Senate Democrat: Obama’s energy plan a “war on America”

Since President Barack Obama rolled out his energy plan on Tuesday, there have been a substanial backlash from members of Congress who represent coal-producing states.

New regulations that will be put in place through President Obama’s plan would result in the closing down on older coal plants, which many believe will weaken America’s energy grid, making it less reliable.

Among the loudest voices against the plan is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who once made waves when he fired a bullet through President Obama’s cap-and-trade bill in a campaign ad. During an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Manchin said that Obama has declared a “war on jobs” and a “war on America” with his new energy plan.

“How [Obama] forgot how this country’s gotten where its gotten to now —  the coal that’s really produced the energy for this country for so long. It’s defended this country, it’s made the steel that built the guns and ships and factories, and all of a sudden disregarded like that when they’re still depending, Larry, they’ll be  depending on coal through 2040,” Manchin told Kudlow. “That’s his own Energy Department, EIA’s estimates. That’s 35% of our energy. I don’t know where it’s gonna come from. It’s gonna drive the price up, unbelieveable, and on top of that, thousands and thousands of jobs.”

“This is not just a war on coal, it’s a war on jobs, it’s a war on America,” he said.

Employers suspend hiring, eliminate jobs because of ObamaCare

The Obama Administration has been ramping up its effort to sell ObamaCare to a still skeptical American public.

Last week, Politico reported that a new organization run by former Obama campaign staffers would try to sell the law to the uninsured at events around the country. This on top of the administration working with the NBA and NFL to promote ObamaCare to sports fans.

While they may be able to sell some naive Americans unicorns and fairy dust of ObamaCare, others will likely see the very real negative impact the law is already causing.

According to a recent survey from Gallup, small business owners are already reporting that they’ve had to suspend hiring or eliminate jobs because of the uncertainty that ObamaCare is bringing to their bottomline (emphasis mine):

Small business owners’ fear of the effect of the new health-care reform law on their bottom line is prompting many to hold off on hiring and even to shed jobs in some cases, a recent poll found.
Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered “yes” when asked if they had “reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act.”

The poll was taken by 603 owners whose businesses have under $20 million in annual sales.

Poll: 24% of Americans Say Welfare to Blame for Poverty


According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 24% of Americans believe that the welfare is the main reason for persistent poverty:

Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it,” Americans blame government handouts for persistent poverty in the United States more than any other single factor, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday.

Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose “too much government welfare that prevents initiative.”

Whether Americans are too dependent on government was a flashpoint of the presidential campaign last year, and shrinking government has been a focus of the Tea Party movement, which has risen since the election of President Barack Obama.

“Lack of job opportunities” was the second most popular answer, at 18 percent, followed by “lack of good educational opportunities” and “breakdown of families,” with 13 percent apiece.

The other four options in the poll, in descending order, were “lack of work ethic,” “lack of government funding,” “drugs” and “racial discrimination.” Eight percent of respondents said that all eight factors were equally responsible.

It’s not surprising that a tough economy reduces job prospects for those who are willing and able to work. Many Americans want to work, but job opportunities are hard to come by. But too frequently there are many who rather live off the forced generousity of taxpayers than go out and work for a job.

House Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL cartoon

After months of waiting President Barack Obama to stop sitting on his hands, the House passed a resolution last night in a 241 to 175 vote to bypass the White House and approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline:

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline by an act of law, and take the decision out of the hands of President Obama.

Members voted 241-175 in favor of H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act. Republican supporters were joined by 19 Democrats, much less than the level of Democratic support in the last Congress.
The House also accepted a lone Republican amendment from Rep. Randy Weber (Texas), which highlights State Department findings that say the Keystone pipeline is environmentally sound. Weber’s language passed 246-168.

President Obama has promised to veto the measure. That generally means that the Senate won’t even bother taking up the measure. But the upper chamber did pass an amendment to its budget back in March that approved Keystone XL.

Restaurant Franchisees Feel ObamaCare’s Bite

There have already been a number of stories written on the effects of ObamaCare on many small businesses. Perhaps no enterprise has felt the impacts of the law worse than the restaurant industry.

ObamaCare requires employers with over 50 employees to offer insurance coverage to those who work 30 hours or more, which is considered to be “full-time” under the law, or otherwise pay a $2,000 fine per worker. This is known as the “employer mandate.” Opponents of ObamaCare warned that this mandate would hurt investment and many workers, who would either lose their jobs or face scaled back hours. Supporters of the law obviously didn’t care enough listen.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal highlighted the plight of restaurant franchisees who are struggling to remain profitable as the realities of ObamaCare hit their businesses:

Sam Ballas, chief executive of ECW Enterprises Inc., owner of East Coast Wings & Grill, a 26-unit chain in North Carolina and Texas, in March imposed a three- to five-unit limit, for the time being, on the number of restaurants that franchisees can own, because of worries about health-care costs.
Mr. Ballas said several East Coast Wings franchisees are up against that limit now and that one is considering selling a restaurant to remain below the threshold.

ObamaCare Headlines Tell an Interesting Story

Capitalizing on the frustration congressional Democrats have recently expressed over rising health insurance premiums and the Obama Administration’s implementation efforts of ObamaCare, the House Republican Conference rolled out a new video on Thursday that highlights the headlines showing slashed hours and job losses that have come as a result of the law. This is the primary reason, outside of the recent IRS scandal, that House Republicans have pursued repeal of ObamaCare.

After rolling though the headlines, the video asks, “How many more jobs will ObamaCare cost?” It’s a question worth asking because, to this point, ObamaCare has been a nightmare for employers and there are no signs that the consequences of the law are letting up.

House Parodies “Arrested Development” to Highlight Democratic Dischord

Arrested Economic Development

With all the excitement over the comeback of the TV show, Arrested Development, the trailer for which was just recently released, the House Republican Conference has come up with a humorous parody of the show featuring a “dysfunctional Democratic majority.”

The video features President Barack Obama, ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), all of whom pushed for passage of ObamaCare, and notes that the law is causing insurance premiums to rise and causing employers headaches. It also highlights the doubts about ObamaCare now being expressed by members of their own party:

Nearly Half of Small Businesses Believe ObamaCare will Hurt Them


The White House and leading congressional Democrats are still trying to fight back against critics of ObamaCare, but their specious case isn’t convincing skeptical small business owners. According to a recent survey from Gallup, only 9% believe that the law will help them, while 48% of small business owners believe ObamaCare is going to be bad for business:

To show how deep the concern over the law goes and the messaging problem before apologists of the law, only 13% of small business owners believe that ObamaCare will improve quality of healthcare., the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, also points to a separate poll of business owners showing the confusion over ObamaCare and points to the fact that “41% said [of sma held off on hiring workers, and 38% said they’ve pulled back on growing their businesses because of the law.”

Voters Want Action on the Economy, Not Guns

Vice President Joe Biden has telegraphed his plan to make another push for new gun control laws and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is still pushing to gain support for his completely pointless background check proposal. But the public has other priorities. According to a recent Gallup poll, 86% of Americans rank job creation and the economy as their top priorities:

A new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds 86 percent of voters saying Congress should make its top focus job creation, with 86 percent saying Congress should prioritize work on improving the economy.

Those two issues are the top concerns for voters, with gun violence and an overhaul of the nation’s immigration reform laws at the bottom of the list of 12 priorities.

Only 55 percent of those surveyed said reducing gun violence should be a top priority, and a similar 50 percent said that Congress should focus on immigration reform.

BLS: 165,000 Jobs Created in April, Broader Unemployment Rate Inches Up

Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released jobs number from the month of April, which found that the economy created 165,000 jobs — slightly more than the 150,000 jobs the economy needs to produce to keep up with population growth.

Employment rose by 165,000 jobs in April, according to the monthly economic report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And unemployment dropped slightly from 7.6 to 7.5 percent—a minimal change, but one marking a steady, .4 percent drop since January. It’s the lowest unemployment rate in four years.

Employment increases were seen in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade and health care, according to the report.

The Labor Department also announced revised and more positive figures for February and March: Employment for February was revised from 268,000 to 332,000 jobs gained and for March from 88,000 to 138,000 jobs gained.

There’s definitely some good news there after years of lagging economic growth. But there are still some concerns about another economic slowdown. But it should be noted that the U-6 unemployment rate, which many call the true measure of the jobs picture, inched up to 13.9% from 13.8%. Reuters noted that the “details of the report remained consistent with a slowdown in economic activity.”

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