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Oct 4, 2011

I'm just trying to see if this works yet

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Posted: Oct 4, 2011 12:43pm
May 17, 2011

        1. Gone With The Wind

        2. E.T.

        3. Beverly Hills Cop

        4. Star Wars

        5. Forrest Gump

        6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

        7. Jaws

        8. Grease

        9. The Defeat of Obama in 2012

      10. Casablanca

      11. Jurassic Park

      12. Shrek

      13. Pirates of the Caribbean

      14. Titanic

      15. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

      16. Home Alone

      17. Mrs. Doubt Fire

      18. Toy Story

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: May 17, 2011 4:46pm
Jul 30, 2010

First off this law mirrored the federal law and was designed to work WITH it. IF you are an alien and abide the laws you have little to worry about. If you are an alien and don't abide the laws then you can worry. Immigrants (here legally) are required to carry thier documentation at all times anyway. It doesn't give the cops any more rights to stop anybody than they had before, what it does now is give them the right to see documentation of your right to be here.

Obama/Gov. challenging the bill/law is wrong because...

The Article quoted to support this argument is Article I, Section 8, Clause 5,

“[Congress shall have the power] to establish an uniform rule of naturalization”.

Naturalization and immigration is not the same thing. Naturalization is the process by which a person becomes a citizen. Immigration is when foreign nationals take up permanent residence in the country. The power of the federal government over immigration would be an implied power, not one of the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution.

Implied powers rely on the interpretation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 19,

“[Congress shall have the power] to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers…”

The key words here are “necessary” and “ proper”. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out in his opposition to the establishment of a national bank, a law is necessary only if the power cannot be carried into execution without it. Obviously, controlling immigration is not necessary in order to establish uniform rules for becoming a citizen.

Is it “ proper” for the federal government to have exclusive authority over immigration? Definitely not, immigration’s primary impact is on the states and the communities within those states. The practical affects of immigration at the national level is negligible compared to those at the state level.

Since immigration is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, it is a power reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment

Constitutional requirements for the federal government concerning immigration is not found in Article I, Section 8, it is found in Article 4, Section 4.

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence”.

The state of Arizona has an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants living within its borders. By any standard that constitutes an invasion. An invasion does not have to consist of an armed military in order to be a threat to the purpose of the Constitution as given in the Preamble, “[to] insure domestic Tranquility”.

Not only does Arizona have the right to enforce immigration law, it has the duty to do so. It also has the authority under the Constitution to call out the National Guard to protect its borders.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 16,

“[Congress shall have the power] to provide for calling forth the Militia to .…repel Invasions“;

The word “ provide” simply means to make the necessary means available. Article 4 requires the Federal government to acquiesce to the judgment of the state Legislature or Governor in using the National Guard to repel invasion or control domestic violence.

[excerpts from an article by Jerry McDaniel]

Basically what Obama/admin is saying by going against Arizona is that "it's the federal government's job to protect our borders, but if the federal government isn't doing it's job then you (the state) can't either!


The United States Constitution: Article IV - The States

Section 4 - Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War,UNLESS ACTUALLY INVADED, OR IN SUCH IMMINENT DANGER AS WILL NOT ADMIT DELAY. (Note: capitals added for emphasis.)
A couple things here:

1. The Federal Government is REQUIRED to answer Arizona's official complaint that the Federal Government must defend the State from invasion from the southern border. This is clear in the Constitution under Article IV section 4.

2. Clearly the Federal Government has failed to perform it's duty under the Constitution by intention. A violation of the oaths of office by any Federal Government official involved. That includes the President(s).

3. Under Article IV section 10; Arizona is no longer subject to the restrictions upon the State under the Constitution regarding the defense of the State. They are allowed to DEFEND themselves with all that is implied by that defense.

[By Jim S.]



The ruling by District Judge Susan Bolton is intelligent and well-organized, but seriously constitutionally flawed... if the Arizona law is actually administered in a racist or disruptive way, then by all means, Godspeed, sue and win.  But the juggernaut assault on the Arizona law as presumptively unconstitutional because it is presumptively racist and presumptively disruptive of federal immigration law is nonsense.  There is a “strong presumption of constitutionality that applies to legislative enactments.”  First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. County of Los Angeles, California, 482 U.S. 304 (1987).

Judge Bolton ruled that essential parts of the Arizona law are presumptively bad without an adequate basis for so ruling.

The key controversy is the requirement that a person arrested for commission of crime have his or her immigration status confirmed before release.  Judge Bolton declared that provision likely unconstitutional because:

(1) “This requirement … is likely to burden legally-present aliens, in contravention of the Supreme Court’s directive … that aliens not be subject to ‘the possibility of inquisitorial practices and police surveillance.’”  Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941).

(2) “The number of requests that will emanate from Arizona as a result of determining the status of every arrestee is likely to impermissibly burden federal resources and redirect federal agencies away from the priorities they have established.”

Essentially, Judge Bolton rules that the Arizona law disrupts federal immigration enforcement because it might add a burden to legal aliens, and because it might burdensomely increase the immigration status inquiries to the federal agency charged with answering inquiries as to immigration status.

First — “inquisitorial practices and police surveillance”?  That’s rhetorical hyperbole drawn from a case decided in 1941, which was 69 years closer to the Spanish Inquisition, and a very different world of race relations — and by the way, it had to do with state registration of legal aliens.  That Judge Bolton would play upon that anachronistic hyperbole might disclose an agenda.

Second, whatever might constitute an impermissible “inquisitorial practice and police surveillance,” the simple and straightforward inquiry into immigration status doesn’t seem to implicate the darkness of either the Inquisition or a police state.  It’s just, are you here legally or not?

Third, the Supreme Court actually held in 1941 that:

    “our primary function is to determine whether, under the circumstances of this particular case, Pennsylvania’s law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.”

Neither of Judge Bolton’s conclusions address that question.  Had the Hines question been the question here, the answer is that the Arizona law does not stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.

Fourth, the federal government argued, and the district court accepted, that S.B 1070 “necessarily imposes substantial burdens on lawful immigrants in a way that frustrates the concern of Congress for nationally-uniform rules governing the treatment of aliens throughout the country – rules designed to ensure ‘our traditional policy of not treating aliens as a thing apart.’ (Pl.’s Mot. at 26 (quoting Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 73 (1941)).”

The Supreme Court actually held in Hines v. Davidowitz as follows:

    “The legislative history of the Act indicates that Congress was trying to steer a middle path, realizing that any registration requirement was a departure from our traditional policy of not treating aliens as a thing apart, but also feeling that the Nation was in need of the type of information to be secured.”

In other words, the Supreme Court was noting Congress’ ambivalence.  Judge Bolton’s, and the federal government’s, lifting of the quoted language out of context misrepresented the Supreme Court’s acknowledgement that there can be a countervailing interest in simple information — of exactly the sort SB 1070 is designed to provide.


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Jul 30, 2010 7:13am
Jul 25, 2010

Timeline of the United States Housing Bubble - wikipedia

The Great Contraction: Timeline of Events -

Year color code: 0000 = President Senate House - Party Divisions wiki


1930s 1968 - 1991
  • 1968: The Government mortgage-related agency, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) is converted from a federal government entity to a stand-alone government sponsored enterprise (GSE) which purchases and securitizes mortgages to facilitate liquidity in the primary mortgage market. The move takes the debt of Fannie Mae off of the books of the government.
  • 1970 Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) is chartered by an act of Congress, as a GSE, to buy mortgages on the secondary market, pool them, and sell them as mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market. The average cost of a new home in 1970 is $26,600[2] ($140,582 in 2007 dollars). From 1960 to 1970, inflation rose from 1.4% to 6.5% (a 5.1% increase), while the consumer price index (CPI) rose from about 85 points in 1960 to about 120 points in 1970, but the median price of a house nearly doubled from $16,500 in 1960 to $26,600 in 1970.
  • 1971 The gold-dollar exchange is eliminated. The gold standard is abandoned. There is no restraint on the creation of money and debt by the banking system. The government starts to print potentially-unlimited amounts of cash in the trillions. This causes a drop in the value of the U.S. dollar which continues today.
  • 1974: Equal Credit Opportunity Act imposes heavy sanctions for financial institutions found guilty of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age.
  • 1977: Community Reinvestment Act passed to encourage banks and savings and loan associations to offer credit to minority groups on lower incomes or owning small businesses 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq.).[2][3] Beforehand, the companies had been accused of engaging in a practice known as redlining.
  • July, 1978: Section 121 allowed for a $100,000 one-time exclusion in capital gain for sellers 55 years or older at the time of sale.[4]
  • 1980: The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 granted all thrifts, including savings and loan associations, the power to make consumer and commercial loans and to issue transaction accounts, but with little regulatory oversight of competing banks; also exempted federally chartered savings banks, installment plan sellers and chartered loan companies from state usury limits.[5] The cost of a new home in 1980 is $76,400[3] ($189,918 in 2007 dollars).
  • 1981: The Section 121 exclusion, allowing for a one-time exclusion in capital gain for sellers 55 years or older at the time of sale, was increased from $100,000 to $125,000.[6]
  • 1981: Each Federal Reserve bank establishes a Community Affairs Office to ensure compliance with Community Reinvestment Act.[7][8]
  • 1983. The financial firms Salomon Brothers and First Boston create the first collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).  A CDO is a security whose value and payments come from fixed-income underlying assets.  This is significant because CDOs were at the heart of the US financial crisis, since investors were later allowed to buy and sell assets worth ten to twelve times the underlying value. 
  • 19851991: Savings and Loan Crisis caused by rising interest rates and over development in the commercial real estate sector, and exacerbated by deregulation of savings and loan lending standards and a reduction in capital reserve requirements from 5% to 3%.[citation needed]
  • 1986: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 eliminated the tax deduction for interest paid on credit cards, encouraging the use of home equity through refinancing, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) by consumers.[9]
  • 19861991: New homes constructed dropped from 1.8 to 1 million, the lowest rated since World War II.[10]
  • 1989: One-month drop in sales of previously owned homes of 12.6 percent.[11]; Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act ("FIRREA") enacted which established the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), closing hundreds of insolvent thrifts and moved regulatory authority to the Office of Thrift Supervision (OT; required federal agencies to issue Community Reinvestment Act ratings publicly.[12]
  • 1990: The average cost of a new home in 1990 is $149,800 [4] ($234,841 in 2007 dollars).
  • 19911997: Flat Housing prices.
  • 1991: US recession, new construction prices fall, but above inflationary growth allows them to return by 1997 in real terms.
1992 - 2000
  • 1992:Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to devote a percentage of their lending to support affordable housing increasing their pooling and selling of such loans as securities; Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) created to oversee them.[13][14]
  • This, combined with the creation of CDOs, meant that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are organizations that purchase the mortgages from lenders, would just before the crisis began be holding a great amount of loans to poorer borrowers. 
  • 1994: Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 (IBBEA) repeals the interstate provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 that regulated the actions of bank holding companies.
  • 1995: New Community Reinvestment Act regulations break down home-loan data by neighborhood, income, and race; encourage community groups to complain to banks and regulators by allowing community groups that marketed loans to collect a brokers fee[15]; Fannie Mae allowed to receive affordable housing credit for buying subprime securities.[14]
  • Changes to the Community Reinvestment Act allow mortgage lenders to receive credit toward their affordable-housing lending obligations for buying subprime securities.  Subprime market grows.  The subprime market allows poorer borrowers, who have a shorter history of obtaining loans, lower incomes, and fewer assets, to get a loan.  These loans are much riskier because the borrower is much weaker.
  • 1997. Huge growth in number of mortgage-backed securities purchased by investors.  Home prices were increasing starting in 1997, which meant that investors felt that these were reliable investments.
  • Mortgage denial rate of 29 percent for conventional home purchase loans.[16]
    • July: The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 repealed the Section 121 exclusion and section 1034 rollover rules, and replaced them with a $500,000 married/$250,000 single exclusion of gain on the sale of a home, available once every two years.[17] This encouraged people to invest in second homes and investment properties.
    • November: Fannie Mae helped First Union Capital Markets and Bear, Stearns & Co launch the first publicly available securitization of CRA loans, issuing $384.6 million of such securities. All carried a Fannie Mae guarantee as to timely interest and principal.[18][19]
  • 1998:
    • September 23, 1998: New York Fed brings together consortium of investors to bail out Long-Term Capital Management.
    • 1998: Inflation-adjusted home price appreciation exceeds 10%/year in most West Coast metropolitan areas.[20]
    • October: "Financial Services Modernization Act" killed in Senate because of no restrictions on Community Reinvestment Act-related community groups written into law.[21]
  • 1999:
    • September: Fannie Mae eases the credit requirements to encourage banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is not good enough to qualify for conventional loans.[22]
    • This was done to help low-income consumers purchase homes, and it further encouraged weak borrowers to obtain home loans.
    • November: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act "Financial Services Modernization Act" repeals Glass-Steagall Act, deregulates banking, insurance and securities into a financial services industry allow financial institutions to grow very large; limits Community Reinvestment Coverage of smaller banks and makes community groups report certain financial relationships with banks.[21]
    • This allowed one institution to act as both commercial bank and investment bank.  Commercial banks make loans, while investment banks raise capital and trade securities for businesses.  This meant that institutions that were commercial banks and investment banks were not regulated strictly as banks.  They therefore had looser capital requirements and the banking side of these new institutions took on the profit-oriented mentality of the investment side.
  • 1995–2001: Dot-com bubble.
    • March 10, 2000: NASDAQ Composite index peaked, Dot-com bubble collapse begins.
  • 1999-2000: the U.S. Federal Reserve increased interest rates six times,[8] and the economy began to lose speed. (Dot-com bubble)
  • 2000:
    • October: Fannie Mae committed to purchase and securitize $2 billion of Community Investment Act-eligible loans. [23][24]
    • November: Fannie Mae announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD&rdquo would soon require it to dedicate 50% of its business to low- and moderate-income families" and its goal was to finance over $500 billion in Community Investment Act-related business by 2010.[25]
    • December:Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 defines interest rates, currency prices, and stock indexes as "excluded commodities," allowing trade of credit-default swaps by hedge funds, investment banks or insurance companies with minimal oversight[26], and contributing to 2008 crisis in Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and AIG.[27][28][29]
    • allows trading of credit-default swaps with minimal oversight.  A credit derivative contract between a buyer and seller.  The buyer makes payments to a seller and received a payoff if the underlying financial instrument defaults.  (A future is a contract to sell or buy a commodity in the future.)
2001 - 2006
  • 19972005:Mortgage fraud increased by 1,411 percent.[30]
  • 20002003: Early 2000s recession (exact time varies by country).
  • 20012005: United States housing bubble (part of the world housing bubble).
  • 2001: US Federal Reserve lowers Federal funds rate 11 times, from 6.5% to 1.75%.[31]
  • Dot-com bubble bursts and in response, US Federal Reserve dramatically cuts interest rates.  Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has been accused of creating an environment ripe for crisis due to the allowance of very low interest rates.  Introduction by David X. Li of Gaussian copula function, which is widely adopted throughout the financial industry and popularizes asset backed securities.  The function allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before.  Li, a star mathematician from rural China, made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.  Li's breakthrough was that instead of waiting to assemble enough historical data about actual defaults, which are rare in the real world, he used historical prices from the CDS market.  This built up the market for asset backed securities on overvalued CDS prices, which turned out to be a very bad idea.  But as Li himself said of his own model: "The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it."
  • 20022003: Mortgage denial rate of 14 percent for conventional home purchase loans, half of 1997.[16]
  • 2002: Annual home price appreciation of 10% or more in California, Florida, and most Northeastern states."Annual home-value growth at highest rate since 1980". Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
    • June 17: President G.W. Bush sets goal of increasing minority home owners by at least 5.5 million by 2010 through billions of dollars in tax credits, subsidies and a Fannie Mae commitment of $440 billion to establish NeighborWorks America with faith based organizations.[32]
    • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac start purchasing large amounts of subprime mortgages.
    • Home price appreciation begins.  Home prices began to appreciate as investors took their money out of the bottoming stock market and put it into real estate.  Demand for housing grew as both these investors and individuals, particularly subprime borrowers, purchased homes, driving up prices.
  • 2003: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy $81 billion in subprime securities.[14]
    • June: Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan lowers federal reserve’s key interest rate to 1%, the lowest in 45 years.[33]
    • September: Bush administration recommended moving governmental supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under a new agency created within the Department of the Treasury. The changes were blocked by Congress.[34]
    • December: President Bush signs the American Dream Downpayment Act to be implemented under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The goal was to provide a maximum downpayment assistance grant of either $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price of the home, whichever was greater. In addition, the Bush Administration committed to reforming the homebuying process that would lower closing costs by approximately $700 per loan. It was said it would further stimulate homeownership for all Americans.[35]
  • 2003-2007: The Federal Reserve failed to use its supervisory and regulatory authority over banks, mortgage underwriters and other lenders, who abandoned loan standards (employment history, income, down payments, credit rating, assets, property loan-to-value ratio and debt-servicing ability), emphasizing instead lender's ability to securitize and repackage subprime loans.[26]
  • 2004: Financial institutions start to issue huge amounts of mortgage-backed securities.  This was due a combination of factors that made securities more profitable, especially after leveraging restrictions were lifted, allowing securities priced at many times the underlying value to be issued.  Securities issuers could make a lot of money from the high prices of securities, while securities investors assumed home prices would continue to increase and that they would make money on the securities.
  • 2004:
    • U.S. homeownership rate peaked with an all time high of 69.2 percent.[36]
    • HUD ratcheted up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac affordable-housing goals for next four years, from 50 percent to 56 percent, stating they lagged behind the private market; from 2004 to 2006, they purchased $434 billion in securities backed by subprime loans.[14]
    • April: The SEC lifts leveraging restrictions.  (see previous)
    • October:SEC effectively suspends net capital rule for five firms - Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley. Freed from government imposed limits on the debt they can assume, they levered up 20, 30 and even 40 to 1.[37]
  • 20042005: Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada record price increases in excess of 25% per year.[citation needed]
  • 2005–ongoing: United States housing market correction ("bubble bursting").
    • February: The Office of Thrift Supervision implemented new rules that allowed savings and loans with over $1 billion in assets to meet their CRA obligations without investing in local communities, cutting availability of subprime loans.
    • September: The FDIC, Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Controller of the Currency allow loosening of Community Reinvestment Act requirements for "small" banks, further cutting subprime loans.[38][15]
    • Fall 2005: Booming housing market halts abruptly; from the fourth quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, median prices nationwide dropped of 3.3 percent.[39]
  • 2006: Continued market slowdown. Prices are flat, home sales fall, resulting in inventory buildup. U.S. Home Construction Index is down over 40% as of mid-August 2006 compared to a year earlier.
  • Home prices began a rapid decline.  This occurred because as mortgage loan terms changed and interest rates rose, families were no longer able to afford their homes.  The homes went into foreclosure and the excess supply of homes put downward pressure on home prices.  Subprime mortgage borrowers had been given loans that would increase in interest rates after an initial period of very low interest rates.

Year-to-year decreases in both U.S. home sales and home prices accelerates rather than bottoming out, with U.S. Treasury secretary Paulson calling the "the housing decline ... the most significant risk to our economy."[40] Home sales continue to fall. The plunge in existing-home sales is the steepest since 1989. In Q1/2007, S&P/Case-Shiller house price index records first year-over-year decline in nationwide house prices since 1991.[41] The subprime mortgage industry collapses, and a surge of foreclosure activity (twice as bad as 2006[42]) and rising interest rates threaten to depress prices further as problems in the subprime markets spread to the near-prime and prime mortgage markets. [43]

  • February–ongoing: 2007 Subprime mortgage financial crisis Subprime industry collapse; more than 25 subprime lenders declaring bankruptcy, announcing significant losses, or putting themselves up for sale.
  • More than 25 subprime lending firms declare bankruptcy in February and March, while the largest subprime lender, New Century, declares bankruptcy in April.  This occurs due to increasing defaults on subprime loans.  As interest rates on subprime loans adjusted upwards, families could not afford to pay the increased payments, and were not able to refinance their homes because their home value had declined. 
  • April 2: New Century Financial, largest U.S. subprime lender, files for chapter 11 bankruptcy.[44]
  • July 19: Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 14,000 for the first time in its history.[45]
  • Bear Stearns announces major losses in two of its hedge funds.  This was due to investments in asset-backed securities, which Bear Stearns pioneered.  As subprime loans failed, the asset-backed securities that were based on the subprime loans also started to fail.
  • August: worldwide "credit crunch" as subprime mortgage backed securities are discovered in portfolios of banks and hedge funds around the world, from BNP Paribas to Bank of China. Many lenders stop offering home equity loans and "stated income" loans. Federal Reserve injects about $100B into the money supply for banks to borrow at a low rate.
  • Global hedge funds and banks reveal major exposure to subprime problems through holdings of mortgage-backed securities.  As it turns out, many, many banks worldwide held these asset-backed securities based on subprime loans.
  • August 6: American Home Mortgage files for chapter 11 bankruptcy.[46]
  • August 7: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton proposes a $1 billion bailout fund to help homeowners at risk for foreclosure.[47]
  • August 16: Countrywide Financial Corporation, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, narrowly avoids bankruptcy by taking out an emergency loan of $11 billion from a group of banks.[48]
  • August 17: Federal Reserve lowers the discount rate by 50 basis points to 5.75% from 6.25%.[49]
  • August 31: President Bush announces a limited bailout of U.S. homeowners unable to pay the rising costs of their debts. [50]Ameriquest, once the largest subprime lender in the U.S., goes out of business.[51]
  • September 1–3: Fed Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, WY addressed the housing recession that jeopardizes U.S. growth. Several critics argued that the Fed should use regulation and interest rates to prevent asset-price bubbles,[52] blamed former Fed-chairman Alan Greenspan's low interest rate policies for stoking the U.S. housing boom and subsequent bust,[53][54] and Yale University economist Robert Shiller warned of possible home price declines of 50 percent.[55]
  • September 13: Northern Rock receives emergency funding from the Bank of England, after which depositors make a run on the bank.  Northern Rock faced a big problem as liquidity was cut off after the subprime crisis began, and the mortgage lender could not receive loans from institutional lenders.  This was a signal that there was a real liquidity crisis, or shortage in funding from other banking and investment institutions.
  • September 14: A run on the bank forms at the United Kingdom's Northern Rock bank precipitated by liquidity problems related to the subprime crisis.[56]
  • September 17: Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said "we had a bubble in housing" [57][58] and warns of "large double digit declines" in home values "larger than most people expect."
  • September 18: The Fed lowers interest rates by half a percent (50 basis points) to 4.75% in an attempt to limit damage to the economy from the housing and credit crises.[59]
  • September 28: Television finance personality Jim Cramer warns Americans on The Today Show, "don't you dare buy a home—you'll lose money," causing a furor among Realtors.[60]
  • September 30: Affected by the spiraling mortgage and credit crises, Internet banking pioneer NetBank goes bankrupt[61] NetBank Inc was the largest savings and loan failure since the tail end of the Savings and Loan crisis in the early 1990s. [62] and the Swiss bank UBS announced that it lost US$690 million in the third quarter.[63]
  • September 30rices fell 4.9 percent from September 2006 in 20 large metropolitan areas, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes. This is the 9th straight month prices have fallen.[64]
  • October 10: US Government and private industry created Hope Now Alliance to help some sub-prime borrowers.[65]
  • October 15–17: A consortium of U.S. banks backed by the U.S. government announced a "superfund" or "super-SIV" of $100 billion to purchase mortgage-backed securities whose mark-to-market value plummeted in the subprime collapse.[66] Fed chairman Ben Bernanke expressed alarm about the dangers posed by the bursting housing bubble;[citation needed] Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said "the housing decline is still unfolding and I view it as the most significant risk to our economy. ... The longer housing prices remain stagnant or fall, the greater the penalty to our future economic growth."[40]
  • October 31: Federal Reserve lowers the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent and the discount window rate by 25 basis points to 5 percent.
  • October 31: Prices fell 6.1 percent from October 2006 in 20 large metropolitan areas, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes. This is the 10th straight month prices have fallen.[64]
  • November 1: Federal Reserve injects $41B into the money supply for banks to borrow at a low rate. The largest single expansion by the Fed since $50.35B on September 19, 2001.
  • December 6: President Bush announced a plan to voluntarily freeze the mortgages of a limited number of mortgage debtors holding ARMs for 5 years. The plan run by the Hope Now Alliance. Its phone number is 1-888-995-HOPE.[67] Some experts criticized the plan as "a Band-Aid when the patient needs major surgery",[68] a "teaser-freezer",[69] and a "bail-out".[70][71]
  • December 11: Federal Reserve lowers the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 percent and the discount window rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent.
  • December 12: Federal Reserve injects $40B into the money supply for banks to borrow at a low rate and coordinates such efforts with central banks from Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and European Union.
  • December 24: A consortium of banks officially abandons the U.S. government-supported "super-SIV" mortgage crisis bail-out plan announced in mid-October,[72] citing a lack of demand for the risky mortgage products on which the plan was based, and widespread criticism that the fund was a flawed idea that would have been difficult to execute.[72]
  • December 26: Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller indexes of housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas for October 2007 is released showing that for the 10th straight month priced have fallen, but most worrying is that the decline in home prices accelerated and spread to more regions of the country in October. "Since their peak in July 2006, home prices in the 20 regions have dropped 6.6 percent.[64] Economists' predictions of the total amount of home price declines from the bubble's peak range from moderate 10–15 percent to larger 30–50 percent price declines in some areas.[55][64]
  • December 28: The November U.S. Commerce Department's "stunningly weak report" released on December 28, 2007 show that year to year decreases in both U.S. home sales and home prices is accelerating rather than bottoming out due to "eminently rational behaviour" based on "a psychological point where expectations of future price declines have become entrenched".[73]

Home sales continue to fall. Fears of a U.S. recession. Global stock market corrections and volatility.

  • January 2–21: January 2008 stock market downturn.
  • January 21: Global stock markets suffer largest fall since September 11, 2001.  This was due to fears that the proposed stimulus package in the US would not be enough to prevent a large recession.  The scope of the financial crisis was just beginning to be revealed.
  • January 24: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that 2007 had the largest drop in existing home sales in 25 years,[74] and "the first price decline in many, many years and possibly going back to the Great Depression."[75]
  • National Association of Realtors shows 2007 had t
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Jul 25, 2010 7:51am
Oct 12, 2009

Through out our history there are always those who were (and still are) determined to gain more and more centralized power...Collectivist. At the end of the Civil War the time was ripe for a major move in that direction. In 1865, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were introduced in Congress by the Republican Party.

Some Collectivist and anti-secessionist will acquiesce to the logic and reasonableness of secession and independence movements in theory. They will tell you that the point is moot as it pertains to the nature of the United States government as that question was neatly answered not only by the failure of Southern forces to retain independence in the 1860’s but ultimately by the passage of the 14th Amendment.

The first point is frivolous. No matter of principle has ever been settled on the battlefield. Might does not make right. Might simply proves that might wins. It is the ugliest form of democratic expression; we have more so we get to have our way.

The 13th Amendment which abolished slavery was immediately ratified by the required three quarters of the States including all the southern States except Mississippi and Texas.

The 14th Amendment was never legal nor Constitutional from its very inception.

Taken at face value this amendment would seem to rob much of the steam from the idea of States’ Rights. Specifically section 1 establishes United States citizens for the first time. Hitherto citizenship rested solely in the body of the states. The very act of stripping the states of their citizens and placing restrictions on the states as to their treatment of the new class of citizenry created under this act seem to remove from the people the power to express their will through the sovereignty of their state of citizenship.

Despite its subsequent interpretation by the federal judiciary to mandate federal intervention in state and local affairs, the original aim of the 14th Amendment was to ensure the political and economic hegemony of the Northern states over the South. This was why Lincoln and Northern business interests waged total war against the South for four years: to transform the United States from a constitutional republic into a continental empire.

Section Two of the 14th Amendment permitted the disenfranchisement of Southern white men for participation in the rebellion. Since the word participation could mean anything from serving in the Confederate Army, to using the Confederate postal service, to paying taxes to the Confederate government, or even failing to rebel against the Confederate authorities, it could be used by the North to deny the right to vote to virtually the entire adult, white-male population of the South.

Section Three sought to expel the South from every level and branch of government by denying Southern white men who having taken an oath . . . to support the Constitution of the United States . . . engaged in insurrection or rebellion [against the United States] . . . or [had] given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof (essentially the entire leadership of the South) the right to hold political or appointive offices, either civilian or military, in state or federal governments. Again, the North could define engaged and given aid or comfort to bar anyone and everyone.

Section Four protected Northern politicians, military leaders, and businessmen who perpetrated financial fraud in the course of the war from future prosecution and ensured that the North would never have to pay reparations for the theft and destruction it committed against the South.

The 14th Amendment made a mockery of the U.S. Constitution. Sections Two and Three blatantly violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by denying nine million Southerners their political and civil rights on what President Andrew Johnson declared was an accusation so vague as to be scarcely intelligible and found to be true upon no credible evidence. In addition, Section Three was an ex post facto law specifically prohibited by Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. And Section Four violated both the Due Process and the Just Compensation Clauses of the Fifth Amendment.

The Constitution mandates that proposed amendments must be approved by two thirds of both houses of Congress. In December of 1865, the Collectivist in control of Congress refused to allow the legally elected Representatives and Senators from the southern States to be seated. Hence, at that point, Congress itself was unconstitutional. However, even disregarding that technicality, when the vote of those who WERE seated as part of the House was taken, out of 184 Representatives, only 120 voted in favor of the resolution. Two thirds of the 184 would have required 123 to vote in favor. In spite of the failure to get sufficient votes to constitutionally pass the resolution, the leadership of Congress arbitrarily declared the Resolution passed. Congress then submitted the 14th Amendment to all the states for ratification, INCLUDING the States which had already been DENIED representation in the Congress!

The 14th Amendment was soundly defeated when it was rejected by all but one of the southern States and all of the so-called "border" States. Iowa and Massachusetts had also failed to ratify it by the beginning of March, 1867. The Collectivist had only 21 ratifications of the 28 needed. What to do?

Those Collectivists in power in the Republican Party which controlled the Congress at that time rammed through the Reconstruction Act of 1867. This incredible abuse of Congressional power simply abolished the legal governments of all ten of the southern States which had refused to ratify the 14th Amendment and placed all of them under military dictatorship. The generals placed in command of these dictatorships were required by the Reconstruction Act to prepare the "rolls of voters" for conventions which would formulate governments acceptable to Congress. Anyone who had served in the Confederate Army was denied the right to vote or to hold office - in spite of presidential proclamations by both Lincoln and Johnson granting amnesty to southern veterans who would swear allegiance to the U.S. The Reconstruction Act provided that when these "new" legislatures ratified the 14th Amendment they would be admitted to the union.

In other words, this illegal Congress - for purposes of excluding Representatives and Senators from southern states - considered those states OUT of the union. For purposes of getting the 14th Amendment ratified, this Congress considered the states IN the union. When they refused to ratify the amendment, the Congress simply abolished their governments and set up "reconstruction" legislatures, controlled by northern military power. Now these states were again treated as OUT of the union until they ratified the 14th Amendment - although the Constitution clearly requires that only states which are IN the union may act on amendments.

By July, 1868, Iowa and Massachusetts and six of the "reconstructed" states had ratified this 14th Amendment which would have added 8 states to the original 21 states for a total of 29 ratifications. HOWEVER, the legislators of two northern states had been so incensed by the whole outrageous manner in which this amendment was being forced through that they had RESCINDED their previous ratifications. (Illinois rescinded on January 15, 1868 and New Jersey on March 24, 1868.) Therefore, there were only 27 ratifications when 28 were required.

On July 20, 1868, then Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed that 3/4 of the states had ratified the 14th Amendment IF the legislatures in the six former confederate states were authentically organized and IF Illinois and New Jersey were NOT allowed to rescind their ratifications. The Collectivist Congress did not like this equivocation and on July 21, 1868, Congress passed a joint resolution simply DECLARING that the 14th Amendment was a part of the Constitution and directing Seward to declare it legally ratified.

The 14th Amendment changed the very face and nature of the Federal government. History lessons seldom term the enactment of this amendment as a transition from one form of government to another but that is exactly what occurred. The premise of the central government now having citizens in the various states and expanded power to manage and govern those citizens created a very different form of government. The enactment of the 14th Amendment was in fact the final act in the death of the old Constitutional Republic and the birth or a new form of government. No longer did states retain the authority for self rule on items specifically reserved to them in the Constitution. No longer were the desires and wishes of the states considered relevant. Individuals became the property of the federal government. Soon the idea of direct taxation, forced federal military service and a myriad of other encroachments appear.

In very real terms the War Between the States was a rebellion. It was a successful rebellion and resulted in a new form of government coming to power. Our history books teach that the Confederacy was rebellious against Constitutional principles. It was in fact the reconstructionist/Collectivist that succeeded in laying to rest the old Constitutional principles and the old Republic and replacing it with a strong federal Collectivist government of their liking. The forces of the Federal Union and their masters in the Collectivist held Congress and White House were the revolutionaries.  The enactment of the 14th Amendment was the mechanism that gave teeth and power to this new government.

While Collectivist may wave the 14th Amendment and shout that this is the end of secession we hold up that document and proclaim it to be the primary justification for secession.

It is on its face a bad amendment that contradicts the very principles of States Rights and checks on the power of the Federal government that were so carefully crafted into the Constitution. If this amendment were ratified in the ways and means properly set aside in the Constitution we would disagree with it and wish to see it amended. However, this amendment was not ratified; it was enacted contrary to all proper principles. It is in fact illegitimate.

The issue of the illegitimacy of the 14th Amendment is not one of North versus South. This is an issue of Constitutional principles and the legitimacy of government to govern. It is an issue that goes to the very heart of a government under the law. The methods used to enact this amendment and the tactics of extortion used to force the acceptance of states and people opposed to it are pages torn directly from the history of any empire. The (il)legitimacy of the entire federal government rest on this action.

This Amendment was/is Unconstitutional/Illeagal and by all leagal rights should be null and void, however thanks to those who believe the Constitution is a "living document", the Judicial branch is given the Unconstituional power to legislate from the bench and is declared the final deciders. Because those who view it as legal are also the ones who believe the Constituion is a "living document" they fail to see that even if it were legal it does not give citizenship to just anyone who was born here.

We well know how the courts and laws have spoken on the subject of children born to non-citizens (illegal aliens) within the jurisdiction of the United States by declaring them to be American citizens. As we explore the constitutions citizenship clause, as found in the Fourteenth Amendment, we can find no constitutional authority to grant such citizenship to persons born to non-American citizens within the limits of the United States of America.

We are, or should be, familiar with the phrase,
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside."
This can be referred to as the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but what does "subject to the jurisdiction" mean?

Jurisdiction can take on different meanings that can have nothing to do with physical boundaries alone--and if the framers meant geographical boundaries they would have simply used the term "limits" rather than "jurisdiction" since that was the custom at the time when distinguishing between physical boundaries and reach of law.

Fortunately, we have the highest possible authority on record to answer this question of how the term "jurisdiction" was to be interpreted and applied, the author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob M. Howard (MI) to tell us exactly what it means and its intended scope as he introduced it to the United States Senate in 1866:

                   Mr. HOWARD: I now move to take up House joint
                   resolution No. 127.

                   The motion was agreed to; and the Senate, as in
                   Committee of the Whole, resumed the consideration of the
                   joint resolution (H.R. No. 127) proposing an amendment to
                   the Constitution of the United States.

                   The first amendment is to section one, declaring that all
                   "persons born in the United States and Subject to the
                   jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and
                   of the States wherein they reside. I do not propose to say
                   anything on that subject except that the question of
                   citizenship has been fully discussed in this body as not to
                   need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This
                   amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of
                   what I regard as the law of the land already, that every
                   person born within the limits of the United States, and
                   subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and
                   national law a citizen of the United States. This will not,
                   of course, include persons born in the United States who
                   are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of
                   ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the
                   Government of the United States, but will include every
                   other class of persons. It settles the great question of
                   citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are
                   or are not citizens of the United States. This has long
                   been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and
                   legislation of this country.

It is clear the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil, something our courts have wrongfully assumed. But what exactly did "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" mean to the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment? Again, we are fortunate to have on record the highest authority to tell us, Sen. Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, author of the Thirteenth Amendment, and the one who inserted the phrase:

                   [T]he provision is, that 'all persons born in the United
                   States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are
                   citizens.' That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction
                   thereof.' What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction
                   thereof?' Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is
                   what it means.

Trumbull continues...

                   Can you sue a Navajo Indian in court? Are they in any
                   sense subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United
                   States? By no means. We make treaties with them, and
                   therefore they are not subject to our jurisdiction. If they
                   were, we wouldn't make treaties with them...It is only
                   those persons who come completely within our jurisdiction,
                   who are subject to our laws, that we think of making
                   citizens; and there can be no objection to the proposition
                   that such persons should be citizens.

Sen. Howard concurs with Trumbull's construction:

                   Mr. HOWARD: I concur entirely with the honorable Senator
                   from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word
                   "jurisdiction," as here employed, ought to be construed so
                   as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of
                   the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the
                   executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say,
                   the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to
                   every citizen of the United States now.[3]

In other words, only children born to American citizens can be considered citizens of the United States since only a American citizen could enjoy the "extent and quality" of jurisdiction of an American citizen now. Sen. Johnson, speaking on the Senate floor, offers his comments and understanding of the proposed new amendment to the constitution:

                   [Now], all this amendment [citizenship clause] provides is, 
                   that all persons born in the United States and not subject
                   to some foreign Power--for that, no doubt, is the meaning
                   of the committee who have brought the matter before
                   us--shall be considered as citizens of the United States.
                   That would seem to be not only a wise but a necessary
                   provision. If there are to be citizens of the United States
                   there should be some certain definition of what citizenship
                   is, what has created the character of citizen as between
                   himself and the United States, and the amendment says
                   that citizenship may depend upon birth, and I know of no
                   better way to give rise to citizenship than the fact of birth
                   within the territory of the United States, born to parents
                   who at the time were subject to the authority of the
                   United States.

No doubt in the Senate as to what the citizenship clause means as further evidenced by Sen. W. Williams:

                    In one sense, all persons born within the geographical
                    limits of the United States are subject to the jurisdiction
                    of the United States, but they are not subject to the
                    jurisdiction of the United States in every sense. Take the
                    child of an ambassador. In one sense, that child born in
                    the United States is subject to the jurisdiction of the
                    United States, because if that child commits the crime of
                    murder, or commits any other crime against the laws of
                    the country, to a certain extent he is subject to the
                    jurisdiction of the United States, but not in every
                    respect; and so with these Indians. All persons living
                    within a judicial district may be said, in one sense, to be
                    subject to the jurisdiction of the court in that district,
                    but they are not in every sense subject to the jurisdiction
                    of the court until they are brought, by proper process,
                    within the reach of the power of the court. I understand
                    the words here, 'subject to the jurisdiction of the United
                    States,' to mean fully and completely subject to the
                    jurisdiction of the United States.

Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, considered the father of the Fourteenth Amendment, confirms the understanding and construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while speaking on civil rights of citizens in the House on March 9, 1866:

                    [I] find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill],
                    which is simply declaratory of what is written in the
                    Constitution, that every human being born within the
                    jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing
                    allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language
                    of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen...

Further convincing evidence for the demand of complete allegiance required for citizenship can be found in the "Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America," an oath required to become an American citizen of the United States. It reads in part:

          I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely
          renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign
          prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have
          heretofore been a subject or citizen...

Of course, this very oath leaves no room for dual-citizenship, but that is another troubling disregard for our National principles by modern government. Fewer today are willing to renounce completely their allegiance to their natural country of origin, further making a mockery of our citizenship laws. In fact, recently in Los Angeles you could find the American flag discarded for the flag of Mexico in celebration after taking the American Citizenship Oath.

It's noteworthy to point out a Supreme Court ruling in Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), where the court completely discarded the fourteenth's Citizenship Clause scope and intent by replacing it with their own invented Citizenship Clause. The court in effect, ruled that fourteenth amendment had elevated citizenship to a new constitutionally protected right, and thus, prevents the cancellation of a persons citizenship unless they assent.

Unfortunately for the court, Sen. Howard effectively shoots down this feeble attempt to replace his clause with their own home grown Citizenship Clause. Firstly, Howard finds no incompatibility with expatriation and the fourteenth's Citizenship Clause when he says: "I take it for granted that when a man becomes a citizen of the United States under the Constitution he cannot cease to be a citizen, except by expatriation for the commission of some crime by which his citizenship shall be forfeited."

Secondly, Sen. Howard expressly stated, "I am not yet prepared to pass a sweeping act of naturalization by which all the Indian savages, wild or tame, belonging to a tribal relation, are to become my fellow-citizens and go to the polls and vote with me and hold lands and deal in every other way that a citizen of the United States has a right to do."

The question begs: If Howard had no intention of passing a sweeping act of naturalization--how does the court elevate Howard's Citizenship Clause to a new constitutionally protected right that cannot be taken away since this would certainly require a sweeping act with explicit language to enumerate such a new constitutional right? Remember, the court cannot create new rights that are not already expressly granted by the constitution.

A third problem for the court is the fact both Howard and Bingham viewed the citizenship clause as simply "declaratory" of what they regarded "as the law of the land already." This then requires flights of fantasy to elevate Howard's express purpose of inserting the Citizenship Clause as simply removing "all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States," and not to elevate citizenship to a new protected constitutional right. Citizenship is a privilege, not a right as say the right to freedom of religion is, and therefore, can be taken away just as any other privilege can be.

James Madison defined who America seeked to be citizens among us along with some words of wisdom:

When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuse. It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours. But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of.

What does it all mean?

In a nutshell, it means this:
Even if considered legal the 14th Amendment and the Constitution of the United States does not grant citizenship at birth to just anyone who happens to be born within American borders.

It is the allegiance (complete jurisdiction) of the child’s birth parentS (plural=BOTH) at the time of birth that determines the child’s citizenship--not just geographical location. If the United States does not have complete jurisdiction, for example, to compel a child’s parents to Jury Duty–then the U.S. does not have the total, complete jurisdiction demanded by the Fourteenth Amendment to make their child a citizen of the United States by birth. How could it possibly be any other way?

The framers of the 14th Amendment succeeded in their desire to remove all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. They also succeeded in making both their intent and construction clear for future generations of courts and government. Whether our government or courts will start to honor and uphold the supreme law of the land for which they are obligated to by oath, is another very disturbing matter.

It means that "anchor babies" are not citizens...

The term "anchor baby" may be unfamiliar to some Americans, but it nicely describes one of the more troubling aspects of American immigration policy.

Put simply, an anchor baby is the offspring of an illegal immigrant who, under current [il]legal interpretation, becomes a U.S. citizen at birth and, in turn, is the means by which parents and relatives can also obtain citizenship for themselves by using the family reunification features of immigration law.

It was estimated in 2002 that there may be as many as 200,000 anchor babies born each year in the U.S. No single agency keeps track, but there is abundant, if fragmented, evidence that births are not limited to areas near the Mexican border.

Around 2001 in Colorado, the state's emergency Medicaid program paid an estimated $30 million in hospital and physician delivery costs for about 6,000 illegal immigrant mothers. And the Nashville Tennessean reported last year that the Metro General Hospital in Davidson County had recorded 511 births during a one-year period, two-thirds of them to illegal immigrants.

Craig Nelsen, director of Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, claims, "There is a huge and growing industry in Asia that arranges tourist visas for pregnant woman so they can fly to the United States and give birth to an American."

No government agency keeps track of anchor births; hospitals rarely keep accurate information on immigration status, public schools and other agencies are virtually forbidden from tracking immigration status, and so the public has no clue as to the real effects of current policy. Because detailed information is lacking, it is easy enough to those who favor the status quo to simply announce that the effects are completely benign.

But saying it doesn't make it so, does it?

Illegal immigrants cause negative effects on almost everything: The safety, economy, health care, education, unemployment,  health itself... the only thing they have been good for is particular people or groups that use them... cheap labor for businesses, Democrat votes, sympathy, and adds millions to "statics"... supposed reasons to give government more money and power.

It also means that Barack Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen. If a "naturalized citizen" cannot be subject to a foreign power, how can a "natural born citizen" be subject to a foreign power as Obama was at the time of his birth?... because his father, and therefore his father's children, was subject to British rule, so too was Obama himself.

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Oct 12, 2009 7:04am
Apr 17, 2009

The Obama Deception is not about Left or Right politics, but about taking a stand against the offshore bankers who have seized control of the country from the shadows. The film aims to expose that Barack Obama is a puppet-- a mere front man-- for the globalists' agenda who will help to loot the Treasury, bankrupt the U.S.A. and seize assets from the American people, all while pretending to represent the people of the nation.

Those who supported Obama's election need to wake up right now to the fact that the Obama Administration has been a bait-and-switch. Obama will lie to the people, even as he continues and expands the foreign wars, pushes through banker-bailouts, continues torture & renditions, advances the North American Union agenda and much more.

The Obama Deception Full (1:53:40)
Or watch it in parts:
The Obama Deception Part 1 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 5 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 9
The Obama Deception Part 2 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 6 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 10
The Obama Deception Part 3 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 7 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 11
The Obama Deception Part 4 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 8 ~*~ The Obama Deception Part 12
G. Edward Griffin is a writer and documentary film producer with many successful titles to his credit. Listed in Who’s Who in America, he is well known because of his talent for researching difficult topics and presenting them in clear terms that all can understand. He has dealt with such diverse subjects as archeology and ancient Earth history, the Federal Reserve System and international banking, terrorism, internal subversion, the history of taxation, U.S. foreign policy, the science and politics of cancer therapy, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations. In 2002, Griffin founded the individualist network Freedom Force International.

"When I did my research on this topic I came to the conclusion... that the federal reserve system does not need to be audited, it needs to be abolished."

Creature from Jekyll Island 1 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 5 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 9
Creature from Jekyll Island 2 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 6 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 10
Creature from Jekyll Island 3 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 7 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 11
Creature from Jekyll Island 4 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 8 ~*~ Creature from Jekyll Island 12


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Apr 17, 2009 6:22am
Aug 1, 2007

America Before Columbus

Rixon Stewart

The Hidden History of the Promised Land

It may sound a little over the top but it’s really no overstatement to say that much in our modern world is based on falsehood and fabrication. We are told, for example, that Columbus ‘discovered’ America in 1492, yet there is plenty of evidence to suggest that others had visited America before Columbus: including visitors from ancient Egypt, Phoenicia and medieval Europe. Despite this modern authorities continue to push the line that “Columbus discovered America.”

In point of fact Columbus himself never even set eyes upon America; the closest he got to the mainland of North America was Puerto Rica. However in the aftermath of Columbus’s voyage John Cabot sailed from Bristol, England; which in turn opened the way for the first colony in Jamestown, Virginia and thus allowed the English to claim America as their own. Yet there is considerable evidence that suggests that others from different cultures preceded Cabot and Columbus. So one is forced to ask: why, when there is much to suggest that others from different cultures preceded Columbus, don’t we hear more about this possibility being investigated? Could it be that certain powers have a vested interest in keeping our real history under wraps?

Whatever the answer the fact remains that a great deal has been unearthed which is completely at odds with conventional notions regarding the origins of what we know today as America. In fact according to some contemporary authorities, the Native Americans encountered by the early settlers from England were not what they appeared to be. They were indeed native to the Americas but they were not its original inhabitants, who according to various tribal legends, had disappeared eons before in a series of cataclysms.

Of course this is so at odds with the dictates of modern science, history and archaeology that one would expect it to be rejected out of hand, as indeed it has been. This is not so easily done though with a landmark tower in Newport, Rhode Island. Curiously the tower is built in the style of a medieval look out and has been dated back to the fourteenth century. As if to emphasize its antiquity Italian navigator Giovanni de Verrazano recorded the tower whilst mapping the coastline in 1524, marking its location as an existing “Norman Villa”. Similar evidence can be found in Westford, Massachusetts, where a rock engraving can be found depicting a figure dressed like fourteenth century knight. Intriguingly the figure carries a shield portraying the emblem of a ship following a single star.

Of course this may simply be dismissed as a modern day hoax but this can’t be so easily done with Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel; where clear depictions of ears of corn or maize and aloe cactus, both unknown in medieval Scotland, can be found on some of the archways and ceilings. These stone carvings are an integral part of the Chapel, which was only completed in 1486; that’s a full six years before Columbus is said to have embarked on his voyage of discovery. The standard line is that both maize and aloe cactus were only found after Columbus had sailed West. Thus, according to authors Knight and Lamar Rosslyn Chapel amounts to clear . . . “evidence that the men who instructed the masons of Rosslyn Chapel must have visited America at least a quarter of a century before Columbus.”

All of which prompts one to ask: if the actual discovery of the America’s could have been concealed for so long what more could be hidden? The answer to that, as you shall see, is a whole lot more.

These and other finds are given further credence by the very history of the Knights Templar. And it’s a history that adds an even more intriguing twist to the story of discovery of America. The Order of the Knights Templar was originally founded in Jerusalem in 1118, when nine French Knights asked King Baldwin to be allowed to protect pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. Their request was granted and significantly they were also granted permission to stay in the ruins of Solomon’s Temple; for it was here, according to some researchers, that they made discoveries that would ultimately change the very course of history.

Once established in the ruins they began excavations that yielded untold treasures, both in terms of material wealth and even more precious knowledge. It was through this knowledge that the original Templar’s obtained an insight that allowed them to question much of orthodox Christianity. An insight through which they recognized that the established Church had misinterpreted much of the original Christian teaching: including the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and reincarnation. According to writer and researcher David Hatcher Childress: “To the Templars, the true church, one that taught mysticism, reincarnation and good works was being suppressed by a dark power that called itself the one true faith.”

And just in case you thought that Christianity never taught anything about reincarnation, take note: prior to the Council of Nicaea the idea of reincarnation was an integral part of the Christian faith. That ended however with the first Council of Nicaea in A.D.325. Convened by Emperor Constantine of Rome the Council effectively settled various theological disputes and ratified what was to become Holy Roman Law, the official version of the word of God. In the process the very notion of reincarnation as part of the Christian faith was consigned to the waste bin of history.

Armed with this new knowledge the power and influence of Order of the Knights Templar rapidly increased. By the mid thirteenth century the Order owned about nine thousand castles and manors across Europe. Along with material acquisition came a reputation that left many in Medieval Europe in awe. The Templar’s distinctive white surcoat, emblazoned with a red cross, was always seen in the thick of battle; indeed they quickly established a reputation comparable to modern fighting elites such as Britain’s SAS, the U.S. Marines and Airborne or Russia’s Spetnaz.

More than simply being a political and military power though they also became a force to be reckoned with in the fields of cultural and metaphysical endeavour too. For it was the Templar’s who instigated the first stonemasons guilds and introduced new building methods with skills inspired, in part, by what they had learned in Jerusalem. Prior to these European buildings had been built for practicality and defence; generally plain structures with little in the way of inspirational design but that too were about to change. In the space of a few decades, Europe saw the appearance of a string of new churches and cathedrals with high vaulted ceilings, flying buttresses and dazzling stained glass windows. All of which was to lay much of the groundwork for the future Renaissance and the Templar’s were very much the driving force behind it.

Yet by then the Templar’s power and influence had increased to such an extent that they were seen by Rome as a danger to itself, a challenge to the official word of God. So on Friday, October 13th, 1307 the Church of Rome made its move and at the same time bestowed on Friday 13th the sinister connotations which have remained ever since. With the blessing of Pope Clement V, King Philip of France drew up a list of charges against the Order; falsely accusing them of everything from homosexuality, abortion, necromancy and use of the black arts. On the dawn of Friday 13th his forces seized, interrogated, tortured and burned the captured Templars. Many escaped though, including the Templar Fleet, which sailed to safe haven in Scotland. At the time Scotland was ruled by Robert the Bruce and at odds with England so the Scots readily accepted help from anyone who was willing to offer it. In return the Knights Templar would play a critical role in the Battle of Bannockburn. Just as the Battle hung in balance the Scots, outnumbered two to one by the English, were suddenly reinforced by a contingent of mounted Knights; with long flowing beards and a bold red cross emblazoned on their white tunics the newcomers helped swing the battle in the Scot’s favour..

The Templar ships were not anchored for long in Scotland though; a large part of the fleet, consisting of 12 ships and over 300 men, sailed on across the Atlantic to take refuge in America.

America? You may ask, how did they know about America?

Well according to Knight and Lomas, the Masonic authors of The Hiram Key, the original Knights Templar may well have acquired key manuscripts whilst resident in Solomen’s Temple in Jerusalem. Amongst them manuscripts from the Mandaean sect which believed that John the Baptist was the true Messiah and that the souls of the good went to a land far across the sea, a wonderful land, a promised land marked by a star called . . . “Merica.” Which calls to mind the rock engraving of a medieval knight in Westford, Massachusetts; the engraved knight carries a shield portraying the emblem of a ship following a single shining star.

An engraved stone from the Burrows Cave find. Note the man's beard, a feature unknown among native Americans, and the sailing ship to his right

It is therefore quite possible that while resident in Solomen’s Temple the first Templar’s found reference to new lands across the sea as well as the name “le Merica.” Which in turn led their descendents to its fabled shores. As if to emphasize this recently discovered ruins in Patagonia revealed an ancient pier and docks dressed with stone slabs bearing the Templar cross. Which in turn has prompted some investigators to speculate that the Templar’s may have journeyed further south from North America.

Yet even if this was the case, then the Knight’s Templar were not the first, not even the first from Christian Europe, to visit America. Long before Columbus is supposed to have discovered the Americas Vikings and early Celtic Christians may well have trod the shores of North America, and before them others even more ancient. The discovery of various Roman coins around the U.S has led some researchers to conclude that America was the final destination for a wave of people who came not as colonists but as refugees. The coins, which have been found largely around the Mississippi-Arkansas-Ohio-Missouri river systems, cover the later periods of Rome and particularly the reigns of Antoninus Pius, Gallienus and Emperor Tetricus. A period of Roman rule that Gibbon describes as a time of “uninterrupted …confusion and calamity.” So it’s quite possible that these coins were left by what were in effect boat people seeking refuge from a disintegrating Empire.

What’s significant here though is the fact that these finds have not strictly been confined to the Mississippi-Arkansas-Ohio-Missouri river systems. Although largely confined to the vicinity of these river systems Roman coins have been found across North America: from Arkansas to Alabama, from Missouri to Oklahoma. Maybe, indicating a wave of refugees? Or, a series of exploratory ventures? Or maybe even both?

An engraved stone from Burrows Cave. Note the Roman style battering ram at the ship's prow.

True to form modern academia and its various experts have largely ignored these finds or simply brushed them aside as hoaxed. Thus dismissing such tantalising glimpses of the past as an Egyptian-minted Gallenius coin, found in a stream bed by Geology students near Black Mountain, North Carolina. Or the even more fascinating “Rio Grande Tablet.” Written in a style current in the Roman colony of Libya around 300AD, the tablet proffers a poignant insight into the past. Inscribed on it is a prayer to the Roman deity Mithras, dated the 6th year of an unnamed Emperor’s reign, a prayer that asks for aid and relief for a sick and lost party. Whether deserters or early explorers some researchers have concluded that the Rio Grande Tablet is the work of a lost Libyan detail of the Mithras worshipping Roman army.

The notion that elements from Rome’s Carthaginian colony in Libya may have visited America has been further underlined by the Burrow’s Cave find. Amongst the thousands of artefacts in the collection is the depiction of a Negroid face carved on a stone tablet in a distinctly Roman style. Predictably it has been virtually ignored by the various authorities. After all the idea that North African’s were visiting North America over a thousand years before Columbus challenges much of written history.

So Burrows cave has either been dismissed as a hoax or ignored by modern academia, yet in the words of Ancient American magazine it is the archaeological “discovery of the century.” The story of Burrows cave began in 1982 when Russell Burrows was out searching for American civil war artefacts in southern Illinois. Using a common metal-detector he claims to have discovered an underground chamber full of ancient artefacts. Numbering more than seven thousand the artefacts largely consist of stones inscribed with the portraits of ancient Egyptians, Carthaginians, Romans and Hebrews; many of which were inscribed with script resembling Phoenician or ancient Semitic writing. Although many of the relics found in Burrows Cave have been examined Burrows himself has not as yet revealed the exact location of his find, partly because of the derision that greeted his claims. However he has promised to reveal the exact location of the find in the near future and when he does we will update you.

In the meantime though it must be said that if you thought the idea of Knights Templar or even Romans in America was outlandish then we suggest that you take a deep breath. For as we researched this article the evidence emerged which is even more at odds with the conventional notions of American history. For while the ancient Americas may well have played host to many visitors from many different lands there is one in particular who stands out. An individual whose presence in America, if in fact he were there, is likely to shatter many beliefs: historical, cultural, metaphysical and religious.

Across the Americas, north and south, there are oral traditions and stories that are remarkably similar in overall theme. They tell of the coming of a pale man, some even say a white man; known variously as the Dawn God, the Peacemaker, the Pale One and the East Star Man: he was given this latter name because according to some stories he had come across the sea from the east. In other words he had come across what we know today as the Atlantic from either Europe or North Africa.

Whatever he was called though his arrival left a deep impression on those peoples and cultures he visited. Prior to his appearance some tribes in the America’s, more particularly in south or Central America, had practised blood sacrifice. The arrival of the Pale One, or Quetzalcoatl, as the Maya knew him, changed that. He taught new rituals and ceremonies some of which remain to this day; such as the smoking of sacred pipes, which for some tribes replaced blood sacrifice.

Apart from having pale skin he was also distinguished from the indigenous Americans by the fact that he was bearded, a facial feature that is unknown amongst Native Americans. Moreover he is said to have dressed completely differently from indigenous Americans, in long flowing robes and sandals

Some tribes called him the Son of the Great Spirit whilst others refer to him as the son of Yod-hey-vah. Sound familiar? Well this latter name was a phonetic pronunciation he taught as was the name he taught the Algonkin of the Great Lakes when they asked his name. He replied that names meant nothing to him; so they then asked what he was named in childhood when he had lived across the waters. That name, which even today they struggle to pronounce was, he told them: Chee-Zoos, God of the Dawn Light.

The parallels between what is written in the Bible and the stories told by various Native American peoples are uncannily similar. For example, the tribes of Oklahoma tell of a man they call the Healer, who chose from amongst the native people twelve disciples. He told them that he was born across the ocean, in a land where all men were bearded. In this land he was born of a virgin on a night when a bright star shone in the heavens. And, as if to celebrate his birth the heavens opened and down came winged beings of great beauty chanting in praise of Chee Zoos, God of the Dawn Light.

Engraving from the Burrows Cave find.

Likewise the Dacootah recall the coming of the pale faced Healer. According to them his name remains sacred and during his time with them he taught rites of purification and . . . baptism.

In the same way the Tribes around the Great Lakes speak of the coming of the Prophet; a pale, bearded man who was, according to their tribal elders, the son of the Great Spirit. A Prophet who appeared to them as a white man and who could heal the lame and sick with his touch.

Their medicine men say that: “all that he touched was enchanted with His god-like power of healing.”And that . . . “He came alone. He organized the churches, changed the temples, taught the priesthood.”

Elsewhere, across the America’s there are similar tales and they all tell the same story: of a god-like white man who travelled across the America’s teaching and healing. At the time of his arrival legend has it that there was a great city situated where the Missouri and the Mississippi run to the Southern sea. One morning it is said that the Prophet came there in a long boat, used by the traders. “The streets,” the old legends say, “were covered with flowers strewn in homage on the path before Him as He walked toward the Temple.”

All of which is reminiscent Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the week before he was crucified, when adoring crowds spread palm leaves before his approaching steps. The Native stories continue:

“Greatly beloved now was the Pale God, known as the Lord of the Wind and the Water. His every move bespoke his kindness: His very touch revealed His Divinity; and before Him all the people bowed down. Through the rows of worshippers He moved …in quiet solemnity, holding up His hand in blessing – that hand with the strange palm marking, for through it was engraved the True Cross which He had taken as His Symbol”.

He stayed for some time, say the legends: “though often he rode away with the merchants, or more often walked to distant villages, holding in His hand His great staff, and stopping to speak with all the people, from the aged to the little children.”

Of course you may object that these are only stories, the legends and tales of a simple and unsophisticated people. And of course you are right, but it doesn’t end there because these stories have been partly substantiated by artefacts found within or in the vicinity of mounds built by the ancestors of modern Native Americans.

The so-called Mound Builders flourished in North America between 200 B.C. and 500 AD. Little is known about them except that they built earthen mounds, often in the shape of birds and animals. With the arrival of settlers from Europe many of these mounds were levelled to make way for new farmland. In the process the mounds and their contents were scattered or ploughed under; then in the early 19th century strange relics were unearthed as new roads were built and forests cleared, and this occurred largely around Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, areas of much previous mound building.

Amongst the relics recovered have been engraved depictions of the crucifixion and other biblical motifs. Yet despite the fact that many of these discoveries were accompanied by sworn affidavits and written testimony the archaeological authorities of the day largely dismissed them as “fakes.” A response that continues to this day.

We honestly don’t know whether Christ was physically located in the Americas or simply made an appearance, so to speak, spiritually and thereby inspired the stories, artefacts and inscriptions. Or indeed whether they were inspired by the tales of long forgotten Christian missionaries. Certainly Rudolph Steiner spoke of initiates and mystics around the planet being aware of the events in Palestine at the time of the crucifixion. So this proposition is certainly a possibility but whatever the real explanation it offers a fascinating alternative view of history and Christianity itself.

What’s more, as individuals, we may soon be able to explore this possibility for ourselves. According to various tribes, before his departure, the East Star Man said that one day he would return, not in body but in spirit. At this time, he said, the world would be a dark place where evil would reign, however, the pure in heart would perceive his return. In other words what he is said to have told Native Americans is exactly what modern Christians would understand as the “second coming.” So if you can lift your head up from the feeding trough of consumer society, or the conveyor belt called work, you may just notice something in the air.

Posted 04/11/2002       Last updated 01/09/2006        By: TheTruthSeeker

Sources include:, Rule By Secrecy by Jim Marrs, publ: Harper Collins. The Hiram Key by C. Knight and R. Lomas, publ: Barnes and Noble Books, New York. He walked the Americas, Taylor Hansen, publ: Legend Press, Amherst, Wisconsin. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon. Ancient American magazine no. 26 & 33.
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Aug 1, 2007 2:19pm
Jul 23, 2007

Medicaid Reform Around the States: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

(Note: The following is the text of Michael Tanner’s comments at a March 5, 2007, Issues and Ideas forum hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He was introduced by Jack McHugh, legislative analyst for the Center.)

Welcome and thank you all for coming. We’re here today to talk about health care rationing. That may sound odd but actually that’s what the entire health care debate is about. Like all good things, health care is a scarce good and no matter how much of our GDP we decide to dedicate to it there will always be more demand than supply. It will be rationed either by market-like processes that give individuals greater choice and freedom, or by politicians or bureaucrats that are armed with government mandates. I believe, and our speaker today believes, that maximizing choice and freedom yields better outcomes for individuals and society than government mandates. This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue by the way because it’s possible for everyone to have access to care, including the poor and the indigent, within a system of market competition and incentives. We’re in the early stages of a national discussion about how to do that. Some states in our laboratory of democracy have launched experiments along these lines. Others are moving in the opposite direction. As the director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute, a nonprofit research institute in Washington, Michael Tanner is well placed to observe these experiments. His job is to lead research on new market-based approaches that emphasize freedom, choice and individual responsibility rather than government control. Michael’s the author of a number of books including "Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It." And he’s appeared in nearly every major newspaper including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Michael Tanner appears regularly on network and cable TV news shows and his latest book, just out, "Leviathan On the Right" was reviewed in the New York Times Review of Books yesterday. So I invite you all to give a warm welcome to Michael Tanner.

Thank you very much for that kind and entirely deserved introduction. I have to say it’s a much better introduction than I received the other day when the fellow said, "and now here’s Mike Tanner, a man who needs no introduction which is a good thing because I’ve never heard of him." I also do have to thank you for taking me away from the balmier climes of Washington, D.C., and bringing me here. I have to say you folks do cold well. Actually, it is a thrill. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve been to Lansing and I’m always appreciative to come back. It’s a lovely city. I will add a little caution. I not only live but I work in Washington, D.C., so it’s always a thrill to be somewhere else. I do actually get to travel a great deal in my job to go around the country looking at state health care reforms and even go worldwide to look at the health care systems in a number of countries and I get to see what goes on in the rest of the world.

I was actually not so very long ago in England. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to London, but if you ever get a chance, go to Hyde Park. In Hyde Park they’ve got a Speakers Corner there where they have actually built a soapbox into the sidewalk and anyone can come along and you can get up on the soapbox and you can start talking. You can just go on for as long as you want and it doesn’t even matter if you know what you are talking about. So it’s just like Congress in that regard. The day I was there, a fellow got up on there and he had gathered a crowd around him and he was going on when I walked up. Anyway and he was in the middle of it and he would say, "When the common man takes over we’ll all be drinking champagne." Well, from the back of the crowd there came this voice, a little man spoke up and said, "Yah, but me and me mates sort of likes our brew." Well, the speaker sort of ignored him and said, "When the common man takes over we’ll all be wearing tuxedos." There came that man from the back of the crowd again saying, "Yah but me and me mates sort of likes our tweed." Now the speaker was sort of upset now but he plowed on and said, "When the common man takes over we’ll all be smoking big cigars." Well, sure enough, there goes that little guy in the back again who says, "Yah but me and me mates sort of likes our pipe." Well, the speaker just jumped down off the soapbox and he forced his way through the crowd and he found that little man and he grabbed him by the lapels and he said, "When the common man takes over, you’ll do as you’re damn well told." And I think that’s really appropriate to think about when we talk about health care reform because so many proposals are put out there that at least purport to be done in the name of the common man, that they’re going to somehow make things better for the least fortunate among us; that they’re going to make it easier for the poor and disadvantage to get access to health care. But in the end, the proposals will mean we’ll all be doing as we’re damn well told.

The one common characteristic of national health care systems around the world, of government-run health care, is that it denies care. It denies choice and it denies access to care. Right now, as we speak, 1 million Britons are on the waiting list for entrance to national health care hospitals in Great Britain. And every year 100,000 surgeries are cancelled in Britain because the patients on the waiting list got too sick to go forward with the procedure. In New Zealand, a country with just 3 million people, 90,000 people are on the waiting list for care. In Sweden, the waiting list for heart surgery is 26 weeks and to get hip replacement surgery it’s over a year. And today in your neighbor Canada, 800,000 people are on the waiting list for health care. Recently, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a portion of that country’s Medicare law. Their national health care system was struck down by the Canadian Supreme Court, a portion of it, and in that ruling the Court said "access to a waiting list is not access to health care." They went on to say that it was undeniable, in fact it was undisputed that the Canadian government in the case that some of the people on the waiting list for health care in that country were in pain and that some would die because they didn’t have access to the care they needed.

For all the problems that the United States health care system has and I’m not going to deny that we have many problems and I’ll talk about some of them in a little bit, but for all those problems the U.S. health care system is still the best in the world. You know of the last 25 Nobel laureates in medicine, 17 either live in the United States or practice here. They are either American citizens or they practice here. Of the new medicine introduced worldwide over the last 30 years, more than half are patented in the United States. And of the top 20 non-pharmaceutical breakthroughs in medicine in the last quarter century, half were introduced in this country. From around the world when you get sick this is where people will come to be treated. Tens of thousands of people come every year to this country from someplace else in order to have their health care needs met. In fact, one out of every seven Canadian doctors sends a patient to the United States for treatment every year. If you’re sick this is still the place you want to be.

You know, you hear critics of the American health care system point to things and say well, other countries have longer life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates and that’s true, but those are terrible ways to compare health care systems. In fact, even the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) who puts out these statistics says that you shouldn’t do cross country comparisons using these types of statistics because there are so many exogenous factors that play into these results. If you just want to look at the life expectancy and infant mortality between rural Minnesota let’s say, and inner city Detroit, they are vastly different but with essentially the same health care system. They don’t tell you anything about health care because you have factors like violent crime, drug abuse, the poverty that leads to low birth weight babies, whether or not you attempt to intervene to save low birth weight babies, all of those sorts of things enter into those statistics. But if you look at statistics that measure things like the same disease across country, you see that the United States does very well indeed. Take for example, one example, prostate cancer. In the United States, one out of every five men, 20 percent of men, diagnosed with prostate cancer will die from the disease ultimately. In Canada it’s over 25 percent; in France and Germany it’s over 30 percent and in Britain it’s over half of those diagnosed with it will die from it. Why? Well, by and large the answer in other countries to someone with prostate cancer is to do nothing. It’s called watchful waiting as a procedure. It’s essentially you know prostate cancer is not a cost effective disease to treat. It by and large occurs in very old people and it’s a very slow progressing disease, so by and large they don’t treat it. But the same is true for many other diseases. The same is true for colon cancer, the same is true with breast cancer, AIDS, heart disease, almost any disease you can find that you are better off having that disease in the United States. You are far more likely to survive by being treated for it in the United States than you are in any other national health care system around the world. Even infant mortality, if you take low birth weight babies at any given weight they are far more likely to survive in the United States then in any other country.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have problems in the United States as I said with health care, we do. For example, the one you hear about all the time is that we have far too many people who lack health insurance. Now I would like to submit to start with a couple of heretical views on this. The first is that getting everybody insured should not be the holy grail of health care reform. Sure we would like to see more people with health insurance, but the idea of what should drive the entire health care debate is finding a way we could put a piece of paper in every person’s hand that says they have health insurance I think is badly misguided and leads to a host of bad decisions down the road. Because simply giving people a piece of paper that says they have insurance does absolutely nothing about giving them access to health care to begin with. After all, these national health care systems around the world all the people are theoretically insured. We’ve all promised them that they have health insurance and yet when it comes time that they need health care they don’t get it. We need to talk about when we talk about health care reform is how we can reduce the cost of health care so that more people can afford it, how we can assure access to care and how we can assure better quality of care. That is not the same thing as universal health insurance.

The second thing that we should know about is that the number of uninsured is often greatly exaggerated. We hear for example that there are 46 million, 48 million, I forget the exact number, of Americans without health insurance. Well, that’s true but it’s misleading because that represents essentially a snapshot in time. That’s how many people lack health insurance today. It tells us absolutely nothing about whether or not they had health insurance yesterday or whether they will have health insurance tomorrow. And in fact the vast majority of them were insured and will be insured again. They move in and out of the insurance market because we link our health insurance so closely to employment. When you lose your job you lose your insurance so then you get another job and you get insurance with that job and you move in and out of the market place. And in fact only about 15 percent of all those without insurance will be uninsured for two years or more. About half will be uninsured for four months or less. So it’s not necessarily a crisis. Obviously if you get sick during that period it’s a problem, but most of them are not sick. 80 percent of the uninsured that responded to a survey say that their health is good or excellent. Many are young people who simply have made a decision not to purchase insurance for one reason or another. In fact it’s often a rational decision if you just got out of college, if you want to spend your money on other things, you know if you don’t get hit by a truck or something you really are not going to need health care and we price insurance so high because of the regulations and the mandates so in many cases it’s a rational decision for these folks not to purchase insurance. Many of the people without insurance are actually relatively well off. Something like 15,000 of them earn more than $75,000 a year. They’ve simply chosen to self-insure, if you will, rather than to turn to insurance. So when we look to the people who are uninsured we should recognize that they’re a small group of people who have substantially low income or serious health problems and we need to find a way to bring those people into the health insurance market. But we shouldn’t make insuring every last American the sole purpose of health care reform. Now pursuing this holy grail of health care, states while traveling down a number of roads I think are serious mistakes and I’d like to offer some warnings about them.

The first of course is simply go to a single-payer system. Put government in charge of health care. The idea being that the health care system should be run by the same people who run FEMA somehow baffles me. As I’ve said, the common characteristic of these national health care systems is that they end up denying care and there is a very good reason for it. Assume you can provide all the health care everybody wants for free. Someone’s going to have to pay for it and there’s a finite limit as to how much the taxpayers are willing to pay. If you want to just take one example, Dennis Kucinich is pushing a national health care plan. It’s been scored to cost $7 trillion more than our current health care over the next 10 years. John Edwards says there’s a slightly cheaper one out there. It’s only going to cost $120 billion in new taxes per year he estimates. You know eventually the taxpayers say no and we end up cutting back and rationing out health care. All you have to do is look at the health care systems we have right now. The Veterans Administration is chronically under funded. They’re always saying they don’t have enough money and we see what it leads to in terms of Walter Reed with the new scandal which just came out.

The Medicaid system was always under funded and cuts back on provider payments. We’re running into the system now with Medicare which is $70 trillion, that’s trillion with a T, under funded in terms of its unfunded obligations going into the future. How do they react to that? Well, we’re going to cut back on reimbursements to physicians and hospitals and all the fight over that. All of which leads to the rationing of care. So I think a single-payer system should be a non-starter. It should really not be serious health policy. But there’s a number of steps short of that that people are looking at that are equally problematic.

One of course is different types of mandates. An employer mandate is being talked about. Several states, like "ArnoldCare" in California is talking about this idea of an employer mandate and several other states are looking at it that will simply require all the businesses in the state offer health insurance to their employees and if they don’t do that then they will have to pay some sort of a fee or tax into a pool that will then cover their employees for them. This just sort of ignores the laws of economics, I think, if you will. The fact is that from an employer point of view, they provide a certain amount of compensation to their workers based on that worker’s productivity and they don’t care how that compensation is divided. It makes absolutely no difference to them whether that compensation is in the form of wages, terms of health care, pension benefit, a free employee parking space, taxes they have to pay or anything else. In fact I believe Mackinac put out a terrific thing on what a W-2 form would really look like if you listed all the compensation on what employees are actually paid and what they actually see in their paycheck. If you simply mandate an additional expense on them by mandating they provide health insurance, you’re raising the amount of compensation that has to be paid to that employee but you’re not doing anything in raising that employee’s productivity, so the business is going to have to cut back some other way. They can cut back by a sense of fewer jobs, fewer new hires, they can have future smaller wage increases, they can contribute less to the employee pension system, they can cut back in terms of other benefits, but in some way the workers themselves will end up paying the cost.

We sort of act like there is this free radical money somehow floating around that we can somehow catch onto. The reality is that the money being spent on the health care system is all spent ultimately by the employee and we can just shift around as to the collector. In a single-payer system, the employee simply pays it through higher taxes and in an employer mandate the employee pays it through lower wages or some other way that that’s done or you can make them pay it themselves but in the end it’s the employee who always ends up paying. The second way if you’re not going to go with an employer mandate… I’ll say one other thing about Michigan before I think about employer mandates, for all the sound and fury it’s simply not going to take affect because almost no employer mandate or in fact none that I’ve even seen stands up to a court challenge. They’ve tried these in several other states and whether it’s the Wal-Mart law in Maryland or other attempted employer mandates of pay or play plans they always run a foul of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and federal courts strike them down. I’ve never seen any employer mandate crafted in a way that could stand up to an ERISA challenge. So in the end you go through this and everybody feels good and you go to court and it gets thrown out and it just happens repeatedly. Well if that’s not going to happen then the other way to go is to an individual mandate.

This is just what Massachusetts just did, part of its health care reform there, a requirement that everyone in the state must purchase health insurance or they face some kind of fine or penalty if they don’t. I see a lot of problems with this approach as well. Superficially I think it’s appealing. It’s sort of an individual responsibility question and after all the fact is if I don’t have insurance and I walk out of here today and I get hit by a truck and get taken to the local hospital the cost of treating me is going to be passed on to you folks either through higher taxes or higher insurance premiums and so on and so people say well why shouldn’t I be required to have health insurance. I think there are some problems. First of all, I think that that problem of uncompensated care is again overstated. If you actually looked at the cost of uncompensated care around the country, the various studies show that it amounts to somewhere between 3 percent and 5 percent of total health care spending. Now that’s a real problem but it’s not a crisis again. Should we really set up all the problems that stem from an individual mandate in order to solve the problem that 3 percent to 5 percent of total health care spending? And in fact they’ve actually looked at who have actually ended up in the hospital emergency room are getting treated. The Study of Health Affairs looked at who actually shows up in hospital emergency rooms for treatment and they found out that there was actually no difference between whether the people were insured or uninsured in terms of the usage of people who used the emergency rooms. It was actually people on Medicaid that were most likely to use hospital emergency rooms. There was a gap there. People who received Medicaid were far more likely to go to a hospital emergency room for treatment then either people who didn’t have insurance at all or people who were insured. So I think in order to solve that little problem you’re starting off with something that is really substantial and in the words of the Congressional Budget Office an unprecedented challenge to individual choice and individual liberty. This represents the very first time that an individual has ever been, simply by virtue of living in a state, simply by the fact that you reside in a state you are required to purchase a specific product that the government has designed. And I think that that is a substantial imposition on individual liberty. Now people say, Gov. Romney, who I have debated on this several times, it’s just like an auto insurance mandate and you are required to have auto insurance to drive your car. The difference is if I don’t want to drive I don’t have to have insurance. Now if I don’t even own a car and I take the bus every day there’s no requirement for me to have auto insurance. Second, I’m not required to insure myself. I’m required to insure against running over someone else and hurting them. So this is substantially different in terms of quality. What it does, the auto insurance analogy does show the difficulty in actually implementing this.

That’s the second problem I’m having with this. The fact is that 47 states have an auto insurance mandate. In all 47 of those states the rate of people who are uninsured motorists is higher than the rate of people who don’t have health insurance, which indicates that enforcing these mandates is a little bit difficult. And in fact, the idea that we are going to track down every last person, that you’re going to track down the homeless and the mentally ill, illegal aliens and you’re somehow going to find all of them and you’re going to make sure they have their health insurance is real mythology. You know, I asked them how they were going to do it and they say well, we’re going to require that when you file your income tax, you put it on your income tax form. Well, first of all, thousands of people in every state aren’t required to file at all so what do you do with them? Second, thousands who were required to file, don’t file. And if you can’t track them down you’ve got a problem. Heck in Massachusetts nine members of the state legislature didn’t file their state income tax last year. So the idea that you’re going to track all these folks down and then what are you going to do to them? In some states they are going to take away your driver’s license so they’ll just drive without a license. Other states they’ll say oh, we’ll have a penalty. In Massachusetts they take away your personal income tax exemption first and the second year you’re fined half the cost of an insurance policy. Well, again, what happens if you don’t pay any income tax? How does that have any sort of an incentive and the people you were worried about not having any insurance are the very people who aren’t going to file their income tax, so I don’t know how that’s going to work. Second, you end up with the worst of both worlds with this sort of penalty. It’s half the cost of an insurance plan. So it’s large enough to be onerous but smaller than the cost of actually buying insurance. So people will say so well say I’ll pay the fine and I won’t buy the insurance which would cost me twice as much so you just punish people enough to hurt them without enough to actually get them to do it. So I think it’s not going to work very well.

It does lead into the next problem which is, OK we have people who can’t afford to buy health insurance which is the number one reason people who say they don’t have it is because they can’t afford it so we’ll subsidize it for them. We’ll find someone to do that. If you’re going to have an individual mandate you’re going to have to do subsidies. And in fact in Massachusetts they subsidize people up to $62,000 a year for a family of four. Which I think is a substantial level of bringing welfare into the middle class if you will, really subsidizing people at a very high level. If you are going to do these subsidies you can look at them in a lot of ways. You can subsidize the way Massachusetts is going to do. The more common way to look at these subsidies is to look at the Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) programs as subsidies. Here what you’re seeing is people saying well we can raise the eligibility level for these programs, I understand here you’re trying to move it up to 200 percent of poverty. Some states are going even higher, 300 percent of poverty which is substantial income. I think you need to look very carefully at any sort of effort to do this. Even when you combine it with very positive market-oriented reforms, some states like Florida and others try to ease the pain of Medicaid eligibility by saying we’ll combine it with market reforms, we’ll voucherize it, we’ll add health savings accounts to it, we’ll do it thinks that add market incentives to it. I think you have to approach this very, very cautiously. Because as you raise eligibility, you find that people who would otherwise be buying health insurance and employers who would otherwise provide health insurance stop. Why should an employer provide health insurance if the state will take care of that cost for them? Why should I go out and buy health insurance on my own if now I can get it through the Medicaid system? Every study that’s been studied out there, you know, Robert S. Johnson did a big study, survey, all find that this dumping takes place and the higher that you move up the income level in terms of providing these subsidies the more that dumping occurs. It happens substantially in the SCHIP program, it happens in the Medicaid program. The only thing that basically keeps it from happening more often now is that Medicaid is such a lousy program. And the fact that people say well I don’t want to be in Medicaid because even if I have to pay on my own putting me in Medicaid is a terrible program I’d rather be on my own so if you make Medicaid a good program and you add all these things to it that would improve it to make it more like private insurance you risk increasing the level of dumping that’s going to take place along the way as you do that. And I urge you to be very, very careful as you do that.

One thing you should realize is that Medicaid is welfare. We tend to not think of it that way but it is and in fact in terms of its value Medicaid is worth twice as much to a family that receives it as TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). In general, the value of the Medicaid payment is worth twice as much as the cash payments received through TANF. And as welfare it contains all the problems associated with welfare in terms of discouraging work, family formation and all the disincentives that go with welfare. Medicaid should be treated like welfare so I would urge you that as you move forward with any Medicaid reforms you consider putting the same types of restrictions in terms of time limits, family caps, work requirements and all the rest that go with your welfare reforms should be applied in exactly the same way to your Medicaid reforms.

Let me also mention a little bit in terms of another area where we have problems with our health care system and that’s cost. I’m a bit of an agnostic on the overall cost of our health care. People always warn me, they come out with these alarming figures that say America spends 17 percent of GDP on health care. We spend more on health care per capita than any country in the world. It’s true. We spend more on tennis shoes than any country in the world and I haven’t heard anyone talk about the great tennis shoe crisis. Frankly I don’t know how much we should spend on health care. You know, Bangladesh spends 1 percent of its GDP on health care. Would we all be better if we were getting health care in Bangladesh? I don’t think so. There isn’t a right number, there is no magic number, there is no expert that can get out there and determine who much per capita to spend on health care or on anything else. The fact is the market decides that. The problem is that they’re are not necessarily being decided by markets in this country and more than that because of the way we have third- and fourth-party health insurance in this country we are shifting those costs around to people where people who are incurring the costs are not necessarily paying for it. They are shifting those costs to other people and that’s raising the cost of insurance out of the reach of people who would otherwise want to be able to afford it.

In particular I think we need to be very careful and we need to be looking at the regulations that drive up the cost of health care in this country. We had a study done by Richard Conover from Duke that showed that health care regulations in this country add about $130 billion a year I believe it is, and all of that passed on to the cost of insurance and raise it. Things like mandated health insurance benefits, which I know you’re trying to deal with in your state, add significantly to the cost of health care. Community rating and so on add to the cost of health care. We need to look at that.

Again I would add one caution in terms of this. I know one approach being suggested in terms of fixing the regulatory problem with health care particularly in the small group and individual market is to create what’s called a connector which is some sort of artificial marketplace that could then be used for two good things. One, it could be used through Section 125 plans to enable people to purchase health care on an individual basis with getting around the federal tax law that penalizes you for actually purchasing health insurance and allows you to on a pre-tax basis, to move you to the connector and the second is it rationalizes what is a pretty dysfunctional marketplace right now for the small group and individual insurance market because of the way the regulatory mechanisms work. And I know it’s been suggested that here you would have some sort of a bare bones plan that would be offered through this connector and it would enable people to get low cost insurance and high deductible insurance. I think if that is all a connector did then that would marginally be a good thing. I have a grave concern that what you’re doing in setting up this mechanism is creating a new regulatory body that will then intervene in the health care marketplace. Particularly if you allow this connector to pick and choose which plans it will sell and which plans it won’t. I usually like to be very careful in making slippery slope arguments because I think that that could be abused but if you look at the history of these connectors they are pretty slippery.

Now Massachusetts, when the governor, now they pioneered the connector and when the governor put forward his plan for the connector there he said we’ll have exactly this, a bare bones plan that will be offered no health insurance mandate. By the time it finished passing the legislature every single mandate was put back in. And in fact not only did they put every mandate back in but even before the ink was dry on the legislation the special interests had descended on the state capitol and were demanding the inclusion of new mandates. After all you now have a captive market. People could no longer be disciplined by the market by saying, people could no longer say it’s too expensive I won’t buy it. And they now have this system set up that if you go through the connector the only place you can go to get the subsidies so on and so forth it forces people to buy the product that the connector is creating. Every special interest sees a chance to go down and get their product put into that mandate so all the dentists to go down and say we need to have dental care included. You even saw the Christian Science practitioners down there demanding that Christian Scientist healers be included in it. No wonder the minimum cost of this plan when the Governor announced it the plan would cost no more than $250 a month already estimated to cost now $380 a month and the costs are rising. I think you need to be very, very careful about how you are setting this up and I would suggest the one thing you could do is simply take away any regulatory power and require that any connector that you create must sell any insurance product that is otherwise for sale in the state rather than allowing it to pick and choose winners and losers in creating sort of a honey for the bees of special interests or creating a new trough for the pigs to feed at.

Now mostly I’ve spent my time here and I always feel bad when I come to a state because I spend almost all my time telling you what you shouldn’t do. Frankly there’s not a lot of choice on that. I understand why states and state legislators and others get frustrated with what’s going on in Washington. The absolute inability of Washington to wrestle with the issue of health care reform but the fact is the real problem with health care in this country can only be fixed at the federal level. The fact that they stem from federal tax law and federal anti-trust law, federal regulations and the Medicare system and so many things of that nature that you really can’t fix at the state level. So I urge you not to let your frustration drive you to do something that you’ll later regret. In health care reform the first rule of thumb should be is to follow the Hippocratic Oath and "first do no harm" and the vast majority of what state legislators can do ultimately is bad policy. But there are a few things that you can do and I would urge you to do them. You can deregulate your health insurance market. I would urge you to look at repealing mandated health insurance benefits and allowing people to buy low cost, bare bones health insurance particularly young and healthy people. You want to get them into the insurance market when they’re young and healthy not have them wait they’re old and sick The best way you can do this is to enable them to buy low cost health insurance and buying a bare bones policy will say they don’t have enough health insurance is better than having none. So if you could lower the cost of health insurance I think you would be much better off for these folks striking out the mandated benefits is a good way to do it.

A better way of doing it, I understand the political problems of going out there and trying to fight particular mandates and say we’ll take the podiatrist out and the podiatrists will go crazy on you and I understand how difficult that is. So here is a suggested way you might be able to get around that. Change your insurance law to allow for sale in this state any insurance product that is approved for sale by any state in the union. Right now you have to buy insurance that is approved by the Insurance Commissioner in the State of Michigan. But why shouldn’t a person go to say Idaho, a state that has the least mandates in the country, find an insurance product that is for sale and approved by the Insurance Commissioner in Idaho and buy that insurance product. Or small business being able to go to Illinois or to Wisconsin or to wherever and be able to buy insurance there. A simple change in the law would allow that to happen. There’s a federal bill that would create this power by John Shadegg of Arizona but you don’t need to wait for the federal government to act on that, that’s something you can introduce on the state legislative level. There is an excellent study coming out on how this can be done from the Goldwater Institute in Arizona and I would urge you to track that down. It should be published shortly. It would not only allow individuals and small businesses to be able to buy insurance at low cost it would create an enormous incentive of regulatory competition, the same way you have tax competition between states to get business to come in or whatever you would find regulatory competition on health insurance. People would be competing to have the best health insurance climate so that people would buy health insurance from their state. You will find that some states would be out there to become you know like South Dakota is for credit cards, some state would be the health insurance industry and states would be competing to do that and I think that would be a terrific thing if you did that.

The second thing I would say you could apply to your Medicaid rules the same rules you applying to TANF. Prove Medicaid to be what it is in terms of welfare. Third is you can set up policies to enable people and small businesses through their 125 plan to purchase health insurance on a pre-tax basis. Fourth, you can expand health savings accounts, encourage state employees to purchase them, bring them into your system, and make sure you have the tax advantages and regulations right so they can be expanded as much as possible. Fifth you could offer a state tax break for people who purchase individual health insurance. You could simple create a standard tax deduction for people who purchase health insurance regardless of where they get it or how they get it.

I think these could be small incremental steps in the right direction. I think that in the end they will help, they won’t solve all the problems but they also won’t hurt the health care system that we have today. In the end, ‘first do no harm’ then do what good you can. I think that is the message I would like to bring to you today. With that I would like to close and take any questions you might have. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you.

Questions and Answers

Question: You aren’t really high on what’s going on in Florida and I understand South Carolina is doing some similar kinds of things, Kentucky just did something I believe, can you expand on that a little bit?

Answer: Sure, in my opinion it’s sort of third and fourth best solutions. They’re looking at their Medicaid situation and they’re saying Medicaid is doing two things. Number one it’s breaking the states budget and in most states, I’m not sure what it is here in Michigan but in most states Medicaid is now exceeding education and in almost every state it soon will be the top line item in every state’s budget. It is really breaking state budget banks. Second, they are under enormous pressure to expand it. They’re under enormous pressure for two reasons. One is general impression, the problem of covering the uninsured. The second is if you expand Medicaid and SCHIP you can get federal dollars so there’s a shell game going on which says essentially we’ll put people into our system and we’ll make other states pay for it by expanding it. The best example of this is "ArnoldCare" in California. Talk about a clever shell game he’s got here. Essentially what he does he puts more people into the Medicaid system thereby getting more federal reimbursement and then he taxes back the federal reimbursement by a tax to health care providers so he gets the money twice if you will. He gets other taxes from other states; taxpayers from Michigan have to pay for California health care plan which makes it very popular for California legislators. So states are being driven to do this so what they are looking at is saying OK we’ll do the increase but we’re going to put in these market type of reforms. We’re going to offer health care vouchers to get people into the system. That way they can get into the private health care systems, they can actually get a continuity of care. Medicaid is traditionally reimbursed so low for primary care physicians that most won’t take Medicaid patients, people get bounced around from doctor to doctor, they end up at the emergency room so rather than do that we’ll try to get people into the private health insurance market either by subsidizing their purchase of care, voucherizing it in some way, bringing them all in.

Second, we know that there’s a problem in that if people aren’t paying any money they tend to over consume so we’ll create things like health savings accounts which are great incentives for people not to over use the Medicaid system, we’ll say if they don’t use it they can have these savings program. The danger is you’re actually creating a better health care plan now within the Medicaid system then many of these people were getting from their small business or out on their own and you’re actually going to see an increase I think in usage which I think is very dangerous. So it’s sort of a second, third and fourth best solution to the problem. I think combined you can do that. I think they are actually good reforms but you need to combine them with these welfare reforms to keep people from doing the dumping which is a real danger that you get small businesses even actually some larger size businesses dumping. People complain about the Wal-Mart effect which is actually badly misnamed. Wal-Mart actually doesn’t actually dump all that many people on the Medicaid system primarily because they have so many part-time workers and so on. They actually do provide a very good health care benefit for their full time workers. But people complain about that all the time. If you really want to see that happen, raise your Medicaid eligibility 200 percent or 300 percent of the poverty level and see how many people are dumped into the Medicaid system.

Question: It seems in Michigan that the marketplace really is saying that is the problem because employers who can provide insurance are saying that it costs too much and they’re covering the trade off for those that don’t have insurance if you look at the uninsured it’s portrayed as a big problem. Medical bills are the largest cause of individual bankruptcy. How does a business compete with transplant companies that have national health care. It seems like its unfair competition

Answer: Well to some extent these companies are the victim of their own bad decisions over time. I understand here in Michigan the biggest issue is the auto industry which has made terrible decisions in terms of health care benefits it has provided to employees. It provides the most gold plated insurance plan imaginable to its employees so legacy costs that they’re bearing is a huge problem. Where I think they go wrong is the idea that they could deal with it directly by telling their employees that they won’t provide for these gold plated policies anymore and cutting back on medical benefits. They don’t want to do that because they might make the unions angry, they don’t want to deal with a strike, they don’t want to be the bad guy. So what they would do is have the government do it and they’ve all rushed to Washington now saying we need a single-payer plan because then the government will pay for it, the monkey is off their back. The employees will still end up paying for it through higher taxes but at least the company didn’t have to tell them they were going to have to pay more so there sort of get to play good cop gets bad cop. It’s not any new money it’s still coming out of the employee’s pocket they just didn’t have to be the one to make them do this. So I think that they are simply trying to get someone to bail them out of the bad decisions they’ve made in the past and don’t want to have to play the bad cop themselves. Beyond that I would just say that the study on the largest number of bankruptcies has been pretty well debunked. That study does not necessarily hold water. Not to say that that’s not a problem with people who don’t have health insurance and have to pay the bills. I would say it does debunk one thing that people who don’t have health insurance don’t have access to care. The very fact that they don’t have access to care but are worried about the bills means that they are getting treated so they do have access to care. We require in this country that hospitals provide care for people who need it by law and we don’t have the same legal requirement on doctors but very few doctors would turn people away. So people do get the care, in terms of the fact that it’s a cost to them, I think you’re right. I want to make health insurance more available but I think the question is, is it a big enough problem that we should risk destroying the health care system that we have in order to get there and that I don’t think is the trade-off involved.

Question: Taxpayers that have their own health care insurance, long term insurance or choose not to have either, how are they better off when their taxes go up and have to pay for other people?

Answer: They’re obviously not better off if we have to pay for other people. Uncompensated care is a problem. The question is and I come back again to the fact is if people don’t buy health insurance and they get sick we bear the cost of paying for them if they don’t. Now I’ll just add a couple of cautions on that. One is what you hear about the costs that hospitals have to pay for uncompensated care, it’s wildly exaggerated. They usually put out their charges not their actual costs and the charges are unrelated to the actual costs of treating a person but it’s what they would charge you if you had insurance and so on. It’s a meaningless number and it’s a much too high number. If you actually look at cost it’s lower but it’s real and I think that it is a problem. It’s about 3 percent to 5 percent of health care spending. Again the question is to what extent are you willing to disrupt the entire health care system for something that you’re not going to solve in its entirety. You’re always going to have some uninsured people. Again you’re not going to reach down to the homeless person, the illegal immigrant or whatever to get them insured no matter what you do. Even Canada has about 1 percent of its population that’s uninsured despite the fact that it has universal health care. You can’t reach everybody but let’s just assume you can bring that cost down from 3 to 5 percent to 2 to 4 percent. How much damage to the health care system are you willing to do in order to solve that problem? This may ultimately be one in which we’ve just got to suck it up and eat the fact that we’re just going to have this added cost that we’re going to pay for because we’re a compassionate society and we’re not going to let people die because they don’t have health insurance. We’re going to have to pay that cost; we’re going to have to eat it somehow.

Question: What aspect of health care should people, and I didn’t hear you talk about as part of the problem or solution is the tort reform for malpractice happening. Where do you see that fitting in, going forward?

Answer: That is also generally not as big a problem as I think the doctors portray and a bigger problem then the lawyers portray. What you’ve got here are two powerful special interests that sort of butt heads on it and the actual studies if you look at them get lost in the process. The actual cost of malpractice in terms of health insurance premiums adds about 1 percent to the cost of health insurance premiums. Just by way of comparison I just saw an article indicating that there’s a push now in your state to make mental health parity. To require mental health parity insurance. that adds about 10 to 15 percent to the cost of an insurance policy. So you’re adding a 1 percent cost for malpractice. Defensive medicine which is the added procedures being done in order to avoid being sued does add a substantial amount. That might add about 10 percent to the cost of health care overall. That is due in part to malpractice and part to the fact since the patient’s not paying for it let’s sort of collude with the doctor and say lets have the added test, why not. The doctor says I want you to have this extra text even though I don’t think it’s necessary because I don’t want to take the chance of getting sued. The patient says I’m not paying for it so what the heck so go ahead and give it to me. To some extent if you change tax law and if you change insurance back to what insurance was supposed to be which is to protect against catastrophic risk not to pre-pay health care; if you did those sorts of things you would go a long way towards limiting that. Then I would think you would want to have some sort of tort reform that basically goes back to the assumption of risk. Back to informed consent. If a doctor tells you that if you have procedure A you might have outcome Y and you have outcome Y you can’t go back and sue. You were told. You know malpractice is to protect against malpractice, not to protect you against the bad outcome that occurs from your health care. And finally on the doc’s side I think they need to look at the fact that they insist on community rating of malpractice premiums. For the same reason community rating is bad for health insurance it’s a bad idea for malpractice insurance. Those physicians who have a terrible record should pay more for their insurance than those doctors who have clean records should. We need to look at that.

Question: I just wanted to add — what should the auto industry do? My husband is a union representative and he was not born when they started collective bargaining so he’s in between. He understands the legacy costs. What should they do?

Answer: What I’m going to tell people is bad news essentially. To put it in a larger context I will answer your question. It’s a very good question but I don’t have an answer that will make anybody happy. Americans want four things from their health insurance and they are mutually exclusive. Americans want all the health care they want, they want it now, they want it with the doctor of their choice and they want it for free — can’t have it. In the end someone is going to have to pay more and I’m afraid that that someone is going to be the individual. And what that’s going to mean I think is the need for the auto industry and everyone else to begin to move insurance back to what insurance really was meant to be. The idea of insurance is that it takes an event that had a low likelihood of it happening and a very high cost if it does happen and it spreads that risk out. If you have auto insurance it’s designed that if you get your car totaled it fixes it. It does not pay for your oil change and your fill up. Health insurance increasingly pays for your oil change and your fill up and if you total your car you don’t get anything. We need to turn that around. What that means is moving to a much higher deductible insurance policy, something that is truly catastrophic and the individual is going to have to bear much more of the routine cost. And I think that that means employers such as the auto industry and others are going to have to offer those type of insurance plans which means that they’re going to have to pay higher wages to individuals in order to compensate for at least part of that exchange of cost. The tax laws to really make that effective the federal tax laws would have to change. Right now if they do that, if they cut back on the health care policy they give you higher wages you have to pay taxes on the higher wages you didn’t have to pay taxes on the health care benefits that you got so you would actually lose out if the companies do that. We need to change federal tax law to make that possible to do that. For the people who are stuck in the legacy plans, in the end I think the government’s going to have to end up eating some of those costs and bailing people out in terms of some way. I actually don’t think they should but I think we’re going to end up doing it one way or another because if they dumped the plans the individuals are going to be on the government programs and we’ll have to pick up the costs in taxes; if we go to single payer we’d have to pick it up, if we move to some sort of an employer mandate businesses we would pick it up. We’re going to end up eating those costs in some way. So I’m not sure what kind of mechanism is best in terms of trying to off load some of those costs is but we could look at what is the minimizing way of doing that. But the one think we need to do is to start changing over now so that we don’t just keep adding on more and more of those costs which we’re not doing.

Question: The second part of my question, I’m going to tell my age, the Kaiser Plan that was started in California and the State of Michigan and the city of Detroit we jumped on board in the 70’s and my friend created a company called Michigan HMO and that was supposed to spread out like you said some of that cost of health insurance. You’re saying that that HMO model is not working?

Answer: HMO’s came in with the idea saying they were going to squeeze the waste out of health insurance and they did. But once you squeezed the waste out you are back to regular rising health care costs. If you actually looked at your health insurance premiums what you saw in the 80s it went down as HMOs came in, bottomed out, moved right back up again and even in managed care is rising at the same rate as fee for service medicine. Basically once you squeezed out that initial level of waste you were still left with the fact that most health care costs, the biggest reason health care costs are rising in this country is because they can. Essentially health care from an economist standpoint and I’m an economist, we call it a normal good. It means that your income rises, you spend more on it. We’re a wealthy country we want to spend money on health care. We want to save people who in other countries would let die. We want to do that so we spend that money. We want all the latest technology, we want those extra tests we want to do all that sort of thing so that drives up the cost and managed care doesn’t really weed it out. I’m going to take you back to health care economics 101. I’m going to give you a formula and if you remember anything about health care remember this formula. It’s VA+VI=C, the basic health care equation. VA is the actual value of whatever health care you’re receiving. If you get a bone set, if you get cancer cured, come back from a heart attack, whatever it is, that’s the value of what you are receiving. And please if there’s any Austrian economist in the room who wants to tell me there’s no such thing as actual value we can talk about that later. VI is the idiosyncratic value to you. Everybody’s different. How much pain are you willing to suffer vs. do you have to have that headache treated or do you go on with it. Some people are different, I don’t like pills. How much time are you willing to miss from work? Are you afraid of hospitals, whatever it is to you? C is the cost. When VA+VI, when the actual value plus the idiosyncratic value to you equals the cost of what you’re buying you’ve purchased the optimal amount of it. Remember that it could have no actual value it could just have an idiosyncratic value it could be like a placebo whatever it is it will equal the cost of what you buy and actual amount. The problem is when you have the VA+VI exceed the cost you will over purchase and if its cost exceeds the actual value then you under purchase health care. Because you don’t bear the cost of any of your health care purchases, it’s paid for by your employer or whatever, the cost is almost always less than the value and there’s a tendency to over consume. Someone has to step in then and break that link. And what happens is that someone can be the government which is what happens in a national health care system where they create a global budget and they come in and say you may want that procedure but you can’t have it or managed care can step in or the insurance company can step in and break that link and say you might otherwise want to get that test but first you’ve got to go through our gatekeeper. First you’ve got to get past these other things that might stop it. My answer is instead of letting someone else step in and break those let’s move that C back up to where it’s approximating the value again and let you make the decision. But you be the individual that steps in and makes those decisions.

Question: I’d just like to leave here with a close personal story. Two weeks ago I happened to overhear a conversation at Starbucks with two guys from Sweden. I said excuse me but you gentlemen sound like you’re from Sweden and they said Yah. May I ask you something about your taxes? Oh, well what’s the low side? Hans or whatever his name says, Oh about 29 percent. How about your sales tax? Twelve percent on food items, 25 percent on non-grocery items. I said you know you guys had a big election there a couple of months ago so what were the major issues? Well, the taxes are getting out of sight, government corruption and the health care is deteriorating dramatically. I said really, how bad is it getting? He said rationing is getting more extensive, more limitations in terms of what the government is going to cover, waits are longer and the big joke in Sweden right now is do you have a Polish doctor. I said really and he yes they are importing more doctors from Poland, electricians, plumbers, whatever. I said well at least you guys produce some pretty good hockey players. Well but they don’t stay in Sweden anymore. I said thank you very much for Nik Lidstrom. Well I leave you with that personal story and you can take that, the one thing that people talk about when they talk about national health care, free health care, just start talking about the taxes people pay in countries like Canada. I met a single school teacher from Canada several years ago and I said what kind of taxes do you pay and she said I’m a single school teacher, federal and provincial taxes alone take 45 percent of my paycheck. We don’t get the deductions you Americans get. That’s pretty much my bottom line.

So those are some great stories and you can tell everyone here to use them.

Answer: Absolutely right and those things have an effect on individuals on job creation. If you look to Europe in terms of job creation they’re virtually not creating private sector jobs at all. France is a great example it has created over the last 10 years 50,000 private sector jobs. We would consider that a bad month.

Let me give you one last thought to close on. In the end I think politics and health care comes down to one final question. Who decides? Now if you take all the various isms that are out there politically you know, socialism, Marxism, libertarianism, democratism, whatever it might be I don’t know, throw all the isms in there. In the end they come down to that single question, who decides? Do you decide what to do with your life and the decisions you make in it or does someone else make those decisions for you? In health care do you get to decide what procedures you want, do you get to decide what doctor you want to go to, do you decide how you’re going to get treated for various diseases or does someone else get to make that decision for you? That’s what politics is all about and that’s what the health care debate is really all about. And I come down on the side saying it should be you because no one knows better than you what is right for your life. And health care is the most personal most private decisions you make. I’m not about to turn it over to a government equivalent of the registry of motor vehicles.

Thank you all very much.


Michael Tanner is director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute, a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C.

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Posted: Jul 23, 2007 8:09am
Jul 4, 2007

Dear Members of the 110th Congress:

May I offer my congratulations to those of you who are newly elected.

To those of you who were re-elected or whose seat was not contested in this election, my best wishes.

Herewith, let me serve notice on behalf of the American people: you are no longer a rubber stamp.

You live and work in a world far removed from that of the American citizen. Yours is a world filled with wheel-greasing lobbyists, back-stabbing cohorts, more legal mumbo jumbo than Jarndyce v. Jarndyce And always in the background there’s that droning noise from your hard to please but easy to fool… some of the time… constituency.

Well, the rules have changed. In the legendary words of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, "I put a spell on you, because you are mine." We The People of the United States of America are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore! And you, members of Congress, have been elected to do our bidding. We pay your wages.

No longer is your constituency easy to fool. So now would be a good time to look at exactly why you were elected.

Understand this clearly for it is all too often forgotten. You work for us… plain and simple.

You do not work for big corporations. You do not work for special interest groups. You do not work for the Military-Industrial Complex. And you no longer work for President George W. Bush or Vice President Richard Cheney! You work for us, the American people. Do I make myself clear? Forget, or ignore, this at your own peril. Corporations and special interests may fill your campaign war chests, but we cast the votes. Bush and Cheney may cajole and blackmail or they may promise to reward your loyalty to their agenda, but there’s a catch: they are supposed to work for us too. Trouble is, you, Bush and Cheney have been working for yourselves all along… not us.

However, remember this. We made you. We can break you.

We The People have chosen you for a very specific task. You have been hired to rid us the tyranny that has engulfed our land.

Your first and foremost job is to restore the Constitution of the United States to its former glory as the uncontested Law of the Land. You have been elected by us to restore our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. Those civil liberties have been stolen from us by a power-mad Executive Branch under the guise of "keeping us safe" from terrorists.

Today your mission is to keep us safe from that very evil Executive Branch run by George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

From before Day One, George W. Bush’s goal has been the acquisition of total power and the creation, by force, of a vast military empire, Constitution and the American people be damned.

We The People are mad as hell at George W. Bush’s endless stream of self-serving lies.

We are mad as hell at the destruction of Habeas Corpus, the attorney-client privilege and we are furious at the White House authorization of illegal domestic spying and wiretapping.

We are mad as hell at over 2,800 dead American service personnel, and counting. We are outraged by the wild bin Laden chase in Afghanistan and the illegal war in Iraq both of which were launched to enable that President "Payback" Bush to play "war president."

We are mad as hell at the mounting waste of our money in Bush’s war, now estimated to cost America at least $2 trillionand counting.

We have elected you to rein in the spend-a-holic in the White House and to restore sanity to America’s finances.

We The People are mad as hell at a Bush’s hypocritical meddling in the affairs of other nations for self-serving oil lust and Halliburton profits. We are sick and tired of Bush’s unending threats of terrorists, and now Islamo-Fascists, used as an excuse for an ever expanding, never ending, Military-Industrial Complex. We are angry at Bush’s foreign policy, which has fanned the flames of radical terrorism rather than snuff them out.

We are mad as hell that a bunch of radical "right-wing crazies," a.k.a. neoconservatives, with a death grip on the state of Israel, have taken over America’s foreign policy.

We The People are mad as hell at the Bush Administration for destroying America as the best hope of freedom and democracy. We are furious that Bush has squandered the worldwide sympathy that was with us on September 12, 2001. We are livid that Bush has turned the US into a feared and hated global bully.

Bush’s America is a rogue state bent on world domination. It’s a loathsome creation that believes might makes right. Armed with a paranoid assertion that all who oppose Bush are "against us," America threatens with "bombing back to the stone age" those countries that do not bow to the will of Bush. Bush’s America is a state where torture is a "no brainer" and the Geneva Conventions are "quaint." Bush’s America is a place run by war criminals who hold that "liberating" civilians means the murders of 655,000 them… and counting.

This America is NOT the America of Americans

We have elected you to end the illegal war in Iraq, to end the occupation of Afghanistan. You will bring home the troops. You will honor our commitment to their rehabilitation and medical treatment. That is what it means when we commit to supporting the troops. Staying the course with endless Catch 22 style redeployment of combat weary troops on an impossible, endless mission that is guaranteed not only to fail but also to cause more harm than good – that is not supporting the troops. It must cease, at once.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Bolton and a whole slew of shady, corrupt characters must be held accountable, impeached and imprisoned. They must be removed from office. Now.

America must face facts. Neither is America capable of ruling, nor is it morally entitled to be ruling the world. We The People want you the Congress to end Bush’s neoconservative military adventure aimed at forcing the world to do his bidding.

We The People are fed up and mad as hell at a government that condones torture, domestic spying and illegal war as its God given right. We The People are mad as hell at a government that has divided its own citizens into a "with us or against us" society of fear and hatred. This has to stop now!

We have elected you take the abominations of the Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act and Bush’s 800… and counting… signing statements off the statute books.

Make no mistake. You, the members of the 110th Congress are charged with the task of reversing the six-year Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld nightmare of shame.

We The People have elected you to perform this large task.

We The People are mad as hell at being hated for being Americans because of the folly of the Bush/Cheney government.

Do NOT disappoint us.

Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this story.

November 13, 2006

Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.

Copyright © 2006

Whether it's the 1st or 2000th congress... anyone who is chosen by us to represent us should do exactly that!!!!! 75% of American's think that the president and his "crew" should be in prison for Tyranny and crimes that they've committed!

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Posted: Jul 4, 2007 12:18pm
Jun 10, 2007


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Ashley is our middle cat and only female...She died 11:48 a.m. Thursday, 9 May 2013 at home in a valiant battle against agressive lung cancer.