Cents and Sensibility
January 07, 2013 - Monday
It was supposed to be a deal that neither party liked. But the bill that hiked taxes on 77.1% of American homes has one fan: President Obama. By passing last week's fiscal cliff band aid, he managed to foist the country's problems onto taxpayers without agreeing to a single cent of spending cuts--which, it turns out, he never cared about anyway.
That was the biggest surprise of negotiating, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) explained to the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore. For all of his public statements ("spending cuts must be balanced with [tax] reforms"), privately, the President doesn't mind the four straight years of trillion dollar deficits. "At one point several weeks ago," Boehner told Moore, "the President said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.'" Once he got over his shock, the House Speaker fired back, "'But Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.' He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the President became irritated and said: 'I'm getting tired of hearing you say that.'"
Well, "tired" doesn't begin to describe how the American people feel after four years of unprecedented government bloat. The President is right. We don't have a spending problem--we have a spending emergency. Taxpayers are on the hook for another $5,000,000,000,000 under this administration's first term alone. How many more zeroes will it take before the White House admits the obvious? Washington's spending addiction is so out of control that Congress couldn't pass a fiscal cliff bill without adding $70 billion in new earmarks and tax loopholes. Even the Senate wouldn't help Sandy victims without helping themselves to millions in new pork for everything from fisheries to forestry. And entitlement spending (on programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) is so exorbitant that the new deal had to raise taxes on every worker's salary to pay for it!
Now, Democrats say the fiscal cliff is just the tip of the taxing iceberg. According to The Hill, the President's party is pushing for another trillion in "new revenue" before the year is out. Tough luck, says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). As far as Republicans are concerned, they've compromised enough. "The tax issue is finished. Over. Completed," he said.
With America bumping up against its credit limit, it's time to stop bleeding taxpayers dry and put meaningful spending reform on the table--something President Obama insists he's already done. "He's now claiming he already cut $1 trillion in 2011, largely by 'cutting' spending no one ever planned to spend," Jonah Goldberg explains. "So if I plan to build an orbital Death Star for $10 trillion and then think better of it, I've cut $10 trillion according to Mr. Obama's math." Based on the last four years, America will have to look beyond the President's "math" to find its way out of this mess. In the meantime, I think we could find plenty of sponsors for a congressional chapter of Spenders Anonymous.
Sherley, We Can Find Common Ground
After three long years, a lawsuit to stop taxpayer-funding of embryonic stem cell research finally hit a dead end today when the Supreme Court declined to take the case, Sherley v. Sebelius. Dr. James Sherley and Dr. Theresa Deisher, two adult stem cell scientists, brought the suit in 2009 to block the President's decision to throw open the door to more embryonic stem cell funding. The administration's expanded regulations, which paved the way for large-scale human embryo death, were put in place over the objections of pro-lifers who flooded the government website in opposition. (Later, the administration admitted to willfully ignoring over 30,000 comments of a total 49,000 it received about the guidelines).
A great many of those comments came from FRC supporters, and we thank you for speaking up for those who have no voice. Human embryonic stem cell research relies on the destruction of young humans, and it's very likely that a great deal more human embryos will be destroyed in this research now. We ask you to join us in thanking Dr. Sherley and Dr. Deisher, who fought the good fight and courageously risked their careers to stand for the truth that every life is sacred and worthy of protection under our laws. We're also grateful for their gutsy legal team--Tom Hungar of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Sam Casey of Law of Life Project, Steve Aden of Alliance Defending Freedom, and their colleagues, who gave this battle--and so many innocent lives--their absolute best.
While it's a disappointing finish to this legal battle, you can rest assured that FRC will continue to speak out in defense of all human life. In fact, FRC's Dr. David Prentice is the leading stem cell scientist in the world, working full-time on pro-life policy. And despite this setback, the case did help to highlight the facts on life-destroying embryo experiments and educate many more about the real lifesaving results with adult stem cells. We appreciate all of you who stood alongside us as we tried to protect "the least of these." For now, we fight on!
Hobby Lobby's Stand Sparks Chain Reaction
Hobby Lobby stores across the United States reopened today after thousands of Americans flocked to their local chain to show their support for the company's fight for religious freedom. Saturday's Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day, driven by FRC and other Christian organizations, might help ease the pain for the chain, which is staring down $1.3 million in fines each day for ignoring the President's abortion pill mandate. Of all the businesses challenging the ObamaCare rule, Hobby Lobby has the most to lose. With 500 stores in more than 40 states, the effects of the government's penalty could be catastrophic--even fatal--to the family business.
Still, says CEO David Green, what matters most is staying true to your conscience. "I've always said that the first two goals of our business are to run [the company] in harmony with God's laws, and to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do... But now... our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right." Unlike other organizations suing, Hobby Lobby does offer its workers contraception coverage. Where it draws the line, explains Green, is at abortion drugs like the morning-after pill and ella. "We believe that [paying for those drugs] might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs." And in the end, those beliefs are nonnegotiable. "We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit."
Hopefully, they can do both--as more Christians recognize and reward Hobby Lobby's sacrifices. Help make every day Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day! Shop online, stop by your local store, and "like" FRC's Facebook campaign. Together, we can show the Obama administration that the government can take our money but it can't take our convictions!
** Don't miss this week's kick-off of my new show, "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," airing live on American Family Radio for the first time today from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET). If you don't have an AFR station in your area, you can listen live or listen later TonyPerkins.com. Check out the website for station listings and a rundown of upcoming guests!