper on any strange ideas the reps. might have. Living at home on a day-to-day basis puts the reps. and senators face-to-face with their people. I think most congressmen don't want that.

      DC is a haven for the craven. Let's turn it into a village.

    10. Richard Cancemi says:

      Our Founding Fathers recognized that governments are never to be trusted and therefore limited the scope of the Federal government's powers. We were to be the dog wagging the tail. However, over the last century, slowly and surely, the American people, through ignorance, complacency and unfortunately, "trust", have allowed the Progressives to eat away at our freedoms and containment of the government. Now the tail wags the dog and we are the worse for it. This current decade has seen a rapid rise in the usurpation of powers that were never intended to be part of the Federal government! Hopefully, we can reverse this. The Tea Party movement is the ONLY one putting forth the effort to re-install CONSTITUTIONALISM as intended by our Founding Fathers.

    11. Jodie, Memphis TN says:

      ….TO THE PEOPLE….HELLO??

    12. New Jeersey says:

      The Power must unequivocally be returned To We The People. And so should most members of Congress. Now that's the change, we all can believe in.

    13. Normca says:

      Ordinarily the Wash Post would be the last thing read, but the article on the $21 million to help small business, linked by Heritage got my interest. [Their blog certainly would not be enjoined.] In part it reads the Oh Oh administration [never let a crisis be wasted] does not want congress to put strings on banks taking government money. That is all I had to see, to be reminded, that rag is a fraud. The Obama pay czar has his dirty illegal hands in all corporations he thinks he can get away with and does. Next; insurance company execs. Truly like the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan who hides behind women and children, the Oh Oh administration hides behind their left arm, the media as the abuse of power continues.

    14. Darrell, Denver says:

      I retired from ATT after 25 years of service. My retirement package included medical coverage for my wife and I. Now, I understand that will be lost due to Obamacare. Amazing how all those days and nights of loyal service to others, is now cast away so those who did not work all those years can have health care. Does not seem fair to me.

    15. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      It seems to me that this administration and Congress is oblivious to the fact that every increase in cost a company occurs is passed on to us the consumer. If BHO says he's not taxing us, he is either lying or delussional. An increase in doing business whether it be a tax or an increase in wages, is passed on to the consumer, I agree with the polls, I am a nurse and I've talked to over a hundred people in the last 2 weeks about health care, I've only met 1 or 2 who were for it, these same people are also on medicaid and welfare of one sort or another. I am for temporary help to those in need, but I live by the addage, "Give a man a fish and he has a meal, teach a man to fish and he has many meals." BHO and his henchmen are leading a Chicago mob style goverment, he is as evil as Capone and his gang. We can change this Nov. 2, 2010, WE CAN TAKE BACK our Country and return to the way of life our ancestors fought and died for. VOTE

    16. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      "Power returned to the people"? Is that some sort of misprint or perhaps wishful thinking?. Power to the people by THIS CONGRESS and this socialist, pretend president. That's absurd.

    17. John Holmes says:

      Why has the left been able to blame Bush and the republicans for deregulation resulting in the financial collapse? Where was this information 2 years ago?

    18. Diane New Jersey says:

      We will all have to suffer the fine for not paying for deathcare and join an American medical group who relocates to Costa Rica. The only doctors remaining within our borders will be imported.

    19. Drew Page, IL says:

      See, Nancy Pelosi was right. We are finding out what was in the bill now that it's passed. Stay turned, more to come.

    20. Dan, Platteville Col says:

      Great Article Conn, WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

      "AT&T would take a $1 billion hit to its bottom line this quarter"

      Corporations will always pass additional taxes on to their customers? It is not AT&T that will take the greatest hit. It is the Lower and Middle income citizens and investors that will take the greatest hit.

      Now we will see another round of lobbyist storming Washington paying out massive amounts of money to politicians on both sides of the isle in hopes of getting some new kind of loop hole added to the already massive tax codes. Companies will spend millions of dollars in Washington in order to get Billions in Tax relief in one form or another.

      We all know that the tax system we have in Washington is corrupt beyond belief. While special interest lobbying in itself is not a bad thing, The tax system allows for massive amounts of favoritism and punishment of individual groups of people. Constantly pitting Americans against each other in an effort to gain power appears to be the only thing modern politicians are concerned about these days.

      We have not forgotten the CEOs of large companies such as Enron who were severely punished for miss-handling their companies money. How many politicians would be jailed if the same scrutiny where applied to their miss-handling of our money?

      It's not too late for WE THE PEOPLE to take back the power and end this constant miss-use of the tax codes. It's not too late to ensure the transparency that politicians are constantly promising but never delivering. It's not too late to reverse the unsustainable spending. It's not too late to ensure economic recovery and increased growth and prosperity for ALL Americans. But, we must act now and the only way it can be done is if The People act now. The three branches of Government have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. Government will always work to increase it's own power so WE THE PEOPLE are the only ones who can "fix" the system.

      OK, I have rambled on long enough. WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? Repeal the 16th Amendment, Implement the 28th Amendment, and implement The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296)

      What is the FairTax plan? (See http://www.fairtax.org)

      The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

      The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

      The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

      The FairTax:

      * Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks

      * Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions

      * Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities

      * Allows American products to compete fairly

      * Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy

      * Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding

      * Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation

      * Abolishes the IRS

      What is the 28th Amendment?

      An Idea Whose Time Has Come

      For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered…in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

      While the FairTax may have it's own set of problems, it is Clear to everyone that the current system of regressive income taxes must end if we are ever to save our freedom and individual liberties.

      Thank you for listening,

      Dan,

      Platteville, CO

    21. ken, santa barbara says:

      Is the HF saying that they agree the tax dollars paid by the people reading the above article should be given totally free to corporations such as AT&T,et.al., then let those corporations deduct those free subsidies as a write off against income on their taxes? It seems that would be big corporation double dipping?

      http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-sm063099.html. Actually they are double and triple dipping and that is corporatism at is finest!.

      Please help us here with "obscure" tax law. Those big boys saw it and are using it immediately to gain press (liberal or otherwise) to push back against losing totally free government money.

      AT&T will write off this quarter what loss they foresee in the future. They will profit 2 billion dollars this quarter even with the charge off.

      Perhaps the HF or Mr Carroll would favor allowing those who have 401k's to take individual write offs of employer contributions to their plans. That would certainly level the playing field and keep with the spirit of lowering taxes and more importantly to all of us reading the Morning Bell a sense of economic equity.

    22. apberusdisvet, FL says:

      I wonder if this comment will be posted? I'm writing about the BIGGEST PONZI SCHEME EVER that has gone unreported in the MSM. JPMorgan(possibly in collusion with the Fed) has systematically manipulated the gold and silver markets to depress prices. This has had the effect of artificially propping up the US dollar, so the masses won't have the urge to seek gold/silver as a safe haven. A whistleblower, one Andrew Maguire, revealed this last week. No mention in the MSM and appearances on business shows and interviews were abruptly cancelled. There was an apparent attempt on Maguire's life last week.

      Google Andrew Maguire and the King World interviews to discover that for every 100 oz of paper gold being traded, there is actually only 1 oz (or less) as collateral in the world's depository vaults.

      The above comments HAVE NOT BEEN ALLOWED on other sites.

    23. toledofan says:

      And we wonder why it would take Obama 17 minutes to try and answer a simple question like 'do you think it's agood idea to add taxes during a recession and the the person added 'I think we're taxed enough already'. The response was bizzare and incoherient at times touching on everything like a mini campaign speech. I sure hope somebody doesn't ask him if he really was a Professor of Constitutional law or if he really knows what's in the healthcare bill. There just may not be enough hours in the day.

    24. Dennis Social Circle says:

      It is all about controll, if you controll peoples mind you controll the whole body. The dems and obama are determined tyo raise taves to pay for their junk spending, if we think taxes are bad now, just wait till they all kick in, not to mention what interest rates will be in the near future. Remember the jimmy carter days, with 15-17% mortgage rates. I guess it is like al sharpton said, america wanted a socialist style government, they elected obama as a socialist.

      I just hope people do not forget in November what has happened and who is to blame, and that is not saying the Republicans are blameless. VOTE!!!!

    25. Sherrill Carlin says:

      I GOT ONE THING TO SAY, WHILE OUR MEN AND WOMEN ARE AWAY FROM HOME FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM (OUR FREEDOM) OBAMA IS HERE TAKING AWAY OUR FREEDOM AS FAST AS HE CAN HE MUST BE STOPED NOW, VOTE THE DEM'S OUT AS FAST AS WE CAN, WE DON'T WANT SOCIALISM HERE IN AMERICA

    26. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      As Easter passes, I am reminded by the words of Jesus…"no greater love hath a man who lays down his life for his friends". How many American men and women, black, white, brown and red, laid down their lives so their "friends", FELLOW AMERICANS, could remain FREE of TYRANNY and COMMUNISM and to keep those threats off of our doorstep. Now, with Obama and his personally appointed merry band of constitutional law breakers, many of them avowed communists and socialist radicals, the THREATS have passed over our doorstep and right into our very house. If you can not see the LIES from Obama's mouth, reitterated by a corrupt news media which refuses to tell the truth and pretending they do not care because they are "world people", not Americans, then you have been brainwashed by PROGRESSIVES(new name for communists) and your future is about as bright as a bunny rabbit running across a parkinglot of a closed MALL and spotted by an EAGLE! Maybe we should all(every single one of us) just stay at home and say OK Obamanation, take care of us…its our RIGHT!

    27. William Cash, Pueblo says:

      I want to know the page, paragraph, tittle, sections and all other information that covers, and or are related to health care death or medical care, restriction panel's.

      This is needed to throw it back in their faces when they campain for re-election. We have two "Dem's" that want to go back and screw up everything they missed doing with their "O" Sh__ care package.

    28. Lee White Tanks AZ says:

      I sincerely hope that all readers of this article can answer the article's "Test Question" reiterated here:

      "Should unchecked centralized government be allowed to grow and grow in power … or should its powers be limited and returned to the people?”

      PC is Thought Control

      LEE

    29. Wayne from At The Wa says:

      I've linked to your post from Tax Cuts not Tax Increases Stimulate the Economy

      … Government is not an efficient organization. The free market rewards efficiency in private enterprise. The more efficient an organization is the more food, product, health care is produced at a lower cost. – That lesson should be taught in all political science classes. It should be understood by all people who want to assist the poor. The history of Government involvement and free markets should be taught in high school history.

    30. E.B. Lewis Oklahoma says:

      It is sad that the welfare community, those most counting on Obama to take care of them, will end up in slavery when the Dictator is finally in power. While he needs their vote to obtain power, they will be the first to get a shovel or hoe and a 16 hour day with little recompense. The middle and upper middle class, those who can do things, will fare much better. Dictators always need a working middle class to keep things running. The welfare folks, who are so adroit at milking the system, are also very expendable. They don't see this in their future. As the woman said: "I want my Obama money!" Ask those people working the Cane Fields in Cuba.

    31. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      Any retard can be in Congress. Henry Waxman is a retard. Therefore, Henry Waxman is a retard.

    32. Bill Alford Bellevie says:

      I've read the comments and can deduce that the American people are fed up. Now that we are fed up, What are we going to do?

      Will this coming up election in november be an eyeopener for the incumbents? Will term limits be a reality? Will the constitution be adherred to? Will honest men run for office or will the ones filled with larceny run and win?

      It is very easy to sit back and talk about these issues of fair tax, Non socialized government etc, but what are we the people, really going to do? I am a true patriot, I believe in my constitutional rights and my citezenship.

      Our government is so huge and so corrupt, I know we need to change it so lets all stand together and give these crooks The good ole heave -ho

    33. john cossick, LINCOL says:

      I AM 1000% WITH SHERRILL CARLIN. THERE HAS TO BE A WAY OUT OF THIS!

    34. Pingback: Tax Cuts not Tax Increases Stimulate the Economy « Wayne's Discernment

    35. Sue From Detroit says:

      Limit the power of congress. I am sure 2/3 of the government agencies we have now should be eliminated. Give the tax payer back his and her money and reinstate the tax payer their power.

    36. Micki-Tamarac, FL says:

      VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!!!!

      That is what we can do. Look into these candidate, R's and D'd and vote for Conservitives.

      Not all Republicans can be trusted either! Get to know them so that your vote counts1

    37. Jim Morris St. Louis says:

      What is the constitutional process to have Obama impeached. When an attempt to impeach Clinton congress handeled. Can the people call for an impeachment? As he invited the world to attack us and wouldn't retaliate with nuclear weapons – As he's dumping on Israel whose runways and ports might be required to address Iran – I'm begining to think hes not all there.

    38. Can anyone shed some more light on this?

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