Tags: EPA | Rules | Longer | Than-Bible | Worst State for Small Business | Massive Govt Waste Revealed | Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014

Obama's EPA Rules 43x Longer Than Bible; Worst State for Small Business; Massive Govt Waste Revealed

By    |   Sunday, 04 Jan 2015 07:17 PM

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama's EPA Rules 43 Times Longer Than Bible
2. Heritage Foundation Cites Massive Government Waste
3. California Ranks Worst for Small Businesses
4. Report Chronicles Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014
5. Obamacare Leading to Costly Medical Consolidations
6. We Heard: Chris Byrne, Obama Fundraiser
 

1. Obama's EPA Rules 43 Times Longer Than Bible

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued 3,100 new final regulations, taking up 27,854 pages in the Federal Register.

The regulations cover a wide range of issues, including greenhouse gases, air quality, hazardous substances, and emissions.

The Federal Register publishes documents including rules, notices, interim rules, corrections, drafts of final rules, and final rules. But in making its assessment that the agency's regulations under Obama total nearly 28,000 pages, CNS News took into account only the final EPA rules.

For comparison, the Gutenberg Bible contains 1,282 pages.

CNS News estimated the number of words in the new final regulations by calculating an approximate average of 1,000 words per page. The results: The new final regulations under Obama total about 27,854,000 words.

The Gutenberg Bible has 646,128 words, so the new EPA regulations issued by the Obama administration now contain about 21 times as many pages and 43 times as many words as the Bible.

The new regulations also contain 25 times as many words as the 1,084,170 words in the entire Harry Potter series, which consists of seven books.

Observers have criticized the EPA — which has more than 16,000 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $8 billion — for overzealous rule-making.

"The broader question of whether the Obama administration's EPA is 'overreaching' in its regulatory effects has not gone away," the Congressional Research Service states in a report. "Critics both in Congress and outside of it regularly accuse the agency of overkill."

In early December, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona released a report citing more than a dozen examples of "wasteful grants and egregious spending" by the EPA in a "mission creep" to "expand its regulatory reach."

Editor's Note:

 

2. Heritage Foundation Cites Massive Government Waste

The federal government took in $3.02 trillion in total revenue this year, but still managed to run a deficit of $483 billion — and that was the lowest deficit since 2007.

The country's national debt is now nearly $18 trillion. Yet the Heritage Foundation had no trouble citing 51 examples of government waste due to mismanagement, corporate welfare, or questionable federal research alone.

Here's a dirty dozen of those examples:

1. Two federal construction projects to deal with nuclear fuel and waste, which were supposed to cost $4 billion, remain uncompleted and have already cost $7 billion.

2. Construction of the Department of Homeland Security headquarters was supposed to be complete by 2003. It remains far from completion and has already cost taxpayers nearly $4.5 billion.

3. The Department of the Treasury paid $112 million to a public relations firm to raise public awareness of the new dollar bill's minor design changes.

4. The Defense Department spent nearly $500 million on military transport planes for the Afghan Air Force, a project that was scrapped partly because maintenance of the planes was too expensive for the Afghans.

5. Medicare Part B spent nearly six times more than Medicare Part D for the same drugs and equipment to treat cancer.

6. The U.S. Enrichment Corporation received $60 million from the federal government even though the company announced plans to declare bankruptcy.

7. The Defense Department is destroying $1.2 billion worth of ammunition because it does not have a suitable inventory system to track supplies. The military services each use different inventory systems.

8. Federal agencies paid almost $50 million to the Department of Commerce's National Technical Information Service for information that is mostly available for free online.

9. The Government Accountability Office reports that duplication of federal programs and services costs taxpayers an astounding $45 billion a year.

10. According to the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General, EPA employees used government credit cards to buy $79,000 worth of "prohibited, improper, and erroneous" goods and services, including gym memberships for workers and their families, DVDs, and academic memberships.

11. The National Institutes of Health spent $374,000 to find out if preschoolers will eat more vegetables after watching a puppet show about fruits and vegetables.

12. The NIH also spent $371,000 to determine if mothers have the same neurological reaction when looking at pictures of their children and of their dogs.

To put the massive overspending in perspective, the Heritage Foundation's Romina Boccia correlated the federal spending to a typical American family's budget.

The median family income in the U.S. is $52,000. If the family spent money like the federal government, they would spend $60,400 this year, putting $8,400 on their credit card — even though they already have credit card debt of $308,000.

Editor's Note:

 

3. California Ranks Worst for Small Businesses

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council has conducted an in-depth study examining how government policies in each of the 50 states influence their climate for small businesses, and blue state California ranks dead last.

The council's "Small Business Policy Index" examines the states "according to various major government-imposed or government-related costs that directly or indirectly affect entrepreneurship and business, as well as the investment that is so critical to start-ups and business growth."

The 2014 edition of the Index includes 42 measures; 24 are taxes or tax-related, nine deal with regulations, five deal with government spending and debt issues, and the rest measure the effectiveness of various important government undertakings.

They include such obvious yardsticks as personal income taxes, individual capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, dividend and interest taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and gasoline taxes, but also take into account such factors as total crime rate, state minimum wage, number of state and local government employees, and highway cost efficiency.

"Unfortunately, too many elected officials, policy advisers, and special interest advocates choose to ignore the economic realities of how government can and does affect entrepreneurship, business and investment," the report asserts.

The council points out that economic growth in the top 25 ranked states in the Index averaged 2.4 percent from 2010 to 2013, compared to 1.8 percent for the bottom 25 states.

Also, the top 25 states netted a 1,007,768 increase in population, while the bottom 25 lost 1,028,741.

To compile its ranking of the states, the council assigns a numerical grade to a state for each of the 42 measures, with a low score best and a high score worst, then adds up the grades to produce an overall rating. The higher the numerical grade, the heavier the government burden on businesses.

California's index of 118.4 is nearly 3½ times greater than the lowest-ranked state, South Dakota at 35.3.

The Golden State has the worst index for personal income taxes, followed by Hawaii, while nine states have no income tax.

California is also worst for individual capital gains taxes, followed by Oregon, and worst for dividend and interest taxes, followed by Hawaii.

The 10 best states for small businesses overall are, in order, South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Florida, Washington, Alabama, Indiana, Colorado, and North Dakota.

The worst states, moving upward from California, are New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, Oregon, Iowa, Maine, and Connecticut.

In the corporate income tax category, Pennsylvania is worst. For property taxes, New Hampshire is worst, followed by New Jersey, while Alabama is best, with Oklahoma No. 2.

Gasoline taxes are highest in New York and California, and lowest in Alaska and New Jersey.

Idaho gets the best ranking in the total crime rate category, followed by North Dakota, while South Carolina is worst, edging out New Mexico.

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council is a Virginia-based nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy, research, and education organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.

Editor's Note:

 

4. Report Chronicles Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014

A Belgian doctor's refusal to treat a 90-year-old woman because she was Jewish tops the list of 2014's most egregious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Los Angeles-based center, established in 1977 and named after Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, is an international Jewish human rights organization.

The center's list "show how pervasive anti-Semitism has become around the world and is tragically indicative of burgeoning threats and challenges to the Jewish people not encountered since the end of WWII," the center stated.

The elderly woman in Antwerp, Belgium, fractured her hip in July and her son called a medical hotline seeking treatment for her. The doctor taking the call, who knew she was Jewish, said: "Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she will get rid of the pain."

He said: "I'm not coming" — and hung up.

The woman's grandson told a newspaper the incident "reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago."

Other incidents on the list include:

  • On Nov. 18, two terrorists killed four rabbis, three of them U.S. citizens, at a synagogue in West Jerusalem. The following day, a member of Jordan's parliament referred to the terrorists, who were killed, as "martyrs," and Jordan's prime minister sent a condolence letter to their families.
  • In December, two assailants forced their way into an apartment in a Paris suburb, tied up a Jewish man and woman, and demanded: "Tell us where you hide the money. You Jews always have money." They then ransacked the house and raped the 19-year-old woman.

They face several charges including religion-motivated violence.

  • A column in a Turkish newspaper close to the government proposed that Turkish Jews and other Jews doing business in Turkey pay a special tax to pay for damages in Gaza resulting from the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Columnist Faruk Kose has called Israel a "Zionist/Jewish terror base" guilty of "genocide," writing: "So of course one feels like saying, 'God bless that Hitler.'"

  • The mayor of a town in Hungary hanged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres in effigy at a public display in August. A sign referred to Peres as a "war criminal" and "bastard genocider" whose "master" is Satan.
  • In April, Frazier Glenn Cross, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, shot and killed three people outside a Jewish community center and Jewish home for the aging in Kansas. None of the victims was Jewish, but he later told a reporter he "wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews before I die."

The Wiesenthal Center urged "people of good faith everywhere to commit in 2015 to break the apathy and silence and to stand up and speak out against history's oldest hate wherever it rears its ugly head."

Editor's Note:

 

5. Obamacare Leading to Costly Medical Consolidations

As recently as 2008, 62 percent of American doctors were "independent" — they had their own practices. Today, that number has fallen to just 35 percent.

That's one of the consequences of the Affordable Care Act — consolidation of previously independent doctors into salaried positions within larger institutions, usually a hospital.

And the consolidation is increasing healthcare costs.

Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explains the "dirty little secret" regarding Obamacare.

"Obamacare payment reforms are fashioned after 1990s-style health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, in which entities like hospitals would get a lump sum of money from Medicare (or now, Obamacare) for taking on the risk of caring for a large pool of patients," he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

"But right now all of these payment schemes are tilted far in favor of having hospitals pool that risk, and not looser networks of doctors."

Medicare reimbursement favors hospitals over independent practices by paying more for procedures that are performed at a hospital outpatient clinic. For instance, Medicare pays $876 for a colonoscopy at a clinic compared to $402 at a private practice. A 15-minute visit to an independent doctor is reimbursed at $70, but $124 if the doctor is at a hospital outpatient clinic.

"This may be the same physician working out of the same office he or she always has worked out of, but the designation changes to 'hospital outpatient'" once the practice has been consolidated into a hospital system, said Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Also, to comply with new payment reforms, healthcare providers must control their IT infrastructure. Only hospitals, which already have their own server hub, can afford to do that, Gottlieb points out.

With consolidated healthcare systems, competition is reduced, for there are fewer independent providers left to compete on prices and services.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that consolidation raises the cost of healthcare.

Between 2009 and 2012, healthcare providers owned by local hospitals had costs that were 10 percent higher per patient than practices owned by the physicians themselves, notes Kenneth Artz of The Heartland Institute.

And per-patient expenditures in practices owned by multihospital systems were 20 percent higher.

Editor's Note:

 

6. We Heard . . .

THAT former White House aide and Fox News producer Chris Byrne has been named a partner at Capitol Media Partners (CMP) and appointed to head a new office in New York City.

CMP is a Los Angeles-based global strategic communications and public affairs firm founded in 2009 by Richard Grenell, who was the longest serving U.S. spokesperson at the United Nations.

Byrne worked at the George W. Bush White House from 2005 to 2009, first as a deputy associate director of presidential personnel and later as a special assistant to White House press secretary Dana Perino. Most recently he served as a senior producer at Fox News.

"Chris' deep experience in the Washington, D.C., and New York City media circles makes him an ideal candidate for Capitol Media Partners' New York City office," CMP partner Brad Chase said in a release.

"Chris' experience and talent of merging traditional news media and digital media is an ideal asset for us."

THAT the Department of Homeland Security has finally responded to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act and released figures regarding President Obama's July fundraising trip to Colorado.

According to the department, expenditures for security provided the president on his two-day visit to Denver cost taxpayers $200,383 — $183,259 for hotel accommodations and $17,124 for transportation for his security team.

Previous figures from the U.S. Air Force showed that transportation for Obama cost taxpayers $695,894, so the total for the trip is $896,277.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement released on Tuesday: "It is shameful that we had to sue to get this basic information."

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories): 1. Obama's EPA Rules 43 Times Longer Than Bible 2. Heritage Foundation Cites Massive Government Waste 3. California Ranks Worst for Small Businesses 4. Report Chronicles Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014 5. Obamacare...
EPA, Rules, Longer, Than-Bible, Worst State for Small Business, Massive Govt Waste Revealed, Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014, Obamacare Leading to Costly Medical Consolidations, Chris Byrne, Obama Fundraiser
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2015-17-04
Sunday, 04 Jan 2015 07:17 PM
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