You may have missed it, but we are now at the end of National Small Business Week. But as the economy continues to struggle and the jobless rate is still influenced more by people leaving the labor market than the number of hires, what hindrances remain to sustained growth? California Rep. Dan Lungren has talked with many small business owners in recent days and says the hurdles are clear. The congressman says uncertainty is keeping expansion plans on the sidelines for many small businesses – uncertainty fueled by greater government regulation and a tax code that could be bad news for entrepreneurs in the months ahead. Furthermore, Lungren says already tight revenues are now threatened by much higher fuel costs – which hikes prices throughout the economy. He openly wonders whether most Americans find the current economic conditions unacceptable or whether they see the current conditions as the new normal. Lungren also highlights some of the House Republican bills designed to removed red tape and make life a bit easier for America’s small business owners.
Archives for May 2012
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Daniel Foster of National Review Online applaud Mitt Romney for stressing freedom in education and for slamming teacher’s unions while hailing teachers. They also cringe while learning America’s “real” deficit last year was actually $5 trillion. And they wonder why Mitt Romney is planning to have a high-profile campaign event with Donald Trump.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert told us earlier in the week about his frustration with the Obama administration spending $20 million of taxpayer money on a marketing campaign to boost popularity of Obamacare. During that conversation, Gohmert also said President Obama has a habit of demonizing Congress on the campaign trail by claiming lawmakers (especially Republicans) won’t work with him. Gohmert says Congress is willing to negotiate with Obama but the president won’t sit down with them. The congressman explains where he thinks there could be – or at least should be common ground between the two parties. He discusses what we can expect the House to do with respect to Obamacare if the Supreme Court allows it to stand and he offers some strong comments on what he expects heading into yet another debt ceiling debate.
Human Events Political Editor John Gizzi discusses the week in politics, starting with President Obama getting a strong rebuke from voters in his own party. Obama got less than 60 percent of the vote against no opposition in Kentucky and did only slightly better against a little-known challenger in Arkansas. Gizzi explains what message these voters are sending and whether this frustration will reappear in November. Gizzi also weighs in on the the early disagreements between President Obama and new French President Francois Hollande – especially on Afghanistan. We’ll also hear Gizzi’s take on whether longtime Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch will hold on in his GOP primary or become the next incumbent sent packing by the Tea Party.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are happy but a bit stunned to learn that the mainstream media thinks Scott Walker’s win in the Wisconsin recall race is a done deal. They’re also shocked that Elizabeth Warren’s messy Cherokee ancestry controversy hasn’t stopped her from gaining on Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in the polls. And they discuss President Obama’s claim that he is not a big spender and is actually cleaning up the spending mess of Republicans.
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it is launching a $20 million ad campaign designed to boost public support for the Obama health care laws. Public opinion polls consistently show Americans opposed to the two-year-old law and a majority still favor repeal. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is furious that the Obama administration would spend more “money we don’t have” to convince people to embrace a bill they’ve already rejected. Gohmert also slams Obama for refusing to work with Congress on key issues while traveling around the country and “demonizing” Congress for not working with him.
Earlier this week, 43 different Catholic institutions filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the mandate that employers pay all contraceptive costs for female employees. After much outcry earlier in the year, the administration issued an “accommodation” that supposedly exempted organization that had a religious objection to covering contraception. The solution was to pass the costs along to the insurance provider. That adjustment is nowhere near good enough for the dozens of Catholic diocese, charities and hospitals that are filing suit. Bill Donahue is president of the Catholic League. His organization is not part of the lawsuit but Donahue has taken part in extensive conversations with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and others who are leading the legal challenge. Donahue says two major concerns are at the heart of the lawsuits. He says protecting religious liberties enshrined in the first amendment to the Constitution are at the heart of the case- but so is a little-known wrinkle in the Obama “accommodation”. Donahue says for an organization to qualify for the religious exemption, it must almost exclusively serve and employ people of the same faith. So Catholic universities, charities and hospitals that welcome people of all faiths do not qualify for the exemption. Donahue says he is confident that the Supreme Court will dismantle much of Obamacare in the coming weeks. If not, he believes the 43 Catholic groups will likely win their challenge on first amendment grounds. But Donahue says if all legal effort come up empty, some 600 Catholic hospitals and charitable organizations will close their doors before agreeing to subsidize abortion-inducing drugs. He claims this contraception mandate is just the “camel’s nose in the tent” and the Obama administration will soon want to mandate that all hospitals provide abortion services. Donahue says Catholics have overwhelming support from Evangelicals, Protestants, Mormons and Jews because, as he says, “They know they’re next”.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review enjoy primary results showing President Obama struggling whether unopposed or against supposedly token opposition. They also groan as the Iowa Republicans congratulate themselves for running a good caucus – even though we still don’t know who really won. And they discuss the South Carolina AFL-CIO chief slugging a pinata with Gov. Nikki Haley’s face on it.
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe has been on the front lines of the climate debate since his days in the House of Representatives and has been one of the most prominent opponents of efforts ranging from the Kyoto Protocol to Cap and Trade and now to the Law of the Sea Treaty. Inhofe says the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is often pitched as an innocuous effort to clarify maritime boundaries and even enhance U.S. access to vital resources. But in reality he says the treaty is a giveaway to the United Nations, which would then charge the U.S. and American energy companies a fortune to explore for energy underneath our own waters. Inhofe is leading an effort to stop the treaty from receiving the two-thirds vote necessary to be ratified – but he admits he doesn’t have the votes yet. He also explains how the Obama administration is moving forward on the Cap & Trade agenda through regulations and emergency declarations after the legislative effort failed in the previous Congress. Inhofe was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and is the top Republican member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review appreciate more Democrats defending the private equity business after the Obama campaign rebuked Cory Booker. They also like a new American Crossroads ad that rips Obama’s record without savaging Obama. In addition, they scold an Arizona official for abandoning a campaign promise and for very publicly demanding proof of Obama’s birth. And they unload on The Washington Post for openly speculating how a Mormon militia attacking western settlers in 1857 might impact Romney’s campaign.