Numb and Numbers: Sebelius Keeps up Health Care Spin
If denial were an Olympic sport, the Obama administration would have a gold-medal team. In the latest ObamaCare numbers charade, Kathleen Sebelius tries to persuade skeptical reporters that the health care law won't drive down employment. Tell that to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Obviously, legislation isn't the only thing liberals don't read, else the HHS Secretary would know how ridiculous her statement sounds in light of the group's latest analysis.
In two weeks, Americans haven't forgotten the stark warning from CBO, which blames ObamaCare for pushing as many two million full-time people out of the job market by 2017 -- and a total of 2.5 million in the next 10 years. And the projections (double what the agency originally estimated) don't include the major fallout from the employer mandate -- another provision the White House illegally delayed and wasn't factored into the CBO report. Still, Sebelius claims, "There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job-loss related to the Affordable Care Act. The number of full-time workers continues to increase. I know that's a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not accurate."
Even for the Obama administration, which continues to live in an alternate universe when it comes to some facts, this is a stretch. As the House Energy and Commerce Committee points out, the medical device tax alone is costing "employment reductions" of as many as 14,000 workers and hindered the hiring of 19,000. Another 132,000 jobs, the members explain, were "indirectly affected." And that's just one of 20 new health care taxes crippling, not just Americans, but American businesses.
The White House wants people to believe that pushing off the employer mandate until 2016 will cushion the blow, but most companies know the decision just postpones the pain. People like Laura Pedersen, who owns Pedersen Farms with her husband, said she "doesn't plan to hire more workers since it would create an administrative burden for eventually complying with the law. 'We're going to continue to stay under the 50 people" -- the threshold for insuring employees or paying a penalty. Tim Copeland, who owns a furniture business, told the Wall Street Journal that he sees right through the administration's ploy. "All it's doing is delaying the ultimate for another 12 months," he complained.
And the "ultimate" is what every American is afraid of. Combining the euthanizing effect of ObamaCare on jobs with the CBO's new statement yesterday that the President's push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour will cost Americans another 500,000 jobs, how can this administration possibly claim they're for the working man?
Dems' Marriage Campaign Disgust at Length
The Left never lets the truth get in the way of a good fundraiser. And this week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is proving it with an email blast about Senator Ted Cruz's State Marriage Defense Act. As if calling it a "disgusting bill" weren't offensive enough, the DSCC piles on with the biggest whopper of all: that Cruz's bill somehow outlaws same-sex "marriage" everywhere. Under this bill, the DSCC lies, "gay and lesbian Americans will never have the right to marry the person they love."
In reality, S. 2024 is the most powerful display of equality yet -- because it recognizes for federal purposes all legally married couples as defined by state law. As Senator Cruz pointed out to our listeners last week on "Washington Watch," his legislation (co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah) protects each state's status quo on marriage laws and stops the federal government from trampling the people's will. "Our heart weeps for the damage to traditional marriage that has been done," he said on behalf of the voters who've watched as the courts and the administration silence their voice on the issue. "We need to stand up and defend traditional marriage, and especially do everything we can to prevent the federal government from forcing a different definition of marriage that is contrary to the views of the citizens of each state."
In another interview with WallBuilders, Cruz refused to back down, reiterating what most conservatives already know: that this White House is the "most hostile-to-traditional-marriage administration this country has ever seen." For the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (whose task is to keep the party's tenuous hold on the Senate) to insult -- not just Senator Cruz -- but the millions of Americans who believe in a position the President himself held until recently, is politically ignorant. Subscribing to a view endorsed by every major religion in the world is not "disgusting," it's principled. A word which, if its emails are any indication, the DSCC knows very little about.
More Moviemakers Take Their Cues from Religious Families
Faith hasn't played much of a role in Hollywood -- until now. As many as 15 religious films could be released in theaters over the next year, and every one of them has a chance to make a big splash on the big screen. From Grace Unplugged to God's Not Dead, Christian moviemakers are determined to make their mark in an industry that's never been eager to highlight their values.
But based on a new report from our friends at MovieGuide, Hollywood may finally be getting the message of what audiences want -- positive, family-friendly films with inspirational content. For the first time, nine of the top 10 grossing movies in 2013 at both domestic and international box offices had a family-oriented theme, and a large portion, Dr. Ted Baehr explains, had references to Jesus Christ. "There is a great incentive to make movies that are good, true, and beautiful. There is an audience out there, and studio heads -- even ones that aren't Christian -- have intentions to reach this audience," he said on the heels of his organization's new 80-page report on the industry's earnings.
Although studios insist on pumping out R-rated movies, they consistently under-perform at the box office. "Only four R-rated films made the cut, coming in between 15th and 19th in earnings." Movies that had no foul language, like Frozen earned the most (an average of $65.81 million), while films with more than 25 incidences of profanity, like Wolf of Wall Street, averaged just $30.43 million and did not make the top 25.
Of course, the greatest irony may be the one Americans witness at the Oscars on March 2. If you compare how viewers vote at the ticket window with how the Academy of Motion Pictures does, it's clear that what Hollywood prizes -- profanity, nudity, violence, and sex -- is not the same as what moviegoers do. If you're tired of the junk Hollywood cranks out, prove it by supporting the alternatives. Fill the seats, and you might help fill the void -- for values!
** If you missed my interview on last night's "Kelly File," discussing an Iowa hotel's decision to remove Bibles from the rooms' bedside tables after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, check out the video below.
*** FRC's Ken Blackwell and former FRCer Ken Kluwkowski are teaming up again for another key Breitbart article, "Why Dems Are Willing to Flout the Law in Texas 2014 Elections."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.