With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in Beijing today and President Obama planning to meet with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in Washington next week, Members of Congress have been voicing their frustration over trade and economic policies that many believe are contributing to America's large balance-of-trade deficit and a loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
In March of this year, the Senate Agriculture Committee marked up legislation that calls for healthier choices on school cafeteria menus. Now New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to write legislation that will ban artificial trans fats from school foods, citing examples of New York City schools that have already done so.
Buried in Title X — Strengthening Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans, Subtitle H — Provisions Relating to Title IX, Section 10907 — Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning Services in Lieu of Elective Cosmetic Medical Procedures, of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a new tax on tanning salon services. Dubbed “the Caucasian tax,” it imposes a 10-percent tax on the amount paid for indoor tanning services.
President Obama’s Race to the Top program was intended to award states that implement “coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.” Governors from a variety of states were excited at the prospect of competing for a share of the $4 billion set aside for the program, but the excitement very quickly transformed into disappointment when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that only two states would be receiving a share of the money: Delaware and Tennessee.
What exactly is the status of the U.S. military’s official policy on the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, which allows homosexuals to serve in the armed forces — as long as they don’t tell anybody they’re “gay”? Not even Army Secretary John McHugh seems clear, as demonstrated by a comment he made to reporters in late March. When pressed on the status of the policy, which President Obama is pressuring Congress to overturn, McHugh said he believed Defense Secretary Robert Gates had placed a moratorium on dismissals of homosexuals from the military pending a Pentagon survey of troops on their views of the issue.
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is teaming up with the Obama administration to legalize illegal immigrants and require biometric national ID cards for every American worker, prompting a swift and bipartisan backlash across the nation.
The arrests on March 28 and 29 of nine people associated with the so-called Hutaree Militia in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio have provided media commentators and reporters with an opportunity to broadly smear all political conservatives, constitutionalists, Tea Party activists, and opponents of President Obama's health care as "extremist" and "anti-government."
State governments across the nation are facing debt problems that seem overwhelming. California, when all the state obligations are counted, has a debt equal to 37 percent of its annual income, at least according to one estimate. Pensions account for much of this problem. Andrew Biggs at the American Enterprise Institute observes that if those pension debts are included, the Rhode Island would be so deeply in debt that it would fall outside the 60 percent governmental debt limit set by the European Union, as would even oil-rich Alaska.
On a cold night in December 1773, some three years after passage of the Tea Act by the British Parliament, colonists were fed up with the British crown’s haughty disregard of their rights as Englishmen, and they dumped 342 chests of the iconic British beverage into Boston Harbor, becoming icons themselves. The protesters (estimates range from as few as 30 to as many as 130) refused finally to be placated by repeated promises of change and reform and, rather than wait for legislative response, they exercised the Lockean right of “self-defense” and boldly resisted the alienation of their God-given liberty.
A recent poll conducted by Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio indicated that 41 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party Movement. This support is manifest in the influential role played by Tea Party activists in the defeat of Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey, the landslide election of Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia, and most recently and visibly, Scott Brown’s historic victory in the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy. To varying degrees, all of these men owe their success to the skill, spirit, and stamina of the men and women of the Tea Party Movement.